Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Baked Potato

 
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Baked potatoes are a great starch and full of nutrients. Many people who are trying to lose weight avoid these thinking that they are fattening.

It is not the potato you need to avoid, but all the stuff that is piled up on top!

Many bodybuilders will eat a baked potato immediately after training, it's a fast acting carbohydrate that gets right into the system, and that's the kind you want after an intense training session.

A 4 1/2 ounce potato (baked with skin) has the following nutrients:

128 calories
.2 grams fat
29 grams carbohydrates
3 grams fiber
3.5 grams protein

Do you see anything here unhealthy? No!

The trick is making sure you eat the correct portion, as we tend to get these huge, 1 1/2 pounders, not many people need that many carbohydrates at once. Go ahead and eat half a potato, share it with someone or save the other half for another meal.

I usually top mine with fat free sour cream, I really cannot tell the difference from the real thing, maybe because I have been eating it so long, my 16 year old son has never questioned it, and it's all I buy for the entire family.

Chives are great, and if you are close to a competition, or don't like sour cream, fresh lemon and black pepper is fantastic!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Willpower


I think what I hear the most from people is "you have a lot of will power". It's true, I do. I am also stubborn and when I decide to do something, don't get in my way.

Like anyone else though, my will power sometimes falters or seems to get the better of me. Recently I wrote about a book I have been enjoying called Winning Ways: How to succeed in the gym and out.

Story 25 is called Willpower Workout and has a great deal of wonderful information, but I like these seven steps on how to bolster your willpower, with #7 being my absolute favorite!

1) Set a goal: You have to know where you're going if you want to increase your chances of getting there. If the idea of committing to a goal is too frightening, remember that you're not signing up for life. Try, for example, sticking with a specific program for a six-week cycle.

2) Put on blinders once you’ve chosen your goal; otherwise you might be led astray by all sorts of distractions you meet along the way. Let’s face it, if you ask 10 different people how to approach your training, you’ll probably get 10 different answers. Cut down on the distractions once you’ve charted your course of action.

3) Believe in yourself and your ability to reach your goals. No matter what cycle you train on, which mental rehearsal program you choose, or how tiny you make your progressions, you will never improve continuously for long periods of time. In the times of slow gains, or outright reversals, it’s easy to throw in the towel, but if you believe in yourself, you’ll stick with it until you start gaining again.

4) Deal with problems directly, and remember that a partial victory is always far better that a complete surrender. If, for example, you’re having an off day and can’t make your planned weights, cut the intensity and boost the volume. You can always salvage some of the victory from what might have been a dud workout, and that’s what you need to do. Don’t just head home.

5) Make haste slowly because, except for special conditions, the matters of gaining size and strength take hard work over a long period of time. When you get impatient, you only increase your opportunities to get frustrated, and frustration will chip away at your willpower until there’s nothing left.

6) Remind yourself of what is going right, because plenty will be. Guard against the tendency to chew yourself out when things go south. Did you ever see someone make four weeks of steady progress before missing a lift then rip himself to shreds? Seek opportunities to reinforce yourself for the things that are still staying on track.

7) Enjoy getting there or rethink what you’re doing because you’re probably going to spend a lot more time in the process of arriving than you will as the finished product. Get to like what you’re doing instead of thinking about some light at the end of the tunnel.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cream of Rice


I eat some wonderful, warm starchy concoction most mornings, lately it has been cream of rice. Why? A couple reasons.

Cream of rice has less fat than oatmeal. Yes, oatmeal has 3 grams of fat per serving and when you are trying to lose every extra ounce of fat on your body, this matters. Come competition time, I switch from oatmeal to cream of rice.

Cream of rice is so fast and easy to make, it's as close to instant as you can get. I make a big pot, divide it into several glass bowls, top each with a teaspoon of ground flax seed and pop them in the fridge for the upcoming mornings.

Cream of rice has a great texture that is, well, creamy! I top it with splenda and some of these fantastic flavor drops, they are fat, sugar, carb and calorie free.

These drops are called Capella Flavor Drops. I bought a mini sampler pack of 6 and I received Cinnamon Danish Swirl, Caramel, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Banana Split, French Toast and Vanilla Custard.

These make my cream of rice a whole different special treat everyday!

I do have to have protein too, so I usually have one cup of liquid egg whites, microwaved. I eat the egg whites first because the cream of rice is like dessert to me.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Spray Tan


When you compete in Figure, Fitness or Bodybuilding, you have to be spray tanned. It's not just a regular tan though, this is a very deep, dark tan and doesn't last for days like the one you would get at a tanning salon.

This is done to bring out the muscle definition.

Many people have Jan Tana do their spray tan. You book and pay online (and it's not cheap), they send you a preparation kit to exfoliate and moisturize a week prior, then you receive your tanning time via email. Don't ask at the front desk where they are, it's a secret. You must call the cell phone number they email to you. Why is it a secret? Let me tell you more.

They will set up the service in two rooms in the host hotel. They upturn all the furniture, move it against the walls then cover the entire room, the floor, the walls and parts of the ceiling with paper.

Once your time to tan rolls around, which is always the day prior to the competition, you scurry through the halls of the hotel in dark sweats or pajamas (I wear soft cotton flannel pajamas and they are only used for this one purpose), with your hair up and flip flops on. You look pretty bad. Hungry, skinny, no make up, ratty clothes and tired.

When you arrive off go the clothes, dropped on the floor, on goes the shower cap, and the show begins. The TV is on full blast so you can watch something at least while they tan your front side, but the sprayer is so loud it's pretty much impossible to hear anything.

There are pop up tents and large spray guns, and other tents with fans to dry you. They usually tan two people at a time, and two people dry, it's a tanning factory line.

This is all done completely naked. Yes, you stand in front of a stranger, next to other strangers naked, while you are spread eagle getting sprayed. The spraying is several coats, everywhere (but your face for women) and then they use a puff to get smears, drips, wrinkles (gasp!) and to smooth everything out.

When you are done, you move over to another tent where a fan blows on you to dry the solution. Once you are completely dry, you slip your clothes back on, try to get back to your room without being seen and then spend the rest of your time sequestered in your room so you don't smear or drop liquid on your skin, or white patches will appear. It makes for a long evening because you need to be so careful.

One time I was lounging naked in bed, watching T.V. eating hot chunks of steak, and rolled a piece all the way down my chest and abdomen and it came to rest on my thigh. I watched in horror as a huge trail of bright white spots appeared all down my body, at every point where the steak hit my skin.

Luckily, I had Kevin from Jan Tana there and he fixed it all without a problem the next morning. All I got was a "girl, you gotta eat with clothes on!"

Kevin is no longer a stranger to me, he has tanned me several times and does a great job! Here is a video of Kevin McClain tanning Ava Cowan. Now, a regular tanning session would not be performed like this, but it does make for a great show!


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Who are you?


As I walk around and look at other people, and how they interact with one another, I think about what is going on in their heads.

I can tell some of them feel great about themselves, they walk with their shoulders back, head held high, smiling and actually looking at strangers, making eye contact.

Others are hunched over, shuffle their feet, move hesitatingly, almost like they are apologizing for being in everyone's way.

The way we feel about ourselves creates a self fulfilling prophecy, we are who we think we are.

Consider this, you wake up and tell yourself "I feel cruddy and just want to crawl back in bed", so how does your day go? You have just set the tone for how you will feel and treat those around you. You will be a foot shuffler.

Wake up and bounce out of bed and think how great you look and feel and guess what? You will probably annoy a few people with your enthusiasm, but you will be upbeat and will have a better day.

I read this the other day, it is only a piece of the quote, because it is the piece I like. I think it is something that we all need to keep in the front of our mind on a daily basis.

“ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?



~Marianne Williamson

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hydrostatic Bodyfat Testing



My gym offered this service the other day (for a fee of course) and I decided to do it. SC checks my body fat regularly with calipers at nine sites, and actually seems to delight when it comes the the abdomen since he has to grab a handful of skin and fat...I think he tends to exaggerate the whole process actually.

He checked it Friday, and with the measurements and factors used, my body fat came out to 5.44%. Yes that is low, extremely low. I am a lean person, I never have a very high body fat level. I am much lower than usual though because I have a competition soon.

Tuesday I step into the mobile truck at 6:00 am, I have never done this before. Mike explains the process, I have my swim suit on and he checks weight, I am at 122. I was 124 on Friday...things are moving a little too quickly again, time to increase calories a bit (and that means beef!)

I swing my feet around into the tank, it is 90 degrees, not bad, but I could use it a bit warmer. He tells me we will do this three times, to take an average reading. The tank is a large, rectangular stainless steel tank that I will lay face down in, underwater...hmmm.

I am told to lay on my stomach, head above water, rest on my forearms. I will inhale, then exhale very slowly, then inhale again and exhale as fast and hard as possible till Mike shouts "down"! then I am to completely submerge in the water, still exhaling and pushing all of my breath out as he continues to shout at me until I feel I cannot continue, he seems to stop yelling when only a small, tiny bubble escapes my lips then he pounds on the side of the tank, I push my head up and gasp for air like a fish out of water.

Damn! Now I have to do this two more times!

After the first test Mike asks if I am a triathlete, I tell him no, I am not. He explains that they don't like to see women with body fat this low, I go on to explain that I will not be this low for long, I have a competition in 18 days and will be a nice 9 pounds heavier within two weeks of that. He seems to feel better about it all then we chat a bit about Figure competitions.

No doubt I place well in my age group he says, most women my age have much higher body fat levels. I said yes, this is true, for once I am glad to have a "boyish figure".

We do the test the remaining 2 times and I get my 4 page analysis. The end result:

6.2% body fat
Weight of fat 7.6 pounds

Lean body mass 93.8%
Weight of lean body mass 114.4 pounds

Resting metabolic rate 1625. This was the interesting part for me, I didn't realize that I needed so many calories just to breathe. You see, the higher percentage of lean body mass you have, the more calories you need to survive. So I need 1625 calories just to rest! Add in weight training, cardio, my strength shoe exercises, and I need quite a bit more!

I have to take a look at my diet again, I realized I have increased lean body mass in the last year and a half and have not significantly adjusted my macro nutrients...If I want to be sure to add some more lean mass, I need to fuel my body with enough clean foods to grow.

This was interesting, and by comparing the method against the skinfold test that SC does, I was able to adjust the "factor" I use when he takes the readings with the calipers so I know I can continue that method, as it is free and easy and dry!

If you want to have yours tested, you can contact Mike or one of his colleagues at Body Fat Test

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Calzones


Yup, you are reading that correctly, I am writing about calzones. If you have never had one, it is like a raw pizza, folded in half, sealed then baked, they puff up and brown and look like dough pillows. Delicious.

Here I am making calzones for the boys. I had only a sliver, I was too close to competition time.

You don't have to refrain from eating these calzones and pizzas, as long as you eat fairly healthy ones. The problem with pizza and calzones is that a typical American pizza has about 6 times the required amount of cheese on it, loads of greasy meats and the entire kitchen sink, it's disgusting to me.

I went through Chicago airport once last year and had to try the infamous "Chicago style pizza", yes I realize I was in an airport, but still, it was a huge doughy mass with way too much cheese, I just cannot imagine that any restaurant could make it any better, it is what it is.

A real pizza, such as one you might find in Italy or France is very thin, crispy crust with a judicious amount of cheese, fresh crushed tomatoes, some herbs, and a splash of fruity olive oil. There is nothing wrong with eating that!

I make my own pizza dough, in fact, my husband is supposed to build a wood burning pizza oven in the backyard this summer! Yum!

I then roll out the dough very thinly, run a can of San Marzano whole tomatoes through a food mill, spoon 1/3 cup on a pizza, top with 4 ounces of buffalo mozzarella, torn fresh basil leaves, sprinkle of salt and splash of olive oil. I do not eat the whole thing, I eat 2 or 3 pieces. Or, I make it into a calzone, and use some goat cheese instead of mozzarella.

Pop it into a pre-heated 500 degree oven and bake 10 minutes.

Although the dough is a "simple" carb, as long as I am not in pre-competition mode, it's perfectly healthy and acceptable and there is no reason to refrain from eating it occasionally.

Find a restaurant that makes "real" healthy pizza and have some, or learn to make your own.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On my own


Recently I wrote about my last competition, where my make up artist canceled at the very last moment, it completely blew my self confidence and turned what should have been a fun event into a very stressful one.

So I set off determined never to allow anyone to put me into that position again. You see, you can take the "poor me, they are so mean to me" stance and feel sorry for yourself or you can do something about it.

As I explained last week, I went to MAC, had them show me how to apply stage make up and then tried it on my own, and styled my hair, the whole "what the heck does any of this have to do with a Figure competition" part of it that drives me nuts, but if you want to play the game, you need to follow the rules.

The trick will be matching my face color to my body once I have been spray tanned, but I have a few colors and can blend it all together, the great thing about stage make up is you can put so much on and be dramatic, it can certainly make a big difference.

FP told me over and over that my physique is perfect, nothing I can do or should do to change it, so I guess I am all set. I have no more weight to lose, I only need to maintain what I have and then it's all over but the crying!

Here is my first attempt, I think I did a good job, and I no longer need to depend on someone else. I am on my own, in more ways than one, no trainer(s) after several years and no make-up artist.

It kinda feels good!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Protein Mocha


I love mocha's, but I cannot have them. Besides the fact that they are loaded with countless empty calories, they are expensive!

I make my own every morning (except a couple weeks out from a competition, I have to eliminate it).

Everyday I bring my empty shaker cup and my small container with my post training protein/carb powder to the gym with me, I love Nutrition 53 Chocolate Lean 1. In that container is also L-Leucine, Glutamine and Beta-Alanine.

I wander into the cafe in the gym, fill my shaker cup up with ice, add the free hot coffee and my post workout powder concoction, shake well and I have a nutritious, delicious iced mocha to go.

It's a nice change from a regular post workout shake, gets some caffeine into my system and it tastes great. People often stop me and ask what's in the "miracle drink"...why do people always think that it is a magic powder or pill that makes people fit and healthy? They certainly help, but it's the training, every single day.

So, no mocha's for me right now, so I just fill my cup with ice and coffee, I have spilled the hot stuff way too many times as I zoom home from the gym!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Beans, they do a body good!



Not enough people enjoy beans. They are a great source of protein and a very good starch. I make a point of eating protein, vegetable and starch at almost every meal (my very first and very last are different), but this leaves me four more meals!

I believe that it is important to vary your foods, not only for the nutrients but to prevent boredom. Once you get bored, you start wandering...to the ice cream store, the cupboard outside in the garage (that's where I keep my candy), places you shouldn't go.

Dried beans are best, but not everyone has a pressure cooker or time to cook them, so canned are just fine. Stick to the low sodium, remember that almost anything in a can has way too much so always choose the lower sodium version.

1/2 cup of kidney beans has 120 calories, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 0 fat, 6 grams fiber, 4 grams sugar and 7 grams protein. Super food!

A favorite dish of mine is a steak and bean salad, which can change according to whatever you have on hand.

Combine 2 cups romaine, or a mixture of spinach and lettuces
chopped tomatoes
cilantro leaves
copped carrots
chopped celery
4 ounces rare sliced flank steak
1/2 cup kidney beans
Balsamic vinaigrette (Kim Porterfield's recipe)
If your diet allows a few extra calories, you can add some cubed avocado (just a little bit) and a tablespoon of fat free or low fat blue cheese dressing too.

Vinaigrette: Balsamic vinegar, grainy mustard, salt and pepper and splenda mixed. No oil. Approximate measure is 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 Tbsp mustard, 1 packet splenda, but make it how you like it.

This is a completely balanced meal, tastes great and can be eaten with warm, room temperature or cold steak.

I love this!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Winning Ways


I am reading a new book that I highly recommend to anyone interested in developing their abilities in the weight room.

The book is called "Winning Ways: How to succeed in the gym and out" and was written by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D.

I have long been the believer that anything I never accomplished, or struggled with was a result of my mind, specifically my mind telling me I can or cannot do something. Many of us seem to forget that our mind is our strongest muscle, and we can easily succeed or not just by letting ourselves believe one way or the other.

I sometimes struggle when I get over the 200 pound mark on any of my lifts, I start thinking "what the heck is s little 125 pound gal doing lifting 225 pounds?? You are a nut!" and guess what? If I allow myself to have that conversation in my head, I do not end up lifting that barbell more than once, or it is done with poor form.

Luckily I hardly ever listen to myself when I start in down that road, but it's not that easy for many of us, and even I have to reassure myself constantly that I CAN do it, I SHOULD do it.

This book is about believing in yourself, and offers plenty of real life advice so you can stop that conversation in your mind, or you can turn it around to be a positive event. It is written in the weight room setting, although it can transfer to anything in life.

The preface sets the tone, here is an excerpt:

Besides being fresh, I think you will find the topics, psychological principals, and self-help tools discussed in Winning Ways: How to succeed in the gym and out really are remarkably potent. I hope that, after reading this book, you will fully embrace the idea that just as we each have to ability to make ourselves and those around us quite miserable, we also have the ability to aim high, accomplish great things, and give ourselves and the larger world something positive by virtue of our presence.

Doesn't that make you want to do something!? We are all important, we can all be successful, we all need to believe in our abilities.

Dr. Strossen is the founder of IronMind Enterprises, Incorporated.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ball Crunch


Everyone wants flat abs, or at least abs without all that icky jiggly stuff all over them right?

If you have followed my posts, you know that I am still on the fence about what really creates those abs, is it all those exercises or the fat loss?

I actually think it takes both, although I tend to avoid ab exercises unless I am prepping for a competition.

By the way, my skin looks a little funky here because it is immediately after a spray tan before my last competition. I do like the veins though!

"FP" taught me this. Do you ever have an exercise where you thing your trainer is having you do it cause they get a great laugh out of it? I used to think that about this one, but I actually like it now.

This is a variation of a crunch on a stability ball.

Hook your feet up at the handles of a free motion machine and crunch on up as many as you can. Don't bounce, keep it controlled and always concentrate on the abs. You can do a set of 10 or 20 then flip around, still on your back with our hands on the handles (where your feet were) and then do the same number of straight legged leg lifts.


video

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cheating


You can cheat on so many things in life and may never get caught.

You can cheat on your taxes, you can cheat on a test, you can cheat on your partner. Maybe someone will find out, maybe not.

There is one thing you can cheat on and soon, we will all know:

Your diet.

How will we all know? You will not lose weight, or you will not lose body fat, simple as that. It's quite evident just by looking at someone if they have been adhering to their diet or not.

On the other hand, you may be sticking to it religiously for weeks on end yet there is no change. It all boils down to one of two things:

Either the diet is not right for you, or you are cheating, it's one or the other. I want to stick to the cheating part of it though because in most cases, if you follow the simple rule of "eat less, move more", the diet will work for you.

Who are you really cheating when you cheat? Yourself and no one else in the world. It really isn't that big of a deal to anyone else if you lose the weight or not, but I can imagine that it matters quite a bit to you.

You may be cheating without knowing it, like grabbing a little bite here or there or you may be fully aware of what you are doing and you figure one little bite won't matter, but it does, it really does.

Think about this when you are tempted to pop that little bit into your mouth, who are you cheating? Why cheat on the most important person in your life? I mean YOU! You are the most important person in the world to everyone around you and you may not even realize it.

To be able to give 100% to those you love, those who love you, or those you interact with you need to give 100% to yourself first.

You hear this on airlines every time you fly, if those oxygen masks drop and you are traveling with a small child, get yours first so you can save the child. If you are a diver and you need to buddy breathe, get your air first so you can help your buddy, the list goes on and on.

Don't cheat yourself, you are too important for that.




Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tilapia




Tilapia are now the fifth-most consumed fish in the U.S. It’s an “unfishy” fish, and it tends to taste like whatever sauce it’s served with. This mild flavor, combined with its low price, probably explains why consumers love it, and chefs hate it.

Environmentalists encourage eating tilapia. Oceans Alive ranks U.S. farmed tilapia as an “eco-best” choice, meaning they don’t damage the environment (through pollution of waters, reduction of biodiversity, overharvesting, etc.). So does National Geographic’s Green Guide.

Tilapia are also lower in contaminants than other fish. As concerns about mercury contamination in fish increases, pond-raised tilapia are a safe toxin-free food because they do not build up environmental pollutants in their meat. That’s why Co-op America places tilapia on the “safe” list.

The key to tilapia appears to be finding a quality source. Given that they can thrive in low quality water, you’ll want to be careful about not getting tilapia from a water source that is too low quality. The Monterey Bay Aquarium says that farmed tilapia from U.S. should be a first choice; and farmed tilapia from China should be a last choice.

Many fish products from China, including tilapia, have been determined to be unsafe by the Food and Drug Administration.

Although farm-raised tilapia has less contaminants than fish caught in the wild, many Chinese tilapia farmers are adding things such as anti-fungal agents and antibiotics to their ponds. This helps protect the fish, but many of these additives are not allowed in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration.

Tilapia from the United States has been deemed one of the eco-best fish by the Environmental Defense Fund2. For the most benefits, choose tilapia that is farm raised.

U.S. farmed tilapia is the "Best Choice," with tilapia from Central and South America as a "Good Alternative" to other imported product. Avoid tilapia farmed in China/Taiwan.

This is a picture of one of my favorite tilapia dishes. I marinate the fish in "Radich's Spicy Garlic Plus" sauce. If you cannot find this you can make your own, it lists the following ingredients:

Soy Sauce, Honey, Wine, Garlic, Water, Cornstarch, Onion, Garlic, Fresh Sesame Seeds, Spices and Natural Flavorings (those last two are most likely MSG, so leave them out!) Notice there is no oil! 1 Tablespoon has only 3 grams of sugar and 20 calories, it does not have a strong soy sauce flavor either, I love it!

Marinate the fish overnight or just a short while if that's all you have, then place the fish in a bowl, add some of the marinade ( a couple tablespoons) and water (maybe a total of 1/3 cup liquid to 5 ounces of fish, cover and microwave for 5 minutes.

In another bowl place 4 ounces of cooked brown rice, 1 cup of cooked cut up asparagus or other vegetable, re-warm in the microwave and then place the tilapia on top, pour the cooking liquid over to moisten it all.

I could eat this almost everyday and it is low calorie, low fat, low sugar and has everything you need.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The goal in life


I read something that Will Brink posted on facebook the other day and I loved it:

The goal in life is not to fit in, the goal is to stand out. Don't worry about standing out or being different. Let the followers be threatened by your audacity. "Lead, follow, or get out of my way!"

This is me posing in my kitchen, with a great costume I found at Goodwill. I was going to wear it for Halloween, then my son confiscated it...he was a hit, all the girls loved the chicken.

My point here, is many people worry too much about what others think. I love the bodybuilder look, I love having big 'ol arms, and a nice round butt, and muscles all over. Skinny? I am not keen on that starvation look at all.

In fact the other day, at a lacrosse game for my son, a parent of another player smacked me on the butt and said she just loves my butt, "you can bounce a quarter off it!"....that not only makes me laugh, but it reinforces that what I am doing is leading the way, in a direction I am happy to go.

So do what makes you happy, spend time pursuing the things that make you want to jump out of bed in the morning, don't let others opinions stop you from enjoying life, wear what you want to wear, dance how you want to dance, and read trashy novels if that is what makes you happy!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Little mistakes we don't realize


In our quest for a lean body, we often weigh our protein, measure our vegetables, calculate water, it gets obsessive. Even if you don't go overboard like this, you may be really careful about every meal you have, yet it is so easy to make a huge mistake without even realizing it.

See this beautiful caramel? I love these. They are sugar free, isn't that great?! NO!!!

Sugar free doesn't mean fat free or carb free! I had one of these little beauties just the other day and oh my goodness are they tasty! It is easy to fall into the trap of "it's just a very small piece of candy"

After I savored this little nugget I decide to search the nutritional content on their website, you see, the candy is so small that it cannot fit on it! Here is the bad news:

Chocolate Caramel
Nutrition Facts

* Serving Size 1 piece (23g)
* Servings per container 8
* Calories 60
* Calories from Fat 20
* Total Fat 2g
* Saturated Fat 1.5g
* Cholesterol 5mg
* Sodium 5mg
* Total Carbohydrate 12g
* Dietary Fiber 0g
* Sugars 0g
* Sugar Alcohols 11.5g
* Protein 0g

Ingredients: Maltitol syrup, half and half cream, heavy whipping cream, whole evaporated milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, butter, vanilla extract.

*Net Impact Carbs = .5 gram per serving.

Do you see the carbohydrates? 12 grams! 12 grams! Should I say it again? 12 grams!

Let me put this in perspective for you. When I eat a meal, my carbohydrates are usually anywhere between 20 and 30 grams. This little sucker cost me as much as half an entire meal! And I was still hungry and could have easily eaten 6 more. ouch!

If you have small children, or cook for others it is so easy to fall into this same trap without realizing it, you taste a bit here and there, grab a piece off their plate, pretty soon you have consumed a couple hundred calories and 25 grams of carbohydrates without even feeling like you ate a thing.

So every time you think you want to taste a bit here and there, don't. You can take it and put it aside, save all your tastes for your one meal and enjoy them together or skip them. Just remember, they all add up.

I have one more of these caramels in my cupboard, I will take it with me to my next competition, because they are spectacular! Especially the chocolate caramel.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Being Self Sufficient


I have always prided myself on being quite confident and self sufficient, I feel I can do just about anything I put my mind to. I do not like depending on others.

At my last competition in May, I was reminded how important it is to not depend too heavily on someone else.

When competing in Figure, you are trying to look better than everyone you are standing next to. Obviously you need the physique, but you also need beautiful hair, nails, jewelry and make up, yes it is all rather silly when you think about it, but that's the drill.

I have used the same make up artist at every competition, she would come to my home or my hotel and she did a great job on my make up and hair. This time she let me down.

The evening before my competition I was hanging out in my hotel room with three other competitors, our trainer and her two children. I received a text message from my make up artist who said she had not been feeling well and would not be able to make it to do my make up, which was supposed to be in 13 hours.

In my book, you had better have your right hand hanging from one tiny tendon because it was just severed with a chain saw to send a text message like that to someone. I was shocked to say the least, and not quite sure what to do, I had no make up with me at all. As you can see from the shocking picture here, I might win the "who looks like crap competition" in the state I was in.

What a great look, body spray tanned to look 20 shades darker than my usual color and no make up. That should definitely win a trophy...

I managed to hire someone, and at the last minute had full stage make up and she did a great job, but I vowed never to let someone do that to me ever again.

I researched what I needed and the other day I went to MAC cosmetics and had the make up artist do full stage make up on me at 10:00 am, she showed me how to do it myself, piece of cake and what a sight! Looked great for the next competition, but walking around was a bit frightening.

I was off to get a graduation gift for "M" and walked into Sephora Cosmetics, they took one look at me and quickly steered me over to the guest make up artist and cleaned off my face and began a complimentary "make over". I was sitting still as she applied my mascara and heard a gasp in my right ear and a man saying"I want those!", I look out of the corner of my eye to find a man with his nose almost pressed to my deltoid. I flexed and he squealed quite loudly and grabbed my arm and said "Oh my god I want these arms!!" We all started laughing, it was quite entertaining.

Then, as usual talk turned to lifting weights, how you get rid of the saggy, floppy skin under your arms (I have never had it so I can't tell you by the way), how to get nice big round deltoids, and on and on. I walked out a couple hundred dollars poorer, much better looking and much happier.

I will never, ever hire that make up artist and if anyone asks about her, I will tell them she should not be considered, she is not dependable at all. She did teach me one thing though, never rely too heavily on one person.

Bring it on!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Remember your family


It is hard for my family when I am dieting for a competition, things just aren't the same. We cannot eat together or eat the same foods.

I have to eat at fairly scheduled times, I become famished if it's been more than a few hours, so when I get home, it's time for me to eat! That means that I quickly make my food while the rest of the world waits for me.

I have everything set up so that really isn't a problem, like tonight I will go home and pull the large prawns out of the refrigerator that I left to thaw before I went to work, they will be quickly sauteed while I warm some sweet potato or rice and some asparagus that is already grilled, I get home and am all done within a half hour.

Then I take care of the rest of the folks. Don't forget that my hobby used to be cooking, so they are used to living in a "restaurant" as they will tell you. I try to cook for them and most people think that it must be absolute torture cooking wonderful foods that I cannot eat, it's not, as long as I have time I don't mind.

Here is last night's dinner for the boys. Star anise spiced pork loin chops with roasted apricots and shallots, saffron and bread crumb roasted fingerling's and fava bean and pea ragout (from the garden). So if you hear those two complaining, they are just making noise...they don't suffer too terribly much!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Strength Shoes


A while ago I posted a blog about SC's shoes that I was wearing. He wears a men's size 10 and I wear a men's size 6, so they were just a tad too big. These shoes are also called "jump shoes" they have a flat platform at the ball of your foot, so your heels never touch the ground.

He told me to wear them around the house, and then hop up and down every once in a while, then let him know if I was sore.

Nothing.

You see, I have skinny calves and I want nice big round meaty calves. FP tells me "it's not the calve show" referring to figure competitions, like who the heck even notices your calves?!

I do and that's all that matters.

I gave SC back his big 'ol shoes and bought my own, ones that fit. Here's the workout he gave me:

each exercise, 3 x 20 or 30 yards, 3 times a week.

Low Squat jumps
Knee tuck jumps
Straight Line hops
Split Squat Jumps
Double leg Hops
Single leg hops
Cone Hops
Single leg Cone Hops
Butt Kicks - Running
High Knees - Running
sprints
Box jumps

Sounds easy huh? Well today I was at the gym lifting and doing the dreaded stair stepper (but only 20 minutes) for a total of 2 hours, then I did this in the afternoon at the track across the street from my house (very handy I might add).

This is basically a set of plyometrics with a handicap, your heels never touch the ground, so your calves are getting stretched and working big time. Work they don't usually get.

I walked home after this, sent him a text that said something like this:

Took strength shoes to track, did workout, all I can say is F*#K ME!!!!!!

He was concerned, asked how my calves were and I said fine, just tight, but I could tell, they would be talking back big time tomorrow. He did confirm this, I will be sore the next day.

I shall be limping, big time tomorrow and I am supposed to do this again in two days.

But watch out! My calves will start looking great!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Body Fat Frustrations


The other day my friend emailed me because he was frustrated about his lack of progress in his quest for lower body fat. I thought I would share some of my advice with you as I think the same frustrations he has been going through plague so many of us.

It is important to remember that our bodies are as individual as our personalities, so there is no one "cookie cutter" diet, method, routine, or formula that will work for everyone, you need to find what works for you. The same goes for your training, your body is different so some people are better at squats, some are better at deadlifts (I am built for deadlifting).

I happen to consider myself quite an expert on my own body and my ability to lose bodyfat, I can drop it fast and drop it all to the point that it is rather frightening how I can control it. The part I have not yet quite mastered, is how to time it exactly where I need it, how to "peak" as they say at the right time, I tend to get on a roll and keep losing. This is actually a very difficult art and many have worked for years to arrive at that perfect state, for one fleeting day.

Don’t be impatient. It took you years to gain that fat, don't expect it to go away overnight :)

Don’t follow a new “diet" for only one week and expect changes, you have to give your body time to make adjustments.

Don’t cut calories way back, 1700 calories isn't even enough to sustain a woman, do you want to lose it the healthy way or a crash diet and then gain it all back?

Carbs are your friend, crap is your foe! Many people immediately jump to the conclusion that they are eating too many carbs and that is why they are not losing bodyfat. What kind of carbs are you eating hmmm??? Seriously you should eat carbs (or actually starchy carbs) at every meal except your last meal before bed, and if you are not seriously weight training, or engaging in some strenuous form of exercise daily, you may not be one of those people (like me) who really should eat immediately before bed...

With that said, be careful how you reduce your starches. You can cut your rice at every meal back to 1/2 a cup (that's what I eat) and if you are a man, you will lose, you will lose lean body mass very, very quickly. You will be skinnier and have little muscle, not a very good look. Most men need more calories than women.

If you are convinced it is your carb intake that is the culprit, don't guess, calculate your carb grams a day to get a better idea, it may not be the rice that's causing you the problem, it could be carbs somewhere else that you do not realize. It could be sugars that are your problem. If you have two cocktails you have already messed it up...make sure you lay off alcohol for at least a month to get an idea and if you want to be serious, lay off the booze altogether, at least make a drink an occasion and not a daily habit.

It could be the timing of your foods. So calculate everything you are eating for a week and the time of day or night you are eating it. Protein, carbs, fats, sugars. Write it down, write down the times, note when you get hungry and it's not time to eat yet. I would be happy to look at it and offer advice.

Have a re-feed day once a week where you eat more than you normally would such as a big burger (LEAN meat) with a real bun, a few fries, no mayo (or use low fat) to kick start your metabolism. You also may need this mental and emotional boost, and if you are not actually competing in something anyway, it’s not going to hurt you. You cannot deprive yourself for long unless you have a specific goal and date, or you are setting yourself up to fail.

Vary your foods; try to incorporate as many different things as possible. Some bodies need the variety; some can hum along without it. I make sure I eat three different types of starches a day, oats, rice, sweet potatoes. Eat lots of vegetables, eat more of those than anything, they fill you up, provide nutrients and little calories.

Change your workout, don't keep doing the same thing everyday, months on end. Your body adapts very quickly. That machine telling you that you are burning 300 calories is probably only 50% accurate. If you can read while you are exercising, you are not exercising! Try interval training, you can do this on an elliptical, treadmill, at a track.

Don't weigh yourself everyday, try weekly at most.

How do your clothes fit? Better? The same? If they are fitting better screw the scale, just go by how you look and how the clothes fit.

Be patient, it takes a long time, that's why most people fail; they do not give it enough time. If you have messed up your system with loads of alcohol and fatty food for ages, you need to give it time to recover and start being efficient.

I am not trying to be brutal, but it's not easy, it's freaking hard and harder to maintain, I feel like giving up quite frequently. That is why you do not see people walking around looking like a Greek god everyday.

Find someone you can share it all with, a training partner, someone at work, a friend, online social sites if that works for you. Read my blog and ask for help!

It takes a great deal of time, dedication, experimentation, disappointment, research, frustration and an extremely motivated personality. Figure out what is driving you to make these changes, if your reasons are important enough to you, you will do what it takes.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cookie Dough Brownies


If you read my post called "good eats" you would have seen brownies with raw chocolate chip cookie dough topping. Yes that's right! Sounds great huh?

Here I am with the plate of brownies! "L" promised them to me in May of 2009, my competition came and went, but no brownies...then the July competition, still no brownies. October competition, I wasn't holding my breath, but was still hoping. Nope.

Then, the other day, she shows up at my sons lacrosse tournament, with a big plate of brownies~ here we are, I am enjoying them with a huge glass of pinot noir, yes, that's right. Brownies, chocolate chip cookie dough and pinto noir.

You know what was even funnier? Not one person sitting around me in the bleachers dared ask for one. I ate the entire plate.....

They were so worth the wait too!

Thanks "L"!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Your best is good enough



Here we are "the gang" at the 2010 NPC Contra Costa. We all look great! We were hamming it up in the hallway killing time, arguing over who "had" to put the tanning solution on guest poser, Ray Arde (the big guy in the front). Can you believe only three of us jumped at the chance?!

I am gearing up for another competition, on July 10 in San Jose, my home town. I had debated whether or not I would be doing it, the last one got me down. I had never placed so low before. Many people think "4th place, that's great!" and it is, but it wasn't good enough. I was also tired of dieting and wanted to get bigger.

The other night I was reading Flex magazine (I know, I actually buy it for the eye candy) and I read an article about what Phil Heath had to say about placing so low at the Arnold. Now if you have ever seen Phil Heath, the guy is a beast, he looks great.

He said this" I have to realize that just because you come at your all-time best, it doesn't mean you're going to win. I had a basketball coach tell me when I was twelve years old: 'Your best is good enough. It has to be. It'll ruin your drive and ruin your spirit if you judge yourself any other way'.

Phil then went on to add more about his thoughts and how he planned to improve, when actually many people thought he should have won in the first place.

It's an extremely subjective sport.

I did my best, and it was damn good.

Yesterday I made my decision, I am doing it. I went off the diet for a couple weeks, gained quite a bit of weight and have been training hard. I am now back on the diet, training just as hard and working to drop some weight, but not quite as much as this last time. I am aiming to come in 2 pounds heavier than I did at the Contra Costa.

I have a new found enthusiasm, along with a new friend "M" who is going to compete along side me, we are going to train, pose, laugh, have fun, diet, drive our families nuts, then have one of the wildest parties afterward! I know "R" will be there too, encouraging me along the way as she does everyday. I will have lots of help and encouragement from my friends and family and even some people who email me here, although we have never met.

And "the gang" will all be there again, at least most of the women you see above, we keep in touch, encourage, whine, complain, laugh and share tips with each other. Although we compete against each other, side be side, it's always a thrill when a friend, whom you know has worked just as hard as you have, wins.

Always remember, your best is good enough.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Spices


It is really important to make sure that your foods are interesting, or you will soon give up on your diet.

I eat boneless, skinless chicken breast almost everyday, and you can bake it, boil it, broil it, saute it, but it always ends up tasting like well.....chicken.

Spice it up! Today I took my chicken breasts and liberally sprinkled them with smokey Spanish paprika, some red pepper flakes and just a dash of chili powder.

This gives them heat and great flavor. I bake them, then pop a whole tub of them in the fridge. My husband will slice some thinly and make sandwiches for himself and my son. This is a much healthier alternative to luncheon meats, as they are all loaded with sodium and preservatives, there is no healthy lunch meat, I don't care what the package tells you about it.

I will cube up mine, weigh it out and combine with rice and vegetables.

A great addition is freshly squeezed lemon juice, this adds moisture, zip and no calories, and it gets the darn things off my trees so they don't end up in the middle of the street all squished.....hmmmm, how does that happen? Do they commit suicide?

This is a picture of paprika (called pimenton in Spanish) at a wholesale pimenton shop in Barcelona. I bought a kilo of it and brought it home with me, my favorite is agri dulce, which is approximately three quarters sweet (dulce) and one quarter hot (picante).

You don't have to go all the way to Spain though, you can but excellent Spanish paprika online, or in better grocery stores, my local store carries the same brand I used to buy online.

If it won't be eaten within three days I will cube it, weigh it and put the weighed portions into zip lock bags and freeze for later in the week.

I will also use this same treatment for fish or prawns, only I will place the fish in a glass bowl, add some white wine, broth or water (about a 1/3 cup), cover and cook through. Prawns I will quickly sear in a small amount of coconut oil.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Can you juggle?


That's what it seems to take sometimes. I feel like I have to juggle to maintain everything on an even keel and on schedule.

The picture here is my kitchen butcher block covered with several "juggling" projects. It's Sunday morning, I met "R" at the gym at 6 am when they opened, we did our own workout for an hour then met in the basketball court and set up a circuit boot camp for just the two of us.

Wall slams with a leather med ball, floors slams with that same ball, overheard throws against the padded wall with a hard med ball, squat tosses with the same ball, and backward pushing of the freestanding punching training bag (we don't have any prowlers or sleds at our gym).

5 circuits and we were just about wiped out. I guess it didn't help that we got together with our husbands the night before and polished off a few bottles of bubbly and wine.

Once at home, my husband was gone and already well into lacrosse practice with my son and I had to shower, eat and package lunches for the week, then drive out to Stanford to visit a friend in the hospital.

I am eating and cutting and packaging all at once, I just don't have time to sit down and eat. I had cooked the chicken and vegetables the day before but still had to cut and weigh them. I promised my husband I would make pizza for lunch too once I returned from the hospital....

You know what made it all worth it? Seeing the face of "O" as I walked into the hospital room. We talked for an hour, I sat and relaxed it was nice. It also made it worth the rushing around and hustle of the morning.

As I walked out, telling him I would be back when he had chemo, so we could sit and chat some more, I pondered that I am lucky I have to juggle, that I have the opportunity to "rush about" and actually lift weights, have to "fit it in" with a job I (usually) love, a "busy" home life with a husband and son I love very much, friends I "have" to meet and or sit around and have a bit too much to drink with, friends who "must" be visited, food that "must" be cooked and packaged up and just "not enough time in the day" for anything.

I guess it's just how you look at it all.

We should all be fortunate enough to have to juggle this way.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Supplements

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I subscribe to lots of different communications, and I read everything. I especially enjoy reading and learning about supplements and foods.

It i s important to remember that anyone can write a book, a website, heck even a blog! You need to carefully consider your sources, especially if you plan on incorporating any of their advise into your life.

Supplements are fascinating to me, actually it is the marketing of them that I find most interesting. Companies spend billions of dollars just to get us to use their "amazing miracle supplement" and people will take them without even researching what is in them and what they may do to their bodies.

Everyone seems to be looking for that one pill they can take so they don't have to do any exercise or diet. I know people who will drink alcohol everyday, eat fast food and garbage then spend hundreds of dollars on some "revolutionary" new work out system and useless supplements, and they don't know why they don't have a body like the ones they see on the TV ads, or in the magazines hawking these products. These are intelligent people! Why do they do this?

Most people don't even think about what "supplement" means. Here is a definition:

–noun
1. something added to complete a thing, supply a deficiency, or reinforce or extend a whole.
–verb (used with object)
5. to complete, add to, or extend by a supplement.
6. to form a supplement or addition to.
7. to supply (a deficiency).

Do you read anything in these definitions that says "replaces"? Nope, me either. If they really thought about what "supplement" means, they would know that supplements need to be used along with proper nutrition and exercise. And if you were ever considering taking anabolic steroids, you simply cannot just takes those and expect growth, you still need to practice proper nutrition and follow a rigorous exercise routine.

I will read a lot about anything before I decide to put it into my body and spend my hard earned money on it.

I usually check to see if a "meta-analysis" has ever been published on a supplement. What exactly is a meta-analysis? Here is another definition:

Meta-analysis is a statistical technique for amalgamating, summarising, and reviewing previous quantitative research. By using meta-analysis, a wide variety of questions can be investigated, as long as a reasonable body of primary research studies exist. Selected parts of the reported results of primary studies are entered into a database, and this "meta-data" is "meta-analyzed", in similar ways to working with other data - descriptively and then inferentially to test certain hypotheses.

Meta-analysis can be used as a guide to answer the question 'does what we are doing make a difference to X?', even if 'X' has been measured using different instruments across a range of different people. Meta-analysis provides a systematic overview of quantitative research which has examined a particular question.

The appeal of meta-analysis is that it in effect combines all the research on one topic into one large study with many participants.

I like Will Brink, he has a lot of opinions of many supplements and will tell you exactly what he has researched and whether or not he would spend his money on them. This is a goofy video he posted on his site about this same topic.


The Brink Zone

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Black Forest Muffins













The other day my nutritionist, Kim Porterfield (The Institute of Eating Management and Relapse Prevention Center) sent out a recipe for Black Forest Protein Muffins, and they sounded delicious but were protein only, no carbs and I wanted muffins that were a compete meal, something I could make ahead and then take with me to work for a complete morning meal.

I came up with this recipe based on her idea. My 16 year old son said “these are actually very good” and my husband said “I could eat these with a cup of coffee”. He then proceeded to eat several after dinner, while I typed this up. Considering these are a total healthy meal, contain all of the complex carbs and protein that you need, this is high praise!

This will make 24 muffins and the nutrient breakdown is as follows:

Men 6 muffins Calories 308.8; carbs 36.8 g; protein 30 g; sugar 4.5 g, fat 4.5 g
Women 4 muffins Calories 205.9; carbs 24.5 g; protein 20 g; sugar 3 g; fat 3 g

Don’t forget after an intense weight training session you really should have more carbs, so immediately following your workout you should be ingesting a carb/protein drink with a ratio of 4 to 1 (carbs to protein) and then eating this as your breakfast within the next hour and a half.

You must use aluminum muffin liners (it changes the consistency).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:
4 cups liquid egg whites
1 1.4 ounce package sugar free instant chocolate jello pudding
1 20 ounce can Comstock lite cherry pie filling (buy sugar free if you can locate it)
2 cups Quaker oats
2 Tbsps baking powder
4 Tbsps unsweetened cocoa powder
8 Tbsps Splenda

Blend all ingredients (except pie filling) in food processor or blender until smooth. Pour into a bowl and allow to rest about 5 minutes until thickened, stir in pie filling. It will be thick like cake batter.

Place the aluminum cupcake liners into a cupcake tray, then spray with cooking spray. Fill each muffin cup up completely to the top.

Bake 25 minutes, let muffins rest in pan 5 minutes then remove muffins to a rack to cool. Bake second batch.

Muffins will be puffy and beautiful when they come out, and then fall and look just a little wrinkly when they cool.

My husband suggested slathering them with peanut butter, I think that sounds great, but maybe only a little bit of it!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Andrographis


I rarely get sick, in fact I have been told by a specialist at a medical research foundation that I have what is called a "super immune system" and have more NK (Natural Killer) cells than the average person, and I will most likely never get sick, or at least not feel the effect as much as others do because of the immune system I have.

It's a long story as to why he knows this, really has nothing to do with this anyway, and will just make you hate me, so I will not elaborate.

A huge part of why I don't get sick is that I take care of my fine piece of machinery, I eat right, get sufficient rest, exercise regularly, I don't take drugs, rarely drink alcohol and I ensure I get proper nutrition through supplementation.

I believe the last time I was "sick" was over a year ago. I am getting sick now though and I can tell because I have a sore throat and that is where I first notice it. I have been burning the candle at both ends, I should have taken a week off after my competition and did not, so my body needs a rest. I have been tackling two jobs at work due to lack of staffing and my personal life has been rather stressful the last couple weeks.

As soon as I feel a sore throat coming on I start taking Andrographis, 800 mg three times a day. I start immediately and then continue for 5 days after I feel better. This is a miracle cure. I will never feel the full effects of any illness, and many people will not even notice I am ill, they mainly notice I am not as perky as usual, that's about it.

What is Andrographis? Andrographis is a shrub found throughout India and other Asian countries that is sometimes called "Indian echinacea." It has been used historically in epidemics, including the Indian flu epidemic in 1919 during which andrographis was credited with stopping the spread of the disease.

It is widely cultivated in southern Asia, where it is used to treat infections and some diseases, often being used before antibiotics were created. Mostly the leaves and roots were used for medicinal purposes.

Reasonably good evidence tells us that this extract can reduce the severity of cold symptoms. It may also help prevent colds.

Since ancient times, it has been used in traditional Siddha and Ayurvedic systems of medicine as well as in tribal medicine in India and some other countries for multiple clinical applications. The plant extract exhibits antityphoid and antifungal activities. It is also reported to possess antihepatotoxic, antibiotic, antimalarial, antihepatitic, antithrombogenic, antiinflammatory, anti-snake venom, and antipyretic properties to mention a few, besides its general use as an immunostimulant agent. A recent study conducted at Bastyr University, confirms the anti-HIV activity of andrographolide.

Several double-blind clinical trials have found that andrographis can help reduce symptom severity in people with common colds. Though the earliest clinical trial among these showed modest benefits, later studies have tended to be more supportive. Standardized andrographis extract combined with eleuthero (Siberian ginseng), known as Kan jang, has also been shown in a double-blind clinical trial to reduce symptoms of the common cold.

I used to buy Andrographis and Ginseng and take them together, but later stopped and now only take Andrographis when I am starting to feel ill. I am never without it in my cupboard, and will order more now that this bottle is getting low, as you must start taking it immediately at the onset of a cold.

As with anything else I discuss here, you must be consistent with it,you cannot take a morning dose then forget the next two and expect it to work.

Give it a try, you will be amazed.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Rice Rice Rice




I love this rice cooker, you can set it for various kinds of rice and it cooks perfectly, every time. I eat copious amounts of brown rice, my favorite is short grain that I buy in a big bag at a huge Japanese market, they have everything there.

I actually just had brown sweet rice for the first time last night, it was great! I enjoyed the nutty, crunchy texture of the grains.

You may have had sweet rice before, this is the name you usually see on the bag but most people know it as the "sticky" or "glutinous" rice that you eat with Thai food.

According to legend, it was used to make the mortar in the construction of the Great Wall of China, and chemical tests have confirmed that this is true for the city walls of Xian.

Rice doesn't have to be eaten for lunch or dinner, I eat it quite frequently for breakfast. I will take a glass bowl, spray it with cooking spray, add my egg whites (I use one cup of liquid whites), 4 ounces of cooked brown rice and sometimes even throw in a bit of spinach or chopped tomato or cooked mushrooms. Microwave 3 minutes, then stir around to incorporate the liquid uncooked egg, microwave one more minute and you have a "scramble".

This has the required protein from the egg, the carbohydrate from the rice and is delicious! You can top it with reduced sugar ketchup, hot sauce, salsa, fat free sour cream and/ or some reduced fat cheese.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Stress management


A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a
glass of water and asked, "how heavy is this glass of water?" Answers
called out ranged from 20g to 500g. The lecturer replied, "The
absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to
hold it."

"If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an
hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day,
you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it's the same weight,
but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management. If we
carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes
increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on. As with the glass
of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding
! it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden."

"So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down.
Don't carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow. Whatever burdens
you're carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can. Relax...
pick them up later after you've rested. Life is short. Enjoy it!"

Here are some ways of dealing with the burdens of life:

* Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.

* Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

* Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

* Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.

* If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

* If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was
probably worth it

* It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a
warning to others.

* Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you
won't have a leg to stand on.

* Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

* Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

* The second mouse gets the cheese.

* When every thing's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

* Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

* You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the
world to one person.

* Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.

* We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty
and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different
colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

* A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today... I did.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Reverse Hyper


The wonderful reverse hyper! Most gyms do not have a Reverse Hyper, so you can use a flat bench.

This is one of the best exercises for the glutes.

Be sure that you have a bench you can hold onto.

The Iso Reverse Hyper is when you bring the legs up and hold it for a period of time, start with 15 seconds, do three sets.

You can also put a weight between your feet at the ankles, and lift that up and down or hold it, again for a period of time.

Try to work up to 45 seconds if possible.

Check out my Sunday morning video below.

video