perfect pre-workout pancakes

Perfect pre-workout pancakes
(makes one serving)

These pancakes are a great pre-workout fuel option. They aren’t dry at all, quick and easy to make and taste delicious. Note: if you’re not used to the taste of buckwheat it may be best for you to use another flour option.


  • 50g buckwheat flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • 40g Chobani low-fat greek yoghurt
  • 5g baking powder
  • 5g Natvia

Blend all ingredients together and cook in small batches over medium heat. Top the pancakes with any topping of your choice. I used Walden Farms Pancake Syrup but you can also use berries, other fruit, cinnamon, lemon, etc.

Macros (for the whole recipe/one serving):

  • 8g fat
  • 37g carbs (3g fibre)
  • 25g protein
  • approx. 330 calories

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Enjoy! xx

Your competition prep coach

I’ve spoken to some competitors recently about their prep coaches and the methods they used.
Although some coaches use methods that I don’t agree with, the thing that worried me most was the relationship that some competitors have with their coaches.

If your coach is making you do something or making you prep a certain way which makes you uncomfortable or is adversely affecting your body, bring up your concerns with your coach. I have spoken to some ladies who don’t know why they are eating so little carbs or so much protein, don’t know why their coach is making them do so much cardio or don’t know why they can’t take preworkout or protein supplements.

Please, please, please remember that YOUR COACH WORKS FOR YOU. 

You do NOT work for your coach. You have paid your coach good money and should be given services to reflect your payment.

NEVER let your coach make you feel bad for asking a question. You have hired your coach. Your coach is making you do things to you body. Do not be afraid to ask WHY they are doing certain things.

When your competition is over and the ’12 week prep’ that you paid for is up, the reality is that some coaches will no longer contact you or be willing to help you unless you pay them again. If you are prepping using methods that are ruining your body, you will be left to repair the damage alone and without any knowledge as to how or why you got to where you are. It will be your body, your hormones, whatever, that are now screwed up. So do not do anything that you are not comfortable with and always question why your coach is making you do whatever it is that you must do.

It is not a nice subject to rant about and I’m not writing this to target anyone but contest prepping, at the end of the day, is a business and a means to an end for some people.

Yes, there are so many fabulous and genuinely caring coaches out there but there are also others who only care about the money and have no problem with sending the same meal plan out to 20 different girls, knowing full well that the lack of customisation is only going to lead to issues in the present and to more problems down the road.

Your coach should NEVER make you feel guilty for questioning their methods. If they do, ask for a refund and find a coach who cares.

Some coaches will simply ask you to “trust them”. Sure, you can trust them, but how do you know they are trustworthy? Just because a coach has a ‘team’ of medal-winning competitors doesn’t make them trustworthy. What about the other competitors that they prepped that didn’t have a genetic advantage that helped them win a placing or didn’t place on stage for other reasons? Where are they now? Are they still working with the same coach? If yes, how do they look? How much are they eating? If not, why are they no longer with them? Facebook and social media are such strong tools that everyone can use. Find out who some of your coach’s other clients are/were. Ask them questions.

If your coach has you eating super low carbs and you’re 7,8,9 weeks out, ASK them what their plans are as your competition draws closer. Will they cut your food down even more? Will they increase your cardio? Remember that is it YOUR body and you have a right to know what you will be asked to do to it. Ask your coach if they will give you plan for after your competition. Will they reverse diet you? Look at your coach. If they are in their offseason, how do they look? Would you look happy to look like them in your offseason? Being lean all year around isn’t sustainable but you don’t want a diet that will make you blow out post-comp. See if your coach will practise that they preach.

What will your coach make you do during peak week? How low will your food intake go? Will you cut your water? Will you do a depletion?  Are you going to be told to take diuretics for 5 days straight? (Do NOT even get me started on those prep methods. Stay away!)

Please just remember that your coach works for you. If you no longer want to work with them, ask for some of your money back. If they say no, don’t just leave it at that. They are a business and businesses are bound by specific laws. Sure, you don’t want to burn bridges but what if you help other girls from making the same mistake?

I’m not saying that all contest prep coaches are terrible. In fact, some are the best kinds of people in the world. But unfortunately as the industry grows, there will be a huge increase in people wanting to make a quick buck. Those kinds of people are the ones who will screw you over, if not immediately than almost definitely in the long run.

At the end of the day, you must take responsibility for what you do. You must take responsibility for what you are doing to your body. Do some research. There are ways to prep that are healthier than others. Make yourself aware of what is out there and always keep your health as your number 1 priority.

Femmefitale STRENGTH singlets are now available!


I’m so excited that the STRENGTH singlets that I have designed are now available here. These singlets are a little project that I have been working on for a while and I’m proud of how they have turned out.


Read more about the singlets by visiting the apparel section of my website.

xx Joelle

Reverse dieting update

Since the start of the year I have been going through a process known as reverse dieting.

I’ve talked about it quite a bit in previous posts but in case you don’t know, reverse dieting is the slow increase in calories/macros within a diet. You do this slowly as to minimise weight gain when reverse dieting out of a caloric deficit/competition prep. The aim of reverse dieting is to improve (or repair) your metabolism and to be able to add more food into your diet without ‘blowing out’. You can find out more about reverse dieting by watching Layne Norton’s video blog here.

For me personally, I love the idea of reverse dieting because:

1. Who doesn’t love to eat more and see better results?

2. I want to be able to end my off season on as many calories/macros as possible so that the prep for my next show is much easier than the last.

3. The greater your macros, the more flexibility you have in your life in regards to eating out, enjoying delicious meals, etc.

So since the start of 2014 I have been increasing my carb intake by about 5-10 grams per day every week (slow increments are the key to success) and my fats by 2g per day per week. If I had a week where I was holding weight, I would either increase my fats and carbs by a smaller amount the next week or stay on the same macros for another week. There was also a time when I felt I was too ‘skinny’ so I did a bigger increase at the end of that week.  At the end of the day, it’s all personalised and customised to the individual and you should take regular measurements and figure the changes out from there.

In regards to protein intake, it has decreased from what it was when I was on prep. I am now eating 145g of protein per day.

A lot of fitness bloggers/competitors don’t share their macros but I am all about being open and honest and I don’t mind sharing. (I think a lot of fitness people don’t bring up their macros because their macros are tailored to their body types, goals and metabolism so they are customised and probably won’t bring about the same results for another person. So please keep in mind that what works for me may not work for you, just like what works for you may not work for me)

Last week I hit the 200g carbs per day mark! I’m now having 200g carbs, 58g fat and 145g protein per day. I’m sitting at 57.1kg which is about 3kg above my stage weight. This is a weight I am happy with as I don’t feel as though I have blown out and I’m trying to grow some muscle so I can’t be too lean with that goal in mind.

What about calories? I don’t count calories but I can see in MyFitnessPal that my macros come from about 2000 calories. I would love to be able to work my way up to 3000 calories per day and I am sure I will one day, but remember that reverse dieting is a slow process so it may take a while.

I’m loving having such a large amount of carbs and I usually have about 1/3 of them at night time. The no-carbs-before-bed thing is honestly just broscience. When I have carbs at night I wake up the next morning feeling hungrier and also less bloated than when I previously would have minimal carbs at night.
Check out what Nick Cheadle had to say on the subject:

“Complex carbs before bed will  help spare muscle protein while you sleep & your body will synthesize these carbs into glucose (blood sugar levels) & store it into your muscle cells, instead of your fat cells… Carbohydrates at night don’t make you fat; in fact, eating carbs later aids in seretonin levels & sleeping deeper”

So that’s my little update. I’m hoping to blog more frequently now so if you have any questions that you think I may be able to answer please don’t hesitate to contact me & ask.

xx Joelle


Things I wish someone would have told me part 2

This is a continuation of my first post about what I wish I would have known before starting to compete. You can read it here.

Some more things I wish someone would have told me:

  • There is more than one way to diet. The ‘chicken and broccoli’ diet is one, flexible dieting is another. You can go low fat, low carb, high fat, high carb, keto or paleo. You can eat every 2 hours, you can do intermittent fasting, you can eat ‘clean’, you can eat carbs before bed, or you can’t eat carbs before bed. No dairy, no sweeteners, no fruit or you can have all three. There are so many different diets out there. Do not restrict yourself to the first one you stumble across. If you’re dieting a particular way and are feeling lethargic and tired, change it. Dieting for a competition is no reason to ruin your relationship with food. Find a method that works for you. I can’t stress this enough.
  • Learning to pose correctly and learning to look confident on stage are a must. The difference between someone who has taken the time to perfect their posing and someone who hasn’t put much effort into it is astounding. Your stage presence can make or break a placing. So make sure you invest in a good teacher who will show you what you need to know and how you can make yourself stand out on stage.
  • Carb up MORE. My coach Nick Cheadle had me eat almost triple the amount of carbs I was having on a normal day right before I got on stage. And it worked! I looked so much fuller and so much better than I had looked at any previous competition.
  • Be prepared to feel down about yourself the day after you compete if you choose to have a big meal after your time on stage. Your body will be depleted and will hold onto everything you put into it which will make you look bloated and soft. This is a big change from how you would have looked on stage. Make sure you get back into a reverse diet as soon as possible and stay away from binge eating.
  • Don’t give up your social life and your friends just to compete. Competing is a part of your life; it’s not the be-all and end-all of your life. Social outings don’t always have to be food orientated. Go ice skating or go for a hike or something and spend time with the people you care about without compromising your goals.
  • If you are falling behind at work, reconsider the way you prep. This relates to my first point and my previous point. You work to pay your bills, sustain your life, etc. Why would you throw that all away for a plastic trophy and a few minutes on stage? If your boss isn’t happy with you eating every two hours, either change how you diet or explain why you are doing what you are doing and try to get his support. If you feel like crap because you’re eating next to no calories, change how you diet. As I said before, competing isn’t the be-all and end-all. Consider your long term and short term goals when dieting and if losing your job isn’t one of those goals then change how you do things. (P.s. I am not saying that your diet should be easy; dieting for a competition is hard because you are putting yourself in a caloric deficit which always sucks. But if you are struggling every day for 12-16 weeks, think about what you might be doing wrong. Dieting means you may be hungry most of the time but if you have zero energy, rethink how you are prepping. I find I only really struggle in the last week of my diet and that’s because of all the depletion and loading that goes on.)