Monday, March 31, 2014

Competition Day!

So the competition was this past weekend! It was a great time to get on stage with some amazing girls and meet new friends in the process! I realized that above all I am very blessed to be able to compete in a sport I enjoy and be surrounded by the positive influences I have in my life! I was so touched to have amazing people take time out of their day to come watch and support me! I really appreciate all the love my amazing family, friends, and boyfriend have for me! 

I ended up placing 3rd in my category which I am not going to lie and tell you I was not a little disappointed in, but this is such a subjective sport that I need to keep that in perspective. Regardless of the place I received, I was proud of the transformation I was able to achieve! I started the contest at 147 lb 21% body fat and walked on stage at 133 lb and 12.5% body fat, all while eating foods I enjoyed and not becoming a slave to the gym. 

The most important lesson I learned in this prep was to trust the process and myself! This lesson can be applied to almost anything in life. Trust yourself, work as hard as you can, keep a positive attitude and create the life you want! With research and help I was able to make my own meal plan and design my own workout routine that worked into my lifestyle. Find what works for you, and allow yourself enough time for the process to work before you give up. Good things in life take time, don't get discouraged just enjoy the process.  

January 17

March 28

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Monday "Do things with passion or not at all"

It is the start of peak week, which the means the competition is right around the corner! I know I am going to sound a little crazy, but I actually enjoy this prep! I am trying new recipes and really learning to experiment with food! I used to just eat veggie burgers and rice cakes with peanut butter because it took no effort and tasted good enough, but boy was I missing out! How did I not know of making fish lettuce wraps, protein cakes, or roasting various veggies!

My latest kick is tilapia lettuce wraps! I eat 3 tilapia fillets a day and just seasoning them can get old…so I decided why not try a healthy version of fish tacos. I use romaine lettuce as my taco shell and season my fish with fiesta lime seasoning. Then add extra lettuce, lime juice, and fresh cilantro (omg I'm addicted to cilantro)! My other favorite recipe Ive been making is protein cake in the oven (recipe below).

Preheat oven to 375
Mix together
-1 egg white
-1 scoop protein powder (I use Cellucor corfetti cake batter)
-1 tbsp coconut flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 packet stevia
-1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Bake at 375 for 14-16 minutes in the oven! I use a ceramic dish and spray with nonstick spray. I think the texture of the cake in the oven is much better than in the microwave. Top with whatever youd like peanut butter, sprinkles, etc. I use a little more protein powder mixed with almond milk as my frosting…yum!
Macro breakdown:
Fat-3 g
Protein-30 g
Carb-10 g
Fiber-4 g
Protein cake without frosting

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Saturday "the two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why"

Hey Happy Saturday! 
Today was a circuit morning with Marissa! This morning I was excited to wake up because I bought a new flavored coffee! Dunkin coconut flavor will get me out of bed on a Saturday morning at any time! Do other people get this excited about their morning coffee…I hope so! On a side note, I am taking anatomy and physiology class and learning more about the human body than I had previously known. Our bodies are a true work of art that God created! It is amazing if you stop and think of all the systems and parts that are working without us even having to consciously think about it (thank goodness!) We were given one body to live in so it is vital to take care of it! Fuel yourself for success and push yourself in your workouts! You deserve to have your body feel and look its best! Go make it happen 

Workout: Circuits
Circuit 1
3 Rounds---30 sec work, 15 sec rest
- Burpees
- Jump switch lunges
- Right single leg oblique crunch
- Left single leg oblique crunch
- Push ups
- Battle ropes (alternate between double and single)

Circuit 23 Rounds---60 sec work, 30 sec rest
- modified dips off box
- Single leg squat off box (pistol squat)
- Kettlebell swings with 25 lb

Cardio:20 minutes on the treadmill alternating between speed 5-8-10
30 seconds at speed 5
30 seconds at speed 8
30 seconds at speed 10

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday "You only live once, but if you do it right once is enough"

So today makes me 10 days out from my first show of the season! Everything seems to be on track…I got my crystals in the mail, tanning and hair appointments booked! I am not really nervous because there is not much to be nervous about win or lose I'm in better shape and eating healthier than ever win either way or maybe its  because I am listening to Bob Marley as I type this! (Plus it is important to not take everything so seriously, if you know you have been putting the work in at the gym and in the kitchen then no regrets!) During this prep I have realized why I like this sport and it is not just for the fact that I am competitive, but it really shows you how good your body can feel. I am feeling better from fueling my body with whole foods (veggies and fish) and drinking the proper amount of water (which I never used to do)! My best tip for drinking enough water is drink a bottle in the morning along with your coffee or tea and I always drink 2 more bottles right before bed. I also keep a gallon in the fridge and make sure by the end of the night it is gone! 

Workout: Chest/ Pyramid circuit (Complete each exercise 10-15 rep x 4 rounds)
Superset 1:
-Cable chest fly (set cable around chest level)
-Dumbbell push up into a row

Superset 2:
-Cable chest fly (set cable above eye level) 
-Chest press on bench with dumbbells

Superset 3:
-Cable chest fly (set cable on lowest level)
-Push up with feet on bench

Pyramid Circuit (box jump into burpee then 20 lb ketllebell swing)
1 box jump/burpee, 1 kettlebell swing
2 box jump/burpee, 2 kettlebell swing
3 box jump/burpee, 3 kettlebell swing
4 box jump/burpee, 4 kettlebell swing
5 box jump/burpee, 5 kettlebell swing
6 box jump/burpee, 6 kettlebell swing
7 box jump/burpee, 7 kettlebell swing
8 box jump/burpee, 8 kettlebell swing
9 box jump/burpee, 9 kettlebell swing
10 box jump/burpee, 10 kettlebell swing
back down the pyramid 
10 box jump/burpee, 10 kettlebell swing
9 box jump/burpee, 9 kettlebell swing
8 box jump/burpee, 8 kettlebell swing
7 box jump/burpee, 7 kettlebell swing
6 box jump/burpee, 6 kettlebell swing
5 box jump/burpee, 5 kettlebell swing
4 box jump/burpee, 4 kettlebell swing
3 box jump/burpee, 3 kettlebell swing
2 box jump/burpee, 2 kettlebell swing
1 box jump/burpee, 1 kettlebell swing

Sorry but for your eyes own good I am headless was a sweaty mess from the gym

Monkey bread muffins I made for my family! How good do they look?!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday "If your lucky enough to be Irish, your lucky enough"

Hey Happy St. Patricks Day! Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday eating some corn beef and cabbage! I got to enjoy in the cabbage part of the meal. For a cup of boiled cabbage it is 22 calories, 3g carb, 1g protein, and 2 g of fiber…cant beat that! I also tried roasting some of the cabbage tonight as well which was delicious! I cut the cabbage into 1/2 inch disc shapes then used Pam spray (the recipe called for coconut or olive oil) but the spray worked out great. Sprinkle discs with salt and pepper then roast in 350 oven for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown on edges. 

I have also been switching up how I eat my Quest protein bars( which let me tell you are the best quality protein bar you can buy and trust me I have tried a lot of them!) I used to eat them after warming them in the microwave for 10 seconds, which was delicious but have tried baking them lately and let me tell you…amazing!!! I cut them into 3 or 6 pieces depending on how much of the bar I am eating then put on parchment paper and cook 350 for 5-8 minutes, keep an eye on them. I swear to you they bake up and taste like delicious legit cookies! Following a plan were you can get creative with your food and look forward to eating it, is what is going to keep you motivated to want to stick with it! 

Workout: Partner Sprints/ Pyramid circuit

Today's workout started with partner sprints using bands. Marissa and I use thick resistance bands and attach them so each of us has one of the attached bands around our waist. If you do not have a partner and have access to a sled that would be a great alternative. If you do not have access to either, then running normal sprints is still a great and challenging option! 
If you have a partner have them load up the resistance bands, meaning have them try to slow you down by leaning back into the band. 
To perform a ball slam:

  • Hold a medicine ball (15 lb) with both hands and stand with your feet at shoulder width. This will be your starting position.
  • Initiate the counter movement by raising the ball above your head and fully extending your body.
  • Reverse the motion, slamming the ball into the ground directly in front of you as hard as you can.
  • Receive the ball with both hands on the bounce and repeat the movement.

-Sprint 30 seconds then perform 15 jump squats after each sprint (this should burn). Repeat 4 times!

Kettlebell and ball slam pyramid
For a pyramid workout perform:
1 ball slam,   1 kettlebell swing
2 ball slams, 2 kettlebell swing
3 ball slams, 3 kettlebell swing
4 ball slams, 4 kettlebell swing
5 ball slams, 5 kettlebell swing
6 ball slams, 6 kettlebell swing
7 ball slams, 7 kettlebell swing
8 ball slams, 8 kettlebell swing
9 ball slams, 9 kettlebell swing
10 ball slams, 10 kettlebell swing

Take 1-2 minute break then go back down the pyramid from 10 to 1!

Finish up workout with 3 more 30 second sprints then perform 10 push ups after each sprint. Repeat 3 times! 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday "Let your faith be bigger than your fears"

Happy Sunday! I am more than half Irish so clearly on St Patty Day weekend I just left the bar…already feeling those squats hah! It is a great feeling to know you put everything you had into your workout, and leave feeling accomplished! 

Following any kind of new plan can seem scary at times because its unfamiliar and you don't know what to expect. It is really important to trust the process and yourself! If you give whatever task your trying to accomplish your best efforts then the rest will fall into place. I have definitely learned that throughout this prep.I was a little apprehensive to try a new flexible dieting plan along with interval and circuit training, rather than long steady state cardio, but the process is coming together---have faith!

Workout: Legs 
Superset 1:
-Wide stance squat with Olympic bar
-Side stepup on bench holding 25 lb plate (10-12 on each side)
-10 half burpee (no push up)

Superset 2:
-Front squat with Olympic bar
-Bulgarian split squat holding 25 lb plate foot up on bench (10-12 on each side)
-10 half burpee

Superset 3:
-Smith machine donkey kickback (10 on each side)
-Walking lunges with bar (I used 40 lb, Alicia used 60 lb)
-10 half burpee

Superset 4:
-Reverse hack squat 
-Back hyper extension (focus on squeezing booty on way up)
-10 half burpee

Superset 5:
-Cable kickback straight for first 2 sets, out to side for last 2 sets (10 on each side)
-Side shuffle using small band around ankles
-10 half burpee

I decided to do bike sprints, while Alicia did speed intervals on the stair stepper! Whatever type of cardio you choose, just remember to go hard and give it your all! 

Bike Sprints-
30 second on 100% effort sprint, 30 second rest at level 9, 10, 11, 12. Repeat 3 times! 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Saturday Luck of the Irish Circuits

What better way is there to start your St Patty Day weekend off than doing some circuit workouts! The thing I love about circuits is keeping an elevated heart rate throughout the whole circuit- which means more calories burnt! Circuits are always a great way to switch up your exercise routines, allowing you to incorporate the full body. Moving quickly from one exercise to the next allows you to complete a full workout in half the time, while keeping your workouts new and exciting! Don't get me wrong I love lifting weights, but nothing like jumping around during a circuit! These two circuits should leave you sweaty and feeling accomplished when you leave the gym! 

Circuit 1
-15 box jumps 
-50 flutter kicks for abs
-25 kettlebell swings (25 lb kettlebell) 
-20 double, 20 single with battle rope

Repeat this circuit 4 times through with no to minimal breaks! 

Circuit 2
-16 push ups with leg kick through touching opposite hand and foot
-10 half burpee (so no pushup) into tuck jump
-10 plank holds on bosu ball flat side up (10 crossover opposite knee to elbow on each side, then 10 spider plank drawing the knee to outside of shoulder then back to plank position on each side)
-45 air squats (really focus on squeezing the booty at top position) or if your feeling daring try 25 jump squats

Repeat this circuit 4 times through with no to minimal breaks! 

Ab circuit
-15 V ups
-25 side crunch on both sides
-50 toe touches
-15 plank roll outs with forearm on exercise ball

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday "Your future is created by what you do today"

So all I can say is flexible dieting is the best part of this prep! I have learned through prep that I have a tendency to way over estimate how much food I am cooking. I think a common epidemic today is that true portion sizes are unknown. When I measure out my vegetables and fish, I am not going to lie sometimes I am disappointed by the small amount it seems to be, but its only because when we go out to eat we are given gigantic portions! Moderation is key in life and learning how to control portion sizes is what helps allow one to make the lifestyle changes necessary! (notice I did not say diet because a diet is temporary, and we are making long lasting lifestyle changes) The key to portion control is measuring/weighing, and eventually you will be able to eyeball the right amounts!

Workout: Upper body
Superset 1:
-Seated Arnold press
-Seated alternating bicep curl
-20 pop squats

Superset 2:
-Lateral raise using cable
-Alternating dumbbell hammer curls
-50 mountain climbers

Superset 3:
-Preacher curl with Ez bar
-Skull crusher with Ez bar on bench
-10 burpees

Superset 4:
-Reverse curl with Ez bar
-Overhead single arm dumbbell tri extension
-15 jump squats

Superset 5:
-Tri rope pulldown
-Rope bicep curl
-12 switch jump lunges

Cardio: I feel like this is important to mention that when doing HIIT it is crucial to really push yourself on the 30 second sprint! I am talking all out 100% sprint like your peddling for your life speed! These only take 12-15 minutes to complete so try your best to remain at high intensity!
Bike Sprints (I know I have been doing these a lot lately, but I love the burn!)

Sprint 30 seconds on, 30 second rest at level 9, 10, 11, 12. Repeat 3-4 times!

Progress Pics

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tuesday "Make today COUNT"

Happy Tuesday! So 17 days out from my second show and never felt better! I am doing this prep by myself with no nutritionist or trainer, just great knowledgeable people in my life who have given advice and guidance. At the start of prep I was following a meal plan I had purchased last year for my first show (don't get me wrong it worked, I looked the part last year), but was feeling fatigued and deprived this time around! I know that during prep I am not going to be indulging in peanut butter and cake, but I couldn't handle my previous plan that consisted of protein powder, rice cakes, oats, fish and 3 oz of broccoli. I do not eat typical "bodybuilding foods" such as eggs or chicken, but knew I had to switch for my own mental and physical health. I am currently doing "flexible dieting" or "iifym- if it fits your macros" for my plan. I was not very knowledgeable about this type of eating or how it worked before, but it is the best thing that could have happened in this prep! I know my macro numbers (carbs, fat, protein, cals) that I need to reach each day, and eat foods that help me achieve the perfect ratio! So instead of rice cakes which have almost no nutritional value except carbohydrates, I am now eating a variety of foods and not feeling deprived and most importantly have energy! I will write more about flexible dieting and my meal plan in upcoming posts! 

Workout 1: Morning Cardio
15 incline sprints on treadmill (sprint 30 seconds, rest 30-60 seconds)
5 sprints at 5% incline -speed 11
10 sprints at 15% incline- speed 10

20 minutes on stepmill (I used the preset workouts today tried calorie burner at moderate hard level)

Keeping my eye on the prize! Improve yourself, don't compare yourself!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday "if opportunity doesn't knock, build a door"

Sorry I have not posted in a few days, but I am back! 21 days out from the first show and I am feeling excited and nervous! No one can really prepare you for how you will feel or act when you get up on stage in a teeny tiny bikini in front of strangers! Lucky for me, I have a dance background and have been on stage before just not in clear heels or with an orange tan! The next 20 days need to be 100% commitment to my meal plan, the gym, and posing practice! Sometimes it can be hard to see the end goal when the date for the goal is a few months off, so you think you have time to slack and cheat! Right now is when it is crucial to hit the gym hard and eat clean (even though summer seems so far away) if we want to make summer 2014 our best and healthiest one yet! 

Some more of my favorite prep foods:
-Quest protein bars any flavor
-Extra dessert gum
-Sour patch gum
-P28 bread (OMG amazing pre workout meal)

Workout: Back/ Bi (4 rounds, 10-15 reps)
Superset 1:
-Seated row
-Bent over single arm dumbbell row
-20 pop squats

Superset 2:
-Straight arm pull down with straight bar
-One arm bicep cable curl
-20 squat jump

Superset 3:
-Seated alternating dumbbell curl
-Standing alternating hammer curl
-Alternating punches with 10 pound dumbbells
-15 switch lunges

Superset 4:
-Incline beach dumbbell curls
-Ez bar curl (30-40 pound bar 7 reps top half of range, 7 reps bottom to middle range, 7 full range of rep motion)
-20 pop squat

Cardio:Bike Sprints x 4 rounds 
30 second sprint level 9, 30 second at level 4
30 second sprint at level 10, 30 second at level 4
30 second sprint at level 11, 30 second at level 4
30 second sprint at level 12, 30 second at level 4