So, when I prepped for my fitness photoshoot back in November 2015, I ‘dieted’ for 20 weeks. Over those weeks, my calories were lowered and, as anyone who has ever dieted for a photoshoot or for the stage knows, prep diets don’t lend themselves to variety and indulgence. However, you soon learn it really is the small things that add that sense to your diet. Here is my list of prep ‘saviours’!
- Refeeds. What are refeeds you might say? These are days that I literally counted down to every week. My coach started alloting me refeeds about halfway through my prep. These are days where your calories are increased, specifically through extra carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores, boost metabolism and offer sanity! My refeeds included foods such as: bananas, oats, strawberry jelly/jam, bagels, Nutella, rice cakes, barbecue sauce and rice. What I loved about these was the feeling of pure indulgence whilst eating them; I also slept incredibly well after gobbling all this down!
- Almond butter. This was in my diet from day 1 to photoshoot day. It was something I looked forward to every day!
- Whey protein powder. This helped to stifle my very sweet tooth (thank you, Dymatize Birthday Cake/Double Fudge Brownie flavours!) and I also blended it with coffee to make a Frappucino and cooked a scoop in the microwave with some baking powder which made a pauper’s version of a Beltsander Brownie.
- Walden Farms. Their calorie free caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, pancake syrup and salad dressings (my favourite is the caesar) were a lifesaver! They taste incredible.
- Spices. Paprika, cayenne pepper, seasonings, cinnamon….these added variety to my chicken and fish!
- BCAAs. I drank these like they were going out of fashion. Not only did it benefit my DOMS, but they taste like soda! The BCAA Xtend don’t have any calories either and my other favourites, Musclepharm, only have 10 calories per scoop.
- Chewing gum. All flavours, all varieties.
- Sugar free, fat free jell-o. I used to mix a tiny amount into my greek yoghurt to take away the sourness and also add different flavours!
- Jordan’s Skinny Syrups. These are so versatile and I loved mixing them into my yoghurt, coffee or oats!
- Herbal tea. Hot or cold. Celestial sugar cookie tea is delicious. Luckily, I also had a big stash of Twinings green tea flavours (gingerbread, cherry bakewall, salted caramel, fudge melts and caramelised green apple) to keep me going too!