Breakfast Egg Muffins

I absolutely love breakfast food, but always hit snooze one too many times to actually put together an appetizing breakfast. I recently got some large muffin cups and explored 2 different muffin ideas.

This way I can make them the night before, store them in the refrigerator, quickly re-heat them in a microwave the next morning, and eat on the go.

I basically opened up my fridge and threw in whatever I had. Feel free to add and/or subtract any of the following ingredients. Make sure to share your recipes with me in the comments section. Enjoy!

Muffin 1

1) 1 slice uncured turkey bacon
2) 1 whole egg sunny side up
3) 1/4 cup egg whites
4) 1/4 tomato
5) Mixed greens
6) Salt and pepper to taste

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Instructions
1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
2) Spray the inside of the muffin cup with Coconut oil (or any oil of choice)
3) Line the muffin cup with the turkey bacon
4) Add greens to the cup
5) Add 1/4 cup egg whites
6) Crack the egg in the middle
7) Dice and add the tomato (make sure you don’t crack the yolk)
8) Sprinkle salt and pepper on top
9) Bake for 25 mins and let it cool for 10 mins before serving or packing for later

20g protein, 4g carbs, 7 g fat

Muffin 2

1) 2 oz shredded chicken breast (on the outside of the muffin)
2) 1/4 cup egg whites
3) 1 scrambled egg
4) 1 large crimini mushroom
5) 1/2 cup broccoli
6) Salt and pepper to taste
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Instructions
1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
2) Spray the inside of the muffin cup with Coconut oil (or any oil of choice)
3) Line the inside of the cup with shredded chicken
4) Whisk the 1/4 cup egg whites and 1 whole egg together
5) Add eggs in the center
6) Slice and add broccoli and crimini mushroom in the middle
7) Sprinkle salt and pepper on top
8) Bake for 30 mins and let it cool for 10 mins before serving or packing for later

27g protein, 5g carbs, 7g fat

muffin cup 3

47g protein, 9g carbs, 14g fat

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5 Ways To Rev Up Your Dry Chicken

We’ve all done it. Overcooked the sh*t out of our chicken. After spending the time and money cooking chicken in bulk, what’s a guy/gal to do with all of it? Instead of throwing it all away or eating it plain and dry, I’ve put together a few ways to rev up the chicken.

1) Add Veggies

Vegetables contain a ton of water and added them with chicken will definitely make it easier to go down. Plus, you’ll get all the awesome health benefits of those veggies! My favorites are onions, mushrooms, broccoli, tomato, bell peppers, and lettuce.

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2) Veggies + Chicken Broth

Tada! Now you’ve got a chicken soup.

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3) Make a greek yogurt dipping sauce

Being Indian, I love raita. It’s easy to make and delicious.
– 1 cup greek yogurt
– 1/2 grated cucumber
– 1/4 cup died red onion
– 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
– cilantro
– Salt to taste
– Chilli powder

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4) Add Avocado

The rich, creamy texture of the avocado will help moisten up the chicken.
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5) Add salsa and/or hot sauce

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Never again will you have to force down or throw away plain, dry chicken!

The (almost) No Cooking Required Meal Plan

“I don’t know WHAT to buy when I go grocery shopping!”

“I always RUN OUT of food before I can get to the store again!”

“I don’t know how to COOK!”

“Planning, shopping, and cooking is too COMPLICATED!”

“I don’t even know WHERE to shop at!”

“I just don’t have TIME!”

Some of the many excuses I’ve heard one too many times. I wanted to share how easy and simple it can all be. I made a trip to Trader Joes (find one near you) this past weekend and put together a sample meal plan that requires, wait for it… minimal to NO COOKING!!! Yes, I’m dead serious. Down below you’ll find the meal plan plus a grocery shopping list for a week.

Step 1) Schedule your grocery shopping day and time ahead. I literally make clients open up their schedules and add it in. This works wonders.

Step 2) Buy the things on your list. Nothing more, nothing less. This should take you no more than 20 minutes.

Step 3) Eat according to your meal plan.

Step 4) Fight the urge to walk around naked because you look so damn good!!!

Disclaimer: I am not including serving sizes, because it’s going to vary drastically from person to person. There was such a huge variety of food at TJs, that I couldn’t even come close to including everything that I found. I’m not advocating to eat processed or frozen food, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!

Meal 1: Whole Eggs + Egg Whites + Oatmeal

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Wow, already made and peeled whole eggs! For the egg whites, just throw away the yolk and eat the whites.

Sorry guys, some assembly required for this. Must add hot water to oats. Life is hard, deal with it.

Prep time: 2-4 minutes

Meal 2: Cottage Cheese

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Such a great snack while at work. It’s easy, filling, and packed with protein.

Prep time: 30 seconds.

Meal 3: Chicken Breast + Avocado + Brown Rice Tortilla

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In this one that I made, I added chipotle hot sauce and mustard to it. Both are great condiments to add without adding any additional macros!
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Prep Time: 2-4 minutes

Meal 4: Tuna + Lentils

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These cans are so easy to transport! Plus you can stock up on them and not need to worry about them going bad. Make sure that you get the tuna in WATER.

Prep Time: 1 minute

Meal 5: Beef Sirloin + Roasted Potatoes + Green Veggies

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This is a great dinner. Hopefully you’ll be having this at home so you can bake the potatoes and cook the greens, but you can easily cook and pack this meal ahead of time. It’s delicious!

Prep time: 15 minutes

Meal 6: Greek Yogurt + Berries + Almonds + Splenda

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I love, love, LOVE this meal. It is such an amazing dessert. I’m not going to lie, I can put down a pint of ice cream in minutes (Häagen Dazs Caramel Cone if you must know!), but this little treat always kills my late night sweet tooth!

TIP: It’s easy to over eat nuts since they are so tasty. Get the almonds that are already portioned out into 1 serving.

TIP: Get the brand FAGE! It has way more protein than any other brand I found at Trader Joe’s. Yes, this matters. Also, get the pre-portioned out cups.

Prep time: 1 minute

I left out the berries last night. Check out the video!

Grocery Shopping List:
-Bag of Eggs
– Packets of Oatmeal
– Cottage Cheese
– Cooked and Sliced Chicken Breast
– Avocados
– Brown Rice Tortillas
– Cans of Tuna in Water
– Cooked Lentils
– Beef Sirloin
– Frozen Potatoes
– Frozen Greens (Kale, Spinach, Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli, etc)
– Fage Greek Yogurt
– Frozen Berries
– Packets of Almonds

Now that you know WHAT to buy, WHERE to buy it, don’t have to COOK, know it’s SIMPLE, and have scheduled WHEN to buy groceries, what’s your excuse?

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Glute and Leg Strength Training Videos!

Since I’ve been working out my legs so frequently for the past 4 weeks, I thought I’d post a video of some different leg and glute exercises I’ve been incorporating into my workouts. Yes, I usually always include heavy barbell squats, legs press, hamstring curls, quad extensions, deadlifts, and other typical bodybuilder leg exercises weekly, but adding in a variety of exercises spices up your workout and hits the legs and booty and different angles!

1) Smith Machine Alternating Deficit Lunge

2) Step up into Curtsy Lunge

3) Super Deep Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift

4) Glute Kickback on the Lying Hamstring Curl

5) Cable Glute Kickback with Knee on Bench

6) Abduction- 2 variations (leaning forward and leaning back)

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Time To Get Back On Track!

I’m about 11 weeks into my offseason and had really been feeling lost. There were a few things contributing to this and since I was tired of not taking action, last week I made some help changes. I thought I’d openly discuss the issues and how I went about fixing them in hopes that this can help other competitors and/or individuals trying to make healthier life choices.

ISSUE 1: I am eating way too many cheat meals! Yes, I said it. No, I can’t stay lean if I’m eating bowls of granola and chocolate chips every single night. More than anything, I just feel gross afterwards and it isn’t worth it.

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HOW TO FIX: I am going to allow myself 2 weekly cheat meals. Wednesdays and Sundays.

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ISSUE 2: My workouts are so scattered and unplanned!

HOW TO FIX: I have set a brand new workout schedule based on what body parts need improvement. Here it is:

Monday: Shoulders/Triceps/Calves
Tuesday: Glutes (rep range 6-10)
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Back/Biceps/Calves
Friday: Legs (rep range 15-20)
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Glutes and Hamstrings (rep range 10-15)

ISSUE 3: I basically only do cardio when I feel like it. I’m getting way too lazy.

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HOW TO FIX: I promised myself that I have to do 2 sessions of HIIT and 2 sessions of steady state cardio. I can decide which days to do them on, but 4 sessions need to happen each week until my coach tells me to reduce it.

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ISSUE 4: I’ve been eating the same foods over and over. I’m bored, and because of this I sometimes skip meals or eat off my diet.

HOW TO FIX: I have revamped my diet! I have switched up my protein, carb, and fat sources. I am eating a variety of vegetables and have also found new ways to cook my food. A little bit of imagination will go a long way.

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These few changes within the past week have helped me tremendously! I actually feel like I have a solid plan in place to stay on track during the offseason in order to make gains and stay in shape.

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4 Week Weight Training Plan!

Here is a typical week’s worth of my workouts. I always have 2 leg days, lift 5 days a week (2 days on, 1 rest day, 3 days on, 1 rest day), and try to add a variety of exercises.

I also sent this workout to my sister, who is a mom of 2, and she loved it. I suggested that she follow this workout for 4 weeks and focus on getting stronger and lifting more without compromising her form. If you are a bikini competitor, looking to spice up your normal routine, new to lifting, or anything in between I recommend the same to you!

If some exercises are unfamiliar to you, I would watch YouTube videos of others performing and explaining them.

Enjoy!

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Note:
-Supersets are exercises performed back to back with no rest in between.
-3×15 would translate to 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
– Keep track of your rest periods! No more than 30-45 seconds
– Workout should take anywhere from 45-60 mins
– Abs and calves are worked out 2-3 times a week

Leg Day #1

1) Superset
– lying leg curls- 4×15
– quad extensions- 4×15

2) Leg press- 5×25, 20,15,12,10 (add more weight every set) this should be really hard by the set of 10

3) Box squats with weighted bar- 3×15

4) High Step ups holding weights- 3x 15 on each leg

5) Glute bridge (start with no weight then add a weighted bar)- 4×20 with a 2 second pause at the top flexed position

6) Abduction- 4×25

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Shoulders & Back

1) Superset
– Dumbbell shoulder press- 4×12
– Standing lateral raises- 4×12

2) Superset
– cheerleader press- 4×12
– rear delt bent over raise -4×12

3) Pull ups (on assisted machine if need be)- 5×12

4) Seated narrow grip row- 4×15

5) Lat pull down- 3×15

Biceps and Triceps

1) Superset
– Standing EZ bar curls- 4×15
– Tricep bench dips (feet elevated, locked out knees) 4xmax

2) Superset
– Tricep rope push down- 3×20
– Seated dumbbell curls- 3×15

3) Superset
– Preacher curls – 4x 15
– Tricep bent over kickbacks- 4×15

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Back & Chest

1) Push ups- 3×15

2) Incline dumbbell chest press- 3×20

3) Dumbbell single arm rows- 3×15

4) Reverse grip, close grip lat pull down- 3×20

5) Supinated seated row- 3×15

6) Narrow pull downs- 3×15

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Leg day #2

1) Superset
– Heavy walking lunges- 3x 10 on each leg, so 20 total
– Lunge switch jumps- 3x 10 on each leg, so 20 total

2) Superset
– Stiff legged deadlifts- 3×20
– Pop squat jumps- 3×20

3) Superset
– High and wide leg press- 3×15
– High and wide squat jumps- 3×15

4) Superset
– Quad extensions- 3×20
– Narrow stance high squat jumps- 3×15

Abs & Calves

1) V ups- 3×15
2) Plank- 3×30 seconds
3) Swiss ball crunches- 3×30

1) Seated Calf raises- 3×30
2) Standing Calf raises- 3×20

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Don’t forget to add in cardio and a clean diet for the ultimate physique!

Why Stress If Stress Makes You Fat?!

As we get closer to out next competition (7.5 weeks out!!!) it’s really important to make sure that everything is dialed in, including stress. It’s so easy to get overwhelemed by thoughts like, “I’m not lean enough! Competitors on Instagram look better than me!” “Am I where I should be at this time?” “Am I doing everything I can be doing?” “I need to make time to practice posing. Oh wait, I don’t really know how to pose!” “Is there a better way to do this?” “Costs of everything are adding up!” You get the idea. Stress is high and food is low.

Even if you aren’t a competitor, you still deal with multiple stressors throughout the day. Work, money, relationships, kids, family, deadlines, goals. EVERYTHING.

Stress triggers the hormone, Cortisol, to be released which causes us to get hungry and crave quick digesting carbs (sugar). Elevated levels of cortisol, as you can imagine, will cause weight gain and/or hinder you from losing fat.

So, take a deep breath and remember to relax. It’s not worth getting fat over!

Sumeet
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You Know Your Off Season is Getting Serious When…

– You’re the ONLY one that’s high-fiving the mirror when your quads are too big for those skinny jeans.

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– Cardio? What’s that again?

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– Everything is growing…including your belly.

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– You’re looking forward to the days where you can actually Instagram photos of your abs.

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– You spend a good amount of time looking at photos of yourself when you were lean.

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-When everyone else dreams of seeing the scale go down, you panic if you lose a pound.

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– You feel like Superman in the gym, but a hibernating bear everywhere else.

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-Shirts that you wore 6 months ago have started looking like belly shirts.

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– Any daily meal has the same macronutrient content as your last contest prep cheat meal.

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– After 8 hours of sleep and breakfast, you’re ready for a nap.

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– You miss the days of being hungry.

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-It takes you an hour to eat an entire meal.

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-If you can’t wear sweatpants or leggings, you’re not going.

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– When you sit and calculate how many pounds of chicken you eat a year, you get genuinely scared.

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– You just ripped your last pair of jeans.

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-You spend double the amount on groceries when compared to pre-contest.

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-All the butchers at all the local grocery stores know you by your first name AND your order.

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-The butcher has stopped asking your if you’re thorwing a party when you’re ordering meat.

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-You eat so much protein that…

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– You need to drink an extraordinary amount of pre workout, just to wake up.

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It’s easy to lose focus and concentration during the off season, because you feel so far out from competiting. But the reality is that the harder you work in the off season, the more progress you make, even if you can’t see it right away. Change takes time and its important to trust the process!

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-Cyrus & Sumeet

16 weeks out!

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race

OK, before we start, I guess it goes without saying that fast and steady would REALLY win the race, but lets be realistic. In respect to my own genetics and to stick to the theme, I’ll be truthful and admit that fast and steady is not exactly an option for me.

Let me be the first to say I have a long, long way to go.  There is always room for improvement and I have an endless amount of room. I’m just at the beginning.  But before I start planning the next step in how to travel the long road ahead, it might be nice to stop for a moment and appreciate how I have gotten to the point where I am at right now.

As I reflect on all the changes and struggles I have gone through, I first have to consider how funny it must look to my friends and family.  With my constant quests to gain size, and then in turn become leaner, I have gone through many stages. I might expect them to categorize these stages along the lines of  “puffy Cyrus” vs “regular Cyrus”, but in reality they’re probably just going with “fat Cyrus” vs “skinny Cyrus.” I have gained muscle, gained fat, and lost fat and lost muscle many times over.  To say my progress has not been linier is a massive understatement.  There have been countless points where it was two steps forward, and one and three fourths steps back. Throughout this process I could have become frustrated and given up, or become impatient and pushed myself till I burned out (I might have come close to the second one once or twice). Yet for every time it would get frustrating all I would have to do is turn on ESPN to any post game player interview and insert one (or all) of the following expressions used:

-I’m taking it one day at a time

-I’m going to get a little better each day

-I’m going to concentrate on what I can control

The reason you hear these expressions on a constant basis is because although they may be overused, they are all thought processes that lead to consistency and success.  As my nutritionist and bodybuilding coach says “The one that gives 80% for 10 years will have much greater success than the one that gives 100% for 4 years and then burns out.”

So next time you begin looking at the long road ahead of you and begin to feel overwhelmed, try turning on ESPN and reciting the following statement to yourself… ”I’m going to concentrate on what I can control, take it one day at a time, and get a little better each day.”  Or if that’s not your thing just think about the tortes and the hare…we all know how that one turned out!

-Cyrus

Where Are All My Girls At?

I walk into the gym, set my bag down, warm up, slip my gloves on, and I get to work. I always try to push myself HARD and usually wind up grunting louder than the average guy does. Between sets I may look around to check out who else is in the weight room, but to my disappointment, all I ever see are guys. I often stick out being the only female, but day in and day out, I can’t let that stop me from going hard with all the boys.

This attention was something that used to intimidate me to the point where I’d feel much more comfortable on the treadmill or in a yoga class. I didn’t want guys staring at me when I didn’t really know what I was doing! I can’t concentrate on my workout with eyes on me! They would all judge me! And of course there was this thought of, EW! Weights?! I don’t want to get all buff and bulky! Talking to more girls about lifting made it clear that I wasn’t the only one who felt this way.  Looking back, I was another victim of the widespread misconception that females who weight train are going to end up overly muscular and looking like female bodybuilders.  I didn’t know it then, but my views on weight training would change drastically as I experienced first hand the ACTAUL affects it can have.

Now I have no shame in saying I am addicted to lifting. There are so many reasons why I strength train. Maybe if I tell you a few reasons I love it, you will keep an open mind to weight training as a woman (or man, to the guys reading this). Here are a few:

  • I’ve seen the most changes in my body with strength training. I’ve lost fat, toned up, have better posture, and now have the most feminine curves I’ve ever had (who doesn’t want this?!). These are all things I could never achieve with cardio, yoga, pilates, spinning, kickboxing, etc.
  • It feels good moving heavy weights. The endorphins released make you feel incredible.
  • Don’t worry about not knowing what you are doing at first, you will learn over time.  Besides, NO ONE knows what they are doing when they are starting to learn something that is challenging.
  • I don’t care what US weekly says, Jessica Alba, and Beyonce did not build those bodies by “hiking and riding their bike twice a week.”  They built their bodies with strict nutrition and hard work in the weight room! Anyone who tells you different isn’t giving them credit for the very hard work and dedication they put in.
  • A girl who knows what she is doing in the weight room can be damn sexy.
  • I am able to see my strength increase, which is the most rewarding feeling!
  • It has helped me build my self confidence.
  • You get in tune with you body. You learn how to push yourself a little more every single day, but also learn when it’s a good time to back off a little.
  • Every workout is a mental, physical, and emotional challenge. How cool is that?
  • I’ve seen such an increase in my mind/body connection.
  • Training is THE best stress reliever.
  • I saw a dramatic increase in my dedication, commitment, and drive. Not only just with training, but also in how to apply those traits to other important things in my life.
  • Every time I’m in the gym now I get approached at least once by someone encouraging me, asking me what I’m training for, or asking for advice. That feels so good.
  • It’s humbling. I know that I’ve made progress, but I also know there is a long, long way to go.
  • There are still times I feel those judging eyes on me and have a moments where I feel self-conscious. Then I stop and remember I belong here too, and I use those judgments as fuel to push myself to be that much better
  • The satisfaction of being able to deadlift more than the guy next to you is priceless.

It’s funny to think that what I used to be afraid of now encourages me. I am no longer afraid of being stared at or approached. If I don’t know how to use a machine or do an exercise, I watch youtube videos or just ask someone at the gym. I no longer fear that working hard in the weight room will make me bulky or masculine, because the truth is, I know it will only make me, leaner, sexier, and more feminine.

-Sumeet

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