Fitcurrent Interview: WBFF Pro Bikini Model and Wellness Coach, Channa Serenity

316/365 – Maple-Bourbon Pumpkin Pie
Image by djwtwo
As we do at least once or twice every football season, we had my grandmother over today, to watch this afternoon’s nail-biter of a Patriots game and to have dinner. Nothing terribly fancy, just a meatloaf, mashed potato, veg, and dessert. Yes, meatloaf. I like meatloaf. And they served it in the cafeteria at the office this week, but with rice on the side and not mashed potatoes (which is just wrong), so I had a craving.

Thing Two, my usual "sous chef", decided that we should make a pumpkin pie for dessert, so this is what I came up with. It’s a basic pumpkin pie, but with some of the sugar swapped out for maple syrup and vanilla traded for some bourbon. Topped it with some brown sugar whipped cream, and got a few shots in (under some lights I had set up in advance for the purpose) before setting it on the table.

I like composition here, but something throws me a bit about it. I think it might be the runner not completely covering the butcher block in the upper corners, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Recipe follows.

Nikon D7000 w/Nikkor 18-200mm @ 46mm, 1/250s @ ƒ/6.7, ISO100. One SB-700 camera left, 85mm zoom, 1/8 power, shooting through white umbrella. Second SB-700 bounced off the ceiling, 120mm zoom, 1/2 power. White bounce card to the right of the scene (I’m not sure if that really did anything, though.) Cropped and did some minor color adjustment in Aperture.


for the crust

6 oz. all-purpose flour
1 tbl. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 oz. vegetable shortening
3 oz. cold unsalted butter (3/4 stick)
1 1/2 oz. ice water
1 1/2 oz. cold bourbon

for the filling

15 1/2 oz. can pumpkin puree
1/4 c. maple syrup (preferably grade B)
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger powder
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. milk
3/4 c. heavy cream
4 large eggs
2 tbl. bourbon

for the whipped cream

1 c. heavy cream, cold
2-3 tbl. light brown sugar
1/4 c. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract


Start by making the crust. Put the flour, sugar, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor with the shortening and 1/3 of the butter, and pulse until it has the texture of coarse sand. Cut the remaining butter into 1/4" cubes, add to the bowl, and pulse another 6-8 times until you’re left with pieces the size of small peas. Transfer into another bowl, and slowly integrate the water and bourbon by sprinkling on a few tablespoons at a time and stirring to distribute. When the dough holds together when you squeeze it, form into a disc, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Put the now-chilled dough on a well-floured surface, and roll out to a circle large enough to line a 9" pie plate with. Transfer to the pie plate, crimp the edge, and dock the bottom with a fork several times. Put in the freezer for 5 minutes, then remove, line with parchment, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the pie weights and parchment and continue baking for 20 minutes until just beginning to brown and the bottom no longer looks damp.

While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. Put the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, sugar, salt, and spices in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until glossy, 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the bottom burning. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, cream, eggs, and bourbon and whisk well. Whisk the hot pumpkin mixture into the cream a dollop at a time until about half is whisked in, then add the remaining pumpkin and whisk until smooth.

When the pie crust is ready, immediately turn the oven up to 400°F.

Pour the filling into the still-warm crust, and put into the 400°F oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 300°F and allow to bake until set but still slightly wobbly in the center, 30-40 minutes. The filling should reach a temperature of about 170°F-175°F. Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack until room temperature, 4-5 hours.

When ready to serve, make the brown sugar whipped cream. Put the heavy cream and brown sugar into a cold metal bowl. I prefer my whipped cream a little less sweet, but you can go to 3 or even 4 tablespoons of sugar easily if you like yours sweeter. Beat on medium-high speed until the mixer leaves trails in the cream, then add the vanilla and sour cream. Beat to medium peaks (be careful not to overbeat it, or you’ll end up with brown sugar butter.)

Top slices of the pie with a generous dose of the whipped cream and serve.

By Fitcurrent Staff

1. Let’s start by you telling us what has driven you to this path of becoming a Wellness Coach and a Holistic Health Expert.

In University I was taking Psychology with dreams of becoming a Doctor, I come from a family of Pharmacists and as a child would request that the medical dictionary be read to me instead in of Cinderella. I always knew I wanted to help people feel better and to be healthy, but my perception of the health care profession dramatically changed my 2nd year of University. I got sick, I was in a lot of pain in my abdomen area and barely had energy to move, the doctors immediately assumed appendicitis, and removed it, It wasnt appendcitis, after this they cut me open several more times and just kept guessing and kept guessing wrong. I was on an athletic bursary to University in the Track and Field program, I couldnt even walk to class let alone sprint around the track, since I couldnt make it to class, my grades were dropping, the love of my life, running, had been taking away from me, and my health was getting worse, I felt depressed, life as I knew it had changed. One day my Mom suggested we try alternative routes, she told me about a Reiki practitioner, I’ve always been a very spiritual and open minded person, however, this seemed a lil out there, but what did I have to lose?! 5 sessions later I was healed. I never did find out what was wrong with me, but it doesnt matter, I received the best gift of all, I was shown my true path. Since then I have dedicated my life to learning the healing arts and holistic medicine. What seemed at the time to be the worst time of my life was in fact a blessing and gift.

I will continue for the rest of my life to study these amazing healing arts. The medical system has a newtonian frame of thought, “if it’s broken, take it out”, we are human, we are not machines, we are energetic light beings and we are “whole”; Mind, Body and Soul are inter-related. If symptoms are being expressed physically it is due to an untuned vital force, Symtoms are the language in which we find the etiology of dis-ease. If we simply cover them up, we are not helping, we are supressing. “Express, Don’t Repress”~ Paul Nijar. My passion in life is to help people achieve optimal health, everyone’s body wants to be in healthy and in homeostasis. Health is experiencing wellness throughout the mind, body and soul. The body is well when exuding abundant energy and feeling strong. A healthy mind is one that experiences calm and peace, is constructive, sustains healthy relationships and remains motivated to seek purpose. An enlightened spirit is open, content, trusting, feels grateful, positive and has faith and trust in the higher purpose.

2. What techniques do you use to guide your clients to the healthy lifestyle?

I use many different modalities including Aromatherapy, Iridology, Homeopathy, Herbology, Reiki, Vibrational medicine, Natural Nutrition & Symptomatology, Yoga, Hypnosis, Fitness and Bach Flower Remedies.

3. What is your Nutrition Philosophy?

Meditation and self awareness is the ground work for my nutrition. The very best doctors and nutritionists in the world are ourselves, only we know what our bodies need and how we are feeling. It is important to establish a mind-body connection and to trust your inner guidance.

4. Typically what does your diet consist of and do you always eat Raw food only?

I’m high raw, about 90% raw, I like to indulge sometimes in brown rice vegan sushi and flax seed organic crackers with hummus, aside from that my diet consists of lots of fresh fruits and veggies, and nuts.

5. Many people struggle with certain food vice’s, what is yours and how have you avoided them?

I dont struggle with food cravings anymore, However, when i first turned vegan I struggled with seafood, I grew up in Nova Scotia, and thats what we do, we eat lots of seafood. Through schooling and my own, I became educated on the cruelty and the negative health side effects of consuming such products, the cravings quickly disappeared. There is alot I want to do in life, so I want to live a life of vitality and longevity, Only putting foods that are beneficial to my health and my karma is pivotal.

6. Give us a example of one of your Favorite Raw Food Recipes and how to prepare it.

I’m a smoothie girl, Love smoothies: Here is a recipe from my book, “12 weeks to Raw-some, Diva Edition” Strawberry Go-Co Smoothie

1 banana

1 tbsp. coconut butter

? cup Goji berries

2 cup frozen strawberries

3 cups almond milk

7. Becoming a WBFF Pro Bikini Athlete takes a lot of hard work and dedication. What fuels you through your workouts?

My mother was a jazzercise instructor and had me in legwarmers and headbands working out since I was 4, It’s honestly the favorite part of my day, I was taught very young that working out is fun and it’s always stayed with me, It’s habit for me now. I volunteer with a program for children in poverty called Start2Finish weekly, and I try to teach them the same thing, That eating healthy and being active is super fun. I think its important to find exercises and activites that you enjoy, or you are not going to stick to it. Also, If I do have days where I am feeling sluggish and would rather read a book, I think about how lucky I am to have this healthy and strong body, I’m grateful for the ability to move and to be active, when you are grateful its very difficult to be lazy lol

8. Could you give us a example of one of your favorite workouts.

I work with a coach, Nathane Harewood for my training for the WBFF World Championships, he kicks my butt everyday and I love every moment of it. An example of a total body workout would be:

1 min burpess with 60lb bar
1 min tuck jumps
1 min tricep pushup to mountain climbers
1 min hanging leg raises
Do 1 exercise to the next, 6 Rounds, Followed by 40 min cardio 155 bpm
*note to view a description of the exercise click the above links. If you have never tried one of these exercises before please make sure to consult a professional before proceeding.

9. With your background who are some people that have inspired you and why?

I’m inspired by people such as: Albert Einstein, Dr. Bruce Lipton, Dr. Edward Bach, this are people who chose to go against the grain for something they believed in and for the higher good of all people.

10. What is next on your list of goals?

I am going to be writing a childrens book (or several) with a friend of mine, I’m going to be developing a yoga program that implements many facets of vibrational medicine, it will activate chakras, balance and harmonize the energy centers and give you a yummy tummy and nice booty in the process:) I have dreams of opening a healing center and I will always be continuing my education in the healing arts.Article Source:

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