Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Speed Burst Days

Low carb day means speed bursts and speed bursts are my favorite workout right now. Probably because I'm a cardio girl. I tend to gravitate more toward the workouts that are sweaty and get the heart rate going.

Week 5 Low Carb Day 1 - the workout

Speed Burst - I chose to take a Bodystep class again because I can get high intensity, intervals, and all the leg exercises like squats, lunges, step ups, and all kinds of jumps. Since there are typically 12 tracks in a class, the warm-up and cool-down are included. This class kicked my butt. Literally. I could feel myself struggling through some of the peak tracks, but later in the day I completely fell off the struggle bus and landed in bed. I think I was just dehydrated, but I felt like garbage.

Low Carb Day 1 - the meals

broke fast around noon - 3 scrambled eggs with ham, 2 PB&J rice cakes

lunch - leftover Italian chicken breast and greens beans

dinner - leftover Italian chicken breast and greens beans

snacks - handful of peanuts and half a protein bar

Low carb day 2 - the workout

Warm up - I walked about 10 minutes to the beach

Speed Burst - I chose sprint intervals for a private little Track Party-like workout. The workout was sprint at 100% effort for 20 seconds (about 100 meters) and recover for 40 (I walk around for this) seconds. Repeat 18 times. I was worried that it was going to rain, but it only sprinkled a little in the beginning. I can tell that my endurance has improved from the first set of sprints, because I didn't start to feel the leg wobble until the last 4 or 5 sprints.

AB circuit - I totally meant to do this when I got back to the apartment, but I completely forgot until now as I write this post. I was supposed to do: russian twists, bicycles, crunches and leg lifts. To my credit, I did most of these or similar in Bodystep. So I can say that I did them early, haha!

LISS - Walked home up the hill ---> kept my heart rate in the fat burning zone.

Low carb day 2 - the meals

broke fast at 11:00 - 3 scrambled eggs with ham, 2 PB&J rice cakes

lunch - wasn't hungry today and I had a little getting ready for vacation fun at the nail salon 👇🏻

PS - wearing my Oofos to the salon = happy legs

dinner - leftover Italian chicken breast, green beans and salad

snack - mini chocolate bar, celery and hummus

Have you ever experienced post-workout dehydration symptoms?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Carb Cycling Week 4: Feeling Strong and Sports Bra Squad

This round of carb cycling seems to be flying by. This past week was about strength. It was about more than physical strength. It was about finding out that I'm stronger than I think.

Here's a quick look at the week 4 workouts:

Monday - Burned some serious calories at Bodystep for my speed burst workout

Tuesday - Sprinting on the treadmill and an ab circuit

Wednesday - Full body strength training with supersets

Thursday - 24-hour fast ---> longest fast so far!

Friday - More strength training supersets and ab circuit

Saturday - Training Day Calories - Leg Day - the workout

Warm up - Since I had to run for 10 minutes, I joined the National Sports Bra Squad Day fun. This was a day for all women to ditch their tops and go for a run. I don't usually run in my sports bra (although I did pick this one because I thought it would look good solo), it just feels taboo, but I'm glad that I did it (even if it was only for 10 minutes). I only saw a few people who were out walking and even though it didn't seem like they paid any attention to me, I felt powerful when I was finished. My goal is to do it again and again, until it doesn't feel taboo anymore.

Strength training - It was leg day. I'm trying hard to build up muscles and get rid of flab, so I'm cautiously adding weight to my exercises. My knee doesn't make this part easy. The challenge is trying to make sure my good leg is not picking up slack from my bad leg. I add in a few single leg reps when I can, but I've read conflicting opinions on doing that. The finishers are tough and squeeze the last bit of energy out of me: curtsey lunges, side lunges, jump squats, and jump lunges ---> I do a modified version of jump lunges.

Cool down - Even though jumping on a bus sounded good, I walked (about 15 minutes) back to the apartment.

Sunday - Low Calorie Day - active recovery - the workout

I joined my local ladies SUP group out on the water for about 45 minutes. It was windy and the water was rough, so it was harder (and scarier) than I like. I could feel my core and leg muscles tightening up because I was paddling like mad to get back to shore and trying to stay balanced. I'm so happy that I didn't fall in. There were jellies out there again.

This week was about feeling strong. I feel strong when I increase my weights during strength training. I feel strong when I can finish my sprints without wobbly legs. I feel strong when I can fast for 22 hours. I feel strong when I can ditch my shirt and join the #SportsBraSquad.

Instead of listing all my meals, I'm just sharing my favorite foods from the weekend:

Protein smoothie

Sweet potato tots

What makes you feel strong?
Favorite eats from your weekend?

The next round of  FASTer Way to Fat Loss begins on Monday, July 10. If you're thinking about joining, use my affiliate link to join and start carb cycling with me!

Linking up with Tricia and Holly for the Weekly Wrap!


Friday, June 23, 2017

Five Friday Favorites

The countdown to our annual family vacation in the USA is picking up speed! The good news is that we are less than one week from our departure. The bad news is that getting things organized is distracting me a little from blogging.

To make up for a couple missed FWTFL posts, I'm breaking it down into Friday Favorites:

1) Running - I'm loving the fact that I can now add running as an official option for my strength training warm up. It's a short little run, but I can do it without intervals. I've seriously come to appreciate all the small running moments because last year I thought my running days were o-ver. So, these little runs are super exciting for me right now!

2) Supersets - Strength training days are all about these lately and I love it (I talked about them in this post). My workout feels like it takes half the time, but my muscles feel like I was working out for hours! I'm also loving that the weight I'm using on the leg extension machine is not bothering my knee. Crossing my fingers that my quad muscle is getting stronger in that leg to help my knee even more.

3) 24-Hour Fast - The goal of a one day fast is to make it at least 18 hours, but 24 hours if you can. I started my fast at 6PM on Tuesday, after I enjoyed my last meal of the day, and made it to 22 hours. I broke my fast a little after 4PM on Thursday with a snack while I was making my favorite buffalo chicken quinoa dinner. This was my longest and best fasting day so far. If you haven't tried intermittent fasting, here is a great video from Yuri Elkaim, the author of The All-Day Fat Burning Diet:

And if you've been wanting to sign up for the FASTer Way To Fat Loss program, use my affiliate link (here) to join and start carb cycling with me! 

4) National Smoothie Day - I did not have a smoothie on Wednesday (June 21) because I was out of spinach and Greek yogurt. I did make an acai bowl today for a belated National Smoothie Day celebration. I happened to find acai super green pre-made packs at our local Just Green shop, so I whipped up a bowl for me and a bowl for mrC. Today's toppings were granola, almond butter and goji berries. I'm still working out how to get the consistency just right, but this was my best one so far.

5) MY new dress - As in designed by me! I took a dress design that I like to a tailor in Shenzhen to have a new dress made. I picked out the fabric and told her what I liked. She did all the work and I'm thrilled with the final result. This dress is all about comfort, which is 100% me.

Other OOTD details sunglasses (here), shoes (here) and purse (here)

What are you loving this week?

I'm linking up with Lacey and Meranda and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0!

And also with Nicole for the Fit & Fashionable Friday link-up

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Treadmill Tuesday - Sprint Workout

Running sprints on the treadmill is not my first choice, but sometimes ya gotta do, what ya gotta do. So I laced up my Wave Sky and headed to the fitness center determined not to let the continued rainy weather stop my planned workout.

Week 4 low carb day 2 - the workout 

Warm up - It was raining and we wanted to get to the fitness center before the morning rush, so we took the bus. Instead, I walked on the treadmill for 5 minutes.

Speed bursts - Today I chose to do the interval sprints even though I was going to have to do them on the treadmill (my fear of slipping and hurting my knee still keeps me from running outside in the rain). The workout was 20 seconds run, 40 seconds recover. Repeat 16 times. 

This was my first attempt at sprints on the treadmill since my partial meniscectomy, so I had to play around with the speed a little. I knew my recovery could be around 8km/hr because that is my current easy run speed and I was hoping to run instead of walk through the recovery. I bumped my speed up to 10 - 10.3 range on the sprints and it felt good. I might have been able to go faster, but I like to test how my knee will respond to new things slowly. I completed all 16 sprints this way and am thrilled that my knee handled the treadmill sprints. 

The treadmill has the option to create your own interval workout, but the minimum time is 1 minute. I thought it was going to be hard to manually change the speed, but since I use my interval app I get a 5 second voice countdown alert and that made it much easier. **People have asked which app I use. It's this one on iTunes. I'm happy to share because it took me awhile to find one that was easy to set up and let me run without looking at a timer. I use bluetooth to connect to my Jabra wireless earbuds (which are $30 off on Amazon), but the app also connects to my Apple Watch which alerts me by vibrating**

Ab circuit - A round of ab bicycles, crunches and leg lifts with some planking tossed in at the end.

Cool down - It wasn't raining, so we were able to enjoy the walk back to the apartment.

mrC has been doing the FWTFL men's version (affiliate link). Our workouts are not the same, but similar enough that we can go to the fitness center together. It definitely makes carb cycling easier to have him doing it with me and I love that he has gender specific workouts. During past rounds of carb cycling, he just modified the workouts with more weight. He had major success results, but I think this time it will be even better.

Low carb day 2 - the meals

Broke fast at 11:30 - 3 scrambled eggs with ham and one PB&J rice cake

Lunch - 3 turkey roll ups, green beans and some peanuts

Dinner - leftover cheesy chicken and veggie rice

Snack - protein bar

 Do you run sprints on the treadmill?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Burning Calories and Rice-ing Veggies

We're still having ugly rainy weather and one thing currently able to distract me from it is my workouts. One of my favorite fitness classes is back on the schedule and it was a perfect fit for low carb day again.

Week 4 Low carb day - the workout

When I read today's FWTFL workout, I knew that Bodystep would be a great fit again. Today's FWTFL workout called for speed bursts (choose one: 4 cone drill (sprints and shuffles, running stadium steps, or intervals) followed by a HIIT leg circuit (squats, lunges, step ups, scissor jumps).

We did all that and more (abs at the end) in Bodystep today.

If you've never taken a Bodystep class (you totally should, asap), I found the graphic below that breaks it down. The entire class is a HIIT workout and it's 100% addictive.

After class, a local spa had set up a space in the adjoining workout room and was giving free mini massages. It was worth stopping by for a quickie because they also handed out 50% off cards. I can't wait to book an appointment!

Low carb day - the meals

Broke fast about 12:30 - 3 scrambled eggs with ham, 3 sausage links, a dab of maple syrup, one PB&J rice cake ---> that was a lot of food!

Lunch - NA

Snack - popcorn

Dinner - Cheesy chicken and veggie rice

This was a brand new recipe for us that I found on Skinnytaste.com. I love how you can search for recipes based on ingredients, course, season, special diet. This was listed under low carb and it looked so good that I just had to try it.

I don't have access to pre-made "riced" veggies, so I had to look up how to do it. Turns out that it's pretty easy. I bought fresh broccoli and cauliflower and chopped it all into smaller pieces. I used my blender and some water to turn the veggies into rice. I did it like it's shown in this video (I have a Philips blender ((similar to this one on Amazon)) and the 6-8 pulses method worked fine).

After straining the veggies and patting them dry with a paper towel, they look like this. Doesn't this look like a plate of rice?

It's been a while since I shared my macros here. I'm still tracking them on MFP and posting to my FWTFL group. Some days are better than others, but I always hit my low carb day goal of 50 net grams or less.

What's your workout plan for today?
Have you ever made your own veggie rice?

(If you are interested in joining the FASTer Way To Fat Loss program, use my affiliate link to join and start carb cycling with me! Click here).