Competition Prep – Breakfast

I have a specified quota of oats, berries and eggs for my breakfast each morning and have found one of the easiest and tastiest ways to enjoy these is to combine them all together in a protein pancake.

protein pancake Jan 2013

To make this pancake I used 50 grams of oat bran, 50 grams of raspberries, 2 eggs and 2 egg whites.  I sprayed the pan with low calorie spray and sprinkled cinnamon on top.  If I wasn’t dieting I would cook it in coconut oil and top it with honey or nut butter.  Alternatively you can drop the egg yokes and use the coconut oil anyway, which I will do from time to time to mix it up a bit.


Happy New Year

The 1st of January is the day most people will be starting their new year’s resolutions and will hopefully be full of motivation to reach their goals.  This is the time that you should be setting out exactly what you want to achieve, how you are going to achieve it and what time you are setting aside to achieve it in.  There are three questions that are vital to your success (see this article for more details):

“What am I going to do?”

“When am I going to do it?”

“How am I going to do it?”

I have roughly 16 weeks until the competition and for the last few weeks I have been eating healthy, though not measuring or recording what I eat, and training as normal.  I will be starting with a trainer on January 7th for diet and training and have spent the past week reviewing my meal plans, trying out different recipes and alternatives.  I have found from past experiences that if I have tasty meals I find it easier to stick to my diet.  So I have set a goal of sticking to my competition diet and using the framework above I will achieve it as follows:

“What am I going to do?”

I am going to diet for a competition over the course of 16 weeks.

“When am I going to do it?”

I am going to prep food on a Friday, Sunday and Wednesday for the days ahead.

“How am I going to do it?”

I will type up and print out my meal plans for training and non-training days, I will draw up a shopping list from my meal plans and I will go shopping ahead of time and ensure I have everything on hand for my prep days. I will weigh and record my food intake for 16 weeks, aiming to stay within predetermined calorie and macro-nutrient ranges.

How I got back into training after giving birth

It is not easy to get back into your normal training routine after having a baby and more importantly you must give your body time to recover from the birth.  I did not do any training apart from walking for the first 6/8 weeks after the birth of my daughter.  You should consult with your healthcare provider to ensure you are ready to go back to training.

Workouts – Cardio and Strength Training

I love weight training but found over the course of my pregnancy that there were times I had no energy and therefore my training slipped.  As a result of this I eased myself back into the strength training with some all over body workouts performed as circuits.  I aimed to complete 4 weights sessions a week.  It is hard to fit in long sessions when you have a small baby to look after so I purposely kept the workouts short and aimed to target every major muscle group over the course of the week.

Each circuit took me a total of approximately 15 mins each – I used my stairs and any washing I needed to hang (which any other parents out there will know there is always plenty of that) as my warm up and did some stretching at the end.  If you are new the lifting, in addition to warming up, you can perform a quick run through the circuit with lighter or no weights at all, this helps to let your muscles know what you want them to do.

In addition to the strength training I went walking with either the pram or my baby in a carrier.  I bought my pram and carrier with walking in mind and therefore I was very comfortable with whatever option I choose.  My little one is a fair weight now so when I use the carrier I see that as some extra strength training 🙂

I generally walked 5 days out of the 7, doing roughly 1.5 – 3 miles.  Sometimes I didn’t walk the complete distance in one go and had to split it up.  It is more important to get out there and do something as opposed to doing nothing because you feel you cant do a lot.

How did you get back into training after having a baby?  If you haven’t yet what do you think would help you?

Are you in Diet Prison – are your food rules too restrictive?

Long term health is not the same as a quick fix diet.  Your aim should be to find a balance between eating healthy and planning occasional treats that will help you stay on track without feeling deprived.

An example of a highly restrictive diet boundary would be to suggest that ‘all carbs are bad’ and attempt to restrict your intake of carbs, all carbs. In this case you’ve given yourself very little room for error without crossing your diet boundary and thus letting the flood gates open for a binge. It will only take one bite of a muffin, or bread, or pasta, or rice, or potato, or cereal, or anything baked, or anything made from just about any grain for you to have effectively crossed your self-induced ‘carb’ diet boundary. This is a highly restrictive boundary and one that you will likely cross on a routine basis because it requires more ego strength (mental and emotional energy) than you can likely muster on a daily basis for more than a few days. To make matters worse, the tighter your boundaries are the worse your binge will be when you cross that boundary. – John Barban – To The Extreme: 6 Diets From The Edge

Interesting article demonstrating how fad diets are not only unsustainable, and likely to cause you to rebound, but they are also extremely unhealthy. – To The Extreme: 6 Diets From The Edge.

Your aim should be incorporate habits into your daily life that makes your entire lifestyle healthy – this will result in long-term fat loss and less stress on the body.



Healthy Chocolate Moose with Avocado, Coconut, Cocoa and Stervia

If you fancy chocolate moose but don’t want to cheat then try this recipe. I have been using it when I fancy something that tastes like I shouldn’t be eating it. All you need is a blender and a fridge.

Note there are 25g of healthy fats so it may not suit everyone’s eating plan, but it is extremely healthy and tasty. In order to add more protein I suggest adding a scoop of protein powder per dessert. If you want to reduce the number of grams of fat you could use low fat coconut milk or make the portions smaller.  Let me know if you try it out – find the recipe here.

What is BMI for?

Almost all people think that BMI tells you about excess fat when in fact the BMI measure basically lets you know about the connection involving your height and your weight, it won’t take body makeup into account. Experts would convince you when you’ve got a high BMI, you’re more vulnerable to developing certain conditions. This can not work for individuals of an athletic build, who normally, weigh heavy with regards to height, as they simply carry far more muscle tissue. So BMI, as a measurement by itself, has its limitations – as it doesn’t have context. My hub answers this question more fully.