Saturday, October 29, 2016

Wrapping up October

It is the end of October... the month has flown by!  I have lots of  fun things to share with you today so am going to jump right in.

First on the fitness front...

We finished up 12 weeks of Metabolic Prime workouts in the middle of the month and I have been looking for a new program to take us to the end of the year.  Not wanting to lose the gains I have made on in both muscle definition and strength I have been using a variety of methods to maintain.

Normally my strength workouts have been on Monday, Wednesday and Friday so I have been keeping to those days.

The first week I did a very short tabata style workout.  I started out with a good warmup and then did 10 squats followed by 10 pushups... repeated those moves 5 times... and then did a good stretch.  Not a lot but tough enough.  And of course I walked several miles each day.

This past week I got out some old workout DVDs and used them on M, W, and F.  And there was a lot more walking, and a run. There are some tough elements to a few of these older routines and it was fun to revisit them.

And new in my kitchen...

I am a huge fan of vegan protein powders but some of the recipes I have developed in my kitchen seem to work better with a whey powder.  I spent quite a bit of time looking for a new one that I could purchase locally and came up with a Canadian brand called LeanFit. It tastes good, and has a nutritional profile that I am fairly happy with.  I bought a tub of the vanilla and of the chocolate.

I found this recipe for Mint Avocado Protein Mousse on their web site this week and found it intriguing enough to try.  I made it for my afternoon snack and because it makes 2 servings, shared it with The Captain. We both loved it!  I would never had thought to put peppermint and avocado together myself but it works. I am going to be making it again and will try it with chocolate next time.

Another fresh product find...

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I received a box of coconut oil products to sample from a company called Skinny & Co.

There are several different products here... all coconut oil based... and they serve a great variety of applications. Along with all of the health benefits of eating coconut oil, there are a zillion ways it can be used topically...  skin cleansing and moisturizing, makeup removal, hair conditioning, shaving cream, after sun care, just to name a few.

One of these jars contains a brown sugar scrub... it is a terrific exfoliator and they claim that it can also be added to coffee or tea as a sweetener!  Nope, I haven't tried it yet, but I am going to!

There is also a peppermint flavored oil for pulling.... now I have been oil pulling several times a week for a couple of months now and am a huge proponent of this practice. I swear my teeth have gotten considerably whiter and less stained since I first started. It makes my teeth feel smooth and really clean.  I found this peppermint flavor in the oil a bit off-putting at first but I am getting used to it.  It is a good way for newcomers to the practice to enjoy it, I think.

And my food plan...

For a long time, I used carb cycling and intermittent fasting to work on staying lean.  But I am always looking to try new things and lately I have been using IIFYM - If It Fits Your Macros.  It took me a few iterations to come up with a set of macro numbers - grams of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats - that I can live with comfortably. Yes, it is a lot of work.  Yes, I am a numbers geek and like to do the math.  But I am happy with the results I am seeing on the scale and in the way my clothes fit. I feel like I work hard in the gym and pounding the pavement so I might just as well support that with good fuel.  And yes, I can make room for treats!

When I carb cycled, I couldn't eat a lot of my favorite dishes because you aren't supposed to eat carbs and fats on the same day so I was beginning to feel a bit deprived, which is never good. With IIFYM I can have whatever I want as long as the numbers work. I really like that aspect.

And coming up...

I have also signed up for a 21 Day Holiday Countdown Challenge with Lauren from The Bikini Experiment.  I did one of her challenges a while back and found it helped me stay on track so I eagerly joined this one when she announced it... it starts October 31st so if you are interested, you can check it out for yourself.

So, how did October go for you?  Anything new on your plate or in your workout bag?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Changes and Celebrations

I am in celebration mode today.

Why, you ask?

I have just completed the final workout in my 12 week Metabolic Prime series... These workouts are so much harder than the first one put out by Jade Teta called Metabolic Aftershock.  And I am celebrating because they are finished!  and that I did them ALL... faithfully every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the past 12 weeks.  And now it is time to take a break for a week and look for something different or new to start on the following week.  Hurray!

And... last night I worked my last meeting for Weight Watchers Canada.  Although I really enjoyed welcoming and weighing my meeting members each week, and I am totally behind the program, it was just time for me to leave and return to being a member myself.  Yes, I still will follow the program in conjunction with IIFYM and look forward to any changes that they roll out at the end of the year... the traditional time to tweak the current program or introduce a new one.

How am I celebrating?

Well, after lunch today, The Captain and I are heading to my favorite Starbucks and I am going to thoroughly enjoy a ginormous, whipcream-covered spicy latte of some sort.  Will fill you in on those deets after it happens.


Enjoying my Grande Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte... extra shot of espresso, no whip!


Hope you are having a wonderful Friday wherever you are... anything special coming up this weekend?

Any ideas as to a good strength training program for me to consider?

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Welcoming October

October!  How did that happen already?

I have been letting myself get pulled in way too many directions lately and fell like I am barely keeping up.

Running has taken a bit of a back seat.  Sundays have become more about catching up than running.   I intend to fix that this month... so much to tell you about... let's get started.

First, I have decided to leave my part time work with Weight Watchers. I have been a meeting room receptionist and have loved greeting members at the scale a few times each week, for about 4 years now.  And I have also been doing 24/7 chat sessions with members online a few hours each week, for over a years.  It is time to wind it all down and retire completely.  I have enjoyed the work but actually find it quite emotionally draining to be honest.  By mid-October I will be happily unemployed.

We are going to be volunteering later this week at the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon expo, handing out race shirts to entrants.  This will be our 5th year volunteering, and our 4th in this capacity. It is a relatively small expo compared to larger races but I love the atmosphere.  And we get a good quality shirt in exchange... win win.

I have been wearing a new Tommie Copper elbow sleeve quite a bit lately.  It is a great comfort after we play tennis.  I wish I had it when I was golfing 4 times a week!  Watch for a real review coming up.

I have also been testing some products that I received from Skinny & Co.  There is a peppermint flavored pulling oil, a brown sugar scrub, and some other coconut oil skin care products.  I will do a more comprehensive review after I have been using all of these products for a few weeks.

On the workout front, I have been faithfully doing following the Metabolic Prime timetable for the past 10 weeks... 2 weeks to go and I will be glad to see it done. Early morning workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday have been really good and good for me, I know... I have built some leg muscle that is showing quite nicely and also some upper body muscle... delts and shoulders... but I am getting kinda bored and after 12 weeks will look for something new to tackle with my strength/resistance workouts.

As for my food plan, I am still following the Weight Watchers Smart Points guidelines... but I have also started using IIFYM (If it Fits Your Macros) along with that. I admit to being a numbers geek and all of this detail appeals to me.  I love the journalling and have purchased some lovely colored felt-tipped pens to help with that aspect.  I have given up carb cycling for now as it has kept me from eating some of my favorite meals and I don't think deprivation or the feeling of deprivation does anyone very much good!

I have been cooking up a storm. Made a huge batch of chili and and also a batch of a roasted kabocha squash and red pepper soup.. lots in the freezer for quick meals. Gotta love that.

So... another week coming up and I have lots on the calendar... The Captain is currently painting a couple of feature walls in our living and dining area, and then we are heading out for walk. It is a lovely Fall day and I want to enjoy it.

How about you?  What is on your agenda for October?