Thursday, February 28, 2013

What To Do When You are A Vegan and are Sick

Let me start by saying I hate being sick. But who loves it right? I have an allergy attack type head cold thing. I know rite? WTF is that about? As a vegan I make sure to focus on my plants while I'm sick.

I have been really stressed at work and not exercising daily like I normally do...then my diet began to slip because I was busy and ripping and running...not enough rest and then bam...illness.

Two days no's what I've been doing while sick: (and what I normally do)

  • Drink lots of juice:
    • Green juice: celery, apple, lemon, kale
    • Orange juice
  • Lots and lots of tea
    • Spearmint yerba mate
    • Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat with Echinacea
  • Lots of water
  • When hungry oatmeal with apples and cinnamon
  • Hot hot bubble baths with oil
    • Take a small container and put about 4 oz of oil in it and add drops of lavender and tea tree oil
  • Easing off of exercise
I am hoping to be back to being my real self in a few days. I have to work tomorrow all day and then tons to do all weekend long. I am so ready to move my body and start sweating I literally dreamed I was walking on my treadmill!

What do you do to get back healthy when a bug has you down?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Trying to Do the Next BEST Thing

I have been dealing with several disappointments lately. I am too upset to really talk about them, but I think it's important for me to "show up" here and not cower under the covers with a novel for the next few weeks. (please send me some happy vibes)

My job demands have been super strenuous and it has been terribly difficult to find a schedule for myself. Getting up at 5 am has seemed impossible due to my very late nights filled with insurance paperwork. :(

I got up through the night with a sore throat so who knows what today will bring, but I am going to try to take a short walk this afternoon in hopes of getting myself back into the swing of things. Honestly, I have been so emotionally upset that my great planning has gone out of the window.

On a positive note, I have been working around the clock to clear my house of clutter. Now to most standards my home is always neat and tidy, but for me there was just too much stuff. Too many books...too many CDs/ get the point. I have an upcoming post about my "uncluttering" way of life.

I apologize that the blog hasn't been motivational as of late, but it's important to be 100% honest about where I am along this journey in hopes that others can encourage me or know that it isn't "perfect" all the time. And I too have trouble staying the course when life is tough.

Here is what I do know...when I am falling (due mostly to stress or being overwhelmed)...the best advice I give myself is "DO THE NEXT BEST THING". Meaning....I really needed water...I have only been drinking about 1.5 liters a day and that is no where near the amount I need. The next best thing is to drink 1 L of water and eat an apple.

So, if you are stuck right now, what's your next best thing?

  • I have lots of juice and a smoothie packed for my work day...
  • I woke up early enough to take care of my dishes and pack Kennedy's lunch so as not to have to rush this morning.
  • And I will be taking a 45 minute walk after work to get my body moving again and to clear my mind.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Best Way to Get Started on Raw and 1 Week of Green Smoothies

Good morning cucumbers!

Things have been so busy around here. My workouts have been sparse and I am trying to fit everything in. This new practice is very difficult to get established, but I am trying! I am getting a bit better. Working on getting enough rest and drinking my water. Can't believe for like 2 days I only had a liter of water. WTF? I can't be so busy that I can't drink water.

While driving from client to client, I don't want to have to pee so I try to limit my drinking, but this isn't working for me. So today I have two liters with me and we will see how it goes. LOL

I will be doing my workout tonite (ugh) because Kennedy was off school yesterday and needs extra prep time this morning to get back on track with her school schedule. The wonderful world of Autism :)

Getting Started on Raw....

Enough of that. I've gotten some messages about people feeling overwhelmed about where to start on the raw program. Let me say that just becoming aware of raw food is a great place to start.

I believe that you should start with breakfast.

©      Start with a simple juice (romaine, lemon, apple)

©      Start with a green smoothie (frozen fruit, spinach, banana)

Keep it Simple

©      Don’t feel the need to make complicated juices

©      Don’t feel the need to make complicated green smoothies

©      Don’t feel the need to spend tons of money on superfoods/appliances/etc.

©      What has benefited me most has been the simplest approach to food. When things get too complicated I know that somehow I will get overwhelmed

On Your Raw Journey Consider

©      Are you a mom? A single mom?

©      Do you have lots of money to spend on groceries?

©      Do you have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen cooking?

©      Do you even like doing lots of cooking?

What I Have Learned on My Raw Journey…

©      I don’t want to spend 5 hours a day in the kitchen

©      I don’t have $1200 a month to spend on only my groceries

©      I don’t to spend $400 a month on superfoods.

So What Do I Do Now?

©      EVERY day starts with a green smoothie, or a green juice. Without fail. This is my bullet proof “get health in my cells” plan

©      I pair salads with my meals…big green ones

©      I eat Whole Foods. Plants. Steamed…sautéed…pressure cooked…

©      I drink a ton of water (normally)

©      I eat fruit for snacks

What Does This Look Like?

©      Every day I take apples, oranges, green smoothies with me for snacks.

©      I eat oatmeal after my green smoothie on days when I am really hungry or have a very busy morning or have had a crazy long workout.

©      Days May Look…

o   Water first thing

o   Green juice or Green smoothie (with hempseeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds)

o   Oatmeal with flaxseeds and fruit…made with almond milk (Silk Almond 30cals a cup)

o   Lunch: Depends on if I have to see clients and be out and about…if so….

  • §  Brown rice wrap stuffed with tons of romaine and tomato

  • §  Fruit

o   Snack: Fruit or green smoothie

o   Dinner:

  • §  Salad with whatever veggies I have on hand. Usually cold steamed broccoli, romaine/kale, tomatoes, shredded carrots

  • §  Quinoa bowl with lentils or sautéed veggies and tofu

o   Dessert if I desire would be…

  • §  Blended frozen bananas

  • §  Tea
I will be doing about 7 days of Green smoothies until dinner time. Not sure when I will start. I need enough super ripe bananas and frozen fruit. Maybe I'll start this Friday. Anybody wanna join me?????

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love Yourself Today- Yes I Turned It Around!

I can't believe I turned it around so quickly!!! 5 days! yes :) The old me would take about 1 or 2 months to "get it together" after stress made me fall down.

Yesterday I switched my work schedule so that I could get home 1 hour before Kennedy, do some cardio and 3 very short sets of 3 upper body exercises!!!! The momentum started.

Today there is no better way to love myself than to exercise and eat well. My lunch bag is packed (I work all day) and I woke up at the crack of dawn to get my lower body short circuit done. 28 total minutes....but I am back on track.

You know I believe: CONSISTENCY and PROGRESS. Perfection does not exist in my world. I'm a very busy single mom of a kiddo with special needs!

I just want to remind everyone to love themselves today. Kennedy and I will be having our annual candlelight dinner and a movie (and studying for a test for her). When she is asleep I'll be working and then taking a luxurious, steaming hot bubble bath with a cup of tea. The loving relationship that I have built with myself is one of the most important to

So, what are you doing to love yourself today???

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I Am Struggling This Week- I Will Turn It Around

I always like to be 100% honest on this blog. This week I am struggling. Work is swamping all around me and I have been so stressed. I haven't worked out in 4 or 5 days and my eating hasn't been the best either...

I am trying to get a firm handle on my therapy practice, but I keep finding myself overly stressed on a daily basis. I think part of it is because I am so empathic...I find myself thinking about certain family situations even in my sleep. This has to stop. Don't worry I am working on ways to STOP doing this and to not take it home with me. And oh the paperwork...pause

I know that when things are tough it is MOST important to follow the steps I have laid out for myself that keep me focused and sane, but that is the time I feel like doing them the least! I focus a lot on self-care, but when I am pushed to my limits is when I practice my self-care rituals the least amount of time. What's that about?

Well, last nite I had enough. I wasn't proud of the dinner I ate (although I had healthy options in the fridge) and I decided to tidy up some paperwork that my supervisor made me redo and then take a hot bath, read a  novel, and get in bed by 11pm.

This morning I was adamant about getting up by 6:30am rather than getting out of the bed at 7:10 and rushing all around (one less stressor right). Now I am going to take a big deep breath, journal, jump on the trampoline and get my head right about making healthy food choices today. As much as I hate evening workouts, I am planning to do one tonite after I get home from work and Kay gets home from school. Full body to get me back on track.

I really want to uncover WHY I don't utilize all the tools in my toolbox when I need them most. This situation reeks of self-sabotage...time to journal and uncover what's going on, but not before I made some tea and set my intention for the day.

Send me some good vibes...I won't let 5 days of bad eating and no exercise turn into 2 weeks!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

How to Fit in My Workouts- UpperBody at Home and LowerBody Gym Workout

Busy can't be used to describe how busy I have been this week. Seriously insane. I don't want to keep this pace up. But I have mentioned that I have a new job as a therapist and I am all over and insurance paperwork is cray cray.

How I fit my workouts in is important to me. Only one day did I miss a morning workout...after a 12 hour day the day before there was just no way I could get out of the bed without feeling like I was so tired my eyelashes hurt.

It is important to note that sometimes I do what I call "mini-workouts". These are anywhere from 10 minutes to 20 minutes. For most that isn't enough time to be considered a true workout....for me....consistency NOT perfection is my goal. If I can look back over the week (busy or not) and see that I have made time for my fitness that is vitally important for me.

As a single mom of a special needs kiddo, a therapist, a trainer, and someone living 1500 miles from is vital that I understand that if I wait for life to "slow down" in order to fit my fitness in...I'll be waiting forever.

Including today, I worked out 5 times this week (not Friday) and 3 of those 5 were under 25-30 minutes. Yet another benefit of working out in my home gym.  

Simple Upper Body at Home GO HEAVY Workout:
  • Warm up
  • Do this workout in a circuit (each exercise back to back with little rest). Rest for 30 seconds between circuits and complete a total of 3 circuits)
    • shoulder press
    • 1 arm row
    • front raise/side raise
    • chest press
    • skull crushers (for triceps) using ONE dumbbell
Simple Lower Body at Gym GO HEAVY Workout:
  • Front squat with kick
  • Rear lunges
  • Plie squats (40#, 45#, 50#)
  • Deadlift (bars only go to 60#)
  • Machines (rarely use these)
    • Leg press (single and double leg)
    • Lying hamstring curl (damn this hurt)
  • Then I ran 15 Minutes of crazy intervals
  • On and off the gym floor in one hour

Tomorrow is Sunday and I will be doing yoga in my room and getting tons of paperwork done. Kennedy may not be home so I may go to the gym and ride the rbike while reading a novel...hmmmm.

Off to make a menu for the rest of the week and get myself organized. Clothes are hung to dry, hair is washed...ahhhhh

Monday, February 4, 2013

Inspiring Raw Black Woman Video Get My Glutes Ready Workout

Her name is Annette Larkins. She is in her 70s and looks 40. Living in Miami doesn't hurt I'm sure. But she is a raw vegan and didn't start until her 40s!!!  In honor of Black History Month which I gave you a few cool Black blogs last year. I will do a specific Black History post for Black websites I'm loving right now.

Kay slept at her dad's. So, I missed the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl so that I could get rest and ensure I was up on time to workout this morning before my meetings and guess what? I did it! Oh yea (doing the cabbage patch). I got out of the bed...turned on the heaters and got ready.

Today I did legs. It will be a very busy week so I have only planned short workouts to make sure I don't overwhelmed and to ensure that I get it done. Consistency will win everyday any day in my book.

Just do you best to get a workout in
Short Get My Glutes Ready Workout:

Part I
  • Warm Up 5 mins of rope
Part II
  • 40 seconds of effort/20 secs of rest.
  • Do the entire circuit 3 times
  • Total time 21 mins of work
    • tactical lunges
    • deadlift squat jumps
    • step ups left leg
    • step ups right leg
    • butt squeezes
    • alternating single leg bridge
    • squats with side kicks
Part III
  • Tabatas (jumprope) 4 minutes
Part IV
  • Feb Challenge: 30 squats with 15s

Total= 40 minutes.
 I am off! BL tonite!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Gym Crazy Intervals/Heavy Legs and Home Gym Photos

Yesterday Kennedy wanted to go to her dad's so that meant I could go to the gym for a bit. I had some errands to run before the snow started so I didn't get to the gym until about 2:30 was packed. ugh....

I cracked a few jokes with some ladies in the locker room while I got dressed and ready to get on the floor. I figured that I'd have to share equipment and wait around and sure enough I did. Refer back to why I love working out at home to know that it annoys me to have to wait around on equipment.

Gym Crazy Cardio and Heavy Legs

My workout was in a few parts...

Part I
  • Warm up on treadmill for 5 minutes (I am not allowed to bring a rope into the gym...long story)
Part II
  • Heavy extra leg lift. On Saturday I try to add a few sets of heavy leg exercises since I am working on my legs this month. Someone stole the neck cushion for the Smith machine (gyms annoy me) so I couldn't go heavier on the squats or my upper back would be killing me
    • Smith Squats
      • 50# x 10
      • 100#x5, then 5
    • Deadlifts
      • 50#x10, then 10
      • 60#x10, then 10
    • Plie Squats (dumbbell)
      • 30#x10
      • 35#10
      • 40#x10
      • 45#x10
    • Leg Press (single leg)
      • 70#x10
      • 50#10x3
Part III
  • Treadmill Intervals (total 14:45)
    • Started at 5.0 and worked my way up to 8.6 intervals. Yes PR at 8.6!
Part IV
  • Planks
  • Stretching
It was a great 1 hour and 5 mins total workout. Longer than I normally workout, but I have to factor in waiting around on machines and looking for that damn neck cushion!

Here is the sweet home gym slash Kennedy's toy apartment that I prefer to use. Sorry the picture quality sucks, I was rushing and used my iPod touch because it has a zillion GB so it's my go to for quick pictures.

photo 1.JPG
An assortment of weights and KBs. I like to keep it simple. Weights go from 3's to 35's (but I don't have 30's yet)

photo 2.JPG
The rest of the weights I described. Higher pounds. Ignore those red canisters! They are empty and there to separate the weights. lol
photo 3.JPG
Bosu and my stability ball. Planks and all kinds of other craziness.

photo 4.JPG
Bench. My ONE 8# medicine ball, my step (underneath) and my flat bench. Simple. No adjustable bench and all that. Just keeping it simple and low key. And my massage therapist foam roller.
photo 5.JPG
Kennedy's trampoline, but I use it for like 2 minutes before my daily challenge. Are you doing it??? squats everyday...increasing each day by 5 squats. Today I have to do 25 at 15#s
photo 1.JPG
In my bedroom in front of my bed where the bench and weights used to be now lives my yoga studio....
photo 2.JPG
Yoga studio slash spinning studio. LOL. I am planning on adding spinning back soon.

Well, that's it! I keep it simple and have realized that consistency is the way to go for me. The simpler the better. When it comes to nutrition and my fitness. 45 minutes and under work best for me and simple nutrition work best.

Off to do my squat challenge! I had my green smoothie (other part of February's challenge) today....sooooo good.

Sunday's Filling Vegan Oatmeal:
  1. 1/2 c GF oats
  2. 1/2 c almond milk
  3. cinnamon
  4. 1 tsp chia seeds
  5. 1 apple diced
  6. 1 c fresh strawberries (added after cooked)
  7. omgoddess drool.

Challenge Green Smoothie:
  1. spinach
  2. almond milk
  3. 3 dried figs
  4. banana
  5. frozen mango
  6. greener grasses
  7. 1 tsp flaxseed
Now I am fasting until tomorrow at noon. Just needed a bit of a break. Bubble bath on the menu with a juicy book tonite! See ya tomorrow!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Strong Upper Body Workout and Why I Love Home Gyms

I had a very early morning meeting for Kennedy at school. Um still didn't get up at 5. lol. Next week seriously I am back on my up early schedule. I had become so accustomed to getting so much stuff done and now I feel behind even though I am finding a way to fit it all in anyway.

After the hella windy frosty trip to her school I came right back in and got Kay settled and told her that I had to workout. Her Autism mandates that she have a schedule of exactly what is happening and what is happening next! I set her up with Fat Albert (her favorite show) in her room and went down in her playroom apartment/new home gym. I am starting to like the space more and more. It was weird at first to not be in the 5x5 space of my bedroom, but I really like it. Tomorrow I'll do a set of photos to show you exactly what is in there.

I did keep the spin bike in my bedroom and my black light as I intend to add spinning back into my routine! Okay back to today's workout.
photo 2.JPG

Strong Upper Body (total 4o mins warm up to cool down) 30 secs of each exercise back to back. Repeat for a total of 3 rounds
  1. Part I
    1. Alternating DB shoulder press
    2. Right arm single row
    3. Left arm single row
    4. Farmer walks with 20s
    5. Front raise/side raise
    6. Dips
    7. Superwomans on SB (I need to do these on bench)
    8. DB pullovers on ball (another one for the bench)
    9. Pushups (hands elevated. Need to work on my pushups)
    10. Plank
    11. 30 seconds of jumprope double unders (die)
photo 3.JPG
  1. Part II
    1. February Challenge: squats and green smoothie daily
      1. 20 squats with 15s
      2. Green smoothie
        1. 2 large banana
        2. frozen strawberries
        3. greener grasses
        4. sunwarrior vanilla
        5. almond milk
        6. flaxseeds
Why I love my Home Gym:

I have been a member of about 15 gyms. Everyone in this town with the exception of two. At one point I was a member of 3 gyms at once. Not because I'm a lunatic, but because one had a pool, the other had childcare, and the other had a private area for plyos so depending on what was designed for that day's workout, I picked which gym to go to. Um...crazy. AND a huge waste waste waste of my money.

The more I was forced (due to Kennedy's illnesses, weather/snow, time) to workout at home the more I remembered that I truly loved working out at home. Home workouts is how I got started back in 2003 when I lost my first set of pounds. I always loved the idea of how I could take all my time and put to working out...not driving etc. 

I do have a membership to a gym right now, but I don't go often. If I do it is to do treadmill intervals (my garage is frozen this time of year) and to do things I can't do here at home.

Reasons I go to the gym:
  1. Use the treadmill for my crazy intervals
  2. Use a few machines
    1. assisted pull-up
    2. assisted dips
    3. smith machine
Reasons I love working out at home:
  1. No drive time
  2. No fee- you can put that money towards home gym equipment
  3. Don't have to get super cute (even though I do anyway) but sometimes I train in my underwear and a bra top.
  4. All equipment is clean
  5. Never have to wait on ANYTHING
  6. Can listen to my music loud if Kay is not here
  7. Can sing to the top of my lungs (research shows it burns more calories to sing and workout)
  8. I do more creative things that I don't often have space for at the gym
    1. jump and turn burpees
Bottom line is if given the option I workout at home in a heartbeat. This time of year when gyms are packed with new comers and germs, I am happy to be at home with my music blasting in my underwear going hard.

 Instead of a 12 minute drive, 10 minutes to find a locker, 5 minutes to pee and get on the floor, another 5-7 to get everything organized and settled THEN start working out while sharing the equipment or space.... I am basically done with my at home workout.

If you are debating whether or not you should start a home gym, I highly suggest you do. I started a few years ago with 3s, 5s, and 8s and that is it. Your body can also be your gym and you can design AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) exercises around
  • squats
  • lunges
  • pushups
  • planks
  • dips
  • etc


photo 1.JPGChia Porridge I am loving right now
  • 1/3 c chia
  • 1 c almond milk
  • set 25 mins
  • cinnamon
  • 1 banana sliced
  • 1 honeycrisp apple diced
  • 1 pink lady apple diced
  • 1/2 c fresh strawberries

See you tomorrow with pictures and descriptions of my home gym. It will be cardio and abs tomorrow! I'm trying to lean out so let's see what I decide to do! Go eat plants!


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