Journey into the Unknown

 

 

 

So why not compete they said !! I must admit I burst out laughing when it was first suggested to me.  I thought how the hell would I be able to get up on a stage, looking like I had been tangoed, wearing only a bikini and heels! But the more I thought about it, the more excited I got.  Yes I am scared but in this life you gotta face your fears! So here I am just finished my first 6 week cycle of competition prep. It is a journey into the unknown and I am so glad you are all joining in on my adventures en route to the stage.  So far so good and it has been a positive experience.  The first week I trained 5 days in a row but as I soon discovered this was not going to work for me as my new food plan had high, medium and low carb days.  The first weekend was hell as I discovered these were high fat days and low carb days so I was like a demon to say the least!  So I decided to take Tuesdays and Fridays as rest days so that I could increase my carb intake at the weekend, always thinking of the food!!! In the 6 weeks I had only 1 day that I didn’t feel like training.  It was one of my low points and  I remember thinking to myself why the hell am I doing this? I felt week and couldn’t hit my reps and I was close to tears.  But you have to remember the good days outweigh the bad ones.

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The first 6 weeks was a bulking period, so my calorie intake was increased. My daily calorie intake was set at 2000 calories with an extra 500 calories on training days.  When I was first handed my food plan, I actually cringed at how basic it was and thought I am not going to survive.  I had visions of just eating chicken, broccoli and  the dreaded tins of tuna!! I was scarred as a child with memories of my brother chasing me around the house with opened tins of tuna and sardines because I hated the smell!!  But hey it’s not all doom and gloom and with my own knowledge on nutrition and love of food and flavours  I quickly learned how to make my meals more appealing and tastier , even the tins of tuna! I manged to stick to my food plan for the first 4 weeks , then I had a few little slips, scoffing 3 bags of hula hoops on one occasion and on another milling 8 chocolate digestives at midnight!  I had one night out too and had my few vodkas, soda and lime!

Next,  the all important water intake. Let’s just say my trips to the toilet could be counted as cardio with the amount of water I needed to consume.  A minimum of 500 mls with every meal, 3 litres as I eat 6 times a day and extra on training days so on average 4 to 5 litres of water per day.  It took a while to get into the habit but now it’s no problem and I’m finally getting at least 6 hours sleep now without a trip to the bathroom!

If you are following me on Facebook here , Instagram here , or Twitter here you will see a variety of ways to make real, nutritious food and how to make my basic food plan more appealling.  Add me on Snapchat @jenser01 for behind the scenes of my daily life and of course food.  Plenty of tips and ideas to share!

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Just a note before I delve into my food and training plan, I would just like to stress this was a personalised plan made up for me. Yes feel free to get some ideas and tips or maybe some training ideas for the gym, I am not a personal trainer (yet) or do I claim to know everything there is to know when it comes to Nutrition, yes I have a certificate for Advanced Personal Nutrition, and I enjoy eating real flavoursome food, so I just want to share what I have learned and what works for me!

Day 1 Food Plan- 500 ml water with every meal 

Breakfast ⇒ 3 egg whites, 1 egg, 50g porridge & 1-2 tsp of mixed seeds.

Snack ⇒ 250 g Greek Yogurt (I use Fage  Total 0% or Glenisk) + 10 -15 almonds.

Lunch ⇒ Chicken fillet & Salad wrap (wholemeal)

Snack ⇒ Protein Shake (use water) + tin of tuna

Dinner ⇒ Lean protein source (1 – 2 portions) 2 cups minimum of vegetables ( try stick to green veg)

Day 2 Food Plan -500 ml water with every meal

Breakfast ⇒ 3 egg white, 1 egg , chicken fillet omelette & 1  portion of fruit, e.g. pear or kiwi.

Snack ⇒ Protein Shake 1 scoop use water 250 ml – 300 ml.

Lunch⇒Chicken fillet(2 portions) & 1/2 avocado salad wrap using 1 tsp of olive oil & balsamic vinegar as dressing.

Lunch⇒ Tin of Tuna or a Protein Bar

Dinner⇒ Lean protein source (1 – 2 portions) 2 cups minimum of vegetables ( try stick to green veg)

Day 3 Food Plan- 500 ml water with every meal

Breakfast ⇒ 3 egg white, 1 egg scrambled egg, 2 bacon medallions, wholemeal wrap & 1 piece of fruit, e.g. apple, pear or peach.

Snack⇒ Protein Bar & 4 – 6 strawberries

Lunch⇒ Tuna salad sandwich & 2 cups of vegetables

Snack⇒ 10 -15 Almonds with a serving of nut butter

Dinner⇒ 2 Turkey Burgers or 2 Turkey Steaks & unlimited roasted vegetables

Day 4 Food Plan – 500 ml water with every meal

Breakfast ⇒ 250 g Greek Yogurt (Fage or Glenisk) & 2 fruits or berries.

Snack ⇒ Protein Shake & Tin of Tuna

Lunch ⇒ Chicken Fillet or Turkey Steak salad wrap, 1 tsp olive oil & balsamic vinegar as dressing.

Snack ⇒ Peach & Protein Bar

Dinner ⇒ Lean protein source (1 – 2 portions) 2 cups minimum of vegetables ( try stick to green veg)

Day 5 Food Plan- 500 ml of water with every meal

Breakfast ⇒ 3 egg whites, 1 egg scrambled , 50g porridge & 1 -2 tsp seeds, 1 portion of fruit e.g. pear, apple or  peach.

Snack ⇒ Protein Shake & Tin of Tuna

Lunch⇒ Chicken( 2 fillets) & lentil soup 

Snack ⇒ Protein Bar or Protein Shake

Dinner ⇒1 – 2 Salmon portions & minimum 2 cups of vegetables

Day 6 Food Plan- 500 ml of water with every meal

Breakfast ⇒ Weetabix (2) with unsweetened Almond Milk & 1 piece of fruit

Snack ⇒ Cottage Cheese or Nut Butter with 2 – 4 Crackers or Rice Cakes

Lunch ⇒ 1 Portion of Fish with 2 cups of salad, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Snack ⇒  Protein Shake 250 ml – 300 ml water

Dinner ⇒ Spicy Tuna (use dry spices no sauces) 2 cups of vegetables (green)

Day 7 Food Plan – 500 ml of water with every meal

Breakfast ⇒ 5 egg whites, 1 egg scrambled & wholemeal wrap

Snack ⇒ Protein Bar

Lunch ⇒ 2 Chicken Fillets & 2 cups minimum of Broccoli

Snack ⇒ 250 g Gree1 k Yogurt (Fage or Glenisk) 2 pieces of fruit or berries

Dinner ⇒ Tuna ( or any fish) salad, minimum 2 cups of salad/veg, 1 tsp olive oil, balsamic as dressing

 

Post workout meals ⇒ On training days 1, 4 & 5 …125 g of carbs for example potato (white or sweet), wholegrain basmati rice or pasta, cous cous or quinoa or 40 g of porridge oats with a serving of protein. On training days 2 & 3 175 g of carbs or 60 g of porridge oats and a serving of protein. 

Consume at least an extra 500 ml of water on  training days.

No carbonated liquids allowed.

1 multi vitamin & 1 omega 3 fish oil to be taken every morning.

So as you can imagine the shock horror when I first saw this!  Those of you who already follow me will know that I eat what I have been given on my food plans but I pimp my meals up and still manage to hit my macros!  So don’t forget to add me on Snap Chat, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.  I also make protein coffee or the famous Beltsanderbrownie instead of just making a protein shake. I also split the snacks up to make 6 meals a day as it suits me better because I’m always hungry!!!

TRAINING PROGRAMME

Day 1 ⇒ Chest & Triceps  

5 minute warm up on the cross trainer 

Flat Press & Fly    10 kg & 7 kg   ⇒ reps  12 & 15 ⇒ sets 5

Incline Press & Fly  10 kg & 7 kg  ⇒ reps 10 & 12  ⇒ sets 5

Decline Press & Fly  10 kg & 7 kg   ⇒ reps 8 & 10  ⇒ sets 5

 

Incline Tension Pump   8 kg & 5 kg   ⇒ reps 20 & 15  ⇒ sets 4

Flat Tension Pump  8 kg & 5 kg    ⇒ reps 20 & 15   ⇒ sets 4

 

Push Up (Tight Elbows)  Body Weight   Min 10 to Failure  sets 4

Over-Head Extension   12 kg (drop to 6 kg)  reps 20  ⇒ sets 4

 

Day 2 ⇒ Back & Biceps

5 minute warm up on the cross trainer 

Lateral Pull-Down  31.5 kg  ⇒ reps  12   ⇒ sets  5

Rear Row (Machine)  39 kg    reps  10   ⇒ sets 5

Reverse – Fly ( Dumbbells)  6 kg (Hold)   reps 10  ⇒ sets 5

 

Dead Racks (Barbell)   30 kg (Each side)  ⇒ reps 8  ⇒ sets 6

Bent-Over-Row    ⇒ 12 kg    reps  10   ⇒ sets 6

One-Arm-Row   14 kg   ⇒ reps 8 (each arm)  ⇒ sets  5

 

Bicep – Curls (Barbell)  ⇒ 3.75 kg (Each side)   ⇒ reps Min 8 to failure  ⇒ sets  5

 

Day 3 ⇒ Legs

5 minute warm up on the cross trainer 

Leg Press   ⇒  58.5 kg   ⇒ reps  10   sets 5

Leg Extension   ⇒ 15.9 kg(drop to 11.3 kg)   ⇒ reps 12  ⇒ set 5    ↵ 6 reps feet curled, 6 reps feet straight

Leg Curl (Kick back)   6.8 kg  ⇒ reps 10    ⇒ sets 5

Z Leg Press     15.9 kg   ⇒ reps 10(Each Leg)  ⇒ sets 5

Calve Press   ⇒  29.5 kg    ⇒ reps 15   ⇒ sets 5

 

Step Overs   Body Weight    ⇒ reps 40 (20 Each Leg   ⇒ sets  1

Bulgarian-Split-Squat    Body Weight   ⇒ reps 20 (Each Leg)  ⇒ sets 1

1 Leg Jump   Body Weight   ⇒ reps 10 (Each Leg)  ⇒ sets 1

1 Leg Knee up  Body Weight   ⇒ reps 15 (Each Leg  )  ⇒ sets 1

 

Day 4⇒ Shoulders & Triceps

5 minute warm up on the cross trainer 

Arnold Press   8 kg    ⇒ reps  15   ⇒ sets  4

Laterals      2.5 kg   ⇒ reps  12   ⇒ sets 4

Incline Press    10 kg  ⇒ reps 8   ⇒ sets 4

Laterals    2.5 kg   ⇒ reps 10   ⇒ sets 4

 

Supersets

⇓⇓

Over – Head – Extension   8 kg(kettlebell)   reps 15   sets 4

Press (fast)  8 kg (kettlebell)   reps 15   sets  4

 

Tricep Extension  8 kg (kettlebell)  ⇒ reps  15     ⇒ sets  3

Tricep Dips    Bodyweight   ⇒ reps   12    ⇒ sets  3

 

Day 5 ⇒ Fat Burning Supersets

5 minute warm up on the cross trainer 

Courtesy Lunge & Press   Body weight & 9 kg    ⇒ reps  12 (each leg)   ⇒ reps 5

3/4 Squat & Back Lunges  12 kg (kettlebell) & 5 kg(ankle weights)  ⇒ reps 20 & 12 (each Leg)   ⇒ sets 5

Sit Ups & Russian Twist  12 kg & 12 kg (kettlebell)  ⇒ reps  15 & 12 (each side)   ⇒ sets 5

Rows & Push-ups  12 kg(dumbbells) & Body Weight  ⇒ reps 10 & 10   ⇒ sets 4

1 Leg Knee & 1 Leg Kick    ⇒ Body Weight    ⇒ reps 10 & 10 (each Leg)  ⇒ sets  4

Stretch and foam roll after each training session.

 

I hope you find this helpful and I would really appreciate some feedback!  If you have any questions, just ask and I will try my best to answer them.

 

Much love,

Jen xxxx

 

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Aubergine & Turkey Lasagne

 

As promised here is the recipe for my aubergine and turkey lasagne.  So simple to make and tastes yummy.  Full of goodness and those all important macro nutrients and micro nutrients!  Its a great way to use up aubergines and other vegetables that are lurking about at the bottom of the fridge.  You can add whatever vegetables you want, I just used what I had at the time.  It can be stored in an air tight container for up to 3 days , so great for lunch at work too.

Ingredients 

300g Turkey Mince

200g Cottage Cheese

2 Aubergines, sliced (or you could use courgettes)

250g Passata

40g Parmesan Cheese, grated

1 Celery Stalk, chopped

1 Carrot, chopped

1 Onion, chopped

3 Garlic Cloves, chopped

1 tbsp Paprika

1 tbsp Cayenne Pepper

1 tbsp Italian Herb Mix

Coconut Oil Spray

 

Method

In a large pan fry off the onion, garlic and turkey mince.

Add in the herbs, spices and give it a good mix to coat the mince.

Add in the passata and simmer for 5 mins.

In a lasagne dish, add in half the turkey mince mixture, then put a layer of the aubergine on top like you would with lasagne sheets. Add the remaining turkey mixture and layer again with the aubergine.  Top with the cottage cheese, then finally the grated Parmesan.

Bake in a preheated oven @ 180c for 30 mins.  You may need to cover with some tin foil for the final 5 – 10 minutes to prevent the cheese burning.

Nutritional Information

This makes 4 servings, each serving is equal to 230 calories, carbs 15g, fat 8g, protein 26g.

Enjoy xx

Much Love,

Jen xxx.

 

 

Creamy Courgette Zoodles

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This is a perfect dish to serve with a piece of lightly seasoned hake or any other lean source of protein on those low carb days!  The creaminess of the coconut milk, lightly seasoned with paprika and cumin along with the nutty flavour from the toasted pine nuts and courgetti will satisfy those carb cravings!

Ingredients

2 Large Courgettes, made into zoodles using a spiralizer. I got mine in Homestore and More for under 5 euro.

2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed.

1/2 Fresh Green Chilli Pepper, chopped.

1/2 tsp Paprika.

1/2 tsp Cumin.20160228_223207-1

125 ml Coconut Cuisine, Alpro and I bought it in Tesco.

20 g Pine Nuts, toasted.

Handful of Fresh Coriander, chopped.

3-4 sprays of Frylite or Coconut Oil.

Method

In a large frying pan or wok heat the oil and saute the chilli and garlic for 1 minute.

Add in the coconut cuisine and the spices, stir and simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Using some kitchen paper towels squeeze any excess moisture from the courgetti, then nuadd it to the pan.

Finally add in the toasted pine and coriander, mix well.

I served mine with a piece of steamed hake, lightly seasoned with Cajun spice.

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Nutritional Information

This recipe will serve 2 and  the macros are based on the creamy courgetti zoodles. Calories per serving 156, carbs 7g, fat 13g, protein 4g.

Most importantly, enjoy!

Don’t forget to tag me if you try it!!

Much Love,

Jen xxx

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits of drinking lemon in warm water.

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Drinking lemon in warm water first thing in the morning will have fantastic effects on your overall health.  I kick start my digestive system every morning with my variation of lemon juice, fresh mint leaves and a dash of turmeric. No need for any 14 day detox teas or expensive shakes as your body actually has the tools to detoxify itself and drinking lemon water every morning finalizes the body’s natural detoxification processes. But beware, the citric acid in the lemon juice can erode tooth enamel so always drink through a straw!!

Lemons are packed with vitamin C, B, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, enzymes, antioxidants, and fibers.

The fresh mint leaves help aid digestion and can help in your efforts to lose weight in a healthy way! Mint is a stimulant that also stimulates the digestive enzymes that absorb nutrients from food and consume fat and turn it into usable energy. In other words, by adding mint to your diet is increasing the amount of fat that is being consumed and put to use, rather than being stored and adding to your weight gain!

Turmeric has its benefits too, from clearing infections to it’s anti inflammatory properties.Some research shows that turmeric may help upset stomach, bloating and gas.

So what are you waiting for, start this morning!! Here are  some of the overall health benefits.

Improves Digestion

Lemon juice has a similar structure to your stomach’s juices and helps to loosen and flush out toxins from the digestive tract. Lemon juice can help ease indigestion, heartburn, and bloating. It also helps to move your bowels in the morning, hydrates your colon, stimulate bile production, and infuses water in your stool.

Boost Immune System

Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C and helps strengthen the immune system to fight cold and flu. Iron is another important nutrient and did you know that lemons improve the ability to absorb more iron from the food you eat.

Boost Energy

Lemon water gives you an instant boost of energy and improves your mood right at the start of your day.

Reduce Inflammation

Lemons have the ability to remove uric acid from your joints. Uric acid built-ups are one of the major causes of inflammation.

Aid Weight Loss

Lemon water on its own is no weight loss miracle, but it can  help you to achieve faster and long term results. Lemons assist in fighting hunger cravings and boost metabolism, which helps to fight off the urge to  snack between meals.

Alkalize the body

Lemons are one of the most alkalizing food sources. Too much acid in the body can cause inflammation, obesity, and major diseases like cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Click here to learn more about the importance of alkalizing your body.

Cleansing Properties

Lemons help your body to flush out toxins to prevent built-ups and damage to your cells, tissues, and organs. It stimulates your liver to produce more enzymes and work more efficiently. Lemon juice works as a diuretic to keep your urinary tract toxin-free and can also change the pH levels which discourage bacterial growth. Lemons also loosen and flush out waste from your digestive tract and cleanse your colon.