One Mother’s Day, I was deep into my show prep. I was on a totally bro diet of
TCF (turkey, chicken, fish) and spinach. It was very rigid as most of these cookie cutter plans are. My hubs made a lovely dinner of roasted turkey and veggies but alas my coach did not allow any variance of my food for the holiday. No veggies swaps and no fruit because “I wouldn’t look right”.
At that time, I would have really loved to enjoy the food my husband made but I stayed the course so I could “look right”.
As a the holidays come and go throughout our preps, I always think of that day and know that I ‘could’ have had something there that made sense.
It’s so funny how when you are dieting to the extreme even a variance of veggies and some berries sounds decadent.
So listen, the point of my blog today is not to argue the menu your coach put you on, it’s to celebrate the ability to include variety into your holiday while you are straight arrow on your macros.
Disclaimer: I could do another bro diet standing on my head and probably so could you if it meant something. It doesn’t. So I won’t and I won’t pretend it does. What I will say is that show prep is sacred and should be respected. So is family and connection. There is a way to live well while you are forwarding your goals.
When our team preps, most of us prep at 95/5. Which means that 95% of our food is nutritionally dense and 5% is discretionary. I’m not going to get into the definitions of that here but you can learn more on this post. Basically, I don’t have room for beer and brats. I’m choosing high quality food in the rainbow of colors to fulfill my nutritional needs as well as my physique goals.
One of the things that works beautifully for me is to find something that fits my macros but also satisfies the holiday theme. I like holiday food. I’m going to give you an example for 4th of July.
What I would like to eat:
Something patriotic always shows up at family functions in the summer months and I’m
drawn in. A small amount of this cake ‘could’ fit my macros in my off season but not in prep. I’m going to create something else that will make me super happy instead of feeling sad about what I can’t eat.
One option on RippedRecipes.com was this Patriotic Whoopie pie
Everything in this recipe is “clean”. It has Egg whites, cottage cheese, Whey, and a few
other items. The macros per serving are
You can find that recipe here
Here are a few more items just for fun.
Sugar Free Cool whip is a lovely and 2 table spoons (9g) is
I keep both Sugar Free and Fat free on hand because sometimes I have more fat left than carbs.
Fat free Cool Whip 2 table spoons (9g)
Calories : 15
Here’s something else: Berries have fiber and lots of great micro nutrition!
Oh no! But Cool whip is not clean and it’s of the devil. I cannot and will not eat that on prep! How dare you suggest that!
I totally hear what you are saying and no one said you have to eat that but let me give you the facts.
Nine grams of FF Cool whip is 15 calories. Five percent of my entire day’s calories could be discretionary. At 5 weeks out, I’m usually at 1500 calories and 5% of that is 75 discretionary calories. I can make that work.
The whoopie pie recipe has nothing in it that would not fit my macros any time.
Another option instead of processed cool whip is greek yogurt!
Food for thought: We often hear competitors say things like
“I’d kill for a cookie.” “I can’t wait to eat all the sweets”.
A true salvation for me and many of our athletes is that we include “fun” food in our day so we don’t feel deprived. Our team has a very high ratio of clients who reverse out properly and don’t gain 30-40 pounds post show. Trust me, I’ve done that on all my bro preps. The strategy of not feeling deprived and finding things that fit into your plan feeds that need for variety and offers the security of knowing “you will indeed, look right on stage”. You may also be surprised to know that studies show that 80% of those on restricted diets rebound and gain their weight back (and more). I can tell you that mentally, many of us have been able to maintain our prep to the end without binge eating because we do not feel deprived. On my bro preps, I binged several times and almost didn’t get to compete.
Just a reminder: RippedRecipes.com is an amazing place to start for holiday treats. You should use your PC not your mobile device though as the filters are much better. You can find things that will fit your style of eating from Paleo to Low carb and then some. You can modify recipes to fit your needs. Most everything on the site is considered ‘clean’ which is helpful to those who fear not being “100 percent Bro”. Science is on our side on that.
Other blogs that may help
Summer grilling on prep
This is a picture of Roo Ferrigno. She is office manager of Sleek Body and wants you to eat well.