Thursday, March 31, 2011

You asked for it....Tuna Packets - holla!

Okay, so I just thought I would quickly post this. If you want a really quick easy way to get a good serving of protein, try these tuna packets. They have 21 g of protein in them. You can toss it in with a salad and 12 almonds. that is the perfect meal for lunch!

You can find them at Safeway or at Walmart. They are 99 cents at Walmart.

Happy munching!


"Man, you're easily amused...."

Today I got home from training to more, you guessed it, boxes! I love getting boxes. It’s like Christmas at my house every week. The first box was my shoes that I ordered for my competition! I was bouncing off the walls and my dad was standing there just staring at me totally rattled by my excitement over shoes and said with the straightest face, man you’re easily amused. Best line, ever. Followed by, you better be practicing you walk outside because those shoes will ruin the hardwood....oh Dad. I heart you!
The shoes weren’t even the best part! The other box was from Skechers and I opened it to find my new snazzy Shape-ups jackets! I will rocket them in K-loops this weekend and post pictures next week.
In addition to all the “presents” its super sunny today and I managed to get my butt out of bed for my morning cardio, went to the doctors to find out I don’t need to have nose surgery – dodged that bullet – pheff and had a great day of lifting weights. I did my heaviest lift to date, 135lbs! That’s more than I weight – oh yieeaaah baby!
I asked my trainer about my new cardio routine because I have been wiped lately and its only been two weeks and I was worried that I was losing muscle from doing such high level intervals. When you are doing intervals you are not just burning calories while you are working out, you continue to use energy and burn calories for hours and sometimes a few days after your workout. This means I might be burning all that muscle I’ve been working so hard to put on. This means I get to tone down my cardio intensity which might make it more enjoyable. With cross fit type workouts, which I will be doing a little more of in conjunction to my weights, you can end up burn energy for up to 3 days after the actually workout! Hence, that combined with too much cardio you body will need to use muscle to help heal the body = not good.
Today is my last day to get everything organized for Kamloops and I feel pretty good about everything. I am going to need to pack most of my food for the weekend which will be an easy task because I will only be gone for 3 days compared to 2 weeks. This means I will do food prep tonight. Yesterday I cooked twice because I didn’t have enough chicken and it isn’t good to be low on food because that is when you reach for something that’s handy and maybe not as healthy. I’m munching on a delicious lunch right now.....4 oz chicken (protein), 2 cups of veggies (carb) and 12 unsalted cashews (fat). Yummy! Oh and I can't forget my sweet water bottle that I heart! I drink 2 or 3 of them a day!

Food prep does take a lot of time and I’ll tell you all about that next time I do a big food prep!
I hope everyone is having a wonderful Thursday. One more day until the weekend!

Eat. Train. Sleep. Repeat!

Nicole OUT!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

No more Cheat MEALS! What the $(%)##_@+#)$(%($)#_# WHAT?!

So today I was training with David and we were talking about my goals for the upcoming competitions. David is my new trainer, in case you were wondering. He's awesome and we have a really great dialogue and finding a trainer that you click with is sooooooo important. Holla.
My last trainer was really good and there was nothing was wrong with him. He is an incredible trainer/guy but we didn't have that click that you need to have because that relationship you have with your trainer is very personal. PS. writing that email to my old trainer was the more uncomfortable thing considering he owns the gym but it had to be done and he was very understanding.
Hmmmm so here’s a little about my new trainer David. He has a very bubbly personality, is very hands on and pushes me to lift more weight which is awesome. He is really encouraging and has tonnes of experience. We have great chemistry and I am super happy that we will be training together for the next few weeks.
(PS, this picture is of me day dreaming about my cheat meal....)
Anyhow, onto the crappiest news ever! I told him about my cheat meal Saturday and was about to tell him what I had planned next and he looked at me and said, cheat meal?! There won't be anymore of those. $(*#)_#@$%)$ WHAT?! Were the thoughts that went through my head! I am still 9 weeks out! Ballick! So that’s it for me. No more dreaming about hamburgers or pie, lattes or bottles...glasses of wine. I guess that 9 weeks isn't really that much time.
Its funny when I hear myself talk about being X number of weeks out. It's like the opposite for pregnant women. How far along are you....oh 16 weeks. They still have 5 more months of being sick, not being able to sleep comfortably...etc. Yes, one day I realize that I will be that lady at 16 weeks, but right now I am super happy to be 9 weeks out and counting down! The thing is when I get to my 2 weeks out from the BC Championships, once that is over, I will be 3 weeks out from Toronto and once that is over I will be 13 days out from the Alberta Championships in Calgary, which means.....I will be spending 8 weeks doing contest prep.
David, whether you like it or not, I will need an itsy bitsy cheat meal in May, June and then go hard in does that sound?! We can have steak and red wine, okay?
I know and understand you are just looking out for me considering I will be in a swimsuit-ish, if you can call it that, on stage in front of a lot of people, I appreciate you looking out for me. The thing that I have to remember is that Natalie won't be at my first competition because she will be in the first of three back to back shows she has. The cool thing is I will be able to watch her compete in Toronto because we will be at the same show. I can't wait to see her do her thing! She is amazing. Check out her web page,
Anyways, I guess I will have to accept the fact that I will be drinking plain water and not have any more soy lattes least 9 weeks. That’s only 63 days, right?!

So here's to the next 63 days of caffeine free green tea and plain water. Cheers!

Eat. Train. Sleep. Repeat!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Yo, nuts aren't protein! Nuts are FAT!

Is it weird that I like to go to bed early so that I can wake up and eat my favorite meal of the day? Breakfast is officially my favorite meal because oatmeal is the only "carb" that I am allowed to eat and boy do I take my time eating it. Savoring, every, last, bite....Love my oatmeal. Have I mentioned that coffee was cut out of my diet?! OMG! I loved having my morning latte and now, no caffeine. Caffeine can sometimes affect your metabolism and therefore I have to cut it out. As the weeks progress I will slowly be cutting out other
foods and things like sodium. I don't use any salt right now, but chicken contains sodium so when I get closer to competition I will be poaching my chicken to get rid of any sodium in the chicken breast. How delicious does that sound. Poached chicken...
As of now, all my meals do contain a fat, a protein and a carb. Carbs are anything such as peppers, spinach, and fruit (with edible skin such as an apple or pear). The only time I am allowed something like oatmeal is in the morning because my body burns it off throughout the day. A lot of people have the perception that nuts are protein so they will eat hand full after hand full of them thinking they are being healthy when nuts are actually the fat part of the meal. Yes, they do contain protein, but you would have to eat 2 - 3 cups of almonds to get the amount of protein you need from them. So next time have 8-12 almonds, walnuts or cashews and make sure they are unsalted. So the ideal meal would be a piece of chicken or a half can of tuna, a cut of pepper and some almonds. Make sense?
Balancing each meal can be hard because protein isn't easily accessible compared to things like carbs (aka, muffins) and other things you can get in the vending machine. This is where learning to properly pack a lunch is important. A lot of the time we think we are being super healthy by buying bulk trail mix and munching away on it during the day. But if you are sitting at a desk all day eating what could be around a cup of trail mix at a time, you would be surprise by the amount of fat and sugar, never mind the calories you consumed.
It just goes to show that everything in moderation is a very true statement.
Whether you’re hitting the gym or not, including a shake into your regime could be a really great way to get some extra protein. Make sure when you are buying protein to really read the label. You want one that is low in calories, low or no sugar, low in fat and around 15 - 20 g of protein. If you ask someone at GNC or a health food store like Whole Foods, they are usually very helpful. I love my Greens+ Vegan protein. I go through one a week, but I am having 3 - 4 shakes a day.
If you start to incorporate a shake into your daily routine, remember that it’s your protein part of the meal and you should still have some fat and carbs. A really easy way to get both is by having 2 hardboiled eggs or 1 TBSP of nut butter. This will make your meal complete. And lots of people hate the smell of HB eggs at the office so who doesn’t love a spoon full of peanut butter?!
I also got to meet with Caitlin yesterday to see the rest of my photos from the shoot last week and they turned out so good! It was worth braving the cold. The next shoot I won’t look so much like a vampire because it will be in June after my May competition.

This weekend I am going up to Kamloops for a Femsport competition with Skechers. I will have lots of photos from the event. Skechers is sponsoring a bunch of athletes so it should be a blast. If you are up in Kamloops come swing by and say hi!  I’ll be under the giant Skechers tent. The event is a fitness competition for women that include tire flips, box jumps and much more! There are over 80 women competing and I am really excited because it will be great motivation to see other women training hard and competing. Good luck to Jessica and Maria who are on the Skechers team! You go girls!

I’ve got lots on the agenda today for work so I will be back tomorrow! If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

Eat. Train. Sleep. REPEAT!


Monday, March 28, 2011

5:30 comes early...

As my alarm goes off, I reach over to turn my phone off and squint through one eye to scroll through emails, but its time to get up. I lie there for a minute, debating whether to stay in bed for 5 more minutes, but as I lay there I know I will be late getting to the gym, late having breakfast and late starting my day. I get ready and make a quick shake and I'm in the car on my way to the gym. It hits me as I'm driving over the bridge that I drive past the River Rock every morning and look at it. In 9 weeks I will be on stage in that same building competing. This makes the drive and the day that much better.
The other thing that makes my early mornings better is that my mom is up at the crack of dawn to leave for work and she is getting ready when I leave for the gym. When I come upstairs to head out she comes smiling and waving down the hall to give me a big hug goodbye and seeing her bright smiling face puts me in a good mood and I am off and ready to train. The second best thing about my mom is that she does Costco runs for me because buying bulk egg whites is a lot cheaper there when you go through 3 cartons a week. It’s getting a little ridiculous. My parents are both very supportive of me and all my crazy ideas and ambitions. My dad I think is still coming around to the idea and understanding why I am doing this. I think once he sees me on stage and all my hard work come together he will get it.
My lifestyle right now isn’t ideal or understandable to a lot of people. Yesterday my friend Anthony and I went for a walk and we had been gone for awhile and I asked him what time it was and he said 5:30. I said okay well I will need to eat soon. He asked where I wanted to go and I told him I had brought my meal in case we were gone longer than expected. He looked puzzled and I told him I had a chicken breast in my purse. Immediately we were stopped on the side walk and he was inspecting my chicken and baggy of peppers with almonds. It was chow time. Who else do you know carries a chicken breast in their purse?
Getting up early to train, means being in bed early to get 8 hours of sleep and cuts out a lot of night time activities. Not being able to drink with friends cuts out a lot of social activities as well or it’s hard for someone to understand why you can’t just have one glass of wine. Training early is important so that I can be refreshed and ready to work during the day so that I have time in the evenings to do stuff with my friends. It is all about learning to balance and surrounding yourself with those that are supportive and even if they don’t understand listen when you said I can’t or can we do this instead. My dad’s new thing is whenever I leave to go to the gym, he tells me to “train hard.” I love this.
The weekend was a little tough. Nat and I were suppose to do plyos (plyometrics) on Saturday but we were both pooped so we took an active rest day instead and went for a long walk. This left me up to my own weights and cardio on Sunday and it took me a long time to get to the gym but once I was there it was all good and I am back on track! Oh yieah!
Shannon, a friend that is also training for bikini, and I had a very long conversation on the phone which was amazing! We text constantly about hiccups, meal ideas or random hellos, but talking was so great and we decided it was important that we call each other more often for support and sanity.  Here’s to 9 weeks left to competition and a great week ahead!
Eat. Train. Sleep. Repeat.

Thanks everyone for all your support and mom, can you pick up some egg whites for me.
Thanks J


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cheat day = stack of pancakes! Oh yiahhhh

So I got up this morning with every intention of doing Plyos with Nat but it was a group concensus that our bodies hated us and we were going to take an active rest day and go for a walk. I will train weights and do cardio tomorrow. Since I am taking my rest day today, I figured I might as well go all out and do my cheat meal as well. I had been planning my cheat meal for the last 3 days and man was it good. It took me awhile to decide what to have. The first thing that came to mind was a huge piece of apple pie from Aphrodites, but it just wouldn't be the same without my partner in crime, Mr. Chocolate Banana Cream Pie aka Louie. My second choice...a stack of pancakes (whole wheat of course...can't go nuts) and sugar free syrup, I mean real syrup. It is a cheat meal after all and that sugar free was ruining the whole "cheat" aspect.
Yup, another picture of food. If you'd like the recipe for these, I included it below. Not going to lie, I had one more...
For me a rest day means no cardio and no weights. Just rest. I do have an "active" rest day where I go for a power walk or swim for 20 minutes. My cheat day, or meal I should say, means that I get to have one "bad" meal.'s strange but now that I am eating more vegtables and less fruit I don't find myself craving sugar as much and wanting more salty things...interesting.
Rest is the easy part, feeling guilty about not training and eating something "bad" can be hard and that is why it's important to learn how to just take it easy. The first cheat meal I had was with my friend/mentor Natalie at the Keg and it was delicious. It was good to see that it was okay to splurge a little, but the hard part is to only do it once and not say well I could have a bag of chips because I did this, or to have a muffin becuase I did that. You get one meal. That is it and you don't have to feel bad about it. If you were having your last meal what would you have...? I will only get 2 or 3 more "cheat meals" before my competition so I'm going to make them count.
Having a cheat meal is important because some people get obsessed with this type of eating and can end up with eating disorders and eating a cheat meal is only hard because you are constantly measuring, timing and prepping your foods which also takes time so breaking that routine can play tricks on your mind so you have to get over it and just eat that fluffy mouth is literally watering...I got to go eat my pancakes before they are cold so pass me the Aunt Jemima's!

Everything in moderation. Enjoy your cheat meal : )

Eat. Train. Sleep. Repeat! (Today I guess, Eat. Sleep. and back to the grind tomorrow)


My pancake recipe...mix all dry ingredients first and thn add the liquids.
>1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
>1 tsp Baking Power
>3/4 unsweetened apple sauce
>2 egg whites
>1 cup of water (you can use almond or soya milk too)
>4 packets of splenda (I think that works out to 1 tsp)
>1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
>1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Hope you enjoy!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Calluses, Calf Raises and Cardio, oh my!

It's FRIDAY!!! Yippieeee, but I will admit I'm normal and it was a little hard to get up. For the past few days I have felt like I was fighting a cold off but I made it to the gym and completed my cardio and can enjoy my morning breakfast before I have weight workout with Dave. Today I have a nice treat planned for this afternoon, a nice deep tissue massage to work on my pec minor (aka. the boob muscle). Awkward...
Yesterday we did some heavy lifts and back. I did my highest weight to date, a 125 lb dead lift which I am stoked about! What I'm not stoked about is the lovely calluses forming on my hands. I use to get these golfing and they were so gross and stung under hot water (my dad is telling me to suck it up!). I am sure as my skin gets use to lifting these heavier weights, because they will get heavier, it won't be as bad.
Dave and I also did a bunch of calf raises or should I said he had me do a bunch of calf raises. It burned, is all I really have to say about that. Don't believe me...go stand on the stairs (in your runners, not socks). Thurst your heels up and down 20 times and hold at the top of 20 for 10 slow counts then do another set with no rest. This round is 30 times up and down, really pushing on the way up in fast bursts, and again at the top hold for a count of 10 and repeat one final time...if you feel like crying or did it correctly.
When we are in the gym we are so focussed on getting a "six pack" or "toning our butt" but we never really train our calf muscles. The truth is the calf muscle can stand quite a bit of weight it would surprise you  and we should spend a little time every day stretching or training them. If you are training your calves, don't forget to stretch afterwards.
I also had a photo shoot this week which was very exciting. I have only seen a few pictures, but it was an amazing day and a lot of fun. Here is a sneak peek...sorry dad. Just remember it's only a swimsuit....I'm no swimsuit model yet, obviously because I had no idea what to do with my hands, hence my random left hand on the sand. Oh well. Practice right!

One small goal I accomplished yesterday was managing to get all my meals in. It seems small but eating every 2.5 hours can be hard, especially when each meal requires a 4 oz piece of meat or protein shake...Me and my cooler have become BFF's. Oh and in addition to my meal plan changing, my coach would like me to track my progress by taking weekly photos (front, side and back) becasuse I am 9 weeks out and this is where all the change will really begin especially with my cardio being increased. I am debating posting these because I am my biggest critic, but I'll sleep on it. You all might just have to wait until May for the big reveal at the River Rock. That way I also won't look like a vampire that crawed up on the beach because I'll have two coats of spray tan and making Snooki proud!

Side Note: My day just got 100 times better and I had to add in a quick THANK YOU to Briana, one of my besties, who just made my day. Right now I have been paying for drop in at random gyms becuase I didn't have a pass anywhere. Drop-in can be anywhere from 10 - 28 bucks depending on your prefences between community centres (over packed and less equipment) or Steve Nash (lots of equipment, but $$$). This can add up especially when you are doing 5 days a week cardio, which will eventually go up to 7 days a week for me, and paying for parking etc. Briana just called and told me that I now have a pass to the Richmond Oval so that I can train there. Yiiiiipppppppeeee! I am so thankful to have a great group of friends and support system. It is great to know that people have your back.  Thank you so much Bri! This helps out so much you don't even know. It made my entire day/weekend!

Happy Friday Everyone.

Eat. Train. Sleep. Repeat!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mark my words....I love my early morning cardio

You're going to think I'm totally crazy but I love my new cardio program. Even though I am only on my 3rd day for the week and still have 3 more days of weights and 2 more cardio sessions. I woke up feeling great and happy that I got the day off to a good start. From now on I will be training out at the Richmond Olympic Oval for my cardio. They have lots of great equipment which makes it easy to mix things up. 20 minutes on stairs and 20 minutes run. The goal behind my cardio is to break a sweat not to kill myself because I dont' want to burn muscle purely fat. I finished my cardio and home eating breakfast by 8 am. The importance of getting up early and starting the day is a lot more important that you'd realized. The reason, squeezing in 6 meals a day can be very challenging. Last night I didn't have Meal 5: until 8:30 and still had to eat Meal 6 and be in bed by 10 pm.
So I choose to capture how I felt at this moment as a reminder to myself when I am feeling a little sluggish or tired or don't want to get up at 5:30 how great I feel when I do challenge myself and compete my cardio. I know that this is something that everyone feels and you have to get past it. Making such a statement so early into my new program, but I figure since I am putting it all out on the line and telling everyone about my journey that it would be another tool to help motivate me in the moments where the glimpse of "I can't" or "don't want to" pop into my head. My dad always says, never start a sentence with I can't.
Another great thing I discovered this morning is a great new way to cook and eat my delicious cup of egg whites. I measure out my egg whites and spray a corningwear dish with pam. Cover and cook in the microwave. Once cooked it looks like a fritatta. Add a little hot sauce and you got yourself some delicious eggs. Try it out. I love talking pictures of food for some reason so I included one of my eggies.....

Time to get to work! Have a great Thursday everyone.

Eat. Train. Sleep. Repeat.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wanted: Cardio buddy...

My new program includes cardio 5 days a doesn't seem like a lot but when you mix in 4 days of weights, work, food prep and a life, time management is key. I know everyone wishes there were more hours in a day but the bad news is even though the days wouls be longer, you'd still manage to pack them soild. So amongst all these hours, finding time to allow your muscles to rest is very important. Oh, and did I mention sleep? Sleep is really important along with rest because it allows your muscles to recover so you can destroy them again the next day....?!
Last night was girls night and a very relaxing one at that. Just what I needed. Erin and I made popcorn (no salt or butter) = yes boring I know, but a treat none the less. We watched 127 hours and if you have a bad gag reflex like me I would avoid watching it with anyone you're trying to impress. It was a great watch though. I would definitely recommend it!
Today David and I trained legs and shoulders and it will be interesting to see if I can move my arms tomorrow considering I could hardly dress myself yesterday or the day before from my work out with Natalie on Saturday. I find it amazing how you can train your body to do so many amazing things with just a little bit of effort. Of course as I've been told time and time again 80% of it is diet.
Over the past 10 weeks I have been eating clean which basically means skipping the centre of the grocery store, minus the magazine isle. It focusses on eating foods that aren't processed and low in sodium. My new favorite secret seasoning is Mrs. Dash. It is a salt free seasoning and it is delicious! My mom comes home and tells me how good the house smells when ever I put it on chicken or in a stir fry.
To give you the inside scoop on what I eat for breakfast since I know you're all dying to know is 1 cup of egg whites and 1/2 cup of oatmeal. Yum, right?! My mom says that my scambled egg whites look like popcorn and it does. I really need to invest ina non-stick pan. I tried to mix it up a bit and have gotten into adding hot sauce to my egg white to spice things up a bit. Literally. My mouth was on fire today...Note to self: tone down the hot sauce! Anyways, I am going to go and hit the gym and get my cardio done-so, so I can relax-o! Meeting Christa, fellow competitor at the Richmond Olympic Oval.  I also have to get out of the house because my mom just made popcorn and it smells amazing!  Yes, I am obsessed with popcorn and pie...ask anyone

Here's to a great Tuesday night at the gym! The sun is out so at least I will enjoy a good sunset : )

Eat. Train. Sleep. Repeat.


Monday, March 21, 2011

10 weeks out...more cardio, new food program and my swimsuits on order!

As of Saturday, I am 10 weeks out from my competition in May. From 19 weeks to 10 weeks, it’s hard to believe I will soon be in single digits. Travelling over the past little while for work had been a good challenge. Learning to get really good at prepping my food in advance and travelling with a packed cooler and eating out on the road was great practice. I’m not perfect yet, I am still learning to find that balance and how to eat and train on the road. Now that I am back in Vancouver, I can buckle down and learn the balance of working and training. I love my job and I am so lucky to be working for a great company and that is my priority and my training is what I would consider a hobby. I love training and eating clean and I’ve really enjoyed all the people I’ve met so far.
Training on the road was a lot better this time because my trainer had a cardio plan and weights plan that I took with me on the road. I’ve gotten to test out several gyms over the last month during my travels through Saskatchewan and Alberta, but now that I am back in BC. It’s training time. Early morning cardio sessions before work and weights with my trainer in addition to working is going to be a great new challenge for me!
10 weeks doesn’t really seem like that much time but for the last 9 weeks I have been eating tonnes to try and get my metabolism up and it is the weirdest moment when it kicks in. It happened last Thursday when I was in Calgary and I woke up hungry. I proceeded to eat my 6 meals but was still hungry. It was my metabolism saying, hello! Feed me. I had also only been doing 3, 20 minute cardio interval sessions a week. Now that I am 10 weeks out my meal plan has changed and so has my cardio. I am now doing 5, 40-45 minute cardio sessions a week. Oh boy! I’ll be up early to get these done so that I can work during the day and train in the evening. I will be prepping my food on Friday’s and or Sunday’s. Keeping cooked chicken and salmon on hand in addition to flats of hard boiled eggs is a chore in itself but making it fun is the important part.
Another exciting bit of news is that I have ordered my swimsuits! I met this amazing girl name Tanya and she is going to be designing my WBFF suit for May and the one for my Oxygen Model Search in Toronto this June.
My family, friends and co-workers have been very supportive of me during this time and that makes this whole process a lot easier. My coach, who I now refer to as my friend is amazing. These kind of experiences really bring people together. Over the past few months she has not only been a great mentor but she has become a great friend!
On Saturday we spent the whole day training. The day started with an early morning hot yoga session and ended at Steve Nash for some arms and cardio. We treated out selves to our cheat meal at the Keg that night and it was the perfect way to end a great day of fun! She definitely kicked my butt on the Stairmaster. I was doing side steps, knee tucks and glute kicks. Oh and I forgot to mention sprints! My arms are still sore....needless to say David and I will be doing a leg work out tomorrow to give my arms a bit more rest. Sunday I did cardio on my own and spent the rest of the day prepping my protein and did a little grocery shopping for the week.
Another friendship that has been really good is my friend Shannon who is also training for a competition in Calgary in June. She and I will be jet setting to Toronto together to compete in the Toronto Pro Super Show. The cool thing is I will actually get to see Natalie (coach/friend/mentor) compete as well!
I feel really good right now, but with my cardio increasing it will be interesting to see how that affects my energy levels. It will be important to eat well, rest lots and find balance with that and work. That’s all for now! Time for lunch J
Eat. Train. Sleep. Repeat!