Author: Shannon

Supplements: Protein and BCAAs

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Every week when I post my meal plans, I get a lot of questions about supplements: how they benefit my workout, and how to choose between a sea of different brands. Here, I’m going to go over the two supplements I’m currently taking: protein and BCAAs and how they help my workouts!

Whey Protein

According to research, bodybuilders, and other fitness professionals, drinking protein during or after you train can help to create faster gains, i.e. improvements in strength and muscle development. This can also help with recovery. Probably the most popular supplement out there is whey protein, which is derived from milk protein. The protein in cow’s milk is 20% whey protein and 80% casein protein.

People love whey protein because it digests quickly and builds lean muscle, meaning that if you drink it around the time of your workout, you can get the benefits right away around the time that you work out out those muscles. Thus, in my opinion the best time to take it is either before or after your workout.

Pea Protein

However, if you are vegan or lactose intolerant, whey protein is not for you. One suggestion from a vegan friends is pea protein as a dietary supplement. Pea protein is a safe alternative for people with allergies to dairy, those who are lactose intolerant, vegetarians, or people soy allergies. Plant proteins have some of every essential amino acid. However, one primary difference between whey and pea powders is that whey is a “complete” protein, meaning that it contains all essential amino acids, and pea is an incomplete protein. It’s a great place to start but it’s not appropriate to use as the primary source of protein in your diet (source: Livestrong). People taking pea protein may have to take additional supplements or get additional protein sources from food.

BCAAs

BCAAs stand for branched chain amino acids, and the these help to not only facilitate muscle growth, but they also help to provide fuel for your body. On days that my workouts are very intense, such as lots of HIIT or cardio-intense intervals, they are very beneficial. We can get a lot of these BCAAs from certain foods, such as chicken breast, beef, salmon, eggs, and quinoa, however on super intense workout days, I like to incorporate a BCAA supplement into my training around the time of my workout. A trainer told me that BCAAs help to promote muscle growth, repair your body, and reduce  muscle soreness. So I started taking them after HIIT and did notice I was less tired and less sore. If you’re curious, it’s definitely worth a try!

The current supplement I’m taking is the Women’s Best protein and BCAAs. I chose this one specifically because of the taste and that the products fit well with my training routine. I currently drink my shakes in the afternoon either before or after my workouts, and the BCAAs after intense training sessions. If you have any questions about the products or are interested in trying them out, you can visit their website here!

BBG Bay Area / Sweat SF Meetup February

meetuppic-1A lot of people ask what BBG stands for, especially those who are new to the workout or have never heard of it before. And while the workout is intended to stand for “bikini body guide,” I really think it stands for BADASS BABES & GUYS! Because over 100 of us got together, killed our workout, and fostered a great sense of community that only burpees and a whole lot of sweat can bring!

The workout was held again at the beautiful Bay Club gymnasium, and we had so much fun with a circuit workout that included push-ups, burpees, squats, mountain climbers, and a whole lot of fun!

The day’s workout was created by Mickaela Roxas of Plants and Planks, and she took the best of Kayla Itsines’ exercises from her Sweat app, and compiled them into a full body workout. We had a great time working out together!

Special thank you to Women’s Best for sponsoring protein powder, shakers, and goodies (cookies, chocolates, wafers, BCAA’s, protein creme, and  more) for our attendees! They generously provided all of this workout fuel for 100 attendees to keep us motivated and going strong! Their protein powder and BCAA’s are the only supplements I am currently taking, and I would recommend them for everyone! We are so grateful to have them as a sponsor, and I’m so happy that our attendees got to try the products.

Also thank you to Bay Club San Francisco for their generous hospitality. For those of you who haven’t tried out the club and are local to the SF Bay Area, you totally should! It’s currently my gym (I’m a member) – and I would love to work out with you there! Also, you can join our Facebook group here, where you can download a free 3-day pass to try out the gym. The gym amenities are beautiful, including a luxurious locker room, weight room, multiple cardio rooms, as well as yoga and pilates!

Also thank you to Elizabeth Griffin for being our official event photographer! Here are some of the photos from the event! Click here for the full album!

Also thank you to Jeremy Wong of Where’s the Film Productions for the amazing video footage!

If you are interested in being notified of future events, you can head over to http://sweatsf.com/ and sign up for the mailing list!

We hope you all had fun sweating with us!

Peace, love and burpees,

Shannon <3

It’s #turkeytuesday and Taco Tuesday!

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Many of you guys saw that I featured a recipe for mason jar tacos by my friend Tina here! I decided to make my own version of this delicious meal that could be eaten as lunch, a snack, or a fourth meal! Mine features avocado (because you know I love healthy fat) and Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey (because I’m all about healthier, locally sourced ingredients from California,  my home state!). People always ask me why I use Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey instead of beef for my tacos. And while I think beef tastes great, Foster Farms organic ground turkey is part of my healthy meal plan as a nutritious and lean diet with no hormones or antibiotics and a great source of protein. It fits within my daily macros, which is what I love! Let’s take a look at how to make this a really fun “turkey taco tuesday” — say that 10 times fast! lol Oh, and my tacos also happen to be paleo!

What you’ll need:

  • Mason jars
  • Veggies (diced and eaten raw)
    • Tomatoes
    • Mixed greens
    • Red cabbage
    • Bell peppers (mine are orange but use any color!)
    • Avocado
  • Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey
  • Turkey seasoning
    • 1 tsp olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    •  1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Sriracha (optional)

How to make it:

IMG_1896.jpgFirst, I prep my veggies. I dice up all of the veggies, except for the avocado, which we will do last. The amount of veggies depends on how many of these you want to make! I use these for mealprep, so I usually make about 4-5 jars for the week.

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Then make your turkey seasoning by combining all of the ingredients mentioned above!

Now you’re ready to make the turkey. First, I heat a little olive oil on my pan before pan-frying the turkey. When the turkey is about 80% of the way cooked, I usually add in my seasoning. I don’t add it all in at once; I add it little by little as not to overseason, noting that it’s always easier to add more, than to remove! Be sure to cook it thoroughly. The Foster Farms turkey that I’m using is my lean protein of choice because low in fat, from California, and free range. Once the turkey is cooked, set it aside.

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Once all of your ingredients are done, you can start layering them in your jars. I start with the peppers, then cabbage, turkey, greens, tomatoes, and the avocado last! I make my avocados into avocado roses just for a fun garnish. Set it on top of the jar for a fun and beautiful treat. I might create a tutorial for that another day! Fun little tip about avocados: If you’re mealprepping, I would wait to top these until you’re ready to eat them. Also, if you want your avocados not to turn brown, sprinkle a little bit of lemon juice on them!

And voila! You are all done! Please let me know if you try this recipe and if you liked it! I also use a little sriracha for a bit of spice, and it comes out delicious!

If you try this recipe at home, please share pictures with me, because I love seeing the way you guys make your food! If you are interested in trying the same Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey that I used, you can do so here: https://www.fosterfarms.com/fresh-turkey/organic/.

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Gobble gobble! This post was in partnership with Foster Farms. All recipes, ideas, and opinions are my own.

Taco Tuesday Mason Jar Salad by @fitchickscook

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I love recipes that are not only easy to make, but are easy to eat, especially when on the go! A lot of my mealpreps need to be reheated, and most of us don’t have a microwave or stove in the car! (If you do however, we seriously need to talk!) lol.
For clean meals that can be consumed anywhere, look no further than my beautiful friend Tina, better known as @fitchickscook, who is this month’s featured recipe share! This recipe keeps really well in this Mason jar, and lasts for 5 days! Also, no reheating is necessary since it can be eaten cold. I also love how flavorful it is, and it’s refreshing and really fills you up. Not to mention it’s pretty to look at. This prep is so easy. Here’s how to make it!

What you’ll need:
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Shredded purple cabbage,
  • Cooked ground turkey meat in cumin, paprika, cayenne and chili powder with some salt and pepper or use an all seasoning spice like Flavorgod Taco Tuesday seasoning
  • diced red and yellow bell peppers
  • jalapeño rounds
  • finely chopped kale
  • canned red kidney beans
  • corn
  • green onions and cilantro.

Put it all together:

Layer your ingredients in this list from bottom to top in a 1 L Mason Jar. That’s it! Squeeze the day with a slice of lemon in it, mix it all up and enjoy!


About Tina:

photo-jan-11-10-21-49-amTina is a fit girl that hails from Canada! She believes that mealpreps and heathy eats are important to achieving her fitness goals, and she’s showing that abs really are made in the kitchen with her amazing transformation! In addition to her active lifestyle that consists of crossfit and hot yoga, she is also a banker by day and manages to fit it all into her schedule. Also big thumbs up to Tina for tackling the Whole 30 diet like a boss. For more inspiration, visit her Instagram by clicking here!

Yoga Pants – Not Just for Yoga Anymore (Part 2)

About a month ago,  I posted about how yoga pants aren’t just for yoga anymore! I’m one of those people who continues to wear my yoga pants on every occasion. People always say that I look pulled together and fashionable, but little do they know that I’m often wearing the same pair of favorite pants – the competitor tight – from Style Firm Los Angeles! I discovered them while shopping in Bloomingdales in Santa Monica, CA and have been hooked ever since. They do a great job of making my booty look nice and toned!

Take a look at how I styled these leggings 4 ways!

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This is my usual gym look, featuring the competitor tights. I also styled these with one of my favorite sports bras from Lorna Jane (unfortunately it’s not made anymore) and the Style Firm Modern Long Jacket!

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This is my classy party look, and one of my favorite dresses from Anthropologie that is SO versatile that I’ve worn it to company holiday parties, weddings, and even to a nice dinner with my fiancee. I’m wearingthe competitor tights underneath to keep the look pulled together (and because it’s been 30 degrees in California lately)!

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This is my casual everyday look for meeting friends and staying warm. If you can believe it, I got this packable down jacket at Costco of all places for $20. These competitor tights continue to keep me warm! This long jean shirt is from Madewell, and my boots are from Forever 21!

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This is one of my favorite looks for running errands or going to the movies! I’m still wearing my competitor tights to stay pulled together and looking cute, and my sweatshirt is from Serengetee, an awesome company also from Los Angeles who travels the world to source fabric, using the profit from sales to support local artisans and fabric makers from all over the world.

So there you have it! Which one is your favorite look? Happy 2017 everyone!

Shrimp And Polenta

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One of my favorite things to eat is polenta, and it’s such an easy thing to make. It also works great for mealprep, because it reheats well and lasts in the fridge for a long time. I decided to make this for my prep this week! Here are the simple ingredients:

Polenta

  • The ratio of this recipe is 1 cup firm polenta : 4 cups water. Adjust accordingly to the volume you are making.
  • Salt to taste
  • Butter or margarine (optional) approx 2 tablespoons per cup of polenta

Shrimp

  • 12/ cup Bertolli garlic and basil tomato sauce
  • Large shrimp
  • Salt and pepper

 

Make the polenta:

Boil the water on high heat and add a pinch of salt to taste per your own preferences. I use very little. Once the water is boiling, add in the polenta gradually, stirring with a wire whisk. Continue as the polenta starts to thicken.

Cook for approximately 30 minutes, stirring periodically to make sure the polenta does not stick to the bottom of the pot. When all of the water is absorbed and it’s a nice thick consistency, you can spoon onto a plate\.

Make the shrimp:

Boil about half a cup of the tomato sauce in a small saucepan. Meanwhile, boil the shrimp in a separate pot with a pinch of salt for about 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pot and combine with the tomato sauce pot and boil it for about 2 more minutes. Remove from pot and spoon over your bed of polenta in step one. Season with pepper and your choice of herbs. Enjoy!

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Sweat San Francisco Holiday Meetup

I love our San Francisco fitness community! It’s an amazing thing when a group of women come together not only to sweat, but to forge friendships and build community. When we first started, we had a small gathering of 25 women interested in fitness, and now, we have over 1,000 women in our Facebook group!

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This holiday season, we hosted a group fitness meetup sponsored by the Bay Club San Francisco in their indoor gymnasium. This beautiful gym is home to everything you need for a killer workout including a state-of-the-art weight room, basketball courts, squash and racquetball courts, yoga, pilates, and even an area where you can take a cycling class with your own bicycle. I recently joined this gym, and I am so proud to host our group here as well as call this my fitness home.

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I had such blast co-leading this workout with my fearless team members Mickey, Brooke, Maddie, and Jeanette, and Wendy! We made the most out of this beautiful space with a killer yet fun workout! We did superman planks, jump lunges, squats, drop push-ups, burpees, and more (full workout at the bottom of this post)!

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Everyone pushed themselves hard, and did an amazing job. We were so impressed that over 100 people in the Bay Area brought their A-game and killed their workout! And not only did we sweat, but we had fun, forged new friendships and got reacquainted with old ones.

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We have the most amazing community, and we are so grateful to be a part of such an amazing crew. Thank you to all of our friends who came out to sweat, and we hope to meet new faces at the next one!

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We also couldn’t have done it without our sponsors. We only support brands that we truly love working with, and couldn’t have asked for a better lineup! THANK YOU to everyone below for all of your support!

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If you missed the workout and want to do it at home, you can! Here’s our workout circuits (one minute per exercise X 2)!

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Hope you enjoy the rest of these pictures, and hope to sweat with you soon!

Love,

Shannon

@caligirlgetsfit

Nice Cream is Never Naughty!

Have you been naughty or nice this year? Well, one thing is for sure, nice cream is ALWAYS nice! This week’s recipe was created by a good friend of mine, Melissa, who is the author of So Much Yum Blog. She makes the best plant-based creations, is a registered dietician, takes the most beautiful food photos, and loves kitties. What’s not to love about all that?

Hope you enjoy her recipe below and try it out for the holidays! Happy healthy holidays everyone!


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When people ask me if it’s hard being vegan, my honest answer is always an enthusiastic no. Why? Because NICE CREAM. Now if nice cream didn’t exist, my answer might be different. Ice cream is essential to life, and I’ve found that NICE cream is a completely delicious alternative if you can’t have the real deal dairy stuff.

Of all the nice cream I’ve made, this rocky road version is my favorite so far. Ice cream? Like, who even needs that when you have THIS! Creamy chocolate goodness, sweet (vegan) marshmallows, crunchy toasted almonds. Your world is about to be rocked with this one.

Ingredients:

  • 6 extra large ripe bananas, pre-sliced and frozen
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon agave
  • 1/2 cup sliced raw almonds, toasted (see directions below)
  • 1 cup vegan mini marshmallows (or regular if not vegan)

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Directions:

  1. If sliced almonds not already toasted: Preheat oven to 350°F. Evenly spread almonds on a baking sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool completely.
  2. In a food processor, blend the frozen bananas until completely smooth and creamy. This will take several minutes. Scrape down the sides and lid as needed. You may need to blend in two batches if your food processor is small.
  3. Add cocoa and agave, and continue blending until completely combined.
  4. Transfer banana mixture into a large bowl. Add almonds and marshmallows, and stir to combine.
  5. Transfer nice cream into freezer-safe container (I use a metal loaf tin), cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for at least 4 hours or until at desired firmness. If left overnight, the ice cream will harden but will still be scoop-able with an ice cream scoop. Nice cream can also be eaten right away without refreezing but will be more like soft serve (which is as equally delicious).
  6. Enjoy!

bm-23About Melissa:

Melissa was born in Portland, Oregon, and spent the first 20 years of her life there before moving to Southern California (where she currently resides) to finish her nutrition degree. She is now a registered dietitian, board certified specialist in sports dietetics, Jazzercise instructor, ACSM certified personal trainer, and author of the plant-based food blog So Much Yum.

She also recently got married to a hunky firefighter who acts as taste tester and occasional photography assistant. When not being a dietitian, teaching Jazzericse or blogging, she loves doing crossword puzzles and daydreaming about when she will finally get to adopt two fur-baby kittens! For more about Melissa, you can visit her blog here or check her out on Instagram!

Yoga pants – not just for yoga anymore!

I love a nice pair of ripped designer denim or chic pair of slacks, but you can’t match the comfort of a great pair of leggings! People always ask me how I transition my activewear from the gym to the office or even to date night, and the answer is: pair your leggings with some great classic pieces!

Here I take my favorite pair of leggings from Avocado Activewear and pair it with some favorite pieces from my closet to create four completely different looks! The key I’ve found is to choose leggings in neutral colors that can go with anything and are also nice quality and not transparent (no see-through leggings please)! Let me know what you think of these looks in the comments below!

Leggings in all 4 photos: Avocado Activewear

Sporty Look: Avocado Activewear Shield Jacket

Office Chic Look: Vintage Blazer from my closet – BCBG, Dress – Forever 21 ruched dress

Casual Boots Look: Betabrand Morning Mess Jacket, Betabrand Cowl Neck Grey Chevron Tunic, Boots – Vintage Joan and David Riding Boots

Athleisure Look: Leather jacket – Bebe, Avocado Modern Hoodie, Button Down Shirt – Zara

Chia Chocolate Pudding

The thing I love the most about the BBG community is the warmth, kindness, and sense of belonging that everyone extends to one another. The second BBG sister that I met  a year and a half ago was a beautiful girl named Almut from Germany, who was traveling the world and tasting the world (her IG handle fittingly is @tastingtheworld)! Getting to know her and spend a few hours together, although brief, was wonderful, and we’ve been long-distance friends ever since!

She has the most beautiful food on her IG feed, so naturally I thought it fitting to ask her if she would be kind enough to share one of her amazing recipes on my blog! She decided to share her delicious chia chocolate pudding!

If you love this recipe or try it out, leave a comment below!


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A couple of days ago I was asked by Shannon if I could share a one of my recipes. “Sure, I would love to!!” I answered. However, I did not know how difficult it was to finally make up my mind and to write the measurements down. I am this kind of person in the kitchen who creates dishes by sense of proportion and intuition, so please let me know if this recipe does work for you.

The chia chocolate pudding is one of my favorites when it comes to satisfy my sweet tooth, but the healthy way. Why? Well, chia seeds are loaded with important nutrients and an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. They are also rich in antioxidants, fiber, magnesium, zinc, iron and calcium. So, whenever you decide to treat yourself, why not making this simple pudding? I always have a jar of soaked chia seeds in the fridge, to be able to make this beautiful and simple dish within minutes.

Please note: table spoon = the big spoon you eat with (I don´t have any kitchen tools from the US, but I believe it does work either way)

Ingredients:

  • 3 table spoons of chia seeds
  • Triple as much water or any plant milk
  • 2-3 table spoons of a sweetener of your choice (maple sirup, honey, dates etc.)
  • 3 table spoons of raw chocolate powder
  • 1 full table spoon of white almond butter (or cashew butter. Optional: coconut fat from a top of a can)
  • a pinch of maca and lucuma powder
  • a little vanilla bean powder
  • a little lemon juice
  • a pinch of salt
  • a probiotic capsule (optional, but makes it even healthier)

Please note: table spoon = the big spoon you eat with (I don´t have any kitchen tools from the US, but I believe it does work either way)

 Directions:

  1. Mix chia seeds and water/plant milk and set aside for about 30 min. Stir from time to time to avoid clusters. Soaking not only improves digestibility but creates the “gel” we want to get the right texture.
  2. Put all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until very smooth. Be sure to taste the pudding as you go and feel free to add more sweetener or less cacao…
  3. Pour the pudding into two to three serving dishes and add some toppings of your choice.

The chocolate pudding goes well with banana, strawberries or raspberries. I like to add something crunchy as well, just to have all kind off different textures on one spoon 🙂


About Almut:

I grew up on a small organic farm in Germany. Homegrown fruit and veggies, raw milk, fermented products – that’s what we lived on. Going fully plant based and gluten free a couple of years ago was only a logical step. Ever since, I love creating healthy and tasty dishes which are simple and easy to prepare.

The other part of me loves traveling, yoga, working out, spirituality and mindfulness. Follow your heart and you will find peace and love.