Clean Eating Shopping List

Clean Eating Shopping List

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In this post I am going to talk about what you will find in my shopping cart during contest prep and off-season clean eating. Here is the difference:

During Contest Prep you will ONLY find:

-Chicken breast cutlets

-Flounder cutlets

-Bundles of Asparagus

-Sweet Potatoes


-Egg whites

-Whole Eggs

-Mrs. Dash Salt Free Seasoning



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“Off-Season Clean Eating” you will find:

-Kashi “Go-Lean” Crunch Cereal

-Unsweetened Almond Milk


-Lean Ground Turkey




-Greek Yogurt (plain)

-Almond Butter





-Chicken Breast Cutlets

-SO Delicious Coconut Milk Lactose Free Icecream

– Kashi Oatmeal Raisin Flax Cookies

-Rice Cakes


-Celery and Carrots


Leg Day Workout Routine

This is an example of a “leg day” workout routine.

Hip Adductor Machine 15 reps/3 sets

Hamstring Curls 15 reps/3 sets

Leg Extensions 20 reps/4 sets

Hip Abductor Machine 15 reps/3 sets

Leg Press Machine 20 reps/3 sets

Alien Squats 15 reps/3 sets

Step Ups 3 sets/ 20 reps each leg

Walking Lunges (I usually just walk the longest length available in my gym)

Donkey Kicks (3 sets 50 reps each leg)

Air Squats (100 reps)

Glute Machine (3 sets/ 15 reps)

Glute Kickbacks (3 sets/ 15 reps)


Healthy Whole Grain Pesto Pasta

Healthy Whole Grain Pesto Pasta

Pesto Shrimp or Chicken Pasta

1 lb of Shrimp or 3 Thin Sliced Chicken Breasts
1 diced yellow onion
1 diced zucchini
2 diced tomatoes
1/4 cup of pesto
1/2 box of pasta (preferably whole grain)
3 cups of chopped spinach
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
4 cloves of minced garlic
salt, pepper, & Italian herbs

Boil water and cook pasta al dente.

If Shrimp: peel, rinse, and flavor with lemon, salt, & pepper and sauté for 3 minutes.

If Chicken: Spray Pan with cooking spray and bake until thoroughly cook and season to preference and slice in thin slices.

Sautee herb, garlic, zucchini, and onion in coconut oil in a large pan.

Drain pasta when al dente, add contents from the large pan to the pasta. Turn off heat. Add pesto, spinach, and chopped tomatoes. Top with chicken or shrimp and serve immediately.

This recipe serves about 5 people, however is very good reheated. I make it at the beginning of the week and have little portions the next three days. Extremely nutritious and delicious 🙂


My Favorite Packaged Products

My Favorite Packaged Products


My usual advice for anyone trying to eat healthy is: to avoid anything packaged such as store bought snacks and protein bars and instead eat natural foods like vegetables, nuts, and fruits as snacks.

However, sometimes these snacks are boring and it is easier to buy things when we are busy and on the run. While many of these items are off limits during competition prep, they can serve as healthy alternatives during the off-season while trying to stay very healthy.

Here is a short list of a few of my favorite health products:

  • Trader Joe’s Cold-Pressed Juice (Green)- For someone who has trouble getting enough vegetables, this is a good alternative. Each bottle is only 100 calories with seventeen kale leaves and a whole pound of spinach. The only sugar is all natural and just 11 grams.
  • Walden Farms Pancake Syrup- The perfect topping for delicious protein pancakes or oat pancakes. This syrup alternative has no calories, gluten, fat, carbs, or sugars of any kind.
  • Walden Farms Ketchup- A great tasting ketchup alternative with no calories, gluten, fat, carbs, or sugars of any kind.
  • Quest Bars- My favorite flavors are cookies & cream and cookie dough. These bars have 21 grams of protein, lots of fiber, and no added sugar.
  • Lenny & Larry’s All Natural Complete Cookie- A delicious clean cheat. These cookies are vegan, gluten free, and taste better than any other item on this list. These cookies have 16 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber. While the sugar is higher at 15g a serving, there are no added sugar alcohols or preservatives.




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            The first thing that I want to say about supplements is that you are throwing away your money if you are not putting in work and committing to a healthy diet.

However, if you are practicing a well-rounded healthy lifestyle and weight training supplements can take you that much further. They supplement your diet.

There are so many supplements available it is difficult to decide where to begin. Once you decide what is worth taking for you, offers lists of top quality supplements.

Here is what I take and what for:

Multivitamin- Every morning I take my multivitamin. A multivitamin is crucial, and even when I am not in training I maintain my multivitamin regimen. Even when our diets are perfect we often are deficient in many nutrients. These nutrients are essential to our body’s overall nutrition and your fitness goal’s progress.

My multivitamin of choice: Optimum Nutrition’s Opti-Women Women’s Multivitamin

BCAAs- These are amazing for building muscle, muscle recovery, and energy. I take these before or after I train. Often I mix them with my creatine and drink together after my workout.

My BCAAs of choice: Cellucor BCAA Powder

Creatine– This has by far been the most effective supplement I’ve ever used. I immediately saw results after taking this. It aids in muscle growth and strength. Creatine helps you gain size in your muscles. I take this immediately after weight training. However, because creatine holds water in your muscles you must discontinue use the week of your show in order to be your leanest.

My Creatine of Choice– Creacore Blue Raspberry.

Metamucil– fiber aids in weightloss and keeps you regular.

Protein Powder- I use Cellucor Whey Protein Powder in flavors mint & cakebatter. I only add water and ice. I drink immediately after my workout.


Back Workout

Hi Guys!

jenny back

I can’t emphasize enough how incredibly beautiful a toned and fit back is on a woman. No one wants that look of back fat around your bra straps or just a frail looking slumped back either. A sleek and toned back shows strength and can be sexy and feminine as well.

In my latest youtube video I will share my favorite exercises from back day:

(Music is “This is How We Do” by: Katy Perry)

Back Workout:

Lat Pull Down (4 sets 15 Reps)

Kneeling One Arm Rows (3 Sets 15 Reps)

Seated Cable Rows (4 sets 15 Reps)

Dead Lifts (10 sets of 10 Reps- 100 total) Take no more than 15 second breaks between each set. If you do not know what weight is good for you, a good tip is to try half your body weight. So for example: I am 115 lbs, I will deadlift 60 lbs.


How to Diet out of A Diet

How to Diet Out of a Diet: IIFYM & Reverse Dieting

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Competition Prep Dieting often utilizes “clean-eating”, which is a diet that consists of natural foods. This means no added sugars, no hydrogenated fats, trans-fats, or anything unnecessary or unnatural.

In the body building world, this diet usually consists of six small meals a day, often eaten out of Tupperware and eaten every few hours.

These small meals usually consist of complex carbohydrates such as rice or sweet potatoes, green vegetables, and lean protein such as chicken or fish.

A clean eater will not cook their food in butters or fatty oils, will refrain from drinking anything other than water, and will maintain this diet day after day.

While “clean-eating” is the traditional body building diet for competitors, there is another controversial approach to dieting that has been proven effective for some people.

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This form of dieting is called IIFYM, or If It Fits Your Macros. This is a less restrictive form of dieting where you calculate your macronutrient needs.

Macronutrients are made up for three components: carbohydrates, protein and fat. IIFYM is customizable. You set your goals, and you eat a certain amount of each depending on your goals and your caloric expenditure.

While I have found the results of this diet fascinating in numerous cases I’ve seen, I just haven’t mastered the concept enough myself, nor do I trust it whole-heartedly enough to rely on it during competition prep.

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So then why do I talk about it? Because it can be used effectively to transition from clean-eating and low caloric intake over a long period of time (such as competition prep) into an off-season, or more livable diet, that won’t completely destroy your goals.

When I started my competition prep I heard HORROR stories from girls who competed before me that would be fatter than they had ever been in their life just weeks after being in the best shape of their lives. So many of them stayed in the worst shape of their lives and still haven’t gotten out of it.

They all told me: “I wish that someone had told me not to eat the way I did after my show”

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Still, knowing that, my competition came to an end and I wanted to be able to eat whatever I wanted without worrying. I even consulted an IIFYM diet plan specialist that tried to reverse diet me out of my show prep. I told her that I wanted a few weeks off from caring at all, and then maybe I would try IIFYM to find balance again. She warned: “It’s up to you, but I strongly suggest you reverse diet out… You will find yourself unknowingly consuming thousands of calories and gaining weight at unhealthy rates.”

Still I proceeded to gain weight and now it is more difficult than ever to get back to where I started.

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So I am writing this post to provide readers with the advice and knowledge that I Ignored. How to Reverse Diet out of Competition Prep (or any lengthy low caloric diet):

Things to know:

Weight Gain is not a goal of Reverse Dieting. The actual goal is gradual increasing of calorie intake with the least amount of weight gain. It is a gradual reintroduction of certain foods and the restoring of the levels of fat loss hormones.

With Reverse Dieting there are no cheat days, just re-feed days where you get more carbs, however everything is monitored.

How to Get Started:

First you want to determine your macronutrient breakdown. This is your daily caloric intake as well as what makes that up (Proteins, Carbs, Fats).

Decide your goals. For most post competition the goal will be to build muscle or maintain muscle mass while gaining the least amount of fat possible and being less crazy with diet.

To calculate the macronutrient intake that would satisfy your goals, you can use macro calculators. By googling “Macro calculator” many options will be readily available. There are also many apps available as well.

For competition dieters, the most common approach to reverse dieting is simply increasing your carbs. Without calculating, a common approach is for women to slowly add 10 carbs to their daily diet. At the end of the first week of increased carbs, there is a cheat meal or “re-feed”. This is portion controlled.

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The idea with this is the slow reintroduction of carbs so that your metabolism keeps up. After the first week the idea is to maintain the 80/20 idea. This idea is that you are 80 percent on your diet and 20 percent of the time you cheat. In the off-season you should aim to only have cheat meals 1-2 times a week. This will keep you in close to competition shape year round!


How to Find Balance After A Competition

How to Find Balance After A Competition

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Okay, so I’m about to give advice on a topic that I have come nowhere close to mastering myself. However, I wish that someone had been there to give me this advice after my competition came to an end last August.

This topic is finding balance or going back to a more realistic and healthy lifestyle.

(An example of my over-eating next to a friend’s frozen yogurt):

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After my show, I was so over thinking about what I eat and decided that I wanted a couple months of not caring whatsoever. Instead of going back to the way that I used to eat before competition prep, I found myself over indulging and feeling guilty. Not only did competition prep slow my metabolism and shock my body, it changed the way I think of food entirely. The reintroduction of sugar at such excess so quickly caused me to gain weight rapidly. The first week after my show I was 7 pounds up from my stage weight.

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While this had other girls I knew that competed back in the gym quickly and watching what they ate again, I knew it was normal and still didn’t want to fret. The morning after my show I was up three pounds from water alone. I knew that I was a little too skinny the day of my show and I was not worried.

I continued to eat processed foods and sugar. I felt very differently about food than I ever had before in my life. It was as if I was always worried that I wasn’t going to have the chance to eat something again. I was ordering food constantly even when I was full to the point of sickness.

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My second week after my show I was up an additional 9 pounds. My weight before competition prep was 115 lbs. My stage weight was 104 lbs. Two weeks after my show I weighed in at 120 lbs. I got myself back into the gym but couldn’t change the way I thought about food.

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         I felt myself being extreme. Healthy to me was Grilled chicken plain with a cup of asparagus six times a day. I felt like if I wasn’t eating that than I might as well be eating a double cheeseburger, box of donuts, and carton of ice cream.

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I still struggle on a daily basis to find a balance between competition prep dieting and a normal lifestyle. Here are a few tips I can give to anyone transitioning from competition life to off-season:

  • Continue to drink 10-15 water bottles a day. (You’re already in the habit of drinking water. The benefits of drinking water are endless & It will keep your metabolism fast and you feeling full.)
  • REVERSE DIET OUT! For those of you who don’t understand what this means, I will be creating an entire blog post dedicated to this in the near future.
  • Portion Control. Allowing yourself to satisfy cravings after your show is part of the fun in competing, but don’t overeat. Allow yourself to taste a little bit of everything!
  • Continue to Workout Everyday. Staying in the gym will encourage you to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle.
  • Eat Vegetables. With every meal incorporate a green vegetable. This will help your meals to have some sort of nutritional balance.
  • Limit yourself to three cheat meals a week. It may seem like a lot to those who diet, however three meals a week will allow you to feel like you can eat everything you want but still provide you with guidelines.
  • Eat Socially. Save your cravings and cheats for eating with friends and family. Do not buy food and eat alone or in your car or on your way to class. You will find yourself feeling guilty and hiding what you eat. When you eat in groups you tend to eat less.
  • Continue to take supplements. Stopping your supplements mentally prepares you to end your fit lifestyle. The less you eliminate from your habits the easier it will be to maintain a somewhat healthy routine.
  • Monitor your weight. Don’t ignore the weight you’re gaining. Do not stress about it to the point of depression but be aware.
  • Have a Game Plan to Get Back On Track. Set new goals and remember the type of lifestyle you want to be living.


How to Get Motivated

How to Get Motivated

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Finding motivation is not always easy. Sometimes you pull on that pair of yoga pants and sweatshirt and don’t care what your body looks or feels like. Sometimes dinner with friends and drinks and sleeping in late is more appealing than eating clean and working out. Sometimes you are busy and finding time to cook and workout seems impossible.

DON’T GET ME WRONG. In between goals is a thing called life that needs to be lived and enjoyed!!!

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However, it is easy to get stuck in a pattern where “let me treat myself” becomes a daily thing. Your stomach becomes a waist basket and your body gets farther and farther from where you want it to be. I think we can all agree that you feel worse. You’re not happy with where you are, you are low on energy, and you feel like you’ve let yourself go. Am I right?

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So how do you find the motivation and get back to where you want to be?

  • Set Goals. Decide what will make you happy. Is it being fit for a future vacation? Is it losing five pounds of fat and having more energy? Is it getting to the gym everyday so that you feel like you can walk up the stairs without wheezing? Is it fitting into skinny jeans without your love handles hanging over the sides?
  • Make a plan. How will you do these things? What is it now that is making you so unhealthy? Is it that you are not active enough? Will you go to the gym three days a week? Everyday? Will you run the boardwalk in the morning?
  • Make Simple Changes. Switch to drinking only water (don’t drink your calories and unknowingly consume excessive sugars through sodas and juices). Say no to those office cookies when your not that hungry, that sugary pumpkin spice coffee, or drinks on a weeknight. Don’t eat out of boredom. Don’t accept food to be polite.
  • Be Conscious of Your Consumption. Read nutrition facts, plan your meals in advance, and be aware every time you put something in your mouth. Make an effort to eat greens and non-processed foods. Ask yourself if what you are eating is a step closer or farther away from your goals.
  • Hold Yourself Accountable. Tell people that you are making a change. Write down what you eat. Apps like My Fitness Pal make it easy to record your food in a diary.
  • Stay Positive & Consistent. After one month of eating clean research shows you crave bad food less. Remember that the longer you stick to the plan the easier it becomes. Consider that the earlier you start the better.
  • Rest and Create other Healthy Habits. Getting a full 8 hours of sleep and waking up early makes you feel more successful. Going to the gym first thing in the morning helps you think more about what you eat during the day. Living a well-rounded healthy life where you focus on enhancing your mind, body, spirit is a great feeling!