Nov 06

A Day of Food at 4 Days Out

Change is often slow.


The bane of my impatient existence.

Change does come to those who stay the course.  When I started training for competitions I had some muscle tone, but was underweight and had literally run my ass off.  I posted about my journey here so I won’t rehash.  What I will say (again) is that there is NOTHING you can’t accomplish with hard work and the unwavering belief that you can do anything you want to if you want to badly enough.

Yes, I’m still small for Figure; I know I have a long way to go.  This weekend’s show is the most competitive one I’ve ever done and I know I won’t place.  That doesn’t lessen my excitement to have the experience, and to be around so many inspiring competitors.  AND – regardless of the outcome – I’m pretty damn proud of this progress in about a year and a half.

Progress pic 2013

Competing isn’t easy.  Some days I don’t want to get up and do cardio or eat healthy food or hear snarky comments from people… but it is worth it.  The good days and the personal satisfaction outweigh the bad.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: find something you’re passionate about and go do it to the fullest extent.  It could be running, lifting, painting, writing code… whatever!  You will be more fulfilled and SO MUCH happier – it has made all the difference for me.


Enough inspirational mush!  This WIAW I am 4 days from my 3rd figure competition!  Bring on the lean protein, complex carbs, and yes… the asparagus


Read on for my eats, and then check out Jenn’s blog for everyone else delicious creations!



As usual, I started the day I with my Aminos and ACV morning cocktail I swear it’s more energizing than coffee.

Breakfast was pancakes.  Not as good as my usual.  These were just oat flour, an egg white, baking powder, and cinnamon.  BUT… I got to have pancakes!  The sauce was the best part.  I mashed up raspberries, added a dash of maple extract, and microwaved them for ~10 secs to create a syrup.  I’d eat that outside of competition prep!

With a side of Cinnamon-Flax Baked Chicken.

oat cakes and raspberry sauce


Mid-Morning Snack:

Leftover Parrot Fish with asparagus and sugar peas.  Nom.

The fish looked prettier on Instagram 2 nights ago.  For those that were curious on Monday, the fish was tasty but nothing out of the ordinary. It was a mild white fish, on the meaty side and slightly buttery.

parrot fish



I froze last week’s leftover lean beef burgers for lunches this week.  It was just as good warmed up and eaten with sweet potato rounds, asparagus, and red peppers.

Some have asked why I eat the majority of my asparagus raw.  The reason is VERY important: I like it better raw.  It has a sweet crunchiness.



Mid-Afternoon Snack:

I gave in to a cliché and went back to an old recipe this week… Tequila Lime Tilapia.  Tilapia is “the” source of protein for many in the bodybuilding community.  Variety is a better choice for me; if I had to eat the same thing every meal I’d never make it.  Tilapia is fine in moderation though!  Especially with tequila.

The fish and calabaza squash were cooked during my Sunday meal prep.  I reheated them ate at it with a quick raw salad of yellow cherry tomatoes and white asparagus tossed in a mix of nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, and a homemade Mexican spice blend.

Tequila-Lime Tilapia



Dinner was a roasted veggie fest – part of this week’s food prep was a giant pan of white and green asparagus, red bell pepper, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, green onion, and fresh herbs in Meyer lemon juice.  I also tossed pieces of the actual lemon in the pan too.  It’s completely edible and not too sour after a good roast.

Eaten with my favorite protein: Sea Bass.

sea bass and roasted veggies



No more diary and no more protein powder in my diet… it’s Cinnamon-Flax Baked Chicken and carrots for dessert.  Admittedly, this is NOT my favorite part about competing.

chicken dessert


“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” ~Diane Ackerman

What are you passionate about?

Do you prefer veggies raw or cooked?  I generally like ‘em raw… though I do love a good char roast.



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  1. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    Can I be mad “cheesy” right now?!?!?! You ALWAYS place in my book! LOL! But it’s true!!!! <3

    Thanks for that Parrot Fish review too… I am not a fan of white fish (no, I like it, I just like FATTTY FISH BETTER), unless they're chilean sea bass and/or sable fish, so I guess I won't really be seeking this fish out. Have you ever had Turbot? Now that one is pretty BOMB.

    I am pumped to see your RECAP post after this competition this weekend! I wish I could come to the show and root you on and maybe laugh at your fake tan! LOL!

    And I much prefer COOKED veggies! You cannot eat raw spaghetti squash! LOL!

    1. Laura

      You are my favorite cheesy cheese ball. Thank you!!

      Sea Bass is my jam. I had it tonight. Never gets old. Unlike asparagus.

  2. Carrie@familyfitnessfood.com

    Good luck this weekend! You look great and your hard work is totally paying off.

    1. Laura

      Thank you, Carrie!

  3. Lisa

    So proud of you friend! You have made amazing progress! It can be so frustrating because progress is slow, but looking back it’s always so amazing to see how far we have come.
    I seriously can’t wait to hear your recap after the weekend!
    I always love super cooked veggies. Like almost burnt. It’s sickening really. Unless I’m juicing, then they are raw.

    1. Laura

      Thank you!!! I am with you on the burnt veggies. I love ‘em!

  4. Ari@The Diva Dish

    All I have to say is WOW! You arms are fantastic! Please don’t ever look at mine ;)!
    And I would have to agree that missing on dessert might be my least favorite, but that’s probably the reason why I don’t have rockin arms either! :)

    1. Laura

      Ari… thank you!!! Arms are my favorite to work out. :)

  5. Choc Chip Uru

    I am embarrassed to be younger and have horrid looking arms with no tone, but I have started boxing :)
    Good luck at this wonderful competition! You are going to be fantastic!

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. Laura

      Boxing is great for the arms – especially shoulders! And not to worry – it actually gets easier to build as you get a little older. Mature muscle. :)

  6. Melanie @ Nutritious Eats

    Good luck! It’s a huge accomplishment just to make it to the competition!

  7. PavementRunner

    All the colors in your dishes look phenomenal and your progress photo looks amaze-balls.

  8. lucie@swissfitchick

    Wohhooo! You look great lady!! I SO agree on the patience – which is the hardest part. My progress goes ridiculously slow, considering that I am 351/2 years old doesn’t make it easier. But heck yes – patience and consistency is key.
    I need to check out that cinnamon flax chicken, sounds like a combo for my taste!!

  9. Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    Love the little intro. Never say never – there is always a chance you could place this weekend, so stay positive :D

  10. Arman @ thebigmansworld

    You are an inspiration, my friend! People underestimate how tough it is to put yourself through this to achieve a goal- but hey thats their own prerogative.

    I honestly never knew you could eat asparagus raw!! I’m going to try that next time! I still stand by asparagus snickerdoodles….

    1. Laura

      Do it!!! It’s so good raw. I don’t know about the snickerdoodles though… ;)

  11. Cat

    What progress! That’s crazy, seriously I congratulate you! What’s great about seeing those before/after shots is knowing the work you’ve put in the in-between. I can’t say I envy the cardio and comments, but the food you make looks good enough for every day, competition or not!

    1. Laura

      Thank you! Cardio isn’t my favorite, but at least its short-lived. You can do anything for a few days! :)

  12. Sue

    Uh oh, the asparagus is back! I’d love to take some off your hands, but I prefer it roasted. While I do love raw veggies, too, some of them need a little heat to become truly delicious, e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and asparagus. ;)
    Only four more days! Hang in there!

    1. Laura

      I met a guy in the gym the other day that said he eats sweet potatoes raw like an apple. I told him he wins #strangebutgood with that one. :)

  13. Angela @ Happy Fit Mama

    You are definitely bigger and getting more cut. Looking fab Laura! Your hard work and dedication is inspiring!

  14. Taylor @ LiftingRevolution

    I think you look awesome and very proud of you and your journey. You’ve found something you’re passionate about and are able to do it in a healthy way (great foods!) and looks fab! Go gettum’ this weekend :)

  15. Amanda @ .running with spoons.

    I love your attitude going into this competition, but never say never! Unless it’s to say that we never know what’s going to happen ;)

    And thank you for being an example of the fact that patience and persistence pays off. It’s easy to get frustrated when you have to wait a long time for something, so it’s always great to see people being rewarded for it.

  16. Miz

    Im raw mcgee with my veggies.
    my poor child is following suit :-)
    sign me:


    1. Laura

      Thank you for the Cali cheers!!!

      I’m back on the raw today. I love the sweetness.

  17. lindsay

    how’s the pee, asparagus smelling yet? a sign of a true competition. hehe. But really, you and heather need to start a Fitness competition cafe!!

    1. Laura

      I’m embarassed to use the bathroom at work. LOL!

  18. Parita @ myinnershakti

    I love how passionate you are about competing and keep at it no matter what. Go you!

    And I prefer my veggies cooked b/c if they’re not I…errr..have issues! :)

  19. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

    This is the part where I am completely in awe! But I totally agree with you- find what you’re passionate about and go after it, and it’s worth any sacrifices along the way. And wow, what a HUGE difference from last year!!

  20. Linz @ Itz Linz

    all good eats even so close to competition!!!! i prefer my veggies cooked!

  21. Nicole @ FruitnFitness

    Everything looks so good, especially lunch! I think its great your so close to competition and still eating great, real foods!

  22. Fran@BCDC

    You make everything look so tasty, Laura, even the fish which I don’t eat. I’m so excited for you and excited to hear how things go this weekend. Knock ‘em Dead!!

    1. Laura

      Thank you, Fran! Your support has meant a lot. :)

  23. Meg @ A Dash of Meg

    girl, i am so DAMN proud of you. i hope you know that! your progress is amazing and i love that you’re proud of it <3 that's the main thing <3

  24. Heather (Where's the Beach)

    I think that there’s a misconception from those who don’t work out in that they assume that those who do, do so because it’s easy. I don’t always want to wake up at 5 am and run in the dark or the cold or 100 degree temps. But I love it, so I do it. And I’m so with you on finding your passion.

    1. Laura

      Yes ma’am! You get through the harder days by keeping your eye on the prize. What’s a tough workout in the grand scheme? Most days are fantastic. :)

  25. Kierston @candyfit

    I absolutely love flax…on anything!

    4 days out!!!!! WOo hoo! You look amazing in your pic! really excited for you.

    p.s. Parrot fish. Never head of it before. Looks so good.

  26. Your Trainer

    WTF!?!?!? I don’t see any reason why you won’t be hitting top 5. That’s my goal and I’m not relenting and letting you think otherwise. You go girl.

  27. sara @ fitcupcaker

    how come you cant have protein powder or dairy during your prep?

    1. Laura

      It is potentially bloating. :(

  28. Amanda @runtothefinish

    I know i’ve said it before, but I really do love that you are so honest about the process and don’t do any kind of super crazy dieting. I think it’s helpful to see how to be healthy and achieve a goal!

    1. Laura

      Thank you, Amanda! No need to be TOO crazy… that’s when you go crazy! :)

  29. RavieNomNoms

    You SHOULD be proud! You work so hard and it really really shows! Progress is slow sometimes, but I know you will push through it. You are so determined and such a motivation for so many people. Don’t stop doing what you do!!

    Good Luck this weekend! You never know you might surprise yourself!

    1. Laura

      Thank you, Raven! I can’t wait for next week when I can make your beer pumpkin bread. :)

  30. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    You’re definitely an awesome exactly of how patience and persistence pays off – you’re looking awesome lady! And as for whether or not you’re going to place…well, you never know! I like your trainer’s attitude ;-)

    1. Laura

      Thanks Sam! I didn’t place… but it was a truly motivating experience.

  31. Tara | Treble in the Kitchen

    You rock girl! Can’t wait to see how you do!!!!

  32. Jody - Fit at 55

    Laura, you have made so much progress in those pics! So proud of you!! I know how hard this is to train, work & just life all at the same time! IT IS TOUGH!!! I did 2 years & that was enough for me. I LOVE lifting but the competing – 2 years was fine.. plus expensive too with the supplements & suits & trainers & all that… :)

    So.. passionate about weights here. :)

    1. Laura

      Jody… Thank You! You know you’ve been (and continue to be) a big inspiration to me. I’m excited for building season. :)

  33. Randi

    screw the competition – let’s just say we won already?! I love your motivational “mush” – it has got me where I am. I never thought I would be passionate about competing in a bikini competition but I am now, I can’t imagine my life without it. The endless trips to the gym and mounds of protein – it is all going towards a goal. we got this! sooooooooo excited to meet you this weekend!!!
    oh and roasted veggies all the way – any and all of them.
    power through the last few days…:D

    1. Laura

      YOU looked incredible. I think you should have been #1. It was so fabulous to meet you. Can’t wait to keep getting to know you better. xo

  34. Lauren

    Good luck! I think you’re a rockstar, and your hard work pays off!

  35. Jess @ JessieBear

    Girl you look great!

  36. Bonnie

    Incredible progress! So good to look back and be reminded of the truth of change – steady, slow, but it does happen like you said if you’re consistent! Great foods – you make healthy eating look great as compared to some who make it so bland. :D

    1. Laura

      Thanks, Bonnie! If I had one mission in life, it would be to convince everyone that clean eating can still be FUN!

  37. Megan (The Lyons' Share)

    You can roll your eyes at me :), but I honestly believe a big piece of performance is mentality. I like the first piece so much better (about how far you’ve come and how much you love this!) than the second piece (about how you “know” you won’t place). You may surprise yourself! You manage to make some pretty delicious meals even though the limitations are severe right now … everything besides the chicken and carrots for dessert looks delicious! Hang in there – so close!

    1. Laura

      A year ago, I would have rolled my eyes. Now I’m giving you a high five. The mental is such a huge part of reaching any goal!

  38. Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl

    I have never tried white asparagus, but I REALLY want to! I wish I could find some in my area. Does it taste different from the green variety?

    1. Laura

      It’s similar in taste, but it seems to have a high moisture content and is thicker. It love it raw and roasted!

  39. Hannah

    I’m passionate about you. So close now, babe! So exciting. Both for the competition and the dining magic to follow.

    1. Laura

      The feeling is mutual. I wish you could come to Colorado!

  40. Heather @ Better With Veggies

    I’m passionate about living a healthy life – whatever that means at the time! :) And I passionately want this competition to just get here. I swear these last few weeks are dragging by and although I kind of want more time for things to tighten up (I know that supposed to happen next week), I also am just ready to be done. :)

    1. Laura

      LMAO! You are SO CLOSE! Cadrio done. It’s all gravy from here. :)

  41. Davida @ The Healthy Maven

    I so admire your dedication and passion! I’m starting to discover my passion for cooking and baking and sharing those recipes with other people. I never could have imagined that I’d care enough about anything, let alone that! Life works in funny ways. I’m excited to see where you will be and I am 1.5 years from now :)

  42. Carol

    I love your inspirational mush. It was just what I needed to read today. <3 xoxoxox GOOD LUCK! You're going to do great in the competition!

    1. Laura

      Awwww…. thank you, friend! xo

  43. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

    Um, it is getting real with the diet now! I soooo want to study this more! I find it completely fascinating. Especially since I’m going to try out a little carb loading before my long run on Saturday. I think we are definitely on the opposite ends of the spectrum on this. :)

    I LOVE raw veggies! LOVE them!

    1. Laura

      I think you’re one the more fun end. :)

      We should talk diet when we get together. I’m experimenting this week with some things. I’m finally getting the hang of noticing the small tweeks on this cutting phase.

  44. janet @ the taste space

    I always love seeing your eats, Laura. Good luck with your comp. I am curious why you have stopped the protein powder? Decrease bloating?

    1. Laura

      Yep – I swear my rice protein doesn’t bloat, but my trainer says no dice. It’s easy enough to stop for a week (or two) just in case.

  45. Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen

    I like my veggies every which way. Generally cold. (But, as you know, that does not mean exclusively raw.)

    I’ve been waiting for the asparagus! I must admit, I don’t think I’ve ever nibbled on that raw. Lightly steamed, yes. Raw? No. I have eaten eggplant raw though. Does that equate?

    P.S. I wish I could respond to your “what are you passionate about” query, but I’m bad at being serious when asked that question and I’d probably say something like “my food processor” or “House Hunters” or something.

    1. Laura

      I thought about you as I ate my cold roasted asparagus with my fingers in the car on the way to KY. :)

      I’m shocked that you’ve never eaten asparagus raw. Not even a bite while prepping?! YOU are really strange. ;)

      P.S. I appreciate comment like those. Mush has it’s limits. I’m passionate about my Vitamix. And Whole Paycheck.

  46. Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate

    You are looking so good lady. I am so excited for you, although I have to say I don’t envy the chicken breakfast/dessert thing…I do love me some asparagus though. ;-)

  47. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

    Wow! The comparison photos…just look at those BOOBS! ;) But seriously girl, you’re rocking some major guns! Way to GO!!! I’m so excited for you! Oh and that quote at the end of your post? LOVE!! I think I need to plaster that one on my forehead!

    I like a lot of veggies raw…bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms (wait, are mushrooms considered vegetables? I never know!) I’m totally with you on the raw asparagus…especially if it involves mustard for dipping! :D Yay for sea bass, but ugh on the tilapia! My ex used to cook an OBSCENE amount of it when he was going through his “I’m gonna be all muscly and stuff” phase and he always cooked it the same exact way…baked in Dale’s marinade. To this day whenever I see a bottle of that stuff at the store, I cringe! :P

    1. Laura

      Bwhahaha! That’s what I told my trainer – who says you can’t buy progress? ;)

      Tilapia is a lot more tolerable when you soak it in tequila first. I’m just saying…

  48. Allison @ Life's a Bowl

    In the cooler months I prefer roasted veggies, but nothing compares to fresh, crisp veggies on a hot summer day! Sea bass (and swordfish) is my favorite, especially prepared with a miso glaze… It makes miso happy, ha :D

    1. Laura

      LOL! Miso miss salt.

  49. Court Star @ StarSystemz

    4 days!!! WOW! I have to say your before/after photos are SO inspiring to me! I get on the too thin side pretty quickly since I am pretty good with my diet and workout like a maniac + I teach bootcamps so that all together eats away my ass haha. I can not wait to see your comp eats! You are going to do fabulous! lots of love C

    1. Laura

      You should to just sit down an eat a jar of PB. Every day. LOL! ;)

  50. Khushboo

    Such a powerful and inspiring post, my friend..I especially love the quote at the end. You are looking so great and it’s amazing how much of a difference you can make in a year. Roll on the competition this weekend :)!

  51. Allie

    WOW! Look at YOU! You look AMAZING. your hard work definitely paid off!

  52. calee

    You look FANTASTIC. I’m impressed with not only the muscle you built, but the meat on your bones (you were pretty tiny, as you discussed last week I think). I’m so proud of you! Knock ‘em dead tomorrow. Or kick ‘em with your stripper heels.

    1. Laura

      Thanks Calee!!! I can’t wait to put on more meat. And to not eat seafood. LOL!

  53. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets

    Don’t hate me for saying this….I think I might like these eats more than your usual stuff, probably because there are so many colorful veggies. And the asparagus; good god what I would do for a stalk of that. Yeah sure I could go buy asparagus but then I wouldn’t eat the twelve pounds of bok choy in my fridge threatening to overtake me, and I refuse to let something go bad.
    Legit question…I get the no dairy because of bloating, but why no protein powder pre-competition? It may be a silly question, but since I know next to nothing about protein powders, I’m curious.

    Last but certainly not least, you look amazing. The before and after are stupendous!! It has to make you smile like crazy.

    1. Laura

      I do hate you for saying that. You can have the thecolor of asparagus. ;) But really, I try to “eat the rainbow” – mamma taught us that growing up. Plus, who doesn’t love pretty food?

      Protein powder is also potentially bloating. I’mnot convinced my rice protein is… but not worth the risk.

      Last… thank you!!! It’s been fun and I’m looking forward to page #2. :)

  1. The One Where Food Became Fuel | Sprint 2 the Table

    […] diet.  You can… but the last week of cutting is HARD.  You’ll notice from last week’s WIAW at 4 days out, I still had a lot of variety.  This time around I decided to try something new.  Being more […]

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