I’M BACK! {My Story}

PUSHERS~!

GOOD MORNING, HAPPY HOLIDAYS, WELCOME BACK!!

Its been WAY TOO LONG I apologize!!

As you all know I had emergency surgery during hurricane SANDY! Yes surgery and yes DURING SANDY! A gallbladder attack on Sunday night 10/28 landed me in the hospital at 4:00am in excruciating pain!! After a few hours of surgery and a lot of prayer I was in the recovery room. The first few days I was in the hospital I felt great. I developed an appetite quickly and managed to eat some. Pain medication was a constant and definitely helped me get some rest. Sandy had taken power from the hospital and forced them to cancel all surgery except mine! Thank goodness the hospital has generators and we were able to get through without many problems.

I was able to come home Tuesday to unfortunately a powerless house. Sandy had taken a few trees on my block and managed to block off my street and take down our transformer. We were out of power for 13 days and were unable to access our street other than walking.

Wednesday night I ended up back in the hospital in excruciating pain.  The air they had filled me with in surgery was radiating to my chest and i was unable to pass it on my own. Pain medication only made the problem worse overall and my only option was to wait it out in agony.  The pain was unbearable but with help from my BEST FRIEND and BOYFRIEND I managed to make it through the next few days.

The following Monday was my follow-up appointment. The DR told me not only were my wounds not healing as fast as he would have liked but that he had noticed something abnormal during surgery.   During the surgery he had found an abnormal growth/tumor protruding from my liver. He said NOT TO PANIC. We have options! The DR continued to tell me that some oral medications can cause these tumors in the liver and that simply stopping these medications might solve the problem all together! I have stopped all oral medications and am keeping a close watch on my liver! As far as my gallbladder (that is now gone lol), the DR told me no HEAVY LIFTING for 6-8 weeks but I can start to work out as long as I feel okay. Excited and scared at the same time I decided to look to the positive.

Now, a few weeks later I have started to diet again. I began to lift (LIGHT) on Saturday and I look forward to feeling good again. Starting over again is no easy task but I have decided to go in with a positive mind.  Diet and exercise are hard but the results are SO WORTH THE FIGHT! I have gained some weight because of my surgery, lack of exercise and lack of diet to be honest BUT I feel motivated and ready to get back on track!

Please continue to pray for a speedy recovery and that all goes well in the next few months with my liver!! God is good!! I would also like to give a special thank you to my wonderful boyfriend for being there to help me when I needed him and to my best friend who has many sleepless nights, took off work and sacrificed her life to help me! I love you both so much!

xoxoxo

B

ME AGINST MYSELF

Good Morning Pushers~!!

 

Let’s face it, no one likes to get up supers early to go to the gym or after a crazy day of work BUT we must. Starting up is honestly the hardest part. The first couple weeks seem like TORTURE BUT, if you push through…it doesn’t seem so bad after that.

Theory says that if you do something 40 times or more it turns into a habit. WHAT am I trying to say?! FORM A HABIT of WORKING OUT!! Make it so your BODY has to work out! We, as humans are all creators of habit.  Some are easier to break than others BUT we all surround our lives with habits.  Eating habits and exercise habits being the MOST important for our health!!
I know, I know. You’re so busy you don’t have the time to make eating clean and working out part of your normal daily life right?! WRONG! Everyone can make clean eating and exercise part or your daily routine.

1. Plan your work-out week! Get a planner! Write down the days you are going to go to the gym and what you are going  to accomplish.

2. Plan your meals! In your planner write down healthy dinners and lunches you are going to make for that day!

3. Follow your plan! This is the hardest part! Anyone can write down a schedule but KEEPING TO IT is the true challenge! Hold yourself   accountable! Remember it’s YOU against YOURSELF!

So what will it be!? Are you ready to form the habit! Challenge yourself! Think your up for it?!

Breakfast of CHAMPIONS

Good Morning PUSHERS~!

This morning I wanted to share with you how important it is to EAT BREAKFAST! There are SO many studies that say ‘eat breakfast’ , ‘don’t eat breakfast’ well I say when in doubt, EAT!

It’s a smart idea to give your body and your BRAIN the nourishment it wants especially when trying to become clean, healthy and strong!

Eating breakfast for me is very important. I get most of my energy from my FIRST meal of the day and I have found that eating breakfast has helped me maintain my weight and it also keeps me from MUNCHING all day long!

Here are some healthy recipes that you will LOVE and that are GOOD for you too!!

Quinoa Berry Bliss Bites

Prep time: 5 Minutes – Cook time: 35 Minutes – Total time: 40 Minutes
Yield: Makes 12 Quinoa Berry Bliss Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Cooked Quinoa
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • Zest of 1/2 Lemon
  • 4 Packets Stevia
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • Dash of Salt
  • 5 Egg Whites
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Berries (If using strawberries – dice)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Spray regular muffin tin with a healthy, non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix completely.
  4. Let set for a couple minutes in the bowl.
  5. Using a 1/4 cup as your scoop, scoop mixture into muffin tin filling each cup half way.
  6. Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for a few moments in the muffin tin before gently removing them from the muffin tin and placing them on a cooling rack.
  8. Tip – using a knife to release the muffins from the edge of the muffin tin is the best way to get these out easily.
  9. Enjoy!

Strawberry Delight Protein Pancake

1/2 cup dry old fashion oats
1/3 cup egg whites
1/4 cup sliced strawberries chopped
dash cinnamon
1 tsp ground flaxseed
1 tbsp almond milk
½ pack stevia

Ginger Bread Protein Pancake

1/2 cup dry old fashion oats
1/3 cup egg whites
1/4 of chopped apple
dash cinnamon
1 tsp ground flaxseed
1 tbsp almond milk
½ pack stevia

Healthy Breakfast Frittata

Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Eggwhites (I use eggwhites from a carton to make my life easier)
  • 2 Whole Eggs (this is optional but I like the healthy fats, vitamins, etc)
  • 1 Head of Broccoli Finely Chopped
  • 1/2 a Small White Onion Finely Chopped
  • 2 Cups Spinach (not packed)
  • Garlic Salt (sprinkle)
  • Cayenne Pepper (sprinkle)
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Gouda Vegan Cheese (you’re free to use regular Gouda, Feta, or any light hard cheese)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Place all ingredients in an 8×8 previously oiled baking dish sprinkling your garlic salt and cayenne pepper on top.
  3. Using a fork fold ingredients together.
  4. Place baking dish in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Using a fork poke the middle of your frittata to make sure it is cooked the entire way through.
  6. Remove from oven and cut into squares.
  7. Enjoy!

For all these DELICIOUS clean recipes, check out my SpringPad!

Remember Eating CLEAN will keep your metabolism running HIGH and your body feeling great!

xoxox B

Sore BUT NOT Sorry !!

Hello my loves~!

Today I can not lie. I AM SO SORE.  I have slacked off a lot after my vacation this year BUT decided ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH!! I started going back to my mixed martial arts class, Strike-Zone and I am so glad that I did!! It’s a full body work out and you can burn up to 800 calories if you push yourself! Ask me about it!

The hardest part for most people is sticking to a diet. Being sore is NO FUN EITHER but I find it much easier to work out and be sore then to diet!
You don’t have to give up the things you LOVE to eat, you just have to find HEALTHY and CLEAN ways to make them! For all my chocolate nutella lovers out there, here is one for you! It’d clean and Vegan! Just a little something to keep us sane!:

Nutella Freezer Fudge (Vegan & GF)

Prep time: 5 Minutes
Yield: Makes 18-20 Pieces of Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Natural Almond Hazelnut Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil (Room Temperature)
  • 1/2 Cup Natural Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Pure Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/4 Cup Agave Nectar (more if you like it sweeter)

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients into your food processor and blend until completely smooth and buttery (this could take a few minutes).
  2. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with a healthy non-stick cooking oil.
  3. Place fudge batter into your baking dish and spread evenly.
  4. Cover with saran wrap and freeze for 3-4 hours.
  5. Remove from freezer and cut into 18-20 bites.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Keep Pushing ~ xoxox B

i WILL PUSH ON!

Good Afternoon PUSHERS~!

 

It’s been a while since I have blogged and I want to apologize for that.  As you all know, I was away for vacation a week ago and had a great time! I have had a few MAJOR set backs since my trip but I am nowhere near ready to give up. Finishing ciaraLE.com 30dayPUSH was bitter-sweet. I can not believe how many of up accomplished our goals !! Here is a picture to show you just how far I have come during this journey.  16 LBS down and a whole lot happier! I have lost a lot of weight yes but also gained a ton of muscle. I am happy to say that I now realize I CAN DO THIS! Confidence is key!! I try my best to keep my chin up and remember why I am PUSHING in the first place!

Every day I will try to post about what i ate, did (as far as working out) and also photo track to keep me accountable.

I want to push myself harder and harder everyday and the love and support you all show me helps so much!

PUSHERS~: Continue to follow my blog and help me PUSH harder than ever before!!

xoxoxoxoxo B

30dayPUSH daySEVEN {Lift, Lift, Lift!}

Hey PUSHERS!

Sorry for not being around for a few days BUT life has been CRAZY! We all know how that is! ANYWAY today is daySEVEN of ciaraLE.com’s 30dayPUSH! Had a few MINOR set backs but have managed to maintain my GIRLISH FIGURE and PUSH FORWARD!

REMEMBER being ‘SKINNY’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. LIFT, LIFT, LIFT (yes girls you too!) Lifting is CRUCIAL in your PUSH because not only does building muscle BURN fat like crazy but it gives us shape and TONE! No one wants to look SKINNY and FRAIL but everyone wants to look FIT and in SHAPE!! By building muscle you are also giving your body stimulation.Your stimulating those muscles so now everything you do with them will stimulate them more!

Since I have started lifting my body was able to maintain itself MUCH better than plan diet alone. I guess you can say I started lifting a couple of years ago with my boyfriend. Honestly, all I did was devote my lunch break to a body part 5-6 days a week. EXAMPLE: Monday I would do chest. 5 different chest work outs 10 reps of each 3 sets. I did this for a good couple months and saw results without extensive cardio!

NOW training for BIKINI, A LOT DIFFERENT. I stick to a similar plan for working out {of course adding MORE when I can} but I added in extensive cardio at least 5-6 days a week! YOU HAVE TO PUSH YOURSELF TO CHANGE YOURSELF! {REMEMBER THAT}

If you are not READY or WILLING to make a huge change in your diet, just adding 30 minutes of walking and or lifting a day can make a huge difference OVER TIME. THAT BEING SAID THIS DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT AND GET RESULTS! Do NOT expect to lose weight without watching your carbs and sugars!

Little changes make a big difference. My biggest advice to you is not to JUMP into your new ‘WORKING OUT PLAN’ like your competing in this years MR. OLYMPIA, but really take the time and teach yourself little changes adding more and more each day. Let’s be honest, most of us know when going ‘HARD CORE’ we don’t always succeed and most times fall flat on our faces BUT by getting yourself into a routine and making the GYM and HEALTHY EATING part of your life little by little it seems to be a much more successful transition over all.
Today at the Gym I will do BI’s and TRI’s!! Here is a PICTURE for ciaraLE.com’s 30dayPUSH.

daySEVEN

PUSH!!

xoxoxo

B

30dayPUSH dayFOUR {Labor Day BLUES}

Good Morning PUSHERS!!

Well, It’s a wrap! Labor Day is officially over and Fall is rapidly approaching BUT DON’T BE UPSET! Think of all the things we have to look forward too!!

Pumpkin and apple picking, hooded sweats, hot chocolate and warm apple cider! The list goes on and on! NOT to mention THANKSGIVING and CHRISTMAS DINNER! DUN DUN DUN!!! AHHHHHHHHHH! How are we supposed to survive the BIGGEST eating season of the YEAR!?!? EASY!

Eat CLEAN and you will stay LEAN! Eating clean is NOT as bad as you think! It actually feels awesome once you get past your first couple weeks! You must detox your body off all the JUNK you put into it first! Then the longer you go without PROCESSED, SALTY or SUGARY foods the LESS and LESS you will crave them, I PROMISE!
Over the next couple months I will search far and wide for my PUSHERS to fine healthy and YUMMY seasonal TREATS! Don’t worry~! We will get through this holiday season CLEAN, LEAN, and most importantly SATISFIED!!
Here are my pictures from my 30dayPUSH dayTWO and dayTHREE: { Sorry they are delayed:: BUSY DAY YESTERDAY!! }

30dayPUSH

Good Morning Bloggers and Happy September 1st!!

Today is the FIRST day of CiaraLE.com’s 30dayPUSH! HOW EXCITING! I am HONORED to be apart of the FitFam and to be pushing along side of my FitFam brothers and sisters. 30days to PUSH myself harder than ever before! I will work my hardest to stick to my STRICT competition diet {{shred some weight}} and TONE, TONE, TONE!! Here goes 30dayPUSH dayONE!

 

STAY STRONG!

Good day bloggers!!
Last night I had the opportunity to go to the GIANTS game for FREE! {{ If its FREE it’s for MEE }}!! Anyway, I had the opportunity to go to the game with my boyfriend and immediately took the offer without thinking twice! I mentally prepared myself all day for the {{evil stadium food}} !! I skipped my last two meals knowing that I would be picking up food BEFORE the game to prevent hunger! {{( When you know you are going out to eat, skip a meal or two to equal out your calories. JUST TO BE CLEAR when on a STRICT diet like my COMPETITION diet we allow a spastic amount of calories a week. This means if we HAVE to go out to eat once we can skip a meal the day before or the day after so that our calorie intake equals out. I AM NOT SAYING TO STARVE YOURSELF haha I am saying that maybe you would say eat breakfast lunch and dinner and skip your 11:30am meal for the day cause your going out tomorrow. This should only be done once in a while NOT on a daily basis!)}}

We put on our jerseys and we were off to the game! WAIT, but NOT without food first. I let me boyfriend pick. CheeburgerCheeburger it was. **UGH** the smell of juicy cheeseburgers and french fries filled my nose and it was heaven! It came time to order and I knew I had a decision to make. A) Screw it, im going to eat! or B) I am on a diet for me and myself, do I really want to ruin it all now!? I am proud to tell you all that I choose B! I ordered grilled chicken no sides! After scarfing down my grilled chicken I felt very happy about my decision NOT to cave into temptation!

QUICK TIP!! When you go out to eat look at the salad section. There are many different varieties of salads everywhere BUT hold the dressing! You don’t need the fat! If you have been really good maybe you can treat yourself to a wrap or a healthy dish BUT remember, carbs are hard to get rid of so be ready to work your butt off!!

I know its hard! It’s hard for me too! Summer is filled with parties, BBQ’s, Vacations, BUT we must stay strong!

REMEMBER your GOAL! Remind yourself constantly what your GOAL is and HOW FAR you have come! Don’t let your mind or your friends tempt you to eat what you know you shouldn’t.

Fight the TEMPTATION

People ask me all the time, “how do you do it? How do you stick to such a strict diet, you’re so dedicated!” Well the truth is its very hard.  There are times when I have to just plan old CHEAT! Sticking to a strict diet is NO walk in the park! After eating a ton of sugar and salt for years your body, (YOUR BRAIN) craves these foods. WE JUST CANT HELP IT! Desert is yummy and so is PASTA and PIZZA. BUT STOP! Is it worth it?! What do you REALLY want?! The food you have craved for 2 hours or the body you have wanted your ENTIRE life!

After you start your diet and get through your first couple weeks you will realize its worth it to stick to your diet and fight through the temptation then to give in! Your body will feel more energized. Your digestive system will work much better (no more tummy-aches) plus your body will give you results that you have wanted your whole life!

I know your human, SO AM I. Sometimes we just need something sweet or salty! Here are a few { Healthy chEATS } that will help you get through some of the hard times you will have in your first couple weeks dieting!

REMEMBER WE DONT WANT TO SNACK EVERYDAY SO LIMIT CHEATS TO WHEN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!

Raw Cinnamon Buns

Prep time: 15 Minutes
Yield: Makes 12-18 Raw Cinnamon Buns

Cinnamon Bun Base Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Dates
  • 2 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 2 Cups Rolled Oats
  • 1/3 Cup Pecans
  • 1/4 Cup + 2 Tbsp Water
Filling Ingredients:
  • 1/2 Cup Pre-soaked Dates
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp Agave Nectar
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
Icing Ingredients:
  • 1/4 Cup Cashew Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tbsp Agave Nectar

Directions:

  1. Place all Cinnamon Bun base ingredients into your food processor and blend until dough-like adding more water if needed (1 Tbsp at a time).
  2. Place dough in a saran wrap lined bowl and place in the refrigerator.
  3. Place all Filling Ingredients into your food processor and blend until smooth.
  4. Place in a bowl and place in the refrigerator.
  5. Place all Icing Ingredients into your food processor and blend until smooth.
  6. Place in a bowl and place in the refrigerator.
  7. Remove dough from refrigerator, line your counter with saran wrap and place dough on top.
  8. Roll dough out into a rectangle shape.
  9. Cover dough with filling leaving 1 inch along the edges uncovered.
  10. Roll dough tightly into a cylinder.
  11. Place in the freezer for a few moments (I like to tidy my kitchen while this is setting).
  12. Using a sharp knife cut cylinder into cinnamon buns at desired thickness.
  13. Place on a plate and top with Icing and pecan chunks as desired.
  14. Serve immediately and enjoy!
  15. Tip – Store these in a sealed-tight container in the refrigerator

Raw Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches

Prep time: 10 Minutes
Yield: Makes 8-9 Ice Cream Sandwiches

Chocolate Cookie Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Almond Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Agave Nectar
  • 1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
  • Dash of Salt
Vanilla Icing Ingredients:
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Cashew Butter
  • 3 Tbsp Agave Nectar
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Milk
  • 1/4 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Coconut (Optional)

Directions:

  1. Place all chocolate cookie ingredients into your food processor and blend until dough-like.
  2. Remove from food processor, place in a bowl and set in the refrigerator.
  3. Using a clean bowl and blade place all icing ingredients into your food processor and blend until smooth.
  4. Layer chocolate cookie dough into your muffin tins or silicone molds by pressing down and forming a patty.
  5. Top with a layer of icing and then one more layer of chocolate cookie dough.
  6. Press down gently, cover with saran wrap and place in your freezer overnight.
  7. Remove from muffin tin or silicone molds and enjoy immediately.
  8. Tip – Silicone molds work like a dream. The cookies pop right out.

 

Chocolate Covered Roasted Chickpeas

Prep time: 5 Minutes – Cook time: 30 Minutes – Total time: 35 Minutes
Yield: Makes 2 Servings.

Chickpea Ingredients:

  • 1 Can (540ml/19oz) Chickpeas (Drained and Rinsed)
  • 1/2 Tbsp Coconut Oil (Melted – You can use any healthy oil of choice)
  • Dash of Sea Salt
  • *If you want to make these hot feel free to add some chili powder
Chocolate Topping Ingredients:
  • 1/4 Cup Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1/8 Cup Natural Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Natural Maple Syrup
  • *Feel free to decorate these with shredded coconut, crushed nuts or any added flavor of choice.

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 F.
  2. Place all chickpea ingredients in a bowl and stir until chickpeas are completely coated.
  3. On a parchment paper lined cookie sheet evenly distribute chickpeas (single layer).
  4. Place in the oven and bake 25-30 minutes stirring 2-3 times or until chickpeas are completely crunchy.
  5. Set aside and let cool completely.
  6. Place all chocolate ingredients into your food processor and blend until smooth.
  7. Drizzle over cool chickpeas.
  8. Feel free to place this dish in the refrigerator for a few moments to let the chocolate harden.
  9. Sprinkle on sea salt and any other toppings you desire.
  10. Serve and enjoy!