Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Soooo this is kinda ironic because I'm posting it on February 14, but guess what? I got engaged 10 days ago!
We've been together for just shy of 10 years, but it was still a total surprise! We went to San Francisco "for his birthday," but he took me to Ocean Beach and proposed instead. :)
In a nutshell: OMG!!! And no date/plans yet. But still, OMG!!!
After all this time together, I guess we both mutually felt that we're FINALLY starting to get our shizz together, haha. Between martial arts and primal, everything is really falling into place nicely. We have a lot of fun together, and finally have a lifestyle that supports our health. We're getting stronger, leaner, building relationships with positive people, and creating an awesome home with our awesome cats and a moderately well-stocked kitchen.
In fitness news, at my mid-challenge assessment I was down almost 4lbs and increased my pushups from 4 to 12! I'm also BLASTING through orange belt; I should be testing for my gold belt at the end of this month. I'm probably going to be signing up for a series of 5K races called the Reno 5000. I went out for a run for the first time in quite a while last Sunday and did 3 miles, no walk breaks, in about 33 minutes. I even have plans to meet with a lady from my fitness classes to run on Saturday. I've missed having a running buddy, so I hope it works out!
I also found -- through the martial arts/fitness place's Facebook community -- a place that serves REALLY yummy gluten-free pizza! It's called ZPizza. I know it's still "junk" food that should be eaten in moderation, but I used to cook pizza from scratch every Friday, and I've really missed it since cutting out wheat. The ingredients are all organic, too, I think. It's very flavorful! I might have to start experimenting with at-home gluten free pizza crust recipes.
Pink the kitten is getting HUGE, but she is a VERY awesome cat. She's sociable, active, and nice. Yes, she's attacking Grendel in this photo... but Grendel likes the attention! They nap together and groom each other too.
Of course, not EVERYTHING is perfect -- but there's no need to ruminate on the stressful things when everything else has been so happy lately. It's sure a nice change from last fall.
I'm so looking forward to this summer!
PS, the head instructor of our martial arts school jokingly offered to officiate when we do schedule the ceremony -- mostly, I think, so he could say, "You may now kick the bride." Bwahaha!
Friday, January 27, 2012
I was so bummed when I came down with a cold on Wednesday, because I've been making really good progress! My upper body is so frail that in two weeks, I've made noticeable gains in both strength and aesthetics. I've seriously had three people independently tell me that my arms and shoulders are looking really good. :D I can't wait to get to a full chin up. I'm so going to post a video to show me and my guns off, lol.
I didn't do well on my food plan while I was sick. I didn't feel like doing anything and nothing sounded good. I ended up digging into a jar of Nutella that somehow survived the Great Pantry Purge, and getting Panda Express (...on white rice at least, not gluten-containing noodles) for lunch.
In retrospect, that was really dumb of me because I have tons of homemade chicken broth. Isn't that what you're supposed to eat when you're sick? For some reason I wanted nothing to do with it!
Anyway, I'm feeling much better today. I'm proud that I took two days off and, once I started feeling better, got right back to my routine by going to kickboxing this morning (and taking it easy).
I kind of have to, because I'm testing for my orange belt tomorrow.
I really hope I survive the test, it's brutal! And I get super nervous at belt tests.
For those of you wondering about all the "primal" food talk going on here, I thought I'd pop up a quick summary with a couple links if anybody is interested.
My personal definition of primal is eating mostly meat and veggies, healthy fats, and some fruits, nuts and seeds. I avoid grains and gluten, refined sugar, and polyunsaturated vegetable oils (like corn and soy oil). I also think probiotic foods are important, like pickled vegetables, yogurt, etc.
From a macronutrient perspective, for me, a 5'8" female at ~150lbs, this ends up being less than 70g of carbs per day, a MINIMUM of 70g protein a day (I prefer more like 90g+), and healthy fats make up the rest. Total calories, eh, maybe 1700-2200? I'm pretty active, I do martial arts in the evening 6 days a week and fitness classes in the morning 5-6 days a week.
So yes, it's sort of a low-carb diet. But more importantly, it's a whole foods diet. You'd be surprised how many processed foods have wheat, sugar and polyunsaturated vegetable oils in them, so eating this way boils down to a lot of cooking for yourself at home. However, it usually tastes better than getting it from somewhere else, plus you don't end up with the gastro distress you get sometimes from restaurant food.
If you want to read more, here are some more sources of information:
Marks Daily Apple (website)
Weston A. Price Foundation
Archevore: Paleo 2.0 (website)
Sugar: The Bitter Truth (video)
Good Calories, Bad Calories (book)
Friday, January 20, 2012
I found a cool progress pic app for my iPhone called Body Shot.
I wanted to show you the difference that Primal made for me in October 2011.
That volley ball shape to my tummy in the before picture? That's called "wheat belly." And the sad and depressed look on my face? That's my primary emotion when I eat refined sugar. The difference between those two photos is only 6lbs.
I don't have good pics for my January experiment yet... but stay tuned, by the time I'm done with my 8-week fitness challenge, it should be epic!
Friday, January 20, 2012
I don't care if it's the Mayan apocalypse, 2012 is going to be so much better than 2011. :)
Some updates since I last posted:
We still miss our Fafnir-cat, but our kitty Grendel and her kitten playmate Pink are doing really well. We adopted Pink a few weeks before Fafnir passed in order to integrate her into the family and help Grendel (and the rest of us) cope. We were a little worried about putting two females together, but they started napping together and playing together almost right away. The sad part is that Fafnir took Pink under his wing before he left... they were adorable together.
I did awesome in October, then in November/December (for fairly obvious reasons) I totally lost my primal groove. It's ironic since I'm not much of a "resolutions" person, but I re-started primal on January 1, this time with my boyfriend! He absolutely LOVES it, by the way. He's lost like 10 pounds and can't get over the definition he's getting around his abs, haha. And, of course, I feel physically a lot better. I decided to take January to worry less about losing weight, and focus more on a) avoiding sugar, and b) feeling better. So far so good. I may start being more cognizant of my calorie intake and macronutrient ratios starting in February, we'll see.
So far, with my laissez-faire approach, I haven't really lost much weight, but according to my bioimpendance scale, I'm doing really well with fat loss! (Caveat: Bioimpedance is not very accurate, and I did start working out hardcore this week, so it may have something to do with water weight. However, I'm looking more for a downward trend than an exact number, and I think that's a definite trend!)
My boyfriend successfully convinced me to switch from kung fu, which I did truly enjoy, to mixed martial arts (tae kwon do, muay thai, brazillian jiu jitsu, boxing, etc). While I do miss the art of kung fu, I'm TOTALLY enjoying the energy at this place! Plus, there are many more women there, even women instructors, plus a lot of couples. Aside from learning stylistic differences, a lot of the white belt basics I already have down (e.g. keep your hands up when you're boxing, what a fighting stance looks like, how to use your hips to put power behind punches and kicks, yadda yadda). So I managed to "tip test" on everything that I needed to learn in order to qualify for January's belt test. I should be getting my orange belt at the end of the month. :)
So I kind of bombed that 8-week fitness challenge from November, haha. But, I just joined the NEW 8-week challenge, and I'm doing really well on it so far. They created a private Facebook group for January challengers, and we had to post our goals and plans on the page. So I am back to actively working towards:
20 full pushups
55 full situps in one minute
...and loosely working on getting to one unassisted, dead-hang chin-up, even though I will most likely not meet that particular goal in only 8 weeks!
I have also discovered that I did not, in fact, have my asthma under control like I thought I did. Turns out asthma is a lot more than simply avoiding acute attacks. Prior to starting the new fitness challenge, I did an assessment, and pushed REALLY HARD on my sprints. I almost passed out (that'll learn me to do high intensity intervals on an empty stomach) and had the mother of all asthma attacks. If I hadn't been able to borrow an inhaler, I would have been in big trouble. Even with medication, my chest just ached for the rest of the day. It was scary.
So after securing my very own prescription inhaler via my obgyn and then finally finding a primary care physician (which I've been trying to do on and off for several years, since my previous primary care doctor passed away), I am now totally up to speed on the benefits of Albuterol. The nurse practitioner at my new primary care doc's office explained that I can take it proactively, before a hard workout, rather than reserving it for emergency use. I took two puffs before our rigorous Thursday night MMA class, and H-O-L-Y SHIIIZZZT, the difference was amazing! I assumed I had poor stamina -- nope, it was asthma the entire time.
I don't talk about my career a lot online for privacy reasons, but let's just say that the primal diet has increased my concentration -- and therefore my productivity -- manyfold. It's a keeper. :)
That's the State of Elaine address! I have a really good feeling about the next few months, and getting my health and life back in order. Heaven forbid I actually start to feel, and act, like a grown-up. ;)
Hope you all are having a fantastic Friday!
Friday, November 25, 2011
Fafnir (the Faf, Fargh Nargh, Fartnir, Fuff)
"For I will consider my Cat ...
For when his day's work is done his business more properly begins.
For he keeps the Lord's watch in the night against the adversary.
For he counteracts the powers of darkness by his electrical skin and glaring eyes.
For he counteracts the Devil, who is death, by brisking about the life.
For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him.
For he is of the tribe of Tiger.
For the Cherub Cat is a term of the Angel Tiger. ...
For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest."
Excerpt from JUBILATE AGNO, by CHRISTOPHER SMART
Love you, Buddy.
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