No off season. It’s building and improvement season

I’m always meal prepping. During competition prep and now, in this building and improvement season. During this time I am introducing new foods as well as reintroducing some of my trusted favorites into my diet.

Introducing Zucchini Lentil Pasta into my reverse diet

I’ve been looking at the probably not so new Birdseye vegetables and combinations for a few months. I just couldn’t add them into my meal plan until now. I’m excited about the additions and opportunities.

New foods introducing into my diet:

  • Cream of wheat (not new new, but I haven’t had it since I was a New Jersey kid)
  • Black rice
  • Cauliflower rice (I had a little of it during the end of my last prep but it’s time to really use it)
  • vegetable pasta

Some of the usual suspects are returning:

  • Oatmeal
  • Ezekiel bread
  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Kodiak cakes (pancakes)

A look at this week’s meals

grocery shopping basketMy diet looks a lot like it did during my competition prep. A few things are changing and I am allowing myself to experiment a little bit. I will be journaling to keep track of it all on the road to NPC Junior USA. This week’s proteins include lean ground turkey, chicken, turkey breast and egg whites. Shrimp will be in the mix for a couple of my clients.

Here are a few meals:

Chicken with roasted tomatoes and red onions
Chicken with roasted tomatoes and red onions
cilantro lime shrimp cauliflower rice
Cilantro lime shrimp with cauliflower rice

This week while I was in the store I saw the turkey breast and thought about Thanksgiving. And since I can eat carbs three times a day, I will have a mini Thanksgiving this week. Can you blame a girl? Psst. I will save the macaroni and cheese until November.

Improvement season

I want this improvement season to be about growth and learning – physically, emotionally and then some. I have learned a lot about my body in the past year but there is still more to learn as we move towards the 2018 season, which will include my first national bodybuilding shows.

improvement and building season beginsIt’s amazing how far I have come in the past two years. I wanted to compete as a new challenge as I approached my 40th birthday after running half marathons for a few years. It didn’t happen exactly that way, but it did happen after turning 41. But it wasn’t until this last show, NPC Stewart Fitness Championships, that I really could see myself as a competitive bikini athlete. I felt as if I belonged on the stage and could compete for one of the top spots as well as eventually compete on a national level.

My coach and I will take feedback from the judges and apply that to my training. Our focus will continue to be on my glutes, hamstrings and quads while improving my conditioning. Another huge focus will be my walk and confidence; both have improved but there is still room for improvement.

I will share a lot about this improvement season as we aim for NPC Junior USA in Charleston, SC in May 2017. There will be exercises, diet, meals, supplements and much more that comes with being an athlete. It’s amazing how much goes into being a bodybuilding athlete.

One thing I am keeping in mind is something Patti LaBelle said in Oprah’s Master Class, “Don’t be afraid of change.”

Sometimes that is hard, but I believe that I have the best coach and mentor for me. I am continuing to let her plot the course and have me follow. She has not led me wrong to this date.

What are you working to improve in your life?

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