Truth in coaching


These pictures were taken 15 seconds apart.
Looking through Instagram can either be invigorating or depressing.

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On a bunch of social media platforms I noticed people posting progress pictures of themselves and their clients. What a lot of them didn’t talk about was how their clients had lost the weight and in some cases had given the credit entirely to some nutritional shake program.

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I took both of these pictures of myself a couple of days ago because I thought about posting something that people could benefit from. Understanding and accepting the fact that products do not make the body.

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My body looks the way it does today purely out of hard work and dedication to a very regimented diet. It’s very disappointing to know that some people are falsely advertising before and after’s in a similar fashion to what I just did in these pictures: stick out my stomach in one and relaxed/flexed in another.

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There is no lucky person. There’s a hard-working individual who tries every single day. Be the truth. Seek out a coach who isn’t going to try to sell you the idea of skinny in a bottle. BE the coach that leads in truth by setting a healthy example.

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Season 2, Episode 2 – Stay Inspired

 

10 weeks out & feeling firm, fit and rested.

 

As everyone is aware, this season I’ve decided to go all out. In more ways than one. I’m doing at least 5 shows this year which will be demanding and probably drive me right nuts…I’m also working on a new fitness product which will have me traveling and attending seminars for R&D, we have had to fire up a new Engineering Services company to survive the oil downturn, our traveling budget has been sliced next to nil so I will be looking to run teaching vacations to get us out of town whenever I can AND I’ve applied for a grant for a 12 month mentorship program to re-energize my training business by attempting to infuse this new fitness product into it.

Oh ya, did I mention I’m running my second 90 day transformation in 6 months and we have a couple of inventions on the back burner that we need to find time to look at feasibility studies for? Am I/are we nuts? Yes. Do we have heaps of time? No. Am I still going to give it 110% while I still have 110% to give? There’s only one answer.

This week will be 10 weeks out until my first show. I’ve managed to make a few surprising back gains and am feeling really great. 4 weeks off bulking mode and I’m still not tired or hungry or too irritable.

Fasted cardio in the morning starts this  week, also adding more exercise in to blow up my shoulder area…cardio PM and I’ve changed up my ab routine because I’d really like to bring in a bit more defined musculature for Spring/Fall ’16.

Practicing Flexing

I’ve decided on a suit colour for this year – and I’m keeping lucky green as a back up for sure! Can you guess which one I’ve chosen? I’ve also decided on a jewel pattern that I think will look stunning….going to try out some new connectors as well.

 

 

 

All this and I’m still trying to stay in the kitchen and develop new and interesting recipes for my lifestyle, clients and the kids I teach a nutrition series for at Earl Grey School in Calgary monthly.  This month we completed our sugar unit, last month was Salt, next month is Eating in Season ~ kids are pretty inspiring.

This go around is going to take a lot of inspiration. A lot of digging deep and more mental preparedness than the last. Holding fast while the storm beats you down….yep, I’m ready for it.

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Anastacia & I working out a new recipe for sugar free vegan cookies – it bombed, 3 times. Master baker I am not.

I am excited for Spring Break as well as we have managed to (on points and searching for deals for weeks) find a cheap as hell family vacation to Cancun for 10 days at a hotel with a full gym AND kids club. It seems like while the Oil Gods are raining down hellfire and damnation the Adventure Gods are showering us with the gift of travel once again. Something I couldn’t live without and will never give up. Be sure to stay close to see how I made out during the trip ~ my coach will be altering my plan for the equipment I have access to.

I suppose I feel like this time around I really have a burning sense to remember that you only live once and there are so many excuses you can make for not leaving the house or getting out of your pajamas, but there is a giant world to see and so many positive changes to make that I can’t see how folks waste theirs in front of a TV or not doing anything.

My point here being, if you’re considering doing something that you feel is drastic, that you have no time for and are just all out overwhelmed – do it any way. There are enough hours in the day.

Replace the mantra “I don’t have time” with “I haven’t made that a priority in my life” and see how motivated you feel.

Today is rest day and I am going to go for a beautiful hike in the mountains with my family, feed your soul and you’ll find all the time you need for everything you truly need in your life.

 

xxoo

S

 

Product Review – Premier Protein

pprotein

 

Product review: Premier Protein
 ***********************
A month or so ago my Step-daughter came home with a jug of protein {pictured}. She had decided to go vegetarian and her BM was feeding her these shakes to up her protein.
*Insert panic attack and shock here*
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There are several reasons why these things are NOT good for you and especially why they are not good for children.
As her BM has convinced her that not eating meat puts you in a “bad mood” {more like the least she is like me or her father the better her BM’s mood} at the very least I am thankful that she is {most likely} not poisoning her with these things anymore.
Here’s what you need to know about these “cheat” foods and why it is imperative that we all hit the kitchen with gusto and consume whole foods with a TONNE of protein – after all, protein-rich foods are everywhere. Meat is NOT your only option!!
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My Biggest issue
This is a COSTCO product. Why don’t we like that fact? Well, like all Mega chains they have wishy-washy ethics to increase buying power. This means a lot of crushing the little guy and a lot of caselot buying from businesses that are downright dirty – GlaxosmithKline, Johnson, Unilever etc…
Do you own research however, Costco is on total boycott in our world.
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Ingredients (Chocolate Shake Tetrapak):

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These “nutrition supplements” are filled with highly processed animal proteins, chemicals, preservatives and additives. Not all processed foods are detrimental to our health BUT understanding what is in this shake is critical in determining whether or not to use it, replace it, or ditch the entire idea all together.
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Something you might find in a pre-mixed shake or powder is(Muscle Milk being the guiltiest offender of all) heavy metal…not the good kind….things like Cadmium:

Cadmium raises special concern because it accumulates in and can damage the kidneys, the same organs that can be damaged by excessive protein consumption. And it can take 20 years for the body to eliminate even half the cadmium absorbed today.” This is a highly toxic metal, and while there are some cases where decisions have to be weighed against relative risks, accepting that you have to be exposed to any cadmium at all in your protein drink after your workout is definitely not one of them,” says Michael Harbut, M.D., director of the Environmental Cancer Initiative at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Royal Oak, Mich.

“When these toxic heavy metals are combined in a product that is marketed for daily use, that raises serious public health concerns, especially for pregnant women, children, and young adults,” says Burns, who has been a toxicology consultant to state and federal government agencies.

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Acesulfame Potassium or Acesulfame K 

The artificial sweetener you find in this particular drink. Two rat studies suggest that the additive might cause cancer. In addition it is mentioned that large doses of acetoacetamide (a breakdown product of this sugar) have been shown to affect the thyroid in rats, rabbits, and dogs.
full_13th_june_2014_02_06_26_heavily-processed-whey

Wheyeeet a minute!

Most whey protein is ultra-pasteurized from conventional milk full of growth hormones and antibiotics. The whey is acid processed and stripped of all of it’s alkalizing minerals (which include vitamins and minerals that we are all in need of). If you don’t balance the acidic state caused in your body by de-alkalized foods you will increase vulnerability to degenerative disease.
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Eating a variety of food provides more than enough protein for the average person – leave the protein supplements to the very malnourished and the bodybuilding set. 

If you’re part of the bodybuilding set (as I am) there are a tonne of healthy choices for you that don’t include all of the crappy ingredients found in these US made, Costco sold packs of shame.

My choice: Iron Vegan

Jeff’s choice: Beyond Yourself

If you’re thinking that you could be low on protein, try making a minimal ingredient nut butter smoothie or choose some real food sources of protein:

Meat – beef, pork, poultry, eggs, yogurt, cheese, fish. Choose ethical, choose organic, choose hormone free. Be wary of mollusks and shellfish. Read meat can be left out entirely for heart health.

Vegetarian sources of protein – legumes (dry beans, lentils, and peas), nuts and seeds (almond butter, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds), whole grains (oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, pasta), dark leafy vegetables, avocado.

Vegan Protein Nutella

 

Let me start off by saying – this does not really taste like nutella. What it does taste like is still pretty delicious, peanut butter/chocolatey and protein packed with few calories.

I created this one for building season AND because I had run out of oats…..protein pudding I reserve for competition time when my coach orders me to drop the carbs.

I’ve included nutritional information for you below as well.

Happy Vegains to you all.

Ingredients: 

2 slices Ezekiel bread

1 scoop Iron Vegan chocolate protein

1 tbsp smooth peanut butter (sub with Almond if you prefer)

Hot water

Method: 

Place protein and peanut butter in a small bowl. Slowly add hot water and mix until blended well but still thick.

Butter on 2 pieces of toast.

 

Nutritional Info: 

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 291
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10 g 15 %
Saturated Fat 2 g 9 %
Monounsaturated Fat 4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 326 mg 14 %
Potassium 100 mg 3 %
Total Carbohydrate 27 g 9 %
Dietary Fiber 6 g 24 %
Sugars 5 g
Protein 27 g 54 %
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium 30 %
Iron 35 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Kale Caesar 

I recently had a full house when my parents came to stay with us and help get our home renovations under way. When you’re cooking for more than one type of person on the fly it can be a daunting task and you may just try to opt for the easy way out – packaged or fast food.

While we did step out to eat (slow food) a few times we did eat at home in our new kitchen as well. On a particularly busy afternoon I managed to find 3 types of protein that worked for the vegan, pescetarian and omnivorous family of the house.

Making a great base and then adding protein afterward is a great way to stick to YOUR dietary needs without singling out anyone in the family or neglecting yourself or them all together.

I hope you enjoy this one. The base Caesar recipe serves 4, protein serving suggestions (per person) below.

Ingredients

3 (women/kids)or 6 oz of protein per serving – salmon/chicken/tempeh

2 bunches freshly washed & chopped curly kale

1 cup washed bean sprouts patted dry

Himalayan sea salt to taste

Fresh ground pepper to taste

Dressing: 

1 large clove elephant garlic diced

3 tbsp Veganaise

Juice of one lemon

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Method: 

Place washed and dried kale & sprouts in large bowl, set aside.

I use a hand blender and it’s receptacle (Braun) to place in all the dressing ingredients and blend until creamy.

Pour mixture over greens. Toss and coat thoroughly.

Top with protein of choice.

 

 

 

Happy New Year – Free Love


2016 Starts tomorrow! Can you believe it? Now is the time to for us all to forgive our overindulgences and get our health show back on the road. I thought a bundle of healthy tips for nutrition and detox would be useful for you all for a healthy journey in 2016 {tomorrow}.

Check out these food and living facts for a kickstart in 2016 ~ if you need more guidance, check out my discounted services for January sign up:

  • MACRO check/instruction
  • Supplement list
  • 2 week fat shed workout plan
  • $50 toward a 12 week tune up plan

❤ All the best.

S

Water in ~ first thing

Don’t mistake being dehydrated for being hungry. Reset that hunger feeling ASAP with water! You’ll also help your body flush out toxins, provide fuel for your brain and help boost your metabolism.
Magnesium is “the man”

Stressed out from the holidays? A simple snack may do you wonders. Pumpkin seeds or almonds are packed with magnesium, the anti-stress nuts/seeds. I take magnesium supplements nightly about 30 minutes before bed to improve sleep & relaxation – give it a try!
Eat greens

Nutrients that support your liver – and I’m sure you sort of killed your liver this holiday season, didn’t you? Do your best to include dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale and arugula to your meals – try to hit the 50% mark.
Avoid diary

They taste delicious but based on the way that they are produced……you may want to think twice about that whack of cheese. Or, maybe you did your research and found something ethical – good for you!!! Even so, your body is not meant to digest dairy past your breastfeeding babe days.

Sadly, dairy is also majorly acidic and really hurts our PH levels. Your body doesn’t do well with inflammation, so try to kick it to the curb and look for alternatives like nut milks and cheeses.

Fiber up!

Why? Regulate your blood sugar and banish toxins at the same time. Need a better reason? Ok, fiber also reduces that bloated feeling as well as hunger. The best kind of fiber comes from fresh fruit, vegetables, brown rice and oats. I start my day off 1/3 cup of quick oats and ½ a banana sliced ~ quick, easy and really gets the system going.
Alkaline all the way

Balance PH & reduce inflammation. If you haven’t included these already, please do: lemons, pears, kale & parsley.

Get the binge over with and get back to your 5-7 {balanced} meals per day. You might find very quickly that you shed 2-10 lbs of bloat in just 1-2 weeks.

Tofu & Bean Hash – Vegan

Quick & Painless

Quick & Painless

This month I committed myself to making some gains in the muscle department and getting a good prep in for a photo shoot in December. This means, you guessed it, meal prepping again.

At the same time I decided to lead a group of over 25 individuals on a 90-day reboot to build their confidence and body image through amazing diet and exercise. I think I need the inspiration to keep on track as well after my week in sunny Cabo!

This is a simple and typical bodybuilding-type recipe that I use for one of my 6-7 meals per day. You could sub soy chicken, tempeh or another protein source if you’re looking for variety.

This recipe takes literally 5 minutes to prepare.

I’ve currently been eating this AND a 1/2 cup of oatmeal….but feel free to add a noodle or carb of your choice for your desires.

Ingredients: 

1 cup chopped steamed green beans

3 oz organic tofu

1/2 tsp avocado oil

1/2 tsp Flavor God lemon & garlic

Salt to taste

Method: 

Heat oil in pan over medium heat.

Add all ingredients and fry until lightly crispy.

If you are using this recipe pre or post workout you can add your rice or quinoa or sub broccoli as well and make it even tastier!

Nutritional info: 

136 Calories

6g fat

5g protein

19g carbs

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Episode 11 – Dieting Back & Future goals

After play, there is rest….somewhere beautiful where your mind and body can recover and feel the power of its true potential. For me, that’s somewhere sunny, usually Mexico for my birthday but never in the frame of mind that I left with this year. An abundance of smiles, sun and incredible views have peeled away any layers of doubt that I have had about myself, my abilities and my hopes for the future.

When you accomplish big goals, you become stronger…..I feel like a hunter of the unknown and a conqueror – hold the beef.


Dieting back

I wanted to touch on this area of competition just a little because of how important it is for anyone making huge lifestyle and diet changes to understand how much they could hurt themselves if they just “let it all go” after reaching their goals.

I’m SO happy that I didn’t try to work the nutrition side of things myself while learning about the ins and outs of food timing, gains, muscle development etc…remember, this was a totally NEW endeavor for me, really best to seek out a pro for your first time around at least.

I wouldn’t have gotten to my show day physique without a bit of water depletion and strict carb loading schedule. when you’ve tuned your body to be a precision machine, you will be able to see the outcome from drinking a cup of water or eating a cup of yams versus white rice. I wasn’t sold on that idea at first, but now after seeing the results first-hand, it’s undeniable.

After the show I had a couple of days to get back up to my 3-4 litres of water intake which went smoothly – and I didn’t “blow up” as they say. I continued with basically the same bodybuilding diet as well.

Once I got down to Mexico I indulged in a number of things but also felt like I’d fallen out of love with liquor. In a matter of 6 days you could see the salt starting to pack on stomach jigglies.

I actually got sick a couple of times because my body just couldn’t accept all of the food I was eating, even though there were LARGE healthy salads, tonnes of water and a little fruit…the minute I ate bread or something sweet I was immediately sick.

Don’t even get me started on how it feels to drink. I ordered a 1/2 bottle of Veuve by the pool on my birthday and was a) buzzed and b) bloated. I’ve been sitting on another FREE bottle of champagne for 3 days as I write this…..I guess I’ll have to take one for the team ;).

Personal Goals

I know I touched on this in my last post, so I wont waste too much time going into it. My goals now are:

a) Gains

b) December photo shoot

c) May 7 & 14 INBF Comps in Calgary and Vancouver

d) Find a couple more natural comps around that time then take a break for the season or at least participate in 1 fall classic….thinking WBFF.

e) Better have me my Pro Card

Reflecting 

All in all I had a blast doing this and learned a lot from the experience. I learned that I’m STILL a super competitive person and that I need big goals to set my spirit free – once I achieve them. I learned that I can be a real cantankerous bitch and it’s not always because of the lack of carbs. I finally got that part of my life that I left back in Vancouver returned to me; living an inspired life and (without trying too hard) inspiring a lot of other people around me.

My next steps have been the same for a decade. Take my hard earned savings, head south and start a movement of health, happiness and friendships. I am still actively seeking out that final destination and have started, once again, to put the blueprint of that together – I’m excited for the next 5 years.

I’ve always wanted to help change the world for the better but had no idea what my place in it was for a very very long time. When I quit my 9-5 and focused on food medicine and healthy living, my whole life changed. Every way I have pushed myself to learn more about living a happy and full life in this part of my adventure has lead to inspiration for others in some way. That brings me so much joy. Knowing that I am making a difference is an incredible feeling, humbling and perfect in its truth.

How could I stop now?

Epsom Salt – Natural moisturizing / hand & body wash

So long late night soaks!

So long late night soaks!

Now that I am done with my regular soaks for competition I have all of this unscented (and putrid scented) Epsom salt I need to get rid of.

The best way (other than bathing in that is) is to create harmless household and body cleaners!

Here is a simple recipe for you to start out with. I like the coconut/vanilla/bergamot combo below, but feel free to try your own. Use as a general moisturizer or wet your body and lather/scrub then rinse!

Ingredients: 

2 tbsp scented or unscented Epsom Salts

1 cup cup scented liquid coconut oil – deep conditioner, vitamin E – even works as a makeup remover!

5 drops vanilla essential oil – aphrodisiac and anti-depressant

2 drops bergamot essential oil – speed healing oil, treats anxiety

Method: 

Heat coconut oil on stove-top on very low heat until melted.

Add remaining ingredients and stir until salt is disintegrated.

Pour liquid into jar and allow to cool.

Keep stored in a room temperature and dark space until needed.

More info on Epsom Salts: 

CLICK HERE FOR A GREAT LINK ON EPSOM SALTS. 

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Episode 10 – Competition day

There are no cheat days.

I can’t stop feeling like something is missing. All those days, weeks and months coming together for one (albeit long) day and now…crickets. The gym is still here, the diet is still here the love of strength is still here but now there is a quiet over me that I’m not welcoming all that easily into the fold of regular life.

Taking off to Mexico and having a real rest and reflect will be the re-boot I need to gear up for 6 months of hard work, gains, travel and adventure. Recovery is a part of the cycle and a much needed one, it’s just hard to get off the hype train when you’ve been on it non-stop for this long.

I am so grateful for my coach, who brought me this victory. Who was patient and understanding of my needs. My best friend and partner in everything, Jeff. Not sure how we do it, but we stay in love every day, even when I’m so hungry I could punch. Thank you, thank you, thank you. My family and my parents who flew in just to see their “little girl” compete once again. Must’ve been surreal for you since I haven’t competed on a stage in so long. I’m grateful you were there to keep me motivated and watch me excel.

I’ve tried to capture my day here for everyone who has followed along on this journey. It’s been tough but fun and I’ve done SO much growing and learning. I can’t believe that I’m as strong as I’ve been in so many ways. My body, mind and spirit have blown the lid off of what I thought I was made up of. Yay me.

My original goal, that I sent to my coach Jennifer was to just come in top 5. Well, I beat my goal and now I’m on to my next one – first place, and a Pro Card in May. I have 2 kicks at the can…..stay tuned everyone.

xxoo

S

New and improved suit

Sparkle central – more bling on this ting!

I sent my suit away to have more rhinestones put on it – was a recommendation of my coach and I’m glad I did. She sparkled quite nicely if I do say so myself. The suit cost me just over $300 in total as an FYI.

Schedule for 2 days tanning

Tanning was actually a total pain in the ass. I went to Bronze Baxx in Calgary where they sprayed me (butt naked is the status quo here so you cannot be shy) then baked me in a stand up for 6 minutes. 2 days in a row.

The JanTana tattoo cover cream that I ordered was darker than the tan they had so I had to run to the mall last minute the morning of tan #2 to pick up some Kat Von D stuff they recommended which seemed to work.

Sleeping in this tan is disgusting. You will end up about the stinkiest you could possibly be by the end of show #2 on d-day. It’s just a fact.These tans cannot take moisture so being ultra vigilant once your final tan is on is key.

When I got to the athletes meeting later on Friday night, a bunch of folks advised me that my tan wasn’t dark enough. I’ll need to let Bronze Baxx (who guaranteed me a sufficient tan for my federation) because I paid nearly $200 for essentially nothing. SO I had to get my wonderful makeup artist Glam Girl out of YEG to spray me.

SO glad I did. They used the JanTana spray product and I had compliments coming out of the wazoo about my tan. I certainly stood out in comparison to my competitors who were all tanned by the same company at the event. Risky, but worth it.

Polygraph/Urine Test

Lie detection about to go down.

The polygraph went fine. Basic 10 questions about banned substances and if I’d taken any in the last 7 years. No worries there. At breakfast the next day we were talking about this though…why don’t they just pee test everyone instead of the lie detector?

The lie detector takes about 30 minutes and then you STILL get to compete if you pass it (and lie) so that if you make it as the top of your class and go for a pro card THEN you get tested.

A lot of people leave after placement/awards so if the top dog was found to have contraband in their system what next? They contact the second runner up? They should pee test the top 5 in my opinion to stop cheating and expedite the system more quickly.

Anyway, it seemed kind of silly because if you didn’t use contraband, you have no worries…was quite the ordeal getting in. The polygraph team were a great couple with amazing personalities however, so the time passed quickly.

Athletes meeting & Registration

Athletes meeting swag.

This took place at the host hotel. It started 45 minutes late, took nearly 3 hours and was exhausting. This is when you check in to register, pick up your number and drop off any music you have if you are in a class with a routine and weigh in for bodybuilders.

You find out some information here about the next day however, we were not given schedules or anything and this was a really tough part of the night. I was on 3.5 hours sleep and had no energy. If I would have known how delayed it would all be…well, I would have left the meeting a little early to sleep. Honestly, the waiting is the hardest part – thank you Tom Petty.

Take the time to ask any questions here that you need to if the platform is provided. I was happy that they went through T-walks and all of the posing requirements for each class here – I was seriously freaking for some time about missing the posing camp – but I rocked the stage with what I learned on my own….nice to know they back your knowledge up at the athletes meeting though.

Nails

My nail girl failed so I bought a pack of press-ons. They worked fine, looked good from the stage and were $10. I would never schedule nails again in my life for a show. I painted my toes super sparkly gold (unlike the french that they recommend).

Hair, Makeup and Tanning

Hypothermia setting in – spray booth torture.

Glam Girl was amazing. So professional and quick. A husband and wife team out of Edmonton who kick ass. The makeup is beyond professional, the tan is JanTana and they have done up gals from here to Nevada at every sort of show you could imagine. I wish that you could fit them in your pocket and take them with you to all shows.

I’ll be using them May 7th for my Calgary show – if you’re competing in YYC soon please have a look out for them, they help me win second place I swear.

Sleeping

Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Prepare to be totally exhausted friends. Totally exhausted. There is not really any sleep for you if the show is organized anything like this one was. Day before the show they kept us up late at the athletes meet, show day you get up when you need to get your hair and makeup done.

On show day we were told to be at the stadium for 10 am – didn’t end up going on till 3pm. We were told after our pre-judging that ALL athletes had to be back by 4pm. My division didn’t go on until nearly 9pm. Essentially I spent an entire day laying on pavement/walking around aimlessly…along with my poor family who flew and drove in to see me.

This was probably the WORST part of the whole experience. Know the timing as best you can and try to relax somewhere else (home/hotel) when you can. I brought a blanket with me but should’ve brought an ultra thick yoga mat as well. It was cold back there and there were no chairs for anyone. Be prepared.

Meals for Fri/Sat

I had packed rice, boiled mashed yams and portions of tempeh for the day of the show. I also packed maple syrup, peanut butter, coconut oil and salt.

Meal prepping for the show.

I would be texting pictures to my coach every few hours for tweaks and changes. Water started to be cut on Friday around 1pm. This whole part is a science and I would have failed miserably if I didn’t have a great coach who is also a holistic nutritionist.

Keeping the right balance of food to stay tight and not bloated all day is a serious commitment.

Typical check-in picture. This was between prejudging and finals.


Pre-judging

This is the longest part of the day and where all the placements are decided. This is where you need to kick ass and take names. I was not anticipating having to do quarter turns, walks etc… for so long, holding back pose over and over again for about 25-30 minutes has left me with a super tender lower back….be prepared for having to do a lot of work in pre-judging….stretch well and rest well after this….my leg day today will be affected by my back tenderness.

What I didn’t like about this portion was that I ALMOST had to do my walk to Shaggy’s song about getting caught cheating or whatever, I nearly puked. Finally “Rock my World” by Michael Jackson came on and I could groove and do an amazing T-walk.

I really wish they let us choose our music for this too….

5pm show

This part is supposed to be for the audience and for fun. To be perfectly honest, I’d rather do one show and have it over with. I was up from 4am for the day and didn’t get to off the stage till just after 9pm that evening. I was SO tired and SO sore…. being an ex-performer I really found this odd…PLUS the audience leaves after every category so by the time mine went on there were literally about 40 people left in the audience. Sad face.

Bum glued on and checking in with my coach before Pre-judging.

Pumping up

The rhythm for back stage is eat a meal, pump up and practice posing. I probably ate about 6-9 times (small meals & snacks)  for the first show and then about 6-7 times between the first and end of the second.

There were no mirrors provided in the area which sucked, but we shared some full lengths that locals had brought. I brought my own bands and small weights. I suggest you do the same if you’re ever competing so that you’re not SOL when pumping time comes before they call you up. So important to keep your muscles looking full and lovely before pre-judging especially.

First meals off-plan

2nd place in the bag. Time to hit up some delicious vegan/raw vegan fare!

Celebration DinnerNoorish, Edmonton

All organic. All vegan, all amazing.

These folks pulled a late-nighter to stay open and serve our group of 7 – I was so happy to have this kind of kindness shown to me on such a hard and late day.

We sampled their kale chips, root veggie poutine, I had an open-faced “burger” on a raw vegan onion bread with a kale caesar salad, vegan pumpkin cheesecake for dessert AND my first glass of wine in 4 months.

I have to say that I really wasn’t over the moon about the wine, didn’t really miss it at all. I nursed it and that was that. Still no hankering for a drink……food however, I’ll hanker that till the cows come home.

Celebration breakfast Clever Rabbit, Edmonton

Vegan eggs, vegan homemade bacon, vegan benny, vegan latte…..Vegan heaven. We even took some baking with us ( a giant vegan nanaimo bar which now lives in my deep freeze, an earl grey donut and a couple of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies)

Wrap up and emotions

Well, this one was a tough one for me. If you don’t know me, I’m SUPER competitive. Not because I need to beat people at things, but because I need to be the best I can be by MY definition…which, is usually number one.

I started to beat myself up a bit about coming in second. I really did….nearly pouted about it. Then I started collecting memories from along the way and realized that it’s subjective this category of bodybuilding, and that sometimes there isn’t a way to have won…your face may not be the face the judges like overall that day etc etc…I don’t know about industry politics, I’m sure I’ll run into this at some point down the road.

I had to shake myself and say HEY you were after this for a total of 90-120 days…and you came in top five, top 2  in the largest class of the competition – take a minute to bask in that accomplishment stupid.

I am the only athlete there that did it VEGAN…..and I really should have pushed to have that known more. I definitely will next time.

I’m committed to achieving first and a pro card. That’s my ultimate goal…so I’ll be back in May on the 7th and 14th in Calgary and Vancouver respectively – working for that. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (thank you Daft Punk).

Strong, determined and coming back with a vengeance.