Trainer Session & Progress Pics, No Bake Vegan PB Coconut Oil Protein Bars, Kale Chips, Why Exercise

Hi Friends! How’s Your Day Going?  Mine got off to a bright and early start because I went and saw my trainer who’s training me for my Natural Bodybuilding Show.  I don’t see him very often, just every other week or so, but it’s nice to have someone to bounce things off.  I don’t see him for “training” per se, although of course he’s awesome for helping me with my Workout Splits but I need help on things such as posing, turning, tanning advice, info about the schedule on the day of the show…that kind of stuff.  In that sense, it’s invaluable having a knowledgeable trainer who can help guide me through my first show.  But make no mistake, if you can’t afford a trainer, you still can train for a show on your own.  Plenty of people do because there’s tons of info on the internet and really, you can only you are the one who can do the real work that’s involved: Lift, Eat Clean, Rest, Repeat.

The last time I saw my trainer, which was 15 days ago, he measured my body fat percentage and lean muscle mass, among other things.  And my numbers had changed, for the better! 

Today’s report if you care…
My weight on the scale was unchanged
My waist went down 1/4 inch
My body fat percentage went down 1/2 percent
My lean mass increased by a half pound
My arms increased by 1/4 inch
My legs increased by 1/4 inch
All that’s a fancy way to say that I am building lean muscle!   

And I’m doing it the Vegan Protein Way without stressing out about “Getting Enough” Protein or consuming very much engineered Vegan Protein Powder at all!

The last time I saw him I asked you how much you care about numbers, measurements, your weight on the scale, and if you care, or not?  Check out This Post for everyone’s opinions.  Good stuff.


As I mentioned here, I am loving lifting for the confidence it’s giving me, among other things.  Most of all though, I am having such a ball training!  It’s really exciting for me to be doing this and I see this as a life path, not a flash in the pan.

For those of you who have asked me if lifting is effecting my yoga, I will always do yogaYoga has been a life path.  For the past 10 years, I always do yoga, daily.  Some months and years more, some less.  Just depends on what’s happening in my life off the mat, but my yoga guides me and helps me with life off the mat, too.  Yoga to me is more than just the physical asana yoga practice I do on the mat.  Asana (physical) practice of yoga is just one aspect.  There is so much yoga gives other than the physical.  For more info, See This Post.  Some days I lift more, do less yoga.  Some days I do more yoga, less lifting, I just go with the flow.  That’s what yoga is about too:  accepting the current reality and working with it.

With lifting, it’s not just about the physical strength, which feels great to build as I mentioned, but it’s also about the mental tenacity and the confidence I am deriving from it.  So it’s been a super positive experience for me thus far! 

Moving on…
From yesterday, I am glad to hear the Raw Vegan Almond Butter Cookie Balls looked good


And I am not surprised the Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Softserve was a big hit!

To answer a Few Common Questions from the Comments:  

Can you Taste the Bananas? 


Do the Bananas Compete with or Overpower the Mint?

No, the bananas do not overpower the mint.  You really can’t “taste” the bananas.  The ice cream base is sweet and creamy from the frozen bananas, but it doesn’t jump off the page at you as if you’re eating bananas + mint.  Not at all.  Which frankly is a good thing for me.  I like bananas, they’re fine.  I don’t “love” them.  So the fact that the banana-flavor is not extremely distinguishable, to me, is a good thing.  Especially in mint softserve!

 So Maybe You’ll Get your Bananas in The Freezer Now for Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Softserve!

And it was interesting to read who’s flexible, and who doesn’t think they are.  For all those of you who can Do the Splits, keep it up!   And for those of you who can’t, keep practicing.  There’s that Tough Love thing.  

And I can’t believe more of you haven’t accidentally sent emails to the wrong person!  You guys are luckier than I am, obviously, on that front!

Moving On To Some Food…
I made some No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Coconut Oil Protein Bars
(exact same as This Recipe, except I added 1/4 c coconut oilThe addition of the coconut oil makes them solidify and hold together just a little better but if you don’t have it, not an essential component.)

Combine the Oats, Coconut Flakes, Raisins, Choc Chips, Flax & Chia Seeds, Maple, Cinnamon, and Coconut Oil

Don’t Forget The Peanut Butter (or whatever nut butter you prefer!) and Your Favorite Protein Powder (and if you’re not into Protein Powder, that’s fine, you can omit it) and Stir it Up

Freezer Time!

After a few hours in the freezer, I removed the tray and diced the bars, and wrapped them up.

 Can see the Peanut Butter woven into the inside of the bar here?  oh yeah, baby!

And the flavors of coconut, chia & flax seeds, mashed banana, oats, maple syrup, cinnamon, chocolate chips, well…they are really tasty in combination together!

Again, here’s the Recipe Link for the No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Protein Bars
Just add 1/4 c coconut oil to make them extra delish!

Green Food came in the form of Kale Chips.  I first mentioned these Brad’s Raw Chips in This Post

I wouldn’t call them a chip.  I’d call them a thin, airy cracker.


My Opinions:
1. I can taste a fair amount of garlic in these chips, but I do not like garlic, at all. 
2.  I am very sodium-sensitive, always have been.  There is added salt, albeit not much, but enough that I guzzled water following snacking on them.

I love My Own Raw Vegan Kale Chips because I don’t use garlic or salt, but I do give great marks to Brad’s as long as you’re ok with garlic and salt.

 My Little Kale Trees of Noochey Goodness
Get a load of that vegan cheezy action (nooch!) baked right into My Raw Vegan Kale Chips!   And you don’t need a dehydrator, oven baking instructions are included. 

Homemade Kale Chips are a fraction of the price of store-bought kale chips.  I have seen some at Whole Foods for almost $9 bucks for what amounts to a handful of chips.  Yikes!  Since when do they think raw vegans are rich?  Or foolish enough to pay that kind of money when you can make kale chips at home, easily and inexpensively?!

Skylar liked the Brad’s Chips

And apparently she was all jazzed up on natural energy from the kale!  She proceeded to dance around the house non-stop!

Whoa, Nelly.  Who gave that child some sugary jelly beans?  Kidding.  Must be the kale!

 She’s full of energy, smiles, and a big happy heart!

If you missed my post on Healthy Eating for Kids, Making Non-Mainstream Choices, and why I refuse to “defend” any of my choices including the way we’re raising Skylar, Check This Post

Also, for More about my Thoughts on Intuitive Eating and if making Healthy Food Choices come Naturally or Easily, Click Here

More Green Food:
Romaine, Asparagus, Sugar Snap Peas, Tomatoes, Carrot, Cukes

Dressed with Vegan Slaw Dressing

 With some Yellow Mustard Squirted over the top for good measure.  I use no-sodium added Westbrae brand.


  Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Softserve
 Raw Vegan Almond Butter Cookie Balls

And Chocolate: Vegan Cinnamon Toast Toffee From Chocolate Inspirations that I reviewed in This Post

Great Vegan Toffee and I love the chunky sugar on top!  Buttery-tasting like toffee should be, but it’s vegan. 

Yoga Today is My Thoughts (Above):  Yoga is both On and Off the Mat, and it’s More than Just Asana Practice.  See here for more.

Gym & Weights Workout Today:  My Trainer Session! (as mentioned in the opening paragraph)

And, I posted New Progress Pictures in my Gym Workouts Tab!!!

Here’s a Couple….

Click Here to See More New Pictures

Do You Think I’m Ready for My ShowMy trainer does, yay!!!   But of course I will work my heart out til the Big Day!

Tip of the Day:  
My NuNaturals Stevia Give Away for 4 Winners!!!! 

On the Entry Form I Gave You Some of My Recipe Ideas Using Stevia
Thanks NuNaturals!!!

NuNaturals Stevia

Click Here to Enter Now!!!!

1. What’s your favorite store bought chocolate?  
Mine would be See’s Candies as a whole.  I think.  But there are so many amazing specialty chocolatiers and niche finds these days, that I can’t even keep up with them all!
Endangered Species, Newman’s, Dagoba, Go Max Go Foods, Uli Mana, Scharffen Berger, and the list goes on and on.  What Chocolate do you like?  Or love?

Or do you like to Make your Own Chocolate?

Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate
Dice-Sized Coconut Oil Chocolate Pieces work for me!

2. Do you like to Dance?
Skylar loves to dance, and once upon a time, I used to love to go out and dance, party, and whoop it up!  I would still love to, actually, but dancing and drinking at 3am doesn’t really fit into my current lifestyle as an athlete or a responsible mom!
What’s the craziest place you’ve ever danced or busted a move?  
Cancun comes to mind for me. 
Or are you more of a shy wallflower type?  What would it take to bust you outta your shell?  A couple shots maybe?

3.  Solids or Prints?
When you go shopping, what do you gravitate towards?  
I am solids on the bottoms and usually solids on the top, but if I am going to wear prints, it’s on my shirt, not my pantsAnd I never buy stripes.  Do you?  I am super eclectic though and half the time I never know what’s going to catch my eye!

4. Do you do pursue physical fitness and athletic activities for more than the physical benefit?  Do you find emotional or spiritual benefit or release?  
I find running very freeing and cathartic.  Nothing like going for a long run.  But long power walks and hikes are great too for just letting my mind wander.  And of course, for me, yoga is the Queen of emotional and spiritual “fitness”, per se.  And now with lifting, a whole new avenue and world has opened.  I do enjoy the physical benefits of exercise and the health benefits for my physical body but for my mental health and emotional well-being, I love to move and do exercise.  It’s the soul-clearing and energizing powers of exercise that keeps me coming back.
Does any of this ring true for you?  Or do you just workout to burn your 300 calories and that’s that?

Stay Tuned For The NuNaturals Give Away Winner and A Blogger Meetup… 

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