Tag Archives: primal fitness

The “because I haven’t posted in awhile” random update

Okay, so it’s been a few minutes days since my last post – my apologies. Life has been a little overwhelming over the last few weeks. As in, I’m a professional slacker by nature and all of a sudden everything I had put off doing all summer was due! On the other hand, it’s amazing how much I can accomplish in so little time. A little proud of that fact, not going to lie.

So today is first day of classes, and tomorrow is the big event/party I am in charge of for our office and I’m praying every since hour that it doesn’t rain since it’s an outdoor event. A tiny bit stressed about it since we’ve had SO MUCH RAIN that I’m seriously pouring water out of our deck plants every other day. How can we have so much rain here when the Midwest is in a seriously scary drought? Life just isn’t fair.

Chillin on the fire truck!

Our neighborhood had our first block party this weekend and it was a major success! Some of my neighbors were on the committee who planned it and we were all a bit nervous that it would be the usual crew who showed up and that would make for the most expensive hang out ever. But luckily, LOTS of people came out and we had a chance to meet other folks who live in the ‘hood and we realized that there are like 600000000 children in our neighborhood. Note to self: more kid’s activities for next year, right? We had a DJ and the fire truck even came out and the kids (and I) loved it (<— obviously).

But it was a long, hot day – and I’ll admit that I cheated a bit and had a cupcake and pizza. No worries – I learned my lesson because it made me super sick. As much as fresh pizza is yummy going down, it’s just not worth how it makes me feel later on. This week – I’m back to my Primal eating ways and it’s definitely not so bad.

On this week’s menu:

Hot Italian Sausage Meatballs with a squash/onion medley
Shrimp Fra Diavolo – sans pasta of course.
A fresh grilled chicken salad with tons of veggies!
Pulled pork with okra (no bun)

So really, I can’t complain as the food we’ve been eating has been super yummy. It’s weird not counting calories – if I’m feeling like I need more control, checking in on my carb intake has been a better option for me. But the longer we do this, the more natural it seems. That feels like progress.

I’ve really been digging on full fat plain Greek yogurt with a splash of local honey to sweeten it. It’s so rich and creamy, you don’t need much of it to get your fix. It’s a great way to sneak in some extra protein, healthy fats and at least the sugar is coming from a natural place.

Some of my biggest struggles are getting used to regular sugar in my coffee vs. something like Splenda or Equal. I realize now just how EXTRA sweet those artificial sweeteners are and how my taste buds have  been robbed of their natural senses over the year. I long for the day that a tsp of regular sugar is enough for me. In the same vein of thought – I DO recognize how sweet some foods are now. Like when I cheated on Saturday and had a cupcake – I literally felt like sugar was coursing through my veins. While it was tasty, I didn’t love that  feeling.

This is basically what I go through every time I try a pull up.

Last week, I pulled/strained something in my left leg during my TurboKick class. 😦 I’ve been stretching, trying to walk it out and avoid high impact sorts of stuff, but man – it still hurts. Not like just walking from my building to another building, but on my longer walks it starts hurting about 5 minutes in. *sigh* Tonight is my first TurboKick class of our new semester, so I really wanted to be high energy and amazing – so I’m hoping my leg holds out for ONCE a week high impact exercises. I’m considering bartering with the exercise gods because I don’t want any newcomers to think my class is lame! My goal is to walk 45 minutes 5 days a week, do turbo 1-2 times per week (my class and I’m hoping to be able to go to my friends’ class as well because it’s nice to go to Turbo and not teach it sometimes!), and of course, I’m still doing my LHT (lift heavy things) work out 2x a week. But that really takes about 20 minutes of my day – so it’s not terrible.

What IS terrible is my attempt at doing a pull up. I even bought some big resistance bands to help me out and I’m still unable to even do 1 assisted pull ups with the band. Why are they so hard!!! I guess I just have to keep trying and maybe one day (like after I die and go to Heaven and all things are possible) I’ll be able to do one. Insert my annoyed face…HERE!

Okay – this is such a random and rambling post today – which is basically how I’m feeling lately, so maybe it’s not so terrible. I promise to be better with my updates soon and have some HELPFUL content rather than just updating you on my rather boring life!

 

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Celebrating the BIG WIN

Last time, I talked about the little things along the way and how we shouldn’t overlook how important they are to us on our journey to being healthier. Today’s weigh in felt like a BIG WIN for me, and so I wanted to also properly celebrate that because all those little decisions I’ve been making this week paid off.

What I Did This Week:

I have been tracking my carbs a bit more – not writing down every single thing but paying a bit more attention to where I’m getting my carbs. I was surprised that one of the all natural fruit/nut bars I’ve been eating has like 23 carbs! That is a lot for such a small food item. I definitely want to be careful and not rely too heavily on those as a snack if I’m eating something starchy during the day (like my one allotted potato or corn based meal!). Just having that awareness has helped me make better decisions this week about what I should snack on based on what I had for lunch or what I’ll be having for dinner.

Apparently, it worked! I had gained a bit of weight last week unfortunately. But I sort of saw it coming because I just wasn’t on the bandwagon as much as I should have been. I had Mexican food twice PLUS a day at a baseball game where lunch was wings, popcorn and hot dogs. While I didn’t indulge in a bun with hot dog and  I passed on the cookies -there just is no recovery from so many off plan meals in one week. My weight REALLY fluctuated last Friday and it was depressing, but great motivation to pay more attention this week so I can meet my goals. So I was down about 4 pounds this week from my number last week which was a major win! I know a lot of it was probably just inflammation from eating the wrong types of food last week, but I think at least 1-2 pounds of it is reflective of my hard work this week.

Results

Either way, I am now about 7.4 pounds away from my first mini weight loss goal!!! 7.4 pounds away from my “wedding weight” as I like to call it. I’ve come a long way – I’ve lost about 10.6 pound since my initial visit with a nutritionist to do my metabolism testing back in December. My TurboFire program definitely helped light a fire under me again to take control of my situation instead of just being mad about it. And now my 30 Day Food Challenge has given me the tools I needed to make some life changing changes by really helping me focus on what I’m eating.

I’m finding that what Mark Sission (from marksdailyapple.com) says is true…80% of your fitness/health comes from your diet, 20% from exercising. I definitely think I had this ratio mixed up in the past. I was trying to work out all the time to compensate for some bad eating habits. Now I’m focused on making good decisions with my eating I can work out and not feel like I have to kill myself every time. I can be active in an enjoyable way – like on a hike, a walk with the dogs (although sometimes walking Yoshi is a nightmare!). Last night I wasn’t feeling that great so I didn’t do my strength training program (on the agenda for tonight!). But I decided to do a few sprint type things in the house – I did 50 jumping jacks and then jumped rope for 30 seconds. I did walking lunges and then quick feet drills. I ran up and down my stairs about 20 times as fast as I could (with my dog Peach running right along side me haha!). Something was better than nothing.

I feel like this new way of eating is very empowering. I am finally in control – and it’s a really good feeling. And today was definitely a reminder that all the little decisions along the way can pay off for a big win.

image

This is my BIG WIN Dance

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My LAB (Life After Bread)

A few short weeks ago, if someone would have told me that I would not be eating bread or most of my typical snack choices (Goldfish Crackers, Triscuits, Granola Bars…etc), I probably would have thought it impossible. Truly, when my chiropractor first gave me an article on some of the positive impacts of removing wheat from your diet I read it – but it seemed so far out and crazy that I didn’t even consider it.

As many of you know, I decided to take the plunge and do a 30 Day Food Challenge that mostly centered around a Primal/Wheat Free foods. All of a sudden, 30 days have flown by and I’ve officially entered a new stage of my life: Life After Bread.

My husband asked me over the weekend, “So what’s next?” as he knows I’m constantly looking for fun and challenging ways to be more active, eat healthier, etc. I replied, “Nothing – this is it. This is good.” And it made me happy to finally have found something that doesn’t feel like deprivation. It doesn’t feel like a diet. It’s not boring, I’m not starving and I’m also not kicking my butt in the gym every single day until I’m reduced to a puddle of sweat on the floor.

It does mean that I put a lot more thought into what meals I’m preparing, the ingredients I use and my “usual snacks.” But I was already thinking a lot about those things to begin with – so it’s just been a bit of a learning curve to think a DIFFERENT way about food. Understanding that there IS life after bread is certainly step 1. I didn’t think I would ever say that – but when I’m not eating it all the time, I don’t crave it. It’s really that simple. In fact, a LOT of my cravings have vanished. It’s not perfect – of course I’m still tempted when I see sugary, carb loaded desserts – but it’s really not as all-consuming as it was before to me. It felt like before – I just didn’t have the will power to say no to cake, cookies, bread baskets…etc. And now it’s just a bit easier to take a pass.

I have noticed that certain  foods impact me in ways I never knew they did. I think I was so accustomed to eating wheat and grains and processed foods that I didn’t even notice that they were making me feel low energy, congested, or upset my stomach. Now it’s pretty crystal clear to me when I eat something that probably should be on my “extreme moderation list.” And it’s easier to avoid those foods when you can physically FEEL the negative impact of eating them. I would associate it with people who avoid foods they are allergic to – the food is usually not worth the reaction.

Shrimp Vindaloo served with Cauliflower Rice

I still am figuring out how to make it work and still participate in real life. For the most part, I’ve found it fairly easy to find things when we go out to eat. It helps that I don’t have Celiac Disease or something that would make me SUPER sick if I make a mistake, but when you are trying to avoid wheat/grain in restaurants there are still good options at most places. I tend to order meat & veggies for the most part. Still super delicious and actually pretty different from what I’d order in the past so it is giving me some variety that I didn’t have before. Another bonus!

There are times when it’s hard – and I make an exception. That is one thing that I’ve enjoyed about the Primal Blueprint book by Mark Sisson – he promotes adopting an 80/20 rule because it’s hard to be perfect and strict all the time. Sometimes you just want to eat cake, or you are in a situation where people are basically insulted if you don’t try their food. But I think i can live with following this plan 80% of the time. And most likely, it will be more like 90% of the time because I do feel like I can control most situations since I’m already in the habit of bringing my lunch to work, not eating out super often, etc.

I’m getting to the part in Mark’s book that discusses primal lifestyle in the weight loss mode and I think that will be helpful for me to focus in on things I can do (or avoid) so I can really reap the benefits of Primal eating. Then once I’m where I want to be – maintaining won’t be as strict as long as I’m still on the 80/20 bandwagon and staying active.

Some goals I have for the next few weeks:

  • For the best weight loss results, I need to be keeping my carb intake between 50-100. I’m going to track my meals for a few days to see where I am already just to be sure I’m not accidentally eating something that is blowing me out of the water with carbs. I’ve never paid that much attention, and I SHOULD be in this zone already by eliminating wheat but  I just want to be sure. I am currently signed up on paleotrack.com but am also going to look into fitday.com.  We’ll see which one i like better!
  • I’m going to focus on adding more moderate cardio to my week. It’s still been a struggle to figure out exactly what I should be doing. The strength training is going well! I’m doing that 2x a week already. Last week I went to the trampoline airobics class and it was a fun workout – I could see myself doing that once a week again!
  • I want to have a focus this month on backing off the corn and potato – corn is definitely troublesome for me so I need to make sure I’m not overdoing it. I think I may set a rule of one corn and one potato serving every week (if at all) while I’m really pursuing weight loss!

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Live & Learn

Encouragement for the day!

First, a quick update (i know this is probably more for me than you, but just pretend to care!)  This is from my Monday Lift Heavy Things session.

Circuit 1           C 2
Push Up (Goal: 30) 17                     13   (still doing knee push ups)
Pull Up (Goal 20)      20                     20    (used assisted machine which I’m still not thrilled with)
Squats (Goal 50)        50                      50   (I think I’m going to keep at this level for awhile since i’m already doing the essential move, it’s still hard to get to 50 on the C2!)
Plank (90 seconds)   60                     46  (knee/forearm style)
Left Side plank            45                     45   (knee/forearm)
Right Side Plank        45                      35

Notes: I’m still amazed at how hard it is to do push ups and pull ups. I have a lot of work to do before i even think about moving on in both of those areas. I know that i’m hitting my goal with the pull ups – but I’ve used the assisted pull up machine at the gym which is basically cheating I think. I’m supposed to be doing the 2 leg assisted with a pull up bar – so I bought a pull up bar for my house. Tonight I’ll be doing the lift heavy things session at home so i can see how I go with the actual 2 leg assisted versus the machine. I have a feeling it’s going to be WAY harder and I’ll see those numbers come down before they will go back up.

I still have quite a ways to go with the plank series as well. I’ve improved my time since last week, but adding another 30 seconds to my first plank is a big jump to shoot for..and then I have to double my time right now on the second circuit plank. I’ll get there! Still struggling a bit to get on a good schedule with things. Trying to do the lift heavy things series 2x a week and then sprint 1x a week. The other days are for the moderate cardio days. Tomorrow I’m going to my airobics class which will be fun. I’ll categorize that as a Play Day – but it will double as a good workout.

A Few Lessons I’m Learning

Warning: This section is wildly random and not very well written. I apologize in advance, my friends!

I feel like I’ve been totally off track this week, even though I really haven’t. I just had my 2 eat out days yesterday for lunch and dinner and that always makes me feel sort of gross because I’m just not eating what I had in mind. We had a work event yesterday and it included tickets to a skybox for a local baseball game. I was super proud of myself for not eating a bun along side my hotdog – totally ignoring the cookies (they even had chocolate chip, my fav!) and I tried to eat carrots and broccoli as my big snack vs. the wings. But still – totally not food that I would have eaten if I brought my lunch yesterday. But sometimes, life happens and you are at a work event and you just eat what they have and make it work even if it’s not ideal.

Met friends for dinner last night at a Mexican place and had a salad. So that was good. Then today our admin is celebrating her birthday so we went to lunch to celebrate. I ate my lunch before I went, but had this fear that I was going to be starving later on in the day so I ordered a little snack to eat while I was there and walked away feeling totally overfull. I’m not sure what happened – I just had a slight mental break even though I really haven’t struggled with being super hungry in between meals. It was like a flashback moment to how I used to be….and I’m sure some of those old habits will take a little longer to go away completely. Live and learn, right?

Even though our 30 day Challenge is almost up, I’m definitely not going back to how I used to eat. I feel SO much better avoiding most grains and processed foods. We haven’t even been as strict with all the processed stuff because we didn’t eat a whole lot of that to begin with – but I can really tell a difference when I’m eating food that we’ve prepared at the house versus what we have when we go to a restaurant. There are some places that are an exception because we are lucky to have some great local joints in Charlotte who use really good quality food. It’s easy to tell the difference between those places, as well!

I do think a personal challenge I may take on after this is to do a better job of avoiding more corn products. I can live without most of the breads and rolls and things like that. I didn’t think I would be okay, but really it’s not that bad. I don’t miss it for the most part. But as usual – chips and salsa are my personal krptonite. And I feel like if I go to a Mexican place to eat (which I do pretty often as it’s a common fav among my friends and family) – I can carefully order my meal but I really ruin it with too many tortilla chips. I need to get to a place where having just like 6-7 chips is plenty. I sometimes feel like I could sit in a room full of fresh tortilla chips and eat my way out of there with no problem. Okay, maybe not – but what I’m trying to say is: it seems like an addiction for me. So I gotta do something about it. Of course, most paleo/primal folks say to avoid corn products in general or encourage you to use “moderation” – but I think I can’t utilize moderation until I stop feeling like I have to have them, right?

If you could see me right now, I’d be making a super sad face. But because the idea of not having chips and salsa makes me so sad, it shows me even more that I have a problem. 🙂

“Hello, my name is Dre and I’m addicted to tortilla chips.” I guess that’s step 1, right?

Oh well, another lesson learned! More tomorrow folks….and maybe tomorrow’s post won’t be so scattered with random musings.

 

 

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Lift Heavy Things: Progress Report

I did my Fitness Assessment on Monday (for the Primal Blueprint Fitness program I’m doing) and so today was my first actual circuit workout utilizing my assessment as a starting place. Check out yesterday’s post if you have no clue what i’m talking about.

Here are my results:

Knee Pushups: Goal is 30

Circuit 1: 22
Circuit 2: 15

Assisted Pullups: Goal is 20 (i am using the assisted pull up machine at my gym…still figuring out what weight to set it out to replicate a double leg assisted style as outlined in the primal guide)

Circuit 1: 20
Circuit 2: 20 (i made it harder because the first set was too easy – just not enough resistance) Obviously I am still figuring this out!

Squats: Goal is 50
Circuit 1: 50
Circuit 2: 50
I didn’t find these EXTREMELY challenging – but I think I will do one more week of these before I move to the next level up.

Forearm/Knee Plank: Goal is 90 seconds
Circuit 1: 90 seconds
Circuit 2: 90 seconds
I’ll admit – this was harder than i expected it to be. I’m not positive my form was perfect the whole time during either circuit. Going to keep working on this one for another week before I move up to next level.

Forearm/Knee Side Plank Left Side: Goal is 45 seconds
Circuit 1: 40 seconds
Circuit 2: 30 seconds

Forearm/Knee Side Plank Right Side: Goal is 45 seconds
Circuit 1: 30 seconds
Circuit 2: 40 seconds

The side planks are also harder than i expected. For some reason I feel like I’d be better at it if I were using my whole arm instead of being on my forearm, but maybe that’s crazy. Still have some work to do on the side plank series.

So I still need to do my sprint workout this week (thinking about doing that tomorrow) and then I want to try and get a walk and an easy  bike ride in this weekend as well to count as my “move slowly/rest/play” days.

Tomorrow is weigh in day! It’s week 3 of my wheat free/paleo/primal inspired food challenge. Wish me luck!

 

 

 

 

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