Friday, December 25, 2015

Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats

Basically heavenly deliciousness that's super low-calorie, hearty, high in protein and effortless to make! This is a festive dessert-like breakfast (best combo right??) that simply requires dumping all the ingredients in a crockpot and going on with your day. My favorite kind of cooking. Anyone who knows me or follows me knows how big of a proponent I am of the weekly meal prep for multiple reasons, but the biggest excuse I hear is that "I don't have time." Well...neither do I really, but I make it a priority because I know I won't see the results I want if I don't stick to my meal plan. That, and it saves SO MUCH MONEY!! 

This recipe trumps all those excuses, because you literally dump everything in the crockpot, leave it for 8 hours (occasional stirring recommended so it doesn't stick) and then scoop it into some tupperware to grab on the go! 

Macros (Makes 5 servings total and macros per serving): Calories-196kcal, Fat-6g, Carb-31g, Protein-16g


-1c steel cut oats
-3.5c water (can use almond or cashew milk for a richer flavor) 
-1c pumpkin puree
-1/2c sugar free maple syrup (can substitute agave or honey to avoid artificial sweeteners)
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1tsp pumpkin pie spice
-1tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4c chopped walnuts to top


-Put all ingredients in crockpot (except walnuts) on low for 7-8 hours OR 
2 hours on high and 30-60 minutes on low (stirring is a MUST every 15 minutes or so with this expedited method)
-Divide into 5 tupperware containers and top with nuts! 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Powerlifting Photoshoot

This was by far my favorite photoshoot. I had such a blast shooting in this awesome space and loved that I got to embrace my personal style a little bit more in the poses and wardrobe. All the clothes here are DerbySkinz and the styling and photos are by Ksenia Photography! The rugged theme of this shoot was so much fun to capture and I really felt like I was in my element!

Breaking Records, Breaking Hearts

My first meet deadlifting PR was 225 and my most recent was 230! Whoop! And more specifically, today I did a triplet of 230, but I have yet to get documentation of that (soon to come). Now that finals are over and I have a little break in school, I'm really trying to focus on giving my body some time to recover and making sure I'm getting enough sleep. It seems to be working wonders because 2 weeks ago I did 3 triplet sets of a 225 deadlift and it wasn't nearly as hard as I remember it to be! There is validity in recovery and in overtraining, so kids, listen to your body and give it what it needs--I promise it's worth it!

I know, I know, my song choice is on point. ;)

Gate City Gauntlet Meet (November 21, 2015)

 I was so empowered and proud after my first powerlifting meet this summer that I immediately registered for this one for the end of the year. The prep for my November meet was rough since I was focused on school and finishing out the semester strong while also continuing to build my business at Healthworks. Before I compete in another show or meet, I really want to make sure I have ample time available to dedicate to programming, sleeping, eating and training which are all things that suffered in my prep. I still came out with really impressive numbers and beat my last deadlifting PR (which is my favorite lift x12), so not all bad! :)

The week before a powerlifting meet is supposed to be a rest week...apparently I don't know what that means and instead decided to do some hypertrophy training that week..for what I ended up asking myself. The Wednesday before, I went to do a pull-up (after already doing a rigorous shoulder and chest workout) and my shoulder partially popped out anteriorly and felt extremely weak and sore the rest of the week. I rested and iced it the rest of the week, but it was still sore that Saturday.  I hit my same 110 PR that I'd met at my last meet, but am sure I could have hit 115 had I not been quite so ambitious with my training that week. I guess I've learned my lesson! Trust the process!!

I had so much support and am always stunned by how great my friends are! I couldn't ask for a better support system and definitely wouldn't have performed up to my highest potential without their cheering!

And my singlet and blinged out gear?? Yeah, that's my badass sponsor, DerbySkinz! They have been one of my biggest supporters throughout my fitness journey, and once I told them about my switch from bodybuilding to powerlifting, they were 100 percent on-board and immediately sent me a selection of absolutely amazing singlets! For this most recent meet, they also made sure I was geared up with a personalized DerbySkinz/MJ Fit logo'd jacket and duffel bag. I cannot thank them enough for sticking with me through everything and being such an accommodating sportswear company that has the amazingly creative staff who doesn't even bat an eye when I ask for kitten collage booty shorts or a lightning bolt singlet!

My overall total for this meet was 505. Squat: 165, Deadlift: 230, Bench: 110, Bodyweight: 113

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Ease of Meal Prep!

I also made some sweet potatoes and brown rice and then will bring rice cakes, yogurt, English muffins, apples, clementines and fresh veggies for snacks! Doing a weekly meal prep isn't difficult and although it seems you're spending a ton of money on groceries, it saves SO much money! Having healthy meals prepped and ready is an integral part in weight loss and in maximizing your fitness abilities/results! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out!

One of my go-to's is always spicy ground turkey, but this week I decided to make it even more efficient and cook it in my new crock pot! It only took about 30 minutes on high to cook it all the way through. I put the spinach in in the last 10 minutes and it was perfect!

I make 2 different meats per week usually. It's typical chicken and ground turkey. I'll also add in salmon or steak on some nights when I'm home for dinner. 
Always my staple for my 5am mornings! It's this or a donut... 
I cycle between Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spaghetti squash, green beans or squash medley from week to week!

posted the recipe for these banana applesauce muffins yesterday! So good and so easy! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Banana Applesauce Mini Muffins

I replaced my delicious blueberry oatmeal bake with these banana oat mini muffins this week! Those 5am mornings are killer if I don't have my breakfasts all prepped and ready to go. I must say, these were pretty filling and I had 4 per serving accompanied by half a cup of Dannon yogurt with some cinnamon on top! What I really liked about these muffins is that they are sweetened by the banana and a little honey, so no additional unnatural sweeteners needed! There super simple too which is why I didn't really take in-process photos, but I'll go more in-depth in the directions. Macros: fats-0.3g, carbs-10.7, protein-1.3g, kcal-51(per mini muffin) My batch made 12 total. 


-1c old fashioned oats
-1tbs honey
-1tsp vanilla
-1tsp cinnamon
-1/4c egg whites
-1 medium mashed banana 
-1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
-1tsp baking soda
-1.5tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt

-low fat/Greek yogurt to mix with (optional)
-almond or pecan slices to top (optional)

-preheat oven to 350 degrees
-place everything (except yogurt) in blender and blend until well mixed
-grease cupcake tin with baking non-stick spray
-fill each tin 2/3 of the way full
-bake for 8-10 minutes (mine took about 8) 
-add some yogurt and cinnamon in top and Tupperware those babies up! I ate 4 at a time!! 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

'Tis the season right?! I'm definitely still in the festive spirit and look for any opportunity to make a decadent healthy dish! I had some pumpkin purée left over from Thanksgiving and decided to get creative this morning. It's also super simple and just requires a microwave and about 5 minutes! Macros: carbs-32g, fat-4g, protein-6g, Kcal-192

-1/4c pumpkin purée
-1/4c quick steel cut oats
-1c almond or cashew milk
-1tsp vanilla
-1tsp pumpkin pie spice
-1tsp cinnamon
-natural sweetener to taste
-optional: 1 dollop vanilla Greek yogurt 
-optional: 2tbs sliced almonds or walnuts

-mix oats, milk, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and sweentener in microwaveable bowl
-stir and place in microwave 
-microwave in increments until cooked (be careful not to let overflow!)
-add pumpkin purée, more seasoning to taste, dollop of yogurt and nuts! 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Injury Cause and Prevention for Runners

During my time at Healthworks, I've encountered a lot of elite runners and it seems they've all suffered major injuries during their running career. I know how frustrating it can be to be preparing for a competition and hit a major obstacle that seems to destroy all the hardwork you've already put in! 

This is a simple article, but it covers several of the common issues runners face when they step up their training too quickly. I also have a speed and explosion certification through NASE and in studying for my test, I learned how to treat and manage as well as train around injuries caused by overtraining in marathon runners and team sports athletes. Please feel free to reach out if you have any more questions!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Blueberry Banana Breakfast Bake

I Basically...I created heaven tonight during my meal-prep. I have my lunches, dinners (and all the meals in between) down pat, but always struggle with what to prepare for an on-the-go balanced breakfast. I decided to get creative and make my own baked oatmeal dish inspired by some other recipes I found on Pinterest! I try to eat steel cut oats usually, but when I'm rushing off to work or to the gym, it's annoying to have to wait for them to cook and then cool. For this recipe, I used old fashioned oats and they cooked to the perfect consistency! For serving, I added in 1/2 cup of vanilla greek yogurt for some added protein and deliciousness (the nutrient count does not reflect the yogurt). This recipe makes 6 servings and the nutrient breakdown is per serving!

Nutrients: Calories-266, Fat-12g, Carbs-31, Protein-9g


1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
3 tbs chia seeds
1/3 cup sliced almonds (save some for topping)
1/4 cup walnut pieces (save some for topping)
1 1/3 cup blueberries
1 ripe banana (mashed)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond or cashew milk
3/4 cup egg whites or egg substitute
2 tbs maple syrup


Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Mix all ingredients in microwave safe dish or bowl (saving some almonds and walnuts for topping)
Microwave on high for 10 minutes (stirring halfway through)
Place mixture in dish you plan to bake in
Sprinkle nut mixture over oatmeal
Bake for 15 minutes (or until mixture is firm)

I recommend serving with greek yogurt. And I've found it to be great served both warm and cold! 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Low-down on Juice Cleanses

I know there has always been a hype about juice cleanses contributing to weight loss and being promoted as a detox, but do a little googling before you engage in such a drastic diet. Always research before you dive in head first to ensure you're not driving yourself further from your goals!

I found this article on MyFitnessPal (marshellej) today and loved that it was short and sweet and to the point. I'll highlight some of the points I found to be the most persuasive: 

1. Fiber:
Doctors and healthcare professionals promote eating fruit for a reason! Many people need more fiber in their diets as helps prolong or prevent the onset of diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes etc. It also speeds up the digestion process leaving you un-satiated (although it's calorie and sugar filled) and can actually result in a back-firing overeating result. 

2. Cost: 
This article does a good job of putting how much produce is used into perspective. 2 pounds of carrots creating only 16oz of juice? No thanks. 

The juice bar at my gym charges $10 per 16oz of juice and I absolutely can't justify spending that much on something that has no proven benefits. I'm even more deterred by the fact that true juicers recommend drinking multiples a day! 

3. No maintenance: 
I don't know about you, but if I drink something I cannot consider it a meal. Also, with all that extra sugar but no substance, I actually feel a little nauseated after (just like I would if I ate a cupcake or something 100x more delicious than carrot and kale juice) so I don't see the point. You're going to be left hungry and are missing out on nearly all the nutrients that make fruits and veggies so healthy! 

Here's a more scientific and jargon-filled one that goes more in-depth about the health risks:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Post-vaca Meal Prep

I was home all last week, and needless to say, indulged in all the Midwestern deliciousness with no regrets! However yummy all the biscuits, gravy, burgers, steaks, casseroles, BBQ, cobbler and pie  may have been, I was looking forward to getting back into my normal routine of eating a bazillion meals a day and going to the gym at my regular times. My next powerlifting meet is coming up in November and I want to step up my game from my last one. Diet is the most critical component of improvement for me. I weighed in light for my weight class last time, and it's obvious that the more I weigh the more I can lift, so I'm shooting for right under 114 this time! 

These are foods that satisfy necessary nutrient needs, are easy to prepare, are versatile and are yummy! For a few dinners, I also bought some steak that I'll prepare if I'm low on fats for the day or if I'm showing signs of anemia (I use MyFitnessPal to track my goals and food intake).