For 31-year-old Sarah Brown, health and fitness is a huge part of her family dynamic. So much so that she says, “Our son has been attending bodybuilding and fitness events with us since he was 6 days old! Yes, days!”
It’s no surprise because being active is definitely in Brown’s DNA. As a teen, she dabbled in ice skating and competitive cheerleading, and she even earned a black belt in seidokan karate. Back in 2011 when she went to a bodybuilding show with her husband (who is a bodybuilder), she saw the Bikini division for the first time and thought, Now that’s a great look for me. I want to prep for one of these shows. She asked her husband to train her, and she placed in the top five at the Flex Bikini Model Search in early 2012. “From that point on, I was hooked!” Just five months later, she competed in her first NPC show. “I loved training for something and setting a goal for myself,” Brown says.
After some trial and error Brown, who is sponsored by Optimum Nutrition, developed a practical approach to nutrition. “It took me a while, trying out different diet techniques and playing with my macros to really grasp what works for me,” Brown says. “Moderation and balance are the keys to success. I really had to change the way I looked at food. I made it more of a life change than a diet; diets seem restrictive and immediately make you start craving the foods you know you shouldn’t have. Healthy and nutritional foods make me feel better and more energized. While I enjoy cheat meals from time to time, if I don’t go overboard, I’m able to have them more often and keep from having cravings.”
While managing her salon, working on her clients (she is a cosmetologist), helping her son with his homework, competing and being a wife, Brown still dedicates time to get her training in and prep her meals. “It’s not always easy, but if you make it a priority, you will find a way to get it done,” she says.
Sarah’s Favorite Optimum Nutrition Products
Opti-Women Multivitamin: It’s packed with 40 active ingredients, including botanicals and antioxidants.
Protein Water: Not only does it contain 20 grams of protein, but it’s also conveniently pre-mixed and supports hydration and muscle recovery.
Fitness Fiber: I have this every day mixed with my morning cup of coffee. It provides digestive support and helps me reach my daily recommended intake of fiber, which most people lack.
Essential Amino Energy: I love this because I can use it as anytime energy by taking just a couple of scoops, or I can add a couple of more scoops and use it as a preworkout. It never makes me jittery, and it’s packed full of aminos.
Gold Standard 100% Whey: I love this stuff because there are so many different delicious flavors. It is also very versatile. I love to add it into my oatmeal or pancake mix.
Sarah’s Sample One-Day Meal Plan
Breakfast: ½ cup egg whites, 1 whole egg, 2 slices Ezekiel toast with light spread of honey or spray butter
Snack 1: 2 scoops Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey protein in water
Lunch: 1 fish fillet and 5 asparagus spears
Snack: Optimum Nutrition Opti-Bar
Dinner: 6 oz sirloin steak and 6 oz sweet potato fries, small salad with mixed leafy greens and garden veggies with oil and balsamic vinegar*
*I usually train at night, so I like to have carbs with my last meal on training days.
Learn more about Optimum Nutrition's complete line of products, here.