Cool as a cucumber

There should be a rule that Mondays will always be sunny, warm, and not busy; then I might like them a little more.  At least for the first 7 hours of the day.  Waking up knowing that I get to deliver papers in a steamy van while it’s pouring down rain is not my idea of a happy Monday.

Unfortunately, my teacher didn’t cancel my 9 o’clock class… So, I found it more beneficial to stay home and get more homework done.  Did I mention it was raining out?  I swear I’ll go on Wednesday (because it’s my last day of that class)… sorry Mom and Dad.

But, my Mondays always get better when I start jamming to music and get ready to go WOD at Fit Bodies CrossFit.

5 rounds:

5 burpee power cleans (135/95#)

35 double unders

Then, run 400m (or row 500m)

I should have thought ahead and wore different pants for double unders because mine kept slipping down after about 10 double unders.  So that made for a lot of whip marks and a slower time, but oh well.  Definitely a fun WOD and I got to run in the rain afterwards!

After an uplifting, healthy, and exciting hour-ish at my home-away-from-home, I had the pleasure of sitting through 50 minutes of lecture on eating, um, “healthy”.  This might have been the 10th time I’ve heard this lecture so it makes it even more annoying.

“Make 65% of your calories carbohydrates.  Eat whole grains for nutrients.  Avoid fat.  Vegetable oils are “good fat.'”

Seriously.  I want to pull my hair out and scream every time my teacher clicks on a new slide.  I wish I could bring in Robb Wolf and have him grill my teacher.  I can’t wait until all this junk about grains and dairy is shown and taught to everyone so they learn how terrible it is for you.  Ignorance and money.  F-you government!

Enough ranting.  Let me tell you about my wonderful new little treat that I tried last night.  Props to Three-diets-one-dinner for the idea!  I omitted the radishes because they make me want to hurl, but these tuna salad filled cucumbers hit the spot.

Sorry for the craptastic picture. My phone is my only camera.

I have an over-abundance of food in my fridge right now, just waiting to be made into yummy recipes.  I may try some new things tonight!  If only my kitchen was bigger than my bathroom and my stove top cooked food evenly…

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Tick tock, tick tock…

Sunday morning – usually the only day of the week I am able to sleep in and I wake up at 6:57am.  Oh well.  I guess that means my internal clock is alive and ticking well!

So I have very mixed feelings about this coming week.

The good thing is that it’s my last week of classes. EVER. Although I may miss having the status of a student, I will not miss school.  Not one bit of it.  I more of a work-and-make-money girl than a go-to-class-everyday-and-get-lectured-at girl.  Also, it is my last week of being a cool paper delivery lady.  HALLELUJAH!

The bad thing about this week is that the weather is supposed to be crappy and rainy.  Typical central Illinois, ew.  Oh, and I have a couple tests and shtuff that is all piled on this week.  Just in time for the week before finals.  Thank you, teachers.  Looks like I’m going to be spending some quality time sippin’ on some tea at Starbucks this week!

As for health and food news… Went to see the movie Cabin in the Woods last night and it was just plain weird.  Not scary, just messed up and fake.  But, the tempting aroma of popcorn didn’t lure me in!  Neither did the huge advertisements of the ice cream they sell there.  All I had to do was imagine how ungodly bloated and sick I would be if I ate either one of those.  Total turn-off.  I waited until I got home to eat some grub.

My obsession is still with shredded zucchini.  If you don’t have a food processor, get one.  They are so worth it and make being a health nut that much easier.  I am going to try to whip up some new sauces for my meats and veggies today so hopefully they are successful and I can share!

Yesterday I went to the gym to lift some heavy $h!t because what’s more fun than that on a Saturday morning?!  Sumo deadlifts were the lift of choice.  Hellllloooo knee socks!  Although there were no PRs, I stayed at a decent weight for 7 sets of singles.  My glutes and my hams thank me.

Stay tuned for some new recipes!  I have a feeling that this icky weather will kick my cooking into overdrive and  I will once again have a stocked fridge of irresistable goodies.

Iiiiiiit’s Friday!

I officially made it through  day 30 of the Whole30 challenge.  So, I decided day 31 called for a little reward…

I drove to McDonald’s and got the pancake breakfast with extra syrup, a bacon-egg McMuffin, and a yogurt parfait.  I hit up Starbuck’s on the way home to grab a Venti White Mocha Latte and slurped it down before I even had a chance to walk into my apartment.

HA! Got ya! Juuuuust kidding!  That’d be awful.  Today is like every other day of eating for me… Egg quiche for breakfast with some avocado.  So much better than the carb coma um, “breakfast” that I wrote about above.  Ew, if I really ate that, I would either be passed out about to explode or in the bathroom all day.  Make that all week.  Prior to being strict Whole30 or Paleo, I learned my lesson the hard way about cheating and I’m not sure I want to experience that again.

Yesterday might have been a near-perfect day.  For one, it was warm and sunny which made for minimal goosebumps and freezing hands (that’s always a plus!!). Two, the lunch crew WOD was buzzing with super motivating and positive energy and we all killed the WOD!  Here’s what we did:

13 min AMRAP:

5 hang power cleans (95#/135# or 115#/155# for Rx+)

10 plyo pushups

150m sprint

I was feeling extra good and tried 115# and did it!  One note: hook grip is an absolute must.  I lost my hook on the 4th rep of one of my rounds and figured I’d just do my last rep with overhand grip. Uh, BAD IDEA.  The bar went flying and I almost made the chalk bucket spill everywhere.  While I was successful getting my front rack and shrug, apparently I wasn’t getting under it enough.

Yeah, I have a sweet bruise on my collar bone and it hurts.  All I need is to draw eyes and a mouth and it will look like a clown nose.

Besides having a fantastic time WODing, I reached a new and long-awaited goal!  I did one unassisted ring dip!  Thanks to Coach Janelle for pushing me! =)

I have found that up-ing the food in my post-WOD meal has helped me stay full waaaay longer than before.  Score!

To keep my from going crazy while sitting around doing homework for hours, I went to Starbucks and got an Iced Unsweetened Passion Tea. MMmmm so good.

 

The Schnucks here started to sell grass-fed beef in the meat department which is freakin’ awesome since it saves me a trip to another store.  And the butcher told me that I was the first one to buy it. 😛  Get used to me, buddy!  I cooked up some meatballs with it last night and it was delish.  Want to know something really weird?  When I opened the package, the raw meat smelled… good.  The thought of it kind of creeped me out because that’s just doesn’t seem normal.

Anyway, it tasted just as awesome as I knew it would; I added the meatballs to some pre-cooked spaghetti squash and tomato sauce and mushrooms.  Why did the mushroom always get invited to all the big parties?  Because he was a fungi.  Why did the fungi leave the party?  Because there wasn’t mushroom.  *Cue laughter*

Don’t you just love cooking spaghetti squash?  I swear I’m going to chopped off my hand or burn off my fingers every time I make it.  I tried microwaving it first before cutting it (I saw that tip on TV) and it kind of worked… After slamming my knife into the raw SOB, I popped it in the microwave for 10 minutes.  I let it cool, or so I thought, and cut off the ends while cursing at it for still being so freaking hot.  The only downside of microwaving it before cutting it was that it was messy and it was harder to get all the seeds out (that made for some suprise seeds in my meal).

So do I recommend it?  Depends.  If you have a huge good knife and a strong arm or a big man to do it for you, cut it raw.  Otherwise, if you get frustrated easily and usually end up pulling the knife out of the squash so hard that it flies in your face, cook it first.

All that hard work for a small bowl of dinner.  And no picture because it looked like a bowl of slop.  I’m challenged when it comes to presentation and would be the first one cut on Chopped if I ever got on the show.

Enough blabbing for today – I have to get right for some mobility and skill work today.  Happy Friday!

 

Day 30… Hooray!!!

Today is day 30 of my Whole30 challenge; I kind of can’t believe that it’s already here and that I was able to make it 100%.  More than anything, this was a learning experience for me.  Here are the things I have learned over this past month:

Going public was the key.

The reason I started this blog was to put it out there on a public website that I was attempting something that I knew I’d need to be held accountable for.  I didn’t care (and still don’t) if no one reads this, it’s the fact that I can vent about whatever and keep myself on track.  In my head, I felt that if I cheated, I would be held accountable by my blog… Kind of weird, but it has literally helped me so much.  Facebook also helped; I got tips, recipes, and encouragement from so many people =)  Living in a college town surrounded by drunk kids isn’t always the most motivating setting… that’s why I attribute my success to this blog!

When I get bored, I get “hungry”.

This might have been my biggest struggle during the Whole30.  Since this month is April, I am/was finishing up big projects and homework for my final semester here at Illinois State and found myself bored a lot.  By bored, I mean sitting, staring at books, and aimlessly typing on my computer for hours.  I started to notice that I would think I was hungry, but it was more mental than physical.  Even if I would have a good portioned meal, ten minutes later I would be craving more.  This got old fast.  Then, I found my savior.

Vanilla Rooibos tea.  The taste of it is slightly sweet in a weird way, but always satisfied me and kept me from overeating or indulging in the bad stuff.  Who would have thought that tea would keep me on track?  This stuff is bomb.

I need more for my post-workout meal.

I recently just figured this out.  After talking to my sisters and CF coaches about my bad hunger pains about 30 minutes after my normal post-wod meal, they all told me the same thing – EAT MORE!  Usually, I would have 2 hard-boiled eggs and one sweet potato baby food.  So now, I am eating 1.5 or 2 (depending on the wod intensity) baby foods and 2 eggs + 2 whites.  After I run through my baby food storage, I am going to try to switch to real sweet potatoes and see how that goes.  So to all you people who enjoy the aroma of my eggs and the perfect mixture of baby food, I am happily going to keep doing it 😛

Numbers don’t work for me.

Something I didn’t do when starting Whole30 was weigh myself.  I had an idea of where I was because we have to do height and weight for some  of the fitness tests we do in my classes, but I typically hate weighing myself.  I always have and I think it’s because I have always been tall compared to everyone and my numbers were always over what everyone else was, so I would avoid it at all costs.  I have grown out of that stage and I could care less if people know what I weigh, but it’s still a stupid numbers game that is planted in too many people’s heads.  The scale tells you nothing.  I even vented about it in a previous post.

Some people have asked how I track my progress if I don’t weigh myself… DUH! There’s so many ways… I pay attention to the way I feel, how my workouts go, and how my clothes fit.  If I focused on numbers, I would be in a hissy 24/7.  I didn’t bother taking pictures either because I would be too tempted to compare myself and that’s a negative thing for me to do.

My body takes a long time to adjust and change.

Unfortunately, I am not the type that has one of those magical bodies that changes a week after I change something… not even after three weeks do I see a physical difference.  Literally today may be the first day that I noticed a tiny change physically.  I know that it takes an average of 6 weeks for physical changes to happen, but you know how frustrating it can be especially reading people’s success stories after only 20 or 30 days.  That is another reason why I am dragging out my Whole30 for some more time.  Mentally, the changes took place really fast, which is awesome!  So, I have come to peace with the fact that I am a slow-changer and am glad that I started when I did.

I am very sensitive to carbohydrates.

I first found this out when I started living the Paleo life about 2 years ago, but I had no idea just how sensitive I was until this challenge.  I have to limit my veggies, or else I am a bloated gross mess – that goes for all types of veggies.  I can’t eat broccoli (my favorite!), cauliflower, brussels sprouts, or asparagus either.  Those kill my stomach.  So what do I eat, you ask?  Zucchini, kale, and spinach have become my three amigos.  I sparingly add in some root veggies, such as: parsnips, carrots, spaghetti squash, and beets.  Oh! and how could I forget my new fave, swiss chard!  I love my veggies, but I have to limit them unless I want to walk around looking 6 months pregnant.

I have the greatest people in my life.

Throughout my journey, I have received great support from everyone!  I knew that I had amazing people around me, but this really made me see it.  I am lucky to have two “home” CrossFit boxes and each of them has a special place in my heart.  The people at Fit Bodies CrossFit and CrossFit Instinct keep me going, physically and mentally.  Being able to have that community of people is such a huge part in my life and is a positive escape that I know I always have.  I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and I am so grateful that everything has happened the way it has.  So here’s to you… Thank you!

 

So yes, after I brush my teeth tonight and lay in bed, it will officially be the end of 30 days of this learning experience.  As I have said earlier, I am going to continue living by these guidelines… until May 9th.  Why that day? Well, don’t hold it against me.  That’s the last day of my finals and my sister and I are going to celebrate!  She is graduating with her Master’s and I will have my Bachelor’s degree… and it’s 2 days after my 22nd birthday, so I say that’s reason to have a drink.  Or three. Or more.

Besides that, I want to keep eating good – No excuses for small cheats or excuses.  The thing is I know I can do it, so it’s just a matter of doing it!  The day I sip my first non-Whole30 drink will be day 43, so I will hae completed 42 days of a super clean lifestyle.  That’s 6 weeks.  It’s already been kind of a roller coaster of emotions, cravings, bloatings, headaches and wonderful highs from clean eating.  And I don’t regret one bit of it.

It’za meatza!

Today has been 100 times better than the past two days, thank god.  It started to get better last night when I went to go see Shrek the Musical with my sister!  It was hilarious and I got to spend time with my soon-to-be-wed sister, so we chatted about her wedding and now I’m even more excited for her (and her fiancée!)  Even though I got home late and went to bed almost 2 hours later than usual, I still slept like a rock.  [I didn’t move at all again. Two nights in a row of no movement during sleep = slightly sore hip in the a.m.]  But, I woke up feeling great, not bloated, and not craving something that I shouldn’t.  Woo!

blinds

After my first class, I made my way to get my CrossFit on.  It kicked my @ss.  Literally.  I am already sore.  Instead of toe 2 bar, I did GHD sit-ups because my hands were of stage 2-rippage from earlier this week.

Needless to say, 168 overhead walking lunges are no joke.  Neither are 84 GHDs.  And thanks to peer pressure, the tabata sit-ups and supermans put the cherry on top.  Walking and standing up straight tomorrow will be interesting.  BUT, I felt AMAAAAZING afterwards.  I ❤ WODing!  =)  Kind of obsessed.

I am trying out a new recipe!  MEATZA!  I made a smaller recipe since it’s just me eating it and I wouldn’t want anything to go bad.  Here’s the info:

1 lb. ground beef

1/2 cups tomato sauce

1 cup (maybe more) shredded parsnips

1 cup (about) shredded zucchini

olives (Lindsay brand is the best!)

Organic shiitake mushrooms

spices

Heat oven to 400 and bake for 30 minutes.  It really is that easy!

The finished product!

It might not look the most appetizing, but I had to hurry and put the rest in the fridge before I plowed down the entire thing.  So I would call that a success!  Besides spilling olives everywhere, making the toppings spill all over my shirt, and almost ruining the whole thing.  Hmm… guess it’s a clumsy day!

Random annoyance of the day:  I was pulling my blinds up to open the window and they snapped in half and fell.  Really.  This will be my 4th set of blinds that I have gone through this year.  Either I’m too strong for these blinds or my apartment place just keeps giving me crappy blinds.  I’ll go with number 2.  So now I have no blinds on one window… I’m glad I have tall bushes in front of it so I can still dance to Nelly while I cook (usually it’s Wayne Dyer, but I was feeling a little Country Grammar today).

And one of the most important things…. It’s the end of DAY 29! What what?!  It doesn’t matter too much though because I am going until May 9th 😉  But still.  Pretty pumped!

 

The basic do’s and don’ts of fitness and health

It’s Wednesday!  That means it’s time for my weekly article from the Daily Vidette.  Check it out!

 

Don’t stay the same

One of the worst things that you can do with your workout is keep it the same. Our bodies were made to adapt to situations we put it in, including exercise. If we keep our workout routines the same every time, our bodies will become used to it and not produce optimal results.

Weight-loss plateaus are common because people don’t switch up their routine enough. Don’t be scared to try something new. As Mark Twain once said, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.”

Do make it a habit

It has been proven that people who make exercise a priority tend to be active longer throughout life. Once you start training your body to be more active, you feel better physically and mentally.

Typically, it takes about three weeks for a habit to be formed. This can seem like a long time, especially if you are trying to get into an exercise routine or eat better.

But three weeks of making a healthy habit doesn’t seem so long over a lifetime. This is one habit that is necessary for a long life and is worth the commitment.

Don’t over-train

While the majority of Americans are overweight (almost two-thirds of the country), there are still people that commit themselves to exercise. It’s very important to push your body, but it’s also essential that you don’t over train.

Our bodies need time to rest, recover, and repair. Personally, I like to work out three days in a row and take one day off (usually I focus just on flexibility this day). If you overwork your body, it can stress it too much and negatively affect your health.

Rest days also help you to not burnout and quit your routine. Make sure you give your body a break.

Do move more

Think about how much time you spend sitting — class, work, watching TV. Does it take up most of your time? Sitting is terrible for our health. The more we stay seated, the higher our chances of disease and death rise.

Our muscles also become tighter, making the aging process harder. Focus on making small changes that force you to move more. Park the car far away, take breaks every 15 minutes from sitting at the computer, and move around during TV commercials.

If you exercise for 30 minutes a day, what are you doing the remaining 23.5 hours?

Don’t drink sports drinks

Sports drinks were made for exactly what they are named for — sports. They are fine if you are doing a long endurance workout (over an hour) in order to give you quick energy, but I commonly see people chugging down a bottle during their workout or just as a treat throughout the day.

If you check the label, there can be up to 55 grams of sugar in a 32 ounce bottle. This is as much as four Reese’s cups and would take about 30 minutes of cycling to burn off. Instead, reach for some water and save your body from 14 teaspoons of sugar.

Don’t focus on the mirror

Physical appearance does not always reflect your health or fitness level. Society has done a good job of warping reality and has made us believe that women should be skin and bones and men should be ripped and over-muscular.

Challenge yourself to say something positive every time you look in the mirror instead of pinching and poking out things you hate. The more negativity that’s created, the less confidence you’ll show, and the more likely you will quit or give up. Physical changes take time. For now, focus on what you choose to eat and how you move your body.

I’m riding the struggle bus today

What is it about today?  I’m going to get out all negativity right now:

-It’s depressing, cold, and cloudy outside

-It’s Tuesday

-I’m still sore from Friday (even after other workouts)

-School is annoying

-I’m still tired after a solid 8.5 hours of sleep.  By solid I mean no-movement-I-woke-up-in-the-same-spot

-Hunger pains have been striking a lot lately

-Motivation is at an all time low

The bottom line says it all.  The thing is that I don’t know why!  Last week felt amazing and I was pumped to eat good and WOD hard.  Now, this week has done a complete 180.  Cravings are hard core and I feel like a lazy slug.  If I had no self-control and real-life views on eating, I would go out and buy some candy, ice cream, popcorn, and other devastating cheat food and sulk in my laziness.  Thankfully I know better and would feel sick for days if I indulged that bad.

Man, this is a real uplifting post, huh?

The thing is, today is day 28 and I thought I would be feeling on top of the world and super duper motivated to keep going… it couldn’t be more of the opposite.  Aaaagggghhhh.  Hopefully going to WOD in a couple of hours will help get me out of this annoying funk.

The one cool, superfun thing I am doing tonight???  My sister and I are going to go see Shrek live in Peoria!  How awesome  is that?!

Staying up a bit later than normal will totally be worth it.  This will be a good break from my typical Tuesday night consisting of The Biggest Loser.  I. Can’t. Wait. Weeeeee!