Thursday, May 30, 2013

Bucket List- A Work In Progress

I have a laundry list of bucket list activities that are cluttering up my thoughts. I decided I will write them down and add to the list as time goes on. Take a peak into some of the things I want to accomplish and a lot of things I already have accomplished:

Bucket List

  • be in two places at once (yes, like a walk to remember)
  • visit my brother in Tokyo
  • go to the kuroshio sea (picture below)
  • swim in all five oceans (only three more to go)
  • rent scooters in paris, france like the olsen twins did in passport to paris
  • go to every continent
  • see the northern lights
  • master the "scorpion" yoga pose
  • place 1st at an NPC bikini competition
  • take overall at an NPC bikini competition
  • pet a lion
  • pet a tiger
  • visit the devil's swimming pool
  • visit all 50 states
  • have my cat in my wedding
  • climb the Great Wall of China
  • complete a paddle board yoga class in Aruba
  • ride an elephant
  • do yoga on an elephant
  • ride the tallest rollercoaster at Six Flags Great Adventure

Checked Off

  • go to another country (mexico three times, bahamas twice)
  • compete in an NPC show
  • get a tattoo
  • dye my hair blonde
  • become a humane society volunteer

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mother of Zeus Parfait

Holy. Mother. Of. Zeus.

The parfait that I made this morning was absolutely one of the best creations I have ever made.

Low-carb and low-calorie days up until the day of our show doesn't need to mean low-taste.


Crust Layer:
15 almonds
1/4 cup applesauce
2 TBSP cinnamon

Peanut Butter Layer:
1/4 package extra firm tofu
2 TBSP PB2 (with water)
Splash of unsweetened almond milk

Chocolate Layer:
1 scoop SunWarrior chocolate protein powder
1/2 TBSP unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder

Blend the crust layer in a blender and pour into a mason jar. Blend peanut butter layer and pour on top of crust layer in mason jar. Mix chocolate layer and top the mason jar off.

Freeze for 30 minutes.

The texture is beyond heavenly. 230 calories with 23 grams of protein.

Also am LOVING my new shirt today from Etsy.

Post Yoga Dinner

Sunday's post-yoga dinner consisted of grilled asparagus and zucchini pizza boats.

For the boats, gut a sliced zucchini and layer with organic pizza sauce, orange bell pepper, and Boca vegan crumbles. Bake for 15 minutes at 375. Total dinner: 236 calories with 20 grams of protein

Eating healthy doesn't have to be boring, in fact, it's more fun to be creative!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hat Trick of Recipes via Bakian Bakery

Peak week has once again proven to challenge my baking skills. The past few days, I have been quite the little baker. All protein packed (duh, carb brain), vegetarian, and delicious. Below are the recipes for cinnamon protein bars, tofu fries, and black/white protein pancakes. Pictures are respectively in order. Enjoy.

Cinnamon Protein Bars
Blend 2 scoops vanilla protein powder, 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, 2 TBSP coconut flour, 2 egg whites, 1 tsp ginger, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Line a 9 x 9 inch pan with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. serves 9. one serving is 51 calories with 7 grams of protein and 4 carbs. macros naturally vary based on protein used.

Tofu Fries
Press half a block of tofu for about half an hour (I have a super simple tofu press, you can find them anywhere). Slice the pressed tofu into strips and lay on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle whatever seasoning you want- I used chipotle pepper. Bake on each side for 12 minutes at 375 degrees. 140 calories with 14 grams of protein and 4 carbs per serving.

Black and White Protein Pancakes
Blend 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1 egg white, splash of almond milk, 1/2 tsp baking powder together. Cook a bunch of baby pancakes and layer them with protein frosting (a scoop of chocolate protein powder and water). Keep it simple. Total calories (obviously will vary based on the type of protein used. I use sun warrior). 265 calories with 50 grams of protein and 10 carbs.

Memorial Day Weekend

Unfortunately, this Memorial Day Weekend was extremely cold and rainy. We made the best of it, however, and went down to Columbus to take Jeremy's siblings to the zoo and to spend some time with them. The kids absolutely loved the zoo (shh, I think I loved it more than them).

My favorite part was obviously the big cats, however, we also got to see my favorite non-cat animals: bats and snakes. Yea I'm a freak, judge me.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Vegan Red Velvet Protein Brownies and Plow Pose

This morning, I progressed in my overall plow pose during my personal yoga session after I completed HIIT cardio on the stair master. Yoga practice is beautiful and extremely rewarding.

I also made vegan red velvet protein brownies that are low carb, high protein, and taste amazing. Carb depleting began today for comp preparation. 150 grams of protein is the daily goal.

1 can of no-salt added organic beets
1 cup pumpkin (not puree)
2 scoops chocolate protein powder
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 TBSP hazelnut extract

Blend everything together in a blender, I used my NINJA.

Bake in a sprayed 9 X 9 for 40 minutes at 320 degrees.

Yields 9 brownies.

One brownie has 67 calories, 8 grams of protein, 3 carbs

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


There are fewer things more important in life than personal and self growth. Being able to see personal growth and accomplishments is one of the most rewarding aspects of achieving a goal. I am a firm believer in celebrating personal wins when attaining a goal because each personal win is equivalent to accomplishing a portion of the ultimate goal.

This past year, I have completely embraced the yoga lifestyle and have immersed myself  in the practice of balance and centering.

Last night at yoga, I mastered a position that I was having a bit of trouble with for a long time. Crane. Words can hardly describe the joy that I felt when I lifted my feet off the ground and was able to maintain the pose for entire breathing session.

My goal in my non-show season is to concentrate heavily on more difficult poses and progressing in my yoga practice.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Coconut Protein Muffins

Breakfast this morning post HIIT and shoulders was coconut protein muffins with zucchini. Nothing like getting some greens in in the morning, and no, you can't taste the zucchini.

Recipe: Blend 2 TBSP coconut flour, 1 whole zucchini, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 2 egg whites, 1 tsp coconut extract, and 2 TBSP unsweetened almond milk. I blended everything in my ninja. Bake in muffin tins for 17 minutes at 350; yields 9 muffins. Frosting is 1 scoop vanilla protein, splash of water, and a splash of coconut extract topped with unsweetened coconut flakes. 1 muffin, with frosting, is 60 calories with 8 grams of protein.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Protein Cookies with Almond Butter

Being a vegetarian and a fitness competitor isn't impossible nor is it a deterrent. It actually makes recipes fun and challenges the creative sector of my brain in order to come up with new recipes. 

These vegan protein cookies were approved by my carnivore boyfriend, so basically, they are freaking awesome.

Recipe: mix 4 scoops chocolate protein powder, 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce, 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tsp almond extract, 4 TBSP coconut flour, and 1/2 cup pure pumpkin. Blend together. The batter will be REALLY sticky. Bake for 7 minutes at 375. Yields 13 cookies. I topped mine with raw almond butter (I churned it myself). 

For the cookies only, 1 cookie is 62 calories with 9 grams of protein.

Weekend Recap

This past weekend was extremely hectic for me, but I absolutely love being busy.

Friday night, Jeremy and I went to a new sushi bistro right by the University of Toledo and the menu was awesome! The bistro offered a wide range of sushi options (three different vegetarian rolls) and they also had bar food which was perfect for Jeremy. Afterwards, we went to apricato which is a self-serve yogurt shop that allows you to mix and match your flavors and pile on your toppings. Prices determined by weight. Luckily, they had a watermelon sorbet that was dairy free that I was able to enjoy. Topped with strawberries and almonds- it was fantastic!

Saturday morning, Chelsea and I went to the gym to lift legs and do light HIIT. Prior to our workout, I made berry protein pop tarts that turned out AMAZING (first picture below).

Mix 2 TBSP coconut flour, 1 scoop vanilla protein, 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp butter extract, and 5 TBSP water. Pre-heat oven to 375. After you mix your dough, put 1/2 cup organic blueberries in the microwave for 2 minutes (this will be your filling). The beauty of this recipe is that you can fill these with whatever your heart / tummy desire. Spread your dough out on a parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and cut into pretty squares. Make little sandwiches with your filling and put back in the oven for 2 minutes. Mine yielded 4 pop tarts. Total WITH filling: 276 calories with 31 grams of protein.

Saturday afternoon, Jessica and I attended a meeting at the humane society so I could sign up for volunteering at summer camps. She absolutely fell in love with every single animal there. There is a one-eyed kitten that is currently up for adoption that I will be bringing into our family if he is not adopted by June 2. Yes his name will be Jerry.

On Sunday morning, Jessica, Cassie, and I volunteered at the humane society's annual Bark in the Park event. This was held at the humane society and through sponsors and individual donations, $46,000 was raised to help save animals. This was an incredible accomplishment.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Overnight Oatmeal Cookie "Proats"

Training has led me to become quite the cooking fanatic. Eating 100 grams of protein a day for a vegetarian isn't impossible to hit but it certainly is difficult. Breakfast this morning had almost 40 grams of protein and it tasted amazing.


In a small bowl, blend 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce, 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 tsp butter extract, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. add 1 scoop vanilla protein, 2 TBSP PB2, and 1/4 cup whole wheat oats. mix all together. fold in 2 TBSP organic raisins. store in mason jar in the fridge overnight.

Be warned- despite the fact that there is no added or artificial sugar in this recipe, the outcome is extremely sweet and extremely filling. The one mason jar has turned into breakfast and my first snack of the day. 413 calories with 39 grams of protein (your macros will vary dependent on protein used, etc).

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cat Rings and Vegetarian Tacos

My tofu twin and I killed legs last night. Glutes, quads, calves, and hamstrings were on FIRE last night during our lifting session. There are fewer things more empowering than blasting through a workout and feeling stronger than you ever have before.

Vegetarian Tacos post leg-workout? Yes please!!

1/2 cup boca crumbles
1/2 cup black beans
1 1/2 cup peppers and onions
1/2 avocado

Heat crumbles and vegetables in a skillet until cooked throughout. Top a whole wheat tortilla with the crumbles, beans, vegetables, and top with avocado slices.

1 taco: 445 calories with 30 grams of protein

As a side note, is the most fantastic site in the world. I ordered the custom cat ring below last week and it just came in today.

Protein Donuts. Be Still My Heart.

Team Tofu KILLED our HIIT and shoulders / back this morning. Big workout = lots and lots of protein!!

This morning's breakfast was Protein Donuts. If you know me AT ALL, you know my biggest kryptonite... donuts. Incorporating protein and donuts together, heaven on earth.

Chocolate Almond Protein Donut Recipe:
1/4 cup raw almonds- unsalted. ain't nobody got time for sodium
1/8 cup quinoa flour
1 egg white
2 TBSP unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop egg white chocolate protein
1/8 cup oats

Mix together. Bake in donut pan for 14 minutes at 350 degrees. Yields 4 donuts.

I topped mine with 1/2 scoop sun warrior raw vegan chocolate protein.

1 donut is 101 calories with 12 grams of protein. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

PB & J Protein Pancakes

Breakfast this morning post-HIIT and abs was peanut butter and jelly protein pancakes.

1 scoop vanilla protein
1 egg white
2 TBSP unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup oats
splash vanilla
dash baking powder

Mix all together in a blender. Yields two pancakes.

Top with sugar free jelly and PB2.

Total of 340 calories with 39 grams of protein.

Side note, I wore my hair curly today. Completely not normal for me. In fact, I haven't worn my hair down and curly since 5th grade.


During our time in Columbus this past weekend, we went on the hunt for vegan restaurants that were local. We were lucky enough to stumble upon a 100% vegan bakery on Ohio State's campus called "Pattycakes".

Everything in the bakery was 100% vegan, organic, and gluten free.

Chels and I shared a lemon cupcake. We also purchased an Everything Oatmeal cookie and each bought a blueberry muffin that was voted best muffin in Columbus.

It's incredible what creativity and a passion can turn into.

Monday, May 13, 2013

First Show 5/11/13

This past Saturday, I competed in my first NPC show... EVER. The experience was unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life!

The Mike Francois 2013 Classic was held in Westerville, OH on May 11, 2013. Chelsea, Jeremy, and I traveled down on Friday night for pre-registration at a local gym. After I was registered and had my number (159), we went back to Jeremy's dads house to spend the night.


Rewind ourselves back in time for a moment. The tanning process began on Thursday night when Jeremy put my first coat of pro tan on. Chels and I went to get our nails done Friday morning and I packed everything up that day. The pro tan is not the easiest thing in the world to put on and parts of my arms were blotchy. I scrubbed two layers of skin off and we started over at Jeremy's dads house with tan. At about midnight on Friday, four coats later, my tan was complete.


6:30 am: Saturday morning, the make up and hair began. Extra tanner was also applied prior to leaving for the school

8:30 am: Check in and competitors meeting

9:00 - 11:30 am: Wait. Sit. Let anticipation build.

11:30 - 12:00 pm: Make up touch up. Glaze coat. Wake back stage. Stage presentation.

12:15 pm: My number was called in the middle of second call outs!

12:30 - 5:45 pm: Eat, walk around the mall, relax at home.

5:45 pm: Competitors meeting.

6:30 - 8:30 pm: Wait. Sit. More anticipation.

8:30 pm: Final stage presentation.

9:30 pm: Show's over. Talk to the judge's...


I could not have been more proud of myself. Nor could I have made it without the help of my friends and family and especially Chelsea and Jeremy. The judges provided me with incredible feedback and I can't wait to kill these next few weeks of training and step on stage with my best friend on June 1 in Dayton, OH.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hypnotism and Pumpkin Pie

Relaxing on the beach is simple.

Relaxing on the beach in your mind while sitting in the office on your lunch break is not so simple.

Yesterday during lunch, the company brought in a hypnotist for destressing purposes. The hypnotism reminded me a lot of meditation and it was very easy for me to tap into my subconscious during the session. The 30 minutes of pure relaxation put me in a place between being asleep and being awake and relieved a lot of tension from stress.

Some of the most relaxing moments, for me, are walking in the woods behind work. The trails are beautiful and its a simple way to detox and release energy.

After work, I went to spin class and sat in the sauna before having dinner, tanning, and doing posing practice. The final days are slowly beginning to fill up with activities in final prep.

This morning after my final lift session, I concocted pumpkin pie protein pancakes.

Mix 1 egg white, 1 TBSP unsweetened almond milk, 1/4 cup pumpkin (not puree), 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder, and a sprinkle of baking powder.

Cook 4 medium pancakes.

I topped them off with 1/2 scoop of vanilla protein mixed with water and nutmeg sprinkled on top.

268 calories, 44 grams of protein, and only 12 carbs.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Seven Decker Protein Peanut Butter Cookie

Jeremy and I killed spin class last night with Instructor Joe.

"You like it. You love it. Get water. Get water!!!" is now engraved in my brain.

Post-spin meal was a delicious Seven Decker Protein Peanut Butter Cookie

1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 egg white
1 TBSP unsweetened almond milk
1/2 TSP baking powder
splash of maple extract

Throw on the skillet and cook like a pancake (I use my pancake flipper). Yields 7 mini "cookie layers"

Layer each with PB2

Total: 250 calories, 35 grams of protein, 11 grams of carbs (including 2 TBSP PB2).

Your calorie count may vary depending on protein used

Monday, May 6, 2013

Blogging from Pittsburgh

Saturday was the Pittsburgh IFBB and NPC showdown on the campus of the University of Pitt. 

Chelsea and I left in the morning after cardio and planned it so we could have a late lunch at an all vegan restaurant. 

We ordered two entrees to split. We order a broccoli dish with broccoli, peppers, onions, soy protein slivers, and a light ginger sauce. Our second was baked tofu and eggplant with the light ginger sauce. Both were absolutely incredible. Can only hope toledo catches on soon and starts opening more restaurants like this (it was called The Loving Hut). 

We then went to our hotel, checked in, and went exploring. We went to Trader Joes and found some incredible post show treats. The atmosphere is incredible, so many people walking around and biking. 

The show and expo were incredible!! We got there at 6 and walked around and picked up samples before going in to watch the show. The men were incredible but then women were breathtaking. 

On one of our bathroom breaks, yes we went through five water bottles, we ran in to some of the most influential people in the body building industry. 

We were privileged enough to meet India Paulino who won the arnold classic this year. We then saw Nicole Wilkins and we stopped and asked her for any advice she could give us. The tips she gave us will most definitely come in handy on Saturday. 

We then met Joey and Arvin who are promoters/users/advocates of the entire Shredz supplement line. Arvin is the CEO as well, on top of being on jersey shore haha. Meeting them was extremely inspiring as well as beneficial. 

Upon exiting the event, we were stopped by a promoter of a fairly new supplement line. He informed us that they were giving away $500 baskets full of supplements and the winner didn't show up for the woman's basket. Needless to say, he handed us the entire basket along with shirts and a business card to let him know how we enjoy the supplements. 

Overall, my first trip to Pittsburgh was incredible!!