Sunday, January 31, 2010

Week 4 2010 Workouts

Oh Activity!
Sunday: 75min Baptiste Vinyasa Flow at Hot Yoga studio
Monday: 45 min cardio (treadmill walk and intervals), 30 min Hatha Yoga (for my ailing shoulders and back)
Tuesday: 45 min cardio (treadmill incline walk), 30 min Morning Yoga Flow
Wednesday: 45 min cardio, 45 min yoga sculpt class
Thursday: Off
Friday: 60 Yoga for Strength from
Saturday: 45 min cardio, 30 min yoga
I was sorry to miss my spin class this week, but if I could pick one time in the grande scheme of this year (forseen) this would be the busiest, so something had to give. I made good choices and reduced my stress by working out when I could. I got a lot of deep sleep, and got my sorry butt out of bed early (5am!) to get my workouts in before work. No time to breathe as managed a three day conference from 7am-7pm Thurs/Fri/Sat. I only survived the stress by maintaining a vital lifestyle.

Week 4 Meal Plan

Meals Plan:

1. 6 egg whites, handful spinach, mushrooms
2. oatmeal, with raisins (still livin' a little by treating myself to raisins)
3. beans and rice combo with roasted veg
4. raw vegetable sticks
5. vegetable soup, big green salad
Post-workout-1/2 serving Vega
Husband is away for work again this week, so I'm all on my own. I like a simple soup for supper, and not having to make another meal for him- but I do miss that guy.
Monday night I had a couple gluten free graham crackers with almond butter and bernard callebaut chips. This was total stress eating as one event at work sent me into a spin I didn't want to pull myself out of. Incorporating more mental strength training (yoga) will help me regain my composure when it comes to stress eating. And more importantly, I'm not going to get stressed about eating.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Week 3 2010 Workouts

Monday: 30 min treadmill (incline 5.0, speed 3.8), 30 min heart opening flow
Tuesday: 50 min spin class (first time!), 30 min hip opening flow
Wednesday: 50 min yoga sculpt class (first time!)
Thursday: 60 min treadmill (incline 1.0, speed 4.0), 30 min yoga
Friday: 30 min treadmill walk
Saturday: 45 min treadmill, including intervals
Sunday: 75 min Baptiste Vinyasa flow (Hot!)

Today's BV hot yoga flow was as incredible as last week's. It tested my mental ability to return to a focused frame of mind in the wake of disturbances- but not because of the physical requirements of the class. An over-eager eagle pose resulted in a smashed light in the studio; disturbing the class and embarassing me to no end. But interestingly enough, I saw it all happening as an observer. Hm, that glass is broken, I think it will fall. It's's crashing...I'll clean that up. No big issue, no big worries. The class went on, and I did too after it was cleared away.

Any other proof needed that regular yoga practice creates mental strength? Not for me.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Week 3 Meal Plan

I saw a picture of Rhianna on her yacht, enjoying a corona and I thought to myself- if she can have a drink every once in a while, then gosh dammit I can too! It got me thinking about how rigid I have become with my nutrition, and further- has it got me where I want to be? Is it helping me live a better life, or is it hindering my spontaneous, fun-loving spirit? I think I need to ease up a bit and enjoy life (and that means food too!)

Meals This Week:
1. Egg white and mushroom/spinach omelet, green tea
2. 1/4 + 1/8 c oats (measured dry) with blueberries (livin' a little!)
3. 2/3c beans and rice with roasted vegetables
4. 6oz (a medium ziploc container) organic carrot sticks
5. Big green salad with half an avocado and roasted vegetables
Post-Workout: 1/2 serving Vega (non-flavoured)
Still having lots of water- so good for mind, hair, skin etc.

How do you push the edges of rigidity? Does it make you feel free, or guilty?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Week 2- Meal Plan

Simplicity- the surest way to success and no stress.

Week 2 of 2010 this was my meal plan:
1. 6 egg whites, with spinach and mushrooms
2. 1/3c creamy rice cereal (measured dry), 2T ground flax
3. 2/3c red beans and quinoa mix, unlimited vegetables (either mixed veg or spagetti squash this week)
4. 1-2c raw vegetables (mostly carrot sticks), 1T sunflower seeds, 1T pumpkin seeds, ~10 almonds
5. Big green organic lovely salad and spaghetti squash
Post work-out: 1/2 serving Vega Whole Food shake

I was craving a banana muffin, but gluten intolerance and health goals really don't make me comfortable indulging. So Wednesday I added half a banana to my creamy rice- got the flavour and the warm feeling without the consequences of feeding a food allergy and straying from my simple meal plan.

An improvement over last week was staying off the wine in the eve's. I don't normally have any, but last week I had a glass two times. I will have some this Friday though! For our 3rd year wedding anniversary (Tuesday) Husband and I are celebrating with a night on the town (including dinner) on Friday. I'll eat whatever strikes me, and only as much as I want. I don't envision ordering a prime rib dinner and polishing it off myself. That won't make me feel good.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Week 2- Workouts

Oh it's been a good week so far! I began the week with a pair of really sore legs from home renos over the weekend, hence the Hatha yoga instead of a Power yoga flow on Sunday. It's so important to choose an activity that meets your body's needs at the moment of activity. Don't force anything, but let yourself be inspired and challenged. Being in tune with your body's requirements does not mean losing the edge of a hard workout.

Again, my activity plan this week includes at least 5 days of cardio, and at least 5 days of strength training (body weight and hand weights).

Sunday: 40 min incline treadmill walk, 30 min Hatha Yoga
Monday: 30 min Heart Opening Flow, 30 min incline treadmill walk
Tuesday: 30 min Baptiste Power Yoga Flow
Wednesday: 30 min Yoga With Weights, 30 min bike (in prep for my spinning class that starts next week!)
Thursday: 30 min Hip Opening Yoga, 30 min incline treadmill walk, 20 min bike intervals (a friend joined me in the gym and pushed me HARD!)
Friday: 45 min pilates/cardio blend DVD, 30 min Heart Opening Flow yoga
Saturday: 90 min Baptiste Vinyasa Flow (A new voyage out into the public session yoga world- wish me no embarrassment on the mat!)

I am starting to attend yoga sessions in addition to my home practice; I want to start learning from other people, different styles, and tips on alignment which I can't do on my own.

What kind of classes are you taking this winter? Any really interesting new classes out there (Zumba?)?

Roasted Rutabagas

image from Senior Study Vegetables (Purdue)
In season in the winter, a nice warm winter vegetable to comfort you on cold -22C days like today is. Rutabagas are so mildly flavoured on their own, with a slight tang, so you can spice them any way you like them. A nice toss with olive oil and then try a basil and oregano spice combination before roasting, or as I did below, something a little sweeter.

Roasted Rutabaga
2 medium sized rutabagas
olive oil

Wash the rutabagas, no need to peel. Chop into small square chunks (think hashbrown size) and toss in olive oil. Season with spices as you like, pour onto cookie sheet or into roasting pan and bake in your oven at 400F for 30 min, stirring occasionally. Broil if you like for the last few minutes for a nice brown toasty surface. Serve warm.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Week 1 2010 Activity

This week I continue my routine combining cardio with yoga and I am feeeeeling gooood (insert sexy Michael Buble audio clip here). On Monday and Tuesday I opted for the elliptical because I feel a pinch in my lower back lately and thought the treadmill was too high impact for it. I am being gentle and giving it time to heal and sticking to a rigorous cardio schedule. There is room for both- be flexible.
Most of the yoga sessions are from

: 30 min sun salutations yoga- focusing on back bends to work out some kinks & 30 min elliptical (jogging speed)

Tuesday: 30 min Baptiste Power Yoga Flow #3 & 30 min elliptical (jogging speed) David Farmar conveys the demanding nature of a Baptise flow with an encouraging and inclusive (and often humorous) voice. I enjoy many of his classes

Wednesday: 30 min Yoga Sculpt #1 (Dawnelle is a great facilitator- her cues are specific and well timed. The flow is vigorous and challenging.)

Thursday: 30 min Hip Opening Flow #4 (not a challenging flow, but inspired if your hips are tight- mine were from the elliptical) & 30 min treadmill walk (no incline to allow my back some rest)

Friday: 30 min Hot Power Fusion #1 (Looking forward to trying this one for the first time & 30 min treadmill walk (no incline yet)

Saturday: 30 min treadmill walk or Fat Burning Pilates DVD (standing pilates-inspired workout ~40 min)

Sunday: 60-90min of yoga, depending on how I feel. I might try the 60 min Hot Power Fusion #1 class, or perhaps my go-to favorite longer class- 90 min Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga #1

Since October 2009 I have been using yoga as my strength training and have been doing lighter cardio (no intervals, no sprints, no heavy jogging) and have felt a change in my body. I have also been asked if I have gotten taller and leaner. I believe that the activity you choose to do, shapes your physique so it adapts to handle the intensity and intention behind your workouts. I have lost muscle size, but gained tone; I feel more feminine and light as a result. The lighter cardio has maintained my cardiovascular health (in combination with vinyasa flow sessions). Sometimes I put on a more intense workout DVD on the weekends and find myself easily hurdling intense intervals and weight work during those session. I am coming to the realization that one does not have to work hard to achieve overall wellness, only work consistently and with the purest intention to create wellness.
Looking forward to checking in next week.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Meal Plan Week 1-2010

Week 1 of 2010 this was my meal plan:
1. 6 egg whites, topped with sauteed spinach and either tomatoes or mushrooms, seasoned with S&P and salsa
2. 3/8c (measured dry) gluten-free oats (Only Oats), 2T flax seeds, sweetened with 1Tbsp agave nectar3. 1/2c brown rice and sprouted mung beans (mixed) and roasted vegetables
4. 2c (approx) mixed raw vegetable sticks including carrots, peppers, cucumbers etc., side of mixed seeds & nuts (1Tbsp sunflower seeds, 1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds, 10 almonds)
5. 1 large green salad including 1/2 avocado, tomatoes, etc. and more roasted vegetables
Post Work-out: 1/2 serving (1 scoop) Vega Whole Food Optimizer
As always I drink as much water as I possibly can (at least 3L a day). I get home from the office and unwind with a cup of caffeine-free herbal tea.
My roasted vegetables this week were big treats- roasted rutabagas and roasted brussel sprouts. I had roasted them separately, but mixed them as I wanted. I'm trying to stay seasonal and rutabagas are a good root vegetable to have in the winter months.
Wednesday morning I wanted a cup of coffee, so I had one with almond milk and agave nectar. And Tuesday night I wanted something sweet so I sipped a can of diet (splenda-sweetened) pop, but only drank about 1/4 of it.
It's a pretty nicely balanced week.
Out with friends I had a glass of red wine, and then switched to soda water with a lime wedge (so I don't miss out on the ritual of having a drink with friends, and maintain moderation). Husband had his favourite- Moose Tracks ice cream on Friday (his 'cheat meal') and I had a small bowl.
Now, I'm looking forward to week 2. There are turkey meatballs in the oven for Husband's meals. I've also got a pot of brown rice steaming, and a pot of black beans boiling on the stove for both our meals. It's going to be another great week.

Eat Food- The Solution to our Woes

Watch Michael Pollan dispense the answer to our worlds' health crisis: "Eat Food!" on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Pollan on Jon Stewart

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Monday, January 4, 2010

Intentions for 2010

I have gotten so many inquiries about advice for motivation, for ambition, for workout programs and healthy eating tips in the last two weeks and I thought I would lay them down here. I'm re-commiting to each of the following which I have dispensed to close friends trusting in me for guidance, but also as a participant in them myself. A good whop in the arse is exactly what I need from myself:
So, to stick to our intentions for 2010:
1. Be your BIGGEST fan- be kind to yourself. Setbacks will happen, you will cry and you will support yourself like your own best friend
2. Be consistent, be consistent, be consistent- when making a change, you are building a mountain using grains of sand.
That's it. Two simple suggestions to guide our thoughts, and then our actions towards success.
Biggest Fan icon from the Dictionary of Automotive Terms
A colleague of mine committed to a healthier lifestyle in a BIG way this year and is using a blog to maintain motivation and I hope like me, it builds a community of support for her. In addition to her, I have watched so many beautiful women commit to something new in the last few months, both a cousin and friend of mine reached a 20lb weight loss goal in December (way to go girls! You inspire me!). So regardless of the day you choose to change, I raise my water bottle to you in sisterhood in healthy choices.