Tiffany Gaston, Figure Competitor - Paleo Diet
On-season and off-season diet
My on-season and off-season diet are not too drastically different from one another. Iíve always preferred to eat clean and keep myself in check year round. I like to stay what I call 1-2 weeks out from being ďphoto shootĒ ready at all times. It doesnít take much more work for me since I live a healthy and fit lifestyle anyway. Iíve always tried to eat 5-7 times per day for maximum fat burning and metabolism boosting. I eat lots of ďrealĒ food. If it comes in a box, jar or can, I try to stay far away from it.
My favorite thing to do is to purchase one new fruit or vegetable each week that Iíve never had before. This allows me to explore new things, which is fun for me. If you can have fun with your food, your more likely to be involved on every level from shopping to meal prep which can create healthy habits. This works great when it comes to my kids too. They enjoy helping in the kitchen and it keeps them informed as to why I cook and bake with certain ingredients.
I typically eat a Paleo diet. For anyone not familiar, it is a grain-free, dairy-free lifestyle, aka the caveman diet. Living this way has made me leaner in the offseason than ever before. Iím not someone that has a grain intolerance, yet Iíve witnessed many improvements in my well being by eating this way.
Photo by James Patrick - www.jamespatrick.com
There are many exceptions when it comes to Paleo and Iíve found ways to make it blend flawlessly into my familyís lifestyle. Though my kids are not 100% on board, many meals I prepare for them have been gradually altered to exemplify more of this style of eating. Little do they know! One example would be to use almond or coconut meal in place of flour when breading something or making pancakes. Itís a great trick.
I do eat lots of protein, vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruit. I cook with lots of spices, especially Indian spices. This allows for you to utilize less sodium in your meals yet still maintain lots of aromatic flavor. I also cover almost everything I eat in Sriracha. Itís my favorite hot sauce.
My knowledge of nutrition in relation to my personal physique and results has been a fun learning process. Over the years, Iíve found it to be a fun challenge to train and sculpt my physique. Iíve both added muscle and stripped it away at different times. There is something very empowering in seeing the fruits of your labor. Watching your muscles work, grow and cut is a fascination of mine.
During previous show training, I definitely implemented more supplements such as protein shakes and bars. My current plan is without a doubt reaping greater results. Nothing compares to nutrient dense foods for fueling the body. Iím on nearly 100% real, high quality food for my current show. I do take vitamins, but I feel that no matter how clean you eat, our foods are lacking the nutrients they contained 50 years ago. This is just a sure fire way to fill any gaps.
A favorite fall recipe of the moment, though Iím not currently able to enjoy my:
Paleo Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
3 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
1 cup Almond meal
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp honey
Ĺ cup canned organic pumpkin
4 whole eggs
1 tbsp coconut oil
In a bowl, whisk eggs and combine all other ingredients except coconut oil. Combine well without over mixing.
Heat coconut oil to medium heat. Drop mixture by the spoonful and allow to set up until edges start to bubble slightly. Then flip over for a couple more minutes. I usually use a lid to trap heat and cook thoroughly in less time.
Top with pecans, walnuts, almond butter or honey. Heaven!!
The major components of my training program, previous to my current figure show prep, included lots of functional training. I love using my Ultimate Sandbag as it provides a ton of options for functional, mutli-joint movements. I think in any training program, this gives you the greatest result and fat burning capability. Iím able to elevate my heart rate through continuous movement and be done in a shorter amount of time. For me, thatís the best part since I have the attention span of a fly.
Iím a big believer in HIIT (high intensity interval training) and it definitely works great for my body type. In working hard for 30-50 seconds and resting for 10-15, Iím able to increase and decrease my heart rate to boost my metabolism. I would say that besides my love of running, these style workouts have provided me with the leanest off season look Iíve ever had. Donít get me wrong, I kick my own tail when I train, but Iím done in 20 minutes or less. I canít think of a better way to do it. Iím not a girl that enjoys being tied to a cardio machine for long periods of time. Fortunately, I respond well to interval training so I donít have to. I find running to be a mental escape for me and anytime I can hit the road, itís like my time to decompress.
The other mega component to this plan is obviously diet. Eating a clean, Paleo, whole foods diet has allowed me to never feel deprived. I enjoy cooking more than I ever have before and really having fun with it. Having a cheat meal when necessary further helps keep you on track because you will feel less deprived. I think you would otherwise burn out and cave to cravings if you donít give in from time to time. Also, whatís all the hard work for if you canít have a little fun? Itís only fair.
To contact Tiffany: