29.8.14

she poofed

poof: verb; to disappear into thin air without warning.

Sounds about right, eh?

Let me give you a quick run down on the past two and a half weeks of my life.

It all started with a really great nap! August 6th, I was sound asleep after an early morning of training clients. I woke up around 3pm and, as usual, reached over to check my phone and emails before getting up. One email in particular caught my eye..

"ASU- Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law"

W.T.F.??!!! For those of you who know me, you know that ASU was my first choice law school 10 months ago when I sent out applications. They put me on their wait list, and I never heard from them again, until the morning of my graduation, that is. Then they finally decided to contact me (7 months later!) to tell me that I hadn't been accepted to the university. I was seriously bummed.

But now, after sealing in my financial aid at my last choice school and working full time until September when I would have to restrict my hours to start school, they decide to email me.

I got in. 

I. WAS. PISSED.

I immediately closed out the email and went downstairs to casually tell the family that I was accepted, but would not be going there because I had 48 hours to accept their offer and cancel all my other plans to bow at their feet. HA. I'm not about that last-minute stress, nor the idea of someone else taking control of my decisions. Sensing the bitterness yet?

Well, my parents talked some sense into me and suggested that we at least go visit the school the next day before accepting or declining the offer at the end of the 48 hour period. So, we went, and I accepted the offer on the drive home from the school..

12 days later, I had quit my job and was commuting 90-100 minutes each way to law school! A whole three weeks earlier than I expected, at a different school than I expected, with no scholarship money, and no job.

My life is now law school. My 21st birthday? Law school. Weekends? Law school. Gym time? Law school. Well that escalated quickly..

SO, that leads me to you. Or to this beautiful place we call the Masterpiece Movement.  Gosh I love this place. This little blogosphere that I have built a little piece of my life on has documented some of the greatest (and darkest) days. I won't leave it.

But, right now, blogging time falls next to those other items that I listed above and is only answered with two words: law school. It has to be my priority for this season of life. You were here before, and you will be here after, and there will be many happy times in between. I'll be around, but the days of my endless time to read and respond to comments and test new recipes and type up fun posts is going to be gone. I will do my best to keep up every once in a while, but don't be surprised when I poof every now and then! I assure you I haven't fallen off of the face of the earth or turtled to my death on my way to school! I am here, just trying to find that thing called balance.

I'll be around. Until then, see you later :)

30.7.14

filling the empty hole.. calzones! gf/df/sf/ef/df/yf

{this post has been shared as part of What I Ate Wednesday}

I usually don't show you guys what I eat every Wednesday, mostly because I am a creature of habit with competition prep in full swing, but this week was a little bit different..


Mostly because of this little page {one of four, actually} that you see above. See all those big long lines? Yeah, there were lots of them on every page. Those are all foods I get to avoid for at least the next 3-6 months, maybe forever. I have been off of gluten and soy for a while now but, aside from confirming those two culprits, this test pretty much made me feel like I am going to give up on food for life! Eggs, dairy, flax, almonds, and yeast {<-- mustard, vinegars, & hot sauces all huge favorites} got the axe.


So, naturally, I went to Trader Joe's to scour the shelves for anything edible. A half hour later, I came out with four items.

...Until four quickly became three when I went to make lunch. Ravenous and ready with a plan of what I wanted to eat when we got home, I busted out my new rice to find that the last little ingredient was "barley."  How could I have missed that?? That was meltdown number one of the new restrictions.. Back to the store it went.


The next challenge came with breakfast. I have to keep my carbs pretty low right now with prep, so I have relied on yogurt and cottage cheese for months now. I absolutely love how cool and refreshing it is on a hot Arizona morning! When I realized I would need to find a replacement, I was a bit disappointed. I kept my chin up and tried to blend some pumpkin with my new vanilla pea protein {doesn't even compare to whey *sigh*} and topped the bowl with fruit, millet puffs, and hemp butter like usual. Yeah, that didn't taste too great. Pumpkin and cantaloupe and blueberries aren't really great friends..

The next day though, I figured something out. I mixed my protein powder with coconut flour and added some coconut milk and stevia until it made a sludge/pudding. It was okay, more of a cake batter than a yogurt, but worth trying if you need something with more protein and less carbs than a normal coconut yogurt can offer.


Lunch brought a new challenge. All I wanted was my beloved bean and cheese quesadilla. It is one of my favorite meals ever, but I had yet to try it without cheese.. Oh, and the fact that black beans and garlic both showed up as sensitive foods made making mexican REALLY fun.. There goes any salsa that isn't homemade! So, here was my attempt at a tostada. I was pretty pleased with this one though! 

Here's how it went:

  1. Heat skillet over high heat, wet tortilla, and place tortilla in hot skillet to let it "fry"
  2. Soften peppers and onions in microwave for a minute, then add mashed pinto beans, chopped chicken, and vegetables to the top of the now crisp tortilla.
  3. Devour. 
I know, not really a recipe, but not many people know you can crisp a tortilla just by running it under some water before throwing it in the hot skillet!



My adventures with allergy-friendly cooking continued when dinner rolled around. Pizza cravings hit, and I was not only dealing with food restrictions due to allergies, but I was also super low on carbs for the rest of the day. Good luck making a pizza with no carbs! Challenge accepted ;)

Calzones! {gluten free, egg free, dairy free, soy free, yeast free, sugar free}
  • Mix 50g of pea protein powder {unflavored}, 7g coconut flour, desired spices, and just enough water to make it into a dough texture in a medium bowl. It will be a bit sticky!
  • Wet your fingers to avoid sticking, and press the dough into a circular shape on a piece of wax paper. Place the dough in the freezer for a few minutes while you chop your toppings and heat a large skillet over high heat.

  •  Once chilled {about three minutes or so}, flip your crust into the skillet and listen to the sizzle! ;)  Turn the heat down to medium and let the crust cook through.

  • Place your sauce {use lots, the dough needs moisture} and veggies/toppings in the crust and {carefully!} fold the crust over.

  • Convince yourself that this beautiful masterpiece is actually good for you! ;) ENJOY!


So, there you have it! Here is a day of eats during my new adventure of working around my food allergies! 

Do you have food allergies? What are some of your favorite meals/swaps to help get you through old cravings?


25.7.14

Friday Fitness Challenge!


I hope that is enough to get your Friday started with a smile! :)

It's been a long week around here! Work is keeping me busy, and adding competition prep into the equation makes the days pretty long, so I am more than stoked for the weekend to have finally arrived!

This week, I took a mini poll at work to see what part of life makes my clients struggle the most with sticking to their nutrition and exercise goals. I'm sure this doesn't surprise you too much, but an overwhelming number of them said that they are 100% good until the weekend rolls around. Then it all goes down the drain for the drinking, eating, and social events. 

My best advice to them was to try to get moving this weekend. Working out has a way of reminding you why keeping up with your healthy habits is so important on the weekends! In case you have a similar weekend battle with your pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, I thought that I would share a little workout with you for Friday!


Please don't let the weekend be an excuse to get off your plan and deviate from the path to achieving your long-term goals! Kick it off with this killer workout and get the ball rolling! YOU determine how successful your weekend will be. Every day, meal, and decision counts!

What is your biggest struggle on your journey to a healthy lifestyle? Comment below!

21.7.14

Marvelous In My Monday + Monday Motivation


I feel it too, guys, I feel it too..

Don't worry though! I have some happy marvelous things to share and some motivation to help you get through the first day of the work{out} week! Start your caffeine IV and let's get started..



This week, I am linking up to Healthy Diva Eats for Marvelous In My Monday! I'll share some things from my weekend and from around the web that are making me smile this morning. {Yes, that includes some motivation for your day! One stop shopping over here ;) }

little joys from the masterpiece movement:
Getting in a killer workout with my friend, Bri, who flew in from Colorado to visit for the week! {she's crazy.. who comes to the 110+ degree weather from COLORADO?!}
Going to the Arizona Broadway Theatre for dinner and Peter Pan! 
Having a blackened salmon salad for the first time in FOREVER at the show! The raspberries and mango added a sweet finish to the perfectly flaky fish! It was pretty much heaven. 
Catching up before the show! It was great!
A cup of coffee and some trashy TV to recover from a long and busy week! 
Getting snowed on at my church during a sermon about Frozen! 
little joys from around the web:

  • This post from Breaking Muscle about finding beauty in your strength instead of your appearance. It's a pretty serious transition for most women who pick up weight training. 


  • This Jesus Calling message from earlier in the week..




finally, some MONDAY MOTIVATION:






On that note, go tackle Monday! Have a marvelous day!! 

16.7.14

beauty in mystery {+ my favorite prep dinner}

My mom likes to tell stories. She is one of those people that hides nothing. There are no secrets, there is no privacy. She wears every detail of her life on her sleeve and, by the time the checker at the grocery store has rung up her items, they know just about everything about everyone in our family! Yes, sometimes I would rather not have certain details shared with everyone that crosses her path, but I have learned to get over it.  A few months ago though, when I found myself needing a way to explain to her my preference to keep some things a surprise, I came up with this simple phrase:

"there is beauty in mystery."

These days, this phrase flies out of my mouth pretty much on the daily! It has become a funny little reminder that some things are better left unshared. There is something beautiful about not knowing everything. You see something on the outside, but you have to experience it before you understand the details.

This completely random dinner that I {for some odd reason} find absolutely delicious, captures this idea perfectly! You see this beautiful golden yolk on top of this broccoli scramble, and these bis of lettuce peeking out from the edges of the plate, but you don't know quite what you are in for until you take that first bite. 



The yolk is pierced and the beautiful center cascades down the sides of your scramble mountain like a waterfall, adding a whole new dimension to the flavor of this plate. It's beautiful, really.

But then you catch the sweetness of the dressing. Almost a tangy spice that tickles your taste buds. Brilliant. I don't know why, but the flavor complexity of this dish always leaves me amazed because of its simple appearance. It's beauty in mystery, really.

Today, I thought that I would share it with you.

Sweet and Spicy Scramble Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • any other veggies desired {I have used peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, ect.}
  • 1 whole egg
  • a bed of crisp romaine lettuce 
  • hot sauce {I used Frank's Red Hot}
  • maple syrup
  • freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper; to taste
Instructions:
  1. Heat both a large skillet and a small skillet over medium-high heat. Spray them with nonstick spray or drizzle them with olive oil.
  2. Chop your veggies and add them to the hot skillet. Embrace the sizzle and get excited ;)
  3. As the veggies start to brown on the edges, add your egg whites to the pan. Turn down the heat to medium and allow them to cook for a minute or two. Add salt, pepper, and red pepper to taste. Drizzle with hot sauce, and scramble the whites. Allow it to cook while you prepare the egg.
  4. Meanwhile, crack your egg into the small pan, quickly pouring 1/4 cup of water into the pan and covering the pan with the lid. This will perfectly steam the top of the egg while leaving your yolk perfectly dippy. Leave it to steam for about 30 seconds before uncovering and turning off the burner.
  5. Arrange your greens on your plate and drizzle them with hot sauce. When fully cooked, add your egg white/veggie scramble on top of the greens. Drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle with parmesan. Carefully, top your masterpiece with the egg and serve immediately.
Remember that there is something beautiful about the unexpected. Or, as I like to say, there is beauty in mystery.

Have a wonderful hump day!

What are some quirky food combos that you love?
Are you an over-sharer??

14.7.14

some monday motivation!


Long time no talk! <3

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty good! I've been pretty wiped out/sore lately. It feels like it never quite goes away. Everyone has told me about "low carb brain" and "the wall" that you hit in prep when you kind of just feel like your brain and body aren't totally connected, but this is the first time that I have really felt this way in my entire 19 week contest prep. Bleh.

Anyway, after a long weekend of grocery shopping, prepping food, lifting, and taking a few too many naps {assuming that's possible!}, I think that some Monday motivation is definitely in order! Here are some of my recent favorites!

{taking time to define your goals and get your mind right is so valuable}
{because you don't have to wait for hump day to see what the future brings. choose the path to awesomeness today}

{be your own cheerleader. set your eyes on the stars and leave the negativity behind you}
{if you take one step every day, you will get there in no time! learn to love the process}

{finally, if you can't love what today holds for you personally, love it for what it means to someone else. there is good in the world}



I hope that some happy thoughts for the day help you to find some perspective and start your week off right! Happy Monday!


10.7.14

the movement hit instagram!

Looking for more healthy meal ideas and overall accountability to stick to achieve your goals throughout the day?? 

The Masterpiece Movement is now on INSTAGRAM!


Come join the #masterpiecemovement by following the page and using our hashtag motivate others through sharing your healthy lifestyle choices. After all, we are in this together!

xoxo, kendall