Monthly Archives: May 2014

Cauliflower Ranch Puree


So easy and so good – I’ll never feel the need to eat mashed potatoes again!!

Serving size = 1 cup

Calories             53

Protein                 3

Carbs                    8

Fat                         1

Ingredients & Directions:

*Chop up cauliflower (I chop entire head – stores fine in fridge) and place in pot with water

*Bring to boil and cook until cauliflower is soft

*Strain water and put back into pot. I add garlic, parsley, oregano and 2-3 tbsp of Walden Farm Ranch dressing

Using my Cuisinart Smart Stick I puree the cauliflower, spices and dressing. You do NOT have to add milk and butter like you would with mashed potatoes.


How to Communicate with a Bodybuilder-Especially a HUNGRY ONE!


I am sharing these comments with the hopes of offering some humor and education. I am hoping to both educate the people making the comments and offer some help for those of us on the receiving end. I am really hoping to just make you giggle – life is short so why sweat the small stuff!

I try not to get upset when I receive these comments but instead look for the positive and humor in them – really! A friend shared a very valuable insight with me – she said that many people are just curious about what we do and are simply looking for information. They do not want to be mean and are simply interested in what we do because they see how we can transform our bodies. So keep this in mind if these comments ever come your way – Thanks Diana for that insight!

I am not perfect and know that I’ve said and acted in ways that I shouldn’t have especially when I am HANGRY (anger from hunger).  I try to be a positive role model, helpful and supportive of everyone regardless of their goals or fitness level. So I hope this posts makes us all think about the way we communication with others both personally and professionally. A bit more kindness and support could never hurt in all aspects of our lives.

“YOU MIGHT PLACE 2ND OR 3RD DEPENDING ON HOW THE OTHER COMPETITORS LOOK.” Yes someone actually said this to me before my very first competition. I was so shocked; I didn’t know if it was an insult or a compliment. You just need to ignore these types of comments and move on.

“OH MY GOD YOU ARE SO SKINNY – YOU ARE SKIN AND BONES.” Being a bodybuilder you do not want to hear those words – you want to look muscular. INSTEAD you could say “WOW you are looking lean and mean”. As a competitor you just have to  think WOW I must be SHREDDED. ALWAYS look for the positives in those comments!!

“WOW – YOU’VE PUT SOME WEIGHT BACK ON- HOW MUCH HAVE YOU GAINED?” We don’t need to be told when we are in our off-season. Would you say that to any other human being and if not then why is it OK to point out weight gain to a competitor. Off-season body image is difficult for many competitors and I continue to struggle with it. Just keep in mind that we cannot look show ready all the time. Your biggest hindrance to growth and making gains can be trying to have that shredded look all the time. You cannot be super-lean year round or year after year.

“I REALLY ADMIRE YOU – IT MUST BE DIFFICULT TO WALK AROUND HEAVIER COMPARED TO WHEN YOU COMPETE.”  Basically this person told me that she admires me for walking around the gym looking fatter – WAY TO GO ME!! Again, I was stunned but my husband said she obviously meant that I was looking BIGGER and as in MORE MUSCLE which is my goal. Again, look for the positive!!

“YOU ARE SO LUCKY TO HAVE GOOD GENETICS.” I just LOVE this one. Good genes or not it takes a lot of hard work and hours to be stage ready. To be successful, you must dedicate 100% of yourself to your training, diet and mental approach. If you ever receive this comment simply say Thank You and know that you look good due to those good genetics – right!?! Thank your mom & dad.

“YOU MUST BE SICK OF EATING BLAND FOODS.” – ahhhhhh – I do not eat bland foods. I am actually very creative and follow the rule IIFYM – If It Fits Your Macros. I can eat whatever I want as long as I stay within my given macros. Check out my recipe section for my creative and tasty recipes.

“BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME.”   Meaning next time I will place better in a show. This one is difficult for competitors to learn and understand let alone non-competitors. Eric taught me that it is not about how I place in the judges eyes it is about being better each time on stage compared to the last time. Eric keeps enforcing Tara 2014 will be better than Tara 2013. It is about being better for you each time. What matters here is that you know you presented a better version of yourself!





My friend, Mary Reece, gets full credit for this find – THANK YOU MARY!!!

Mary bought silicone muffin cups for me to use for my egg & veggie muffins (recipe is on website) as they always stick and can be a pain to get out of the pan in one piece. I tried them out and they work GREAT!!! I highly recommend them – easy to use and clean and best part is NO sticking!!!


1) Slight update to the Egg & Veggie Muffin Recipe – check it out.

2) Slight update to Cauliflower Pizza Crust Recipe – See Step 3 . I now BROIL the crust for several minutes as it makes for a firmer crust!



Per Muffin

Calories             130

Protein                 18

Carbs                     10

Fat                           2

Ingredients & Directions:

Using my Cuisinart Smart Stick I blend the following together:

*2 scoops P4P Chocolate Protein Powder

*2 cups liquid egg whites

*3 tbsp coconut flour

*1 tbsp chia seeds

*1/4 tsp baking powder

*Cinnamon, vanilla & ground clove to taste

Mix well together then add:

*1 cup blueberries (chop up & blend into mixture with smart stick)

*stir in ½ cup of unsweetened applesauce

Divide into 6 muffins – either spray a muffin pan or use the NON-STICK silicone muffin cups. I recommend the muffin cups!!!!

Bake at 385 for 40 minutes or until done.

You can order the p4p protein powder on-line and save 15% using my athlete code tara15.  This is the best tasting powder!!!




Training Update 5/17/14 & WORKOUT CHALLENGE


This week concluded another deload week for me which means a week of CrossFit. I really enjoy this week because I get a break from the heavy lifting and volume and am able to try completely different exercises from my usual training. It is a great break mentally and excellent conditioning!

I feel like I had a successful week.  I am most excited to say that  I have FINALLY mastered the kipping pull-ups. If you read my training update from 1/20/2014 you will see that they’ve been a challenge for me and they were on my list of things to accomplish. I also mastered the rope climb to the top (first time getting to the top and quickly), improved my technique on cleans, handled 30# wall balls and I completed a modified version of a CrossFit Regional Event. My trainer, Anthony Vorachak, qualified for the Regionals CrossFit Games by placing 13th in the Northeast and 127th worldwide! I was nervous he was going to put me through one of the workouts and I was right to be worried. However he modified the workout for me knowing I am ‘deloading’.

This workout was the probably the most challenging part of the week. So much so that I thought I would share with it and challenge you to give it a try. Have fun!!

GOAL: complete in 21 minutes. The actual workout is 50 reps. Anthony modified to 30 reps for me. Another modification was that I did ring push-ups vs ring dips. It is just cruel to go from wall balls to dips and then right back to wall balls.

Modified Regional Event/Workout:

30 calorie row

30 box jump overs

30 deadlifts (125#)

30 wall balls (14#)

30 ring push ups

30 wall balls

30 deadlifts

30 box jump overs

30 calorie row

I wanted to take some videos but we forgot – promise to take videos of me suffering (I am mean working) during my next deload week!!

Egg White Salad-NO fat LOW Carb


Calories               84

Protein                 20

Carbs                      2

Fat                           0

Ingredients & Directions:

*Hard boil 5 eggs – cool under cold water – peel and put egg whites into bowl to chop up (if your macros allow using the yolk adds more flavor – make the macros work for you)

I usually boil up at least a dozen eggs at a time the day or so before – might as well make the work worthwhile and do a bunch at once

*add 2 teaspoons of mustard – I prefer Westbrae Nature Dijon Mustard (when my macros allow I use a maple horseradish mustard for a different flavor)

*add 1 teaspoon of hot crushed peppers from jar

*add 3 finely chopped sweet gherkins no sugar added vlasic pickles

Mix all together – this tastes GREAT alone or on rice cakes, crackers, etc.  Just be sure to add the macros.

I like my Suzie’s spelt puffed cakes – two equal 45 calories, 10g carbs, 2g protein and 0g fat.

Another suggestion is Sea Salt Popped Wheat Thin crackers – 27 crackers equal 130 calories, 23g carbs, 2g protein and only 33 fat.

This is a perfect meal after a hard workout.


High Protein Chips N Salsa


I just ate this for lunch and it was so GOOD that I thought I should share it STAT!

Calories             543

Protein                 34

Carbs                    50

Fat                         23

Ingredients & Directions:

*Bake P28 flatbread in oven at 385 until crispy. I bake on a stone for about 10 minutes.

While flat is crisping up sauté the following together:

*1 cup diced red pepper

*1 cup diced mushroom

*100 grams diced avocado

*when almost cooked to your liking add ½ cup all natural salsa

Place sautéed mixture into a bowl

Remove crispy P28 flat from oven and break or cut into pieces

Dip and ENJOY !



Supplements: are defined as something that completes or enhances something else when added to it and include vitamins, minerals, fiber and amino acids.  In the world of fitness; supplements are commonly used by those involved in bodybuilding and athletics. These supplements may be used to replace meals, enhance weight gain, promote weight loss or improve athletic performance. Among the most widely used are vitamins, protein  powders, branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), meal replacement products, creatine, and weight loss products. I do not believe in the use of many of the thousands of supplements out there. I absolutely would never recommend any supplements for weight loss! The only supplements that I take are: BCAA’s, fish oil, vitamin D, creatine, daily multi-vitamin, and protein powder – that is it!!

Amino Acids: Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Twenty percent of the human body is made up of protein. Protein plays a crucial role in almost all biological processes. Amino acids play a key role in the transport and storage of nutrients, affect the function of organs, glands, tendons and arties and they are essential for healing and repairing tissue (MUSCLE). There are 20 amino acids. Humans can produce 10 and the others must be supplied by either food or supplements. The 10 that humans can produce are alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine and tyrosine. The essential amino acids (ones that we do NOT produce and are required by diet or supplements) are arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Failure to obtain enough of even 1 of the 10 essential amino acids, could result in degradation of the body’s proteins—muscle and so forth. Unlike fat and starch, the human body does not store excess amino acids for later use—the amino acids must be in the food every day.

BCAA’s : Branched chain amino acids are very popular with athletes who are searching for ways to increase lean mass and performance. The branched chain amino acids are Valine, Leucine, and Iso-leucine. BCAA’s reduce muscle fatigue, speed recovery, decrease the loss of other amino acids from muscle during exercise and help the body absorb protein.. BCAA’s are rapidly depleted from the muscle when training. Taking BCAA’s before and/or during a work out will increase performance and delay fatigue. Taking BCAA’s immediately after will lower cortisol levels and replace BCAA levels in the muscles faster. I take 5g pre and post workout.

Creatine: It used to enhance high-intensity exercise performance. It is a nitrogenous organic acid produced in the liver that helps supply energy to cells all over the body – particularly muscle cells. It is made out of three amino acids: L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine. Creatine is transported through the blood by an active transport system, it is then used by muscles that have high energy demands, such as the brain and skeletal muscle. In fact, around 95 percent of creatine in the human body is stored in skeletal muscle. I take 5g pre workout. Below is a great article on the different types of creatine – I use MONO.

Protein Powder: Is a supplement manufacturers create from high-quality sources, such as milk, soy or eggs. They contain all the essential amino acids, which are those that your body cannot make and therefore you must include in your diet. I like to drink a protein shake after intense work outs (leg days) to help with my recovery! I also use protein powders to cook and bake with to increase protein servings.  I prefer powders that are strictly protein and contain no fat or carbs.

Whey Protein Powders: They are milk based and contain high levels of branched-chain amino acids. These powders are great for helping to build muscle, prevent muscle breakdown and assist in post-exercise recovery.

Casein Protein Powders: These powders are also milk based and supply your body with a slow-digesting form of protein, which ensures your cells receive a steady supply of this nutrient. These are ideal before bed to help supply the body during sleep or longer periods of time.

Visit to order your supplements.  I support their vision of HONEST SUPPLEMENTS FOR HONEST MUSCLE.  They do not sell any of the unnecessary supplements, only the ones that I honestly use and need.  They focus on making what they do sell the BEST!

 Shop today and use my code tara15 to save 15%.

Cran-Apple Turkey Burger over Cabbage


This was my favorite meal last week!!

Calories              359

Protein                 54

Carbs                     29

Fat                          3

Ingredients & Directions:

Mix the following together in a bowl to make one large burger or two smaller ones:

*8 oz extra lean ground turkey breast

*1/2 cup of Tara’s cranberry sauce

*1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

Put in Panini press or on grill

While turkey burger is cooking sauté the following:

*2 cups shredded or chopped green cabbage

*1/2 cup Tara’s cranberry sauce

Cook cabbage until soft – top with cooked turkey burger then

DRIZZLE with Walden Farms Pancake Syrup


Training Update 5/3/2014


My first month (33 days) of show prep has been successfully completed.

Workouts: So far things are going GREAT; I am maintaining my strength and still making some gains by hitting new PR’s. The goal for me is to at least maintain my strength but to keep gaining strength while cutting would be even better. I’ve really started to like power cleans and handstand pushups!! These are some fun exercises we do to keep me entertained in between all the squats, deadlifts and pressing I have to complete.

Nutrition: Eric cut my carbs just a bit to give weight loss a nudge. Weight loss (fat) has started; slow and steady wins the race. I am happy (hunger is manageable) with these macros and can get a lot of food with these numbers.  My current macros are as follows:

March 30th:       

6 days of:      150g protein, 150g carbs & 30g fat

1 refeed day:   150g protein, 250g carbs & 30g fat

NEW as of April 25th:           

6 days of:      150g protein, 135g carbs & 30g fat

1 refeed day:   150g protein, 250g carbs & 30g fat

SPONSOR: I received some very exciting news last week; I’ve been sponsored by   Further details will follow soon!

All in all it’s been a productive month – moving onto the next……..