Sunday, February 16, 2014
My mother passed, and so I am leaving for a trip to Alabama to visit family and to say goodbye. I don't think I'll be tracking while I'm there or really worried too much over food and fitness at all. I won't be posting, I won't be blogging until I return.
But, I will return.
Sunday, February 09, 2014
Monday Legs (Supreme 90)
Tuesday Chalean Lean 1
Wednesday Cardio (Alpha Cardio)
Thursday Chalean Lean 2
Friday Cardio (Speed 1.0)
Saturday Chalean Lean 3
Sunday Cardio (Abs)
This rotation will put me at strength training 4 times a week, and cardio 3 times a week.
So this schedule is what I'm currently doing for the month of February. I know I'm a little late in putting it up, but I am only just starting with the legs, and trying to keep my cardio regular. As of now, I'm going to try and stick with this so I have something set. When I don't have a schedule, I tend to not do it.
At this point, I'm going to give a small mini review of the two programs I am working with/rotating with pros and cons. Please note that both products are Beachbody products and no, I am not a BB coach, and no, I do not want to sell you anything.
I am currently doing my second round of this program. It is broken into three phases (see my previous blogs for details) that you do each for a month, and then an optional fourth phase.
The pros for this set are:
Minimal equipment needed.
Chalean is fun and uplifting (despite the fact that she doesn't do all the reps).
Movements are easy to master and effective.
Workouts range from 30-45 minutes.
The cons for this set are:
Poor leg workout. (Because the movements are combined in such a way that you can't lift enough weight to fatigue your legs AND do the arm movements. Also, there are few exercises which focus only on the lower body in later phases of the workout).
Included cardio discs are just “meh,” and rotating the same two out every week gets SUPER BORING.
Pretty much the same warm up and cool down every single disc. (Some people hate this, some are indifferent).
Now that the general high and low lights are out of the way, I'll give you a more specific breakdown. I did lose significant inches and pounds using this program. I had never done a strict weight/strength training routine, just some weight work with light dumbbells. I had no idea how strong I was, or how rewarding strength training could be until I started this set. I have a couple of other strength programs waiting for me to try (I picked them up after loving this one so much), but I came back to this one specifically because I love the challenge and the moves.
Keep in mind if you are a female and you are doing this program, do not try and lift the same weights the instructor does unless you are experienced. She lifts really heavy on some of the moves, but she only does about half the reps before she puts the weight down and walks around to chat. Look for the female in the back corner who isn't modifying, and match those weights instead (if you aren't sure where to start).
As a person who does not have time to do an hour plus workout each day, I was super excited when this product came out. I'd been hearing about how fantastic Insanity was, and this seemed similar, just a shorter version, so I thought “Why not?”
Sadly, I do not love this program the way that I love Chalean. It is a heavy cardio focus, and Shaun T is certainly inspiring enough, but it feels like every single video is the EXACT SAME THING. Okay, okay, to be fair, I have only done the “Alpha” videos, which are the first month. But, each of these videos recycles certain progressive cycles. “Hop hop squat” and “Side lunge squat” seem to be in every video, some of the others repeat in the major ones, but are not in the abs video or “lower focus”
I decided straight away that I would probably not be able to do this set all the way through straight through. Doing the same cardio moves every single day isn't exactly my idea of a blast, even though it is super awesome that it is only about 30 minutes long. So, rather than attempt that, I rotate the discs out for cardio days in Chalean Extreme.
I will probably sell off T25 if it doesn't get any better, I don't think I'd recommend this program at all unless you don't mind the same thing everyday. However, of the two programs, T25 has the easier and superior nutrition guide.
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
I've gotten some messages from some of you asking me what I'm working on now and such, so I thought I'd post up here. After I finished up my round of Chalean Extreme, I tried to work on a different program that was mostly cardio based (JM's Body Revolution). I ended up stopping after phase one because I just didn't like it. After that, I took a week or so off and then started back up with another round of Chalean Extreme. I find the weight lifting to be rewarding in a way that I don't find cardio to be anymore. I understand the value of cardio, don't get me wrong, but I find myself wanting to work out on strength days and dreading to work out on cardio days.
I have not been doing the cardio included in Chalean's set this time around, I've been swapping that out with T25 discs. Once I gain some muscle mass, I think I might do T25 straight through to kill off any extra body fat I pick up along the way. I've been doing a little supplementation with a pre workout/creatine and some BCAAs to hopefully help increase my gains.
As far as my diet goes, I tried to do Paleo/Primal for a while, and I could not sustain it. I would freak out with cravings for carbohydrates and over eat. I never really felt satisfied (even when I upped my carbs). I might try it again in the future, but I just couldn't stick to it, nor was I particularly happy doing it. Every time a box of chex cereal or another refined simple carb entered the house, I wanted it.
Right now I'm loosely following the meal plan that came with a knock off P90X workout set I bought for all of $20. The eating plan is essentially just clean eating, 5-6 meals a day, with each meal consisting of a protein and a carb. I've been pretty happy with this so far, and I've had days that I couldn't eat it all. I don't feel the need to snack on my kid's cereals or whatever is lying around to get me the carb fix since I'm actively incorporating them into my diet. (I also wanted to note that I like the nutrition plan that came with T25 – it looks easy to follow and the meals look quick to make). I may rotate some of that into my current eating plan.
I'm also in the market for a good protein shake or meal replacement type thing. I have celiac (no wheat, barley, rye) and a soy allergy. It has been really hard to find something without gluten and soy. If anyone could recommend a product in the comments below (or message me), that would be great!
Friday, January 03, 2014
It has been a really, really long time since I've blogged. I really should be ashamed of myself but, to tell truth, I'm not. The reason that I'm not, is that despite having a period of time when I wasn't tracking and really wasn't minding what when or why I was eating, I still managed to keep pretty decent habits. I lost a lot, gained back a little, and now I'm pretty much back where I was before I stopped tracking.
Through trial and error, I've pretty much determined my ideal body weight to be 125-135 pounds. It has been difficult keeping it there, when I go through bouts of sadness or despondence, I don't want to eat, food doesn't taste good, and the last thing I feel like is counting calories. But, I told someone important to me that I would, and I want to keep my word. On the flip side of the coin, I'm also afraid of eating too much. The problem for me lies in the fact that eating a normal amount of calories in my maintenance range is not too much, but I still struggle with giving myself permission to be normal. I tell myself that I can't be normal, because if I ever get too comfortable, I'll lose control.
Right, too much information. I think the point is, I'm not really trying to lose pounds anymore, just trying to adjust my body composition a little. I'm strength training still, and trying to restart some cardio a few days a week. On most days I'm pretty happy with my size and my body, on other days I kick myself for being a size four instead of a size zero. I'm sick, I'm not sure what is wrong with me. Unhealthy self image aside, I do want to get stronger and I'd like to build more endurance so I'll keep up with the workouts. I won't go below 1600 calories a day unless I have a good excuse.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
I have been working on being as primal in my eating style as I possibly can, not really because of the evolutionary ideas behind it or whatnot, but simply because I think it is a really healthy and clean way of eating. Lately, I've been working on cooking things that my family will eat, so that I need not prepare a seperate dish for myself. The two following items were big hits with my kids:
Butternut Pumpkin Soup
1 can pumpkin
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup cashews
2 cups butternut squash (I buy frozen)
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 stalk celery
2 cups beef stock (I make my own, try gluten free stock!)
bacon (1-2 slices)
1 tbspn cinnamon
1 tbspn chili powder
1 tbspn fresh tarragon
1 tbspn fresh rosemary
1 tbspn fresh basil
When I served this to my kids, I added a teaspoon of maple syrup, a tablespoon of rasins, and a tablespoon of shredded coconut on the top.
Cook bacon, garlic, onion, celery and cashews in cocnut oil. Add squash, pumpkin, stock, and coconut milk, mix well, allow to cook 15 minutes. Add herbs and spices, then blend with immersion blender, or place a batch at a time into a food processor and puree.
Serving Size: Makes 8 1 & 1/2 cup servings
Paleo Apple Crisp
4 large apples
1 1/2 cups almond meal
1 tbspn cinnamon
3 tbspn honey
4 tbspn melted coconut butter
.25 cup raisins
1 lemon (for juicing)
3 tbspn maple syrup
Preheat over to 300.
Core and slice apples, placing the slices in layers on a 8x8 pan. Squeeze lemon juice over the apple layers and mix raisins in.
In a seperate bowl, combine honey, almond meal, cinnamon, melted coconut oil. When mixed well, spread over the apple mixture. Drizzle the maple syrup over the top and bake at 300 for 50 minutes.
Serving Size: Makes 8 servings
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