Orange Cardamom TVP “Oats” + WIAW

105 lbs doesn’t seem like a ton.


Until it’s on your lap while you’re doing dips…



Normally I do legs (my least favorite) with my trainer, but last night I had a back and tri day.  It was a great reminder that – even though my upper body is more developed – I still need a “check up” every so often.  With a little help I can move SO much more weight.  I couldn’t have stacked those weights on my lap by myself… and there is no way in hell I would have turned that last set into a drop set.

I’m feeling much better with my diet after last week’s adjustments, and it’s paying off.  My trainer noticed growth.   (He also told me I make sex-like noises while doing hack squats.  Weird that hacking with 200 lbs elicits the same sort of sound…).  A couple of other people have commented recently too (on the gains, not the noises).  Never in my life did I think people telling me I look bigger would be a compliment! :)

It is a little disconcerting to have lost my abs, but I know they’ll be back and looking better than ever after bulking season.  I need to print that reminder out and tape it to my mirror.


My Kitchen Workout (have you joined?) is keeping me motivated an (mostly) on track during this month of indulgences.  Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday theme this month is also a great accountability check!


Below is a day of a figure competitor’s bulking-season eats.  Check it out, and then be sure to head over to Jenn Peas and Crayons and see what everyone else is eating during the most delicious time of year.


Meal 1:

I started my day with the only thing I like to repeat: my morning cocktail (mix of Apple Cider Vinegar, Glutamine, and Fitmixer Aminos), and my 2 mile incline walk.

Then it was time for a breakfast I started dreaming up on Sunday.  This is a new version of my TVP oatmeal, and it may be my favorite one yet!


Indian Spiced TVP Oats

Orange Cardamom TVP “Oatmeal”

  • 1 C water
  • 1/3 C TVP
  • 2 T oats
  • 1 tsp ground flax
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 4-5 drops lemon liquid stevia (or sweetener of choice)
  • 3 T egg whites
  • 1/2 orange, sectioned
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes, to top
Prepare according to these instructions from the original recipe.  Top with orange sections and coconut. Demolish.



Meal 2:

Last week I rocked a chili-lime crab salad with mango for lunch.  This week I was ready for more… but needed to make it strangers for this Friday’s link up.  Being strange pays off, friends.  This one was a hit!  The sweet citrus from the orange was perfect against the tangy lime and heat of the cayenne.


Curried Chili-Orange Crab Salad

  • 3 oz crab
  • 1/2 large orange, sectioned
  • 1/2 C edamame
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Juice from 1/4 fresh lime
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp curry powder
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Cilantro



Meal 3:

I had to get a new plate to take to work.  My zoo animal paper plates ran out.  Booooo!

On my pretty blue plats is: Chili Nutty Baked Tofu, celery sticks, a P28 protein bagel, and the last of my favorite hummus.  I get this Roots hummus at Whole Foods.  It’s from Asheville, but I’m not sure if you can get it outside of the Southeast.  If you can, the spinach is worth a try!




Meal 4:

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my new swordfish creation Monday night.  I finally tried making it a different way – I chipped it into cubes, coated it in lime juice, avocado oil, and my Mexican spice blend before cooking it under broil for ~10 mins.  It worked like a charm!

I brought the leftovers to work to be enjoyed over a kale salad massaged with coconut vinegar, fresh orange juice, and nutritional yeast.  Topped with baby bellas and red pepper.  My complex carb was a very tasty Garnet sweet potato.

And I wonder why my co-workers think I’m weird….



Meal 5:

Leftovers from yesterday… a creation that I made for this Friday’s Strange But Good link up.  Are you guys planning to participate?!  I’m so excited to see what everyone comes up with!!

Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Click here for the explanation.




Meal 6:

My trainer’s gym is pretty far away (30-45 mins… or an hour during rush hour…), so I always take a recovery shake to enjoy on the ride home.  After a killer workout, I enjoyed a favorite: Carrot Cake Batter Shake.

Don’t you love when your clean-eating #kitchenworkout meals taste dirrrrty?  I added some kale (clearly not enough since it’s still orange-ish), and stirred in muesli for a chewy happy ending.


Meal 7:

I’m on a serious bender with my 150 Calorie Chocolate Microwave Protein Cake.  Tonight I topped it with a healthy scoop of Arctic Zero Cookies ‘n Cream ice cream and a drizzle of peanut flour sauce. Cherries on top.  Fo’ shizzle.



The protein count for the day: 177.2g.  I can almost feel the growth.  Bwhahaha!

It’s been a week… time for another shameless plugs!  I’d love it if you’d click here and “Like” my new Facebook page. :)

Do you have a workout partner or trainer that you “check in” with when you need to push harder?

What is the tastiest “clean” food you’ve eaten this week?  Work it out in the kitchen!



  1. says

    Girl I like yo style. That’s serious protein! Also… I think I might try this morning cocktail. When I’m sick, I’m a huge fan of the energy (and immune boost!) from ACV, raw honey, and hot water. So dang good (and SERIOUS.)

    I absolutely LOVE it when people tell me I look bigger, stronger, more muscular, “like you’re about to break out of that shirt”. It’s like christmas morning. For biceps.

  2. says

    you are so bad ass! you inspire me to lift more…

    and oooh Oooh OOOH orange cardamom TVP… this sounds amazing, I love citrus + cardamom. what if you cooked the TVP in orange juice!?!??! Mmm… (once I started cooking my quinoa in juice and milk, I cannot cook ANYTHING in plain water anymore!) 😀

  3. says

    “…for a chewy happy ending.” Please someone assure me that I’m not the only one whose mind went to the gutter ;)! Nice going on those tricep dips, Laura….beastly! Love that you’re being positive about the loss of abs that comes with bulking season…but as you said, they’re just going to come out looking ABS-olutely great, if not better, by the end of it :)!

  4. says

    Nice job girl! Keep those compliments coming! I really hope we can chat soon :)

    As always, I love the WIAW here! Thanks for the inspiration <3

    My trainer definitely pushes me like no one else! I do pretty much all of my workouts with him and each time I am amazed with how heavy I can go. Kiiiind of NOT looking forward to going home for the holidays for that reason!! NO SPOTTER! NO TRAINER :( Oh well…. I will be back!

    xoxo Love you and here is my strange but good link

    • Laura says

      You are so luck you get to do all of your workout with him! My trainer is just too far. Boo! you’re going to ROCK out those solo workouts. :)

      Thank you so much for participating – come back Friday to add it to the tool!!! I’m loving your idea. :)

  5. Jenn peas and crayons says

    Happy WIAW darling!!!! Loooove curried crab salad!! And that roots hummus is one of my all time favorites! They have it in a few stores here in NC! Yum!

  6. says

    Holy hell! 105 pounds for dips?! And I thought I was proud of myself for my 25’s! Haha! Nice work woman!

    Loving all the color in the eats! Can’t wait to see Friday’s #strangebutgood recipe! Oh, and I hate you for having the patience/skill to section oranges…bah!

  7. says

    Meal 7 looks amazing!!! Love all that protein. And those dips are unreal. I saw that picture on instagram last and had to reread the weight on there. 105lbs is crazy!

  8. says

    That swordfish sounds so good! I still haven’t branched out from cooking mine the way you showed me–lemon, spices, on the stovetop :) I shake it up with the sides and the specific spices (your spice blends going to be for sale any time soon? ;D ), but oh, it’s just so yum!

    • Laura says

      I was hesitant, but it does really well in the broiler! I did a whole piece too with a Mediterranean blend and fresh garlic. Only took 11 mins!

      Spice blends coming soon… I order the jars today! :)

  9. says

    I’ve been making a simple version of your TVP oatmeal lately (really just TVP cooked with carob and almond milk), and it’s fantastic! Also, I miss swordfish; we used to eat it a lot back home!

  10. says

    I thought about you last night as I was eating dinner and side-eyeing the ingredient list in my morningstar veggie burger. Definitely not super clean. But I had a roasted sweet potato on the side and that was clean. Definitely clean. And definitely tasty! Yum… I wish they counted as real vegetables though.

  11. says

    I’m seriously missing kale right now (too much vitamin K that goes against my medication). So I’m drooling over that salad. I don’t ever really lift with anyone, but my running partner definitely pushes me – mostly because she’s crazy fast!

  12. says

    Oh I love Roots hummus, mainly because it comes from Asheville (which is pretty close to me) and because it just tastes better than the rest.

    I don’t know how I would have taken the noise comment from my trainer, but hey you’ve been getting some interesting comments lately.

  13. says

    105 lbs?! Yes – BEAST MODE is correct! Awesome work! Like everyone else has said, beautiful, clean looking meals – so healthy and nourishing! That trainer’s comment cracks me up – I think I would have left a little taken aback! 😉

  14. says

    Even though you eat incredibly clean and healthy, I cant help but be a little jealous that you’re actually working to put on weight. I know its nothing like eating whatever you want and its crazy hard work but still; I’ll never know the feeling of actually eating more than you want. That being said, your microwave protein cakes always look unbelievable.

  15. says

    Holy moly, you are strong! That’s a lot of weight for dips. You impress me! Your chocolate protein muffin needs to come over to my house so I can eat it;) Yum. Love all the protein you’re eating! Keep it up, you’re making amazing progress!

  16. says

    The chili-lime crab salad with mango looks flippin’ incredible. Like, seriously, if I could do back flips right now I would in honor of this dish. I guess I’m just going to have to settle for a few bows & applause instead (#TwitterInsideJoke). 😉

  17. says

    You are my strength hero – I seriously want to do a little bit more in this area after Ironman, just to see what happens. :) No competitions in my future – no way – but it would be cool to buff up just a bit. :)

    Best clean food this week? Last night’s roasted cabbage was pretty clean and surprisingly amazing. I need to cook with cabbage more often, I think.

    • Laura says

      I would love to see you prancing across a strange in a bedazzled bikini. You get to accessorize too! :)

      That reminds me… I have cabbage in my fridge. Lunch tomorrow is going to be roasted!

  18. says

    HOLY CRAP lady!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is some serious weight!!!!! I don’t even think I did that in my younger days. It has been a long time so maybe but you rock!!!!

    I have heard people in the gym sound like that sex noise – a guy that works out when I do sounds like that – cracks me up! 😉

    EXCITING with the gains but you put in the work so you get out what you put in! Yes, after contest bod is always hard to adjust too but you know if you ever want to be leaner – ya know how to do it!

    Glad to be reading again. I am still behind so bear with me as I try to catch up but wanted to say HI!!!!!

    • Laura says

      Thank you SO much!!! It’s fun doing thing I NEVER thought I could do. He just keeps piling weight on me. LOL!

      Missed you much! Glad you had a good break though. :)

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