Saturday, April 30, 2016

Airplanes - 12 hours = Low Calorie Rest Day

Traveling 12 time zones over a 24 hour period, but losing 12 hours is challenging when you are trying to following a nutrition and fitness plan. I ended up flip flopping days because it worked better.

We left the US on Friday morning (regular calorie day) and landed Saturday night (morning in the US and low calorie day). Since our meals were completely off once we boarded our flight to Hong Kong and there was no time to do the scheduled workout, it just made since to use the FRI/SAT travel day as a low calorie day. Are you confused yet? Yea, me too!

Eats from our 26 hour low calorie travel day

Breakfast: watermelon, scrambled eggs, coffee
Easy enough at the hotel before we left. We literally had to eat and run since our first flight departed Ohio at 7:45 and breakfast started at 6:00!

Lunch: grilled chicken salad, Italian dressing, water, and veggie chips
Fudrucker's at DFW does a good salad. I was still following regular calorie day at this point and trying to include starchy carbs with the chips. All of it was yummy!

Dinner: some lettuce and pork from airplane meal, water, and another serving of veggie chips
Airplane food is hardly ever good. It was all I could do to eat some of the pork and then I pretty much lost my appetite. 

Snacks: peanuts, water, pb&j rice cakes
While waiting for the ferry at the Hong Kong airport, I ate the peanuts that I snagged from the USO in Dallas. These held me over until we got to the apartment and I made some rice cakes.

After snacking, I went online and made my grocery order to be delivered tomorrow morning. Lots of veggies and fruits coming our way!

How is your appetite when you travel?

Friday, April 29, 2016

Traveling and Fasting

Fasting. I have only fasted a small amount of times in my life on holy days. They were never easy.

Today was my first fast day as part of the carb cycling/intermittent fasting program I'm doing. The purpose of doing the the plan is to reset my body and let go of some of the bad cravings I've developed, along with extra inches (haha)!

Breakfast: lots of water
Of course I woke up feeling hungry. My unsuccessful feast day plus the workout caught up to me. Lots of water seemed to help. Side note: It's also my monthly cycle.

Lunch: red raspberry herbal tea, more water
In between legs and after sleeping most of the one hour flight to Dulles, I made some tea. I'm not a big tea drinker, so I added a squirt of Stevia. This seemed to help with the hunger, but I was starting to feel hangry.

BROKE MY FAST: popcorn, water
I was a couple of hours early, but I was feeling bad, very tired (I slept on the second leg too) and I had a headache. I thought the popcorn was a pretty good choice given I was limited to what was in the hotel snack shop. 

Dinner: Shared nachos (with mrC and BFF), Laredo steak, broccoli, baked potato, water and coke. 
My BFF picked us up at the hotel and took us to Max & Erma's for dinner. Hunger, on top of knowing that we will be leaving all the amazing food options in the US made me over do it. The coke was the worst decision of all.

I thought I would do some yoga before bed, but honestly I was exhausted. Traveling, fasting, my monthly and a big meal was too much for me.

Today I return to China. My regular calorie day should be interesting and who knows what day Ill be on when I get there?!?

See you in 24 hours!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Full Body Workout and My First Feast Day

The theme of our stay in New England has been rush, rush, rush.

Wednesday was no exception. We just try to squeeze in way too much and end up feeling frazzled. Then the whole day feels like we are playing catch up and we never really do. To top it off, I didn't really get to enjoy my first feast day.

It was past 1:00 when we finally made it to the gym to do the full body workout. I was excited for this workout until about the third set of push-ups. I realized I needed to go into modification mode on the arm portion. I ended up doing 10 sets of 5, instead 10. My lower body did much better, except my knee didn't like some of the lunges, so I modified the type a little. After the 10 minute cool down, I knew I had better stretch or I wouldn't be able to pull my suitcase to the airport in the morning.

What I ate on feast day #1

Breakfast: eggs, gluten free toast with peanut butter and jelly, watermelon, coffee (the muffins were for my in-laws)
This meal started the whole day of running behind. We had good intentions when we declared we would be making breakfast and ran to the grocery, but it just caused us to get a late start on everything including feast day. Side note: I wanted to get an acai bowl which would've been a better choice, but we changed our minds.

Lunch: chili, water
Not a stellar post-workout meal on feast day at 300 calories, but it was already 2:30 and we had dinner plans at 5:30. However, it was the best gluten free chili I've ever had.

Dinner: grilled shrimp and chicken, corn on the cob, wild rice, watermelon, water
Not a ton of carb loading happening here, but we love to grill out. We are going back to China in two days and couldn't resist the beautiful weather and a chance to have corn on the cob (even though it's a bad carb).

Overall, not a great first feast day. The goal is 200+ carbs and 1 1/2 your normal calories. I didn't even hit my normal calories. It'll be easier once I'm not living out of a suitcase and running all around. (I hope!)

My amazing niece is also doing the program, so I can always bug her for information, ideas, and support.

Wish me luck on my first day of fasting!!

Do you fast? 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Substitute Hill Workout and Low Carb Day 2

I slept until almost 8:00 which is something I never do, so I must have been tired from running around three different states in the last two weeks.

I sweet talked mrC into going to a gym since it was raining after his work meeting. We ended up at Best Fitness in East Longmeadow after Western New England University (where several of mrC's family members have gone/currently go) insisted that a member be with us in the gym. Well, that doesn't work.

Best Fitness not only accommodated us with a two day pass, but also did so at no charge! We were obviously thrilled and even more thrilled by the facilities. It was huge!

I thought I'd be brave and try to do the sprint workout on the treadmill. My knee did not like even one 10 second sprint. Instead I cranked the incline to the max and alternated every 30 seconds for 10 minutes for a serious hill walking workout. In the future I will stick to the elliptical or bike for sprints.

What I ate on low carb day #2

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs without milk and black coffee
My mother-in-law made them and is such a sweetie for trying to understand what I'm up to.

Lunch: Honey turkey breast slices, celery sticks, classic hummus, and half of a Berried Up To Here smoothie. 
We got the smoothie from My Main Squeeze, a popular juicery and smoothie shop in East Longmeadow. It wasn't my favorite, but I think that was because I used pea protein (to stay dairy free) and I'm used to whey. Ingredients: blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, almond milk, spinach, kale, chia seeds, hemp seeds, pea protein.

Dinner: salmon, asparagus, and baked beans
The best part was that my sister-in-law and niece who are also doing the program joined us for dinner. 

The goal on low carb days is to stay under 50 grams. I was over. Although, if I figure the net carbs, I might have been under 50. It was the fruit smoothie. I guess I will be saving those for other days. 

I'm still learning my way around MFP and I have a lot to learn. For example, I don't understand my macro percentages based on my grams consumed. 

Time to enjoy feast day! I hope I can eat all the calories :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Speed Workout, Low Carbs, and A Dog

I've started a carb cycling, intermittent fasting program and yesterday was a low carb day.

First, I put on some workout clothes and did the scheduled workout: 10 minutes speed work followed by 30 minutes low intensity. I chose to do mine on the elliptical, but part way through I was worried that I was doing it wrong. There are just too many options on those machines and sometimes it feels like I'm not working hard enough. Side note: I tested my new "indoor only" workout shoes that I bought for China. They were a hit even without socks!

We had to say goodbye to the girls, but only for 95 days! Then we will be back for our Cape Cod vacation.

Here's what I ate on my first low carb day:

Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs, no milk and one cup of black coffee. 
That wasn't too bad.

Lunch: garden salad and Cajun chicken breast, raspberry vinaigrette, water
I've always been a Ranch dressing kind of girl, but the raspberry vinaigrette was tasty

Dinner: salad, balsamic vinaigrette, cauliflower, grilled salmon, and water 
I really wanted to, but I did not eat the extremely yummy looking mashed potatoes!

I'm using My Fitness Pal to track my foods and have my calorie goal set at 1370 since I want lose one pound per week. I was under my goal, but my macros were on target for low carb day.

Yesterday was visit the dog day and it was the best. Booney is still my little lover boy. I loved that we were able to hang out with him and go for a walk. Hard to believe that he has been in my life for 13 years!

What's your favourite low carb food?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Sweet Sunday

We walked to morning Mass. I love when we are able to attend when we are traveling. This church was absolutely stunning inside. If I lived in Portsmouth, I would really enjoy services here.

We were given a walking tour from missD. We saw her office, Prescott Park, and most of downtown. 11,000 steps. 5+ miles. 

She took us to Popovers for lunch (great gluten free options there) and then showed me her favorite place to get essential oils.

I picked up some sport spray for my fitness equipment and peppermint oil. I read a comment from an ultra runner that peppermint oil helps with tendinitis. 

We ordered dinners from the Juicery. The girls and I all got acai bowls. It was my first one. Why haven't I tried these before???

We finished the evening with a trip to UNH to see missG's dorm room (I can't believe she is almost finished with the first year of college!!) and watch her soccer game.

Today we are saying goodbye to girls and then we are visiting some friends before heading back to Springfield. I'm looking forward to seeing this guy the most.

Have a great day!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Day in Kennebunkport

One perk to traveling is the hotel breakfast. It's a quick and easy way to fuel up for a day of adventure. I'm a big fan of scrambled eggs.

We rounded up the girls and their buds, and headed up the coast to Kennebunkport to show them the summer home of our 41st POTUS. 

Our first stop was to view Walker's Point. According to the locals, George H. W. is a pretty good neighbor. The Mrs. is often spotted walking on the beach with her walker. There's always a flag flying when they're in residence, but not today.

Then we took some pictures.

We headed back to town and had lunch at Ports of Italy. We were all stuffed so afterwards we walked around and enjoyed the downtown area. We all agreed it was like a small Newport, RI.

The cloudy skies never seemed to break and while the kids got some Ben & Jerry's, mrC and I opted for some hot chocolate.

It was another great day with the girls. 

Don't forget to check out my book giveaway here.  

Friday, April 22, 2016

Never Give Up GIVEAWAY!!!

Life is good. 

We drove to New Hampshire this morning for our weekend with the girls. First we stopped to see Dr Bri. I was lucky enough to get an appointment at the last minute so he could assess my heel issue. Basically I have achiles tendinitis. After some Gratson and ART, he applied an anti-inflammatory patch with directions to let it rest. 

I hadn't seen Dr. Bri since finishing my menisectomy rehab and moving to China a year ago, so we talked about my knee issues and not running. He knows my history and basically said that I will eventually have a knee replacement. He also said that I don't need to give up on fitness, and that yoga, hiking, and biking are all very good options for me.

This made me think about the book that I just finished, In Her Eyes. The main character lives 100% behind the mantra never give up. In his story he risks a lot to go after his dreams. 

The author of the book, Wesley Banks, has generously offered to let me give away a free digital copy of his book so you can read for yourself what happens to a Ben as he chases his dream. 

To enter, leave a comment telling me one of your dreams/goals that you hope to never give up.

I will pick a random winner and announce on the blog on Monday, April 25, 2016. To receive the digital copy, I will need your email address.

We headed to Portsmouth after having some lunch and hung out with the girls on the decks. It is such an amazing thing to see them in their adult lives. We are so proud of them.

Tomorrow we are all going on a road trip up to Maine.

I can't wait to spend the whole day with them!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Big Hills and a Pea Protein Smoothie

My sister-in-law lives at the bottom of a pretty big hill. Today she took us with her on the route she takes to decompress after a long day at work. At the top of the hill we could see all the way down the Pioneer Valley into downtown Springfield. It was a gorgeous day for walking and taking in the views.

She made us some gluten free blueberry muffins for breakfast. It's hard to eat just one of these!

For lunch I made a salad and went wish listing through the Athleta catalog. They have great stuff. 

I also made a smoothie and used one of the sample proteins sent to me by Naked Nutrition. I've never tried pea protein before. I'm not dairy free, so I mostly use whey proteins. After doing some research, I learned that whey protein is considered "complete" and pea is "incomplete." This means that whey proteins have all 9 essential amino acids and pea proteins are missing some. 

I could not detect a taste to the pea protein in my smoothie at all, although it has been described to me by others as being earthy and grainy. Naked Nutrition pea protein was smooth. Today's smoothie: frozen strawberries and blueberries, almond milk, plain yogurt, and spinach. 

Naked Nutrition proteins are made without additives, essentially stripped of chemicals. Hence the name. I like the sound of that.

Tomorrow we are off to New Hampshire to visit the girls and some friends.

What is your preferred type of protein?