Friday, November 28, 2008

Figure Competitions

2006 – INBA, Auckland New Zealand
Charlotte Orr June 2006
2006 – NABBA, Auckland, New Zealand
2 days 9 November 2006 021
2007 – INBA, Melbourne, Australia
2008 – INBA, Melbourne, Australia
2008 – ANB, Melbourne, Australia

Thursday, November 27, 2008

ANB pic - 'relaxed'

IMG_9203, originally uploaded by ROSS BROWNSDON PHOTO.

Backstage pic, ANB show Sun 5 October

All photos by Ross Brownsdon

ANB pic - rear double bicep

IMG_9205, originally uploaded by ROSS BROWNSDON PHOTO.

Backstage pic from ANB show, Sun Oct 5

ANB pic - front double bicep

IMG_9204, originally uploaded by ROSS BROWNSDON PHOTO.

Backstage pic from ANB show, Sun Oct 5

Monday, November 24, 2008

Peaking and your Personality

One of the things I liked about competing this year was that I had the experience of previous comps behind me, which helped me to be better prepared. For example, I made sure I had my Dream Tan, hair and make-up done before arriving at the venue, so I didn't feel under pressure. And, because I didn't have to spend as long backstage getting ready, I could sit in the audience for a while and watch the show, so I felt more relaxed than I did last year. However, because I was trying a method I hadn't used before to carb up on the day (potassium, rice cakes and honey), I was referring to my timing instructions a bit, and trying to juggle water, tablets, sticky honey and crumbly rice cakes, so I probably wasn't as relaxed as I could be. I know that using potassium and carbs on the day works well for some people, but for me, it's something extra to think about, and with my busy mind, it's an extra hassle I don't need. As mentioned previously, I prefer to do most of my carbing up in the couple of days beforehand, then on the day have just a little at breakfast and before going on stage.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Religion of Pre and Post Workout Nutrition

By Will Brink

Pre- and post-workout nutrition is all the rage these days, and for good reason. For some, however, it’s become more than a science—it’s become their religion, or perhaps just a place to focus their OCD-like tendencies.

Regardless, people have taken the topic of pre- and post-workout nutrition to a level that is not justified by the research, or at least not confirmed by the research that currently exists.

read more


It's supposed to be the end of spring but it's freezing cold and wet this morning. I've just got back from taking my dog from a walk and I wore trackpants, a thermal top, fleecy, hooded sweatshirt, scarf and a raincoat. We walked for 45 minutes and while I wasn't cold, I didn't feel hot either. Could have done with some gloves. Rob is going to be working outside all day today at the Corporate Games and I reckon he is going to be like an icicle when he gets home. Then a couple of his friends are coming over to watch the league final. I was trying to think of what to make for dinner that would be warm and easy to cook, and then I remembered a recipe for Easy Thai Chicken in a slow cooker that I saw on Figure Athlete a couple of weeks ago. It looks like it could be a bit on the bland side, so will probably add some chilli, garlic and coriander to it. Will brave the cold and wet again shortly for a walk down to the butcher. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Athlete in Us

Regardless of ability, experience, or goals, adopting the identity of an athlete defines who you are and how you integrate nutrition and training into your life. It strengthens a commitment to the behaviours and strategies that are inherent in a healthy lifestyle. If you believe that you are a fit person, the choices you make will reflect your identity as such.

With this identity, you are the person who does not miss workouts. You are the person who chooses better food options. You are the person who continues to do these things whether you’re on vacation, have had a bad day, are not seeing progress, or just don’t feel like it some days. You are the person who gets right back in the game when you do slip and fall.

Regardless of whether you have achieved your goals, you do these things because your identity as a fit person won’t permit you to act any other way.

So get the gear. Build the environment and lifestyle of being fit. Surround yourself with fit friends and people who will cheer you on. If you make fitness and nutrition your identity, you will find every creative solution to get up off the ice and stay in the game.

Full article

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dry Me Out

Just wanted to post a little about final week prep. The method that has worked best for me so far is to "arrive" early (this means no stress about being ready in time) then dry out in the final week. I didn't completely cut water (had 1.25L on the Friday) but still managed to get pretty dry through manipulation of food. Here are some comparison pics from the Monday and the Saturday. Please note that this was in my first year of competing (2006), hence lack of size and goofy posing.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Flax Oil Salsa

This is yummy on fish , chicken or over veges. Tastes a bit like pesto.

1 bunch basil
1 bunch chives
1 bunch parsley
1/2 cup mint
3-6 garlic cloves
1 baby onion
50g capers
1 can drained anchovies
1 tsp seeded mustard
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 C flax oil

Blend all together, put in a container and refrigerate.

Thought for the Day

'Worrying is like saying little prayers for things you don't want' (Linda Miller)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Feeling relaxed

I was going to post today about how relaxed I've been feeling the last few days, especially around food. Then I read Katie's post, What Flicks the Switch, which pretty much covers my reactions to 'S' foods as well. Since the start of the week my diet has been similar to hers, with protein, veges and good fats at all meals, and a little bit of starchy carb around training. It means I have no sugar cravings, no mindless eating of starchy carbs past the point of being full, no stress. I feel calm. This style of eating isn't for everyone, but I can count on one hand the times I have felt this relaxed this year, and each of those times has been when I've eaten like this, so I'm sticking with it.

Thought for the Day

"If you work really hard to achieve your goals but don’t enjoy the journey, you’re delaying the essence of life. Committing to your goals doesn’t mean you slave away at work you dislike, celebrating only the destination. A real abiding commitment means that you love what you do each day. You are at least as passionate about the path as you are about the results. If you love the path you’re on, your passion motivates you to keep taking the next step." (Steve Pavlina)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Simple Secrets to Health & Wellness

DNA and cells are crucial to the health of the human body. Human cells are susceptible to damage during the natural process of oxidation that occurs within our bodies. Oxidation releases free radicals which are harmful to our cells.

Stress, inadequate nutrition, poor digestion, toxin build-up or lack of exercise increases the oxygen-free radicals. The result is a weakened immune system, premature aging, anxiety, depression, decrease in mental capacity, illness, cancer, weight-gain, lack of libido or insufficient energy. ANTIOXIDANTS boost the body's immunity against oxidation, eat up the free-radicals and help to keep the body strong and youthful. Antioxidants are found in many natural foods - what we also often hear referred to as flavonoids from plant foods. Flavonoids actually are more than just antioxidants and help our cells communicate with each other..cell talk! Flavonoids can affect the way our cells respond to inflammation, allergens, free-radicals, bacteria, cancer and even viruses.

The body needs on an average 3000- 5000 UNITS OF ORAC ANTIOXIDANTS PER DAY. ORAC (oxidative radical absorbance capacity of antioxidants in food). Many RAW SUPERFOODS have a high ORAC value and powerful flavonoids. In vogue are pure cacao, goji berry, açai berry, Japanese green tea, curcuma, ginger and spirulina. Not as well known but quite powerful are coffee cherry, acerola cherry, lucuma, seabuckthorn berry and the sensual rose. Not all foods are easily digested by each body - not everyone can digest each food equally well. Genetics, illness and or inadequate digestive enzymes may prevent the assimilation of proper nutrients from food into the body. PREBIOTIC FOODS are typically more easily digested and thereby allow nutrients and probiotics to work more powerfully inside the body.

All calories are not created equally! The question should not be: 'How many calories?' BUT
'What type of calories?'

LOW-GLYCEMIC calories satisfy the appetite, stimulate fat loss, keep sugar levels stable and give the body lasting energy and better performance. The body also needs good fats like ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS and omegas to lubricate the cells, nourish the brain and nervous system, protect bones & muscles and enhance power. Remember, a clean body is a good body! REGULAR BOWEL MOVEMENTS get rid of waste and toxins and keep the rectum and colon healthy and clean. Pure water and natural food fiber are simple yet powerful cleaning agents. Of course, humans are built for movement. PHYSICAL EXERCISE generates new cells, burns fat, builds muscles, suppresses appetite & stimulates the release of endorphins in the cells. Endorphins keep us feeling good, strong, sexy and happy. Let's not forget that CLEAN AIR, LOW STRESS, RELAXATION & DEEP SLEEP repair and renew our cells, promote pro-aging and stimulate powerful health at any age. Most importantly, we are what we think - every thought affects our cells. POSITIVE THOUGHTS promote powerful energized cells.


Thought for the Day

"If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it."
-William Arthur Ward

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thought for the Day

"The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent."~ Arnold Schwarzenegger

Monday, November 10, 2008

Barbecue Garlic Beef Fillet

Had coffee this morning with the lovely Fiona Sultana, and we got to talking about food (as you do). I mentioned this recipe for marinated beef fillet, which we will probably have on Christmas Day (yes, I've started thinking about Christmas food already), and thought I would post it here. I think it was originally out of a leaflet from Foodtown (NZ supermarket).

- 1 fillet of beef, about 1.25kg
- 4 cloves garlic, slivered

- 3/4 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1 Tbsp Dijon-style mustard
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 Tbsp olive oil

With the point of a sharp knife, make small slits in the beef, insert the slivered garlic. Place the beef in a plastic bag. Combine the wine, mustard and garlic then slowly whisk in the oil. Pour into the plastic bag and move the beef around so it is well coated in marinade.

Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Turn occasionally.

Remove the beef from the marinade. Place under or over medium heat and grill or barbecue for about 8 minutes each side depending on the thickness of the meat. Baste occasionally with a little of the marinade.

If cooked in a barbecue oven, roast for about 20 minutes at 190 degrees C (this is how we usually do it).

Cover loosely with foil and stand for 5 minutes in a warm place before carving. This 'sets' the juices and makes the meat easier to cut. The marinade can be strained, boiled and served with the beef.

Serves about 6.

Thought for the Day

'Live from the outcome. When you're working towards a goal, you're creating a feeling of not having it yet. So when you live from the outcome, you're living life as if you've already manifested that desire.' (James Ray)

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Does this sound familiar?

'Many have competed “wanting” that physique, they can’t possibly maintain. And what happens once they attain it. Usually that “want” is just replaced by another want. Many want that contest look till they have it, and once attained a set of “new wants” appears does it not?

All of a sudden the attained physique is not nearly as important as “now I want to eat normal food” “I want to be able to go out and have a few drinks with my friends, and not be so worried about my physique" “I don’t want to be a slave to my training any more” So what happens then? These people with the “wanting mentality” then go out and pursue these new wants till they lose entirely their physiques they previously “wanted” for so long. And then the process of “want” continues all over again. This is hardly a winning thought strategy.

People need to change if necessary their thoughts, actions, and behaviours to build a life that suits them, not a life burdened by endless “wants” and pursuing accomplishments as end results with no long term meaning.

If people are going to develop effective life strategies, even in something as seemingly simple as diet psychology then lessons must be learned or the process just keeps repeating itself.'

Scott Abel, New Year’s “Evolutions”: Negative Diet Strategies Reflective of Self-Image Issues, January 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008

Carbing up

Imagine this....

You can eat a 200g bag of jelly snakes in one sitting without blinking. One of your favourite spreads is honey, and you have been known to eat half a loaf of bread when it's toasted and spread with honey.

You know this, and don't like the fact that once you start eating sweet stuff you find it hard to stop. You gradually reduce your sugar consumption so you only have it around your workouts, when your body can best use it.

Then, in the four weeks before your comp, you cut out the sugary stuff around your workouts as well. After a couple of weeks things like sweet potatoes and blueberries start to taste sweet. Your body feels calm.

You receive your instructions before your show. Jelly snakes and honey are two of the ingredients for your carb up. You stand in the confectionary aisle, reluctantly looking at the jelly snakes. It's been months since you last had any. You throw a packet in your basket, along with a bottle of squeezy honey.

Think about this for a moment. You have had months of eating low- to no-sugar foods (by choice) and in the last four weeks your carbohydrates have mostly come from low-GI plant-based foods. How do you think your body is going to react when you do two shows over a weekend and have two days of back-to-back high GI carbs? Please sir, can I have some more?

More than anything, my experience with comp prep this year has taught me to stay true to my beliefs about how my body works. I would rather do a longer, slower carb up on sweet potatoes on the Thursday and Friday before a show than have sweet potato on the Friday and rice cakes, honey and jelly snakes on the Saturday. Give the body more of what it's used to, rather than shock it with something foreign.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Vegetables and Their Anti-Cancer Effects

"Cancer is caused by a combination of many different behavioural, physical, environmental and genetic risk factors which include smoking, UV exposure, age, poor diet and lack of physical activity, as well as exposure to certain chemicals, viruses or bacteria. It is believed that the diet contributes to one third of all cancer deaths.

Various epidemiological data has demonstrated that high fruit and vegetable consumption, over 5 servings per day, decreases the overall risk of many different cancers by approximately one half. The beneficial effects of fruit and vegetable consumption have been linked to their anti-oxidant and anti-proliferative effects. Anti-proliferation targets the later progression stages of cancer and helps prevent the spread of the disease.

A recent study set out to find the anti-proliferative and anti-oxidant effects of 34 different vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes and green beans in eight different types of cancer cells kept alive outside the body. These included stomach, kidney, prostate, breast, brain, pancreatic and lung cancer cells.

Results revealed that prostate and stomach cancer cell lines were most sensitive to the extract treatments. The prostate cancer cells were reduced by 50% or more in 23 of the 34 vegetable extracts tested and stomach cancer cells were reduced by 50% or more in 19 of the 34 vegetable extracts tested.

In lung, pancreas and kidney cancer lines, this decrease only occurred in 14, 12 and 7 of the 34 vegetable extracts. This may indicate that prostate and stomach cancers are more sensitive to dietary influences. The vegetable extracts that demonstrated >50% inhibition in all cell lines were Brussel sprouts, cabbage, curly cabbage, garlic, green onion, kale, leek and spinach. Garlic extract diluted at 1/1000 demonstrated complete inhibition of the [brain] cell line. At this dose, it was the most potent inhibitor of proliferation.

In addition, the anti-oxidative capacity of each vegetable extract was quantified. Garlic, curly cabbage and Brussel sprouts had the highest oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC)* values of 41.1, 40.5, and 32.9 µmol Trolox** equiv./ml respectively. Acorn squash and English cucumber, had the lowest values of 1.5 and 1.4 µmol Trolox equiv./ml.

In conclusion, this study demonstrates that the anti-carcinogenic properties of these vegetables produce anti-oxidative and anti-proliferative effects that help decrease cancer risk."

Full article and references here

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Phase 1

After having four weeks of relaxed eating and exercising, it's time to get back into a routine again.

Although I'm keen to get back into heavy training, I've decided to do a preparatory phase first. Today Rob and I did some postural, flexibility and muscular strength assessments. I have a posterior pelvic tilt (flat lower back), quite a few flexibility issues, and an instable shoulder (old skiing injury). So for the next four weeks I will be addressing these problems, training three days per week. I'll also do a couple of interval training sessions a week, so my week will look something like this:

Mon workout
Tues interval cardio
Wed workout
Thu interval cardio
Fri workout

plus I will be doing 'lifestyle' cardio (walking the dog) each day.

Planned meals for this week:
Weights days:
1 yoghurt, protein powder, almonds, Vital Greens, fish oil
walk dog
2 frittata, legumes
3 Rae's favourite salad plus oil and balsamic dressing
4 same as 3
train (Surge)
5 lean meat, veges, rice, fruit
6 egg whites, quinoa, fruit (made into pancake)

Nonweights days:
1 yoghurt, protein powder, almonds, Vital Greens, fish oil
walk dog
2 frittata, legumes
3 Rae's favourite salad plus oil and balsamic dressing
4 same as 3
interval cardio/rest
5 lean meat, veges, nuts, fruit
6 egg whites, whole egg, cheese, fruit

I will have four 'off plan' meals per week, probably Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday morning and Sunday night.

Oh, and I need to drink more water too.

Saturday, November 1, 2008