Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sweatin out the yucky with some kick booty cardio!

First off I want to say, Eating healthy is not cheap! I'm completely aware! I spent $100 on groceries this week! Given, I made this amazing Lentil Chickpea Soup with Coconut Milk (recipe at the end) and had to get some ingredients for the soup that I didn't have on hand. And besides, the soup is going to last me about 2-2 1/2 weeks.  So, it will be worth it by not eating out for lunch for a while! :) 
I have, also, discovered these amazing frozen fudge bars and ice cream sandwiches from So Delicious Coconut Milk.  These are a little smaller but kick my sweet tooth to the curb.  They run 80-100 calories and both are under 9g of sugar! Winners!!! They are, also, amazing if you like that little hint of coconut! I am obsessed, I either eat one with my lunch or one with dinner (sometimes both) and it doesn't derail my diet and I actually enjoy it!
I found some cinnamon protein bars at the store that taste just like frosting cinnamon roll cookies!  I was so excited to find these because I crave cinnamon twist donuts and cinnamon rolls on a regular basis! You all have to try these! No protein nasty flavor just simply delicious! They are a little higher in sugar than I prefer but it kicks my cravings and they are way better than how many grams of sugar that are in donuts and cinnamon rolls!
Try 'em out! You won't regret it!

As you all can tell, my metabolism has been kicking lately! I have been staying hungry! I will eat a meal that is completely balanced and nutritious and I will be hungry an hour later, no matter how big the meal! So I have been keeping mixed nuts on hand (almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and cranberries - from The Fresh Market it's called the Happy Heart Mix), as well as lots of fresh fruit, carrots and Greek yogurt.  These seem to be working as good appetite suppressants until I can eat another meal.  I've done a lot of research on the "eating 5-6 meals a day" and have also tried it.  For my lifestyle and my preference I can't do this.  It has been proven that people that sit down and enjoy their meals and concentrate on every bite do not eat as much.  With my lifestyle if I ate 5-6 meals a day I would have to scarf down at least 3 of those.  Also, I love to cook so I like to sit down and really enjoy three meals and stick with 2 snacks.  I find it's whatever works for you and your metabolism/lifestyle. 
I do feel a lot better now that I am eating clean and working out regularly again! I feel like I have more energy and I am not feeling sleepy 24/7! It's quite nice! Also, update on black powder.  I am doing it one week on and one week off.  I am definitely seeing much improvement in my workouts as far as concentration, an increase in reps/sets, and not yawning so much! So definitely liking it so far besides the taste.  It taste like a few crushed up flinstone vitamins in water.  While flinstone vitamins are good just having one, but drinking 8 oz of flinstone vitamin flavor.  Nope you can keep it! haha

Okay, enough about food, GEEZ! haha I started some pretty hardcore cardio yesterday and I really liked it! My friend Eric just told me about the treadmill interval routine which is 20 minutes. I just added more to it because I wanted to do more. 
So here it is:  1 hour **This is kind of intense for beginners so please don't kill yourself or beat yourself up if you try this and can't do it.  I have been training for over a year so my body can handle a little more than someone else may be capable of.
Bike:  5 minutes (I did an intensity of 10 and rpm from 95-108)
The Arc (special to planet fitness/ similar to the eliptical):  30 minutes (Intensity of 15, burned 420 calories!)
Treadmill Interval Workout:
3 minutes- speed walk (My speed walk is at 4.3-4.5) 0% Incline
5 minutes- Incline of 15% (max) at speed of 3.0-3.3 (I did 3.3)
2 minutes- walk at 0% incline **do not leave this out, can hurt yourself if you don't do this part
10 minutes- Run (I am at 9'18" mile so I did 6.5 the whole time...It needs to be a comfortable run! )
::Cool Down 5 minutes::  **I use the treadmill's cool down method

And booommm! Your done! My stats were 1 hour and I did 5.45 miles! I'll take it! I just watched Restaurant Impossible the whole time and that hour flew by and my clothes were soaked! So this week everyone kick up your workout, clean up that diet and lets bring on the results!

Food Journal for Thursday:
Breakfast- Omelet:  Grilled Onions, Portabello Mushrooms, Lean Ground Meat, Egg Beaters, and a sprinkle of pepperjack cheese)
Iced Coffee with light chocolate syrup and vanilla coconut milk
Snack:  Mixed Nuts from Fresh Market (about 1/4 cup)
Lunch:  Lentil and Chickpea soup with Coconut Milk (about 1 cup) and a So Delicious Coconut Fudge Bar
Snack:  Blood Orange Greek Yogurt
Dinner:  Grilled Italian Marinated Chicken Breast with Roasted Asparagus
Dessert:  1 graham cracker sheet spread with natural almond butter, a drizzle of lite chocolate syrup and 1/4 cup of coconut milk

All in all a pretty good day yesterday!

Recipe of the Week:
Lentil & Chickpea Curry Soup with Coconut Milk
Obsessed! It is so amazing... I used Olive oil instead of canola oil and used lite coconut milk compared to full fat.  I also left out the cauliflower and added water to give it a more soup like texture! This will be a staple in my diet! If you like Thai flavors you will love this!

Sorry this was kind of long today! I love your faces and please feel free to ask anything! LOVE YOUR FACES!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pushing Myself to the Limits and Still Going Just a Few More Steps!

I have started my Black Powder and Protein Shake Experiment.  So far so good! I am more motivated during my workouts from the Black Powder...well I think, it could be all mental...but, whatever works! I'm steadily increasing my weights and my reps/sets. I am ready to see definition in my arms and not have to worry about "the fat arm" in pictures! (Ladies I know you all know what I am talking about haha)  The protein shake this morning kept me full and I really wasn't ready for a snack around 11 AM.  But I made myself eat anyway.  I am trying to practice eating my food slowly and truly enjoying every bite.  No one is taking my food from me, I do not need to eat like someone is!

Today, I worked on Abs, Arms, and Cardio.  My cardio was so awful because even though I said I was going to stay away from sweets...Yea...I didn't! This is ridiculous! But I am sorry when someone makes brownies that have toffee and a layer of gooey fudge running throughout it's core can I say no! That's like dangling your leg in the pit of the lion's den!  I do have a great deal of self control but sometimes I just have to give in! I don't OVER indulge, thank goodness.  I do need to start bringing healthy options with me so when temptation comes knockin, I can roundhouse kick it in the face!
Anyway got off on a little tangent! When I eat sweets, I feel like a smoker when I run and this morning my body was pissed at the brownies! I finished and ran the whole time but definitely pushed myself to the end! When I run and my side starts cramping I try to focus on holding my abs in... this actually distracts me a bit from the discomfort so I am able to push myself to the end.  I am at 9'18'' mile and my new goal is to get to an 8' mile! I can do this!

Here is a look at my ab routine:
3 sets of planks (Regular and side bridges)
Standard Crunches
Seated Crunches
Vertical Knee Raises
Hand to Leg Crunch with weight **I do opposite leg...the guy in the video does same leg... It's up to you.

I do sets of 25 and up to a measly minute...but I have worked hard to get to a minute on planks and am steadily increasing my time. 
Food Journal for today:
Pre-Workout: Black Powder mixed with 8 oz of water
Post- Workout/Breakfast:  Double Chocolate Protein Powder (1 heaping scoop) blended with Organic 2% Milk (Archer Farms from Target **It will change your life and it is worth the few extra calories!!!) and Ice
Snack: Little less than 1/4 cup Mixed nuts and cranberries and 100 calorie Breakstone's Cottage Doubles -Strawberry
Lunch:  Left-over Light Blackened Chicken Alfredo with Wheat Penne. Petite Side Caesar Salad made with Yogurt  Dessert: Coconut Milk 80 calorie fudge bar ( I try to keep my sweets under 9g sugar and keep them all natural and healthy)
Dinner:  Grilled Chicken and Roasted Green Beans with lemon and garlic

Recipe:  Semi-homemade Blackened Chicken Alfredo (Light) with Caesar Salad made from Yogurt
Wheat Penne (about 2 cups)
Classico Light Asiago Romano Alfredo
Minced Roasted Garlic
Blackening Seasoning
Onion Powder
Green Onions
Chicken breast (cut into bite sized cubes)

Boil pasta in salted water for about 8-10 minutes (until aldente)
Season cubed chicken breast with blackening seasoning and onion powder
Saute seasoned chicken breast in pan with a touch of olive oil until cooked through
Add garlic and saute a little while longer
Add Alfredo sauce (put a little water in jar, replace lid, and shake pouring contents into pan)
Cook on medium-low for 10-15 minutes
Serve over wheat penne and top with chopped green onions

The Caesar dressing is actually store bought, I get it from Fresh Market in the produce section.  It's so good! I do have a few recipes for yogurt caesar dressing I have been meaning to try but on this night I was starving and needed something fast! I mix about 2 tbsps with romaine lettuce and caesar rye croutons.
ENJOY! (Took me about 20 minutes to cook and prep everything and I ate on it 5 times!!)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Can I get my sweet tooth pulled because that thing has got to GO!!

My name is Danielle. And I have a problem.  That problem is sweets.  If there is cake available to be ordered or if it is in my house or at someones house, I will eat a piece.  Sorry, weakness! It's okay to splurge sometimes but it seems that everywhere I go there is cake.  So I have decided starting today...after I had a few bites of chocolate fudge cake from Ruby's in Lafayette (delicious!), that I need to give it up and only have it on special occasions (weddings, birthdays, and when I really think I deserve it and have earned it).  It's going to be a major obstacle but my goals are bigger than my obsession with cake.  I'm trying to get a 6-pack and really get back to eating completely clean.  For those of you who don't understand what eating clean means, here ya go.  This is where you eat unprocessed foods.  Mainly lean meats, vegetables, fruits, and complex carbs; the goal, to get myself in tiptop shape.  I'll let you all know how this works out for me and vow to be completely honest.  Here goes nothing!

I have been doing a great deal of research on supplements and whether they are truly worth it and if so which ones are best.  I will be giving you all feedback on my findings and ones recommended, if any.  My current experiment I am starting is the use of protein shakes.  So far in this round of weight loss I haven't used any protein powders except for the occasional protein bar when I had to grab some breakfast on the go.  I really prefer to get my protein from actual food; however, a lot of times in the morning I am in a rush and need something on the go. This is where protein powders would fit in perfect.  I talked to my bodybuilder friend, Eric, at the gym today and he doesn't recommend protein powders for women because "they'll make you retain water." However, I am not sure if I agree with this.  My first round of weight loss I drank protein shakes around 4 days a week and I didn't find I retained water.  Also, I've been reading new research that says that women process protein the same as men; therefore, only replenishing their muscles of the protein lost after their workouts which is it's purpose.  Bottom line: I am going to test this for myself! On my arm days I will be drinking whey protein powder blended milk (either low fat or coconut milk) and ice and find out for myself how my body does with it.

Eric recommended to me that I try "Black Powder." I have a problem being really tired in the morning and need a little more energy for my workouts.  This is a nitric oxide powder that gives you that extra oomph to get through your workouts.  I am not recommending anyone try is something I want to experiment with a couple times a week to see if my workouts improve any.  I will keep you all updated on my progress and if this, in my opinion, helped me at all. 

My workouts on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays consist of Legs, Butt and Cardio exercises.  Today I will cover my leg routine which is a mix of machines and plyometrics.  Do whatever amount of sets and reps that fits your body.  For my body, I usually do between 8-12 reps and 2-3 sets depending on the weight and how sore I am from my previous workouts. Like I said this is what my body best responds to.  Everyone is different and your body will respond differently than mine might.
Warm up:  Treadmill Speed walk/Run 6 minutes
Calf Extensions, Seated Leg Curls, Leg Extensions, Seated Leg Press, Hip Adduction, and Hip Abductions.
**If you have never worked out on these machines please read the instructions or ask someone for help.  Injuries are not worth it!
Plyo/ Free Style Leg Routine:
**Do whatever you like and for me starting with the exercise I hate most (mountain climbers and burpees) gets it over with and I can't make the excuse of I'm too tired to do them.
Lunges- (walking lunges (with or without weight) as you lunge forward bring yourself back to the start position putting pressure on your heel that in front. 
Calf Raises
Wall Sit
High Knees
Sumo Squat
Mountain Climbers
Ice Skaters
Agility Dots
Side Leg Raises
Donkey Kicks
I modeled my routine from Carrie Underwood's workouts from this site.  It will give you videos and pictures how to properly do everything.

I will be going running after work today. Plan on trying to get to a 10 minute mile and do about 2.5-3 miles today. 

My recipe for today is Roasted Asparagus.
Bushel of Asparagus
Olive oil
Minced Garlic
Sea Salt
Fresh Lemon
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
Wash and snap your asparagus (hold each end with hands and bend into you until the asparagus snaps, breaking the tough woody part of the stem and leaving you with the tender, edible part)
Line a baking pan with tin foil and spread out asparagus on pan. 
Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, garlic, and pepper.  Squeeze lemon juice all over asparagus.  Turn asparagus in pan coating every part of the asparagus.
Place in oven and bake 8-14 minutes. 
**I prefer crunchier asparagus; so, I only cook mine for 8-10 minutes. 
Eat with grilled chicken done on the George Foreman (I season my chicken with sea salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne).  Walla! Dinner in under 20 minutes!

One last note! Everyone please don't stress out over food.  You want to eat to live and not live to eat, yes, but healthy food can still be very enjoyable! If you cheat (like I did with the cake today) don't stress.  Just do better the rest of the day and try to be good for the rest of the week.  Take it from me, it is so easy to develop anorexic tendencies.  If you want it bad enough, let yourself have it, but have a small portion and be done with it.  Don't keep it in your house if it's a problem and if you have children or a significant other that keeps it in the house, count it as a test, just think of your motivator or your goal body.  Practice self control... you CAN say no to the cake, chips, brownies, or whatever! Food Journal!  I can't stress it enough! You are your worst critic and you don't want your conscience coming after you! He's as bad as Mr. Will Power!

Happy Working out this week and remember abs are made in the kitchen! (70% food - 30% workout) I love your faces!

P.S.  Here is my goal you are welcome to steal.  Anytime I don't want to workout or eat unhealthy I look at her picture, Everyone meet Fitness Model: Kim Dolan Leto

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Motivation vs. Mr. Will Power

Oh Mr. Will Power how you and I do not get a long.  If you are anything like me the term "will power" doesn't fit nicely in your vocabulary.  There is always a million other things you can think of doing than getting to the gym or doing some cardio.  My solution: kick him out the window and find a motivator.  As crazy as it may sound my motivator is an actual person. He's at the gym almost every morning at 4:30 AM and I am extremely attracted to him.  Some people may be like "stalk much" but he's my motivator to get me to the gym at the only time in the day that I truly have time to go.  When my alarm goes off in the morning, I really would like to press the snooze button but then I think "Gym boy would be so disappointed in me" haha so I jump out of bed and put my workout clothes on and go.  It's whatever works for you.  If you go to the gym at the same time everyday there will be the same people there and you can use them as a motivator.  Form a secret competition with one of these consistent goers and try to out do them.  Trust me it works! It's better than relying on Mr. Will Power to show up because that dude is as flaky as they come.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday is my Arms and Abs day.  I do a mix of free weights and machines for Arms and only do free style abs.  I start my routine with at least a 6 minute warm up on the treadmill.  This equates to about a half a mile.  I start at a speed of 4.3 and do that for a complete song.  The next song I increase my speed to 7.3 and finish the song.  I do not recommend everyone do these speeds. I have worked up to this over the past year and half.  You want a good speed walk to start off with and then on the next song you want a comfortable run or jog.  The goal is to get your heart rate up and ready for your workout.  After my warm up I switch up doing abs first or arms first depending on my energy level.  Today I started with Arms because I knew I wasn't quite up to doing push ups yet (I work push ups into my ab routine). 

I do 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps.  If you aren't that experienced with weights I would definitely start with the lower end of the spectrum or do whatever is comfortable for you everyone is different.  You may only be comfortable with 1 set of whatever feels most comfortable for you!  Also, maxing out your weight is not what you want to do...for me what works is high reps and low weight.  Just because it feels too light doesn't mean its going to feel that way into your third set.  You can always increase as you go.  Do whatever works best for you! Form is key- injuries are not worth it!
1.)Lat Pulls - this is the machine that has the overhead bar.  You sit at it pulling the bar down in front of you and into your chest slightly leaning a little back so that you shoulder blades engage.  This works your arms and your back simultaneously.
2.)Lat Drops- same machine but standing up.  With your knees bent slightly, pull the bar down in front of you slowly and controlled back up. 
3.) Rows- this is the low row machine where you hold the handle and your feet are propped up in front of you.  Its important to hold the handle at the top of the grip with your thumbs almost resting on top. Pull this into your chest engaging your back.  DON'T ACTUALLY ROW (move your body forward and backwards) keep your back aligned and pull the handle to you.
4.)The rope-  This gadget has a bulb and has two thick pieces of rope hanging down from it with knots on each end. This was always very intimidating for me but if done correctly can be very engaging.  Stand in front of it with knees slightly bent.  Pull down and once you reach the bottom push the tops of your wrists inward making the ends of the rope go outward.  Control your return to start position.
5.)One armed rope- Same thing but hold rope together with hand and pull straight down not letting your arm go completely back to the starting position.  **This may be a little harder to do since its not a muscle you engage regularly.  Start light, I am still at the lowest weight!
6.)Shrugs-  Using free weights- 5-15 lbs. Stand straight and let arms hang by your sides.  Bring one shoulder up without bending your arms or sides.  This works your shoulders and you will feel this tomorrow.  Repeat on opposite shoulder.
7.)Upright Row- With a weighted bar, stand with knees slightly bent, hold the bar shoulder length apart.  Bring bar up making your arms even with your shoulders.  Make sure your elbows don't go up past your shoulders- you can pinch a nerve=NOT FUN!
8.)Curls- sitting on a bench, place one arm behind your back and place your elbow up against the inside of your knee curling the bar bell up into your arm.  Do one set and repeat on other side.  Make sure you use only your arm to get that bar bell up and not your leg.

I will go into my ab routine on Friday and will combine my push ups in there as well.  I plan on running this afternoon and cooking dinner tonight for myself.  I will give running/cardio advice on another blog...gotta keep ya interested ;) But for now this is what I am eating today as well as my recipe for my Monster Healthy Omelet.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Breakfast: woke up late so had to grab something on the go.  My go to breakfast on the run: Smuckers Uncrustables whole wheat peanut butter and honey.  Low in sugar, whole wheat and only 210 calories.  Find them in the freezer aisle of the grocery store.
Snack:  Yo Crunch Greek parfait - blueberry
Lunch:  Left over beef noodle soup from Thai cuisine (about 1 cup) and a salad (Butter lettuce mix, light Italian (2tbsps), cucumber, and carrots)
Snack:  Carrots with light ranch (recommend lighthouse light ranch in produce section at target...lower in calories and tastes like the real thing.. I don't touch that fat free nastiness!)
Dinner:  Chicken breast with a rub someone gave me, with roasted green beans (recipes to come tomorrow)

Danni's Monster Omelet
1/2 cup of eggbeaters original
1/2 tsp of olive oil
grilled tri color peppers (frozen section at target)
green onions (to taste)
Portabello Mushrooms
Sundried Tomatoes (Giada's)
Deli Turkey
Roasted Minced Garlic
Shredded Pepperjack Cheese
Sriracha, salt and pepper

Heat Skillet with olive oil to medium heat.  Once hot place all vegetables and turkey (except the garlic and green onions) into the skillet.  Saute into all vegetables are soft (about 5 minutes).  Add your garlic and saute for one more minute.  Add your egg beaters over veggie meat mixture.  Add your seasonings of choice; I use sriracha, salt and pepper.  Using a spatula lift up sides of egg and let egg beaters fill the skillet. Keep doing this until the egg is well set (about 5 minutes).  Add your cheese and with the spatula flip one side over to the other.  Folding it in half.  If it tears or messes up just make it a scramble, happens to me all the time and tastes the same.  Let cook a minute longer, flipping it over and cooking another minute.  Place on plate and garnish with green onions.  Walla breakfast in about 15 minutes.  

Hope this was helpful! Any questions please don't hesitate to ask.  Love your faces!
PS Thanks ALLI for the heads up and corrections!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How I Am Conitinuously Kicking My Own Bootay: Intro

Damn calories, scales, and that one exercise that we all seem to avoid.  I have had a very interesting life in the land of weight loss.  My sister, Darla, is the blessed one; She's a size zero and has an hour glass figure and eats McDonald's double cheeseburgers regularly.  While I have to workout 5-6 days a week and watch what I eat...LAME!

I have recently been receiving a great deal of messages from my friends on facebook wondering how I have lost my weight and any tips I could share so I decided to blog and share with everyone because we all know how hard and lonesome weight loss can be. 

January 2011, I weighed 172 lbs and was a size 12-14.  At this point I have never weighed more and I have never felt so disgusted and so unattractive in all my life.  In high school I was a size 8 and fluctuated between 138-142 lbs.  After high school I lost a lot of weight; however, I wasn't consuming enough for how much I was working out ( 800 calories/day and running 5-6 miles a day plus weight lifting).  Before I knew it, I became anorexic and weighed 100 lbs and was a 00.  I had obtained tendinitis in my left leg running in the wrong shoes and had to cut down significantly on my workouts and running. I moved in with a lady that made home cooking almost every night and that combined with little no workouts I began to pack on the pounds.  Before I knew it I was my max weight and knew something needed to be done.  I always tell people that are struggling with weight you have to want weight loss for yourself and you have to hit rock bottom/ something has to embarrass the hell out of you to make you reach the point of no return.   For me that point was 2 people in one week asked me if I was pregnant!!! Pregnant!! I couldn't believe it and I was so humiliated that I woke up one morning and was bound and determined to kick that fat and become lean and toned.  This time I was going to do it right!

So, I joined Planet Fitness in January of last year and have never looked back.  Today I weigh between 128-132 lbs and am a size 2-4.  My weight constantly fluctuates and honestly I don't ever get on a scale... too discouraging! Throughout my blogs I will list what I ate that day and the routine I did.  I plan on posting about 3 times a week so you all can see my Mon, Wed, Fri routine and Tues, Thurs, Sat routines as well as see my weekend plans.  I will be posting recipes for the things I eat which are all my own and all of them take under 30 minutes to prepare and cook.  Also, I try to stick to foods I can (A) afford and (B) realistic.  Though super health foods and all kinds of different supplements are great my pocket book doesn't really allow me to like them so much.  Also, I will try to put pictures of different workouts so you can visually see the workout so you can mimic them at home or in your gym.

I will start my official workout/food journal blog tomorrow since this one is way to long as it is. Feel free to post any questions you all may have if you are unclear on anything! Thanks for reading, love your faces!

Beginning of my Journey: Size 12-14, 172 lbs                              May 2011 Size 8 152 lbs
                                          Thanksgiving 2011  Size 6, 142 lbs.

                                          May 2012 Size 2/4 130 lbs.