Personal Health Intiative Training

Archive for January, 2012

Eat, Sleep, Train, Supplementation (Tips You Can Use Too!)

Basically I have been doing these four things for the past 4 weeks and will continue to do so for another 8 weeks. 8 weeks is not that much time so I really have to stay on top of it. I can confidently say that I am seeing changes and I am continuing to drop body fat which is very important. It does not matter how much I weigh. What matters is my percentage of fat to lean muscle. Last night I saw that my hard work is paying off! My trainer took my measurements and I have dropped 4% body fat, lost 3 inches from my waist, added inches to my thighs and calves, and I am getting leaner overall. Yay me! I needed that boost because I started my twice a day cardio sessions this week and I am pooped!  I have never been so sore in my life! LOL! Right now I am on auto-pilot. Wake up, train, work, train, eat, train, eat, sleep!

My days consist of 2 sessions of high intensity cardio and 4 weight training sessions per week. (2 on my own and 2 with the trainer.). There are days when I work out three times a day but the minimum is twice. I have found that if I do my 2nd session of cardio at lunch time, it helps me stay energized throughout the workday. Also, on days I go to the trainer, it keeps me from having to do a very late night cardio session. Getting to a lower body fat is not easy at all…especially for women.

This Does Not Come Easy!

 It’s tough but I am learning so much in the process. I am learning a lot about food and its effects on the body in addition to various supplements and what they do. I use B-12 for energy which works wonders! I also use caffeine to help stay energized. Emergen-C Lite is good too and it gets your body enough Vitamin C which is crucial when you are training hard. I only use the lite version right now because of my restricted diet but I recommend you use the regular kind because it tastes better and only has 5 grams of sugar which is nominal. Another supplement my trainer put me on is Cal-Mag, which is Vitamin Shoppe’s version of calcium and magnesium. Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant, so I take this before bed to help me relax. Calcium is added for absorption and plus you need calcium for your bones. I use the lemon flavor powder and mix it with peppermint tea. Peppermint tea helps with digestion and it is great before bed. I get plenty of amino acids and of course always add in a little protein powder as well.

I have found that if I eat a lot of broccoli I feel fuller throughout the day. Also, I feel fuller when I eat more meat instead of protein powder and egg whites. Feeling full is very important when you are restricted on the number of calories you can eat. One thing that you have to come to grips with as a competitor is the fact that you will be hungry sometimes. This just comes with the territory. Obviously you will be uncomfortable, because what you are doing is on the extreme end of fitness. It’s just a mind game. You have to understand that you don’t need that food, you just WANT it. So my trick is to eat whole natural foods like broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, beans, and lean meat. Also, I drink A LOT of WATER. Water keeps me alert and keeps me full too.

If you find that you are always hungry, make sure that you are not eating a whole bunch of “diet” foods like protein bars, and 100 calorie packs. Those foods do nothing for your appetite so you end up eating more. I carry my food with me everywhere now. I have gotten over the fact that someone might look at me crazy when I pull a chicken breast out of my purse. Frankly, I don’t care because they don’t know what I have to go through in this process. I will tell you that the only way you can be successful is to carry your food with you. Don’t rely on someone else to make it to your specifications. Only you have control over what  you cook. There are tons of ways to make your food portable and you can eat it at room temperature. Here are some ways that you can make a portable meal to eat when you are on the go or busy at work. It only takes 5 or 10 minutes to eat!

Ground Turkey Muffins

Baked Egg White Muffins

Homemade Protein Bars

Tuna Burgers

Protein Shakes

Fruits and Veggies on the Go!

Grocery Shopping Tips: Eating Healthy on a Budget!

Many people use the excuse that they cannot afford to eat healthy. After all, isn’t it cheaper to eat at McDonald’s or buy a whole bunch of ramen noodles and cheap meat? WRONG! While it might seem that junk food is cheaper, in the long run you pay more not only in doctor bills but you buy more food because you are not preparing all your meals for the week. I have learned many ways to eat on the cheap and still eat healthy. When you are prepping for a competition, money is spent on many items such as your trainer, supplements, the gym, suit etc….so food has to be affordable for me. Below are tips that I use every week to eat healthy and keep it affordable at the same time. 

10 nuggets for $2.00 is not that great of a deal! You can buy a whole chicken for the week for $4.00!

  • Peruse the discount stores weekly. Food-Lion, Kroger and Big Lots often have food items on close-out. This means that they need to get rid of them for new stock. These items are perfectly fine. You have to think…grocery stores have a ton of items come in on a weekly basis so they are always making room. Make it a point to check once a week. When you find something really cheap, stock up! For example, today I found Pictsweet frozen vegetables at 50% off. I stocked up, knowing that these last a long time and I always need green vegetables. This way, when next week comes, if I am short on money, I always have green vegetables to eat. I also found natural sweetener at Big Lots for $1.00 a box! I grabbed 5 boxes because this is a staple in my pantry.
  • Shop during the week instead of the weekends, and shop early in the morning. You might think I am crazy, but sometimes I shop at 5:00 in the morning after my workout. Grocery stores stock their supplies overnight and any sale/clearance items are plentiful at 5:00 in the morning! I have found meat, eggs, almond milk, vegetables, yogurt, and many other things at cheap prices…and I had my reign of the shelf because no one else had gotten to them yet! Try it…you will begin to like it and you can avoid the annoying grocery crowds that you run into on the weekends. By that time, the deal items are all gone!
  • Create your recipes AFTER you shop NOT before. I used to have a recipe I wanted to try, and then I would go and purchase the items. This became expensive. What I do now is purchase the items that are on sale and then I create my recipes after that. It has actually helped me to become more creative with putting different foods together.
  • Take advantage of your clubs! Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJ’s are great for purchasing items in bulk. It is worth the trip to these stores to buy items you use all the time such as eggs, fruit, vegetables, and meat. You can get a big package of broccoli for $5.00 and it will last the entire week. Also, I’ve found that buying bananas here is a good deal if you eat them everyday. Some other items worth purchasing at the clubs are the huge containers of nuts, granola bars, and milk.
  • Take cash! Set aside how much money you want to use each week and stick to that. This will keep you from buying items you don’t need. I tend to overspend in the grocery store and this is something that I have really had to work on.
  • Don’t get stuck shopping at one store! Wal-mart is not the only inexpensive place to shop. Find out where the deals are in your Sunday paper or online. Plan your trips for the week.

Now, you know what to do to eat healthy and still have money to spare! NO EXCUSES. Eat clean, train hard, live lean!

Book Recommendation! “Making the Cut”

Last night I stumbled across a book that I purchased last year when I decided to lose weight. During my second time around with the weight loss process, I needed something that would get me over the plateau. Before I bought it, I had already dropped about 15 pounds.  This book is highly recommended to anyone who needs help with a diet and workout plan and is trying to lose the last 20, 15, 10, 5 pounds. Even if you are already at your ideal weight, it will help change-up your routine. “Making the Cut” is an excellent book. Jillian Michaels knows her stuff. She has been a trainer for a very long time and has herself experienced weight loss battles. I was in Target one day and I decided to buy it. It was well worth the $15.00 that I paid for it. She pretty much gives you all the tools you need to get on a 30 Day plan. This book is geared towards people who have a little bit of experience working out already but find themselves bored and stuck, and for those who don’t want just an average body.


I like this book because Jillian addresses the importance of having a positive mental attitude. You can’t do anything if you have a poor attitude. You need to go into this with an open mind and have confidence that you can do it. Her programs trains you mentally, physically, and nutritionally. I call this the pyramid of success. In the beginning you will take a “before” photo, measure your body fat, take your measurements, and take a fitness test. It might seem like a lot to go through but you need a way of seeing your progress. If you’re going to be lazy about this, then you definitely won’t be able to do the program. She also has a section where you take a “metabolic test” to determine what type of metabolism you have. I was a little concerned about this part. I do not think it is 100% accurate but it can give you a little guidance into why you crave certain things. No one is 100% ANYTHING but you can be closer to one of the three metabolic types than others. (Don’t take this part as 100% truth…it takes testing in a real dr’s office to determine your metabolic type.) However; genetics do play a small role in the way your body responds to food…but we will not go into that. Just eat clean and you will be fine. If the test says you are a “slow oxidizer,” you can still eat from the other types. Just eat what you like that is healthy…it will save you a lot of frustration.

Jillian gives you a workout plan to follow and tells you when to rest. You can’t go wrong if you just do it! You can make modifications for exercises that are too difficult but you need to try your hardest to challenge yourself. When you do this workout in the gym, people will be looking at you because you are doing unusual exercises. Everyone at the gym does the same old boring thing. Her workouts will have you doing many different things. Please do not worry about what people think you are doing…actually, they might even ask you because they are looking for something new to try.  In the back of her book, she has an exercise guide that shows you how to do each exercise. You can also use YouTube as a resource. You do need to know what you are doing before you go to the gym. It can be done at home with a few modifications and switching out of exercises….just use what you have! Don’t feel like you have to follow everything to the tee. It depends on what you have access to.

Another thing that I love about this book are the recipes! She has some delicious, clean recipes in her book. You can make adjustments for foods you do not like or can’t eat. Finally, she goes into how to supplement your diet.

If you feel lost and cannot afford a personal trainer, you might want to give this book a try. It worked for me!

A Creative Way to Get Your Greens!

Prepping for the competition has me eating a lot of green vegetables. Even if you’re not prepping for a show, eating at least 3 or 4 servings of green vegetables will keep you lean and regular, and you will also have more energy. Spinach is known as a super-food because of its many benefits.

I made a shake this afternoon because I wanted something quick but also something that included as many nutrients as possible. I am trying to eat greens with every single meal…even breakfast. Try making this Berry Spinach Shake. You won’t even taste the spinach and you can be satisfied knowing that you are getting a nutrient-rich meal. This shake is high in protein and low in starchy carbs. Great for those trying to lose fat. If you like, you can add peanut or almond butter. (1 tablespoon of natural salt-free peanut butter is my choice.)

1. Place two cups of baby spinach in your blender. (I use a Magic Bullet). You can purchase a blender at Wal-Mart or the dollar store.








2. Add 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk.








3. Blend the milk and spinach together.








4. Add 1 cup of frozen berries. I used a triple berry blend that I purchased at Sam’s Club. You can buy a big bag there for $8.00. This will last you for 2 or 3 weeks depending on how often you use it.








5. Blend the berries with the mix.

6. Finally, add in one scoop of whey protein powder and blend with the mix. The protein powder will ensure that you are getting enough protein with your meal. You can also use casein if you want a very thick shake…it will come out like a pudding. If you plan to use peanut butter, add that in last and blend one last time.








This meal will leave you satisfied…it gives you a full feeling. Great to make in the morning and take to work for an afternoon snack or you can put it in popsicle holders and freeze for later.

Almost 11

Almost through my first week of the 12 week diet. I did good! We were back at work after vacation and there were several events that took place where food was involved. We have a cafe at work and whenever there is a function, they always have cookies or donuts. The cafe does make the best cookies around. But they did not even phase me. It didn’t bother me to ignore them. Someone also offered me 4 mini twix bars. My assistant is so sweet. He knows that I am in figure prep and he offered to take the candy to someone else who might want it. I was so thankful. Let me tell you, it took me YEARS to get to this point. I don’t even want to count the number of times that I ate almost a whole container of cashew butter or just couldn’t stop putting those chips in my mouth. I’ve had some moments. I say all this to say that it does not matter what you did yesterday or even within the last hour. You can always change and be the person you want to be. It might not happen overnight but you will get there.

Trust me, I know.

Self Defeating Behavior!

Over the past month, I have had so many emotions and feelings about my upcoming competition. Some days I asked myself, “Why am I doing this?” Other days I doubted my ability to even compete. I started talking about the competition with Rephel on New Year’s Eve and we got on the discussion of winning vs. losing. I said that I was just doing this for fun and didn’t care if I won or loss…because I don’t want to be depressed if I don’t place well. Rephel asked me why I felt that way and I got very upset…I mean I was very emotional. I thought about my reaction that night as I laid in bed and realized that I was so upset because I am scared. I am scared that the judges won’t like me…that I can’t get my body in winning shape, that other’s will be better than me. This type of thinking leads to self sabatoging behavior. If I feel like that, then why would I even try my best? I had a breakthrough on that night. I realized that I was in danger of self sabatoge. I have more courage and ability than I give myself credit for. I am not going to doubt myself…so my plan is to give it all I’ve got for the next 12 weeks. I am following the diet to the tee. I am going all out on my cardio sessions. I am lifiting as much as I can and I am going to renew myself spiritually EVERYDAY because I need to in order to finish strong. I am not going to half-ass this thing because I don’t want any regrets. If the judges like me that’s fine and if I don’t place 1st that will be okay too. I can use that to get better for my next show. (Yes I am going to do another one).

So this New Year has started off awesome for me after a little emotional breakdown and a nice vacation in Cozumel and Grand Cayman. Until March 24th my eyes are on the Iron Eagle show. I have already picked out my meal to eat after the show…Chocolate Rum Cake by Tortuga. I discovered this little treat on our cruise while on a tour in Grand Cayman. They are delicious. I also plan to eat BIG serving of Ice Cream from Leopold’s. The best ice cream shop here in Savannah! For dinner I am hitting up the Olive Garden. (I know this is sad that I am planning a meal that is 3 months away but if you ever are in competition prep, you will understand! Lol)

Hope you all have a fabulous 2012 and do something that you never thought you could do…go all out! You will regret what you don’t do more than what you do.

Tag Cloud