You Can Eat THAT!?!

Guest Writer
Sarah Vance – NPC Bikini Competitor & Model

This phrase has started to become one of my favorite phrases to hear during prep.

There is a misunderstanding of what people during contest prep, or even just people trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, can eat. The biggest misconception that people seem to have is that you cannot eat carbs. Carbs are not evil; they are actually very beneficial and serve an important purpose when it comes to training and overall health. Carbs are fuel for your body to build muscle and have energy. The manipulation of carbs during contest prep can actually have some benefit to fat loss or muscle building.

People are so surprised that I eat carbs throughout the entire day. I am not talking about carbs coming from vegetables alone. I am talking about complex carbs coming from breads, pasta, rice, potatoes, wraps, and legumes. You can eat all of these items, just in moderation. I am not going to have spoonfulls of pasta or five slices of bread. Also select healthy options such as high fiber bread or whole wheat pasta. The other misconception is that people forget that you can enjoy the food you eat. Healthy food can indeed be satiable.

There are many times when I heat up my meal at work and I hear that it smells good, looks good, and they wish I would cook for them. When making this lifestyle change, you will need to learn to cook a little. Become familiar with different spices, different ways of cooking meat and veggies, and different combinations of things. Variety is key when you are on contest prep. Instead of eating chicken, make turkey meatballs. Instead of having fish with a side of rice and veggies, you can make fish tacos with a high fiber low carb wrap. Don’t forget to dress up your food. The majority of eating is done with the eyes. Make your food look good. Take it out of the Tupperware and make it more visually appealing. Although your calories may be somewhat restricted, your joy for food is not.

Another false idea is that making healthy food is hard and time consuming. I spend twice a week for two hours at a time making food for an entire week. A prep day usually includes chopping of veggies and making lean proteins and healthy complex carbs. You can make all this food ahead of time and divide it out for later in the week. Stick it in the freezer and it is like you have a frozen dinner minus all the additives. You know what is in it, and feel confident heating it up and eating it. Learn to substitute unhealthy items for healthier choices. Sour cream? How about non-fat Greek yogurt. Chips for healthy buffalo dip? How about celery. You can even have bacon! Well, turkey bacon.

In short, food is great. You can enjoy it and be healthy.

Don’t deprive your taste buds; don’t lose the enjoyment of consuming food. Eating healthy is simple and delicious. Carbs are not the enemy as long as portion control is in place. Get creative with making your favorite meals healthier by substituting in various ingredients. Eat consciously; make it a point to actively think about what you are feeding your body.

Yes, you can eat that!

Now back to enjoying my French toast, eggs, and bacon….

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