Planting milestones for 2015

Almost two weeks into the fabulous NEW YEAR and I’ve discovered that oh yeah, I’m still me.

It’s like when you get married. Or have a birthday with a zero at the end. And everyone’s like, “Do you feel different??”

Well – I’m still me. Disorganized. Like beer. Love sugar. Need to think a little more highly of myself. And other vaguely endearing traits. But traits that aren’t winning me a kick ass new body so far this year.

That is, after all, what I’ve decided my goal is for 2015: to be, like, uber fit. Yes, the scale will always haunt me and I’ll keep standing on the damn thing (aka I want to lose 50 lbs) but overall, the idea is that I get FIT. Reduce fat, increase muscle. Look awesome. Be strong.

Measurables? Erg. Yes. This is the hard part.

Well, let’s start with some milestones. January: weekend in the mountains full of winter sports, including snowshoeing (yep – another trip out to Skoki Lodge, but this time only one night, so that’s 11 kilometres, 2 mountain passes and a bunch of elevation times two.  Just enough time in between to eat and get a good nights sleep).

May: trail racing! The trail racing season will kick off in the Spring and I’m already signed up for a 10K, with a few others in the pipeline. June: Epic (oh yes, very epic) National Three Peaks Challenge = flying to the UK with my girls to hike the highest tippity-top mountains in each Scotland, Wales and Britain…all in 24 hours. WOOT.

July: Running a half-mara, trail style in the mountains, Powderface. Hiking the West Coast Trail with my most awesome blood relatives who are dear enough to put up with me and give me rides to all the very best trailheads. August: More Rocky Mountain hiking and a half-mara road race in Van, Seawheeze.

Oh, and I did sign up for some online “run 2,015 miles in 2015” thing, too. But they’re PURPOSEFUL miles, not just all my FitBit steps.  Let’s just say, I’m currently a little behind on that goal.

Did you catch all that blank space? Sort of between February and May? That’s gonna require some serious training….However, my KNEE (and I’m so sorry that I’m going to go on and on about this to the point of boredom) is killing me.  The doctor says to go get orthotics and new runners.  Apparently my issues are due to the fact that my feet turn in.  The rehab guru gave me 10+ boring but important exercises to do to strengthen the glutes.  Apparently my issues are due to the glutes not firing…putting pressure on other parts of my legs.  Soo.. being a good girl I’m just doing it all.

new shooze

I need my knee back so that I can walk, run and hike.

I suppose in many ways getting an injury is beneficial. It gives the opportunity to learn more about your body and be more careful. It’s also upping the ante right now, making nutrition my #1 star, not sweaty workouts.  Insert sad face = I LOVE sweaty workouts.

The shock of going back to work (no more 8-hours-a-night) has made me all lethargic.  Last week, I only made dinner once, and left the family to fend for themselves.  We all ate poorly.  One day, I think I ate nothing but carbs. It was so weird.

With that top of mind, on the verge of a new week, I decided to ensure that THIS week was not going to be a nutrition disaster.  Today was BEAUTIFUL out = sun + blue sky. I was dying to go for a snowshoe or over to the winter festival…but I promised myself that I would go shopping (Costco!) and prep meals for the week.

Meal prep January 2015

Now, this meal prep actually took me HOURS. The sun set and I was still prepping!!! Maybe it’s because it was my first time to really do it on a grand scale?? I hope this gets shorter…!  I made 5 lunches + snacks for myself based on the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan, then a set of grab + go snacks for the boys for lunch or after school. Then, I started in on the meal prep for suppers. I posted the menu on the family blackboard, so I’m sticking to it.

MON – Shredded chicken tacos & salad
TUE – Shepherd’s pie & broccoli on the side
WED – Caribbean beef stew
THU – Turkey quinoa taco bake & salad
FRI – Pasta w/Sicilian meatballs & Caesar salad

All of these have healthy and not-as-healthy options. I’ll go heavy on the greens and light on the optional carbs on most of these for myself.

The good news is that in this process I re-discovered what was in the depths of the freezer, and another goal is to use up what we have before buying new stuff.

Now, it’s like, bedtime, and no snowshoeing, no frolicking outdoors…etc.  Sigh. But I think I did the responsible thing… Until next time, some snowshoe shots from LAST week 🙂  Have a fabulous week out there!

Snowshoe awesomesauce

 

A year in pictures

Looking back to 2014 with pride. And a whole lotta iPod selfies. Let’s blow it out of the water for 2015.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”  ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
~ Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Detox Day 3: 3-Day Refresh

I had to go to work on Day 3.

It was a Monday.

It was a little bit of a drag. I got to smell all sorts of delish lunches being warmed up in the kitchen. Lunchtime was over in 30 seconds for me (slurp, crunch, done) so I went for a walk.

Lots of energy again today – efficient, effective, etc. Crazy how despite the vague feeling of hunger, I was sharper and more aware of a lot of things, if that makes sense. I prioritized, got things done, had some clarity and vision on other topics. Hm.

When I got home, the family was all in the kitchen making their dinners, and I was blending mine. My love affair with food was on hiatus essentially. Food plays so much more of a role than just “fuel” for me. Hard to break that train of thought.

Monday was super hot in the city again, and despite going to bed at a reasonable hour, I couldn’t sleep. By 1:00 am I shuffled downstairs where it was much cooler. And because it was past midnight (3 days done in my books), I ate a wrap with ham in it. I was SO HUNGRY.

Fast forward to the next morning – for (ta-dah) —–> the RESULTS!

I was down 5.5 lbs and 2 inches from my waist. Feeling lighter on my toes MENTALLY, above all.  Was the junk in my system slowing my brain down?

Would I recommend this refresh?  Ya.  I’d do it again, I think, maybe after Christmas or a holiday.  It really re-sets you. It was an annoyance for me though.  It showed me what a huge role (beyond just being fuel) that food plays in my life. I’m slightly obsessive.

I think my biggest take away is “What am I going to eat next?”  It’s not the pizza or the gooey brownie from the Italian Centre (you know, the one where you literally feel the sugar coursing through your veins = so good) that I was kinda secretly planning on. Instead, I’m feeling very careful in my decisions.

The next day, I spent 15 minutes in Sobey’s staring at the Greek yogurt section debating whether or not I wanted to add dairy back in after the refresh.  I did buy a container (I love it to pieces) but then I didn’t enjoy it as much.  I just felt like it wasn’t right. (Is it possible to be brainwashed by vegetables in three short days?)

Now two days later, I know for sure that I’m going to give dairy a break, remove all processed meats from my diet (so long, deli ham!) and keep my coffee treats to green tea treats.  (Not terribly excited about this, but it just feels right – does that make sense?)  The hardest part is not knowing what to replace things with.  I need to check my protein lists again, review my carb options, get some recipes…so that I’m better prepared.

And that’s the 3-Day Refresh!  Give it a go. You can buy it here with a 30-day supply of Shakeology so you can maintain your kick start results: 3-Day Refresh challenge pack.  Or you can just buy the three day kit on its own here: 3-Day Refresh base kit.

Would love to hear if you do this detox – post your story and results!

Or if you’ve done other detoxes, what were they like?

Partners & peeps – embrace the revolution

So, you’re on this journey. Of health, fitness, well-being and overall awesomeness.  And you co-habituate or have a delightful significant other with whom you spend copious amounts of time. And they are not with the program.

Maybe they’re quietly observing from the sidelines.

Maybe you’ve had to turn down a meal or activity you’ve typically done in the past. (Ask me about the endless bags of potato chips that regularly appear on my kitchen counter. It’s like we have a tree in the back yard or something.)

Maybe you’d like to be doing something physical while they’d rather engage in a more sedentary activity.

Maybe they bring home unhealthy snacks and treats and drinks, and eat them while gazing deeply into your eyes.

When you change and are getting stronger, it can be threatening. Empowering for you, but a danger to them. Why? Well – its change, baby. You’re rocking the boat, kicking the hive. You’ve decided to move in a new direction for your own health and well-being. It takes everyone out of their comfort zone.

It’s possible they think they’ll lose you or perhaps it’s triggering something negative in them.

While I’m full on supportive of all-around heath, take it slow and keep it low when introducing the new you to your husband, wife, bestie, etc. Don’t hide it under a bushel, mind you (own it! be proud! love it!) but don’t flaunt it in front of those who could be struggling with both the new YOU and their own desire to make a change. They may not be quite ready yet.

You don’t owe anybody your energy: if they’re sucking you dry, step quietly away from the negativity. Surround yourself with like-minded people, and don’t return to the old gang for affirmation when chances are, you’re clearly not going to get it.

Stick to it. You know, there are people out there watching. Watching to see if you can hang on to this new you. Might be for a month, might be for a year before they acknowledge your efforts and accomplishments. Be that awesome example for them and everyone around you.

Re-phrase your thoughts. Rather than saying to them “I can’t eat that” or “I have to go work out”, try “I want to eat something with more nutrition” or “I’m making time to work out.” Just flip it a bit.  Invite them to try something with you.  Embrace your positive spin and love that you’re being healthy – don’t resent the fact you “can’t” eat ice cream and binge watch 8 seasons of something on Netflix. (Haha – not that that’s a HORRIBLE thing…sometimes we do need to flake out…)

Sometimes this road can be really lonely. Whether you want to start, but your partner doesn’t; or whether you’re already travelling this path… At those times, it seems like you may as well just sit on your ass and do nothing. Don’t fall for that.

Just keep going.

Never give up.

Well, that was a little visit to the soapbox, wasn’t it?

 

 

Day Three – 21 Day Fix (Score!)

Alright, alright, alright!  Day 3 on the Fix is A-OK.

Weighing in with 2.5 lbs lost.  Crazy, right? In three days? That’s the unofficial stance so far. That could’ve just been the flushing of the salt, toxins, or whatever. Stay tuned for further weight updates.

I accidentally skewed yesterday’s meals to leave me with 3 green boxes, 2 red and a teaspoon for dinner.  At first, I was at a loss.  That’s a lot of GREEN in one sitting.  So, I ended up having a massive salad and using extra virgin olive oil and a spice rub (“free”) on the accompanying steak. Not too shabby!

The difference between my meal and the family’s that night was their big, juicy Caesar salad (croutons! parm!  bacon!) to go with the steak.  Their dessert was a half cup of Greek yogurt, raspberries and a biscuit.

I’m going to try as much as possible to align what I’m eating with what I prepare for my husband and the boys.  Because making two meals is silly.  And going to the grocery store and buying a cartload of good stuff supplemented by boxed cereal, frozen fries, goldfish crackers, fatty dressings/dips etc. is simply not logical nor cool nor cheap. Why would I purposely feed junk to the people I love?

Pushback? Yep!  It takes a while to implement change like that.  They all have voices…they know what they like and aren’t afraid to make it clear when they DON’T like something.  So, I’m weaning them off a few things and adding in better choices, sneaky-like.  I’m also doing some plating/portioning in the kitchen before the food hits the table, so there’s no free for all on say, the desserts or the higher-calorie mashed potatoes.  This way, we can all be a little healthier.

As for the DVDs with trainer Autumn Calabrese, it’s all good.  Some exercises really do push my comfort level, while other ones are juuuust right enough to make me feel I’m getting it.  I’m using 5lbs as my light weights and 10 lbs as my heavy weights.  I also have ankle weights, but have not been badass enough to wear those yet.  I do wake up in the morning with overall muscle soreness, but not to the point where it’s painful – just a reminder that I found some new muscles the day before!

I will say that the 30 minute workouts don’t give a lot of time to stretch at the end. Add in your own stretching post-workout to make sure everything is good in muscle-ville.

WHAT I ATE

DAY TWO
Breakfast: 2 eggs & rye toast, olive oil
Snack AM: Greek yogurt & pecans, cinnamon
Lunch: salad (baby kale, mixed berries, sunflower seeds, goat cheese); tuna + rye crackers
Snack PM: peanut butter on rye cracker, banana
Dinner: salad (baby kale, red pepper, tomato, onion, shredded broccoli/carrot/cabbage) + steak, olive oil

DAY THREE
Breakfast: 2 eggs & rye toast, olive oil
Snack AM: Red pepper hummus & rye crackers
Lunch: salad (baby kale, red pepper, tomato, onion, shredded broccoli/carrot/cabbage, sunflower seeds); Greek yogurt & mixed berries, cinnamon
Snack PM: peanut butter on rye cracker, banana
Dinner: whole wheat pita stuffed with ham, baby kale, tomato, onion, shredded broccoli/carrot/cabbage, with snap peas and and red pepper on the side
Post-tennis evening snack: Chocolate Shakeo with baby kale in it (blended – didn’t taste it)

Yep – I kinda am a routine girl.  Not a lot changing up really.  The highlight of my day still is deciding what to put in the blue box. LOVE the blue box. Hummus? Cheese? Guac? Nuts?  My entire meal day revolves around what goes in the blue box…

The FB challenge group has been great for food ideas, mind you. All sorts of stuff  posted that I wouldn’t have ever considered.  Might have to try a few new things over the next couple of days.

Day One – 21 Day Fix (Feelin’ groovy)

Day One – 21 Day Fix! It’s here!  I’m stoked!

Was a great day overall. I do miss salt and sugar a bit…and that might rear it’s ugly head over the next week.  Love my salt. Love. Salt. Didn’t realise it until it was gone.

Here is Day One in review…

“I don’t have time to exercise”

The food planning has been such an integral part of prepping for the 21 Day Fix, that I hadn’t given too much thought to the workouts.  After all, our guru – Autumn Calabrese – makes it easy with all these bite-sized, intense regimes that we’ll do every day for the next 21 days.  The daily workouts are only 30 minutes.  30 minutes.  That’s a sitcom.  That’s a casserole in the oven.  That’s a “I’m just gonna check my Facebook.”

I figured the only way for me to complete the workouts would be to get it out of the way first thing in the morning.  If I leave it to the evening, I can find 101 reasons NOT to do it. So, awake at 5:00 but finally rolling out at 5:20 am, I donned workout clothes, and pushed PLAY.  Sweat for the whole 30 minutes and kicked back a litre of water.  Done like dinner. Off like a prom dress. You get it.

“I’m not sure I can do these kinds of workouts”

Being day one, and a Monday, my intro to Autumn Calabrese was with the Total Body Cardio Fix.  The 21 Day Fix comes with exact instructions of which workouts to do each day. And yep – even the warm up winded me.  We did a whole whack of cardio oriented sets accompanied by weights – your choice of heavy, light or none.

But the bestest ever part?  The workouts do have a modifier – a lovely lady named Kat. Kat does all the same exercises but provides a modified version of the moves.  Whether you’ve got an injury, hangover, medical restriction or are just not up to the full movement, this “modifier” is outrageously helpful.

I’m really proud to say that I didn’t need to follow Kat for the majority of the workout, but there were a couple of times I gratefully adjusted my movements. And one time I just looked at the screen and was like, whhaaaa? The “Surrender” set threw me completely. WAY harder than it looked and I put a towel under my knees to cushion them.  My knees already make a delightful grinding sound when I go up stairs, so I’m always cautious.

Just a note: I have all sorts of participants in my challenge group, and those who are careful when it comes to anything high impact include someone with a previous injury, someone 65+, and someone over 200 lbs.  I’ll let you know how everyone does.

I love that there is a countdown clock on the screen for both the sets and for the whole 30 minutes. So, when you think you’re gonna die, you can check how much longer you’ve gotta hold on. Maybe because it was 5:30 in the morning and sleepy, but this workout seemed to go really quickly.

“I’m going to be hungry”

I chased the workout with strawberry Shakeology (water and ice). Normally I dress up my Shakeology so much you’d never recognize it: almond milk, frozen fruit, etc.  Today – straight up ice and water. I’m saving my fruit to eat, not to drink on this program.

For all my “plan your meals!” and “shop ahead!” mantra-ing, I totally didn’t write a thing down. It was all floating around in my head, and by 6:30 am I was shoveling food into the coloured boxes to measure it, then tossing it in a travel container to take to work.  My lunch bag was truck stop impressive in size.  I did feel like I was eating all day, mind you. I’ve never been a morning/afternoon snack person at all so the constant food intake may take a bit to get used to. The only time I started to get hungry was on the way home from work.

Right now I feel great. Might be a bit achy tomorrow – haha. The first day of school is always fun…

WHAT I ATE
Breakfast: strawberry Shakeo
Snack AM: hummus + whole wheat pita
Lunch: salad (spinach, veggies, pumpkin seeds) + baked chicken; Greek yogurt + blueberries
Snack PM: peanut butter on rye cracker
Dinner: pasta dish (rotini*, cherry tomato, spinach, garlic, fresh basil, EVOO) with a sprinkle of mozza; fruit salad + Greek yogurt

*The pasta was NOT WHOLE WHEAT. I didn’t clue in until I pretty much ate it all.  Will purchase the appropriate wheaty pasta for next time.

Done! Full! Made it through Day One!

Ready to get FIXed

Happy MONDAY!  Let’s kick it this June!  What are YOU doing to be happy and healthy?

GREAT news is that my challenge group on Facebook for the 21-Day Fix is full!

About a week or so ago, I put out a post on FB to see if anyone wanted to do this program with me, and whammo!  I had an amazing response, and from some people I’d never have expected.

All of us in this challenge group have our own health and fitness goals to smash, and this program is flexible enough to appeal to everyone. STOKED. We’re gonna rock it together!

***

My 21-Day Fix kit arrived – only 10 days to Canada after I’d ordered. Not too bad.

It contains a meal plan book, a getting started booklet, a 3-day fix (intense!) booklet,  the workout DVDs + a Plyo Fix DVD, a Shakeology shaker cup and then those cute little coloured boxes – WHICH ARE REALLY REALLY REALLY SMALL! – to measure out food. (Did I mention the boxes are small? I feel like I’m already getting my portion control lesson.)

To start, you need to figure out the calorie level for your own weight and body needs, incorporating both the workouts and a caloric deficit for weight loss (aka MATH).  There is a handy dandy formula to do that in the ‘eating plan’ book.  Then you match your calorie level with the calorie chart which shows how many of each coloured box you may have per day. So, I get…

  • 5 green – greens
  • 3 purple – fruit
  • 5 red – proteins
  • 4 yellow – carbs, beverages (including a sub-out for wine)
  • 1 blue – healthy fats, like nuts, avocado, cheese, hummus
  • 1 orange – seeds, dressings
  • 5 teaspoons – oils, seed/nut butters

I can have all the vinegar, garlic and ginger I want for free – yippeee – and a couple of other little things (Frank’s RedHot, anyone?).

For water, the program suggests drinking your body weight, divided by two, in ounces. For me, that’s just over 12 cups of water a day. That’s also a lot of bathroom trips…

Each coloured box has a dedicated page in the book with a list of approved foods for the category. The lists are not random – the higher up on the list, the better choice it is for you in terms of nutrients. Mmmm why are sardines at the top of the protein list – ick!

The book also has a set of recipes for all container colours and a brief dining out reference page – because chances are in 21 days you might have to eat something someone else has prepared, and you’d want to be ready.

Tah-dah!  I’ve got a week before the challenge group begins – a few of the others are still waiting on their kits to arrive. In the mean time, I’ve got some shopping and meal planning to do!