IIFYM 101: How to Get Protein like a boss

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If you are just begining your IIFYM/Flexible Dieting Journey you may be surprised to see how much protein you are going to need to eat each day.  In fact, most of my new clients come to me eating very little protein so it looks daunting to try to hit those protein goals!

The question I get the most is “How can I hit my protein goals with out going over fats and carbs?”

Protein is very important to our physique goals!!  We need protein to build muscle and we all know that muscle is the fountain of youth!  In a fat loss plan, we eat protein to help us maintain the muscle we have!!   Protein also helps you feel full!!

Protein 101: Basic Sources
Meat Lean cuts to keep fat down. Skinless white meat is lower in fat.
Chicken
Turkey
Pork
Beef
Fish
Other Seafood (shrimp, scallops)
Dairy
Milk, Chocolate milk (great post workout)
Sour cream
Greek Yogurt
Cheese
Laughing cow cheese is fun!
Cottage cheese (add to your pancakes to add a fluffy texture)
Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese
Halo top Ice cream (I had to add that)
Eggs
Egg whites (buy the pour-able kind)

Legumes
Beans and legumes have some protein but the carb profile is higher, but if you can make it fit.. could be an option.

Whey
Whey protein or Isolate : you can cook with this!!
Lenny and Larry’s cookies (low protein profile but worthy)
Kodiak protein pancake mix (Target)
Protein Bars like Quest or B-Up bars (check your local Supplement store for variety)
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Peach Protein Cupcakes with Raspberry Lemon icing.. I tossed this in for you just for fun. Here’s that recipe.  P:11 C:11 F2 for each cuppie.

Protip: Aim for protein first, Carbs second and fats last.
If you aim for hitting your protein goals first, you won’t be left at the end of the day with 120g to eat!!  
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Protein hack: You could split your protein goals up by meal. 
Mary Jo has 160g protein per day. She likes to eat 5 meals a day.  Each meal could contain 32g protein per meal.
100g of shrimp is 28g of protein!!

Hidden protein

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Many foods you enjoy each day will have protein in them!!  These amounts will help get you to your goals. Track that food!!  Let’s see whatcha got!!

“I don’t like eggs or egg whites.”
Ok.. I hear you. I don’t care for egg whites on their own either, but I do love Crepes, Pancakes and French toast which are all made with egg whites /egg.
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This is my Birthday Cake  crepe. The recipe is here
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Here’s a Banana Protein Pancake!!!
Protein pudding is boss.. This is at Walmart,  Sup stores, Amazon.
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Oh Hey.. let’s make Fish Tacos!  The shells are La Tiara (4 carbs per taco shell)
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Hack:  Start tracking your normal eating.  Look at it like a puzzle. Are you lacking in protein but way over in fatty/carby foods?  Let’s start working on ways to tweak your normal eating!
How can you add more protein in and hit your other macros on point?

Ideas:
RippedRecipes.com will help you find some fun ideas that are NOT boring.

This Blog!!  Search Protein and you will see all my ideas!!

This is Roo Ferrigno. She is very sure of her protein intake and likes to judge mine.
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I know you are working hard! Don’t give up. If you need macros or help.. connect with me on
LearnIIFYM.com
t

Prepping Not Starving: Taco Tuesday

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Our Team LOVES Taco Tuesday! Who doesn’t!!  IIFYM is bomb because you can make them fit your macros!!  Here are a few of our creations!  The tacos above are grilled chicken !taco1
Alicia scored this find at Trader Joes! 24g Protein!  Holla!
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Coach Michelle is on vacation and on prep. Her tacos are on point. That avocado!!  Avocados and that wrap have fiber. That’s about 20g fiber right there!  taco3
Ashley is about 4 weeks out from her show. This is her masterpiece!

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Coach Julia is 7 weeks from her show and this is her taco crunch wrap!
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Melissa is 7 weeks from her show. These are her shrimp tacos! I love the lime. taco5
These are mine. I am 13 weeks from stage. Each one of those shells is only 4 carbs. taco7
Jen nailed her macros while eating tacos out!  um.. yes please!!
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Holy Mama, sometimes you need a taco when you are out. The macros on the Taco Bell Chicken Soft Taco are sweet.

Hack: If you are craving Tacos, front load your tracker with your tacos early in the day and eat around them.

Here’s my 4g Carb Taco shells.

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These are in the grocery store or order online. We buy 72 shells at a time!

Eat food that makes you happy!  #makeItFit

Prepping Not Starving: Pizza

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Warning: These are actual pizzas made by our bikini team in PREP!!

One of the thing that has me completely over the moon is our team’s ability to create amazing food from prep ingredients.  They do it quickly and with flair.

There is no reason to eat plain when you are in a cut!  Creativity goes a long way and creates a sustainable plan!

The above pizza was made by our girl Ashely who is just 4 weeks out from her show.
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Here’s another one she did!

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Coach Michelle is 7 weeks out from her show and rocked this masterpiece.
Chicken, sundried tomatoes, onions, FF mozzarella, reduced fat feta and basil on a flat out.

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This is my SOB on a flat out. I toast my flat out before we bake the pizza.
Jimmy Dean Sausage crumbles, Onions and Louis Rich Turkey Bacon. Sauce Prego light smart red sauce from Walmart.

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Our Bikini Team Athlete, Tracy made this gem.
Pepperoni Pizza for Dinner! 🍕💪🏻Oh man… Winning! ❤️ 308 Calories / 4.5G Fat / 37 Carbs / 32 G Protein
Tomato Basil flat out Wrap
Turkey pepperoni
Marina Sauce
Fat Free shredded cheese
Bake at 425 for 10 minutes

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Melissa did a fun peperoni and sundried tomato version!  mmmmmm
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Debbie, who is 7 weeks out from her show  created this version of the white pizza!
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Tips: Pizza is an easy dinner and it has a secret bonus. Flat our or tortilla wraps have fiber.
There are lower carb wraps too.  You can create your own toppings from your prep food. You can load veggies if you are into that.  You can use full fat or non fat cheese depending on your macros.

You do NOT have to have 12 dry roasted almonds for your fats.  You can have other fats!
Cheese has protein.  Feta is a great choice too!  This is all about you.

Pro-tip: Build your pizza in your tracker in the morning so you can have exactly what you want. Then eat around it for the rest of the day. You can enjoy your evening meal hitting your macros and feeling super smart!

Hey.. if you want to learn more about IIFYM.. go to LEARNIIFYM.COM and let us teach you!
If you want to join our IIFYM bikini team.. we’d love to talk to you.

Prepping Not Starving: Quik Trip Egg bowl hack

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If Quik Trip is local to you, you might have seen this egg bowl in their stores. I had the chance to taste it last fall and it was insane.  I know a lot of restaurants serve this as well.

Last night, we recreated this masterpiece for my  prep macros. I have no pic, because I ate it up. But it looked much like the above one so go with that.

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1/2 cup Jimmy Dean Turkey sausage Crumbles
1 whole egg
1/2 cup whites
1 slice Kraft Fat Free Singles
onions

In the pan with cooking spray, heat your onions first.
Next add the crumbles until they are hot.
Eggs go next
Put the cheese on top and put a lid on it so it melts.

You can modify anything here just adjust your macros.
If you take out the whole egg  you can take off  5g Fat. I use an omega egg so
that’s a good way to get my EFAs. If you have the fat, get some real cheddar!
It’s so good!

BRO ALERT:  If your coach has locked you down to Bro-city, you can still rock this meal.
Use cooked ground turkey and seasonings instead of your sausage.

Wish I’d saved room for Buttered Toast!

Hey.. do you need help with IIFYM? Check us out at LearnIIFYM.com

Life Hack: How to take Next Level Progress photos

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So listen, I’m a selfie queen  but I’m also a very busy coach. I do client checks ins all day and when I get crappy check in pictures it slows down everyone’s progress.

Even if you just take progress pictures for yourself or for your FB group, I’m going to teach you how to do the next level version so you can be a BOSS!
I have progress pics weekly from the last 5 years. I can look back and see how my body has changed. Even if I don’t   see results right now, boy, you sure can see them  as time passes.

By doing it with this technique, you will always be able to grab them and do a quick side by  side!!

Reasons your check in  pictures should be good.
1. All mirrors are not created equal. Some mirrors can make you look way leaner and that will throw off your coach’s plan!!
2. If you aren’t doing full body, head to toe with shoes, you are not showing your coach what the judges see!!
3. If you are lifestyle client and your pics are cut off, camera pointing down, foggy bathroom, can’t get the back view with the mirror.. you will slow your coach down.

Show your coach your new photo skills!!    If you are just shooting your own progress pics you will be so glad you learned this hack!

What I require from my lifestyle and bikini/figure athletes
Full body pictures, head to toes. Faces can be cut off for lifestyle.
Competitors are in heels and in their  poses.

I also require a posing video from my prepping girls.  This is much more accurate than mirror selfies!! So this method is simple because you will already have your video!

OK.. here we go..
So think about your pictures. I’m not hating on this lady but I return check in pics like this.
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You can see progress but she could do better for herself and her coach. If she were posting this on, say her “fascia blaster” community she would get good feedback but this has some problems.  I care about stuff like this because we work hard so let’s fix it and really see what’s going on.

1. The right side is HUGE compared to the other side. Things that are close to the camera look bigger.
2. You can’t see her thighs on the right side. You could switch the order of the pictures and tell everyone you did some magic booty grow tea to sell some product!  We can’t see what’s happening so we need the full body and we need them both to be the same size!!

I expect this level of pictures from my clients so this is how it looks.

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Here is exactly how you can do this quickly and easily so your pictures are always next level bomb!

Use a tripod or stack some shoe boxes on the dresser( we call this the South Side Tripod).
2. Set your phone to “CAMERA/VIDEO” and reverse the camera so you can see yourself in the screen.
3. Begin filming and walk way back so your full body is in the screen. If you can’t see your feet, back up. Back that train up. Trust me.
4. Hold your poses for a few seconds each. Do front, back and both sides.
5. Press STOP and go to your gallery so you can view the video.
6. Press PLAY then hit the ‘PAUSE’ . You will see a scroll on the bottom.
7. Begin to slowly scroll until you find the perfect shot.
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8.Touch the screen to make the scroll vanish and Screen Capture that picture!
You can also use the pinch method to expand your physique to fill the whole screen!!
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When you do your side by sides in your collage app you will have the same poses and can make both sides symmetrical.

Pro Tips:
1.Make sure your camera is not low and pointing up at you. Have it level for amazing results.
2. Wear the exact same thing in your pictures each time.
3. Shoot at the same time each week. My clients do their pics upon waking and after they use the rest room. They are at their dry weight which can help us  keep the conditions somewhat consistent each time they shoot.
4. Lighting should be the same too if at all possible.

Benefits:This is going to save you the heart ache of having your guy have to get up early and take your pics.  He doesn’t care about the quality but you can make sure it looks exactly right.

Many of our clients are shorter than their guys so we end up with cameras pointing down, feet and legs cut off.  We are wicked smart.. we totally have this!

16521689_1540162439330447_1388117194_nThis is baby Iggy aka Bun Bun. He is very good at his poses.

I know you are working so hard!!  Keep pushing.
t

Prepping not starving: The Monte Cristo Sandwich

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The mister has been binge watching “Top Chef” so my prep has gone to level 3000.
This sandwich is the bomb and the macros are fierce!  Seriously, you can use whatever you want to make your own to fit your macros but this was one I had for Brekkie!! It’s a good pre workout too.

2 slices 97/3 Ham
1 slices FF turkey
100 calorie english muffin
1 slice FF cheese

1/2 egg whites
Splash of vanilla

Mix egg whites and vanilla together
beat it until it is frothy

Drop the muffins into the mixture and let it soak up the eggs.
Fry the bacon and turkey in a pan with some cooking spray.
Remove from the pan.

Put the muffins in the pan and pour the rest of the mixture on top.
Flip them over then put the turkey and ham and cheese on the muffin.
Close it like a sandwich. cover the pan so the cheese melts.
Serve with syrup and jelly or powdered sugar if you have the carbs.

Your macros will vary but you can make it fit, even with some


I know you are working hard on your prep!! Keep going!
t

20 weeks out

Just an update for my competition/fascia blaster journey!
Since I changed my show date from October to June, I’m having a “HOLY WOW”
moment.

Last week was the worst week I’ve probably had in decades. Our little Kitty went missing on Christmas and we found her last week. She had passed away outside.  She was only 2 and was my heart.  I was a wreck. I got so many grey hairs.

I also dislocated my sacrum on NYE when I slipped on some beer at the Kid Rock concert.
So I was in terrible pain. I’m thankful my chiropractor got me on the right track. My workouts were minimal though because she asked me to not lift very heavy. I couldn’t pole at all.  Tough week.  I don’t like to whine, but it was bad.

My food was good  though. Oddly.
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IGGY!!
PREP
20 weeks out now and I’m feeling much better. We adopted a new baby kitten and he is wonderful.  My back is really feeling better too so I’m mentally and physically ready to start my prep with focus so I bring home a Pro Card for the Team!

Changes: Because I’m working with my Fascia Blaster and I’m working hard to fix my fascia and alignment issues I have made serious changes to my plan!

I have been blasting and got some insane results on my inner thighs. I’m still working hard on the rest but I’m seeing progress.

I have taken my workouts to zero impact. No unilateral movements, running, jumping, plyo, box jumps, back flips, burpees, NONE.  I do my cardio exactly as Ashley Black told me to. I’m training so much less overall than before and getting progress.  So we will see how I start looking now that I’m back on a cut.

The video above is the Pit Shark Squat.  I don’t use a bar on my back anymore so this one really gets it done for me.  I normally do over 200 pounds with this, but I’m still on lighter weights.  I really feel this in my glutes.  There are ways to do a Pit squat with benches and a Kettle bell. You can see that on Youtube. I just love this piece. Lucky for me , my gym has it!

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Show date is UFE Fury, Chicago June 3!!
Good luck with your show too!

2017 Competition Season Begins

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We all made it through the holidays.  Some of us are fluffier and some no worse for the wear.  The beginning of a fresh new year, signals  SHOW SEASON.  Everyone is baking chicken and veggies (not me) and buying up the gallon jugs of water!

I have 16 ladies competing this spring and we are fired up and ready!!

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We are super excited to bring UFE Rampage to St. Louis in just 16 weeks!  This will be a great opportunity for athletes to have a truly amazing competition experience!   This show is going to be something St. Louis has never seen with the categories of Fitness Model and Glamour.  If you are competing in NPC Midwest or NANBF Liberty, you can do UFE!  We are the week in between!!
Right now, you can register for UFE shows for just $75!
Here’s the link to Rampage

I’m starting my show prep a bit early. I’m competing this year in UFE Fury in Chicago, June 3.  This show is  a Pro Qualifier which means if I win, I can earn my pro card. It was a tough decision to turn around and start a prep again, but I’m ready to do it.  I have several pole and fitness photo shoots this spring so it’s a good time.  I will finish my year with UFE Worlds in Toronto, November 2017.

Fasica Blaster Update

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If you are following my Fascia Blaster journey, this is a mini update since I had a bit of a break through today.

I’ve been blasting about 6 full weeks now.  I was beyond bound so I am slowly breaking up big old chunks of fat.  I am finding that my fasica is really still pretty tight. My abs are a wreck.  They are swollen. I see that after I blast, I do have some nice tightening!!

Anyway..I’m doing all of this in my off season so let the chips fall where they may. I will be golden in 1 year.

Ok.. Last week I blasted almost every day. I pay attention to my 
Quads
IT band
Heart butt blasting 
Hammies/glute ham tie in
I lightly blast over the peachy part so I don’t lose volume.
I also do my abs hard core.
My arms and waist and back. 

Blasting is like a whole workout!!  

Post blasting
I feel so drained and tired.  That’s the detoxing and it’s real. I feel like have felt a cold coming on,soooo tired.   On Thursday I went to the gym, then blasted. I was going to do a pole workout but couldn’t even get up off the couch!

I decided to wait a few days and see if I felt stronger again.  I blasted a little bit on Monday but it kicked my butt. I couldn’t even finish my blast!  That was the last time I blasted, or attempted to…

I took yesterday off.

Today was dead lift day and I felt great!  I PRd my lift at 145 and did about 20 reps so that’s  good.  But… here’s the kicker..

I felt my glutes like I seriously have never felt before ever every.  I felt my hammies, too. I cannot even believe how different it feels. I can feel more circulation and the muscles are firing so much better! I wanted to keep going because it felt so strange and good!!

I’m also noticing that while I’m swollen and puffy, my quads, hams and glutes are like rocks. I’m feeling them building!  So… that’s the news.

Progress!!

The girls on the Fascia blasters for women body builders echo this same thing. One thing I might have to do is blast and then lift lighter as the fasica that was so bound is loosening.
Feels crazy to be worn out so quickly.  I’m going to hope that the detoxing eases up.

I need to do better on my water!! Ok.. I’ll keep you updated!!

The off-season lie no one wants to talk about.

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Andreia Brazier in her show season and off season.

Let me start this post by saying this
Stage Lean is addicting. To me.. it’s like in the movies when you see a vampire taste blood for the first time.  You are on a never ending path to chase it down, own it and keep it.

Every single time I prep, I swear I’m going to stay stage lean but I don’t. It’s not real and it’s really just a moment in time for most of us.

What is stage lean, really?
If you don’t know what stage lean is, it’s extreme.Personally,  I love my physique at 5 weeks out. As I get closer to stage, I look drawn , tired, frail, tiny, quite bobble headish. On stage, under the lights, in my bikini I look huge. But in reality, it’s the smallest I’ve been since I was 11 years old.  As a women, it’s the ultimate high even though I know how I look in real life.

Stage lean is the extreme phase of body building where you are at your very best, displaying all your hard work and feeling like you own the world.  It’s important to be extremely lean so that your muscle show and you can be judged on them!! I’m not thin. I’m not naturally athletic. I’m not an outlier. I’m not someone any of this comes easy to.

Those few moments in time are everything.  I will take on everything about prep, dieting, training to own those moments.   Seeing your hard work makes it all worth it!

What is off season?

Off season or improvement season is for building muscle and getting gains! It’s important as competitive athletes to work to improve our package each year.  To do so, we must eat and lift.  In a caloric deficit, we are fighting to keep the muscle we have. That means for most of us, in our prep, we are working hard to save the muscle we have! No muscle is growing!

To achieve gains, we must be in a surplus of calories and that’s how we grow!

A solid off season weight would be 8-10 pounds over stage weight.

We are hopeful that post show, we can do our reverse diet properly and move into a lean bulk. For many, it’s simple. For some..not so much.

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The lie: 
The internet provides us some pretty intense  fitness inspiration.   My Instagram feed is all about body building competitions so I have a steady diet of lean, ripped , physiques to keep me motivated.   When you finish your show season and begin your lean bulk, it’s very easy  to get discouraged and feel like you are failing because you don’t look shredded  like the  InstaStars .

So many of our fellow competitors find that post show, they experience the blues and they feel fluffy because now they now comparing their physique to their stage weight.

This certainly has the potential create body  body dysmorphia!

“Look at her.. If she can stay ripped all year, why can’t I? Why am I failing?”

Thoughts
Someone I admire very much made a post that really brought it home for me..
What if, post competition you were normal? What if you gained a little weight back, you don’t look stage lean and you just  ate at your maintenance macros. Because we are looking at the InstaStars who appear to stay stage lean all year round, we have a skewed view of what is actually normal. His point was, the majority do gain in off season and don’t stay stage lean. So while feeling like we are the ones who aren’t normal.. we actually are. Most of us do, eat, lift and build!!

Chasing the dragon:  As body builders  we laugh and say
Welcome to the world where you are
1. never lean enough
2. never big enough
3. your abs are never good enough

There are athletes out there who never take the time for their bodies to recover. They don’t take grow seasons and they don’t improve. But, recovery is important. As athletes we should take at least the same amount of weeks we dieted to recover. I have a full year between my shows. My body could not take less. One year I did an 18 month off season.
Recovery and improvement are good things. They just don’t look very glamorous!

Judgement: I see posts from athletes who are feeling so strong as they compete then their feed in off season becomes apologetic.  #offseason  #fluffy  #bulking
Off season doesn’t and shouldn’t look like stage lean!   Why are we judging our fellow athletes when they are doing what they are supposed to do ? EAT and lift heavy weights!
Growing a booty means feeding that booty.  Gains come from surplus!
What we can do:
Be kind to ourselves.  Stop listening to the noise of what the InstaStars present. They are not directing it at us. They are selling sups, menus, workout pants. Of course they are going to present their ultimate package all year. They have sponsors!
Also..We do not know these people and their feed could be posts from their prep,  or their photo shoot time frame.  We do not know if they are lean naturally. We do not know if they are enhanced.  We do not know if their pics are enhanced.  Comparison is the thief of joy!

Change the channel: One of my bikini athletes had a great idea. She scaled back her Insta feed to reflect only natural athletes she knew.  This is a protection of her spirit!  She is committed to bring the best HER possible and the unknown variables of InstaStars are distracting!!

Plans: We can focus on the goals of our next competition.  Eating with purpose to support the gains we need to help us come in stronger.   This is when I feel like I’m most challenged as an athlete. Keeping my focus when my body image is low.

Support: I love having a team. We support each other because we know how this feels.  We can keep each other grounded as we navigate this  part of the journey!  There are facebook groups that are very good support systems for competitors. Not all of them are, but if you find like minded friends it can help you feel less like an island!

I wish you luck in your competition journey. I know you are working so hard!

t