Week of Workouts + My Waffle Recipe

Hi all! Long time since I have written (oops!) I want to share some workouts from this week as well as discuss new protein powders and share my delicious protein waffle recipe!!

Last week was the 2017 Maccabi Games (yearly Olympic-style games for Jewish teens from all over the world; this year hosted in Birmingham, AL!!) and I was the dance commissioner. So in other words, I was in charge of organizing and overseeing the dance competition! As most of you should know I am a former ballet dancer (age 5-college) and I was super serious and trained extensively year-round in ballet. I suffered a metatarsal injury in college though and during my time off decided I no longer wanted to put my body through dance and I was a little burned out on it…so I stopped! But, I taught for a couple of years at various dance studios on the side and it will remain a little passion of mine forever (once a dancer always a dancer). Anyway, so last week I was busy doing all of that so hopefully now I can try and get back to a once-weekly blog post! I’ve also been super busy with moving to a new apartment and all and just haven’t made the time to blog but will get better about that hopefully!

SO…Here are some workouts from this week and I will then discuss a few things I discovered about squatting and my lower back:

Sunday – shoulders/cardio mix:

Giant set:

  • 5×5-7 fairly heavy power cleans
  • 5×15-25 Lat raises (varying weight)
  • 3×400 meter row


  • More lat raises – 3 x 12-15
  • Overhead BB press 5×8-12
  • Upright row 3×15
  • Rear Delt fly 3×15
  • Single arm DB press 3×8-10 e
  • 3×12 Arnold press
  • then finish with 5×45 second hill sprints

Monday – quads/glutes:

  • Back squat 3×6 135, 3×10 115, 120
  • Front squat 2×8 100, 2×6,8 105
  • DB Bulgarian split squats 3×12 (40#), 3×10 (50#)
  • Hip thrust 1×15 135; 5×10-12 185
  • Butt blaster 4×12,10,8,10 varying weight
  • Leg extensions 5x failure (15 ish)
  • Sumo band walks 2×20
  • Fire hydrants

Tuesday – back/cardio + RPM class:

  • Row 1 k warmup
  • 4×10-15 close grip pulldowns
  • 5x heavy landmine bar row, 3×10,15,20 burpees, 3×15 bicep curls
  • 5×10-15 back extensions w 35 and 25#; superset 15 tricep pushups
  • Back extensions on floor w hands in O and including isometric holds
  • 1K meter row
  • 4 rounds of: 250 row sprints + 12 pushups
  • Core work

wednesday – rest

Thursday – Chest/core

  • Bench press 5×8-10 (I used 75 and 80# since I haven’t benched in forever)
  • Incline DB press 4x 8-10 heavy (35# DBs for me..) superset 5xfailure chin-ups with light band (I aimed for 10 reps each)
  • 6 rounds of: 400 meter run (1.0 incline, 8.5 speed), 20 KBS (40 and 45# KB), 50 foot farmer carry (2 45# plates)
  • Bench dips w feet on a bench 4 x 15
  • Core work

Tomorrow I will train hamstrings and glutes and likely take Saturday off/just go on a long walk Saturday! I will post my hams/glutes workout later this week.

Now I want to talk about lower back pain and squatting…..

One thing I have noticed about back squatting is it’s very important to focus on lower back strength and erector spinae strength in order to not have issues while squatting. If you are having low back pain the day after back squats or front squats I recommend cutting the weight back some and incorporate more back strengthening – back extensions (include high rep light/no weight as well as weighted and lower rep), Romanian Deadlifts, and glute strengthening exercises. Also make sure your form is good while squatting. I happened to notice I was squatting with a slightly off stance – my right leg was about 1/2 inch behind my left and that was putting my hips out of alignment! When I made that adjustment I noticed my back pain went away after squats!!! YAY! Because I LOVE squats…and I love going heavy…but I also don’t want to have pain while doing so especially with scoliosis. SO I am taking a few lbs off and going to focus on perfect form while strengthening my erectors more and hopefully my squat weight will increase because my leg strength is there I think my back strength needs to catch up some.

Now I will share my protein waffle recipe which I have been eating about 5x a week now!!


  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 banana
  • 3 whole eggs (I use pasture raised organic 100% now)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1-2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup water


blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Cook in waffle maker according to waffle maker instructions.

You can also do pancakes – would likely make 4-6 medium sized to small pancakes!


I have been eating this for breakfast during the week post-workout and it’s my absolute favorite right now! I put almond butter and raw pecans or blueberries on mine! YUM!


OK…I think I am done with this blog now. I will talk more about my protein powder research and what I have been taking in my next blog soon!!!!





ooey gooey sweet ‘n salty quinoa squares

These bars are so yum they may be better than an almond butter brownie! Seriously! They are gooey, filled with sweet and salty flavors, and crunchy. Everything you could possibly want – AND they are HEALTHY!

I made these for the first time a few years ago before I had the blog, so I had completely forgotten about them. Now I have made two batches in the last two weeks and plan to make them a weekly occurrence. They are super satisfying and fillin and I promise they will satisfy a sweet craving!

Serving size: about 15 squares, but feel free to eat 2 at a time!


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup almond butter (start with less, add a little more if mixture seems dry)
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 4 tbsp chia seeds
  • 4-6 chopped medjool dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • dash sea salt and cinnamon


Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Then basically mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Take a small glass baking dish and grease with coconut oil or grassfed butter and then press the mixture into the dish, spreading evenly.

Place in freezer for 1 hour and then store in fridge (it’s OK to keep in freezer longer, they will just be harder to cut!)

YUM! They will be a little gooey and may not hold together super well, but, I promise they will be delicious and oh so satisfying!!



What I ate on Memorial Day vacation & how I kept it clean!

Hi followers! Just writing to give an update of my Memorial Weekend holiday, what I ate, how I stayed on track with my lifestyle, etc. As you all know, I make my way of eating an absolute lifestyle and don’t even change what I eat when I go on vacation. The only difference is, I may have a little more red wine than normal (or white) while on vacation, but I keep my eating in check 100%! I feel best that way! No bloat, no regrets, no coming back from vacation having UNDONE all of my hard work in the gym. I also know that by controlling my eating, and always eating clean food, I will feel the best and also improve my chances of NOT getting sick/getting a cold/or something like that which happens often when traveling.

Now, I am not saying that a carefully planned “cheat” of some sort isn’t OK – because it’s fine. I just personally am very picky about what I will “cheat” on and it has to be at least somewhat clean and nourishing…not absolute chemical junk! On another note, how beautiful is the weather in the pic below?!


So we drove to Tampa/Tarpon Springs, FL Friday of last week and it took FOREVER to get there. We ran into traffic in 3 different areas so we didn’t arrive until 12:15 AM and we were both exhausted from having gotten up at 415 AM!

Things I ate in the car on the way: celery, perfect bar, clean tuna salad (pole caught tuna from WF mixed with chopped celery, Dijon mustard, Sir Kensington mayo, salt, pepper). I also had some leftover chicken and veggies that I ate cold. And a rice cake.

Saturday and Sunday I took off from workouts, which was fine. I got in 5 days of workouts that week before heading to the beach so I allowed my body two consecutive days of rest! We went on the boat both days, and I didn’t eat as much as I normally do.

Saturday I woke up and made my oatmeal (see above; which I packed all the ingredients to make) and I had my French press organic coffee! I like to bring my French Press when I travel because then I can just make my own coffee and not worry about using someone’s coffee pot since I prefer to drink the coffee I buy anyway! And a French Press is so easy to travel with because it’s small. I recommend you get one!

For snacks on the beach, we made a Whole Foods run and I picked up organic celery, uncured/applegate brand smoked turkey breast, organic hummus, and another perfect bar. I snacked on that while on the beach along with fresh watermelon and organic apples! See below for the brands I got! I would take the celery and put hummus in the middle and wrap a piece of turkey around it. It was SO GOOD! And I literally thought of that snack idea while searching Whole Foods and thinking what the heck am I gonna eat…!


We cooked dinner each night, Saturday – Monday, and I was able to eat pretty darn clean the whole time! Pics of my meals below, including my lunch from Tuesday on our trip back to Birmingham – we found a Chipotle en route (I got Barbacoa, black beans, white rice, salsa, Guac).

Top left is baked shrimp, fresh organic salad with Tessemae’s dressing, organic new potatoes (again, we made a Whole Foods run so I could control what was purchased); top right is grassfed beef burger with onion, sweet potato fries, grilled asparagus and avocado; bottom right is my lunch from Sunday – grilled grouper over bed of spinach and cabbage and cilantro. I also had some raw oysters that day as well.


I would also snack on rice cakes with almond butter or organic peanut butter if I wasn’t full from meals/in between meals. And that’s pretty much it – that’s how I ate on the trip! I don’t understand why people think you have to completely fall off the wagon and eat garbage while on vacation – I don’t do that, because it makes me feel like crap and I prefer my way of eating. There are indulgences here and there, sure, (for example, I ate an organic Justin’s peanut butter cup on vacation too), but I am not eating processed food or stuff with a bunch of refined sugar and corn syrup, etc., in it! That’s how I maintain my figure – and it’s how I love to eat and live! I also brought my lemons so I could make my warm lemon cayenne water each morning.

And also, my shoulder is doing so well!!!!! I never did go see a doctor but I did see this personal trainer/physical therapist/massage therapist who did a thoracic release on my spine and I felt amazing after he did it! I was feeling really tight in that area and wasn’t sure if I had aggravated my shoulder again or what, and I was pretty upset about it….but after he did the release I felt 100% normal and amazing! I just have to be careful with heavy pressing movements…which is fine. I have no interest in doing 1RM bench press anyway. I just want to be fit, healthy, and look good. Which all can be done with heavy weights, but not too heavy 😉



Pic below from the workout we did Monday (Memorial Day) at a gym in Tarpon Springs! I did a shoulder/back workout with 2miles running sprints/intervals and also 200 goblet squats and a ton of pushups!


Goat cheese stuffed chicken breast

Chicken can get boring. I am usually eating chicken every day for lunch so I don’t always have chicken at dinner time, but this recipe is quite far from boring! Who doesn’t love goat cheese, first of all? I don’t do a lot of dairy at all – and if I do, I prefer a goat milk cheese since it’s easier for humans to digest and good for lactose-intolerant people.


  • 4 chicken breasts, pounded flat
  • 4-5 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • Pink or sea salt and black pepper + additional for the chicken breasts

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Prep your chicken breasts – pound them flat and sprinkle with pink salt and black pepper. Then combine the goat cheese with the green onions and remaining spices in a bowl and mix well. Stuff 1/4 of the mixture into each chicken breast and fold over, securing with a few toothpicks. Place chicken in a glass baking dish and bake for 45 minutes – one hour, until juices run clear.

Enjoy! Depending on the size of the chicken breast, one could serve 1 person or 2 people. So this could be anywhere between 4-6 servings, give or take.



Sweet potato-quinoa-black bean burger

Hi guys! The other night I randomly started craving a sweet potato black bean burger…so I googled some recipes to get ideas on what I could put together. This recipe makes 6 hearty burgers and it’s completely VEGAN. It’s also relatively inexpensive to make.

Each burger is about 350 calories. I would suggest eating them with fresh veggies – steamed or roasted – as well as some fresh onions and avocado. Pairing it with a portobello mushroom is also delicious and makes it seem extra “meaty”!

Here is what you will need and what to do:


  • 1 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 sweet potatoes, roasted whole and mashed (skin removed)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup green onion, diced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • Dash of cayenne pepper, optional
  • Sprinkling of sea salt and black pepper


To cook the sweet potatoes, place on a baking sheet and roast for about 1 – 1 hour 15 mins at 400 degrees. Remove from oven, let cool, and remove the skin and put in a large bowl. Prep and cook your black beans and quinoa, add to the bowl of the potatoes.

Now add the crushed/chopped pecans, green onion, and your spices. Mix well.




Form the mixture into 6 patties and place on an aluminum lined baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes total at 375 degrees, flipping the patties once halfway through. Serve over grilled portobello mushroom with red onion and fresh avocado.



What I Eat + Workouts, ETC.!

Hi friends! I have been bad about blogging…yet again…and I promise to do better! I am just sitting at work, staying late this evening, so figured it was a good time to do a blog. I am going to share what I ate today as well as a couple of workouts for the week!

This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend and I am going to Tampa Friday with my BF to stay with his aunt and his family. We are so excited for a getaway! We will come back to Birmingham on Tuesday and Wednesday is actually a Jewish holiday so I don’t have work that day, so next week is a short week! I absolutely love my job though so no day feels like work. Except tonight of course, as I sit here late for my boss LOL but it’s OK. They treat me great so I am happy to do favors when necessary!

FOOD TIME! So for starters I had 1/2 banana, spoon of peanut butter before my workout this morning at 530. I also sipped coconut water with my Julian Bakery paleo chocolate egg white protein during my workout. I also had blended coffee (coconut oil + a little grassfed butter).

After my workout I made a protein shake with water, berries, spinach, Julian Bakery paleo protein (another 25 g protein) and then I had a rice cake with celery!IMG_6185


Next I had 2 eggs and some organic, plain applesauce around 9 AMIMG_6186

Around 10:45 I had my chicken, potatoes and broccoli! Lunch is usually always chicken of some sort, either sweet or white potato or rice (I try to do a sweet potato and less of it on a lighter workout day/nontraining day), and I always have steamed broccoli because I never tire of it and because it’s so yummy reheated!


12:45 I had a perfect bar! I don’t always eat these, but, when they are on sale I will stock up and have a couple that week. I usually have just 1-2 of these each week. It is the only pre-packaged bar I will buy and eat. They are also great for road trips!!!!!!


Not pictured – another tbsp of peanut butter + an apple around 4 pm.



6:15 I had my salmon, spinach and sweet potato!



LEG DAY WORKOUT- laid off squatting this week to let my rhomboid kind of rest! My thoracic vertebrae are also tight lately so I decided to take it a little easy with heavy squats, so I did hip thrusts which I LOVE:

  • Hip thrust 4×12 185#; 3×10,9,8 205#; I superset these with 2 x 20 sumo band walks and 3 x 25 seated band abduction
  • Walking lunges – 4 x 16 with 30# DBs
  • 3 x 1.5 rep RDLs, close stance, superset 4 x 15 bulgarian split squats (3 sets with DBs, 1 set without weight)
  • Ham curls – 3 x 30 – I do pointed toes to failure and then flexed feet to failure
  • 3 x 25 leg extensions
  • 3 x 15 weighted calf raises, slow and controlled
  •  4 x 20 seated abduction – I use about 125-130#
  • 3 x 4/3/1 sumo squat 55# DB. 10 reps per set. 4 counts down, 3 count pause at bottom, 1 count up


  • Seated shoulder press: 2 x 15, 4 x 10 increasing weight in DBs (I used lighter DBs as I have my shoulder injury in recovery)
    • superset these with seated lateral raises, slow and controlled, I did 4×20 and then 2×15 with a heavier DB (I used 5# DBs, then 7.5#s, then 8#s)
  • Standing DB upright row 3 x 15
    • superset rear delt cable fly 3 x 15
  • Single arm lateral raise 4 x 15 increasing DB weight
    • superset front arm raises 3 x 15 alternating arms
  • 2×15 cable external rotation (go light here!)


THINGS THAT ARE UP AND COMING…I am hopefully getting my nutrition certification through ACE soon – during the summer, and will hopefully have some clean eating growth coming out of that here at work. I just want to spread my passion for this lifestyle to as many people as I can!

How is everyone doing? Are we still eating clean? Fall off the wagon?? Need some motivation getting back on? Want any new recipes!? I gotta get back creative in the kitchen and start posting more things as I have been slacking! I get stuck in my routines of eating the same things so I don’t keep posting recipes…but I will get on it!





Blended coffee recipe – a take on “bulletproof” coffee

I discovered a new way to make bulletproof coffee and I want to share it with you all! I got the idea from Tosca Reno, who is the eat clean diet woman who FIRST changed my life for the better in 2011 after I read her books on eating clean.

The recipe is simple. Take a high quality coffee bean (I like dark roast, organic) and make as you normally do (I use a french press). Then pour it in a blender with the following ingredients:

  • 1/2 tbsp organic unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/2 tbsp organic coconut cream (just the cream of coconut from canned and preferably organic coconut milk)
  • 1/2 tbsp almond butter (pure almond butter with no added sugars or oils, preferably)

Blend for 15-20 seconds (cover the lid with a towel) and enjoy this amazing, filling breakfast! This can be breakfast replacement or enjoy it along with your actual breakfast! Just do count the fat servings in this as a dose of healthy fat for the day! Fat is GOOD for us, y’all! Enjoy! Feel free to tweak the serving sizes of these fats. I don’t really measure mine specifically, I just get a large spoon and scoop out a little of each and blend. It’s soooo good! And go follow Tosca Reno and her amazing motivation as well!