Gratitude

Four days ago, I received this lovely journal and pen as a token of appreciation for helping a dear friend. For this I am grateful.

gratitude

The Serenity Prayer and the beauty of the cover inspired me to fill the baby blue colored pages with beautiful words. So, I’ve decided to use my new journal for something I’ve meant to do for a while.

I started a Gratitude journal and tonight I made my first of many entries. Yay!

Before bedtime each night, I’ve decided to reflect on the day and write down at least three things that I am grateful for.

A day that begins with mediation and ends with reflections of gratitude can only bring about more positive energy in my universe that, hopefully I can share with others. :)

Sweet dreams.

Try Something New!

I like to challenge myself. I like to learn – so I like to try new things and try to keep growing.

-David Schwimmer

I loooooove to try new things; it’s scary and fun!

If you are on a journey to live healthier, whether it is to eat better foods, get into better physical condition, or just to adapt a healthier lifestyle, it begins with having the courage to be open-minded to trying new things and a willingness to view life through a different lens.

I am so excited! Why? Because today I am trying not one, but two new recipes!! Heeey! I’m dancing around the kitchen. Lol!

To eat healthy and clean (as clean as possible), you have your staple food items (avocados, leafy greens, brown rice, quinoa, and more). However, the six meals a day can get boring really quick, so just like fitness, you’ve gotta mix it up!

This is suppose to be a quick post, so I’ve got get back to cooking, but check out the ingredients. I forgot to include the black beans and two other spices in the recipe, but everything else is included in the picture.

These ingredients may not look like much, but oh… wait until you see the results!

ingredients

I’ll chat with you later!  :)

 

 

Balancing Fitness

Just when I think I have this balance thing down something else gets added (by me of course) to the mix!  Lol!

If you follow Lexa’s Journal, you know that in May I competed in my first, and what I thought would be my “only” figure competition. “One and done,” is what I said.  Whelp!!!  Ya know, I’m already focusing on competition #2.  Ha! Ha!!  Will this be the last time I walk on stage??   Truly, only God knows! Lol!

Anyways, with this 8 month goal in mind, I must be careful about indulging in two of my favorite summer activities:

  1. CrossFitShape.com research estimates an average of 12.3 calories burned per minute in CF.  That’s just over 738 calories in one hour’s time.
  2. Running – According to the folks at sparkpeople.com, if I run 10 miles (which is a summer average for me), I’d burn close to 1,000 calories!!

If your goal is to burn calories and simply to lose weight, great, but…

 That is waaaay too many calories and muscle mass burned.  That’s a no-no for my fitness goals.

Does strength/weight training burn calories?  Absolutely, but it depends on the type of exercise, the weight, and the duration, but typically, you won’t burn as many calories as CF and running.

For now, balancing my fitness regimen focuses on my current goals (competition #2). Weight training four or five days a week and CrossFit one or two days and at least one rest day. Sounds like a lot?  Well…

Hard work pays off and I’m willing to put the time in. Are you?

So, I looked at the WOD for today and decided it wasn’t too bad. (I’m smiling)  I was sore from yesterday’s shoulder workout and Monday’s back, so this WOD was perfect:

SWOD:
rope climb practice

I am a work in progress when it comes to the rope climb.  Technique gets you up the rope, so I worked on my foot positioning.  I sweat like something crazy doing this, but I loved working with my favorite instructor Lisa.  She’s detailed oriented and never allow you to compromise on form.  Look for that quality in a CF instructor.  It matters. You’ll be thankful when you avoid injuries.

WOD: 20 min EMOM (every minute on the minute)
min 1 – 2 rope climbs
min 2 – 25 abmats (situps)
min 3 – 10 kbs swings + 10 kb push press 5l/5r 53/35
min 4 – 7 burpee box jumps

I did the modified rope climbs… 4 ground to standing. Everything else was cool. Sore shoulders prompted me to go lighter on the kettlebell exercises, so I used a 26lb KB.

While the workout wasn’t intense, it served as my cardio day and took one hour. Tomorrow is leg day, they’ll be ready and refreshed.

I’m going to try to get to the gym early tomorrow because we’re having a yard sale on Saturday and I have a lot of work to do.

garage

I’m all about de-cluttering and getting rid of stuff we don’t use.  I want to simplify everything in my life.  During the 10 years in our current home, we’ve accumulated too much and I just have to get rid of it.

I also need to get rid of clothes that no longer fit. About four to five months into my training, my body composition began changing.  My blouses grew tight around the back, shoulders and arms.  My pants started sagging in the rear, while others grew tight in the thighs.  My beautiful Calvin Klein winter dresses suddenly looked like they belonged to an older sister.

I no longer fit 99% of these clothes.

pants

I can put these pants on and off without unzipping or unbuttoning them. I had no idea this was going to happen!

dresses and tops

Look at this lovely pile of mostly spring and summer dresses and a few blouses!  It’s not like I lost 50 pounds or anything.. heck I didn’t really lose weight… I just developed muscle, loss fat, and sculpted a new physique.  Jeez!!  I’m still amazed.:)

CK dresses

This pile makes me want to cry!  I’m not a brand name person, but here lies beautiful designer suits and dresses.  It would cost more to pay for alterations than to buy new ones.  Sheesh!!

What doesn’t sell, I’ll give to a charity. Then come the fall, I have much shopping to do and I am going to have a blast shopping!

It’s getting late and I have a busy day.  Sweet dreams and thanks for stopping by! :)

After A Workout, Do this!

After a good workout, what should you do?

Eat!

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What should you eat you after a workout?

Healthy food such as:

  A complex carb + lean protein = Fuel & nourishment

One of my favorite summer post morning workout meals are steel cut oats with Jersey fresh blueberries.

I cook my steel oats two cups at a time in the crock pot. I prepare the oats according to package instructions, but I like to add my little twist to them.

What’s my spin? One medium to large peeled Fuji or Gala apple per cup of oats. One tablespoon of cinnamon, ground flax-seed, chia seeds, and a teaspoon of nutmeg. I also use part water and part almond milk (original).

With the oats already cooked, I don’t have to cook when I arrive home from the gym. I scoop out a half cup of cooked oats, toss in fresh blueberries and a little almond milk (to loosen ‘em up) and warm up the cereal in the microwave. Yummy, filling and full of fiber!  Fiber keeps the bowels moving, helps with cholesterol, blood sugar levels and maintaining healthy weight.  Nuff said!!  Lol!

I used to add bananas, but my trainer and friend hipped me to the sugar content. While training for my first figure competition, I really had to watch my sugar content, so due to the sugar, I reduced my banana intake.

While bananas are high in potassium (422 mg), high in carbs (27g), which are great for runners, they also contain a decent amount of sugar (14g).

Depending on your fitness goals, you may need to watch your sugar intake.

During the school year, when my schedule is tight, I prep the oats the same way. I pack the oats and take them to work with me and they serve as a morning snack. A full crock pot lasts me about a week.

If you are confused about the carb thing, it’s not as complicated at you think.  After reading, Tosca Reno’s, The Eat Clean Diet Recharged (which I’ve mentioned before), I got a better understanding of the “Good (complex) Carb” vs. the “Bad (simple) Carb” sensation.

The better or good carbs are known as complex carbohydrates.  The other carbs… are know as simple carbohydrates.  For more information on carbs, check out the list at the end of this post.

Today’s lean protein choice is a simple one.

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Hard boiled eggs (my lean protein source).

I boil about 18 eggs in advance and store them in the fridge. Again, if I don’t feel like cooking an omelet, I grab four eggs (two egg whites). The eggs are an excellent source of protein (6g of protein per egg).

Concerned about cholesterol?

According to the Mayo Clinic, 100% of the 186 mg of cholesterol is found in an egg is in the yolk of the egg. You can eliminate the cholesterol by only eating the egg white.

Okay, so if you’re a vegan or don’t eat a lot of meat, I didn’t forget about you. No problem! There are plenty of healthy protein alternatives, check out Health.com Top 13 Vegan and Vegetarian and Protein Sources. Seriously, I see a vegan life in my future.

Why Eat After A Workout?

Easily put, your body needs fuel… BEFORE and AFTER your workout.   I’ve read some complex articles on the topic, but I’ll try to keep this simple.

Like a car, your body needs fuel to perform optimally.The body needs a good source of fuel before you workout so you have the energy throughout your workout. No two bodies are the same.

How much and what you eat BEFORE your workout depends on the activity, the intensity, the duration, and your fitness goals. Of course you don’t want to overeat, but also for the sake of “losing weight,” you should avoid working out on an empty stomach because it is ineffective and wastes the time spent in the gym.

Remember the goal is to maintain a healthy lifestyle not to adapt an extreme diet that is unhealthy, unrealistic and something that you cannot keep up with for any great length of time. Beware of all the fad diets; they don’t work.

So after your workout, you’re feeling all good and pumped up. But now you have to complete the last step and refuel the body.

AFTER your workout, the faster the protein and carbohydrates get into your body the better. 

In one way or another, you’ve broken down and burned out your muscles.  The final step is to eat well (within the hour if possible) to nourish the body and allow your muscles to rebuild and repair.  If you don’t eat, the “rebuilding” process will not occur and you will have wasted valuable time and energy.

As soon as I walk off the gym floor, I head to the locker room. I wash my hands, drink a protein shake and eat a couple of  plain unsalted rice cakes. I learned this from my friend and trainer during my figure competition training. I usually drive straight home.

When I get home, the real post-workout meal gets wolfed down.

On this particular day, my post workout meal was the steel oats and hardboiled eggs.

Okay so I said way more than I planned in this post.  However, I felt necessary to elaborate because if you’re trying to change your lifestyle and get fit, you must learn to eat better.

You can work out 24/7, but if you skip meals, eat crap (processed foods) before or after your workout, eat garbage on your rest days, you won’t see results.  I am asked about what and how I eat, so I’m taking the time to share what I’ve learned with you.

Think consistency. There are no easy fixes. Think lifestyle!

I hope this info helps.

Keep it movin’ :)

Additional Readings

The Carbohydrate Manifesto

CDC Nutrition For Everyone- Carbohydrates

Good Carbs, Bad Carbs October – Bread

Post Workout Nutrition

Never Diet Again!