WBFF Pro Fitness Model Heidi Cannon chats to Oxygen about how getting in shape for her wedding allowed her to find a love for fitness modelling. Plus, not wanting to deprive herself of tasty treats in the lead up to comps and photo shoots, she taught herself how to bake healthy protein-loaded treats and will teach you how to have your protein cake and eat it too!
Name: Heidi Cannon
City: Vancouver, BC
Main occupation: Medical Estheticion
CONNECT WITH HEIDI
Facebook: Mrs Cannons Baking
PHOTOGRAPHY Dave Laus
Hi Heidi, can you start off by telling us what your life was like before you started training?
I have always been a bit of tomboy since I was young. Anything from riding dirt bikes to martial arts I was into it. I used to work out when I was in my early teens with my high school guy friends but never knew what the heck I was doing; I usually would end up on the treadmill and not lifting any weights. In grade 12 I picked up my first fitness magazine and thought I wanted to look like the girl on the cover. I always wanted to do a fitness competition but that opportunity didn't arise until one of my friends started to train me for my wedding day. I wanted to get into the best shape ever for that day, so I started to train five days a week and totally got hooked. I never felt so strong in my entire life. I entered in my first show few months after my wedding and never looked back.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of training for you?
I would have to say learning the nutritional side of training has really helped me. I never knew how to fuel my body properly before I started getting into the eat-clean-train-mean life style. I would drink endless cups of coffee, skip breakfast, have something quick and easy for lunch and around mid day I was so tired I took a nap. Dinner was something quick and easy again. Nowadays, I have meals that consist of lots of proteins, good carbs, veggies and fats. I have much more energy for my day and training sessions.
What advice would you give to women wanting to get into the best shape of their life?
Don’t give up, I know that sounds cliché but its true, nothing happens overnight. You can do it, believe in you! Also, lifting heavy won’t make you huge, don’t be afraid to push yourself!
What was your reason for taking health and fitness to the level you have?
To inspire others to live a happy, healthy lifestyle and help spread the word of baking with protein and how awesome it is!
How are you doing this?
As a fitness model, when you’re preparing for any upcoming photo shoots or shows, it means strict dieting and being mindful of what you are eating, especially when you’re competing. It’s all about weighing your food and calculating every morsel that goes into your mouth, which can be downright boring and not very satisfying!
I never used it in my diet until I started taking my training to the next level. To me, protein powder was for the hard-core body builders. This is far from true! It’s for anyone wanting to build and maintain muscle and tone, satisfy hunger and maintain energy levels.
I started doing what everyone else seems to do… make protein pancakes! It was trial and error at first making them but then I thought how cool would it be trying to make something else with the protein powder, like maybe cheese cake or carrot cake muffins – the recipe possibilities became endless!
With all the amazing food recipes that are so-called ‘bad for you’, some of my converted recipes were total “bomb-outs” to begin with, but because I love a good challenge, I re-worked them into cleaner, healthier versions until I got them right!
As I continued on my fitness journey, I would make up a new recipe once a week and post it. As a result, there were a number of people commenting on how much they liked the recipes and the shares were over the moon on Facebook. I toyed with the idea of a cook book but then thought of how many people read books – mostly everyone I know are on their iPhones or smart phones.
A few months later, the app was created and designed for me. ‘Mrs Cannons baking’ app was launched and has been sold in over 42 different countries. This app allows me to re-load recipes bi-weekly, showing all the ingredients used, and with a full macro calorie count.
It is so rewarding to hear the positive responses from people trying the recipes, it makes me feel great!
The whey to bake and cook with protein powder
By Heidi Cannon
Here are some guidelines to consider when baking or cooking with protein powder as a base, instead of using white flour.
Tip 1: Find a good protein powder. There are so many choices on the market from whey protein, whey isolates, whey concentrates – there’s even soy, and the list goes on and on. And let’s not forget about the taste and the list of ingredients included. Be sure to take in the demos on protein products provided at the various supplements stores. Be sure to read the labels and know what you’re buying. I’ve had my best luck baking with proteins that are a whey isolate blend which are less heavy than full whey protein.
Tip 2: Use cooking spray. Protein can be sticky to bake with at times, so I suggest either using cooking spray on your baking dishes or use parchment paper to ensure there’s no sticking. For me, I use either coconut oil or low-fat cooking spray. A great investment too is having rubber re-useable baking tins – most department stores sell these beauties!
Tip 3: Watch your baking time. Baking with protein can be a bit tricky – the outcome can either make you feel like a baking rock star or it can result in a rock-solid mess! Even if a recipe says 10-15 minutes, watch your baking time. Not all ovens bake or cook the same. Using a tooth pick or fork is helpful to ensure whatever your baking isn’t too dry.
Tip 4: Freeze your ‘leftovers’. Whenever you’re baking or cooking, it’s always nice to make extras that can be popped into the freezer for use at a later date. And, you’ll find that when you thaw an isolate protein, it is very moist.
Tip 5: Follow the recipe! Don’t use too much protein powder. If a recipe calls for two scoops – then that’s what you use. Too much protein powder can make recipes turn out very dry. As well, I’ve found that using alternative ingredients into your baking like apricots, coconut flour, or rice flour, can really enhance a recipe.
Tip 6: Have fun! Baking and cooking with protein powder is limitless! Be creative and have fun with it!