{recovery}

coconut

After I have a hard/intense workout, my go to recovery drink is coconut water. Don’t be confused with coconut milk, which is higher in fat and calories. Coconut water is just that, the liquid inside of a coconut. Why would I use it for a recovery drink? Coconut water is packed with rehydrating and muscle relaxing nutrients and comes completely from nature. It has fifteen times more potassium in it than a typical sports drink and about 50 calories in a serving, versus a sports drink coming in at over 200 calories. A serving {8 oz} of coconut water has almost 500mg of potasium! Even more than a banana. Unlike a banana, which has about 27g of carbs, coconut water only has 9g of carbs….AND has 2g of protein! Of course there are lots of great things out there for post workout recovery, and not saying any are better or worse, just that this is what I have been liking after my harder workouts. It is very refreshing for me and quenches my thirst! I like Naked brand and VitaCoco….because that is what I can get locally:)

cwater

What do you use or do for muscle recovery?
Peace Out~
Nicholle
{p.s. that Bodybuilding.com shaker bottle is the BOMB!!! First it doesn’t have a ball, instead the shaker part sits at the top of the bottle. Second it has two screw on compartments at the bottom to fit your protein powder and or supplements! I think it is called the spider shaker bottle. I only have this one, but from now on it will be the ONLY shaker bottle I will get…I got it free with my last bodybuilding.com order!}

{fall for all}

It is that time of year, sweaters, boots, jeans, and FOOD! Something about this season makes me want to eat, and not eat healthy mind you! Donuts, desserts, hot cider, coffee with of course pumpkin creamer…the list goes on. NOM, NOM, NOM! Yes, I have given in to the occasional treat {okay, let’s be honest, it has been more like daily treats}. I have been feeling more sluggish and just lower energy and I blame the treats. To get back on track, here are two amazing recipes!

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I made the squash the day before this time and just scooped it out, mashed it a bit, and put it in the fridge. I had all kinds of squash to use up so I baked it all {butternut, acorn, delicata, and pumpkin}, but I normally just use butternut squash. Also, use whatever grains you have {wild rice blends are really nice in this}. Same with the sausage, I was just using up what I had in the freezer and it worked {a spicy sausage is very taste in this, but the sweet one I used this time was also great}. Season to taste, some nutmeg or cinnamon would compliment this soup. This makes about 16 cups, so a 1 cup serving macros are {Calories: 167 I Protein: 12g I Carbs: 24g I Fat: 3g}

soup

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I have lots of left over squash and pumpkin that I didn’t use in the soup, so I made this up this morning. I put 1/2 cup of quick oats in a bowl with 1 cup of water and 1/4 cup of pumpkin/squash, and sprinkled it with a good amount of pumpkin pie spice, then microwaved it for 1 minute. I then added 1 scoop of Beyond Driven Whey Isolate in cake batter, stirred, and nuked another 30 seconds to 1 minute {longer for thicker}. I topped it with 1 Tb. Greek God’s Vanilla Honey yogurt, and 2 Tb. granola, and then a bit more pumpkin pie spice! This was really, really, really good! Macros without the toppings are {Calories: 279 I Protein: 33g I Carbs: 33g I Fat: 3g}

Let’s lighten up this fall food at bit! My abs are not a fan of all the treats!
Peace out~
Nicholle

{protein fluff}

I eat this almost daily, either on pancakes {or now waffles!}, or just in a bowl on its own. It is so simple, yet crazy good! Depending on what I need for my macros {iifym}, this is often my bed night snack and then I top it with what I have left to fill those macros. Sometimes {not very often}, I will have fat left and get to add some kind of nut butter to it. YUM! But usually I am out of fat and need just protein and carbs, so I will top it with berries or fat free granola or fiber one cereal and often all of the above. There is a key to this going from semi edible {actually, I had to throw it away} and delicious, and that is by using Beyond Driven Whey Isolate. Especially in the cake batter flavor! I tried it with other protein powders and just YUCK! BUT, with Beyond Driven it is seriously a treat in a bowl.

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So what is this magical fluff I talk about? Fat free greek yogurt with a scoop of protein powder, while mixing it together the yogurt becomes fluffy and whipped and tastes a bit like a tart frosting. SO GOOD! This is coming from a girl that dislikes the texture of yogurt, but really loves this stuff. I make this just about as much as I make protein pancakes:) As I am finishing this post, I am also finishing a bowl of protein fluff topped with frozen raspberries and frozen blueberries. Again, SO GOOD!

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Give Beyond Driven’s protein powder a try, I promise you will not regret it! And mix it up with some yogurt for some fluffy goodness!
Peace Out~
Nicholle

{waffles}

ImageI’ve been making lots of protein pancakes, but have yet to bust out the waffle maker…until now! These protein packed waffles were so good, quick, and easy to make. Protein waffles are now a must in my weekly eats!

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I set my waffle maker to heat level of 3 (it goes up to 4), mixed all of the ingredients for the waffles together and then made two waffles {or you could make one really big one}

For the topping I mixed the regular pb2 with the caramel sauce and almond milk {start with 1 Tb. of milk and increase to get desired thickness} and plopped it on top. Then I mixed the chocolate Pb2 with almond milk {I made the first sauce thicker and then this one thinner} and drizzled over all of it. Topped it off with some raw coconut flakes and dug in! These were seriously good!

The macros for these waffles with the toppings are:

Calories: 423 I Protein: 60g I Carbs: 25g I Fat: 12g

Go make some healthy, protein packed waffles!
Peace Out~
Nicholle

{raspberry cheesecake}

raspberry shake

I must admit, I have one heck of a sweet tooth. I do enjoy a nice savory dish, but sweet is what is going to do it for me! Here is a simple, and AMAZINGLY delicious recipe that fulfills my sweet tooth, and what makes it even more amazing is that it is guilt free! {since I have started tracking my macros, I have to say I no longer have that guilt about eating a treat…as long as I fit it into my daily macros, I don’t sweat it, it is truly liberating!}

Raspberry Cheesecake Protein Shake:

  • 1.5 scoops Beyond Driven Whey Isolate, in vanilla caramel {this is incredible protein powder, check them out on facebook and go order some of your own, I promise you will love it!} 
  • 16 grams sugar free pudding mix, in cheesecake flavor
  • 2 tsp. raspberry extract {I started with just 1 tsp and it was good, but I wanted a stronger raspberry flavor so I added more}
  • about 10 oz water {use less if you like a thick shake, I made it thinner}
  • 4 or 5 ice cubes {again, more or less, depending on how thick you like your shake}

I put everything in my blender and blended it all up until smooth, top with some fresh raspberries if you like! {calories: 177 | protein: 37.5g | carbs: 4.5g | fat: 0g}

If you have a sweet tooth like me, go make this! YOU WILL LOVE IT!
Peace Out~
Nicholle

{flex friday}

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A little bit of transformation action being thrown in there with my flex friday shot this week. As you can see in the picture, my tiny baby abs are getting better and better! I thought my days of being bloated would never go away {I do have ulcerative colitis, and I thought it was the reason I was always bloated}. Now, with IIFYM, lifting, and HIIT workouts I have been bloat free for weeks. I feel amazing!

Another secret weapon in my “find those abs” mission is Tiny Tea by Your Tea. This teatox, as they call it, has left me feeling so refreshed and just plan good. The bloating is gone, the afternoon energy crash I ALWAYS had is gone, munchy cravings are gone. I really can’t say enough good things about Your Tea, they have amazing teas that will just make you feel good! You can check them out on instagram @yourtea or online http://www.yourtea.com. Guys, they also make a His Tea that is suppose to help those that lift.

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I had a crazy day {to say the least!} yesterday, so today is my rest day. I will hit it hard tomorrow!!! Abs and Cardio, baby! Yesterday I got up super early and killed my chest and back {seriously, lifting chest & back is by far my favorite!} What is your favorite muscle group to workout??

Smile, it’s FRIDAY!!!!
Peace Out~
Nicholle

{do you even}

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IIFYM {if it fits your macros} makes me happy. So happy! Again, I am very new to keeping track of my macros and am by far no expert. I’m just here on a mission, trying to find what works best for me. Maybe it will work for you, too. But, maybe not. Find what works, and run with it! {the picture is from my instagram, and was after either 3 or 4 meals that day. I’m trying to hit my macros with 168g protein/168g carbs/37g fat…but please figure out your own macros as this was calculated to fit me and everyone is different!}Instagram
To learn more about Macros and Micros in terms of nutrition, I really like this article from doyoueven.com. Here are a couple of excerpts that really stick out for me and one of the main reasons I wanted to give tracking my macros a try:

IIFYM is a flexible dieting approach where you disregard arbitrary food labels such as “junk food” and “clean food” and focus on your total caloric intake (calories in versus calories out), your daily set macro-nutrient targets (your fats, carbs, protein), and your micro-nutrient goals (your vitamins and minerals) in order to achieve your desired body composition.

IIFYM is designed to ensure that you hit your desired body composition goals while still maintaining a balanced social life with a healthy eating lifestyle.

If you want to calculate your macros, and give this do you even flexible eating a try click here and you will be redirected to a macro nutrient calculator. Right now I am currently trying to keep my macros at 40/40/20. Which means out of my daily caloric intake, 40% will be from protein, 40% will be from carbs, and 20% from fat. I might even try to up my carbs to a 30/50/20 intake, GASP!

One of my favorite things about this, is that I don’t really feel like I have “cheat” meals. Cheat meals are great, and everyone needs to have them but they would still make me feel like I should not have eaten that and then in turn kind of make me feel bad about myself for eating something not healthy. Now, I don’t sweat it. Hey, if it fits my macros, imma gonna eat it!

Let me know if you already are or are going to try out IIFYM!
Peace Out~
Nicholle