Hello, FitnessRx for Women followers! It has been a busy couple of months prepping for the Arnold Bikini International and Arnold Classic Australia. I ended up taking a first place finish at the Arnold Bikini in Columbus, Ohio, and second place in Australia. I am very pleased with my showing at these competitions! I have decided I won’t be competing again until the Olympia because my mind and body need a break. I need to focus on bringing my absolute best package to Vegas in September.

I ended up taking a much-needed break from the gym and diet. When I say I took a break from my diet, that did NOT mean that I ate every cookie and pastry in sight. I kept it reasonable, yet I enjoyed myself. I went out to eat a handful of times, enjoyed cocktails and even had room for a few pancakes. From here, I will slowly transition into off-season. I will wean myself off of cardio and SLOWLY add in calories— most of which being from carbs or fats. I will have two cheat meals per week and not worry so much about the creamer in my coffee.

An example of a day of off-season dieting for me would be something like this:

1. One cup flavored MuscleEgg and one-fourth cup (before cooked) cream of rice; one TBS Nuts ‘N More Almond Butter

2. 4 oz grilled chicken on top of salad with veggies, olives, one-fourth cup reduced-fat feta cheese and 1 TBS light Italian dressing

3. Large iced Americano with one scoop of Gaspari Nutrition Vanilla MyoFusion Advanced with two slices of Ezekiel bread and one TBS sugar-free strawberry jam

4. 4 oz turkey, spinach, and multicolored peppers and light soy sauce (stir fry)

5. 4 oz steak, green beans and 4 oz sweet potato

6. One-half cup plain Greek yogurt OR one cup low-fat cottage cheese with one-fourth cup berries of choice, sweetener

Snack options: Dried edamames, cashews, high-fiber protein bar, almond milk (add flavored stevia to it for amazing taste)

In this off-season, I would really like to focus more on building my shoulders and my outer glutes. I would like to put on a bit more muscle overall.

Although I may be off-season, I will be a busy bee! I have several Bikini seminars lined up overseas in addition to my appearances with my sponsors. In the month of April and May, I will only be home for a handful of days. I love life on the road and no, I do not get homesick. I’ve always loved traveling and “living out of a suitcase.” I love being around other people with the same passion as me. What a great opportunity the IFBB has given me. I am just a simple Ohio girl. I never thought I would leave the state of Ohio, let alone the country! Now I am racking up my mileage points flying to several different countries. It truly feels like a dream come true.

Staying on your training and diet program isn’t always easy while traveling. I always make sure to come prepared. I freeze my meals for the plane ride and I always pack a resistance band in my luggage in case I can’t make it to a gym. In addition to bringing a resistance band with me, I also bring healthy non-perishable snacks such as nuts, Gaspari Nutrition protein powder, oats, calorie-free Walden Farms dressing packets, canned chicken breast, etc.

Travel tip: You can ask the airline attendant to fill your small cooler with ice while on the plane or ask him/her to store your extra food in a fridge.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Spring! Train hard, but more importantly, train SMART!