My extra energy

For the past few weeks, I have been trying out a little number that sat in my cabinet for a bit. I had purchased it, knowing I wouldn’t use it until I was all done with breastfeeding…baby doesn’t need even more extra energy! Not that I researched if I should avoid it, so if you want to check it out, go for it.

So once I was done, and then sure I was done, and forgot about it and remembered, I tried it.

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I’ve taken pre-workout formulas in the past.  Um.  They didn’t go well for me.  I’d be jittery, sometimes to the point of shaking, and unable to focus hours later.  Did they work during the workout?  Sure!  But if I can’t function after, that’s kind of pointless.  So I was a little worried to try the Energy and Endurance that I’ve heard a lot of great things about.  

So, what do you do with it?  It’s a powder with a tiny scoop and it starts with one scoop to 4 oz water 30 minutes before your workout.  You can build to 2 scoops in 8 oz if the one works well for you.  I usually drink it about 20 min before a workout because I’m not getting up before 4am to drink my E&E!  I wait for the dog to go out, and then it’s workout time.  But I figure that as long as it kicks in during my workout, I’m good.  I’ve been doing the 21 Day Fix workouts plus another workout for the past few weeks to extend my time in preparation for what’s next.

So far, so good!  I went up to 2 scoops after a few days because I didn’t feel any odd effects after.  No jittery feeling, no crazy spikes or drops.  But I do feel like I have more energy for my workouts and I feel like I can push myself better…not easy so early in the morning!  I don’t take it before yoga or pilates type workouts (except yesterday, when I expected to do more than 21 Day Fix – Pilates Fix but used my extra energy on less active, but still productive, tasks), just the more intense ones.  

It makes me feel ready to work…this was taken before one of my recent workouts,  This was 4:27am, but I’m ready to go!

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Good morning! Get to it 🙂

I’m hoping this helps power me through early morning Body Beast workouts as I currently don’t plan on using the Fuel Shot to start.  Body Beast has it’s own supplements, but I’m waiting to see if I want to get them.  I think they’re awesome for men doing the program, but not sure how much I’ll need to change up nutrition-wise.  

Have you used anything to power up your workouts?

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My Quinoa Secret

We’ve discovered that our daughter loves quinoa…but only if I make it.  So the question is, what do I do differently?

I like my quinoa kind of sticky I guess.  When I get it other places, it’s more crumbly, almost like a couscous if that makes sense.  First note, I make it in my rice cooker.  I got this earlier this year, and have been easily making quinoa and steel cut oats in it.  I love being able to set it up and not have to stir, make sure it doesn’t boil over, etc.  Plus it has a timer and a warm setting, so I can set it up early and leave it.  I’m all about making things easier on myself!

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Second, and I think this is the key, I use a ratio of 1:4 dry quinoa to liquid (usually 1 cup quinoa, 4 cups water).  I can’t remember where I first saw this recipe (if you can call it that!) but it works really well for me.  I find that it helps the quinoa take on whatever I put on it, makes it easier to eat without making a mess (just don’t drop your dry quinoa!) and I actually prefer the taste this way.  Not that quinoa really has much of a taste!

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We used to mix quinoa with avocado to make it easier for little hands, but this way, it sticks together better and makes that unnecessary.

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I have oatmeal in it now!  I don’t have to worry about a thing until we want to eat it.

 

 

 

 

Zucchini Pasta

What was for dinner tonight?? Vegetables mostly!  I had zucchini pasta with chicken and a tomato/onion sauce and roasted Brussels sprouts leaves.  And it was so good!  Even the baby will eat the Brussels sprouts, but I kept my zucchini pasta to myself.

Of course I will tell you how I made the “pasta”.  You’ll see a lot of spiralizer do dads but none have made it into my kitchen just yet.  The Pampered Chef even has two different ones…a julienne peeler which makes linguine noodles and the Spiral and Slice for ribbon noodles.

 

Linguine Zucchini made with the Julienne Peeler

Linguine Zucchini made with the Julienne Peeler

Ribbon Zucchini

Ribbon Zucchini made with the Spiral and Slice…

...or you can make Zucchini Rotine!

…or you can make Zucchini Rotini!

 

I think it would help if I wasn’t the only person here not opposed to vegetable pasta but I wouldn’t mind a fancy tool for it!  I just use a regular old vegetable peeler, and peel in strips until I see seeds.  Some people would then cut the peelings into smaller strips, but I’m lazy and okay with it still being obviously zucchini.  It’s something you can do if you like!

I used one large zucchini in a large pan on a medium high heat.  I would usually use olive oil for cooking, but I hadn’t planned for this so using the 21 Day Fix balsamic dressing worked better in my day.  And it cooked up well!  I don’t really follow any instructions here, just keep it moving around the pan until the zucchini is done.  It will be less stiff but not mushy.  I had it cooking for under 5 minutes.

Straight out of the pan!

Straight out of the pan!

I cut up some already cooked chicken and added a chunky mix of tomatoes and onions plus spices and mixed it together a bit.  The dressing made it have a little too much liquid, but a lot of it was soaked up by the chicken, so it worked out.

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Finished product

This was super filling and tasty!  If this is stepping out of your comfort zone a little, I say give it a try.  With a spiralizer tool, you’ll barely notice that it’s zucchini!  In large strips, it’s kind of obvious though.

What’s for dinner tonight?  Have you tried this or other pasta alternatives?

Making Cooking Easier

Good morning!  It’s the weekend again so I hope you’re having a fun one!

I wanted to tell you all about how I make both cooking and putting food together a little easier.  At least for me!  This is something I’ve done since starting to lose weight that has helped in a few ways – I can make a bunch at once, I can change it up for variety, and I can focus on what works best for each meal.

So what’s this magic trick?  I make my protein plain. Inventive, right?  Just cooking spray (or a quick shot from the oil mister) and whatever it is – chicken, fish, ground turkey, whatever you like!  I usually bake chicken and fish, and cook up ground turkey in a pan.  Then when I eat it, I portion it out, spice it up and can choose if I want a sauce or healthy fat on it.

Now, this method (if you can call it that) works for a lot of different things!  What you’ll find in my fridge is mostly cooked food, all separate.  So quinoa in a container, turkey in a container, oatmeal, chicken, sweet potatoes, etc.  All plain and ready to be mixed together.  It’s like the Garanimals of refrigerators.

This has worked really well with the 21 Day Fix plan!  I can easily measure out a container’s worth of food and throw it on my dish.  I don’t typically worry about what containers a recipe is because I don’t make them.  Then I add my seasonings and whatever else I want and go.  Done!

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See those little containers?  That’s how much of each food I eat at a time (they match up with food groups).  So it’s nice and simple to measure them out.

What are your little tricks to make healthy food prep easier?

P90X3 – Accelerator

The next of our P90X3 workouts is Accelerator!

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This workout combines speeds…so you change speeds during exercises…to work both the aerobic and anaerobic pathways.  But what does that mean??  Basically, traditional cardio is aerobic.  You can sustain going at that speed for a considerable amount of time.  Anaerobic is when you turn it up, usually to a level that is not sustainable, but doable for a short burst.  Working this way helps you burn more calories overall, as you’re turning it up to that anaerobic point but not fully resting in between bursts.

The exercises are done for a minute, with the changes in speed during that time.  Note…you actually need two towels in this workout.  Not just for sweat, but for moves.  So don’t skip the towel and need to go get one during.  Not that I did that (every time!).  Another peek into my living room – I usually fall down during the Donkey Kicks.  For these, you have your hands on the floor, and kick up, then land on one foot and bring the other through underneath you.  But get up again and smile when you fall!

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I think that’s the most complicated move in this workout.  For the most part, they are challenging cardio exercises that you’ve seen before.  Don’t let the name scare you away!  You will be so thankful for the slow downs that you’ll forget you’re still working in those times!

I think we have one more workout to go!  I don’t have the deluxe workouts (yet?) so I stuck with the base kit.

It’s Friday folks.  Have fun today!

P90X3 – Isometrix

Back to the P90X3 workouts!

This was a fun one!  Or something like that.  All of the moves are held (that’s where the title comes from – isometric contractions use the muscle by holding, not using movement through a range of motion) for 45 seconds.

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Some of the exercises are super hard to hold, some are not as hard.  It takes balance and strength to do this workout pretty, so don’t stress if it isn’t!  That’s something to work towards…and the reason to not skip this workout!  There are a bunch of different planks, some yoga moves like dancer and chair, and some that I had never seen.  I really enjoyed the bound dogs – in downward dog, you grab your ankle with the opposite arm.  It was a balance challenge, but keep a smile on your face and let it happen.

This is one of the transition week workouts.  The schedule is made up of 3 blocks, with 3 weeks of the tough stuff and then a lighter week called transition.  So this doesn’t come up in the schedule much!  But, again, don’t skip it!

Is balance a challenge for you?

P90X3 Results!

I’m still working my way through the individual P90X3 video reviews, but I’m done with the program and have my results ready to share!  If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve seen them already…sorry!

Here are the pics…

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Stats – down 10 lbs and 7.7″ and clothes are falling off me.  I didn’t see it in the pics, but others saw the differences…we’re always our worst critic!  I do see changes in my legs and rear, which are rare places to change on me!  I feel good and am more determined than ever on the nutrition front.  I know that I could have had stellar results with this program had I not had a few stints of poor choices.

I was helped towards the end with the 3-Day Refresh (results here), both on the determined eating and weight loss.  I also gained a bit of weight in the middle!  I crept up about 3 lbs without even really noticing!  It’s all the little choices that add up to your results.  If you make good ones, you excel.  Bad ones, you crash!

That’s the premise of a fantastic book – The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy.  I actually got a copy as a prize but have already read it (and own it!).  So I’m giving it away to the next person who joins me as a coach.  I have a new coach training starting next Monday, August 11 to get people started on their best track to success in helping others.  And this book is an added bonus, but is recommended for all!

Great mail day last week!  Including the book :)

Great mail day last week! Including the book 🙂

What little choice can you make today to make you better?

Next!

I finished up P90X3 (results later today or tomorrow!) and was having a tough time deciding what to do next.  I have fallen back in love with lifting weights, so I really wanted to continue with it.  A bit of good timing helped me along on my decision…the price was lowered on Body Beast, a lifting program that will add mass for men and definition for women.  I’ve been eyeing this forever, so it seemed to be the right time.

But I don’t have it yet!  Plus, I’m going away in 2 weeks and don’t want to pack dumbbells.  So I’m doing a full round of the 21 Day Fix with the workouts and nutrition.  Plus some extras because Body Beast workouts are longer than 30 min.  So I’m trying to see how extending my workout time goes.  It’s tough after a long time doing 30 minute workouts!  I’ve been so spoiled.

So I’m on day 2 of 21.  I forgot how much I loved these workouts!  They are quick, effective and led by Autumn Calabrese, who I find super motivating.  I always think how if she wants to tell me how to get her body, I’m going to listen…she is fit and healthy!

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Now, I also have some time to collect equipment for Body Beast.  I will need a few heavier dumbbells as I have up to 25s, but want to have options up to 50.  I’d love to get these…aren’t they pretty? Other recommended equipment is something for pull ups, a bench or stability ball, and an EZ curl bar.  I hear you can do it without the bar though, so I’m going to skip it.  Everything else I have!

I’m excited for this new venture in weights.  And at home!

Want to hear the August Sales before I go?  T25 and 10 Minute Trainer Challenge Packs are on sale this month!  Both give effective, quick workouts!  Gotta love a time saver!  I did T25 last year and have worked a lot of the videos in since I completed it.  I always can find 25 minutes!

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I love Saturdays!

Today was a great day.  I got to play with my awesome daughter for most of the day, which is really the standard for a good day.  Add in a workout, and I’m doing well!

Did much happen today? Nope!  We went to swimming lessons, ran some errands, played at home, and went to a playground mostly.  But we had fun!

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Playing at the library

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Playground!

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Climbing up the slide

 

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And heading back down!

 

 

 

 

Now, this is mostly a fitness blog.  So why am I hitting you with my day?  I ran all about, up and down and up and down things meant for children…children with boundless energy and no fear.  The fun we had today completely made me appreciate my level of fitness and that I can play (and keep up with) my daughter!  I don’t think that this version of me could have…

My Before

I can’t wait for another fun day tomorrow!