Hello friends! First of all, thank you so much for your support and kind comments on my latest post on getting (and being!) super-lean. Your words are golden to me!
My calories and carbs have never been so low during a competition prep, and I’ve been feeling the effects… fatigue, flat-looking muscles, and significant loss of strength during training. And early this week my weight was hovering right around my stage weight, putting me about a week and a half ahead of schedule. Woo hoo!
All this led my coach to call for a “carb refeed”- basically one day of significantly increasing carbohydrate intake to pump up my muscles, give me some mental & physical energy, and regulate my hormones such as cortisol, gherlin and leptin to help me combat the ongoing effects of dieting.
In a nutshell, I got to pack in the carbs for 24 hours to give me a boost in every way!!! It was a super-fun day of eating…
For breakfast, I had my normal Wednesday “carrot cake oats” (oats, shredded carrot, vanilla protein, an egg white, & lots of cinnamon) and topped with powdered peanut butter and cashew butter… PLUS a lot of fruit… PLUS some Cinnamon Life & Honey Bunches of Oats cereal on top. I haven’t eaten cold cereal in forever and it tasted amazing!
After some posing practice and bootcamp, I came home and had a big square of my brownie baked oatmeal topped with powdered peanut butter and homemade granola (I think I need to give you this recipe)… PLUS a bowl of Love Grown Power O’s with almond milk and banana. This was a chocolate-filled and super-yummy snack.
For lunch I had a pretty typical meal: salad with grilled chicken, baked tofu, roasted pumpkin, nutritional yeast, and boiled potatoes. But this time I added MORE potatoes and…
… tacked on a rice cake with cashew butter and jam afterwards. It was like getting lunch dessert and as good for my mind as for my body! I felt really full after lunch (first time in a long time!)
By mid-afternoon I wasn’t even hungry! But I went ahead and ate my snack anyway… Coach’s orders, haha. I had my typical sweet potato brownie with peanut butter (yup I eat a lot of nut butter for my fat intake) and a papaya protein smoothie… PLUS I added a caramel rice cake underneath the brownie and strawberries to the smoothie. It’s sooo easy to add carbs to your diet without adding extra fat.
Dinner was salmon with couscous and asparagus. I sprinkled some leftover kale chips & nutritional yeast on top to give it some more flavour without adding too much fat. The idea with a carb refeed is to pump the body with extra carbs to allow it to refill the muscles with glycogen. Excess dietary fat inhibits this process, and could also put me in a caloric surplus… which I definitely want to avoid at this point in the game. So it was carbs only as my extras, not fat or protein, to keep me in a deficit (although not as big as usual- my day’s intake was ~2000 cals vs 1700.)
After dinner I had a piece of my leftover birthday cake! This is a moist and dense chocolate zucchini cake that you can make in one bowl in about 30 minutes. I highly recommend it, even if it’s not your birthday!
And so I ended my day with a full belly and woke up with full muscles. (I also had an amazing workout that day, with all that extra glycogen!) Carbs are a glorious thing, my friends! The body (and mind!) thrives on them.
So go carb up if you’ve been low for awhile, your mind & muscles will thank you!