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!
taco2
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!!
taco
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.

shell

taco
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.

tracy

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.

IIFYM: Eat this or that

  • taco
    Ok.. let’s talk for a minute about choices.  First of all, you are IIFYM, you have them.
    Your world does not have to be protein cookies and no fun.I have compared two items.
  • Lenny and Larry’s Complete Protein Cookie. Serving size is HALF the cookie.
  • One Taco Bell Soft Chicken Taco
    The macros in each are almost the same. The rating is higher on the cookie because of the fiber.  Although, in the large scheme of things a B- isn’t horrible.I eat mostly A /B rated food because I’m probably psycho but more because I like to. It’s a slippery slope when I’m all crazy with my food.  It’s just my way. I’m in no way advocating getting an eating disorder of only eating A rated food. That’s no good.There are people who eat IIFYM who don’t monitor their food rating because they just hit their macros and fiber numbers. The food rating is my thing!

    But..
    I also have issue with eating a A rated protein cookie because sometimes I think it’s important to eat some food that looks like food.  If I can’t make a chicken taco fit in my day, and choose a half of protein cookie.. what? That seems to defeat the purpose of being flexible. My gut instinct is to choose cookies because I eat like a 4 year old. Sprinkles, and icing is my game!!

    The taco would be nice and satisfy my brain and my macros.  It has less carbs than the cookie. I really can make it fit. If you don’t want fast food in your life.. I get that too but we have options.

    Now. I’m not going to get crazy because the taco is lower rated due to the fiber. It has more protein than the cookie.

    My day looks like this:

  • I get about 50-60 g of fiber a day.
  • I eat 3 servings of fruits
  • 500 grams of veggies
  •  I take my Juice Plus trio for my micros.
  •  I eat 5 sources of protein each day and over 35 different foods a week.
  • In a cut I eat 95% nutrient dense foods and 5% discretionary food.

This chicken taco does not scare me. I don’t even think that falls under discretionary food!

 

Would I eat taco bell in prep.. yep. I know science wins here . I’m still finding my way and comfort zone. As I draw closer to stage.. maybe not.  Flexible lifestyle dieting is about options!!

This may be second nature to many IIFYMers.  I am a recovering clean /binge eater+ overthinker . I’m just being honest.

Journey on!!

If you would like to learn how to master your macros.. please visit our site LEARNIIFYM
and we will teach you online!!

t

Ps: check out Fatsecret.com for a huge list of all foods and their macros.

Leaving your BRO prep for IIFYM and how to avoid panic

almond
This is me.. This doesn’t work for me anymore.

Are you moving from a Bro prep/ coaching experience to IIFYM/Flexible Dieting and feeling panic in the core of your soul?  I am going to talk you down today and gently help you find your way to success and meal time peace.

What is the difference?
Bro-diets are legendary for only  ALLOWING foods like these.
Egg whites, turkey, chicken, fish, beef (super lean 1x per week) asparagus, sweet potatoes, brown rice, olive oil (maybe) and the super duper magical oatmeal.

IIFYM /Flexible dieting, Macro counting is NOT a diet, you eat according to your fitness goals by hitting your macro nutrients of Protein, Carbs, Fats and the micro-nutrient fiber.

Bro-Flex is when coaches tell you  you are eating  IIFYM but give you a restricted list of items that you can swap with.  If you have a swap list, you are not IIFYM.

Let me first of all reassure you. Look at this quote from Mr. Olympia Frank Zane who utilized Flexible Dieting in his show prep, 1979.

science
I love this. 1979 Flexible dieting.

Remember this: IIFYM was born out of Bro-fatigue. It came about organically when competitors discovered they could swap foods as long as they achieved their macro nutrient goals.  The goal of IIFYM was never to eat crap all day, but to offer options.
You must hit your macros but you must hit your fiber goals too. The food you eat will by nature be ‘healthful* to hit that fiber!

You should know this
In a cut (active fat loss) the amount of discretionary food is very low, about 5 percent of your day.

In off season, the percentage can be up to 85% wholesome*/15% discretionary.
This is where the ‘poptart divas’ of Instagram confuse and infuriates the Bro dieters.  Everyone has different macros.

So… If your carbs are low, you can’t eat much in the way of sweet treats however if you have lots to work with, you could potentially  have more. Everyone is different.

My macros wouldn’t allow me to eat 18 pancakes ever but the Rock did.  His macros are totally different than mine!  Of course they are.. Look at him! He needs more food than me!  That’s why YOU need macros based on YOU and not a cookie cutter diet your whole bikini team followed.

rock
Pancakes.. mmmm

How I prep with IIFYM.
As an IIFYM coach, I believe quality of food matters.Myself,  I eat 5 different sources of protein each day. I do use greek  yogurt and a little dairy as protein. I use whey, bars and of course animal protein.Chicken 5x per day disgusts me and my stomach can’t handle beef so I need options. I eat wonderful food that looks gorgeous, tastes delish and hits my macros perfectly. I have over 35 different foods each week- not the same 11 foods for 16 weeks that I used in my bro-preps. I eat 2-3 servings of fruit and veggies a day. I enjoy
a diet soda when I want one, but I get down a gallon of water every day.  I use sugar free syrup and stevia too.

Story time:One of my competitors calls herself the pancake queen. I love this. I also find pancakes amazing and delish and they can be made to taste like whatever you want. My first coach would not allow me to eat pancakes. It had to be 6 egg whites and 1/2 cup oatmeal cooked. NO pancakes because “I wouldn’t look right”. I buried egg whites in mustard, hated breakfast so hard.

Quality of food
I also use my food score ratings from MyNetDiary. I only eat A and on occasion B foods. If you don’t know about food scores Click here
a1
This would typically NOT be on the Bro diet but the macros fit my prep. I use it.
It has fiber and protein!  I mix it with Sugar free syrup and get a lovely bowl of icing. Look here

Do I have to get my carbs from sweet potatoes, brown rice, ezekiel bread?
I don’t. I use things like  Flat out wraps, fruit, veggies greek yogurt (has both protein and carbs-I use Light and Fit). I use  Light Smart red sauce from Prego. Basically I eat what I like.

flatout
flat out wraps

But, aren’t foods like  brown rice, sweet potatoes and Ezekial magic?
My bro coaches told me they were but I can’t find any science that backs that up.
I hate brown rice. My first coach made me eat 8 cups of brown rice a day for a carb up.
I buried it in salsa and mustard to choke it down. I could have had something else. There was no reason I couldn’t have except her lack of knowledge. I refuse to be miserable in prep or any other time. GROSS. I carb up now on SF Fro yo.  Even in prep. I refeed with purpose and I eat things that I like.

But….
I do, however,  eat a lot of sweet potatoes because I like them. I use them in amazing pancakes because they are carmelly and sweet.  I don’t choke down food I hate but I eat things that I like. Ezekiel.. I could take it or leave it. If you want toast whatever. It has good macros, but it’s not my thing.  If you want it.. make it fit.
I ate this in prep last year..
dinner
English muffins, eggs, turkey and ff cheese. I put SF syrup on it. It fit my macros. Those english muffins are fiber city.

Oh.. prepped with Margarita Shrimp saladIMG_1398
pancakes 100 ways too.IMG_0811

How to not go crazy when you start.
When I began I might have flown a little too close to the sun. I can fit a lot of things into my plan but I sort of lost sight of my goal to eat for my health. I was crabby because broccoli took up so many carbs when I really wanted goldfish cookies.  Now, I am very solid in my conviction eat well and I don’t feel well when I eat lots of sugar treats even if they do fit.  I prefer in off season to use foods like Poptarts to fuel my leg day. But that’s my journey.  The beauty of IIFYM is that it is YOUR journey.

For my team  in PREP we follow the guideline of 95% nutrient dense food 5% discretionary.
Yes, I know that all food has macros and nutrients , you can read more on this here.

Off season is 85%/15%.

Start by tracking what you normally eat then tweak where you like.
I use sites like rippedrecipes.com to create healthful concoctions that feed my body and soul. I like sweets. I will put  something like this in my tracker early in the day so I can enjoy it at couch time. The base of this is garbanzo beans. Every ingredient is rated A,
including the dark cacao chips that I count out and weigh.
cookie

But, I can’t seem to stop eating my Bro foods I’m too afraid.
I hear ya. The thing is, bro foods aren’t bad choices. They are solid choices especially the further into prep you get.  Typically you will have to taper macros to continue to get stage lean. I am very good at ‘stretching’ my food out by using volume foods like miracle noodles and zucchini. Things like Quest bars aren’t good choices for me late in prep because it uses a lot of macros in a small meal. I need more volume!!  However, you simply don’t have to live in a world where you have NO options. If you make pancakes out of your egg whites and oatmeal you can do it. I use Sugar Free syrups too but I weigh and account for everything I put in my mouth.  If I find ways to eat foods that make me happy, and provide me with my P:C:F: and fiber I am very happy.

Give me an example:
crepe
I do this late in prep. Oh Lort, I had a some banana, that’s not bro at all. But look at those macros. My low carb days are happier than when M1-M6 was chicken breast only.

Again, to fulfill your macros +5/-5g each day you must eat well, but you have options.
Using sites like Pinterest, IG, blogs, with the #IIFYM  #Flexible dieting you will find many amazing ideas that you can modify to fit your prep!

I wish you luck in your competition training!
t

*I know food terms like nutritious, wholesome or healthy etc are just terms I’m using to
give you a visual.  All food has macros. I also know the difference between Apples and Hostess Twinkies  and you do too. So bear with me. Use your food scanner and make the best choices for yourself..The overall snapshot of your day should be healthful food with room to improvise. Choices! Just as eating healthy one day of your life doesn’t make you ‘healthy’ eating discretionary foods doesn’t make you unhealthy. Its what you follow consistently matters.

Prepping Not Starving:Sweet Potato Protein Pancakes

pancake

I’m a bit of a creature of habit. I’ve had protein pancakes for breakkie since 2012.
I like them!

I was having a conversation with one of my friends/competitor clients.  We both agreed that food prep is “meh”.   So when I tell you I had to bake sweet potatoes for this, that’s about the extent of my prep.  If I’m home, I will toss 5 or 6 into the oven. I keep them in the fridge for pancakes!

Note to the clean eating mafia: Hurray.. these are full of amazing magic sweet potatoes.
egg whites and oatmeal! #BroCoachApproved

How I bake Sweet Potatoes
Step 1: Turn the oven on to 450 degrees. Set your timer for 45 min.
Line your cookie sheet with tinfoil so you don’t have to scrub it!
Put your washed sweet potatoes on the sheet and bake them until they ooze caramel.

*never microwave sweet potatoes. So yucky.

Pancake is:

3/4 cup pourable egg whites
4 oz sweet potato

Mix it in your ninja.
Spray your pan and make a pancake. It’s not easy to flip. It might get messy.

Macros without syrup

4oz

Here it is with 4 oz IHOP sugar free syrup .
ihop

Just to mix it up. Here is 2 oz sweet potato and 20g quick oats
oats

If you add the syrup, you could add less. 1/2 cup is a lot of syrup.
You can modify the amount based on the carbs you have to work with. Since I typically lift in the morning, this recipe with syrup is a great pre-workout with 39 carbs.

We make double recipe every single day and this is meals 1 and 2 for me.
I don’t mind eating pancakes all day!

If you want to up your fats, fiber, toss in some flax or chia. Just sayin..
This pancake smells awesome. It tastes awesome and you can add spices or SF coffee syrup to create something YOU love.

Say it with me. No. More. Gagging. On . Egg Whites!

Yummy Prep: Margarita Shrimp Salad & rant

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I’m 7 weeks from my Chicago  show and I am out to prove that I can eat well on IIFYM while I’m prepping!

This week I am going to change my food up!

I follow several competitors who are prepping IIFYM and several who are prepping “Bro”.  The difference is, the food my IIFYM friends share is soooo much more appetizing than my bro friends.
(sorry.. friends..)
In fact: I was inspired by my friend Amado to eat some seafood today!  He inspires me! He looks amazing and always presents the most delicious, yummy food pics!  I cannot wait to see him on stage!

Here is my lunch!

Margarita Shrimp Salad
12 cocktail shrimp. (yep.. I bought a cocktail ring, all the other shrimp was frozen. don’t judge me!)
2 Tablespoons of Cabo fresh guacamole
10 g  Fage total zero Greek yogurt
1/4 cup cucumbers
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
3 chopped up radishes (plus 1 I ate while cooking)
Juice from half a lime
Pepper
Lime slices I covered in sea salt because I have no tequila.. so whatever!
Sea Salt is fantastic on this salad! It’s chunky and fun.

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This is certainly a recipe that you could modify to your own tastes. I could have used avocado but none were ripe at the store.   I’ve used
Wholly Guacamole 100 calorie packs too.

Strategy:
I filled in my macro tracker today so I had everything in it I wanted.
This salad fit beautifully because it’s lower carb and fat.  I probably could have upped the protein with more shrimp. My goal was to fit everything I wanted to eat in today and make it all fit nicely.

Mini food  rant: Because you KNOW I don’t hold back!
On the facebook competitor boards, many girls post regurgitated mantras from their uninformed coaches about how prep MUST be done.  Telling other women they won’t “look right” if they eat fruit or that salt needs to be cut out at 6 weeks because … because…
because… they don’t even know why. Their coach told them to so they have to eat un seasoned food for 6 weeks.  #FML

Salt is good for your muscles!  If you need to get real on that.. head over to this link and spend some time with Bio Layne who has prepped the best without silly bullshit voodoo.
I have done all the bro -prepping I will ever do.  I have managed to continue to get over 35 different foods per week. I like the way I feel. I like the way I look.  My heart is happier than before. I am healthier than I was last prep.
Plus I’ve had so much LESS bloat than before.  I had to use laxatives, diuretics  and antacids a LOT in my  bro-preps.

Before you tell another competitor “that’s a NO-NO in prep”, do some research!  If you don’t like milk in prep, don’t drink it, but plenty of high level athletes eat balanced menus that include things your bro-coach doesn’t even understand.  I don’t deal in absolutes. If you don’t know why you are doing something, ask your coach to explain it to you and show you the research. that’s a fresh idea!
Hey!! Enjoy your food. I totally get that prepping is hard, but you can make good food fit!

Smart girls guide to Bro-Prep Swaps: Caribbean

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This is a fun one!  I saw a post on a competitor board asking if it was ok to have black eye peas
and greens in prep.  I thought it was interesting because you can really get some nice flavors in
this combination.
Let’s see how we can make that work.

The Standard Bro plan
We are looking at our ACTUAL menu from our coach.
Meal 3 is
5 oz Chicken (Chix) or Turkey
1/2 cup rice or 3 rice cakes or 5 oz potato
Veggies.
broplan

Reboot on this meal: 
Black eye peas 1/2 cup
Collard Greens 1/2 cup
Chicken breast 5 oz
peas.
Let’s see how we did
Untitled-4
The fiber is higher on meal 2.

Note: The Bro-plan had “Veggies” in Meal 3 as well. We can assume veggies are “FREE”.
Collard greens, Kale have more carbs than asparagus and spinach. My instinct is to track everything
I eat. We don’t know how much our Coach needed this client to eat on this plan.  The collard greens
were a nice choice.

I’m assuming that the Island dish was prepared, prep style with no extra fats, oils. Of course.
If you prep this one Island Style,  you can use these flavors
Nutmeg
Cloves
Cinnamon
AllSpice
Ginger

hmmm
Southern style.. I see bacon grease….. not today Satan.. not today!!

Remember: IIFYM/Flex/Macro counting isn’t so you can sit around and eat crap all day. It was originally
used by competitors to offer ‘options’ because of “Bro-Fatigue”.

If you look at your entire day as a whole and have met your nutritional goals, you can have some nice
options.

Keep your food tight! Success!

Prepping not starving: Peachy Birthday Cake Crepe

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I love summer peaches! On my last Bro-preps I got zero fruit so I am excited to use peaches
in my IIFYM/Flex/Macro counting prep. This reminds me of my favorite breakfast at Uncle Bills, Crepes Peachee.
If you are in STL.. you know!

This is my breakkie for today: M1 if you are counting.
Recipe is:
.5 cup pourable egg whites
.5 scoop Muscle Pharm Birthday Cake Whey  (sold at GNC only)
100g fresh peaches
25g light and fit non fat vanilla greek yogurt
.25 cup of IHOP Sugar Free Pancake syrup

Mix egg whites and whey in your ninja.
Pour into a non stick pan and spread it really thin like a crepe.
pan

Add your peaches and greek. (plus a few sprinkles!)

pan2
Macros are:
Calories: 205
Fat: 1g
Carbs: 21g
Pro 29g
Fiber 2g

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Macro counting secrets to eating food

TOM
When people start IIFYM or Macro counting, many of them are overwhelmed.
Despite my best efforts to help them, they throw their hands up and say “I don’t know what to eat”.

My clients are NOT allowed to say that. Because..
1. We are grown ups, we do not need to be told by another human what to eat.
2. We can take responsibility for our food.
3. We already know what to eat.
4. We eat every day so what is the point of asking someone else to tell us what to eat?

Ok.. so when you start Macro counting, you should do this first

Step one:  Get your tracker set up with your macros and begin to track what you normally eat for 3 full days.
The numbers you have will give you a very clear picture of  how you eat and what things you need to tweak.

It’s easier to tweak the food you already like than to start over trying to build out  all new menus.

Most of my clients tell me that it’s very eye opening that and they often need more protein, fiber and less carbs.

Once you have a good idea of things you need to work on, you can work on it!

Things you should not do

Stop eating food you hate.
Stop eating food you hate.

1.  Eat things you don’t like.
Cabbage diets for people who hate cabbage makes no sense.  If your coach gave you sweet potatoes and you hate them,  why would you eat them?  Come on!  Do you really think that a sweet potato is magic? If you can’t stand egg whites, why wouldn’t  you put them in something that tastes great?  Choking down food you hate is silly. You have options!
If you don’t know how to do this.. go here
brit

2. Asking public forums what to eat.
This blows my mind, why you would do this.
“I have 30 carbs, 10g  fat and 20g protein left .. AND GO!”

If you are guilty of doing this.. Stop it!  No one likes this!
Here are some great resources for you.

RIPPED RECIPES
http://www.rippedrecipes.com
rr
Those silly, dangling  macros are no trouble for RR. You can use the filters and get something you like.
If you want to drop your whole day in the search, you can get all three meals!  You simply add the macro numbers you need and the magic happens.

All Recipes
http://www.allrecipes.com

All recipes!
All recipes!

This site has every recipe known to man on it. You can make something delish and use the
little widget at the bottom to get the macro numbers. You can get them for as many servings as you want.

Pinterest:
http://www.pinterest.com
pinterest
Search terms are “IIFYM”  “Flexible Dieting”  “Macros” and watch the recipes explode. There are now
a gazillion blogs that have recipes with the macros listed!  Pinterest is the place to be. You know you are on there anyway.

Bottom Line: Eat things you like. Eat well. Eat for your physique goals.  Hit your macros +5/-5 .
A little bit of research will give you new ideas!

The Green Shake is back

My security blanket is my green shake.
Each prep I have done a green shake for my veggies.   Since I’m doing IIFYM/Flex/Macro counting I’m being very
careful to keep my fiber numbers up.  This is 5-6 cups of spinach and while it does have some lovely micronutrients, the fiber for my  whole day  of veggies was 4g.  Soooo.. I’m on the green beans and broccoli too. ACK .. they are NOT in the shake.
The shake is
Spinach
Cytogreens for Athletes
Unsweetened Almond milk
1 scoop Whey

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This was my shake today.


Since I made my video in 2013, I’ve used different whey protein in my shake and added some chia seeds. Chia seeds are
great.  I do not expect anyone else in the world to get excited about it, but I still like doing it every day.
I feel really good. I like the Greens powder too. I’m using my carbs for some blueberries in it!

Do you like the Green powders?