Friday, 24 February 2012

The downhill run to the weekend....

And before we know it, it is Friday again!  For someone who was losing their motivation at the last weekend, it is well and truly back this week.

To kick things off, I ordered some more protein powder from a great website called Muscle Finesse on Monday and the order was delivered on Tuesday.  Since I moved out of my old flat in early December, spending £50 on decent protein powder hasn't exactly been at the top of my priority list.  I have however, really missed drinking it as a shake and including it in my meals (breakfast oats, smoothies, pancakes etc).

I decided to start using a protein powder to help with muscle recovery.  I am not as young as I once was and I used to feel really sore after working out, when I first re-started my healthy lifestyle.  I believe it is a great addition to my diet, however I do recommend doing some research on what is best for you before incoprorating it into your own diet/supplementation.

I decided to order 1kg of chocolate orange and 1kg of vanilla cream (mostly for cooking).  Not only has it really helped with my motivation to work harder at the gym but it has also helped me with my food cravings as I can have a shake in the morning and in the afternoon.  I definitely feel satisfied for a few hours after each one and only really snack on fruit or other small things if needed.

Yes, I felt like a boy at the gym today.  Bruised legs, stanky lifting gloves (which I realised I haven't washed once), lifting diary and a whole lotta sweat!
Wednesday WOD
15mins cross trainer, random, level 14, mostly a warm up but more intense towards the end.
*It told me I burned 234 calories....I don't believe it but yay.

Laying leg curls + 30 mountain climbers
Seated calf raise + leg press
Leg extensions + mountain climbers
Barbell walking lunges + 100 skips

Dinner tonight was a wonderful chicken casserole type thing with steamed greens on the side.  You bet I went back for seconds.  Thanks Robbie!

Thursday WOD
10mins cross trainer, level 14, random, warm up

Wide grip assisted pull ups
Seated row + weighted sit ups
DB bench press + 100 skips
Lat pull down + under hand pull down + mountain climbers
Hammer curls

Tonight we were treated to a lovely dinner through work.  It was a great opportunity for us to spend some time together with some contacts we have in Asia.

The pub we went to was pretty swanky, yet still quite English.  This usually means loads of gravy, potatoes, mayonnaise, fatty bits and pieces and a feeling that you are completely stuffed afterwards.

Not for me though :)

I opted for the chicken salad with avocado, lettuce, feta, watermelon, chili, pomegranate and the aoli dressing on the side.  Good thing I asked for the dressing on the side - there was probably around 12 table spoons of dressing that ended up on someone else's salad!  Eeeeeekk!!

I also shared some roasted root veggies with Janine as a little bit of something warm along side the salad.  They did not look super attractive but they were very tasty.

Janine and I also split a chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream at the end of the night.  We both felt like something sweet, but didn't want to order a whole plate to ourselves.
You bet we ate it before I had a chance to take a photo.

So, while everyone else was moaning about how full they were - I was content.  I love that feeling and always feel like I have done well with my food choices when that happens.  I was bought up not to waste food.  Ever.  So I try to be mindful with what I can actually fit in (realistically) and what I will feel like I don't want to waste.

My mother always bought me up being mindful that that there are other people in the world, less fortunate, that didn't have an option as to whether or not they wanted to eat their sprouts.  We were also not allowed to eat dessert or leave the table until we had finished the good food that was on our plates.

I am glad my mother tried to instill certain "good practises" into my life and some I still use today.

What are some things your mother always used to tell you to do?
Did you whinge as a child about having to do certain chores etc, but are now happy that you were raised to have those values?

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Monday / Tuesday Round- Up

The weeks are just flying past for me right now.  Perhaps it is because I am on the downhill slippery slope to 30 (with my Birthday next week), or because it is under 47 days until my sisters wedding in Cape Town.  I am so excited I can not even begin to express how much I am looking forward to spending the first two weeks of April in the sun with my family.

Monday was a good start to the week.  I am still struggling with my motivation after the weekend; but I was still able to get a good workout done and dusted in the gym at lunch time.

Monday WOD
10mins stationary rowing, highest resistance, warm up

Wide grip lat pull down + underhand pull down + mountain climbers
Tricep push down + push ups
Alternating bicep curl + dips + sit ups
Preacher curls

I had planned on going to the gym after work for some more cardio, but to be honest, I had my hair done on the weekend and as it was still looking nice, part of me wanted to look nice on Tuesday as well.  I am so lazy with washing my hair soI let that thought get the better of me and headed home right after work.

Robbie and Ryan were out for dinner with friends so, I whipped up one of my favourite easy meals of the moment - with dessert!

Scrambled eggs (1 whole egg and 3 egg whites), low fat cottage cheese, 2 slices of Weight Watchers bread (no butter) and Michelle's Christmas chutney.  I just love the combination of the eggs and cheese with a little bit of flavour on the side!  Great source of protein as well.

For dessert I made a protein smoothie with PHD whey powder, soy milk, frozen blueberries and strawberries and a small spoon of agave nectar.  Along side was the celery with peanut butter as I realised I needed to eat some more calories before the day was over.  Any excuse right?

I went to be fairly early but ended up watching I am Legend, with Will Smith.  Thought it was OK, but I really really do not like zombies.  Especially the ones in this movie, who seem to sprint after you.  No thanks!

Tuesday WOD
5mins stationary rowing, highest resistance, warm up

Seated shoulder press + lateral raise
Cable cross over + push ups
15mins kickboxing + HIIT skipping

After work:  45min spin class.
This was super intense.  I haven't been to a spin class since last year and thought it would be a good way to get back into doing more cardio, considering my shin splints.

Lunch today had to come from the canteen as I did not have anything prepared.  As you know, I am not really a fan of the food that my work serves in the canteen.  Most of it is covered in oil or some kind of unnecessary mayonnaise.  So I picked what looked OK from the salad bar, paid my £1 and went back to eat it at my desk.

I grabbed some roasted veggies, beetroot, cucumber, tomato and some bean salad.  It tasted fine but I would really like to know exactly what is covering all the food.  Hmmm...  Might have to ask that question tomorrow.

Luckily when I got home, Ryan was busy in the kitchen making Hot Lean Chili and Corn Bread.   I could smell it as I was walking down the driveway!  Again, he added some sweet potato to the mix and served up with some Fage 0% Greek Yogurt to tone down the hotness.

The corn bread was made with the same Greek yogurt, cornmeal, baking soda, agave nectar and some wholewheat flour.  Very simple, easy and healthy.  I will share the recipe with you soon.

Before I leave you for another few days - check out the bruise on my leg.
This is from the weekend, where I tried to cut a corner walking around Michelle's bed but ended up kicking it instead.
It is so painful it actually hurts to walk.  I am not usually one to yelp in pain when I either stub a toe or bump into something.... but this time, I was almost on the floor in tears crying like a baby.  Hopefully now, it is obvious why!  I did a pretty good job on this one.  My poor shins...

Monday, 20 February 2012

Weekend Motivation Struggle

As I write this post I realise just how much I miss having the Internet at home.  I haven't been able to catch up on any of my blogging.  Whether its reading all my favourite blogs or writing my own.  I feel really out of the loop and to be honest, my motivation has really taken a dive as well.

It is strange how that happens.  Most of my friends are not as into fitness and health, like I am, so it is really hard for me to keep finding that balance - especially over the weekend.

In saying that, I did manage to get out for a run on Saturday morning :)

The sky was just beautiful when I got out of bed.  Thankfully the weather was not too cold and I was able to get out of the house and still feel surprisingly perky.

I went for a quick jog around my new neighbourhood and felt strong.  On the way back home there is a rather long gradual incline that I told myself I would OWN.  I did own the incline; but promptly almost fell to the ground afterwards.

New Goal.  Own the incline on the first loop around and then just make it up on the second loop (when I ran today I only completed one loop due to time restrictions).

As soon as I got home, I needed to stretch my legs.  With the help of one fluffy puppy.  Oscar decided that he needed to help me stretch, which I was more than OK with.  Could you resist that?
No.  You would have to have a heart of stone.

Breakfast was oats on the stove with peanut butter, raisins and agave nectar.  Squash on the side.  Hopefully our microwave will be fixed soon because I know we all find making oats quicker and easier that way.

Once I was all showered and ready to start the day I went down to Earlsfield and got some highlights put in my hair.  As I get a bit older (**cringe**), my hair is getting fairer and there are some greys coming through up the top.  Instead of dying my hair darker red (which I did for so many years), I have decided to just keep going lighter.  It is easier for me to maintain with my lazy hair care routine.

Now.. I need to plan my birthday drinks next week.  These new babies will be making their maiden voyage out and about in London.  Very excited!

Do you see a drop in your motivation levels during certain times in your life?
Do you keep on track over the weekends?

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Valentines Day Tuesday

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  My morning started off with an old favorite of mine.  The microwave in our new house wasn't working so this meant I had toast for breakfast on Monday, and then brought back overnight oats today.

Honestly, I had forgotten how tasty this breakfast is.  I love sweet things and to me, this tastes more like a desert than a breakfast.  Winning from every angle here.

My oats were made with 2/3 cup of oats, soy milk, frozen blue berries and strawberries, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a small squeeze of agave nectar. 

Tuesday WOD
5mins cross trainer, random, level 14 warm up

Incline DB press & DB shoulder press
Cable cross over & push ups on medicine ball
Side lateral raise & standing row
Tricep dip & hanging knee raises

I was supposed to complete some weighted squats but I ran out of time and to be honest, I was feeling a bit of a funk!  I pushed hard to get the job done and over with quickly and then got stuck back into work.
Hopefully the funk has gone and tomorrow I will kill it for legs day.

I was lucky enough to be able to spend the night with Michelle.  We made pizza, drank rose and watched Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid Love.
It was a great night in, no matter how cliché it sounds.

My pizza had a bit of everything.  Mushrooms, pepper, red onion, cheese, ham, chicken, corn, avocado and olives.  Michelle’s was roughly the same with the addition of some pineapple.

Yep, this is my view from the sofa.  Wine and Ryan Gosling..... ahhhh... Have you seen that movie? I am pretty sure I gasped outloud when Ryan took his shirt off (even though I have seen it 3 times now).

All in all it was a lovely night.  I can't wait until Michelle and I move in together in March.  I am pretty sure most of our nights are going to consist of roughly the same thing :)

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Moving and Monday

Well what a weekend that turned out to be! Moving is never enjoyable no matter how easy you try and make it with pre-planning and help. But...we are all moved into the new place now and can get our routines kick started etc. The only bad thing is that we don't have internet installed just yet. This could be a few weeks away :(

So.... as an experiment I am trying to post from my iPhone. Wish me luck :)

These little guys (Oscar and Riley) were a bit confused with the move.  They still are not sure why we are in a new house, but all the familiar furniture and things are around them!

A lovely quiet peaceful view!

Monday WOD
5mins cross trainer, random level 14, warm up

Wide grip lateral pull down & underhand pull down
One arm DB row & dips
Seated row & weighted sit ups
Alternating bicep curls & air bike
Tricep pull down & mountain climbers
Overhead tricep

After work: Ran roughly 5.5 km on treadmill. Incline never below 2. Speeds between 9 and 13.

It felt great to be in the gym again after 4 days off. Thursday (which I booked off as annual leave from work) I was able to get some cardio in on a cross trainer as well as some machine weights, but that just doesn't cut it for me anymore. I need something more!!

After the gym I started the trek home back to Earlsfield. I haven't had to go through Waterloo train station in my commute for a while and I must say it was a nice change. Some people in London hate the commute to work and get all stuffy when going through crowded places. My thoughts are, we are all trying to get to the same end result. Just get on with it, relax and maybe the trip won't seem so bad :)

I got home around 8pm and Robbie Has dinner already prepared. Talk about timing! It was a lovely home made chicken dish with a homemade sauce. Everything low fat, reduced salt etc. and boy was it tasty!!

Well after a late night on Sunday night (always the way before the work week starts isn't it?!) I am off to wash my hair, blow dry my hair and get into bed!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Moving Day!!

Being awake at 6am on a Saturday should be illegal.

That is how I feel right now.  However, it is a very exciting day.  We are moving today!

Will write more later when I can.

Saturday WOD
Carrying boxes, walking up and down 3 flights of stairs and walking the puppies...

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Does anyone else NOT call it "hump day"?

 Happy Wednesday everyone!  As the title suggests, I can't stand when people refer to Wednesday at "hump day".  Who started that??  It makes me cringe when people say it, even when it is said as a joke.  But I guess, people probably think the same thing of me when I bust out "looks like someone has a case of the Mondays!" on a Monday morning.  Is that even funny?  It doesn't count when you are the only one laughing right? ;)

How pretty does the lake at my work look?  It has a layer of ice over the top of it and the fountain no longer works.  Very eerie.  Especially at 7:30am in the morning.  I can't help but thing where the swans have gone as well...

Anyways, moving along.  Today was supposed to be legs day at the gym, but it morphed into something else towards the end of my workout.

Wednesday WOD
5mins cross trainer, random, level 14, warm up

Leg press & jump squats
Single leg raised squat & mountain climbers
Leg extensions & lateral bounds

The smith machine/squat rack at work.  Yes - I look like a boy while working out.  I couldn't resist taking a photo as it was so quiet in the weights room for once.
20mins hardcore cardio on the punching bag in the studio.  It felt so good!  As some of you might remember, I trained in Muay Thai (Thai kickboxing) for a number of years and I miss it terribly.  For this "cardio blast" I alternated between jumping rope and then putting the gloves back on for punch, kick, knee and elbow combinations.  It was wicked.  I was so darn sweaty when I was done and my heart rate was through the roof.  It felt amazing and can't wait to get stuck in again.

After work I went to Oxford Street with Michelle, Janine and Stephanie for some shopping.  I had some things to exchange at Primark and also needed to buy some new jeans for an outing tonight.  But more on that later!

When I got home I tucked into a nice big bowl of Ryan's famous hot lean chili.   The whole house smelt like chili and my tummy started growling as soon as I walked in the door.

It was a nice surprise to see the addition of sweet potato as well.  Nom nom nom.  Get in my belly!  I am totally having this for lunch today as well.

Right, I am off to watch more of The Walking Dead.   I hate zombies with a passion.  But for some reason loads of people recommended I watch the show because of how awesome it is.  I have to agree - I do love it.  Even though sometimes I am watching with my hands over my eyes!

Do your workouts always turn out the way you plan them?  Are you open to trying new things when working out or do you prefer to stick to a routine?

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

I was featured on Skinny Runner!

Ahh what an awesome Tuesday! I certainly woke up on the right side of the bed this morning ;)
My Monday blues mood was gone and I felt somewhat ready to tackle the day.  Also, seeing that my blog was being featured on Skinny Runner was such a great way to start.

Thank you SR for the mention! You are such an inspiration and I am so stoked to have been able to of been a part of your blog.

Tuesday WOD
Cross trainer, level 14, random, warm up
Incline DB press & DB military shoulder press
Cable cross over & medicine ball push ups
Side lateral raise & standing upright row & burpees
Tricep dips & knee raises

When I was heading back to the change rooms after lifting, I managed to walk right into the dip station (you can see the bump and bruise already coming up under my knee up there).
It was so painful and felt like someone had kicked me in the shin - I had to suck it up and powered through to the change rooms without showing any sign of weakness.
Just kidding.  I clutched at my leg, dropped the F* bomb and limped away.  Not happy at all.

After work:  Jogging on treadmill, roughly 30mins, incline never below 1.5.
I accidentally pressed the emergency stop button.  So annoying! It got me all out of whack and I was on track for a fairly decent time on a lazy 5km... but after that my mojo disappeared and I just ended up finishing the run as best I could.

This time after the gym I actually put my clothes back on (which are warmer than sweat soaked capri's and tank top) for the trip home.  It was stanky and sweaty, but much warmer than trying to brave the cold right now.  Noted.  This will happen from now on!  No more attempting to get home in wet clothes... that just plain sucks!

Dinner tonight was scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, celery, celery and peanut butter and some of Michelle's chutney.  Very tasty and hit the spot after a day of average eating.  There was a birthday at work so that means there were loads of treats and sugary things that I pigged out on.

I am off to go get some foam rolling done now.  Honestly, my roller is the best thing I ever spent money on.

Do you roll?  How often and do you have any tricks and tips for a new roller like myself?

Monday, 6 February 2012

Snow Monday

Well the cold snap finally arrived in London and on Saturday night, it snowed hard!  As you can see from the screen below, the temperature dropped to around 0 degrees and the heavens unleashed.  


 I am not really a fan of snow in London.  Well, it looks pretty and all but it is more of an inconvenience than anything else.  The tubes seem to be cancelled or run slower, people walk in the middle of the road because there is too much snow on the sidewalk to actually get through.  It can be quite mental!
This is my awesome pout face after getting ready to meet the lovely Jayne and her twin sister in Shoreditch for a roast lunch type thing on Sunday afternoon.  I guess the good thing about the snow is that the temperate feels a lot warmer than it is!  Only needed 3 layers before venturing out of the house ;)

 While everyone else tucked into a Sunday roast, I opted for the veggie version which was pumpkin and cheese cannelloni type thing with roasted spuds etc on the side.  It was very tasty and not as filling as a roast (which suited me to a T!).

It was a lovely afternoon and I look forward to hanging out with Jayne and her twin again this week.

This is the path through the back gate at work, along past the lake.  Slippery and highly entertaining if you are just watching people navigate their way through.  For some reason, I was still attempting to text my friend while putting one foot in front of the other.  Some would say I am awesome at multitasking - others would say I am asking for it.

Monday WOD
5mins cross trainer, warm up

Wide grip lateral pull down & underhand pull down
Seated row & weighted sit ups
Bent over BB row & mountain climbers
Alternate bicep curls & dips
Preacher curl & push ups (these made my arms hurt so good!)
Tricep push down & mountain climbers
Overhead tricep & air bike

I was supposed to complete some cardio after work (rowing or cross training) but there were problems with public transport and we got let off work early to make sure we were home at a reasonable hour.  I will make sure I get some good cardio in tomorrow to make up for it!

I was very excited to receive this in the post from my Mum as a Christmas present.  I only just in the last week, ran out of pages in my old workout log book.  This diary is going to be perfect for keeping note of the workouts I am going to complete this year. 

I like to write everything down that I am doing that day, as well as notes on what weight I have been using for bulking or cutting etc.  It just makes things so much easier for me if I don't have to remember.

One of the cool things about this diary is that it has little notes everywhere about health and nutrition etc.  Today's note is:
Avoid taking calcium supplements after high fibre foods like wholegrain bread of bran cereal, as the fibre can interfere with calcium absorption.

Well, you learn something new every day ;)  Enjoy the snow in London while it lasts!  I am off to snuggle on the couch and enjoy a smoothie.

Do you write notes for your workouts and keep a record of weights and reps?
How do you feel if you miss out on a workout due to something out of your control?