Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter from Columbus

Good morning and Happy Easter!

It's truly astonishing how beautiful and incredible a group of people can become your family in such a short period of time. Jeremy's dad, step mom, and three youngest siblings live right outside Columbus and they truly have accepted me into their family with open arms.

Jeremy's step mom is so intrigued by my vegetarian lifestyle and she bought me two different kinda of veggie burgers for the weekend. She also bought a ton of fresh vegetables and cut up fruit for me.

Maggie (5 years old) also agreed to try some of my veggie burger. It's absolutely humbling to know how open minded children can be. If only adults could be like that.

It's always nice to get away for a weekend, especially to come see such incredible people.











Friday, March 29, 2013

Bakian Library

I am a book fanatic, always have been and always will be. My mother and sisters are all the same way. That being said, I just received a huge order of books from Amazon yesterday that I felt I had to share. Even if you aren't vegetarian or vegan, I still think you can appreciate vegan recipes. They taste incredible!

This morning, instead of going to the gym, I took my mom and two youngest sisters to the airport. It's crazy how I already miss them. We have a half day at work today and then I will make the attempt to hit the gym.

Last night I unknowingly ingested a small amount of dairy and my body completely freaked out. I was sick several times throughout the night. It's crazy how eliminating dairy for the past year and then having such a small can be rejected so quickly from my body.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Go Hard or Go Home

Time for some tough love people...

Fewer things are more annoying that the people at the gym who half-ass their workouts expecting incredible results. If you do 1/2 the work then expect 1/2 the results. I see people post on twitter and facebook all the time that they are going to get wings and beer after they workout. THERE IS NO WAY TO OUTTRAIN POOR EATING HABITS. LET ME SAY IT AGAIN, THERE IS NO WAY TO OUTTRAIN POOR EATING HABITS.

If you aren't going hardcore, then why are you taking up space at the gym?!?!?!

Same rule applies in life, why do something half-ass; you only will end up getting half the desired results.

That being said, a bunch of us went to spin class last night and completely BEASTED the workout. You're already in pain, get a reward from it!!!


Homemade Vegetarian Mexican Pizza

ANYTHING can be healthy if you get creative and are willing to dedicated a whole 10 minutes to prepping a meal. Last night, I made a vegetarian mexican pizza that was incredible!!

Recipe:

Dough:
2 egg whites
1/2 cup oats

Sauce:
2 tomatoes
1/2 clove garlic

Toppings:
1/3 cup vegetarian ground beef (soy)
1 green pepper- diced
1/3 cup chopped onion

Directions:

Set oven to 400 degrees

Blend dough ingredients together in blender. Pour onto low/medium heat skillet. Cook throughout.

While the dough is cooking, blend sauce ingredients together in blender. Don't be alarmed, the sauce will be pink as you are using tomatoes and no artificial food coloring or additives like typical pizza sauce has.

Place the cooked dough on a pizza pan and slowly pour sauce onto dough.

Top with soy, pepper, onion, and basil.

Bake for 10 minutes.

ENJOY!!

Below are the steps:








Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Breakfast for Dinner

Tell me there's something better than breakfast for dinner.

There's not, let's just face it.

Last night, Chelsea and I discovered what was, quite possibly, the most incredible recipe known to man. Ever.

Let me introduce to you, the sweet potato patty.

It might sound weird but don't knock something until you try it. The recipe was EXTREMELY simple.

Bake 1 small sweet potato. Chop into pieces and put into a blender. Add 2 egg whites. Add 1 TBSP cinnamon. Blend. Pour batter onto a skillet and cook like scrambled eggs.

Top with sugar free syrup and cinnamon.

It literally tastes like heaven mixed with rainbows topped with love.

Enjoy.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fitness Obsessions

Below is a list of fitness related products and services that I use on a daily basis

1. MyFitnessPal- this app is incredible and I recommend it to anyone who wants to become healthier. This app allows you to set goals and will modify your calorie intake based on where you start, how active you are, how quickly you want to lose weight, etc. The BEST feature about this app (other than obviously, tracking food), is the fact that you can scan a bar code in using the bar code feature and the app will find the food you can within seconds. On top of calories, MFP tracks total fat, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, carbs, protein, and vitamins. Additionally, MFP will update your daily needs based on your cardio activities that you input.

2. FitBit- I have had my FitBit pedometer since August 2012 and I couldn't imagine my life without it now. This pedometer tracks steps, stairs, calories burnt, activity levels, sleep, and syncs with MyFitnessPal. FitBit has an extremely user-friendly online dashboard and their app is also very integrated with other fitness apps. I have attached a screen shot of FitBit' dashboard that encompasses my activities from this morning's HIIT cardio.

3. EarnedIt.com- "Sometimes, we could all use a little extra motivation to exercise. While you'd think that the allures of better health and a leaner body would be enough to kick us into action, the reality of the matter is that they're not. In fact, behavioral economists have a scientific explanation for this called 'hyperbolic discounting'. In practice, hyperbolic discounting means that humans discount the value of a reward the occurs into the future, preferring instead a more immediate reward even it is absolute value is less.  EarnedIt has created a system that gives you more immediate rewards for your exercise." Rewards include gift cards, free online services, and the ability to donate to great causes.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Indy Trip

Good Morning Bloggers!

This past weekend, I took my talents down to Indianapolis to spend time with my best friend, Amanda.

I've known Amanda since we were 4 (we were neighbors turned best friends turned college roommates turned life long lovers, jk but seriously). She is one of the only people in my life who have truly experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly. She got engaged on my birthday because her fiance knew how important our relationship was to each other so he wanted to incorporate me into their special day (cue the awwwww's).

Commence wedding planning.

Indy is such an up-and-coming area and the time spent with my best friend was incredible. From wedding planning to visiting the doggy bakery to spending time with Amanda and her fiance, it was a very fun weekend. I only wished they lived closer than 3 1/2 hours away.

And despite going to the doggy bakery, they had cat treats as well! Tom was elated when he received his banana catnip toy!




Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Day In The Life...

Good Morning,

If anyone has ever wondered what a day in the life of an NPC bikini competitor looks like... here ya go:


5:35 am: Fasted Cardio Alarm
5:35 - 5:45 am: Take morning pills, get dressed, start the water gallon drinking
5:50 am: Off to the gym
6:00 - 6:45 am: HIIT cardio
6:45 - 7:00 am: Cool down walk

7:15 am: BREAKFAST!!!!!! (best time of the day)

7:30 - 8:00 am: Get ready for work (I am an account manager at a digital marketing firm, I have my MBA and undergrad in marketing)

10:00 am: Morning Snack
12:00 pm: Lunch
2:00 pm: Mid-Afternoon Snack

4:50 pm: Leave work, it's lifting time

5:15 pm: Take pre-workout and get ready for the gym

5:45 - 6:45 pm: LIFT LIFT LIFT LIFT LIFT

7:00 pm: tan

7:30 pm: dinner

9:30 pm: lights out

it's grueling but so rewarding, words can't even describe it


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Myth: Eating Clean is Boring and Tasteless

Fact: Eating clean is the most fantastic, tasty, and enjoyable way to consume nutrients.

Notice how I said nutrients, not food. If we train ourselves to look at the "food" we are eating as nutrients instead of the actual "food", you truly understand what you are putting into your body.

Eating clean can be the most empowering thing you do all day, if you open up your mind and your creativity to the nutrients that you are putting into your body.

My snack this afternoon consisted of a 7 oz sweet potato (sliced down the middle, microwaved for 4 minutes) then topped with 1/8 cup sugar free syrup and a tablespoon of cinnamon. NOT cinnamon sugar, just GROUND cinnamon (yes folks, there's a difference).

NUTRIENT breakdown:

Calories: 161
Total Fat: .4 grams
Saturated Fat: .2 grams
Cholesterol: 0 grams
Sodium: 250 grams
Potassium: 710 grams
Total Carbs: 39 grams
Fiber: 9 grams
Sugars: 12.2 grams
Protein: 3.1 grams
Vitamin A: 548.1%
Vitamin C: 49.8%
Calcium: 13.8%
Iron: 19.8%

Now before everyone's brains melts over the sugars and the carbs, take a moment to breathe and educate yourself on the difference between yucky sugar vs fruit/veggie sugar and simple carbs vs complex carbs.


National Meatout Day

Happy meatout day everyone!

For those of you who don't know what that means, meatout is a day for everyone to try healthy foods and to leave animals OFF their plates.

If you take the pledge to be vegan for a day, the following will happen (according to http://www.meatout.org/pledge)

8,000 animals would be saved from being killed.
3.7 million sq ft of forest wouldn't be destroyed
10,500 doses of antibiotics would be prevented from being misused on farms

Take action here: http://meatout.org/index.php/take-action


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Holistic Healing

No, I'm not a granola crunching hippie weirdo. However, this is the first year in which I haven't gotten sick, not once. This is also the first 365 days in which I have watched what I am eating extremely closely, tracking all of my foods, and became a vegetarian. I do not think that there is a coincidence in this. I truly believe that eating clean, eliminating dairy, and eliminating meat from your life can truly transform everything inside your body.

I have not had to take any pain medicine today from my surgery yesterday, but my sister (same height as me, same weight, eats like a truck driver...), had the same surgery two weeks prior to mine and she said it was the worst pain in her life. I know that everyone's body reacts to surgery differently but there truly is no better medicine than healthy foods, drinking a ton of water, exercising, and getting sleep to recover.

You only get one body- fuel it with the most pure of ingredients.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Bakian Bits of Happiness

As many of you probably don't know, my last name (Bakian) is pronounced bacon... yes, like the food. I am Armenian and my last name has been completely American-ized. Growing up with the last name of a breakfast food item wasn't horrendous at all. Nicknames included, but were not limited to: Sarah Sausage, bakian bits, baconator, junior bacon, sarah kardashian, etc etc.

Anyways, to my point, I am beginning to compile a bunch of recipes that I have made and tweaked and am compiling all of them into a book called "Bakian Bits of Happiness". Somewhat of a Wheel of Fortune "Before and After" category. I have been updating my recipe book this evening due to the fact that I had surgery at 1pm today (simple gum graft). I also updated my March Madness bracket and managed to eat my soy yogurt with NO MESSES, despite the entire right side of my face being completely numb.



Mind Over Muscle

Trust me, there are days in which my bed calls my name in the morning. But the gym calls it louder. Waking up in the morning and finishing a round of fasted HIIT cardio is the most incredible way to start one's day.

I had surgery this afternoon at 1 for a gum graft so I had to hit the gym this morning in a different style. Instead of fasted cardio in the morning and lifting at night, I had a small breakfast and lifted legs and then completed cardio.

Today's lift consisted of:
squats 4 sets of 10
weighted lunges 3 sets of 10 each leg
leg press 3 sets of 10
calf raises 3 sets of 15
dead lift 4 sets of 10
goblet squats 3 sets of 10
leg lifts 3 sets of 10
calf lifts 4 sets of 10

Cardio:
35 minutes on the elliptical at 15 incline and 7 resistance. FAST the entire time, I was able to complete 4.01 miles in 35 minutes with an average heart rate of 182.

It's honestly an incredible feeling to shut the little voice in your head up that tells you can't do things. It's an even better feeling when you can shut everyone else up around you who constantly bring you down.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Froy-no

Today while working the concession stands for my younger sisters Cheer For A Cure fundraiser, my mother was bragging about the training that I'm doing. She's honestly the cutest thing in the world, she is constantly learning about the sport of body building and the woman she was talking to was extremely interested (breath of fresh air). However, she kept asking me why I gave up dairy along with all meat. I thought that would be a good blog post, to provide the reasons in which I gave up dairy as well:

1. Humans are the only species to drink milk from another species. We stop drinking milk from our mothers because we no longer need it. So why drink it as humans? Especially from another animal
2. Cows milk is designed to turn a calf into a half ton mammal. Clearly that milk is making us fat.
3. Dairy milk is pumped with chemicals when the cow is alive and when the milk is pasteurized.
4. Unethical way in which cows are constantly pregnant in order to lactate l the time.
5. Cows are kindly milked by the farmer from the barn- wake up. Cows are hooked up to horrendous machines that hurt them and they don't even get to sit down.

Simply put, milk is horrid for you. You can get more than enough calcium through veggies. Almond tastes so much better too :)



Green Machine

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

This morning was an active recovery day for Chelsea and me. We lifted shoulders and then walked 3 miles. In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I made spinach pancakes for breakfast. They are incredible, recipe is below.

Last night, a bunch of us went out to the bars to celebrate, while I sipped on my water. I love the feeling that I get when I don't drink but a lot of people are extremely negative about it. I haven't drank in over 400 days and my body has never felt or looked better. It's truly astonishing how many negative people are out there in the world but you really do learn who is there for you and who isn't. Happy Sunday!

Recipe:
1/2 cup rolled oats
3 TBSP unsweetened almond milk
2 egg whites
2 cups of spinach

Blend together (yes, in a blender). Makes 5 pancakes. Top with sugar free syrup


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Diet v Lifestyle

I despise the word "diet". I don't believe in the word "diet". I believe in the mentality of the way I eat as a LIFESTYLE. There are so many negative connotations that surround the D word (diet, you weirdos). "Oh, I'm on the Atkins Diet, I'm on the 4 hour body diet, I'm on the HCG diet". YOU'RE A FOOL.

CHANGE THE WAY YOU LOOK AT FOOD. FOOD = NUTRIENTS.

There honestly is no better feeling in the world than to eat CLEAN. If you have the willpower to change, to truly and 100% commit to yourself and your health, then all you have to do is stop eating the crap and starting eating real food. REAL food is not processed. It's not made in a plant or a factory. It comes from the ground. In its purest form.

Simple tips:

1. stop eating meat
2. stop eating dairy
3. eat 5 servings of veggies a day
4. eat 2 servings of fruit a day
5. eat legumes and beans
6. drink a gallon of water a day

OH MY GOSH IT'S LIKE MAGIC!!!!!!!!!

Change the way you eat and change the way you feel. When you start cutting out the crap in your diet, you start feeling amazing. Try it for a month and let me know if you want to go back to eating your foods that contain 81329480239480298 ingredients that you can't pronounce.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

58 Days Out


I honestly can't believe I am a short 58 days out from my first NPC show. While it may seem like awhile, I started the countdown at over 150 days. I am in complete shock that the time has flown by this fast but I am more ready for this show than I have been for anything in my entire life. This morning, Chelsea and I went to spin class and I knocked out a little over 20 miles in 45 minutes. Almost 900 calories later...

There is NOTHING more rewarding than accomplishing something you think you cannot. My biggest motivation is to be better than the person I was yesterday. My second biggest motivation is to better than every single girl that I will be competing against in 58 days... BRING IT.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Reasons Why...

Lately, many people have been asking me why exactly I decided to become a vegetarian. In order to answer everyone at once, and to hopefully clear up anything, I have listed the reasons in which I made this lifestyle change below:

1. I read the Kind Diet. And no, I do not have a shrine to Alicia Silverstone in the back of my 10 foot walk in closet, but the things she discussed in her book really hit home to me. I often feel that the reason many people eat meat is not due to a lack of heart, but rather a lack of knowledge as to what truly goes in when their food (meat) is being "packaged". I truly believe that if meat packaging plants had glass walls, we would all be vegetarians. If you have the time, please check out the documentary "Earthlings". Be prepared to be completely sick to your stomach for three days, heart broken, and a newly found vegetarian. Here is the link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce4DJh-L7Ys
2. Health. Health. Health. There are so many horrid things that go into the meat that 99.999% of us eat, including hormones, antibiotics, etc. Personally, I don't want to be consuming those chemicals. If you watch the video above, you will see the animals go through an extreme amount of stress in the march to their death so ultimately, when you eat mean, you are eating their pain, stress, and fear.
3. I love animals. It makes my blood boil to even think of someone hurting my cat. And I couldn't justify loving one animal so much and eating another. The thought of what those animals go through when they are killed is absolutely heartbreaking and I did not want to participate in supporting the meat packaging industry any longer.
4. I gave up dairy due to the inhumane process in which cows are milked as well as the health reasons. We are the only species to drink milk from other animals. And milk is designed to grow a baby calf into a 2,000 pound animal. Certainly not something I want in my body. Almond milk tastes better anyways :)

There are so many more things that I could discuss regrading health, the meat industry, etc. But the above reasons are why I PERSONALLY made the lifestyle change.


Breakfast 3-12-12

Re-fueling is one of, if not the, most favorite part of my day. While I am training for my first NPC bikini show on May 11, I am doing fasted cardio 3/5 days a week. On Mondays, I am on the stair stepper for 35 minutes in which I do a HIIT cardio session. I set the stair master for 60 spm (steps per minute) for 1 minute, 90 spm for 2 minutes, 100 spm for 1 minute, and 130 spm for 1 minute. And repeat 7 times. It's killer. This morning, I completed 3 miles on the elliptical at 15 incline and 7 resistance in 27 minutes. Friday morning I will sprint/walk at 9.0 mph and 4.0 mph (1 minute each) and repeat 10 times. It's important to mix up cardio! It's equally important to refuel after fasted cardio. This morning, I made vegetarian blueberry PB&J protein pancakes.

Recipe:
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 TBSP unsweetened almond milk
2 egg whites
1/2 cup organic blueberries

Blend all together (yes, in a blender). Will yield 3 pancakes. Layer with unsweetened blackberry preserves and top with PB2. 21 grams of protein and 356 calories. Eating clean and healthy tastes INCREDIBLE if you experiment and try new recipes.




Monday, March 11, 2013

Breakfast 3-11-13

Baked Peanut Butter Apple Oatmeal

Recipe:
1/2 cup whole wheat rolled oats
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cut up fuji apple
2 TBSP PB2

Microwave oats and almond milk together for 90 seconds. Add cut up apple. Microwave additional 20 seconds. Top with PB2. Enjoy


Day One

Well, here goes nothing... Good Afternoon. My name is Sarah Bakian and I am blogging for a second-first time. I have made the attempt to blog in the past and I didn't feel that the direction my blog was going was where I wanted it to head. So, here is my second-first attempt at blogging.

If you don't know me, or even if you do, here are some quick facts about me that consume a majority of my life:
I am currently dating a very handsome gentleman by the name of Jeremy (and no, I promise not to blog about sappy, romantic junk- I don't even like flowers).
I have the coolest cat in the world named Tom. He is an albino Siamese with one blue eye and one green eye.
I am a vegetarian.
I have my MBA in marketing.
I am Armenian.
I am training for 5 NPC bikini shows this year.
I love Notre Dame.
I was "married" into my love for the Miami Dolphins.
I work at a digital marketing firm in Maumee, OH.
I love spinning, running, and lifting.

And I'm still writing my story...