Tag Archives: weights

The Benefits of a Large Breakfast

18 Mar

Lately, I’ve been trying to eat a very large breakfast:

2013-03-18 08.37.09

This breakfast is about 500 – 600 calories.

 

I believe I’ve mentioned before that I struggle with balancing my meals throughout the workday. If I don’t use snacks properly, I’ll end up overeating at one of my regular meals. Last week, I was very hungry at breakfast, so I had oatmeal AND a breakfast sandwich — it was a lot of food, but I didn’t feel groggy afterwards like I do when I eat a huge lunch, and I noticed when it came time for lunch, I didn’t eat nearly as much.

So, despite conflicting studies (this article in the New York Times cites a study that says more calories at breakfast merely adds calories throughout the day), I think for me a large (about 600 calories) breakfast is the key to curbing my hunger throughout the day.

Also, let’s stop demonizing bagels, ok? I eat a bagel for breakfast roughly once a week and it’s one of my very favorite breakfasts. If you get a whole grain bagel and don’t go overboard on the cream cheese, it’s actually a very nutritious breakfast. I can see how eating such a large amount of bread daily could be an issue, but having a bagel for breakfast isn’t the end of the world. And it tastes so good!

Anywho, after all that I’m sitting here post-bagel and I’m not sure I can choke down the rest of my breakfast. No big deal, I’ll eat it in about an hour. The key is to not go into lunch feeling like I might die of hunger!

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How was your St. Patrick’s Day weekend!? Mine was pretty good. Zach and I ended up not doing much of anything in the evenings, however.

On Friday, I went to Crossfit and saw that our first task was to run a mile for time. I was immediately anxious. There were only three of us at class on Friday evening, and the other two were men (one of whom was wearing a t-shirt from a marathon). I was sure that they were going to finish a mile 5 minutes ahead of me. Ever since my injury during the Marshall Half Marathon and the longest winter ever where I’ve been plodding along on the treadmill doing 11 minute miles, I felt like my days of running (relatively) fast were gone. A few years ago, I took a running class at my alma mater’s Rec Center and we had to do a mile for time. My time was 8:08, and I’ve been so proud of that mile ever since.

So, needless to say, while we stretched and foam rolled our muscles at the beginning of that class, I was feeling nervous. We set off to do the mile and I was sure I was going to fall behind the guys, but I kept the pace. I focused on breathing evenly and just kept my pace up, pushing hard at the end. I was glad to see that I was only a few seconds behind the guys when we finished, but when my coached said my time, I was shocked: 7:50! No way! I thought for sure I would have run it slower than my fastest mile. I’m pretty pumped to get back out there and run again after that.

Our WOD, if you’re interested, looked like this:

1 mile (for time)

2 rounds:
10 high pulls (65 pounds)
10 front squats (45 pounds)
Prowler pull
30 sit ups

I finished the mile in 7:50 like I said, and the rest of the WOD in 9:06 (I was the first to finish, but the guys were doing 115 and 65 pounds respectively).

After that, I was content to sit on the couch like this for the rest of the night:

post crossfit

 

The Friday evening Crossfit class has been giving me zero motivation to do any other workouts for the rest of the weekend. I didn’t do anything on Saturday OR Sunday (although to be fair, the weather outside on Sunday was awful! Snow! So over it!)

Our evenings on Friday night and Saturday night were laaaaazy! We just couldn’t get the motivation to hit the town. I’m a little bummed we missed out on all the St. Patty’s Day fun, but  we did manage to spend a little time at a friend’s house on Saturday:

zach

 

I just love this photo of Zach. He’s so handsome.

..and on Sunday, I decided to throw together a vaguely St. Patrick’s Day themed dinner:

irish meal

…which consisted of sausages, sauerkraut (which is cabbage!), Irish soda bread and potatoes. Zach even braved the yucky weather to go get us a six pack of Guiness for the occasion.

Question of the Day:
If you’re a runner, have you ever run a mile for time? If so, what is your best time? 

 

Will I Ever Learn My Lesson?

2 Jan

This morning’s desk breakfast is oatmeal, which never, ever keeps me full until lunch, but apparently I will never learn my lesson:

desk breakfast

This time, I added 2 egg whites and a scoop of peanut butter to the oats to give them some staying power, and paired them with a pear on the side. The oats were really thick and creamy and delicious. I also drizzled some honey on them and cooked them in almond milk. Surely I’ll be starving by 10:00, but I was just craving a hot bowl of oats this morning!

I need to talk about my fitness plan. I’m feeling overwhelmed by my fitness desires lately. I want to do more running, and I also want to keep up with the Jamie Eason LiveFit Trainer (which I put on hiatus over the holidays), and as of today, I really want to get back to going to my group fitness classes, but it just doesn’t seem like there are enough hours in the day to meet all of my fitness wants.

This morning, I went back to the 6:15 Cardio Fusion class at my gym. I used to attend this class incredibly regularly, but I stopped going altogether after the half marathon and starting the LiveFit Trainer.

Whew, it was a rough one! Here’s what we did:

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Circuit 1: 30 seconds work/15 seconds rest; 2 times

– Sumo squat with dumbbell curl
– Push up, then move foot to elbow
– Renegade row (on each arm), with burpee
– Dumbbell curl with push out to squat
– Bent over dumbbell row to flye

Cardio blast: Run the length of the gym and back with Bosu over your head, then do 6 Bosu push ups. Repeat run, followed by 6 Bosu burpees, repeat run followed by 6 mountain climbers on Bosu — do 2 x

Hold wall sit, then raise each leg for 8 reps. Then hold wall sit again for 2 8 counts. 

Circuit 2: 30 seconds work/15 seconds rest; 2 times

– Half get ups (right) with dumbbell
– Side lunge (right) to curtsy lunge with curl (alternate lateral raise every other time)
– Half get ups (left) with dumbbell
– Side lunge (left) to curtsy lunge with curl (alternate lateral raise every other time)
– Chest flyes with double leg lower on floor

Repeat Cardio Blast

Do one set of all 10 exercises from both circuits, 30 seconds work, 15 seconds rest 

Cool down and STRETCH! ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Whew!! My heart was pumping and I sure was glad to reach the stretch portion of this class! This workout made me realize how much I miss going to this class. It’s so nice to wake up, throw on my workout clothes and shoes, and just go to the gym. No need to make a plan, no need to make sure my phone is charged, no untangling my headphones.

However, I am loving the muscle building that is going on with LiveFit. As much as I love my class, it’s more of a fast-paced, low-weight, high rep class with emphasis on fat burning. I need to figure out a way to fit it all in with running as well. Which means that I won’t be following LiveFit strictly anymore. I think because the Cardio Fusion class meets 2x a week, I can probably fit in one of those days. Since I made two fitness resolutions (run 600 miles this year and make a specific strength training plan each week), I will have to sit down and figure out how to fit it all in. I will keep you updated!

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In other food news, I wanted to share my dinner from last night:

good luck dinner

I had to fit our cabbage in yesterday, and what better way to do that than with sauerkraut!? I made smoked sausage sauteed with peppers, onions and kraut, the Pioneer Woman’s crash potatoes, and roasted broccoli. It was so delicious, and I feel luckier already!

Question of the Day:
Do you ever feel like you can’t fit in all the different kinds of workouts you want to do? 

 

 

Hello, Friday!

7 Dec

Today’s post is going to be a mish-mash of randomness!

You know that feeling you get after a tough weights workout, when the muscle(s) you’ve worked feel like jelly and you just know that you’ll be sore the next day? That happened to me yesterday on leg day. All day, anytime I moved around (yesterday was a crazy day at work, so I was moving around a lot), I felt that jelly feeling. Then, by the time I was cooking dinner last night the first of the muscle ache started to set in. By the time I sat down after dinner, I was in full-on sore muscle mode!

Because of the sore muscles, I was glad to wake up early (even after a bit of fitful night of sleep — sigh) to hit the 6:15 AM yoga class at the gym. I did my Day 23 workout of LiveFit after yoga:

day 23

Back and biceps! I felt pretty strong today, even using 15 lb dumbbells for the hammer curls. I’m definitely upping my weight, and I feel stronger every day. Since I was at the gym a little longer than usual, I had to rush home, shower and cook breakfast super quickly so I could get to work on time. My breakfast turned out great though:

breakfast

I basically just warmed up some roasted veggies (sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower) topped with a little cheese, put a slice of turkey bacon on top, and then made a dippy (aka overeasy) egg to go on top. Then I drizzled it with Sriracha, the condiment of the Gods. I paired it with a piece of whole wheat toast. Oh my yum. I wanted to make the egg overeasy so when I cut into it, the yolk would drip down onto the veggies. Good decision. I also ate one of the best pears ever. I used to be all about apples, but lately pears have my heart.

Speaking of breakfast, yesterday’s oats didn’t hold me over long. I was digging for a snack by 10 AM 😦 It’s such a bummer, because I really love oatmeal!

This weekend will be filled with fitness! I have two workouts planned for my LiveFit trainer, but I also plan to hit up my favorite Boot Camp class, which is held every other Saturday at  my gym, and Ashley’s yoga class, of course. I also plan on cheating on my no cardio rule to go for a very easy jog on Sunday if the weather is nice. Afternoon jogs when we’re having cool weather in December just can’t be avoided, I’m afraid!

Today, Haley at the Saucy Apple posted a great blog about how to make your weekend seem longer. This post really struck a chord with me, because I tend to get a little stressed on the weekends. There is so much to do, so little time to do it, and then Sunday comes around and I spend the whole day feeling bummed out that the weekend is over. But recently, I’ve been trying to really live in the moment on the weekends and, as my good friend Ashley said, “Not let my Monday ruin my Sunday”. It’s great advice, and every time I find myself getting the Sunday Blues, I remind myself of that little adage and it helps a lot.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Question of the Day:
I need to make a vegetarian main course for my book club this weekend, any suggestions? 

 

LiveFit Trainer: Week 4

6 Dec

I woke up this morning feeling a bit groggy, but after two rest days in a row, I was eager to get back to the gym. After a cup of coffee, half of an apple and some pistachios, I was ready to go!

week 4 day 22

I can’t help but be very proud of myself today. This is the first time I’ve really stuck with a weight training plan. I’m also on my final week of “no cardio” – I’m excited to start back up, but I haven’t necessarily been missing it. The one thing I do miss is being a sweaty mess after a workout. Although I do huff and puff, sweat and feel shaky muscles after these workouts, I’m not dripping with sweat and I kind of miss that.

The #Elf4Health challenge for today was to lift weights, and do an exercise you’ve never done before. Although I’ve done all of these exercises, I did do something new: I used the Smith Machine rather than just using a free barbell for my squats. I had a discussion with my friend Shane last week about how I used a 50 lb barbell for squats, and even though I knew I could use more weight than that, I was intimidated by the Smith Machine. He said that if he were me, he would be more afraid of using a heavy barbell that he had to lift over his head, and it was a good point, so I went for it. So much better! I was able to really feel the burn on my squats, and it turns out there was no reason to be intimidated.

I’m seeing some great improvements in my body from the LiveFit Trainer — I’ve noticed that my arms are looking more toned, and I definitely think I’ve lost an inch here or there. I haven’t measured myself yet (I was going to re-measure after week 4 is over), but I have lost about a pound and a half. I don’t really put my weight (pun not intended) on the number on the scale though, when you’re trying to build muscle mass and lose fat, the scale can be deceiving.

One really happy thing that happened today was when I walked into the weight room, several people said “Hi!” and greeted me by name. It’s clear you’re becoming a regular at the gym when people remember you. 🙂 Here’s the plan for the rest of the week:

Friday: Back/Biceps
Saturday: Chest/Triceps (and then I’m going to cheat and go to my Bootcamp class, because I love it and miss it)
Sunday: Legs (again!)
Monday: Shoulders/Abs
Tuesday: Rest Day
Wednesday: Rest Day
Thursday: Phase 2 Begins! Cardio + Back

I’ll try to post another update on Wednesday, after I’ve done my measurements. I can say that if you have thought about doing this program, you should give it a try! I know a lot of people shy away from it because of the “No cardio for 4 weeks” thing, but I think it’s a perfect training plan for right after a big race or something, when your body could use a break from all the cardio. I also think people are afraid of ‘losing’ their cardio conditioning, but I don’t think 4 weeks is going to make you slower or take your endurance down! In fact, I really feel like I could run fast and long right now 🙂

After the gym, I prepped my second breakfast, lunch and snacks for the day. I was in the mood for something different for breakfast today, so I decided to break out the old Oatmeal. I haven’t had oatmeal for breakfast in ages, because eggs have more staying power in my opinion. So, I added an egg white to my oatmeal:

oatmeal

This was delicious! I cooked the oats in a cup of almond milk and pumpkin pie spice. I stirred in the egg white and the apples and let it cook a while longer. Then I sprinkled it with some stevia. Yum! Hopefully I won’t get hungry again in an hour 🙂

This is a good opportunity to talk about the nutrition plan that goes along with LiveFit. I’m not following it. I feel like I could give you a better assessment of the plan if I were following the nutrition and supplement guide, but it’s unrealistic for me. First of all, I don’t eat like a fitness model, and I don’t really have any desire to do so. I like carbs, and I feel like you can eat healthy, and build muscle, with a carbohydrate rich diet. Secondly, I don’t have the money to spend on the endless supplements that serious weight trainers use. So, that part of the plan isn’t realistic, but I think it’s important to note that I am seeing the results I desire. I can feel the muscle that I’m building, my clothes are fitting better, and I feel great.

One last note, and I apologize that this post is getting lengthy. Last night, I got my new Oxygen magazine (hooray!) and there was an article about how weight training can help you stave off the common cold. I certainly hope that is true, because Zach has been sick with a bad cold all week and I have managed to stay away from it (so far!). Knock on wood!

Question of the Day:
Have you ever followed a weight training plan? 

LiveFit Trainer Update

29 Nov

Good Morning!

I’m pleased to announce that my new push to get back on track after my recent weight gain has been a success for three days now! I have been eating well and my workouts have been on point. I’m treating each successful day like it’s own victory! As long as I don’t try to reward myself with food, haha.

I woke up bright and early this morning and walked to the gym. It was quite a bit colder outside this morning than it has been — there was a thick layer of frost on all the cars and when I got to the gym my ears were already numb. I don’t think I’m quite ready for winter yet!

I finished Day 16 of Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer:

Do you like my illustration for the Incline Dumbbell Curl? Sometimes I like to remind myself how to do an exercise if I think I’ll forget once I’m at the gym, so I draw little pictures. As you can see, I’m not much of an artist 🙂

Let’s talk about a couple of these exercises:

T-bar Rows:

Image courtesy of Bodybuilding.com; This is the exact set-up my gym has, by the way.

This is something I’ve never done before today. It took some trial and error to figure out how much weight to put on the bar. I initially tried with 2-25 lb plates, but that was pretty ambitious, so I took it down to a 35 lb plate. I did one set with the 35 lb plate and it was pretty tough so I took it down to one 25 lb plate, which kept it challenging but I wasn’t sacrificing form. I really liked this exercise! One thing I really like about the LiveFit Trainer is that it’s familiarizing me with the weight room at the gym. Prior to doing this program, I went to the weight room, kept to myself, and stuck to the exercises I know. Now, I’m using new equipment and asking for help from the people who work there. I used to be afraid to do this, but it turns out that they are more than happy to help — that’s why they are there, and otherwise they are just standing around. Plus, usually people who work at the gym are interested in fitness, so they give you pointers and show you new exercises. The same guy is working in the weight room each morning, so now he’s familiar with what I’m doing and he gives me tips on form,  and suggests new ways to do exercises.

Alternating Hammer Curls:

Miss Jamie herself, courtesy of Bodybuilding.com

This exercise was not new to me prior to doing this program, but I was pretty proud of myself this morning for upping my weight on this exercise. I usually top out at 12 lb dumbbells in the weight room, but today I thought I’d try the 15 lb dumbbells for this last exercise. It was tough, but I didn’t sacrifice my form! I know in order to see a change in my body, I need to be pushing the limits with my weights, and hopefully I can keep doing that with this program.

I have to say, I thought it was going to be much tougher to skip out on cardio for 4 weeks. Granted, I’m only on Day 2 of Week 3, but I haven’t missed it much. Like I mentioned before, I  haven’t totally cut out my cardio, but I have drastically reduced it (I think I’ve only done 3 cardio sessions total since I started). I haven’t lost any weight since I started (I did see a reduction on the scale, but it came back a couple days later — do fluctuations like that happen to anyone else?), but I have noticed that my body is looking — tighter. I had noticed some extra flab recently, and in week 3 of this program, I’m feeling tighter and definitely stronger.

I hope someone from Bodybuilding.com is reading this, because I have one request: An app! Look at this jumble of paper that I’ve acquired:

Yes, I could create my own spreadsheet or keep a notebook, but usually I just write down the workout at some point during the day, or print it out at work, so I’m never consistently in one place when I do it. It would be pretty cool to have an app so I could just punch in my weight and reps for each exercise. Plus, since you repeat some exercises but the workouts aren’t ever exactly the same, It would be easier to have an app because it could remind you how much weight you used last time you did each specific exercise. I’m going to try to sit down at some point today and organize this jumble of paper to see how I’ve progressed 🙂

Before I go, I’d like to tell you a bit about my breakfast this morning:

I first heard about this yummy concoction on Tina’s blog (one of my favorites — especially for pictures of her adorable Pug, Murphy). Since then, I’ve seen it quite a bit in the blog-o-sphere. You won’t believe the two ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 banana

Yep! Can you believe that there is no flour in this!? I definitely doesn’t have the ‘cakey’ consistency of a typical pancake, but it’s pretty similar.  I added a little pumpkin pie spice to mine and topped it with half a tablespoon each of Sunflower Butter and Honey. This pancake packs a protein punch: Mine had a whopping 16 grams after I added the sunflower seed butter on top, and it was so good! Like a protein pancake, it takes some maneuvering to flip without making it into a mess, but I was surprised how thick it became. After I took this photo, I cut it in half and put one half in a container to eat at work. I’m loving the idea of eating half of my breakfast at home and half at work. Although I’m eating the same amount of food, I think it keeps me satisfied longer…? That’s probably all in my head, but I’m a firm believer that it still works, even if it is all in your head!

Hopefully I’ll have a second post for you today, in the form of a veggie burger recipe round up!

Question of the Day:
What is your favorite breakfast? 

 

 

I Just Want to Run!!

15 Nov

Yesterday, I got this email in my inbox:

 

…and the longing began. I had originally planned to sign up for the Turkey Trot after I finished the half-marathon, but then I injured myself in mile 8 of my half. Obviously, on Monday, when I was barely able to walk, I had written the run off completely. But now, after a few days of rest, my legs feel fine, so I’m seriously considering signing up for the race. I love Turkey Trots! Two years ago, after I finished my first half marathon, I ran the Turkey Trot and got my best 5k time ever. Also, today is payday, so I’m itching to pull out the old credit card and sign up. Let me know if you think I should do it or not in the comments below.

Today was Day 3 of Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer:

 

I was definitely out of my comfort zone today, because instead of just going upstairs to use the Nautilus machines, I stayed down in the weight room and used the machines that you have to add your own plates to. I even had to ask the guy who was working at the gym to show me how to use some  of them. This is something I would have never done before. Usually I just stick to what I know, or just wait until someone else uses a machine so I can see how they do it.

Ok, so I looked ahead a bit in the plan, and after tomorrow I have 3 rest days!? In a row! I don’t know if I can go three whole days without working out. I know I’ve committed to this program, but I might be sneaking in a little something something during those three days. The dance DVD’s I won from Cait Plus Ate are calling to me, and to be honest, I really want to try running. Jamie is very clear that you are to do no cardio for 4 weeks, but I honestly don’t think I can follow that to a T. Running and working out to DVD’s is fun to me, and I can’t imagine just not doing anything at all for 3 days. We’ll see how it goes.

One more quick update! I’ve been sleeping amazingly well the past couple of weeks. My secret? Ear plugs! I was a bit afraid that I wouldn’t wake up to my alarm because I couldn’t hear it, but that hasn’t been an issue for two reasons: 1, because I actually can hear my alarm through the ear plugs, albeit faintly, but my body knows what that sound means, and 2, because I usually wake up without my alarm because I’m so well rested! Amazing, huh?

Question of the Day:
What is the maximum amount of rest days you’ve taken in a row? 

 

Operation: Zip the Wedding Dress.

13 Nov

I got my wedding dress in the mail last week! It’s beautiful. I wish I could share it on this blog, but it’s a secret until the big day. However, there is a slight problem. It fits perfectly everywhere, except right around my rib cage, it won’t zip! I really don’t want to return it for the bigger size, considering that might require a lot of alterations because the rest of the dress fits so well. Also, if I’m being honest with myself, I’ve gained a few pounds that I can stand to lose anyway.

So, Operation Zip the Wedding Dress starts today.

Considering my wedding is still 10 months away, I have plenty of time. So here is my plan:

1. Start Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer

I started this today! Luckily, you do no cardio for the first 4 weeks of the program. This is good, because walking the one block to the gym brought me pain in my knee and Achilles tendon. I think no running or jumping for 4 weeks is just the rest my poor right leg needs. Luckily, today and tomorrow’s workout is upper body. Here’s what I did today:

Wide push-ups — 3 sets of 12
Dumbbell bench press — 3 sets of 12; 12 lb dumbbells
Flat bench cable flyes — 3 sets of 12; 20 lbs
Narrow push-ups — 1 set of 7; 1 set of 6; 1 set of 7 — narrow push-ups are my nemesis
Standing dumbbell extension — 3 sets of 12; 8 lb dumbbells
Triceps pushdowns — 1 set of 12; 60 lbs; 2 sets of 12 40 lbs

It felt weird to just go to the gym, knock out that workout (in 30 minutes) and then leave. I don’t know if I’ve ever done that! But, I definitely feel it. My arms are still jello!

2. Log food with My Fitness Pal; Eat Clean

hate logging my food, but there is no doubt that it works. I actually solidly logged my food for probably 2-3 years, and about a year ago I just got so sick of it and stopped. The Jamie Eason Trainer has an eating plan as well, but I’m not sure I will follow it exactly. I know I need to eat clean to see results, so my main goals are to eat clean at every meal, eat about 6 times a day, drink plenty of water, and log all my food, even if I slip up.

One thing Jamie says to do is to eat your first meal within an hour of waking up. Usually, I just have coffee before the gym and then eat breakfast once I get to work. That means I’m not eating until about 3 hours after I wake up! Probably not good. So this morning, I made some sauteed kale with 3 eggs, toasted a piece of whole wheat bread and cut half an avocado. I put half of the breakfast on a plate and the other half in a Tupperware container to take to work.

I ate this right after getting back from the gym, just about 1 hour after I had woken up. I mashed the avocado onto the toast. It was delicious. I also had a cup of coffee with almond milk and stevia. Yum.

Then, I had the other half of that breakfast when I got to work. I’m nice and satisfied, and will hopefully stay that way until lunch.

…and that’s it! Yep, just exercise regularly and eat right. That’s all it takes to lose weight!

Weight loss can be a touchy subject, so I just want to be clear that I’m not just losing weight to fit into my dress, although it is the motivating factor at this moment. Since I got back from vacation at the end of August, I’ve been feeling like I’ve been off track. Not only have I seen some higher numbers on the scale (not always the most accurate tell of weight gain, by the way), I’ve also noticed that some of  my clothes are a little more snug than they usually are, and I’m getting that icky feeling when I see certain photos of myself (my finish line photos from the half were NOT flattering — and not just because I was clearly in intense pain). I am not an advocate of constantly trying to fit a certain ideal, but I am an advocate of feeling good about yourself. When I don’t feel great about myself, it’s important to me to adjust accordingly.

Question of the Day:
How do you adjust accordingly when you aren’t feeling happy with your body?