Halfway There!

July 1. Today marks the halfway point of my year-long journey of sticking to a paleo diet. Wow, can’t believe 6 months has already gone by. I can’t say it’s been easy to make it this far, but it’s been much easier than I anticipated. It has truly been a learning experience and I have noticed some significant changes in my body. Here are a few things I’ve noticed, learned, and am grateful for from these past 6 months:

1. I’ve rekindled my love for cooking. Finding new recipes online, or just creating my own, has been so much fun and has really brought me joy over the past 6 months. I cook all 3 meals everyday for my boyfriend and myself (except when we occasionally go out to dinner), so that’s 3 times a day that I get to be creative and and try new things…it’s almost like a science experiment.

2. I’ve realized, and come to terms with the fact, that bread and other starchy “food” should not, and will not, ever be a part of my diet ever again (ok, except maybe one treat every few months or so, after this year is over of course). The things that these starch bombs contain harm my body far more than I enjoy them, and it’s not worth it. Gluten, skyrocketing insulin levels, phytic acid…bad.

3. I’ve realized how strong I am. Not in the “I can bench 500lbs” sense, but in the willpower arena. If I had a dollar for every time somebody offered me something non-paleo, or even pestered me about it, I’d have at least enough money to go on a significant shopping trip. Since I’ve committed to this diet, I’ve flown out of state twice and have gone on numerous overnight trips out of town, and haven’t broken my commitment to myself. I’ve packed multiple days-worth of food for myself to ensure that I stick to my diet. I’m not saying that I haven’t been tempted a few times, because I have wished with all my might that the pizookies at BJ’s Brewhouse were paleo (to no avail), but have overcome my moments of weakness.

4. I’ve learned that people generally aren’t judgmental about this lifestyle, they are genuinely curious and want to learn more. I get questions from friends and family members all the time about my diet. At first, I would answer defensively, afraid that they were judging my choices. With time, however, I learned that they were curious and really wanted to learn about nutrition (and they valued and trusted what I had to say, which means a lot to me!). So I have explained, in detail, to many people the why’s about this diet, and people seem to think it’s a great idea and even consider (if only for a moment) to jump on the bandwagon and try it out themselves. I enjoy being asked questions, and it prompts me to research things I haven’t thought about or considered about nutrition. It’s a beautiful two-way (learning) street.

5. I’ve seen some awesome changes in my body, inside and out. Before beginning this diet, I had digestive problems, fell victim to the daily 3pm energy crash, and had a little extra pudge I wanted to get rid of. I’m happy to say that my digestive system, and my gut in general, are happy and healthy now. I no longer experience an energy crash in the afternoon, which is awesome because I don’t have to rely on caffeine to keep me awake now. I’ve also toned up and lost some fat, which I am incredibly proud of. If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve seen a few progress pictures from my journey. I’m going to share a little progress with you on this blog, too! Along with diet, this year I’ve been doing CrossFit and other weight-lifting, and the past 6 weeks I’ve been doing P90X (which has been awesome!) in preparation for an upcoming vacation to Cabo San Lucas.

 

Day1

January 1, 2014 – 120 lbs

6months

6 months later – 111 lbs

 

What does your journey in 2014 look like? I’d love to hear what you’ve accomplished and learned over the past 6 months. Post in the comments below! 🙂

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Looking for Some Bikini Body Motivation?

Hey everyone! This post is aimed towards the ladies out there, but gentlemen, feel free to keep on reading if you please. This week was the launch of the annual Bikini Series hosted by Tone it Up. It is an 8 week (7 weeks left) fitness program that takes us all the way to the first day of summer…June 21.

Each day, the trainers Karena and Katrina post a new workout as well as tips and tricks to staying on track towards your goals. They have various fitness videos on their website and on YouTube, which seem pretty easy, but as with most workouts, you get what you put into it. I love mixing up my fitness routine once a year when their Bikini Series comes around. It’s always a great motivator to prepare for summer.

If you’re interested in joining a community of ladies who share a common goal of getting fit, you should definitely check this out. It’s not too late to join! Click here to find out more.

Tone-It-Up-BIKINI-SERIES-2014-karenakatrina

 

Remember to stay active and moving! This should be increasingly easier now that the weather is warming up.

Well, I’m off to the lake to get in a little wake boarding this morning. Until next time!

The Zombie Run

Being active is extremely important for overall health. Does this mean that you must spend hours upon hours in the gym? Absolutely not! Getting plenty of exercise can be fun and exciting…and can even include…zombies

Just as the zombie craze is picking up in regards to television and movies, it is also gaining popularity in the fitness arena. The Zombie Run is a 5k where “zombies” chase after you, trying to steal your flags (a.k.a. life), while you run and complete several obstacles. I participated in The Zombie Run in Sacramento about a month ago, and I have to say, it was the most entertaining 5k I’ve ever ran.

I'm on the left! :)

I’m on the left! 🙂

 

I did this run with some of my family and my boyfriend. There were all different types of obstacles, ranging from mud pits that you must run through to 15 foot walls to climb over. It was extremely fun and a great team-building event that I highly recommend. It was much more of a “fun run” than a serious 5k (if that’s not obvious), as they didn’t even have a clock going for people to see their times coming in. But it was extremely entertaining!

If you’ve participated in The Zombie Run or other mud runs, another great one to do is Tough Mudder. This is a much more serious event, consisting of a 10-12 mile run with 20 obstacles that are much more daunting than those found at The Zombie Run. I completed this one with a group of friends last summer, and it was very challenging! It took us about 5 hours to complete.

If you’re looking for something fun to spice up your exercise and activities, I recommend trying out one of these mud runs. So much fun, you hardly realize you are working out.

Tuesday 3/25/14 WOD

Hey guys! I haven’t posted much about CrossFit lately (I took a month-long break and focused to focus on running). Today was my 4th WOD for the past week, and we did “Daniel”. Let me just say…my body is feeling destroyed right now.

Daniel

For time:
50 pull-ups
400-meter run
95-lb. thruster, 21 reps
800-meter run
95-lb. thruster, 21 reps
400-meter run
50 pull-ups

This took me around 23 minutes to complete (I forgot to write down my actual time). I’m already feeling sore, too. Gotta love not being able to move without wincing 😉

I adjusted the workout a bit, and just did 35 pull-ups on either end of the workout instead of 50, and I had to use a resistance band. Also, I only weigh 110 lbs, so doing a 95-lb thruster just wasn’t gonna happen (although it would be pretty awesome!). Today I was only able to do the thrusters @ 40-lbs…My goal is to get them up to 60% of my body weight, which would be 57-lbs.

Image

Caught in the middle of a thruster!

How to Exercise While Traveling

I recently went on a 9 day trip out of state and stayed at a friend’s house. With all my new year’s resolutions in full swing, I decided to stay dedicated to my workout plan. Here are a few tips on how to work out while staying at someone else’s house:

1. Go on a run – even if it’s just up and down the street a million times, it gets your heart pumping! Or if you’re a little more adventurous than me, you can pick a destination to run to as an “out and back”, or do a loop around the neighborhood. I am personally not adventurous enough to venture out into the unknown, so I just ran up and down the street tons of times (I got lots of funny looks from neighbors, too. Haha!)

2. Do body-weight exercises like burpees, lunges, and pushups. You can do this in your room, in the kitchen, or outside. It’s very versatile. You can even make up sets to keep yourself interested and motivated in the workout. This one’s my favorite, and really only takes about 15-20 minutes to complete:

Complete 5 rounds of:

  • 5 burpees
  • 20 lunges
  • 5 pushups
  • 10 squats

3. Find youtube exercise videos. If you’re in a house or hotel room with wifi, awesome! Just play them on your laptop. If you don’t have wifi, you can always go to a local place with wifi like Starbucks and pre-load the video, then you won’t need wifi to play it! My favorite Youtube channels for workouts are Tone it Up and Blogilates.

4. Bring a yoga or pilates dvd. This is a great option if the people you are traveling with or visiting sleep in later than you, or go to bed earlier than you. You can turn the volume down and perform these exercises quietly.

5. My final and favorite tip: Google search gyms nearby. Many corporate chain gyms offer up to a week of free membership to “try it out”. Just call a gym nearby and ask about their promotions. Invite the person you are staying with to go to the gym with you. This is a great (free!) way to spend quality time with the person you’re visiting, a great way to stay on top of your goals, and you get to motivate your loved one to be fit and healthy too! It’s a win-win all around.

ican

Paleo Curry?!

Wednesday 2/5/14:

Breakfast: 1 banana + 1 cup of coffee
30 min walk with dog
Strength workout: pullups, squats and burpees
Lunch: 1 sweet potato, 1 turkey burger, and one HUGE salad of baby spinach and kale
Snack: 1 orange, 2 dried figs, baby carrots
Dinner: Paleo Thai Curry Chicken with Broccoli and Cauliflower

ThaiCurry

(recipe & photo via Nom Nom Paleo – click for Thai Curry Chicken Recipe)

Thursday 2/6/14:

On Thursday we woke up and had a cup of coffee and a quick breakfast of an orange and scrambled eggs. It was pouring down rain, and poor little Roxie didn’t want to go on a walk. She stayed curled up warm and cozy in her bed all morning.

RoxieHart

Later in the day we met a few friends for lunch at Islands, which is a burger place. I ordered a chicken bowl without the sauce and rice, which turned out to be just some grilled pineapple, chicken, and broccoli. To be honest, I was pretty disappointed in my meal…the broccoli in the bowl was raw when I feel it should have been steamed. I probably wouldn’t chose to go there again, but if we do, I will order a salad just to be safe.

Since my tiny meal was not very good, when we got back to the house I gorged on almonds, walnuts and a few dried cherries. This was probably not the best idea, but oh well!

A little later in the day we went to the mall and swung by Teavana. My amazing boyfriend bought me a teapot for loose leaf tea (I finally upgraded from tea bags…yay!) and a tea blend for my birthday, so I wanted to get one more type of tea to try out (I’m working on a post about tea and coffee, and how they can fit into a paleo diet! It will be up soon!).

For dinner we got Chipotle. I’ve found that this is one of the easiest places to order paleo. I got a fajita bowl with extra veggies, double meat (chicken and steak), pico de gallo, hot salsa, and lettuce. It was delicious, and I didn’t even miss the rice and beans.

 

Tuesday WOD 1/28/14

Tuesday was an excellent day in my household. James and I woke up, had coffee, and got an awesome workout in. Our WOD was Marguerita : For time- 50 reps of Burpee/Push-up/Jumping-Jack/Sit-up/Handstand. It was a cat and mouse type workout, in that one of us would speed up, and the other would try and catch up and get ahead of the other person. We ended up both completing it in 20:14, and man am I sore! I’ve posted a video below so you can see what just 1 rep looks like.

For lunch, I made almond-crusted tilapia with sweet potato fries and a spinach salad. Nothing too crazy there. 28 days of paleo: completed! 🙂