Early morning workouts?

So many people as the same question when they hear that I workout at 4:30ish in the morning most days (after “are you crazy?” and “how do you do it?”)…do you eat before?

Actually, eating before workouts is a super personal thing.  What may work for one person, may not work for you.  But, I’m going to tell you what I do.

When I workout that early, I don’t eat first.  I need at least an hour to digest much of anything for it to not be on my mind during my workout.  I get up, get dressed, check in on my accountability groups while I drink my E&E (one of my secret weapons!) and then get going.  I used to have Shakeology before morning workouts when I would get up at 5 and workout at 7.  But now, I usually wouldn’t eat before working out then.  I used to think that I needed to start eating then, but I’ve found that not starting so early (when I’m not really hungry anyway) has helped me stick to my plan a bit better!

If I workout later in the day, I’ll usually try to time my Shakeology for 1-2 hours before, and then E&E a half hour before.  The shake gives me the best of both worlds – I’m full, so food isn’t on my mind, but I’m not feeling weighed down, so that isn’t on my mind either.  I can focus on my workout and get it done!

The first thing I’ve been “eating” has been coffee, and this week I’ve stepped it up with a teaspoon of coconut oil, and then blending it up with my blender.  I tried this before, but it didn’t stick.  The blender makes it nice and foamy and delicious…a real treat.  And it does help keep me full.  I usually eat actual food for the first time at about 9am.

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What do you eat before your workouts?

Want to join in for my February calves group?  We start 2/1!  Find me on facebook and message me that you want in!

February Calves

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Taking My Own Advice

I’ve been having ankle pain with Insanity Max 30 and kind of denying it (hi, maybe it wasn’t just wonky!). For those that don’t know, I have a bone tumor just above my right ankle that really doesn’t bother me unless I run.

I didn’t want it to be an issue. I enjoy the workouts, want to push myself and felt like I was failing myself (because I should be able to do this!) and the program (because it’s amazing!) by admitting it. Until this morning.

What changed? I remembered that I’m basically working out on concrete, with a jump mat over it. Not the best surface. That made me think…what would I tell my challengers if they had this issue? Probably that for you, modifying moves where you’re jumping on one leg (which is what is bothering me – if you look at when I max out, it’s either triceps push ups or jumping on one leg) isn’t maxing out.

So I’m going to try that for the remainder. I wish I did it today, because I’m in some pain now. I’ve iced it a bit and I’m hoping it feels better after some sleep (I’m sure that having a snowy evening dance party didn’t help, but…snowy evening dance party!).

And our next home will have a more suitable surface for exercise!

What would YOU tell someone with this situation?

Shakeology Mug Cake

So, you’re wanting a reasonably healthy cake substitute without leaving your house?  Shakeology mug cake to the rescue!  I made this from things I had, nice and easy, and topped it with peanut butter (it is natural, just peanuts, but super smooth.  I actually prefer a little texture, but this is the best my food store has!).

I’m just going to get straight to it…

Shakeology Mug Cake

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Ingredients:

– 1 serving Shakeology – I used chocolate, but next time I’m going to try vanilla!
– 1/4 tsp baking powder
– 1 tbs sweetner
– dash of salt
– 1 egg white
– 2-3 tbs water

Method:

Combine dry ingredients.  Add wet.  Mix until all dry ingredients are wet.  Microwave for about 90 seconds – mine took about 75.  The edges will come away from the sides of the mug when done.

Top if you like!  And enjoy.

I love single serving desserts.  No leftovers tempting me.  What about you?  Make a bunch or just one?

Working it

So yes, I am a Beachbody coach and one of the things I do is to use the products myself.  Along with that, is practicing what I “preach”…taking the advice I give out on how to overcome the obstacles in life and stick to the nutrition plan and workouts that you’ve decided to commit to.

One thing that doesn’t mean…that I’m perfect!  It doesn’t mean that I am always successful, or that old habits don’t sneak back in, or that temptation doesn’t get to me.  A prime example of that has been seen this week.  I’m not going to sweep it under the carpet.  I’m going to share it and how I’m getting back on track.  Hopefully if you’re feeling similarly, it will be a spark to put you back on track.

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It all started fine.  My husband brought home a snack for himself.  I wanted to try one.  I did.  One little chocolate chip Teddy Graham.  What’s the harm in that?

No harm.  If I could have stayed away from the rest of the little dudes!  Over the past few days, a handful here and there and now they’re gone.  I knew that they were making me feel a little icky…just not my usual clean food feeling.  I didn’t make it worse by throwing in the towel and hitting the other foods we have (or buying them!) that I avoid.  But it wasn’t in my plan.  Nor was I making room in my plan for them…they were just extra.  I likely had about 2 servings at least the last two days.  Another big thing for me was that this was happening during the week.  I really try to be stellar during the week so that I can be a little more relaxed on the weekend when things are more likely to come up.  You may be thinking “this chick is going off plan with less than a box of Teddy Grahams?  Please.  Talk to me when you eat 8 boxes in a day.” But don’t worry, that’s happened here too.  Just not this week.  Want to talk about all the funfetti cookies and chocolate dipped marshmallows that disappeared after my daughter’s birthday party?  Same thing, just more food!

So, how to recover.  I’ve asked that these no longer enter the house.  I was fine with other flavors and other snacks, but something about these drew me in.  I’ve also been really focusing on water this week, which I’m sure helped, by filling a bunch of water bottles for my day.

Some of my filled bottles

Some of my filled bottles

I’m also not beating myself up about the slip, or letting it turn into something worse.  Today, they’re gone (because I ate them!), and I will eat normally.  I know that getting back on track will help…I will feel better both mentally and physically and that will keep me on track!  That’s one of the biggest nuggets I can give you.  When you eat good, clean foods, you feel good!  You want to keep that feeling.  So pick yourself up, dust yourself off and go forth with your nutrition plan!

Are you new to exercise?

I posted a video the other day about something I love to tell people who are newer to exercising and want it to be fun…

A lot of the programs I have done are good for starting out as well…21 Day Fix is a great start – modifier, easy to follow nutrition plan, sets you up for success long term.  Where Turbo Jam differs is that I really can’t say it feels like a workout.  I tell people that Turbo is something I’d do even if it didn’t burn calories.  It’s my soul mate workout.  Just super fun.

I did two Turbo Jam videos this weekend – Ab Jam (20 minute mix of standing and floor abs) and Cardio Party 3 (50 minutes of kickboxing and smiling).  It was so much fun to let loose in my living room.  I do laugh with Shaun T, but not like this!

Ab Jam

Ab Jam

Insanity Max 30 – Weeks 4 and 5

Now it gets interesting!  Week 5 of Insanity Max 30 starts new workouts and new challenges.  But week 4 kind of rocked, so let’s do that first…

Day 22 – I made it a few more seconds in Cardio Challenge.  So, continued improvement, but not massive.  I was happy with every second longer I went!

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Day 23 – I don’t know when this became my favorite workout, but I miss it!  I loved the feeling than I was maxing out every 20 seconds, but could keep going with the 10 second breaks (you are not maxing out if the break is in the program!).  I more than doubled my time which felt amazing!! (spoiler alert…I did the same today on Max Out Cardio!)

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Day 24 – Over a minute and a half more on Sweat Intervals!  This definitely lived up to the title.  You can tell, right?

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Day 25 – Last time through Tabata Strength (for this round, at least!) and loved it!

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Day 26 – Last workout in Month 1! – Friday Fight Round 1.  An extra 6 seconds here…my time didn’t change much on this one, but what I did notice was that I took less breaks overall after I maxed out.  You just see the first times here.  It can be difficult to push yourself once the max out time is out of the way!  Then it is easy to take breaks!

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Now we hit month 2!  This week was really rough for me…I had some not-real injuries, basically my body just being its wonky self.  My ankle and wrist were bothering me, but I knew nothing was really wrong.  I did end up using the modifier track one day, though I didn’t modify everything.  I’m feeling much better now!  I’m glad I stuck it out and did what I could, and hopefully it means awesome improvements in Max Out times!

Day 22 – Max Out Cardio – Now with a power move!  Cardio Challenge was all 30 second moves, and this one adds a one minute push at the end of each segment (pre-water breaks).  I sweat, I maxed out, I had a reasonably good time.  I maxed out on jumping on one foot in balance kickbacks.  Jumping on one foot is a mental thing for me after the bone tumor. (I made it through today…sheer will!)

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Day 30 – Max Out Power – Instead of 20 seconds on/10 seconds off, we have 45/15!  Harsh!  Those 15 second breaks are much needed and well deserved.

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Day 31 – We needed more sweat…oh wait, it’s called Max Out Sweat.  More sweatyness.  I barely remember this workout (is that a good thing or a bad thing?) so I’ll go into more detail next week!

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Day 32 – Max Out Srength – Another with the 45/15 split.  This one I started doing some modifications on.  I still pushed myself and didn’t modify anything before my max out time.  It was more fun than I expected, especially considering the “failure” of modifying.  Not that it’s a failure…read along!

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And last, but certainly not least, day 33 – Friday Fight Round 2!  I started this one with the modifier track on, which was a good experience.  The modifier option shows both the regular video and then just the modifier so you can see them the whole time.  Very helpful to not be looking at the screen hoping to catch a glimpse of them!  I also only modified after I maxed out, though it was tough!  I had banged my knee pretty badly Thursday night and I think limping caused more wonkyness.  I’m doing so much better now, but I didn’t want to overdo it and end up actually injured.

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So, on modifying.  It is a stellar option.  There is absolutely no fault or shame in modifying.  In this program, modifying is really only maxing out if you didn’t plan on modifying a move or started out and needed to change to modifying.  So it’s all in my head that it’s failing, and that’s there because I didn’t plan to take modifications (except on some push ups) when I started the program.  But modifications are GOOD!  They allow you to stay active and not get injured.  I know that.  I just have to listen to myself!

So far, I’m really enjoying the program and it feels super crazy awesome when you improve on your max out times.  If you have any questions, comment or email me!  I’m happy to share my thoughts!

A (Food) Day in the Life

So, my day to day life isn’t some super exciting, interesting story that I think you’d want to read.  But I know that one of the things so many people ask me about the 21 Day Fix plan is “what do you eat?”  Well, here is a fairly typical day for me.

I’ve actually moved some things around on the list for a more helpful view in.  I have been practicing with moving around my meals and testing some things out, but the food is the same!  I’m also leaving off amounts since there are several calorie levels on the 21 Day Fix.  But this is a peek in on what my meals look like.

Post Workout – Shakeology
Breakfast (a few hours later) – Steel cut oats with almond butter and 1/2 banana, 2 hard boiled eggs
Lunch – Ground turkey with quinoa, either kale chips, Brussels sprouts leaves or spinach and fruit
Afternoon snack – carrots and hummus, sweet potatoes, and fruit
Dinner – Salad with chicken or fish
Dessert – peanut butter 🙂

Sometimes, I’ll skip a protein earlier in the day and have a protein shake for dessert.  You can see that I keep it pretty simple, not really using recipes but instead just combining items when I eat them.  This works well for me so that I can mix and match things.  Some days you want a change!  I also use a lot of the 21 Day Fix spice blends to change it up.  I love that this plan keeps it simple with giving a lot of options for variety!

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I first unboxed the 21 Day Fix program and got started.  It has been such a welcome change to my eating!  I plan to get the 21 Day Fix Extreme when it comes out next month…I can’t wait to check out the next level.  If you want to check out the original, join in for my next group on 1/26…a great way to kick up those healthy workout and nutrition habits before the January motivation fades!

Insanity Max 30 – Weeks 2 and 3!

Seeing as I’m about done with Insanity Max 30 week 4, I should update about 2 and 3!  (week 1 here)

All of the workouts were the same, other than Tabata Strength.  This replaces Tabata Power in weeks 3 and 4.  The big difference is that after doing 8 tabata rounds of 20 seconds on/10 seconds off, you do an active recovery move instead of a 30 second water break.  Oddly, I did better on this workout!  I was able to power through the diamond (triceps) push ups and get pretty far this past week!

Let’s get to those max out times, right?

Week 2:

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So, I did worse on the last time through Tabata Power than the time prior…it was always the triceps push ups that did me in!  I increased my Friday Fight – Round 1 time by over 3 minutes.  I also noticed that the Ab Attack times were hugely dependent on the workout I did before it.  On the day with Pulse (the recovery workout), I almost made it to the end without maxing out.  But with a more intense workout, my times varied from 2-7 minutes.  So I stopped tracking it in week 3!

Week 3:
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I made it a lot further in Sweat Intervals and got to try Tabata Strength!  I feel like I max out every 20 seconds in that one and am thankful for the quick breaks!  My big improvements on that one came this week!

I’m really liking seeing my times improve (when they do!).  It’s such immediate feedback to go by!  I feel amazing too.  I wore a dress yesterday that I never expected to wear after having my daughter…it’s not a forgiving cut.  It was loose, and I felt confident in it.  That is an excellent feeling, folks!

How are you measuring your success these days?  Stay tuned for week 4, and a bit about my nutrition so far on the program!