I can’t believe TONIGHT is THE night – the live finale is actually here! As I ready myself for this culminating event, I thought I would share some of my “bests” of the show. Tonight is going to be incredibly nostalgic and I can’t wait for the results! Walk through the past 12 weeks with me as I look back I my favorite moments – whether sad, funny, or delicious!
There were SO many moments that rain high on the list of best moments. I proved many times over to myself “why NOT me!”, but I think the best moment was going to my closet with my mom and sister and THROWING OUT my “big girl” clothes. When I held up my size 18 jeans and they practically wrapped around me, tears flooded. And the best part, my mom and sister were there to share it. So many things happened on the ranch away from my family and this time is was family time!
The night when Pam went home was probably one of the saddest moments on the Ranch. That was the night I no longer had a team and was fearful that I would not make it on my own.
On Camera: For me, it was HYSTERICAL when Jeff and Jackson were off the ranch doing their Last Chance Workout with trashcans! HAHA – Oh yeah and when Jackson said I was probably running a 10k. Love those two!
Off Camera: As some of you may know, compression wear is worn under garments to help smooth unwanted pudge lines. What you may not know is that they can also be used as dance suits and runway. In the beginning of the season all the BL men received one-piece body suits. Well, what better than to showcase their before bodies than with a photo shoot. This was the most hilarious moment as Big Mike and Nathan struck runway poses showing of their sleek bods in these body suits. But best of all was Jackson who DANCED off and shook his booty in his new slim lines! SO FUNNY! (Photos/videos will remain behind the scenes. Wink!)
Best Moment with Jillian
Week five without a doubt was my favorite! I mean, we had great times over all, but that week! This was the first week on my own and Jill and I came to an understanding – I would do the work; she had to trust me. AND IT WORKED! Jill and I had a moment that weigh in that I will never forget. She told me she was proud of me! And from that moment on I knew we would be SO strong! (her calling me her workout buddy during parkour was pretty sweet, too!)
Many people have asked how many calories the contestants consume on the ranch. This honestly is different for every person. We are all tested and given appropriate caloric intakes for our height, weight, age, gender and metabolic rate. We are all different and we should have different diets. People also seem to think we have a chef on the ranch and we do, the 15 contestants! We all had to learn how to make our own meals and figure out their nutritional value. So here is one of my favorite dishes that we came up with
Eggplant Parm with Turkey Bolognaise
Eggplant (cut ½” think slices on an angle for longer pieces)
1 cup organic low-sodium marinara
4 oz. lean ground turkey
¼ cup diced onion
1 garlic clove (minced)
1 tsp. olive oil
¼ c. low-fat mozzarella
1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan
1. Brush both sides of eggplant with olive oil and grill on each side until tender. Set aside.
2. Bolognaise: Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add ground turkey and cook through. Add marinara and any other seasonings you desire (oregano, crushed red pepper (NO SALT) and cook to simmer.
3. On an oven safe dish, layer first slice of eggplant, top with spoonful of bolognaise on top and sprinkle with a pinch of mozzarella. Repeat until you have one beautiful stack (if its too high stack on an angle).
4. Final touch, top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Place under the broiler until golden brown. ENJOY!
I hope this reminds people to enjoy the moments. Sometimes we get wrapped up in the end picture and forget to enjoy the ride. Tonight is one of the BIGGEST nights of my life, but it was also the best chapter in my new book of life. WISH ME LUCK!
images by Trae Patton/NBC and Carin Baer/NBC