I never really think of myself as any kind of “inspiration,” and I’m beyond flattered every time someone refers to me as one. I’m just a regular ol’ vegan chick who’s always had a deep love and respect for animals and who spends a ridiculous amount of time in the gym.
I guess I’m also proof that hard work and dedication really do pay off because on June 8th, 2013, I took down first place (bikini tall division) at the Northern Classic Bodybuilding & Fitness Show—my first-ever fitness competition! And I did it completely natural AND on a strict vegan diet.
I was delighted to have my best pals (the girls of The Vegan Project) accompany me to the competition on a 2,500 kilometer road trip across rural, northern British Columbia. We called it “Jacked on the Beanstalk: a Vegan Bodybuilding Adventure” and we were determined to break the stereotypes that all vegans are skinny, unhealthy, and protein-deficient. And what better place to demonstrate the power of plants than in the testosterone-fueled world of amateur bodybuilding?
Decked out in our “Team Shorkey” shirts and decaled minivan, the drive was hilariously fun and entertaining as we searched for northern BC’s best tofu dish and salon spray tan, all the while talking with locals and even being interviewed for a local TV news station.
The whole experience was life changing for me in every way possible and it couldn’t have gone any better!
I’m now gearing up to compete on a Provincial level at the BC Championships in June of 2014 (another untested show but if I place in the top three again, it will qualify me for Nationals).
I plan to work even harder this time and show the world just how much more “Jacked on the Beanstalk” I can get! A huge part of my diet is obviously protein powder and I am a big fan of balls… Protein balls made with Sunwarrior of course!
Here is one of my favorite tropical-inspired recipes to make up for the gray skies and rainy weather I’m experiencing in Vancouver.
High protein, low-fat, and all natural! Have a couple of these babies pre-workout or when you’re craving something sweet. Just try to keep it to a couple. (Easier said than done, I know!)
Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain that aids digestion and helps prevent inflammation AND muscle soreness. It’s also a good source of vitamin C, which helps strengthen your immune system. Lemons are another great natural digestive aid, jam-packed full of antioxidants, vitamin C, and limonene, which is thought to inhibit breast cancer. Coconut is a nutritious superfood rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It's also high in antioxidants, to help slow down the aging process and protect the body from free-radical damage as well as boost metabolism. These balls are sweetened with Medjool dates—a natural source of dietary fiber, iron, and potassium.
- 1.5 cups raw almonds
- 2 scoops vanilla Warrior Blend Sunwarrior protein powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean powder
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1 cup Medjool dates (soaked)
- Juice of a lemon
- 1 cup organic, shredded, unsweetened coconut
- ½ cup dried pineapple (optional)
Put almonds in blender or food processor and blend until finely ground. Combine into medium-sized mixing bowl with protein powder.
Add the vanilla extract, lemon juice, dates, and pineapple juice. Add coconut and dried pineapple. Blend until dough texture.
Begin rolling protein balls into 2 inch balls.
You can also roll the protein balls in a little extra coconut. Toast the coconut first for an even richer coconut flavour.
Keep balls in fridge or freezer, stored in an airtight container. Makes about 15–20 balls.