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Archive for January, 2011

Resolution Challenge – Diet

Hi Hots and Fits!

How are you all doing? I know I had promised a Sweat and The City Resolution Challenge diet review a week ago, but things were hectic around here. I also fell down the stairs, at work, first thing in the morning and my back has been in OUCH mode all week.

image This translates into “besides cycling and stepping, I am doing nothin’, people

Well, let me get on with the post and tell you how the diet has been going with the resolution challenge taking place and all. I will provide as many details as I can, but before that I need to tell you a few things about me as an eater 😀

  • Food for me is FUEL – I think of myself as a car. I don’t eat to enjoy eating.

  • My family is the COMPLETE opposite of me and WILL DO ANYTHING to change me. And I live with them.

  • My family constantly nags me for my “weird eats” and just wants me to “eat the freaking chocolate cheese cake, because you only live once!!” And to take another slice. And another. And maybe some Geisha too?

  • I don’t like the kitchen too much, and I am also very lazy and constantly rushing. I consume food that can be prepared in less than 5 minutes using less than 5 ingredients and less than 5 kitchen utensils. Oh, and that can be cleaned up in less than 5 minutes! So – no pans and pots, blenders just for smoothies, and definitely not the oven. The microwave is my best friend.

Here are my typical daily eats since I’ve started the Resolution Challenge:

  1. Breakfast (7AM): H20, 1 tbsp EVOO, 50 grams dried oats mixed with non fat plain yogurt (or flavoured) and 15 grams of vanilla whey isolate

  2. Morning snack (10AM): either 60 grams Fibre One (Czech style, of course!), non fat plain yogurt and/or string cheese, apple. Sometimes I might have a bap with hummus/ham instead of cereals, or both…

  3. Lunch (2:30PM – workout usually happens before): The famous 180 calories wrap, spinach, hummus/ham, maybe some baby carrots + hummus…I find that I am ALWAYS extra hungry so I add 30 grams cereals or crackers with some more hummus/cottage cheese

  4. Afternoon snack (5:30PM): Smoothie made out of spinach, 1 scoop whey isolate, milk + H20, 1 tsp PB OR PB and string cheese

  5. Dinner (8PM): any veggie combination, or lack of combination, and for protein – fish/egg whites/hummus

SO Jen sent us an e-mail with all the details (seriously, she is amazing), telling us what she recommends for each meal and giving a ton of examples and instructions (did I mention she promptly answers all e-mails, too, not matter how often you send them?)

Here are the “rules” that stuck out to me the most, because they indicated CHANGE from what I’ve been used to (in green is how I’ve adapted my personal eating plan):

  • A smoothie a day keeps the doctor awaymake it green (preferably), after you work out (again, preferably)

  • Increase oil consumption1 tbsp EVOO in the morning, 1 tsp in the afternoon with the smoothie

  • Start the day with plenty of H20already been doing that

  • No fruit after 4 PMlast apple consumed at lunch time, if not before

  • No carbohydrates after 4 PMsmoothie as “afternoon snack” followed by a vegetable(s) dinner

 

The last two are THE HARDEST for me. First, the fruit, be fresh or dried. Wow. Huge obstacle. I am addicted to dates/figs/dried bananas. Kind of like how Pete Doherty is addicted to drugs. Also, apples tend to be my “dessert” after dinner. As for the carbohydrates – well, I find that protein +veggies for dinner work, and I also find that I DO lose weight when I play by this rule. So I am sticking to it.

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I wish it were not so, but I am realising that the quote “Weight Loss is 80% diet 20% exercise” is so damn true. I can work out as hard as I want, for hours a day even, but it won’t change a single cell in my body unless I eat well.

 

Whatever I have been doing now just isn’t working. I could try to pull it off for a while, but I’d be unhappy dieting like this (eww, and I hate this word, too), and I KNOW I’d just end up gaining all the weight back whilst creating some sort of disordered eating (note – disordered eating. NOT an eating disorder. Very different)

I’d say that 90% of the eats on the eating plan just did not work for me. I am a special case so it would probably work for any other sane individual who does actually spend some time in the kitchen, but at the moment, not for me (maybe when I have my own place…)

WHAT I AM CHANGING:

  • YES to fruit after 4 PM –  Psychologically the alternative is  not working well. Must have some more apples, maybe even stick a banana in the smoothie

  • Spread out my morning snacks some more, cause I seem to get hungry. And hangry.

  • Allow myself to eat at least a few dried fruits a day if I want them. So, if I really want dates, then I’d agree on 5 and that’s it

I have to make these changes because I am finding myself slacking more often than I’d want. Like Jen said, you cannot go wild 8 days a month and see results (assuming I eat freely 2 days a week, which so far has been happening). I’d work out and ‘be good’ all week and then the weekend comes and I’m slacking and eating like there is no tomorrow. And I hate this cycle. I want to get out of it!

I have to say AGAIN, I am SO grateful to Jen and Sweat and The City. Not only am I learning a LOT about myself and healthy living in general, but I am also making permanent changes. I can really FEEL this. Please head over to the website NOW, you are missing out!!

 

I shall return tomorrow, no pun intended, with an update on my half marathon training plan! With the back injury and all, things are a little tough, but so far so good!!

Later!


Resolution Challenge – Workouts

Hi Hots and Fits!

 

How are you all doing? How are those New Years Resolutions coming along?

The Sweat and The City Resolution Challenge I’ve started on January 3rd is still rocking my socks!

 

I tweet about it daily, so if we are tweeps (i.e. twitter friends), you’ve probably seen me over-tweeting about it. And if we are not tweeps then click here!

 

It has been three weeks since I’ve started this plan, and I am already having people telling me I’ve lost weight. Which is probably true or at least it appears to be so. Just for the record – I do not step on a scale (unless I have a direct order from my doctor) so I cannot tell you whether I did shed off some kilograms or not.

 

There are many things I want to write about this challenge, but it would take forever. Most people asked me questions about the workouts and about the meal plan. So I will post about the workouts now, and then I will put up another blog post about the meal plan (because the workout one is going to be really long…)

 

WORKOUTS:

 

Tabata

This is a Japanese training method that was introduced to me by the program. Simply speaking, you pick one exercise and you perform it for FOUR minutes in the following way:

  1.  For twenty seconds, do as many repetitions as possible.
  2. Rest for ten seconds
  3. Repeat sequence seven more times!

 

Here is a video which shows tabata burpees

If Jen wants to make our life harder, she makes us do another exercise instead of the 10 minute rest or just hold plank pose. Also, there are at least TWO tabata intervals in each workout, so you definitely burn some calories!

Some of my favourite exercises for tabata (all can be found on www.sweatandthecity.com or you could just come up with your own):

  • ·         Single or Double leg skates
  • ·         Plank to Push Ups
  • ·         Dancing Crabs
  • ·         Squats Jumps
  • ·         2 Reverse Lunges w with Plyo Jump into 2 Side Lunges
  • ·         Burpees
  • ·         List goes on and on and on

You can do ANY exercise you come up with using equipment (e.g. kettlebells, dumbbells, resistance bands etc.) or no equipment at all! You also need a tabata timer – you can find one online here, or download Gymboss to your smartphone and use it there instead.

Triple Threat Training – T3

This training method was developed by Jen, and I find that from all the strength workouts I have done, this is by far my favourite because it makes time FLY! If you log on to www.sweatandthecity.com on Monday, there will be a FREE T3 plan for you to use – highly recommended. In brief, here are the rules:

  1. 1)      30 minutes in length

  1. 2)      Its a strength training interval workout, consisting of 3 minute, 2 minute, and 1 minute interval blocks

a.      The 3 minute block is designated for lower body/cardio oriented exercises

b.      The 2 minute block is designated for upper body exercises

c.       The 1 minute block is a “fine tune” interval, where you focus on your main “trouble zone”

  1. 3)      You perform a 3-2-1 sequence with NO rest, take a 1 minute break, then perform it again. Then you move on to a a NEW 3-2-1 sequence and repeat it once again (so far a total of four sets)

  1. 4)      You finish with a final 3-2-1 sequence focusing only on your trouble zones i.e. “fine tune”

You get to build this workout on your own, and you must decide in advance what are your trouble zones. Since this workout is repeated 3 times a week, I recommend alternating the equipment you use. For example, on Monday you could you dumbbells, on Wednesday a resistance band and on Friday just your body weight. Here is a sample workout I did this week (note: I change my final sequence every T3 day, and sometimes I even switch up the exercises

Sequence #1 (to be repeated TWICE)

3 min – Lower Body/Cardio

2 min – Upper Body

1 min – Fine Tune

1.        Single Leg deadlifts x15 reps R*

2.        Single Leg deadlifts x15 reps L*

3.        Hamstring curl on stability ball x15 reps

1.        40 seconds walking plank

2.        40 seconds Dancing Crab

3.        40 seconds Plank Shoulder Taps

1.        Single Leg Skates

 

Sequence #2 (to be repeated TWICE)

3 min – Lower Body/Cardio

2 min – Upper Body

1 min – Fine Tune

1.        Single Leg Bridge x 15 reps L

2.        Single Leg Bridge x15 reps R

3.        Reverse Lunge with kick x10 reps L + x10 reps R

1.        40 seconds cheerleader*

2.        40 seconds Lateral Raises*

3.        40 seconds Frontal Raises*

1.        Plank Jacks

 

Sequence #3

3 min Fine Tune

2 min Fine Tune

1 min Fine Tune

Triple Jacks (x2 normal jack, x2 low jack, x2 plank jack)

Side Lunge with touchdown*

Squat Jumps

 

*I used 2 kg dumbbells for these exercises

 

Final Comments

·         I honestly love working out Sweat and the City style. I think I might relocate to the US of A just so I could work out with Jen

·         Which brings me to my next point – she is awesome! And she knows her stuff, too! Always has an answer and always willing to help

·         These workouts are short and they make you work!

·         Sometimes I don’t burn as many calories as I’d like so I just do some extra cardio at the end

 

Feel free to send me an e-mail or tweet if you have any questions! And if you want to talk to the master behind this program, then you could either follow her on twitter or go visit her amazing site!

 

I will see you all later with a post on the meal plan! And some Jewish shenanigans, too!

Happy Saturday!

 

PS – Also check out my friend Katie’s blog – all about Insanity Workouts, Fitness and Clean Eating! http://katiechangesforkatie.blogspot.com/


Staycation

Hi Hots and Fits

Its been a LONG, LONG, while. I will skip the apologies and such and get on with posting 😀

My maternal grandparents came to visit us here for Christmas and I had a nice little staycation in Hilton Prague. 13 Days. Yes. THAT long! It was fabulous, though! I enjoyed doing a whole lot of nothing for almost two weeks!

(Images courtesy of Hilton.com)

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Don’t get me wrong – this has been the fittest Christmas vacation staycation I have had in my life. Hilton Prague has an awesome, massive health club consisting of an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, squash and THE BEST gym I have ever been to in my life

(All images courtesy of cybex.cz)

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Each and every cardio machine has it down TV screen which made time FLY!!! I mean, I could probably run a half marathon on the treadmill and not even notice!!

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For those of you rolling your eyes or going like…are you kidding me…all gyms have this….I have got news for you: NOT IN EUROPE!

Let me just tell you: it was very difficult going back to work this past Monday. Thank God I love my job so much otherwise I would have not been able to get out of bed Monday morning!

 

I am also doing a New Years Resolution courtesy of SWEAT AND THE CITY!

(all pictures and information belong/are from www.sweatandthecity.com –> GO THERE NOW!)

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I ended up winning the Golden Ticket on Twitter and joined this challenge for FREE. Jen, who runs www.sweatandthecity.com, emailed all participants with detailed meal plans, exercise plans, and she is also answering all and any questions by e-mail. Oh and did I mention there is a live daily chat where participants discuss how they are doing? YES. That AWESOME!

I have to admit that in terms of eating I got this first week ALL wrong. Here are the main adapations I’ve had to make and…well…its been difficult:

  1. No carbs after lunch
  2. No fruit after lunch
  3. No dried fruits – [initially going like omg how will I survive….now, five days later, going like, goodness survival is hard]
  4. One green smoothie a day, preferably after working out
  5. Green and leafy dinner – [where are my carbs???]
  6. Drinking lots and lots of water – [keep forgetting that glass of morning in the AM]

Exercise wise, its been fabulous! We do lots of tabata workouts which are an awesome change, and the strength moves feel like Tracy Anderson who is the only trainer I trust with truly toning trouble spots, so I am blissfully happy 😀

You HAVE to check out the Sweat and the City website because it has SO many workout options and exercise clips which are absolutely free! I have already been using it for a month before starting on the challenge!!

In other news, I have signed up for the Prague International Marathon which will take place April 2nd I believe (sometime in the beginning of April). Still cannot run longer than 5 KM on the treadmill sans TV. Yea, better get used to it. But I gotta work. I need to drag my behind outside. Somebody make global warming shift this way and melt all the snow.

Later, skaters! Have a fabulous week!