Reward Meals vs Cheat Meals (Off Season)

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One of my favorite reward meals!!

One of my favorite reward meals!!

Today I’d like to talk more about reward meals. I mentioned in my last post that I don’t really like to use the term “cheat meal” due to it being sort of a negative annotation to what you’re trying to accomplish with the extra reward you’re having and the influx of calories that you’re going to be taking in that is going to be more of a help than a hindrance.

This doesn’t really apply to those of you doing IF or IIFYM due to the fact that you have a pretty constant caloric count and macro count daily. This basically applies for those of us that want to have an influx of calories that in turn will spike our metabolism and will cause the body confusion and will in turn start burning more calories. You have to think of your body as a fire, imagine you continue to stoke the fire at a constant pace day in and day out, your flame never gets bigger, just continues to burn at a constant state. Now imagine if you throw on 4 or 5 extra pieces of dry wood on that fire, the fire gets hotter, gets bigger and burns more. This is what happens inside your body when you get a reward meal. This is the best way I can describe it so that you can understand, without getting into the scientific means behind it all.

Now, when you have or schedule your reward meal is all dependent on you. You and your coach, if you have one. I like to schedule mine around the days that I’m working a muscle group that is lacking. Right now I’m lacking in the back department, so I like to schedule my reward meal after a good hard back workout. This influx of food restores my body of depleted glycogen, since on my high carb training days my first carb meal isn’t until my pre-workout meal, and it also gives me that influx of calories to fire up my metabolism even more.

Not only is this reward meal good for you physically by boosting your metabolism but it’s also great for your mental state as well. It gives you that much needed break from eating so clean for 90% of the time, and that, I feel, makes living a healthy lifestyle that much easier!

Keeping Food in Check (Off Season)

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I usually get questioned the most about what I like to eat or what I eat normally when I’m on off season. I think it’s because when I’m on prep, or when anyone is on prep, the food pretty much looks the same. lol. But I’m gonna tell you something that might not make you too happy, but even in the off season, my meals don’t look that much different from what I eat during my prep. The only difference would be I get some cheat meals here and there, depending on my coach.

And I’m going to voice this again, having a bag to have your meals in, keeps you in check more than anything. I mean you pack your meals and you bring your bag with you to school or work and you stick to what you have in your bag! My personal mantra on the lifestyle is “Live within the bag” and I mean live with what you have packed in your food bag. I currently am using the Executive 300 bag from http://www.sixpackbags.com and it’s truly a lifesaver. I have everything I need in there, including my laptop!

If you are thinking about getting a bag, go to the site and at checkout use my code “t-rex0614” to save yourself 15% off your purchase!

I really don’t believe in what most would say is a “dirty bulk” and I have a reason for not believing in that. After my last show I went on a binge and dirty bulk and was just not happy with where that took me. I believe that to keep your body in check and to make prep easier for you, you need to eat clean a majority of the time and have those cheats, or reward meals, when the time is right. Both my coach and myself believe that prep shouldn’t be a chore and that you shouldn’t have to suffer through it, so to assist in that train of thought, eating cleaner during your off season is key. I mean, why kill yourself in the gym doing 2 hours of cardio a day when you can garner the same outcome with less cardio if you just take it easier in the off season.

I love to do my cheat meals post workout, since I feel that is when they are going to do the most good. I have my high calorie meal depending on what we are trying to bring up. Currently I’m working on more back thickness and density, so my high calorie meal is on that day. But you can’t say “Well I need to bring everything up, so I’m gonna have a cheat meal after every workout”… It just doesn’t work that way. Pick that body part that you feel you HAVE to bring up. One that is lacking more than all the rest, and have that high calorie meal post workout on that day.

Some good choices for cheat meals are a burger and fries, sushi, even pizza if you think your body can handle the dairy. Myself, I don’t really fair well with dairy, so I tend to stay away from cheese and ice cream. I may suffer if it’s a reward meal and I’m like super craving some cheesecake or gelato, but I know I’m going to pay the price. lol

The hardest decision to make as a competitor…

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It is with a heavy heart, that I have to announce that I am pulling myself out of prep for the 2014 NPC San Jose show in July. This is of course a hard decision to make but after talking with my coach, Max Fairchild, he has enlightened me on the “reasoning” instead of me being the stubborn ass I usually am, I am going to listen and trust what my coach and my friend is telling me. We are going to change things up, and I’m actually excited.

I honestly feel that passion sometimes has to take a backseat to reason. And since the last prep I did was primarily on my own with the help of a close and dear friend, I didn’t listen to reason and just was stubborn enough to get on stage… The result wasn’t what I wanted, and I wasn’t happy with the outcome, but I just wanted to get the “diet” over with and move on. In other words, I had had enough. I had actually lost some of that passion that I thought I never would lose for this sport that we call bodybuilding.

We have tried many different things this prep that I’ve never tried before, but we both agree that pulling out of this prep and doing a good reconditioning of my body will reap a better reward when I am truly ready for prep. I’m not sure if that’s going to be this year or next, but I will leave that decision in his hands. Like I said, I trust him. You have to trust the person that you are putting your whole heart into during prep. They are more than just a coach, they are a friend, a therapist, a drill instructor all rolled up into one, if you get the right one!

Even though I won’t be competing at the San Jose show I will definitely be at the show and expo to show my support for everyone that is up on that stage. You are all rockstars!

Overnight Oats

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Oatmeal… The one bodybuilding food that I just can’t get down, until now!

And what has saved me from not being able to eat oatmeal you might ask? Well overnight oats!! I had my first batch of overnight oats during my previous off season and I have to tell you, it was the most enjoyable experience I’ve had with oats ever!! I’m so thankful that I decided, on a whim, to try this out. Below is the recipe I used but as long as you have the base (oats, protein powder and almond milk) I’m sure you can add or doctor it up anyway you want! Once you mix all the ingredients in a mason jar, just cover it and put it in the fridge and when you wake up in the morning it’ll be ready for you to consume!

Overnight Oats

  • 1/4 cup oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats)
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk
  • 1 Scoop Gaspari Myofusion Protein Powder

Now I’m sure you could add more to this to make it your own… Maybe add some pure pumpkin puree and cocoa powder or cinnamon and see where that takes you. I think it’s only limited by your imagination and how many carbs you can safely take in! haha

Manja manja! Enjoy!

 

9 Weeks Out

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This past Saturday marks my 9 weeks out on this prep and journey back to the NPC stage. I took quite a while off after the 2012 Excalibur. I think I really needed it after the prep that I went thru for that show… I have to tell you, that this prep is so much easier and more enjoyable than the last one. I think maybe it’s due to the coach I have this go round. I enlisted the help of Max Fairchild 9 weeks ago and we discussed it and he put a plan together for me. The best thing I can do is follow the plan. Don’t question what he asks of me to do, or to eat and to just get it done so I can bring a better package to the stage in July.

His style of training and coaching is what I like, it’s what I can easily handle. There’s no sugar coating shit, it’s just plain, straight truth. It’s hard sometimes, for some people, to hear the truth when it comes to their journey and their physique. But I would rather hear the truth than be led on to believe something that isn’t…

Visiting Six Pack HQ

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One of the joys of being with a company is the way they take care of you… And this is so very apparent with 6 Pack. From the moment I walked in the door and was greeted by sweet Bella (the cute four legged office mascot) to being welcomed into the office with smiles from the entire staff it was a warm and inviting experience. My main point of contact was Anya, who is one of the nicest people I have met, and she even had a “goodie bag” for me when I go there. Super nice!

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Anya asked if I wanted to take a tour, and of course I said “yes!” haha. Everyone I met in the office was just as nice as Anya was and it was refreshing to be around that sort of environment. Checking out all the new bags, even ones that haven’t been mentioned or posted online anywhere, was awesome. I’m excited with the new bags that are going to be announced soon!! If you’re interested in getting a bag use my code to get 15% off if you purchase it direct at http://www.sixpackbags.com CODE: T-Rex

Towards the end of the visit all of the staff was getting ready to take a look at something upstairs… I was playfully threatened with death by Anya and put under a verbal NDA about what I was about to see… So I’m not at liberty to say what it was… but let me tell you… it was very very fucking cool! And you’ll just have to wait to see what it is, when it happens!!

-T-Rex

12 Weeks Out

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This past Saturday was the 12 weeks out point in time in my prep. I’ve done long preps before, so this isn’t really new to me, but I feel like this prep is going pretty damn smoothly to be honest. I just have to push these next 12 weeks harder than before so that I make a statement on stage. I definitely have to bring my A game to the stage since this is a hometown show. I don’t want to “preach” about health, fitness and the lifestyle if I can’t prove to everyone that ‘everyone can do this’ if they put their minds and their bodies to it!

It would be much harder to get thru prep in general if I didn’t have great products behind me along the way. Especially Gaspari Nutrition, I use a bunch of their products and have been for years, because they actually work and 6 Pack Fitness, which my 6 pack innovator bag has been a life saver, I always preach, “Live within your bag” meaning that if it isn’t in your bag and on your plan then you shouldn’t be eating it!

I think that my relationship with food this time around is much better than the last prep. I am much more easily around foods that aren’t on my plan and able to resist without too much trouble. I mean, I still look, and I still smell, but I can definitely say “no” to off plan foods. lol.

In a couple of weeks I’m going to cook a full meal with appetizers, double main course and even a dessert (I think Michelle is going to assist with this portion of the meal). I truly think that doing this is a great help for me during my prep. It allows me time to keep my joy of cooking alive (especially since when I see others enjoying what I’m making) and keeps me busy as well. I will definitely be posting pictures from the evenings festivities and food!