Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What's that in your mouth?

Let's Go Shopping!

Grocery shopping, that is.

Disclaimer:  I'm not a registered dietitian.  The information I am about to share is not necessarily a good program for everyone.  I'm just sharing this in the style of friendly conversation.  Shewwww...glad to get that out of my system.

I've been getting loads of questions about what I've been eating to get contest ready.  I'm happy to share  some guidelines with you, however, know that with any meal plan, contest prep included, there isn't a one size fits all program.  Everyone is starting from a different place and each body reacts a little differently.  I suggest you seek customized advice for best results.  Nevertheless, I'm happy to share a few things with you that seemed to work well for me.


I ate about 6 meals per day to keep my blood sugar levels stable and to maintain steady energy.  The meals ranged from 150-300 calories and I usually ate a total of 1700 calories per day (this fluctuated a little each day).


Around 8 weeks out, my nutrient composition was about 40% protein/40% carbs/20% fat.  As I got closer to the show, I reduced the fat by about 5-10% depending on the day and increased the protein.  I was able to keep my carbs about the same until the last 10 days or so.  I didn't have a lot of fat to burn, so I opted to up my cardio for additional fat burn and keep those few extra carbs (for sanity :).

Grocery List:

Chicken breast
Turkey cutlets

Sweet Potatoes or Yams
Green Beans
Organic apples
Organic blueberries
Brown rice cakes


Almond Butter (eliminated at 3 weeks out)
Coconut Oil
Flax Seed Oil

Extras (used to add flavor or a desired benefit)


Will discuss these in another section

That's what my shopping list looked like for the most part.  My breakfast was consistently eggs and oats.  I was having fruit with the eggs and oats up until the last few weeks.  I love to slice up an apple and squeeze the juice of a lemon on it and coat it in cinnamon.  This is an all time favorite that my mom got me hooked on.  After breakfast, basically, every 3 hours I would eat 4-6 oz of lean protein with veggies.  I would mix it up daily, but a big bowl of spinach was my favorite.  I'd add 1/5 of an avocado or a tsp of flax seed oil to it once a day.

If I was feeling sluggish or hungry, I'd allow myself a rice cake with a teaspoon of coconut oil.  It's was a great treat (the closest thing to dessert).  I cut that out the last few weeks as well.  The rice cakes I get are from Trader Joe's.  They have 35 calories each and 7 carbohydrates.

There are pros and cons to to this meal plan.  It's similar to how I am used to eating, but definitely has an increased amount of protein and a little less fat than I'm used to.  To make sure my body was getting everything it needed, I balanced it out with some supplements.  I will share those in the next post, but know that this is just me sharing my experience.  I always encourage checking with your health care provider before making nutritional changes.

Major Pros

Knowing what you are going to eat everyday makes food prep a breeze.  On Sunday, I'd take a few hours to prep my veggies, boil eggs, bake meat and sweet potatoes, etc.

I was boiling so many eggs, I could hardly keep up.  At one point, I was tempted to invest in a bigger pot:

I decided against it, but it's still on my wish list ;)

Another major pro: this food tastes good!  It's fresh and nutrient dense.  When I would take my meals out with people people would always want to know what I was eating.  They would tell me how fresh and delicious it looked.  Compared to the brown processed foods that many of them were eating, I can see why they inquired.  Feast your eyes on some of my meals:

Those are meals I prepped myself at home, but it isn't impossible to eat out on this plan.  Here is an example of a meal I got a sushi restaurant:

Tuna sashimi with cucumber and avocado!! One of my favorites!!

Staying hydrated

I drank plenty of water and could have as much unsweetened green tea as I wanted.  I also drink plenty of white tea and rooibos (red tea that is naturally caffeine free).

Not sure how I survived before Starbucks offered the trenta :)

I'm hoping that this bit of information gives you a little bit of guidance as you work on your nutrition plan.  I will discuss supplementation and the cons of this meal plan in my next post.  Until then, feel free to share your questions.  I'm sure many will have the same.  Also, remember that all of your health and fitness goals are achievable if you just stay consistent.  My best piece of advice...DON'T QUIT!

Friday, May 17, 2013

New goals, anyone?

Do Something that Scares You

I'm all about goal setting.  Having a measurable challenge helps keep me focused.  I typically reevaluate my written goals every 3 months.  One that I was already afraid to put in writing continued to sit in the back of my mind for the past few years.  For many reasons, I was afraid to write it down and go for it.  It was something that was going to push me out of my comfort zone and something that people may criticize me for.  Nevertheless, it was something that would make me work really hard and I'd have to be disciplined in many areas to achieve my goal.  I'd have to have a very structured nutrition plan.  I'd have to increase my workouts, including cardio and weight training.  Most difficult of all, I'd have to get more sleep.  Who has time for that?? So what did I do?  

I competed in my first figure competition  The Mike Francois Classic!:

For those of you who haven't heard of this, it's a bodybuilding competition.  The 'figure' division (which I participated in) is a class of bodybuilding where the judges are looking for muscularity, symmetry, stage presentation (posing, posture, grace and confidence), body shape and muscle shape.  For this category, you don't put on as much muscular size as a traditional bodybuilder.  

On any given Saturday, you can find me at the gym doing something like this:

But last Saturday, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and transformed into this:

If I were a bettin' women, I'd never believe I could get that tan.  But there are some skilled tanners out there!! I went to a gal named Ginger who definitely rocks the competitive tanning world!! 

Behind the scenes what amazing!! The other competitors were extremely friendly and helpful.  They made me, as a first timer, feel completely at ease.  The ladies I was on stage with were full of class and I'm honored to have been next to them.  After some final primping:

Some filling up the muscles:

And a quick pump up behind stage:

It was time to present:

I'm the third one from the left (in case you can't tell).

It was a gorgeous group of strong competitors.  I was very excited to be called out in the first line up.  For my first competition, my goal was to be in the top 5, as that is the number of places that they award. So, with that goal in mind, I was giddy when this happened:

Fifth place!! Don't mind if I do :)  

This was an amazing learning experience and I felt great about the entire day.  I took away some education as to what I can do to improve and I met some people that I hope to come in contact with again.  I'm so glad that I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and try something new.  

Top Five

It was awesome to see some familiar faces having a great day at the show as well:

That's Autumn next to me.  She finished 4th in the Bikini Class and totally rocked it on stage!

So what happened the next day:

A trip to my favorite bakery!  Pattycake's Vegan Bakery!  After a few months of a very stringent meal plan, a splurge was in order...and it was delicious!!

Thanks for letting me share this experience.  If you have any questions about bodybuilding or competing, I'm happy to answer them.  If you comment below, others will be able to reference the responses as well.  If you'd rather reach out to me privately, I'm happy to respond to your emails.  

Remember to write down your goal!! Don't quit!  You are closer than you think :)

Now your turn!  Share a goal that you have that scares you & why...