Wednesday, July 18, 2012

1 Week Down

Exercise: 18 mile bike ride, 17.5mph avg speed

Music man wants to make sure I train on my bike at least once a week so he made me go out for a ride this morning while he watched Little Man. Twist my arm ;) It was such a lovely, cool morning that I decided to go for a longish ride on our nearby bike path finishing in just over an hour. I felt really speedy and realized I really enjoy riding.

When we were in Laguna a few weeks ago we stopped at The Path bike shop in Tustin on our way home and picked up clip pedals and shoes with cleats for me. (If you are in the OC and need a bike, gear or tune up this place is awesome!!!) Today was my first time riding with clips and I chose riding the bike path for that reason; I wanted to make sure I was safe since I was using new gear. I've come to realize that riding in traffic may be safer than riding near pedestrians. People out exercising seem to use good road etiquette but people out for a stroll just meander all over the path, jump out or stop right in front of you, and just aren't that courteous. I think I've felt safer every time I've had to ride in traffic.

Today is day 8 of the 17 Day Diet. I actually lasted for a whole week of a challenge! I got on the scale this morning and I am down 7.8 pounds in one week! It's pretty crazy because I don't think I have that much weight to lose so I'm surprised to have all that water hanging around. The diet is working really well for me thus far so I want to note why I think that is.

1. No alcohol for a week. One of my downfalls is that I'm a lush and it is not out of the ordinary for me to have a couple beers or glasses of wine on the average weekday night...and even more on the weekend :O
2. Eating whole foods. This eating plan is all about eating whole, unprocessed foods. And I've followed that for the most part. I love that there aren't any shakes or bars they try to sell you. Huge selling point.
3. For a lower carb diet you get to eat fruit. It's only 2 servings a day but at least you get that sweetness. This is one thing I haven't followed, I am definitely eating 3-4 servings of fruit each day. But this is good thing for me as I've always been great at eating tons of vegetables, but fruit, not so much. So the fact that I reach for strawberries as a snack is a great thing.
4. No counting calories. I don't feel super restricted, if I'm hungry I eat. I have cheated here or there and had a spoonful of hummus with my carrots or pb with my apple. This has not seemed to slow down the weight loss too much though.
5. Doesn't feel like a diet. I'm not eating much differently from my normal diet except for the lack of grains and legumes. But I get my spinach omelet or yogurt and fruit for breakfast, a huge salad for lunch and I'm eating the same types of dinners but where my quinoa or sweet potato would be there's a side salad instead.

I don't have many bad things to say about the diet. I do miss my lentils and rice but that's my problem, not the diet. Also, I get a few servings of those things in cycle 2.

But it is a diet so it's not geared to very active people, I think they recommend 17 minutes of exercise a day, ha. I am 4 times as active as that! You can't run 10 miles with such little fuel so I have cheated a bit. I have eaten a few bananas, higher sugar fruit like melon, and before and after my long run I had extra carbs like homemade granola, baked sweet potato wedges, and some homemade popcorn. I also cheated at a party the same day as my 10 miler with some olives, manchego and 2 small slices of baguette but I have zero guilt about those nibbles. 10 miles needs refueling ;)

Cycle 2 seems like a better fit for more active people so I'm looking forward to it. It's a coincidence that cycle 2 begins on the day of Music Man's birthday party at his favorite brewery so the extra carbs will give me a little leeway and ability to enjoy the day more. We will also be taking a big ride that morning so beer me up!

I'm looking forward to the second week being as successful as this first week has been. I've gotten creative with meals so I hope I can stave off the boredom. last night we had a really delicious eggplant lasagna with layers of eggplant, zucchini, carrots, pasta sauce and lowfat cheese baked for an hour at 375. Next time I will add spinach and lowfat ricotta to make it even more like lasagna. It was a little soupy too, I kept draining the liquid so i was thinking of dehydrating the veggies a little next time. maybe in the oven for an hour at 250 like i do to firm up my tofu. I bet the texture would be awesome then. It was paired with grilled chicken to complete the meal.

I had the leftovers for lunch,

along with a small scoop of 2 ingredient chocolate ice cream; just  frozen bananas and cocoa powder blended in the Vitamix. My MIL (Hi Cathy!) reminded me of how delicious this banana ice cream was and now I've been eating it nearly every other day. Delicious!

Have a great rest of your week! And because I am sentimental, here's a photo from exactly 1 year ago ;)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Oatless Oatmeal

Exercise: 50 mins steady state elliptical, 3 mile run 9:05 avg pace

So far this has been a pretty great week. I feel like I am in the groove and I haven't felt that way for awhile. Sleep has been fantastic which has definitely been a part of it and that's probably due to eating so much better. And not having an alcoholic beverage in almost a week.

 So breakfast has been the hardest meal for me to get creative with. Spinach omelets are great but after almost a week they've gotten pretty boring. High protein, no grain breakfasts are pretty hard to come by; it's really eggs, meat, or nuts. Today I made Tina's Oatmeal Minus the Oats for a change of pace. I shouldn't have told Music Man the ingredients because he had a hard time getting past the visual of eggs as oats. But I have to say I think it was a success.

I followed the basic recipe but added in an extra banana, a few T's of chia & hemp seeds and an extra splash of almond milk and it was perfect for the 2 of us. I topped mine with blackberries and blueberries and Music Man had a drizzle of local honey as well. I did like it but I think it could have tasted a bit better minus the ground flax. I used Trader Joe's and it tastes like motor oil to me so I need to find another flax meal I like.

Not only was this breakfast a nice change of pace, it also held up really well. I didn't get the case of the munchies until lunch. Music Man had the same experience and he even did a 20 mile ride with lots of climbing post breakfast. This meal passed the test but I think I may leave the flax out all together next time. I also think protein powder might be a tasty addition.

After breakfast Little Man and I went to the splash pad in Oak Park and he had so much fun playing in the water with his little friends.

That's my big day! Next on the agenda: Target with 2 toddlers. Say a prayer ;)

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Wonderful Beginning and Homemade Granola

Exercise: Easy 30 mins elliptical, 10 minutes core work

Yesterday I got up early and ran my first trail 10 miler in quite a few weeks in preparation for the Bulldog. I finally registered for it last week and have 6 weeks to go! The run went really well so I'm getting super excited for the race. It's the first 10+ I've completed in the last few months with zero pain. Woo Hoo to that!

Even though I've been eating pretty grain free I fueled my run with Fage 0, blueberries and 1/4 c of homemade granola. I use this recipe and I sub unsweetened coconut for the sweet stuff as well as only using 3 T honey and 3 T agave for the sweetener a splash of vanilla and 2 T of oil. I also added some chia and hemp seed for good measure. This time around I threw in the end of an open box of cornflakes st the very end of cooking. This granola is super delicious and the breakfast fueled me pretty well.

To top off my awesome run yesterday the Little Man slept in super late today. Music Man and I got over 8 hours of sleep and it was glorious! I am hoping for a repeat tonight, but not expecting much. No matter what,  it was a great start to the week.

Actually, the whole day has been pretty great, not just the morning. We were able to eat breakfast as a family and spend the morning running errands. The Little took a 2+ hour nap and then I took his friend Ethan and him to a Monday afternoon birthday play date. How awesome is that?

Because we have so many members in our mom's club instead of each of us having huge birthday parties to accommodate all the kids and parents we have a daytime play date each month for the kids and moms that have birthdays that month. It's all ages and extra celebratory and usually includes cupcakes. so much fun for kids and moms alike. And today was just great; the party included a craft, a homemade boxcar race track and not only cupcakes but frozen bananas. Loved it.

While we were at the party Music Man did the grocery shopping. This is quite out of the ordinary but so appreciated. And I didn't get one call or question because I made the list according to the layout of the store.  I should really do that more often, even for myself, because it saved so much time. And because my husband rocks, he also came home with these.

When we got home we had a lovely dinner then Music Man and Little went to the garage to fix a bike while I cleaned up.

I took one step outside to go check on their progress and immediately went back in because I needed a jacket! In the valley! In July!

And the Little Man requested a blanket for our evening walk. We got this wagon on a trip to Laguna a few months back and it is the best $15 purchase we've made. He loves to get in it and go for walks, to the zoo, and we even had to take it back to Laguna over the 4th because it's his favorite mode of transport.

Now it's relax time. Music Man and I settled into the couch to spend quality time together, with our electronic devices ;) I was feeling snacky so I made us some dessert yogurt with plain Fage 0, cinnamon, figs, blueberries, the biggest, sweetest blackberries ever, cherries and then topped it with a few chopped raw almonds. It was dreamy.

Have a great night and a wonderful week!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Eggplant as Bread

Exercise: 4.15 mile jog/walk: 13:31 avg pace

Today was an active rest day. Not planned but my body needed it. I had planned to just walk but was pressed for time and had to pee so I figured a light jog here and there wouldn't hurt. It was so so nice not to worry about pace or intervals and just enjoy the gorgeous post rain morning.

After my walk Little Man and I got ready and headed to the beach to meet up with friends and babes. Sadly, I took no pictures but I was covered head to toe in sand. Little Man has had a love/hate relationship with the beach but today he loved every second of it. Maybe he just needed some kids his age to play with. It was really a lovely morning.

We also had a  beachy picnic lunch which is always(never, unless you enjoy sand in your food) fun with toddlers. But since starting this new eating plan I've had a hard time coming up with yummy foods I actually want to eat. I looked at some 17 day diet recipes and blogs but there wasn't much new stuff or anything that struck me as awesome. I figured it was similar to paleo diet but with dairy so I looked at some recipes and one person mentioned eating cod for breakfast. After I threw up in my mouth a little I decided I just needed to get more creative.

One of my favorite meals is a simple sandwich. Two pieces of bread filled with yummy cheese, meat, avocado, veggies, etc. You can't go wrong. So I looked at the list of veggies available on the diet and realized eggplants are pretty big and when sliced they kinda resemble bread. So I Googled around and found a recipe for eggplant as bread. Score! But it wasn't exactly right for my needs. I needed something that would hold up after a few days and pretty fat free. So here's what I came up with.

Eggplant as Bread:

1 avg size eggplant sliced in 1/4 to 1/2 inch circles
2-3 egg whites or 1/4 c liquid whites
2 T milk (almond, soy, dairy, etc.)
1 1/2T chia seeds
1 1/2T hemp seeds
1/2 t garlic powder
S&P to taste (maybe 1/4t each)

So I know the seeds are another 17 day diet no-no but the fat and calories are so negligible, adding 20 calories tops to each slice, I decided it didn't matter and I liked the idea of the nutty consistency. If you're doing paleo I couldn't find either seed on the lists of encouraged or avoided foods but almond meal would be awesome and then you could use the leftovers to make an awesome paleo parmesan like this recipe.

Salt eggplant slices on both sides and let sit for an hour on a cookie sheet or plate until juices appear
Rinse and pat dry slices
Heat pan to medium high and add cooking spray, olive oil or a little coconut oil
Mix all other ingredients together
Dredge eggplant in "batter" ( I actually scooped up some seeds to manually put on the eggplant slices)
Transfer slices, in batches, to pan
Cook for 1-2 minutes each side until fairly brown but you want the eggplant to remain firm
Allow to cool before storing

I refrigerated mine overnight and they were a little soggy the next day. But because they were still firm I threw those puppies in the toaster and they were amazing!!! They were almost the consistency of a refrigerated pancake or waffle before toasting but they got a bit crispy and made a great sandwich that held up at the beach. Eggplant flesh is pretty spongy so it's a pretty great stand in for bread.

I have to say it again,  I LOVED these. And's it's a welcome change from a lettuce wrap which is still good but lacks substance and flavor.

Lastly, Music Man's birthday is at the end of the month and the last few years haven't been celebrated properly due to the Little Man taking up a bit of my time so I want to make sure we have a nice celebration this year. I have been scouting out presents and have a few things in mind but found this card yesterday, which is so appropriate. I couldn't wait to give it to him so we just get to celebrate for a few weeks!

Have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Things I love This Thursday

Exercise: 30 mins HIIT elliptical, 5k w/ 2 mile tempo at 8:55 avg pac

The weather in California is super weird today, it's more like the south. So far at almost 2pm it's 91 and cloudy. Very rare for this time of year. But I'll take it over 105 and dry any day. I love the humidity.

Actually, I love this weather so much I'm blogging from the patio. Heaven.

And the view.

I LOVE crepe myrtles in July. Boring the rest of the year, but so worth it.

Oh and Music Man changed the photo file so they are no longer chronological by year but by month so I stumbled upon this photo from 1 year ago today. LOVE him

My garden is totally out of control but I am loving the bounty that we are harvesting daily. The sweetest zucchini, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, lettuce and some herbs. Coming up with dinner on the fly is so much easier when you always have a salad and pasta sauce in the back yard.

Yesterday a friend of mine asked me if I had heard of the 17 day diet. I vaguely remembered my MIL having some success with it and I knew there were a few 17 day cycles but not much else. She told me she had started the day before and was frustrated by hunger and needed some motivation. I responded with all the helpful hints I could think of; like doing something besides eating, snacking on veggies...all that stuff that I KNOW how to do but don't do myself :) And it got me thinking that maybe I needed some motivation too so I decided to do it with her. I've gained some weight back over the last few months, not drastic, but I'd rather be slimmer so this seemed like a good jump start.

I haven't purchased the book yet so I only know the basics of the 4 17 day cycles but this US News article explains more. I think I will purchase the ebook if I can get through the first 17 day cycle.

Today is my second day and all is well thus far. I'm actually loving it because it's always nice to see a 3 pound weight loss, water weight or not. I'm definitely eating better than usual because I'm not eating tons of unhealthy snacks, but not that much different from my normal diet. For breakfast I had an egg white omelet with spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms and on the side I had plain greek yogurt mixed with a little stevia, cinnamon, chia seeds and hemp seeds.

The only difference was I'd usually have toast instead of the yogurt and fruit. It was totally satisfying, even after 60 minutes of pretty intense cardio I wasn't hungry until lunch.

For lunch I had leftovers from last night. Apparently I cheated a bit on this meal because zucchini is a no-no in the first cycle, but oh freakin' well.

I have zucchini coming out of the wazoo and I refuse to eliminate it from my diet completely. I love zucchini "noodles". They are definitely not pasta but a good stand in when covered in veggies, tofu and sauce. Yum Yum.

Hope you guys are having a fantastic week and had an awesome holiday!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Switch

Exercise: 6 mile trail run, 6 mile road ride
It's amazing how great a good run feels. Since I've been running less the runs I do go on seem better and better. Now I'm going for a run because I want to go, not because I have to. And it honestly feels like a treat; like I get to go running, yay!
My workouts are so varied now, for instance, this was my week in workouts:
Mon-45 mins elliptical, 20 mins weights
Tues-1 mile swim, 2 mile run
Thurs-4 mile run, 2 mile walk
Fri-1 mile swim, 2 mile walk
Sat-Pop physique class
Sun-6 mile run, 6 mile bike
Switching everything up has been really good for me. I haven't been bored with workouts for a while. And I am really enjoying trying new classes.
I've been waiting for a CrossFit Groupon since I first passed the box on my way home from Music Man's studio. After reading other blogger's love of CrossFit I knew I needed to give it a whirl. And you know what? So glad I did!
CrossFit is no joke. It's a high impact, high intensity workout that includes heavy lifting as well as cardio intervals. I knew there would be a timed Workout Of the Day but didn't know what else was involved. But I came to find out there is no messing around.
The workout began with a warm up of jogging, squats and some stretches. From the very beginning the instructor was correcting form on just the warm ups. Because if form is wrong you won't get the optimum results. Then we moved onto skills to perfect before we started the WOD. I did my first ever wall balls and sumo squats with pulls. Just perfecting the skills had my heart rate soaring. But nothing compared to the WOD.
The WOD was:
3x for time
10 push ups
10 sumo squats with pulls(35)
15 wall balls
200m run
I finished in 12:04 and have nothing to compare that to but know I worked my a$$ off. I know because I was out of breath and nearly nauseous but also sore for 3 days! I really loved it, not enough to drink the Kool Aid yet, but definitely want to try it again.
Just a few days ago I purchased a Living Social deal for Pop Physique. A friend of mine is into ballet so we figured we could try it together. I wasn't super impressed but we're going to give it another try tomorrow. I think we both felt that the workout was something we could have done on our own and it was just a bit slower than I usually like. But it was fun and I definitely was sore on places I don't usually feel so it's worth trying again. There is a different teacher tomorrow so let's hope that makes a difference.
I hope you had a wonderful weekend and have a great and safe holiday!
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