Monthly Archives: February 2014

Morning Flat Bread Pizza

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Calories            251

Protein               29

Carbs                   18

Fat                          7

Ingredients & Directions:

*bake one Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Pita in oven until crispy (bake at 375 for about 10 minutes) – I turn over a few times

While Pita is crisping I sauté :

*1/2 cup of chopped mushrooms

*1/2 cup of chopped green peppers

*1/2 cup diced no salt added diced tomatoes

*add spices you like – I use garlic and pepper

When veggies are cooked I add:

*3 egg whites – beat until fluffy pour over veggies and cook

Remove pita and top with veggies and egg whites.

I thinly slice one piece of Cabot 50% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese and place over pita.

Put back in oven until cheese melts.

ENJOY !

March Madness

march 2012 march 2013

Above Picture March 2012                                           Above Picture March 2013

March is just a few days away and my clients are preparing for our annual March Madness Challenge.

I thought I would share this idea with you to try.

The CHALLENGE:

*For the month of March you need to exercise 6 days a week allowing one day of complete rest. Exercises can include your days lifting, training with a trainer, taking a class, going for walks, skating, skiing, swimming, etc. If you already work out 6 days a week then challenge yourself each workout – add a set, up the weight or add that one extra hard rep.

*keep track of your workouts and progress.

*EXTRA BONUS – set a goal and work towards it for the month.  Example, I have a female client that is trying for a 200lb deadlift.

The REWARD:

*My clients who participate purchase a small gift – this can be anything – something funny, journal, workout socks, spa goodies, books, gift certificates, etc. They bring the gifts in wrapped during the 1st week of March. I hold the gifts.

*at the beginning of April we have a TEAM WORKOUT.

*I bring the wrapped gifts to the TEAM WORKOUT and participants get to pick from the gift basket as a reward for their hard work during MARCH MADNESS.

ARE YOU READY:

*round up your family and friends.

*have FUN – buddy up and work together.

*set some goals and aim for success!!

 

Got Water – Part 2 – Water & Peak Week

Water and Peak Weak – that statement is the most misunderstood and confused concept amongst bodybuilders.

Before I go any further let’s think about what bodybuilders are doing at a competition. We are showing off our physique, flexing our shredded muscles to display our mass and symmetry.  Now let’s think about water and the human body.  According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%.

So now we know that muscles contain water  – hold onto that thought!!

I am going to share with you what I have learned and what works for ME.  I don’t want to start a debate but want to share my experiences in the hopes of helping new athletes that are preparing for their first competitions.

For my first competition I followed the no water rule for 24 hours prior to going on stage.  I also followed the no carb rule and I remember looking at competitors with confusion when I saw them drinking gallons of water and one female competitor eating pasta.  I was thinking man are they messing up (now knowing that I was the one really messing up).  I had no idea what I was doing; I was just following along with what many competitors believe to be the only way to become stage presentable.  I was told I would wake up in the morning amazed with how completely different I would look due to my lack of water and carbs.  I woke up in the morning a bit disappointed – there was no WOW moment – but thought I looked OK.  However,  looking back at pictures I was flat and had no vascularity.  WHY – because I was dehydrated!!

If you read my bio, you know that after my 1st competition I found my coach Eric Helms with 3DMUSCLEJOURNEY (3DMJ).  Today he continues to teach me so many new concepts.  Amongst those teachings were his methods on peak week and water consumption.  I quickly learned that miracles do not happen during peak week and water dehydration is a thing of the past.  I learned that I need to be show ready 3 weeks out so we can re-introduce carbs and drink plenty of water. More carbs sounds amazing after months of dieting – right!!!  Following Eric’s program my peak week is now very different – my carbs are much higher then my show prep macros and vary from day to day.   Under Eric’s guidance can you guess how my physique looks come show day? Full, hard, vascular, and stage ready!!  Not only did I look better but my energy levels were higher and my mental state was better, more upbeat and confident.  Since working with Eric I’ve earned two pro cards. I trust Eric and know that he wants me to do well and but also wants me to be healthy.

This picture of my back is 3 days before a show; full of water and carbs!!

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This is such a complicated topic and I am not a scientist or expert so I’ve called upon the experts to help back me up.  I’ve included two great articles for you to read.  One by 3DMJ and the other by Cliff Wilson.

Common Contest Prep Mistakes

by Natural Pro Bodybuilder – Alberto Nunez

http://www.3dmusclejourney.com/articles-common-contest-prep-mistakes.php

Rapid Backload Peaking: The Cliff Wilson Approach To Pre-Contest Dieting

Get absolutely shredded for your upcoming contest by following this peaking approach designed by top natural bodybuilder and trainer Cliff Wilson.

Rapid Backload Peaking: CARBS, WATER, and SODIUM

http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/rapid-backload-peaking-cliff-wilson-approach-pre-contest-dieting.html

Workout Challenge

Today concluded another deload week for me so my trainer made the workout extra challenging (thank you Anthony Vorachak)!  However it was fun so I thought I would share it with you as a challenge to give it a try.

WORKOUT ONE

5 rounds of:

100 single jump ropes

10 toes to bar abs

WORKOUT TWO

An 8 minute workout – 2 minutes of each – the clock doesn’t stop while you transition

Row for calories (I got 27 calories)

Squat thrusters (I used 55 pounds and got 27 reps)

Row for calories (I got 21 calories)

Burpees (I got 24 – ugh)

WORKOUT THREE

10 ring pushups with feet up on step

10 ring body rows with feet up on step

3 SETS

WORKOUT FOUR

10 pistol squats right and left

2 SETS

DONE!!

Peanut Butter & Bacon Wrap

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Calories               225

Protein                  29

Carbs                     16

Fat                            5

Ingredients & Directions:

*cook 3 pieces of Bison (buffalo) Bacon in skillet

*mix 2 TBSP of PB2:Powdered Peanut Butter with 1 TBSP water until smooth

*spread PB2 on 1 Joseph’s Oat Bran, Flax Pita add cooked bacon, wrap and  ENJOY!

 

Got Water?

                      water

I am always telling my clients to drink water – at least 96 oz per day!  I drink 3 liters a day (over 100 ounces) not including coffee, tea, etc. I had a client ask me why and if it helps with weight loss.  Not only is proper hydration important for weight loss but for overall good health.  Our body is composed of about 60% water.  We lose fluid continuously by breathing, urine & stool, sweating, etc.  When your water intake does not equal your output you can then become dehydrated. These losses must be replaced daily for good health.  Below are 5 reasons WHY I think it is important to drink your water:

Hungry or Thirsty?

Many people mistake thirst for hunger, especially if they are dehydrated.  So before mindless eating, try drinking a glass of water.  Wait 20 – 30 minutes and if the hunger remains then grab a healthy snack. Maybe try snacks with high water content like, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, tomatoes, spinach, watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit & cantaloupe.

Proper Bodily Functions

Water is necessary for digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients and maintenance of body temperature. By drinking plenty of water, the stomach and intestines digest food at a quicker rate than if the body doesn’t have enough water. Kidneys depend on water to help flush out waste into the urine. When the body is free from waste, the liver is able to flush out fat at an optimum level.

Water Retention – Feeling Bloated?

By not drinking enough water, your body can retain it.  When the body is dehydrated, it holds onto water, trying to store it in case of emergency. However, when water replenishment is continuous, the body doesn’t hold onto excess water, since it is readily available. Salty and high in fat foods can also make you retain water.  When this is the case, increase your water intake and try foods that can help like asparagus, cucumbers, lemon water, oatmeal, & quinoa.

Exercise – Boost that Metabolism

Dehydration affects your strength and endurance during workouts, therefore water is a necessity!  WE all have busy schedules and fitness goals to reach – so don’t make dehydration negatively affect your workouts.  Drinking water can boost your body’s ability to burn fat. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking water (about 17oz) increases metabolic rate by 30 percent in healthy men and women.

Wanna Look Good TOO – Hair & Skin

Water is essential to maintain optimum skin moisture and deliver essential nutrients to the skin cells. It replenishes the skin tissue and increases its elasticity. This helps delay the appearance of signs of ageing like wrinkles and fine lines. Do you want gleaming and healthy tressels of hair?  Water supports vitamin consumption and assists in efficient and healthy hair growth.

I hope this made you want to go & grab a glass of water!!

 

Easy Egg White Oatmeal Pancake

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Calories              245

Protein                 26

Carbs                     28

Fat                           3

Ingredients & Directions:

*beat 5 egg whites with cinnamon, nutmeg and truvia to taste – beat until fluffy

ADD:

*1/2 cup UNCOOKED 5 grain oatmeal and blend

*Pour onto small hot skillet and make one pancake.

These are my favorite egg white pancakes. Love the texture, taste and very filling.

Enjoy!

POSING 101

People often ask me WHY? WHY am I a bodybuilder?? You can read my BIO for the full story but in short a) I love the training, b) I love the challenge of trying to get bigger & better  each season and c) I love being on stage and performing or posing as it is called in bodybuilding.

I looked up the definition of posing and these two were my favorites:

1)    To assume a particular attitude or stance, especially with the hope of impressing others.

2)    To assume a particular attitude or position in order to be photographed, painted or drawn – or in the case of bodybuilding – judged.

Being on stage is the best part of the entire process and it is over in minutes so you better make it count!  You train hard & track your macros year round, practice posing, order expensive suits, etc.  and it all comes down to just minutes on the stage.  You have to make those muscles POP and capture the judge’s eyes and attention. Posing ability can often be the difference between winning or losing a closely fought battle.

I am still new to the sport and have a lot to learn; however, I’ve come a long way in my posing. I have worked hard at it, under the guidance of my coach, Eric Helms.  So, I thought I would share a few pointers in hopes of helping some first time competitors.

1)    PRACTICE – when I am in-season I practice every day! I pick one day week that I hold each pose for time, usually 1 minute.  This really helps with conditioning and you will be thankful if you are on a big line come competition day.  My line was on stage for 40 minutes at the 2013 Yorton Cup.  HOLD those poses and get there fast.  I’ve seen competitors working, playing or fooling around to get into their poses and the judges are already calling the next one.  Also, practice EVERY pose.  I’ve seen competitors looking at the next person to see how or what to do – really – KNOW THEM ALL!! Keep posing in the off-season too.  I usually pose 1 or 2 days a week in the off-season.

2)    PICTURES – ask a friend to take pictures and study your poses. I take weekly pictures in the same location, same lighting and same clothes so you can compare week to week.  Start with pictures immediately and see what parts of the body might need extra attention.

3)    MIRRORS – mirrors are great for self-feedback.  You need to work in front of one to make sure you are hitting those poses but remember there are NO mirrors on stage. When I have my pictures taken it is always away from the mirror. When in front of the mirror, I close my eyes, hit the pose and then look in mirror.  Find techniques that work for you and your body, feel it, make a mental list of what you are doing it to hit that pose good and fast.

4)    RESEARCH – attend shows & watch others – look on-line.

5)    FACE – don’t forget about your face – it should look easy – it can be painful to watch someone up there shaking and making faces. Smile and look at the judges and audience.

6)    HOLD BACK – you don’t need to give 110% on each pose.  If you tried, you wouldn’t make it through the entire judging.  If you can hit the poses right and effectively you can save a bit in the tank to finish strong.

7)    CONFIDENCE – look confident up there and have FUN.  This comes with practicing your poses and knowing them all.

8)    COACH – if you don’t have one you could hire one for a session or two to brush up on your technique – I get weekly tips and suggestions from my coach, Eric Helms. He can find something for me to work on or correct EVERY week for 6 months straight – YES there is that much to it!! Eric looks at weekly pictures but I’ve also done Skype sessions with Jeff Alberts.

In June 2013 I traveled to California for some one-on-one posing with the coaches of 3DMuscleJourney. Below are a few pictures from my sessions – it was so worth the trip!  I learned some great tricks – they really are the best!

3D1 3D2 3D3 3D4 3d5 3d7

List of poses you MUST know:

Front relaxed pose (looking for symmetry and muscularity)

Front double biceps                                         Front Lat Spread

Abdominal & thigh                                           Most muscular – hands on hip

Most muscular – crab                                      Side relaxed (right and left)

Side triceps (right and left)                           Side chest (right and left)

Serratus or Intercostal (right and left)     Rear relaxed

Rear double biceps                                          Rear lat spread

Calf                                                                          Hamstring

Favorite pose – pick a favorite with flare and own it! Stick to front or side poses so that the judges can see your face.

Winners pose – yes this sounds funny but my first winning pose was horrible.  I wasn’t going to share that picture but thought I should so you can see what I mean.   My 2nd winning pose was MUCH better – so see – looking at your pictures can help!

1st Pose                                                                                 2nd & Improved Pose

OCB091413VAb_0752 OCB101213MAb_0974

Pose down – practice it and have fun with it. Don’t be afraid to move around and pose next to each of your fellow competitors.  The best pose down I had was in Miami November 2013 at the DFAC World Finals – we left the stage and ran around the audience posing – it was a blast.

Below are two of my favorite poses.  I listed the steps that I follow mentally to get into the pose – if you are interested in suggestions on other poses please feel free to contact me.

Side chest:

august 3 side chest

Squeeze the knees together to make those hamstrings pop

Stick out that glute and squeeze it

Good twist at the waist – get that back shoulder forward

Pull back on the front back arm with the hand that is on wrist – squeeze bicep

Stay lifted through the chest

Don’t forget about the oblique/abs – tight

Rear double bicep:

august 3 rear bicep

Keep the posed or back leg angled out to give the illusion of width

Don’t forget to flex the calves, hamstrings and glutes

Arch the lower back – stick the butt out and lean back towards the judges

Make sure arms (elbows) are level across and tilt hands back over shoulders to make back POP

Spread the lats – don’t squeeze shoulder blades together – keep the width

Lastly, make sure you  really enjoy the time on stage and soak up the experience.  You’ve worked hard to get to that point so have fun and show your stuff!

P28 Flatbread Pizza

p28

Calories               361

Protein                 33

Carbs                     45

Fat                          8

Ingredients & Directions:

*1 P28 flat

BAKE P28 FLAT BREAD ON STONE UNTIL CRISP (@375 for about 15 minutes)

While the flat is getting crisp sauté

*3/4 cup chopped red peppers

*3/4 cup chopped mushrooms

Remove crispy P28 from oven and cover with:

*1/2 cup no salt added tomato sauce ( I like Walnut Acres Tomato & Basil)

ADD COOKED VEGGIES then sprinkle:

*2 TSP Go Veggie grated parmesan style topping

*1 oz. banana peppers

Put back in oven for a few minutes until sauce is warm and ENJOY!

This is one of my FAVORITES – I do NOT share!!

 

TARA’S NUTRITION RULES

I created this list for my clients who do not use a food journal. 

Using a food journal is NOT for everyone.  The goal then is to find ways to maintain &  achieve a nutrition plan that is sustainable. 

I hope this list helps!

                       fork

1.         Drink 80 – 96 oz. of water per day. A future post will explain why this is so important.

2.         Eat 6 small meals a day.  Most people eat too many carbs and not enough protein. So look at your plate for each meal, is there protein (probably add a bit more) – check the carbs (probably take a bit away) and have you used healthy fats (probably use a bit less).  Many people eat way too much after work or in the evenings because they didn’t eat enough during the day – leading to a binge. Below are some IDEAS of what to eat or what 6 meals a day look like:

Breakfast – avoid boxed cereals, granola, heavy breads.  Try Greek yogurt, egg white omelets with variety of veggies, egg white sandwich an english muffin with cheese and salsa, egg white french toast on 50 calorie flax seed bread, egg whites wrapped in low cal/carb wrap, bison or turkey bacon, etc.

Morning snack – protein bar under 200 calories, Greek yogurt (unsweetened) add your own fresh fruit, cottage cheese with fruit, low calorie cheese stick with apple, single serving oatmeal, 5 grain hot cereal, steel cut oats, 100 calorie almond snack with apple, rice cake with P28 spread, etc.

Lunch –  salad with chicken and lots of veggies, tuna wrap with veggies, turkey burger with 100 calorie English muffin or multi-grain flat with a side of fresh veggies,  Boca burgers, tofu on salad, flax seed bread sandwich with turkey, chicken, veggies, cheese, etc.

Afternoon snack – protein bar under 200 calories, hummus with veggies, slices of turkey wrapped around green pepper or cucumber, tofu, protein shake, celery with P28 spread,  etc.

Dinner – steamed veggies, lean protein, bison, chicken, turkey, or fish, baked sweet potato, brown rice, black rice, brown rice pasta, OR chilis or stews made with lean meat and veggies., etc.

Bedtime snack –  hardboiled egg, pita with a piece of turkey or almond butter, serving of frozen sorbet, a treat you like but with controlled portion, grapefruit,  etc

3.         Watch your portions – portion control is important – many people overeat.  Check out the portion sizes below – print if off and hang on your fridge

http://www.webmd.com/diet/printable/portion-control-size-guide

4.        EVERY time you eat – make sure you are eating protein with carb (veggies and fruits are considered carbs) PROTEIN PROTEIN PROTEIN!!

5.         Don’t eat the same thing every day – rotate the food so the body doesn’t know what to expect.

6.        Fight the urge to cheat – try  chewing sugar free gum or  brush your teeth, go for a walk, drink water or tea, etc. YOU control what goes into your body.

7.         Purchase Truvia sugar replacement – use this in your tea, coffee, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit topping, etc. This is a zero calorie sweetener that comes from a plant.

8.         PLAN YOUR MEALS for the entire day.  Know TODAY what you are eating TOMORROW.  Have food prepared and ready to eat.  I steam up a lot of veggies on Sunday so they are ready for the week.  I cook several chickens at once and have that meat ready to grab, my family loves this for making a fast wrap or quick snack.  BE PREPARED!

9.         Limit your alcohol – alcohol is a carb that leads to eating more carbs!!

10.       Never eat until you feel full.  It takes your brain 20 minutes to realize that your stomach has been fed – so if you are eating and feel full you have already overeaten.  Eat your portions and then WAIT at least 20 minutes.  If you still feel hungry then eat a little bit more until you feel satisfied but not full.  Enjoy your meals and take your time eating! Relax and make sure you are sitting at a table NOT working.