How did you get started?
Fitness is a passion that has taken over and changed my life in every way. As a teen, I replaced dancing with weight training on my own accord, and enjoyed the improvements to my body and self esteem.
The gym became my sanctuary – throwing on my music and pumping out a killer workout is how I deal with stress. There have been difficult times in my life where I could be found there at 3 am! This passion became a sport for me when I had hit a plateau and needed a goal to help me take my physique to the next level. Learning proper dieting techniques while training for my first show likely saved me from developing an eating disorder (which is why I am so proud to share my knowledge now with other women through ContestPrep.com). The new information also corrected errors in my approach to exercise (such as too much cardio). When stepping on stage to win that first Fitness competition, ‘Jewels’ re-invented herself and finally discovered the right path in life.
What your diet consists of and why?
I admittedly eat low carb when dieting for a show or big photo-shoot – it’s the only way I can get my lower body to lean out the way I like. I do feel energetic, happy and healthy eating this way, and my workouts are killer, so my body has adjusted. I also don’t do cheat meals – I find they are an unhealthy obsession for me, and I am left feeling disappointed, puffy and discouraged. Instead I treat myself to a massage or go shopping if I need a reward for my hard work or break from my routine. A few of my ‘happy places’ in Winnipeg are Paramix on Osborne, Splurge on River, Lululemon and Aldo – it’s always worthwhile to be fit when I rock that new outfit to the gym or to an event!
What supplements do you use?
I believe food is the best supplement – there is no quick, over the counter fix for a bad diet. However there are certainly fantastic products that can help in addition to clean eating. I use CLA, BCAAs, Glutamend, Omega Oil, Pre-workout supplements such as Fubar, creatine (Purple K), SubQ at certain times of the year to help my fat loss and energy levels, Magnum r BioX protein powders, and ALWAYS incorporate a multivitamin to ensure my body has all the nutrients it needs.
Example of diet
- Meal 1: Chicken Breast or Lean Beef with 3 Egg Whites and Fusion Omega Oil
- Meal 2 is (Pre workout) Protein Shake with Glutamend, SubQ and Purple K and Veggies
- Meal 3: (Post workout) Protein Shake with Glutamend
- Meal 4: Chicken Breast or Lean Beef with 3 Egg Whites and Fusion Omega Oil
- Meal 5: Salad with lean protein (i.e. Tuna, Salmon, Chicken)
- Meal 6: Lean protein (i.e. Tuna, Salmon, Chicken) and Nuts or Progressive VegeGreens in Magnum Chocolate protein powder
What does your current work-out routine look like?
My workout routine has varied over the years – it’s interesting to try different splits and schedules to see what your body responds best to. My winning physique is built with 3 workouts per day – cardio before breakfast, weight training (early afternoon) and cardio again before my final meal of the day.
- Monday: Legs
- Tuesday: Shoulders
- Wednesday: Back/Arms
- Thursday: Rest
- Friday: Legs
- Saturday: Shoulders
- Sunday: Back/Arms
What are your max lifts?
Rather than excelling for my strength in the gym, I think I stand out for my endurance and flexibility. I will begin a leg workout with BB Squats to 185 + lbs, but superset each set with pop squats, burpees, bosu ball squats or glute hip thrusts x 20-30 reps, and stretch into splits. My upper body workouts often incorporate core with every superset, and I can shoulder press 50 lb DBs then do a few handstand push-ups or hold a handstand plank for 30-60 seconds!
What’s your favourite cheat meal?
My parents would say Ritz Crackers! lol. Honestly, I’ve mastered being motivated enough to nail any diet plan – I rarely take cheats anymore. When I do, I love sushi, a glass of wine, yam fries or Divine Swine Diana’s Gourmet Pizza.
Who is your favourite bodybuilder, strongman or powerlifter?
Craig Bonnett – My Husband (www.craigbonnett.com)
If you could give someone any advice, what would it be?
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger