Insomnia

I am writing this post because I have been awake for 4 hours now and have officially given up trying to get any more sleep for the day. Not to mention I haven’t blogged in a hot minute, so I feel the need to update my current fitness (or lack thereof :)) status.

So my previous fitness achievement (or so I thought) was the TriFitness Challenge. Like I said in my WTF post the event itself was awesome, but looking back now, I realize I was not. I was very consumed with my look instead of my health. I was drained- physically, emotionally and spiritually. And even though I achieved the weight I wanted at the time and was receiving compliments out the ass on my LOOK, I was not happy or confident. Honestly, I was miserable. I was not the rock star or fitness expert I wanted to make everyone believe I had become. I was struggling in every aspect of my life and counting down the seconds for my next meal.

Now I sit here- sleep deprived,  but happy, confident and stronger. I am 15 pounds heavier. Yes, FIFTEEN. I probably would have murdered myself if you had told me I was going to be this weight 6 months ago. But guess what? I am so much healthier and actually love my body now. Sure, It would be nice to lose a few L B’s but I don’t worry about it anymore. I am productive, work like a horse (on Thursday I pulled a 13 hr work day wearing a PAPR and jump suit and then busted out a killer leg workout at the gym), and best of all, feeling like I am doing shit with my life.

OHH and most importantly,  I achieved a REAL fitness goal (not looking/trying to be a dumbass model). I PR’d and broke 2 hours on my half marathon time this past weekend. (Yeah I am not that fast).But I was extremely proud, considering I had been off the endurance horse for 2 years and only trained 3-4 months for it.

So what’s next?? I am not sure. Maybe become a certified yogi?? LOL

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Old Skool

I realize it has been a hot minute since I have blogged, but I try only write posts on fitness-relevant topics, and to be quite honest, I have not exactly been the fitness icon here lately. I won’t get into the details but the last few months have been straight chaos. From this, I have learned that when your life turns into a shit storm, you need more than the image of a skinny bitch in a bikini to motivate you to get to the gym. But don’t freak out- this is still hope for you, for me, and any other stress-burden, PB-binging chicks out there. With the help of modern technology and my mad music skills, I have created a plethora of playlists that will have your booty shaking, squatting and hip thrusting (whoa dirty minds- it’s an actual exercise move. google.com it). I will start with one of my favorites, Old Skool. Check it out, plug in your ipod and see if you are not craving some hard core lifting-cardio time 🙂

 

  1. I’ve Got the Power- Snap
  2. Vanilla Ice- Ice Ice Baby
  3. Da Dip- Freak Nasty
  4. Push it- Sat n Pepa
  5. Gonna Make You Sweat- C+C Music Factory
  6. Shoop- Salt n Pepa
  7. This is How We Do It- Montell Jordan
  8. U Can’t Touch This- MC Hammer
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Thermogenesis

Because I’m a nerd, I wrote a research paper on Thermogenesis- an important factor of weight loss. Enjoy 🙂

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Choosing the proper nutrition program can be a daunting task. We’ve all heard that
a “calorie is a calorie”, and therefore, a caloric deficit leads to weight loss. However,
many diets now recommend consuming high protein meals often throughout the day. So
which is it??

The answer is simple science and can be defined by the process of thermogenesis, or
the energy used to digest, absorb and assimilate nutrients. Thermogenesis accounts
for approximately 5-10% of the body’s total energy expenditure and is activated by
nutrition, exercise or exposure to cold. The type of nutrient ingested also affects
thermogenesis. Protein consumption produces the greatest thermic effect at 20-
30% of intake, followed by carbohydrates at 5-6% of intake, and finally, fat at 2.5-
4% of intake. The reason proteins create such a high thermic effect is because the
body requires more energy to process amino acids, which are the building blocks for
growth and repair. This is also why it is important to consume an adequate amount of
carbohydrates, the macronutrient primarily used to provide the body with energy. An
inadequate supply of carbohydrates and fat will cause the body to use amino acids for
energy, eventually leading to muscle catabolism.

Studies have also shown that a higher thermic effect occurs when daily caloric intake is
spread throughout the day. Our bodies actually burn more calories when we eat at least
5 small meals a day vs. the standard 3 meals. Every time you eat, a small increase in
metabolic rate occurs, and consequently, when you fail to eat, your energy expenditure
decreases.

Specific foods also play a role in thermogenesis. For instance, caffeine has been
proven to elevate the body’s metabolism by 3-4%. Capsaicin, the chemical found in hot
red peppers, can also help increase the body’s energy expenditure. Of course, these
substances should be used in moderation, as abuse can lead to negative side effects.

As you can see, weight loss is not as easy as just cutting calories, and a calorie is NOT
just a calorie. The most efficient nutrition programs for weight loss should be 5-6 small,
high protein meals. Carbohydrate and fat utilization should be accounted for depending
on your activity level. The more active you are the more carbs and fats you should
consume to avoid protein catabolism.

So, this is why a diet not just about the number of calories you need, but also the composition
and timing of those calories.

References:

1. Fair, Sharon E. Wellness and Physical Therapy. Jones and Bartlett Publishers
2011: 174-5.
2. Katch, Frank L., Katch, Victor L., Kreider, Richard B., Leutholtz, Brian C.
Exercise and Sport Nutrition. 2009: 71-5.
3. Groff, James L., Gropper, Sareen S., Smith, Jack. Advanced Human Nutrition
and Metabolism. Cengage Learning 2009: 168.
4. Naik, Pankaja. Essentials of Biochemistry. Jaypee Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.
2012: 15
5. Summerfield, Liane M. Nutrition, Exercise and Behavior: An Integrated Approach
to Weight Management. Wadsworth Learning 2001: 104-5.

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TriFitness Recap

First things first- what is TriFitness?? The complete TriFitness event actually consists of 4 events: 1. Obstacle course 2. Fitness skills 3. Grace and Physique 4. Fitness Routine.  The fitness skills are comprised of a bench press challenge at 60% body weight, 20″ box jumps and a shuttle run. There is also the Dual Challenge which consists of everything but the Fitness routine, which is what I did since I am neither dancer or gymnast…

Next, why did I chose to compete in Trifit?? Well, as most of ya’ll know I used to do a lot of running, cycling and swimming. And after a half ironman, I decided no mas and switched lanes and did a NPC figure competition last year. I loved everything about the training- the workouts, the clean eating, the crazy transformation in my physique, but I was honestly disappointed with the actual competition. I worked my ass off to be on stage with mostly starving, catty bitches who would do ANYTHING for a 5 dollar trophy.

After the show I continued to eat healthy and strength train, but I felt like I needed something more- more than another figure comp. So in January, I decided to register for Trifit. I really didn’t know too much about it, but it looked fun, and at least I could do something more than prance around on stage in a sparkly suit and stripper heels.

I didn’t really start training or dieting for it until about mid February, which I now realize was definitely not enough time. Even though I did a lot of strength/resistance training for my NPC show, it was mostly free weights and body weight. Not to mention, the background in endurance sports did not exactly give me the most upper body strength. On top of that, in April, work had a shit storm project hit that required many 4:30 wakeup mornings and weekend work. Despite it all, I was determined to stick with it and give it my best shot.

About 3 weeks out from the show, I started cutting. Honestly, I never did more than hour of cardio/week and my calories never dropped below 1500, but I still  leaned out quick- damn high metabolism. The week before the show I upped my carbs and did  a whole 10 minutes of cardio, and somehow still dropped weight. Go figure!

Anyways, now on to the good stuff :). On Thursday morning, my dear fiance and I flew out to Tampa for the event. Everything was setup at the Tradewinds Resort in St Pete Beach, which was super nice and convenient. After checking it and all that jazz, I was required to weigh in for the bench press. I came in at a whopping 125- God only knows how. I swear I was still eating food like this  in the final week.

Proof that you don’t have to eat tuna fish and spinach every meal to drop weight

On Friday morning, I reported back to the event to compete in the bench press challenge. I was required to do at least 10 reps at 75 lbs, which again is a lot for me (10×50 was my max back in Feb). I managed to get in 12- not a lot compared to the girls that did the max of 50 (holy shit), but I was proud- I came a long way. But I also knew there was no way in hell I was placing in fitness skills after that.

Afterwards, I spent some time at the beach with mi amore and then started getting ready for the grace and physique. 2 coats of spray tan, hair, makeup- all that fun shit we females put ourselves through. I then spent a good 3 hours backstage waiting to go on, but it was no where nearly as bad as the last show. The girls were super friendly and really just wanted to have a good time. We were all nervous, but I don’t think many were THAT concerned about the grace and physique. Mostly, we discussed the obstacle course (and I soon discovered I was the only competitor that had never actually attempted it) and the fitness skills, while a few drank wine and danced.

When I finally got to go on, I felt really good and confident with my performance. We were split up in age groups (which was strange, as most go by height). We were told to not flex or pose, but to just do a T walk and appear to be having fun. I know I was probably still a bit too lean, but I definitely felt more toned than the majority of the other girls, who were softer and had more bikini competitor physiques. Unfortunately, the judges favored those physiques. They only announced the winners of the age groups, so I have no idea where I placed in mine. Again, I thought the winner in my class looked pretty soft, but these things are very subjective so who knows. I was just happy to make the progress and get on stage with no face planting!

Post Grace and Physique

After the show, John and I split some amazing fish tacos and a 10 oz burger from heaven. For some reason, the server boy was nervous around us (perhaps because I was eating like a ravenous lion?) and included some free cervezas and a berry cobbler. Those were also delicous.

Dank fish tacos

Heaven burger

On the wee hours of Saturday morning, I sadly had to take John to the airport, since he is a highly demanded photographer and had to shoot a wedding back in Raleigh. I then returned to start gearing up for the obstacle course. As I said before, I’m fairly certain I was the only competitor that had never attempted it. Most of the girls had done Trifit before, and the rest had either done some sort of training camp, or had built their own course. There was a group from Tampa that practiced on the exact course 2x a week and the rest had recreated their own course. Not trying to make excuses here, but c’mon!

Cargo net and some of the OC

Thank geezus, we did at least get a WU before we started. One of the sweet Canadian girls (who was instantly impressed when I told her it was my first time) helped me through the WU and gave me as many pointers as possible.  The first obstacle was a 10 ft wall (which she told me it took her at the others at least 10 tries before they could clear it). I did that one fine- not stellar, but I got over it! Next were incline/decline monkey bars- again not great, but I could do them decent. A few other obstacles then a 20 ft cargo net we were supposed to climb up and flip over. W.T.F. That was the worst- I did it, but shit, I’m terrified of heights. Then a few other small obstacles, some 30″ hurdles, more small ones and sprint to the finish.

While waiting to finally compete on the course, I talked to some other competitors that were super friendly as well. Honestly, I did not run into one person the entire weekend that WASN’T nice and helpful. I met a trainer from Indiana that came with his 2 of this girls that gave me as much info as he could about the course and the other skills. It was beyond refreshing to be at an event where people were only in competition with themselves and to have fun!

After about 2 hours, I was finally up, and as my luck has it, I  was paired with a Canadian chick that got the fastest time of the day. BUT I did it, and I was happy with myself. I was able to get through it with really no practice and thank goodness no injuries (another common occurrence for first-timers apparently).

The day finally concluded with 5 20″ box jumps and the shuttle run. Those events went pretty quick, but were still challenging after every everything else!

On Sunday, I decided to compete in yet another obstacle course that was separate from Trifit. It was called the True Grit team challenge, and it was solely to have fun and raise money for Huntington’s disease. I joined a team of 9 other girls, team CanAm (half us American, and the rest Canadian). Here is a video of all the obstacles we had to do:


This was honestly my favorite event of the weekend. I loved the comradery, racing on the beach and I was able to look to compete better (since it was the first year and few had done the course). Our team also took first place in the all female division 🙂

Team CanAm

Soo in summary: I loved TriFitness- the people, the venue, the events….it was just awesome. I will definitely compete again with some adjustments in my training (like build a 10 ft wall, find a cargo net- anyone?). I probably won’t even try to diet down for it, since they go for a softer look AND it will help keep my strength up. But mostly, I am happy to have found an event that I can actually feel good about(both mentally and physically)!

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Sweet as a Sweet Pototo

Take a look at the nutrient profile of a sweet potato and you will soon realize why it is a top food choice of the fitness industry. Sweet potatoes are packed with dietary fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron. Since they are full of fiber and complex carbs, they provide hunger control and are a great source of energy for those hard core workouts. Not to mention, these spuds are naturally sweet, extremely versatile in cooking and only a little over 100 calories per cup. If I have not yet convinced you how ‘sweet’ it is to eat sweet potatoes, then check out these recipes below

1. Sweet Potato Pancakes/Waffles

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What better way to start the day than a plate of sweet potato waffles! This breakfast of champions not only fuel your day but also leave you licking your plate (trust me, I do it every morning
150 grams mashed sweet potato
1 scoop whey (I like to use either vanilla, chocolate or cookies n cream)
3 egg whites
¼ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix together and whisk until smooth. Cook batches in pre-sprayed skillet/waffle maker on medium high temperature until bubbles form on the surface, then turn over and cook until dark golden brown. Serve with cinnamon and sugar free syrup.

Macro nutrient breakdown (without walnuts):
Calories: 309
Fat: 1
Protein: 40
Carbs: 35

2. Bacon ‘n Cheese Sweet Potato
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This meal is super quick, easy and a great way to refuel after a grueling workout!
1 medium baked sweet potato
½ cup cottage cheese
2 Tbsp shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
2 slices turkey bacon (cut into small pieces)
1 Tbsp crushed red pepper
Top sweet potato with cottage cheese, turkey bacon and crushed red pepper. Microwave for 1.5-2 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Macro nutrient breakdown:
Calories: 296
Fat: 4
Protein: 25
Carbs: 40

3. Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

This is a modified Rachel Ray recipe that is both flavorful and clean.  The sweet potatoes and spices also make it a very filling meal.
2 medium carrots, peeled
2 ribs celery
1 large onion, peeled and halved
3 Tbsp enchilada sauce
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and black pepper
1 bay leaf
5 cups chicken stock
1 large sweet potato
1 pound chicken breast, cut into cubes
Basil and Fat free greek yogurt, to garnish

Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat and spray with Olive Oil PAM.
Add in carrots, celery and onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chipotle, and enchilada sauce and stir to combine. Season the veggies with salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Cook the veggies together 1 minute. Add the stock to the pot, cover the pot, and raise heat to high. Bring the stoup to a boil, remove the cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into small cubes. Add the cut chicken and sweet potatoes and simmer 5 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through. Garnish with dollop of Greek yogurt basil leaf.
Macro nutrient breakdown (per serving, serves 5):
Calories: 207
Fat: 3
Protein: 30
Carbs: 15

4. Sweet Potato Fries/Chips

Sweet potato chips/fries make a great side dish, and can be just as versatile as your pallet. I like to top them with either cinnamon, nutmeg, and splenda for a sweet version, or Cajun season, salt and pepper for savory. Here is the basic recipe- season as you please

16 oz sweet potatoes
Choice of seaonings

Preheat oven to 425. Cut up sweet potatoes (fries, wedges, whatever you prefer). Season and spray pan and sweet potatoes with Olive Oil PAM. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Macro nutrient breakdown (per serving, serves 4):  
Calories: 109
Fat: 1
Protein: 2
Carbs: 23

5. Sweet Potato Stir Fry

I recently found some purple sweet potatoes at my local Whole Foods. After doing some research and experimentation, I found they are not quite as sweet as orange sweet potatoes, but are great for more savory dishes, like stir fry. Their purple skin also makes them a great source of antioxidants and adds some fun and color to your basic stir fry.

4 oz ground turkey
4 oz Japanese sweet potato, sliced lengthwise ¾-inch thick
1 cup cut cabbage (I like purple, for the color)1/2 cup cauliflower (again, purple)
½ cup eggplant, sliced lengthwise ¾-inch thick
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place sweet potatoes and eggplant in oven at 425 for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook ground turkey over medium heat until lightly browned. Set aside. Add cabbage and cauliflower to skillet and cook until cabbage is wilted. Mix with turkey, sweet potato and eggplant and season with salt and pepper.

Macro nutrient breakdown:
Calories: 296
Fat: 4
Protein: 30
Carbs: 35

6. Sweet Potato Bread

We all know the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I threw together this recipe the other day for my sweetie, and he absolutely loved it. A great recipe that is great for both the body and soul 😉

8 oz mashed sweet potato, without skin
2 scoops vanilla whey
1 cup oatbran
2 egg whites
2 Tbsp milk
1 cup oatbran
¼ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
½ cup Splenda
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Mix the whey and oatbran into medium bowl. Beat splenda, eggs and vanilla to blend in large bowl. Mix in sweet potato. Add dry ingredients and walnuts and stir well.
Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool bread in pan on rack 15 minutes.
Macro nutrient breakdown (without walnuts per serving, serves 8):
Calories: 89
Fat: 1
Protein: 8

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Less is More

As an ex-endurance racer, I am very familiar with the training routine of spending hours in a pool, on a bike or running trails and coming home to stuff my face with pizza, club sandwiches and any other food craving I had because “I deserved it”. While this training regime did indeed help me become better at distance racing, it did shit for my speed, power and physique.

Unfortunately, it took a while for this concept to sink into my head. I went from training for the short, sprint triathlons to a half-ironman. I was swimming; cycling and running 3X more than I had been but still weighed the same and had the same body fat.  I even started eating healthier foods (albeit MUCH larger quantities), but again, I was exercising more, so why wasn’t I losing more weight?

After picking up resistance training, I have finally learned the answer to this puzzling question that so many endurance athletes seem to run across. Our bodies are very adaptive machines. If you spend every Saturday going out for 3-4 hour runs, your body will adjust by storing carbohydrates in the muscles in order have readily available energy. The more you run, the more efficient your body will become at running, and the fewer carbs it will burn. Unused carbs= fat= weight gain. Add on a few slices of pizza and some Gatorade to “refuel”, and alas, you become yet another overweight marathon runner!

Now, I realize that many of you are shaking your heads and looking at all the Olympic runners out there that have less than 10% body fat. What gives? Genetics, diet and training. Olympic runners are fast, like gazelles. They don’t compete to just finish a marathon, and their training reflects that. They do many HITT sprint workouts to improve their speed, which does indeed burn fat and calories. I would also guess that most of them do not consume post-workout meals of pizza and beer. They are very careful about their diet and nutrition because it takes a lot more energy to carry a 200lb mass across a finish line than a 130lb one.

 

Does this mean that you need to go out and pick up an Olympic marathon training plan to get a sleek, lean look? Hell no (unless you are wanting to both complete a marathon and look like an Olympian). Of course, another consideration is the desired physique. Do you actually want to look like a marathon runner?? Check out the picture below; is skinny really that desirable to the eye now? Personally, I prefer the sprinter’s build; the chick looks like an athlete that could throw around some weights, achieve an impressive vertical and leave others in the dust on a track.

                       

 

The best part of the above picture is that is actually more fun and takes less training time to achieve to the sprinter figure. Below is an example training plan that incorporates both resistance and cardio workouts to build strength, speed and power (and is much more fun than hitting the treadmill everyday!)

 

 

Monday upper body

1-giant sets 1 – incline dumbbell press with two arm dumbbell row with dumbbell shoulder press. Do one exercise after the other with no rest. After the third exercise rest 60 seconds and begin again. Goal is 10 reps on each exercise and to slightly go up in weight each set. looking at 5 rounds of this

2-Giant sets 2-flat bench dumbbell flyes with decline dumbbell pullovers with side laterals again 10 on everything and 5 rounds

3-straight sets incline dumbbell curls 4 sets x 10. rest 30-40 seconds between sets

4-two arm dumbbell hammer curls 2 sets x 15 reps both to failure

5-pressdowns 4 sets x 10 reps, rest 30-40 seconds between sets

6-dumbbell skull crushers 2 sets x 15 reps both to failure

Tuesday-lower body plus core

1-leg extensions 5 sets x 10 reps, rest 40 seconds between sets, add weight to each set and fail on last set

2-barbell squats 5 sets x 10 reps, add weight to each set and rest 40-60 seconds between sets. Focus on DEEP form do a 6th set x 20

3-walking dumbbell lunges 4 sets x 30 paces

4-smith machine squats with feet forward and close together 2 sets x 20 reps

5-dumbbell stiff leg deadlifts 4 sets x 10 reps, rest 40-60 seconds between sets push to failure on last set

6-laying leg curls 5 sets x 12 fail on last

7-calf raises on leg press 5 sets x 15 reps rest 40-60 seconds between sets and push hard on last set to failure

8-planks 3 sets x 60-120 seconds

9-jackkives with medicine ball 3 sets x 30 reps

10-rope crunches 3 sets x 30-40 reps

11-bicycle crunches 2 sets x 50 reps

Wednesday-off

Thursday-Circuit Conditioning

1-    bench press 3 warm up sets x 10 reps then use 60% bodyweight do 2 sets x 5-6 reps slowly lowering weight then EXPLODING to top…rest 60 seconds between sets then after last set rest 120 seconds then go for as many reps as possible and write down number

2-    exploding push ups..down slow explode up 3 sets x 10-15 reps and rest 40 -60 seconds between sets

3-    box jumps practice on a box less then 20″ do 4 sets x 10-20 reps explode up and down fast…do the box less then 20 for 2-3 weeks then begin using 20 but stick with 10-20 reps for now

4-    conditioning circuit dumbbell punches holding 5’s x 60 seconds with 60 jumping jacks with 60 seconds mountain climbers with leg raises on floor for 30-50 reps. Rest 60 seconds after each round and do 5 rounds

5-    Interval training on treadmill do 5 min warm up then intervals on slow portion of interval do 3.5-4.0 speed on faster portion of intervals start with 5.0 and increase to 5.5 then 6.0 etc do 20 minutes intervals then 5 min cool down

Friday-30 minutes cardio only on eliptical level 7-8

Saturday-compound day

1-barbell squats 2-3 warm up sets then 5 sets x 5 reps. Rest 60-120 sets between sets and add weight to each set. focus on perfect form and safety but push heavy

2-deadlifts 2-3 warm up sets and 6 sets x 3 reps add weight to each and rest 60-120 seconds between sets

3-dumbbell flat bench press 2-3 warm up sets then 5 sets x 5 reps, add weight to each and rest 60-120 seconds between sets, push to failure on last set

4-standing push press (shoulder) 2 warm up sets and 3 sets x 5 reps

Sunday-20 minutes on stepmill on level 5 then run on treadmill for 15 minutes on level 6-7

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What I am doing now….

I have decided that I really want to participate in Tri-Fitness Worlds May 2012. I am thirsty to compete again, but I want something where I can display my athletic skills and not just feel like a pageant contestant. I worked my ass off at States and was not exactly content with my 5th placing.

From what I have seen, WTF tends to favor a leaner physique, and that is what I am. Building muscle is not exactly easy for me, and I refuse to take any sketch steroids or supplements. I have been chowing down, lifting heavy and adding as much thickness as I can. I know I should probably have a more stringent training plan, but I currently have a government regulated schedule at work so that takes priority. Here is a small sample of my current diet and workout regime:

Diet:

Breakfast: 2 slices Ezekial bread  stuffed French toast cooked with 1/3 cup egg whites, splash Almond milk, Stevia Vanilla sweetener. Filing- ½ cup Greek yogurt mixed with pb2 and 1 scoop chocolate PB whey protein

Snack: Apple and 1 cup Greek Yogurt mixed with SF vanilla yogurt and blueberries.

Lunch: Polenta with cooked veggies and shrimp (http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10100347996484169.2595804.11800250&type=3#!/photo.php?fbid=10100348007517059&set=a.10100347996484169.2595804.11800250&type=3&theater

Snack: Large salad with chicken breast, black beans, dried fruit and nuts, topped with balsamic

Post workout: sweet potato and whey protein shake with flaxseed

Dinner: Neomandes platter with Tuna salad, tabouli, fatoush and pita bread

….. I also munch on dried nuts and fruits and PB throughout the day. All in all, I consume about 2400-2500 calories.

Workout:

WU: 10 min jog (I know cardio is frowned upon in figure but I still occasionally miss the runner’s high….)

3 sets each:

  • 12 Stepups (each side) with 15 lb DB in each hand
  • Military press x20
  • T-pushups with 10 lb DB x8 each side
  • 60 lb barbell hip thrusts x15
  • 60 lb deadlift x15
  • 20” box jumps x15
  • Full situps on stability ball x15
  • Plank thrusts x15
  • Lateral jumps/sprint backward x15
  • Weighted rows with 20 lb DB in plank position x15

As you can see, I have been doing more full body workouts. It may not be as effective as segregated body part days  (though I personally don’t see the difference) but for me, it’s fun and keeps me engaged. I have 2 more months to enjoy workout/diet ‘freedom’ then it is ON. I know the WTF has some stiff competition, but rest assured, I won’t go down without a fight

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Clean Eating Italiano

I love love some Italian food. Just the word pizza sets my mouth drooling. Unfortunately, the ingredients that make Italian dishes so freaking delish are the same ones responsible for muffin tops and saggy ass. I don’t want any of that, so I have been experimenting and researching recipes that provide the orgasmic Italiano taste without the grease, carbs and fat. Buon appetito!!!

Baked polenta and mushrooms stuffed with FF Greek yogurt and Bacon…..yummmmmm

Zuppa Toscana (made with turkey kielbasa)

Baked chicken stuffed with ham and mozzarella (topped with garlic and ground oats…simple and amazing)

Turkey meatballs- ground turkey, oats, egg whites, spices- healthy and fantabulous

Cafe (or my home-brewed French pressed coffee)

I still don’t really crave sweets that much these days (well, I just have more control), but I do have a habit of polishing off my meals with coffee. I’m actually turning into quite the coffee snob- I won’t drink shit coffee from gas stations or fast food places. Honestly, I prefer to make it at home because I have discovered some whole beans that I love (Fresh Market’s dark chocolate cherry is my current favorite….). AND it saves me some cash $$. For those of you who think the whole beans cost a lot more than the ground blends, check out this link – http://www.walletpop.com/2011/01/25/savings-experiment-the-perks-of-brewing-versus-buying-coffee/. Yeah, it costs 2 cents more to use whole bean over the ground shit- totally worth it.

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Triathlon vs Figure Competition

A man asked me last week at the gym asked me what type of training I was doing. He said it seemed very disciplined and asked if I was competing in a triathlon. I just shook my head and told him figure competition. At first, I thought it was kinda funny that he assumed triathlon, but after thinking about it, I guess the two are pretty similar. Both require intense training, strong mental and physical focus and a desire to compete. Of course, now that I am getting pretty close to my figure competition deadline, I am also noticing some EXTREME differences. Take a look at the checklist for prepping for a triathlon vs figure competition…

Triathlon                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

  • Tri suit
  • Wetsuit
  • Running shoes
  • Cycling shoes
  • Bike
  • Helmet
  • Sunglasses
  • Goggles
  • Towel
  • Race Belt
  • USAT card
  • PAM (for easy removal of wetsuit)
  • Anti-chaffing cream
  • Gu gels

 

Figure Competition

  • Figure Bikini
  • Stripper heels
  • Mirror
  • Jewelry
  • Hairspray
  • Makeup
  • Butt glue
  • NPC card
  • Body oil
  • Hair clips
  • Curling iron/Flat iron
  • Food (tuna, chicken, etc in tupperware containers)

Yeah….they are a little bit different. Of course, I used to hate the body markings for triathlons. Now I have upgraded to 3 coats of spray tan that supposedly smells like ass. Buuut before you go away thinking that tri’s are more badass than figure competition, listen to this. If I was prepping for another half ironman, I would be nearing my race taper (2 weeks prior to the race where you do light conditioning and training and carb up).  Figure competitions are the exact opposite- my training has increased, and carbs have decreased. (I’m not even allowed diet sodas or my SF pancake syrup!)

So yeah, check it- I think my badassness has definitely reached a new high 😉

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Eye of the Tiger

I am now 3 weeks from the competition and each week seems to deal out new crazy challenges. I am really trying to enjoy it and stay tough, but honestly it’s a challenge to just behave as a normal human being these days. My workouts have advanced to lifting 5x/week and cardio 3x/week- not so difficult for normal Jessica, but quite brutal for carb-deprived Jessica. Last week I experienced my first freak out- seriously, it was bad. I don’t know what happened, but I went from stage exhaustion to stage anger. I am trying to forewarn people now. So if I haven’t told you, here it is- I cannot be held responsible for my actions in the next 20 days. They will range from extreme stupidity to total range. And they will be like this damn NC weather- totally unpredictable.

Alright, so enough negativity, time for some happy thoughts. First off, I booked a photo shoot for April 18 (2 days after the competition before I get all fat and sassy). Also, I have been compiling a list of the foods I will be enjoying after the show. Here are just a few:

1. Peanut Butter (quite possibly the entire jar(s))
2. Peanut M&M’s
3. Pizza (lots of cheese and meat- especially, especially BACON)
4. Bacon- the real kind, none of that turkey bacon or soy shit
5. Mexican food from the whole-in-the-wall place in Cary where they don’t speak any English
5. Cheeseburger (with Bacon!!!!!!!!!!)
6. REAL pancake with REAL syrup and REAL butter
7. Chocolate donut holes
8. Cookies- I don’t discriminate, chocolate chip, raisin, oreos, peanut butter….I love them all
9. Cereal- again I accept any and all kinds
10. Macaroni and cheese with bacon- never had but it sounds really amazing right now

I’ll stop there before I go into a food porn binge. Anyways, so yea…..expect to see me gorging myself for a few days after this is over. Until then, I am going to appreciate my new-found abs in the smallest bikini ever (according to LA- my figure suit is currently being blinged up)

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