High Intensity Interval Training: Better than Lipo

It may not seem like a lot, but when your body fat percentage is low to begin with, losing 5 lbs takes a lot of work! I’ve been doing HIIT training and it has been working like a charm. In between each set of weight training, I do one minute of really intense, all-out cardio. 

Some benefits of HIIT are outlined in Shape Magazine, they include: increased metabolism, fat loss and muscle gains, results in less time–just to name a few.

I like doing HIIT because I find that my 50 minute workouts fly by and I actually feel like I challenged my body by the end of the session. 

Try this: include one minute of vigorous jumping jacks or jumping rope in between each set during your next workout. If one minute is too much, start at 30 seconds.

 

Workout #8

Just wanted to report that I’m killing it in the gym at lunch time. I’m feeling amazing and I’m so glad that I have made the effort in the past two weeks to commit to this plan of action. No results on the scale just yet and no results as far as how my clothing is fitting, but BIG results in moods being boosted and stress reduction. 

UPDATED: Good News On the Homefront

The last 6-weeks has been really stressful: my training for a competition got completely put on hold (the competition is next week, I am still 3 months away from being anywhere close to competition ready); my partner was only working part-time; I was working two jobs.; and the custody case has put us further into debt and there is no end in sight. [Editor’s note: so as not to offend concerned parties, this post has been edited as of June 26, 2013.]

I feel like we’re out of the shit now. My partner just got a better-paying, full-time gig, at a construction company; we are now covered under my work benefits policy; we started playing slo-pitch every Sunday and it is so great to be able to spend some care-free time together; and I’m finally getting back to the body I want and deserve (see previous post).

All of the trials and all of the struggle have made my partner and I very connected; we truly depend on one-another for support–as down and out as we have been feeling, we have never been stronger as a couple.

I feel so strong on a personal-level for the first time; I find myself confidently telling people about my family–he’s not just my boyfriend and he’s not just my stepson, that’s my family; I feel good about extended family get-togethers; I’m excited for my extended family to get to know my new life and the people with whom I’m sharing it and have made it possible.

I’ll be honest with you: being an excellent partner and mother* are now my top priorities. Making a comfortable and happy home for my family is right up there, too. Yes, it sounds traditional and maybe a little boring, but I’ve never felt so excited.

[*the term “mother” is in reference to my future status, regarding currently unborn children. I believe my role in our blended family is to support my partner in his parenting efforts and hopefully form a unique bond with his boy–whom I love sincerely and without apology. This was in no way a dig toward my stepson’s mother or her family; if it was construed as such, please accept my apologies. Hopefully this clarifies my position to any concerned parties.]

5 Lunches and Counting

I got really smart last Friday. “Self,” I said, “if you’re too tired to go to the gym by the time you get home, why wait until you get home to go to the gym?”

I joined the 24 hour gym next to my work. Yes, it’s another $40/month, on top of the family gym pass I have at the local rec centre, but I’m thinking of it as more of an investment than another expense.

I have gone 5 lunch hours in a row and I’m feeling great! I take my pre-workout at 11:30, then by 12 I’m out of the office and back by 1. I find I don’t hit the 3pm wall–my afternoons are focused and I’m able to be productive all day. My mood has also lifted significantly, overall. I am eating well–I don’t want to undo all my good work.

The other day, I watched as the girls from another department all went out for lunch…at first I was a bit bummed that I hadn’t gotten an invite (I’m a department of one, so it can be a bit solitary)…but then I was actually and genuinely thankful that I didn’t have to consult with anyone and that my plans weren’t derailed in any way; being a lone wolf has its benefits.

 

 

 

Let’s Talk About Hemp, Baby.

Boy was I disappointed to learn that there is no THC in hemp seeds, but I was thrilled to learn that they contain all 9 essential fatty acids. High in easily digestible protein (11 g in 1 oz of seeds), omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids,gluten-free, and low-carb, hemp seeds are a very near perfectly balanced food.

The light flavour of hemp seeds is conducive to mixing it into a shake, oatmeal, yogurt, or sprinkling it into a stir-fry or salad. 

Sure, it’s a cousin of the same plant-family that pot comes from, which is why the US banned hemp crops in 1970, but don’t let that fool you into smoking that hemp bracelet you bought from that hippie commune. You don’t want none of that, Dewey Cox. Seriously, it’s a waste of a bracelet.

Chia: Not Just for Heads and Pets

I went crazy this week and splurged on some foods that we have wanted to stock up on, but can be pricey at the outset: coconut oil, hemp hearts, chia seeds. Let’s talk about chia seeds, shall we?

Chia is a member of the mint family; it’s high in essential fatty acids (really, really high), protein, soluble fibre (nearly 40% of the recommended daily dose in 1/4 cup of seeds), calcium, magnesium, and a whack of other good-for-you things. No wonder it has been getting a lot of press! When placed in liquid, chia absorbs up to 9 times its weight and forms a gelatinous goo that is amazingly good for you (and can be turned into a lot of different things, for instance: a vegan egg replacer).

Grown in Central America (Mexico and Guatemala), Chia crops date back to pre-Colombian times.

3 Popular Ways to Ingest Chia Seeds

1. Chia Fresca: A drink of water and chia seeds, perhaps with citrus or other fruits for flavour.  I’m drinking this as I write this post…I’m not really sure how I feel about it, just yet. It’s like bubble tea, but different. I like the weird texture and the very light flavour (I added some lemon, too), but I’m not sure I could make this a regular thing. 

2. Chia On Yogurt: Yes. This is a great choice. I take 2 tbsp and put it on my greek yogurt in the morning, along with some hemp hearts.

3. Chia Pudding. I haven’t tried it, but I suppose you can take the goo and turn it into a tapioca-like pudding. 

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Working 9 to 5 and My Big Fat Ass

Last time I was working in an office environment, I ballooned from a size 6 to a size 14 in less than a year. There was a lot of snacking and not a lot of moving. I invested in a heavy-duty cable package and a comfortable couch. Then one day I looked at my old-lady ass and could not believe it belonged to me…at 25-years old.

Since then (4 years later) I’ve been busting my butt to stay active and eat well. Lately, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, if you’ve read any posts since October, I’ve been slacking. 

In an attempt to avoid the downfalls of office life, I’ve stocked my desk with the following acceptable munchies (I also have a mini-fridge, so that’s an amazing help):

1. Cocoa roasted almonds (not chocolate-covered)
2. Walnuts
3. Water
4. Cottage cheese
5. Dark chocolate squares (70% cocoa)
6. Holy Crap! Cereal (non-GMO, organic, lactose and gluten free, high protein)
7. Yogurt
8. Rice cakes and natural peanut butter
9. Bananas
10. Pink grapefruit cups (Kirkland brand; Del Monte is too high in sugar)
11. Protein shakes 

I always have something to snack on and I’m never hungry. 

Update: Delaying the Competition

As usual, my life is hectic. I know it sounds like an excuse, but it’s really not. I am going to compete, but I’ve had trouble nailing down a reasonable workout schedule: I got a new 9 to 5 job, but I’m still working at the bar (my partner is still underemployed, so we have to make ends meet). As of Friday, May 24th, I’ll have worked 19 days straight. It seems that every spare second is eaten up by having something on-the-go, lately.

My game plan: Wake up at 5am and get to the gym from 5:30 – 6:30. This will give me enough time that I can leave for work by 7 and be there by 7:45, so I can leave by 4:15. I’ve also signed up for Monday and Thursday night weight training classes, so even if I can just get two good weight lifting sessions and a couple of cardio sessions in on my own, I’ll be back to golden in no-time.