Quick Salad

I aim to eat as nutrient dense as possible, even when bulking, aka, adding muscle 🙂

Sometimes you wanna ration your fat grams and might want to spend them on something other than the oil for your salad, as good for you as it might be to eat that oil.

The solution? A garbage salad!

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chicken, 1/4 cup chickpeas, 1/2 small avocado, tbl fresh hummus, lots of salsa, spritz of vinegar, garlic salt, over a bed of fresh spinach

mmmmmmm

Leaving me room for avocado aaaaand a Halloween trader joe joe 😉

Do you trade your calories, save here to splurge there?

Do you enjoy salads?

XOXO

Veggie Load!

Sometimes I gotta veggie overload in order to stay the course!IMG_1043.JPG

What are some ways you keep your nutrition on target? Especially when your goals are ambitious and taxing?

Here are some of my ‘gotta get through this’ tips:

*Celery and salsa
*if I find myself at the fridge, I grab a handful of baby carrots (they’re just sweet enough!)
*high protein intake (right now between 150-160 grams!)
*a fat source at each part of the day
*teas
*gum and water
*do some burpees or high knees
*broth
*deep breathing and relaxing, lie down on the couch and relax before going back for more food
*leave the kitchen once you’re done eating
*salsa, mustard and hot sauce- load on the flavor with these low cal options that make a big statement

Anything to add?

XOXO

A Day of Eating as A Bodybuilder On a Cut- in pictures!

To be clear, this is what I’m eating while on an semi-aggressive cut.

In the near future I’ll be adding more food, quite happily.

The motivation for this post is actually born out of a few conversations with a woman at my gym who is considering competing. She recently lost a lot of weight and would like to continue her healthful transformation.

She recently started strength training and became interested in the world of physique competitions. Good for her!

The trouble is that this new goal requires her to start building new muscle- and she’s hardly eating enough to maintain the muscle she has! She barely eats 1200 calories a day. Ouch 😦

I get it. She’s dead scared of gaining back the weight she put on.

But the thing is she’s just stumbled upon what I might consider one of the best kept secrets of the gym, at least as far as we women who started training in the 90s are concerned.

Muscle building.

A million other, far more qualified people than myself have already explained the science behind eating enough food, muscle growth, and physique transformation:

here.

here.

and here.

Oh and here.

Just to get you started, ladies.

But the bottom line is that muscles need calories, which means you eat more while looking awesome.

Aesthetics are personal, but, give yourself a chance, you’ll most likely love how you look, but more importantly, how you’ll feel with a bit o’ muscle.

And oh the training, it’s glorious, empowering. You can check out my post about my own journey into lifting here.

The meal plan I’m sharing with you today is not for muscle growth, I should add, but aims to preserve as much muscle as possible while achieving fat loss. Every person is an individual (duh…), but seriously, even my own body needs different things at different times to achieve whatever goal I’m after. This is just a sample. With the goal of demonstrating, that even for fast fat loss (lol), you eat!!

So here we go, a typical day of meals for me while trying to lean-out 🙂

Metal #1, 6:30 am:
1/3 cup oats, 1 cup egg whites, 1 tbl no sugar added jam, 1 tbl greek yogurt, 1/2 tbl peanut butter. About 315 cals, 36g protein.IMG_0804.JPG

Meal #2, 7:30am:
whey protein shake made with 1 scoop powder, coffee, and ice. 120 cals, 24g protein.

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Meal #3, 11am:
6oz plain 0% greek yogurt with tbl cocoa powder; 1 slice toast with 1tbl peanut butter and no-sugar added jam; 1/2 cup grapes; coffee. 315 cals, 25g protein.

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Meal #4, 2:00pm:
4oz chicken breast; 1oz cheddar cheese; 1.5 cups mixed carrots, pepper and grape tomatoes. 310 cals, 35g protein.

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Meal #5, 5:15pm:
4oz balsamic chicken; 1 cup broccoli; 1/3 cup rice w/beans; mustard. 250 cals, 30g protein.

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Meal #6, 8:00pm:
I had planned in something so ‘egging’ different BUT had some cravings to quell ;).
1.5 graham crackers; 1/2 tbl peanut butter; 1 tub Oikos vanilla greek yogurt, frozen. 250 cals, 12g protein.

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So totals for the day:
About 1500-1550 cals, 162g protein. Carbs were a touch high from where I’d like them, but worth it to keep cravings at bay and to keep things consistent.

When I get back to maintenance I’ll do another run down. And then again at a bulk.

My goal here was to encourage the women who hardly eat to eat. To me, this doesn’t look like a lot of food- it’s a cut! There are women lifters who cut and far more calories even! But I definitely know women who would be scared to eat even this amount. Basically, even if your goal is to lose fat, you should be eating, and eating well!

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XOXO

Friday Night Eats

Last Friday we had dinner with my lovely parents.

We picked up a rotisserie chicken; fresh gazpacho; spinach, berry, and feta salad with balsamic dressing; oh, and Munch wanted a bit of lemon-dill pasta. Sure kid, whatever you like 🙂

Dessert was a bowl of chocolate we passed about.

Friday night dinner can be both healthy and fun; community-building and nutritious.

The bodybuilding lifestyle does not need to be isolating- healthy, beautiful food is something everyone can enjoy!

Cheers!

XOXO

What the French Kids Are Eating

I came across this article illustrating and explaining the typical French school lunch. The pictures are lovely- seriously, go take a look, I’ll wait!

And here’s the official site for the French School Lunch Project. The project catalogues the menus, habits and other relevant details of school lunches in varying regions of France. The project illustrates how the approach to school lunches in France contributes to a healthy and positive food attitude (generally speaking) in it’s little people.

As a new mom I’m highly motivated for my son to adopt eating habits now that will carry him forward towards health and a positive relationship with food and his body in the future, so I think a lot about the ‘food culture’ in which we swim and how it shapes our palettes and behaviors. This ‘French School Lunch Project’ was right up my alley!

At the same time, I’m very ok that his life will surely include the iconic staples of American food culture like burgers and fries, pizza nights, buckets of movie popcorn, and probably late night Wendy’s Spicy Chicken sandwich runs with his friends when he’s a teenager.

It’s the day-to-day, the routine, the final sum of the repeated, average decisions about food that I’m concerned with really.

I remember the play-dough like texture of the middle-school pizza lunch we were subjected to as unsuspecting 7th graders. Besides tasting awful, it said SO much about the value of a meal. Clearly, food was seen as a place to cut corners. It just didn’t seem to matter that we were eating food that was icky on multiple scores.

Kids spend a lot of time at school. They also learn a lot (duh!), but not just through the curriculum, but through the medium. They’re learning about themselves and their own value, about food and mealtimes, and imbibing messages about the value of health through school lunches. It’s a kindof ‘sensory play’ with a very lasting message.

What kindof message would you want kids to receive through their school lunch? What do your kids eat?

What was your school lunch like as a kid? How did it make you feel about food, yourself, and life in general (!)?

Here’s my meal #3 today:
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1 cup egg whites, 5oz snap peas, 1/2 oz sharp cheddar, 1/4 cup salsa

XOXO

Meal #5, using my old Kale

Sometimes the baby kale starts to turn before I can use it as a fresh salad. You too?

Our garden is burgeoning with mint and chives, so they helped out:
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Munch helped pick the herbs, which revved him to eat them at dinner.

We added baby portobellos, pulled chicken, and for my son some lemon-dill pasta.

Away into that microwave!

Voila!

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Kale salvaged, belly filled.

XOXO

Loosing Fat, Eating Chocolate

Hey friends!

Guess what???

I’m bodybuilding, loosing fat and eating chocolate.

Like, real chocolate- not any sugar free creative use of protein powder version.

See??
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Look at those macros for the day all in order? And notice the chocolate chip pancakes?

(In case you’re wondering, the tracking app I use is from sparkpeople and can be found here)

Really there’s room for everything in even the tightest cutting plan if you plan 🙂

The rest of the day I’ll be focusing on lean proteins, lots of fresh produce and a few more healthy fats.

If it’s not ‘good enough’ for you to have anything but a perfectly clean diet then that’s no longer really about nutrition or physique goals but something else.

So loosen up, have fun and still meet those goals :))

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Happy noshing!

XOXO

Meal #5

Quick post!

Tonites dinner:

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Crock pot mesquite chicken; local heirloom tomatoes; a little salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and good ole EVOO.

High protein, fresh and just right as we wrap up summer.

The heirlooms we bought at a local farm on our way home from the butterfly pavilion, more on that later in the week.

Cheers!

XOXO

Long Mornings, Parts 1 and 2

I’ve been on a ‘cut’ for a while, and the deeper we go into it, the more spartan my meal plan has become. So what does a body-building girl who’s in love with breakfast do?? Well let me show you.

Right now I’m kindof acting as short-order cook for my family. My son eats like a toddler, I’m eating like a bodybuilder on a big cut, and I can totally respect that my husband would like to eat like a normal person. Since I love both food and cooking, and since I have the time, this is not a problem for me. Oh but, with a toddler you gotta cook fast. And I’ve learned how:

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the prep station

Part 1 of our morning consists of getting all this food made, while maybe getting some emergency calories into Munchie stat when he’s in a growth spurt or whatnot and is starving after a long night. I feel his pain, truly I do. My muscles CANT WAIT to be off this cut.

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Munchie excited to EAT!

What he ate:

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apricot and PB toast fingers, cheesy egg and raspberries

I feel no shame in extolling the virtues of the microwave. Cheesy eggs with no pans my friends! Crack an egg or two into a ramekin or small bowl, drop in some chunks of your favorite cheese- we did a sharp cheddar, but I always love eggs with a pungent blue of some description- and microwave for give or take 90 seconds, giving the whole thing a whip with the fork half way through.

What Daddy ate:

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lucky for me, today Daddy and Munch were game for the same breakfast

If you have extra time, throw some salsa or fresh herbs over those eggs. Cheesy, runny fresh eggs in seconds.

And then there’s my sorry fare.

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Egg whites with a 1/4 cup oats. Oh dear. Sure, I’ll get a protein shake in about an hour, but this is a far cry from the feast I get on maintenance, let alone a bulk.

So here’s what I do.

Combine those whites and oats. This really works better with another 1/4 cup oats but here we are. And microwave that sucker.

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still looks monstrous- stick with me!

Then there’s this stuff.

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Pumpkin butter! Seriously delicious, and only a few carbs to count here. This one was made locally, and uses far less sugar than the versions you sometimes find in chain grocers.

Check your farmers markets, food co-ops and lovely next-door-neighbor-grandmothers-who-still-make-their-own-preserves-and-will-pinch-your-cheeks, for fruit spreads that are likely made with less sugar and are delightfully fresher than your standard commercial retail versions. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found my system goes wonky on artificial sweeteners, so I opt for low-sugar versions of the real stuff.

So on it goes, along with a tbl of greek yogurt. Voila! Something lovely!

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Sure, it’s no chocolate chip pancake, but it’s not bad considering I can see a six pack poking through. 😉 On me, not the eggs you silly goose!

Keeping Munchie occupied during breakfast prep is paramount.

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oodles of doodles!

Since bodybuilding I’ve learned how important it is for my sanity and for my muscles to have a good ratio of proteins, carbs and fats. Getting this right has made such a difference in the way I look and feel- whether you do a meal plan, IIFYM, intuitive eating, calorie counting, you should definitely consider your own ratios. You could be selling yourself short.

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And then there’s the delicious cup of coffee my husband brews every morning. It tastes like liquid chocolate when the beans are I Have a Bean, and we’re using Chemex.

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What does your breakfast look like when you’re trying to cut down? How do you keep the flavor in the equation?

What kindof principles do you follow in making your food choices? Are you an intuitive eater sort of earthy chick? Are you a muscle-maxing meal planning man? Are you a calorie and macro planning IIFYM whiz kid? What’s working for you?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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Fruit is fun!

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think they’re picking at the left-overs

XOXO