Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Has it been 6 weeks yet?

Impatient? Me? No!!!!!

It hasn't even been six days since my surgery and I'm already wondering how I'll ever get to six weeks! WEEKS!! I am so bored it's not even funny! And seriously, don't say funny... I got a giggle attack Monday night and O.M.G. There was nothing humorous about it. I'll get back to that....  Six weeks is the magic calendar measurement my doctor suggested for total recovery. Had I just done the chest, it would have been 3-4 weeks, but the tummy pushes it to 6. And ya'll know the tummy was really my major concern. I promised to be honest and share my journey, so for those of you who want to know.... keep reading.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Champion Nutrition Recipe of the Week - Guiltless Cheesecake!

Guiltless Cheesecake
Recipe by Chelle Stafford
Makes 2 servings

Time for dessert!!  Being mindful of your diet doesn’t have to mean depriving yourself of tasty treats. This high protein dessert makes a great ending to your day, providing casein – a type of protein that acts on a time-release, continuing to work on your hard-earned muscle throughout the night.

1 cup plain greek yogurt
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (minimum 20g protein per scoop, my scoop = 1/3 cup)
1 graham cracker, crushed
2 strawberries

In a small bowl, carefully mix the yogurt and protein powder until blended, and then continue to mix until smooth.
Divide crumbs between two small dessert glasses, reserving 1 Tbsp of graham crumbs for topping.
Divide the protein-yogurt mixture between the glasses. Top with reserved crumbs.
Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.*
Serve with Strawberry as garnish.

Try different flavors of protein powder!

  • The 2 hour chilling time is required to allow the powder and yogurt to blend, eliminating the “gritty” texture.
  • Use a protein powder with a flavor you enjoy. If you don’t like your protein powder, you won’t like recipes made with it.

Per serving: 198 calories, 23 g protein, 18 g carbs, 3 g fat.
Chelle's original recipe and photos, as seen in the Spring 2012 issue of World Physique Magazine Women (VIEW)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Just one more day...

Tomorrow is the big day! Yes - I am nervous. Lol.

This morning I met with my shoulder doc and.... got the green light! I'm now off the diclofenac and cleared to start back up in the gym - within reason ;-)  I'm to continue utilizing ice, and to start SLOW and ease my way up. I'm also banned from any type of straight-up shoulder press (they're hell on the AC joint). Woot Woot!! I'm on day 8 of no shoulder pain!! What???? Yes!!!!

So... with 6 weeks of rest ahead of me, when I get back in the gym that shoulder should be ready to go! Yay!!!! And with all my enforced-rest nearing an end, I am so incredibly ready to start kicking serious gym ass again! Bring it!!!

Ok, folks... you might not hear from me until next week, so wish me luck!!!! ;-)
Here I go!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Counting Down...

I'm just 3 days away from something I've wanted nearly my entire adult life. Wow! What I'm having done is commonly referred to as a Mommy Makeover. I've received several emails and facebook queries, so I wanted to share a bit more about my doctor, and what he does... As I said before, I spent literally 5 years doing my due diligence. I wanted to be absolutely sure of both the doctor and the procedure. The doctor I chose was at the top of my list - #1, throughout my search. Why?

His work is amazing. As I searched before/after photos for the procedures I wanted, my doctor's work literally stood out from all the rest - his clients look natural, and fantastic. Other doctors' clients looked... worked on, if you know what I mean. It's very important to me that at the end of this, I look like me - not bimbo-barbie, lol. Not that there's anything wrong with someone choosing to look... bold - hey, I get it, I just don't want it for me.

His facility is impeccable.  He has his own surgical recovery facility, in addition to the surgical center. Part of his "package" is a 24-hour stay in the facility, so that the first crucial day post-surgery is spent under the care of trained medical personnel.

He is a perfectionist. I mentioned this yesterday. There is not a single detail he leaves to chance. Pre- and post-surgery have a complete regimen of nutrition and supplementation (which of course, speaks to my Nutritionist-heart). Additionally, because he takes control of every aspect, all the little things, like the post-surgical garments, salves, balms, etc - are all included in the package. I was handed a bag at my last appointment and inside was everything I'll need!

He has a heart. My doctor supports a charity called 1 for 1 Medical. When someone books and pays for a surgical procedure, my doctor donates and performs a Cleft Palate surgery to someone who could not otherwise have it.

Were there any drawbacks to my doctor? 
Price was definitely a factor. He is not inexpensive, but this is absolutely a case of You get what you pay for. His record is clean - pristine, even. His clients are thrilled with the results. And he is personally invested in the success of each procedure and recovery - after all, each one is a testament to his skill. So yes, he's more expensive - there are other doctors who charge less (some significantly less), but as important as this is to me, as permanent as the results will be, I will not cut corners on something this vital.

Other drawbacks - ok, I'm gonna be both honest and a girl here... Dude is young and hot! Lol. Why is this a drawback? Seriously? Do you know how hard it is to drop the robe in front of a guy to begin with? Then, add in the hotness factor and one's own body-insecurities... yeah, very awkward.  He laughed this last time when I hesitated to open my robe - "It's nothing I haven't seen before," he said. "Yeah, well you may see it all the time, but I don't show it all the time," I replied. My poor husband didn't know whether to chuckle or groan. At least I didn't have to go through the mortifying photo-process again! That will mess with your head - talk about shining a spotlight on every insecurity I have! Yeesh!

Ok, so now, all that said, who is my doctor? Dr. Robert Cohen. If you're interested in surgery, I encourage you to first - do your due diligence, and second - check out Dr. Cohen. Of course, that's all after you've done everything in your power to change your body ;-)
Dr. Robert Cohen

Want a story about the first time my hubby and I met with Dr. Cohen? 

This was back in 2008, before I reached goal weight (I was nearly there). I booked a consult, and we showed up with a whole list of questions. The hubby and I were both stunned by Dr. Cohen's youth, but his expertise was apparent. He was very professional, very analytical, and a bit intimidating. During the conversation, he turned to my husband and asked what were his thoughts... Bill said, "well, we've spent a lot of time on your website, and those of other doctor's, and by far - yours are the best boobs."

Dr. Cohen looked blank for a moment, then, with an absolutely straight face, reached up, grabbed and squeezed his pecs and said, "Thank you, I've worked very hard on them."  

O.M.G. I about fell out of my chair laughing. All right, I thought, not only does he know his stuff, but he's got a sense of humor. ;-)  I knew I wanted to continue doing what I could to change my body - reach goal weight, and maintain it, hone it through diet and exercise. I wanted to do everything in my power before I had surgery. No shortcuts. But I knew now that I would be safe and comfortable in Dr. Cohen's care. Four years later, I am even more sure.

And now... I'm counting down the days! Just three to go! Woot!!

Champion Nutrition Recipe of the Week - Enchi-Quiche

Ya'll know that I like to keep things simple - flavorful, but simple. You also know that I utilize a single-day food prep each week, which saves me time and headaches.  I developed this quiche recipe during my Figure Competition training to utilize chicken I'd prepped on that single-day. It's easy to make, tastes awesome, and is training diet friendly. What more can you ask for? ;-) 

Recipe by Chelle Stafford
Makes 8 slices

This is a crustless quiche that is easy to make, filling, and tasty enough to serve guests!

½ lb ground lean beef, raw
½ lb slow-cookershredded chicken (about half a breast), drained of liquid
1 cup liquid egg whites
1 cup green enchilada sauce (low sodium), divided
¼ cup chopped green onion
4 Tbsp sliced black olives, drained
4 Tbsp diced green chilies
1-2 Tbsp chopped chipotles in adobo sauce (remove seeds)
¼ cup shredded cilantro

Prepare a pie dish (deep) with spray oil. Preheat oven to 425 F degrees.
Brown ground beef and season with Mrs Dash Southwest Chipotle.
In large bowl, mix together the browned beef and shredded chicken. Add remaining ingredients, reserving ½ cup of enchilada sauce for serving.
Pour into pie dish and bake about 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
If your edges are cooking too fast, wrap foil just over the edges, leaving the center of the quiche open.
Allow to cool slightly, and then cut into 8 pieces.
Pour remaining enchilada sauce over top and serve, or store in refrigerator, covered.

  • Shredded chicken - if you have prepped your chicken already, just shred up what you need. If you're short on time, pick up a rotisserie chicken, peel off the skin, and shred the breast.
  • If your diet allows, add 1 cup (minus 1/4) reduced fat shredded cheddar to quiche mix. After baking, top with enchilada sauce and reserved ¼ cup cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  • Serve with black beans and/or a salad.

Per slice without cheese: 113 calories, 16 g protein, 3 g carb, 3 g fat.
Per slice with cheese: 167 calories, 19 g protein, 4 g carb, 8 g fat.

Chelle's original recipe and photos, as seen in the Spring 2012 issue of World Physique Magazine Women (VIEW)

Monday, June 18, 2012

It's Finally Gonna Happen...

Throughout my blogging years, I have been very honest about a specific aspect of my weight loss journey - loose skin. Despite losing weight slowly and steadily, despite eating clean and becoming fit, I was left with loose skin in several places. There is nothing I can do about it. No amount of exercise or clean eating will get rid of it. When I competed in my first Figure Competition, this was truly brought home to me - remember how we had to glue my loose skin into my suit bottom? You can actually see it in the picture to the right, where it started to crawl back up, lol.  

Bottom line, I've gone as far as I can, the rest will have to be surgically fixed. 

Well, the time has come. This friday I am scheduled for a 6am check-in, and 7:30am surgery. I am excited and terrified all at the same time. I am extremely comfortable with my surgeon - my due diligence took 5 years, and I kept coming back to him as my first choice. I knew he was a perfectionist, but let me tell you... when I booked the surgery, I found out just how much of a perfectionist, lol! I am on a special vitamin regimen, I have a list of foods, medications and supplements that are banned (3 pages long!), and I have such incredibly specific instructions that there is no room for misunderstandings! I've had tons of blood drawn and imaging done in the last week! This doctor's work stands out far above the rest, and now I know why - he leaves NOTHING to chance! Good news is I'm evidently very healthy with a stellar diet - hahaha! ;-) They laughed when my answer to "what's your diet like?" resulted in a url...

So I've stocked the fridge with surgery/recovery friendly foods, Bill and the kids will be handling the house while I'm recovering (lordy, lordy!), and this has moved into my bedroom...
Evidently, I'll be pretty much living in that chair for the next 2 weeks. Good thing it's so comfy! ;-) Just out of the picture are a stack of DVD's (Alias, all 5 seasons; Witchblade - complete series), and my knitting - if my arms can take it.  In my bedroom fridge (yes, I have a mini fridge in my room, on top of it is a coffee pot - cuz I truly don't roll out of bed without coffee) I have greek yogurt, mineral water, and water - I also have several Amy's and Pacific Natural's soups stashed upstairs so the kids don't swipe them before I need them ;-)  The kids have informed me they'll be caring for me when I come home from the recovery facility - should I be worried that I'll wake up with sharpie drawings on me? Hmmmm....

Another benefit to this? My shoulder is definitely healing - which means I want to go use it. Cuz I'm smart and over-achieving like that, LOL! (yes, that's sarcasm - he he he).  Recovering from this means more enforced rest that my shoulder can only benefit from. And when I'm cleared to get back in the gym... look out! ;-) WootWoot!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday? Where'd the week go???

How is it friday? This has been a crazy, upside down, full of surprises week. How about you? ;-)

Let me tell you what happened this morning - I was getting ready for work, sucking down coffee, putting on makeup, when I thought, "hmmmm, I have a shoulder appt next week... wonder if it's any better."  One way to find out... I dropped to the floor to try out a pushup. You might remember that the last time I did this I couldn't even do a single one - crushing defeat for me. Well - not only did I do a pushup, I did 4 before my brain kicked in and screamed, "STOP!!! don't screw it up now!!!!"  Lol! I know that 4 pushups is not huge - I used to be able to do tons! But since this injury, that's been one of my barometers of healing - and evidently ... I am healing! At last!!!! Woooooohoooo!!!!!!!!!

Date night tonight - the hubby and I are heading out to see the Scorpions & Tesla in concert ;-) Woot! We saw Scorps several years ago and they were as fabulous as they were back in our day, lol. We're really looking forward to tonight!

I have more news to share, but have to wait just a wee bit longer ;-)

Happy Weekend!! :-)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Champion Nutrition Recipe of the Week - Caramel Fleur de sel Protein Ice Cream

I am (unabashedly) the self-proclaimed queen of protein ice cream. ;-) I’ve developed dozens of recipes for a wide variety of flavors and textures, and dietary needs. Protein ice cream is easy to make, either in an ice-cream maker or in a ziploc baggie, and it fits in training nutrition – even competition diet! If you can make a protein shake, you can make ice cream.

Caramel Fleur-de-sel Protein Ice-Cream
Recipe by Chelle Stafford
Makes 1 serving

1 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk
1 ½ scoop vanilla protein powder (minimum 20g protein per scoop, my scoop = 1/3 cup)
*optional: 10 drops Capella caramel drops & 12 drops Capella Vanilla Custard drops
*optional: 1 Tbsp coconut oil or melted butter
2 Tbsp, divided, sugar-free caramel sauce
Pinch of fleur-de-sel (flaked sea salt)

In a blender or magic bullet, blend the almond milk, protein powder, and capella drops (if using) until smooth.
Pour mixture into ice cream maker and turn on.
After 10 minutes, add 1 Tbsp caramel syrup, drizzling in to mix with the ice cream. Run for 10 more minutes or until ice cream reaches desired hardness.
Remove ice cream to bowl, top with remaining 1 Tbsp caramel and sprinkle on the sea-salt.

No ice cream maker? No problem! For Ziploc baggie method (and more recipes!) visit:

As seen in the Spring 2012 issue of World Physique Magazine Women (VIEW)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

It's Out!!!! World Physique Magazine, Women

The latest edition of WPM Women is available! Wooohoo! My recipes are pgs 50-55 if you get a chance to check them out ;-)

You'll find several chicken and/or egg recipes varying from quiche to tacos to wraps, stepped peppers, muffins and more! PLUS...

Caramel Fleur de Sel Protein Ice Cream
Guiltless Cheesecake.

No lie. They're awesome. ;-)

Champion Nutrition Recipe of The Week... Steamed Veggies & One-Day-Food-Prep

Eat your vegetables. You know you're supposed to, but sometimes it's easier said than done, right? A regular part of my One Day Food Prep (see bottom of page) is to prepare all my veggies for the week with my not-so-secret weapons... Ziploc Steamer Bags and Mrs Dash. Steaming foods is one of the best ways to preserve the nutrients - and it's so easy! Additionally, having those handy bags ready to go opens up more meal possibilities... for example, grab a steamer bag of veggies, add some chopped chicken or sausage (cooked), a serving of rice (cooked), and a tablespoon of salsa or coconut oil - nuke, and you've got a meal in a bag. Craving an omelet? Add an egg and/or egg whites to a steamer bag of veggies, nuke for 4 minutes and enjoy. 
See? Handy! 

Easy Steamed Mixed Veggies

2 crowns broccoli
1 head cauliflower (any color)
3 colored peppers
2 zucchini
1 yellow squash
OR... any variety of veggies you like (non-starchy)
Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb
Steamer bags (Ziploc is the brand I use)

Clean veggies & chop. Place 2 cups in each steamer bag. Sprinkle desired amount of Mrs Dash - I typically do 2 good shakes per bag. Seal the bag and refrigerate

When you're ready to enjoy, microwave on high for 3 minutes. Allow to rest for one minute (don't open the bag), then dump onto a plate or into a bowl! It's that easy!

Note: My veggie steamer bags last easily 1 week in the fridge, sometimes longer, though we usually go through them before the week is up ;-)

Check out more steamed veggie recipes here:   


We all know that being prepared is a key element of success.  As part of my lifestyle change, I developed my own form of 
One-Day-Food-Prep and it not only helped me achieve my weight loss (and then maintenance) goals, but when I did my first Figure Competition, it saved my very sanity! Taking the time, once a week, to prepare everything, saved me hours and hours during the week. It's not complicated, and if you're as busy as I am, you'll love the results!  Check it out - from menu to grocery list to food prep - in my One Day Food Prep tutorial:

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday, Monday...

I guess there's a reason Monday's have a bad rep... today was simply further evidence that Monday should be blocked from the calendar. We should be able to time-jump over the day, lol. I'm ready for Tuesday, how about you? ;-)  I spent the morning tied up in one bureaucratic ball of red tape after another. Oy! Simple is good, people - and really, would it kill them to put up a few signs so you don't walk from building to building  to building and back to the first building again - TWICE??? I went through three metal detectors and security wands. My purse was searched three times. My ginormous keychain commented on three times (I heard it the first time thank you, it's not funny anymore). Maybe signs, plural, are too much to ask for - how about a single, nicely placed directory?

Now that I've gotten my Monday whining out of the way, let's cover a few basics ;-) Sunday food prep was done and clean eats available to my crew this week are Chicken, eggs, egg whites, lean steak, chicken sausage, chicken meatballs and (bawk-bawk) chicken burgers. We've also got greek yogurt, cottage cheese, broccoli/cauliflower, zucchini, peppers, snow peas & tomatoes, salad greens, brown rice and jasmine rice, and the staple whole grain breads and wraps and quinoa pasta. We're fully stocked. Which is good as I've got one kid who is steadily getting her body back after pregnancy (ah, the elasticity of youth!), and another who is bulking up with the hope of competing in bodybuilding. We're going through a LOT of protein powder!

Today's cooler is up here:  and we'll (Tabitha and I) be posting our June cardio playlists tomorrow. If you'd like to check out previous playlists, head on over to here:

And now, the moment I've been stalling  ;-)

Let's chat about injuries. Specifically injury induced depression. Sounds like a real name, yes? lol, well, if it's not, it certainly should be.

You all know my battle with injuries... my knees, my arthritis, my back, my shoulder... Many of you have walked with me through victories over injury and illness. More recently, you also know I have been grounded from the gym for quite some time again due to injury. I've shared what my doctor's are telling me, and doing to me, and the variety of prognosis' I receive. Most recently, my back was cleared for active duty ;-) but the shoulder is still in the WTF stage. But... speaking of the shoulder, you remember that my shoulder doc told me I'd probably never lift heavy again - after struggling with that, attempting to come to terms with it and what it meant for my competing goals, this last week I met with my surgeon (the guy who also fixed my knee), and he threw me for a loop... "Oh absolutely you'll compete again. If you want to. We just need to fix it. It takes time."  Ummmmm, eh????? Ever feel like people just enjoy playing with your head?

So what does any of that have to do with depression? Everything. I'm going to come clean here, and tell you that I've been living under a big black cloud. This year has been incredibly difficult for our family. First my youngest had health issues - searching for answers, then the resulting surgery (which, by the way, returned her to my bouncy darlin' girl!), then there were various teen-rebellion-issues that we're still dealing with the consequences of, along with my (grown) son moving to California, and of course, there were the pregnancy and adoption.

Throughout all of these crisis, I have been injured. My natural stress relievers were progressively blocked to me - no exercise classes, no upper body workouts, then no lower body workouts and no cardio; and I began to slide down into the emotional pit. The more inactive I became, the deeper I sank. I used all my emotional energy to deal with whatever crisis was currently in my face. Now, with most of our troubles being resolved - as much as possible; with no family crisis to focus on surviving; I am being forced to face my own. I have reached a new low. I realized that I haven't been this inactive since before I began my weight loss journey.

I've kept my diet relatively clean, though items that should be treats became too familiar. I've continued my Sunday food prep, my daily coolers, my food-routines, if you will, but the 'after-hours' has gotten progressively lax. Being transparent here, I either don't eat nearly enough, or I eat too much. My weight is up about 5 lbs. It's not huge, but it is one more brick on my back. My clothes all still fit, albeit a bit snug, lol. And when I was finally cleared to return to lower body and cardio work two weeks ago - what'd I do? Nothing.

I know, I know-know-know, that if I drag my a$$ to the gym I will feel better. I know the psychology of exercise and clean eating. But I can't drag my freaking a$$ to the gym. Pathetic, yes? I have, to be clear, done a few cardio sessions, and I have done a couple spin classes, but regular cardio hasn't been happening.  When my heart-rate monitor tells me there is only one or two sessions per week logged, I get sad again, part of me wondering what the hell is the point?

Some might say I should probably have waited to make this post until I'm on the other side of this pit - but going back to the heart of this blog, the purpose of sharing my journey is to (hello) share my journey. I've fought injury induced depression before - fought and won. And I will do it again. I'm taking steps - slow and steady, and I'm rethinking goals and revisiting dreams. I don't know how long I'll be here in the shade, but I will step out into the sunshine again. Life is all about growth and even through this seemingly emotionally barren time, I am growing.