In my last post, I took a visit to the gym with figure competitor Angela McKie-Burrows. She gave me the inside scoop on some of her favourite exercises from her vigorous program. Now, I want to the scoop on what she’s eating to grow those muscles and fuel her workouts. She believes that what you eat is 80% of your success, and workouts will only take you so far. Angela has four solid meals per day, and two snacks. It is also imperative that she remembers to stick to the meal plan below. Her meal plan gets adjusted every 2 weeks to accommodate training goals and body composition. As competition nears, protein servings will increase, while healthy fats and complex carbs are decreased.
-4 eggs. 3 whites and 1 with yolk
-1/3 cup Oatmeal
-spoonful of peanut butter or 10 nuts
-Tomato and cucumber
Mid-morning snack 1
4 oz lean chicken, turkey or fish, a serving of carbs (sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa) and 1/3 cup of blackberries or raspberries***
1 hour workout – post workout snack to replenish glycogen (a form of energy known as glucose/sugar) – a banana, 250 ml chocolate milk or protein bar***
4pz Lean chicken, turkey or fish and a serving of raw vegetables or a kale salad (squeezed lemon juice/olive oil dressing)***
-Whey protein shake with Almond milk – sugarfree
Lean chicken, turkey or fish, a serving of grilled vegetables, a serving of carbs (sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa) and 1/2 an avocado
Angela has omitted most dairy from her diet, and drinks almond milk. She also has at least 3-4 litres of water per day. Closer to the competition, she will reduce her water consumption.
I asked Angela how she deals with so much temptation. (this is something I struggle with and wanted her insight.) She began to talk about cravings. What are cravings and how can we control the strong urge for something that is often not beneficial to our goals and health? She explained that many times, people do not understand where the craving is coming from. She believes that the craving is the body’s way of telling us that we are in need of something sweet or savoury. There is nothing wrong with addressing the craving, but we must know how to. Instead of reaching for that bag of Doritos (her weakness) or chocolate bar, Angela will allow the craving to continue sending signals to her body. She will have a small piece of dark chocolate and allow the satisfaction to reach her brain. She will savour the treat, and finds that the craving will pass once being addressed. All we have to do is honour the craving, feel it and not fight it, but answer it with a small taste of what we are craving. She feels if more people did this, they would avoid complete sabotage of their diets and that it does not take a ton of cookies to satisfy that craving. We are so used to rushing and immediate gratification, we do not allow our minds and bodies to connect with the craving, she continues.
As for the often demonized carbs, she believes that having a small serving before a workout is helpful fuel. Carbs are in the form of sweet potatoes, brown rice or quinoa.
Another tip to success is prepping. Angela will always have her go-to snacks ready and available, such as a handful of nuts, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices. Even on nights when she is out on the town with girlfriends, she knows that all too often a stop through the drive through ends the night. While her friends enjoy their late night burgers and fries, Angela has her container of healthy snacks readily on hand. One night, she made such an impact on her friend that she threw her burger out the window. Her friend proclaimed, “how can I sit here putting this crap in my body, and you’re eating carrots?” Spreading the joy of healthy-living is high on Angela’s list of priorities.
Prep and diet are crucial, but support is something that Angela believes is the most important element of success. Her sons are her biggest supporters and are always there to remind her why she is doing this, even when she is exhausted and doubtful.
I wish Angela the best of success as she gets ready for showtime. I am not prepping for a competition, but I have already applied many of her diet and training tips to help me along the way.