Why Do I Want To Compete

It’s funny how I can’t recall one person asking me why I wanted to run a half marathon when I was training for it. Or I have never thought to ask friends why they want to compete in Crossfit competitions or Super Spartan races. But I’ve had a lot of people ask me why I want to compete in this bikini competition. Is it because it’s basically being judged on your look? Maybe a contemplation for another day, before I get to far into it?

I originally planned to write this post after the competition, but today seemed like a good day.

I first decided I wanted to compete in September last year. Original thought process was “that would be cool to do one day”. And it went on the bucket list. But ya see;  the thing with me is sometimes I become fixated on things and I have a  hard time letting go of them. This became one of those things that stuck.

So why compete? Why not? Why be ordinary? Why not do the things that we think are impossible? Why not dare to be extraordinary?  We don’t all have to be extraordinary by selling our worldly goods and moving to India or jumping out of airplanes. If you do those things and they make you happy, then amazing. But for me, smaller odder goals are my thing. That new song about being the life of the party and take your shot, it might be scary…. Exactly. Maybe it’s the scary that attracts me to doing things like this.

I did it to push myself. Doing the uncomfortable makes us grow, makes us learn about ourselves. I never want to look back on life and say I wish I tried this, or I’m too old for this now or whatever lies we tell ourselves to make us feel better about not doing the things we never did. Bring myself to that “edge” as my yoga teacher calls it. Nothing wrong with pushing yourself to the limit. As long as you don’t stay there I suppose.

To self observe, to learn about myself. I remember telling a friend I wanted to compete when I first started thinking about it and was told to make sure I don’t take it out on my kids. I was a little offended at the time, but the more and more I’ve read about people not handling the process, well I understood it more. Lowered calories/carbs, excessive training, meticulous food intake, no alcohol, dehydrating practices or heck even the excessive peeing from crazy water intake would have an effect on anyone. The things I’ve learned about myself are incredible to see. Again, probably another blog post.

To prove something. To break the mold of the “typical” bikini competitor. We see them typically as young, childless cardio bunnies, who eat only chicken and broccoli. Well I saw them that way I guess. I wanted to do it another way.

  • As a vegetarian. I have been a veggie for 19 years and get asked ALL THE TIME, “how do you get protein?” Let me tell you something, all veggies are sick of this question. Especially athletic ones.
  • As a mom. I have two children, 1.5 and 3.5 years old. Being a role model is important to me for my girls. Not role modeling ab out having a lean body. Being a role moel for ssetting goals and sticking to them. Persevering through tough times and being humble when they are good.
  • As natural as possible. Non GMO soy products, no funky heart racing preworkouts, no fat burning pills, and aside from the occasional Quest bars that had sucralose in them, no artificial sweeteners.
  • As a “if it fits your macros” counter. Again another blog post, but google macro counting, it’s pretty cool. I basically ate oreos my whole prep until the last few weeks. Not a lot of them, but better then the none most get. Ha ha. This kind of has a second point to it. I wanted to make sure I maintained a healthy relationship with food. Not look at a carb and cry how it will make me fat, or have an accidental slip on my diet and starting thinking of ways to negate it. I’ve read over and over again how competitors have many eating disorders.

Prove to me? Prove to you? Not sure exactly. Just to see if I could do it differently. Following the road to competing but on my own path, on my own journey.

And finally for the athleticism of it. I enjoy working out. I love weight lifting. Maybe not cardio so much to be honest ha ha ha, but I have become one of those people that loves fitness. It’s exciting, and I will try any type of it once at least. Even if it includes doing deadlifts 3 days a week……… Don’t lie to me, aint nobody like deadlifts.

So on the eve of the eve of my competition I’ve had a nice reflection of why I have done all this. Tomorrow I get my tan and go for my weigh in for Saturday. It’s been one incredible journey. No matter what happens Saturday, first place, last place or flat on my face, I’ve done it my way, learned a lot along the way and am ending with self respect, self love and a whole lot of pride.

 

(Don’t mind the black and white, my suit color is a surprise until show day. You’re welcome to guess the color!)

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Life Isn’t About A Flat Stomach

Most may know that I am preparing for a bikini competition. I am 5 days away from stepping on stage in front of a lot of people, amongst a lot of other women in some tiny pieces of cloth.

I get asked a lot lately; why? Why do I want to compete. I want to write a blog post about why after my competition, but some of it is explained here.

This morning I went for my very first consult for breast augmentation. (A boob job). I’ve had two babies that I breastfed for over a year each, significant weight loss and I’m fastly approaching 30. My girls are not the same as they once were. This is for me, has nothing to do with competing, society’s view of me or so on. It is for me and how I feel in my body.

Anyways, I went for my consult. I waited 4 months for this appointment, after being waitlisted basically. While there I asked about a small amount of skin above my c section scar that I’m not even sure I wanted to have surgery on. It bothers me, maybe not enough to consider surgery. I’m very proud that my body grew and nourished two babies. And even though my births weren’t the way I wanted, proud that I was able to have them surgically and walk away from it. Take care of my babies while healing from surgery. “Scars are only reminders that something tried to hurt us and we didn’t let it.” I had my babies, even though they may have been too big for my body and I’m still here. Take that mother fucker.

The doctor was a jerk and told me I needed a tummy tuck and reconstruction of my stomach muscles. The skin was only a small part of it. The reconstruction would allow my stomach to be right flat, even after eating a full meal. What. The. Fuck. Look at these pictures.

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I think I look pretty damn good. Not to be egocentric or anything but again, self pride for my hard work. It’s also not super flat. I even told the fucker I was stepping on stage in 5 days. Now don’t think this really rocked my confidence about doing this competition. I’m stronger then that to allow an external force (especially a person I don’t know) take my pride, self love and confidence away from me. Instead I was upset for two reasons. The way he treated me was atrocious.

The second, life isn’t about a flat stomach. Do we really need to have flat stomachs after eating? Aren’t our stomachs designed to expand for reasons? It’s people like this that are distorting the view of the world and creating the idea in people’s minds that we have to be this tiny tiny little thing. I knew competing, this tiny body isn’t something sustainable. I honestly don’t believe in 6 pack abs or a super flat stomach being something that’s maintainable year round. Whether it be for your physical or mental health. Mostly because a lot of people have an unhealthy relationship with food and/or exercise in order to maintain it. Or unhealthy relationship with their bodies in order to maintain it. It’s kind of disturbing.

I am very confident in my body. Of course I have days where I think I can’t do this. Or my body isn’t as good as the girl on Instagram I will compete with or I could be leaner, tighter etc. But I also know how hard I’ve worked, how good I look and I will be on that stage even if I’m a whale compared to the next girl. It’s my journey and I will do with as I please.

That said, imagine the other mother walking into that office. Not as confident. Walking in there because she doesn’t feel that way and is looking for something to make her feel better. She goes for boobs, asks about a small amount of skin and is basically told she’s a wreck and needs an overhaul of her midsection. Told if she does this she can eat a meal and not worry about her stomach showing. WHY?!?!?! Why is a flat stomach so damn important? Why are we chasing this? If the majority of us don’t look like this, why do we let the select few tell us we should? If you are a healthy weight for your body, are not sick, eat relatively well within reason, have a healthy relationship with food or our bodies why do we always need to loose 10 lbs or obtain the flat stomach?

I will get more into why I wanted to compete in another post, but it wasn’t about the abs or flat stomach. Cool side effect maybe, but I know they will go away after show time. I will bring calories back up to give me energy to sustain my busy life. To fuel my workouts properly. I will eat more carbs, enjoy the glass of wine with my friends, pie for Thanksgiving and they will fade away. If they stay for a while, then cool too. Maybe I’m talking out of my ass, but I think life isn’t about a flat stomach.

Apple Pie Protein Pancakes

I have a beautiful apple tree in my backyard that produces more apples then anyone knows what to do with. I have many people come each year and pick to their hearts content, baked apple pies and make sauce till I cant anymore and there is still tons. So now it’s September and time to pick apples and make apple everything. The applesauce in this recipe I made myself even! Hello fall! There is a bit of work required for these pancakes, so maybe more of a Sunday mornings thing.

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What you need

Pancakes:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • stevia to taste, I used one packet of Truvia
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (4 egg whites)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 apple (50 grams), shredded

Topping:

  • 1/3 cup greek yogurt
  • tbsp almond milk
  • tsp coconut oil
  • vanilla stevia
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 (25 grams) of apple sliced thinly

Directions

  1. Put oats in a food processor and pulse until a flour consistency. I borrowed my sisters Blendtech this week and just mixed the oats with the other ingredients and blended, but if you don’t have a high powered blender grind the oats separately.
  2. Mix all the pancake ingredients together, folding in the shredded apple at the end.
  3. Cook pancakes on medium heat in a non stick pan.
  4. Mix greek yogurt, almond milk and vanilla stevia together.
  5. Heat coconut oil in a pan and put cinnamon coated sliced apples in.
  6. Cook apples until soft and browning and caramelizing.
  7. Top pancakes with yogurt mix. I like stacking with a bit between each.
  8. Top with sliced apples and enjoy!

Macros: Calories 393, Fat 8g, Carbohydrates 42g, Protein 38g, Fiber 8g

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Anti-inflammatory Smoothie (Toddler Teething or General Pain)

I made this smoothie this morning for my girls. The 16 month old is getting her first year molars and the 3.5 year old has been working on her 4 year molars. Molars especially take a long time to come through so I’m not wanting to dose them with tylenol all the time. This smoothie help reduce the inflammation on the gums that can be pretty painful. But it’s not just for teething. Joint pain, injuries, adult teeth pain, it’s a basic overall anti inflammatory smoothie you can use all the time.

Ingredients: *See the bottom of the page for why I chose each ingredient and it’s benefits.

  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • handful spinach
  • tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • milk of choice. I used homogenized milk, as I have growing children that need the fat, but use any milk. A non dairy version like almond is more anti inflammatory, due to the amount of people that have diary sensitivities.

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Directions:

  1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Add water to help blend it if you are like me and don’t have a  fancy high power blender.
  3. Pour and enjoy!
  4. Leftovers are great to make popsicles with for teething or when you’re sick and have a sore throat!

 

 

The cold smoothie also feels good on the teeth and if you have a sore throat.

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I realized a glass probably wasn’t the best to give a 1 and 3 year old so cute cups for them!

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Remaining smoothie went into molds to be frozen for later!

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Pineapple – Full of Vitamin C and Manganese, aids digestion and reduces inflammation.

Spinach – Why not get them to eat spinach when you can?! Has Vitamin K for healthy bones, Vitamin C and many other for you things!

Mango – Vitamins A, C and E, improves digestion, high in potassium and magnesium.

Banana – Makes it creamy and has B6, Vitamin C and full of potassium, which being an electrolyte, keeps teething babes hydrated in case they have the horrid teething diarrhea.

Ginger – A well known anti inflammatory, used a lot in eastern medicines.

Chia seed – an added bonus of some protein, omega 3 fatty acids, calcium and magnesium.

Strawberries – Mostly because my oldest likes the color pink and asked from strawberries, has Vitamins C and K and also a mild anti inflammatory.

100 Calorie Protein Brownie

For a while I’ve been seeing the Jillian Michaels brownie floating around the internet. First I will say, Jillian I love you. Okay that’s been said, now I can say, um your 86 calorie brownie is great and all, except so small! And no protein! Sure if I broke my brownie into 16 pieces instead of 9 bigger ones they would only be 50 calories! But when I want a brownie, I want a damn brownie!

So here it is. 100 calorie protein packed brownie that’s bigger then 1/16th of a pan!!!!

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What you need:

  • 1/2 cup cocoa (45g)
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder (60g)
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (4 egg whites)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • stevia to taste ( a little goes a long way)
  • 1/4 tsp salt, I used pink himalayan
  • 2/3 cup 0% greek yogurt (140g)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin (Like me throwing in my fall themed recipes here?)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips. (45g) I used regular old semi sweet, but use dark or whatever you like.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
  2. Boil some water in a small pot on the stove, with a larger metal bowl overtop. See the picture below.
  3. Spray 8″ pan with non stick spray.
  4. Mix cocoa, protein powder, baking powder and salt in one bowl.
  5. Mix the egg white, vanilla, stevia, greek yogurt and pumpkin in another bowl.
  6. Melt chocolate chips in the bowl over boiling water. You can also do this in the microwave, but you can risk burning the chocolate, plus it cooling too soon before mixing. But do what you like.
  7. Once the chocolate is melted, turn the burner off and quickly add the egg white, pumpkin, yogurt mix to it. Mix well.
  8. Now add the cocoa, protein powder mix.
  9. Pour mixture into pan and spread evenly.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes. Ever damn brownie recipe will tell you “don’t over bake”. So check at 15 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the middle and should come out clean, if not it needs more time. But dont go over 20 I’d say. They can be dry from the lack of fat in them.
  11. Cut into 9 pieces and enjoy!!!

Macros for real sized brownie piece (Sorry JM): Cal 100, Fat 2.3g, Carb 8.5g (half JM’s tiny piece I might add), Protein 10.4g, Fiber 2.9g

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Sorry it’s blurry, but the best picture I took to describe what I’m doing here. Small pot with boiling water, larger sized bowl overtop so the steam from the boiling water is heating the chocolate. This will prevent burning the chocolate.

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Protein Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

Protein Pumpkin Pie Pancakes, say that 3 times fast! Let me welcome September 1st with Pumpkin! Days of leaves turning, children heading to school and warm and delicious fall foods. I’ve never been one to go crazy for the pumpkin spiced latte like some, but pumpkin everything else, bring it on!!!

These protein pancakes also have NO protein powder. I realize some people don’t use it/have it, so I tried making this without.

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Here is what you need:

  • 2 tbsp cocoa (10g)
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4  tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • stevia to taste. liquid or powder, a little goes a long way.
  • 1/4 cup puree pumpkin. Not pie filling!
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (4 egg whites)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk, plus a splash more for the topping
  • 1/4 cup 0% greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice

The mixin’:

  1. Put oats in food processor or blender until a flour like consistency. (Tip: I like to blend a bunch at a time and keep in a jar)
  2. Mix oats, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. In a separate bowl mix stevia, pumpkin, egg whites, 1/4 cup almond milk and lemon juice.
  4. Heat non stick pan to medium.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.
  6. Put mixture in pan. The batter is a little thicker and will need to be spread by the spoon, or add more milk to make it runnier.
  7. Flip when starts to bubble.
  8. In a small dish mix greek yogurt, stevia and dash of almond milk. Heat in the microwave for a few seconds (tip I got from one of coaches recipes!)
  9. Put topping on pancakes and enjoy!

Makes 4-5 pancakes.

Macros for entire recipe: Calories 299, Fat 4g, Carbohydrates 34g, Protein 27g, Fiber 10g!!

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Protein Crepes, Sweet Or Savoury

I found this amazing recipe on Pinterest and now I can’t find it again! I feel awful not pinning back to the original source but I promise I searched and searched for it! You know how Pinterest is, see it once and don’t pin and never see it again. If I come across it I will edit this post.

Anyways, I found this recipe and I loved it so much I wanted to share it and how I used it. It’s for crepes. Sweet or savory. They turned out nice and hardy, touch enough to handle like a tortilla for my lunch even!

Here is the sweet recipe:

  • 1/4 cup egg whites (two egg whites)
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder. I used allmax natural vanilla.
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup (21g) flour. I used barley flour but refer to my Different Flour, Differnt Folks post about the one best for you.
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder.
  • Couple drops of vanilla stevia, because I wanted them sweet that day.

Macros: Calories 167, Fat 1g, Carbohydrates 17g, Protein 23g, Fiber 3g.

Here is the savory recipe:

  • 1/4 cup egg white (two egg whites)
  • 1/2 scoop plain protein powder. I used allmax natural unflavoured.
  • 1/4 cup almond milk.
  • 1/4 cup flour (21g). Again I used barley.
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder.

Macros: Calories 171, Fat 1g, Carbohydrates 17g, Protein 24g, Fiber 2g.

Directions:

  1. Heat a pan on medium low, use a non stick pan.
  2. Mix ingredients together. Batter will be runny and that’s what you want.
  3. Pour a batter into the middle and swirl the pan around to spread it out quickly. Spread less for a thicker crepe, good for holding heavier ingredients like you would a lunch wrap.
  4. Flip when the edges start to crust a bit.
  5. Fill/top and enjoy. There is a few options for what to do withe them below.

 

Boston Creme Stack

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Boston Cream Stack (Taste just like a Boston Cream donut to me)

Make some smaller crepes,so you have a few more of them, layer stevia sweetened greek yogurt in between the layers and top with chocolate almond butter (or nutella).

Macros with 87g greek yogurt and 8g chocolate almond butter: Calories 345, Fat 8g, Carbohydrates 32g, Protein 36g.

 

 

 Strawberry Jam RollCrepe and posing 009

Strawberry Jam Roll

Make into few bigger crepes, fill with stevia sweetened greek yogurt, top with warmed double fruit low sugar strawberry jam.

Macros with 1/2 cup greek yogurt 116g and 2 tbsp double fruit low sugar jam: Calories 274, F 1g, Carbohydrates 31g, Protein 35g.

 

 

Vegetarian Wrap Crepe and posing 016

Vegetarian Wrap

Make into two thicker pancake like crepes and fill with veggies and protein of choice. I used Gardein seven grain vegan chicken tenders, avocado, tomato and romaine lettuce.

Macros with vegan chicken tenders, avocado, tomato and lettuce. Calories 338, F 11g, Carbohydrates 30g, Protein 33g.

 

 

Stay Bitchin’,

Love Jen, AKA The Bitchin’ Housewife