Recipe: Sriracha yogurt because sometimes you need to spice it up

The blizzard hit last night and has been going strong ever since. This has not only caused me to be stuck inside, but I’m starting to go through my movie collection. So far I have watched Valentine’s day, Frost Nixon and now onto James Bond Casino Royale. Really there is no method to the selection today. I also had the perfect snow-day breakfast: Flap Jacked banana hazelnut protein pancakes with Cellucor’s Cor-fetti cake batter whey and eggs. Well rounded macros and super tasty.

After glancing out the window, I realize there is definitely 2 feet of snow out there, and the drift of snow by my kitchen window is about 3 feet tall. There’s a high chance I made a slushy with some of the snow and an ounce of Parrot Bay Pineapple Rum. It’s a snow day and it fit my macros, but holy moly I never realized how much sugar is truly in flavored rum like Parrot Bay. I am so glad that I have cut out pretty much all alcohol during this prep.

Today the only things I have accomplished is making rice to ration out for the rest of this weeks meals, watch movies and send a few work related emails. I mean I could still be in bed, so I definitely think sitting on my living room floor is a step up. Also, it brings me to the purpose of my post.

There are some days when I can decide what I really want to eat and other days when I know what I want, but I’m unwilling to give up certain macros for it, so I pass. Today was the latter. With my rice and chicken already prepped all I needed was something saucy.

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new bottle!

 

I love Srirach and that’s pretty much what this post is about. Last month I discovered Sriracha mayo at the grocery store and while it’s great on sandwiches in moderation, it’s all fat and high in it too. I’m not willing to give up 15g of fat macros for 1 tablespoon.

I was determined to find an alternative that would give me the creaminess of Srirach mayo without all the fat. I wanted the kick, but I didn’t want to burn my lips off either. I use plain Greek yogurt for a million things. It’s a great substitution for sour cream, it’s a great ingredient for protein pudding, it makes shakes thicker and it also makes for a great sauce.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 tsp of Sriracha Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons (1/8 cup) or plain Greek yogurt

Just mix the two thoroughly so you don’t get a spot that is heavily spicy.

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ignore my fiber gummy bottle

I added the mixture to my chicken and rice and it was perfect. I had already seasoned the chicken during the cooking process, but the Sriracha yogurt added something to it that made it a little more fun than just some steak seasoning.

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I think the snow day is getting to me a little bit because I have plans to make a mini sweet potato casserole with dinner.

I hope you all stay warm and don’t go stir crazy!

 

❤ Cristina

 

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Recipe: Birthday Cake Protein Pancakes

I know I don’t need to tell you how much I like pancakes – #Ididitforthepancakes. So when my boyfriend said he wanted pancakes for his birthday breakfast, I had no problem searching for a good recipe. I found a ton of birthday cake protein pancake recipes and they ranged from oat flour to coconut flour to no flour. I found one from Super Sister Fitness and I had pretty much everything for the recipe, but I changed it slightly, which ultimately changed the nutrition. Here’s my recipe.

  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond coconut milk
  • 1 tbs plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons of erythritol
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs sprinkles of choice

For the frosting:

  • 1 tbs plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbs protein powder (I used Cellucor Cor-fetti cake batter)
  • 2 tablespoons of water

I added all my ingredients at once, which is slightly different than their directions, which were too mix all the dry ingredients then add the wet ingredients after they had been combined.

I used 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop the batter onto the pan. This recipe made 3 pancakes and macros are still pretty damn good.

I tried the batter and it was awesome, so I can’t wait to assemble these in the morning for breakfast!

I hope you all had a great Sunday Funday! Goodnight!

❤ Cristina

Snowed-in on leg day

I am not one who likes to workout at home. I haven’t workout at home in a really long time. The something about the gym that motivates me to work harder than when I try at home. I also feel limited. While body squats and lunges do work your body, I like having the ability to add weight and use machines. Today was a scheduled leg day and last night when I went to bed the roads were clear and you could actually see the moon in the sky.

Getting up this morning was a different story.

When I got out of bed at 8 am I had every intention of getting to the gym, putting in some cardio and smash my legs. As fast as I could post that I was making coffee and heading out, I saw the fluffy, white snow falling nonstop. I still thought I could get to the gym though. I poured my coffee and starting texting my fit friends, Brittany and Sarah. After going outside and seeing how much had actually fallen, I decided there was no way I was moving my car from my parking spot. At this point the roads hadn’t even been plowed and the part of the city I live in doesn’t get a lot of attention from DPW.

Now I can tell you right now, that if I was 5 this would’ve thrilled me, as an adult I’m over here like “where’s the beach?”

But as you can tell, it was probably a good decision that I stayed home.

After getting back inside, I tried to figure out what I could do 1. without shaking the floor, 2. getting a good workout in. Brittany suggested weighted lunges since I had 5 pound dumbbells on hand. I looked on BodyBuilding.com’s web site to look at their exercise library. Here’s what I came up with:

  • 1 minute jogging in place to warm up
  • Side step squats 3 by 10( each side)
  • Glute kick back 3 by 20 (each side)
  • Step up with stairs 3 by 10 (each side)
  • 6 sets of stair runs (jogging)
  • Russian twists with medicine ball 3 by 10 (each side)
  • Dumbbell rear lunges 3 by 10 (each side)
  • Mountain climbers 3 by 20
  • Rear leg raises 3 by 10 (each side)
  • Split squats 3 by 10 (each side)
  • Glute bridge 3 by 10
  • Lying glute raises 3 by 10 (each side)
  • Medicine ball chops 3 by 10 (each side)

On hand I had a 5 pound medicine ball and a pair of 5 pound dumbbells. The apartment I live in has two flights of stairs and the first set is a pretty sturdy set in this lovely historical house. I brought my dumbbells and medicine ball down to the main floor and set up camp. It took about 35 minutes to complete everything.

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2015/01/img_4572.jpgWhile I’m happy that I was able to get my workout in, I’m hoping that tomorrow brings clearer roads and my ability to get to the gym before work! I’m trying to stick to my schedule so I can maintain my path to meet my goal for April. I know this is only one day, but I’m trying to make each one count. My macros are perfect today and that’s something!

❤ Cristina

There are more things to be concerned with than the scale

I’ve written about this before, but today I’m a little fired up.

This afternoon I got an email from Human Resources saying there was a health benefit reward available for everyone who has insurance through the company. It’s a free hoodie if you complete the checklist within the calendar year. I figured I’ll take a peek and see what it entails. Listed as a mandatory item to accomplish is the health assessment through our insurance company. Easy enough.

I logged in and started working on it. Some questions were repetitive and others I didn’t know the answer too, like blood pressure. I don’t know what it is, but I know it’s always good when I visit my doctor.

Before I continue, I want to remind you that I had gained 10 pounds post show/holiday fun eating consumption. In the first 26 days of prep I have lost 6 of those 10 pounds, and I’m hanging out at 154. Weigh insz are only on Wednesdays and I’m pretty damn proud. 86 more days until the first show. Below is the difference between the first day of prep and yesterday when I weighed in.

Hello booty growth and goodbye holiday fluff!

Moving on…

I got to the end of the assessment and my score was 89 out of 100, which is really good. However, what struck a chord with me were the bullets that highlighted what I could do differently about my weight.

 

First let’s begin by talking about the sliding weight scale provided for my height. I’m 5’4″, I’m not giant, but that’s a huge range of weight. Secondly, I’m 154 pounds, but I wear a size 6 and have no muffin top… I’m almost scared to know what I would look like or what size I would wear if I was 111 pounds… I’m pretty sure my doctor would be concerned, I know I would be.

Now looking at the bulleted list. I’m going to skip over the first bullet because well being in prep I’m already doing that and before getting involved in bikini competitions I had be consistently losing weight. Bullet two can be ignored because my doctor at one point thought playing soccer would be too much for me and that I should just do yoga… Ha, no. Bulets three through seven all kind of go hand in hand. I follow IIFYM and eat flexibly, within macro tracking I eat pretty damn clean too. Minimal sugar, usually well under 50g a day, to put it in perspective a 12 ounce bottle of regular Coke has 40g of sugar. At least 3 servings of greens a day and other fiber rich foods. My goal is 35g of fiber a day, sometimes I go over by a few and sometimes I’m under by a few, but I try to come as close as possible.

In the assessment, I said that I work out 6 days a week because it’s true. Some days I do two-a-days, cardio in the morning and lifting during the day sometime. I also checked off that I have lost weight and will continue to lose weight. I’m sure a health assessment with a live person would be a little different, but what I don’t like about this standardized form is that similar to the BMI, it only takes weight and height into consideration. In fact, it only take the BMI into consideration.

We know muscle is more dense than fat and therefore you have the ability to weigh more than you look. People always get surprised when I say I weigh in the 150s. In fact, in 5 pounds I will be at my lowest weight in years and according to BMI, I will still be overweight. Thank you standardization!

How someone who is a size 6 is overweight boggles me, but I also know that this needs to be brushed off. My point is, so many people depend on the scale and what they weigh. I heavily relied on it in the beginning and during prep I check in to make sure I’m where I want to be. Muscular development has given me piece of mind that my body is getting where it needs to and that the scale should really shut up. Your clothes say more about your health than a piece of plastic on the floor ever can.

My advice and what I like to do is use the scale in moderation. Once a week or once every two weeks, I’ll weigh in. You fluctuate so much on a daily basis from many factors that you will drive yourself nuts checking it too often. If you’re clothes are getting big, but the scale doesn’t move, you are still making progress, don’t get discouraged. Take progress photos every few weeks so you can compare and see the differences. It can take weeks for progress, don’t give up.

 

❤ Cristina

Why trying new foods is important to me during this time around

During my last round of prep, I stuck to what I knew. I ate very clean, but macro counted, so I had my weekly Poptart Tuesday- if they fit. I usually made sure they did. This time around, I’m trying to be more adventurous with my food choices. In the grocery store I’m trying new brands, even if they’re a little more pricey than I would usually be willing to pay. When I see something interesting on Instagram, I usually comment and find out where they got the item and what they thought of it. My relationship with food has been a rocky one, and by making it fun and discovering new brands it keeps me in the mindset that food can be fun and helpful- it’s not meant to be hurtful.

Below are some of my recent finds.

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I am a burrito bowl queen! Lately, I have been on a salsa kick too. I have been eating with my egg whites, on sandwiches (instead of condiments), and of course in burrito bowls. It’s low in calories, carbs and sodium. There’s no fat or protein in a serving, but the flavor is amazing. There’s no guilt in scooping out a little more than a serving. I’m new to this brand, but it was so chunky I had to get it!

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These pitas are freaking amazing! They’re low carb, but high fiber. I’ve been using them for breakfast sandwiches. I also tried toasting one and made a breakfast pizza. They’re a perfect serving size and a great alternative to sandwich bread or wraps.

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I’m a big tea drinker, but I never joined the bandwagon for loose leaf teas. I was in the store and I saw this tea and tea filters that the same company makes so you can easily enjoy their tea without a mess. I figured I didn’t need to buy something fancy from Tevana, so why not try it. The flavor is great and not overpowering. It smells amazing too. I can also use the filters for other teas as well :]

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Last, but not least, Quest came out with a new flavor of protein bar, S’mores. Well, of course I needed to buy these to try them. I’ve heard so many good things about them already and they’ve barely been on the market. They came in the mail today and I have room in my macros for one tomorrow! I’ll definitely report back :]

There are a ton of other things I’ve tried lately like Cellucor’s Whey Protein. I actually have 5 of their flavors in the kitchen right now. They keep the cravings down and make baking interesting. I need to share my protein pancake glaze recipe! I’ll do that another night. Do you have any foods that you’ve discovered that you can’t live without now?

 

❤ Cristina

Competition prep check-in: 13 days in, 101 days to go

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/eef/66154586/files/2015/01/img_3372.jpgBefore we begin with my check-in. Let’s take a look at a quick comparison. To the right are two photos. The left is me in June 2014, when I started my first prep for first show in November 2014. The photo on the right is the 7th day of my second round of prep for my upcoming shows this spring. This is a 15 pound difference in my starting weight.

I’m feeling really confident this round for sure. I lost 25 pounds the first time I prepped, and then gained about 10 pounds post show (thank you holiday cookies!) While I had been eating in moderation, I wasn’t paying attention to my macros and was definitely eating over my nutritional goals.

Below is a photo from day 7 workout. Seriously, I’m really excited with where I’m starting with this time. I’m focusing a lot on my weight lifting, and trying to minimize my cardio to strictly HIIT sessions. I’m going to be doing more double days like I did last prep. This helped me fit in my workouts without feeling like I wasn’t effectively using my time. Tomorrow is a good example, I’m doing HIIT in the morning before work and then lifting legs tomorrow night.

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I’m 13 days into this prep and I’m down 3 pounds of the 10 gained post show. Not too shabby. I’ve already discussed with myself (because I do that) weighing only on Wednesdays like I did last prep. This gives me consistency without over checking. It also gives me a goal to look forward to.

I’m hoping to lost another 22 pounds on top of the 3 I’ve lost for another 25 pound loss, which will be a 105 pound total loss. Crazy, I know.

I’ve been taking pictures like a looney, but I love the comparisons of how I’ve come. It reminds me that even on bad days, I’m still  far ahead of where I was. How may people can say they were a 24 and are now a size 6? I have 101 days to go and I can’t wait to share this part of my journey with you all.

Well I’m heading to bed. It’s 0 degrees outside, but it feels like -22, when I wake up for the gym it’ll be -7 with a windchill of -29. Hello winter! I hope you all stay bundled up!

❤ Cristina

Recipe: Healthy “Fried” Rice

I love Chinese food, but I also know that it can be loaded with sugar, salt and fat. All things that make food taste amazing. Recently, I went through my kitchen and rediscovered an electric wok that my grandmother had given to me. During prep, there are only so many ways to eat chicken breast and brown rice, again, searching online and turning to Pinterest I had a decent understanding of what was in fried rice. Here’s my take on it.

What You’ll Need:

1 cup of Steamfresh Asian Medley veggies

1/4 cup of onion

1/4 cup green pepper

1 egg

3/4 cup brown rice cooked (1/4 cup uncooked rice puffs to about 3/4 cup)

Olive Oil

 

Directions:

1. Cook brown rice and Steamfresh veggies as their directions tell you.

2. Chop up onion and green pepper, cook veggies in wok while rice cooks until tender.

3. Once the rice is fully cooked, add it and the Steamfresh veggies to your wok. Mix rice with veggies.

4. Crack 1 egg into the wok and mix until full cooked. Your egg doesn’t need to be scrambled because the constant mixing will scramble it.

 

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This recipe makes enough for 1. I also served my rice with 6 ounces of chicken breast. The macros are:

Calories: 440

Fat: 9g

Carbs: 42.8g

Fiber: 4g

Protein: 50.3g

I didn’t marinade the chicken, just put a little bit of seasoning on it. If you decide to put sauce on it, it will change that nutritional value, but this is a pretty well rounded meal already. I’ve made this recipe twice already and it’s been a hit with the boy both times :]

What are your favorite foods that aren’t always healthy, but you can’t live without?

 

❤ Cristin

Recipe: Flourless Chocolate chip and Peanut butter Muffins

I eat breakfast every morning and when my boyfriend visits, I try to make breakfast a little interesting. While I’m prepping breakfasts can be boring, but we manage to spice them up from time to time. Over Christmas, I was surfing Pinterest looking for ideas when I decided to see if there were any recipes that were lower carb and higher protein. I came across a pin for Flourless Peanut Butter Mini Blender Muffins.

The recipe was pretty easy and was made in a blender! You can’t go wrong when a recipe is that easy. I did change up the recipe a little bit, but not too much.

First, since I’m in prep I weigh everything, that includes the banana in this recipe. I also used Nuts ‘N More Toffee Crunch protein peanut butter instead of regular peanut butter. Lastly, I counted out the chocolate chips used in each muffin.  Everything else was exactly the same as the recipe I found. I got 6 perfect muffins out of this batch.

Each muffin was 1/4 cup of  batter and the macros were:

Calories: 217

Fat: 10.8g

Carbs: 20.2g

Fiber: 4.3g

Protein: 10.9g

What I learned from this recipe is that it’s ok to use a hand mixer. A lot of my peanut butter fell to the bottom of the blender and I had to hand mix it in. That was a pain. These were super tasty and great to have with my egg whites. They make a good snack during the day too.

These made the boy pretty darn happy and anything that he also likes makes it easier for me to get through prep without extra cooking :]

Do you have a muffin recipe that you “go to” or like to change up sometimes?

 

❤ Cristina