Fitness Friday – Voodles

I am addicted to my noodle spiralizer. The love affair began when I tried out a recipe for Shrimp Scampi over zoodles (zucchini noodles).


Divine.

This led me to betraying pasta once again by replacing it with zoodles in my spaghetti. It was so good that Kenny and I gobbled it up before I could snap a single photo.

I realized just how smitten I had become when I made a traditional pizza pasta salad (everything you like on top of your pizza thrown together with tri-color noodles and Italian dressing). This time I used seedless cucumber to replace the noodles, turkey pepperoni, black olives, banana peppers, mozzarella and instead of Italian dressing (loaded in added sugar), I used Brianna’s Real French Vinaigrette.

 Briannas Real French Vinaigrette Salad Dressing, 12 Ounce

Basically every time I use my spiralizer now I hear pasta singing,
“I should’ve bought you flowers
And held your hand
Should’ve gave you all my hours
When I had the chance”

Apart from the food aspect of my life the exercise part is still going strong; by that I mean, I’m strong. Yesterday I benched 135 pounds. Recently a few men have told me that I should be able to bench my body weight. Well, I did a little research into that and for a woman, that’s just not true. According to this calculator I am at an intermediate level and twenty pounds away from advanced. So, with that in mind I have to ask, 


 Thanks for reading 🙂 

Fitness Friday – Wagons

I have crashed the healthy diet wagon. I have been stuffing my face with bacon cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, ice cream, pizza, cookies and every other thing I felt I’ve been denying myself since January. My stomach hurts, it’s constantly trying to have conversations with people, I’m sluggish and I haven’t had a good night sleep in the last couple weeks.

In the midst of this delicious relapse I have not stopped exercising. Unlike so many times before when I have slipped and fallen, I have not thrown up my hands and played victim to my own self sabotage. Instead, I’ve worked harder, pushed myself further and said some really nasty things to myself which probably isn’t beneficial overall but it does help when trying to finish the last set of squats.

The point is, this will not last. This is my mid-year crisis happening early. I will go back to my chicken breast and vegetables soon enough. Until then, here is a workout photo because as much as I would love to share a food picture or recipe; my chocolate peanut butter ice cream isn’t very photogenic.


(apparently I’m not either)

Lastly, I decided to start doing a “Weekly Tip” and since this is the first week, I have two.

  1. Find a partner. Hell, find multiple partners (don’t be dirty). It is way more likely that you’re going to get out of bed at 6:30am to go for a run if you know someone else is up and waiting for you.
  2. Find a song that you haven’t listened to in 10-15 years and play it while you plank. You will be distracted realizing you still know all the words. For me it was In The End by Linkin Park (yes, that song came out 13 years ago). If that doesn’t distract you, take selfies.

Thanks for reading and sticking by me through all of my trips on the wagon, off the wagon, running next to the wagon, falling behind the wagon and of course crashing the wagon (I’ve never been a good driver). Hopefully I’ll have it fixed and running before too long.

Fitness Friday – Least

So many bloggers, especially fitness bloggers (including myself) write about their favorite exercises. They write about how much they love to run or dead lift or squat. They write about their favorite type of fitness; yoga, cross-fit, piyo (what?), etc. Today I want to write about my least favorite exercises, the ones that make me feel completely and totally miserable but I do them anyway because I know I’m going to see results.

 

Dumbbell Shoulder Press:


The majority of my hatred for these is the process of getting into position. Whatever muscle group is being worked to lift the dumbbells off of my thighs and place them over my head is not as strong as the muscle group that’s used to press them. I’m also not a fan of spending the next day feeling like my shoulders are attached to my earlobes.

Rows:

I have no real reason for this. I just don’t like them.

Running:

You guys already know the details of this from previous posts but here’s a sweaty selfie anyway 😉

& saving the worst for last…

Split Squats:


(Taking a photo on a timer with 10 seconds to grab weights and get in position =nearly impossible. This is the best I could do)
Who knows how long I was doing goblet squats thinking they were split squats before someone told me.

I wish I was never corrected. These are killer! I see stars, I want to pass out, throw up and fall over throughout each set. The pain doesn’t stop when you stop either. For about two days afterwards I walk like a penguin mixed with a bull rider, it’s confusing and incredibly uncomfortable.

As strongly as I detest all of these things, there really is no greater feeling than successfully completing them.
Except maybe sitting on the couch with a bowl of ice cream and watching your favorite chick flick… 😉

Enjoy your weekend everyone!!

Progress Monday

I was going to wait to post this but my birthday is on Friday and I will be on my way back from Florida so I doubt I will be blogging.

Instead, here’s a Leap Day progress photo. This is why I weight lift:

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week! I will see you next Friday!

Fitness Friday – Others

This week has been so crammed pack full of goodness that I’m not sure where to start. I guess the best place would be the beginning.

After posting on Friday, my sister’s girlfriend fiance Jess, texted me to see if I wanted to go to Richmond with her for the weekend. Naturally, I left work early, threw 7 pairs of shoes in a bag (even though we were only going for 2 days) and hit the road with her.
She started down the *Purely Fruit path about five weeks ago. Her car was stocked with tons of healthy snacks; kale chips, nuts, fruit, boiled eggs and seltzer water. It was awesome to spend five hours with someone who understands the struggles of reading every label, using caution at every restaurant and having to answer all of the whys and the “do you think you can actually do that long term” questions.
The struggles are worth it. We both feel better, psychically and mentally, everything tastes sweeter and we’re both seeing big results.

Is it possible long term? I hope so, because I haven’t felt this good in a long time.

Richmond was filled with beards and bicycles. I’ve never seen so many fit hipsters in my life. The city’s vibe inspired me to do some push-ups in my hiking boots in front of graffiti so that I would fit in (or I just saw a good blog photo opportunity and took it)

It was a fun weekend!

On Monday I had my first weight-training session with J. Honestly, I forget how awkward of a person I am until I’m put in a situation that I’ve never been in before. I’ve never taught anyone how to exercise. I’m the fat kid who hated all things fitness related. The girl who would cry in her room for two hours after her mom tried to take her to gymnastics. In other words, this was completely foreign to me. We got through it though and on Wednesday everything was much smoother. He dislikes the same things I do (cardio and the gym) so hopefully he’ll end up liking weight lifting. We shall see!

My week ended with two awesome text messages;

  image1
(these are the messages that keep me motivated and inspired) 

& a hair cut

Please check out my new Recipe tab. I will be sharing some different Purely Fruit recipes every week (hopefully).
Thanks for reading. Thanks for following (I’m 5 follows away from 100!!)


A fun before and after to leave you with 🙂

*Purely Fruit is the name I decided to use for how I’m eating. I could not find any title for people who are not using sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, rice syrup or any of the other 57 names of sugar/sweeteners. It’s not primal, paleo, gluten free, it’s Purely Fruit. 

Fitness Friday – Listen

Fitness Friday – Listen

This week has been full of huge smiles, lots of blushing and just an overwhelming feeling of humility and appreciation.

On Saturday my sister started poking my butt (if you’ve met Anne,  you know this isn’t anything shocking or abnormal) 
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Your butt… It seems higher.” she replied.
“Yeah!” I said.
“How did you do that?!”
“Squats Anne. Lots and lots of squats.”

On Sunday I was asked fitness/weight-lifting advice from someone who has been lifting a lot longer than I have.

On Monday a family friend (who is more into fitness than anyone I’ve ever met) asked me to teach her son how to weight lift!! We’re going to start on Monday.

There are times where you will be unable to see your own progress; in those moments (that can last for weeks or months) listen to the people around you, listen to their encouragement, their compliments and even their questions. They wouldn’t ask for advice if they didn’t see you progressing. They see what you can’t. They believe in you, even when you’re struggling to believe in yourself.
If you don’t have these people in your life, find them! They are a requirement for success.

Don’t worry, I won’t leave you without photos.


(showing off my chin up skills after Valentine’s Day dinner)

My least favorite workout since I started this weight-lifting venture is rows. Every single kind of row; dumbbell rows (one arm/both arms/bent over), cable row (rope/bar/handles) has been the same: miserable. I also haven’t moved up in weight with rows since I started. I do seated dumbbell rows which seems a lot better but the cable rows still hate me! Kenny worked out with me last night and I explained my frustration to him. He watched me do them like this;and started chuckling. When I asked him what I was doing wrong he told me that I was too short for the machine. I wasn’t getting the “full range of motion.”
So now I’m going to try them like this:
If anyone has another idea, please let me know!  

I always try to look cute for my blog post pictures but today I will leave you all with a little piece of reality…

Thanks for reading, encouraging and being a crucial part of my fitness journey ❤

Fitness Friday-Food

This week has been all about food… and ranting.

Like this:
 

Or this:

Since I couldn’t have a cupcake, I decided some peanut butter and jelly toast would suffice. I know what you’re thinking; how could I possibly have bread, peanut butter and any kind of fruit spread without having any added sugar?! Well, it looked something like this:

I used Nature’s Place All Natural Peanut Butter which only has peanuts and salt listed under the ingredients,
Ezekiel Low Sodium Bread  (found in the frozen food section because it lacks preservatives 😉 ) and frozen raspberries blended in my food processor. Is it gluten-free? No. Does it have natural sugars? Yes. Is it Paleo, Whole30 or any other kind of primal diet approved? No. I’m trying to make a habit out of eating better for life, not for a diet. I have cut out all added sugar including stevia, molasses, honey, coconut sugar, corn syrup, cane syrup, maple syrup, dehydrated cane syrup (what?) and all other forms of added sugar. Are some of these healthy? Probably. Is every health decision debatable? Definitely. I am a firm believer in doing what works best for you. So far, this is working very well for me. I have more energy (I’m actually considering switching to decaf coffee). I have been sleeping better and I am less hungry. One day I might decide to go gluten free, dairy free, legume free, fruit free or food free but for now I’m getting used to eating without all the added sweetness in my life. So, what do I eat when I’m craving sweets? I make some frozen banana ice-cream or heat up an apple with some cinnamon and pecans.
My personal favorite is a protein shake (BulkSupplements Whey – No added sugars or artificial sweeteners – Available on Amazon) with frozen bananas, almond butter, cocoa and whole milk. I wouldn’t recommend eating all of these things in the same day or every day but they definitely help when the cravings set in.
For the rest of my diet I basically eat a lot of fresh vegetables and boneless skinless chicken breast. I replaced “Whole Wheat” bread with Ezekiel, flour-tortillas with brown-rice tortillas, regular pepperoni for turkey pepperoni (when I’m craving pizza). I make my own olive oil mayonnaise because I haven’t found any that is pre-made without sugar and I’ve ditched most condiments, dressings, seasonings, etc and try to make my own.


(brown rice tortilla, blackened chicken, mixed greens and organic salsa)

Like everyone else who’s trying to make changes to see changes I was feeling a little discouraged this week when it comes to exercise. I was whining about how I don’t see the results I want to see, etc. In the midst of my pity party I started reading some other blogs and I came across two things that helped me through all of my workouts this week.
1st. “You have to do hard core shit to get hard core results!”
2nd. “It took three years before I started seeing the body I wanted.”
Three years! I’m over here complaining after seven months. So, I decided to go home and bust out my upper-body workout. I was dancing and jumping around in between each set. I worked out with my husband one evening which was super nice. I am really lucky that he joins in all of these fitness ventures with me (including cutting out red bulls and candy). I have also started doing “Yoga with Adriene” three mornings a week before work and plan to jog on my rest days. On top of that I’m on my third day of this detox: Jillian Michaels recipe.:
It might not be as hard core as crossfit but jogging, yoga and weight-training is hard core enough for me right now.

Here are some more photos from this week:

    
(Even when you don’t notice them or are blind to them, there are results!)


I’ve been tying scarves around my head to do the alternative leg press instead of wearing a beanie because the scarf is slick. Just another perk to working out at home!

Until next week…