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
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
This weeks post is divided into three very important topics. Being that I am a sucker for alliteration – as you well know – all topics begin with ‘W’! And further more, they all begin with ‘White’.
Alright! Enough of lying chat. Onto more important things!
If you know me at all, you’d know I have a small, tiny obsession that takes over every fiber of my being. Now, let me tell you, most recently, I have fallen in love (sorry Baba).
In the past, I was extremely embarrassed about my love of all things wedding related. Wedding dresses, flowers, decor… all of it just makes me insanely happy. Why? I can’t even explain it. It isn’t even my wishing and hoping and planning my own wedding (though, let’s no suggest that isn’t part of it). It’s the whole she-bang in general. I love love and everything that comes along with it.
To me, weddings are the declaration of love: the ultimate ‘I want to be with you forever and I want everyone to know about it’. I can attest to the statement that getting married and having a wedding just ends in a silly piece of paper that in no way defines how much you love someone. But to me, it is a lot more. To get married and have a wedding – no matter the size – is to say: “Hi. I love you. I love you a whole lot, and I want to spend the rest of my days with you. But, you know what? I want the whole world to regard us as an ‘us’, officially. I want to share with you everything. I want to spend one, beautiful day celebrating our love with everyone with care for the most. Will you join me?”
Guys, if you can’t think of a way to propose, I give you permission to copy that!
I can also agree the what comes after the wedding is far more important: the marriage. The concept of merging into one another’s lives completely, building or buying a house, birthing children, creating and growing old together. The wedding itself is just something that the girl in me has always longed for. And that beauty up there is the perfect dress for me. Timeless, elegant and modest.
Way to talk myself right up there…
I don’t mean to say that I am timeless, elegant and modest (although if you’d like to think me that, I promise I won’t fight you), I just mean that these are descriptive words that always appealed to me. I’ve never been interested in being flashy, or in the spot light. I am not crazy, nor eccentric. In my past, I have longed to be, but with time it has become quite apparent that simplicity is my strongest suit.
Who knows, maybe one day I’ll have a picture of me wearing this beautiful gown.
Or, you know, I’ll cause my current boyfriend to have a heart-attack induced by an overwhelming amount of marriage and wedding talk and find myself single!
I’d still probably wear this dress.
Afternoon tea with gal pals is reason enough to wear white, don’t you think?
If you said ‘yes’ to all three (which, I have), then please disregard that comparative nature and keep on trucking!
At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is how you feel.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for you today.
Good morning lads and lasses!
When you meet someone and fall in love there are certain things that you need to open your mind to. First, your heart. You need to allow them into your heart. You need to be willing to let yourself feel for them, while letting them feel for you, as well. You can’t be embarrassed to feel or to express, to have or to hold.
When I first decided to experiment with love, I thought that this would be the most difficult thing to do. I was wrong.
Letting someone into your whole world is by far the scariest part.
Sometimes, you’re legs… they’re not perfectly shaved. Other times, you are moody or upset for no apparent reason (which, we blame on PMS even if it isn’t that specific time of our cycle). Or, in my case, you’re life is a certain way and you’re scared how someone will fit into each facet of it. Even if the person doesn’t care how you spend your day, as long as you choose to spend it with them.
As mentioned in my last post I have never been good with change. Not at all.
Last night, my boyfriend surprised me – quite amazingly – by bringing all of the needed materials to not go home and spend the night. Now, this wasn’t the first time we had spent the night together, and I had been hinting to him how much I wanted him to, but the moment he told me I started to panic.
Every morning I have what I call my ‘me’ time. During 80% of the day, I’m open and friendly, talkative to no end. However during the hours of 6:00AM and 7:45AM, I have my me-time. I get up, have a small 1/2 breakfast, let it set while planning out my workout, workout, wash and the other half of my breakfast. The breakfast pre-work out focuses on energy supply for my workout, while the breakfast following focuses on protein and some carbs, for recovery purposes. After that, my day goes like the rest of the world. During this time, I’m very quiet. It’s my introspective time for me to think, reflect and calm my mind. I was scared – for some reason – for my boyfriend to see this.
He (like with almost everything I freak out about) didn’t really see any issue. He completely understood that I needed my ‘me’ time because a lot of people need ‘me’ time.
Needless to say, I realize in hindsight that I completely overreacted. The night was absolutely perfect. And, the next day was even better. I did my thing and he did his. Afterward, we came together and discussed our things. It was lovely! I guess I just need to remember that when you fall for someone, everything they do is perfect. Even if it drives you crazy, because you’re crazy about them.
Something big has made a change. Something really, really big.
I’m sure you’ve seen this guy…
Well, there is a new bowl in the rotation!
The other day, Omar and I went to a local clay painting place and did some serious painting of clay. I wanted a new oatmeal bowl, so it was clear what needed to be done…
That said, I couldn’t leave the one I was with unmentioned.
The back reads, “I love you to the moon”, which is one of our sayings to each other.
I’ve also decided to change up my work outs, ever so slightly.
Because I’ve been falling more and more in love with yoga, Pilates and – now – Barre. So, I’ve been doing the research and finding ways to incorporate them all into my daily work outs!
Sunday = 20 minuts HIIT + 20-35 minutes of flow yoga
Monday, Wednesday and Saturday = 16-25 minute HIIT + 20 minutes of upper and lower body toning (Monday is focused more on arms, back and chest and Wednesday is most focused on legs and my glutes; Saturday is just whatever I want).
Tuesday and Friday = 20-30 minutes of cardio and ab work (10-15 minutes of ab work).
Thursday is a focused day. I’ll pick one body part and REALLY challenge it.
Today is Thursday! Therefore, a challenge was called for.
Begin with a 2 minute cardio warm up. Jogging in place is fine!
Circuit One: Tri to be a Warrior!
Begin in Warrior One position. Hands held firmly over head, with weights pressed together. Preform one overhead Tricep extension. From there, slowly lean forward – core engaged – lifting your left leg behind you, easing into a Warrior Three pose. As you continue this fluid motion, create an erected arm over your head and with complete control, pull arms back into a back extension. That’s one rep. Complete fifteen, balancing on your right leg.
At 15 reps, hold warrior 3 pose and begin pulse your arms back. Keep core and stationary leg strong.
Repeat once on other side.
Preform a 8 minute HIIT (45/15 intervals). Any form of cardio you want.
5 Minute Tri Challenge!
One minute each, until fail!
– Reverse plank leg raises, alternating
– Table position tri dips
– Tricep push ups
– Low (chataranga) plank hold.
Preform another 8 minute HIIT (45/15 intervals).
Repeat first circuit again!
Stretch and done.
This work out was awesome! I’m loving the combination of yoga moves with Pilates moves.
My tris are feeling this bad boy!
That’s all for now.
Oh no! Oat meal is gone and my post is over.
Whip it Good Oats
Bring water to a boil.
Add 1/3 cup of oatmeal and 1/2 T of chia;
Reduce to a low heat and add 50g (about 1/2 – though I used about 1/4 of the banana in the oats and used the rest on the top of them) a thinly sliced banana;
When well whipped, add 1/4 cup of egg whites;
Add stevia, cinnamon and so forth to taste, then transfer into a bowl and add toppings!
The toppings, 1/4 banana, 1/4 cup blueberries and a handful of Love Grow Oats. Oh, and 1/2T of Almond butter, of course.
Following my breakfast (or, about an hour or so later), I completed – yet another – yoga hybrid work out. Thanks to Courtney@SweetToothSweetLife I’ve really gotten into hybrid work outs! I love the benefits of yoga, but my HIITs are something I don’t want to stop. I love them way too much.
What You’ll Need:
Yoga mat, water, interval timer
Warm up: 1 minute jog + 1 minute AMRAP Sun Salutations
Set your Interval Timer to six rounds of four minute intervals (30 seconds high; 10 seconds low), with 2 minute breaks in between each set – these breaks will not be used for rest, so take breaks as needed.
You will be repeating this series, two times through.
Each series is comprised of two yoga-inspired toning moves: One which targets abs, the other targets your obliques.
Series One: Downward Dog Series
Move one: Begin in downward dog position and using your abs, pull your body forward into a plank. Pull your left leg into your elbow, then return to plank and pull right leg in. Continue this AMRAP for 1 minute.
Move two: Preform the same movements, only pull the leg to the opposite elbow. Left to right; right to left. 1 min AMRAP
Preform your 4 minute HIIT. 30 seconds high, 10 low. Any cardio you’d like.
Series Two; Boat Pose Series
Move one: Begin in Boat Pose (your but rested on the ground, you body creating a V-shape. Legs extended off the ground). Slowly lower until feet and head are about 1-inch off the ground, then return to boat position. AMRAP 1 min.
Move two: Remain in boat pose, but instead of lowering, hold your hands over your chest (feet held in air) and twist, letting your elbows touch the ground behind you (russian twist). 1 min AMRAP
Perform your 4 minute HIIT.
Series Three: Side Plank Series
Move One: In side plank (on left), lift your right leg and preform a side crunch with your right arm. AMRAP 30 sec.
Move Two: Hold chataranga. AMRAP 30 second
Repeat on opposite side.
Preform your 4 minute HIIT.
Done! (Again, repeat once more for a really sweaty work out!)
Immediately after that, I enjoyed a yogurt mess including a serving of Puffins, blueberries and another 1/2T almond butter. This went un-pictured, as I was really hungry.
Later, for lunch, I enjoyed this bad boy:
It was a turkey salad, with roasted squash, 1/2 and apple, mushrooms, cucumber and a little hummus. After that I wasn’t fully satisfied, so I enjoyed a Simply Bar (I love these).
At around four – still at work – I grabbed a Oskri Bar (I love that this company states that their products are Halal. Supportin’ my boy!)
By the time I got home, I was ready for a Salmon and Sprout Salad! I threw in some asparagus, mushrooms, greens and hummus.
I ended the night with my a-typical bowl of fruit, AB and greek yogurt, tea and called it a night.
That is all!
Good morning! I hope the weather where you are is more pleasant than it is here.
This morning I woke up feeling a bit stiff and in need of a good stretch. But, lately, for some reason, all I ever want to do is sweat like crazy. I think – just maybe – I am getting addicted to the endorphin release that cardio work brings me!
I knew I wanted to incorporate yoga into my work out today, but I also knew I wanted to get my heart-rate up! So, I woke up – 5AM, unfortunately – and got to work!
I know it is probably totally lame, but in the mornings, I get so pumped about my work outs that I can’t sleep… lame-o, I know. I just can’t help but think: ‘how can I challenge myself today?’
So, I pulled out the ol’ pen and paper and jotted down a hybrid workout, incorporating simple – yet effective – yoga postures, with simple body-weight cardiovascular moves. And let me tell you, I’m pretty happy with the results!
Now, start your timer:
Hold downward dog position for 20-30 seconds time (depending on how long it takes you to get into position);
Do burpees for 60 seconds at maximum effort
Hold Warrior 1 position with right leg forward for 20-30 seconds;
Do high knees for 60 seconds at maximum
Hold Warrior 1 position with left leg foward for 20-30 seconds;
Do high knees (or but kicks) for 60 seconds at maximum effort
Hold Warrior 2 position with right leg forward for 20-30 seconds;
Do skater jumps for 60 seconds at maximum effort;
Hold Warrior 2 position with left leg forward for 20-30 seconds;
Do skater jumps (or side lunge with a jump up) for 60 seconds at max effort;
Hold chair position for 20-30 seconds;
Do jumping squats for 60 seconds at maximum effort;
Hold plank position for 20-30 seconds;
Do plank jacks (or mountain climbers) for 60 seconds at maximum effort
You’ll complete the circuit three times through, with three minutes of light cardio (I jumped on my stationary bike) in between. You’re welcomed to use this three minutes to rest. But, I do beg that you – at least – walk briskly to keep the heart rate slightly up.
I was kind of a sweat-y mess following this bad-boy…
Nothing more attractive than that, huh? That is my ‘good lord, I look disgusting’ face.
Never-the-less, I really loved this work out. The reason I made it is because I decided to partake in Courtney/Sweet Tooth Sweet Life’s yoga challenge for June (which couldn’t have come at a more perfect time, as I’ve recently decided that I need more yoga in my life!
I’ve been loving my HIIT works out so much, that I didn’t want to go a day without doing them. I also made a pact with myself recently. I’ve always had an issue with exercise. I often will over do it for myself. I, personally, like to work out every day. And, with the way that I eat, there is no reason for me to be doing long work outs – much like I was doing – at such a high intensity. So, to prove that I am able to shorten my work outs, I made a pact that none of my work outs can exceed 40 minutes in length. The typical yoga work out is 30 minutes, or more. Sometimes, they’re 10 to fifteen. But, typically speaking! I’ve become very passionate about making this a priority in my work outs – more for my mind than anything else.
So, instead of breaking my rule (though, I think that rounded up to be 45 minutes… no big deal) I decided to do a hybrid work out! And, I couldn’t have been happier with it.