Project Abracadabra – This Is Where The Magic Happens

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I’m now 11 weeks away from being on stage. I’m told that this is when all the magic starts to happen with my physique. I’m actually thrilled with the way I look right now so if we throw some magic on this, I’m not sure I’ll be able to stand the excitement. I definitely won’t complain, that’s for sure.

Dieting down this time has seriously been a breeze compared to last time. There was absolutely nothing that I did wrong the first time, but now that I’ve learned a little bit I realize the main thing I should have done differently was to give myself more time. So that is my advice to you if you are aiming for a beach ready body, a better you, squeezing into a goal dress, or anything similar.

Give yourself plenty of time to get where you need to be. Say it out loud to yourself and make it your mantra. If you have the luxury of picking a goal date, pick one that’s even further out than you think you need. If you happen to reach your goal early, you’ll have extra time to celebrate.

If you have a date that you can’t miss, you may need to adjust your expectations accordingly. The slower you lose weight, the better off you’ll be. You’ll retain most if not all of the muscle you have and the end result will be a much better look. Better look = more satisfied you.

I picked my competition date waaaaaaay out this time. I laughed at having to wait that long but looking back, I’m so glad I made this “mistake.” In case you’re wondering about the differences in experience, here are a few:

  1. So far I’ve had to do almost zero cardio. I take a stroll with the dogs daily and once a week or so I boogie down in the living room to Dance Central on my game console. Yep, fun stuff that doesn’t even feel like cardio. Last time I was doing 45 minutes to an hour a day 5 days a week of hardcore moving.
  2. I’m eating about 500 – 700 calories a day more than what I ate last prep, but I’m still losing a pound a week. I started calories high and have been using the “see what happens” approach. Not only does more food keep me full (obviously) but it gives me room to drop calories if I need to when the fat loss stalls.
  3. I get one day a week where I eat significantly more than the other days. It’s not so much a cheat meal or reward meal, but a large meal where it’s mainly carbohydrates. Last time I got one cheat meal during the entire 4 months of prep. Yes, one. Told you this was a dream.
  4. I weigh now what I did at last contest, but I don’t have as much loose skin as last time. I’m not a spring chicken and I’m a real person so I have a loose skin issue. When I bend over or do planks, my stomach is not a pretty sight. More food and less cardio works to retain muscle and also keeps the muscles fuller. This helps fill out and camouflage a birthday suit that’s a little too big. 😉
  5. I’m eating delicious, real food this time. I’ve eaten every single recipe that I’ve posted here during contest prep. Last time it was lots of plain chicken, steamed broccoli, and rice. My taste buds were bored to tears and tired of putting mustard on everything for some flavor.
  6. I gave up artificial sweeteners, sugar free junk, and things like those Walden Farms chemical bombs. Sheesh, I ate so much of that stuff last time you’d think I had stock in the companies. This time I haven’t touched the stuff and am much happier since I don’t have constant cravings for sweets.

Here’s a recipe that I played around with last night with a new flavor of protein powder that I got. It may be summer, but I still love my pumpkin. I squealed with delight when I realized I got to eat 4 of these babies in one sitting.

Pumpkin Pie Protein MuffinsPumpkin Pie Protein Muffins

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3 egg whites or the equivalent of carton egg whites
  • 3 Tbsp non fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 scoop Trutein pumpkin pie protein powder (34g)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • A few heavy sprinkles of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a muffin tin or silicone muffin liners with non stick spray. I used the silicone liners because they’re my latest kitchen gizmo. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and blend well. You can also use a magic bullet to make this step easier.

I just mashed with a fork until the banana was no longer lumpy. I used Trutein pumpkin pie protein powder and their scoop is 34 grams. If you want a different flavor or have a different protein powder at your house, you can easily swap out. I’m giving you the grams since the scoops all vary between brands. If your scoop is bigger, you can add a little water to get batter consistency.

Fill the muffin cups about 2/3 full with the batter. My batch filled 8 muffin cups! Bake at 425 for approximately 15 minutes. The tops should be dry when they are done. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Using the ingredients above, the recipe makes 2 servings of 4 muffins each for 170 calories – 23g protein, 19g carbs, and 1g fat. Obviously you can eat more or fewer muffins to meet your needs.

I spread coconut oil on the top to ice mine since I was running low on fat for the day. You can sprinkle with powdered sugar, unsweetened cocoa, protein powder mixed with a touch of water. Use your creativity and come back and tell me what you did! 🙂

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