Top 3 Low-Cal Recipes of the Week

25 Jun

I have been using a different approach to nutrition these days. No longer does my diet consist of chicken breast and sweet potato every 2-3 hours. I am losing one lb a week simply by counting my calories(1500-1800 a day), making sure I eat at least 15 g protein with each meal and working out about 5 times a week. Here are some of my favorite low-calorie recipes of the week. Yes, I eat gluten. Yes, I eat dairy. As soon as I start to plateau, I may need to cut some of it out, but I am still making progress. Slow and steady is the name of the game.

 

1. Ground Turkey Patty Melt

I got this recipe from http://www.mamalaughlin.com. I came across the recipe on pinterest and I must say, it feels like I am cheating everytime I eat this. Best part? It only has 300 calories.  I juice some kale and spinach along with this and am satisfied for quite a while.

patty melt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the recipe, click here.

2.Skinny Cheeseburger Pie

This was a big hit with my husband, and it is so flavorful you feel guilty for eating it. Luckily, one serving only has 244 calories. I serve this with a side of green veggies.  For the recipe click here

cheeseburger pie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Quick and Lean Lasagna

I adapted a Lee Labrada recipe to fit my taste buds. This recipe is delish and very filling.

I sauted some mushrooms and zuchinni in garlic, salt, olive oil and crushed red pepper.

Then, I took 1lb of lean, grassfed beef and browned it in olive oil, garlic and salt.

Next, I boiled some whole wheat penne pasta.

Once all was cooked, I placed 3 oz of the beef, 1/2 cup veggies, 1/2 cup penne and topped it with 1/2 cup diced tomatoes and 1 heaping tablespoon of cottage cheese. It was delish! For additional recipes, follow me on Instagram @eviebrit

 

pasta

Body After Baby- 5 months postpartum

13 Jun
(left) me 8 months pregnant(right)5 months postpartum

(left) me 8 months pregnant(right)5 months postpartum

 

 

I just wanted to share progress photos from this week.  The” before” was taken at my baby shower…I was close to 8 months pregnant and freakin’ huge. I was still working out, but I was eating crazy on the weekends.  A few weeks after that pic was taken, my doctor found out I had an underactive thyroid and I was placed on thryroid meds. The “after” photo (no makeup so please excuse me. I know…it is scary) is  5 months after giving birth. I still have some leaning out and tightening up to do, but I have more tricks up my sleeve to utilize when  I hit a plateau. I have not necessarily been eating “clean” but simply counting my calories (1500 to 1800 per day), making sure I eat at least 15g protein with each meal, eating every 3 hours, eating veggies and working out 4-5 times a week. Just this week, I started making the effort to eat ” cleaner”, and I have increased the intensity of my workouts….I added 1 day of hiit cardio to my current regimen . This hiit session I spend running on the treadmill for 30 min (warm up for 3 min-1 min steady jog-30 second sprint-repeat for 30min). Where I was only doing cardio about 4x a week, I bumped it up to 5x a week.

Note: When I get the chance,  I will try to post some of my meals and recipes in a separate blog. In the meantime, you can follow me on Instagram @eviebrit

 

This Week’s Training

Sunday-leg day-

10 minutes of weighted walking lunges.  12×4 reverse hack squats. 12×3 cable kickbacks. 12×3 weighted calf raises.  12×3 hamstring curls .12×3 leg presses

Monday- recovery 30 min elliptical machine

Tuesday- HIIT cardio-running on treadmill for 30min. Abs

Wednesday- leg day

Thursday- recovery

Friday- 30 min of cardio (hiit on elliptical or hiit on cardio)

Saturday- Upper Body workout followed by spin class

 

Body After Baby

11 Jun

e-britIt has been quite a while since my last blog entry, and boy has my life drastically changed. Just a little re-cap (I apologize if this is poorly written as I am rushing to finish this before my baby wakes from his nap):

In 2012, I was documenting my experiences prepping for my first NPC Bikini Competition.  I lost over 20lbs in the process, placed third in my class, then rebounded quite horribly. I spent the next few months in a bit of a depression. I was just getting back into the groove and prepping for another photoshoot and show when I found out I was pregnant.  A very pleasant surprise, nonetheless!

While welcoming a baby boy into the world has been the most beautiful experience of my life, my pregnancy definitely wreaked havoc on my physique. In fact, I gained a whopping 50lbs. It all started  in my first trimester when I could no longer stomach my clean eating staples….I could not hold down my go-to’s like sweet potatoes, chicken and asparugus. The thought of those foods made me nauseated. While I continued to work out, I could only handle simple starches like crackers, soda and pasta. At first, it didnt relfect on the scale. Then, thanks to a clotting disorder, I almost had a miscarriage and was placed on bed rest. I think the first 2 weeks of bed rest I gained 10lbs….yikes!

From then on, my taking it easy and embracing pregnancy became my focus. I stopped fretting over my weight gain, and learned to love myself and my bump. All of that time off gave me a lot of opportunity to reflect. I could not wait to loose the baby weight and get back  in shape, but this time I decided I had to do it slow and steady.

It has been 5 months since giving birth to a healthy baby boy and I have lost all of the baby weight.  I have had to do things a little differently this time though……I have never had so much weight to lose and I really had to pace myself. Because I am so impatient, I am often tempted to resort to extreme measures (think: hours of cardio a day and nothing but spinach and grilled fish for meals). I know myself a little better now and know that this is not a sustainable weight-loss regimen. Not to mention, I still cannot stomach sweet potatoes and tilapia (or chicken breast for that matter).

So, I approached my weight loss in a very practical matter- I counted calories and made sure to include plenty of proteins and veggies in my diet. I also, gradually, began lifting heavy and only doing 30 minutes of cardio at a time. Yes…it was depressing at times to see how much I had regressed in terms of my physical capabilities. But, it is starting to come back! I have gotten so much stronger.

While I have lost the weight, I am still not pleased by what I see in the mirror. My physique is still not as lean as I would like, but I am slowly getting there.  My time away has allowed me to become reacquainted with myself…to learn not to be so rigid on myself…to learn to love life. I have realized that I love food and I love wine on the weekends. I cannot deprive myself of these simple pleasures, but I must learn to attain a happy balance.  I can either have a perfect body and deny myself of the pleasures that grant me happiness, or I can have a healthy body (with a few things I would still like to tweak) and enjoy life to its fullest…treating myself to the occasional margarita. Unfortunately, my genetics prevent me from having it all, but that is ok.

My goal now is to reach the place where I love my body and  my life.  I love my life, but I am a work  in progress in terms of my physique.

I will be posting progress pics and recipes on Instagram. Follow @eviebrit

 

Music is a Must When Working Out

1 Aug

“Music is like is a legal drug for athletes. It can reduce the perception of effort significantly and increase endurance by as much as 15 percent.”-  Costas Karageorghis, Ph.D., from London’s Brunel University School of Sport and Education

It doesnt take a rocket scientist to prove the positive effects of music on one’s workout and there is nothing worse than stepping onto the treadmill, ready to sprint, only to find out your ipod battery is dead.

Here are some musical suggestions of mine guaranteed to pump up the intensity of your workout.

  • MSTRKRFT (artist)” Fist of God” and “Bounce” ..both cardio favs of mine
  • Girl Talk (artist) “Night Ripper” and “Feed the animals” both great albums (especially for upbeat cardio)
  • The Prodigy(artist) “Smack by b*tch up” and “Firestarter”
  • Tool(artist)…I love to crank up “The Pot” when doing heavy squats. 🙂
  • Peaches (artist) “I feel cream” and “Boys Wanna be her”
  • NIN(artist)”Head like a hole”

Just a warning, I dont like a lot of  mainstream music. I prefer electronic-oriented music especially when working out. Now download some new tunes, and get going!!

Lessons Learned from My First NPC Bikini Competition

26 Jul

Although my first bodybuilding competition was almost two months ago, I am just now taking the time to condense all of my thoughts and reflections into a blog.  I suppose my delay has been from a combination of burn out and, in all honesty, some form of Bipolar-ism as it relates to the feelings I have had about my experience with competitive bodybuilding.

I can definitely say that stepping onto that stage was not one of those life-changing moments full of glory and pride as many of the IFBB Pros disclose in their interviews. Although the show prep, and the experience in its entirety, was life changing and helped me to realize that I am stronger than I had ever given myself credit for, the show itself was a bit of a letdown.  I am not saying this to discourage anyone against competing as I fully intend on competing again. I am expressing myself with such candor so  that you can avoid some of the mistakes I believe were responsible for my less than gratifying experience. Hopefully some of what I am sharing will prepare you newbies so that you do not make the same mistakes.

Experiment with your tan weeks in advance

I obsessed over my posing, my diet, my training, my hair, my makeup and finding that perfect bikini (I actually purchased 5 in the pursuit of finding that perfect one), but did not put much thought into my tan.  I was told by a few compettitors that no one in my area could spray-tan  dark enough and to purchase “Pro Tan” and simply apply the day before. ha ha….There was nothing simple about the application of this stuff. I did not know to avoid lotion application prior to “Pro Tan” application. As a result, my poor coach, my mom and a fellow compettitor had to “paint” me with the Pro Tan for about 6 hours.  After layer upon runny layer, we simply couldnt get it right.  I had to go in to weigh-ins with a wacked out spray tan. Luckily, I found a sponsored spray tanner at weigh ins, but I had wasted hours upon hours in a frantic state. I was unable to get my nails and other preperation done because I had spent so much time trying to apply a tan that I eventually ended up washing off anyhow. Wow, had this really drained my energy and my swagger. Make sure you have a “plan for your tan” as it is such a major component of show prep.

9 week prep may be too extreme

Depending on your current physique, 9 week prep time may or may not be realistic. When I saw my coach for the first time, 9 weeks out from my first show, I was on the cusp. She warned me that she would prep me for the show but that I may or may not be ready in time for the show I insisted on doing. Although the competttion lifestyle is extreme for most, I would say that  my prep was even more so .  Up to a week prior to the show,  my trainer did not know if I was going to be “stage ready”. I believe this sense of urgency and rush drained my confidence. In the back of my mind, I knew most of my competition had weeks of traning on me and I still cant help but wonder what I would have looked like if I had 3-6 additional weeks of prep under my belt before I stepped on that stage.

Posing and stage presence is just as important as training

Due to my limited time frame, I was only able to get 3 posing lessons in before the show. The biggest problem with this, is the fact that my phsique was changing on a daily basis. My posing routine was evolving as my body did..I never felt that I mastered a solid presentation for my physique as I was experiencing constant change.

Expect the unexpected

It is also important for compettitors to have a flexible frame of mind the day of the show.  During the morning of the show, in the compettitor’s meeting, the head judge announced that bikini compettitors could not do any “side posing”. I panciked as that was an integral part of my routine..i thought it was actually one of my most flattering poses.  Furthermore, the stage directors warned my class that we needed to be brisk on the stage because the other divisions had taken so long. He threatened that if we took over 30 seconds on our individual routine, we would be kicked off the stage. Once again, panic set it. Ultimately, my frantic response to this unexpected change in routine really did a number on my stage presence.

Mixed Emotions

As soon as the show was over, I was ready to plan for my next. It wasnt necessarily that it was the most amazing experience of my life. I simply wanted to redeem and better myself. I suppose I am still  in the pursuit of that “ahh” moment that the pros speak of. That moment when I step on stage, exuding confidence and having the sense that I was the best I could be…no doubts..no regrets..no anxiety.

Demons of Bikini Competition Prep

28 May

Bikini Competition PrepSix weeks ago I was officially handed my 9 week show prep diet and training regimine and absolutely broke into tears. No sugar, no bread, no fruit, no dairy, no alcohol. no fats (not even healthy ones), and no cheat meals. On top of that, I was suppossed to multiply the frequency of my training x 2..Cardio in the morning on an empty stomach, cardio in the evening followed by weight training. How would I ever survive? Weekend cheats were the one pleasure in my life. Then, a sense of clarity and calm washed over me as a voice in my head said, “Simply try your best and take it one day at a time.” “If you are not ready by the show, thats ok”.

One week passed by, and I actually survived. I not only survived, I lost 2 inches in my waist. It was an amazing, exhilirating feeling. My coach was even shocked with how fast my body responded.

Three weeks later, a group of bikini compettitors got together and held a “mock show”. I was so nervous and simply wanted to look like I fit in with the other girls. I took the stage, and, to my surprise, I felt on top of the world. I felt like I belonged on that stage. Not only did I look like I fit in with girls who had been training longer than I and were more experienced , I was told I had an innate stage presence. Following all of the positive feedback, my focus and determination only grew more intense. Not only did I want to make it to my first show, I wanted to place top of my class and that became my new goal. I cranked up the intensity; nothing was going to stop me. Then, just this week almost out of thin air,  knee complications, burn out, doubt,depression and fatigue set in.

Here I am 6 weeks into my show prep and I have cried all week. Where I was loosing inches and lbs on a weekly basis, I have actually gained 2lb this week. Where I once had willpower to adhere strictly to my diet, all I could think about was binging on forbidden foods. I could no longer see my progress when I looked in the mirror, only the areas that needed improvement. I have lost my energy, confidence and will power and actually strayed from my diet last night.  I have gotten so down on myself that I actually told my coach that I may back out of the show.

Now here I sit and weigh the pros and cons…give up now and go back to having fun. going out and being carefree yet letting myself down and throwing away money, sweat, tears and countless hours at the gym or suck it up, pull myself together and tough it out for three more weeks.

Let me just tell you, show prep is a real rollercoaster but I believe i am going to pull myself together and finish what I started. Not only that, I am going to do everything it takes to make it to NPC nationals.   I am going to remember to take it one step at a time. Three weeks seems like an eternity, so I must change my mentality. I am not competing with the other girls, I am competing with myself. I must prove to myself that I can complete a challenge. I must learn to face stressful times without the aide of food or alcohol. I can do this on my own. I can make my dreams a reality with hardwork, willpower and my spirituality.

My First NPC Bikini Compettition

25 May

NPC Bikini Competitor  Training

Prepping for my first bikini competition

When I first discovered bodybuilding in October of 2011, I never would have imagined I would be training for my first bikini show five months later but here I am three weeks out  on this radical roller-coaster known as compettition prep.   Let me share with you a brief synopsis of life experiences that led me to bodybuilding.

 Interest in Bikini Competitions started with..

Since 14 years of age, I have struggled with my weight. I was a ballet dancer and, unfortunately, was not blessed with a ballerina’s physique. I began taking diet pills and following a highly restrictive diet. Although that approach worked a while, I quickly became burnt out and gained about 20-30 lbs as I rebounded from borderline anorexia with a wrecked metabolism.

Since then, my weight and diet has “yo-yo”ed (up , down, up down). On a day where nothing seemed to fit me right, almost in tears, I thought, there has to be a better way to maintain a healthy physique. Habitual weight fluctuation cannot be good.  That’s when my mom came to my rescue.

My favorite bodybuilding resources

Back in October,  my mom showed me some websites she had recently discovered in which she thought had some great resources for healthy training and diets. As soon as I began reading the female competitor interviews on simplyshredded.com, bodybuilding.com and cutandjacked, I became obsessed with attaining those sort of physiques and began a basic “bodybuilding” training and diet regimine.  I never wanted to look like your stereotypical bodybuilder, but I saw these women with beautiful, feminine yet lean physiques(bikini pros) who swore by weight-lifting. I thought to myself, “if it worked for them , it can work for me” “obviously the excessive cardio and starch infused diets(aka lean cuisines) of the past have not worked…what do you have to lose?”.

You can’t out-train a bad diet

Although I was very dedicated to this new form of training(heavy weights, less cardio), i was not getting the results I wanted. Why? Because, although my diet was almost spot-on Monday thru Thursday, I went out drinking and not paying attention to what I put in my mouth on the weekends. For example, Saturdays, I would wake up , go to hour long spin class, then get dressed up and head out for high calorie, booze-induced lunches and brunches with friends.  Since I have cleaned up my diet, cut out the alcohol(which has been soooo hard), I have lost 6 inches in my waist, 2 in my hips and lost almost 20 lbs since october of 2011.

In my next blog, I will discuss the challenges I have faced with my competition prep.

For clean recipes, please “like” my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/EvieBritFitness