As many of you know, I've been working hard at getting myself out into the world of fitness and bodybuilding. I want to help change lives, inspire people and motivate others to find their passions and take control of their own life.

So, I'm happy to announce that 'getting out there' is exactly what I've been doing. 

Recently, I published two new articles in the web world and created a new video for my you tube channel followers. If you have a chance, I would love for you to check them out!

The first article was written for an online blog and is geared towards individuals who struggle with body and self image. To read this blog contribution, please CLICK HERE.

The second article I wrote is entitled "Super Berry Undercover: The Ultimate Fruit For Healthy Living" and is currently published on muscle&strength.com. To read this article, please CLICK HERE.

And, if you'd like to see a quick snapshot of some of my recent shoulder workout, you can watch my you tube video below.

Again, I sincerely want to thank all of you who are helping me to not only achieve my dream, but are inspiring me every day to keep going. Your support, emails and wonderful comments are my fuel!
 
What is change? Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary describes change in 7 different ways. In short, ‘to change’ could be to transform, to alter, to modify, to adjust, or to revolutionize – among others.

It is a complex word usually accompanied by complex decisions, actions, thoughts and emotions. I find it humorous that a tiny 6-letter word can capture all of that essence.

As I say the word repeatedly in my head it sparks an abundance of mental activity. I think about my journey, I think about my path and I think about my values. I’ve changed. Not because I was forced to, rather, because I wanted to – I was inspired to.

And simply because I opened up my mind and listened to my heart simultaneously, I continue to evolve as a result.

As many of you know, this journey has literally renovated me. Aesthetically speaking, I appear enhanced and improved – yes – but more importantly, foundationally I am stronger, more stable and more able to support myself.

While embarking on what merely seemed like a ‘weight loss journey’, I truly failed to recognize the domino effect that would unfold before me. Like many people do, in the beginning I was focused on the physical changes rather than the mental, social, spiritual and environmental ones that would follow.

I know I’ve spoken of this matter before, but I wanted to highlight it again. Why? Because it’s been 543 days since the beginning of my journey and my life continues to blossom positively as a result of it.

Now more than ever, it’s clear to me who I am, what I want, what I need and where I want to go in life – and learning these things has lead me down new and exciting paths.

Recently, I travelled to St. Lucia. For those of you who have never been there, St. Lucia is a beautiful island in the West Indies that has a stunning amalgamation of mountains, rainforests, low lying lands and beaches. Not to mention, home to over 170,000 of the kindest people I think I’ve ever met.

Oddly enough, what was supposed to be a short family getaway actually became a life changing event for me – another pivotal moment.

Just as my life was heading down one path I was awakened with the sight of what could be. I was intrigued.

On this trip I saw a life I’d always wanted. I saw support, simplicity, health, longevity, happiness, kindness and appreciation. In just one week I was captivated by the idea of living a life less monotonous that highlighted my values and propelled me forward – forcing me to always strive for greatness. I saw the future me.

It’s safe to say I came home and made some changes. After much self reflection I ended my nearly 4 year relationship, I moved into a new place, I grew closer with my sister (my new roomie) and began strengthening bonds with some new friends. And yes, in time, I also entered a new relationship with someone who reflects the same passions, values and beliefs as I.

I feel free. I have a warm sensation that I have taken a giant step towards the person I truly want to be, and I have my journey to thank for it.

To some, these changes may seem sudden – which they are. But do not get that confused with thoughtless. The thoughts, the feelings and the desire to change my situations at the time had been looming over me for quite awhile; I just hadn’t found my ignition switch. And I also hadn’t found the bravery to take that leap of faith.

My trip to St. Lucia and the people I met there showed me the way.

So if there is one thing I want to leave you with today it is this: embrace the change that feels right to you.

Like I recently wrote on my facebook page:

“With an open mind & a willing heart, there’s no limit to life’s adventures. Be open to new experiences & people. No matter how unconventional your path may seem, if it feels right inside, you can’t deny it. Life is filled with many paths, and who knows? Maybe the road less travelled will guide YOU towards YOUR happiness.” - Kristen Adamson
 
So, who are the Sunroom Ladies? Well, the Sunroom ladies are a group of ladies who share one large room in their office building in Fall Church, VA. But why do they call it the Sunroom? Well, because they have huge panoramic windows giving them lots of light. How awesome is that!These 5 women follow my blog regularly & chat about it amongst themselves. And since they are all working hard to shed some extra pounds, they've been keeping in contact with me via email, sending me questions. So, I figured I'd share a few of their recent questions on here too!

Enjoy - and thanks Sunroom ladies!

1) When you started, how did you invision your body to look once you hit your goal? Are you happy with the results? Do you feel you exceeded what you thought your body would look like when you reached your goal?

This is a great question. When I first started I had hoped for a body like Erin Stern’s or Jamie Eason’s, but I honestly didn’t think it was possible. This is where I first went wrong.

You really can make your body look however you want. Now, granted, you will never look EXACTLY like someone else (and who would want to?), but you can develop similar physics and as I started losing the weight, I began seeing what the natural shape of my body is and I realized…maybe I can look very close to Erin Stern. So now, that is my ultimate goal! I think she is feminine, storng and sexy and her body and the way she holds herself exudes confidence – I love that!

I am very happy with my results so far, but I don’t feel as though I’ve exceeded my new goals yet. But in regards to my old goals of just losing weight… I certainly did exceed them! I never thought (in the beginning) that I would get down to the 130’s, so I was honestly quite impressed with myself! And it made me realize that if I want something bad enough I can do it!

2) We are Americans. How do you measure your liquids in grams? We tried to do a conversion but can't figure it out. I tried your protein pancakes and they were a disaster because I got the ratio down. I actually found a comparable recipe that I make every morning so it wasn't a total wash. But I always see you measure eggs in grams. Is it a scale?

Yes, I use a food scale – best investment in the world! The best thing to do would be to use a conversion chart. If you’re wondering why I use a scale to weigh all my foods, this youtube video explains it well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVjWPclrWVY

Especially when trying to shed fat, its easy to eat way more than you intended, even with the use of measuring spoons, bowls and cups.

3) Who is your current trainer? You mentioned in your pre vacation blog you were going to work with a new one. Do you like them and do they have a website?

My current trainers name is Andrea De Lima. She actually just started taking clients, so she hasn’t established herself yet. I still work with Kim for my nutrition (www.iron-kim.com), but I work with Andrea in person, in my gym, to target certain areas that I need to develop. For instance, my back needs to widen and my shoulders need to cap off in order to compete and be successful. This is because my quads are very dominant, so I need to balance out my physique to enhance that hourglass look the judges are looking for.

I chose Andrea because she is also competing in figure, so she understands what the judges want and how to hit different muscles to help them grow the way I need them too.

4) How long will you bulk for?

I will be bulking until I can’t bulk anymore to be honest! Hahaha. Usually they say bulk until you can’t take it anymore. This way, you don’t run the risk of cutting down and then realizing you didn’t put on the quality muscle that you needed to. My plan is to go until August or September and then re-evaluate. Right now, I am happy with how I am filling out, but as my waist widens (because I’m trying to grow my abs outwward in order to tighten some loose skin I have) it gets harder to love the bulking. Haha! But overall, I still look lean to other people; I just look a bit thicker – which I don’t mind at all.

 
So, by now, most of you know how obsessed I am with my protein pancakes. Which is why it was hard to come to terms with losing the oatmeal in my diet when I decided to go gluten free.

But don't fret! I've come up with an alternative and they taste amazing!! Check these out:

Kristen’s Almond Flax Pancakes:
- 20g Almond Flour
- 15g Milled Flax
- 160g Egg Whites
- 1 Package of Stevia
...- Spices or Pure Extract’s to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender – I use the magic bullet – and cook over a heated skillet (sprayed with cooking spray) just like ordinary pancakes. Makes 2.

Top with sugar free syrup or pure maple syrup and enjoy!

They turn out great, don’t take long and they are very versatile! You can add raisins, or goji berries to the batter as well to spruce it up. I love it with goji berries for added antioxidants.

Let me know what you think!
Picture
The almond flour I use.
 
In 9 hours I will be on my way to the airport to enjoy the sun and sand in St. Lucia. But, of coarse, not without a little bit of planning! 

Aside from planning what to bring, and ensuring I have all of my gym accessories and clothes, there was one other important plan I had to do - my meal plan for the week I return. 

Think about it, when you go on vacation and you come home, what is one of the first things you do? Go grocery shopping! So, instead of relying on myself, when I'm in a lazy state, to try and quickly compile a plan, I decided to put it together ahead of time. This way, I'm ready and prepared for when I come home!

Now, if you are wondering why I am still putting together meal plans while I'm building (a.k.a. bulking), it's because I want to ensure that I am:

       a) not over-indulging in junk food and turning this build into a 'dirty bulk' - I want to keep it    
       clean so that I make lean gains as opposed to fat gains. 
       b) strategically placing my carbs and fats throughout the day so that I minimize the risk of 
       these extra calories being stored in my body as opposed to utilized for muscle 
       recovery/building. 

So, in order to do these things above, I continue to design meal plans! Plus it just makes shopping and packing my meals a heck of a lot easier - I don't have to think later :). 

One of the other reasons why this next plan is so important is because when I return I will officially be entering into the building phase. Currently, I've been working on slowly increasing my numbers, but it won't be until I am back from vacay that I will officially be above my maintenance caloric intake and putting on muscle - so this plan deserved a lot of focus and attention.

Well, anyways, I thought I would let you guys know what I'm up to. If you want to see my meal plan for when I am back from my vacation, check it out below! I tried to incorporate foods that are rich in anti-oxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals, as well as carbs that are less likely to contain lots of gluten (with the exception of oats pre-wrkout) as I think I am having a reaction to it (I'm testing this theory). So rather than rice, pastas, WW breads etc., I will primarily be eating fruits, veggies and sweet potato for m

Thanks for checking in!! And if you want more frequent updates, please 'like' my facebook page: www.facebook.com/kristen.v.adamson  

kristens_build_plan.xls
File Size: 40 kb
File Type: xls
Download File

 
These yummy squares are a great, energy packed, on-the-go snack! Give them a try!

- 150g Almond Flour
- 60g Rice Protein (Vanilla) - feel free to try whey
- 1tsp Salt
- 1tsp baking powder
- 1 Whole Egg
- 2 Egg Whites (66g of liquid egg whites)
- 22g Splenda (3/4 cup)
- 2tsp Pure Cinnamon Extract
- 2tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2tsp All Spice
- 2 Jars of Apple Baby Food (low sugar)
- 70g of Sultana Raisins

Prehead the over to 350 degrees.Combine the wet ingredients with the splenda in a separate bowl (Eggs, Extract, Baby Food) and whisk them together.

Then in another, larger bowl, combine the dry ingredients with the raisins and lightly whisk them together.

Now combine the wet ingredients with the dry and whisk until the mixture is smooth - at this point it will not be very liquidy, it is more doughy.

Pour into a glass baking dish and bake for approximately 40mins.

I divided mine into 12 squares in order to get the following nutrition profile:

134.5 cals
6.76g Fat
13.5g Carbs
7.72g protein

NOTE: they did turn out a bit moist and dense, so feel free to muck with the recipe if you wish. Otherwise, I love the way they taste :)

Picture
 
Hey everyone! Since this is my first time prepping for a 'legit' photo shoot, I figured I would share with you my peak week plan. Keep in mind, I've done some research about how to approach a peak week and I've modified what I've learned to reflect what I think my body needs - so this may not work for everyone. Heck, it may not even work for me! But with this sport/industry you have to be willing to invest in a lot of trial and error. So if nothing else, I will learn. Here it is!

Training
Monday - 20 mins fasted AM HIIT (bike) + PM arms
Tuesday - 20 mins fasted AM HIIT (bike) + PM shoulders
Wednesday - 20 mins fasted AM HIIT (bike)
Thursday - 20 mins fasted AM HIIT (bike) + Hams/Back
Friday - 20 mins fasted AM HIIT (bike) + Chest/Abs
Saturday - Photo Shoot Day - OFF
Sunday - I'm still going to workout to hit Quads/Calves

Diet
A few of the basic rules: No added salt, no sweetener, no sugar, no dairy and no packaged foods. Water will begin at 4 liters per day from Monday - Thursday and then deplete to 2 liters a day on Friday, and Saturday morning I will only sip on water with BCAA's in it. 

Meals: Monday - Thursday 
Meal 1:
1 glass of green tea
2 whole eggs + 100g egg whites scrambled with oregano and garlic powder
30g Oatmeal with allspice & cinnamon 
1 liter of water (during an post workout)
2 calcium chews 
2 vitamins (ActiveX)

Meal 2:
1/2 scoop Gaspari Myofusion
1 cup black coffee
20g cashews (unsalted, natural)

Meal 3:
30g of spinach (measured raw, then cooked)
3oz of BBQ chicken (seasoned with oregano & garlic powder)
1 Hard Boiled Egg

Meal 4:
1 scoop Gaspari Myofusion 
1/2 a Whole Wheat English Muffin 
1 Cup Green Tea

Meal 5 - Pre Workout:
1 scoop Gaspari SuperPump250

Meal 6 - Post Workout:
1 scoop Gaspari Myofusion 
15g of oatmeal 

Meal 7:
2.5oz of BBQ chicken (seasoned with oregano & garlic powder)
30g of spinach (measured raw, then cooked)
1 tsp olive oil
50g of raw cucumber

Meal 8
100g plain egg whites (spices to season)  

Meals: Friday 
On Friday, the meals will be the same, except meals 7 and 8 will both change to 3oz of BBQ Chicken +100g of sweet potato - with meal 8 including 3oz of red wine (to aid with vascularity the next    morning).

Meals: Saturday (day of shoot)
Upon waking I will ingest is 3oz of BBQ chicken and 100g sweet potato and 5-15 mins before taking photos I will eat a Kit Kat Chunky Bar to fill out my muscles. After the shoot I will have a protein    shake and some Peanut butter and from that point on the day in unplanned as I am going out with    some friends to celebrate my birthday, the end of my cut and the kick off of my build phase! YAY!

Other
Some of the other tasks I will be doing to prep for this week as as follows:
  • Waxing Eyebrows - early in week
  • Dying Hair (just for touch up) - early in week
  • Exfoliating entire body - Thursday night
  • Applying self tanner (natural looking colour) - Thursday night 
  • Manicure/Pedicure (clear polish) - early in week
  • Applying preparation H to my stomach, wrapping it in plastic wrap and sitting in the sauna to tighten loose skin -Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday night's
 
The next couple of weeks are going to be quite exciting for me, so I figured I’d give you all a run down of what is going on in my life right now.

As most of you know I’ve been keeping quite busy these days – working on my portfolio, writing articles and continuing to work on my physique in order to ultimately compete this year. So, as you will notice, a lot of the upcoming events in my life are planned with these goals in mind:

March 16th – Plant Based Nutrition certification begins (6 weeks long)
March 19th – First session with my new personal trainer
March 25th – Leaving for the weekend to attend the SAF Superstar Fitness Camp
March 26th – My 22nd birthday
April 2nd – Photo shoot with Martika Gregory
April 2nd – Celebrating my 22nd birthday with friends/family (CHEAT DAY!)
April 3rd – The beginning of my “building” phase
April 21st – Leaving for a family vacation to St. Lucia’s BodyHoliday LeSport Resort
April – Hoping to launch www.kristenadamson.com (coming soon!)
April/May – My first bodybuilding.com article will be published!

With all of this excitement coming up, I can’t help but be completely engrossed in what I am doing. So I apologize ahead of time if I neglect to blog or post on my website. If you want to follow me more closer though, I highly suggest “liking” my fan page – www.facebook.com/kristen.v.adamson - it’s much easier for me to make quick updates, and I regularly post tips and tricks that I don’t get an opportunity to post on my website.

Hope you will follow me along! You’ll be seeing more of me J

 
Having been bodybuilding for over a year now, it’s pretty safe to say that I’ve done my fair share of taste testing and research when it comes to finding new and unique protein sources. And since this industry has really taken off lately, there are some pretty cool options out there that I’d love to share with you.

Now, having said that, keep in mind that nothing beats real protein from real food, but having some alternatives lying around the house or the office can sometimes make achieving your macros easier on a really busy or hectic day.

Here are a few unique protein options I’ve stumbled across in my time. Check them out!

1)       Ostrich Meat

What is it?

If you like beef jerky, you may like these unique protein sticks from OStrim. These sticks are made of a combination of Ostrich and Beef meat, and make for a great ‘on-the-go’ snack. I’ve tried BBQ and Teriyaki in the past and so far I much prefer the Teriyaki.

Benefits?

A great source of 14g of protein with only 80 calories and 1.5g of fat – super lean! I always make sure I have some in the house in case I need a quick boost.

The downside?

They are a bit of an acquired taste and there is 430mg of sodium in one stick. Just make sure to keep your water intake up and you will be ok. In terms of the taste, I got used to it.  

What to eat it with?

Great accompanied with an apple or a cheese string!

2)      MuscleGel

What is it?

These funky little squeeze packs contain a super flavorful gel-like substance that packs an awesome nutritional profile! Key lime is my favorite so far!

Benefits?

Each pack contains only 96 calories and 2g of carbs but weighs in at a whooping 22g of protein! What’s even better? They are fast, convenient, tasty and low sodium!

The downside?

These little power packs won’t just help you lean out your physique; they will also lean out your wallet. Be prepared to pay a pretty penny for these babies, but honestly, it’s well worth it!.

What to eat it with?

Eat it alone or combine it with a piece of fruit and some nuts for a complete snack!

3)      Protein Gelatin

What is it?

Think of those yummy jello snacks you used to love eating as a kid. Now imagine it was filled with protein – you’ve got yourself a Pure Protein, protein snack! I’ve never tried these myself, but I plan to because I LOVE JELLO!

Benefits?

At 100 calories, 0g of sugar, 2g of carbs and 22g of protein, these quick and easy jelly bowls hold a great nutrition profile.

The downside?

Some people argue that the ingredient profile isn’t the best, but I will leave that up to you.

What to eat it with?

Try it topped with a bit of low fat cool whip or mix it with some mandarin oranges or berries for a delicious dessert!

4)      Bottled Protein Tea

What is it?

Do you like chilled tea? Well then this product is for you! Grab a bottle of this green or black tea and flood your body with 40g of Ion Exchange Whey Protein in one beverage! Again, I haven’t tried this myself but I’ve read great reviews on bodybuilding.com!

Benefits?

40g of protein, 8,880mg of BCAA;s, preservative free, lactose free and fat free. And filled with flavanoid antioxidants from the tea!

The downside?

From what I’ve read, it’s not very filling, so be prepared to want to eat it with something else.

What to eat it with?

Have it on it’s own or combine it with a piece of whole wheat bread and natural peanut butter to enjoy a complete meal.

5)      Elite Liquid Protein Shot

What is it?

If you have ever tried an energy shot, then you get the idea of this pocket protein companion. The Dymatize Elite Protein Shot is 2oz bottle filled with Biopeptides, Whey Protein Isolate, Casein Protein Isolate with added L-Glutamine.

Benefits?

For only 99 calories you get a tasty treat that includes no added Sugar or fillers, 0 carbs, 0 fat and 25 grams of protein per serving.

The downside?

Like some of the others, this isn’t a very filling protein source. So, if you are one to get hungry all the time, this won’t satisfy your hunger needs.

What to eat it with?

Fill up with something fiber packed, like some fiber cereal, raspberries or avocado on multigrain toast to satisfy your hunger.

Picture
 
Usually, when I write a blog on here I write it with one of two goals in mind. Either to:

a)     Motivate, inspire and teach my readers, or,
b)     Update them on my fitness and training progress.

But in today’s blog, I’ve decided to take a bit of a different approach. I want everyone who’s reading to have a solid understanding of what a day is typically like for me. You see, although it may appear like I get up and train with ease each and every day, the truth is, I don’t.

Aside from sometimes feeling lazy or unmotivated to hit the gym – which by the way I’m not alone in – I also battle daily pain and discomfort as a result on my accident in 2007. Something with which I’ve avoided speaking about openly, online and with many of my closest friends. 

In the past, I’ve believed that speaking about my injuries would release a negative vibe to others, but now, since I’ve received so many emails referring to my emotional and physical battle, I realize that people want to read and discuss real life issues. We, as humans, need to hear about the challenges that others face – it helps us feel like we’re not alone in our own struggles.

So, let me shed some light on what I experience.

On a daily basis I find myself constantly uncomfortable. Since my accident a couple of years ago, my back, neck and knee have been a wreck – don’t get me started on my flashbacks and anxiety while crossing the street, driving around pedestrians or even watching a movie where a person is hit by a car. 

If I’m not waking up with pain or discomfort, then I know it’s coming at some point in the day. Whether that’s while I’m sitting at my desk at the office, driving my car, or just walking around for too long, my neck will always weaken, feel strained or get stiff and sore. This doesn’t even begin to discuss my back.

Truthfully, I could go on for a while about each of the permanent damages I’ve sustained. But I prefer not to dwell on the topic, as it usually upsets me or reminds me of what the doctors have warned me about my future.

But the point I’m trying to make here, is something I learned from a woman I loved dearly as a child, a woman who passed away from Cancer far too young, but has still managed to make a gigantic impact on my life to this day.

In her laptop – written as she was struggling with her diagnosis – she wrote, “By some absolute miracle, I learned early on that in spite of what was happening inside my body, I could control my mind.”

As obvious as this may seem to some, when you battle daily physical ailments or pain it’s often hard to feel like going on or moving forward.

Some days I dread the idea of getting out of bed, walking around the mall for too long or going for a lengthy car ride, because I am aware of how uncomfortable I will get.

But what I always try to remind myself – although it’s often very hard to do – is that I can’t let this pain take over my life. I have dreams and I have goals, and I’m not going to let anything get in the way of that.

I’m going to continue to see doctors on a weekly or bi-weekly basis – no matter how frustrating and inconvenient it is. And I’m going to continue to strengthen my body to help my joints feel better – no matter how temporary that fix may be. 

I’m not going to let this accident beat me; I’m going to control my thoughts just like she did, I’m going to control my mind.

In loving memory of Karen Sampson