Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"


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Citrulline Malate…Fitness Friday 38

My friends! It’s March can you believe it? Seems like it was just New Years and now we are three months in already and Spring is in close reaching distance. Guess that is what the internship/Masters application process does to you…makes time fly.

Sidenote: I saw robins yesterday! I was partially excited (cuz spring sign!) but more so concerned because this was after a full on 20-25 degree reduction in temperature in one day. Please don’t be baby-makin yet birdies!

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I’d be making that face too if it was 16 one day then I woke up to -10.In fact, I probably did look like that yesterday…

So coming back to another active ingredient in pre-workouts and also BCAA’s, I have always really wondered what this guy was good for. I mean, my coach said it was a good thing and it provided benefits, but apparently I was too busy to think about educating myself on why. I don’t like that….

I always stand for the whole ‘know what and why you are putting something into your body” philosophy and I obviously didn’t follow through with that on this one.

Time to take a scientific looky at it to settle my conscience.

Citrulline Malate

What is it?

Citrulline malate is the quite simply the combination of citrulline and malate. Pretty obvious eh? Citrulline is an important component of the urea cycle, which is where urea is formed from ammonia in the liver. This conversion is important because ammonia is actually toxic in the body if it builds up, while urea is a bit less harmful. Malate, on the other hand, is an intermediate in the  Kreb’s cycle, which is the cycle that releases energy from our macronutrients through oxidizing acetyl CoA.

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What does it do?

It has been used in the past as an aid to decrease muscle fatigue and increase functionality. Many studies have shown these effects, whether human or animal (I will present some of the human ones below), in addition to speculating other benefits such as higher clearance of ammonia from the blood post exercise, a possible role in lactate metabolism and some effect on acid-base balance. The mechanism behind all of this remains unknown at this point however.

So, although it has shown benefits for athletic performance, particularly with respect to a more efficiently functioning muscle , we don’t have a strong conclusions as to how it is doing it.

So, below I will highlight a few studies and provide their findings, conclusions and hypotheses regarding a potential mode of action.

Bendahan et al (2002). “CM ingestion resulted in a significant reduction in the sensation of fatigue, a 34% increase in the rate of oxidative ATP production during exercise, and a 20% increase in the rate of phosphocreatine recovery after exercise, indicating a larger contribution of oxidative ATP synthesis to energy production.” Their conclusion? The mechanism of CM’s action that reduces weakness and fatigue could be that it increases aerobic ATP production through providing more of the intermediates to replenish those that were lost more quickly than if you weren’t supplementing. [6g CM used]

Perez-Guisado et al (2010). Their study found that males athletes supplemented with CM saw more than 50% increases in the number of repetitions for barbell bench and a significant decrease in muscle fatigue 24 and 48 hours following the study’s training regime in a double blind, within subject study. In their research, they stated that studies have begin to speculate a role of ammonia in in “blocking cellular energy processes” and causing earlier fatigue. It has also been seen that it plays a role in NO reactions, which has been associated with recovery. Overall they concluded that the results from their study showed that one dose of CM helped with recovery and performance in high-intensity anaerobic activities with short rest times. [8g CM used]

Sureda et al (2010). They took subjects and had them cycle for ~137km with one difficult hill. All were given the same amount of food and fluid. They measured all variables (amino acids and all important exercise related metabolites) 3 hours prior to the race, 15 minutes following and 3 hours following. Overall, they found that the CM group showed a significant decease in the amount of the branched chain amino acids post race, which they said was due to the BCAAs being more effectively used for energy, than the control and higher arginine concentrations, which would contribute to many arginine derived metabolites such as nitrite, urea, creatinine and hormones like growth hormone that are beneficial for muscle growth and function. Finally, they also saw greater nitrogen availability in the CM group, which they stated could increase protein synthesis and protein concentrations in the muscle during exercise leading to better use of the amino acids (particularly the BCAAs). [6g CM used]

Overall, although I only highlighted a few interesting studies I found, I will say that the vast majority of studies I saw (which, I couldn’t have seen them all obviously…) showed significant improvements with its usage, so I have some confidence that it could provide a benefit to those who are looking (and can afford) to get a supplement that may actually do something useful and perhaps give a slight edge with recovery. Is it required to be a better athlete? Well no. Like all supplements, its not a magic powder that will give you huge energy bursts or make your recovery happen in 5 seconds. It is simply supplementing your routine and could provide some little bits of assistance and/or performance enhancements.

Happy Friday Friends!

-Chelsea


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Betaine For Gains? Fitness Friday 36

Everyone is always looking for some kind of pill to improve their exercise performance or get bigger. This is why articles like this one

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…Get all the youngin’s running out the door to buy all of the supplements listed because 1. they apparently make you huge and 2. Brian DeCosta is a god sent and who wouldn’t want to look like him. 😉

Sorry you had to be a part of this post Brian, but I just had to chat more on this article and, well, you aren’t too bad to look at for the cover shot.

So what was one supplement on their list that is supposed to make you jacked faster?

Betaine

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So what is it?

It is a derivative of glycine (an amino acid) and due to having 3 methyl groups, it acts as a donor of a methyl group in a reaction that ends up producing creatine in the skeletal muscle. It also has been suggested to have cardiovascular protectant factors due to reducing plasma levels of homocysteine (which is a risk factor for CVD) and inflammation. Due to its role in increasing creatine, it was hypothesized that supplementing with it can have growth enhancing effects and increasing power and strength performance.

Due to these suggestions, this began finding its way into pre-workouts and even as a stand alone addition to any bodybuilders stack.

…the thing is though….

Does it actually make you grow?

Lets start with what the article stated:

Betaine seems to work by increasing the release of growth hormone and IGF-1 while blunting the exercise-induced release of catabolic hormones like cortisol. The overall effect is to increase muscle growth and decrease muscle breakdown following exercise.[2] Since betaine works much like creatine monohydrate, researchers suspect that it, too, might stimulate muscle growth over the long term.

Hmmm interesting. Well cortisol definitely has some support backed behind it…

So now, what does the research actually say?

Well, its all over the place. There doesn’t appear to be concrete conclusions about it.

Hoffman et al (2009) –> 15 days supplementation in active college males to test muscle strength, power and endurance across 3 time points. Study found no significant differences in number of reps to exhaustion (endurance) or on number of reps at 90% power OR power assessments. They did find that squat reps at 90% power increased significantly in the BET group at time 2.

Apicella et al (2012). This was once of the studies cited in the article and it did in fact show significantly lower cortisol levels post training in the BET while also showing significantly higher growth hormone.

Pryer et al (2012). BET supplementation in bike sprinters found a significant increase in sprinting power. The supplementation was only for a week however.

Hoffman et al (2011)–> 15 day supplementation with Betaine, once again, in active males (within subject study, so they each ran through a BET and non-BET treatment period==> better design) found no increase in peak concentric or eccentric force OR overall fatigue. They did, however, find a significant reduction in fatigue when compared workout 5 and 1 (was that a training adaption effect?)

So some studies say YAY and some studies say NAY so its safe to say that there is not a concrete answer on this product. If it does truly work like creatine (which has mass amounts of supporting research) than perhaps there is some merit to this guy. As of right now though, I wouldn’t be running to pick up a bottle of the stuff unless I’m not concerned about the money and I’m looking to do my own trial.

Happy Fitness Friday friends. 

PS it apparently has some gut health benefits too…hmm may need to research those for meeeseelf. betaine

-Chelsea


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Smitten For Snickers

Happy Saturday my Friends!

Big shout out to you all for all of you love and support on my first post back to zee bloggy world. I’m really so happy that you guys still checked back to my lil place in the inter web 😀

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Just a lil quickie before I run off to the gym and then the farmers market on this lovely…eerr kinda dark…morning.

So this happened last night as usual on Fridays…

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Leg Day Cheat Meal Time with my parents! Started off at Tom Yom Thai and Vietnamese and despite the atmosphere being more fast-food like and less restaurant like (my Mom said not so cozy), I really enjoyed my typical dish of ALL ZEE VEGGIES and SEAFOOD. Yum.

As for my normal Ice Cream Challenge, I was super stoked when I found out that Guelph sold Kawartha downtown at a Imported Candy shop call Sweets! Candy but was gravely disppointed when I got there and all they had was the bottom of the barrels left.

#Sadface.

So we quickly made a change of plans to our always happening Baskin Robbins and I’m SO GLAD WE DID because this beauty then hit my face..

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Yes my friends, I found it finally!

Made With Snickers.

Caramel Ice Cream + Snickers + Caramel Swirl

You better believe that I died a lil bit last night. That ice cream was super loaded with snickers and caramel flavour. The best of both worlds

Peanut butter and Caramel.

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You’re telling me!

I loved it so much that my Dad even bought a pint of it to take home and stash in the freezer when they decide to send that one away again

RIP to my salted caramel..

Now I just have to get over my fear of eating ice cream at home….No I’m not kidding.

But anyways best flavour I have ever had as Baskins! On the top was a new top 5..Perils of Praline

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Vanilla frozen yogurt packed with pralined pecans and chocolate cookie pieces, and a creamy caramel ribbon throughout

This one is real good too guys!

I was a lil bit concerned with the cookie pieces as I’m also gluten free…So lactose intolerance + glutenless + Chelsea eating dairy-vicious ice cream with gluten-ified cookie pieces = problems?

Not this morning apparently (knock on wood)

Thank you enzymes. 😀

Overall my sore and tired self (thanks leg day) was thoroughly stuffed but I’m still drooling over that ice cream. This week I had my parents there for support too which was nice as I had a rougher time last week without them. I still had my moments last night but I tried my best just to die of my foodgasm.

In other news..

This needs to be a thing

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Did you know that naps are apparently good for you and everyone should take them daily?

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I agree! And I mostly do hehe. If Thomas Edison did it…

Lastly before I run off…

This happened yesterday and although I was expecting it because apparently everyone in this world thinks it’s the greatest thing to man…

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Pumpkin Pie Questbar…#WhiteGirlsScreamedWithJoy

I was disappointed it wasn’t caramel (#obsessed)

Well that will be one bar for the housemate and not me.

Hope you have a great Saturday Friends!

Anyone else out there not a pumpkin person? Love my kabocha (it’s a japanese pumpkin my loves and not a squash technically), but have never really been into pumpkin flavoured things. Don’t hate on me!

Top 5 Baskin Robbins (or ice cream in general) flavours? Made with Snickers, Salty Caramel, Creme Brûlée (got that baby once, damn seasonality flavours!), Reese’s, Perils of Praline

-Chelsea


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Kids These Days…Thinking Out Loud

Hey Friends.

Guess what day it is?

Guess who has random **it to say?

This guy…errr..girl…Who misses this show?

Loved House!

1. Speaking of shows….

Greys’ Finale TONIGHT. OMG Derek is dead! :-O

Hellllloo…

Wait you’re not Derek? How did that get there? You’re welcome for the #BeautifulMan. 😉 Those eyes though…

Distractions. Anyways, thoughts on the last episode. Were you shocked they killed off Derek?

To be honest, I thought he was gunna be in that plane, but either way I kinda thought he was going to die just be Amelia was all like

“You have never lost anyone”

…to Meredith.

Did you see that coming?

Sidenote. Has anyone else started to feel like Alex is actually a really nice guy?

Also, Amelia is annoying me because she’s running away from love and happiness. Ugh.

2. Kids Are Annoying.

Not even kids, teenagers.

I say that and I still feel as if I’m not an adult (I’m 23) but for real though, how rude, disrespectful and entitled is our current teen generation?

From being unable to carry out a conversation with another person outside their circle of friends, to hating on their parents while still feeling that they deserve a level of respect and all the materialistic things in the world, teens these days I don’t understand.

It’s not a good look.

Where did all this come from?

They just don’t seem to care about anything. Where are their drives?

I say all this and I know there are exceptions, a lot, but there is a disturbing trend that is increasing and it’s frightening quite frankly.

This entitlement thing is a big problem and I think that stems from main issue of…

Society causes parents to be overworked and have no time for children. This then leads to parents showering children with whatever they want to show love. Children then grow up feeling they can get whatever they want.

The ability to live comfortably is becoming quite challenging these days. Work hours are increasing dramatically and hours spent together with family are decreasing. With this, I see a major change in teens and kids in general.

I am in no way saying that parents are in the wrong because they are doing the best they can, but I just truly believe that this loss of family time is a major contributor to this disrespectful and ‘all about me’ nature we often see. Not to mention the addiction to all things technology.

Like that helps our communication abilities…

Does it irk anyone else when someones phone appears to be glued to their hand?

3. On the topic of kids…

Driving past my high school the other morning and it actually hit me hard at how depressing it makes me feel to see so many KIDS in the smokers pit. Yes, our high school had a smokers pit. Yeah, they are technically legal, but they are so young to start such a dirty habit that does absolutely nothing for you but kill you slowly.

You know what also kills

My wallet that is…

4. My Name is Chelsea and I’m addicted to Questbars.

IMG_7640I’m not even a mint chocolate fanatic but I ordered them the day they came out and received my bundle of beauties a mere 3 days later.

I will say they are really good despite not being a mint-a-holic. Apparently they are crazy close to Girl Guide Thin Mint Cookies. I wouldn’t know as I have never had one.

S’mores still takes my heart though.

5. I’m still grilling up a storm over here.

I’m a #GrillMaster!

IMG_7665Why yes that is grilled pizza.

Okay, maybe flat bread because do you know how hard it is to get dough that is sticking to you on a grill without flaming your hands off?

IMG_7666They were beautiful though. I was proud and they were demolished happily by my parents.

For me, I have determined that I have never loved kabocha more in my life

IMG_7643Seriously, if you think you’re addicted to kabocha now, throw it on the grill and you will think you have died a heavenly death I’m not kidding.

6. Squash Gainz?

IMG_7649I swear when I look at my legs in person they look better and more defined. I apparently cannot capture it on camera. Are they still scrawny? Yes, but check out the beginnings of a quad sweep. Weeoo I love muscular legs! Grow lil babies grow!

Question for you all.

Muscle on women, be honest, do you like the look?

Personally, I love muscle. I’m not crazy about the whole “women physique model look” as an every day look mind you (which I will say, ladies is pretty much impossible to reach without drugs), but well defined, muscular legs, and shoulders along with a nice ‘winged back’ and arms that don’t look like they will snap in half is where its at in my mind.

7. More on the gain train…

Psychologically

I conquered my fear food of the week.

IMG_7670Potatoes.

Yes. I admit it. I’m petrified of potatoes. Once again, yes my fears are incredibly stupid but they are very real to me. Today was leg day so I made this challenge today because it was the only day I could justify it in my mind a bit. I won’t get into the details behind my fear because I have a hard enough time getting past it and I don’t want to influence someone else’s thoughts in the wrong direction

There is nothing wrong with potatoes. Please, don’t fear them like I do. It’s stupid. They are something Mother Nature grows for us to eat. They are fuel.

To end on a loving note. Lets take it back to when love was what life was all about..

8. The 60’s called and the Hippies are mad you stole their van.

IMG_7651Yes. This van is real. It is real and it lives a few streets away from me.

I stood there for a good solid minute just staring at it.

Also, yes, it says PEACE on the front.

Only in Acton

Anyways guys, sending peace, love and happiness your way and big thanks to Amanda for hosting the partay that my blabbering self can attend.

Thinking-Out-LoudWould you drive a flower child van?

Favourite food on the grill?

-Chelsea


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Follow-Up + Tuesday Thoughts

Hey Friends!

Just a few lil thoughts I had to share for today. Bring on the typical Lil Miss Fitness Freak randomness

1. Thank You

Thank you all so much for your love, feedback and support on yesterday’s vlog. It means the world to me trust me. I promise to bring you along on this journey with me so that that hopefully it can help anyone who may be going through the same thing. Facing fears is not easy. It doesn’t just happen without internal struggles and some ugly times and I hope to be as real with you as possible.

2. Feedback

Speaking of yesterday’s video, a lot of you had concerns about what to do next or that you will gain weight if you stop doing cardio. Check out my follow-up video below (click on the thumbnail) as I attempted to clear your concerns. I hope that helps.

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Complete 180 comin at you random-wise as we continue these Tuesday Thoughts….

3. I’m Really Gunna Miss My Dad’s BBQ

For real though..

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Sweet potatoes + grilled curry seasoned hoki fillet topped with avocado and olive oil drizzle + unpictured appie salad as usual

 I thought roasted sweet potatoes were good, but charred on the barby just takes them to a whole new level of amazingness. Anyone else in the same boat where the black, charred parts are the bestest?

4. I Faced My First Fear Challenge Today.

As part of increasing my calories, specifically carbohydrates, my nutritionist and I planned on slowly adding an intraworkout supplement into my training. It was something I was thinking of doing for a while, but dried fruit really freak me out because sugar is the biggest fear thing for me. I actually brought up the idea as I have seen many people on YouTube who use candy as a pre or intra (meaning during) workout boost of sugar to finish their workout strong as opposed to dying off and half-assing the end part of their training because their glycogen or energy stores are gone at that point. As Gabrielle and I discussed, once you reach about 1.5 hours of training, it is about time that you consider a refuel as your glycogen stores are probably starting to wane a lil bit. I have regularly felt drop off and so I really did think about poppin some dried fruit as a way to get my flame back on when I start to fizzle out BUUUUUTTT..

The sugar freaked me out and I didn’t do it.

Today, as part of my goals this week, I will say that I successfully popped dried figs during my workout today and I didn’t die. Did I feel a bit of guilt? Yes. I felt guilty as my body heated up like fire because my metabolism is not used to concentrated sources of sugar. I felt guilty feeling that sugar on my teeth after I ate them just tauntin me that I ate something I feared.

What I also noticed?

I didn’t feel half asleep on my drive home due to being uber depleted and fatigued after being drained completely during my workout. I was also able to power through the rest of my workout feeling more alive.

So like I said before, I need to focus on those later benefits that I felt and not think too much about the other things. I train hard and if it helps me perform better, why should I be afraid of it?

So the dried figs will continue on. One day at a time.

5. I Miss My Housies.

Emily texted me the other day and she made my whittle heart melt.

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These two have honestly become my best friends and I truly miss them already. We have our own lil jokes. Our own traditions. Our own quirks. We even have our own go-to restaurant that we always have our date nights at.

So glad my housemates love Thai food as much as I do. Red Papaya is our jam-a-rama.

So glad my housemates love Thai food as much as I do. Red Papaya is our jam-a-rama.

I get to have Rita in my life for the next month or two before she heads back home to China, but I’m without my Emily for the whole summer as she lives in Montreal. I’m excited to live with them in our new house next year

6. I’m Going Over Board On Halibut.

Spring and summer time is the ONLY time that halibut steaks are available. Steaks are immensely better then any fillet will ever be tenderness and moistness (sorry…) wise because you are baking it with the bone in and the skin wrapped around it.

Pretty sure I have eaten this 3 times this week…#Obsessed.

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Once again, grill that baby up for the biggest mouth-gasm.

7. That Meme Though..

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So true. Anyone else? I actually feel like a dog no joke. I will totally make you a plate but don’t even think about touching whats on my plate if you want your fingers.

8. Nut Butter Amazingness.

So I absolutely adore the White Chocolate Raspberry Questbar flavour and well, this is an obvious love..

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Why must you been so smalll whittle package. That won’t last.

Found this gem on Netrition.com. Paleo approved, no crap and no sugar added. Bam.

9. Speaking Of Questbars…Squeeeeeaal.

I have a problem. They were released this morning… Money was removed from my bank account and a box was ready to be shipped to my parents house by this afternoon.

There are worse addictions right?

Anywho, those are my thoughts for today. I hope you had a great Tuesday friends.

Are you a fan of chocolate mint?

What’s you’re go-to restaurant?

-Chelsea


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Shroom Powder and Stash…Friday Finds

Hey Friends!

Happy Friday!

Any plans for your evening tonight?

141548It’s been a lil bit since I showed you some of my finds and favourites on a good ol’ Friday and since I have a few this week to share I thought I would quickly show them some love.

Cool Pinnin’

So pretty!! I love the print and that they did it in pink and silver. Plus, you can never go wrong with sparkles in my eyes. #SparkleQueen #NeverEnoughSparkles

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No explanation required. It’s cookie dough people! And it’s a nut butter. I die. I just need my blender to be able to crush up those almonds…. Thanks Sarah!

Baked Potato or, better yet, sweet potato anyone? This pin is more for inspiration as I do like stuffin things like squash and the man also loves a good stuffed tater. I’m thinking he would drool over that baked sweet tater stuffed with feta, olives, and sundried tomatoes.

Link Love

This may seem random, but I found a super informative guide to all there is sweet tater! Check out this wonderful write up from Bob over at Cannundrums.

Screen shot 2014-05-16 at 9.13.24 PMDo you know how many varieties of sweet potatoes (or yams as we North American’s falsely call them) there are? Purple ones, white ones, purple-skin, white fleshed ones. You see, there are more than just your old fashioned sweet and very orange looking sweet potato. There are even ones that change colour as they bake!

20140516-211822.jpg Would you believe that this sweet tater was white before I roasted it up? This lovely transforming gem was found at the new Asian market in Jackson Square (they also carry my beloved purple sweet taters too) and I quickly put it to use after grueling leg workout. The inside was faintly purple when I cut into it and once it was done roasting it took on that lovely intense purple hue you see in the picture. Oh, and yes that is nut butter you see slathered on there. Toffee flavoured Nuts n’More peanut butter to be exact.

Thursday Conquering: I had wanted to try nut butter on a sweet potato for a really long time but didn’t actually let myself because, in my mind, that was too indulgent and would go over my peanut butter “limit” for the day. Well, when I found these beautiful sweet potatoes I knew that I had to kill off that irrational fear and so, after my killer leg workout I dove right in and wow was it good. Wish I could have put more pb on that tater for more coverage, but that’s besides the point. I’m proud that I did it and it was a tasty success to repeat in the near future.
20140516-211839.jpgYummers!

Conclusion. If you have never tried nut butter on a sweet potato (of any colour)…do it! Also, if you have not dipped those toes in the sea of non-orange sweet taters….Dive in peeps! The purple ones are amazing and very pretty to boot. 😀 I digress…

Favourite Finds

As If I don’t eat enough shrooms

portobello-dPranin Purefood Portabello D. I mentioned Pranin in my last post, but this is a new one I picked up after chattering with Sam and Shelly about the importance of vitamin D. Hey, it was on sale anyways and I got my store discount 😉

Anyways, it’s a whole food supplement (the most accessible form) of Vitamin D coming entirely from organically harvest portabello mushrooms. As a vitamin we sun deprived Canadian’s don’t often get enough of, especially after this winter, it is quite an important one to consider. Important for bone/teeth health as well as helping with the absorption of phosphorus and calcium, Vitamin D has been surfacing more and more into the literature for autoimmune disorders, MS, intestinal cancers, type 1 diabetes and many others. [source]. So, eat yo shrooms!

What I’m doing with it….Putting it in my morning proats. The fats should help with it’s absorption as it is a fat soluble vitamin, meaning it gets stored in your body’s fatty tissues. This step here (having it with fat) may not be necessary as I did see in a few sites that you don’t have to worry about interactions with vitamin D, but it doesn’t hurt in my mind to do it this way. It also means I don’t have to put it in my water…Mmmm mushroom flavoured water..

aaannnd for my nightly tea drinking

Stash Chocolate Orange Herbal Tea. I snatched this new flavour up this week and I have been enjoying it quite a bit for the past few nights. The aroma of the orange is quite strong for a tea (in a good way as I like the smell of oranges) and the flavour is strong enough that you get the bright citrus notes against the deeper cacao flavour. Good find!

These candles that I found at Carlton Cards

20140516-220208.jpgLangley Home Candles. These two scents (Vanilla Cinnamon Brulee and Birthday Cake) smell amazing. So good that I went back and bought another of the cinnamon ones for my Mom for Mother’s day! I hope she is enjoying burnin hers as much as I am mine. Kinda sad though as it’s only got a 1/3 left and it’s been about 2 weeks…Apparently I’m diggin my candles lately….as you see one of them is lit in the picture (burin as I write this post). A writer needs her ambiance amirite?


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Workin Those Guns. April 28/14 Workout.

Hey Friends,

So to stick to adding more workouts to zee bloggy I’m droppin in for another short post to give you my bi’s and tri’s workout from yesterday. I have to be honest when I say this is probably my least favourite training day, as I’m not a huge fan of isolating biceps and triceps as a workout, but I guess the reasons I stick to it is because …

  1. One it’s mostly geared towards reaching new PR’s (personal records or bests) for my dips and chins.
  2. Doing a few isolated bi’s and tri’s work won’t kill me. It’s actually kinda nice to see some definition in a females arms IMO.
  3. It’s actually quite tiring (as I do 2 not 1 5×5 super heavy sets) and I always end up a wee bit sore the next day.

So, if you’re wondering why a girl would dictate a whole day’s workout to bi’s and tri’s, try my workout on for size. 😀

cute-animals-flexing-lemurhehehe Flexin Lemur!

A few notes:

  1. For weighted chins (chin-ups-bicep 5×5 set), I do my first set without weights to see where I’m at endurance wise then hold a 10lb DB between my feet for the last 4 sets. For each of those sets I can do about 5 reps with the weight and then I drop it and do 2-3 more reps. Work to failure!
  2. For weighted dips (5×5 tricep set), I am using two benches like this-> http://www.passion4profession.net/en/triceps-exercises/dips-with-2-benches.html. I have plates stacked up on my lap for all sets (warm-up with one 35lb plate), and then for the monster drop set I’m simply doing a set with all the weight and then continuing to go with less and less weight until I basically collapse. So, I do 130lbs and take 60lbs off, do more reps, take 35lbs off, do more reps..etc until all the weight is off and I can’t move my arms. There is no stopping between these weight changes. It’s all about burning out the muscle completely. Good times!
  3. For overhead tricep extensions I tend to go for a towel rather than the rope. I find that I can get a better curl at the end with the towel (which means a better tricep contraction!)
  4. Today was lower/upper abs with my workout and, as always, I warmed those up before  my start. Yesterday is was weighted leg raises (+drop sets for each set) + weighted decline situps (+ final set drop set) for 3 total rounds.

There you have it. A workout to kick off your summer gun show! 😉

One other thing I wanted to share from today was my oatmeal (Zoats!) from this morning as I got to try out Cellucor’s new Mint Chocolate Chip flavour! Many thanks to Chaunda and her kind self for giving me a sample of her new buy.

20140430-205427.jpgToday was a rest day from the gym, so it was zoats (or zucchini oats- trust me you don’t taste the grated zucchini it just adds some veggies, nutrition and VOLUME to your oatmeal. Try it!!) for breakfast. Now, you will notice that these don’t look like my typical zoats for a few reasons…

  1. Where are the berries? I tend to use lower glycemic berries on my rest days as I don’t need the extra quick carbs (sugars) from banana when I’m not going to the gym. Banana rarely makes an appearance on rest days. When it does, either I’m really craving it OR I’m going in for an early morning shift, at 8:30am, at work (like today).
  2. Questbar pieces on a rest day? This never really happens BUT because I didn’t have much fruit, I need extra carbies to make up for the lost macros and I had a small piece (like 1/8th of a bar…yeah it puffs up that much!) of a Cookies and Cream Questbar left that I baked into lil bites to top my mint chocolate chip zoats with. Besides, what fruit goes with mint?

These were sooo yummy and, like I mentioned, because I was heading into work (rather than taking my typical rest-day nap…I died half way through the day so zee nap was a 2 hour afternoon one after worky 😛 ), I did add some nanner to it and it made it plump up EVEN MORE and make it nice and creamy. To get this effect (plus you don’t want banana chunks with mint right?), when adding the banana, you want to use the ‘melted banana trick‘ a la Chocolate Covered Katie and whip it into your oats/zoats.

And because some of you have asked, I will give an updated set of directions on how I make my zoats. I use a microwave when cooking my oats/zoats. You can do stove top if you wish.

***These are rough directions for the process only. I’m not giving my gram by gram amount of oats, etc that I use, just use however much of each ingredient as you like. ***

The night before. (Optional)

In a microwave safe bowl, add the following ingredients together and place in the fridge overnight.

  • Oats (I use quick gluten free oats)
  • Whey (I used the chocolate mint here and only about 1/4 of a scoop as it’s mostly for flavour)
  • Chia Seeds
  • Grated Zucchini (about a 1/4 to 1/3 of a medium sized one)
  • Liquid of choice (I use a half and half mix of unsweetened almond milk and water in a 2:1 liquid to oats ratio)
  • Cinnamon

The reason I soak my oats (and every grain I eat for that matter) is because this breaks down the outer coating of the oats and makes them more digestible. This means that your body is better able to absorb the nutrients from the oats and is easier on your digestive system.

The next morning.

You will need…

  • 2 or a 1/4 cup of Liquid Egg Whites
  • small piece of RIPE Banana
  • 1/2 tsp of Coconut Oil (optional- getting more healthy fats)
  • 1/2 tsp Lucuma Powder (optional superfood addition)
  • Toppings of choice. I used 1/8 of a Cookies and Cream, raw cacao nibs and raw cashew butter.
  1. Add a bit of water (about a tbsp depending on how dry it looks) and stir. Don’t add too much as you didn’t strain your zucchini and during the cooking process it will also release liquid. Nuke for 3-4 minutes depending on your microwave strength. Watch to make sure it doesn’t overflow.
  2. Take out. Pour in your egg whites and whip like a mad person until they are fully incorporated. Take your banana and, in a separate cup, melt it in the microwave. Whip that into your zoats too. Nuke for another 2 minutes watching it carefully so that it doesn’t overflow.
  3. Remove again, stir in coconut oil and lucuma (if using) and add your toppings.
  4. NOM AWAY!

Simple right?

The only thing you have to get used to with zoats is understanding just HOW MUCH liquid that zucchini releases and to add more or less liquid as you are cooking based on how it is looking and how you like the consistency of your zoats to be. I like mine on the drier, creamy side (no spare liquid floatin around) so I use a very tiny amount of added liquid. Trial and error will lead you to finding the right balance.

PLEASE TRY THESE!

I promise you will not taste the..

  1. Egg Whites. Don’t be scared. They don’t make your oats taste like eggs I swear on my life. All they do is add protein and volume. Who doesn’t want an even bigger bowl of oatmeal? This girl does! 😀
  2. Zucchini. Again, you won’t taste them. They might add a slight texture to your oats depending on the size of your grater blade but there is no taste. Just pure nutrition points and, once again, volume.

I love’em and so I hope you do too!

Do you like working your arms?

Ever grated vegetables into your oatmeal? I have seen a lot of grated cauliflower floatin around on IG lately. If I didn’t have a slight gas..err…. digestive issue with too much cauli consumption I might have tried this.

Chocolate mint combo…Yay or Nay?

Oh and for the record for all my protein powder addicts…Cellucor is releasing three…yes THREE…new flavours in the up and coming months.

  1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (already available to US friends only booo on Cellucor’s main webpage)
  2. Smores
  3. White Chocolate Mocha

Cellucor release 10th Cor Whey flavor chocolate chip cookie dough

ERMMAGAWD cookie dough is my favourite! Can’t wait!!! That smores looks interesting too. Sigh…There goes more monnies as I won’t be able to resist.

Which new flavour appeals the most to you?

-Chelsea