So much of the food supply is tainted by modern processing techniques. The last havens of nutrition exist in the form of whole foods. Courtney Prather won't fall for fancy marketing gimmicks and sideshow advertising. Her diet is clean as fresh-fallen snow.
"I have to have a plan for my nutrition," Prather said. "I have a really busy schedule. With a full-time job, it's essential that I pack and plan my meals ahead of time. You're more likely to grab for something that's not clean if you don't have something readily available."
Don't think of a diet as some sort of hellish hex designed to destroy your happiness. A diet is simply a list of things you will eat. Some are healthy and helpful, but others are as destructive as termites, burrowing and digging at your infrastructure until your whole body collapses.
A professional diet, one intended to prepare an athlete for the stage, requires homage to calorie counts and dedication to macronutrient totals.
Courtney Prather's Fitness Program
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"When I started with competitions, I had to be really strict," Prather said. "It was the first time in my life that I followed a really strict clean-eating program! I was a bit of a foodie! That's part of the reason why I never achieved the physique I wanted. Once I really learned to cut that stuff out and to eat really clean, I did get the physique I wanted."
There you go, plain and simple. Eat clean = achieve physique goals. It cannot be achieved otherwise. It's not easy, but it's easier on your body to consistently abide by a healthy nutrition plan. The ups and downs of binges and purges (of diet and splurge) will damage the natural equilibrium a body seeks. Of course, there is room for deviation in every diet, even for a model.
"Just because I am a fitness model and I've been in incredible shape on stage doesn't mean that I'm perfect all the time with my eating," Prather said. "It's true! I have cravings, I have a sweet tooth. You find little tricks to work around it. As long as you're consistent with your diet, the majority of the time, you're going to be successful."
Local So-Cal Flavor
Courtney lives in Southern California, home to some of the world's most beautiful people, and some of the finest dining on earth. Bakeries, restaurants, confectionaries and delights of all sorts manifest themselves on every street corner and marketplace. The best way to avoid these indiscretions is to cook at home and travel with food so you never feel the pangs of hunger.
"I really had to get creative," Prather said. "I didn't want to be that person eating chicken and broccoli six times per day; that's boring! Boredom breeds creativity. I really had to learn how to cook in the kitchen and come up with ways to make my healthy meals taste good."
Courtney sought the advice of nutrition professionals and recipe-writers. She educated herself about kitchen options and healthy substitutions for palatable delights. She aims to "get creative" with the foods she loves. Food love and fitness love can co-exist!
Courtney's Nutrition Philosophy
Working a full-time job, being on the go, traveling a lot, and competing really didn't give me any other option BUT to have a plan when it came to nutrition. I am a firm believer in prepping food in advance and packing all your meals for the day. Don't worry about being 'perfect,' but you can't just wing it, either.
I focus on eating real, natural whole foods. If I am consistent with that, I find I don't have to count every calorie or gram to stay lean. I keep protein powder or bars in my purse or in my car in case of a hunger emergency because we all know getting 'hangry' (angry + hungry) is no fun and bad for your metabolism.
Bottom line: It's not a diet, it's about changing your lifestyle. What you do MOST of the time is what counts - life happens and you need to allow yourself to be flexible.
Courtney's Nutrition Schedule
Lean Protein (Chicken)
4oz Calories: 90
Fats: 442 mg| Protein 19 g| Carbs 2 g
1/2 cup Calories: 109
Fats: 843 mg| Protein 2 g| Carbs 23 g
1/2 cup Calories: 13
Fats: 160 mg| Protein 1 g| Carbs 3 g
Braggs Liquid Aminos (healthy substitute for Soy Sauce)
1/2 tsp Calories: 0
Fats: 0 g| Protein 310 mg| Carbs 100 mg
1 small Calories: 91
Fats: 273 mg| Protein 482 mg| Carbs 24 g
1 piece Calories: 80
Fats: .5 g| Protein 4 g| Carbs 15 g
1 scoop Calories: 120
Fats: 1 g| Protein 24 g| Carbs 3 g
4 Calories: 46
Fats: 150 mg| Protein 10 g| Carbs 642 mg