Abs Are Made in De Kitchen, Not In De Gym
STEP AWAY FROM DE ROTI, DOUBLES, MACARONI PIE and PATTIES ......it’s time to eat clean.
So, you’re working out regularly (seeing some small gains) but wondering ...... “how/if ever am I going to ever see my abs, especially those 6-pack tings I see in magazines or the bikini bodies in band-launch photos?” Trust me, we’ve all been there & it’s frustrating as hell.
Following a healthy meal plan is the only way you’re going to shed that soft covering we all have which hides the lovely washboard abs hidden inside of your ultimate Carnival Body.
Carnival comes early this year so if you want to carve your best Carnival Body ..... you’re gonna have to skip the sweet, salty, and fatty treats through de holidays (candidly, this can be torture – which is why I’ve been known to go into hibernation rather than watch others eat yummy treats that I know will keep me from achieving my goals).
Why do a lot of people give up on their goals? The answer is usually they see them as unattainable and without a clear plan & high level of motivation “Big Why”/Driving Force to achieve the goal, they give up.
There’s no judgment here ...this is simply a road-map that can be used to achieve the goal of achieving your best Carnival Body (if it was easy everyone would do it, and for those that commit to the process fully it always gets results), so here goes:
Time to EAT CLEAN
- 1 Gallon+ of water a day
- 5 smaller meals a day
- No Sauces/Gravies
- Smart Snacks
- Meal Prep
- 8 hrs of sleep/night
- .....bye bye alcohol?
1 Gallon+ of water a day - no soda, juices, etc .....we cutting out all unnecessary sugar & flushing your system, not to mention when you drink this much water it tricks your body by making it feel full, and you're getting a little extra walking in burning some calories as you're definitely gonna be making more trips to de lav.
5 smaller meals a day instead of 3 bigger meals - each smaller meal is going to include protein, your body will consistently be processing protein to retain your muscle mass and assist in ensuring the body has a chance to break everything down rather than store it as fat. In addition, eating smaller meals keeps your energy from falling & becoming lethargic after those big meals while helping your metabolism.
No Sauces/Gravies ….. fresh herbs, pepper - the sauces are hidden traps for calories & salt, we’re looking to ensure calories taken in feed the system, not get converted to fat or have us retaining extra water weight. The most frustrating thing for people is they actually think they are “eating healthy” with a salad or piece of grilled chicken…….you were, until your food jumped in a pool of sugary/fatty sauce/dressing that doubled the caloric intake of the meal.
Steam/Grilled/Baked - proteins will be cooked this way –-bye bye sautéed or fried ......you can come back once in awhile to visit after Carnival is over. The same goes for veggies as well, or they can be served raw
Smart Snacks - protein bars, raw almonds, non-fat Greek yogurt, raw veggies – I know I may need something so I have to plan to have something to nibble on in my kitchen or in my lunch bag. Depending on the day, I may have a salty craving or my sweet tooth just wants 1 big cookie, or a candy bar, or ahhh it doesn’t matter – whatever it is, it’s canceling out all the progress of the rest of the day.
Pictured above is part of Sunday Meal Prep- egg "muffins" - 1 slice turkey bacon, 1 egg, spinach & red onions per cup
- baked boneless, skinless chicken breasts with Ms. Dash herb mix (no salt)
- mixed greens bowls packed & prepped
- non-fat greek yogurt with fresh blueberries (no "fruit on the bottom" yogurts, they are packed with sugar)
Meal Prep - If you fail to plan, then plan to fail because when you’re tired, busy, etc. you will crack – so having your meals prepped several days at a time (Sunday, I cook all the food for my lunches & dinners to get me to Thursday evening ....and then I do a smaller batch to get me through until Saturday --- trust I’m cooking all the food b/c I have to save my money to cover my plane ticket, housing, fete tickets, maxi driver, costume, etc. .....& it also ensures no one is saucing up meh food w/tasty hidden calories and sabotaging meh goals.)
8 hours of sleep a night - That’s right, finally an excuse to sleep. Your muscles need proper sleep to recover as your muscles are breaking down with each workout. Without adequate sleep your body begins to break down – more likely to have injuries & you’re immune system is weakened over time
Bye bye alcohol? ......well, if you ask any professional body builder/fitness model they’ll tell you – they aren’t drinking leading up to competition. If you want to see the biggest gains ......you cut alcohol out. I know I talking straight blasphemy to meh Caribbean Massive, but I swear it’s d truth. Now, clearly if you’re in Trinidad for the entire Carnival season we know Rum, JWB, Puncheon, etc. flowing day after day after day ......so I’ll say “do yuh bess” to show restraint.
Fact is, for many revelers coming from all de places covered in snow & ice in January ......it’s a quiet month – budgets bust from holidays, Carnival budget tight, it’s too freakin cold to be leaving your house to lime as much, so why not get a couple friends to commit to the challenge/New Year’s Resolution of a healthy “dry January”?
Trust, I’ve done this for the last couple of years and seen pounds fall off my belly, noticeably in a matter of a couple weeks with nothing else changing – count up the hidden calories of “a glass or two here”, a bottle of wine with dinner, etc. .....you can cut out thousands of calories a week doing this (just find another healthy way to relieve your stress ......especially if have a bae - you may just get some extra cardio lol)
Here’s an example of one of the week’s of my meals – keep in mind depending on when you work out this would be adjusted .....(trust me, we feeding fuel to the body - eating with purpose, not for pleasure – this is clearly repetitive & after every Carnival I don’t want to see a plain baked chicken breast ever again .....until next Carnival prep time). And in terms of serving size, protein grams needed, caloric intake ......it varies based on your size and your goals – during this time period my plan is to cut most carbs, go high protein & a modest amount of healthy fats ......if it’s processed, I’m not touching it.)
- Pre-workout (within 30 minutes before workout) - 25 grams Whey Protein
- Post-workout (within 30 minutes after workout) - 25 grams Whey Protein & 25 grams Casein Protein
- Mid-morning meal 3 whole eggs, 4 slices low-fat turkey bacon
- Lunch - 8 oz. shrimp, 2 cups mixed green Salad, 2 Tbsp salad dressing (1 Tbsp olive oil/1 Tbsp vinegar)
- Mid-day Snack - 1 protein bar - 30 grams program
- Late afternoon snack - 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese, 2 Tbsp roasted flax seeds or ¼ cup of blueberries
- Dinner - 8 oz Chicken breast, 1 cup sliced zucchini
- Late Night Snack (Eat right before bed) - 25 grams Casein protein, 1 oz. walnuts (about 14 halves)
*** Depending on cravings & if I feel I’m losing muscle mass not just fat then I may add 1 additional protein shake *** .......with drinking all the water I’ve been known to wake-up in the middle of the night for a quick sprint to the lav .....And if I’m starving then I may take another protein shake or a another glass of water to curb my appetite/stomach rumbling.
Stay the course.....you'll reach levels you've never imagined before & you'll pick up a few healthy habits to apply for the rest of your life (which will thankfully include some wonderful cheat days once your Carnival Tabanca sets in.)
Spread The Word
This article is part 2 of a 4 part series. Other articles in this series are shown below:
Abs Are Made in De Kitchen, Not In De Gym