Pumpkin Cheesecake and Push Ups

It’s been 8 days since Brendan left for Ranger School and I have been keeping up with my push-ups–We all have! Quickly, I just want to say a quick thank you to all my close family and friends who have been sending me their push up videos. It means so much to me, and I know when he sees all the support he has he’ll be blown away! And for those of you who are waiting until the push ups are at more strenuous numbers, I can’t wait to see the videos.

Aside from all that hard work, I’ve been happily slaving away in my kitchenette testing out a few different concoctions. Don’t worry, I’ll spare you the screw ups, but I couldn’t help but get into the spirit of Fall by putting a bit of pumpkin into every recipe I made. From pancakes to pumpkin cheesecake, and then a pumpkin milkshake–I have definitely been enjoying myself!

Now I’ve been asked my some how I continue to stay on track when there is all this fabulous food around. To be honest, at one point I couldn’t. Well I did, but I was miserable. My first competition diet was strict and I only ate 1200 calories–you don’t have to tell me, I know, that is so little. (FYI, I didn’t count my veggies.) Nevertheless this time around I have made my diet a lifestyle. I have kept in gluten, dairy, and whenever I want something I make a healthier version calculating my macro nutrients carefully so that everything is accounted for. It isn’t easy, but I’ve had such a great time coming up with recipes that my whole family can enjoy. Making my diet enjoyable (and eating quite a bit more) has left mind at ease and keeps me constant…and most importantly (to me) I’m keeping that hard earned muscle on me! Although my diet is stricter than most, I do have some rules I live by in the off-season:

1) Every meal should contain protein: turkey, chicken, fish, eggs, steak (only twice a week), 2 protein powder scoops

2) Eat fibrous carbs whenever you like!: Carrots, squash, spinach, green, yellow and red peppers, kale, broccoli, green beans, and mushrooms

3) Eat healthy fats 3x a day: 1 tsp of flaxseed oil, .5 avocado, nuts, edamame

4) Eat Starchy carbs with every meal (if you’d like–you don’t have to) except after 6/7pm: Sweet potato, brown rice, oatmeal, Ezekiel Bread

5) Eat fruit only in the morning, before and/or after workout.

6) Avoid processed foods, sugar, and sweets…and make your own variations of whatever “junk” food you crave

7) Drain fat from meat when cooked

8) Drink a gallon of water each day!

There are many more basic rules that I try to live by, but these are a few to get started in the right direction. It’s amazing when you just make a few changes to your diet how much more your body can grow. I recently gave these rules to a friend of mine and in a matter for a few weeks he had dropped 6lbs! Very proud of him!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Ingredients:

1 lb of fat free cream cheese

2 Egg Whites

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 TBSP Cinnamon

1/4 Cup of Almond Milk

1/2 Cup of Truvia

1 Cup of Pumpkin

Optional: 2 Scoops of Vanilla Protein Powder

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

3. Spray pie pan with non-stick cooking spray

4. Pour ingredients and cook for 45 minutes

5. Let Cheesecake cool in fridge for 4 hours

6. Cut into 6 slices. Enjoy!

Damages for 1/6 of pie:

Without Protein:

93 Calories  8g Carbs  0g Fat  12g Protein

With Protein:

135 Calories  9g Carbs  1g Fat  20g Protein

Get going on those push ups!