Back and Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

I slept in today. It was wonderful, but left me feeling pressured for time. Considering how long my workouts have been lately.

So I shoveled in breakfast. No picture, but it was 40 grams oats, 1/2 cup egg whites, and 90 grams of apple, with splenda and cinnamon.

My workout this morning was not easy. Day 2 of week 1 is a back workout. Just like day 1, I do each exercise in the compound sets back to back with 1 minute rest in between each set, and I do 4 sets of each compound set.

Warm up: 5 minutes on the crosstrainer.

Compound Set 1:
Wide Grip Lat Pull Down: 50 pounds, 12 reps; 70 pounds, 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps
Seated Wide Grip Cable Row: 50 pounds 12; 70 pounds, 8; 60 pounds, 10, 9

Compound Set 2:
Reverse Cable Grip Pull Down: 70 pounds, 12; 80 pounds, 8, 8, 8
Neutral Grip Row: 60 pounds, 8, 7, 7, 7

Compound Set 3:
Neutral Pull Down: 80 pounds, 8, 6; 70 pounds, 10, 10
Underhand Row: 60 pounds, 8, 8, 8, 8

Compound Set 4:
Bent Over Barbell Row: 45 pounds, 8; 40 pounds, 10, 10, 10
Straight Arm Pull Down: 30 pounds, 10, 10, 10, 10

Compound Set 5:
Straight Leg Deadlift: 60 pounds, 12, 12, 12, 12
Shrugs: 60 pounds, 10, 10, 8, 8  

Cardio: 15 minutes on the stepmill at the end (this is all I had left in me, I would have liked to do 20 plus minutes, but I didn't have time for a second workout today).

My heart rate monitor wasn't working for the first 15 minutes and a few other shorter times throughout my workout, so these stats aren't accurate, but it gives you some sort of idea.

Time: 1:14: 04
Calories: 441
Max HR: 172
Average HR: 147

Post Workout Smoothie:

Same as always:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 5 grams glutamine
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ice
About an hour later I ate some leftovers for lunch

  • 4.5 ounces salmon with a dill yogurt sauce on top 
  • 1/4 cup (measured uncooked) wild/brown rice
  • 1 baby zucchini cooked with garlic and olive oil
I also made these Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting today.

I found this recipe somewhere online (I don't remember!), but tweaked it. 



    2 Eggs, beaten 1/2 cup pumpkin 1/2 cup almond breeze 1/4 cup applesauce 1 1/2 cup oat flour 2 scoops vanilla protein powder 1/3 cup splenda (could use more, if you like things sweet) 3 tsp baking powder 1 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp nutmeg

What to do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Mix first four ingredients together, add splenda, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add flour and baking powder together 
Pour into greased muffin tins
Bake for 20 minutes

Cream Cheese Frosting (for two muffins):


2 tablespoons light cream cheese
1 tsp splenda
1 tsp almond milk

What to do:

Mix the ingredients really well and spread them on top of the muffins. 

Stats for 2 muffins with the frosting: 214 calories, 8.3 grams fat, 32.6 grams carbs, 16.2 grams protein 

Shortly after I gobbled these two muffins up, it was time for dinner. 

Another chicken stir fry. I'm not going to post the ingredients, cause they are the same as always. 

After I ate this it was time for class. During my class I ate this. 

After class I had another one of April's protein cake:

I ate it with a serving of plain yogurt and 80 grams of strawberries. 

Well there you have it! I'm gonna finish watching the Bachelor (yes, I watch the Bachelor. I love it!), and call it a night. 


Chest and Abs (AGAIN)

Well I got a couple comments the other day about posting my workout details. Sooooo I've decided to redo week 1 of my program and post the details for you guys!

Day 1 of week 1 is chest and abs.

I try to only rest for 1 min in between supersets and I do each superset 4 times. It gets tiring quickly!

Superset 1:
Dumbbell Bench Press: 20 pounds (each arm), 12 sets; 25 pounds, 12; 30 pounds 8, 8
Leg Raise with Swiss Ball: 15, 12, 12, 12

Superset 2:
Dumbbell Incline Press: 22.5 pounds (each arm), 12 sets; 25 pounds, 9, 8, 8
Bicycle: 20, 20, 20, 20

Superset 3:
Dumbbell Flyes (machine was broken at the gym): 15 pounds, 12, 10, 8, 8
Russian Twist: 20, 20, 20, 20

Superset 4:
Machine Chest Press: 55 pounds, 12; 70 pounds, 7, 7, 7
Machine Crunch: 55 pounds, 15, 15, 15, 15

Time: 54:41
Calories: 323
Max HR: 147
Average HR: 128

So there you have it. I'll try to be diligent and post every workout I do this week. Thanks for reading :)


Wake Up Call

Well it's that time in the semester where things start to become real again. I have a plethora of projects with deadlines looming that need much attention, so I thought I'd do one of those traditional posts for you guys.

Breakfast was blue (kinda fun):

Egg white oatmeal:

  • 40 grams oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 cup egg whites
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • splenda and cinnamon 
I then went to the gym and killed myself in a shoulder and arm workout. My shoulders were burning the entire time! Seriously, these are some of the toughest workouts I've done in a loooong time. I've had to break my cardio (post coming on why I'm choosing to keep cardio in my program), and my weight workouts into two-a-days. If I don't, I just have zero energy. 

Post-workout smoothie:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 1/2 scoops of vanilla protein powder
  • 5 grams glutamine
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • lots of ice
This has been my favorite post-workout meal lately. 

Shortly after I drank this and cleaned up, I went to active release. I don't know if you guys know about active release, but it can be pretty painful. I have trouble with my hips and now my knees (as a result of the problem with my hips), and if I don't go to these appointments it shuts down my workouts from pain. Today's appointment was pretty brutal. My left knee is still sore, but I know it'll make things better in the end. 

As soon as I came home I made lunch:

  • 1 serving tortilla chips
  • 5 ounces extra lean ground beef with cajun spices 
  • 1/2 cup salsa
This is UNREAL! Seriously, I would eat this several times a day if I could. 

Homework, homework, homework and then snack:

Homework, homework, dog searching (I want to buy a dog. Cross your fingers that my man will let me :)), and more homework and then supper:

Teriyaki Shrimp:
  • 20 medium sized shrimp, cleaned
  • 90 grams green beans
  • 1 cup broccoli 
  • 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
  • garlic powder and ginger powder to taste
Cook everything at the same time. Once the shrimp have curled into circles, it's done! 

Homework, homework, homework, snack:

April's protein cake with plain yogurt. 

Daily stats: 2033 calories, 62 grams of fat, 181 grams of carbs, 201 grams of protein. 

After this last snack, I did a little bit more homework for my Criminology class and then made an inspiration board. I got this idea from The Fitnessista. Since I'm a visual person, and wanted to find a way to keep myself motivated throughout the year, I thought this would be the perfect way to combine the two! 

Have a great night everyone, chat with you all soon. 


Chest and Abs

The very first day of my new workout cycle was completed today. And let me tell you... it was a dooseee!

Chest used to be an easy day for me, not any more. Thanks Dane!

As I mentioned earlier, Dane, a trainer in Seattle made this new program for me. The next few paragraphs I simply copy and pasted out of the email Dane sent me.

Week 1 is "Fixed Motion and Power." This is any movement or workout that keeps both sides of your body "tied." Pretty much barbell lifts and machine lifts.

Your focus: breathing, your core, and form form form!

Rest: 60-90 sec between each set/superset/compound set

Sets: 4; superset with accompanying muscle group

Rep range: 8-12. Always work to the top of your range. Start at 12, if you reach 12 reps easily increase your weight by a comfortable increment and again try for 12 reps, or failure, which ever you reach first. Every time you reach the top of your rep range, increase your weight.

Day 1: Chest and Abs

Barbell bench press
Reverse grip barbell incline press
Standard incline press
Pec-deck machine flye's
Machine press
*Build Your Own Abs (choose from list below)

Day 2: Back and Posterior Chain (compound sets)

Wide grip Lat pull down
         -> seated wide grip cable row
Reverse close grip pull down
         -> seated neutral grip mach row
Neutral grip pull down
         -> seated underhand cable row
Bent over barbell row
         -> straight arm pull down
Straight leg deadlift
         -> smith machine rear shrug**

Cardio 20 min. Moderate intensity.

Day 3: Shoulders and Arms

Power snatch
          -> barbell curls
Push press
          -> preacher curl
Bridge presses***
          -> reverse grip barbell curls
Barbell front raises
          -> skull crushers
Machine shoulder press
          -> O.H. E-z bar tri extensions

Day 4: Legs and Abs

Barbell squat
Barbell front squat
Leg press
Quad extensions
Lying hamstring curls

Build your own abs.

Day 5: Free Day, Core and Cardio

I will leave this day up to you. Whatever you feel has been neglected through the week go ahead and work that. Do some core/ab work and then do some light to moderate cardio on the bike to loosen up the legs.

Day 6: REST

Day 7: Cardio

Moderate to high intensity.

Build Your Own Abs:

Upper abs: crunch, weighted crunch, cable crunch, decline cable crunch, machine crunch, roman chair sit-up, supported crunch, exercise ball crunch, medicine ball throw.

Lower abs: reverse crunch, hip thrust, scissor kick, exercise ball roll out/in, reverse incline crunch, hanging run in place, hanging leg raise, hanging knee raise.

Obliques: oblique crunch, bicycle, jackknife, decline medicine ball twist, crossover crunch, standing oblique cable crunch, Russian twist.

So this is what my workout looked like today. I did make a few adjustments to Dane's plan. 
Dumbbell Bench Press - 4 sets of 27.5 (each arm) of 12, 12, 10, 8 reps
Roman Chair Straight Leg Raises - 4 sets of 15 reps           

Incline Press - 1 set of 27.5 (each arm) of 8 reps; 3 sets of 22.5 of pounds, 11, 10, 10
Scissor Kicks - 4 sets of 40 

Pec Deck machine Flyes - 2 sets of 55 pounds, 10, 10; 2 sets of 40 pounds, 12, 12
Decline Sit Ups - 4 sets of 10 

Machine Press - 4 sets of 55 pounds, 12, 10, 10, 10
Russian Twists - 4 sets of 10 pounds, 20, 20, 20, 20

Time: 55:59
Calories: 364
Max HR: 163
Average HR: 134


Home Gym

WARNING: The following pictures use flash and are just plain terrible. These images may be offensive to some viewers (mainly professional photographers). Viewer discretion is advised.

Well we got a home gym this week! My husband has been scouring the city, looking for the best deals around. He did a great job people!

This is part of it. The most I could capture in one shot.

Starting from the left: kettle bell, power blocks, and free weights.

Our yoga gear. Power blocks and mats. I like to do yoga about once a week, just to keep my muscles loose.

This is our squat rack. There is a lat pull down and a seated row (there are different handles that go with the cable machine. So you could do bicep curls, tricep extensions, etc.).

Not sure what this one is called. But you can do a hanging back extension and hanging sit ups. This machine is killer!

Here is where we do pull ups. I love working on my pull ups. I can do about three in a row, then I have to switch to jumping pull ups.

There is a roman chair on the other side of the pull up machine. There are also handles that you can use for tricep dips.

Starting on the left: rower, bench, and Drew's bike that he has on a stand, so he can ride it inside during the winter.

Things that went unmentioned so far: punching bag, plyo boxes, medicine balls, and swiss ball.

We're moving to a home we're building now. It won't be ready till October, but in our gym there, we're planning to install mirrors on most of the walls. Can't wait for that. It's so nice to see your form when you're doing an exercise. I would argue that it's vital.

I am still going to keep a gym membership. I like having the variety of all the equipment a commercial gym contains.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Gotta get some school work done now.


Food Log

My post today is another adventure in my daily eats.

I don't know what's up, but for about a week my hunger has gone through the roof! About a month and a half ago I upped my calorie intake from 1500 calories per day to 1800 calories per day. Even with the added calories, I wake up at night to my stomach growling, and all throughout the day I can hardly go two hours without being hungry.

Any idea what's up? I'd love to have some advice!

Breakfast this morning was a little different.

I didn't add any fruit to my bowl of oats, so I added... cover your ears... splenda (I know... very bad. Tisk on me).

  • 30 grams oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (gelled overnight)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup egg whites 
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
Lunch was pretty plain-jane.

Just a piece of whole wheat toast with 3/4 tablespoon peanut butter, and a serving of 1% cottage cheese.

Snack 1 was a Muscle Cook's protein bar. LOVE these bars, even though they are pretty sticky. 

Snack 2 (consumed maybe an hour later) was leftover turkey meatballs. 

Supper was really good. Usually I get super sick of eating stir fries, but tonight's was awesome. 

  • 5 ounces chicken breast
  • 1 cup broccoli 
  • 1/3 cup green beans
  • 1/4 red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce 
Lastly, dessert

My sister has me hooked on greek yogurt and honey. Perfect combo! Eaten with this, Jamie Eason's carrot cake protein bars. 

All in all, 1,787 calories, 58g fat, 150g carbs, 177g protein. 

I have some exciting posts coming up! One of them is a guest post written by a trainer out of Seattle, and the other is my new workout cycle, Dane (the trainer from Seattle), has made for me. So stay tuned! 


Turkey Meatballs

Another recipe!

Hello friends. It was a busy weekend... filled with morrrrre snow!

Anyways, before I go off on another tangent about our terrible weather, let me tell you about our dinner last night.

It was another tomato sauce based recipe. Turkey meatballs with tomato sauce.

For the meatballs:

  • 32 ounces ground turkey breast
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs 
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder (all to your taste)
Mix all the ingredients together (with your hands works best), but don't over mix. Mix just until everything is combined. Form the mix into meatballs. I got 17 out of this recipe, and they were pretty big. Bake them on a greased baking sheet at 350 for 20-25 minutes. 

For the tomato sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano 
  • big pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 ounce can of tomatoes
  •  1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 
Heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and let cook until soft. Add the garlic and spices and cook for about a minute more. Then add the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Don't skip out on the vinegar! It adds a great depth of flavor. Again, the longer you cook the sauce, the better it will taste. If it gets too thick, just add a little water. 

You can serve this meal with spaghetti squash, pasta, or a salad like we had.

Here's what our backyard looks like with all the snow. They say we've had more snow this year than we've had in 20 years!

Makes me wanna cry looking at it.... 


Shrimp Soup Recipe

I love answering questions on my blog. One of the commenters from my last post, asked me if I could share my recipe for Shrimp Soup

It's the simplest recipe I can think of!

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • half an onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground basil (didn't have fresh, but it's better)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano 
  • 1 generous pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 ounce can of tomatoes 
  • 40 medium sized shrimp, cleaned and shelled
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the onions and cook until they are soft.
  2. Add the garlic and spices. Cook them for a minute.
  3. Add the tomatoes. The longer you cook these ingredients the more flavor will be developed. 
  4. When you are about 5 minutes away from serving the soup, add the shrimp and cover the pot. Shrimp take hardly any time at all to cook. You'll know they're done when the curl up and turn pink.  
Nutritional Info: 286 calories, 27.8 grams protein, 18.1 grams carbs, 9.3 grams fat

If you make it, let me know what you think. I love it. It's one of my stand by recipes actually. We love shrimp, so I have it on hand always. 


Stuck in the Snow

You know you're dedicated to working out when you get stuck in the snow twice trying to get to the gym!

This is the view outside my front door. If you can see those tire tracks, it's on that very road that I got stuck. BRUTAL conditions here in Alberta, Canada. We got about six inches of snow last night. That plus the snow we had before last night, goes past my knees when I step in it! There's still a heavy snowfall warning in effect, and it's supposed to snow until tomorrow night.

I think it's probably pointless to say that I'm missing Hawaii more than ever! Being locked up in your house, with zero groceries is less than ideal. My diet has consisted of oatmeal, egg whites, and smoothies. That's about all I can make with the food that I do have in my house.

I wanted to talk a bit about post vacation meals today. After I travel for more than a week, my body is usually craving homemade food, protein, and green tea. This vacation was special because we had a kitchen to cook healthy meals in, so my body wasn't really craving anything at all when I came home. Never the less, there was plenty of cheating in Hawaii (think oreos, wine, and nacho chips). So I've been making a special effort to get my meals back to normal.

Pumpkin Oatbran with egg whites and almond butter

Berry Oatmeal with egg whites and almond butter

Green Tea (trying to stay warm here!)

Toast with peanut butter and cinnamon


Tomato Shrimp Soup

Scrambled Eggs

That's about all it's been for the last few days. Can't wait till the roads are good enough to make a Cosco trip.

Hope the weather is better where you are!


Pictures from Hawaii

I'm back in freezing cold Canada, and missing the warm sun in Hawaii! Seriously, I could move there so easily. If only I could just pick up my life (as it is now), and move it to Hawaii.

But I did miss the blog world. I'm catching up on all your posts!

Let me share a few pics from the vacation. There were 10 of us (family members and close family friends) there renting the house. Renting a house is SO much better than staying in a hotel. We had a kitchen so I could make clean meals. It was also nice to have the freedom to stay at our own pool instead of going to a crowded beach.

Views from the house we rented in Honolulu.

Pics of the house:

This is the pool. On the other side of those four rectangular windows was our bedroom.  

The other end of the house.

The hallway to the front door. There were fish in those ponds!

The living room.

The kitchen. We were probably cooking after hanging out in the pool in this pic.

We went to Pearl Harbor.

My sister and I at a Luau on News Years Eve.

On our way home.

We did many more things while in Hawaii, but I didn't take pictures of most of them. I'm terrible at keeping my camera with me. Sorry about that.

I'm sad to be home. It was amazing to be somewhere new and exciting. But looking towards the positive. It'll be nice to get back to my old workouts. For the last ten days I've been mostly doing cardio and plyometrics because we didn't get to a gym more than once. We went one day, but the charge was outrageous. So I took it as a nice break for my muscles. We also tried out a Bikram studio while we were there. It was nice to stay active and try new things.

Look forward to more upcoming posts!