Pro Bikini Angel Robyn Maher Shares How Extra Flavor Livens Up Her Competition Diet
MIXING IT UP - IFBB/ Oddo's Angels Bikini Pro Robyn Maher Shares How Extra Color & Flavor Livens Up Her Competition Diet
I love food! I love to make it, I love to create it, and of course... I love to eat it! When I am preparing for a competition, people often interrogate me, and question, "What can you even eat?!" For some reason, there is a misperception that being on a competition diet means that one has very little choice. I believe that this is a key reason why some individuals feel that a so-called "competition diet" is unmanageable or unrealistic. They simply don't know how to create variety while staying within the broad guidelines that have been set. When in reality, I personally find it quite the opposite. I have so many different foods I can eat, just as I do when I'm off-season, but the way I prepare them and flavor them is what is different. There are a few things that help me to keep mixing it up, and keep my meals interesting, even when following a specific diet plan.
A standard meal might include: 4 oz. chicken breast, 1/2 cup brown rice, and 1 cup broccoli, which total approximately 270 calories made up of 30g protein, 30g carbohydrates, and 3g fat. In order to consume the same macronutrients as the sample meal, one can simply switch up the sources of the components of this meal, while still staying within the parameters set. Using the Exchange List provided by Coach Kim Oddo, or other apps/sites (such as My Fitness Pal), it's possible to estimate the serving size required to provide the same calories and macronutrients (protein, carb, fats) as the one listed on your meal plan. An option for the sample meal listed might be: 5 oz. red snapper, 3.5 oz. yam, and 1 cup green beans. A second option could be: 1 cup egg whites, 2 small corn tortillas, and 3 cups spinach. Therefore, the same 'meal' on paper could be very different each and every day by exchanging and mixing up various food combinations, while still acquiring virtually the same macronutrients as those required, or listed, on the original meal plan.
Liven your meals up with lots of flavor! When people tell me they just can't stand the thought of eating "dry chicken" and other "cardboard, flavorless" food for 12 weeks, I have to stifle a laugh. Seriously, who actually eats that way for months on end?! And if so... then I'm sorry, but it's only their own ignorance, laziness, or lack of knowledge that causes their ongoing suffering. If one plans to stay consistent and comply with the meal plan that has been recommended, then doesn't it make sense to learn how to get creative, and flavor up that food pretty darn quick?! Otherwise, the likelihood of success will drop dramatically! Some of my personal favorite, simple flavor enhancers are: garlic, ginger, onions, paprika, cayenne pepper, basil, rosemary, cilantro, parsley, fresh lemon, fresh lime, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, mustard, Dijon mustard, hot sauce, Sriracha, chili peppers, banana peppers, Thai chilies, jalapenos, fresh salsa, etc. Anything and everything that doesn't add calories, or change the macronutrients, that one should consume in each meal of the program, can help to keep variety and interest.
As the exchanging and enlivening takes place, naturally there will be some experimentation! Try new flavors, add a different twist, or choose atypical (but approved) foods that you don't normally buy every single week at the grocery store. When one attempts to combine three random foods like: Orange Roughy, grits, and cauliflower, surely something interesting will evolve! Some of the most tasty, most simple, and most enjoyable meals come out of accidental mishaps in the kitchen! Just go with it ;)
Lastly, food is meant to be enjoyed. I promise: it is possible to stick to a rigid meal plan, while still actually liking your food! For real!! And you might even look forward to a meal that you have eaten every day for the last 50 days... when you follow the steps above.
So remember to exchange, enliven, and experiment with the food on your meal plan, and you will discover some of the best-tasting, most delectable foods and meals you've ever had!