Posted in Diet, Exercise

No Exercise Nightmare?

As somebody who usually tries to interweave exercise into their schedule, the thought of two weeks without ANY exercise (even walking the dog) seemed like a nightmare at first. However, after having some keyhole surgery of the gynecological variety, this two week ban was absolutely what, just a week ago, I was faced with.

My initial reaction was shock and horror – surely I would turn into a blob if a didn’t keep up at least some attempt at exercise? However, the actuality has been far from the truth.

For the first few days I was, understandably, not too aware of eating or exercise; being topped up on a range of pain-killers and the aftermath of a general anesthetic put paid to any anxiety regarding those two concerns.

Once I’d come around enough to know who I was (a slight exaggeration), I began considering the fact that, without movement as an option, the only area I could really focus on was what I was putting in my mouth. This became a revelation because, of course, alongside not being able to move came a necessary absence from work. Without work came a massive reduction in stress and timetable occupation- thus creating the head space for me to:

a) really focus on an eating plan

b) implement it without distractions

One aspect that I felt was important for me was portion control. I’m not a fan of weighing everything out (who is?!) but felt like I needed to be aware of how much food was the right amount, especially if I wanted to lose a little weight. To help me with this, I decided to explore the Weight Watchers points allowance system. I had tried Weight Watchers in the past and found it really helpful. At the time, I became a fully paid up member and attended the weekly meetings. This time, I just wanted the guidelines rather than the support or the products, and found http://www.healthyweightforum.org/eng/calculators/ww-points-plus/ helpful as it allowed me to calculate the points that I would need, as well as giving a reminder of the general principles.

I discovered that I needed 26 points a day if I wanted to lose weight, with an additional 49 which can be taken on any day throughout the week, allowing for indulgence within parameters.

“But how do you know how many points each food has?” I hear you cry. Well, I found the Protracker app on my iphone (for around a £2 one-off payment) which offers a diary that lets you record your consumed foods and reduces your daily and weekly point allowance accordingly. To track the food, you can either input the dietary information manually or, if the product is already stored, scan the barcode of the food that you’re consuming and it includes the information for you. The brilliant thing about this app is that it is linked up to the WW Points system, so sticking to the system is simple!

To start with, it is a bit of a faff to scan or enter the information, but as you continue using it, I found that most of the foods I ate tended to pop up again in my menu at some point, so sourcing their information had already been done. Once a ‘bank’ of foods has been developed, it becomes a much more efficient process.

The end result has been that I have had ‘real food’, not processed, I have had a clear idea about the quantity that I should be eating and I’ve felt a sense of achievement in sticking to my points allowance.

Having the head space to decide on and begin to implement an eating plan has been such a bonus, and, with one week of recovery left, I am just left to consider how I ca gradually introduce exercise into life, whilst maintaining my eating, and going back to work…how hard can it be?

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Posted in Uncategorized

Another post in support of weight training

One day I was at the gym going about my usual business when I noticed that I was the only female in the weights room. I didn’t think too much of it at first but as weeks progressed I noticed that very few females entered. Rather, a majority stuck to their favourite cardio machines for […]

via Get your lift on girl — Health & Fitness Little Black Book.

Posted in Uncategorized

Summer Veggie Shrimp Bake (Grain-Free)

Sounds like a good summer option

Health Without Sacrifice

Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of views on one specific post of mine: my Shrimp and Chicken Fajitas.

This has resulted in me craving some good ol’ shrimp lately. Since fresh summer veggies are everywhere right now, I decided to pair the two together 🙂

Summer Veggie Shrimp Bake

Summer Veggie Shrimp Bake

Ingredients:

1 large onion

2 yellow summer squash

1 eggplant

2 green peppers

1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved 

1/2 + 2 tbsp cup parmesan cheese

1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp avocado oil

salt and pepper

1 lb raw shrimp

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a large baking dish.

Chop the onion, squash, eggplant, and peppers into bite-sized pieces and toss in a very large bowl. Add in the tomatoes, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, basil, garlic, avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Mix altogether and spread into the baking dish. Place in…

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Posted in Exercise

Strength-aarrgghhh

So as I mentioned on my other post, I was inspired by Nerd Fitness  to try some strength training to reach my goals, and my awesome boyfriend was more than willing to write a workout program for me (he likes that kind of thing :P).

So on Sunday afternoon (after, I might add, driving 3 hours in total to visit a dog we’re hoping to rehome and feeling very tired- I was feeling very feeble and needed some encouragement) I went to the gym and undertook part one of the 3 sessions he had planned for me, it consisted of the following:

-squats just using the barbell to warm up (10 reps)

-squats using 10 kg on barbell (8 reps)

-squats using 20 kg on barbell (6 reps)

-squats using 30 kg on barbell (4 reps)

-squats using 35 kg on barbell (2 reps)

(the barbell weight 20kg , just FYI 😉

The whole time I focused on form; ensuring the movement was like sitting in a chair, pushing my bum back, keeping my back straight, keeping the weight in the heel of my foot (so that, should I feel the need, I was always able to ‘wiggle my toes’).

Then we did: 5 sets of 10 kettle bell swings (12kg), 50 Russian Twists using an 8kg medicine ball, the same pyramid set of tricep pulls on the machine as above (increasing the weight and decreasing the reps) and then I was done.

At the end I felt fine, completely different to a cardio or circuit session.  The surprise came the next day when my whole body ached, but in that good way when you know you’ve worked hard. I’m looking forward to my next sessions, which I’ll post about when they’re done, and then being able to squat more and more weight.

 

Posted in Diet

Paleo diet

Whilst the physique of the characters above don’t really represent the idea behind the Paleo diet, I enjoyed the joke and felt the ‘hunter-gatherer’ nature thing was relevant for the diet, as it is based upon more natural ways of eating (long before agriculture became the norm).

Whilst out on a walk recently, I was talking to my boyfriend about how annoying it was that I felt I was working out and eating fairly cleanly but not really seeing any results.

Now firstly I need to explain that I’m definitely an instant results kind of person. I throw myself into a plan, be it for a couple of weeks, a month and a half, and when I don’t instantly see mega changes I become disheartened and disillusioned. I imagine I’m not the only one that feels this way though….

As a result of one of these conversations, my long-suffering and ever-awesome boyfriend suggested that I try some weight training if I wanted to see quicker results, and pointed me towards the following article on Nerd Fitness.

I read through, was inspired by Staci‘s story, and thought, ‘what the heck’ I’ll give it a try. If you want to know more about my journey into strength training, read here.

If you take the time to read through some of Nerd Fitness, you’ll also see that they’re very pro-Paleo, so, after doing a bit of research and looking into my options I decided to give it a bash. In very simple terms, this is the gist of my understanding of the allowed and not allowed.

In fitting with natural eating from yonder years, you should eat:

-Protein

-Vegetables

-Fruits

-Nuts

As they are a less natural (and less beneficial to your body) source of energy, only developed after agriculture and convenience food commenced, you should avoid:

Refined produce of any kind (including but not exclusive to; sweets, crisps, donuts, cereal bars, pizza, fizzy drinks etc.)

Grains

Dairy (other than in infancy)

(If you want a more in-depth explanation, which I’d highly recommened if you were considering taking this on yourself, I’d suggest reading The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson or The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet by Robb Wolf.) I’m right at the start of this, but I’ll keep you updated on the progress. Here are some of the things I’ve been eating.

Breakfast: Pepper and onion omelette– clean and dice 2 peppers (I used green and red) and 2 red onions (you could use  spring, white…whatever you fancy) and chuck in the pan with a little olive oil. Cook off until slightly soft (about 5 mins) then add 6 eggs. Cook untill the egg has set at the bottom, then grill on top until the top and all the way through is set (about 5 mins each). I then cut into three portions; one for my boyfriend and I to eat and one for tomorrow.

Snacks: Carrot sticks, handful almonds (with the skin on!), fruit, fruit smoothie (we buy frozen fruit, add a combination to a container, fill with water and whizz up in the blender), boiled eggs.

Just as a note, these are potential snacks that I have had some of and may have in the future,  haven’t nommed them all down in one day 😉 Not that I couldn’t if I was going to the gym too!

Main Meals:

Quorn sausage, avocado, sugar snap peas, spring onion and ‘sweet and crunchy’ salad mix. (I’m not sure if the Quorn produce is strictly Paleo-approved, please let me know if you’re clearer, but this is how I get some of my protein and so that’s what I’m sticking with!)

Roasted Salmon, mashed sweet potato and runner beans. (whenever I’m cooking Salmon, I wrap it in a little foil parcel and bake for 20 minutes or 25 if it’s frozen, I’ve found that it keeps it really moist and stops it drying out that way! It’s also nice to put baby sweetcorn, mangetout and chilli in as the steam from the salmon cooks the veg and it’s all juicy and delicious.)

These are some ideas that I’ve had and tried so far, I’ll add another post when I have some other inspiration.

 

 

Posted in Diet

Protein lunch- Tuna steak

IMG_0706

I try to go carbohydrate-light at lunch times and load up on protein and veg instead. Judging by another meal I’ve posted, I’m starting to think I may be a bit obsessed with tuna steak and sugar snap peas- other types of fish and vegetables do make it on the menu.

For this meal it is really straight, all you need is:

-1/2 packet ready mixed salad leaves

-handful sugar snap peas

-3 carrots peeled and chopped into sticks

-3 spring onions

-1 tuna steak

-1 tbsp houmous

Pop salad leaves on the plate with the carrot sticks. Rinse peas and onions, chop ends of onions and chop fairly finely. Heat a tsp of olive oil in a pan at a medium heat, put tuna steak in for 3 minutes, turn and heat for another 3 minutes. This leaves it slightly rare in the middle, you can always leave it in for more/less time to suit your taste. Meanwhile, I also add the onions and peas to the pan and give them a quick nudge throughout to stop them catching. Some people may want to cook these off in a separate pan, but all in one has suited me fine thus far 😀

Bang all of the ingredients on top of the salad and carrots and add your houmous at the side.

 

 

Posted in Exercise

Running

GT-2000 4 HOT CORAL/BLACK/WHITE 3

I went for the first run in about a month today. I’ve been struggling with a knee injury since mid July and have only just mustered the courage to brave it again!

We’re currently babysitting a lovely Border Collie, so he was a lovely companion. I only did around 2 and a half or 3 miles…I don’t want to push it too far too soon. But it did feel good to be back out there again. I’m going to continue with the short distance for a while and then begin to build it up again.

Above are the running shoes I would like to buy next…we’ll have to see how the accounts look by the end of the month 😛