Saturday, April 19, 2014

Workout of the Week for April 19, 2014

I would like to introduce my first (of what should be many) 
Workout of the Week.

Each week or so, I hope to share one of my workouts. I am not trained or certified in personal training, but I have seen results in the workouts I create for myself. 

Perhaps these posts will inspire someone else to begin working out at home and that would be terrific. 

This is a dumbbell workout, targeting these main muscle groups: chest, back, thighs and glutes. The core, shoulders, triceps, and calves are secondary muscle groups being worked. 

My home gym equipment I am using today: 
             A fitness ball, 2-15lbs dumbbells, and a foam roller

The Workout:

Warm-up: I did a 3 minute warm-up of alternating jumping jacks and high knees.  
                  20 repetitions before switching off to do the next, repeating for 3 minutes 

Superset 1: Dumbbell (DB) Squat and DB Stiff-legged Deadlift
                     3 sets of 15 repetitions for each exercise.  I rested about 1 minute before beginning the next superset.  

Superset 2: One-armed DB Row and DB Chest Press on Exercise Ball
                     *3 sets of 15 repetitions for each exercise.  I rested about 1 minute before beginning the next superset.

Giant Set: Exercise Ball Leg Curl with Upright DB Row and 
                  DB Curtsy Lunge with Alternating Push-up with Foam Roller
                 *I did these 4 exercises back to back for 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions each.  
                  At the end of the Giant Set I rested for about 30-45 seconds before completing the set again. 


And that concludes my workout.  This took me about 35 minutes and I did stretch afterwards for about 5 minutes.  

Post Workout Nutrition: 1/2 scoop of MRM Chocolate Veggie Protein Powder mixed with water and about 45 minutes a PB and Berry Jam sandwich on whole wheat.  
For the most part I try to limit how much wheat I eat, but every now and then, a PBJ is where it is at!. 

Stay tuned for next post as I will cover what foods I make over the weekend to help me save time preparing meals during the week.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Typical Nutritional Dense Day of Eating for Me

Beeakfast: Pineapple, banana, kale smoothie using coconut water and Vanilla Plant Fusion Protein Powder. 
*I started drinking it and remember that I wanted to take a picture*

Morning Snack: with Adams Creamy Peanut Butter

Lunch: Vegan veggie stuffed lasagna with a little Daiya cheese with a very large spinach and romaine salad. I added tomato, cucumber, purple cabbage, Kamala olives, and a homemade balsamic dressing.

Afternoon Snack: Hummus, carrots, celery. 

Dinner: Black bean and rice, veggie enchilada casserole. I added a little Daiya again and cilantro avocado lime cream. 

This post shows a typical NUTRITIONALLY DENSE day of eating for me. Recently, this is how I strive to eat most of the time. I do make my own hummus, lasagna, and cassaroles for the week on Saturday and Sunday. 
To help me cut dairy from my diet I have begin adding Daiya non-dairy cheese substitute to certain foods in order to help me transition back to not eating dairy. 

What does a healthy day of eating look like for you? 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Juggling Family, Work, and a Fit Lifestyle

The Adjustment Period

At the end of December I returned back to work.  I am a legal assistant at a small law firm in Tacoma, Washington. So far I am really enjoying where I work and the attorney I work for. Recently, I received a promotion and will now be working full time.  I am looking forward to the added responsibility.  

As the title of this post alludes, for the past five months I have been learning to adjust to working again and how to best prioritize my time to maximize family time, while fitting in decent workouts. The first couple of months, I worked on planning and eating nutrient dense meals and spending quality time with my family.  Slowly I begun to add in short and intense workout and a run every now and then.  

So that is where I am now. 

Links to My Favorite FREE Workout Sites 

I still LOVE workouts and have also started using as a source of excellent workouts, and Ekhart Yoga and other Yoga teachers that post their videos on Youtube.  I recommend highly to utilizing free workout sources on the web.  

My Fit Body

I have pretty much been the same weight since I last posted pictures  back in November. Sometimes a little less and sometimes a little more.  Now I am back to losing but that is because my dietary decision have been smart and consistent, especially during the week.

I am far stronger than I was back in November as I can do 5 sets of 10-12 beautiful push-ups  and my average mile per hour is less than 10 minutes if I am running without the double jogger.  

Saw the below picture on Pinterest and it reminded me that fitness and health goals should both be short and long term.  
Right now I am focusing on small short term goals about 2 to 4 weeks at a time. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

My Macro Meals

              Homemade miso soup
                         Miso soup 
    Carrot, avocado, brown rice sushi roll
Sweet potato, adzuki and red beans, and broccoli bowl with cashew cheez drizzled

Chickpea flour pancake with red pepper and green onion with cashew cheez and kalamata olives

I did not eat the meals above in one day, but over a few days last week. The rest of the days were filled with green mega smoothies, and vegan tofu and noodle soup, and the occassional pb chocolate chip cookie. 
I am posting this from my phone so I will update the links for the recipes soon. 

Be inspired and try a new recipe this week! 

Macro Meals and January Goals

The macrobiotic diet was first introduced to me when I read Alicia Silvestone's "The Kind Diet" in 2011. It is a lifestyle diet that is rooted in Japanese cuisine. Simple whole food meals that utilize the benefits of fermented foods and sea vegetables to maximize the nutritional profile of grain, tofu/bean, vegetable dishes. Miso soup is a part of most meals, fruit is an accent to dishes, and most important for me is that all the recipes I have come across are really easy to put together. 

For quite some time, I have wanted to move towards eating more sea vegetables. Think: wakame, hijika, nori, kombu seaweeds. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, tempeh, miso paste are also staples in a macro diet. I have been a little distracted in incorporating those foods in my diet again as I have been baking cookies. Eating large quantities of cookies and candies have led to more poor eating habits. Moderation in indulgent eating is something that remains a mystery to me. 

Feeling lethargic is not something that I am used to but when I eat a lot of sugar and white flour containing foods, that is what happens to me. I have felt truely unmotivated to do even the basic of tasks. >>> I have a mountain of laundry that is not going to put itself away. <<<

So this is me creating a end of December  and January goal for myself: 

1. Get back to eating more Macro Meals! 

I need to replenish the dwindling supply of healthy gut bacteria by eating more fermented foods. 

As for eating more sea vegetables, I have a healthy supply of wakame, nori, kombu, and hijika in my cupboard so no need to buy any right now. I just have to USE IT! 

My workouts have been so-so, this past week fairly non existent but the week before I did 4 workouts. It is hard to have the desire to workout after eating 2 dozen cookies in 3 days. I know that once I COMPLETELY removed the sugar and white flour from my diet, my desire to workout will return. For now I will not make any sweeping exercise goals and just focus on eating more whole foods again. 

This is me at around 165lbs. If I was eating healthier around this weight I would not be so concerned; that is not the case. My weight has plateaued here for the past few months because of poor food choices; therefore, I am looking forward to recommitting myself to healthy eating habits again. 

Are there any dietary goals that you are looking forward to accomplishing in the near future? 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Day 30 of Challenge and Losing Motivation to Workout and Eat Healthy

Last week was the end of the the challenge.  I fell behind a little bit so I am really on day 24, which is not a big deal as of all the gains I have made in strength and agility since the start of the challenge.  I have re-learned that pushing myself out of my fitness-comfort zone is much more important than I make it.

Two weeks ago, I had a major hissy fit with myself fitness and dietary-wise.  During the last week if October, in terms of diet, I  purposefully ate large quantities of Halloween candy and Earth Balance slathered whole wheat toast, and lots of apples and bananas.  I am not even sure that I made a proper dinner that week. Fortunately I had the maternal instinct to feed my little guys sensible and nutritious food even it I did not for myself.  As for my workouts', and the challenge I did 20 minutes of the 1 hour 15 minute workout on that Monday and did not do another thing until Friday when I took the boys for a 40 minute walk.  I just did not want to put any effort into what I was feeding my body and strengthening my body.  This happens and it is not the end of the world, it just makes for some low energy levels and constipation. I saw this meme on one day and saved it because it is so very true. For example: puffy belly- too much sugar and wheat in your diet.

That next Monday, I added back fruit and greens smoothies and made a homemade red lentil and butternut squash soup that is so dreamy and scrumptious that I will be making again very soon. Around Thursday as if to rebel again I bought ice cream, chocolate cookies, tortilla chips, a bag of frozen French fries, and candy bars. This is me is full food rebellion stage. I KNOW my body needs greens, fruits, legumes, seeds, and filling starches for optimal performance. the problem is I am a little afraid to give up those sweets and treats again. I was not miserable without them, I am miserable with them. This past Sunday my dietary habits began returning back to normalcy and today I am back into full fledge plant -strong vegan meals and snacks. The game plan this Friday is to make a giant soup full of vegetables, a pan of roasted vegetaes, and black bean, quinoa, sweet potato patties. Along with a fruit and vegetable smoothie and a lovely bowl of oatmeal or chia pudding I should've go off the dietary deep end.

A wonderful romaine salad I had with roasted sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower, and almond butter Thai dressing

Indian chickpea flour and vegetable pancakes with steamed green and onions. This looks messy but was so delicious. 

Those pictures hopefully with remind me of the nourishing and energy giving power whole foods have for me. 

Here's to staying consistent with healthy eating habits and exercise! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 Challenge 1/3 of the way through!

It is Day 10 of the challenge and I am still going strong. I am seeing some noticeable difference in my energy levels as I am working out, and all other times. Something else that is noticeable is that fact that I am much stronger than I previously thought and it shows. Really starting to see the muscular definition throughout my body and less cellulite on the back of my hips and bum (three loud huzzah's for that one)!

Running is still a priority for me as I have cut a couple challenge workouts short, knowing that I needed to run later on that day.  I know I could probably do both the runs and the challenge a few times a week, but since the cardio component of the HIIT challenge is so predominant I am cautious to not overuse those muscles.  My knees and ankles have always been susceptible to injuries because of overuse.  As I get older, I am highly aware of the damage I did in during my high school athletic days and do not want to worsen those injuries.  This is working so far for me.

Eating nutrient-dense meals are very important for my to maintain energy levels and produce nutritious breast milk for my little guy.  Somedays I feel that my diet is higher in fat than it might be if I was not breastfeeding. Since the fats that I eat are whole food sources like nuts and seeds, I feel that I am truly providing my baby with milk filled with essential fatty acids for healthy brain development.  Dark, leafy greens, beans, and lentils also make up a a fair portion of my daily meals.

My favorite seeds to eat currently are hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds.  I am planning on making a hemp seed salad dressing once my almond butter dressing runs out in a few days.  My husband and I get all of our hard to find foods like hemp seeds and chia seeds from Vitacost, which sells those items as well as gluten free items, athletic supplements, protein powders, ect.  Check them out as some of their items are really inexpensive compared to buying it at the store.  For example chia seeds are $8.99-10.99 a pound on Vitacost; whereas at out local WinCo, chia seeds are $13.49  per pound.

That is it for now, eat healthy foods and exercise often even if it is walking around your neighborhood.