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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What I Typically Eat

Good morning Fitness Enthusiasts!

Okay, let's just jump right in.  Today's post will be a peek into what I typically eat on a given day.  Now that I've recommitted myself to getting ready to hit the stage I've been paying closer attention to my portions and actually making sure each meal I have is nutritious and well balanced. Let me take you through my day . . . .

MEAL #1 - BREAKFAST

For Breakfast I usually have one of three meals: Scrambled Egg Whites with an English Muffin, 30g of Whey Protein with 1/2cup of Oatmeal & 1/2cup of Blueberries or an Omelet.  The meal above is the latter.
RECIPE:
Add 3 egg whites & 1 egg to a skillet. 
Add 3 shredded pieces of ham and a hand full of shredded cheddar cheese. 
Grill, serve and add an orange to the meal.

MEAL #2 - LUNCH

Lunch is usually my heaviest meal of the day so this is when I tend to have pasta.  This is my mother's famous Vienna Sausage and Spaghetti dish.

RECIPE:
Pour a bottle of Trader Joe Roasted Garlic Marinara Sauce into a skillet and cook for about 5 minutes. 
Bring a pot of water to a boil. 
Add 3 cans of Vienna Sausages to the sauce that's cooking.  At the same time, add spaghetti to the boiling water.  
When the spaghetti is ready, drain the water and add the spaghetti to the cooked Vienna Sausages/Marinara Sauce. 
Mix thoroughly, remove from heat and serve. 
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese if you like.

MEAL #3 - MID AFTERNOON SNACK

By around 3 or 4 pm, I'm usually hungry again.  This is where quick snacks come in handy. I love having protein shakes and this is one of my faves.

RECIPE:
In a blender, add 30 grams of any protein powder mix of your choice, 1 cup of Skim Milk (or Almond Milk), 1 tsp of Peanut Butter and 1 small banana.  Blend, serve and enjoy! Yum, yummy!

MEAL#4 - DINNER

When I get home I'm so tired that cooking is the VERY last thing on my mind.  I tend to grab something that can be ready in minutes like a soup, salad or a frozen food meal.  Lean Cuisine are my favorites.  When I first lost weight (read that story here), about 10 years ago, I used to rely on Lean Cuisine meals to learn about portion sizes.

The meal above is from their Culinary Collection, Chicken With Basil Cream Sauce.  Mmmmmm, it's so good.

MEAL #5 - EVENING SNACK

 To avoid waking up in the middle of the night because I'm hungry (this used to happen to me often), I like to have a light snack before going to bed.  I usually have yogurt, another protein shake (mixed with water only) or some type of "protein" Bar.  Clif Bars are my absolute faves and they're only 99 cents at Trader Joe!

For now, this method of eating is working out for me.  I lost a pound since this past Sunday (YEEPY!).  However as I get closer to my show, adjustments will have to be made, but I'll get into that later.

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Weekend Hair: An Update

Hey guys!
It's been a hot minute and I wanted to give you guys a bit of a recap as far as my hair was concerned.  This was the look I was sporting this weekend.  Not bad, right?

 
Here's a closer look at the Top.  I love the red highlights . . . courtesy of Henna Treatments :-)
 
I'm still working on growing out my sides. . .I've been applying Castor Oil nightly and using Kalpi Tone Treatments bi-weekly
 
Here's a look at the other side
 
I'm trying to get accustomed to dealing with my own hair because . . . . well. . . . it's 
MY hair.  I promised myself that I'd experiment a bit more with hairstyles. . . . . For now, I'm trying to perfect the twist out. 
 
Here's what I used to get this look:
NOTE: No Pre-poo treatment
1. Co-washed with Tresemme Naturals Moisture Conditioner
2. Deep Conditioned with Lustrasilk's Tea Tree Cholesterol Conditioner (I added Olive Oil and Aloe Vera Juice)
3. Dried hair with a Cotton T-Shirt
4. Added Kimmaytube's Leave-In
5. Slept in a satin scarf overnight
6. Took down twist the next day and  . . . . wha-la!
 
On a side note . . . . because I'm a bit of a product junkie, I can't really stick to a consistent regimen so the perfect twist out still eludes me.  I have noticed that the condition of my hair about a year ago was a bit better that it is now.  I may go back and revisit some products I stopped using a while back.
 
Ta-Ta everyone!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

And just WHERE have YOU been . . . . . ?


Hi guys!
I apologize for falling off the radar the last few weeks.  March has been a VERY draining month for me emotionally, psychologically and eventually . . . physically.  I've been in a hum-drum mood and that's been keeping me from writing.  Nothing major has happened and I feel like that's part of the reason I felt the way I did.  As most of you know, I started Project Better Body several weeks ago.  It's original premise was to track my progress as I got ready to do a Figure Competition.  I was going strong for 10 weeks, which is a record for me, but my weight continued to stay above 140 lbs.  That was VERY discouraging and disappointing. . . . . so much so that I freaked out and convinced myself that there was NO WAY I'd be ready for my show at the end of April. 
Once I convinced myself, I fell right back into some of my horrible eating habits ("Hello pizza, cheeseburger and fries!").   I also tried to convince myself that maybe I was meant to be this new size and I'd just have to deal with it . . . . . . but then I saw a few photos of myself when Phil and I went to the Bahamas and I nearly cried.  Is that me?  Was I REALLY that small once? Yep. I sure was.

Me in the Bahamas in 2006.  (Sigh) Look at my abs!!!!

This morning I weighed myself and I'm now 147 lbs.  I can NOT remember the last time I've been this heavy.   And since I was spending the majority of the day by myself I was about to throw myself a nice little pity party when it occurred to me that this was the first time in a LONG time I had some time to be alone.  I thrive when I have some solitude and decided to be proactive. 
The first thing I did, I created a Food Log.  I have to keep better track of what I'm eating.  I'm also a visual person.  I like seeing things on paper.  It makes it real to me, like a set of rules to follow.
I was online for a while trying to find a log that I liked. Eventually, I figured I'd make my own.

Second, I found my old lunch bag.  I need to carry this every time I go to work to keep myself from eating the wrong things (i.e Pizza).  One of my biggest downfalls is not having the right food on hand.  Without any, I eat whatever is available.
Mine looks similar to this one.

Third, I vented.  I called my mom and told her how I felt.  After listening to me rant for about 15 minutes all she said was, "Forget about what you did yesterday or last week, focus on tomorrow because its a new day.  You know how to lose weight Yapi (my nickname).  I learned from you and I lost weight. You can do it."  I immediately felt better.

Fourth, I went out and hiked for about 60 minutes in Forrest Park.  I didn't bring my iPOD because I wasn't in the mood to tune out.  I wanted to tune in.  I listened to my body, focused on my breathing and enjoyed the weather.  I loved it!  When I got back I felt renewed.


Fifth, since the Figure Show in April is totally out of the question at this point, I looked up a few upcoming shows and made myself a schedule, which you can check out here.
Here's one show I'd like to compete in . . .
The nearest show is in 11 weeks, given the fact that I have more than 15 pounds to lose, I'll see how things go.  I don't want to do any crash dieting.  With me, they're hard to maintain and lead to rapid weight gain once I hot my goal weight.

Sixth and lastly, I found a workout regimen that I'll follow for the next four weeks and I'm doing some research into contest dieting because what I've been doing is NOT working.  I'll provide more details next week so stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Words of Wisdom . . . March 2012

Hey guys!
If you're looking for some motivation then you've come to the right place. Imagine being placed in a situation where you're considered the underdog. Or perhaps the consensus was that your chances for success were practically impossible.  Well, the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team were placed in that situation when they faced the so-called invincible Russian team.
Based on true events, the movie "Miracle" retells this story and one of the best scenes is Coach Brook's pre-game speech to the team before they faced the Russian team. . . . . . .



Great moments are born from great opportunity.
And that's what you have here tonight, boys.
That's what you've earned here, tonight.
One game.
If we played 'em ten times, they might win nine.
But not this game. Not tonight.
Tonight, we skate with 'em.
Tonight, we stay with 'em, and we shut them down because we can!
Tonight, we are the greatest hockey team in the world.
You were born to be hockey players -- every one of ya.
And you were meant to be here tonight.
This is your time.
Their time -- is done. It's over.
I'm sick and tired of hearin' about what a great hockey team the Soviets have.
Screw 'em!
This is your time!!
Now go out there and take it! ~ Coach Brooks

Monday, March 5, 2012

Movie Monday: Safe House

Hey everyone!
Safe House (2012) was my movie pick for my birthday weekend.  Here's what I thought about it . . . .

Director: Daniel Espinosa

Starring:
Denzel Washington ("X", "Training Day" & "Glory"), plays Tobin Frost
Ryan Reynolds ("Smokin' Aces", "The Change Up" & "The Proposal"), plays Matt Weston
Vera Farmiga ("Up In The Air" & "Orphan"), plays Catherine Linklater
Brendan Gleeson ("The Guard" & "Troy"), plays David Barlow

What It's About: Ryan Reynolds plays Matt Weston, a young CIA agent who's tired of his incredibly boring Safe House assignment in South Africa.  Itching for a chance to prove himself, he's thrown in way over his head when his Safe House is attacked, upon the arrival of CIA rogue agent Tobin Frost, played by Washington.  What follows is a game of cat and mouse as Weston and Frost dodge bullets while trying to get to the nearest safe house AND figure out why people want Frost dead.

Why I Watched It: Uh, duh. . . . . Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. Oh yeah . . . and its an action film! 

Why This Film Rocks:  I LOVED the chemistry between Denzel and Ryan.  The two worked excellent together and both were convincing in their respective roles.  My favorite scene takes place about half way through the film.  It's the cool chase through the Soweto Housing area.  Without revealing anything, all I'm going to say is that Denzel, who's touching 60-years-old, STILL has skills.

Another cool aspect of the film are the surprises that keep popping up as the story progresses.  You don't find out who's REALLY after Frost until the very end, which ended up being a cool turn of events.

Why This Film Sucks: As far as I was concerned, the movie loses points for originality.  It reminded me WAY too much of the Bourne Identity series.  I mean granted the stories aren't identical but the whole rogue agent on the run theme and the way it was filmed were too similar for my taste. 


Would I Recommend It: If you're an action flick fan, then you won't be disappointed . . . . and if you're a HUGE fan of either Denzel or Ryan, you'll definitely be happy.

Project Better Body:9 Weeks Out From Show (Last Week)


Hey guys!
Hope all of you had a great weekend! 

This is going to be a quick summary because, as stated last week, I repeated the same routine mentioned here.  I was feeling a bit under the weather and didn't up any of the weight, add a set or change the number of reps.  I kept it simple and just did the whole thing all over again.

How's everything going with all of you?  Are you guys staying on course?  Leave me your updates in the comment section.  I love to hear from you!



Friday, March 2, 2012

Fitness Spotlight of the Month: Waychaun of LBN (LuvBeinNatural)


Hey guys!
This month's Fitness Spotlight is the lovely, athletic and natural haired Waychaun of LBN (LuvBeinNatural).  I first took notice of Waychaun when I was on Youtube one afternoon looking for style ideas.  I found her "Formal Black Tie Affair - Near Disaster" video and checked out the rest of her channel.  Low and behold, she was also a fitness enthusiast!  I've been a fan ever since.  Keep reading and I'm sure you'll be one as well.   

1.      Briefly tell us about yourself.
I am a California native and I moved to Indianapolis a little over 4 years ago. I began working out quite a bit and decided to go natural, which started my hobby of making youtube videos.

2. How'd you get started/interested in working out?
Actually, I got started because my husband works out so much, it became something we do together. But believe me.... I used to HATE working out! Lol! But the more I did it, I started to see results that I liked, I felt better, my confidence improved, it was all around beneficial!

3. How do you do stay fit in the gym (ex. cardio, weights, calisthenics, etc.)? I do a mix of cardio, strength training mainly lifting weights, and circuit training, where I mix cardio and weights together, keeping my heart rate up the entire time.

4. How do you do stay fit out the gym (ex. other sports, hiking, etc.)?
I try to stay active outside of the gym by going on walks, I love flag football, and neighborhood sports when we can get everyone together. Usually anything fun and active I'm game! In fact I just ran my first mini marathon (13.1 miles) last year! It was REALLY difficult, lol but I survived!

5. What's your favorite body part to train?
Surprisingly... Leg day is my favorite day! Most people hate legs, but I have a love hate relationship with leg day. I used to have toothpicks for legs, and I hated them! I would hide them at all costs! But my legs are starting to get thicker and in my opinion look better, so Im starting to feel better about them! So, I have come to like leg day... Even though I'm usually sore for the next three days! Lol!

6. What advice would you give someone who's recently decided to live a healthy lifestyle?
I would say take it one day at a time. Everyday isn't going to be perfect, but as long as you get more good days than bad days, you're on the right track. Also, don't be too hard on yourself if you have a bad day. It's not the end of the world, just make the next day better than the last!


7. How do you stay inspired and motivated?
Honestly, it was tough at first, but once I started to see results, there was no stopping me. Now I look forward to it. . Not to say I don't have days where I don't feel like doing anything, but not near as many as when I first started!


8.  Who's your role model/hero and why?
I have a lot of role models. I look up to people who challenge themselves to do things that are difficult for them and succeed. Not just physically, but mentally as well. It's always nice to see and motivating as well.

9.  I am a big fan of your site LBN.  How did that come about?
It all started on YouTube actually. I started making videos there about natural hair. I was really surprised when people actually started watching them! Lol! I loved interacting with everyone and learning with them, then it got bigger and bigger. It expanded to Facebook, then the website, luvbeinnatural.com - where you can download you free mini e-book on natural hair... *shameless plug* lol! - and I just recently started a twitter account! Who knows what will happen next. Im just going with the flow!

10.  You have a lovely head of hair girl.  How do you maintain it?  What's your regimen like?
Haha! I like to keep it simple! I wash once a week, and I keep the products simple. I try to make my styles last as long as possible. There are two things that I watch out for, and make sure I do. The first is to be careful with detangling, and the second is to make sure I cover my hair at night!! Those are the two things that I absolutely must do!!


11. What kind of music do you listen to when you workout and/or train?
I listen to all kinds of music as it is, so It's impossible to guess what is going to pop up on my iPod. There is a mix of hip hop and R&B, all the way to country and alternative! But one thing that I do that helps, is create a playlist of all of my favorite songs at that time. Just about anything that makes me want to sing and dance. Then I only allow myself to listen to that playlist when I'm working out. Surprisingly enough, that small detail creates a tiny bit of excitement for my workout.

12. If you could pick anyone, dead or alive, who would you love to train/workout with?
I would love to work out with the Under Armor models, or the athletes in the commercials. They are in such good shape and it looks like theyre getting a good workout in. I know it's not real during the commercial, but they have to work out on a regular basis to stay in shape like that. Id like to see what they do!

13. If I looked in your fridge, what would I find?
As of lately, well... the last 3-4 months, we have been eating really well. So you will find lots of veggies, fruits, water bottles, chicken breasts, tilapia, etc. Not too many processed foods, if any at all. So when it's time to go grocery shopping at the end of the week, our fridge looks extremely bare! haha!


14. Got a favorite cheat meal?
Oh yes!! Burgers and Fries, or pizza! ... wait ... Mexican food, or Chinese food! wait Italian!! Haha! I love it all!! Don't get me started!

15. Words to Live By/Got a Favorite quote?
You never start living until you start living for yourself!! I have learned and the surprising thing is, once you start making yourself happy, usually in doing so, you make the people around you happy too! This is what I'm working on! #workinprogress :0)

16. Name Five Things you can't live without.
-My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
-My family & friends
-My Denman Brush
-Wine
-Chocolate!

17. What's the one question you're asked the most?
How long have you been natural ... by far!!


18. What's one thing people don't know about you?
I am a horrible public speaker! My palms get sweaty, my vision gets blurred, my heart starts racing, I start stuttering and I feel like I can't catch my breath. It's pretty bad! lol! I'm thinking about taking a class for it or something. Because it gets ridiculous! But put me behind a camera in my bathroom, and you'd never know ! :0)

19. Where else can we find you online?
LBN Website www.luvbeinnatural.com

20.  Parting words . . . ?
Just to never give up! No matter what your goals are, as long as you stick with them, you will achieve them. It all comes down to how bad you want it!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Monthly Hair Porn: March 2012

Hey guys!
Aaaaaah March!  The start of Spring!  The days start to get longer, warmer and brighter. It's time to say goodbye to winter, shed those layers and say "Hello Sunshine!"  To kind of pay tribute to this change I thought it would be cool to  spotlight funky, bright and exotic lip colors . . . . . sported by these lovely naturals.


All photos are courtesy of the Im Currently Obsessed tumblr site.