Favorite Finds

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These bits of gold are making my surface life especially lovely lately. They would make great gifts for the people you like, if it’s not too obnoxiously early to mention Christmas.

  • Harney and Sons Paris Tea – This is so delicious! Perfect for the daytime with enough caffeine to note a lift. It is reminiscent of Earl Grey because of the bergamot, but it’s more complex and dessert like with the vanilla and caramel flavors. Even with a tea bag, it tastes like something you’d steep loose leaf in a hot, polished silver tea pot in a boutique hotel. It’s a simple thing, but aren’t those the best ways to elevate the day?
  • Byredo Parfums Gypsy Water – Barneys says this fragrance features bergamot, lemon, pepper, juniper berries, incense, pine needles, orris, amber, vanilla and sandalwood. Hmm, I hadn’t made the link between the Gypsy Water and the Paris tea until now. Apparently I’m drawn to bergamot. I can’t describe what this fragrance does to me without sounding distasteful. Suffice to say, it’s phenomenal. I have a sample sent to me by darling Hayley, my beauty idol and curator of all things gorgeous. I’ve been using a spray at a time and the fragrance lasts nearly 12 hours, putting me in the most incredible mood. If you doubt the power of scent and it’s connection to memory, attachment, attraction, and mood, go find Gypsy Water and prove yourself wrong.
  • True Nutrition Team Skip Protein Formula – Chocolate Coconut flavor – I sampled 4 different protein powders in 8 different flavors from True Nutrition after reading through the forums and reviews from athletes I admire. The winner was this blend of  34% Whey Protein Isolate, 33% Casein, and 33% Egg White Protein. The flavor reminds me of Almond Joys and a scoop in greek yogurt at night is about the closest I come to dessert most days. I’m trying to gain muscle over the next 6 months before my next (!) marathon, and this is the most convenient way to get protein immediately after my workouts. The blend of fast and slow digesting proteins keeps me full longer, while providing the post workout nutrition I need quickly.
  • Gabrielle Aplin’s album “English Rain” – Just a wonderful album I’ve been enjoying a lot. The studio session videos from this album are done beautifully. Aurelia has been singing the line, “Please don’t say you love me, ’cause I might not say it back”, which is the strangest thing to hear from a sweet three year old. The songs are calm, deep, and widely applicable to our heart states.

Race Schedule

I’m a planner and thus, I like training plans. Training plans are much more interesting with races to work towards. I really do believe that the difference between me and an ultra runner or a cometitive CrossFit athlete is consistency and dedication. This plays out day to day as I set time aside to follow a training plan and give the right effort to each workout. I also believe that the difference between me and most people who aren’t in shape but want to be, is the same thing: consistency and dedication. I’ve been there, believe me. Having children and getting older certainly changes our bodies, schedules and priorities, but instead of using that as a reason to give up, I think it’s even better incentive to make goals and take some time just for you and your body. It won’t happen overnight, but waking up each day and doing the incremental work adds up to improvement. I’m three years and many training plans in and I still have so much more to try.

Lately, I’ve been really turned off by the term “empowerment.” There’s something condescending about it when it’s often used by these people to help those people with goals that are more often instigated by the “helpers”. I don’t need anyone to empower me to be better today, next year, or a decade from now. In truth, it’s one of the few things no one can do for me. We are our own responsibility. Our accountability to a self-actualized life can not be delegated.

I do have an incredible coach who has both pushed me and given me perspective, but I believe we’re a team, along with the other awesome people in my CrossFit classes. It’s a contract. I show up, try not to whine or be negative, I’m honest with how I’m feeling, I compete only with myself, and I give my best effort. I’ve found a balance between my marathon training plan (5x/week) and the core strength and cross training I get from CrossFit (4x/week). I’ve even reached the point where I can deviate a bit from my plan when I get too tired or sore. I’m empowering me. I am the only one who can be consistent and dedicated to the person I’m becoming. No one can give that desire to me. If I want to be better tomorrow, I have to train today. And training is just trying. When I don’t want to workout, I think about what I’m training for. It’s not really this list of races. It’s not to have a different body or reach a certain weight. It’s because I’m proving to myself that I can do what only felt like a dream before. Running especially has given me the opportunity to get to my guts – an intimacy with myself. No one can fake out a 20 mile run. When it’s just me out there for hours, there aren’t any gels or gadgets or coaches or tricks that can finish for me. I have to be smart about how I train so I’m prepared and then I have to find the raw will power to ask myself to be more than I was before. Stronger, faster, happier, wiser, more thoughtful… and when I’ve pushed my body to a new level, I am humbled. There is no room for snarky out there. Gossip, appearance, anxiety all become laughable. Same is true for an intense CrossFit WOD. I think about Aurelia and the example I want to be for her. I think about the person I used to be and the one I reach for. I think about how incredibly lucky I am to be able to be in motion. Everything slows down out there. Life stops passing me by. I become present and very aware of what matters most.

I’m rambling. This is not what this post was supposed to be. I’m not really sure what this blog is supposed to be anymore. But it’s good to have a record. It’s good to say what I can and remember that this is a process. Looking at the races below blows my mind. I couldn’t do some of them today, but with the right preparation and determination, I will. Isn’t that a marvelous thing?!

An internet friend recently said, “In all matters there is a shallow and a profound perspective, including life itself. Do you live for yourself alone, or for a greater purpose and value? It is easy to live thinking only of oneself, but to live for a great ideal requires steadfast commitment and courage.

10 Minute Workouts

These workouts come from Mark’s Daily Apple, a site I’ve come to rely on for solid nutrition and fitness advice. As a single working (and dating) mom living in the middle of the country and commuting to nearly everything, I can appreciate the complaint that there just isn’t enough time in the day to workout.

The owner of my local gym would say, “You don’t have time not to have time.” That’s confusing. But I’ve heard it and it stuck with me. The days keep going by and the one thing that makes the biggest difference in your health is just making the time. You don’t have to feel like it. You don’t have to have an hour long, all out endurance and strength workout every time. You just have to show up. The same goes for our diets. Quick detoxes, sharp calorie cuts, and occasional kicks on one trend or another isn’t what creates a life of clean eating. Doing the menu planning, grocery shopping, local food sourcing, and just showing up in the kitchen day after day is what it takes. So give yourself some slack. Find some patience. Do a 10 minute workout. Prep a ton of veggies and meat once a week for meals. Get into making yogurt or sauerkraut. Do a couple minutes of sun salutations in the morning. Put yourself to sleep earlier. All these little steps are what add up. Make the time. It’s about creating a routine, a cyclical life, mirroring the seasons and needs of our families and environment. I’m spinning this out too far, perhaps. But I know lately my time has been stretched thin. I’m not sleeping enough. Working a lot more hours. Trying to keep in touch with people. And more often than not I show up at the gym with less than 30 minutes and wonder if it’s even worth it. But listen, it is. I am eating boring soup leftovers and celery with almond butter every lunch. But when time is short, just show up, preserve some time, and don’t sabotage the work you’ve done ’till now.

I know I’ll be printing out these workouts to have on hand when I don’t have more time. Or if I want to get out of the gym sooner to get Aurelia and make a special dinner. Roasted asparagus. Sweet potato smokey turkey chile stew. Honey buttermilk mincemeat cake. Recipes to come, of course.

Make the time. Show up. Save yourself.

Taken from Mark’s Daily Apple:

1. Max Reps Multiplied

Choose two movements – one upper body focused, one lower body focused – that are complementary and do not conflict with each other. Pullups and squats, good. Deadlifts and squats, not so good. For each movement, perform the maximum amount of consecutive reps you can do. Multiply that number by four to give you a target amount of total reps. You have ten minutes to reach the target rep count in each exercise using any set and rep scheme you desire. So if you were able to do eight pullups and six front squats in a row, you need to do 32 more pullups and 24 more front squats. For weighted movements, 50 reps (including your initial max set) is the upper limit. For bodyweight movements like air squats and pushups, the upper limit is 100 reps. If you reach the upper limit, add weight next time.

2. Baby Steps

Very few of us launched right into full-blown bipedalism out of the womb. Instead, we crawled, crawled, and crawled some more. Contrary to the popular belief that crawling is just a useless placeholder for walking, moving around on all fours develops shoulder mobility and strength and contralateral awareness, plus the basic ability to move around and explore the environment. Adults should crawl too. It’s a little different for us, though. We’re heavier than babies, so crawling can be taxing, particularly on the upper body. We’re also not used to crawling, so it’s a new movement all over again for many of us.

The easiest way to learn how to crawl correctly is to start on the hands and knees. Assume the position. Place your left hand/left knee close together and your right hand/right knee further from each other. “Step” forward with your left hand and right knee, then follow with the right hand and left knee. Continue in this contralateral fashion.

For the workout, crawl for seven minutes out of the allotted ten. The three minutes of break time can be divided into as many break periods as you like (e.g. three 1-minute breaks, or ten 18-second breaks, etc.). Crawl forward, crawl backward, crawl uphill, crawl downhill. Crawl sideways. Just explore the environment from the vantage point of a big baby.

3. Short and Heavy

This is a prescription for heavy kettlebell swings and short sprints. Every minute on the minute, do ten swings with a weight that’s heavy for you and follow it immediately up with a short 5 second all-out sprint. Because the actual workout part of the workout will be short (but very intense), put every fiber of your being into the swinging and especially the sprinting. It doesn’t sound like much, but it will be after ten minutes.

If you don’t have a kettlebell, any weighted object that’s able to safely pass between your legs will work. Sandbag, weight plate, dumbbell, small child, etc.

The basic kettlebell swing is detailed in this video by Dan John. Watch it if you need to know how to perform the swing correctly.

4. Park Play

Stick to times when the playground is empty, partly for your security and partly so you don’t bowl over any kids during your workout. Or, bring a kid (hopefully your own) to join in with you.

The makeup of this workout depends on the equipment at your disposal. Most jungle gyms allow you to do some sort of pullup, so do some of those. If you can swing across from bar to bar, all the better. Climb poles, vault over barriers. Avoid taking the stairs and instead climb the structure itself. Crawl up slides, then slide back down and finish with a roll onto the ground. Just keep moving as if you’re a kid on a candy-fueled bender. Maybe there are some hot lava monsters afoot, too.

Spend ten minutes doing everything you can think of to move around on and interact with the playground equipment. Ten minutes is long enough to get a great workout but short enough to evade suspicion.

5. Burpee Ladder

The burpee is a simple yet humbling exercise. You begin with a pushup – that’s easy enough, right? – and spring up to the bottom of a squat, then stand and jump as high as you can before repeating the movement pattern. The first seven or eight burpees are always pretty easy, because you’re so focused on doing the movement that you barely realize the amount of taxation your body is accumulating. Once you finish that first set, though, the realization that you’re in for a rough time sets in.

Do ten of these the first minute, nine the second, eight the third, and so on. The faster you perform the burpees, the more rest you’ll get until the next set. The slower you perform the burpees, the less rest you’ll need since the burpees will be easier. What do you choose? Where do you strike the balance between intensity and rest? That’s for you to find out.

6. Could You Carry Your Prepubescent Self?

Forgive the convoluted name, but it makes sense when you learn what the workout entails: carrying a weight equal to 1/3 to 1/2 your current bodyweight for a full ten minutes. Use a barbell loaded with the requisite weight, a heavy sandbag, or an actual prepubescent version of yourself. Carry it for ten minutes using any method desired; just don’t put the weight down. Carry it on one shoulder, or both. Carry it in the front rack position, or placed on your traps. It doesn’t matter, and variety is actually probably best.

While merely standing there might seem like the easiest way to reach ten minutes, from my experience you’ll end up focusing too much on the weight and get discouraged. Instead, try walking around. Be the crazy guy who walks around the neighborhood with a barbell. Walk around your yard. If you’re game, throw in a few lunges and presses while you’re at it. Just don’t drop the weight until the ten minutes have passed.

Weekly 5 Day Split Workout Routine

My BF and I joke that we’re on opposite ends of our exercise routines, so we turn to each other for encouragement for what the other does more. She runs marathons and I lift heavy things. What’s awesome is that we’re both healthy, have had kids and got our bodies back, and do what we love because it makes us feel good. She got me to run this last summer and finish my first half marathon and I’m already stoked to train for a 30K (18.6 miles) this next September. Though, I’m not a great runner and I really don’t love doing much cardio regularly. You’ll see the cardio portion of my workouts ranges from 10-30 minutes, tops. It works for me, but I know I’ll have to get outside and put in the hours this summer if I want to reach that mileage again.

As for my gorgeous BF, she asked for “a strength workout that won’t kill me.” I decided it is a great opportunity to share the full routine I built after reading the excellent Bigger Leaner Stronger. It’s geared towards men and the bulking/cutting diet info doesn’t really work for my goals, but the strength and science busting out of the book just blew my mind. So, below is my own version of a BLS 5 day split routine, trying to get the most bang out of my time as possible. As for whether it will kill you or not, that’s up to you. Stick to weights that are heavy, but that you can complete 6 reps of, and that allow you to keep good form. If you’re unsure, just take the weight down and focus on the movement and keeping your body solid, tight, controlled, and aligned. I’ve been doing this exact workout 4 days a week, often missing one day of the week without good excuse, since the beginning of the year.

Personally, I can really see a difference in my definition, though my weight hasn’t changed. If I miss leg day, I always make it up by dropping shoulders or arms. Friends don’t let friends skip leg day. It’s the single most powerful workout in the list and does more than just build quads. It’s rebuilt my bum and transformed my core, more than the crunches. I tried to use common exercise titles so you can find videos of them relatively easily on Youtube or Bodybuilding.com. I hope this helps and encourages you to walk into that weight room with your head up and the determination to do your best. Rawr.

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Mondays: Chest, Abs, Cardio
Warm-up barbell bench press 3×12 (just the bar)
Rest 30 seconds between sets

Barbell bench press 3×6 (I’m at 70-75 lbs)
Rest 2 minutes between sets

Knee hip raise on parallel bars 1×20
Ball crunches 1×20
Lying abdominal pendulum 1×20
Air bike crunches 1×20

Push-ups 3×10
Rest 1 minute between sets

Knee hip raise on parallel bars 1×20
Ball crunches 1×20
Lying abdominal pendulum 1×20
Air bike crunches 1×20

Barbell incline bench press 3×6 (I use the Smith Machine and add 35 lbs)
Rest 2 minutes between sets

Knee hip raise on parallel bars 1×20
Ball crunches 1×20
Lying abdominal pendulum 1×20
Air bike crunches 1×20

Assisted chest dips 3×6 (I’m offsetting 60 lbs)
Rest 1 minutes between sets

Knee hip raise on parallel bars 1×20
Ball crunches 1×20
Lying abdominal pendulum 1×20
Air bike crunches 1×20

Treadmill Cardio:
5 minutes run at speed 6.5, incline 0
5 minutes walk at speed 3.5, incline 15
5 minutes run at speed 6.5, incline 0

Tuesdays: Back, Calves, Cardio
Stretch calves and do a few Good Mornings with a PVC pipe

Calf press on leg press 3×12 (I’m at 160 lbs added)
Rest 1 minutes between sets

Barbell deadlift 3×6 (I’m at 175 lbs)
Rest 2 minutes between sets

One arm dumbbell rows 3×6 each arm (I use a 45 lb dumbbell)
Rest 1 minutes between sets

Cable seated row 3×8 (I’m at 70 lbs)
Rest 1 minutes between sets

Close grip front lat pull down (I’m at 60 lbs)
Rest 1 minutes between sets

Treadmill Cardio:
Stand on the edges of the treadmill, off the belt. Set incline to 15, speed to 6.5.
Jump onto the moving belt and run for 30 seconds, then jump to the edges off the belt and rest for 30 seconds.
Repeat 10-15 times.

Wednesdays: Shoulders, Glutes, and Cardio
Warm-up seated dumbbell shoulder press 3×12 (I use 10 lb dumbbells)
Rest 30 seconds between sets

Seated dumbbell shoulder press 3×6 (I use 20 lb dumbbells)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Standing dumbbell lateral raise 3×6 (I use 15 lb dumbbells)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Barbell push press 3×8 (I’m at 55 lbs)
Rest 1 minute between sets

One legged cable kickback 3×12 (I’m at 30 lbs)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Barbell glute bridge 3×10 (I’m at 95 lbs)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Treadmill Cardio (preferably at a different time of day, but at the end of this workout is better than not at all)
Walk for 30 minutes at speed 3.5 at incline 15

Thursdays: Legs
Warm-up barbell full squat 3×12 (just the bar)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Barbell full squat 3×6 (I’m at 115 lbs)
Rest 2 minutes between sets

Leg press machine 3×6 (I add 150 lbs)
Rest 2 minutes between sets

Box jumps 2×10
Rest 1 minute between sets

Stiff legged barbell deadlift 3×6 (I’m at 160 lbs)
Rest 2 minutes between sets

Smith machine lunges 3×12 (I add 30 lbs)
Rest 2 minutes between sets

Fridays: Arms and Abs
Warm-up dumbbell bicep curls 3×12 (I use 10 lb dumbbells)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Dumbbell bicep curls 3×6 (I use 20 lb dumbbells)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Assisted chin-ups 3×6 (I’m offsetting 60 lbs)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Single bench dips 3×10
Rest 1 minute between sets

Tricep rope pushdowns 3×6 (The cables are a wreck at my gym – I’m at 50 lbs on one or 25 on another. No clue.)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Dumbbell standing tricep extension 3×12 (I use a 30 lb dumbbell)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Standing alternate hammer curls 3×6 (I use 30 lb dumbbells)
Rest 1 minute between sets

One arm standing dumbbell curl 3×6 (I use a 25 lb dumbbell)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Barbell close grip bench press 3×12 (I just use the bar)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Abs: Repeat circuit 3 times
Ball crunches 1×20
Lying abdominal pendulum 1×20
Air bike crunches 1×20
Lying heel touches 1×20
Plank 1 minute

Workout – Arms, Abs & Sprints

Whew! This workout rocked my short afternoon and made me feel so amazing! I was actually smiling ear to ear on the treadmill. Who does that? I was in and out of the gym in under an hour. This routine is set up like a circuit for arms and abs, so no resting in between exercises. Sixty second rest between heavy sets is important though. As for the cardio, sprints are where you’ll get the most for your minute and crank up your metabolism. I put my current weights/speed in parenthesis for my notes, but you find the right starting place for you! Make it hard, but doable.

Workout – Arms, Abs & Sprints
Warm up with dumbbell curls (both arms at once) 3×12 light (10 lbs)
Dumbbell curls 3×6 heavy (25 lbs)
Tricep rope pushdowns 3×6
Bicycle crunches 3×20
Penguins 3×20
Alternating hammer curls 3×6 heavy (30 lbs)
Standing overhead tricep extension 3 x 6 heavy (35 lbs)
Crunches 3×20
Hanging leg raises 3×20

Treadmill – jog for 5 minutes (6.5), then set the incline as high as it will go (15) and keep the speed the same. Run hard for 30 seconds then jump your legs onto the sides of the treadmill for a 30 second break while the belt keeps going. Hop back on for another 30 seconds. Repeat until you’ve done 10 minutes of sprints. Finally, take the incline all the way back down and jog it out for another 5 minutes (still 6.5). All cardio done in 20 minutes!

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Archive: Early January 2013 Food Log

Eat Well & Lift Heavy 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013
32 oz water with splash lemon and 1/2 tsp vitamin c (Sodium Ascorbate Powder)
20 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: bowl of roasted goat with tomatoes on squash
16 oz water with 3 Ultimate Immunity supplement
lunch: bowl of pulled pork with green onions
smoothie of 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup raspberries, 1/2 cup raw milk, 1/2 cup water, few ice cubes 1 scoop protein powder
spoonful of coconut butter
20 oz earl grey cream tea with splash raw milk
dinner: 1 Pecan Encrusted Tilapia filet with Orange Jicama Salsa on 3/4 cup smashed squash
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Wednesday, January 2, 2013
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with 2 cups spinach, 2 Tbs salsa, and topped with 3 Tbs guacamole
32 oz water
16 oz coffee with splash milk
lunch: cup of pulled pork on 2 cups spinach
1 pear
8 oz grape chia kombucha
workout: warm up run (5 min), shoulders and glutes (dumbbell shoulder press 3×12 light, 3×6 heavy, dumbbell lat raise 3×6, seated bent over dumbbell reverse fly 3×6, cable pull through 3×6, bent over bench cable glute kickback 3×12), incline cardio (10 minutes)
protein shake – 1 scoop protein powder in 12 oz water
dinner: 1 1/2 turkey burgers on 1/2 bunch garlic sauteed kale
16 oz water with splash lemon juice and vitamin c powder
12 oz peppermint green tea
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

(nutrition breakdown below. not exact, but a close snapshot of how my macronutrients are coming out. i’ll do this once in a while to try see where I’m at and what i need to work on.)

1-2-13 food log

Thursday, January 3, 2013
8 oz water with CLA
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/3 cup egg whites, 1 cup spinach, 1/2 cup pulled pork, and 1/2 cup bubbies sauerkraut
32 oz water
lunch: heaping cup of garlic smashed sweet potatoes and 1 1/2 turkey burgers
workout: legs (5 minute quick run to warm up. barbell back squats 3×12 light, 3×6 heavy. leg press 3×6, deadlifts 3×6, and walking dumbbell lunges 3×12)
protein shake – 1 scoop protein powder with 12 oz water
dinner: spinach salad with grilled chicken, tomatoes, onion, and bit of bacon, no dressing. 1 1/2 bacon wrapped beef, onion, and pepper kebabs
12 oz water
1/2 Pecan Encrusted Tilapia filet with Orange Jicama Salsa (just a bit leftover)
1 cup cottage cheese with handful cherry tomatoes (still hungry!)
12 oz carrot cake rooibos tea
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Friday, January 4, 2013
8 oz water with CLA
16 oz water with splash lemon juice and vitamin C and 1 Ultimate Immunity supplement
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/3 cup egg whites, 2 Tbs onion, 1/2 cup chopped skirt steak, topped with 2 Tbs salsa and pack of guacamole
16 oz coffee with splash milk
32 oz water
lunch: 3/4 cup garlic smashed sweet potatoes and 1 cup pulled pork
premixed protein shake
workout: arms and abs (dumbbell bicep curl 3×12 light, 3×6 heavy, tricep pushdown – rope 3×6, alternate hammer curl 3×6, dumbbell standing triceps extension 2×6, cable crunch 2×12, air bike 2×20, hanging leg raise 2×20, decline crunch 1×25)
protein shake – 1 scoop protein powder with 12 oz water and 5 mg creatine powder
dinner: small polish sausage with 1 Tbs spicy mustard and 1/4 cup sauerkraut
dinner 2: 1/2 cup shredded roast chicken with 1 Tbs horseradish sourcream
16 oz decaf latte with shake cinnamon
16 oz water with creatine powder and vitamin c
1/2 cup paleo peach raspberry pecan crisp
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Saturday, January 5, 2013
8 oz water with CLA
16 oz water with splash lemon juice and vitamin C
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 2 Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce
protein shake – 1 banana blended with a handful of ice, 2 cups water, 1 tsp creatine, and 1 scoop protein powder
lunch: salmon patty with 1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 spoonful of coconut butter
16 oz water
dinner: 1 cup vegetable beef brothy soup
1/2 orange
2 glasses wine (governor’s ball)
8 oz water
1 cup cottage cheese with 1 piece salami (really late and hungry)

Sunday, January 6, 2013
16 oz water
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 piece Smoked Salmon, Tomato, and Goat Cheese Crustless Quiche
16 oz water with splash lemon juice, creatine, GSE, and vitamin C (wow, that was awful)
1/2 orange
lunch: 2 cups spinach with 1 cup shredded roast chicken, 2 Tbs salsa, 3 Tbs guacamole
3/4 apple with 2 Tbs almond butter
16 oz earl gray cream tea with splash raw milk
16 oz decaf latte
dinner: 4 Turkey Mushroom Lettuce Wraps with ground spiced turkey and mushrooms, salsa, and 3 Tbs guacamole
2 squares 85% chocolate
16 oz earl gray cream tea with splash raw milk
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Monday, January 7, 2013
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 piece Smoked Salmon, Tomato, and Goat Cheese Crustless Quiche
32 oz coffee with splash milk (2 – 16 oz cups)
32 oz water
lunch: couple ounces turkey breast with 2 Tbs pesto, 2 cups vegetable beef soup
pre-mixed protein shake
workout: chest, abs, and cardio – barbell bench press (3×12 light, 3×6 heavy), knee hip raise on parallel bars (3×20), abdominal pendulum (3×20), air bike (3×20), push ups (3×15), treadmill HIIT 10 minutes
protein shake – 1 scoop protein powder with 12 oz water and 5 mg creatine powder
5 dried figs
dinner: 4 Turkey Mushroom Lettuce Wraps with chicken, ground spiced turkey and mushrooms, salsa, and 3 Tbs guacamole
20 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Tuesday, January 8, 2013
20 oz coffee with splash raw milk
12 oz water with vitamin d, ultimate immunity support, and probiotics
breakfast: protein shake – 1 scoop protein powder with 8 oz raw milk
16 oz apple spice tea
32 oz water
lunch: 1 cup cottage cheese and 1.5 cups garlic chicken brothy soup
workout: back, calves, and cardio – calf press on leg press (6×12), weighted calf raises (3×12), barbell deadlift (3×6 light, 3×6 heavy), one arm dumbell row (3×6), cable seated row (3×8), close grip lat pull down (3×6), treadmill HIIT 10 minutes
protein shake – 1 scoop protein powder with 12 oz water and 5 mg creatine powder
1 tsp almond butter with 1 dried fig (heaven)
dinner: 8 greek meatballs on 2 cups spinach with 1/2 orange and tsp balsamic
16 oz water
2 glasses wine

Wednesday, January 9, 2013
16 oz water with creatine, vitamin c, and splash lemon juice
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/3 cup egg whites, 2 cup spinach, 1/2 cup spiced ground turkey, 2 Tbs salsa, and 3 Tbs guacamole
16 oz coffee with splash milk
lunch: couple ounces turkey breast with 1 Tbs pesto and 2 cups vegetable beef brothy soup
20 oz water
protein bar (think thin dark chocolate – amazing, though i don’t want to be eating these sort of things often)
1 cup full fat plain greek yogurt (zoi fave brand – definitely needed more fat today to stay satiated)
workout: shoulders, glutes, and cardio – dumbell shoulder press (3×12 light, 3×6 heavy), dumbbell lateral raise (3×6), clean and press (3×4), bent over banch cable kickback (3×12), barbell glute bridge (3×10), HIIT 10 minutes
protein shake – 2 scoops protein powder with 16 oz water
dinner: 1 1/2 cups chicken, mushroom, tomato sauce on 2 cups spinach, 5 spinach potato bites
16 oz water
2 dried figs with 2 tsp coconut butter
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Thursday, January 10, 2013
16 oz water with creatine, vitamin c, and splash lemon juice
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 4 apple raisin protein pancakes (just protein powder, unsweetened applesauce, egg whites, raisins – not great)
16 oz coffee with splash milk
4 dried figs
lunch: plate of chicken and vegetables from a Vietnamese restaurant
16 oz water
16 oz latte
8 oz coffee with splash milk
1/2 piece dried pineapple
1 think thin protein bar
dinner: 4 thin pieces beef roast, green salad, bit of sauteed green beans
2 Tbs justin’s maple almond butter
32 oz water
1 glass pinot gris
20 oz water
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Friday, January 11, 2013
16 oz water with creatine, vitamin c, and splash grape juice
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 chicken breast sauteed in coconut oil and curry, on 2 cups spinach, topped with 3 Tbs guacamole
3 dried figs
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
lunch: 4 slices roast beef, lettuce, 2 slices tomato, 2 slices green bell pepper, 2 tsp dijon
16 oz water
24 oz coffee with splash raw milk
1/2 cup Asian pork (inside of pot stickers – tossed the shell)
1/2 piece dried pineapple
dinner: 1 cup orange chicken breast on 1 cup spinach with 1 Tbs green onion
1 cup cottage cheese with 1 Tbs green onion
16 oz peppermint green tea
16 oz water
1 square 85% chocolate
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Saturday, January 12, 2013
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: salmon patty topped with 3 Tbs guacamole, a fried easy egg, and a touch of paprika
few ounces turkey breast with 1 Tbs pesto and drizzle balsamic
handful of pomegranate seeds and pith (from juicing) with 1/2 cup raw milk (eaten like cereal. really good!)
lunch: 3 slices Roasted Pork Sirloin with Pomegranate Balsamic Sauce, wedge of braised cabbage and 1/2 cup braised mire poix
dinner: meatballs with marinara over lots of spinach topped with parmesean (restaurant)
16 oz water
24 oz earl gray tea
2 squares 85% chocolate
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Sunday, January 13, 2013
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1/2 chicken breast cooked in coconut oil and curry, then with 1/3 cup egg whites scrambled with 1 egg and 2 cups spinach, topped with guacamole
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
lunch: split a grilled salmon filet with a side of sauteed vegetables, bit of tartar sauce with Aurelia (local restaurant)
20 oz water
12 oz sugar free vanilla latte
12 oz lavender kombucha
workout: legs and shoulders – barbell back squats 3×12 light, 3×6 heavy. leg press 3×6, deadlifts 3×6, and dumbbell box step ups (20), dumbbell lateral raise (2×10), dumbbell front raise (2×10), bicep curls (2×10)
think thin protein bar
16 oz americano with splash milk
1 apple with 2 Tbs almond butter
dinner: 1 chicken artichoke sausage over romaine with radishes, cucumber, sauerkraut, and bit of balsamic
16 oz water
3/4 cup plain yogurt with 1/2 scoop banana protein powder (yum!)
16 oz peppermint green tea with 1 Tbs supplemental gelatin
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

WOW, I’M REALLY TIRED OF LOGGING MY MEALS.

Monday, January 14, 2013
16 oz water with splash lemon juice and vitamin c with 10 drops GSE
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/3 cup egg whites, 1 cup spinach, 1/2 cup curry chicken, bit of salsa, topped with 3 Tbs guacamole
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
16 oz coffee with splash half and half (wee! too much caffeine!)
16 oz white tea
lunch: 1 cup bacon blue cheese potato salad, 1 1/2 cups tomato soup (restaurant)
12 oz water
workout: circuit of legs, abs, and arms (45 minutes)
protein shake – 1 scoop protein powder in 8 oz water
think thin protein bar
16 oz sugar free vanilla latte (bad idea)
dinner: bowl of chicken coconut curry soup over spaghetti squash
16 oz water
1 cup plain yogurt with 1/2 scoop protein powder
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
16 oz water with splash lemon juice and vitamin c with 10 drops GSE
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with 1/4 cup egg whites, 1/2 cup mushrooms, 1 cup spinach, 1/2 cup chicken sausage, bit of salsa, topped with 3 Tbs guacamole
16 oz coffee with splash milk
lunch: green salad with bit of italian dressing, 1/2 potato with 1 Tbs sour cream and sprinkle of green onion, 1/2 cup sauteed veg, small piece steak (restaurant meeting)
12 oz water
8 oz coffee with splash cream
1 cup cottage cheese
16 oz coffee with splash milk (do i drink too much coffee?)
32 oz water
16 oz water
3/4 apple with 1 Tbs almond butter
dinner: bowl of chicken coconut curry soup over spaghetti squash
8 oz water with splash lemon juice, vitamin c, and GSE
1 cup plain yogurt with 1/2 scoop protein powder
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Wednesday, January 16, 2013
16 oz water with splash lemon juice and vitamin c with 10 drops GSE
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1/2 cup egg whites scrambled with 1/2 cup mushrooms, 2 cups spinach, 2 Tbs sauerkraut, topped with 3 Tbs guacamole
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
16 oz coffee
1 banana
quest protein bar in chocolate brownie
lunch: 1 cup chicken coconut curry soup over spaghetti squash
1 cup plain greek yogurt with 1/2 scoop protein powder
32 oz water
16 oz coffee with splash milk

2012 End of Year Food Log

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I’m just going to slip this food log into a post to archive it and clear the food log page for a new year. This last food log really was just for me to get a sense of what I actually eat and be mindful of what it is I’m eating through the hardest time of the year for me. With the new year, I’m going to do another food log, but this time with some goals in mind. First, I’m going to detail a bit more on my workouts, workout time, strength, and gains. I’m starting the 5 day workout model from Bigger Leaner Stronger by Michael Matthews. You can poke fun at me for reading an “ultimate male body” book, that’s ok. I’m not really trying to get bigger, per se, nor am I going to start bulking or powerlifting. The book was an amazing wake up call for me though and I really ate up the science and the no-nonsense way Matthews presents a sensible way of working out to get the most from your body, look the best, and be the healthiest. I’m all for that. Get a copy of the book and let’s talk.

One thing I know is that most of the way my body looks has nothing to do with what I do in the gym and everything to do with my diet. So, while I’ll be working harder with weights, it’s my diet that I’m going to change the most to hopefully see more physical improvements, inside and outside my body. I got sick a few too many times this last year and hopefully by eliminating some foods, I’ll build a better immune system and repair any leaky gut issues that could be causing systematic inflammation.

I’m leaning towards paleo, as I have been slowly over the last year, but once I start eating sweets at all (as you’ll see in the log below), it all goes downhill. I have to be pretty strict about sugar and grains because it’s such a slippery slope for me and the quickest way to see my body change for the worse. For the new year, I’m going to kick out all processed food, grain, sugar, legumes (including soy and peanuts), vegetable/seed oils, white potatoes, and most dairy. Honestly, I’m still debating whether or not to keep a bit of raw milk and plain yogurt. I may keep some for a while and see how I feel eliminating the other things first. I’m not ready to move on from coffee or that splash of milk in it. It would be too much all at once for my poor heart. I do know that I need to keep plenty of good carbs in, too with starchy vegetables and fruit. Call this paleo, call it primal, call it cleaner eating. It’s not a strict plan, but rather a foundation I’m trying to stand on to move in a healthier direction. I’m not ashamed of this food log or how I ate the end of this year. I managed to not gain any weight, enjoyed many big family dinners, and tried to balance the treats, sleep, dates, and limited gym time. But I know I could do better. I will.

To follow my new year food log and workouts, visit this page. I’m committing to keeping track for January only and will reassess then if I think it’s still providing benefit. It is a bother recording every bite, but oh-so-powerful!

End of Year Food Log: Nov 26 – Dec 1

Monday, November 26
Stats: weight 124.2, body fat 13%, measurements 34-28-35
breakfast: protein shake – 1 scoop protein powder with 1 banana and 2 cups of water
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
32 oz water
lunch: bowl of tomato florentine soup (vegetables + noodles)
16 oz coffee with splash 2% milk
16 oz coffee with splash 2% milk (agh – too much caffeine)
workout: shoulders
protein shake – 1 scoop protein with 8 oz water
dinner: bowl of sauteed broccoli (broccoli, coconut oil, garlic, balsamic)
1 cup cottage cheese with 2 Tbs salsa
1 cup water
16 oz jasmine tea

Tuesday, November 27
1 cup water
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/3 cup egg whites, 1/2 chicken sausage, salsa, topped with guacamole
lunch: big bowl of pho – chicken, broth, bean shoots, cilantro, basil, jalapeno, etc.
16 oz water
16 oz jasmine tea
2 little glasses of wine
2 oranges
1 cup water
dinner: 8 turkey pesto meatballs on bowl of spinach topped with marinara sauce
1 cup water
16 oz jasmine tea

Wednesday, November 28
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: protein shake – 1 scoop protein powder with 8 oz water
lunch: 4 turkey pesto meatballs on bowl of spinach topped with marinara sauce
32 oz water
1″ square 88% dark chocolate
10 spiced roasted hazelnuts
1 cup coffee with splash 2% milk
protein bar (was so hungry)
workout: chest and triceps
protein shake – 1 scoop protein with 8 oz water
1 cup coffee with splash raw milk
dinner: (date night splurge) shared a big plate of black bean, steak, cheddar, and pepper nachos with a lot of guacamole
dos equis amber
16 oz water

Thursday, November 29
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/3 cup egg whites, 1/2 chicken sausage, 2 cups spinach, 3 Tbs salsa, topped with guacamole
1 cup Odwalla superfood juice
1 cup water
16 oz coffee with splash 2% milk
2 stalks celery with 3 Tbs almond butter
lunch: baked honey dijon salmon filet on spinach with bit of balsamic
1″ square chocolate
32 oz water
workout: back and biceps
protein shake – 1 scoop protein with 8 oz water
dinner: 1 cup beef chili, small green salad with balsamic, 1/2 small potato with bacon, green onions, and sour cream
12 oz coffee with splash cream
bowl of spinach with 1/2 cup cottage cheese and splash balsamic
1 cup water

Friday, November 30
1 cup water
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/3 cup egg whites, 1/2 chicken sausage, 2 cups spinach, 3 Tbs salsa, topped with guacamole
workout: legs
protein shake – 1 scoop protein with 8 oz water
1/2 filet of baked honey dijon salmon on spinach with bit of balsamic and olive oil
lunch: sandwich innards (3 slices ham, 1/2 slice swiss, mustard, 3 slices tomato, pickles) and a green salad, no dressing
16 oz coffee with splash milk
1 cup corn chowder
12 oz water
dinner: 1 1/2 mushroom burgers with 1 slice swiss cheese, 1/2 cup sauerkraut, and a lot of spinach
16 oz water
1 Tbs almond butter on a spoon (really craving fat today!)
1/2 cup sugar free tapioca pudding

Saturday, December 1
1 cup water
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 5 pieces turkey bacon and an egg fried over easy
lunch: cup of egg drop soup, mongolian beef and onions, a bit of fried rice
16 oz water
16 oz amaretto latte
sugar free brownie
12 oz raspberry chia kombucha
16 oz water
2 glasses red wine
dinner: shared a cheese plate – crackers, grapes, pickled onions, honeycomb, cheve, blue, and some other soft cheese
couple bites oxtail risotto off someone else’s plate
1″ square chocolate
16 oz water
shared an appetizer sampler at an Indian place – some fried dumplings, curried beef, potatoes and peas, lots of sauces

Sunday, December 2
16 oz water with lemon
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1/2 cup egg whites, 1/2 chicken sausage, 2 cups chopped broccoli, 3 Tbs salsa, topped with guacamole
1 cup sugar free tapioca pudding
lunch: sandwich innards: 3 hearts romaine, 3 pieces ham, dijon, 3 slices tomato, 1 slice cheddar cheese
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
dinner: shredded beef sopito, chips and salsa
16 oz water
2 glasses red wine
1 piece coconut tres leches cake
16 oz water
small handful cheez-its (good end to a big cheat weekend)

Monday, December 3
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 piece whole wheat toast, topped with guacamole, 3 pieces turkey bacon, and a fried egg over easy
16 oz cherry chia kombucha
sugar free protein bar
4 small slices honeydew melon
handful carrot sticks
handful broccoli
20 oz coffee with splash half and half
1/2 filet of baked honey dijon salmon on spinach with 1/2 cup cottage cheese and a bit of balsamic
1 piece coconut tres leches cake (dang it. need this to be gone!)
16 oz water
cup of shredded coconut lime chicken on spinach with tomatoes, cilantro, and guacamole

Tuesday, December 4
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: protein shake – 1 scoop protein powder with 1 cup coconut milk
8 oz coffee with splash milk
lunch: 1 cup nonfat honey greek yogurt with frozen blueberries and cinnamon
16 oz decaf americano with splash half and half
32 oz water
1 packet plain tuna with splash balsamic
workout: shoulders and abs
protein shake – 1 scoop protein with 8 oz water
1/2 cup cottage cheese, 3 pieces turkey bacon, 2 Tbs chopped tomato
dinner: cup of shredded coconut lime chicken on spinach with cilantro and guacamole
1/4 pomegranate
16 oz water
20 oz herbal tea
1 bite coconut tres leches cake (Grrrr)

Wednesday, December 5
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/2 cup egg whites, 3 pieces turkey bacon, 2 cups spinach, 3 Tbs salsa, topped with guacamole
workout: chest
protein shake – 1 scoop protein with 8 oz water
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
16 oz water
lunch: 1 lamb kebab, 1 onion, pepper, mushroom kebab, cup of red bean soup, pickle spear
16 oz amber beer
12 oz nonfat pumpkin latte
protein bar
32 oz water
dinner: bowl of moroccan beef and sweet potato stew
1 orange
1 cup plain yogurt with 3 Tbs pomegranate seeds and dash nutmeg

Thursday, December 6
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 3 small protein pancakes with a dozen blueberries and dollup of yogurt, then 2 more with 2 tsp almond butter and 1 tsp maple syrup
16 oz water
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
workout: back and biceps (50 min) + 3 mile run (29:27)
protein shake – 1 scoop protein with 8 oz water
lunch: bowl of korean short ribs on rice, spinach, and onions
16 oz water
1 cup plain, nonfat greek yogurt
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
dinner (long date out): grilled chicken sandwich, beef slider, couple corn chips, few bites posole, 2 cake balls, 2 glasses wine (whew)
32 oz water

Friday, December 7
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: protein shake – 1 scoop protein with 8 oz water
lunch: carne asada on lettuce, beans, pico de gallo, and guacamole
16 oz water
16 oz nonfat latte
2 stalks celery with 1 Tbs almond butter
dinner: big serving braised chard topped with an over easy egg
16 oz water
5 or 6 little cookies (oatmeal, raisin, coconut, choc chip) (agh)
20 oz decaf black chai tea with splash raw milk

Saturday, December 8
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 5 small protein pancakes and dollup of yogurt
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
2 little whole wheat chocolate chip orange walnut cookies (bake sale!)
16 oz decaf americano with splash milk
lunch: carnitas on lettuce with pico de gallo and guacamole
20 oz water
whole wheat lemon bar
workout: 1.5 hour run/hike in the foothills
32 oz water
dinner: two cod fish tacos, half cup of tomato bisque soup, handful of sweet potato fries
3 little cookies (oatmeal, raisin, coconut, choc chip)

Keeping a food log doesn’t make me feel very good when I have to keep track of so many cookies!

Sunday, December 9
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/2 cup egg whites, 2 cups spinach, 3 Tbs salsa, topped with guacamole and cilantro
2 pieces turkey deli meat with slice swiss cheese and dab of dijon
4 garlic and jalapeno stuffed green olives
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
16 oz water
lunch: salmon patty with 1/4 cup cottage cheese mixed with some bubbies relish and lemon juice
1/2 cup plain oatmeal with a 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 packet stevia, and 3 Tbs pomegranate seeds
1/2 banana with 1 Tbs coconut butter
1/2 cup nonfat pumpkin frozen yogurt with Tbs blackberries
dinner: bowl of chicken coconut curry on cilantro lemon cauliflower rice
20 oz water

Monday, December 10
16 oz water with splash lemon juice
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/3 cup egg whites, 1/2 chicken sausage, 2 cups spinach, 3 Tbs salsa, topped with guacamole
1/2 cup apple cinnamon oatmeal with 1 Tbs plain yogurt
1/2 banana with 1 tsp almond butter
32 oz herbal immune support tea with 2 tsp honey and bit of raw milk
1 1/2 low fat whole grain blueberry buttermilk muffins
lunch: bowl of chicken coconut curry on cilantro lemon cauliflower rice
16 oz water
16 oz chai tea with splash raw milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt with 2 Tbs pomegranate seeds
16 oz herbal tea with honey (oof. too much tea. sore throat)
dinner: palm sized serving of pork tenderloin with a cup of creamed kale and one of my mom’s little whole wheat potato rolls with a dab of honey butter
12 oz herbal tea with honey

Tuesday, December 11
16 oz water with splash lemon juice
16 oz herbal tea
breakfast: 1/2 cup oatmeal with 1 Tbs almond butter and 1/2 packet stevia
1 low fat whole grain blueberry buttermilk muffin
20 oz coffee with splash raw milk
lunch: serving of moussaka, 1/2 banana
16 oz herbal tea with milk and tsp honey
16 oz water with splash lemon juice
1 orange
16 oz herbal tea with milk and tsp honey
dinner: piece of meatloaf, 1/4 plain baked potato with 1/3 cup cottage cheese, big serving of bacon and craisin roasted broccoli
1 chocolate chip cookie
bite of mom’s cheesecake
1 cup herbal tea

Wednesday, December 12
1 cup water
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 32 oz plain nonfat kefir
16 oz water
lunch: bowl of Tuscan kidney bean, kale, sausage, potato soup and a grilled chicken kebab
32 oz water
16 oz decaf americano with splash half and half
16 oz lavender kombucha
1 low fat whole grain blueberry buttermilk muffin
dinner: bowl of sauteed spinach, bacon, craisins, and broccoli and a serving of moussaka
16 oz herbal tea with tsp honey
1/2 cup plain yogurt with tsp raspberry jam
1 cup water with lemon

Thursday, December 13
16 oz water with splash lemon juice
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/3 cup egg whites, 1/2 chicken sausage, 2 cups spinach, 3 Tbs salsa, topped with guacamole
16 oz peppermint tea
32 oz water
lunch: small bowl of sauteed spinach, bacon, craisins, and broccoli and a serving of moussaka
16 oz 2% milk latte
workout: chest and triceps (1 hour) 3 mile run (28:58)
protein shake – 1 scoop protein with 1 cup water
16 oz water
1 low fat whole grain blueberry buttermilk muffin
1/2 banana with 1 tsp almond butter
dinner: bowl of coconut green curry soup with shrimp
16 oz water
1/2 piece mom’s cheesecake

Friday, December 14
16 oz water with splash lemon juice
breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/3 cup egg whites, 1/2 chicken sausage, 2 cups spinach, 3 Tbs salsa, topped with guacamole
32 oz coffee with splash milk
protein shake – 1 scoop protein with 1 cup water
16 oz water
lunch – bbq bacon burger and small green salad, no dressing
protein shake – 1 scoop protein with 1 cup water
20 oz cinnamon apple herbal tea
16 oz water
dinner: bowl of coconut green curry soup with shrimp and a spinach salad with grilled chicken, topped with guacamole
32 oz carrot cake rooibos tea

Saturday, December 15
16 oz water with splash lemon juice
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: protein shake – 1 banana, 2 cups coconut milk, 1 scoop protein powder
32 oz earl grey cream tea with splash raw milk
16 oz water with splash lemon juice
1 whole wheat lime sugar cookie
lunch: small bowl of chicken cauliflower curry and 1/2 salmon patty with few tablespoons cottage cheese
2 whole wheat double chocolate cookies
20 oz earl grey cream tea with splash raw milk
dinner: 12 baked turkey meatballs with marinara sauce over spinach
16 oz water

Sunday, December 16
8 oz water with 8 oz real grape juice
16 oz earl grey cream tea with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 banana with 1 Tbs almond butter
16 oz water
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
lunch: bowl of coconut green curry soup (Aurelia ate all my shrimp)
16 oz americano with splash milk
spinach salad with grilled chicken, topped with guacamole
dinner: 6 baked turkey meatballs with marinara sauce sauteed with spinach, bite of rump roast, small serving garlic smashed potatoes with gravy, spicy sauteed green beans
16 oz water
big slice banana nut cake with cream cheese frosting
16 oz green caramel tea with splash raw milk

Monday, December 17
8 oz water with 8 oz real grape juice
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with 1/2 chicken sausage, 2 cups spinach, 3 Tbs salsa, topped with guacamole
32 oz water
lunch: spinach salad with bacon, grilled chicken, walnuts and hard boiled egg, no dressing
3 whole wheat lime sugar cookies and 1 brownie bite (work christmas party)
16 oz water
workout: cardio, abs, chest
protein shake – 1 scoop protein powder with 12 oz water
12 oz cherry chia kombucha
dinner: 2 slices pizza (mozzarella, smoked bleu cheese, ham, apples & balsamic caramelized onions) and 6 pieces baguette with dip (goat cheese, garlic, thyme, and lemon)
2 stout beers (dinner date)
32 oz water

Tuesday, December 18
8 oz water with 8 oz real grape juice
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with 1/2 chicken sausage, 3 cups spinach, 3 Tbs salsa, topped with bit of shredded swiss
32 oz water
16 oz peppermint tea
17 oz pre-mixed protein shake
12 oz americano with splash milk
6 spiced hazelnuts
3 whole wheat chocolate cookies
workout: cardio and supersets
protein bar
dinner: 3 barbacoa tacos with cilantro, lime, onion, and salsa. bowl of lettuce with bit of spiced ground beef, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, and salsa.
16 oz water
24 oz carrot cake rooibos tea

Wednesday, December 19
16 oz water with splash lemon juice
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1/2 cup plain oatmeal with 2 Tbs blueberries, shake cinnamon, and 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
16 oz peppermint tea
4 whole wheat chocolate cookies
20 oz americano with splash milk
lunch: small portion rump roast, pile of caramelized onions and green beans, scoop of smashed potatoes and gravy
workout: shoulders and glutes (1 hour), HIIT (15 minutes)
protein shake – 1 scoop protein powder in 12 oz water
half piece banana walnut cake with cream cheese frosting
16 oz earl grey cream tea with splash raw milk
dinner: baked lemon dijon salmon filet over smashed garlic potatoes with parsley
16 oz water
teaspoon of coconut butter

Thursday, December 20
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1/2 cup plain oatmeal with 2 Tbs plum jam, and 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
16 oz coffee with splash half and half
24 oz peppermint tea
lunch: turkey sandwich with brie, fig jam, dijon, apple, and greens on country bread. green side salad with cashews and parmesean, no dressing.
32 oz water
gluten free vegan vanilla cupcake (thanks, Dwayne!)
protein shake – 1 scoop protein powder in 8 oz water
16 oz decaf americano with splash half and half
2 cinnamon sugar cookies (thanks, Hayley!)
24 oz caramel green tea
dinner: baked lemon dijon salmon filet over heap of butter and garlic sauteed green beans

Friday, December 21
16 oz water with splash lemon juice
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/3 cup egg whites, 1/2 chicken sausage, a small handful of parsley, and 2 Tbs shredded swiss
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
16 oz water
lunch: huevos rancheros (2 eggs over easy, salsa, 2 corn tortillas, little refried beans)
20 oz water
8 little peppernut cookies (thanks, Kati!)
dinner: bowl of sesame beef, broccoli, and peppers with chili paste
4 spicy molasses cookies and 1 russian tea cookie (baking, really over indulged)
16 oz water

I’m on holiday break now and home baking with family for the foreseeable week, so this is where the treats will really be hard to moderate. Trying to just relax and let go of feeling too guilty about it.

Saturday, December 22
16 oz water with splash lemon juice
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/3 cup egg whites, 1/2 piece bacon, 2 Tbs shredded cheddar, and 2 Tbs salsa
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
lunch: bowl of sesame beef, broccoli, and peppers with chili paste on brown rice noodles
2 chocolate chip oatmeal cookies
1/2 orange
16 oz water
1/2 cup cottage cheese
12 oz peppermint green tea
dinner: party hors d’ oeuvres – pickled beets, pickles, kalamata olives, crackers and spicy jam and cheese, stuffed mushrooms, and probably more – lots of noshing
1 mug of hot buttered rum
1 cup water

Sunday, December 23
20 oz water with splash lemon juice
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
1/2 orange
brunch: big piece herby salmon swiss crustless quiche with dollop greek yogurt
16 oz water
2 small molasses cookies
spoon of greek yogurt
1 cup mexican hot chocolate – made with water
lunch: bowl of garlicy sauteed green beans
16 oz water
1/2 sugar cookie
dinner: tomato creamed spinach (a whole box frozen spinach) on cup of brown rice noodles with 2 Tbs feta
16 oz peppermint green tea

Monday, December 24
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with 1/2 cup spicy ground beef, and 2 Tbs salsa
16 oz coffee with splash cream
1 cup cottage cheese with sprinkle of black sesame seeds
1 molasses cookie
16 oz water with splash lemon juice
lunch: bowl of cream of celery soup
piece of dense chocolate cake
16 oz decaf chai with splash cream
dinner: portion of nut crusted beef roast with 3/4 cup roasted sweet potatoes, 3 Tbs horseradish sour cream, and 1/2 cup balsamic braised baby kale
16 oz water
piece of dense chocolate cake

Tuesday, December 25
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: piece of dense chocolate cake (merry christmas to me)
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
lunch: big slice apple dutch baby pancake, spoonful of blackberry sauce, and 2 pieces bacon
16 oz water
1 orange
second lunch: bowl of cream of celery soup
1 molasses cookie
2 garlic and jalapeno stuffed green olives
dinner: roast goat with tomatoes and onions on mashed squash topped with few Tbs garlic yogurt and capers. bacon baby kale salad with balsamic
16 oz water
piece of dense chocolate cake

Wednesday, December 26
16 oz water
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/3 cup egg whites, 1/2 piece bacon, 2 cups baby kale, and 2 Tbs salsa, topped with guacamole
1/2 orange
lunch: small bowl of roast goat with tomatoes and onions on mashed squash topped with few Tbs garlic yogurt and capers
piece of dense chocolate cake (still heaven)
16 oz peppermint green tea
1 spoonful of coconut butter
workout: chest and tricept (45 min) plus HIIT cardio (15 min)
protein shake – 1 scoop protein powder with 8 oz water
16 oz water
dinner: bowl of chocolate chili on squash, topped with cilantro, lime juice, green onion, and 2 Tbs guacamole
1 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt

Thursday, December 27
20 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/3 cup egg whites, 2 cups spinach, and 2 Tbs salsa, topped with bit of feta
16 oz sugar free vanilla latte
32 oz water
16 oz decaf americano with splash milk
protein bar
workout: back and biceps (30 min)
lunch: small bowl of roast goat with tomatoes and onions on mashed squash topped with few Tbs garlic yogurt and capers
1/3 piece of dense chocolate cake
1/2 orange
16 oz water
1 apple with 2 Tbs almond butter
dinner: 1 cup BBQ pulled pork and a cup of bacon and spinach salad topped with aged balsamic
1 molasses cookie and 1 sugar cookie
16 oz peppermint green tea

Friday, December 28
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: piece of apple dutch baby pancake with 1 Tbs almond butter
16 oz water
12 oz coffee with splash raw milk
16 oz decaf americano with splash half and half
lunch: 1 1/2 cups BBQ pulled pork topped with tons of cilantro
4 russian tea cookies and 1 sugar cookie
dinner: spinach topped with grilled steak, guacamole, onions, cilantro, and salsa
16 oz water
2 scoops vanilla ice cream topped with homemade blackberry sauce

Saturday, December 29
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: piece of apple dutch baby pancake with 1 Tbs almond butter
16 oz water
lunch: carnitas on lettuce with pico de gallo and guacamole
16 oz coffee with splash milk
1 apple with 1 Tbs almond butter
dinner: chicken thigh from moroccan roast chicken, scoop of apricot/onion/date sauce, 1 cup quinoa, 1/2 cup braised kale
1 cup no sugar added peach raspberry nut crisp on 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt

Sunday, December 30
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/3 cup egg whites with 2 cups spinach, 2 pieces bacon, splash balsamic
16 oz water with splash lemon juice
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
lunch: bowl of chocolate chili on squash, topped with cilantro, lime juice, and green onion
16 oz water with wedge lime
dinner: (big family dinner) prime rib with horseradish sauce, garlic mashed sweet potatoes, cup of steamed broccoli
1 piece butterscotch fudge, skinny slice chocolate fudge cake, piece of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, taste gingerbread with pumpkin mousse (agghh. too much!)
12 oz decaf chai tea with splash milk

Monday, December 31
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
16 oz water with splash lemon juice
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
lunch: spinach and arugula salad with grilled chicken, pine nuts, and bit of bacon and a piece of fresh, warm, wonderful bread (talk about day before new year resolutions) with balsamic
16 oz water
16 oz earl gray tea
1 cup of kashi cereal with 1 cup raw milk
dinner: hamburger patty with slice of swiss and grilled onions, handful of sweet potato fries
2-3 glasses wine (nye party)
16 oz water
(talk about day before new year resolutions!)

Workout – Supersets

Supersets are awesome. They’re high intensity, quick, and effective. You’ll do the same amount of work in a shorter amount of time, getting you out of the gym faster. Also, by working the same or directly opposing muscles (like biceps and triceps), you can increase the production of lactic acid, growth hormone, and increase muscle fiber activation. Stronger, faster. It’s not for every workout, but is a great technique to mix up your routine, get out of a plateau, and make the most of a day you have less time.

I love Krista at Stumptuous. She makes so much sense and is so helpful to people like me who just need to get into the gym and start lifting instead of overthinking and stressing out about what to do. It doesn’t have to be complicated and we don’t need to do tons of different exercises. Instead, just adding some variety to the reps and sets can make enough difference to keep things interesting and challenging. Stumptuous gives a great breakdown on Basics of a Routine and highlights lots of ways to include variation and intensity to your routine, supersets being one of them. “There are two different kinds of supersets. In the first kind, you execute two or more different exercises for the same muscle group with little rest in between. That might include, f’rinstance, putting a set of preacher curls together with some concentration curls. Both exercises work the biceps, but in slightly different ways. The second kind of superset involves more or less the same principle, but instead works two opposing muscle groups. So you might pair the biceps curl with a triceps extension.”

The Chicago Tribune reports, “If you’re short on time — and your goal is to burn fat — step away from the treadmill. Now get into the weight room and try supersetting your resistance training. Supersets … involve performing two or more consecutive sets of strength work with little or no rest between sets…

‘Resistance exercise is about robust muscles, which are essential to healthy metabolism, disease resistance and quality of life as we age. When people are stronger, they can do more of everything, including other kinds of activity that burn calories more effectively.’ – Andrew Kelleher, Penn State Hershey College of Medicine.”

A favorite nutrition and exercise expert I follow is Dr. John Berardi. I did his free 5 Day Fat Loss Course and the simple, straight forward recommendations have stuck with me as I try to improve my diet. Or at least think about trying to improve my diet. Yesterday, Dr. Berardi posted this summary on getting the most out of your workout. Again, I appreciate his well-researched, common sense, results-driven method.

“For body transformation:
— weight training > aerobics
— interval training > aerobics
— supersets > straight sets
— explosive training > controlled sets

Conclusion: build your program around explosive free weight training in an interval/superset format.

(Of course, you need not exclusively do this. However, this is your biggest bang-for-buck. In other words, if you could do nothing else but 3 workouts a week, this is what you should do probably choose).”

Here’s a quick superset workout I’m doing today. It’s working opposing (antagonistic) muscle groups back to back. I adapted it from Bodybuilding tips.

Workout Focus: Supersets

A1: Full Squats – 3 Sets x 10 Reps
A2: Stiff-Legged Deadlifts – 3 Sets x 10 Reps
B1: Bench Press – 3 Sets x 10 Reps
B2: Barbell Bent-Over Rows – 3 Sets x 10 Reps
C1: Barbell Curls – 3 Sets x 12 Reps
C2: Weighted Dips – 3 Sets x 10 Reps
D1: Abs – Hanging Leg Raises 3 Sets x 20 reps
D2: Abs – Decline Crunches 3 Sets x 20 reps

Workout – Chest

This is my Go For 30 workout. It only took about 30 minutes, too. I couldn’t push through sets with lighter weight like I’ve done with a variation of this workout before and I was really tired by the time I finished! The idea is to get to a heavier weight that you can just barely do 10 of in a row and then get 20 more out of the same weight. This probably won’t be in 2 more sets of 10. If the weight is heavy enough, it should be fatiguing your muscles to get out another 3 or 4 or 6 at a time. So instead of keeping the weight down so I could do 3 sets of 10 as I’ve done previously, I stepped it up and made sure I focused on form and power. I was controlled with the weight but tried to make every one explosive. If I couldn’t do another, I put the weight down and took a quick 10-15 second break. But I still had to make it to 30 reps, however many sets of 3 or 5 at a time that meant. Make sense? It felt great and seems like a good way to ask the most of your super awesome muscles, just waiting to grow and prove themselves.

Workout Focus: Chest
Pushups 30 reps
Flat Bench Barbell Press 30 reps
Incline Bench Dumbbell Press 30 reps
Decline Bench Barbell Press 30 reps
Flat Bench Dumbbell Press 30 reps
Flat Bench Dumbbell Flyes 30 reps
Cable Crossover 30 reps

Remember – Heavy!!