***I penned the following about a very dear friend of mine, Tiffany Rae. Congratulations, hot mama! You continue to inspire!***
For nearly 15 years, Tiffany Rae has been a presence on the world fitness stage. Although she’s competed in numerous federations and racked up trophies and titles, an international first place finish still eluded her. Until now. The first weekend in March, the wife, mother of two, volunteer, coach, choreographer, and writer took the stage at Fitness Helsinki in Norway and won first in Bikini Classic, then took the Overall Champion title in Bikini Class. The stage veteran credits her win to clean eating, consistent workouts, rest, and a secret weapon—Choffy.
“People assume that I must live in the gym, but I’m a mom. Raising my boys is my top priority. I only work out three days a week, but I have years of training, building muscle, and figuring out what foods work for me. I eat as cleanly as possible, but I’m still a mom who sometimes licks the spatula on the cupcake batter for her kids!” said Tiffany.
Tiffany’s career in fitness began in high school with gymnastics and diving and has grown to encompass coaching experience in gymnastics, cheerleading, dance, varsity tennis, and of course, fitness. When injuries recently prevented her from training in her favorite category, she decided to take a chance and branch out to the bikini competition.
Unlike fitness, which scores competitors on a swimsuit and physically demanding active stage routine round, the bikini competition is more focused on a physique’s proportion, symmetry, and balance. Without her standout tumbling performances, Tiffany knew clean eating would play a key role in honing her physique for the Helsinki stage. There was one problem, though—a big sweet tooth. A friend introduced her to Choffy and she didn’t look back.
Choffy, which is a drink made of ground roasted cocoa beans (instead of coffee beans), is a perfect choice for athletes. An 8 oz cup has more antioxidants than nearly 2 servings of blueberries. Instead of caffeine, the stimulant in raw cacao is theobrimine, which doesn’t have the same “crash” effect as caffeine. The theobromine is a myocardial stimulant as well as a vasodilator; it increases heartbeat, yet it also dilates blood vessels, causing a reduced blood pressure and greater blood circulation. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Choffy contains phenylethylamine (PEA) and anandamide. PEA is an adrenal-related chemical that aids alertness. Anandamide is the chemical present in our brain when we feel good. It causes changes in blood pressure and blood-sugar levels, leading to feelings of excitement and alertness, without being addictive.
Tiffany’s win was particularly sweet since it came at a stressful time in her personal and professional life. Job conflicts, injuries, and her husband’s work schedule were all working against her, but she prevailed.
“Yes, the commitment is worth it. I used to see myself as the athletic gymnast, who could only shine in the fitness category. It was such a surprise for me to win not only Bikini Classic, but Overall Bikini at this prestigious international competition. I’m still in awe it happened!” said Tiffany.