Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Champion Nutrition USA - Weekly Recipe! The Chicken & The Egg...

As a source of protein, it's a toss up as to which athletes eat more of - the chicken or the egg, and it's easy to get burned out on either. This recipe, though, combines them in a fabulously tasty way that will keep you on-diet without the diet-blahs. These muffins are also easily portable! On the Go food! Woot!

The Chicken & The Egg Muffin
Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (8 oz) chicken breast, cooked
  • 1 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup chopped/diced veggies (multi-color peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, or whatever you want)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped "free" veggies (onion, mushroom)
  • 1 Tbsp Mrs Dash Southwest Chipotle
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium Salsa


DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with cooking oil.
  2. In a bowl, shred the chicken with two forks. 
  3. Add veggies, Mrs Dash and salsa. Stir together. 
  4. Add Egg Whites and mix until well combined.  
  5. Place mixture into prepared muffin tin and bake about 15 minutes or until egg is cooked. 
  6. Allow to cool on wire rack 10 minutes, then remove and continue to cool. 
  7. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.


Nutrition Information:  Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 162 calories, 28g protein, 6g carbs, 2g fat.
Easy Egg Muffins - Clean Eating Breakfast
Made with EggBeaters instead of egg whites.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Safely back home...

Thank you for your kindness, your thoughts, prayers, emails and posts! My daughter's surgery went well and we're now safely back home.  The doctor is confident that Bethany will now regain her health. We knew she had gallstones, and the assumption was that this was causing her nausea, vomiting and pain - and subsequent weight loss. In the last week, she dropped 4 lbs - and she's already tiny. When they went in, the doctor discovered that Bethany's gallbladder had an abnormally small "neck" which prevented bile from leaving the gallbladder, causing the stones to form, and then the pain and so on. So, they removed the gallbladder.

When we joined her in Recovery, she was awake and coherent (mostly, lol). But the moment we knew she was recovering well was when we saw this...

hahahaha! ;-) Texting away with her E.T. phone home finger (pulsox). Lol!

Once we were moved into her room, her friends came to visit, and later that evening Shiloh (my middle daughter). We had a full house in that little room. Bethany was surrounded by her friends and family, and very, very well cared for by the wonderful staff at Phoenix Children's Hospital. I stayed the night with her, and was impressed by the care and attention that was given to my daughter.

On a nutritional note (haha, cuz you knew that was coming!), I was very pleased with the choices offered by the hospital. They have a huge cafeteria setup with a LOT of healthy and healthier options, then for the patients, it's done as "room service".  Here's the menu...

On the back there's a fun little visual for kids to learn about how to eat healthy (which I thought was very cool). Bethany got to make her own choices (with mom's approval), and Mom was thrilled with the nutrition offered. I had my cooler. During the day, I had sandwiches (whole grain with steak for Bill and chicken for me), and apples. Later I had greek yogurt with protein powder and blueberries, dinner was a steak wrap and a grapefruit. For breakfast I had my usual oatmeal with protein powder, ground flax & cinnamon with blackberries. I used one of the plastic cups in the room and just added hot water. For my own convenience I was glad I had my cooler, but it was nice to learn that I didn't have to have it - that clean options were available.
Once the doctors saw that Bethany was tolerating food well, and her pain level was stabilizing, we were released to come home (to her great joy). Back home she's resting, and bored. Haha. I'll take bored over sick ANY day!! I will also take my own bed. The little couch I slept on last night suited its purpose, but it's time is OVER. I'm glad to be able to stretch out, lol! She has some movement restrictions for a bit, but her external incisions are super-glued rather than stitched, so (again to her joy) she can shower. Though she's not enjoying the pain, she's already enjoyed two days of no sickness - it's a sweet thing!

That's my update. Again, HUGE thanks to you!!! Your well wishes meant so much to Bill, Bethany and I throughout this time! Thank you!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Daughter's Surgery is Set

Just a quick post to let you know Bethany's surgery is set... this Friday. We check in at 10am, surgery is at noon. It will take about an hour to an hour & a half. I'll be staying with her overnight at the hospital.
Nearly there! She's so ready to not be sick anymore.

Adding insult to injury, and an update to yesterday's post...

Torture Device
I forgot to mention Monday's Total Body Conditioning Class! It was a doozy. In more ways than one. Brutally fast-paced and totally awesome with a kick a$$ playlist! At one point we were working with resistance bands (to Queen, Another One Bites the Dust)... You step on the center of the band, cross the handles in front of you and frog walk forward and back - it's a killer on the glutes! Well... being me, it couldn't be that simple, right? Right. Holding the resistance super tight, I took several steps before it popped out from under my right foot and smacked my left thigh. Drat! Got back in position and SNAP!! This time it got my right thigh. Stung like crazy! Then on the next round, the blasted thing broke! That's like the 3rd or 4th one I've snapped! Because this kind of thing happens to me often, I forgot all about it. Until this morning when I was getting ready for work...



Can you see it?
That's a bruise from mid thigh down my calf! And yes, that's my pasty-white leg, haha.  Being bruised from that darn band is just adding insult to injury, doncha think??  Yeesh!

I'm hoping for an injury (and bruise) free class tonight, lol! I will be attending class tonight, though I'm not allowed to do any upper body work... should be interesting.


As promised, here's a snap of my current Driver's license. Not only did I shave my weight, but evidently I gave myself an extra inch! Hahaha! Time for a redo, yes?

And now... the elephant in the room. I posted yesterday about my doctor appt for my shoulder - the diagnosis and prognosis. When I left the doctor's office, I called Bill first, then Tab, then like any self-respecting grown woman, I went crying in an email to my Mom. ;-) I don't care how old I get, I'll always go running to Mommy when the chips are down. Lol. When I got home, Tab was waiting for me. We had skype sessions scheduled with our transformation gals, but she got there early to talk about my shoulder.

Can I just interject here, I truly have the most incredible, amazing people in my life? And that includes you. I appreciate the post-comments and emails more than words can say.


My shoulder might be a tad worse off than I explained yesterday. If I don't type it or say it, it's not real, right? (rueful grin). Surgery isn't an option, it's a requirement. The inflammation is some of the worst he's seen. The bone on bone movement and the inflammation are aggressively destroying the joint. The manipulation he did yesterday (OUCH!) managed to knock the clavicle back into place (I actually slept most of the night!), but this morning it was sticking out again. Gah!


Tab took me in hand and pointed out all the options I still have, the roads I can still travel. Nothing is set in stone right now (though, haha, feels like my shoulder is literally set in stone, lol), and I have time before I have to start making decisions about what I can or can't do in life. She hammered away at my hard head, then ganged up on me with Bill when he got home. I was not permitted to wallow in my self-pity. I was not permitted to pout about something I have no control over. I was not permitted to not take control over the things I can. I was not permitted to give up, lay down, or walk away.  (Thank you, Tab & Bill!!!)


Today, as I got ready for work, I reached into my box for a bracelet when I saw the green reminder band Tab gave me when I began training for my show. My eyes leaked a bit more as I sank to the floor and read it. "Believe. IAAC".

I'd like to say I've bounced back after yesterday's hit, but evidently I don't bounce, I break - literally, hahaha. What I WILL say is that I believe I can and will overcome this, too. I believe that I Am still A Champion. And I am so grateful for Bill, Tab, Mom, and you... who also believe. There are many things I can still do. Many more I will be able to do. Some things are blocked to me, and that's ok. I don't have to compete again, I don't have to be able to lift olympic weights (haha). My body has limits. I don't have to like it, but I do have to respect it (or resign myself to replacing a joint per year - OY!). I WILL find new challenges. I WILL move forward. I AM A CHAMPION.

Thank you for this reminder, Carlene!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Champion Nutrition Recipe of the Week - Favorite High Protein Snack

This snack is so simple - it's quick, it's easy, and it's so tasty it's like a bowl of cheesecake! It's my favorite high-protein snack these days. I've tried it with several flavors of protein powder, and though the Banana Scream is still my favorite, I also love the vanilla, chocolate fudge, strawberry, and tropical sunrise flavors, too! The trick is to chill it for several hours before eating so that it can thicken properly. You'll find this yummy treat in my cooler most every day!

Champion Protein Yogurt 

8 oz plain 0% Greek Yogurt
1 scoop Champion Nutrition Pure Whey protein powder - any flavor

Mix the yogurt and protein powder. Stir slowly (or you'll end up in a cloud of protein powder - it's happened).
Cover bowl and refrigerate several hours (minimum 2).
Enjoy!

Go Big or Go Home...

Well, I went big, and the doctor sent me home. Pfft.  Tab said, "Boy, when you screw something up, you do it BIG!"  Hahaha.

Today was my appt with the Ortho for my shoulder. I did NOT hear what I wanted to hear. Not even a little. The doc was terrific, he understood my lifestyle, my goals, but it doesn't change my diagnosis or prognosis. Here's the story... my bursitis is still inflamed, the shoulder capsule is inflamed and hardened (causing scar tissue, or adhesions, to lock it down), the clavicle and acromion are rubbing together and the bone is swollen. The bone is swollen. I didn't know bone could swell! Did you known bones could swell? I mean, seriously, WTF?? Moving on... Looks like bone spurs, and possibly some small tears in the labral, and the inflammation is severe - he said it's like a full-blown Rheumatoid Arthritis. He said my AC joint is a 'mess'.  Argh. So here's the plan (of sorts)...

For the next two weeks - NO upper body work. Period. Nada. Zip. I am to ice my shoulder 2-4x/day, with an ibuprofen boost. On Feb. 10, I go back and we re-asses getting another shot (cortisone), though it won't do anything for the bone inflammation, and set up a schedule for.....




Surgery.

@#$$%$%$$@!@@!!@@  Basically, they'll do to my shoulder what they did to my knee back in December 2010. Without surgery, the damage that's been done to the AC joint is permanent. Without surgery, I will never lift again.

This was definitely not what I wanted to hear.  Frack! And YES, I am throwing a temper tantrum. Stomp, Stomp, Stomp! Drat!!

I did have a bit of a funny moment though... when the doc and I were going over my info, he asked what weight I was using (currently) for chest presses. When I said 8# dumbbells, he looked up at me and said, "That's gotta piss you off, right?"  Hahaha. Yes, yes it does. But then he said something that broke my heart.

"I'm afraid your days of competing are over. No matter what."

Damnit. Now I'm crying again. So. I'm taking these next two weeks to rethink a few things, challenge a few goals, and find out what all this means for me.

In the meantime, we're still waiting on scheduling for Bethany's surgery. Hopefully we'll hear today.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Time for a New Driver's License

Tabitha and I hit the nail salon today. We're positive that when they see us coming they draw straws - short gets us. LOL! We had a great time getting our toes fixed up perty, and while we chatted, driver's license weight came up. A particular point of interest is that here in AZ, your driver's license is good for a gazillion years. One way to cut down on DMV wait times, I guess, lol! Basically, they're valid, without regular retesting, until you turn 65 - I got mine in 2000, so I've got 35 years on it. And the picture. And the weight. Hmmm. You see, when I got mine, I did (as so many of us do) lie about my weight. I cut it by about 10 lbs. Ok, fine, 20. Whatever. So, my driver's license says I weigh 145 lbs.

As we talked, Tab say's, "Show me!" and I whipped out my DL and handed it to her. She gave me the look.

"Don't you think it's time to update this?"
"Ummm, yeah, but I don't wanna wait in line."
"Chelle, have you LOOKED at this???"
"Ummm, yeah, but I don't wanna wait in line."
"Chelle, remember the pants I took away from you because they were so big they kept falling off, but you didn't want to buy new ones?"
"Yes. I finally got new ones."
"Chelle, remember the t-shirts I took away from you because they were so big you could fit you and your whole family in them?"
"Yes. I finally got new ones."
"Chelle...can you guess what I'm going to do to your driver's license if you don't get a new one?"

Guess who's headed to the DMV next week? Yeah. That would be me. I'll have to scan a pic of it and show you... when I took that pic, I weighed 165 (remember I went up over 200 later on), said I was 145, and had long hair... today I am much lower than 145 (lol), have short hair, and look absolutely nothing like the woman in the pic. I suppose it's time for an update. I do have to say though, that it's a bit disconcerting when a cashier asks to see my ID with my credit card, and doesn't say anything about it. Not gonna lie, it sometimes occurs to me to say, "Hey, don't you wanna call the police because I stole this woman's ID??"  Hahaha. No, nothing good would come of that!

Tomorrow, I have Tabitha's class in the morning, then we're back here for football and food prep. I did the grocery shopping for both of us today, so we're ready to rock'n'roll tomorrow after class. I gotta say... it was a bit of a shock to me. Remember that I feed 6 people, plus their friends. I'm hell on grocery carts. Tabitha has just her and Mike to feed. It was weird to buy small quantities. Weird. Really, really weird. Kinda made me feel like a glutton, lol, except that the vast majority of the food I buy disappears before I can get to it. It was so odd to put her items in the cart knowing that it really was enough. 2 peppers? Really? I buy 10.   8 apples? Really? I buy 20. And run out. And don't get me started on the yogurts! Ha! Everybody loves the little chobani's... I have to buy a cartload for my family - Tab say's, "Pick up 3."  THREE?? LOL!

Anyway, so we're ready to prep. We're doing granola (she doesn't know it yet, but I'm making her do it - she does it better, lol!), then meals include enchilasagna, enchi-quiche, Louisiana shrimp / sausage, chicken florentine, BBQ Bacon Burgers & sweet potato fries, beef & barley stew, and as always ... a LOT of grilled or baked chicken! ;-) Plus I'm grilling another london broil for everyone's lunchmeat. Then there's the oatmeal baggies (1/2 cup oatmeal, 2 Tbs ground flax, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 scoop protein powder), and the steamer bags of veggies. Her carb will be rice, mine potatoes.

Lots to do :-) It's gonna be fun!

Tonight is a wonderfully rare event... two grownups, home alone! Woot! Two kids on their way to Houston (safe travels!), two others at friends for the night. Now if we could just get the dogs to do a sleepover...  :-)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Answers, Finally.

At long last, we finally know what's been going on with my youngest's health. The ultrasound on Friday revealed gallstones. The doctor's are all in agreement that the necessary course of action is to remove the gallbladder - sooner rather than later, because of the severity of her nausea/vomiting and weight loss. We met with the surgeon this afternoon, and she has a wonderful rapport with Bethany. She addressed all our questions and concerns, and now we await scheduling. Though still a bit fearful of surgery, Bethany is hugely relieved that "it's almost over". Her life has been drastically effected by this, and seeing a light at the end of the tunnel... well, she and I both shed a few tears over it. And having informed her secondary genetic donor, I am now free to blog about it ;-)  We are so thankful to finally know what's going on and have a path to fix it! Over the last many months, I've watched my vibrant daughter dim, slowly and steadily. It's been heartbreaking. The insane fears and what-if's that a teenager dreams up (haha, and her mom) can be paralyzing, and the reality is a relief.

The surgery will be short - about an hour to an hour and a half. It's laparoscopic, so they'll be leaving minimal scarring that will fade almost completely over time (if not totally completely - I can only find one of my scars after all these years). She'll be kept overnight, and we joked on the way home about the cooler I will sneak into the hospital if the nutrition provided doesn't meet my standards ;-)

The surgeon assured as that while she's in there, she'll also be "checking out" everything else, and Bethany's aftercare will involve the surgeon, our general doctor, and the G.I. doctor. She's well covered. I'm tellin' ya... we're pretty much giddy with relief in our house! Finally! The light at the end of the tunnel.
And it's not a train.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Recipe of the Week - Champion Nutrition USA - Black & Bleu Steak

Here's a One-Two Punch of flavor and protein that's sure to be a knockout! I forgot to take a picture the night I made this, but managed to hide some of the leftovers and snapped a pic this morning :-) My hubby, who can't stand onions, never even noticed the caramelized onions ;-) Score one for the sneaky cook! Woot! The trick on this one is to grill your meat (I used my Foreman Grill) until not quite done - for us, that's rare, then transfer to the broiler to finish it off. Super tender and absolutely bursting with flavor!

There's a bonus protein powder ice-cream recipe below, too!


top-sirloin.jpgChelle's Black & Bleu Steaks
(serves 2 - increase portion size according to your protein needs)

2 4oz steaks (lean)
4 Tbsp bleu cheese crumbles
1 bottle Guinness Draught
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup red onion, sliced
1 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp dehydrated onion
Guiness_DraughtInBottle_Drink.jpg 1/2 tsp Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb



Marinade: Place steaks in a container. Pour 3/4 bottle of Guinness over them and sprinkle with the dehydrated onion & Mrs Dash. Marinate for 2 hours.

Caramelized topping: Heat skillet. Add olive oil and minced garlic & sliced onion. Stirring often, cook until garlic begins to brown and onion caramelize. Add remaining 1/4 bottle Guinness and cook, stirring briskly until liquid is almost all cooked off. Reserve.
chs_del_tub_4oz_blue_cheese.png
Grill steaks until just before desired doneness. Remove to broiler pan, divide Caramelized topping between the steaks, then top each with 2 Tbsp Bleu Cheese Crumbles.
Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden.

Serve with steamed vegetables and/or a crisp salad.

Nutrition: 44/19/37
316 calories, 30g protein, 12g carbs, 11g fat (5g saturated).


Protein Powder Ice-Cream Cookies & Cream

Ready for a sweet ending to the day? Try this! Top with your favorite sugar-free chocolate topping if you like.

1.5 scoop Champion Nutrition Pure Whey, Cookies & Cream flavor
1/4 cup plain Greek Yogurt (optional)
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Blend ingredients until smooth, then add to ice-cream maker or use the ziploc method in my other Ice Cream Recipes. http://blog.recipeforfitness.com/2011/12/protein-powder-ice-cream-recipes-part.html

Monday, January 16, 2012

Answers and More Questions

The weekend was productive. Though I didn't make it to the pantry, the rest of my kitchen is finally organized again. Whew! I've threatened all my children that it better remain so. I say ALL my children because once again, I have a full house ;-) My son is back from Houston in the interim between job phases, so he's staying with us until he heads back. Four teens, all their friends, two dogs, me and the hubby. It's most definitely a full house.

Friday was Bethany's ultrasound and my MRI, as I posted before. Today we got the results. Bleh. Bethany flies home this evening and we'll discuss hers with her then. Mine - AC Joint Capsulitis. Frozen Shoulder. Oh joy. I meet with the orthopedic doc on the 24th to determine the next steps. I've already had this for 4 months, already had one cortizone shot, already do the physical therapy exercises, so we'll see what he wants to do. Bleh.

Anyway, mixed in with my manic kitchen flurry was my Sunday Food Prep - and it made my previous Counters of Chaos look like an amateur job! Ha! It was TRUE chaos, lol! I'm now fully prepped for the week, and the only thing that didn't get done (other than reorganizing my black hole of a pantry) was making the granola. I've got lots of chicken sliced, weighed and bagged, all my steamer veggies, my oatmeal packets, my potatoes for lunchtime starchy carb... it's all set.  Dinner last night was AMAZING and will be tomorrow's Recipe of the Week for Champion Nutrition :-) Dinner tonight is crockpot shredded beef - handy, as I'll be going from the office to Total Body Conditioning then home to meet Bethany (Bill's picking her up at the airport while I'm finishing class). It's nice to know that dinner will be ready when we all get there :-)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

World Physique Women is OUT!!!!! Woooo!!

I mentioned this in my last post, but just have to give a huge shout-out to World Physique Magazine for a fabulous resource! The new publication is written by women, for women! World Physique Women has made it's debut! Woot! I am thrilled and honored to be a recipe writer for WPW, and am already working toward the next deadline! :-)  In fact, they invited me to submit recipes to their main magazine, World Physique, too! Wootwoot!! :-) 


 http://worldphysique.com/storemagazinewomenwinter12.html?reloaded=true




Yay for Saturday!!


Guess what??? World Physique Women launched! My recipes got a full spread!!! Woooooooo!!!!!!  http://worldphysique.com/store.html
I was thrilled when I learned this morning that the issue has been released! Bill took all the pics for me, and the day we did the whole shebang, he kept snapping pics asking, "you done with this one yet? Can I eat it??" LOL!! It was so much fun!


This was a crazy week! Along with my normal life, there's been lots of additional tasks... getting Bill ready for his trip to Sacramento, Bethany ready for her trip to Fresno, a couple extra fitness classes (STILL sore, woot!), an Ultrasound for Bethany, an MRI for me, and new nutrition plans to ready for our Case Study (who are ROCKING the program!!).

Yesterday was a whirlwind... 4:30 Bill and I had a cup of coffee then headed to the airport to drop him off, back at home, I finished up the nutrition plans, worked (day job, lol), then Bethany and I headed to the Imaging center. Her ultrasound went smoothly ("it tickles!" haha) and since I didn't get an emergency call from the center or the doctor, I assume everything is ok, then she inhaled the contents of the cooler (her ultrasound was in a fasted state - teenagers and fasting are NOT a good mix) while I had my MRI done (more on that in a minute). Then it was rush to WalMart to pick up her last minute stuff, then home to pack, then off to the airport to catch her flight. While we were at WalMart, she showed me the mysteries of the Red Box, and I came home with a movie to watch.

The rest of the evening various teenagers were in and out of the house (only two of them mine), while I sent off the new packets to our Case Study gals, dealt with dinner and teen-needs, then came the moment.... ahhhhhh, the quiet moment when the house was mine (mine, all mine!). I poured a glass of wine, headed upstairs and watched my girl-flick (Sucker Punch - lol! I really liked it, actually but I'm an odd duck). I hit the hay at midnight and then got to sleep in today. Serious Ahhhhhhh!

One of my tasks today is to organize my kitchen. Time to declutter! And with no one around, I might actually get it done! Woot!

So about that MRI. I've never had one, so didn't know quite what to expect. I absolutely didn't know what to expect for a shoulder-MRI. Holy cow! Ouch, I tella you, OUCH! I lay down on the "bed" and had to work my shoulder into this bracket deal - all the way in, then hold a rolled up towel in my hand so my thumb stayed up, another rolled up towel went between my arm and body, then I was strapped down. Already I am screaming inside. The position my hand was in causes the shoulder to lay flat and open - normally not a problem, but with what's going on in my shoulder now, this was a nightmare. The tech was awesome, and I don't mind closed in spaces so the tube wasn't an issue, but man that pain sure was! Once it was over and I was unstrapped, it took some doing to get up because it hurt so bad. Back in the dressing room I pulled off the gown and reached for my clothes and discovered a big nasty mark on my shoulder - did I mention that my shoulder was wedged into that bracket thing? Oy! Last night as I readied for bed, the mark had faded into a developing bruise. Ugh.

Today it's extra stiff, and more painful than usual, so I'm stretching it as much as I can tolerate. I'm very much ready for some answers on this issue. It's reached the point where I have to ask Bill to help me take off my sports bra after workouts... now, you might think this could be a good thing, haha - I know where your mind is going, but let me repeat... after workouts. Sweaty nasty bra stuck to my sweaty nasty body. No fun for anybody, lol! I have to just hold my arms up in the air while he pulls it off me because I can't use my left arm to pull the bra off. Couple times he's had to help me with t-shirts, too. NO BUENO. I should get a call from the doctor early this next week. Cross your fingers that we get answers for both Bethany and I.

Plans for the rest of the weekend.... today is my kitchen fest & laundry. Maybe a few errands to run. Tomorrow is another awesome workout class with Tabitha, then food prep, then pick up Bill at the airport. Bethany flies home Monday. It should be a quiet weekend. Of course, I do have to navigate the return of my Red Box movie... there might be some swearing involved. I think that hateful box was put here just to torment me. The kids say it's easy. Ha!

I also get to play with some recipe development. The nutrition editor of Oxygen Magazine invited me to develop a protein shake recipe for consideration for the Shake of the Month column in the magazine! FUN!!

Then I'm back to poring over the brochures for the EPIC! Woot!!!! Cool sidebar... I got an email this morning from Adrianna, who read my blog about the upcoming cruise while sitting in the Internet Cafe of the Epic!! Ha! How cool is that??? :-)

Happy Saturday!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

This is gonna be EPIC!!!!


"Oooh secrets! Do tell!!"
It's time to share the news! 

As I stated here, when I realized that I couldn't compete this year, I was bummed. Then I wasn't going to The Arnold in March, and I was bummed. Then I finally accepted that my shoulder damage has changed the way I train, and yeah, you guessed it... I was bummed. Yes, I'm fit. Yes, I'm healthy. Yes, I have a lot of wonderful people in my life, and things happening, but I kinda felt like I didn't have a reason to "push" in the gym. I really wanted that reason. Having those kinds of goals keeps me moving forward and continuing to see how I can change my body. I love it!
Well.... as Tabitha says, 
"Careful what you wish for..." 
You just might get it.
The pieces have all fallen into place, and I now have a reason to push. In fact... I have a reason to push, Tabitha has a reason to push, Bill and Mike (our respective husbands) have a reason to push. And push. And push. 
So... What IS IT????  Well...


It ain't the Black Pearl, but this is EPIC!!

No, really! We mean EPIC!!!
That's right!!! We're hitting the High Seas!!! Woooooohoooo!!!!  April 7-14, the four of us are going on a boat. A big boat. A really, really, really big boat. The Norweigan Epic. We'll fly into Florida, then hit up the Eastern Caribbean. It's going to be EPIC in every way!! We have 3 ports of call, with tons of fun things to see and do, PLUS, the on-board activities are off the charts! Blue Man Group, Cirque, and more!! What???!!! YES!!!!! 
"I assume there will be much rum to be imbibed, yes?"
YES.
Then of course, there's this...
Yes, I have a 5 year old inside me. We ARE going on those slides!
Then we're gonna do us some of this...

"Ahhh, yes... I know these women. Their men should have Bail money at the ready."
We are sooooo excited (and the kids are bitterly jealous, lol). It's gonna be so much fun!!!! But before the fun... WORKOUT!!!!!!!!!! LOL!! We'll be changing up our routines both in the gym and in the kitchen to help us reach our goals. Tab and I both will post about what we're doing along the way. This was just the impetus I needed to fire me up again! I have to be in a bathing suit in 12 weeks! Let the countdown begin!! 


If we're gonna walk the plank,
we're gonna look damn good doing it.

Hmmmm. Might should get a tan.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Random Wednesday

Sunday I tried a new class... Circuit City. Mountainside Fitness opened their new location off Indian Bend on Saturday, and Tab is teaching a few classes there... so I went. GORGEOUS facility! Anyway... class was BRUTAL! It was fantastic! :-D Afterwards, we enjoyed a protein shake then headed out. First stop? Lululemon! My first time! I found many things, but only three came home with me, lol! One of the three was this...

My backpack, which I've been using for quite some time now (think years) is about ready to give up the ghost. Ok. It already has, but I keep duct taping it back together. I've been keeping an eye out for a new bag for six months.. no joy. Can't find anything I like, want, is practical, etc. Then I saw the Lululemon bag. Love at first sight! Which is good, cuz I had a heart attack when I finally saw the price. It better last a LOOOOOONG time! LOL! It's totally wonderful, though! I can fit everything in there (pockets for EVERYTHING) and the way the shoulder strap is worked it doesn't weigh down my bad shoulder (which is my purse shoulder). I love it!! And, it'll double as my...... oops! Nearly spilled the beans! ;-) Soon, I'll share my fun news!

After Lululemon, we hit the grocery store.. Look at these grapefruit! Tab grabbed a normal one and this crazy one to show you the difference... Where were THOSE when I was competing? Hahaha!


Back home at my place, we began our food prep for the coming week. We divvied up the tasks and got to work! By the time she left, we were both stocked and ready. :-) And here we are already at hump day! How'd that happen?? Week is flying by.   

Here's a few random pics for your Wednesday... Enjoy! 




Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Champion Nutrition USA - Weekly Recipe! Thai Chicken Wraps

Here is a Competition / Training Friendly recipe that will help you use up that chicken you bulk cooked this weekend ;-)  While the recipe calls for shredded cabbage, if your carb allowance doesn't have room, replace it with lettuce (which is free on the diet, along with cucumbers!! woot!) This is REALLY tasty, easily portable, and a great way to enjoy (more) chicken.

Chelle's Thai Chicken Wraps
makes 1 serving

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 Whole Wheat Tortilla (see notes below in nutritional info)
  • 4-6 oz chicken breast, cooked (I use the chicken I bulk cook on Sundays... either sliced, chopped or shredded)
  • 1 Tablespoon Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 to 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, sliced with peel
  • 1/4 cup red pepper, sliced


DIRECTIONS
Spread peanut butter over tortilla.
Layer cabbage, chicken, sliced peppers & cucumbers.
Wrap.

Nutritional Information: the nutritional info will change depending on the tortilla you use. For this, I used La Tortilla Factory's Low Carb High Fiber Wrap (large).
Made with 6 oz chicken breast: 393 calories, 47g protein, 29g carbs, 15g fat, 15g fiber.
Made with 4 oz chicken breast: 330 calories, 36g protein, 29g carbs, 14g fat, 15g fiber.
Again, you can reduce the carbs by replacing the cabbage with lettuce. Lettuce & cucumbers are "free" on competition diet. The total net carbs (including cabbage) in this recipe is 14g.



Saturday, January 7, 2012

Typical Saturday Night

Have I said it lately? I LOVE the weekends! :-) Tonight I'm doing my usual... planning the menu for next week and enjoying the fab weather in Scottsdale. Tomorrow is going to be a FUN day... starting with a Total Body workout led by the one and only Tabitha (aka,World's Greatest Trainer), then we're off to grocery shop and do food prep. Ya'll know how much I enjoy my Sunday Food Prep (and Counter of Chaos™ ), the only way to make it better is to enjoy it with my bff. :-) I've got meat defrosting, a gazillion recipes to choose between, and much merriment ahead. Woot!

So far, the menu looks like this...

Breakfasts: Oatmeal with protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon, berries and 1/2 grapefruit
Snacks: Chicken breast, apples, greek yogurt, homemade granola, string cheese, raw almonds, hard boiled eggs, raw veggies.
Lunches: Chicken breast, London Broil, leftover dinners, wraps, steamed and raw veggies and potatoes, salads.
Dinners:  Shredded bbq beef sandwiches, chorizo tacos, chicken & white bean chili, spicy shrimp, mac & cheese w/chicken, and of course, leftovers.

Yum! Can't wait! Actually, it's kinda makin' me hungry... must be time for dinner, lol!  Food prep will involve making the granola, cooking all the chicken (oven for some, grill for the rest) and portioning it out, slicing some for Bill's sandwiches, grilling the london broil and slicing for sandwiches, wraps, etc., making the chorizo, the steamer bags of veggies, baggies of oatmeal w/protein powder and flax. Plus pre-prepping the stuff for the chili, shrimp and mac n cheese dishes. Everything will be ready to go. Woot! Love it!

Our Case Study Transformation gals are doing awesome! New updates to the page coming this week as group 1 had another 4 week measurements & pics update, and group 2 has it this coming weekend. As I was reading through the progress reports submitted this week, I have to admit, a couple of them made me cry. Good tears, lol, but the hubby kinda thought I was losing it for a minute. Ok, he knows I've already lost it, haha, but it did raise his eyebrows. These women are so amazing, and they're working so hard, and growing, and becoming MORE of themselves. It's an awesome thing to be part of.

Additionally, I have some super-fun news to share soon... ironing out a few details then I can share it. It's got me half giddy, I'm so excited! I was feeling a little bummed (fine... a LOT bummed) about not being able to compete this spring thanks to my shoulder (getting an MRI done this week as it's still not healing), and felt a bit like I didn't have a goal to train for. Which is silly, since I don't have to train for something to be fit (yes, Tab, that's you in my head, lol) and I am fit and healthy, but I like having those big things to shoot for... goal weight, the burlesque show, the Arnold last year, my first Figure competition... it keeps me moving forward and growing. Anyway, so with no show, no Arnold, I was a little bit lost. BUT... if all the pieces fall into place, I now have a goal to reach... 13 weeks from today. It's ON!!  Woohoo!

Back to the shoulder... it was diagnosed as bursitis awhile back, I had to get a cortizone shot, but it hasn't helped. I'm still limited and hurting, so when I saw the doc yesterday, she decided to send me for an MRI. I'll actually be getting my MRI done at the same time as my youngest is getting an abdominal ultrasound. While we wait for her G.I. appt (early Feb), this gives us another avenue to explore in trying to figure out what's happening with her. It's a hard thing to watch your child suffer. The gluten-free diet helps, but doesn't provide significant relief. She's lost a few lbs and that worries me, too. The worst part so far, has been pulling her from Cheer. It was her decision, but so hard. She just doesn't have the energy. Can I just say that this sucks? Not knowing what's wrong, not knowing how to fix it. Obviously, her nutrition is getting a lot of scrutiny from Mom, lol, and we're making things better than they were, but the problem (whatever it is) is not going away. Poor kid joked that she's a reverse vampire... she just keeps giving blood away for all the tests being run. Anyway, she'll have her ultrasound this next week. We just got the orders friday night, so Monday I'll be scheduling those.

Wow, I'm all over the place in this post! Haha! So that's what's happening in my world this lovely Saturday night.. how about you? Are you ready for the new week? Staying on track? What's news??

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mind Games

It's a brand new year, and while many are just starting on a new path to health, enjoying the high that comes with fresh motivation and determination, there are others who are discovering something else...  Our incredible Case Study women have been at this for 8 weeks already! EIGHT WEEKS! Right through the holidays, they busted their butts (and thanks to an unfortunate ladder incident, an arm and an ankle for one), they bypassed the treats and stayed on plan. They pushed, they sweat buckets (one puked buckets, lol), they cooked, prepped, ate... and guess what?

One by one, they're starting to hit the wall. Yep. Was this unexpected? Nope. Is this a problem? Again, nope. Why? Because they're stronger. They will go over, under, around or through that wall.

Here's what happens. We start something new, we have a goal, we're excited and motivated. Along the way we realize it's tougher than we thought, it's more demanding, it's hard, we're tired, we're busy... and then we fade away. The resolutions are broken, and we move right back to where we started. We didn't lose ground, we threw it away. Because it got hard. Because our minds started telling us all the reasons why we can't do ______ (fill in the blank). But you know what? Our minds are lying to us.
thank you, Lacey
I get it, I've been there. Here's what I've learned, and what Tabitha and I are teaching our awesome ladies... You have the power. When your mind tells you that you can't push one more rep, take one more step, you talk back! Tell that little lying voice to go to hell. You are NOT that tired. You CAN do more. You WILL finish what you started. When the scale isn't showing you how hard you've worked, toss the scale! It is NOT your friend. Use measurements, go by how your clothes are fitting, take progress photos every 4 weeks. IF you are truly working it, the changes are there, even if the scale doesn't show you.

And FYI... injury isn't an excuse. Period. If you know my story, my journey, you know that injury cannot stop you from reaching your health and weight goals. Nutrition is one of the most powerful weapons we have. I've said it many a time... nutrition alone will get you to goal weight, exercise (in particular strength training) is what will shape that weight into the physique you strive for. Don't get me wrong. I'm not handing you a pass on exercise - the diet/nutrition alone focus will land you at goal weight, but still fat and ill. Period. Exercise, in so many ways, builds your health, not just your shape. Even if you're injured, there are ways to increase your activity and build muscle and good health - there is always a way.

There are many things you can do to fight back when the mind games begin... little things that can make HUGE differences.

  • Change up your music. If you need ideas, check out our music playlist pages. Fresh music gives you something to look forward to, changes your rhythm, moves you. That's a powerful tool, USE IT!
  • Find inspiration. I love to search the web for inspirational / motivational posters (like the picture above). Place them where you'll see them daily, and LOOK at them. 
  • Create a collection of mantras. My favorite in tough workouts is something Tabitha said to me OFTEN when she was training me... "Anyone can do 5 more." 
  • Change your environment. Try out a new gym, or take your workout outside. Do something different, and it will freshen your experience.
  • (my favorite) New workout clothes! Woot! If you can, reward your hard work with something new. Silly t-shirts (yes, star wars frequents my workout wardrobe), or great-fitting pants, shoes... these all make me feel strong and ready for the next workout.
These are just a few ideas. There's a TON of ways to get through the wall, but YOU are the only one that can do it. You CAN get through it. Don't let it stop you! Don't throw away all you've worked for! Tell that voice to shut the F#@& up. This is YOURS. 2012 is YOUR year. Take it!

You Are Stronger Than You Think You Are.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Champion Nutrition Recipe of the Week - Protein Banana Muffins

New year, new recipe! I am absolutely loving the Champion Nutrition Pure Whey protein powder in Banana Scream. Soooo good!! As part of my weekly food prep, I decided to forego my usual oatmeal for some protein muffins... had some leftover bananas, and of course, the protein powder... the result? Serious yumminess!  For the frosting, I used low-fat cream cheese, but if your diet doesn't permit it, you can substitute one of my other frosting (see below).


Banana Protein Muffins
By: Chelle Stafford
makes 6 frosted muffins (store in refrigerator in airtight container)


Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup QUICK OATS, DRY 
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Flour 
  • 2 tbsp FLAX SEED, GROUND
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt 
  • 1 tsp BAKING POWDER
  • 2 large EGG WHITE
  • 1 tbsp APPLESAUCE, UNSWEETENED
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk, Vanilla 
  • 1 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT 
  • 2 scoop Pure Whey Protein Powder, Banana Scream
  • 1 small very ripe banana, mashed


FROSTING:
  • 4 oz CREAM CHEESE, LOWFAT
  • 2 scoop Pure Whey Protein Powder, Banana Scream


Directions:
  1. Mix together the dry ingredients. 
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients, then blend together with the dry. 
  3. When nearly blended, add the cup of banana and mix together.
  4. Spray a muffin tin with clean oil (I use coconut). 
  5. Divide the batter into 6 muffin cups. 
  6. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. (I start at 10 and check them every 3 minutes until they're just starting to go gold/brown on top - don't over-bake these! You'll end up with a dry nasty rock.) Remove from oven when a knife inserted comes out clean (even if they don't look done). 
  7. Set on cooling rack.
  8. In a small bowl, mix 1 scoop Banana Scream protein powder with 4 oz Neufachtel cream cheese (lowfat). Continue mixing until smooth. 
  9.  Divide icing among the six cooled muffins.
nutrition information per muffin (with frosting):
182 calories, 16g protein, 14g carbs, 7g fat.


TIPS: Frosting alternatives...


Banana-Doodle Frosting3 scoops vanilla protein powder (*my protein powder's scoop = 1/3 cup)
2 packets Stevia
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon butter (unsalted), softened
¼ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Stir together until mixture resembles frosting. Spread over the six muffins


Protein Muffin Frosting
In a small bowl, mix : 2 Tbsp vanilla unsweetened almond milk with 1/2 tsp vanilla.Slowly add liquid to 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, stirring constantly. When all liquid is incorporated, you can add a few drops of coconut oil to "smooth" out the icing. Divide icing among the six cooled muffins.