Monday, 28 June 2010

Well that put the D in DOMS...

Normally after a new/tough workout I wake up in pain, this morning I felt fine! I was partly pleased as the pain does often make life rather difficult, but there's always a wee part of me that feels kind of disappointed when it doesn't hurt, like I haven't worked hard enough or something. I know that's not the case though really, you don't need pain for a workout to be effective at all. It's only in the last couple of hours I have started to feel sore, I'm kind of nervous about how I'll feel in the morning! :D I'm not used to such a delay.

Today was a pretty tasty food day though not the best planned.

I made a smoothie that tasted like a black-forest gâteaux for breakfast! I prepared most of it yesterday evening before bed so I could get out the house by 6:30 am with minimal stress in the morning

Cacao powder, coconut butter and xanthan gum in the blender

And frozen cherries, half a banana and 200ml rice milk to be added in the morning - that little bit of planning makes all the difference at that time of the morning!

And of course I had my usual amaretto syrup coffee too. This really does make me so happy, I just love it so much!

I had no snack because the satsumas were all dry and manky tasting in work today

Lunch was left over chilli

Not the most attractive but bloody good! Took about 10 minutes to make and packed with veg (well, fruit technically) and protein too. I meant to take a wholemeal pitta to have with it but forgot so ended up with a shop bought egg mayo sandwich on "brown" bread with it.

Usual snack of veggies and humus in the afternoon and some strawberries

And a new tea

It was OK, but I think it will take a few more tries to get used too. It was quite bitter.

All packed up in a new lunch bag

With a side of hungry cat

I had a green monster for some running energy

And then:

2 min walk

12 min run

1 min walk

6 min run

1 min walk

6 min run

1 min walk

12 min hill sprints - i min flat and walking alternated with 1 min running on an incline, increasing the incline each time.

I started quite high for the hill sprints so they were really tough - I'm fairly feeling it in my butt and hamstrings already, hopefullt I wont be too sore to get the most out of my dumbbell workout tomorrow.

I was starving when I got home so made a Fitnessista style egg white puff with nutritional yeast - I was too hungry to photograph it!

Followed by scrambled eggs (1 whole egg plus the yolk from the other) a touch of milk and smoked salmon - so creamy and indulgent tasting, I could have eaten several more portions!

And roasted tomato soup with rice cakes - last minute carb craving!

Amazingly I still had enough calories left for yet more food! I went for a fruit, seed and nut bar

I also had more strawberries - I was just feeling in a munchy mood!

Calorie Summary
Daily Cal Quota:1399
+ Exercise Cals:533
Total Cal Quota:1932
Calories Consumed:1915
Calories Left:17
Cals to Maintain Weight:1899

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal)1915
Protein (g)90.9
Carbohydrate (g)214.1
Fat (g)79.4
Fibre (g)26.7
Fruit & Veg13.3

And I think that's all for today!

Ooops, I forgot to add a title...

I forgot that I did take some photos of my weekend eating so you are getting a wee photo update I'm afraid!

Friday morning I headed to the gym for a treadmill run. Outside was too hot again and I'm still trying to work on increasing my running distance so I like being able to set the treadmill at a speed I can maintain for longer. I love running fast so outdoors I tend to keep going as fast as I can and burn out too quickly! It's also easier to stop or slow down when it feels too tough outdoors, I cant do it without even realising that's what I'm doing.

I did:

10 min run

1 min walk

6.5 min run

1 min walk

5 min run

1 min walk

15 mins of 1 min fast intervals.

After that I came home to one of these

Oats in a jar! The remains of my hazelnut butter stuff with cinnamon and orange oatmeal cooked in rice milk with extra cinnamon and topped with coconut butter

Served with a nice strong espresso

Before running I fuelled with some natural yogurt, rhubarb and ginger jam and chia seeds for some fatty goodness

Backer later with today's eats.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Welcome Back Dumbbells!

Today I did my first dumbbell workout in ages! I loved it! I mostly stick with the weights machines in the gym - it may be pathetic but I feel too shy/scared to use the free weights in the gym. It's silly but I worry I'll look like a big idiot and everyone will wonder what the hell I think I'm doing. I know the reality is that no one cares and most people are there to focus on their own workout, but it's my confidence and it's just not that easy to convince myself and get on with it sadly. Doesn't help that the free weights area is pretty small and filled with grunty men doing millions of bicep curls, unless you pass a training course that allows you to use the Performance Gym with all the enormous even gruntier men - which I would love to do but to be honest the thought terrifies me at the moment.

So at home dumbbell workouts it is for now!

I bought Oxygen magazine, it's a bit pricey since it's from the US, but it's the best diet & fitness magazine I've come across. It's packed full of annoying contradictory adverts which is annoying, but the proper content really makes up for it - it's all sensible advice, every article interests me and the workouts are brilliant! The nutrition advice is all based around Clean Eating which how I try to mostly eat and the workouts are either weights based or when they are cardio based it's interval/HIIT style training or more interesting and unusual activities.

Anyway, I went for the Beach Body Circuit 2010 as modeled by Jamie Eason. I worked through the circuit three times with some core work between each set and a 1 min rest between sets. Each set was with no breaks other than the time it took to pick up a different weight and change position. I did 12 reps of each exercise per set.

Plie Squat

Dumbbell Row

Alternating Dumbbell Curl

Dumbbell Step up

Flat bench Dumbbell Chest Press

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Seated Triceps Extension

Stiff-Legged Deadlift

Cross-bench Pullover

Standing Dumbbell Cross-Chest Curl

The first exercise and the last two exercises I had never done before and loved them! I have 1 set of fixed dumbbells which I used for all the upper body exercises expect the Dumbbell Row - for that and the leg work I used to two adjustable dumbbells fully loaded (only one for the plie squat). I think next time I'm not going to to the workout as a circuit but will instead do 3 sets of 8-10 reps for each exercise then rest before moving onto the next exercise. This way I can easily adjust the weights on the dumbbells for each exercise as the fixed ones are too light for some moves. I'll also switch the Step-Up for Pendulum Step Overs as these are tougher and my max weight is too light for Step-Ups. Deadlifts I'll have to do single leg deadlifts as again the weights are too light.

In between sets 1 and 2 I did plank for 30 seconds x 3, between sets 2 and 3 I did some ab crunches 10 x 2 and twisting crunches x 10, after set 3 I did 10 Russian Twists each side.

Looking forward to doing this again on Tuesday! :D

I have no food pictures for the last few days because my food has been totally un-interesting or eaten on the go, and on Saturday I just seemed to eat nothing but cake all day! Opps! Wasn't planned and wont be repeated, but was also brilliant!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010


I was going to use being busy as an excuse for a quickie blog post tonight, but the truth is, it was quite and sunny outside so when I came home from work I sat out in the garden and read a book about coffee and nibbles!

Last night's dinner - turket steak with goats cheese and parma ham

Not quite as good on top of turkey as it is on top of a burger though but anything with goats cheese and crispy parma ham is a winner!

And since we're catching up on dinner, here are my tortilla wrap chips and dip from Sunday


Today looked like:

Breakfast - smoothie with orange juice, banana and strawberries

Snack - banana

Lunch - roasted tomato soup

Snack - natural yogurt, rhubarb & ginger jam and chia seeds - love these seeds! They go kind of gooey and give the yogurt a really rich and creamy texture! I also had a little coffee machine latte and 2 dried apricots

Dinner - savoury French toast with cheap and nasty bread, filled with cheese and ham - wow this was good! Not my favourite bread but I'm not sure it would have worked with a tortilla wrap and it was bloody tasty anyway! Not very pretty looking...

Snack -

I'm out.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Where was I?

I think I left you after lunch yesterday. I followed that up with a big cup of Starbucks, my first one in over two weeks and I bloody loved every single sip - I'm such a sucker for Starbucks! It helps that there's a subsidised one in work ;) Afternoon snack was some yogurt with homemade rhubarb and ginger jam

I made my jam with dark brown muscovado sugar incase you're wondering why the colour looks so gross! This is lovely! The rhubarb came from my mum's garden :D

Before heading to the gym I scoffed some hummus and mange tout

This was not enough to fuel a full body weights session! I had to give in half way through the seated row and skip out on the chest press as I just burned right out. Still got in a 20 min walk each way and 10 mins of cardio before the weights.

After the gym, since the sun was out for a change, we planted out some of our veg plants as they had started to outgrow their pots - fingers crossed we get a decent bit of veggies this year - they are looking good. They should have gone out sooner but our weather has been more like it would normally be in March so it's been too miserable to get stuff planted out.

I was absolutely starving so had two crunchy oat/cereal bars to tide me over.

Dinner was turkey steak cooked in garlic and paprika with lots of onion, yogurt and parsley dressing and severed in a seeded tortilla wrap - plus another wrap toasted and filled with just yogurt dressing!

Calorie Summary
Daily Cal Quota:1399
+ Exercise Cals:378
Total Cal Quota:1777
Calories Consumed:1752
Calories Left:24
Cals to Maintain Weight:1899

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal)1752
Protein (g)86.2
Carbohydrate (g)192.7
Fat (g)72.2
Fibre (g)21.0
Fruit & Veg3.9

Bit low on the fruit and veg, I'm always amazed at how little portions of veg I get in a big salad! You've got to use a lot of lettuce or spinach to get up to 1 portion!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Normal Service Has Resumed

And it feels nice and good and easy - long may it continue!

Today started the best possible way a Monday could start


Followed by a nice big bowl of porridge with rice milk and topped with granola

I've lost my picture :( but this one is pretty so I'll use that instead even thought it's totally irrelevant.

I had a little satsuma to snack on before lunch, which was a salad - mixed salad leaves, 1 avocado and a couple of slices of parma ham drizzled with 1 tsp balsamic vinegar - tasted beautiful but the avocado was a bit too ripe and mushy, the texture kind of grossed me out a little

And I just had me a perfect grande tripple shot latte topped with cinnamon from Starbucks (see Twitter) I thought I would be bouncing off the walls afterwards but I feel fine. Apart from the twitchy legs and scary speed of my typing... *cough*

Some other nice foods from the last couple of weeks:

Maply syrup granola bar - OK so it has sugar as the second ingredient (shock horror!) but it was damn tasty and I wont mind having one or two of these again in the future!

Lovely fresh apple juice - granny smith apples give such a beautiful colour!

This was really naughty. I blended two homemade Bailys truffles (in the freezer from christmas time) with a banana and some rice milk - it was beautiful! But the truffles are just cream, chocolate and Baileys - not really breakfast food!

Pre-run spoon of almond butter on Friday, amazingly this got me through 45 mins running plus 40 mins walking.

Rye bread toasted until almost burnt and topped with Whole Earth crunchy peanut butter and blobs of coconut butter - as you eat it the heat from your hands/breath melt the coconut butter - the only way to have rye bread!

Smoooooothie - I think it was banana, banana protein powder, cocoa powder, cinnamon... I'm not really sure, but it wasn't as good as a Chocolate Cinnamon Smoothie in a Bowl!

Sorry for all the pictures, I just hate when I take photos and don't get round to posting them, feels like such a waste. And it helps me feel like less of a nutter if I have a reason for having taken them!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Mmmm, noodle soup

It's not noodle soup at all, I just made soup and keep thinking of the episode of Friends when Joey can't say "mmm soup" but keeps calling it noodle soup....

Yeah, anyway.

Since Friday when I decided to sack the 30 day program I've been feeling really great and like whatever was missing is coming back!

Friday I went to the gym for a run on the treadmill - I like using the treadmill when I am trying to improve on the distance I can run since I can control the speed I run at. When I run outdoors I run too fast and burn out too quick. I did a total of 45 minutes, starting with a 2 minute fast walk then running for 5 mins and walking for 1 min. After a few sets of that I did pyramid style intervals, 1 min run/1 min walk increasing the speed for each run by 0.5 mph up to a max speed of 7.5 mph. I love running fast but I get scared I'll get chewed up in the treadmill!

I also did a lot of walking on Friday - to and from the gym was 20 mins each way, then we went into town in the evening which was about 40 minutes each way.

Yesterday, I didn't do any exercise as I was out with  friend for most of the day then when I came home I wash all the dishes and cleaned all the kitchen - it's so lovely and shiny now! I was a bit reluctant to use it today and spoil the shinyness! But I did and I prepared all my food for taking to work tomorrow and made two lots of soup (hence the title!)

I made a watercress and courgette soup

I'll post the recipe later. It's really yummy, I've never made a soup with watercress before. It took under 10 mins to make this one. I'm a little bit broke for the rest of this month so using up what I already have in the fridge/cupboards. I'll be having soups for lunch this week.

I also made the delicious Roasted Tomato Soup which looked a bit like this today

I had two boxes of tomatoes and a red pepper to use up, as well as a kind of ropey looking brown onion.

And for dinner I'm off to make some tortilla chips out of some seeded tortilla wraps brushed with olive oil, cayenne pepper, cumin and corriander and I have jalapeno and red pepper hummus for dipping, like I said, I'm using stuff up so I don't have to shop!

Note to Self: Diets Do Not Work

I don't know why I fell for it again? I think it sounded similar to what I im for with diet and exercise so I didn't see it as a diet, but it was.

I had to send myself back to read my Why Am I Here? and remind myself that diets suck, all of them!

I don't think I posted much detail on here of what I was doing, basically it's a 30 day program put together by a personal trainer. The triner was calling for volunteers to try out the new program to get feedback and make tweaks before selling the program for a fee. I'd seen a lot of positive reviews on Weight Loss Resources about the programs so I set aside my cynicism and signed up.

In terms of diet, it was an elimination diet - this is "clean eating" but quite strict. No dairy (except live yogurt - thank god!), no alcohol, no sugar, no wheat, no processed foods, no caffeine. Typically an elimination diet is to help you identify intolerances. There were some extra restrictions on top of a typical elimination diet for this program.

Really though, I don't want to control my eating to that extent and from having cut things out before and re-introduced then I do not feel I have intolerances (well, junk food does bloat me but I want to cut that as much as I can anyway and with dairy I do prefer alternative milks, full fat products and goats cheese and lacto free milk...), but I thought I would try it out anyway.

The way I would prefer to eat is to cut way back on processed foods and added sugars and try to eat as naturally as possible - but not to stress if I don't eat natural 100% of the time. Most importantly I want to leave myself plenty of choice, without going overboard - I think that's the only way I could keep it up long term.

For exercise, you should have 4 sessions every single day - no rest days. Each session is short and you must leave a certain amount of time between sessions. The different routines often repeat the same exercises so you my find yourself doing hundreds of the same movement on a daily basis, every day. Unfortunately, I prefer a bit of variety when it comes to exercise so this doesn't really work for me. I also disagree that there is no such thing as over-training, I know too many people with injuries which are a result of over-training.

This type of training plan is similar to ones I've seen before aimed at improving fat burning and for metabolic training - see Figure Athlete for some brilliant articles on training and diet, I particularly love this metabolic circuit by Rachel Cosgrove. Also take a look into the Tabata method for an excellent way to train - though this is something that should only be done a couple of times a week

On top of exercising like this on a daily basis, week 2 introduces carb cycling, again something I have learned bout and dabbled with in the past, and it does get some great results but on this program my low carb day had me eating only 8% carbs and again this involves a level of control I don't want to introduce to my diet.

At this point I decided the program was not for me. I was not prepared to follow the next stage of dieting which introduces 3 "fast" days per week - one meal only is eaten - along with the intensive exercise program on these days.

I agree with Small Steps Big Changes and her views that a lot of the theories my be sound or have some studies suggesting they are safe and work - but throwing it all together at this level intensity is where I have my concerns. Particularly as this trial did not take any background information of participants, nothing at all other than an email address was required to be able to take part.

One big thing I learned from doing this is that it is very important to follow a diet and exercise program that suits you as in individual. Don't give in to any pressures coming form anyone else, do not let anyone tell you that you are weak or have failed because it does not suit you to follow the same plan as they follow. As long as you are trying to achieve the results you are after (and it is essential to be realistic) you are not a failure. Anyone who says otherwise is not worth listening to.

So I'm working on coming up with a wee bit of structure for myself. I do respond well to structure and guidelines, I'm going to be sure to build some flexibility in and include the following:

Rest days - my body needs these, I wont continue to exercise every day, though I will keep active.
I need carbs to help fuel my workout - after taking part in the program I ached, not muscle pain but like my body was tired and all my joints really hurt. I never got this when I wasn't cutting carbs.
Pre and post workout nutrition is important to me - I find it difficult to fuel correctly when exercising several times during the day, therefore one or two exercise sessions is right for me.
I can stick to an acceptable level of clean eating - I was feeling as though I lacked the willpower before, I know I can do it when I really try.
I love tabata workouts! I will be fitting 1 or 2 into my routine each week I think.
I prefer to mix things up and have a variety of different styles of workout, intervals, HIIT, yoga, body weight exercises, heavy weight training, tabata, some steady state cardio at a slower pace for longer distances

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Low Low Low

Carbs that is.

I'm still following this 30 MAP fatloss plan thing and today is my first day of the carb cycling where the only carbs I'm supposed to have are form fibrous vegetables. It's not been as bad as I had expected so far, but I'm hardly far through it!

I started with a high protein diet today of scrambled eggs with smoked salmon

I was a bit of a piggy and had 3 eggs since I was worried about being hungry with limited snacking options!

I wasn't, I was stuffed for hours - 2 eggs is definitely enough!

I snacked on what was really my only option before lunch - toasted nuts! I can't stomach the thought of veggies or meat really before lunch, except salmon on my eggs obviously, that doesn't gross me out for some reason

I "toasted" them in the microwave for about 1.5 minutes, stopping every so often to give them a shoogle to stop them burning - thanks to Kath Eats for the tip on toasting them in the microwave! I had 10g each of almonds, hazelnuts and pecans - almonds were my favourite to have plain, but 10g of each was too much in one serving, which surprised me, I thought I'd be starving by lunch time!

Lunch was a salad - mixed leaves, spring onion, yellow pepper, courgette, lemon juice, paprika, salt and pepper and some mackerel - it was OK. I miss my proper salad dressing with balsamic vinegar and mustard though, but it's only another 19 days or something now so I'm going to stick with it and see how things go. I don't have any significant weight loss or inch loss yet but I do look and feel a bit better.

And since I've got the photos I may as well post a couple form the last day or so....

Oats with rice milk, chopped apricot and goji berries - I added hte milk the night before so the oats and dried fruit soaked up a lot of the milk meaning it only needed about a minute and a half in the microwave to cook so it was still reasonably cool - it would be perfect porridge for the lovely hot summers weather - if only we were getting some!

As usual, I topped with toasted nuts

Mega porridge! I made far too much! With whipped in banana, coconut milk, hazelnuts, pecans, almond butter and strawberries! Heaven in a bowl!

Greek yogurt with cinnamon, pumpkin seeds and strawberries - love the cinnamon and strawberries together!

I've discovered omelette! Proper omelette, nice and thin and cooked in a pan! so plain and simple but tastes amazing! I made a 2 egg mushroom one for brunch on Monday (I had the day off work) and immediately after went and made another plain 1 egg omelette - beautiful!

Post-run refreshment - this really does the trick at re-hydrating and stops me getting my usual headaches after a particularly sweaty workout. I wish these were cheaper as I would happily drink nothing else.

Chicken wrapped in parma ham, always a winner

Mackerel salad - the fish is so flavoursome, I love it!

Chicken chow mein, this time with rice noodles due to the 30 day fatloss thing saying no to regular noodles - they were OK, needed to cook for longer, I think they could be nice!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

And another whole new world of pain!

Just when I thought I couldn't ache any more! For some reason I had thought (hoped?) that doing another round of workouts would somehow ease the pain... crazy I know! I woke up this morning and seriously contemplated calling in sick to work as I thought I wouldn't be able to get out of my bed! Eventually I stood up and my legs almost gave way! I hobbled into the shower and somehow managed to get dress and shuffle my way to work.

I had some strawberries for breakfast (ended up switching my breakfast and snack to fit in round a meeting)

I picked out the hazelnuts and had them on my porridge instead

Coconut milk, half a banana, almond butter, blueberries and hazelnuts

Love the combination of savory nut butter, sweet and juicy berries and crunchy nuts!

For lunch I made a salad with mackerel, but the salad kind of sucked so I just ate the fish! I put tomato in my salad which I'm not a big fan of in raw tomato form - any other way I love them so I thought I should try again. But it made me feel sick

In the afternoon I had yogurt with cinnamon and pumpkin seeds, I was going to add a work apple but they all looked a bit ropey today!

When I got home I had a couple of apricots and did my first workout, took about 20 minutes and after that I went for a 15 minute walk/run, running into the wind was not ideal :D

Had some dinner - steak! Cooked in olive oil with garlic with asparagus and baby corn and some left over jambalaya from Monday

After dinner I was very boring and did housework and packed lunch for tomorrow. I've just finished my 3rd workout and spent most of it thinking what the hell I'm I doing, this hurts like crazy! But once I was done I felt great! 3 more days of this before I get a rest though...

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