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NuZest: The newest plant protein to rock your world!

nuzest

It’s time for a giveaway!

For those of you who follow my fitness journey or have seen me speak on nutrition know that I’m not one to blow off protein. Yes, as vegans we don’t need as much as an average omnivore is eating. Even as athletes or those wanting to build muscle do not need to eat as much as the traditional bodybuilding diet. We are talking up to 50% of calories coming from protein, which is usually in the form of animal flesh in the omnivore diet. Ewww, right? We shouldn’t be asking “Are you getting enough protein?” but “Are you getting the right kind of protein?”.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is anywhere between 10-35% of calories. This range and your personal needs are based on age, activity level, gender, genetics, and more. Thankfully, we can get all the protein we need from plant sources no matter what our goals! The magic number is around 20-30 grams of protein at one time (per meal) for muscle protein synthesis. So having a post-workout shake is my go-to to get the protein I need for recovery and repair of my muscles after I work out.

Enter NuZest Clean Lean Protein…

NuZest came onto the scene in 2012 in New Zealand and quickly rose to the top. I couldn’t be more excited they have decided to come to the US! One serving has 21 grams of delicious, absorbable, alkaline, plant protein. It’s just the perfect amount to have post-workout.

fitnesscollage2014When I first started my fitness journey two years ago I ate a healthy plant-based diet but really didn’t pay attention to how many calories I consumed or how much protein I was getting. It wasn’t until I started lifting weights that I started to experiment with protein shakes. I noticed when I incorporated a post-workout shake, and made sure I ate enough calories, I got stronger, was able to lift more, recovered faster from my intense workouts, and was able to build muscle and completely transform the way my body looked and felt. My clients have experienced the same benefits. Many of them were following a plant-based diet but were not able to meet their fitness goals until they paid a little more attention to how much protein they ate (along with healthy carbs!). Another great thing about using a protein supplement is the full range of amino acids it provides, which aren’t found in many of our plant protein sources.

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I’ve tried almost every plant protein powder on the market. If this is something I’m going to consume regularly it’s gotta be awesome. Here are the very important reasons why I love NuZest Clean Lean Protein!

Taste
Over the years, protein powders have stepped up their taste game. Many of them are still chalky and just powdery tasting, but not NuZest. It’s literally the best tasting protein powder I’ve ever tried. And it has the most exciting flavors! Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Cappuccino, and Natural. I often mix them to make new flavor combinations.

Texture
The number one complaint I hear about protein powder is the texture. If it tastes not-so-great you can put it in a smoothie, throw in some flavored-extract or cinnamon to cover up the taste, but nothing can change the texture. If it’s gritty I can’t choke it down. It’s just not going to happen. NuZest easily dissolves when shaken with water or non-dairy milk. It’s smooth and creamy. No grit in sight!

Quality
I don’t want to put crap in my body. So the quality of the protein powder I take is crucial. NuZest is gluten-free, soy-free, gmo-free, sugar-free, and made from European golden peas. It contains all 9 essential amino acids and more. These help build, repair, and recover. You may notice that it’s a bit more pricey than other protein powders, but I’m happy to pay for quality when it comes to what I put in my body.

Sugar & Stevia-free
I don’t know about you but stevia does not settle well with me. The aftertaste I can’t handle. It also messes with my digestive system. I can’t use many of the other protein powder brands out there because of the excess stevia. If a protein powder doesn’t have stevia it most likely will have cane sugar. I refuse to use a brand that has sugar in it. It’s just not needed! So NuZest uses a special sweetener, called thaumatin, harvested from the West African Katemfe fruit. This makes it perfect for smoothies but also to use in baked goods and recipes like this Gingerbread Granola.

I hope you are ready to try it for yourself! 

I’m super excited to offer a giveaway for NuZest Clean Lean Protein! One lucky winner will get a full size tub of their favorite flavor with a shaker cup. Then 6 other winners will get a sample pack of all the flavors to try! This is for US and CANADA readers ONLY.

Everyone will save 10% off your order using the code BLISS10. Plus they are offering free shipping on orders of $50 or more. So grab some today! I promise you’ll love it as much as I do! Head on over to their website to place an order.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2760315/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22357161

http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/protein

Disclaimer:
Product was provided for me to try free of charge in order to get my honest feedback. I love this product so much that I wanted to share it with you! All thoughts and comments are my own. Affiliate links may be in blog posts, which allows me to keep bringing you great, free content across all social media platforms.

Posted on 12/17/2014 | 3 Comments

Full body workouts to get results & save time

workout

Does your usual excuse for not working out include not having enough time? You don’t need to spend your life in the gym to get results and feel amazing. Full body workouts have their place. They are great for those with limited time and have to goal to stay healthy and energetic, or for those who are rehabing an injury and need more recovery time during the week.

These reasons all apply to me right now. I’m super busy with getting the new magazine ready. When I got back from my 2 month sojourn out of the country I wanted to propel myself back into lifting and exercising. Taking that much time off from the gym meant I had lost a bit of strength and endurance but also gained fat. My goal was to move the whole body three times a week to get back into the swing of things.

kb-swingHere is one of the workouts I did this week last week.

1. Alternating One-Arm Kettlebell Swings – 14 swings each side x3
If you aren’t using kettlebell training in your workout routine it’s time to start! Incorporate regular kettlebell swings and when you have the form mastered give one arm swings a try. I love starting my workout with either of these because it warms up the whole body. Watch this video to learn the movement.

2. Bench Press superset with In/Outs – 10-12 reps with 20 reps x3
Good ole bench press isn’t going anywhere. This compound movement should be in your training whether you do full body or body part split workouts. Rather than do abs at the end of my workout, I like to superset them with other larger body parts. In/Outs are easy to do right on the bench or you can move to the floor.

3. Sumo Squats superset with Seated Lateral Raise and Mountain Climbers – 15 reps with 10 reps and 30 seconds x3
I like to superset leg work with shoulders to get more work done. I threw in the mountain climbers to elevate my heart rate and break a sweat.

4. Bent Over Rows superset with Russian Twists – 12 reps with 15 reps each side x3
I used a barbell for this essential back exercise and superset it with my favorite oblique exercise holding a medicine ball.
Watch this video to learn the progression of the Russian Twist.

5. One Leg-Extensions superset with Roman Chair Straight Leg Raise – 10 reps each leg with 12 reps x3
I love doing unilateral exercises with my legs because my right leg (the same leg as my recovering sprained ankle) is weaker and less developed than my left leg. So I actually do more reps on my weaker leg. Again supersetting abs in, the Roman Chair is just a few machines down so it’s easy to move back and forth between them. If you can’t do raises with straight legs do knee raises. Watch this video to see how to do Roman Chair Knee Raises.

You would be surprised that this workout took me only an hour. I timed my rest periods between sets to keep them all under 45 seconds and didn’t lag when moving from exercise to exercise. That is one of the tricks to getting in more volume in less time! I stayed in the 10-15 repetition range to keep my metabolism pumping and encourage fat-burning. In a few more weeks when I feel ready I may switch to the 5-8 repetition range to start building my strength again.

So if you need a jumpstart to your workouts and new year try three times a week full body workouts that have at least 6-8 exercises of 3 or 4 sets each. Keep rest periods between sets under one minute!

Have you ever done full body workouts 3 or 4 times a week? What do you think of that kind of training?

Posted on 12/13/2014 | Leave a Comment

Travel Log: Gold Coast & Cairns

Thanks for bearing with me as I get my travels down on “paper”. After beautiful Sydney we headed to the Gold Coast. It looked so beautiful in the photos and this is where everyone goes to surf. So it had to be a good spot to visit right? Not so much. The water was freezing and learning to surf sounded like a horrible idea. It was very touristy. Supposedly this is where rich Australians vacation. So you can imagine lots of chain restaurants, everything being overpriced ($23 for a Thai curry!!), and no real culture or quirkiness. Thankfully we had a little apartment that we shared with 2 other people. After staying in a hostel with shared everything this was very nice. We cooked many of our meals, had space to do some workouts, took advantage of the free laundry, and vegged out in front of the TV.

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But it wasn’t all bad! I had the pleasure of meeting up with Leigh-Chantelle from Viva la Vegan and she took us to a delicious restaurant called GreenHouse Factory. One of my long-time Twitter friends met up with us too and brought her Blissful Bites for me to sign. The food was amazing! I had the breakfast plate, seen above, which had tofu scramble, roasted potatoes, toast, kale, and a delicious ranchero-like sauce.

nakedtreaties

After our brunch we went to Burleigh Heads and walked along the beach. It was a gorgeous day and I was happy I got to meet up with friends. The next day we went to Mandala and had vegan pizza. It was amazing and I loved the vibe of this restaurant/art gallery. I highly recommend it!

On our last day we took the bus to Byron Bay, which was the “hippy” area of the Gold Coast. We definitely felt at home there, finding a vegetarian Indian buffet and a natural food store to stock up on snacks. There was even a raw restaurant called, Naked Treaties, where we indulged in some decadent treats!

Then we headed to Cairns (pronounced like Cannes) to mark a biggie of my bucket list: to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef!

cairns

We only had two days in Cairns so we signed up for a 2 day adventure that included one day hitting three spots along the reef to snorkel and one day of visiting the land sights of the Daintree Rainforest and a river tour where we saw crocodiles! As you would expect Cairns is very touristy as well. It had a bit more character than the Gold Coast, more vegan options, and better shopping.

I’m happy I got to mark something off my bucket list! Next I’ll tell you about the incredible week I had in Melbourne, which is now one of my favorite cities in the world.

Have you traveled to Australia? What were you favorite parts? There’s so much to see that I will definitely be back!

Posted on 12/10/2014 | Leave a Comment

The best possible present to buy on Black Friday!

Buy one for yourself and all your fitness friends! Or maybe you have a loved one in your life who needs a little help joining the millions of fitness buffs that know the plant-based diet is best for performance and recovery. Thinking about running a marathon? This digital bundle from No Meat Athlete is a crazy good deal you don’t want to pass it up!

Click on the image below to see the amazing things offered in this bundle! And don’t wait because this deal is only good through Wednesday December 3rd!

Some of the best and brightest have come together to give content for this bundle! You’ll receive 23 Plant-Based Fitness, Meal Planning, and Cooking Guides (valued at $539.35) for just $97!

This isn’t a gimmick and it’s totally worth every penny. This is a lot of passionate vegans coming together to share their awesomeness with you. One of the main reasons why I do what I do is because I want to help people. That’s why I offered up my 7-Day Refresh cleanse as part of this bundle. It’s a great way to get back on track after indulging in the holidays.

To sweeten the deal even more I will offer a FREE 2015 subscription to my online magazine, Definition, to anyone that purchases this bundle. This year’s issues are free to read and download so check them out here. Next year we will start our subscription option so we can take it to print in 2016! We have received an amazing response about the magazine so far!

As always thank you for being a part of my blissful community! I’m really looking forward to 2015! There will be many changes in my life (moving to Portland, what!?!), continuing to build my online fitness coaching practice and broaden my education (TRX and Spinning certifications!), and I have many speaking engagements on the horizon. After a successful retreat in Bali, I plan to have mini weekend retreats all over the US and annual week-long retreats in exciting locations.

After 10 years of bringing my passion to the world I can honestly say I never get bored with my business because it isn’t “work” at all. I wake up every day grateful I have the opportunity to be part of your healthful journey! I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Here’s to an exciting future!

Disclaimer: The link above is an affiliate link. My website remains ad-free so you’ll find affiliate links in different places on my site to help contribute to the cost of running this blog, producing Definition Magazine, and bringing you free content via YouTube and various websites. Thank you for reading and supporting my efforts in spreading veganism and health!

Posted on 11/28/2014 | Leave a Comment

Travel Log: Sydney is my kind of city

I was blessed to be taken on a three week tour of Australia by my friend Crystal after the Bali retreat. It was her 30th birthday present to herself to take a year off and travel the world. She started that trip at my retreat and asked if I would keep traveling with her. We continued on our journey refreshed and ready for anything.

opera house

Our first stop after leaving beautiful Bali was Sydney, Australia. We took the red-eye so I could arrive in time on Sunday to speak at the Cruelty-Free Festival (the retreat had ended Saturday!). We arrive at 6:30am and go straight to our hostel to sleep for two hours on their couches before heading to the festival. So I had about 4 hours of sleep if you count the restless sleep I had on the plane. Thankfully, the festival had amazing coffee, treats, and food to sustain me until after my talk.

cruelty-free-fest-grouped

Everyone was super nice and we had a great time for having no sleep. We went back to the hostel to check in and sleep a few more hours. You might ask why we stayed in hostels. First, Australia is EXPENSIVE. Second, we wanted to have a kitchen so I could make most our meals. Not only is this healthier it saved us a ton of money.

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We had 3 full days in Sydney after the festival. My friend Brighde told me of two different activities that we must do, one being the coastal walk from Coogee to Bondi Beach. This walk was probably my favorite thing on the entire trip. We first started in Coogee at an adorable cafe to get coffee. This cafe was seriously the coolest place I have ever been to…so much that I felt like I could just live there. Large glass panel windows all open catching the ocean breeze. Really good looking people working there (Sidenote: the people in Sydney were all gorgeous! It’s like you had to be a 10 in order to work at a cafe). Amazing coffee (Sidenote: I had no idea the coffee culture in Australia. Like seriously good coffee everywhere you turned!). I didn’t want to leave!

coastal-walk

We drank our coffee, slathered on sunscreen, and prepared ourselves for the walk. We had no idea what was in store! The walk itself was a workout; lots of steep hills and stairs. Being fit ladies we really enjoyed that! About every 20 minutes we came to a picturesque beach along the coastline. The water is far too cold for my blood but people were swimming and surfing. Then about halfway through we came upon a cemetery. Clouds loomed over us and the wind blew loudly. It was pretty ominous but beautiful at the same time. I thought to myself – what an amazing place to be buried.

bondi-beach-sculpture

Just a few more kilometers and we made it to Bondi Beach! How lucky for us that a sculpture exhibit was in town all along the beach. We spent another hour looking at all the art and then headed further into the streets of Bondi to find some grub. My basic plan for when I haven’t looked on HappyCow to find a place to eat is to find a healthy looking local and ask them where I could find natural or vegetarian food. It worked like a charm and we were lead to a small natural food store that had a deli case with various salads, brown rice sushi rolls, and treats. This coastal walk is still clear in my mind and beckons me to return!

The next day we took the ferry to Manly and walked around the national park. Again I asked where we could find some healthy food and was lead to aptly named Pure Wholefoods Cafe. We enjoyed our lunch and chatted with the owner about his favorite things to do in Sydney. We had three different cold salads (roasted vegetables that were the best I’ve ever had, a chickpea salad with mustard dressing, and rocket and avocado salad) and two patties, one that had red lentils and the other aduki beans and rice.

pure-wholefoods-cafe

We attempted to do the 9km walk to Manly Spit Bridge, but only made it about halfway through. My ankle was really bothering me and I was basically limping at that point. Before I left to go to Indonesia my ankle was doing fine. I mean it was 6 months since I sprained it! The fact that I never had it examined was finally catching up to me. It continued to hurt and be swollen during the remainder of my trip. But I didn’t let it slow me down too much!

Sydney walking tour

Our last day in Sydney we did a free walking tour to learn all about the city. It was so much fun and I highly recommend it! Walking tours are one of my favorite things to do when visiting a new place. They show you around so you can get your bearings but also teach you fun and interesting facts, including history and the stories behind certain monuments. Our guide was very funny and had us laughing along the streets.

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We also visited Chinatown, popped into a museum by the wharf, and had dinner at Nourishing Quarter (pictured above), a tiny hole-in-the-wall vegan restaurant serving a 5 course Vietnamese-infused “banquet”. It was divine! We finished off our last evening meeting up for drinks (and more dessert) with Julie of Laika Magazine (run over and subscribe right now!) at Yulli’s Bar. Talking shop about magazines with Julie was a highlight of my time in Sydney. It was the first time we had met and hit it off instantly! I was thrilled to meet up with her again two weeks later at Melbourne’s World Vegan Day!

Sydney is now on the list of my favorite cities in the world. I loved everything about it from the architecture, the people, the coffee, transportation, food, and beaches. It was a shame we didn’t have more time there.

More travel logs coming to you soon! But until then check out the newest issue of Definition Magazine!

Posted on 11/20/2014 | Leave a Comment

Travel Log: A soulful and invigorating time in Bali

It’s hard to explain what I experienced in Bali. I think most people feel this way when they travel to a place that is unlike anything they’ve ever experienced. To say it’s a magical place is an understatement. Yes, it’s overrun with tourists. Yes, I wish I could have visited the Bali that was pre-Eat Pray Love. But what I experienced during my retreat at Alam Sari (and Ubud) was magical to say the least.

Two weeks prior to the retreat I spent time with Lori (my partner for the retreat) hanging out, cooking, chatting, workout out, and planning the final details. Even though we had only been “internet” friends up until this point, it was like we had known each other for years. If you are a blogger or part of the modern day social media world you know how that goes! My friend Crystal met me 5 days before the retreat for some time on Gili Islands and then we headed to Alam Sari to prepare for the guests to arrive!

groupphotoretreat2014

This was my first week long retreat and it went smashingly. There were a few minor mishaps here and there, but all and all I would say it was life-changing for the guests and that’s all that mattered to me. On the final night after our second cooking class we went around the table to share our favorite moments of the retreat…and there were tears. Lots of happy tears. And laughs. Every single woman received just what they needed, made lifelong friends, many celebrated birthdays and honored loved ones that had passed. Some just got the relaxation away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life they needed so badly.

first_daycollage

For a full day to day account of what happened, what we ate, and more from the retreat totally check out the Vegan Noms blog! I’d like to give you a few snippets of things I really enjoyed that make this retreat special and unlike any retreat you could go on. Our first day started with a 2 hour walking tour around the grounds and the village where Alam Sari is located (about 20 minutes drive north of Ubud). Dewa, who grew up in the village of Keliki and has worked at Alam Sari for 17 years, took us around the garden showing us all the wonderful things they grow to use at the resort. It all my years as a gardener I had never seen fresh ginger growing!

Later that day we had a cooking class at Dewa’s house making many traditional Balinese and Indonesian dishes. If only I had time to make my own sauces from scratch in a mortar and pestle every day! The recipes we made used the same ingredients in different measures for almost every dish yet they all tasted unique. I find that’s the case with many Thai dishes too. Dewa and his wife were such beautiful people and opened their home to all of us so graciously. At the end of the class he thanked me for giving him a job to do. During our walking tour Dewa shared with us the philosophies of their religion, the way to live a simple life, and be happy with what you have. It was a great reminder to us to slow down, but also showed me how completely spoiled we are in the US. I would like to do things a bit different when I finally return home. As many of you know traveling can change your very core and what I learned from the Balinese people and culture has struck a chord with me.

lunch

The meal in the collage above is lunch on Day 2, which included tofu and veggie skewers with peanut sauce, roasted potatoes, steamed veggies, and papaya salad. The food during the retreat was above and beyond my wildest dreams! I had written up a tentative menu for the week using some of my recipes, a few things off their own menu, and sample menus they gave me from other retreats held there. They had never done an all vegan menu. Lori and I planned everything out giving them leeway to make changes depending on availability of ingredients.

lunchday1For each meal we wanted to have something for everyone; something raw, rice or potatoes or yams, a tofu and/or tempeh dish, steamed veggies, some other veggie dish, sometimes a soup or appetizers, and fruit and tea for dessert. Each day had an ethnic theme. The kitchen/restaurant manager, Agoon, was my right hand man chatting with me each day about the following days meals. He made us homemade vegan and gluten-free bread from from red rice flour (traditionally the Balinese eat red rice and make flour from it). Every single thing they made for us was delicious. I couldn’t have been more happy with the food and I think the guests all had something to enjoy no matter what their dietary preferences included.

We included three fitness talks and two exercise classes along with four yoga and two cooking classes during the retreat. This made it like a conference rather than just a yoga retreat. Since my goal and passion is to educate and share my knowledge with others on healthy eating and effective exercise it was important to include these kinds of classes. We had two excursions, one to Ubud Village and one to the beach. I felt like this was a good amount of things to do and they were well attended. Of course, all the classes and talks were optional. Some guests were out and about doing their own thing while most stayed and enjoyed the program that I had laid out for the retreat.

floating in pool

The background for the retreat couldn’t be more beautiful. It was a short car ride outside of Ubud city center, which made for a more relaxing environment. Each guest had their own bungalow surrounding the pool. I wasn’t really sure what Alam Sari was going to be like until I arrived and walked up to this very spot in the photo. My mind was blown and I knew I made the right choice!

I look forward to planning my next retreat, but I’m not sure it could ever top what we experienced in Bali. I’m chatting with a friend about having an adventure retreat in Chiang Mai next fall so keep your eyes peeled for the details! I’m also looking for a place in the US to hold a 4-day weekend retreat in the spring next year. I hope you can make one!

Thank you again to all the beautiful women that attended and to my partner Lori for helping make it an experience I will never forget!

 

Posted on 11/09/2014 | 4 Comments

Travel Log: All day of travel to reach Jakarta

I know I haven’t blogged much lately; things have been busy to say the least. Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Portland VegFest where I was the emcee for the new Fitness stage. It was the first time they offered fitness classes and it was a huge success! I gave a demo on how to use a resistance band and different exercises for all the muscle groups. It was my first time leading a fitness demo and it was more difficult than I imagined it would be. I’ve been speaking and teaching cooking classes for 10 years but the fitness thing is all very new. It’s hard to articulate what you are doing with your body into words haha!

badassveganJakarta

I returned on Monday, did laundry, finished packing, paid rent, and tied up all loose ends for my 7 week excursion to Indonesia and Australia. If you didn’t know already I’ve come to visit my friend Lori (who is an amazing personal trainer and food coach) in Jakarta and she is helping me lead the retreat in Bali on the 18th. We’ll be spending the next week planning the food, cooking classes, and fitness talks for the retreat. All while fitting in time for the gym, exploring, getting massages, and trying out some restaurants of course.

When I arrived she had these cute presents on my bed and I brought her things from Texas like coffee, Thunderbird bars, and my new favorite protein powder, NuZest. I got in at 11:30 pm and lost a day while traveling. After I got home from Portland I started changing my sleep schedule over to Indonesian time so when I arrived I wouldn’t have jet lag. I took a few cat naps throughout the first day here and generally feeling pretty awesome! But it is an adjustment. I haven’t been sleeping through the night yet.

LoriFlexI still managed a good gym day with Lori on Friday (we couldn’t pass up the opportunity for Flex Friday!) and on Saturday we went to the Organic, Green, & Healthy Expo, which was in it’s 4th year! It’s awesome to see that people in Indonesia care about important matters like organic farming and sustainability. I got to see Simone of The Wellness Warung do a raw food uncooking demo, we tried some delicious food and samples, and then went to the National Museum for a cultural experience.

Today, Sunday here, we are just chilling and working at home because it’s a huge Muslim holiday where they slaughter animals. We can hear their squeals from the nearby mosque and it’s extremely sad. We don’t plan to leave the house today.

I will document my travels here just like I did when I went to Asia 3 years ago. If you ever want to find the travel post you can use the search box in the right sidebar and search “travel log”.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend and start of fall! If you are in Sydney I’ll be speaking at the Cruelty-free Festival on October 26th. Hope to see you there!

 

Posted on 10/04/2014 | Comments Off

Cool articles for you to read…

I’m going to share some cool articles for you to read…since I’ve been completely slacking on updating my blog.

You know I love to write. You know I have soooo much amazing content I want to share with you. But finding time to fit it all in has always been a challenge for me. You’ll find me sharing more easily and freely on Facebook, Twitter, and (my new favorite) Instagram because it only requires a short line or two to connect with you. So do make your way to those three places if we aren’t already connected there.

indo/australia map

For those of you who would like to see more content on my blog, things will pick up in October while I’m relaxing in Indonesia! I think most of you know that I will be there for about a month and now a few weeks in Australia has been added to the trip. If you live anywhere in Australia please let me know so we can meet-up!! Fingers crossed I hear back from the Melbourne VegFest where I hope to speak but if not I will see you there anyways!

So I leave in less than a month and I’m working extra days as a substitute teacher to save up money. Along with client check-ins and getting issue three of Definition Magazine ready to launch on the 17th, there’s no time for blogging interesting stuff. So today I will share with you some really badass articles that other people took the time to write!

Let me know what you think of these. I would love to have a conversation in the comments about these very important topics!

10 Mistakes Women Make With Diets
First, do you need to be on a “diet”. No. Just eat healthy and don’t fall into the trap of these mistakes.

1200 Calories
Do you need to eat only 1200 calories a day to meet your goals? No. That is not a magical number and is far too few calories unless you are laid up in bed all day. Eat the food!!

An Open Letter to Everyone Who Has Told Women “Don’t Get Too Muscular”
As someone who has first hand experience being told by a man “but don’t get too big” I can tell you that it’s up to YOU what you do with your body. If you want to be strong and have muscles then go for it! Who cares what other people think!

10 Questions: An Interview with Christy Morgan of The Blissful & Fit Chef
Read all about how I started my fitness journey, my food philosophy, and more!

Ranch Salad with Red Potatoes and Smoky Chickpeas
A client brought this salad and dressing to my attention as another way to use avocado. I’m so making this!

Homemade Vegan Buffalo Wings (“Multivores” in the kitchen)
Vegan buffalo wings, no problem! I know in Texas, at least, many new vegans miss their beloved wings. This recipe should do the trick!

Thoughts?

I’m taking a limited number of clients for fitness and nutrition programs over the next month before I head to Indonesia. I help regular people meet their goals (I do not do contest prep). I will be doing client check-ins of course while I’m away. Beauty of the internet!

Check out my newly started testimonial page here.

Upcoming Events: Who’s coming to Portland VegFest? I will see you on the Fitness stage!

Posted on 09/04/2014 | Comments Off

Updated Raw Chocolate Mousse

Things have been so crazy busy with my business but I wanted to say HI and give you an updated version of the mousse I’ve been eating like almost every night. I’ve updated my already delicious raw avocado chocolate mousse that I posted years ago in 2010 by throwing in some protein powder and only sweetening it with dates. As a bodybuilder I like sneaking in extra protein wherever I can because protein really isn’t something you should blow off as a vegan. Especially if you want to build/maintain muscle mass.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of spending time with the PlantBuilt team again (can you believe it’s been a year since I did that crazy thing of competing in a bikini competition??). I took a lot of photos of the amazing female athletes for the next issue of Definition Magazine. It’s going to be epic and we are highlighting powerlifters! Be sure to subscribe to get Issue Two which is all about vegan CrossFit athletes! The whole PlantBuilt team dominated the competition and I’m so very proud of them!

Now onto the dessert! Thank you Emma from Coconut and Berries for this beautiful photo of the mousse. She made it not look like a pile of you know what like my photo! She’s got some great stuff on her blog and the most beautiful photography so check her out!

Choc Protein Mousse- Blissful Chef

Raw Chocolate Protein Mousse
Makes about 4 servings

2 medium avocados, pitted
About 14 dates, pitted, and soaked for 20 minutes with water to cover
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I use PlantFusion)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or pinch vanilla bean paste)
Cinnamon, as desired (if you want to try it spicy add a dash of cayenne)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients (not date soaking liquid) and blend into smooth and creamy. Use a spatula to scrape down the edges of the bowl a few times to incorporate all the ingredients. If you need it sweeter blend in the date soaking liquid a little bit at a time until it’s as sweet as you like it.

Hope you like it!

Pre-Workout SupplementIn other news, people are always asking me what kind of supplements I use and list is very short and all of them are performance based. I’m all for appropriate supplementation; don’t take things you don’t need! To get me revving to go in the morning for a workout this is the only “pre-workout” I use. It’s amazing, clean, vegan, and awesome.

It’s not cheap, but it’s totally worth it because there is nothing as clean on the market. It’s certified vegan. Suggested serving size is 2 scoops but I only need one scoop so it lasts longer. Totally worth it.

Click on the photo to learn more! That is an affiliate link, which gives me a small kickback when you buy this awesome product. You’ll only find affiliates for companies I believe in and products I actually use. Purchases made through my affiliates allow me to continue giving you free content each week! So thank you!

Posted on 07/30/2014 | 2 Comments

My First Vegetarian Summerfest – An Uplifting Experience

I owe you a recap of the Vegetarian Summerfest conference I attended and spoke at last week. To say it was a blast is an understatement! This was their 40th anniversary and I would be lying if I haven’t wanted to attend this event for the last 8 years it’s been on my radar. When I got the call to come do a cooking demo I jumped at the chance! Finally, I got to go to the infamous Summerfest.

summerfest ladies

I felt so much positive energy the entire time. Everyone was so incredibly nice, uplifting, freely throwing around compliments, I felt no judgement even though there were all kinds of eaters present. I especially felt a lot of camaraderie with my fellow female speakers most of which I have known for years, but also met some new faces! Everyone supported each other. After my cooking demo, the other chefs were munching on my food back in the kitchen and raving about it. After coming home and getting back to “reality” the realization hit me that I’ve longed for that connection and closeness with my peers. Basically, the last year and a half I took off from speaking engagements to focus on my fitness stuff. I was a little nervous going into this, having never spoke or attended Summerfest. I am pleased to say after giving a 2 hour cooking demo I’ve still got it and everyone loved the recipes I made. It felt amazing to be teaching again! This time with sexy guns ;) Big thank you to the amazing cooking demo staff and volunteers that made it all possible!

summerfest-demo

This event reminded me how much I love traveling, connecting with like-minded people, and showing people how darn tasty vegan food can be. Getting to rub elbows with the movers and shakers of the vegan/plant-based world is always a plus. And I always learn something new during the classes even though I’ve been at this vegan thing for 12+ years. I made new friends and got to eat some of the most amazing food prepared by Mark from Vegan Fusion. Thanks to all the kitchen staff and chefs for feeding our bellies! Each meal had gluten-free, oil-free, and raw options available and I dabbled in all of them. Let’s just say the sugar cleanse went down the drain as I ate desserts at every meal. Oops! It’s hard to reset when it’s right there for the taking!

summerfestrecap

If you have kids they has a special camp and did this awesome musical performance. My ankle was killing me most the conference so the only exercise I got was a little hula hooping and I used the fitness center once for some lifting. Then the last night of the conference we danced till the wee hours and thankfully some advil helped make that possible. I didn’t want it to end, but I’m so thankful for the time I had there and the new friends I made. Many thanks to all the NAVS staff and volunteers who worked many long days and nights on this truly special conference. I feel like part of the family now!

If you ever get a chance to go to Vegetarian Summerfest I highly recommend it! There really was too much awesomeness for me to go into here so you should check it out for yourself!

Posted on 07/11/2014 | 1 Comment