Tuesday and Thursday: 15 minutes of cardio + 15-25 minutes of upper body work.
Friday: 45 minute of Spin N’ Stretch (this is my own thing, that incorporates my spin bike and my yoga mat)
and three snacks of 200 calories
5 minute cardio warm up + 5 minute cool down (always).
30/30 intervals (30 toning/30 cardio)
Okay, if you’re anything like me, you love interval training. Whether it be high intensity or not, you just do!
Sometimes, however, the same old intervals and become a little… redundant, causing you to want to try something completely new! Well, that was me this morning… and yesterday morning. Yesterday, instead of actually doing my planned interval work out, I put on my Beach Babe DVD and HIIT the beach and toned my abs. It was an amazing work out, I’ll admit, but I mean – I love the feeling I get when I master a self-created work out. I can’t explain it.
Just to say it one more time.
75g zuchinni, sliced
50g red pepper, sliced
50g apricot, cut into small cubes
3-5oz of shrimp, detailed
50 grams of mushroom
1 1/2 tablespoons of raw cashews, halved
1-2 T of Coconut Cashew balsamic dressing (below)
1. Prep all of your ingredients as suggested.
2. First place the veggies on the grilled (I left out the greens and mushroom, grilling only the summer squash and the red peppers), which you’ve sprayed with oil spray.
3. Grill for about 5 minutes, checking to ensure everything it A.OK.
4. When the peppers and squash begin appear roasted, remove and set aside.
5. Meanwhile, grill the shrimp on a grill which has been sprayed for about six minutes, checking halfway through. When done, remove from grill and set aside.
6. Take sliced apricot and set on a low heat and grill for 2 minutes. Grilled apricots are a great addition to salad, but if on too long they will get mushy and gross.
7. Place greens into a bowl and top with all the fixings!
8. Eat. Om nom nom!
Coconut Cashew Vinegrette
Juice of one lime
1 T of balsamic vinegar
1 T of cashew butter (all-natural)
1 T of coconut milk (from can)
1-2 tsp of ginger (to your taste)
1 tsp of honey (optional additive)
Whisk all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for a 2-4 hours.
What the heck, right?
But I just want to remind everyone to exercise for the right reasons. I now exercise to feel strong and empowered. It reminds me of how far I’ve come. Back when I didn’t eat, I wouldn’t have been able to do interval runs, at all. Or strength training. I would get too weak and too shaky for all that. But now, I’m stronger. I’m more alive.
….especially purple ones.
cutting cardio: when too much sweat is not sweet
Being the erstwhile cardio-queen that I am, I can completely understand why people absolutely love cardio. And, I am not going to sit here and say that isn’t a good form of physical activity, at all! But at the end of the day, I don’t think it is the most important for, by any means!
I guess it really all depends on your goals, but even in the even that you’re looking to lose weight, I think cardio should merely be something to further your toning regime. In my opinion, cardio is extremely harsh on the body. Don’t get my wrong, I love a good sprint or HIIT on my spin bike, but my cardio is usually broken up into small, intesne 5-20 minute blasts. If it is a mainly cardio day, I’ll warm up for five minutes, do a 20 minute HIIT routine, then cool down for 5 minutes. Alternatively, if I am doing Barre/Pilates or Yoga, I will often add 15 minutes of cardio into the circuit, just to keep my heart-rate elevated. That’s it, though. No long distance running. No two hours on the elliptical.
First of all, what is that really accomplishing? Unless you’re training for a marathon of some sort, long distance cardio has virtually no benefits if continued for longer then an hour (depending on your energy expenditure, this time could easily lessen). The more fuel your body burns, the more fuel your body requires. Therefore, after a certain amount of time running on the treadmill, while you’re thinking ‘I’m awesome’, your body is thinking ‘you’re nuts’. By the end you look down at your caloric burn, seeing a high number (which is probably incorrect) and get a feeling of accomplishment.
Then, you go eat a lot because you’re starving.
In my opinion, long distance cardio is best at a low intensity for about 45-60 minutes. If the idea of it didn’t bore me so much, I’d probably adhere to committing to doing this once a week, but eh, it’s not for me. Not to mention, who really here has the time to be at the gym that long? If you do, you might want to evaluate your life a little. Fitness is a great additive to any lifestyle (one I think more people should include in their own), but I don’t think it should ever become the main part of your life. For me, fitness is huge. But not that actual doing of it. Yes, I work out daily, but what I love more is the feeling after and the learning of new and inventive moves. And from there, sharing it with everyone I know! Teaching, inspiring and growing. Not just the part where I sweat.
In the event that you are looking to lose weight, I would suggest HIITs as well as longer distance cardio. Maybe twice a week do a HIIT routine lasting 20-3o minutes, then two times a week do a long distance cardio routine lasting 30-60 minutes. Pair this with ample stretches and toning exercises and you’re set. Oh, and of course – let’s not forget – a clean diet.
Abs be made in the kitchen, not the gym!
cutting carbs: when you can have you’re cake and eat it, too… kind of…
If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the healthy living phenomenon of the ‘low carb’ diet.
I’d like to go on record to say:
This, right here, is bullshit.
Excuse my french.
First of all, I will never condone the ‘cutting’ of any major macro-nutrient from one’s diet. Second of all, carbohydrates are the best form of energy out of the three! Carbohydrates – from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and pulses – give your body ample energy! So, if you’re looking to increase your cardiovascular activity, please don’t think for a moment that you’re allowed to cut out these bad boys! In all honesty, if you were to talk to a marathon runner, you’d probably find yourself shocked with how many carbs they eat. Why? Because they’re burning so much fuel in their work outs, that that need to refuel with – yes, that’s right – carb-y carbs!
What people don’t seem to comprehend is that fruits and vegetables are carbs. When people hear the word carb, I think they’re actually registering the word ‘cake’ or ‘cookie’. Carbs are not the enemy! What is? simple sugars, processed and refined carbs and even starches in high amounts.
This is where things get a little tricky.
While I don’t ever want you to cut carbs, I am a huge advocate of focusing on getting your carbs from certain foods, instead of others. If you were to read the Canada’s Food Guide, you’d see that you should be getting seven to 11 servings of grains a day. I think that is a load of crock, to be completely truthful. You can get the same nutrient value from fruits and vegetables. You just need to eat more of them and focus on vegetables with a lot of fiber! Broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, sweet potatoes, squashes, cauliflower… etc. They’re all starchier, but they’re full of vitamins and fiber. Not to mention your body is meant to process them, so during the digestive process your body knows exactly what to do! This is why eating refined foods – like cakes and chips and stuff – causes weight gain. Sometimes your body isn’t sure how to react to the fuel your giving it. So, instead of thinking too hard, it stores it as fat. It’s kind of like your body’s ‘when all else fails’ approach. Aside from produce, whole grains are a great way to get your carbs! I have committed to having four full grain servings (around 90-110 calories each) and four full fruit servings (60-80 calories each) and an unlimited supply of vegetables. Eat your greens!
This works for me, but it may not work for you. Remember when eating listen to your body and you’ll see great results.
That said, I also don’t condone refusing yourself treats. I am kind of a weird girl who doesn’t crave baked goods. If I want a bite, I’ll have a bite. But I don’t have much of a sweet tooth (okay, honey aside) so I don’t really ever want it. I’d much rather suck back on a spoonful of nut butter, to be honest.
Probably with some honey…
and some Greek Yogurt…
Regardless, if you want a slice of cake, I am in no way saying that you can’t have it. That’s, again, denying your body of something, which is just not at all productive. Treat yourself to cake!
Gosh dang, Mama makes a good looking baked good, hmmm.
That’s my take
A – Apples (and all fruits – banana, berries and peaches). I absolutely love fruit. They’re so naturally sweet and tasty! Not to mention extremely good for you! I aim (and succeed) to have three to four servings of fruit, daily. Usually this consists of an apple, berries galore, bananas and perhaps a pear/peach/apricot. Typically speaking I prefer my fruit in the natural and fresh form, instead of dried and/or juiced, but whatever cranks your chain, right? My all time favorite go-to fruit at the moment is Pink Lady Apples. They’re such a treat! I eat an apple daily, I’m sure. I love them.
B – Barre/Pilates styled workouts are definitely going to take the cake for B. As you know, when I started to incorporate more Yoga/Pilates and Barre into my fitness regime, I noticed so many changes in my mind and body. I feel beautiful, graceful, elegant… the list could go on. Let’s be honest, I feel girly. I love to feel girly.
C – The clean eating lifestyle. I absolutely love the feeling of eating clean. Knowing that the food I put into my body is extremely healthful and good for me has helped me – in so many ways – overcome my struggles with disordered eating. Instead of focusing on what I shouldn’t/couldn’t eat, it caused me to focus on what I should and need to eat. If you’ve never tried out the lifestyle of eating clean, I strongly advise you to give it a go.
D – I love being able – or being surrounded by people who - dress up. I know it sounds kind of ridiculous but ever since I took part in a high school program a few years back where one of the events require me to dress up, I have loved the whole concept. I am not huge into dressing up like a total skank, though. Halloween to me is about being cute or funny, not looking like I just walked out of a porno, thank you muchly!
E – Exercise has become an important and required part of my life. I love to create work outs (see below for this weeks ‘Love Your Body Toning Every Inch’ work out). I used to think I didn’t have it in my to design a good work out, but now I love making them up. Every morning, over my oats, I plan my work out. I live for it. Some people don’t understand and some people take the whole concept for granted (which, never should be the case). I feel grateful that I am able to sprint, sculpt, spin and stretch! It makes me who I am; it makes me feel beautiful.
F – Friends the TV show. It’s actually almost ridiculous how much I love this show. I – at the drop of a hat – can reference the show without even a thought! My mother and I have kind of turned this into a small game. OK, OK. A really large game. It’s embarrassing, really.
G – Games are like my all-time favorite pass time. Mostly word, card or board games. I am in LOVE with crazy eights, cross words and… pretty much any board game under the sun. I love challenging my mind and thinking, so trivia games are a big plus. Lately I’ve been kicking serious rump at them, too! I just love them. My Friday nights are usually spent curled up with a tea and some kind of word game. I think that I found my perfect match considering last Friday night, Omar didn’t hesitate to join me on the coach with a book of Suduko.
I – Intellectual conversation with strangers (and friends, too). I absolutely love exchanging knowledge on virtually any topic with a multitude of people. If I don’t know something, I want to learn about it! I don’t feel the need to be an expert on every topic, but I love expanding my vocabulary and knowledge everyday of my life!
J – Jewelry of all kinds. Typically I find myself drawn to elegant and simple pieces, with a timeless flare. Currently my favorite is the necklace Baba got me while he was away. It goes with virtually everything I own!
K – My dear friend Kathryn who has always supported me and has always been there for me. I love her so much, I can’t even begin to explain it. We can go months and months without seeing each other and the moment that we see each other again it is as if no time has passed at all. I absolutely love her and am so grateful to have her. No matter what happens, she will always be my dearest friend. My very own kindred spirit :).
L – Laughter (mostly from small humans… yes, babies). I absolutely love the sound of a laugh. More than you can even understand. It’s the most beautiful sound there is. When people laugh, it makes me smile. When babies laugh it makes me feel like nothing bad in the world could happen.
M – Me time. I knwo it sounds odd, but I’ve always been a pretty quite and to myself person. I require so quiet quality time with me, or I will go completely nuts. I’ve discovered that this is best done in the early morning between 6 and 8 AM. This is when I work out and eat breakfast and plan out my day. I love it. After that time, I want nothing more but then to be surrounded by those to whom I love, I’ll admit. Too much me time can also make me a little crazy. But in that hour, I love just quietly sitting with myself.
Okay, Zooey didn’t get the memo and joins me. In fact, now she comes and gets me if I am not up at a certain time. She tends to be a quiet attendant in my morning routines, so I decided to let her stay.
N – Spending time with nature would definitely be the number one on here. I love trees and trails and birds and butterflies. All of it. In the summertime and fall, most preferably. I love sitting among the trees and reflecting on life. I just love nature. It’s simple beauty makes me truly calm and relaxed.
O – My amazing boyfriend, Omar, who has come into my life in the most beautiful and profound way. Before him I was an honest wreck. I didn’t know who I was or what it meant to be loved by someone other than your family – in that very special way. H’es made me come to terms with the fact that I am strong and beautiful and smart. When I am with him I feel safe and able to do anything. He makes me happier than I ever thought I could be.
P – My loving and incredible parents.
It is no secret that my mother is my best friend. Our relationship is unlike any mother-daughter relationship I’ve seen. We talk about everything, enjoy doing everything together and I am not the least bit embarrassed about it. Why? Because my mother is truly one-of-a-kind. She’s the most generously beautiful woman I’ve ever met and I feel very fortunate to have someone like her in my life.
My father is also no joke. He’s odd and strange, albeit, but he would bend over backward to keep the people he cares for happy. I’ll never forget about the kind and thoughtful things he’s done for me over the years and will never forget the many wise words he has bestowed upon me.
I really don’t know how I got this lucky, but I am certainly glad I did.
Q – Quotes and quoting. Whether is be awesome Friends references, or quoting the famous words of Dr. Suess, the whole concept of a good quote makes me happy. To know that words have had such a great impact that they’ve – in many ways – been eternalness, makes me happy. I would absolutely love to one day be quoted.
My favorite quote of ever:
R – Roses and all other flowers cause me to feel at complete and utter ease. If I could live in a flower garden, I probably would. I’d sleep of the petals of a rose and dance along the stem of a sunflower. Life would be perfect!
S – Anything related to the sea or the ocean. As I’ve said in the past, I absolutely love large bodies of water! I love them even more if there is waves involved! Anything in this category makes me truly happy shells, dolphins, swimming, sailing (though I am not a sailor, I’ve gone out of boats many a’time), sand! Okay, until this moment I didn’t realize how many ‘s’ words related. The sea makes me extremely happy!
T – Telling people you love them
It might be the best feeling in the world to see the smile on the face of a person who knows they’re truly loved.
Mama, I love you. Omar, I love you. Daddy, I love you. Zooey, I love you. Kathryn, I love you.
I LOVE YOU
U – Unusually child-like behavior….
Like eating off a child’s plate…
FYI: There is an owl smiling at you under there, I promise.
V – Vegetables! All of them. I haven’t met a veggie I didn’t like.
W – One of my largest passions has to be writing. Every moment that I can sit down and write, I will. I love the feeling of constructing a well-thought out sentence and sharing it with the people I love. Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback regarding MY writing. I love it! Typically speaking, I’ve never felt like I was all that good at it, but wit all this kindness, I feel I am really starting to develop a true belief in myself.
X – Total Cheat: x-mas Eve is probably my favorite time of the year. I absolutely love the feeling of family and togetherness. Typically speaking, the idea of squishing so many people into my Grandparents house causes to me feel a sense of claustrophobia, but Christmas Eve night is something completely different. If we weren’t crawling all over each other, it just would NOT be worth it, it wouldn’t. Chrisrmas Eve night is also the one night a beg for snow to come. More often than not, I find myself wanting to get a hold of one of them snow removal cans from Frosty Returns and get rid of it all, as well as the cold. But, the two weeks leading up to and Christmas Eve itself is a whole other thing. I love snow at Christmas time.
It’s so x-citing
Y – Yoga! You all know how I love me a good bend and stretch! Lately I have been loving Tara Stiles yoga via Livestrong woman, The routines are short enough that you COULD do a few of them, or add it to the end of your own work out for a new stretch. I absolutely love the feeling you get after completely a yoga routine. Light and relaxed. I fell out of love with yoga for a bit, but we have reconnected in a more healthy and practical way! Thank Heavens!
Z – Zooey, my dog, is absolutely the number one Z in my books, I love everything about her :). Including (but no limited to) her strangeness, her goofy moments, her snuggles… everything. She’s a true keeper.
Yesterday Omar, Zooey and I took a solid two hour nap together and it was total bliss.
Oh, yes, and the work out