I’m engaged!!!

Wow… ok, focus

My wonderful fiancee and I looking oh so happy.

Ok, so remember how I said I was starting prep for June 14th on Monday this week? Well that didn’t happen… mostly because I got engaged and have been having many many celebratory drinkies with friends and family and decided to take a week to just soak it all in instead.

So now it’s been 9 days since the proposal and I’m refocusing on day-to-day life… and contest prep. So I’m officially starting tomorrow, Saturday March 1st… 15 weeks out from the competition!

I will be blogging about once a week during this prep as my work life is pretty busy and now I have a wedding to plan! So sorry… but I have to be realistic!

Some things that I planning on doing a little differently this time around:

  • Keeping my food more consistent throughout the week (i.e. eating the same thing each day for 7 days (with changes for dinner and late night snack as an option) and then changing on a weekly basis. I’ve always been all over the map with what I eat as long as I hit my targets, and I believe that is the ultimate right way to diet, BUT I want to be able to see how certain foods affect my body and the easiest way to do that is consistency. We will see how long this lasts haha.
  • Taking fewer supplements… I took a boat load of vitamins and BCAA type supplements last prep and I’m just going to try to keep it simpler this time… largely in an effort to save money for my WEDDING!!! (can you tell you will be hearing lot’s about this?)

    I had to find a place for the ring while I worked out… necklaces work!

  • Be better with my HIIT cardio and use active rest – I lift really heavy even when I’m not meaning too and it makes active rest next to impossible because I need that time to.. you know… actually rest. I’m going to try to be better with periodization this time around and actually use active rest instead of resorting to LISS cardio.

Things I am keeping the same:

  • My calories will still be high and mighty! I’m starting this cut at about 2000-2100 cals/day. I worked really hard on my metabolism this offseason (read: I ate A LOT of EVERYTHING)I gained a lot more than I intended but I also put on way more muscle that I thought I could. So I’m not worried. I haven’t tracked my food in a while, but I’d guess that my daily average cals are over 3000. So I should be able to lose weight relatively easily!
  • Lifting heavy (most of the time) – this is what I love and what keeps me coming back… so I won’t be doing too much circuit training or lighter weight higher reps until the very end of prep.
  • I’ll still be flexible and have a life. Just like last prep, I firmly maintain that this should be an enjoyable experience and one where you can still go on a date, or have a dinner out with the girls.

So it begins…

15 weeks and counting!

Also – look at this amazing proposal video I got to watch before he popped the question!!!! Ok enough bragging… sorry. I promise to learn to be modest at some point.

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The end of offseason

Time has flown by! My offseason is almost over!

I can say for sure that I have made some HUGE gains… especially in my shoulders and calves (which was the goal of this off-season). I have also added general thickness throughout my body. I am as heavy (i.e. I weigh the same) as last offseason just before I started cutting again but there are 2 major differences this time around

  1. This time I have consistently added carbs and calories (probably too many) and at no point did I decrease my intake because I was freaking out about gaining too much. Even though I gained more than I wanted to, I felt that I would be better off staying at the higher calories and higher weight that if I were to drop my calories and start cutting at a lower weight

    Back and shoulders got HUGE

  2. I’m starting my cut 15 weeks out from competition as opposed to 12. This is because I am taking a trip to Disney World 5 weeks out from my competition and want to have some wiggle room and because I want to get a little leaner than last time and don’t want to have to do too much cardio.

In addition to these facts, this offseason has been GREAT for my mental health. I slowly eased off the diet and then slowly eased off counting calories. I haven’t recorded food in over a month now and it has been quite relaxing!

I gained back about 15-17 pounds this offseason (about the same as last time) but I’m way happier about it this time around. I only got to this weight in the last 2 weeks so it has been a pretty slow progression (4 months) and right up to about 2 weeks ago I have felt fabulous about the way I look. Like 100% willing to wear a bikini and walk around kind of fabulous. These last 2 pounds are right at that tipping point where I feel I need to lose weight to feel comfortable again and conveniently I have planned to start cutting next week. So in total I will have felt “not fabulous” about my body for a total of 3 weeks before starting to diet. I’d call that a win as well as good planning.

Deadlift PRs all over the place 🙂

Another major “win” in my mind is the massive fitness gains I have made. I am stronger than I have ever been; pushing my PRs beyond what I thought I could which is largely due to the excess calories and not being exhausted all the time.

Loving your body for what it can do and not just how it looks can really make all the difference in the world when you are going in and out of contest prep.

As I mentioned I will be starting contest prep next week by first starting to reintroduced a cardio session or 2 and then I will start officially dieting the first week of March. That means I will be a lot more active on my blog here because I will have a lot more info to share! This will be my third round of contest prep and my 3rd year of competitions, so hopefully I can build on my existing knowledge and nail this one!

The contest date is June 14th… wish my luck! And come back for updates and lots of info 🙂

SiS: Adventures in Competing – Week 8: Lifestyle

In our eighth episode of our Adventures in Competing Erica, Stephanie and I give you some insight into the lifestyle of a fitness competitor who is less than 4 weeks from the stage! In my case a fitness competitor who got SICK less than 4 weeks from the stage! I give you all the details of what happened, how I dealt with it (both the good and the bad) and what you can do if it happens to you.

Rose Blackman – Young Professional – Eat Clean, Train Dirty, Think Nerdy

Stephanie Laurendeau – Stay at home Mom – Decide, Commit, Succeed

Erica Willick – Finance Exec & Mother – Strong Body-Mind-Life

COMING SOON

Taco Salad and Stuff

From my inspired title you can probably tell I’m still feeling pretty (very) under the weather. But I managed to get my butt into work today and even got in a decent workout. I did a very short chest and tri’s workout that got me a great pump and then hopped on the elliptical for 30 minutes, followed by the stairmaster for 30 minutes. Yes I did an hour of cardio.

Evidence of the wonderful pump I got :)

Evidence of the wonderful pump I got 🙂

If you have been following me you might recall that I was not planning on doing hours of LISS (low intensity steady state) cardio. Well turns out trying to do circuit style workouts AND HIIT cardio puts a hell of a lot of strain on you central nervous system and makes you want to crawl in a hole and sleep forever. Who knew? It’s also most definitely NOT recommended for you to do high intensity anything while you are sick because it puts stress on your body and will make your recovery waaaaay longer. So I will be doing between 45 mins to an hour of LISS cardio until I feel back to 100%, then I will start alternating and doing 20 minutes of HIIT 2-3 times a week and LISS on the other days.

This is much more cardio than I had planned, but I’m really struggling to drop weight so “needs must”. Because I know that this much steady state cardio will have an impact on my metabolism I have to make sure that I don’t just stop doing cardio cold turkey after my competition. Just like a reverse diet, I will have to reverse out of my cardio too. First by dropping the duration, and then the frequency. Hopefully by doing so I will not gain a lot of weight back and will be able to build back my metabolism.

Anyways, that enough whining for one day.. on to food!!!

I wanted tacos the other day… actually that’s a lie, I wanted nachos because the cheese to everything else ratio on nachos tends to be a million times better, or maybe that’s just the way I make nachos. Regardless, nacho/fajita/taco/mexican type food was wanted and I needed to make it low carb. So I asked my boyfriend to pick up some ingredients like ground turkey, bibb lettuce and taco seasoning so I could make tacos and wrap them in lettuce… voila low carb tacos. And he graciously agreed… and then proceeded to forget to do that entirely, haha, happens to the best of us. So when I got home there were no makings of tacos to be had, but gosh darn it I wanted something mexican tasting. So I made this salad and it hit the spot perfectly, so sometimes things work out just fine 🙂 And now you can make this taco inspired salad even when you don’t have anything that you would normally make tacos with.

Low Carb Taco Salad (serves 1)

Ingredients

  • 6 oz chicken breast (or whatever amount you need based on your macros/diet)

    Taco salad number 1 with cheese

    Taco salad number 1 with cheese

  • Some sort of taco/buffalo/spicy seasoning – I had buffalo chicken seasoning in the cupboard so that’s what I used
  • 2 cups salad greens
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/4 cup non fat greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp salsa
  • 1/2 oz grated cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Season Chicken with taco/whatever seasoning you are using to imitate taco seasoning and cook either in a skillet or the oven (I assume you all know how to cook chicken breasts – just cook ’em!)
  2. Mix greek yogurt and as much of the seasoning as you want together to your tastes, mine was pretty spicy!
  3. Cut the red pepper into strips and arrange on top of salad greens, then slice up the chicken and top with the salsa, greek yogurt and cheddar cheese.

Super simple, but so satisfying!

Low Carb Taco Salad number 2 without cheese and not as nicely arranged because the first was so yummy I wanted it again!

Low Carb Taco Salad number 2 without cheese and not as nicely arranged because the first was so yummy I wanted it again!

Nutritional Info:  Cals – 345  Carbs – 12 g    Fat – 9 g    Protein – 50 g!

 

So much contest prepping!

I forgot how much fun it can be to try to make really (like really REALLY) good food while in contest prep mode and carb cycling and working out like a fiend. I have been slacking on the posts, but making up for it with amazing kitchen creations… which I will share over the next few days. Here is a little teaser of the recipe’s I will be sharing.

Super Fluffy Protein Pancakes

Super Fluffy Protein Pancakes

Low Carb Taco Salad

Low Carb Taco Salad

But today… today I will share with you my new favourite low carb recipe. It’s so good I was making embarrassing noises while I ate and my boyfriend kept giving me weird looks.

Salmon with Cauliflower Asian Fried Rice

I have tried cauliflower rice before and I was kind of disappointed in it to be honest. It just tasted like rice shaped bits of cauliflower to me. But now I have found the secret, and it is frying 🙂 It’s a little time-consuming, but makes a large portion and is so worth it!

Cauliflower Asian Fried “Rice”

Makes 4 servings (1 cup each)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium or half a huge (which is what I had) head of cauliflower
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 cup snap peas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 thumb sized knob of ginger (or more to taste)
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

Directions

  1. Wash the cauliflower and chop it up into 1 inch pieces making sure to dry them off.

    Everything in the wok.

    Everything in the wok.

  2. Pulse the pieces in a food processor about 20 times until you get uniform rice-sized pieces. I had to do 3 batches because I have a small processor, but make sure not to over process it.
  3. Put processed cauliflower in a bowl lined with paper towel to absorb excess moisture and set aside.
  4. Dice onions and snap peas and add them to the cauliflower.
  5. Grate ginger and garlic on a microplane and set aside.
  6. Heat the 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large wok or frying pan and sautee the ginger and garlic until fragrant and slightly browned (about 3 minutes).
  7. Add the cauliflower, onions and snap peas  to the pan and mix well to incorporate the ginger, garlic and oil; continue mixing for 5 minutes until onions start to become translucent and everything starts to brown slightly.
  8. Make a well in the centre to expose the pan and crack the eggs into it, scramble these with a spatula until the are almost cooked and then fold everything back together so the egg gets distributed through the whole dish.
  9. Drizzle the fish sauce and soy sauce over the mixture and toss in the pan for another 1-2 minutes until desired consistency is reached.
  10. Serve as a side dish or add some leftover chopped up chicken or shrimp and make this the main course.

Nutritional Info (for 1 cup):  Cals – 170   Carbs – 15 g   Fat – 10 g   Protein – 8g

I think cauliflower might be a new go to thing for me. I will be trying out cauliflower mashed “potatoes” tonight as another low carb option and I’m hoping it goes well. I think the key is to season it really well so you don’t have an overpowering “cauliflower” taste.

And just to give you an update for contest prep, I am 4 weeks out from UFE Halloween Mayhem and finally losing some weight. The progress came a little late in the game, so I won’t be as lean as I was hoping for, but I will certainly be lean enough to not look out of place and I hope I will still do well. Here is a progress pic from yesterday morning, which is exactly 4 weeks out from the competition.

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