Monday, May 14, 2012

Make Yer Own Protein Bars

I'll be the first to admit, I'm very much a foodie. Although my body doesn't really like gluten or dairy, I LOVE to bake and cook. And I'll also be the first to admit, that when I'm flipping through channels at home, I ALWAYS am making a stop on the Cooking Channel or Food Network. :) And I freaking LOVE LOVE Alton Brown's Good Eats, specifically because I like the science of baking & cooking and figuring out what I can do to make a particular food how I want it without having to FIND that *perfect* recipe.

Can anyone relate to that? I never seem like I can just find what I want. If I want a cheesecake that is a bit more sour over creamy, how do I do that? Or, if I want a very cakey cookie versus a flat crunchy cookie, Alton Brown taught me how to do that!

As I was flipping through channels last night, and happened upon on the Food Network as well as happening upon Good Eats to find he was featuring Making Your Own Protein Bars! If you love learning the science behind cooking your own protein bars (instead of buying expensive protein candy bars), then you'll probably love the following videos!

The 1st video is mostly informational:

Who is Captain Power anyway?

BUT! The 2nd video completely goes into the process of making the commerical Protein Candy Bars. And how to make your own high protein bars:

There are some great recipes out there and it just takes a bit of looking to find ones you might like on or other sites. But I like knowing how to make something so I can be creative with it!

Now, I'm off to make my own! :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Post-Contest Blues?

Alright, I mean I had heard and read of the post-contest blues before. And I fully prepared myself that it would probably happen with me.

I started into my first week fully on plan. Fully expecting the blues to come.

But they didn't come. More like post-contest bliss.

Day after contest, Patrick and I took the dogs for a hike. :) Zeke was in like 7th heaven! Check out that long tongue! (He only does that when he's really really happy)

The belly bloat came and stayed, and I recognized when I should stop and didn't. Its easy to tell yourself that you're going to have a clean eating day, doing it yourself is much harder when you don't HAVE TO! But seriously, the belly bloat... I'm sure many of you have experienced holding water... but hopefully not like I did. Within 6 days of post-contest, I had gained 10lbs of WATER. Literally, and it looked like I was holding that much water (to me it looked like 30lbs). And unfortunately on a little person like me, with a history of high blood pressure, holding that much water makes my blood pressure go up and is really bad for my heart. Luckily with prescription diuretics, I've been able to drop about 6lbs of the water, and still have 2 more days on this script. Bliss back on!

And in my post-contest bliss, I'm already phasing into some good food choices... Check out my new finds!

Calorie Free jam by Walden Farms. Picked these up on in both Blueberry & Raspberry (they're sweetened with Splenda) for $3.79 a jar.

Zevia soda! This diet soda is made with Stevia, also from, and I bought it in Mountain Zevia (like Mountain Dew sort of? It tastes more like Sprite to me), Creme Soda, Cola, & Cherry Cola.. Although it comes in different flavors! They're about $5 for a 6-pack, but if you don't drink much soda anyway, its worth it to me.

If you're not sure what would make Zevia different than any diet soda, it is lower on the Glycemic Index as far as how much it would raise your blood sugar levels after drinking it, and therefore less likely to gain fat while drinking it.

Arrowroot. This shit rocks! I purchased this to replace Cornstarch in my diet, and actually just trying to reduce the amount of corn in my diet. We come from the northwest where gravy should be its own food group. But I'm trying to reduce the amount of total sugars and this crap works just like any flour or thickener! Also picked up on for only $5.59 for 20oz.

Coconut Milk French Vanilla Creamer. OMG... this may have just saved my life! Being close to dairy free is going to be MUCH easier with options like this! The coconut milk creamer is much thicker than any other dairy free creamer. :) Only $2.49

And so I'm out to prove that I'm better even that I think I am. We all know about post-show blues and bloat. And while I am still somewhat bloated, I'm out to prove that I can recover post-show and ease into normal living. I can do this. Okay, and seriously... I had so much fun on stage that I'm really itching to plan my next shows. My 10K training starts today, and my total cardio is starting to decline today.. WOOT! I genuinely missed heavy and challenging lifting. Challenging, meaning: having enough carbs in my muscles to push my strength to the max, prep is a whole other type of challenging. LOL!

I've got some posts comin round the bend, but if there is anything anyone is interested in reading about... Let me know! :) Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Improvement Season Begins

I caught that darn bug. But I'm pretty sure we all knew I would :) *SIGH* It was an amazing experience. I feel like I can never really explain it quite right, but the end feeling... the completion... the result of stepping on stage perfectly proud of what you have done... One can only experience it for themselves to truly empathize with what I'm talking about.

From what I understand, its like giving birth. And being born. Women go through months and months of discomfort to come to the end which is hours upon hours of pain... To be presented with a beautiful child coming straight from their own body. And competing is similar: we work for months constantly tired and uncomfortable. And come peak week, it can be painful lol. Except in the end we present something so much more amazing than we could ever predict or imagine. When I was imagining the package I would bring to the stage, it wasn't this...

I'm being serious! I definitely didn't expect it. Because at one point, I was this....

Going from the longest week of my life down to the shortest minutes of my life, it really was such an incredible experience. I was so glad that I took the last couple of days off before the show, really just to get all my stuff done... errands and appointments.

Ugh errands, they wear me the eff out. Wednesday night after work, I headed straight to Huckleberry's. For those that don't live in this area, they're really the only "health food"/"yuppy" place in the city. We only recently got a Trader Joe's, there is no Whole Foods around. Lame. And the reason I needed to go there specifically was because they're the only place that sells my favorite beer.

After my workout, I headed to Wal-mart for some things. On Thursday, I met with my prep coach in the morning and then headed straight to get waxed. Oh man. That poor girl saw more of me than she probably ever wanted to. Full legs, underarms, Brazilian, and eyebrows. If errands didn't wear me out, that did. Results are totally worth it. ;)

Waxing almost everywhere lol, nails did, toes did and tan... All the running around wore me out! And driving with the spray tan... UGH! But let me tell you a little lesson I learned... No one can tell your tan smudges from the stage. Just sayin... I worried way too much about nothing.

And I have to admit, I wasn't even remotely nervous. It was fun being back stage seeing people snack on gummi bears and jelly beans, watching the Physique guys gorge on Krispy Kremes after they were done with the stage. I learned all about that unspoken rule of helping other competitors... I taped no less than 3 bikinis to boobs & bootys. It was also fun meeting the other girls my coach trains! I love that backstage, no one appears super competitive. Because we all know at that point, there is nothing we can do to get better. When it came time to take the stage, I knew in that moment that I could not have done anything differently. 

The reality is that at this very moment in time, I could not have done any better. We go through long periods of time controlling ourselves and holding onto our self-discipline and working intensely on our character to obtain something we want. But we aren't perfect, and we can't expect to be perfect. We can only expect to do our best. And if this is where my body is its best at this very moment, then that was ME doing my best.

And I think this took away the nerves and anxiety, because I knew. And I am on cloud 9.
Hmmm, maybe it isn't taught how to pose for the money shot.. :)

 I took second in Bikini Class A. I was told that the judges were looking for a softer and rounder look with the shift in all divisions. However! 2nd place for my first competition?! I'll take that!  

My first meal ended up being a beer and a Subway BLT... in bed. No joke, I took a shower and got in bed with my food... Bliss. Later we decided to go out for a nice Seafood dinner at the Coeur d' Alene Resort.

And thus begins the off-season! :) I was sore ALL weekend from the show. Flexing & posing so long made me incredibly sore in my quads, abs & back! But I spent Monday right back on track with the diet so I can ease carbs back in, was all over the water even though it made me realize how bloated I truly was haha! And was right back on cardio & weights to put these calories to use. I'm itching to plan my next shows, but excited for time to improve and work on wedding & business stuff.  I'll update with my professional photos & video when I get it!

Thanks for all your support everyone! :) You guys kept me going!