Last year, when I got in the best shape of my life and competed in my first NPC bikini contest, it took less than six months for me to get back out of shape! The contest was July 2014 and by Thanksgiving, I had gained about 10 pounds (a lot on such a short girl) and had lost a lot of my muscle tone. Right after the contest, I stopped working out with my trainer and then wasn’t going to the gym much. My eating was all over the place and I was indulging in too many sweet treats (my weakness!). So, I returned to my trainer at the end of 2014, and by March 2015, had committed to a second bikini contest in July 2015 to really help me get back into great shape.
Now that the second contest is over, I’m determined to do things differently to stay in shape. And, even though I have a MAJOR case of the summer lazies, I am still training with my trainer 3 days a week and I plan to continue indefinitely. It’s been hard to get the motivation to get up for my 8:30 a.m. training sessions since that gym isn’t particularly convenient and who wants to fight morning traffic in the summer, but I don’t want to lose my spot, because it works out so perfectly when my son is in school and he starts back soon. I love getting my workout over with first thing in the morning so I don’t have to think about it the rest of the day and it helps me eat better. And, I’m tying to do two days of cardio – 45 minutes each. Usually running outside or on the treadmill.
BUT, I have to admit, I’m over the contest meal plan. I just don’t want to eat that strictly and that mundane anymore. I can’t even make myself eat a meal of chicken breast, veggies and rice right now. I know I have to find the right kind of meal plan that I can sustain as a lifestyle and not just as a 12-week “get-in-contest-shape.” I’m finding my way. I need to continue to eat a healthy balance of protein, veggies and carbs, but I want to eat them in more interesting ways and with more variety. I love to cook and have missed creating new dishes and tasting different flavors.
So, for example, I still like my morning protein pancake, but I also like steel cut oats with a splash of milk, teaspoon of brown sugar, a few raisins and some walnuts or sliced almonds. Or bacon and eggs. And grilled chicken is still fine to eat, but with a side of tomato and avocado salad and corn on the cob.
I made burgers with lean turkey breast this week and instead of a whole wheat bun (I found that was too much bread), put it on 100% whole wheat toast (crust cut off) with low-fat cheese, light mayo, ketchup, arugula, tomato and onion. I’d do a lettuce wrap bun as an alternative to bread, but I didn’t have any on hand.
This summer salad with tomato, avocado, red onion, feta, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper is a favorite around here. I also took it to a party recently and every last bite was gone and I was asked to bring it again. You can make variations of this salad with olives, cucumber, chickpeas, and white beans too.
This flat bread prosciutto, mozzarella, arugula pizza with fig spread is delicious! The flat bread is high in calories (240), so I don’t eat it that often. I put a light dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper on the arugula before topping the pizza.
Caprese salad is another thing I’ve indulged in lately as a light snack. I add a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic too (not pictured).
I’m also crazy for greek yogurt, topped with a handful of granola and blueberries. So good!
And occasionally, for breakfast or even dinner, I want bacon and eggs. I used two whole eggs and could’ve went with two pieces of bacon, with 100% whole wheat toast dry.
And of course, to satisfy my sweet tooth, I have to have some ice cream. Or so I thought. I’ve found that TCBY Frozen Yogurt tastes just as good (really!) and saves me half the fat and less calories than regular ice cream.
TCBY has some super delicious flavors including Sea Salt Caramel, Chocolate Moose Tracks (has peanut butter in it!), English Toffee Crunch, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (my fave!), Mint Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate Chunk, Classic Vanilla Bean and Extreme Cookies and Creme.
It sure starts to melt fast in the Houston summer heat! Better get to licking! 😉
I feel like life is too short to live without sweet treats! Makes me think of that Maroon 5 song, “Sugar” – “Need a little sweetness in my life!” Ha! But also so true. It’s surely about balance, eating well and healthy most of the time, making “better bad choices”, indulging in desserts, and being active and moving to make us feel physically good on the inside.
And TCBY is giving away Frozen Yogurt for 3 months (6 cartons, a $30 value) to one lucky reader! Just visit the TCBY site and leave a comment letting me know what flavor you are most interested in trying! I’ll tell you based on personal experience the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough does not disappoint and neither does the Moose Tracks!