Water Retention & Supplement Change

Guess what? It seems like my body doesn’t like to retain water. Either that or the fat measuring machine thingy at the gym is broken. I tried to google how to retain water and it seems like everyone wants to lose their water weight to reduce their bloat. Hmm…

This is Tanita, my mortal enemy

Here are my options:

  1. Find some crazy supplement to help me retain water for my hard earned muscle (Creatine, anyone?)
  2. Keep doing exactly what I’m doing
  3. Change something up (maybe I’m not eating enough salt or something in my diet is off)
  4. Go to McDonalds and binge on some fries and complain about how much my life sucks.

Okay, so the last one was a little dramatic. I’ve decided to go with options 2 & 3 (technically, option 3, but you know what I mean). I think that a week of drinking enough water is probably not enough time for my body to adjust, so I’m going to continue drinking lots of water. For me, the easiest way to get all of my water in is to drink a glass of water after each meal. So, if I eat 5-6 meals a day, that’s 5-6 glasses of water. If the glasses I’m using are 12 oz that’s 7.5 – 9 cups a day! This does not include the water in my green smoothies or protein shakes or what I drink while working out.

The change I’m going to make is by changing my protein powder. I usually use whey protein powder in my protein shakes. Not the natural stevia sweetened kind which is probably better for you, but the Mocha Cappuccino sucrose flavored kind – YUM! Obviously, since 2-3 of my meals are shakes , it might be a better idea to switch to something more natural. After reading about it in many blogs, I’ve decided on trying Sun Warrior Raw Protein Powder. It’s a GMO-free  plant-based protein powder with healthy ingredients and it contains all of the essential amino acids! Check out the link to see all of its benefits. It tastes pretty good (better than most protein powders I’ve tried), mixes well and makes you feel full.  Since I’m lactose intolerant, it should reduce any gas (gross!) or bloating I have – I guess we’ll have to wait and see how it works out!

My new protein powder in Vanilla

Thursday night, I sliced the bottom of my foot on a plastic stick thing that was on the floor at home. Everything was all over the place as we’ve had construction going on in our building and apartment over the last FIVE weeks – UGH!  As a result, I haven’t been able to do much cardio, but I’m trying to keep up on my weight training.Tonight,  I plan on doing some high-rep lower body exercises today at home using my 20 & 30 lb kettle bells and TRX suspension trainer. Heck, I might even throw in some unassisted chin-ups and try to do a pull-up 🙂 We’ll see how I feel.

Hope you guys enjoy the rest of your weekend!

A.

Green Smoothies & Quick Workout

A couple of months ago, I started freaking out about my skin. For some reason, I felt like I needed an expensive cream or “solution” to prevent my skin from ageing or looking “blah”. My husband, being the more reasonable of the two of us, told me to take a few days to think about spending a couple of hundred dollars (I know!) on a cream. I had spoken to my running/spinning/workout buddy, Christie, previously, about juicing and getting all of our greens in and, at her baby shower, another friend told me about the Glowing Green Smoothie – This must be fate! After doing some research, I figured that saving up for a good blender or juicer would be a better long-term investment than having to rely on a really expensive face cream.

As I said in a previous post, we recently purchased a Vitamix so that we could have green smoothies every day – or any type of delicious smoothie that makes eating a bunch of vegetables more palatable. After a week or two of having one to two glasses a day, my husband started thinking that I wore makeup to bed because my skin looked different. A couple of weeks later, other people noticed. It is so healthy and my dark circles are not as dark as before. Moreover, no more monthly breakouts! Funny how getting your fruits & veggies makes your skin and body look and feel amazing. It’s funny how logical this is, but how I’d never tried this before!

Seriously, eat your veggies and you won’t need crazy expensive creams to look and feel great!

Anyways, here’s the recipe we use for Kimberly Snyder’s “Glowing Green Smoothie”  (Makes about 3 magic bullet containers)

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– 1 1/2 – 2 cups water
– 1 romaine lettuce heart chopped
– 2 handfuls of spinach
– 3-4 celery stalks (sticks) chopped
– 1 organic apple cored and chopped
– 1 organic pear cored and chopped
– 1/3 bunch of cilantro*
– 1/3 bunch of parsley*
– 1 organic banana
– juice of half a lemon (or a few squeezes of lemon juice)

* optional

Step 1: Add water, romaine and spinach and blend
Step 2: Add celery, apple and pear and blend
Step 3: Add cilantro and parsley and blend
Step 4: Add banana and lemon and blend

Just a note: I’ve tried it without the herbs and it didn’t taste as good (IMO) and I’ve tried it without the romaine and it wasn’t as good. However, feel free to play around with the recipe and let me know what creations you’ve come up with! Oh, and beware: if you add berries, the drink turns into an interesting color – still tastes good though!

We’ve been super busy over the last couple of weeks with my grandfather in the hospital (he should be fine and home Saturday!!!), so it’s been even more difficult to get my workouts in and eat healthy. I came up with this shorter workout based on a set my trainer had me do. You don’t really need anything for this, but I used a 5lb medicine ball as I forgot to bring a kettlebell. If done indoors, a treadmill is preferred (or anything that can be used to get your heart rate up) . This workout took about 40 minutes and I burned about 10 calories a minute.

Quick Workout:

Warm up – 5 mins @ 5.5 mph on treadmill (jogging pace)

1 min sprint @ 7.0 – 8.0 mph
walking lunges one way (substitute with split squats right leg forward x 8-10)  – sometimes I added pulses or weights
10 jump squats or regular squats
walking lunges back (substitute with split squats left leg forward  x 8-10)
Repeat x 7

10 mins – walk on treadmill @ 3.5 mph on 6-9 incline

Cool down/stretch

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Pre-cool down – not bad!

It’s finally starting to feel like spring. In hopes of the weather genies keeping it this way, here’s a pic of me enjoying the Hawaiian sun during our honeymoon in September. I wish I could jump into this picture and be in Maui right now… *sigh*

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Hope you’re having a great week!

A.

Goals

Every weekend I have a weigh-in with my trainer to see my body fat percentage. I’m focusing n being more lean so the percentage is more important than what the scale says. It’s been a bummer because I feel like I work out all of the time, eat really well and still seem to have the same fat percentage. I’m getting stronger and my cardio is awesome, but it’s like I’m missing something. I was pretty bummed about it all weekend. I somehow managed to make my husband feel like he called me fat – yep, I took him down with me. I totally apologized soon after. He’s way too much of a sweetheart to do anything like that. Anyways, I’ve decided to stop comparing myself to girls in other blogs or magazines and take it one day at a time. I’m also going to stop feeling like I have to eat what’s available when we go out for social gatherings – I’m going to be the person who brings her own food everywhere! I’m going to enjoy my cheat meal of the week and I’m going to work my hardest at sticking to my goals. If this is how my body is, then I’m not going to go to the extreme to make it something it’s not.

Here are some of my goals for the next 2 months:

1) Drink more water – at least 8 glasses a day
2) No snacking at all!!!
3) Focus on how far I’ve come – I’ve lost 30 lbs in about 1.5 years and gone from 35% to 28% body fat
4) Eat clean all week long and enjoy one indulgent cheat meal
5) 5 days of weight training and sprints a week (MAYBE one low-intensity cardio session)
6) Prepare all meals in advance

Speaking of meals, I’ve decided to prepare meals 1 (breakfast), 3 (lunch) and 5 (dinner) in advance. Meals 2 and 4 are protein and green smoothies (recipe to come). I’ve made my meals very simple to try and figure out what’s wrong with my current diet.

Here are my meals:

Meal #1: Breakfast: Pancakes (egg whites, non-fat greek yogurt, cinnamon, oat flour)

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Meals 3 & 5: Lunch & Dinner (they are the same right now because I am super lazy): chicken breast, veggies and slices of yam (there are some carrots in there too, it’s not all yams – I swear!)
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I’m surprised at how satisfying chicken with yams has been. I’m not a big fan of chicken, but when mixed with veggies and yams, it’s been quite delicious! I might change dinner to have some egg white veggie muffins that Little B’s Healthy Habits just posted. Be sure to check out her site – she’s got great recipes and information!

This weekend, I got my nails did and my cheat meal was a delightful breakfast sandwich from Café Bica located near Granville Island. So, obviously, I’m going to post pictures of that:

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Notice the awesome coffee art (is that what it’s called ?)

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And here’s my husband playing with salt & pepper before he caught me taking a picture 🙂

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So pretty and pink! I still can’t stop admiring them

Have you ever had troubles reaching your goals? What are your go-to simple clean meals?

I know it’s been awhile ….

Oh my goodness – it’s been almost FOUR months since my last blog post. Seriously. I’m so sorry! I get so antsy when blogs I follow don’t update very often and here I am not paying any attention to mine. ..

So, I have A LOT of recipes that need to be added and I’ve continued to workout consistently and eat clean. I probably eat clean 85-90% of the time (I mean, when a coworker brings chocolate covered macadamia nuts, they don’t count, right?).  The most difficult thing for me to do is drink water. It’s like I’d rather starve myself than drink water. It’s horrible. I think that’s what’s definitely holding me back from my goals. I just want to keep getting stronger, leaner and fitter. I don’t want to be a skinny girl, I want to be able to do unassisted pull-ups and more than 2 chin-ups at a time.

Lately, I’ve been finding it more and more difficult to feel rested and stay focused. It’s not easy being so used to eating a certain way that, when you eat a cheat meal, you feel like crap. It’s also not easy realizing that maybe you have to tone down on those weekly “treats”. I think that keeping up with this blog will help me realize that I am getting stronger and that the road to fitness is a long and beautiful journey filled with many ups and downs.

Since I’ve been working out so much, I’ve decided to invest in a few goodies to help motivate me to stay on track!

Some of my new loot:

1) Polar FT4M heart rate monitor watch. This is amazing. I was contemplating getting the FT40 which let’s you see your calories burned and workout time on the same screen, but couldn’t justify the extra $50-70 for just that. This definitely keeps me working harder to keep my heart rate up and my workouts intense. And, let’s face it, it’s orange – I love the color orange!

2) New balance tank. For those of you who know me well, you know that I NEVER wear tank tops or anything that shows my arms. My arms get bulky very easily and, if I’m not taking care of myself, I get very self conscious about them. I’m now trying to get over my fear and this tank is AMAZING. It doesn’t cling onto you and covers part of your butt. What else could you ask for in a workout top? Oh, and it’s sooo pretty that I might get it in white/red too 😉

3) Vitamix!!! I’m very excited about my Vitamix 🙂  It’s pretty pricey (Canadians, you’re looking at spending around $500 at Costco), but it’s an amazing blender and it’s great for every day use. We use it to make our daily green smoothies (I’ll need an entire post to describe my love for green smoothies) and some cooking needs. I use it at least once a day. It’s also super easy to clean, so the husband doesn’t mind helping me out with that part 😉

And now I’m off to enjoy the first of many cloudy days in Vancouver. At least the weekends have been beautiful! Hope you guys are enjoying your Thursday and I promise to not be so distant.

Aliya.