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Friday, October 24, 2014

High Protein French Toast

High Protein French Toast

First of all, I would like to say thank you to my swolesista Rachel Bielmeier for introducing me to this awesome bread by Pepperidge Farm which is just 45 calories per slice!  It's low fat, a good source of fiber, cholesterol free, and made with whole whole grains.

Light Style Soft Wheat Bread

Nutrition Facts*
Amount per Serving (serving size) = 3 slices
  • Calories 130
  • Fat Calories 10
  • Total Fat 1g
  • Sat. Fat 0g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Polyunsat. Fat 0.5g
  • Monounsat. Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Sodium 220mg
  • Total Carb. 25g
  • Dietary Fiber 4g
  • Sugars 3g
  • Protein 8g

Secondly, let's get down to business!  I really wanted french toast this morning so... I made it!  But, I wanted more protein so what did I do?  I used my VPX Sports Zero Carb Whey Protein Powder! You can use my discount code: CANDY20 for 20% off of your order and Free Shipping.

- 2 slices of Soft Wheat Bread
- 2 Egg Whites
- 1/3 scoop VPX SRO Whey Protein Powder (I used Vanilla)
- Dash of Apple Pie Spice
- Splash of Vanilla Extract
- Splash of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

- Banana Slices
- Walden Farms Pancake Syrup
- Fat Free Redi Whip

- 2 slices of Jennie-O Turkey Bacon

- Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl and soak bread slices in mixture.
- Cook each side of the bread in a sprayed or greased pan on medium-high until golden brown.
- While the french toast is cooking in the pan I cooked my bacon in the microwave for about 2 minutes.
- When the french toast is done, place on a plate and add toppings.
- Enjoy!

In total, this took about 10 minutes to make and it is all less than 250 calories! :)

Nutritional Information 
(For the entire breakfast, including the bacon!)
241 Calories, 7g Fat, 22 Carbohydrates, 2g Fiber, 4g Sugars, 27g Protein

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mind Over Munch - Fall Seasonal Recipes eBook Review

Mind Over Munch - Fall Seasonal Recipes eBook Review!

Hi #fitfam! It has been quite a while since I have last posted on my blog.  I have been swamped with preparing for my 4th NPC show, going to school, and starting a new job!  But now that I’m fairly settled, I think it’s about time I start sharing again!  This time around, in addition to posting my healthy recipes, I will be trying other people’s recipes, reviewing eBooks, and even rating restaurants!

So, since it is October 1st and we are officially in the beautiful Autumn season, I’d like to start off by writing my review on my friend and fellow fittie, Alyssia Sheikh’s very first eBook entitled Fall Seasonal Recipes!  Alyssia is the creator of Mind Over Munch, which began as her personal challenge to eat clean for 100 days on Instagram and has quickly grown into a journey of sharing recipes, fitness tips and general advice for living a healthy lifestyle.  Mind Over Munch can be found online through all social media outlets and I have included links to each one at the bottom of the page so you can check them out when you’re finished reading my review of her new eBook!

For starters, I LOVE FALL and everything that comes with the season.  I also love that this eBook includes an easy to read list of in season produce.  These are the fruits and vegetables you will want to purchase due to the fact that they are at their peak of freshness during the fall.  She also gives you a guide on what foods you should consider buying organic due to pesticide usage.  I was glad to know that two of my favorite foods; avocados and sweet potatoes, are part of the “Clean Fifteen”, which will certainly save me some money the next time I go to the grocery store!

Speaking of going to the grocery store… I am going to need to stock up after seeing all the delicious looking dishes included in the Fall Seasonal Recipes eBook!  Alyssia hasn't left a thing out when sharing these recipes.  Not only does she include the ingredients (in cups AND in grams), the instructions, and the serving size, but she also puts the estimated time it takes to prepare and cook the dish and the level of difficulty.  Not to mention, every single recipe has the nutritional content given so if you follow a specific macronutrient, or if you are vegan or gluten free, you know exactly which recipe will work for you and your diet!

As a bonus, the Fall Seasonal Recipes eBook includes numerous nutritional and fitness tips!  From 5 Easy Ways to Cook Squash, to Homemade Pumpkin Puree, you are sure to have a fit and fantastic fall when you read this eBook.

With 25 recipes in total which includes 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners, 5 snacks, and 5 desserts, you have a variety of fall recipes that will soon become your favorites.  My mouth is watering just looking at them all!  I cannot wait to try the Sweet Potato Waffle and the Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread!  I will probably make both this weekend, and when I do, I’ll be sure to post! ;)

If you’d like to purchase the Mind Over Munch - Fall Seasonal Recipes eBook you can do so at the link below:

Use the coupon code– "candyscleancooking" – and you will receive $1 off of the $5.99 original price!  This code will be active now through the end of 2014.

Mind Over Munch:

Please Note: I was not paid to endorse this eBook nor do I receive any of the monies generate from it's sales.  My friend has graciously given the eBook to me so I may try the recipes and asked me if I would write my personal and honest opinion, which, I obviously think it is wonderful!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Low Carb Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes"

Hi fit fam!  It has been quite some time since I've shared a delicious and nutritious recipe with you all.  But, wait no more!  Lol :)  I like to get creative with my food.  Because, let's face it, food is awesome!  I will probably eat almost anything, and I'm not going to lie I love pizza, froyo, and nut butters probably a little too much lol.  But, it IS possible to make healthier versions of your favorite foods and here is an example of doing just that!

With just 3 simple ingredients you can make...
Low Carb Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes"

- One bag of frozen Cauliflower Florets (you can use a head of fresh cauliflower)
- 1/4 cup Unsweetend Vanilla Almond Milk
- Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning

- Empty cauliflower florets into a microwave safe dish with a couple tablespoons of water and cover.
- Heat on high (covered) for 10-12 minutes, stirring one time half way.
- Pour microwaved cauliflower into a blender or processor (if you don't have either, you can use a masher, it will just take longer).
- Add in the 1/4 cup of almond milk and season with Mrs. Dash to your liking.
- Blend the ingredients together to your desired consistency (I personally like mine a little chunkier, but I know some people who prefer them pureed).

And.... you are done!

Additional Ideas:
You can choose to garnish with some low fat shredded cheese or if you're going gluten and dairy free you can use almond cheese like I did.  You can purchase almond cheese at your local health food store such as Whole Foods.  They have a few different flavors like cheddar, monterrey jack, or mozzarella like I used.  If I had some green onions or chives I probably would have added those on top too!


Nutritional Information:
100 grams of Cauliflower:
23 calories, 0g fat, 4g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 2g protein


100 grams of Potato:
94 calories, 0g fat, 21g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 2g protein

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Bikini Competitor Confessions - Amenorrhea in Athletic Women

So I was extremely hesitant about posting this... but, this subject has been weighing very heavily on my heart for quite some time.  To be honest, I have had many sleepless nights and I can't even count the amount of times I have cried over what I'm about to talk about.

If you're reading this, you're most likely a family member, a dear friend, or an amazing #fitfam friend from around the world.  Let me begin by thanking each and every one of your for joining me on my health & fitness journey.  THANK YOU!!!

As you may already know, it all began about two years ago when I started training for my first NPC Bikini Competition.  During the process of preparing for my show, I fell in love with working out and eating clean, whole foods.  I enjoyed learning new exercises and educating myself on nutrition and how cohesively; they affect your body in ways I hadn't even imagined.  I loved watching my body change and became hungry for results.  I wanted to be better, do better, look better, and at some point, nothing else mattered other than "self improvement".

Well, the problem was I had lost sight of my overall health.  Most people look at fitness models with wide eyes and admire them for their amazing physiques.  The fact is, most people also do not realize the huge amount of hard work and effort that is put forth day in and day out in order to achieve a show or photoshoot ready physique.

I began training for my first show the beginning of 2012.  I ended up loosing my menstrual cycle about a month or two into prep.  The absence of menstruation is also known as Amenorrhea (un-men-oREE-uh).  (Sorry to any fellas reading this, but I really think this issue needs to be addressed!) lol.  At first I was actually excited about not receiving my "monthly gift".  I mean really ladies, who wouldn't be?!  But, after ending prep and taking some time off in between shows, Aunt Flow didn't come back to visit...

I gave it some more time though, and then eventually decided to compete again in 2013 with no sign of my menstrual cycle.  I kind of just brushed the whole situation to the side because I had my sights set on my goals I had established and nothing was going to get in my way of achieving them.

Finally though, something clicked.  Probably from the continuous love, support, and advice from my family that I needed to RELAX.  I didn't want to stop, but I knew I needed to.  It's funny because so many people admire competitors; desiring a shredded six pack or overall lean body.  But, the fact is, stepping on stage at less than 10% body fat is when a bodybuilder is at his/her weakest.  You really think someone can push their maximum weight in the gym when they are in a caloric deficit?  Most likely not!

Anyways,  I decided to give myself and my body a break.  Sometimes, the right thing and the hardest thing are the same.  I cut back my gym sessions, and I slowly began to increase my calories.  I was so afraid that I was just going to blow up and gain massive amounts of fat everywhere.  The process has (and is STILL) hard for me some days.

After a couple of months off (my last show was in April of 2013) I still wasn't getting my period.  So, I finally decided to go to the doctors.  In fact, I went to numerous doctors, tried a variety of treatments, and still, nothing seemed to be working.  I actually almost gave up, thinking I would never be "normal" again and even considered prepping for another show.  But something my amazing OB/GYN said to me stuck.  She said, "Candy, I know this is something you are passionate about, but it's not healthy for you.  Think about it, do you want a few more years to pass by, maybe you'll be in a relationship, married, and wanting to start a family and you won't be able to.  What do you really want?  Do you want to have a bunch of plastic trophies or do you want to be able to have children?"

That hit me hard.  Like a ton of bricks actually.  But, it really helped me put things into perspective.  I want to be healthy.  I do want a family (one day, down the line, far far away) lol.  I think what most women fail to realize (myself included) is that if you let these types of hormonal issues go for too long... the side effects can become irreversible.  Now obviously I am not a doctor, but I have been to quite a few, and I have done A LOT of research and have educated myself fairly well on this topic.  And yes, there are many women who are capable of competing and maintaining a low body fat percentage and never loose their menstrual cycle.  But I believe there are far more women who have had problems than those who haven't.  I know numerous ladies who have shared with me their stories about dealing with this same problem.  So please know, that if you do as well YOU ARE NOT ALONE :)

At first I thought it would be kind of embarrassing talking about something so personal.  But, I think today (Mother's Day) made me realize that I needed to share my story.  I'm still in the process of trying to regulate my hormone levels, so I'm not 100% there but I am on my way.  I want to promote a healthy, active, and fit lifestyle.  But health starts from the inside.  I am not trying to discourage anyone from competing because I am so happy and proud of myself for doing so, and maybe I will step on stage again one day.  As for now though, there are so many other things I have my sights set on.  School, work, family, friends, etc. BALANCE is key.

So yes, push yourself, work hard, and remain dedicated, but please don't become so engrossed in creating a "better you" that you compromise your health!  Train smart and eat a healthy, nutritious, balanced diet.  Know that your self worth should not be associated with numbers; whether it be on a scale, body fat, macros, or even your personal bests.  You should love yourself every single day regardless of what stage you're at in your journey.

Life is TOO SHORT and TOO PRECIOUS to not appreciate what God has blessed you with.  

Thank you for taking the time to read my post, which was pretty difficult for me to write.  I hope that if you're a woman struggling with the same or similar issues, you seek help like I did.  I have provided a few links below if you'd like to educate yourself a little more about the topic.  I also hope that you take a step back and reevaluate your priorities.

No one's life is perfect.  You may think it is from what people choose to edit and post and share on social media.  But no matter who you are, everyone has their own issues, and I really believe that we are all in this together <3  Don't be so hard on yourself or others!

So stay positive, don't stop smiling, never give up, be happy and share that happiness, live well, and God bless!  

xo Candy

Helpful links:

Monday, April 28, 2014

Sweet Potato Deviled Eggs

Here's a delicious fat free version of the traditional Deviled Egg.
I made them with one of my favorite foods; sweet potato! Yum!!!
One whole hard boiled egg white cut in half and filled with mashed sweet tater! 
Topped off with a dash of organic cinnamon.
And, it is just under 50 calories for BOTH halves.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Gluten & Dairy Free Banana Pancakes

I find it only appropriate that my first post in quite sometime be protein pancakes since I do have a slight obsession with pancakes :) Made these bad boys with just a few ingredients and they turned out moist and delicious!!!  

The nutrition on these are awesometastic! 30g of protein and 25g of carbohydrates with 6g of fiber.  Also a great source of potassium because we used a fresh banana!  Under 300 calories breakfast, lunch, or even dinner if you are like me and eat pancakes any time of day.


- 1 scoop VPX Sports SRO Zero Carb Whey Protein (I used chocolate but they also have Vanilla, and a yummy Graham Cracker flavor you could use!)  If you can't find VPX Sports protein powder at your local nutrition shop you can purchase it online at and use my code: CANDY20 for 20% off and free shipping!
- 1 Tbsp Organic Coconut Flour
- 1 Tbsp Chocolate PB2 (this is cocoa powdered peanut butter which is amazing)
- 1 Large Brown Organic Egg
- 75g Organic Banana (half is used in the batter, the other half is used as a topping)
- 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- 1/4 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/8 tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder (Clabber Girl)
- Dash of Cinnamon (cause I put cinnamon in almost everything haha!)

- Blend all the ingredients in a blender (I use my Magic Bullet) except for half of the banana because you will use that as a filler and topping!
- Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray and heat on Low.
- Pour batter on to pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
*Tip* When your pancakes begin to bubble, that is a good indicator they are ready to flip!
- Slice remaining banana and layer between protein pancakes.

I like to finish off my pancakes with sugar free pancake syrup such at Walden Farms or Maple Grove Farms.  You can do the same or top with fruit and/or peanut butter! #IIFYM


Nutritional Information:
280 calories, 7g fat, 251g sodium, 512g potassium
25g carbohydrates (6g fiber, 11g sugar), 30g protein