Gettin’ Jacked ON Caffeine

Posted on May 6, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

This is slightly controversial because many will argue that consuming caffeine before a workout isn’t safe.  So before I go on about how much I love caffeine pre-workout I’ll cover the negative arguments:

– It can have a diuretic effect, which can lead to cramping if you aren’t well hydrated

– It can increase heart rate (so if you already have a high heart rate or are not well conditioned this is probably a bad idea for you)

– It can make you nauseous, have difficulty breathing, cause anxiety, and make you jittery.  So if you are very sensitive to caffeine, pre-workout is probably not a good time to consume it, if ever.

Now that that’s out of the way let’s talk about why some folks like myself, love it.

– It stimulates the nervous system so it will increase mental focus, energy production and acuity.

– According to Preworkout.com, ” It reduces reaction time to physical and visual stimuli, increases the heart and respiratory rates, and may decrease symptoms of depression. The level of stimulation varies depending on several factors, including the amount used, the level of tolerance a person has to caffeine (as seen with habitual caffeine users), metabolism, and other drug use. The increased energy and focus could certainly benefit the athlete going into a strenuous workout. There are some side effects to consider, however.”

So whether you want to take it is a personal choice.  How you want to get it and how much you want to take depends on your preference as well, though over 200mg is not recommended for anyone!
I love having a coffee before my workout.  So I do have a couple of shakes that you can make here to get your pre-workout protein, carbs AND caffeine!!  Here you go…

Frostee Flavored Protein Shake

Chocolate Banana Mocha Protein Shake

The Get In Shape Girl

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My First Bikini Competition

Posted on May 2, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Saturday I competed in the New England Fitness Atlantic Ms. Bikini Competition at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT.  This was my very first competition and I worked really hard going into this.

Back in January 2011 I hired Julie Costa as my coach through Cathy Savage Fitness.  Honestly, there is no way I would ever consider competing if I had not hired Cathy.  My meals, my workouts and my walk were all completely mapped out for me.  I had assistance in picking out the right bikini, the right sports wear, the right heels.. everything.  It’s laid out for you perfectly so while I was so confused and at times overwhelmed, they made it so simple.

Anyhow, you guys all know about how much work I put in leading up to the competition, so I’ll just tell you about the day itself:

It started at 5am, after very little sleep, when I put on a layer of Bronze Angel over my spray tan. At 7am I had an appointment with my very close friend Bre Welch to have my hair and make up done.  Bre is amazing.. I would never let anyone else put make up on my face for any major event.  She knows exactly what I like, she’s great at what she does and it was so nice to be around her.

Once that was taken care of I headed down to the dressing rooms where I was crammed in with probably 30 other girls.  I’m girly.. I enjoy being pretty.. but I don’t enjoy being in a way too crowded room full of women obsessing over make up and their tans smudging.

My first time on the stage was in the sports wear round.  Not all federations do sports wear, but basically it means you wear a slutty halloween costume on stage.  I’m not sure why we do this, but it was kind of fun and it gave me the chance to wear a costume I’ve always wanted to wear but never had the body.  I chose Popeye because I loved spinach so much and I really needed an excuse to kiss my bicep on stage. 

http://espn.go.com/espn3/index?id=176735  Watch for me at the 25:00 minute mark.

I can’t even remember being on stage the first time because my nerves were so crazy.  Right before I went on I kept trying to tell myself to relax, but I ended up not even being able to take full breaths.  Haha.  So according to Julie, I did great.  I do think I could have slowed that one down a bit though.  My scores were: 10, 9, 10, 12, 12 out of 15.

Then between 12:30 and 5 we had a break, so I went up to the casino and hungout with Bre and Ryan & Jimmy.   I had to get back down to go on stage in my bikini at 5:30.  This time I felt so much better because I had already been on the stage at that point, and knowing my friends were in the crowd made me feel like I wasn’t alone.  Apparently because I was more comfortable I did quite a bit better because my scores were: 12, 9, 11, 12, 12.

I wonder if it was being around my friends for a few hours or if it was the Pedialyte and Swedish Fish that made me place higher!

Earlier in the day I was turned around to tape my booty shorts to my ass and I was so dehydrated that I got a cramp in my peck.  Yes, I said peck NOT boob.  When you are at 14.4% body fat, you do not have boobs anymore unless you pay for them.  Now, before I say this, I want to put it out there that I have nothing against plastic surgery.  One day I plan to get boobs too.  But this competition wasn’t what I expected.

After the second time on stage, we had another 3 hour break before we had to line up to announce the top 5 so I spent that time hanging out with my friends, having a couple of drinks and eating a chocolate chip cookie.  Then  we were called to go on stage, but somehow something got messed up and we had to sit in our bikinis in the freezing cold for god knows how long to go out.  This was now the most miserable part of my day.  I was tired, hungry, thirsty, annoyed and a bunch of other things that were just not good.  We finally went out and the top 5 from my short class were called, all of which were Savage girls.. yay!

I ran back to get my stuff, threw my dress & flip flops on so fast, zipped up my suitcase and RAN back to the casino so I could just be with my friends.  I was so sick of all the pageantry and estrogen I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

At the end of the experience I can tell you  a few things..

1. I learned a lot about nutrition from the experience.  I learned what my body responds to, what to eat when and why, etc.  I learned a lot about cardio, how it effects your body in addition to lifting and how frequently each should be done, etc.  I learned more about fitness which is good because I like to always be learning more within my profession.

2.  I learned a lot about myself.  I experienced so much when it comes to food.  I can’t wait to write my “diary” blog about this.  The eating was so hard for me.  I wanted things I had never wanted before.  I binged a lot and had a very hard time with that.  Now that it’s over I don’t even want anything but healthy food.  There is currently protein bars, cinnamon toast crunch, brownie mix, carrot cake and cheesecake in my house and I’m okay with it.  I don’t feel obsessed with it now.  I can look at it and not binge on it or even eat it at all.

3. I’m glad I accomplished my goal that I set out to do.  It took hard work to do all the workouts, all of the posing classes, prepping measuring all my food and carrying bags of chicken and asparagus to bars with me.  It was hard missing out on social events where I knew I couldn’t handle being around food, or just feeling like I couldn’t do things with friends because I wasn’t eating or drinking anything other than chicken, asparagus and water.  And it took balls to get on stage in a scrunch butt bikini and let people JUDGE me.

4. It was expensive and a lot of hard work to be on stage for 90 seconds of my life.  Do I still feel like it was worth it?  Yes.  I really enjoyed having a goal and a date.  It forced me to work hard instead of just being like “I’d like to lose 5 lbs” then never really following through or not knowing how.

HOWEVER… I also realized a few other things that weren’t so great…

5. My day completely sucked.   I don’t like being in a packed dressing room amongst strangers feeling like it was impossible to make friends or find anyone I had very much in common with.

6. I really thought that since this competition was geared toward fitness I would make more friends with similar interests of wanting to lift weights and do tough workouts, yet look pretty.  It wasn’t what I expected.

Most of all though I can 100% see exactly who I am…

I am the girl who wants to sit at a sports bar or a football game and eat wings and burp really loud with the guys yet still look cute doing it.  I don’t need foundation.. I don’t need stilettos or a super tight dress… I am completely confident in who I am and I no longer mind getting on stage and letting some strangers judge me based on what my ass looks like.  My ass looks good!!!  I work really, really hard on it.  As a matter of fact, I love to be able to lift heavy with the boys too.. and I can look cute doing that too.

Now many of you will ask if I’m going to compete again.  I’m not going to say NEVER, but I am going to say that I have no plans to do so.  I’m taking some time to re-evaluate what I want to do.  I have some ideas for goals so I’m just trying to figure out exactly what I want to do with them.

The Get In Shape Girl

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Bikini Competitor Pancakes

Posted on April 27, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

These are so versatile it’s amazing.  If you can only eat 1/4 cup of oats, that works.  If you are allowed more, you can add more!

If you are missing a certain flavor like for myself, I miss bananas, so I added banana extract.. but if you are more of a vanilla or almond girl, add that!  Plus, there’s so many different flavors of protein powder, you can pick whatever you like!  Here’s my version…

Ingredients:

1 cup egg whites/egg beaters

1 cup chopped spinach

1/4 cup oats (quick cooking, uncooked)

1/4 cup diced strawberries

1/4 scoop vanilla protein powder

1 teaspoon banana extract

Directions:

Throw it all in a bowl and mix together.

Pour into a frying pan & let cook until done on one side, then flip & cook until it’s cooked through.

Nutrition:

Calories – 217

Carbs – 19g

Fat – 0g

Protein – 33g
*You can add sugar free maple syrup to this, but I didn’t factor that into the nutrition.*

The Get In Shape Girl

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Hamburger & Broccoli Slaw

Posted on April 20, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I used 93% lean ground beef because I couldn’t find anything less.  I’ve used ground turkey but today I felt like I needed some red meat, when my body tells me this, I gladly listen.

Ingredients:

6 ounces lean ground beef

1 cup broccoli slaw

1/4 cup onion

Directions:

Put it in a pan, mix together, cover and let meat cook.

Nutrition:

Cals – 321

Carbs – 13g

Fat – 12g

Protein – 41g

The Get In Shape Girl

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Carbo-Loading

Posted on April 17, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This Monday is the Boston Marathon, one of the most popular of all the marathons in the world and my boyfriend is running.  As you all know I am training for Ms. Bikini April 30th, so only 12 days after his 26.2 mile stroll.

So this means his eating habits couldn’t be any more different than my own.

Granted, when nearing a run of this magnitude, I don’t think eating anything that could potentially upset the stomach would be a good idea, when you area gearing up for this kind of race, you can generally have a pretty lax diet.  This includes and lots and lots of carbohydrates.  For my training, my carbohydrates (minus veggies) are depleting by the day.

Carb loading is the act of adding more carbs to your diet so you increase the amount of fuel in your muscles to improve your ENDURANCE activity.

By endurance I mean more than a 5k people.  This is an event that should last about 90 minutes or more.

According to the Mayo Clinic, ” Any physical activity you do requires carbohydrates to provide you with fuel. For most recreational activity, your body uses its existing energy stores for fuel. But when you engage in long, intense athletic events, your body needs extra energy to keep going. The purpose of carbohydrate loading is to give you the energy to complete an endurance event with less fatigue, improving your athletic performance.”

Carb loading also doesn’t mean just a pasta dinner the night before a race.  Honestly, if you aren’t used to a pasta dinner, it wouldn’t be advised the night before a race because who knows what will happen to your digestive system.

How To Carb Load Properly…

About a week before your event you want to increase your carbohydrate intake to 50 – 55% of your daily caloric intake (a DISASTER  if you are a fitness competitor, like myself) should be from carbohydrates.  That means vegetables, fruit and starches.

And 3 – 4 days out, 70 – 75% of your daily caloric intake should be from carbohydrates.

During this process you should be scaling back your activity level to very little if at all.  So if you don’t think you can make the full 26 miles, 3 days ahead of the race isn’t the time do your last long run.

So can you imagine what it’s been like lately with one runner in the house consuming carbs like it’s his job while I’m carb depleting and wondering why my belly is still poking out so far?!

Here’s a few examples of how our eating habits have differed this week:

Wednesday night’s dinner – I had mahi and veggies.  Ryan had mahi, veggies and brown rice.

Thursday’s breakfast – Ryan had two servings of an unmeasured amount of oatmeal. I got a 1/4 cup of oats.

Friday – Ryan ate fruit and bagels before heading to dinner where he got breaded salmon with mashed potatoes.  The he went for ice cream. I had seared tuna, asparagus and a stick of gum.

Saturday – Ryan had pizza.  I had tupperware chicken and brussel sprouts.

While his food sounds fantastic and mine sounds bland and so not glamorous, I don’t think I could stand the feeling of bloat or softness endurance athletes have to deal with.

So I’ll take my chicken, fish and veggies while I watch him cross the finish line knowing that in less than two weeks I’ll be walking proudly across that stage at Mohegan Sun!!

The Get In Shape Girl

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Mahi with Mango and Peppers

Posted on April 16, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I needed to eat a piece of fish and had some random things in my house, so I threw a quarter cup of chopped mango and a handful of frozen red, green & yellow peppers in a pan and cooked until the fish was cooked through.  That took all of about 5 minutes.

Calories – 151

Carbs – 12g

Fat – 1g

Protein – 25g

The Get In Shape Girl

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