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! :)

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Listen To Your Body

When I’m hungry, I’m hungry.I’ve been listening to my body more; not only when I need a rest day but with nutrition as well. I looked back on my food diary a couple weeks ago and realized I wasn’t eating too many “good carbs.” I recently added back more brown rice, barely and whole grain breads into my diet. I can definitely tell the difference in my energy levels and how efficient my workouts have been.Also making sure to refuel properly post workout. I’ve been making more protein cakes. They are too delicious to not have! Check out that back! It’s getting better, seriously is such a tough area for me.But all in all, this time around I know I am going to kick my training ass better then ever.Post workout smoothies are always motivating.

Any who, I hope everyone enjoys their Memorial Day weekend. Mama Sweets is coming up to visit the lovely Massachusetts. Don’t know what we will be doing since the weather doesn’t seem as it will cooperate but I know we are going to enjoy a sweat spin sesh tomorrow!

WIAW#92: Counting My Macros!

Hello everyone and happy What I At Wednesday courtesy of Peas and Crayons!For this week, I want to get talking on my macros; you know carbs, proteins and fats. I also like to count my fiber and sugar intake as well because I always find that I have to watch those as well. For this WIAW, I am going to show you a few of my meal/ snack combos and show you how I meet and what exactly are my macro requirements!

My goal is to lose about 10lbs, build muscles, lean out and stay healthy! Through calculating my on Bodybuilding.com and My Fitness Pal (which I just converted from Lose It), not to mention trial and error, I have found the best macros from yours truly;

Calories: Goal=1790
Fat: Goal=50g
Carbs: Goal=170
Protein: Goal=[140]-160g

For my breakfasts now, I like to use about 1/3 of my daily carb intake. I usually make a double (or 1.5) serving of protein pancakes to keep me full for the morning with a smidge of almond butter and sugar-free maple.Here are two samples of “meals 4,5 and 6″ that I take for work;And another; under the Chobani above is oats w/ chia seeds.Here is one of my “lower carb” days.Always on top of my meal prepping.My mom came to visit this past weekend and there were some dine outs, but I stayed on top of my game. At Olive Garden I got their Rosemary Chicken and swapped the mash potatoes for broccoli. No Excuses!Question: Do you count your macros? Do you use a food/ exercise tracker like My Fitness Pal or Lose It?

WIAW#87: #Gains!

Hello my lovely friends, happy WIAW!

I am going to make it quick because I have a serious paper due this week and I want to focus on that. Thank you Jenn for hosting this awesome food party! Okay, now here are some #gains and eats!wiawphotobuttonPre-Breakfast: Two servings of my protein mocha! (1 serving = 1 cup coffee, 1/4 cup soymilk ,1 tbsp chocolate (or any) protein powder, 2 tsp cocoa powder and 1 packet of Stevia.

Oh yeah! Breakfast; I ate half of a thinkThin bar for breakfast (my peanut allergy seems to be lessening, do not experiment yourself without a doctor’s approval!) with some soynut butter, chia and almonds. I had to wake up at 5:30am to head to work, ew.For snack later when I got home, I had the rest of the thinkThin bar, some fruit, hardboiled egg and some more almonds. Ya know, I am an almond lover.My workouts have been pretty kick ass! Here is a picture of my #gains. Check out those back muscles! They are coming along quite nicely if I may say.

Here was also my #transformationtuesday picture. I can’t believe I almost hit 250lbs in 2006-2007. I am currently 156lbs (higher then my lowest of 138lbs back in May 2013).

I feel stronger and more comfortable in my skin then ever before and I am in love with body building (and with my new tattoo). The plan that I am developing seems to be coming along nicely and if you want to try my current coaching plan, be sure to check it out! Lunch/Dinner: Red roasted potatoes, chicken, black beans and broccoli. Mmmm!

I tend to have a yogurt and almonds for a snack on some point, usually after lunch or as a pre-workout snack.Dinner was some more black beans with an egg, chicken and broccoli. Oh man this combo was simple yet delicious!At work the other day I made a protein mocha with decaf, they have a smoothie bar at this club. So good.Question: What is your favorite thing about your gym? I def love this one with the smoothie bar. Did you know I have four gym memberships and pay for all but one.

Yeah, hastag #GYMRAT.

WIAW #86: Day In The Life of Body Builder In Training

By no means am I perfect.

I am learning and trying to rid my body of the things I “shouldn’t” eat and I emphasize those quotations. For this WIAW (thanks Jenn!), I am going to show you a day in the life of my eats as a body builder in training. I try to be very on point, but I won’t deprive myself. Remember, this is a journey, not a ending.wiawphotobutton

Breakfast: I normally start my day this; 1/2 cup of oats mixed with 1/2 cup of water, dash of cinnamon and a teaspoon or two of soynut butter. I also add some flax and bran if I am feeling extra hungry, since I prep my oats overnight. Snack #1: This will usually be an apple with 2 teaspoons of nut butter as well as sometimes a “pre-workout” snack depending when I am going to the gym.Lunch: Lunch is going to be some form of veggies and chicken. Normally it’s baked chicken and green beans (sometimes broccoli)Snack #2: Greek  yogurt with a tsp of nut butter, 1/4 of a protein bar (like Quest, Luna protein or Kind bar), and some flax/bran mixture. Again, depending if I am going to workout before, this is another good “pre-workout” meal option.

Or sometimes, if I am around the mall (like yesterday) I will grab a Quest bar. I tried the new cookies and cream flavor and it was delish!

 “Post workout:” Protein Coffee! This is my current go to “post-workout.” I try to have a two to one ratio of carbs to protein and most of the sugars will come from something fast for good ole’ muscle recovery.

It’s 1 cup of coffee, 1-2 tablespoons of protein powder (lately I have been using Sun Warrior and I quite like it!), 1-2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 1 sugar in the raw packet (or Stevia) and a 1/2 cup mixture of soy/ cow’s milk for different types of protein sources. Dinner: Same as lunch but sometimes I will add carbs soley because I work overnights and need those extra carbs to sustain myself during my shift!

Snack #3: Usually varies between #1 and #2, depending if I am working, I’ll have more protein if I am not working overnight. Or if I do a double workout (which is two to three times a week).Question: Have you tried the new Quest cookies n’ cream bar? What did ya think if you did?!

Two Months of Progress (Nov 13′- Jan 14′)

Happy Sunday and February 2nd!

Can you believe it’s already February? Me neither! I come to you to show you some progress, February goals and share with you some more body building things. And stay tuned for what I ate Wednesday where I will actually show you a whole day of food versus just showing you random eats throughout the week.

Some goals that I have in mind for February?

  • Do yoga at least 2x’s a week.
  • Sauna at least 2x’s a week or one hour total.
  • Increase my cardio sessions by 5 minutes.
  • Get under 155lbs.
  • Reduce my sugar intake and have any form of chocolate “goodies” only 2’s per week.

In mid-November I began to get more serious about training; seeing a personal trainer and gaining my own knowledge for my coaching plan.I have lost several inches around my waist, not to mention a little ab flattening action. My legs and arms are leaning out and my *ehem* chest has gone down. It’s only been two months and I am quite proud even though it’s only been about a 6.2lb loss. Hey I’ll take it, but I got to make sure to work on this back of mine. Here is a day 11 shot of back and legs (I started bodybuilding on January 22). I am proud however of my legs; look at those quads growing!My brother is even joining in on some body building workouts. I am seriously proud of him and he’s even been eating healthier. It’s all about progress not perfection and everything in moderation.I still have my Green Mountain coffee; usually consists of stevia/ raw sugar, cocoa powder and skim or soy milk. Sometimes I will even mix in a tablespoon or two or protein powder if I drink it post workout. So good!Live, laugh and lift <3

WIAW # 85: Training, Q&A + Protein Pancakes!

No, no questions and answers? Okay fine, I will answer some that MAY be on your mind any way about my training/ bodybuilding. This WIAW, brought to you by Peas and Crayons is going to have info on training, my food staples, some meals and an update on my protein pancakes. Enjoy!wiawphotobutton

1. What’s your workout schedule? Here is a small breakdown;

  • Mondays:  Chest, Shoulders and Tri’s (w/ 30-45 minutes A.M Cardio)
  • Tuesdays: Lower Body
  • Wednesdays: Abs  (w/ 30-45 minutes A.M Cardio, plus 1 Hour Power Yoga)
  • Thursday: Back and Biceps   (w/ 30-45 minutes A.M Cardio)
  • Friday: Shoulders, Delts & Traps  (w/ 30-45 minutes A.M Cardio or 1 Hour Power Yoga)
  • Saturday: A.M Cardio (30-45 minutes) or Hot Power Yoga (1 Hour)
  • Sunday: Rest Day

2. Are you taking any vitamins and/or supplements? Only a probiotic at the current moment, but I most likely will at some point.

I tried QuestBar’s double chocolate chunk and it wasn’t bad. Definitely not my favorite protein bar but it was good!I also use protein powder from time to time. I recently got a sample of the chocolate and vanilla Tone It Up’s Perfect Fit Protein (+peanut butter bar) and it was delicious! I even made the chocolate version of these protein truffles (sans “caramel sauce”) with it and oh man… tastes ever BETTER!3. Do you take a pre-workout? I normally don’t but on the occasion that I do it’s Cellucor C4 Extreme. I like the Blue Razz flavor.

4. What are some of your food staples? Chicken breasts, broccoli, green beans, spinach, almonds, egg whites, oranges, apples, oats, skim milk/ light soy and Greek yogurt. Ya know, the “Sabrina usuals.”5. Typical cheat meal? It’s gonna be either the occasional Chinese or pizza, froyo or Godiva truffles. Mmmmm!

6. Favorite workout Day? Shoulder day. I naturally have broad shoulder thanks to Papa Sweets, so I love watching them develop!

7. Water Intake? About 4-5L; you must drink at least half of your body weight. Last time I checked I was 159lbs, so at least 80 oz. for me. But most people recommend 3L+.

And now, here is are the updated ingredients for the current version of my protein pancakes. For additional info and such, please visit the original post here! It isn’t as sweet, but is still oh so delicious. Enjoy!Sabrina’s Protein Pancake Obsession*

  • 1/3 Cup of Oats
  • 1/3 Cup Non-Dairy Milk
  • 2 Egg Whites (or flax egg for vegan!)
  • 1-2 Tbsps of Vanila Protein Powder (the Perfect Fit Protein vanilla was delish too!)
  • 2 tsps flax or hemp seeds (or mix!)
  • 1 tsp of Almond Butter (Optional*, but yummy!)
  • Dash of Salt

Question: Have you ever tried QuestBars or the Perfect Fit Protein from Tone It Up?

Have any more questions or comments?! Post them below :)

*Revised from original recipe

WIAW #79: Protein Goodness!

I really couldn’t think of a title for this WIAW.

But all these meals are protein and healthy deliciousness. Except for the sweets; maybe. If you are new to the WIAW party, head on over to Peas and Crayons for the deets. Enjoy!Even though it’s technically still fall… it doesn’t feel like it. But I love the little brrr in the downtown Gloucester air. And technically eating at 3:00am has to count as breakfast right? I had me some pear Chobani, a string cheese and some almonds. Protein goodness! But on the occasion that I do have a real breakfast, I do the protein pancake with mostly flax seeds. So delicious and filling. I am still obsessed with my chicken and veggies. Sometimes it’s sugar snap peas and sugar snap pears. Or maybe it’s sugar snap peas and roasted red potatoes. Clearly I am not a fan of making changes. But I do use difference herbs and spices so it may not look different but it sure does taste so.I had this delicious honey cinnamon coffee. Oh my gosh, it was to die for! For my cheat days (two), I usually have some sugar-free pecan crowns from Russell Stover. They are so good with some almond butter! Or one of the days, I made a trail mix at Whole Foods and also got a Lake Champlain dark chocolate caramel candy. Man, I was in h-eaven!Or I this day when I had pure fig bliss. I know, I know… I am ADDICTED! I also dyed my hair a smidge lighter this weekend to brighten it up. It probably isn’t too noticeable, but I can tell it brightens up my face and I love having a hint of glowy-ness.Excuse the awkward hand position. Any who question for ya… what’s your favorite brand of chocolates or types of chocolate or do you even LIKE chocolate at all?!

Keeping Healthy Update #3: Hashtag Style!

It’s week three into the challenge for me!

And I have a bodshot comparison for you guys. I won’t show anymore until the challenge is done, meaning around the last week of December for me. But first how about some breakfast? I changed up my usual protein pancake and added flax seeds instead of the chia or hemp. #FuelYourBody#Bodshot time; week three versus week one!I am so happy at how flat my tummy is getting. If you notice, I do have a pocket of extra skin above my belly button. It’s just something that isn’t going to go away and I am 100% okay with it. As long as I am healthy, feeling good and fit, that is all that matters. #GymLifeHere is a little sample of one of my workout days. Lately I also have been doing more yoga; at least three times a week, one being a hot power #yoga sesh. I am going to be changing it up this week but this was one of my lower body and abs sessions. I started out with a good weight I could handle, then went to a weight I could barely do reps, then dropped it to a super low weight. It’s pyramid/ drop set training. #NoPainNoGainIf you want to know more about that please let me know because it will be in the coaching plan for next year! And oh, don’t forget to enter the #giveaway; last day is tomorrow! If you want additional entries, follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook and let me know in a comment below (and if you already do, post it below too!). You can do this whenever and doesn’t apply to the entry deadline. If you haven’t “officially” entered, you must do so by posting a comment to this post by clicking here!

And one lucky person from the Bronx (#NYC area) will win a free week pass to Excel Yoga (so if you are in one of those areas, comment below! You have til the 24th and I will pick the winner!)

Question: How was everyone’s weekend? Can you believe it’s almost the middle of December already? #TimeFlies

Keeping Healthy Challenge/ Giveaway Prizes?!?!

Okay, so I wasn’t clear about the giveaway prizes! But here they are in plain English for you to read. And if you haven’t entered, there still is a chance! You can (to make life easier) leave a comment to this post (or the original) saying how you plan to stay healthy.

When I do my last “update” for the giveaway/ challenge, you just have to do another comment there stating how you did on managing your goal or what you could have done better. Two comments total; easy enough?

Giveaway includes (Over $80.00 worth!):

  • A copy of my “Keeping Healthy” Handy Lifestyle E-Book Plan
  • Body Toning Wrap from ItWorks (1)
  • Sample of Greens from ItWorks in Berry (2)
  • ItWorks Dark Chocolate Raspberry Energy Bar (1)
  • Health Warrior’s Chia Bar in Acai Berry  (1)
  • Softlips Pure Organic in Pomegranate (1)
  • Mini Crunchy Peanut Butter Clif Bar (1)
  • Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter (1)
  • Nature’s Path Hemp Instant Oats Packet (1)
  • Hemp Hearts Packet (1)
  • Lake Champlain Dark Chocolate Squares
  • Assortment of tea packets (just cause I am addicted, #sorryi’mnotsorry)

So we have two “health,” five “berry” cool, two chocolate-, two peanut-y butter-y and two hemp-y things (plus teas!) to giveaway. I tried to make it fun! Everyone has until THIS MONDAY, DECEMBER 9TH, to enter the giveaway.

That’s still a bit over three weeks to stay on track or get yourself back on the health wagon to set the tone for the New Year! Thanks to Kendal for giving some of her ItWorks products for y’all to try!

Good luck!