I DID IT! My Journey through my First Fitness Bikini Competition

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Sorry this post has taken me so long to write, I’ve been going through a little soul searching after my show (which I plan on doing another post on that next … but its been an interesting ride , that’s for sure! )

BUT anyways…. Well…. I DID IT!!! And holy crap was it hard! Probably one of the hardest things I’ve done so far, and funny thing is I cant wait to do another!!!

How was it? Really fun yet stressful and exhausting too. But it was all worth it, wanna know why???? Because I placed Top 5 in both the classes I entered in!!! =)

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So going into this competition, quite honestly I wasn’t expecting to “win” anything because in my mind, I had already won with myself losing 85 pounds. And my thought process was if I won something , then hell, more power to me! Ideally my goal was to make it to a competition and I had done just that.

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Back stage during the show, fixing up spray tans and getting oily and ready to step on stage I was actually pretty calm. I have a  major in theatre so the stage isn’t really scary to me it was more of the omg I just don’t want to trip on my heals or forget my poses/transitions (which I did  hahaha).

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During first callouts, when they called my number I almost remember looking down at my number to make sure that was in fact the number they were calling. As I walked forward the look on my coaches face was priceless, as he nudged my posing coach and automatically grabbed his camera. That moment right there is one of the reasons I’m going to do another show in the future. You could see that he was very proud and excited that they called my number, especially since it was my first show. Then the second class I entered in they had called out 4 numbers and then who’s do they call next? MINE! so I made 1st callouts in both the classes I entered in! (first call outs a pretty much placing the top 5) – which was funny at the time because I didn’t realize that’s how it worked so I thought they were just calling my number to call my number hahaahah.

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As time goes on, and people start coming in the door for the show, we all start talking about the treats we brought for afterwards. Some made cupcakes and such…. I made a little something called slutty brownies. what are slutty brownies you may ask? Amazing!! …one layer of cookie dough, one layer of Oreo (I used cookie dough Oreos) and a layer of brownie. yummmmmmmmmmm and boy were they good.. but they made me sick =(

As the “show” started, (they do pre judging in the morning and then a “show with music and everything towards the night for an audience) My boyfriend and his family came, my aunt and my father came to support me… unfortunately bikini goes on stage last so I got to mingle with them a little before and during the show and you could tell they all were very proud of me.

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My aunt mentioned going to dinner afterwards so I’m back stage thinking about food haha, Evans dad was randomly taking pictures of the “hot” girls and my dad was joking with Evan the entire time about needing to workout , or maybe just needing a beer instead haha. After the show, besides eating 3 of my brownies, a red velvet brownie another competitor made and a macaroon…  we went to Hacienda ( I decided Mexican food was much needed) and I downed 2 chicken enchiladas and a chicken taco… topped with chili and cheese and everything haha. Then when we got home I had a few Oreos dipped in almond butter, a sandwich, and some fig nutons. By this time I was definitely in a food coma.

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The next morning, sine the family has made bbq ribs in front of me like 3 times during this prep I told Evan that’s what I wanted for dinner so he prepared that all day. In the mean time I ate a pumpkin pop tart, a small bowl of spaghetti, 3 waffles with a massive amount of fruit on top and by this time I was sick. .. And by the time the ribs and bbq was read it was all I could do to down one fricken rib.. I felt bad since he cooked all day and I couldn’t even bring myself to eat any of it….

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quite honestly I wasn’t planning on eating all the things I did, I wanted to still keep my hard work at bay but since I basically had some issues with binge eating before (which is what my next post is going to be about ) it was almost like I couldn’t stop. It almost got to the point of embarrassment with how much food I consumed and I wasn’t proud of it at all, yet I still kept eating. . . . as the water weight came back on and some extra weight as well from all the crappy food .. I started feeling lethargic, unmotivated and questioning if this competition was a good idea …

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As these last few weeks pressed on a kept in touch with my coach and telling him how much I’ve gained was a wake up call in itself. I told him I needed more goals to shoot for because a part of me had been prepping for sooooo long for this competition that I almost felt like a “what’s next” moment and didn’t know exactly where to go. But with that being said, I’ve learned my lesion and man , oh man, cardio is SO much harder when you have crap in your system .. it literally does NOTHING to fuel you for a intense workout.

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So all in all, I had a blast, was it worth it still after the aftermath of binging. yes, because I’m still learning to love myself obviously.. and I’m still working on processing how I see myself as well… I know I’m not perfect, no one is. Its your choice to either learn and grow from certain screw ups .. or you can let them overpower and consume you. But untimely its all up to you.

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Tip of the Week # 18: Quality vs. Quanitity

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When it comes to the food you put into your body, its more than just “calories in and calories out”… The food you consume is either going to benefit you nutritionally or its not, its either going to give you energy, vitamins, minerals, fiber and everything else or it may make you feel lethargic, worn out or give you a sugar rush that will most likely die within a few hours. So when picking out your food according to price vs. nutrition is a huge thing that a lot of people have a hard time doing.

All the time I hear “eating healthy is expensive” Yeah sure, some of it can be, not gonna deny that. But… I dare you to go to your produce isle and look at how much a bag of 10 potatoes is, or how much a bunch of spinach or romaine is…. a bag of potatoes is about $4 (and there usually are like 10 potatoes in there!) Then go over to the lettuce options you have (not he pre-packaged pre-made salads the actual bunch of leafs… they usually are about $1 $1.50 each bunch ) If your buy 2 or 3 of those, make your own salad mix A. you usually get more than the pre-packaged salads and B. its usually half the price. Key to buying healthy foods is to know where you can save money.

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Now that I got that rant off my chest with a little example were gonna discuss how quality is so much more important to quality. Sure have a few cookies or a pop tart here and there but not every day. Your goal is to get healthy right? Well here are some things to consider when you reach for that junk food.

  • Fake sugar and sugar in general – Now I’m not saying a little sugar is bad. Sometimes you need a little to keep your sanity hahaha.. and sugar from things like fruit aren’t as bad as your actual table sugar…. When you eat sugar or too much sugar is spikes your insulin levels .. which can result in diseases like diabetes and whatnot. When  you insulin levels are spiked you body is constantly trying to “burn that sugar off” first. And with that insulin being spiked your body is going to have a  harder time getting to that fat burning zone. Needless to say sugar any kind, fake or not, your body isn’t used to the amount we normally put into it  now-a-days. Do you really think our systems as humans were meant to eat potato chips, Oreos and sugary cereal all day? or at all for that matter? Limit your sugar intake and you’ll see a change, guarantee it. (I’ll do a post on how to curn sugar cravings and other options you can use that are better than sugar soon if ya’ll would like.)

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  • Ok so as we talked about Oreos and Cereal …. lets take a look at that. So  yeah its yummy don’t get me wrong and like I said, enjoy a fricken oreo here and there (you need to find a balance) but do NOT eat the whole pack in 2 days haha. So when looking at cereal, have you actually looked at the ingredients in Captain Crunch? (I’m picking Captain because its one or was, one of my favs =)) Besides looking at how many calories are in the food and calling it done, I want you to grab a box of a sugary (usually Kellogg’s) cereal and go over to Kashi cereal. Look at the ingredients on the bottom of the nutrition panel. Do you recognize everything in the Captain Crunch? Do you in the Kashi? I bet there is less in Kashi as well. Now…… here is where people don’t realize. . . . yeah Kashi is $4 and Captain is probably $1 .. $2 I don’t know.. So with that and looking at the ingredents, I bet one of the first few ingredients in Captain is “Enriched Bleached Flour” .. Yup! Its exactly what it sounds like, I might as well go grab my flour, bring it down to the laundry room and make my own. sad to say but yes, its true… they bleach it. and I bet the ingredient sugar isn’t far behind it on the list. On the flipside, Kashi probably says something like “Whole Wheat rolled Oats” or something. Now that should like something healthy right ? … and it definitely doesn’t sound like a chemical shit storm… Pay attention to ingredients and look for as minimal as possible.

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  • Lets talk about nutrition (the main point). So which do you think will fill you up faster? A burger from a fast food place? Or a salad? Well the thing is, they both “fill you up” just depends on how long your going to stay full for, which is going to provide your body with the nutrients, vitamins and fiber your body needs to run at top notch and which one is healthier (because being healthy is the main goal here). If your keeping track of your calories (which you should be because you’d be surprised how much you actually eat sometimes). You will notice how easy it is to get up to 1800 calories by eating crap foods. I mean good grief, 2 chips ahoy cookies is 150 calories alone, and between you and me… I cant just eat two at a time, its usually like 4 or 5 ( which equals 300+ cal) haha. Whereas, if you were to cook up 4oz of chicken and some fresh broccoli or whatever veggie you’d like .. the calories is going to be around 180-200 in that. So now that you see you would get to consume more food by eating healthier foods, you have to stop and think about which one is going to “fuel” your body. 4 cookies or a piece of chicken and veggies. The choice is yours but I think I made my point… plus I don’t know about you… but id rather eat a lot, then only have a small amount of food and feel groggy all day.

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  • One more point, sure at first eating healthy sucks (been there, I used to live on ramen, Tostitos pizza and all kinds of horrible things that I usually don’t eat now .. only for a treat do I do that)  But once you start getting used to it, its really not that bad. You start to get creative in the kitchen, you get a fun cookbook, you start to have fun looking for different spices and herbs. Learn to make it fun, get the whole family in on it and don’t look at it as a chore, your taking care of yourself. I personally like to think that my body is the only one I get, I either spend the money on fresh food or I will spend that money at the dr. later on in life. You’ll also notice a significant change in things like energy, sleep patterns and much more.

Plus I saw brown rice, dry beans and frozen veggies at the dollar store … so don’t tell me its expensive, you’re making excuses.

And don’t feel like you have to do everything at once, I didn’t, take baby steps.. this way you don’t quit or get overwhelmed.

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Healthy Protein Bars

Some people know how to read nutrition labels and know what to look for when choosing out food. However, there are those either getting started on making healthy choices and they think just because it may say something like “high protein” or it comes from a commercialized diet plan (i.e. Slim Fast, South Beach, Atkins, or even something at your health store for that matter) it could be worse than a candy bar in some cases. I’m going to show you what to look for when picking out a good and nutritious protein bar, which macros are going to help you throughout the day. So here are some good bars I recommend along with a lesson about bars so you don’t think your being healthy and depriving yourself from a milky way when in all reality you may have just …well… ate the Milky Way. lol…. IDK about you, but I’d rather have the candy bar if that was the case! =)

*** macronutrients
                                 – carbs, protein, and fats.
Pure Organic
Pure Organic Bars (My favs: Cranberry Orange, Wild Blueberry, Chocolate Brownie)
Nutritional Layout: (used Chocolate Brownie for this example)
  • Calories: 190
  • Fat: 7g
  • Carb: 27g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Sugar: 16g
Upside and when to ideally eat: All organic with no artificial sweeteners, gluten free, non-GMO, minimal ingredients and made from all whole foods. Real food, nothing fake whatsoever.
Downside: I would not eat this bar at night that’s for sure, its more of a breakfast mid-afternoon bar. There is a high amount of sugar that could possibly spike your blood levels too soon before you head off to bed. Now, the sugar is coming from fruits, nuts and seeds so its good sugar but its still sugar. Eat it in the morning and keep a watch on other sugary things you consume throughout the day.
When looking at Calories:  You ideally want to shoot for anything under 200 calories per bar. Whole food based bars can be a little tricky when it comes to this since they usually are a little higher because a high amount of fruit and nuts. (these are good calories and kinda rules out the fact with the high calories.) But usually anything more than 200 would almost be a meal. And there are those bars like that out there and sometimes say to eat the bar and drink 8oz water with it…
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Quest Nutrition Bars (My favs: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate Chip Cookie Chunk, White Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate Peanut Butter … all of them lol. )
Nutritional Layout: (Used Apple Pie for Ex)
  • Calories: 170
  • Fat: 9
  • Carb: 24
  • Fiber: 18
  • Protein: 20
  • Sugar: 3
Upside and when to ideally eat: Any time. I love these bars! They are almost perfect… if they could make a plant based one I would be the happiest girl in the world because I have a hard time digesting any dairy (hint hint wink wink @QuestNutrition ) – but ive ironically gotten better at it through this contest prep Im in so that’s exciting!! I miss some dairy haha.
Downside: they use sugar alcohol which hasn’t shown anything bad as of yet, I wish they would start sweetening with stevia.. And only like 4 net carbs in most of them, some less. net carbs are the carbs you count because fiber technically is a carb, but you subtract the sugar alcohol and fiber from the carbohydrate and there you have your “net carbs”. <— little lesson right there! =)
When looking at Protein: Higher is ideally better since the protein will help keep you full. But you need to be aware where the protein is coming from too. Is it from nuts, whey isolate ect.  ??
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Power Crunch Bars: (My fav: Mint Chocolate, French Vanilla Cream, Wild Berry Cream)
Nutritional Layout:
  • Calories: 200
  • Fat:12
  • Carb: 10
  • Fiber: 1
  • Protein: 13
  • Sugar: 5
Upside and when to ideally eat: Another one that is pretty much ok to eat whenever. Since there is a bit more carbs in this one I wouldn’t ideally do them right before bed or anything. And the protein to carb ratio isn’t too huge compared to some other choices you can make. But these remind me of those wafer cookies I used to eat when I was a kid, I bet if you dipped it in almond milk it would be yummy…. hum ill have to try that.
Downside: lower protein. Higher carb. but still a good choice.
When looking at Carbohydrates: So let me clarify this, carbs aren’t “bad” … whether your trying to stay low or don’t care too much here is what you ideally look for in a bar when it comes to carbohydrates. Carbs can serve as immediate energy and sustained energy too. If your consuming the bar after your workout (which by the way, you should always have some protein and carbs right after your workout to fuel you muscles- this is called the anabolic window) I would shoot for 30g or less. And if there is more carbs in the bar than protein you might has well have a cereal bar…
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Victory Bars (my favs – fudge brownie, cookies and cream, peanut butter)
Nutritional Layout:
  • Calories:200
  • Fat:5
  • Carb:25
  • Fiber:20
  • Protein:21
  • Sugar:8
Upside and when to ideally eat: Whenever. These are along the same line as the quest bars. They do have more of a “protein bar” type of feel to them with them being mostly a solid bar.
Downside: Higher in sugar but still not bad at all.
 
When looking at Fats: Keep saturated fats at a minimum but it is ideal to have some fats in your bar. The fats are basically going to either make up some calories in he bar or it wont if its a lower fat. But fats aren’t bad either… its usually from nuts in the bar the fats come from.
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Kind Bars (my favs- Dark Chocolate Mocha Almond, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate, Carmel Almond and Sea Salt …. all of them hahha)
Nutritional Layout: These have a wide range between carbs and sugars… they are all kind of different .. but yet all good.
  • Calories: 180
  • Fat:12
  • Carb:17
  • Fiber:7
  • Protein:7
  • Sugar:11
Upside and when to ideally eat: Mornings or mid day. As you see they aren’t really a “protein” bar its more of a carb bar hahha or granola bar if you will. They have tons of flavors and different forms of kind bars now too. There is the Kind Strong, Mojo, Healthy Grains and they even have granola now! So you have lots of choices but like I said they are more of a breakfast bar.
Downside: Sugar is going to be higher in these since the sugar will be a natural form of sugar. I believe they are made with cane sugar but I might be wrong.
 
When looking at Sugar: This can go either way but .. lower the better. Some bars have natural sugars ( cane, stevia, tapioca syrup, ect) while some bars have sugar alcohols (xylitol, sorbitol ect. ) Now they haven’t shown any evidence saying that sugar alcohols are necessarily bad for you but some people have issues with them so try it  out and be your own judge. I personally know if I eat too much sugar alcohols (also found in things that are labeled sugar free or chewing gum) I retain water. . . . With natural sugar try not to have it be too high..
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Clif Bars (all if them. Blueberry Crisp, Mint Chocolate Chip, White Macadamia Nut )
Nutritional Layout: ( these range as well – used crunchy peanut butter for example)
  • Calories: 250
  • Fat:6
  • Carb:40
  • Fiber:5
  • Protein:12
  • Sugar:10
Upside and when to ideally eat: Another morning bar!! Love these, these can ideally be used as a meal if you pair it with some protein say a shake or something because of their high calorie content. They have tons of flavors (I love the holiday season because that’s when they come out with pumpkin spice and gingerbread!!! YUM) They are a higher carb bar so it will give you some sustained energy for your day. these are more like a granola bar as well.
Downside: Very high in carbs (which is fine, as long as your not eating these bad boys before bed hahha) and usually higher in sugar.
 
Everything else: Look at the ingredients, if its a HUGE list of 11000 things your cant even pronounce … don’t buy it. If sugar is like the second ingredient, then just go buy a candy bar instead. Look at the protein, then carbs, then calories and of course the ingredients. =)
luna
Luna bars ( all .. I like the peppermint stick a lot, along with Smores, Chocolate Fudge Brownie)
Nutritional Layout:
  • Calories:180
  • Fat:2
  • Carb:27
  • Fiber:3
  • Protein:9
  • Sugar:13
Upside and when to ideally eat: Morning, mid afternoon bar. By now I hope you can see the difference between breakfast bars and anytime bars. They have tons of fun flavors and even though they say a “woman’s bar” men can eat them too.. its just marketing and they have more vitamin B and folic acid in them.. whoooo what a difference right? hahha
Downside: lower in fats (which depending on your goals isn’t really a downside) and higher in sugar.
My favs:
 LOOOVVVEEE Quest bars they are probably my favorite when it comes to what they actually are. 20g protein low carb and a good amount of fat. That being said I don’t eat them all the time, they are not ment to be eaten as a meal replacement either so try to get your nutrition through actual food, your body will thank you for it!
Also love kind bars, kind bars are more of breakfast bar to me since they are more of a “granola” type of bar.
… I pretty much love all these bars hahha. I didn’t post any of the bad ones =)

6 and 5 weeks out

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As time goes on and the days pass a part of me is so nervous and excited and just thrilled I’m actually doing this (no turning back now!) but another part of me is rather relived and happy its almost over. Weird I know. I feel like the whole thing is going to be a bittersweet moment. The joy of being up on that stage (I’ve always loved the limelight ) knowing that I accomplished this goal that in all honestly was WAY harder to complete then I even imagined when I first started. But yet, I can begin to “live” again. Most people don’t realize how hard it is to sit there at a wedding/ baby shower/ anywhere with your 3oz of chicken and 8 asparagus spears while everyone else gorges on things like cake and BBQ ribs in front of you. Me, personally I didn’t mind it, I learned to live through other people, especially Evan hahaha. When we went on our vacation up to Vail I brought all my food and still continued to eat just like I do now, meanwhile he had things like pizza, peach pie, big burgers…… fricken waffle fries.. (not going to lie I wanted a waffle fry haha)

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When a friend of mine was telling me about “off season” and how all the pros of fitness take time off they eat things like pizza, doughnuts and good stuff.. I thought it sounded silly. Since the past 3-4 years through my whole weight loss I literally cannot remember the last time I ate a piece of pizza and since I have been eating clean for this long my thought when she said that to me was “but why would I ruin what I’ve just done??”

Let me just tell you now, I understand completely what she was talking about! through this prep (granted mine was a bit harder because I’ve been on such a prolonged clean diet for so long) … but literally I’ve never craved so much “unhealthy” food in my entire life. I probably pinned about 80 different pumpkin desert recipes on my pinterest the other day- no joke! And the fact that my body is handling whey (dairy) better now makes it even more dangerous!

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So not really sure what’s going to happen at the end of all this to be quite honest. I don’t want to make myself sick (even though I hear that is totally something every competitor does after a show hahah) but I do have a nice little list in my mind of all the different foods I want after this is over. Things like BBQ ribs, pumpkin….. well pumpkin anything!, Oreos, smothered burrito, tostadas, spaghetti … the list goes on…. guess we will see what happens eh?

 

ok without further ado, here are my 6 week and 5 week updates.

6 weeks out

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5 weeks

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I also got to pick out the color of my bikini! How exciting… I was so happy when my coach told me I should do pink or purple (my two favorite colors!!! ) so we opted for one in between its kinda a pinky-purple. … and it matches my gym bag, and my food prep bag haha. LOVE!!! I also was going back and forth between which connectors to use (connectors are the jewels on the bikini that hold it together… I picked the ones I’m going to use.. ya’ll will just have to wait and see which ones heee heee ;P

wpid-img_20140904_172117.jpgoh and I found more amazing PB that I can only eat when Evan isn’t around hahaha .. they need to make flavored almond butter and we’d be in business!!! Also here are some fun pics of Vail!! .. lol our maid probably thought a weirdo was staying there. =P

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Baked Garlic & Herb French Fries (no oil)

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Story time first! … (recipe is below if you don’t want to hear my story lol… but I think it was kinda funny personally)  Ok so my boyfriend actually has been doing pretty good through this whole “I want to do a competition” thing. Hes been helping with food prep, supporting me when I lose my shit and dealing with my low-carb mood swings haha. I’m very blessed, that’s all I have to say! … so anyways…..We were driving around and it was becoming dinner time soon for him anyways ( I still had like 2 more meals to eat) But for the most part he’s been eating what Ive been eating give or take some extra carbs or something for him… So the other day he was like “I’m gonna get Good Times” and kind of gave me a look of “please don’t hate me … and is that ok?” lol and I understand … I’m not going to deprive him from things just because I have a goal… its not his goal he can eat/do what he wants… So we order it and he gets the bag and puts it in-between himself and the driver-side door so its not staring at me in the face (aww so considerate)…. So I’m all “you can put it on the center console so it doesn’t fall and spill everywhere” so he does…

I literally looked out the window because all I can smell is those fries… (and if you know me, I’ve never really been a fry fan anyways … but ohhhh Good Times fries just sounded good.. ) .. so I looked down and there is seriously a little fry sticking out of the bag, I swore it was like mocking me. hahha.

So I looked at him and was like .. ” yeah put this back over to your side and we need to go home NOW, so I can make my chicken and asparagus” lol… he just laughed at me and headed  home…. So that’s my story.. I think it was funnier in person, oh well… but anyways I made these and they weren’t “Good Times” fries, but they definitely curbed that craving!!!  ENJOY!

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Recipe:

You’ll need:

As many potatoes as you want ( I used Red Gold for this and I only used 2 potatoes total… but then again I can only have so many carbs right now … so keep that in mine, One potato this size measures out to be about 1 cup)

and Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasonings …

THATS IT! BOOM!  ( p.s. I love minimal ingredient recipes!!! )

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How to:

  • Put potatoes into desired shapes or slices
  • Pre- Heat Oven to 345
  • Lay a piece of parchment paper onto a baking sheet and spread out the potato chunks evenly on the baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle Ms. Dash seasoning onto the pieces – jut enough to lightly cover them (it helps if you flip them too so the seasoning gets everywhere)
  • Bake for about 20-25 min depending on how fast your potato cooks. … (I did turn on the broiler for out 5 min just so they came out a little more golden and crisp! )
  • Let cool and Enjoy!

nom nom nom

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Side note: You can basically do this with any potato and any seasoning, no need for oil which helps save on calories!! =) – I might try a southwest Chipotle seasoning next time!

Also, I found a lower sugar Ketchup that’s not too bad either!  But different flavored mustards are delish too!

kats5 cal per tablespoon – 1g sugar! BOOM

Life is hard to balance at times …… (14 and 13 weeks out update)

Oh my gosh guys! Sorry life is definitely busier than usual but I’ll try my best to keep it updated! haha.

Between the training, cooking, eating (all I feel like I do is eat btw haha), work and everything else it is all I can do to just come home and not pass out right away …

Now, if you have been following me on instagram, you’ll know that my weight keep fluctuating and this is something I personally find extremely annoying and I know I need to learn not to let it get to me. … with that being said its a good thing I take measurements now and pictures every week because that’s the only way I’m really seeing a difference. But its a good difference! =)

Week 3 (14 weeks out from show.)

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Going into week 4 (13 weeks out from show)

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hardest part so far? … cardio on those damn stairs.. I tell ya we have a love/hate relationship right now .. and cravings OMG… I just want a PB and J lol….

MY CRAVING CRUSHERS:

  • Gum – deserts
  • mints
  • sparkling water!!! – look for no sugar/sodium/ nothing…
  • tea
  • spices

ooh that  list looks sad lol.

OH also… I have the best boyfriend ever! we past 4 years on the 4th of july … he got me this!!

oh…so … beautiful….

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Lemon & Garlic Kale Chips

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So with my diet being pretty limited to veggies and meat mainly haha, I’m always looking for new ways to spice it up!!! So I made KALE CHIPS! … (even my boyfriend liked them… which was a surprise! ) <— ps. I love when he likes my health food hahah.

Ok enough bibble -babble! On to the Recipe!!!!

Its suuuper simple too. YAY!

You’ll Need:

  • 2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • A bundle or two of fresh kale, washed and chopped.
  • 6 Garlic cloves, chopped. (or more if ya want… I’m a garlic freak so if you ever ask me… you can never have enough garlic!!!)
  • 1-2 tbsp. Sea Salt (one if you use one bunch, 2 if you make 2 bunches worth)
  • 2 tbsp. Lemon juice or one whole lemon freshly squeezed.
  • 1 tbsp. Black pepper

 

How to:

  • Wash Kale bunches and chop off ends, and then chop into “chip” size pieces.
  • Pre-heat oven to 325
  • In a large bowl mix all ingredients. (Olive Oil, Lemon, Salt, Pepper)
  • Place chopped up kale into bowl and mix around so the oil gets all over it all and you can even let it marinade for a while if you’d like. ( I let mine marinade for about 15 min)
  • On a baking sheet, spread out kale pieces onto sheet and then sprinkle the chopped up garlic cloves on top.
  • Bake for about 15-20 min until the kale pieces seem crispy at the end.
  • Let cool, and ENJOY!!!

Note: it helps if you every once in a while toss the leaves so some don’t end up burnt.. ( you know the ones on the sides of the pan) . …. lol.

 

Meal Prep 101

 

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So I’ve gotten a lot of emails asking me how to meal prep…. therefore! I’m going to show you how easy it is, the trick is to do it all at once.

Meal Prepping is a great way to stay on track, especially when you are low on time and just want to grab something fast. Our first instinct is to go to fast food or something simple when were in a rush right? … So this way, you’ll already have it made and set to go so therefore your diet and all the hard work you’ve already put in with trying to eat clean and workout doesn’t go down the drain.

So what it basically is, is preparing everything you’re going to eat for either that week or more (depending on how much you cook). I like to do my meal preps about every week or even twice a week depending on what days I have off work.  In a nutshell- its cooking in bulk and eating left overs….

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First things first though, you’re going to need a good variety of Tupperware.

Then, you may be asking…. “but what do I cook???”

Well pretty much anything that your diet calls for… My meal preps usually consist of these things:

– LEAN PROTEIN ( chicken,  catfish, tuna, tilapia, salmon, shrimp, beef (shoot for the leanest you can find) , turkey, game meat(deer, elk) protein powders … eggs and egg whites would be good too. Hard boil them, it will make it easier too. )

– VEGGIES ( pretty much all is accepted. I like salads with different green blends, mixed veggies (frozen or fresh) zucchini, squash, carrots, celery, broccoli, asparagus…. you get the drift…)

– COMPLEX CARBS – Yams, sweet potatoes, brown and wild rice, quinoa, couscous, Oats, Whole wheat bread, beans.

– FATS (almonds, cashews, pistachios, avocado, coconut, walnuts, peanut and almond butters, flax, chia, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and oils and oil based dressings. )

– FRUIT – obviously you don’t have to “cook” these..  (pretty much any, Berries, apples, banana, peach, pear, orange, strawberries …etc. )

DAIRY- I don’t eat dairy for the most part, it makes me sick… every once in a while Ill have a Quest bar which has Whey protein isolate in it and I seem to do fine. If your going to add dairy, pick these! ( Low fat mozzarella, low fat cottage cheese, Greek yogurt (shoot for plain and add your own goodies!), low-fat milk and creamers for coffee and whatnot  )

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Now that we’ve got the basis of whats pretty much “healthy” and whatnot, how much do you cook? ? ?

Well that all depends on how many days your prepping for. You can do an entire week or a few days. Up to you. Best part of this way of eating (notice I didn’t say diet) is that you DONT STARVE and your constantly eating to rev up that metabolism to ultimately .. lose weight or gain muscle. You ideally want to eat every 3 to 4 hours so that makes about 5-6 meals a day. Now these meals .. since there are more than your average three, are going to be smaller in size, but that’s ok because every 3 hours your going to eat more.

Here is a basic every day meal plan for me currently.

Meal 1: Oats with 1 banana

(this is the time I workout usually)

Meal2: Protein Shake with a piece of fruit

Meal 3: 4oz grilled chicken, 1 cup brown rice and 1 cup mixed veggies

Meal4: 4 oz fish, Big salad with as much veggies as I want. 2 tbsp. oil based dressing  (you can add in a complex carb here if you’d like )

Meal5 : 4 oz turkey, 1 cup veggies (add carb if wanted)

M6: Protein Shake

SO in example I really only need to “prep” 3 meals per day. The oats and shakes take like 2 minutes for me to make on the spot … So when prepping keep in mind how much you actually need to make. Now I’m not saying to follow THIS plan, this is just an example .. Do what you want, make it fun, add in some fricken cottage cheese ( man I miss that stuff haha) and make it YOUR meal plan and make the food towards Your Goals!!

So basically cook like your having a party or barbeque haha. Light up the grill and grill up some chicken and turkey burgers, meanwhile while that’s going, cut up salad and veggies and also have either some rice on the stove or a few sweet potatoes in the oven. Its really quite simple, just start cooking and see how it ends up. Use different spices so things don’t always taste the same or seem bland. (I like Mrs Dash a lot because its salt-free yay!)

Put it all in Tupperware and you can even mark what day they are for on the containers if you want. The more organized you are the easier it gets. Preps usually only take me an hour (that’s 4% of my day) .. You have time, just find or make the time =)

Also, get creative, find new recipes and learn to have fun with it =)

HAPPY PREPPING!

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ps. I do a lot more “prepping” and what not on my instagram! FOLLOW ME! @amanda_fit_

 

 

Tip of the Week #15 Grocery Shop after you Workout

I’m telling you, I almost always stop into the grocery store after my workout. I feel great, awake and eager to make healthier choices after I’ve just spent an hour sweating. This is why you should try grocery shopping after you workout. grocery0000 ENDORPHINS! YAY! The happy hormone is naturally coursing though your body after you workout. Along with all that happiness, you usually just feel good after a workout in general, along with  a sense of self accomplishment and pride. You just worked your butt off, wanting more for yourself and health.. why not take it to the grocery store with you and load up on some clean eats! Also when you go… make sure you’ve brought a snack with you for the road to munch on while you’re on your way to the grocery store. Or when you first get there, hit the produce isle and grab some fruit or even an already made protein shake . I like to make my shake before I head to the gym so then when I get out, its right there ready to chug lol. workgroc2 Good post-workout snacks – Click on this link –Good Post-Workout Snacks!

Now this is where everyone gets it wrong, I used to do (and think) the same way… but man things start REALLY kickin’ along when you don’t use the excuse of    “I just worked out, I deserve this” …. so therefore you use the fact that you basically just busted your butt at the gym so its ok if I eat this ice cream or girl scout cookies…. No, your undoing what you just did its a catch 22… Yeah  every once in a while is fine, don’t get me wrong there but if its an every time occurrence… you might want to think about what goals you have in place and how much you really want something. Also, just as an experiment, you should try the other way around and see how much different you feel. =)

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Surviving the Holidays!

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So .. holidays is what got me a little last year when I was watching my weight. With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, you’re bound to be around a few sweets and some “not-so-healthy” choices.  So I’m going to give ya a couple tips on how to survive the holidays when your either on a specific diet or just trying to watch your weight. =)

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Its all about having a plan!

  • Know what’s being served- whether that means a few extra workouts through the winter, or just smaller portions of you favorites, have a plan before you go into it blindsided. My aunts are super nice and they understand what I’m trying to accomplish so they do their best to have a few options I can have. I have even just randomly asked what they are planning to make so then if it doesn’t fit into my diet, I can bring something or have a plan for that. If your family gets offended that your not necessarily eating something they prepared, don’t take it personally. Your making these choices for your health, not theirs. Usually people will look at you weird the first time, but as you continue on, they just don’t ask anymore. …. and if its a huuuge ordeal, no offence to them, but that usually means they are insecure with their diet and eating habits and don’t like for others to make it obvious. . . . (which in all reality, you aren’t…. unless you telling your family how all that gravy on their turkey isn’t good for them….. which by the way DONT! .. if they want help, advice, or an opinion, they will ask you for them… otherwise keep some thoughts to yourself lol.)
  • Use a smaller plate- when you start dishing up your food, yes you can still have some of your favs, but first load up a plate of veggies, salad and fruits… then add the other stuff. Don’t over-do it on the other stuff either. But if you do this right, you should be pretty full already from your veggies and fruit. =)… Or skip the appetizers unless they are fruits and veggies.

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  • Eat slower and savor each bite – haha I have trouble with this one because I tend to devour foods, but if you actually sit there and focus on the foods, the texture and the taste, you’ll notice you fill up longer because your actually focusing on it instead of mindless eating. . . .
  • Offer to bring something– This way you’ll know there will be at least an healthy option there and you wont be completely screwed if there isn’t anything healthy. …
  • Remember the bottom line- yes, its the holidays, enjoy it. But don’t make it an excuses to eat everything in sight because your diet doesn’t start till New Years .. that’s just ridiculous…. Start now and you wont have such a hard time. Holidays / weight gain/ and New Years Resolutions do not need to go together. Sure you can have a goal for New Years to “loose some extra pounds” or “be healthier” but that was probably on your resolution last year… am I correct??? Don’t give up on this year just yet! =)

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