Hello friends! The last time I showed you what I was eating, I was just a week or two away from my bodybuilding show, and definitely in the last phase of “cutting.” Although my calories never dropped very low (1800 was the lowest I ever went), I found myself often sleepy and out of energy due to the deficit. But by the time I stepped on stage, I was at the level of condition necessary to be competitive.
However, that kind of leanness is simply unsustainable, as is the diet that got me there. The body is just not meant to stay at a very low body fat percentage, and to try to, is to fight a losing battle. So I was veeerrry glad when I was instructed by my coach to return to my maintenance calorie level (2400… oh the joy!!!), the day after my show. It only makes sense not to prolong the caloric deficit, and to regain the weight & body fat necessary for good health, hormonal function, and mood! So even though 2400 was a big jump from 1800, I didn’t gain weight quickly… it’s come on slowly & gradually… and I’ve just now levelled off at about 130 pounds, 3 months after the show.
I still eat oatmeal every day for breakfast, and today’s was enhanced with vanilla protein powder, powdered peanut butter, zucchini, strawberries, and more peanut butter and my “protein cream” on top (it’s just protein powder & powdered peanut butter mixed with almond milk. It’s like frosting!). This concoction contains about 450 calories and keeps me going through my morning workout, be it bootcamp or my gym workout. Today I had an early morning jog and bootcamp.
When I finish working out and cool down, I have a snack. Today it was one square of peanut butter fudge, a cute little baked oatmeal cup with peanut butter, and the giant green smoothie shown at the top (made with spinach, frozen pineapple & papaya, vanilla protein powder, fresh mint, cucumber, spirulina, & fresh coconut water.). This snack combo had about 450 calories and was easy to slam down on my way to Bible study.
After Bible study I headed into town for a meeting, which finished up around 12:45. Whenever I think I’ll be away during a mealtime, I always bring my food with me. Being hungry is annoying, but for me, standing in line to buy food when I’m hungry is even more annoying. So today I had packed my lunch ahead of time: sliced grilled chicken, quinoa, broccoli, roasted pumpkin, & vegan queso- I’ll definitely give you the recipe for this! This was about 420 calories and so satisfying because of all the veggies. I ate it in the car on the way home.
I’m never starving in the afternoon, but I always go ahead & eat something anyway so I won’t be ravenous at dinner. Just saving my kids from any hangry outbursts! Today I had 3 of these chocolate oat cookies (they’re basically my pumpkin oat cookies with added cocoa powder… so good!) with coconut cashew butter and a mug of decaf out of our awesome new coffee machine. 3 of these cookies with the cashew butter was about 350 calories and definitely kept me satisfied until dinner.
For dinner I made baked salmon (simple marinade of orange juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, soy sauce, & honey) with pesto rice (just cooked white rice with a couple of tablespoons of homemade pesto stirred in at the end) and fresh steamed green beans. It’s a LOT of rice- a full cup. And I don’t always eat brown rice… gaahhh!!! It’s because my fiber intake is already so high I don’t really need it, and to be honest, sometimes white rice just tastes better. This dinner was about 550 calories.
I always save some room for dessert, even if it’s just something small. Tonight I had a little slice of my vegan banana bread with chocolate chips. I forgot to take a picture, so you’ll just have to imagine all that banana yumminess.
Being on “maintenance” calories is kind of a new thing for me. Last year I was building muscle on 2600 calories (a LOT of food to get in!)… and before that I never really tracked my diet, but I was always just trying to get “smaller”… I would’ve never been satisfied with just maintaining. So it feels good! I’m gonna call this new season in my life “I finally stopped trying to lose weight.”
Happy Wednesday, friends!