My Test Kitchen: Chocolate Casein Oatmeal Protein Cookies

I don’t know about you, but whenever I go on any sort of healthy diet, I tend to still have cravings. They do dissipate over time, but even when they are gone I still enjoy treating myself with something sweet. … Continue reading

Power Analysis: Muscle Milk Review

 Sometimes the hardest part of sticking to a diet or exercise regime is finding the time to cook meals, especially meals that will provide you with all of the essential nutrients to build and repair muscle. It is really easy to fall off the wagon because of cravings, or lack of preparation. Another huge issue that arises with a bodybuilding diet is monotony, food tends to taste boring, and protein shakes can become really boring when you are drinking them every day. If you are like me, you get really bored with protein shakes fast. At first, I will get a new protein and absolutely love it, and over time it becomes the enemy because I get so bored of it. It becomes really hard to motivate yourself to drink something that you can’t stand, so you turn to a chocolate bar, pizza, or some other craving. This is why it is extremely important to have meal replacement options, because there will be days that you can’t motivate yourself to cook, or drink a protein shake, and it is that moment when you need to be prepared so that you can prevent senseless cheating. My tried and true meal replacement favorite is Muscle Milk by Cytosport. I never get bored it this, I can drink it every day, and I still enjoy it. It is also filling, unlike a lot of protein shakes, and has a great macro nutrient ratio. Get your hands on some Muscle Milk!

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What is Muscle Milk?

Muscle Milk is a fabulous meal replacement option, meaning that it can be taken in place of food. This can be a life saver if you don’t have the time, energy, or cash to prepare 6 solid meals a day. Muscle Milk contains a blend of proteins (Calcium Sodium Caseinate, Milk Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Hydrolysate, Whey Protein Concentrate), which are obviously key to building and repairing muscle. Since Muscle Milk contains a protein blend, you get the best of all world–slow and fast digesting proteins. Fast digesting proteins, like isolates, are soluble and enter  the blood stream quickly. What this means for you is that the protein contributes to greater growth and recovery due to protein synthesis. Slow digesting proteins, like casein, keep you fuller longer. This protein is perfect for meal replacement, as it is designed for periods where you cannot refuel quickly. Casein is also very high in amino acids, which help to speed muscle repair, promote muscle growth, and limit muscle breakdown.

In addition to protein, Muscle Milk includes fast-burning fats that help provide the caloric energy needed to fuel exercise and recovery. It also includes Omega 3, 6, and 9 fats, which are critically important for a healthy diet. Also, Muscle Milk is loaded with Glutamine (to rebuild muscle, serious key to bodybuilding) and other essential vitamins. It is pretty much the perfect go-to meal replacement shake. Check out the macros:

Muscle Milk Macros

Why Should I Take Muscle Milk?

Well, 6073 members of Bodybuilding.com can’t be wrong, and that is how many people have added Muscle Milk to their list of supplements on bodyspace. Muscle Milk keeps you full, provides you with essential nutrients, and tastes great. Also, it is lactose free, so it is the perfect meal replacement for those with lactose sensitivity. It contains no milk, despite the title, but it does contain a plethora of other awesome ingredients to help you build and maintain an awesome figure.

What Makes Muscle Milk Special?

The reason I continue to purchase Muscle Milk is the flavor, it tastes great and I haven’t gotten sick of it, which is saying a lot. I even bought a 5lb tub, which shows how serious I am about my love for Muscle Milk. I leave my Muscle Milk at work, because it is a simple and convenient meal to eat when you are in a rush. I particularly enjoy the Chocolate flavor. It is smooth, and mixes well. I also have the Chocolate Malt flavor, which is very similar to the Chocolate, I would suggest either flavor. I am yet to try some of the more exotic flavors, but I have my eye on the Red Velvet Cake and Raspberry Cheesecake.

If you are cutting down on carbs, I find that mixing one scoop of Muscle Milk with one scoop of Whey Protein Isolate of the same flavor is a very effective way to maintain the Muscle Milk flavor and texture, without the high amount of carbs. I take two scoops at a time for one serving, because I try to ensure that I am taking 30g of protein per meal. In two scoops Muscle Milk gives you 32g protein, 18g carbs, 12g fat. This is a very good ratio, especially for a meal replacement. It is also very low in sugar, with only 2g per scoop!

Where to Buy Muscle Milk?

Muscle Milk is a fairly standard product. I have bought it numerous times on bodybuilding.com. A 5lb tub is currently going for $48.98 Canadian, which means one meal will cost you around $1.50 if you take two scoops. Pretty decent. You can also find Muscle Milk at Popeye’s and other health food and supplement stores.

Don’t give yourself the excuse to cheat, make sure you always have a meal replacement with you!

UGH Come On CANADA!!!

As a resident of capital city of Canada, I appreciate the importance of good government, not only to keep this city filled with jobs, but to ensure that it’s citizens are kept safe. One of the roles of government is to make sure that Canadians make “informed decisions,” and they do this by putting products through a “rigorous inspection process” to make sure that the things we buy are safe for use and consumption. This is excellent, except when the United States sells them, and they are widely used there, yet we cannot order them here.

This happens all the time, and it constantly prevents me from purchasing items I want, or getting good deals on bulk items. We have a 90-day day supply limit, which often prevents me from getting great deals on bodybuilding.com, when they offer two-for-one deals, and that goes over the 90-day limit. Thanks for making me pay double, Canada!

UGH Canada

My favorite experience is when I see things like the image above, NOTICE: Can’t ship to CA. This item, for instance, is the top rated Fat Burner on bodybuilding.com. If the item is this popular, and widely used, why is it deemed unsafe for Canadian consumption? I am all for protecting citizens from harmful drugs and products, but come on. The real reason I am super upset about this particular product is that bodybuilding.com sent me a product sample for it, and I loved it. Then, I went online to find it and realized that Canada prevents me from buying it. Come on, Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford can get crack but I can’t get supplements? For real.

Decisions, Decisions…

The Ontario Physique Association has announced their upcoming fitness competition dates for the 2014 year. Right now, I am torn between two different show dates. The first show in Ottawa takes place on June 14, 2014. The second takes place on  November 1, 2014. Initially, I was aiming to participate in the November 1st show, but June 14 may be doable as well. The June show is just under 7 months from now, which is a good goal to work towards. I think this date just seems a lot more terrifying because it is sooner, and I have never even been to a bodybuilding show, let alone competed in one. I also don’t have a trainer yet, and I am nowhere near the shape I will need to be in to compete. Of course, this is the off season, and I have done 12-week intense programs before, so feasibly I should be able to compete in June.

Looking at my results from the Kris Gethin 12-week program, I can see that my largest changes took place between weeks 1-8. Despite following an even more extreme training programs during weeks 8-12, I do not see a huge difference in my body. I am certain that I can get myself to this point again, without a trainer, so it may be possible to compete in June if I have assistance in the 12 weeks leading up to the show. I will need to be taught everything there is to know about posing, tanning, make-up, etc. as well.

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Right now, to be safe, I am still going to focus on doing a show in November, but if I feel that I can get there by June, I may switch up my goal. I will work towards getting my body into the shape I was in Kris Gethin Week 12 by February, and see where I can go from there.

I have a few personal obstacles standing in the way of competing in a show in mid-June. First, I will be going to Punta Cana the first week of April for 7 days, and I want to be able to enjoy that fully, without worrying about what it may do to my show results. Second, I have two work conferences in May, which only take up approximately 6 days of the month, but that really is cutting it close. November still seems like a better bet for me, all taken into consideration, but a girl can dream. It is still motivational to try to work towards an earlier date!

Sunday Picture Day: Week 2

This is my first progress picture day since I started this transformation program. Photos are the best way to notice changes in your body, and it is fun to compare before and after pictures. I have seen some fairly substantial changes this week.

I started my new program on November 9, and made a small goal to reach 125 by my work’s Christmas Party. I am already more than halfway to my goal, and I am on track!

week 2 numbers

I am very happy with the change in body fat. On the caliper, I have dropped 1mm, which is a fairly substantial change. I am interested to see my measurements on Wednesday to see where the fat loss came from. All of my workouts were very challenging, and I did not skip any cardio sessions.photo (2)

Overall, I am very happy with my progress so far and I look forward to seeing small changes take place every week.

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