Thursday, January 29, 2009

25 Random Things

So a couple of friends have tagged me for 25 Random Things About Me. Thought I would indulge in a little self-promotion and actually do it. So here are 25 totally random things about me, followed by my meals and training for the day.
  1. just ate broccoli and home made hummus
  2. wish I could make home made broccoli
  3. will forget your name the first time I meet you
  4. will ask you outright what your name is the second time I meet you
  5. am not ashamed about asking for your name again
  6. am returning 2 dvd's to amazon this week because they arrived defective- great return procedure
  7. love my curly hair
  8. love your straight hair
  9. think people don't talk enough, let's have more conversations with one another
  10. danced on the tables at a duelling pianos lounge last weekend-with my business partners (they were up there first!)
  11. have been described as 'regal'
  12. believe that making and keeping human relationships healthy is the meaning of life
  13. want to play more volleyball
  14. ate a whole bag of Hershey's new Cherry kisses two nights ago
  15. am afraid of the dark
  16. believe that yoga detoxifies
  17. will be an ex-pat in the future
  18. want to take care of you, so let me do it
  19. believe you make it hard for others to show they love you by not asking for help
  20. am grateful
  21. think that nutrition largely determines your mental and physical capacity to thrive
  22. am surprised at how easy it is to find 25 random things about myself
  23. wonder how hard it would be to find 25 random things about your partner, or friend
  24. daily make mistakes which make me smack myself over the head and laugh
  25. am not as smart as I think I am

Meals and Training
515am: 45 min cardio pilates
600am: 1Tsbp raisins to ward off dizziness from low blood sugar
730am: 5egg white omelet with spanish onions, spinach, mushrooms, 1/4c creamy rice, 2T salba, 2T ground flax, 1tsp coconut oil, 2c mate tea
1030: 3 rice cakes, 3/4c 1% cottage cheese, 1 medium ripe tomato open faced sandwiches
12-100pm: step class with weights
130pm: 1.5c vegetable chicken soup, 1/4 apple
430pm: 1.5c raw vegetables w/ 4Tbsp hummus
630pm: (planned) ground turkey salad with 3Tbsp salsa and 1Tbsp sour cream

Trip to Costco tonight to make meals for my husband while I am away in Austin, Texas for the next week. The guy's gotta eat while I'm gone.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wellsphere: Online Health Community

Wellsphere- check this website out; it's a warehouse for housing articles, blogs and discussions on health topics which range from fitness, recipes, stress management, healthy pregnancy to special diets.

Fresh Today: Meals and Training
So here's what's going on today for me:
700am: egg white, spinach, tomato and red onion omlette, 1/4c creamy rice cereal with splenda and cinnamon, 2T ground flax, 2T salba, 1t coconut oil, 2c mate tea
1030am: chicken breast, brown rice
1200-100pm: 40 min cardio/weight training combo
130pm: 2c homemade vegetable soup, 1/2 apple
330pm: 1c mixed raw vegetables (carrots, broccoli, green pepper), hummus
700pm: (planned) tilapia, steamed vegetables
I dramatically decreased my protein intake today; I found an old picture of myself which I loved. In the foreground of the picture was my tupperware containers filled to the brim with fresh vegetables and in the background, the fridge with the meal plan I was following at that time posted on it. And there I was, skin clear, at my ideal slim weight with a huge smile on my face and in my eyes. So I searched the computer for my meal plan I followed around that time. I'm changing back to something with less protein, and lots more fresh vegetables. Let's see if I can steady my mood swings, clear my skin, and lose my extra weight by going back to a time when I really loved myself and the nutrition plan I followed.
Do you have a picture of yourself you love? How does your self compare to your self in that picture? What about those pictures you have which you hate?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fresh Today: Meals and Training

Then the speaker asks if we could possibly change all 60 pot-lights and 100 chandelier lights to a brighter light bulb because she feels it's just too dark in the room. Oh, and by the way- the plants in the room are giving off the wrong energy. Needless to say I've had an exhausting day and this goes on until Saturday. So I didn't get my cardio in today, but my leg work in the morning was peaceful. I also had to just grab nibbles between managing sound, catering and coordination staff. So my meals were what I had planned them to be, but not at the right times, and not all of it was eaten.
530am: 45 min glute/leg work
700am: Hearty High Fiber/Protein pancakes with strawberry jam (no sugar added)
1100am: 3oz chicken breast, 1/2c brown rice, 1Tbsp ketchup
130pm: 1.5c turkey vegetable soup
430pm: 2.5oz tuna with lemon juice, handful (maybe 3oz) baby carrots
I have no idea when I'll get to eat supper, but it will be vegetables and lean protein.
Then sleeeeep before the madness that is the next 3 days begins.
The question on my mind is will I be able to maintain my morning workouts with my super early mornings? I know I won't be able to do my second workout, so the morning ones are the only ones I could do. What if I took the next three days off workouts? Would that be helpful to get me through the long days? Or would a workout give me more energy for the day?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mathematically the Most Depressing Day of 2009

I said to a coworker yesterday who was a little down about not keeping her New Year's resolutions to lose weight that "You can exercise, and diet all you want, but if you're stressed you won't lose a pound"- good advice- I should listen to myself speak; the rare occasion I come up with gems- rarely.
She wasn't the only one feeling blue yesterday- apparently a lot of people were! Mathematically, it was determined to be the most depressing day of the year. Using functions like "fading Christmas memories, cold weather and broken New Years resolutiotns" the Dr. Cliff Aranall created a formula which spits out a calendar date which we may be blue; and more likely to eat a huge bowl of ice cream, or a couple pills or pints to soothe ourselves. Experts also said people are more likely to call in sick as seasonal illnesses peak.
How did you feel yesterday?

Staving off the blues, I stuck to my healthy lifestyle plan today: Fresh Today- Meals and Training
500am: 45 min Dance cardio
700am: 6 egg whites, 1/4 tomato, 1c spinach, 1/4 red pepper omlette, 1/4c creamy rice cereal, 2T salba, 2T flax, 1T coconut oil, 2T raisins, splenda, cinnamon
1000am: 3oz chicken breast, 1/2c brown rice
1210-1250: 40 min fitness class, weights and cardio
100pm: 1.5c turkey vegetable soup, 1 small apple
400pm: 3oz chicken breast, 6oz raw organic baby carrots, 2 T salsa
700pm: (planned) beef tenderloin stir fry (3oz beef, 1c vegetables)
Some partners are flying in from Colorado tonight, and I'm on the clock until Saturday at 7pm- calling on my stamina and health to get me through early mornings, on course and late nights entertaining my partners in my great city.

Hearty High-Fiber/Protein Pancakes

Hearty High-Fiber/Protein Pancakes (1 serving)
1/2 c oats (uncontaminated if you have a gluten intolerance)
2T ground salba
2T ground flaxseeds
2T psyllium husks
2 tsp splenda
cinnamon to taste
6 egg whites (3/4c measure of egg beaters egg whites only)
Heat pan over medium-low heat. Mix dry ingredients together. Add egg whites to dry, stir and allow to thicken slightly. Don't leave this mixture too long before cooking as it can get too thick really quickly as psyllium, salba and flax absorb liquid easily and fast. Cook on hot pan, makes 4 large pancakes. Top with 3Tbsp warm sugar-free maple syrup or agave nectar, or your favorite no-sugar added fruit preserves.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fresh Monday: Meals and Training

A beautiful, balmy winter day here in the heart of the new west. The weekend is over, the week has begun and I need clean fuel and a body-load of oxygen to get me past this intense week. So here goes:
500am: 45 min cardio pilates
700am: 6egg whites, 1/4 red pepper, 1 c spinach omlette, 1/4c creamy rice cereal, 1Tbsp craisins, 1Tbsp coconut oil, 2T salba, 2T ground flax seeds, 2c mate tea
900-930am: 30 min telliptical cardio routine- starting at resistance level 2, increase your resistance every minute up to level 8, then lower back to 2 and repeat for as many intervals as you have time for
1000am: 3oz chicken breast, 1/2c brown rice, 1 organic gala apple (small)
1230pm: 1.5c turkey vegetable soup
330pm: (planned) 6oz baby organic carrots, 1 small can Ocean's flavoured tuna in my fave flavour- Peanut Satay!
630pm: (planned) 3oz tuna, 1c salad greens, 1/2 tomato, 1/4 bell pepper and 2Tbsp vinaigrette

When you find yourself facing a daunting task or intense work week, what do you to do constructively prepare for it? Often times we choose to let our fitness and healthy eating go aside and let the 'stuff' of the day and week fill it in- this results in a drain of energy and negative feelings about the tasks at hand.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bulk Cooking for the Week

7 days of meals for work for myself and my husband:
  • 130 meatballs
  • 12lbs mashed yams
  • 9c brown rice
  • 15 chicken breasts
  • 6c vegetable turkey soup
  • 6c vegetable soup (I didn't add meat, so I could freeze this and add tofu, chicken, or turkey whenever I heated the meal depending on my preference)
Half of these will go into the fridge, and the other half into the freezer for the latter half of the week. I did all of this cooking in 4 hours on Saturday afternoon, normally I spend at least that much time one day on the weekend doing it. I cook breakfast and supper fresh every night, so these just go into our lunch boxes each day.
1. Plan out your meals for the week, going through each day, each meal, writing them out in your planner.
2. Make a grocery list which includes all of the food you will need to make all of the meals, including what you need for breakfast and suppers at home.
3. Cross off the ones you already have in your home, and organize the remaining list by where you shop for it (ie. Market- vegetables, Costco- meat, egg whites, eggs, Coop-the rest)
4. Shop, come home and wash all your fruit and vegetables before you put them away.
5. Start cooking! Put what needs to bake in the oven right away so you can prep and make the stovetop items while they bake.
6. Ensure all of your food storage containers are clean and ready to be filled
7. Get out our kitchen scale and measuring cups. Measure portions into your containers, chopping meat into bite sized chunks (eliminating the need to pack a sharp object in your bag and the potential for being arrested for carrying said sharp object around)
Now, enjoy an entire week of easy to access meals . Stick with it and your body and mind will show you how happy they can make you.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cocoa Nibs Shortbread

The cookies in the picture are about the size of a twoonie in diameter- cute little gluten-free shortbread cookies using cocoa nibs as an accent. Shortbread is one of the few cookies where rice or corn flours or starches result in a better texture than wheat flour- a gluten-free favorite!

Cocoa Nib Shortbread
adapted from Fitness and Freebies
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup icing confectioners' sugar
1 cup rice flour

3/4 cup butter

Sift cornstarch, sugar and rice flour together.
Add butter. Mix with hands until soft dough forms. Form into a log about the diameter of a twoonie, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour. Cut dough into slices about 1.5cm thick. Place about 1-1/4 inches apart on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 300 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Fresh Today: Meals and Training
No training today at all, I looked at my calendar and discovered I had not had a day of pure rest for 16 days- that means I've had one or two workouts a day for 16 days straight. I could tell that my body was exhausted this morning when I got up at 515am and was struggling through my workout. 10 minutes into it I shut it down and sat for a meditation instead. I love mornings and was awake anyway; going back to bed wasn't appealing and meditation gives me more rejuvenation than laying awake in bed waiting to get up.
These are my planned meals for today:
730am: 6 egg whites, 2T ground salba, 2T ground flax, 2T psyllium husks, 1/2c oats (into pancakes), 1T coconut oil, 2T agave nectar, 2c coffee (a treat!)
1030am: 3oz chicken breast, 1/2c yams
100pm: 3oz ground turkey in veggie chili (about 1.5c total)
400pm: 1 small can oceans flavoured tuna (dill), 8oz baby carrots, 2T vinaigrette (not sure when I'll get this meal as I've got a client consult between 2pm and 4pm)
630pm: 3oz ground turkey with sauted peppers and tomatoes over salad greens

Take care of yourself today!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cocoa Nibs

A healthy alternative to chocolate chips in all of your baking (and other) chocolate needs! Cocoa nibs are an edible casing of the cocoa bean, between the outer shell and the bean. So far, I've used cocoa nibs in the following:
  • Cocoa-nib shortbread cookies (the sweetness of the shortbread paired brilliantly with the bitter, dark chocolate of the nibs;
  • As a topping for my creamy rice cereal (chocolate in hot cereal! with a Tbsp of peanut butter, it's dessert in the AM);
  • As a mix-into trail mix in place of chocolate chips
  • Admittedly, straight out of the fridge by the spoonful (not classy, but stops the craving for chocolate on the spot!
The Food Network has some suggestions for using them as well. And The Spice House has a great description of them as well as an online ordering option. I purchase mine in the bulk section of Planet Organic.

Fresh Today: Meals and Training
515am: 45 min cardio (plyometrics)
730am: 6 egg whites, 2 mushrooms, 2 baby tomatoes omlette, 1/4c creamy rice cereal with 2Tbsp cocoa (also cacao) nibs, 1Tbsp raisins, 2c mate tea
1030am: 3oz chicken breast, 1/2c yams
1210-1240pm: 40 min fitness class (step aerobics, triceps, lats)
130pm: 1 apple (post workout), 1.25c turkey and vegetable chili
430pm: 3oz chicken breast, 8oz carrots, 2Tbsp vinaigrette
700pm: (planned) 3oz ground turkey on salad greens (taco salad without the taco)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fresh Today: Meals and Training

Hello. It's frighteningly cold here, and it's surprising how my body is craving high-carbohydrate food like nothing else. I'd love to indulge into one of the gluten-free White-chocolate Cranberry scones I made on the weekend and froze for company, but I'm committed to another day of eating clean. There's nothing better I can do for myself- sticking to my chosen lifestyle plan for my own well-being.
This is what I indulged in for myself today:
515am: 45 min leg/glute work
730am: 6 egg whites, 1/2c uncontaminated oats*, 2T flax, 2T psyllium husk, 2T ground salba, 1Tbsp coconut oil, 1 apple (sauteed to top my pancakes made of aforementioned ingredients), 2c mate tea
915-945am: 30 min cardio, treadmill at 6.5 incline and 4.0 speed (brisk uphill walk)
1030am: 1/2 apple, 3oz chicken breast, 1/2c brown rice, 2Tbsp BBQ sauce
100pm: 1c vegetable and ground turkey chili, 1/2 apple
330pm: 3oz chicken breast, 8oz raw organic carrots, 2Tbsp vinaigrette
630pm: (planned) 3oz ground turkey on salad greens (modified taco salad, without the taco)
Supplements: 2 multivitamins, 2 calcium, adrenal support, fish oil
Macros for today: 1792 calories, 62.9g fat (30%), 166.4g carbs (36%), 143.5g protein (33%)
I try to stay at about 30% fat, 30% carbs, 40% protein, so I need to drop carbs and increase protein slightly.
Workout Info: Leg/Glute work burned approximately 305 calories, Treadmill walk burned about 280 calories, Yoga burned about 128 calories
If I get time, I'd like to do anther 45 min yoga this evening, last night it cleared my head so well and I even awoke this morning with a lingering sense of calm and peace. I want my husband to join me to help with his insomnia, but he is convinced he's a chemically-dependent sleeper and won't try anything but drugs to help him sleep at night.

Do you notice any different cravings during different points in your day? during different weather patterns?

*Uncontaminated oats are the only variety of oats that are gluten free. They are usually found in a health food superstore; I find mine in the bulk section of Planet Organic for the same price as Quaker oats in Coop. One can also buy them in small, packaged cereal bags by "Just Oats". These are pricier.

Childhood Diet Influences Future Health

A University of Calgary researcher has evidence that your childhood diet may affect your body's ability to gain and lose fat and muscle later in life. Follow the link on the quote to read the rest of this article:
"If you have trouble keeping weight off and you're wondering why- the surprising answer may well be the cheeseburgers you ate- when you were a toddler..."

Fresh Tuesday: Meals and Training
My Tuesday went well- how was yours? The following is a summary and the picture above is a homage to the brilliant fresh organic carrots I found for a great price at the farmer's market this weekend.
515am- slept in instead of a workout; first time in a long time where I just gave into my body's need to sleep. Felt good and I still have my second workout later.
730am- 6 egg whites, 1/2c raw pepper omlette, 1/4c creamy rice cereal, 2Tbsp raisins, 2T flax, 2T salba, 2T psyllium fibre, 1Tbsp coconut oil, 2c mate tea
1030am- 3oz chicken breast chunks, 1/2c brown rice, 2Tbsp HP sauce
12-1pm- 40 min fitness class (weights and cardio)
130pm- 3oz ground turkey with 1c sauted vegetables chili, 1 apple
430-3oz chicken breast strips with 8oz raw organic carrots
700- 3oz shrimp, 1.5c sauted vegetables, 1c lemon tea
Supplements: 2 multivitamins, calcium, fish oil, holy basil, adrenal support

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Treats on the Weekend

I remember watching an episode of cribs on MTV (junk TV I know) where Harley Pasternak guru of the 5 factor diet had hid his Kraft cheese from the cameras, but admitted to having it in the house just so that the viewers knew he was 'human'. He is in impecable shape, and his clients are too. His job is to look great, as his body is his best marketing tool. So if he can hide a little Kraft cheese, and 'fess up to being human then I'm going to 'fess up too.
This weekend I didn't stick to my meal plan, I ate less than I planned and ended up getting too hungry and filling myself with cookies and candy instead of my planned wholesome food. The results are feeling embarassed and disappointed- even afraid of looking in the mirror, getting dressed and going out in public. That is how important it is to stay on track, but to be kind to myself. Planning one enjoyable meal, so I don't feel deprived is essential every week, rather than letting it go by the wayside for friends and familie's ideas of enjoyable. Also important is having those wholesome foods prepared and neatly packaged for easy access. That said, it was just as easy for me to grab yams and chicken breast as it was for me to grab monster cookies and almond rocca this weekend, so a real hard look at the way that food makes me feel is key in keeping on track.
So my schedule this week is gentle and kind, so guilt does not take over.
Tuesday: AM- sleep in PM-40 min fitness class
Wednesday: AM-Leg/Glute pilates work PM-30 min treadmill cardio
Thursday: AM-Cardio pilates work PM- 40 min fitness class
Friday: AM- Arms/Back/Chest/Legs pilates work PM-30 min treadmill cardio
Saturday: AM- Dance cardio (45min) PM- Power yoga
Sunday: Burlesquercise (90 min)

My planned menu this week:
Breakfast: 6 egg whites, 1/2c veggies, 1/4c creamy rice cereal, 2Tbsp raisins
Brunch: 3oz chicken breast, 1/2c brown rice, 2Tbsp condiment (BBQ, ketchup etc)
Lunch: 3oz ground turkey in turkey-vegetable chili
Afternoon snack: 30z chicken breast or 1 small can tuna, 1c raw carrots, 2Tbsp condiments
Supper: 3oz chicken breast or white fish, 1c vegetables
Post-workout: 1 apple in addition to planned meal after 2nd workout

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fresh Saturday

Here is my log for Saturday:
800am: 45 min Dance Cardio
900am: 6 egg white omlette, 1/2 gluten free bagel w/ 1Tbsp light cream cheese
1100am: 90 min Power Yoga
1230pm: 2/3c skim cottage cheese, 1/2 gluten free bagel w/ 1 Tbsp light cream cheese
330pm: 1 small can Ocean's flavoured tuna, 1c raw carrots
600pm: Chicken and vegetable saute at Bambu at Stampede Casino

I treated myself with the bagel and cream cheese today; I can't be too strict on my meal plan because withholding on my cravings is a huge precursor to eating too much of the wrong thing later (binging). So, when I do stray from my meal plan, I document it but partake in gratitude and guiltless enjoyment. Balance is the key so one does not feel deprived or helmed in by their own controls.

Unfortunately, Bambu was the worst Thai restaurant we had ever eaten in. The service was slow, orders missed and late, appetizers came for my friends after their main course. It was greasy and they had only a small selection of their usual menu available. They kindly created a dish for me that was not on the menu (I didn't want noodles or rice) but it did come sauteed in soy sauce. And for celiac's that is not 'a good thing'. Soy sauce contains wheat and therefore, gluten. Not a good option. There is a pub in the casino, 1913 which may be a better pre-game option if you park there for the free parking and walk to the game at the Saddledome.

Off to my Sunday morning burlesquercise class with my good friend. 90 min of sexy fitness- so much fun.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance?

Cardio training does not have to be restricted to a treadmill, elliptical, bike or to the pavement. Today, in the middle of our office I turned on my Songbird playlist entitled "Workout" and just danced. It helps you get comfortable with your own body, and the way you move. You can work up a sweat if you challenge yourself and incorporate burpees, knee lifts, jumps, jumps, squats and lunges. And time flies by; this was my playlist this morning (changes every time I do a dance workout):

Cardio Fitness Dance Workout (45 minutes approx.)
No One- Alicia Keys (warm-up, slow side-steps, squats)
I Didn't Steal Your Boyfriend- Ashlee Simpson (deep squats, toe touches, jumps)
Crazy in Love- Beyonce and Jay Z (booty shakes, shoulder shakes, knee ups)
Never too Late- Hedley (lunges, arm circles, shoulder presses, bicep curls)
The Devil Went Down to Georgia-The Charle Daniels Band (fast feet, speed drills)
Survivor- Desitny's Child (Oblique lifts, burpees)
Don't take my heart away- Jake (Salsa and Mambo steps)
Waking up in Vegas- Katy Perry (Jumps)
Unbelivable- EMF (Side squats, side lunges, lat raises)
I Like the Way You Move- Bodyrockers (shoulder circles, ham curls)
Mercy- Duffy (Jazz step)
Delayed Devotion-Duffy (Cool down steps)
Take a Bow-Rihanna (Cool down ballet, stretching)

Yes, I was a pop-tart today. I was in the mood for some Saturday sunshine. Next playlist will include Bif Naked, Marilyn Manson, 12 Stones, Against Me!, AFI. I'm not discriminatory.

Have a great Saturday.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Fresh Today: Meals and Training

Here are my goings on today:

515am: Burn and Firm Pilates (45 minutes)
730am: 6 egg white omlette, 2 mushrooms, 1/2c spinach, 1/4c Bob's Red Mill Creamy Rice cereal, 2Tbsp dry cranberries, 1tsp agave nectar
1030am: 3oz chicken breast, 1/2c yams
100pm: 1c borscht (lean turkey)
400pm: 3oz chicken breast, 1c raw carrots (planned)
700pm: 3oz tuna, 1c salad greens (planned)

I need need need some yoga, so I will do 90 minutes tomorrow on top of my cardio. Also looking forward to going to a pro-lacrosse game with friends, and a 2nd Wedding Anniversary dinner this weekend. Did you know the gift for a 2nd wedding anniversary is cotton?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Vegetable Miso Soup

Obviously I need a little help from food bloggers like Lynn who are experts at food photography. Sad photo aside, here is a recipe for a soup I use as a lunch or supper in the winter. Full of vegetables and protein, this is a comfortable bowl to slip into. Soups in general are easy suppers: saute a few vegetables together (whatever you have in the fridge is fine), add some lean protein and soup stock and you have a satisfying, healthy way to end the day.

Vegetable Miso Soup (4 servings)

1/4 leek, halved and chopped
4 mushrooms, sliced
2 baby bok choy heads, chopped, including leaves
1 baby zucchini (also called Italian zucchini)
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp sesame oil
4 cups beef broth (low sodium, gluten gree)
6 oz extra firm, organic tofu*
1 Tbsp organic miso*
Get out your soup pot (any old medium sized pot will do). Add oil, leek and garlic. Saute until leek softened and garlic is aromatic. Add zucchini and mushrooms and tofu, saute briefly. Add stock and bring to a boil. Add bok choy and simmer until bok choy softened slightly. Remove from heat and stir in miso until dissovled. Serve hot. Store leftovers in individual servings (leftover glass jars from jams etc. are best) for lunch or suppers.

Buying organic tofu and miso is very important. Soybeans, like other beans, are one of the most toxicity-prone products out there. Chemicals and impurities gather in soybeans and remain in higher concentrations.

Group Fitness- Is it for you?

"Jump! For my love! Jump-in!" danced through the studio sound system as 24 women aerobercised to the left and one uncoordinated soul to the right. No, that poor soul was not me, but she was beside me, causing a quick step to avoid her. Bless her, I thought; she had been out of coordination for the entire 40min class but still had the largest smile on her face.

A 40 minute fitness class between 12 and 1 is part of my new fitness schedule on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Group fitness classes are outside of my safety zone, as I'm much more likely to head to the gym with my headphones on and pump out a split alone to music which does not include "Jump! For my Love!". But these are the reasons I joined group fitness classes this time around:
  1. My weight room is too busy in January: with all the New Years resolutions to be worked out on the benches there are sometimes 4 people (usually men) working in on one of them; I work out in the largest fitness facility in the city, so if I experience this, I know you do too. Joining a group class ensures my spot in a fitness function without having to bustle my way in among the often inexperienced new years' gymies
  2. Cardio equipment has line-ps in January: Yes, with 2-3 people standing behind a treadmill, waiting for their turn to punish their fat cells it's hard to see the actual cardio equipment. I'll wait till these gymies taper out in mid Feb to attempt any cardio in the gym. A group fitness class whips me into cardio zones I don't push myself into. Sometimes faster than I am used to, sometimes slower, they are teaching me that variety is exciting, and rest is important as well.
  3. Meeting new people: This has been the scariest part of the group fitness experience. There are women there who have named their firstborns after the fitness instructor and can tell you what studio they teach in on what day. Their choreographed movements mirror the instructor's perfectly- and who the hell am I to bust in on their clique? I'm the newby, who is just as insecure about my appearance and fitness level as they are, and I'm smiling and sweating along with them. Common ground found, and laughing and clapping together at the end of a sweat session is inevitable by the end of the 3rd class.
  4. Challenge yourself: I work myself harder than anyone else, but that only means picking up the 25lb'er instead of the 15lb'er. Going heavier or faster is not always the best training decision to create results. Challenging your body in different ways, through different sports and methods of training can create astounding differences in your body shape and fitness level. The first 40 min Fitness class humbled me greatly as I couldn't move my arms for such sore shoulders, shocking as normally I throw up more lat lifts in the gym, but doing it differently in class was so effective.
So incorporating group classes into my routine makes my schedule read as follows:
Monday: 30 min cardio, 1 hour Pilates advanced group class
Tuesday: Full body workout, 40 minute Fitness group class
Wednesday: Lower body workout, 30 min cardio
Thursday: 40 minute Fitness group class
Friday: Full body workout, 30 min cardio
Saturday: 90 min power yoga
Sunday: 90 min dance class

And for interests sake (mine, not yours probably) my meals since monday have read as follows:
Monday: 6 egg white omlette, 1/4c creamy rice cereal/ 1/2c yams, 3oz chicken breast/ 3oz tuna, 1 small apple, 1c mixed vegetables/ 3oz chicken breast, 1c raw carrots/ 3 oz chicken breast, 1c mixed greens
Tuesday: 6 egg white omlette, 1/4c creamy rice cereal/ 1/2c yams, 3oz chicken breast/ 1.5c borscht (lean turkey), 1 small apple/ 1.5c vegetable miso tofu soup/ 1/2c plain non-fat yogurt, 1 scoop Optimum Nutrition Whey protein
Wednesday: 6 egg white omlette, 1/4c creamy rice cereal/ 1/2c yams, 3oz chicken/ 1.5c borscht (lean turkey), 1 small apple/ 3oz chicken breast, 1c raw carrots/ 1.5c vegetable miso tofu soup
Thursday (planned): 6 egg white gluten-free oat pancakes with 1/8c plain non-fat yogurt as topping/ 3oz chicken breast, 1/2c yams/ 1.5c borscht, 1 small apple/ 3oz chicken breast, 1c raw carrots/ 3oz sesame baked tofu, roasted tomatoes and spagetti squash

Supplements (daily): 2T ground flax, 2T salba, 1T coconut oil, 2 calcium, 2 muiltivitamins, 2 holy basil, 2 adrenal support, 1 fish oil, 2c mate tea, at least 5L water and up to 3 cups of green tea, sugar free gum.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

21 Days

If you are a member of the human population (most likely) then you have either committed to a new habit as a new year's resolution, or entirely rejected the resolution concept postulating that you can commit to anything, anytime regardless of the calendar date. It's my experience that we fall into one or the other. Most likely, if you have set a resolution, then it is one of the following:
1. Get fit/Lose weight- this is the number one resolution to make each year, and I bet that many of us make this one every single new years. Even enjoying one or two more pints on December 31 just because you're going cold turkey the next day.
2. Reduce debt- normally I would say this would be lower down the list of common resolutions, but I'm placing it at second place because of the current recessional climate. Isn't this one ironic, considering all those Christmas presents you just bought weeks ago are sitting on that credit card? And won't you do the same next year to ensure little daughter Mabel gets her pony or son Dustin gets his Wii?
3. Start saving- related to the previous resolution and very common. My dad always said to have 3 months living expenses in cash saved up just in case. How many of us have that kind of cash (not credit!) available?
4. Devotion- spending more time with God, Allah, your inner divine presence (whatever you subscribe to). This can include joining a church young adult group, meditation or even daily Yoga practice.
5. Spending more time with family and friends- I hope that this one caught a lot of us this year. I'm currently reading a book that suggests that making and cultivating positive relationships is the purpose of the human species. So use those bipedal hips and walk over to see your neighbor.
Now if yours is not listed, share it in the comment section. There are many changes we could make; what an exciting time of year to be able to recommit to them. For those of you who eschew making resolutions, make today that day you commit- doesn't matter what calendar day it is right?
Now whatever you have chosen:
1. Practice it for 21 days straight- it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Take a 21 day challenge to do 10 minutes of yoga a day, for example. Or pack your lunch to work for 3 straight weeks.
2. Make it Applicable to your current lifestyle. I may say I want to write a book this year, but as I'm currently focused on a professional career, and master's degree a book is outside my sphere of focus. Instead, I'll focus on developing a professional leadership blog.
3. Ensure it is Realistic in light of your resource supply; it should comfortably fit within your time and money available to you. Do not stretch yourself to afford a pricey personal trainer, instead enroll in group fitness classes as an example.