Practicing Yoga in Public

Boom, baby! I trotted my tail down to the apartment gym this afternoon and cranked out my 30 minute interval session on the treadmill.  Today was easier than the last run — it’s good to feel my body coming back to life and getting back in the swing of things.   I realized I have this thing though…thing thing about exercising in front of other people.  I really have a hard time with it.  Every time the gym door would creak open, I’d jump a little and then really start hauling ass so whoever the sure-to-be-fit person was who was about to enter the gym would not judge me too harshly for my pitiful attempt.

I hate being so self-conscious.  I know it’s not health – and I know I’m probably just imposing my own insecurities upon this hapless other gym rat.  I know when I see someone else trotting down the street or chugging away in the gym, I’m just so impressed at their success at just getting in there and doing it.  More than that, my work out is about me and my body, not anyone else or their opinions — I need to learn not to care, and to focus on what I’m there to do.

Perhaps someday I’ll even work up to doing hardcore yoga in public.  Check it out.  Seriously.

French Toast for Dinner

Hello, my lovelies!  Saturday turned out so much better than Friday night.  To start off with, I got to sleep in…’til eight.  ‘Twas glorious.   I spent the better part of the morning showering, putting my face on, eating some b-fast, and then hitting the road to get some much-required errands accomplished. 

Breakfast consisted of these two mixed together:

I adore Greek yogurt.  It tastes delicious (I tend to add a little stevia to satisfy my sweet tooth) and it holds me over.  The kamut cereal is eh-ok – it gets the job done, but I’m not sure I’ll be buying it again.

I hit up Goodwill, found a brand-new bad ass rolling pin (I’m in lurve – I’ll have to show you later since my camera ate the picture) and a fabulous serving place (see my parenthentic note re: bad ass rolling pin).  Then it was on to Whole Foods for a few essentials that cannot be found elsewhere, and Publix for some much needed groceries.  We’re trying to mostly eat what’s currently stocked in our pantry and freezer since we anticipate a move in the next two months, but a girl’s gotta have her greens.  I loaded up on fresh veggies, some vegetarian-friendly protein sources, and almond milk (my Publix always sells out like it’s going out of style – I stock up when I can).  By the time I was through Whole Foods it was nearly one and I was ready to gnaw my arm off.  I broke into these bad boys and had about one two servings. 

Lurve.  By the time I was finished dominating Publix, the Newman’s had worn off and I was ready for some lasting sustenance.  Enter, the salad beast:

 

This tasty delight consisted of one romaine heart, half an avocado, a sprinkling of balsamic, about 1 ½ cups of raw broccoli, and one Morningstar Blackbean Burger that I extracted from the depths of our freezer.  It hit the spot.

This little man faithfully follows me around, hoping that a piece of broccoli or lettuce will fortuitously fall out of my bowl and into his mouth.

I worked the afternoon away and took a short siesta in anticipation of our 7:00 showing of IronMan 2 – my man’s been pretty psyched to see it.  I was hungry and knew I needed something filling before we left.  Only one thing would do:

Scrambled eggs with grape tomatoes and a wedge of Laughing Cow, with a piece of Ezekiel French toast drizzled with real maple syrup.  Simple, healthy, delicious.  Yum!  I was satiated.

Today’s unpictured munchings may or may not have also included a cheesestick, a mini bag of Annie’s fruit snacks, and several handfuls of vegan chocolate chips.

I also got in my moves for the day before we took off for the theater.  I’m so sore this week from easing back into working out – it’s amazing how quickly you can lose it if you don’t use it.  So I’ve been doing as much as my body can handle.  I did about 25 minutes of Yogalosophy – it felt good to stretch some things out and get some strength moves in. 

IronMan2 rocked and I would like to be ScarJo.  Please.  I love her.

I’ll also be doing my Move Before You Snooze moves before bed tonight and have my next run planned for tomorrow morning.

I’ve been contemplating some of my eating habits, and keep coming back to one I think I need to address – pre-bedtime snacking.  A controversial subject, but I’d like to share my thoughts and experience with you if you’re interested.  More on that tomorrow.

 Over and out.

Ugh

Hubby and I took the night off for a fun date night — we started off with a little Asian cuisine! The night was shaping up to be a fabulous one.

And then I got sick.  And crawled into my bed for the next six hours.

Date fail.

I’ll return in the morning with more interesting thoughts.

Move Before You Snooze update: Due to my unhappy tum, I slept right through my moves tonight.  But, I managed my moves last night!  Man, were they tough! By the time I made it through three minutes of alternating lunges, my legs were quivering like jelly.  And two minutes of pushups? “H” to the “e” to the ‘el, no.  I barely made it through one minute each of the pushups, tricep dips, and crunches.  Clearly, I’ve got some work to do.

No Meat Athletes

On May 12th, the New York Times featured an article about ultramarathoner Scott Jurek, who also happens to be vegan.  

 (Source)

It is a fascinating read and a fantastic education on fueling your body well and properly, whether you’re normal jogger or a fitness pro, like Jurek.   Jurek dispells the myth that our bodies require animal products for proper nutrition and, rather, explains how much better his own body runs without animal products.  Author Mark Bittman writes:

. . . how does he survive? After all, I said to him, none of my running buddies, a group of nonelite but defiantly dedicated marathoners who train in Central Park, maintain as rigorous a schedule as his, and many claim to have trouble consuming enough calories even while being omnivorous.

“The whole issue,” he said, “is exactly that: getting enough calories. The first thing to worry about isn’t so much what you eat, but how much you eat. You have to take the time to sit at the table and make sure your calorie count is high enough. And when you’re a vegan, to increase your calories as you increase training you need more food. This isn’t an elimination diet but an inclusion diet.”

Jurek grew up in Proctor, Minn., eating cookie dough, canned vegetables and his share of fast food. When his mother, Lynn, developed multiple sclerosis (she died this spring), he and his siblings began cooking, but the food was, he said, “very Midwest — meat and potatoes.” In college, his diet began to improve, and as he “saw how much disease is lifestyle related,” he began eating “real food, eating the way people have been eating for thousands of years.”

He made the transition to less meat and more fish, then eventually knocked out dairy and other animal products entirely.

“It’s really a mental barrier,” he said, and he obviously has experience overcoming those. He said he needed 5,000 to 8,000 calories a day, “and I get that all from plant sources. It’s not hard, either. I like to eat, and I don’t have to worry about weight management. All I need is a high-carbohydrate diet with enough protein and fat.”

He said he spent a great deal of time shopping, preparing and cooking food — and chewing. He is among the slowest and most deliberate eaters I know, and there is something about his determination at the table that is reminiscent of his determination on the road: he just doesn’t stop.

He focuses on three main meals. Breakfast is key: it might be a 1,000-calorie smoothie, with oil, almonds, bananas, blueberries, salt, vanilla, dried coconut, a few dates and maybe brown rice protein powder. Unless he is doing a long run, which for him is seven hours, or about 50 miles, he eats after his first workout. Lunch and dinner are huge salads, whole grains, potatoes and sweet potatoes, and usually beans of some sort or a tempeh-tofu combination.

“None of this is weird,” he said. “If you go back 300 or 400 years, meat was reserved for special occasions, and those people were working hard. Remember, almost every long-distance runner turns into a vegan while they’re racing, anyway — you can’t digest fat or protein very well.”

At the end of the day, the meat/no meat, animal products/no animal products descision is a personal one.  Only you know your own body and what it requires — whether that be steak, salmon, or spinach.  In making that decision, however, we should be mindful and educate ourselves about what we’re chowing down on.  For myself, I know that my body isn’t a huge fan of meats…seafood I love and eggs I cannot live without (yet), but meat I don’t need.  And I haven’t ruled out the possibility that someday I may crossover entirely.  We’ll see.  In the meantime, I’m going to keep moving my body and try to keep tuning in to learn what it needs.

TGIF!

Happy Friday, friends! 

It’s almost that time of the week when I actually cook meals and bake goodies.  That’s right – I pretty much only cook and bake on the weekends.  Its become standard in our household for me to go big and make a week’s worth of staples (i.e., Super Charge Me Cookies, Mama Pea’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cookies, Sweet Potato Oat Bars, Black Beans and Brown Rice Veggie Burgers, Homemade Protein Bars, and Fiber Muffins, etc.) every weekend.  ‘Cuz I’m just too plain lazy and pooped the rest of the week to do anything but lay around and moan about how overworked I am when I get home from work. 

 (Source)

The Husband is amazing…what he puts up with.  Seriously.

I’m trying to decide what tasty delight is destined to be dinner tomorrow night.  I’m tempted to test the fates and try my hand at Mama Pea’s Grilled Eggplant Parmigiana.  I’ll tell the Husband that its vegan after he’s done eating it and has declared how incredibly tasty it is.

What’s Your Happy Thought?

It comes as no surprise to anyone, I’m sure, that the economy is in the toilet.  And, thus, so are many people’s bank accounts.   My place of work has experienced no exceptions to the general trend.  A few weeks ago our office manager, our queen bee and mother hen, announced to me that she had decided to try and be positive and hope that everything would turn around soon.  In order to do that, she was going to focus on a *happy thought* every day.  Every day, she’d have a new happy thought ready to share when I popped by her office. 

She inspired me to apply the same concept to my personal life.  Yeah, things are tough.  Yeah, money’s short.  Yeah, I ate two donuts this morning (true story – darn you, generous co-worker!).  Its tempting to treat each stumble — my inability to make enough money to pay my bills, my inability to stick to good eating habits, my inability to get my hiney out of bed in the morning to get a decent workout in — as if it were the end of the world and say “to he!! with it all, give me a third donut.”  At the end of the day, I must accept what’s done as done — the donuts, too, shall pass (whoops – inadvertant potty joke) — and I am free to seize what’s left of the day and make it the best it can be.  Sure, I ate two donuts this morning, but, I also successfully moved my body today and got in 6 servings of veggies! Rock on – yay me.  I can, and will choose, to focus on that success, and let it inspire me tomorrow.

On that note, I had a rockin’ workout today.  Not tremendous, compared to some, but I’m pleased with myself nonetheless. As soon as I got home from work today, I threw on my running clothes, grabbed my iPod loaded with my new book on tape, and trotted my tail down to the apartment gym (today was too hot for any running around outside — what can I say, I’m paler than a china doll and am destined to live in the Northwest).  I rocked out 30 minutes on the RAD (revolving apparatus of death) – it broke down something like this:

Minutes 0-5 –> Warm up at 4mph, 2% incline

Minutes 5-25:30 –> Intervals, 30 seconds at 6 mph at 2% incline followed by 1:30 at 4 mph at 2% incline

Minutes 25:30-30 –> Cooldown at 4mph

In total, I trotted out 2.18 miles — I’m pleased at how quickly I’m working back up to my previous mileage.  I know its not far and I’m still slow, but I happy to take this one day at a time. :)   On a side note, the book on tape idea worked out fantastically, I just need a better book.  Turns out I’m not a huge Brad Meltzer fan.  Moving on to Robert Ludlum .  I’ve read almost everything he ever wrote — I’m a junkie, I know– but I found a book by him on tape that I’d never heard of: The Cry of the Halidon.  It’s loaded up for tomorrow.  I’ll let you know what I think.

I followed my interval training up with about 15 minutes of yoga, courtesy of Yogalosophy (the Hubs got it for me for my birthday – he knew I’d been dying for it), which I LOVE.  Mindy Ingber is so dang cute I could just eat her up.  She trains Jennifer Aniston, you know. 

 (Source)

 Oh, for gams like that! Sometimes, while I’m in tree pose, I imagine that Mindy, and Jen and I all the three best friends anyone could have (name that movie!), and that after our session we’re all going to hang out and make clever inside yoga jokes and discuss Jen’s true feelings about Brad and Angie. 

 (Source)

*le sigh* Someday.

Well, I’m off. Lots of writing left to do tonight (I’ve started doing some freelance work on the side), and then I must pack my food for tomorrow (I bring a full cooler with me to work every day) and do my Move Before You Snooze Challenge for tonight!

I’ll see you in the morning!

Note: This post has been edited to redact a few too many revealing details about my workplace.  Whoopsie. :)

Weekly Baby Step

I’ve decided to start a new series called Weekly Baby Step (a/k/a something do to, a new challenge for this week, etc.). I know some bloggers feature similar items in their posts regularly — for me, this is going to be a way to kick my own tail into gear and, if I manage to find a few buddies who want to jump on the band wagon along the way, that’d be great!

Like I’ve previously explained, one of my struggles is to actually move my body every day. Its so darn easy for me to talk myself out of doing anything more than making the circuit from my chair, to the bathroom, to the fridge, or some variation thereof.

I was excited to read Tina’s new personal challenge this morning on Carrots’N’Cake: Move Before You Snooze!  In Tina’s words, this involves doing the following nightly before bed:

  • 3 minutes of alternating lunges
  • 2 minutes of push-ups (modified, if needed)
  • 2 minutes of tricep dips
  • 2 minutes of crunches
  • 1 minute plank

Now, this is a healthy habit that feels doable! I’m going to make that my new challenge for the week — to move before I snooze every night, and rev up my metabolism before I lay my little head down to sleep.

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