Take Me Back

Take me back to that beautiful New Hampshire morning.Where the weather was beautiful and nothing else mattered.This week it’s been about enjoying what I love.Whether that be cycling, a good cup of coffee or simply enjoying nature.Or a delicious breakfast to start this morning.This week we are still recovery mode. I have been creating some fun recipes like chocolate brownie protein’d doughnuts.Or truffles turned to fudge. Only 23 days til I can get my bum on a bike again and I cannot wait. I am going to come back stronger, healthier and I will be better then ever!

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Post Surgery: Laparoscopy

On July 20th, 2014, I was rushed into the ER for surgery for a laparoscopy.

Now I won’t disclosed in detail what occurred but I had been losing a lot of blood and feeling a lot of pelvic pain that to me just felt like a bad period due to my high pain tolerance. The damage was so bad that instead of a simple one hour surgery, it took four.Although a laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgery, mines unfortunately was not. The damage was worse then they anticipated and they had to cut open my 3/4 of my stomach instead of making a couple of small incisions.

With all that internal bleeding plus blood clots and damaged on the right side of my pelvis, my right Fallopian tube had to be removed. I still have my right one but they do not know if there is damage there either. Because my issues was on the right side there was no need to check the left. The surgeon did tell me if I was planning on having children in the future, I should have my left tube examined before I tried. It was all very scary and a lot to take in.

Apparently I could have died from the internal bleeding, blood cots or even just from a low blood pressure drop from both. My mom came to visit me and brought me some goodies at the hospital. After being in the hospital for a couple of days, she took me home to New York. I am not allowed to lift heavier then a gallon of milk. In a couple of weeks I have a post surgery appointment to asses my recovery. Walking is still very tough for me but I am able to stand much better. I feel very heavy and tired from all the medication.

I am also not allowed to lift or exercise for a minimum of four weeks. It has not been easy by any means. I am thankful to be alive but to not be able to cycle or lift has been tough. I have a ton of support from my family and friends and I could not thank them enough. At least I get to enjoy a little vacation from Massachusetts before I visit Cape Cod for my conference and enjoy a Vermont trip in late August. It always seems like “something goes wrong” for me health wise but I like to be positive.

At the end of the day; I am still alive and I am STRONGER. I have overcome many things in my life from hip/ knee surgery, food allergies, kidney infections, etc. Nothing can ever bring me down and like they say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”And that’s the truth.

WIAW #105: All Dessert, No Play

When life hands you lemons…

Take them and throw them back in life’s face!

Or you can forget the lemons and just make LOTS of cake.

Like this dark chocolate flourless cake with homemade peanut butter fluff, hemp seeds, chocolate and wafer cookies.Or this flourless two-layer peanut butter dark chocolate cake with a dark chocolate glaze topped with hemp seeds.How about some vanilla, cashew and hemp seed protein truffles?And I did not forget about the giveaway!Coffee, truffles and cake has been the only thing keeping me sane (and the only thing in my diet; #guilty). It has been a crazy couple of weeks for me personal life wise, so I decided to just email the winner directly last week and sent them their goodies.

Thank you to those that entered and stay tuned as always for more giveaways.  Thanks Jenn for hosing this awesome food party! I hope everyone has a great week and don’t forget to check out the YouTube channel for weekly vlogs!

The Many Forms of Happiness

Happiness comes in the form of many things… like chocolate protein truffles.Or in the form of brownies.How about soy lattes?Perhaps in the form of Olive Garden Flatbreads?Or a hand crafted one just for you? Or just maybe sitting by the beach with your mom.Thanks mom for visiting and thank you to those who have purchased truffles so far.

I’ve been enjoying sharing my creations with y’all. Don’t forget about the GIVEAWAY too!

How Cycling Changed My Relationship With Body Building

You may have noticed I changed the blog and Facebook page from “body building beginnings” back to its original state of Healthy & Nutritiously Sweet.

Let’s back up for a second shall we? Since I started cycling, my upper body and back (which is my weakest area) have become stronger and more muscularHere is  a snippet from my AAAI/ISMA cycling studies:

“The postural muscles; these include the neck, chest, back and abdominal muscles. These muscles are active during cycling to maintain the body in a stable position of the saddle and to resist the effects of gravity thus allowing the lower body muscles to generate the power needed to rotate the pedals.”We all know that the lower body muscles such as the quads, calves and glutes are going to benefit from cycling, but would you have expected the upper body and back muscles too?

I knew my arms were getting a workout because when you jog out of the saddle, your body is holding yourself up to balance on a the bike. It would make sense that your back muscles are getting a workout too!Now cycling has allowed me to tone up not only in my upper and lower body, but also the abs and waist. I noticed I am developing a  “two pack” as well as the outline of the abs. I have extra skin from my 100lbs+ weight loss, but for the first time I feel very comfortable in my skin because I know progress isn’t going to happen overnight. I am happy being strong and healthier then I have ever been before.

The reason I started cycling was because back in April, I got injured (and sick) and I had to take a break from body building. I still did some workouts here and there, but not to the fullest of my program. I then decided to take a chance on my friend’s spin class. He told me that he would give me a better experience then my previous spin class (since I was traumatized from my first!).

From the moment I took his class, I fell in love with the spin bike. For once in my life I didn’t have any limitation, cycling is much easier on the joints. I have two rotator’s cuff, an elbow spur and had hip and knee surgery over 10 years ago. While I love body building, I was limited with the exercises I could do and had to modify quite a bit. I ended up over deadlifting and injured my back very badly, on top of being sick.

I started incorporating the body building plan while I was cycling and I noticed a few changes; the more I did heavy resistance on the spin bike for a short time, the better my strength training. The more I did sprints on the bike at a longer distance, my performance body building declined. I also didn’t feel like I had the proper energy since I my “diet” was still following the bodybuilding plan; I needed more carbs.

I decided to keep studying cycling and do my own research as well. I decided that I was going to discontinue following the body building plan that I was doing. I went on to create/revamp my own eight week coaching and strength training plan where I could include body building type exercises and still enjoy other activities like cycling and yoga. I managed to drop 10lbs in one month, which was not my intention at all.

But I felt great, energized, nourished and healthy. My youngest brother lives with me and he has noticed that I have been happier and healthier. I don’t view food as strict as I did with bodybuilding, but rather I view it as nourishment and fuel for my health and workouts.

There were times during body building where I feared carbs because you are conditioned to think in “protein.” But as a person who has a bit of kidney problems, too much protein isn’t really a good thing. 

I can enjoy my protein truffles as a pre and post workout snack again. Not that I didn’t eat them during my body building plan, but they just weren’t as enjoyable as when I’d add in pure maple syrup or cranberries for some simple sugar and carbs fuel-age.It’s important to remember that everything happens for a reason. Had I not became injured, my love for cycling would not have happened. Cycling even allows me to listen to my body more because I know if I am sore or tired, it ain’t gonna happen. I have never loved something as much as I love baking and yoga.

I feel the healthiest, leanest and strongest then I ever have post weight loss. This September marks the 5th year of my weight loss anniversary and I can say moving forward things are only going to get better.

WIAW# 104: Protein Truffles (& Giveaway!)

Did you check out my giveaway for a batch of my protein truffles? Well then, click here and check out all the details!And guess what? I am also including TWO chocolate Quest bars and a sample of JavaPro in French Vanilla. Check out all the goodies I got from Northshore Nutrtion Corner. #OnaQuest!Thanks Jenn for hosting this awesome food party. Head on over to Peas and Crayons for more details. Now onto some eats!wiawphotobuttonBreakfasts? I’ve been sticking to the usuals; berries, chia seeds, protein, a bit of oats and a smidge of nut butter.Lunches or Dinners are the usuals too; chicken and greens. Can’t get enough! Though the other night I had a mean craving for my protein french toast. Who says breakfast can be for dinner?I used my favorite protein powder ever; Sunwarrio’s Warrior Blend in vanilla! Tons of studying going on.And lots of foam rolling. My back has been sore and I took a couple of unplanned rest days. Sometimes just have to go with what your body tells you!Again don’t forget t enter the giveaway here! Also, I made a new Youtube channel for the blog for more “day in the life of’s,” grocery hauls, recipes, cycling stuff and more!

Hope everyone is having a great week and have a Happy 4th to my USAers!

Nutritiously Sweet’s Protein Truffles!

Happy Sunday my friends!

Did you check out the NEW section of Nutritiously Sweet? Yep it has to to with truffles. Dark chocolate protein truffles of course. And to share this sweet tweet with you, I will be doing a giveaway of a batch of eight protein truffles!

Just head on over to the Protein Truffles tab and comment on THIS post which TWO flavors you’d like to try! Who can say no to free dark chocolate protein truffles?

This week I got an email with a bid of bad news. Let’s just say the direction of my life yet again has to take just a  small turn that may last a year. Isn’t that always the case? We all face obstacles but it’s how we deal with them is what defines who we are as individuals. All we can do is keep moving forward.I’ve been studying and training a lot for the AAAI/ISMA conference in August. In case you didn’t know, I am also working towards my cycling certification and even perhaps racing in the future. Just some things that are in the works.Check out those back muscles coming in. Progress makes me happy, may be small but it’s there!My friend took me kayaking (and to dinner) on the Charles River in Boston yesterday. It was such a beautiful day for it.When I headed back home, I made my favorite treat; cut up a dark chocolate protein bar, berries, chia and some natural peanut butter. So delicious!Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the batch of protein truffles! U.S only (sorry:/) and just comment on this post with two flavors from the Protein Truffles tab you’d like to try!Giveaway ends on July 6th! Happy sweettooth :)

WIAW #103: Happy 26th; Let’s Have Some Cake or Two!

Happy WIAW my friends! 

It’s a special one because this passed Sunday on the 22nd, I celebrated my 26th birthday home in New York. As always, thanks Jenn for hosting.wiawphotobutton I have to say I think this was my best birthday yet. The weather was prefect, my whole family was there and everything just went right. Not to mention grabbing some delicious iced island coconut coffee from a rest stop on my way to New York. I just love Green Mountain coffee. The night before we went to a Michael Jackson tribute show at Lehman College for my cousin since he graduated high school! My mom picked up this delicious chocolate mousse cake and you know I ate it! Can’t pass up a good mousse-cake. Two and six are two of my favorite numbers; duh for June and 22 so I think this year is going to be a kick ass one. I woke up early and got a workout in at the very first gym I went to in NY. It’s where I started my weight loss journey almost five years ago. Then my mom and I went to Zumba with one of the best instructors ever; Sharon from Excel Yoga in the Bronx. Thanks for the awesome class as always Sharon! Post workout, we had smoothies from a place across the street called Juice Me. I created my own and had a spinach, kale, raspberry, grapefruit and almond milk smoothie (plus I added my own protein and flax).My dad and I went to a Yankee versus Baltimore game which was half a present to myself and half a late father’s day gift.We definitely had a blast and it was nice to spend some time with him. Plus my team won, so that’s a plus. Sorry dad!I had a chocolate pear ganache cake from my mommy; happy birthday to me! Presents? Spin shoes, a camera, Starbucks gift card, coffee and also a tattoo from my brother; a tree of life (with my frog in it!). Of course a little alcohol was involved. Instead of getting raspberry lambic, I got the peach one since I felt that was a smidge more summer-y. So delicious.

It hit me this morning that I am 26 and four years away from 30 which is crazy. 25 was not such a great year, but things can only go up from here.
I am excited for the AAAI/ISMA Cape Cod Conference coming up in August. Stay tuned for all that jazz :)

We Only Get Stronger

Happy Saturday everyone!

I am in a fabulous mood. Why? After my work shift I will be heading to the big apple to celebrate my 26th birthday. I am super excited and it’s going to be a nice 3 day, 2 nights “vacation.” I need a break for sure. I’ve been working and training a lot, so it will be quite nice. But don’t think I am going to just not train now y’all. We keep pushing and we only get stronger by doing so!This week my meal plan changed drastically. The majority of my carbs came from fruits and veggies and I ate a ton of almonds, egg whites, lean ground turkey and Garden of Life raw protein powders. I had no “starches.” It was definitely a challenge. There were a couple of times I wanted to give in an have oats but I pushed through. This was just for the week, more of a slim down type thing for my birthday. But I felt much tighter when I woke up in the morning. Not to mention very little to NO dairy. I am lactose intolerant anyway and I couldn’t believe how much better I felt without dairy (note that dairy, rice and oats was for the week before!). I was also not as bloated everyday, which was nice and probably would explain the tighter feeling in the morning. Also hydrated with tons of coconut water like this one from Amazon!I like this particular brand because this flavor is awesome mixed with green tea and it also has #cupuacu, which is supposed to help strengthen your immune system!

I hope everyone has a great weekend and “see you” when I am 26! :)

Past Things: Pancakes, Coffee and Sweets

Starting the day off like this literally puts me in a happy place.And getting in a good training sesh.Since I have been training more, I haven’t been around the blog world much. But fear not, I am still around. Just need a little break from time to time.Still eating delicious meals. Still enjoying some “healthier” treats. Like a cut up dark chocolate protein bar, added raspberries, natural peanut butter and chia seeds. My, oh my!Or a warm chopped up peanut butter and chia protein muffin with blackberries.Haven’t checked out the recipe? Well get to it :)