This is one of my very first attempts at blogging. The intent of this blog is to share with you my trials, tribulations, and foodgasms! But first, a little background on yours truly.
My mother is a nutritionist and I have been cooking with Mama P since I could hold a spatula and say "chicken." I love cooking - I love the artistry it requires, I love the presentation of food on a plate that somehow seems to make it look THAT much more delicious, and I love watching other people take pleasure in eating food that I have created. It took me a few years after graduating from college to really hone my cooking skillz, but I turned into a pretty damn good cook. Timing is everything with cooking: you have to know when to start boiling the water, tenderizing the meat, and cutting up vegetables so that everything is finished at exactly the same time. Other than that, anyone can cook. If you can read and follow directions, there is absolutely no reason that you can't be a good cook. Practice makes perfect, just like everything else in life. There is no excuse to not be able to cook delicious, nutritious meals for you and your family every night. None. Most of my meals are created in under 30 minutes.
Now some brief background on how I got into figure competitions. I have been an athlete all my life: basketball, soccer, softball, track - I did it all. I love sports, always have, always will, and I will always define myself as an athlete. I played sports all the way through college, and after I graduated, I had absolutely no outlet for my competitive nature. I trained for and ran a half marathon, but that didn't do the trick. I was in the gym lifting and running every day, but I never had the physique that I thought I should for doing all that work. I looked fine in a bikini and fit into my size 4 pants, but I didn't look like I wanted to. I find muscles on women to be awesome, and incredibly sexy. I get very excited about a delt taper on a chick - it means she's strong, in more ways than 1, and it means she's dedicated to her body and her health. I never had nice delts, and I was tired of not looking fly in my tank tops. A trainer at my gym, Leigh Ann, was an NPC fitness competitor, and SHE had some fly delts. So...............I asked her to train me. She agreed, and we made some magic within only about a month. Seeing how well my body responded to a healthier diet and a different way of lifting, I decided to follow in her footsteps and throw my hat into the competition ring. She beefed me up, ripped me up, and prepped me for my 1st show, and boy did I look good. And I finally got my delt taper, with some nice stomach veins and a 6-pack, to boot. I won my height class and felt like I had accomplished my goals.
After placing 5th at Jr. USAs a few months later, I decided to enter my very 1st off season. I packed on lots of muscle, but got a little lost along the way. I started to struggle with the regimented nature of measuring out all the food that goes into your mouth, and I hadn't cooked myself dinner in over a year. I really, really missed that. So here I am, still in an off-season, but finally enjoying healthy food in a less-strict way. I still eat VERY healthy about 6-7x/day, and I still weigh some things (because if I don't measure my PB, I will eat the entire jar), but I'm changing my menu every day, reaching for things that I haven't eaten in years, and I am in a much better place, mentally.
To give you an idea of what types of things I'm eating, here was today's healthy off-season menu:
Breakfast: 1 low carb whole wheat tortilla, 4 egg whites, 3 slices turkey bacon. I made a delicious breakfast burrito and added some fat free cheddar. It seriously tasted like a breakfast sammich from McDonalds. And I had about 1/2 c blueberries on the side. Because blueberries and BP go together like peas and carrots.
Snack: 1 scoop whey, 2 caramel corn rice cakes
Lunch: 1 arnolds multigrain sandwich thin, 1 slice reduced fat pepper jack cheese, 2oz deli turkey meat, tomato, red onion, lettuce with fat free mayo and mustard. For "dessert" I had 1 c of greek yogurt with a little sugar free, fat free chocolate jello pudding mix stirred in. It made it thick, like custard. Heavenly, and very dessert-like.
Snack: apple w/ 2 T PB
Dinner: chicken chili topped w/ff cheddar and a little greek yogurt to sub for sour cream.
All of that is about 1900-2000 cals. Just reading about my breakfast sandwich is making me salivate.
And here's my chicken chili recipe w/pics!! This recipe was originally my mom's and is usually made with ground beef and sausage. It's really freaking amazing with the beef, but very high fat, so I've made some changes to make it more "figure" friendly. I'll be here all night, folks.
2 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 grilled chicken breasts, grilled and pulled apart (can also use lean ground turkey)
red pepper flakes
1 can tomato paste
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
black olives (optional)
Heat oil in a large pot. Saute chopped onion until transparent. Add grilled chicken or ground turkey, and brown for a few minutes. If using the turkey, spoon off excess fat after browning. Return pot to low heat and add all remaining ingredients. Let simmer for at least 30 minutes.
I do not measure my spices EVER, so I don't have exact measurements for them. I do tend to put in slightly more dill, because it gives the chili a surprisingly amazing flavor.