There isn’t much you can’t accomplish with discipline and focus.
After seeing my first body building competition last weekend, I re-committed to leaving nothing on the table in my training.
Studies have shown purposeful lifting can increase muscle activation as much as 18%. When working out you should really focus on the part you are training. Eliminating wandering thoughts, gym distractions, and general rushing is important to getting the most out of your workout.
For the past several days I have committed to purposefully lifting – focusing only on the exercise I am doing and the muscle groups I’m targeting. If muscle soreness is any indication, it’s working!
A few tips:
- Choose an optimal training time when you have the most energy and enthusiasm to work toward your goal.
- Have a written workout with what machines or weights you’ll use. Some even write out pace and rest periods. This allows you to move deliberately about the gym, without sitting there looking around for what to do next.
- Wear headphones to discourage others from talking to you, and to drown out distracting gym “chatter.” Use your play list to capture your intensity and keep your body pumping to the beat.
- Before beginning a set, think about your goal – visualize the muscle group you are targeting, and what good form looks like.
- Use the buddy method – have a friend or trainer assist and motivate you from time to time.
Despite the chilly early morning air (boo hoo!) we’re still on summer edition of What I Ate Wednesday. I’m still digging all the sweet summer produce. The changes in my competition diet have allowed me more veggies!
First thing I chugged down my Aminos, only now I’m mixing it with both 2T of apple cider vinegar and glutamine. Again, I won’t bore you with another pic… but this combo does wonders for my digestion and energy in the morning.
Since is has been chillier in the mornings, I’ve been craving warm breakfasts – like pancakes! I am notorious for ruining batch after batch of pancakes in the past, jealously watching as everyone else posted pics of perfect fluffy cakes. Knock on wood – I think that’s behind me now!
Everyone has their preferences, but I like a thick, hearty pancake. My protein-filled oat cakes fit the bill. Laced with cinnamon and vanilla, these are like cookie cakes!
The biggest secret? Let the batter stand for a bit before cooking. It thickens, leaving you with a batter that won’t fall apart as soon as you try to flip it. That wait isn’t as bad as it sounds – mix it up before you go to the gym or take a shower. It will be ready by the time you’re done!
Recipe at bottom.
I brought back an old favorite – my apple cupcake. I made essentially the same frosting, but added 1T of vanilla protein powder, cinnamon, almond milk, and a few cake batter drops. No lie – it really does taste like frosting.
Leftover “icing” eaten with a spoon. *swoon*
On my training diet I’m supposed to limit sodium. It has been shocking to see how much sodium is added to everything. Protein powder, canned beans, and frozen foods are some of the biggest offenders.
Frozen meals were never prevalent in my diet, but I did keep a few on hand for emergencies. Sometimes you need a quick lunch! Now, rather than buying salty meals, I make sure to freeze servings of homemade dishes.
Yesterday’s lunch was a slice of my Vegan Mexican Crustless Quiche. I thawed it in the micro at work and ate if with raw asparagus and a Nutritional Spicy Peanut Sauce (1 T peanut flour + 1 tsp nutritional yeast + 1/2 tsp sriracha).
Given that I’m supposed to have at least 3 “real” protein source per day, I snacked on tuna salad. Pre-figure competition training I would have never consider eating tuna in the middle of the afternoon.
This mix of tuna, nooch sauce (nutritional yeast mixed with water and paprika), red pepper, and broccoli slaw was surprisingly good mid-afternoon.
This was an all-new experience for me – I made salmon cakes! They were really good! It turns out that canned salmon taste like
chicken tuna. I want to make it once more to be sure of the measurements, then I’ll share the recipe.
Served with random, yet delicious, sides. Side #1: sautéed spinach with eggplant, ginger, and thyme. Side #2: Grated raw golden beet and carrot sprinkled with dulse flakes. Side #3: Ezekial garlic toast.
I am powerless over cake batter. I had some leftover shredded zucchini and carrot from dinner… so I decided to combine my favorite Carrot Cake and Zucchini Bread Batters to make one epic Carrot-Zucchini Cake Batter.
Stick a fork in me. I’m done.
That batter was filling… I didn’t want meal 7, but I still am not hitting my increased meal requirements. Never in a million years did I think I’d say this… but it’s hard to eat so much. *My former fat kid is beating me up and stealing my lunch money right now.
I kept it simple. Late-night cereal with bananas… and a side of a chocolate protein powder experiment.
The cereal was awesome. The experiment… needs work. Wouldn’t it be awesome if someone invented protein cereal?
- 1/4 C rolled oats
- 1/4 C egg whites (or flax egg)
- 1 T vanilla protein powder
- 1 T peanut flour
- 2 T unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp ground flax
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 7-8 drops vanilla liquid stevia
Place all ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine.
Place in refrigerator and allow to sit for 15 mins to 1 hour. Remove from fridge. Add more liquid if too thick.
Scoop into warm pan, forming 2 pancakes. Cook ~2-3 mins (do not touch while its cooking) then flip and cook for ~1-2 mins more.
Serve with warm sugar-free maple syrup and fresh fruit.
Now I’m hating the accountability since I didn’t eat as much as my revised plan calls for. I got 170.2g of protein.
Have you ever checked the sodium in your staple foods? Any surprises?
Do you have a perfect pancake recipe? Please share!