Friday Fun: Fitness Survey

So, I wrote a long post that actually had substance to it, but my computer deleted it last night. So until I have time to re-write it, let’s have some Friday Fun! Definitely stole this from Runner Ritsa

1. What did you eat for breakfast?

Today’s breakfast was three eggs and two pieces of bacon. Gotta love the protein and fat combo to kickstart your day!

2. How much water do you drink a day?

 I’d say about 90 oz. I’m trying to bring it up to 128oz (a gallon)!

3. What is your current favorite workout?

Some times I love HIIT ( CrossFit MetCon style) workouts with lots of sprints, box jumps, rope work, ball slams, etc. But I also love slower workouts where you just lift heavy and see how far you can push your muscles. I’m also a swimmer, so I love getting in the water, although I don’t do that nearly enough. It really just depends on my mood and how much sleep I’ve had.

4. How many calories do you eat a day?

I have no idea, I don’t count calories anymore. Listening to your body and determining when it’s hungry vs. when you are bored or thirsty is more important than monitoring your caloric intake. Also, satisfying that real hunger with quality foods.

5. What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Banana and Almond/Peanut Butter, Nuts, Cucumbers, Carrots, Apples, Cherry Tomatos (the yellow ones only), canned tuna etc. But to be honest I don’t really snack that much, usually just an afternoon one if I’m working out in the evening before dinner, and then it’s always almond butter.

6. What do you usually eat for lunch?

This changes on a daily basis. If I have leftovers from the night before, usually that.  A staple if there’s no leftovers is grilled chicken and veggies (lately it’s been squash and asparagus), or a jalapeno beef burger and veggies.

7. What is your favorite body part to strength train?

I love abs. I know most people hate them, but they are definitely my favorite. Planks, Sit ups, Grave Diggers, Mountain Climbers, Rock Sit Ups, Russian Twists – throw them my way. Even partner planks/pushups.

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Also, to be honest, my butt. Growing up getting made fun of for having a “pancake a$$” will do that to you.

8. What is your least favorite body part to strength train?

My shoulders, mainly because they are so weak. But I’m working on that shoulder cap!

9. What are your “bad” food cravings?

Ice cream and chicken wings are the top two. If I’m really craving ice cream and nothing will satisfy it, I usually go and buy these to at least have a “healthy” version of my craving.

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I also am obsessed with pickles, but I don’t consider that “bad”.

10. Do you take vitamins or supplements?

Nope, I feel you don’t really need them if you eat healthy with enough variety. If I’m in a jam I’ll use protein powder, but I’ve cut back on that a lot.

11. How often do you eat out?

Friday is date night, so usually we go out then, sometimes Paleo sometimes not, almost always there are chicken wings.Usually one other time during the week with friends or coworkers.

12. Do you eat fast food?

Nope. If I’m in a crunch and really need something, I will get a salad at Chipotle. But my days of McDonalds #2 Meals are long gone.

13. Who is your biggest supporter?

As far as fitness goes I would say my Dad, his mouse pad has a picture from my last 1/2 marathon printed on it and he always loves seeing pictures/hearing what I did that day; my boyfriend, he really helped me pursue my desire to be more fit and continues to educate me everyday on lifting/training; and my old roommate Rachelle who, when I stopped wanting to go out drinking/partying as much and focus more on being healthy, was one of the few people who whole-heartedly supported me and didn’t make me feel guilty about it. I am very grateful for that.

14. Do you have a gym membership?

I do, I currently have a membership to the Colorado Athletic Club, but I’m considering ditching that this fall when school starts again and trying CrossFit Sanitas more regularly. I also work out at my boyfriend’s gym 2-3 times a week.

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15. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

I aim for 7-8, but usually it’s more like 6-7. One thing that Paleo definitely helped with was not being as sleepy during the day. I used to need 9 hours at least to not crash in the afternoon, but I noticed right away when I started Paleo that I didn’t have that afternoon crash anymore.

16. Do you have a “cheat”day?

Not a designated one, no. Like I’ve mentioned before, I try to keep 80/20 Paleo. If there is something I really want, like the above mentioned ice cream and chicken wings, I will have it as long as it’s not too much or too often.

17. Do you drink alcohol?

Occasionally. Probably two-three drinks every week, sometimes more sometimes less. I don’t go out to party at clubs like I used to, now I just hang out casually with friends, so it really depends on the week and what I have going on.

18. Do you have a workout buddy?

I train with my boyfriend 2 times a week and am joined by a friend on Saturday, but other than that I usually fly solo.

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?

I’m happier. I’m sure that came about through a combination of things, but working out/competing in races/making goals definitely gave me a stronger sense of pride and respect for myself than I had before. Eating healthy/Pale helped me come to peace with my body, not constantly fighting it to fit a mold I envisioned for it. I found that doing those two things made me not want to go out as much, not want to drink. Partially because I wouldn’t be able to work as hard if I had drank the night before, but also because I didn’t need that buzz to feel happy and social anymore, that just came naturally.

20. What was the last healthy thing you did?

I chose to take the stairs when getting out of the bus terminal instead of the escalator. It’s a small thing, but making it a routine to always take the stairs pays off in the end! I am usually the only one who does it, too.

Fill it out and tag me so I know you did it and can check it out! Happy Friday everyone!

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CrossFit 151 Adventures

Today was humbling. One of those days that brings you down a notch and makes you realize you need to work harder.

I’m in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the weekend visiting my boyfriend’s family. One of his good friends, Zach, opened a big Crossfit Gym in Marion, Iowa that I’ve been hearing about for a year and was excited to check out.

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Zach wanted to try out a new WOD today that he had created to get an idea for its difficulty and how long it would take. His girlfriend, who had the body of Andrea Ager and was totally intimidating, and I were the female testers.

We had to run 25 yards, grab a 10lb plate, run back put it on a bar, repeat and then front lunge the now 75lb bar 10yds, do 10 cleans, lunge 10yds, do 10 thrusters then lunge 10 yards, drop the bar and sprint 100yds.

I. Was. Sweating. And that was just the warmup. The strength and conditioning coach from drake university, a friend of my boyfriends, popped over to join us. We spent 30 min working on snatch and overhead squat form. Then we did another WOD because….why not?

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I did 5 rounds with assisted pull-ups and adjusted snatch weight. I was shaking by the time I got through. Definitely a humbling experience to be around such in have and strong people. Definitely another motivator to get in the gym and kick my ass every time to hopefully one day reach that level.

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Paleo Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

I’ve always been intimidated by cooking a whole bird. Thanksgiving turkeys were always passed off to someone else to make, chicken was solely cooked in breast or thigh form. I just found it intimidating. But tonight, I decided to tackle a chicken because I wanted something easy besides just grilled chicken, which has been by go to for the past couple busy weeks. So I brought home my chicken, slathered on some grass fed butter, gave it a good rub down with some salt, pepper and thyme as it relaxed in the pan.

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I made sure to rub some on it’s inside too, didn’t wanna neglect any areas. I took out the liver, chopped it up and mixed it in with some chopped up sweet potato, onions and carrots that I piled up on the bottom of the pan. Next I covered everything with some chicken broth and stuck it in the oven at 350 degrees. It’s usually about 20 minutes per pound. I took mine out at about an hour and 45 minutes and it was perfectly juicy.

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It turned out to be not quite as scary as I thought it would be, super easy (I was even able to get some work done while it cooked), and super delicious to have some juicy chicken and vegetables.  I guess now I’ll have to try some more complicated recipes in the future to share!

A look back on May Goals and mental barriers

I realize it’s half way through June, but I thought I’d look back to see how I did on May goals. I’ll be honest, I only made half of them. I got my running a bit more on track, able to do the 8 min miles again. I still need to bring it down to 7:30, which used to be my “norm” for 4-6 mile runs. One step at a time though

. I also managed to finally gain enough muscle in my back to successful do unassisted, no kipping pull up. My back/arms have always been my “trouble spots”, so I’m excited to finally see some change.

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Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get my clean to 110lbs. I did a lot more combination sets (clean, to front squat, to push press) so it was more cardio focused and not as heavy weight. I’ll just recycle that goal again for this month and hopefully will be able to achieve it.

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I also wasn’t able to get to 135lb squat without the assistance of chains. Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting over the mental blocks and forcing yourself to believe you can do it. I think that I have a lot of trouble with immediately thinking “Oh, I can’t do that” when things get difficult or I try something new. I have to work harder to push through that mental barrier. Once I do that, I am sure I will be able to achieve my goals.

Yesterday, I had one of those moments when, during my saturday training session, I was told to do plank push-ups. That’s where one person planks, while the other person uses their body to do elevated push ups. The idea sounded crazy and impossible, as the person planking has to resist the pressure of the push-up and just because I suck at push-ups. My partner was a girl who I work out with every Saturday who always pushes me to my limits. I truly enjoy the challenge and fun of our weekly workouts. I didn’t want to let her down, so I had to try it. Turns out I didn’t collapse onto the ground and we made it through three rounds, with each round both of us planking and doing the pushups. Just goes to show that the body can achieve more than the mind realizes.

Did you have May goals?

What were they and how did you do?

Do you ever find yourself fighting mental barriers?

First Camping Trip of the Summer

Aside

I’m gonna preface this post by saying that yes, all my pics are blurry because my forearms were so sore from the batting cages that I couldn’t hold my hands out without them shaking. I need to work on my forearm strength.

Saturday night some friends and I decided to venture up into the mountains for the first camping trip of the season. Looking back we may have wanted to wait a little bit longer, or brought warmer clothes because it was freezing. 8,700 feet in a dense forest means temperatures of about 40 degrees at night.

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Even though I had full fleece pants and sweatshirt I was freezing. I even had to zip my dog up inside my sleeping bag (a bit of a tight squeeze) to keep him warm. It was still a blast, filled with a campfire, sling shots, BB Guns, and delicious brats cooked over a fire.

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I had brought a bunch of snacks, but didn’t really end up eating any of it except for a bit of the trail mix. Better to be safe than sorry, though!

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We left super early Sunday morning, about 6:30am, because we were so cold. After a quick nap, we headed to the Boulder Reservoir for a perfect 90 degree “beach” day. Next weekend I will definitely rent some paddle boards and take them out.

What did you do this weekend??

Booty Shaking, Baseball and [Olympic] Bars

I have a new addiction. It is to the song Blurred LInes by Robin Thicke. It constantly runs through my mind and I find myself singing it under my breathe, which is fine if I am at home, not fine if I am walking through the halls at work. If you haven’t heard it, check it out and I dare you to try to not dance. I bet you can’t, it just makes you want to shimmy and bootyshake.  (Video is Not Safe for Work)

I joined a club softball team that starts next Friday. I’m not that great at land sports that involve hand-eye coordination, so last night I went to the batting cages to practice.

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It was a blast and a fun, but cheap, way to spend a Friday night. I still need to work on keeping my eye on the ball when it is thrown at me (I wish I was kidding, but I have a tendency to close my eyes at the last second), but I’m trying! I never played team sports on land, so it’s a whole new experience. My boyfriend and one of our friends who came along both played baseball so they were trying to give me pointers and I made some progress as the evening progressed.

I think I mentioned that I joined a new gym by work and they have an olympic lifting platform that I have been spending a lot of time with.

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I was finding it really hard to motivate myself to workout after a long day at work, so instead I’ve been catching the 6:10 am bus downtown to workout before work. It was rough at first, but I really prefer starting the day off that way and then I have my evenings free to do whatever. Plus, I am obsessed with hang cleans and love the look of surprise when I step up to the platform and start lifting. Usually I am the only girl in the weight room at that hour and I hope my presence can help break the ice for other girls to check it out.

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I’m off to go camping for the night!

Tell me what you are up to this weekend! Anyone else going camping? BBQ-ing? Any races?

Let’s Talk Grocery Stores – Top Ingredients to avoid

I’ve always liked looking in people’s grocery carts at the check out line to see what they are getting. Is that a little nosy? Yes. Am I judging? Not usually (though if you are buying Spam, Hungry Mans and chimichangas I probably will be).

More so I find it interesting to see how many people are making an effort to try to be healthy, but just don’t have the knowledge to make it happen. I was 100% one of these people, buying “100 Calorie” Packs of cookies (who really eats just one?) or Smart Ones Ice Cream treats.

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Everything about these “low fat/low cal” alternatives is bad. Some popular ingredients listed in low fat foods that should ALWAYS be avoided are:

1) Sucralose (used in Splenda and most low cal treats), which has been linked to spiked insulin levels (aka helping you GAIN weight) and increased gastrointestinal problems,

2) MSG has been shown to trigger weight gain and, more importantly, can destroy nerve cells in the brain if consumed in large quantities.

3) High Fructose Corn Syrup is the number one source of calories in the US Diet and is linked to diabetes and weight gain

4) Apartame, another artificial sweetener, which breaks down to Formaldehyde in the body and has caused more reports to the FDA of adverse reactions than all other foods/artificial flavoring COMBINED

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5) BHA , which is listed in the state of CA as a known carciogen, has been shown to form possible cancer causing compounds in the body.

AND Finally, the one that shocked me the most

6) Agave Nectar is advertised as a healthy alternative to sugar but in reality is highly processed, with more fructose than high fructose corn syrup.

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So how do you avoid this? It’s really very simple. STICK TO THE PERIMETER OF YOUR GROCERY STORE. Most grocery stores line the perimeter with the produce, meat, dairy and organic sections. There are only four things that I go into the center of the grocery store for 1) balsamic vinegar 2) apple cider vinegar 3) Spices and 4) Almond Butter. Also, because I’ve had people ask, canned vegetables are a no-no. Prior to canning they are heat blasted, removing most nutritional value, and have added preservatives and salt.

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If you don’t want to take it that far, which I’m sure plenty don’t, then be sure to check what is on the label. If you can’t pronounce it or don’t know what it is, don’t get it. If it’s has “Modified” or “Enriched” in front of it, that means “highly processed” so put it back. Don’t be scared of fat, as long as it is from a NATURAL source.

99% of eating healthy is breaking the habit of being lazy. It doesn’t take me longer than 10 minutes to cook a chicken breast and some veggies. That’s only 6 minutes more than the average time to heat up a frozen meal, without the extra sodium and preservatives. Anyone can do it, it’s just a matter of making the choice.