Fun with food returns!

Whew.  It’s been a week already? Again, I’m a bad blog writer! I feel like I have a valid excuse this week though… maybe.  The weekend was incredibly busy as we were away for my competition in Guelph (Friday and Saturday), and then headed up to the Mississauga area for a photo shoot on Sunday, getting us home later than expected due to part of the 401 being closed. We got right back on schedule with the gym at 5 am on Monday morning, but I definitely felt it by the afternoon and haven’t quite gotten readjusted yet.  The evenings have been pretty much a write-off in that regard – I taught Monday evening, we trained Tuesday evening, and then I’m pretty much knocked out by 8 pm. Wednesday was slightly better in terms of energy levels returning, so hopefully by Friday I’m back to normal.

I have so many thoughts for this blog post, but I think they’ll bore most of you, so here’s a quick overview, and then we’ll get into the fun stuff 😉

  1. Competition recap – It was a terrific show put on by Fusion Bodybuilding and Mo-Muscle. The best part of the show is that all proceeds went towards men fighting or recovering from cancer! The show was really busy for both the prejudging and finals, which means they were able to donate a solid amount of money! Sadly, I was the only competitor in my two categories (figure tall and physique tall).  I keep getting asked why… the main reason I can think of is that while it’s difficult enough for women to build muscle mass, when you factor in height, it gets even more difficult to build and have that dense muscular look. Plus, this show was a new addition to the OPA schedule, so it was on the smaller side in terms of competitors. Beyond all else, I’m incredibly proud of the physique I brought to the stage, and I feel like I did a great job presenting myself on stage – my posing routine which such a highlight for me! As another positive, I was able to connect with a few judges afterwards and got some great feedback to guide me for future shows. As of now, my plan is a little unknown…I’m letting myself enjoy some “downtime” before making a decision.
  2. Rebounding – it can be a good thing! “Rebounding” usually has a pretty negative connotation, both in bodybuilding and in regular life (rebounding after a breakup, anyone?? LOL). Anyhow, there’s also a great way to rebound after a competition, and Kyle and I have been looking forward to it for weeks now. During the last (and toughest) part of prep, your body is really depleted due to the training and restrictive diet. One theory is that when the competition is done, you can bump up your calories, train intensely, and your body will respond positively by building muscle (just use good calories, not junk!). The “window” of rebounding is usually 1 – 2 weeks, so we’ve been pushing hard this week and we’re going to continue for the next week, and then take some time to physically recover. It feels great to be getting my strength back in the gym, and to be training with Kyle again after our schedules were off for two weeks due to our shows. Another added bonus of this plan – even when I indulge in some not so great foods, I’m training hard enough to avoid any massive weight gain (which is typical in competitors).
  3. Fun with food!!  With the competition diet behind me, I have more flexibility in what I eat… which is sparking me to try new recipes and have fun with cooking and baking again 🙂  That’s great news for those of you who like to try new recipes too, because I’ll be posting the successful ones here!

Fun with Food Mission One: Waffles

Kyle LOVES waffles during prep, it’s one of the main things he craves…One of his most famous post-show meals involved the Golden Griddle for HOURS (and resulted in a food coma that afternoon). In an effort to be a good wife, I bought a waffle iron as a gift and attempted a protein waffle on Tuesday night. Well, it was a failure. Ok, it wasn’t a total failure as the batter / waffle tasted GREAT, but it got all stuck to the iron and came out as a pile of blehhh. Kyle, being the nicest man ever, held up pieces that still resembled a waffle and said it was perfectly fine. But, it doesn’t live up to my picture-perfect vision, so this week I’m on a mission to make waffles that taste good AND look like, well, WAFFLES.  Being the nerd I am, I promptly searched and read various sites on waffle-making tips and have come up with three possible reasons they failed: 1. The iron wasn’t hot enough 2. I didn’t let it cook long enough 3. The batter was lacking in oil (I’m ignoring this as a reason though because various recipes used the same ingredients I did and they look wonderful –why don’t mine??).  I’m determined to figure this out and will share my success / failure with you all! If nothing else, this week might make Kyle sick of waffles and all this work will be futile.

I didn’t take a picture of attempt number one, but here’s attempt number two, three, and four:


Waffle 2 - Seriously... what IS that??

Waffle 2 – Seriously… what IS that??

Waffle 3 - slightly resembled a waffle, but definitely didn't use enough batter.

Waffle 3 – slightly resembled a waffle, but definitely didn’t use enough batter.

Waffle 4 - still sad, but someone might identify it as a waffle at least.

Waffle 4 – still sad, but someone might identify it as a waffle at least.

Waffle 2 actually looked worse than the first attempt!  The batter was alright, but not great – I’ll share the recipe when I’m finally happy with it…. if that ever happens.  After these “failures” I felt the need to redeem myself, so I made a classic peanut butter protein bite…. and overcooked them. I quit baking for the night after this.

Slightly overcooked PB protein bites

Slightly overcooked PB protein bites

Throughout the next couple of weeks, as I start to branch out more and more in terms of food variety and calorie count, I’ll be sure to share some of the best items I make or have. On that note – the Blonde Rocky Road was AMAZING!  It made a lot, far too much for me to responsibly keep in the house this week, so I brought it to work for my teammates (as a thank you for putting up with us during prep…?). Anyhow, everyone loved it – it’s like peanut butter fudge that melts in your mouth! Next time (if I dare make it again), I’ll swap the pretzels for peanuts like the original recipe calls for. I found the pretzels were slightly soggy in the squares and peanuts would hold their texture better. But, really, it was incredible regardless! I would also suggest cutting the recipe in half unless you have an event to take it to, or are having people over. But maybe you’re more responsible than I am and can have this stuff in the house… it freezes well…!  The recipe was adapted from Taste and Tell  – changes include using margarine instead of butter (didn’t measure it, but went with less than recipe called for), and using crushed pretzels instead of peanuts.

To end on a healthy, tasty (and successful) note – Kyle made me this “egg white crepe” with PB2 and half a banana wrapped inside, and topped it with our usual Greek yogurt protein icing and drizzled with Walden Farms caramel sauce. It was like dessert for dinner, can’t go wrong! I nominate Kyle to do all the cooking from now on…. 😉

Egg white crepe - dessert for dinner!

Egg white crepe – dessert for dinner!

About Ashleigh

I'm passionate about health and fitness. I work as a Health Promotion Specialist, a group fitness instructor, and also a coach for physique competitors / weight loss clients. I grew up as a competitive athlete, and have continued with this passion as a Women's Physique competitor. Research and writing is another interest of mine, which I use to share my knowledge with the general public.
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