Beef Burger with Protein Powder Bun

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(Recipe Source: The Ultimate Protein Pow(d)er Cookbook)

Bun

92 Cals / 9g protein / 8g carbs / 3g fat / 2 g fiber

Ingredients

1/4 cup of unflavored pea protein powder

2 tbsp rolled oats

3 tbsp buckwheat flakes

1/4 cups coconut flour

1 egg

1 egg white

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp sesame seeds, optional

Directions

1. Preheat oven 325 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone or nonstick cookie sheet.

2. Blend together all ingredients except sesame seeds.  Make “four” buns on the cookie sheet.  You can add some sesame seeds on top before baking.

3. Bake or 15-20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.   Keep an eye to not overcook them. They don’t brown so don’t wait till they do.

Burgers

182 cals / 21g protein / 5g carbs / 4g fat / 1g fiber

1 chopped onion

1 garlic clove

1 1/2 cups lean or extra-lean organic ground beef

1/4 cup rolled oats

1 egg

1 tsp paprika

1 tbsp tomato puree or sun-dried tomato paste

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp pepper

salt to taste

Directions

1. Over medium heat, preheat a nonstick pan with some coconut oil or spray.  Add the onion and saute it until it’s soft and caramelized.  Put onions in a large bowl and wipe out pan.

2. Add all ingredients into a big bowl including onions.  Mix it all together using your hands and shape five patties.

3. Head the same pan, nonstick again with coconut oil or spray.   When pan is hot, lay the burgers in it.  Then turn the heat down to medium so the bottom “seals up” nicely and the rest of the burger cooks.

4. Grab your buns, add your burger with some lettuce, tomato and avocado. Enjoy!

The Life of a Fit Girl!

Thank you BuzzFeed for understanding the life of a Fit Girl!

The Problem Is You!

Do you ever wonder why bad luck always seems to be on your side?

It’s like you can never catch a break.

…Find the right guy.

…Find a good job.

…You can never lose weight

…Have a good boss, good friends, enough money…etc?

Well I am here to tell you that the reason why life does not seem to go your way isn’t because a black cat crossed your path or you shattered a mirror 2 years ago.  The problem isn’t other people; the problem is you!

If you always find yourself surrounded by people that betray, lie, steal and cheat maybe it is because you continue to attract and accept those people in your life.

If you find that you are always unhappy at every new job or move from place to place, city to city and still feel lonely.  That is because your loneliness and unhappiness comes from within yourself not from other people.

I am not saying unexpected and undesirable things don’t happen, but I am saying is that you have control over how you react to these situations, the people you have in your life and the happiness you feel.  So fine, have your pity party (we all need them) but get over it and grab control over your life.

The problem isn’t other people.

The problem is you.

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10 Ways to Conquer the Gym

“I love working out and feeling like a jack ass!” says no one ever.  Anyone that has ever stepped in the gym for the first time has experienced that moment of insecurity and panic of not knowing what to do and looking dumb doing it. Well don’t fret kids; here are 10 Ways to Conquer the Gym!

1. Paint your big picture. Do you want to fit into your “skinny jeans” or just feel confident in a bikini?  Whatever your goal is, write it down and remind yourself about it on a daily basis. Your goal will be one of your biggest assets in conquering any fears you have over the gym.

2. Make a plan and act on it. Create a work out plan that can challenge you but is realistic to your busy life. Most people have a tendency to spread themselves too thin and end up discouraged because they discover they aren’t Wonder Woman.   So come up with something that you feel comfortable with and get to work!

3. Dress like a bad ass.  You know that rock star feeling you get when you wear a brand new outfit on a Friday night with your girlfriends? Your gym wardrobe should make you feel the same way. There is no need to feel frumpy and uncomfortable walking in the gym wearing black yoga pants and t-shirt that looks like it belongs to your dad.  Spice things up with bright colors and crazy patterns.  When you feel like a bad ass in your gym clothes you will act like a badass in the gym.

4. Work one small goal. Reminding yourself why you started in the first place has its moments of motivation, but it can also feel overwhelming when your patience suddenly runs thin. When you step in the gym each week come up with a small goal to achieve. Use the scary machine in the Big Girl section, stay on the Stairmaster 5 minutes longer or take that Zumba class you’ve been eyeing.  Whatever it is that you’ve been afraid to try, make it your mission to scratch it off the list before the week is over.

5. Find a gym partner and a backup plan.  Works out buddies are a great thing to have but what happens when your buddy is not the mood?  Are you going to sit on your booty and be influenced by their actions?  I don’t think so, girlfriend!  Create a plan B.  If you are still uncomfortable working out alone try a group class or maybe it is time to make going to the gym alone that one small goal you conquer.

6. You don’t need to have a lot of money to get fit.  There is no reason to feel helpless and lost in the gym if you can’t afford to pay someone to teach you.  Trainers are great but they are also luxury.  Take action into your hands and use the internet to create your plan. Bodybuilding.com is a great resource for information on nutrition and fitness programs already designed for you to follow.

7. Ask for help. Although the gym may look intimidating you will be surprised how many people are willing to help. If you aren’t sure on how to use a machine ask the person next to you.  Despite what you may think nobody is judging.  In fact, there is an unspoken Kudos among everyone who made the conscious decision to drag their ass to the gym.  Not only are you saving time on frustration by asking for help but you may just make a friend. Gym buddy? Cha-ching!

8. Give yourself some credit.  You created plan, killed it in the gym, even posted sweaty Instagram selfies announcing to the world that you are on a mission to get fit.  Then a week goes by and the only exercise you did consisted of getting off the couch to stick your face in the fridge. Been there, done that and collected all the t-shirts.  You aren’t a failure, you didn’t waste all your progress and there is no need to adopt a defeatist attitude. Let it go! Lucky for you there is 365 days in a year which means you have that many times to keep fighting forward.  The only time you are failure is when you decide to quit and you aren’t a quitter, are you?

9. Measure your progress in strength not numbers.  I am firm believer that the scale and other body measuring devices are toys made by the Devil.  He created these terrible objects to watch humans find ways to destroy their self-worth.  It’s like a game to him, “Who can I make feel like shit today?” Your progress is not determined by measurements but by how much stronger you have become mentally and physically.  Reflect back on where your physical strength was when you started or how many times you picked the gym over the couch. That is the real progress!

10. Believe in your potential.  You may not be anywhere near your goal but if you believe that not being able to see the finish line means you are unworthy, then you will stay right where you are.  You will not drop inches overnight and your ass won’t perk up fast enough.  But if you can find it in yourself to trust the process and believe that you are worth your goals, then you will be the Queen of the Iron Castle before you know it!

Don’t let something silly like feeling like a jackass stop you from getting your fit on.  Now you have 10 ways to help you feel like a diva in your big girl sports bra and conquer the fitness world.  Stay patient, be kind and don’t let one bad day stop you from getting to your goal.  It’s time to get that ass to the grass and sweat like you mean it!

*This article was published in the January 2014 issue of “Indie Chick”.  Get the latest issue.

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#One2WatchBlog

This past week I woke up to an exciting tweet… Bloggers Required nominated me for the “One to Watch Award”. The “One to Watch Award” was created for the many bloggers that go unrecognized to have an opportunity to be acknowledged and appreciated for their fun and hard work!  And it may sound silly, but blogging is hard work but I love it.

I started blogging simply as a means to hold myself accountable for my first NPC Bikini Show.  In doing that, it also turned into an unexpected form of therapy. Shockingly outside of that I got outside recognition where I wrote my first article for the online magazine, The Indie Chicks and then made my print debut in Indie Chick magazine.  It still shocks me when people make comments about my blog but it also feels amazing know that people enjoy my “work”.   Blogging has definitely evolved from a simple online diary to a place where I hope to help and inspire other women.

With that said I’d like to pass this nomination a couple of my favorite bad ass bloggers!

The Fitness Princess Blog: This former beauty queen found her love for fitness when she competed and placed top five in her first NPC Bikini Competition.  What began as an innocent way to get in shape turned into the evolution of a Fitness Princess where strong is her lifestyle and made it her mission to empower individuals to get control over their lives and body with fitness and nutrition.

No Glutes No Glory: I’ve following Ms. Columbia Johnson since I started my first prep. She’s been on her fitness journey debating back and forth with the idea competing. Well, now she’s finally decided! Follow her as she works to get on stage and make her Bikini debut!

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My Balanced Holistic Life

People often ask me how I can study Holistic Nutrition if I don’t live my life 100% holistically.

The answer is simple; I chose to educate myself to make better choices, live a healthier, realistic life, and help others do the same. It may seem like a contraction but I don’t aim to change everything about my lifestyle and nutritional choices and I certainly don’t aim to change everyone’s opinion on how to eat and live. However, I do want to help those that have the interest in making changes.

For those that don’t know Holistic simply means “treating the body as a whole”. Holistic nutrition addresses digestion, adequacy, balance and moderation for each individual. It is believe that we need a certain balance of protein, vitamins, and other nutrients to help our bodies reach maximum energy and heal its own physical and emotional health.

The type of changes a person can make to live holistically include but are not limited to…

  • Buying organic everything (not limited to just food)
  •  Buying in season, locally grown produce
  •  Buying grass-feed meat
  •  Using personal care products that contain less harmful chemicals.
  •  Switching household commercial products to homemade cleaners or less toxic cleaners

A good resource to find household and personal beauty products is http://www.ewg.org/. You can also download the app, “Skin Deep”, to your smart phone as a quick resource when you are shopping for beauty products!

I don’t think I will ever live 100% holistically and I don’t care too. I enjoy dining out, drinking alcohol, chewing gum and using my Benefit Mascara. At the same time, I see the importance in buying organic and make the effort to attend farmer’s markets. I try to buy most of my meat grass fed (if I even eat it), I’ve switched my facial cleansing routine to a simple olive oil wash and moisturizer, which by the way I love! I still use food supplements, protein powders, foods from a box, use regular detergent and deodorant. Of course I have goals to transition some of my toxic habits with a healthier option but it is all about balance. This is my balance and my goal is to help others find theirs.

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The Workout Cool Kids Club

I don’t understand is why people are so judgmental towards other people and the workouts they decide to do. Why does it matter if someone is into Cross fit, Weightlifting or finds Yoga their best work out? Since when did exercise become a “cool kid” contest and only a selective few are allowed to join?

Whether you do a Jane Fonda Butt Master video or join your local Cross fit box, working out should be about you!  It should feel good, you should feel strong, relieved of stress and at the end of the day it should be fun!

I don’t know where people get all entitled to tell someone their work out is lame. I’m sorry, but do you know their goals? Do you even know their life? How about their likes and dislikes? I’m guessing not. Maybe this person doesn’t want to get shredded or throw around some heavy ass shit and post a selfie on Instagram.  Maybe this person wants be a cardio bunny because it feels good for their mind. Maybe, just maybe, this person’s exercise choices have no effect on your daily life and you should shut the hell up.  I mean, I’m just sayin… #sorrynotsorry

Do you Squirrelfriend, do you.  Drop down and get your eagle on, girl!

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Write Your Goals Down!

A month ago my friend and I sat down after watching The Secret and created Goal Boards.  They are a spin off vision boards where we literally wrote down all the things we wanted to accomplish.  We wrote them on sticky notes so we could visually see how much we have accomplished by taking them off when we were done and of course adding more when needed.

I always have a tendency to get pumped up about doing things like this but my only problem is my excitement lasts as long as it took to make the board. Needless to say I put the board in my room and never looked at my goals again.  My friend on the other hand, pinned the board next to her bed and reads it every morning and every night.  She also took a picture of it on her phone and reads it throughout the day. I never really questioned her but I did noticed a shift in her attitude and suddenly all these opportunities started to present themselves to her. I couldn’t help but wonder if the goal board was the reason why everything started to click. I mean, she was accomplishing things on her board after all and I wasn’t.

Yesterday, my interest finally peeked and I asked her if reading her goal board made a difference.

“Oh yea! I notice that on days where I wake up feeling in a bad mood I can immediately feel my energy shift when I get half way through my board!” she said.

Hmmm…is that so?

For the past few weeks I have been feeling less inspired, less motivated and a little more stuck in my current situation. I’ve been struggling to get back onto my happy feet and didn’t know what steps to take to get back to my good place.  After seeing my friends shift in attitude, excitement for life every day and the new opportunities that have come her way I figured I have nothing to lose by taking my goal board seriously.  So last night I stripped off my old goal board clean and got to writing everything that I wanted to accomplish no matter how silly it may seem.

Creating the goal board was the easy part.  Now comes the time where I put in the work and create the habit of reminding myself of what it is I want to accomplish in life.  If I can make a habit out of the gym then I have no excuse in making a habit in reading my goals; anything less than that is pure laziness and a reflection of my attitude in working for the rewards in my life.  So here goes nothing…Off to read my goals!photo

 What do you think? Do you have a goal board/vision board?

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He’s Just Not That Into You

Isn’t it funny how women tend to over analyze everything in circles, come up with no conclusion and never get tired of talking about it the same thing?  It drives me crazy that I take part in this ridiculous type of conversation especially when it pertains to a guy and figuring out his interest level.  We have all seen the movie, read the book or if in the least heard of the concept, “He’s Just Not That Into You.”  I am finding that as I get older and become more ready to settle down I get caught up in moments of not actually seeing the signs and following intuition (that’s my fluffy way of not saying “desperate”).  Instead, like most women, I’ll come up with all possible reasons as to why he isn’t asking me out.

Maybe he is insecure?

Maybe he is intimidated?

Maybe he is trying to settle things in life?

No, he is just not into you.  It doesn’t matter how many story lines you come up with, if the guy isn’t making an effort to talk to you, get to know you, respect you and see you, then he is just not about you!  It really is such a liberating concept yet for some reason it is difficult to accept. So how do we accept when that he is just not that into you?

Make a list.

I don’t mean a list of your non-negotiable or describing what he needs to look like and what he needs to drive, but a list of quality characteristics of the kind of guy you would want to date.  What would your dream guy have to do to make you feel confident that he is into you? I’ve always said that dating should be fun and easy. I have yet to experience it but I still have hope that it is true.

So here’s my list…

He calls me to talk not just text.  I’m not a phone person and it could be due the technology generation I grew up in, but if a guy calls to talk then I would not only be impressed but flattered that he took time out to get to know me in an actual verbal conversation that doesn’t take place in person.

He follows through with his word.  He calls when he says he is going to, he texts me when he says he is going, he follows through with plans when he says he is going to.  And if for whatever reason he needs to break the plans, he actually lets me know way before I started my make up.

He makes an effort to make me feel special.  I can imagine how difficult it can be for a guy to take a girl out on a day and to try to impress her. I won’t judge a guy for doing the traditional dinner date, but a being a female in the world of a lazy and instant satisfaction generation, seeing a guy put in effort to make the date special really warms my heart and wins major points in my book. And if it means anything to the guys, even if a relationship doesn’t bloom because of amazing date it doesn’t mean that it won’t be remembered for the rest of her life.

He wants to meet my friends and family. My friends are my family and my family is my whole world.  My perfect man would not only fit into my circle but takes an active interest in getting to know the other important people in my life.

I don’t know about you but I’m tired of trying to figure out what a guy is thinking and there really shouldn’t be much to figure out. So keep it simple: No stressing, no wondering, no story lines as to the reason why he isn’t calling, it should be black and white. He either likes you or he doesn’t and until I meet a guy who can hit my list without knowing it then he just isn’t that into me.

“But what I can do is paint you a picture of what you’ll never see when you’re with a guy who’s really into you: You’ll never see you staring maniacally at your phone, willing it to ring. You’ll never see you ruining an evening with friends because you’re calling for your messages every fifteen seconds. You’ll never see you hating yourself for calling him when you know you shouldn’t have. What you will see is you being treated so well that no phone antics will be necessary. You’ll be too busy being adored.” Greg Behrendt, “He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuse Truth to Understanding Guys.

We Meet Again!

Do not dwell in the past.

Do no dream of the future.

Concentrate the mind on the present moment.

 How many of us are guilty of this? We spend our days dwelling on our pasts and pinpointing our failures, praying for a better future and forget to put our energy into the now. I’ve been guilty of that practically everyday of my life. And I’m sure part of my reason for being MIA on the blog is because I’ve spent so much time “reflecting” on my past; pre competiton body, body on stage, diet before the show and how I’ve rebounded. I’ve struggled regaining my “will power”, a word in which I despise, but in turn have realized how important it is to be present in my now as oppose to berating myself for what I use to be like and what I am now.

With that said I am back my friends. I’m inspired, healthy, strong as shit in the gym and learning to balance my life with all the things that are important to me.  Competing is something I miss everyday and I’m constantly itching to prep. And I can’t wait for the day I do but that day is not today. My today is about family, friends, and lifting.  Lifting will never leave me as I’m a working badass in progress. Haha.

So stay tuned Squirrelfriends as I bring you life lessons from the gym!