Designing Summer X

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HELLO ALL!!! I had a fabulous lunch today at Red Robin eating burgers with lettuce instead of buns!

But the point of this blog post is to talk about not only how important healthy habits are, but how kids are so much more impressionable than adults.

I remember when I was little my parents ALWAYS made us eat gross foods like black bean brownies, spinach muffins, or garbanzo bean cookies. I resented my parents for it back then, but now I literally eat anything and I legitimately enjoy eating vegetables.

Today I was so impressed by my little brother Scott. When he ordered, he asked for an extra side of bottomless broccoli. After we basically finished eating, the waitress asked if we would like anything else and Scott said, can I have some more broccoli? I didn’t get a lot the first time. Incredible isn’t it?

I want to emphasize the power of impressions and habit-forming on children. We’ve all seen or been the adult that struggles so hard eating healthy because their parents never “forced” them to eat healthy while growing up. It’s unfortunate to see extremely picky adults that refuse to eat vegetables or try new things, especially when my little brother asked for his own extra vegetables and ate them without being told to.

Children are incredibly impressionable so forming healthy habits from a young age, while it may be tedious and annoying, has a wonderful impact when the child grows up.

Designing Summer IIX

Welcome to episode 8 of Designing Summer!

We all hit a little plateau in our weight loss SO we had to cut again. It sucks but unfortunately has to happen if we want the weight off.

I want to draw your attention to something very important: maintaining strength while losing weight. As you all know, my whole family trains exclusively in powerlifting and also competes in bodybuilding. These ARE traditionally “opposites”. Most people seem to think that you have to have mass to move mass…. but just gaining fat won’t help with lifting because there is no strength in fat.

My point is, even while losing weight, you can still get stronger or maintain your strength. I’m in the middle of a WONDERFUL weights cycle right now, hitting heavier benches than I ever have before…. and also in the process of losing weight.

So there you go…. you will not lose strength just because you’re losing weight.

I do understand where this misconception comes from, however. If you cut for a long period of time and cut your calories over and over, eventually you won’t have the energy to lift heavy anymore. Also, once your body fat is low enough, it is hard to continue taking off fat without taking off any muscles… just as you can’t put on muscle quickly without also putting on a little fat.

ANYWAY, here’s what I want you to take away from today…. carrying extra fat does not make you stronger so you can lean out while maintaining strength!

Designing Summer VII


So today I want to walk through some ideas for healthy food that’s easy to put together and easy to bring with you throughout the day.

The SIMPLEST food can possibly be I think is rice cakes, almonds, and canned chicken or tuna. Although it might be a little boring, I suggest keeping some of these in your car or office at all times as “back-up” food to make sure you can easily meet macros wherever you are.

But some more interesting ideas:


  • Cold Oatmeal: oats and water or milk in a jar the night before, add fruit, cinnamon, Splenda, honey, or nuts. In the morning you have a super easy and delicious breakfast and you don’t have to cook anything. Bonus: add egg whites for protein or flavor it savory instead of sweet. Try different flavors for each day of the week!


  • Salad-in-a-Jar: layer all of your salad mix-ins in a jar starting with dressing, protein, and other wet ingredients, and end with leafy greens and nuts on top. Now you have a very refreshing and satisfying meal packed into a small space. Try different vegetable-protein-nut-fruit combinations, or add rice/quinoa.


  • Low-Carb Trail Mix: Trail mix is a great snack, but normally much too high in fat and carbs, and low in protein. Instead, here’s my idea: popcorn, turkey jerkey, and almonds. This way you are much fuller with much less calories than normal trail mix. Depending on your allowed macros, you can add dried fruit, candy, or other nuts.


  • Spaghetti Squash Pasta: If you cook the squash early and keep it in the fridge, you can make a low-carb pasta dish super quick and easy. You can add vegetables and make “pasta salad”, chicken alfredo “pasta”, “spaghetti” and meatballs… you name it! Whether you have microwave access or not, you still have a wonderful meal and don’t have to splurge on the macros!

I made all of these so you can see what they look like and I can tell you how much time a whole day of planning really takes!


SO anyway here’s what I made (video’s on Facebook): cold oatmeal, salad in a bag, rice cakes and jerkey for snack, and spaghetti squash pasta. The entire meal prep took about an hour including cooking the squash… so much less than if I had already cooked everything. Incredible isn’t it? And so easy to bring with you anywhere you go!

Designing Summer VI


I want to start posting weekly videos about eating at restaurants and working out outside the gym.

The idea is to demonstrate how you can be healthy no matter where you are or what you’re doing, but these will only work if I get suggestions of where/what to eat, or interesting places to create a workout for.

The more challenging the better… because I’m trying to prove wrong all the misconceptions about “the world making it hard to be healthy”. Really I think it’s all about dedication and motivation. If you want to eat better and exercise more, there is ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE why you can’t do it.

So anyway… here’s what I need from you:

  1. restaurants to eat at
  2. types of food to create healthy versions of
  3. places to workout

There is no challenge I won’t accept haha… unless of course it’s illegal…. but otherwise anything.

Designing Summer IV

Hello Friends!

Here’s an exciting post for everyone- well at least I think so!

Last night my friend and I went to Chile’s to practice creative eating out while also tracking macros!

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We ordered

Deconstructed Guacamole Hamburger:

  • turkey burger
  • no bun
  • all fix-ins on the side

Spicy Shrimp Tacos

  • no tortilla
  • mixed green salad
  • all fix-ins on the side

So there you go! it really isn’t that hard to eat out and healthy at the same time… you just have to know what you can have, and how to manipulate it… and if you’re nice, the waiter will be willing to accommodate hahaaa 😉

So yesterday I ended up eating half of the food we ordered and left having eaten 10 carbs, 14 fat, and 35 protein- and I felt very satisfied that I still had interesting food to eat while at a restaurant!


I’m posting the video of me ordering on my Facebook and the Reb-L Fit Facebook! Check it out.

Designing Summer III

HELLO and WELCOME to the 3rd Designing Summer!!!!

Here is the agenda for today:

  1. Night Eating
  2. Last Meal
  3. Overeating
  4. Under Eating

We have a lot to do today, let’s get started!

NIGHT EATING: it is a myth that you can’t eat at night because the food just “sits in your stomach”. If you’re hungry at the end of the day, you can go ahead and eat a balanced meal or snack and your body will use the calories to go about it’s normal repair and maintenance. You don’t have to go to bed hungry.

LAST MEAL: at the end of the day, I usually end up having a “catch-up” meal. In this meal, if I have extra food that I didn’t eat then I fill it in here, OR if I went a little over on something then I take it from the last meal. This way I end the day right on track!

Occasionally; however, I end up already having perfect macros throughout the day but I can’t go to sleep because I’m sooooooo hungry. In this case, there are two options…

OVEREATING: if you end up feeling like you have to eat something then you can go ahead and have another meal at the end of the day, and you would just subtract the macros that you went over by from the next day. This subtraction should be taken evenly from all the meals of the next day. THEN the next two days after that you subtract half of what you went over by. So it takes 3 days to complete a “payback”.

It’s not the end of the world… if you accidentally went over, or wanted an extra drink or some dessert, or whatever happened… it’s FINE! but just keep in mind that you WILL have to pay those calories back if you choose to go over your macros.

Option number 2 is normally what I end up doing… eating foods that hardly have any calories, so your macros really aren’t affected but you can still help out your stomach. Here’s a list of things I eat (yes, they are quite weird sometimes): cucumber, celery, iceburg lettuce, mustard, hot sauce, and there are a few others. ANYWAY… it’s kindof gross to eat lettuce with mustard but if it means I hit my macros- I suddenly become un-picky!!!

UNDEREATING: another thing I hear a lot from people is that they were gone all day or very busy and distracted and ended up at the end of the day WAYYY under their macros. In this situation we’ll use the ideas of the catch-up meal, and a reverse payback.

You are allowed 30% of carbs, fat, or protein at a time. If you are way under your macros, then figure out what 30% of the total allowed is and that’s how much you can have in your catch-up meal. If you don’t feel like eating that much, or are still calories left over, we need to do a reverse pay back: basically, you’ll take the calories you didn’t eat and spread them evenly throughout the next day. They don’t just disappear!

OKAY!! I hope this helps and I will talk to you again soon :)

Designing Summer I

Hello Reb-L’s it’s Morgan again!

As of Sunday April 23, 2017….. THE DASTRUPS ARE TRAINING!

This is the first of a series of blog posts about our training, eating, traveling, and creative health or fitness regimes as we train for the next figure/bikini competition in August.

This first week of cutting was a huge blow to my pride- I had just earned all these calories and all the sudden they get ripped out from underneath me. For anyone not familiar with carb-cycling, it is a personalized nutrition system to control your weight loss. I’m sure everyone is familiar with the “plateau” in progress that comes after a little while on a diet, but the idea here is that you gradually reduce caloric intake so you continue to take off weight. The cycle we follow is 3 days “low carb” (and fat), and then a “high carb” (but still budgeted) “refeed” day.

Weigh in happens the morning of every high carb day. To kick off this particular cutting season my dad (Mike) and I have started a competition to see who can lose 10 pounds fastest: I weighed in on Sunday at 165.2 and dad was 190.5. The winner gets their car detailed at the other’s expense!

Stay tuned for updates, creative workouts and food ideas, and informational videos as our training progresses!!!!!

So what exactly IS Body Building? Volume VII



I know this post is long….. BUT I’m reallyyyyyy excited about it so please read it anyway


Here’s the run-down of Saturday:

  • Wake up at 5am to shower and eat
  • Spray tans (yes, again) at 6:30
  • Eat again at 7
  • Makeup and hair
  • Rush out the door at 8:45 to almost get lost but finally make it to the athlete meeting at 9
  • Eat at 9
  • Show starts at 10
  • Suits and jewelry on, glued into suits, oiled down in the oiling room, practice posing
  • EAT 30 min out from stage
  • Pump-up routine to get our muscles activated and blood flowing
  • EAT AGAIN (just some candy for energy haha)
  • STAGE TIME!!!!!! Comparison posing in our classes… such a workout to hold the poses for so long, you can’t relax because then you’ll stick out and everyone will look better, oh and don’t forget to smile!
  • Face front, face side, back, other side, walk back and forth, keep your ribs pulled in, lengthen your waist, stretch out your legs, don’t stop smiling, get taller, eye contact with the judges, you’re not tired come on, butt out, shoulders down, elbows to the sides, don’t forget all the other steps we just went over, hold… hold… hold…
  • File off stage and get back in line for T-walks
  • Collapse on the couch backstage and eat a snack
  • Hang out with all the other athletes, take pictures, meet some FANTASTIC people
  • PRE- JUDGING OVER! Quickly pack up and back to the hotel for a nap… what a sport!
  • 3:30 hurry and touch up your hair and makeup… eat again… finals start at 5!
  • 4 o’clock wait for the valet to get the car………… 20 min later BACK ON THE ROAD
  • 5- FINALS BEGIN (don’t forget to eat)
  • Suits on, glued in, oiled up
  • Pushups in your heels and suit backstage to pump up (sounds funny but very common)
  • Get in line and back out on stage for a POSE-OFF… suddenly you need to think of all the possible poses you can do, and you better make them fluid, make sure your grab the judges attention, REMEMBER ALL THE STEPS FROM EARLIER, new variety, don’t be boring
  • File off stage to be brought on for awards
  • PLACEMENTS followed by shuffling backstage to eat an enormous cookie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Wait for everyone to be done…. Congratulate all your new friends, more pictures (with trophies and medals this time), change, and we are OUT!
  • Off to Cheesecake Factory!
  • An hour wait so we sat at the open seating in the bar area for the most delicious meal EVER: salad, meat, and of course……. CHEESECAKEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!! Omg most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted…. Couldn’t even finish…. Definitely not used to this much/kind of food
  • Hang out and back to the hotel with a food hangover and strangely enough ready to NOT eat like crap the next day… back on the nutrition plan!


Overall this was really SUCH a great experience. It was really cool to meet all the competitors that up until now I hadn’t really thought of as “real” people. The training through the summer was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Such mental focus and discipline, extreme dedication, and a test of mental, physical, and emotional strength. I can honestly say that I think I’m a better person from the experience, and the bond my sister, mom, and I have created this summer is incredible and life-long.

I want to put any misconceptions about body building to rest, as that is the main purpose of me writing this blog. Competing is NOT about being “sexy” but about extreme mental discipline (you read above what goes through your head while on stage) that is such a valuable skill that can be applied in any aspect of your life. I’m proud to say I’ve now done a competition and you better believe it’s on my resume!

I definitely plan on competing again and I would love to reach pro- status before I’m 25. I am so proud of myself, my sister, and my mom for our hard work this summer.

Like I said before… people with low self-esteem don’t do body building… people who do bodybuilding respect themselves, have the extreme mental focus, and work hard to look the way they do.


So what exactly IS Body Building? Volume V



Whether vacuuming in heels or drilling your T-walk, posing practice is obviously extremely important. There’s nothing worse than looking at a line of competitors for comparison posing and one sticks out because they don’t look confident or know how to emphasize their best features.

Sometimes practice can be a real eye-opener and make your ego plummet, and other days it can really help you to feel optimistic about the weeks to come. I’ve definitely had my share of disappointing posing sessions, feeling like I’ll never look the way I want to… and Becky can testify to that, but sometimes it’s hard to be pleased with your progress when you still see there’s so far to go.

The hardest part about posing is remembering all the different parts of your body, since nothing can move together. For example, the worst one is having to arch your back, but at the same time stand tall, while pulling your abs in, not letting your ribs pop out, and of course smiling the whole time.

A lot of people think that competing is just about being sexy and full of yourself and going up on stage to showcase how good you look. This is totally and completely wrong and could not possibly be “wronger” for lack of a better term. Now after actually training, I notice that posing is more of an art from than anything, and I don’t feel sexy at all while holding a pose and concentrating on a million things at once. Posing is definitely NOT easy.

Here’s our newest videos/pictures to showcase our posing practices. Youtube didn’t like my video because of the song so I just put a few pictures from my routine. Then underneath is Cami’s routine, and below that is me talking during my break from posing practice. Check it out and be ready for upcoming posts about PEAK/HELL WEEK! hahaaa





So what exactly IS Body Building? Volume IV


At Reb-L Fit we use a Nutrition program known as “reverse dieting” created by Doctor Layne Norton, where you gradually add food to your diet as you get used to the increasing calories. Since I started the program, I’ve been extremely surprised by how much weight I lost even while eating more and more food with each week.

The nutrition program taught me how important balancing macronutrients (carbs, fat, and protein) is. Over the past couple years, I realized that there is no “magic food” to eat and instantly lose weight, instead success comes from consistency and budgeting.

Since I’m training for this competition, I’m not currently reverse dieting, because I needed to lean out for the stage. Instead, I’m carb cycling along with my mom and sister. Carb cycling is eating lower carbs and fat with normal protein for 3 days and then the 4th day is weigh-in day and “high carb” day where we eat higher carbs to allow for weight loss while replenishing the liver and other organs.

High carb day is basically a holiday… it’s the simple things that are worth getting excited over.

Here are some videos of our daily eating procedures. As you can see, this program is a lifestyle change not just a one-and-done “diet”, and it definitely takes a lot of commitment, but the results speak for themselves!