Bikini Prep – 20 Weeks Out – Phase 1 Diet

Does anyone know where I can get a good burger? Seriously.

Two weeks into my prep, and that’s really what I wanted most this week. My coach titled my phase one diet a “slow lean” and I am very grateful for the “slow” part because even with over 1900 calories a day, I’ve still had off days this week. Luckily my coach is very supportive, so when I sent over my updates, he said I was doing a great job. Phew. I am a perfectionist, which is not necessarily a good quality. It has it’s place. It helps me to achieve some pretty tough goals. But it’s also a character defect and can definitely stand in the way of being kind to myself. Okay, enough of the deep thoughts. I am working on it.

When I was a kid, I used to have a bowl of cereal every night before I went to bed. I’m not sure if it was the comforting feeling of having a full belly of carbs before I drifted off into dreamland, or if I just really liked Fruity Pebbles, but eating before bed is a habit that is ingrained in me. I’ve tried to break it several times in so many ways. Drinking tea, taking a hot bath, journaling. At the end of the day, I just gave up and embraced my carbs before bed. When I found the lifestyle called IIFYM and a community of very fit men and women who eat whatever they want at whatever time of the day they want, I was elated that I could have my carbs and eat them at 9pm “because your body doesn’t know what time it is.” Countless articles have been written about why carbs before bed are bad and why carbs before bed are good, like this one which I particularly like because it argues in my favor.

Regardless of the articles and of what I want, I am working with a coach who prefers that I enjoy a very low carb snack before bed. Insert sad face. Luckily I’ve come up with a treat that allows me to still have a treat and not go to bed hungry.

Here is a sneak peek of some of the dishes I’ve dined on this week (all homemade) along with the macros for each dish. Macros are protein (P), carbs (C), and fat (F). Proteins and carbs are 4 calories per gram and fat has 9 calories per gram. So a dish labeled 35P/35C/1F would have 289 calories.

Pre Workout Meal – Whole Foods brand white English muffin + 1T jelly + 12T (3/4 liquid cups) egg whites seasoned with salt and pepperPre Workout Meal



I have really been enjoying this meal because who doesn’t want an awesome white piece of bread with jelly before you go crush your legs?! I have tried swapping the egg whites for a protein shake, but the shake tends to be too heavy for me pre workout. I usually eat this meal about 45 minutes before I leave for the gym. The key with both pre and post workout meals is that you want things that are LOW fat and LOW fiber so that your body has quick access to the protein and carbs for fueling your workout and for muscle recovery.


Post Workout Meal – 1/4c (measured dry) Jasmine rice + 3.4 ounces chicken breast + 1/4c spicy black beans + 25g red peppers + 25g red onion + 4T salsa + Flavor God Taco Tuesday seasoning




I really can’t say enough good things about this taco bowl. It’s AMAZING. My husband saw me eating it yesterday and had me make him one too. It’s like a Mexican fiesta in your mouth. I typically do ground turkey for this because it’s lower in fat than chicken breast, but the one here is pictured with chicken.

I’ve also had Puffins cereal post workout with fruit on top and protein milk (protein powder blended with almond milk and water) on top. That was quite delicious, and it felt very indulgent.

My coach wants me to aim for 60g of carbs post workout along with about 35g of protein and minimal fat. I am sure I will come up with many more exciting meals to share with those macros.


Meals 3 and 4 are a nice balance of carbs and protein with a little more fat.

Left to Right: 1) spinach and arugula salad + 1/4c spicy black beans + 92g cooked sweet potatoes + 3.5 ounces of chicken breast + 4T salsa; 2) 6 ounces of cod + roasted veggies with a splash of olive oil + 1/4c (measured dry) Jasmine rice; 3) Homemade Greek turkey burger + Maria & Ricardos wheat tortilla + 1/4c arugula + 2T salsa + 100g zoodles

I also incorporated turkey meatloaf muffins into my meals this week. I adapted this recipe from Skinnytaste, leaving off the bacon and swapping the barbecue sauce for Dijon mustard.










For dinner one night (Meal 5), I finally got my burger, homemade of course, because eating a burger out would use up all of my fat allotted for the day.



I weighed out 5 ounces of grass-fed sirloin from Whole Foods and added some Worcester sauce, salt and pepper and diced jalapenos. I topped it with a few shreds of cheddar cheese and had it with a half of a bun and some sauteed onions and zoodles. I ate it really slowly and




I would really like another.


Finally Meal 6. High protein, moderate fats and low carb. A SLAP peanut butter protein shake (use code MARY for 10% off) made with some almond milk, ice and water and a large slice of my protein bread. I modified the recipe a bit by adding a bit more protein powder, less coconut flour and no chocolate chips. It’s delicious with SLAP Peanut Butter or with PEScience Blondie protein powders.


I have also been enjoying protein pancakes for dessert at night. I use a simple recipe of combining 1 scoop of protein powder + 1 egg + 1tsp baking powder + a little almond milk or water. If I am feeling really hungry, I will also add 1-2T of coconut flour and a bit more water. I top it with some PB2 or a light slather of nut butter. I look forward to it each day.

My goal with this prep is to continue to eat the foods that I love by finding creative ways to incorporate them into my program. Maybe I cannot have all of the foods that I want at the exact time of the day or on the exact day that I want it, but knowing that I can have them a couple of times a week makes this process a little more bearable. After all, if it was easy, everyone would do it. That’s what I need to keep reminding myself.

Someone reminded me something the other day that I will try to remember when things get really hard. The food will always be there. My favorite bakery in New York City isn’t closing down anytime soon. There will always be steakhouses in the area to serve me a filet.

Regrets are not always about things you did in your life. Sometimes they are about the things that you didn’t do. Week 3. Let’s do this.