Hiiii. Whats new? Okay I guess I'll just take over and tell you whats new with me. Well today is my last day at my current job. Onward and upward. Yes. On another note, I am celebrating by taking today as my rest day from the gym. My body, mind and soul need it. Do not overlook the importance of rest days. They are integral if you want to see drastic changes in your physique. Trust me--going all out 7 days of the week will get you no where but over trained, fatigued, crabby and weak. You don't want that, right?
Yesterday after my workout, I enjoyed a classic chocolate protein shake. Instead of raw oats I tried cooked brown rice as the carb source! I just added some brown rice into the smoothie after it was blended.
- 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
- 6 ice cubes
- 1/8 tsp each xanthan + guar gums
- 1/2 C almond milk
- 1 tsp Udo's oil
I put the whole container in the freezer for about 20 minutes to get it really cold and frothy. I like when it gets so thick I have to eat it with a spoon! I really liked the change up from oats to brown rice. I will definitely be doing this again soon!
If you don't want to go the 'classic' route, try:
What else did I do when I had some time this morning? FOOD PREP of course. I am telling you right now, for those of you who complain that its so hard to 'eat healthy' it really is not. You do have to put in the work though. Spend 1 hour dedicated to prepping food and you will be set for the next 4 or 5 days. Everything will be ready to go for you in the fridge. Just pick a day and a time that works for you to PREP. Just do it!
I took a whole bunch of broccoli (and 3 random pieces of cauliflower) placed them on a cookie sheet and simply roasted at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. That's it! After they are cooled, I stick them in a Tupperware or Ziploc bag and just keep them in the fridge to grab and go when I please.
This would be one of my favorite salsas. It is from Trader Joe's (obviously) It has a smoky tomato flavor and it is lower in sodium but still FULL of spices, seasonings and tomato goodness.
Simply: Chicken breasts cooked stove top with salsa. That's it! So simple. eating healthy and flavorful does not have to take hours, friends. This whole cooking process from veggies to chicken took about 25 minutes total.
I even ended up cutting the chicken in smaller pieces to speed up the cooking process. Another super simple chicken recipe is Rosemary Balsamic Chicken Breast....<-----so tasty!!
I also made a protein shake to bring to work this afternoon. I used this oil of choice. Udo's!
Udo's oil is a blend of flax, sesame, sunflower and primrose oil, as well as oils from rice and oat germ. It has a pleasant nutty, buttery flavor and I have been enjoying it as a base for my salad dressings and also in smoothies as well. HEALTHY FATS, people. Remember, you need fat to lose fat. For real
Chocolate whey protein.
Unsweetened cocoa powder to make it extra chocolaty!
Blend away! YUM
Topped with raw oats for the carbs today.
I also had some apple pie!! Ok, well this apple pie. I like it a lot! I think I like it because it is not too strong of a flavor. If it tasted so sweet like apple pie, I think I would get sick of it faster.
Speaking of apple pie, I was requested by the lovely, Julie to talk a bit about cheat meals during my prep for competition.
First of all, I hate that term "cheat meals" It gives off the impression that you are doing something 'bad' which you are not at all. You are simply eating real, good food. For the purpose of this little chat I will refer to these meals as 'cheat meals' (although again, I hate that term)
Do I cheat? In one word...Yes. Yes I cheat and yes I believe it is so important to have those 'reward meals' to help you stay on track during a time that my diet can be somewhat regimented close to a show.
Staying on point close to show is super important but it really doesn't mean that I have to punish myself from desiring and depriving 100% of the time. Remember, we are all human and we all have those cravings for food that maybe don't fit perfectly into a diet program. This is when my reward meals come into play.
One advantage of a cheat meal is it offers stamina for the muscles which are responsible for the work in your intense workout routines. When maintaining my diet, something I become more aware of is that my muscle tissue becomes a bit reduced from glycogen levels. Any time muscular tissues get low, we will suffer from stress. A Cheat meal is crucial to bring back the glycogen levels and help to increase performance during an exercise session.
Advantage of Cheat Meal 2:
Along with decreased muscle glycogen that goes with dieting, there is also a slowing of the metabolism effect. The body senses starvation and tries to lower the amount of energy it needs to continue to function on a daily basis. This means that you will be burning less calories just sitting around than if you hadn't been dieting, which makes weight loss even harder. A cheat meal provides a SHOCK to your system with a high influx of calories at one time, the body's metabolism will show an increase and you'll kick start your fat burning 'furnace' into high gear once again.
In conclusion, the cheat meals will help your body get less accustomed to running on that lower end of caloric intake and actually help your body to get leaner faster!
I plan out my cheat meals according to what I desire. Usually my cheats have something to do with good quality bread and cheese. Think pizza, calzone, bruschetta, panini. Other times it is more brunch or breakfast items such as a belgium waffle, delicious scone, muffin, pancakes, french toast.
*****I do not go completely overboard however, I make sure to enjoy every second of what I am eating and never let myself feel guilty afterwards. It is just food! It does not have power over me. I eat, enjoy and move forward!
Of course, when I am not prepping for a show, I eat what I like when I like, but 3, 4, 5 weeks out from a show, when my diet is a bit more rigid, I do make sure I am incorporating those weekly cheats to help my muscles and also help my mind, body and soul. BALANCE people. It is all about balance!
I also got a Lululemon gift card from my manager at work! This was such an unnecessary parting gift, but so sweet. As you know, it will be put to very good use!
She wrote the sweetest card
That had the most perfect quote on the back of it. I am in love with it.
What is your all time favorite food that you would consider to be a 'treat'?
What is your favorite quote to live by?