Tag Archives: body pump

GRIT, Sophie, and how I’ve been feeling lately

A lot has happened since my last post! So much that I keep thinking that I need to write a post about each individual thing and then I think that it would take me forever to do that! I figured I’d just start typing and see how much I get through – how’s that sound?

About two weeks ago I went to initial instructor training for Les Mills GRIT. If you’ve never heard of GRIT, it’s a high intensity interval training (HIIT) style class that’s 30 minutes long. The premise is quick bursts, followed by short rests, to burn fat fast! HIIT has been around for a long time, and has many benefits cardiovascularly as well as for your overall health! The weekend was long, grueling, and tiresome. My husband and I drove the three hours to West Chester University (in West Chester, PA) early Saturday morning to arrive at a quarter to 8am so that I wouldn’t be late for training!


The training modules are two days long from 8am – 6pm, and include learning about the company, learning to choreography for the class, a physically demanding challenge, and teaching the choreography many times over the course of two days. After you have completed the two days you are given a grade out of 3.



When the weekend was over, I had gained 10 new friends, was tired and sore, got a recipe for some amazing low carb/gluten free cookies, and passed with a 3/3!  After we were done on Sunday, my husband and I went to this burger place around the corner from the college and I had a huge burger with bacon and avocado!

The day after training I went to CrossFit (enter surprised smiley face here) and managed to complete the workout, but I was done for for the rest of the week! Exhausted really isn’t even the word!! Since training (which was about two weeks ago) I haven’t looked much at GRIT but after this weekend I plan to really practice and learn the choreography so that I can tape and pass to become a GRIT coach!

Later in the week last week, I went to an interview at another gym for both GRIT and Body Pump. They were interested in taking me on as a substitute instructor for now and willing to help me with my GRIT certification. I was very pleased with them and happy they want to help! I look forward to working with them and practicing! I am excited for what the future holds with these programs!!

This past week was actually a really rough week for me emotionally. At work we had a dog come in who appeared to have been hit by a car, she’s paralyzed in her hind end and had no microchip. A good samaritan brought her in, and with no known home we began calling shelters and rescues. Due to the nature of her condition none of the shelters would take her but we were hopeful in one rescue who said they had to call us back. I felt horrible, she was emaciated, and clearly mistreated. Depsite all of this she was extremely gentle and sweet.


There’s no surprise that I fell in love with her at first sight!! They named her “Cali” and then changed it to “Joy” but I felt she needed a better name. I didn’t think Joy was appropriate so I began thinking of names for her. She spent one night in the hospital and the next day I came to work and asked what was going to happen to her. The doctor said that if they couldn’t find a rescue they would have to euthanize her. That just could not happen. I asked to take her home that night to buy her some time and so that I  could think of something to do. They told me a rescue had called but had to rearrange some things and would be calling the following day to let them know if they could take her or not.

When I got her home she ran inside as if she knew we were home! She smelt my whole apartment and took an interest in my boy Charlie. Where he went, she went. Charlie is kind hearted and wouldn’t hurt a fly so he quickly took her under his wing. She slept comfortably on my couch next to me snuggled up to my leg, melting my heart with each and every deep breath that she img_9827took. She was comfortable, home, and it showed in her demeanor that she was no longer scared, but happy to be in a warm home in a “bed” (my couch) with a loving human and friendly dogs. While I watched her sleep, the name Sophie (which mean wisdom) came to mind. I lovelingly named her Sophie.

The following day, I brought her back to work as she’s special needs and couldn’t be left home alone all day. Around 12pm I was informed that a rescue was coming to pick her up at 2pm and she was scheduled for an MRI the following day. I was prepared for this, but my heart was broken. I knew that it was best for her, but I wanted to take care of her, I wanted her to be mine. Saying goodbye to Sophie was one of the hardest things I’ve done in quite a long time. I know that she was getting the medical care she needed, that I would not have been able to give her right away, and she would be safe and free from euthanasia, but my heartached and I img_9839felt like the wind had been knocked out of me with the news that my sweet girl would not be coming home with me again.

Sophie had an MRI the following day and it showed that she has spinal inflammation likely caused by trauma and she was prescribed physical therapy. Sophie may or may not walk again, but the rescue is willing to give her the chance. If you’re moved by Sophie’s story – please considering donating to Oliver’s Orphan Oasis at www.gofundme.com/ooohelp.


If you read the explaination of Sophie’s story on that go fund me account, that tear-filled tech — yea that was me! Damn, I really fell hard for that girl!! She is such a sweet sweet girl, and will need a furever home. If you want to feel the love of a rescue pet please consider adopting Sophie, or another baby who needs a home!

I’ve had quite an interesting week between Sophie, my tire going flat on the parkway to work, getting peed on and bitten by a cat, and feeling like the world is out to get me. I really hope that next week is better, and that whatever is going on with all this negativity stops soon!!

On a good note – 41 days til I turn 30! I’m not sure why that’s exciting, butIMG_9871.JPG I like my birthday, and I look forward to another year older – hopefully I can continue to grow as a group fitness instructor, continue to grow as a person, and maybe just maybe become a parent — I was hopeful that this last one would have happened sooner but looks like someone has different plans for us!

Heres to learning Body Pump 99, GRIT 18, and hopefully having a better week!!




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What I’ve learned since ankle injury

If you’ve been following my posts, (sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve posted) you know that a few months ago I severely sprained and avulsion fractured my left ankle. It’s been a tough road to recovery and I’m still not fully recovered, but I’m finally feeling a bit better. I’m finally able to complete the workouts I set out to do without having to do too much modification. 
Injury is never easy – for anyone – but in my opinion it’s even harder for someone who is as active as I am. Typically I workout 7 days a week – crossfit 5-6 days, and Les mills BodyPump 2-3x per week. Occasionally I will do both in one day, or I’ll add a traditional bodybuilder type workout – usually legs or shoulders – to my week. When I injured my ankle I had to scale my workouts back and at one point I was going to crossfit 1x per week and teaching BodyPump 1x per week. Once my boot came off I had to scale every workout but slowly but surely I started to feel better. 

Then I “ran” the Spartan – Killington Beast, against the advice of my doctor. I will write more about this in the near future, but I managed to complete the nearly 17mile race (13-14miles as per the map but 17-18miles as per the GPS) with a taped and wrapped up ankle that was clearly not stable. When I finished the race and headed back to crossfit the following day, I decided then and there that I would focus on my recovery and strengthening my ankle. I also decided that I would stop telling myself that I couldn’t do something – and realize that in 10.5hours I completed one of the hardest things I have ever completed – and no future workout would be even close to that day. 

Since the race I’ve paid much more attention to stretching and spending the time on mobility in my left ankle. I’ve been able to do many of the workouts using Rx weight – mostly because I have taken the time to pay attention to how my ankle feels, and how each movement feels. 

I’ve also changed my diet to a low carb, high fat – ketogenic diet. This has seemed to be the main contributor to my quick recoveries and energy. I have also spent a lot of time talking myself out of coming out of the gate too fast… Something I noticed was before my injury I would try to be the fastest and would wind up in last place – but once I slowed down – paced myself – I was able to not only complete the workouts but I was able to complete them with Rx weight and much faster than ever before – even when there is running involved (which continues to be an area for improvement because of my ankle). 

So, overall my injury has taught me:

  • Slow down, take the time to recover
  • Slow down, stop trying to be the fastest person – go at your own pace
  • You won’t die – you’ve done harder, so give it all you have 
  • If it feels good, go for it – even if your doctor doesn’t advise it (ok this one might not have been the best idea lol)


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Getting stronger::New ink

I literally learn something new every single day that I go to crossFit. The cardio work is my least favorite but mostly because it needs the most work. I am starting to become a stronger rower, but I still find myself going out too hard to start and tapering off at the end. I do, however, feel like my technique has gotten better which has resulted in better pulls and better overall results. I also seem to have my best rowing work when one of the coaches (specifically Dave) tells me to row harder – something about having someone tell me what to do while I’m forcing out mental negativity — that helps push out those “I’m tired, I can’t” type thoughts. 

I find myself pushing harder than I have ever before – not stopping nearly as much – and being able to go for longer. I’m not sure if this is mostly mental or if it’s because I’m getting stronger in my endurance. Can you increase endurance in only a month? I can’t wait to see where I am in a year!   I can say that since starting crossFit my workouts have been MUCH more consistent – and maybe that’s why I feel like I’m getting stronger. I wake up every morning around 5-5:15am, regardless of the day – and I head to either crossFit or body pump. When I’m done I either practice something like double unders (or attempt to practice them), do some strength work, or run at least a mile. It very likely that as the summer progresses I will be doing more after work – crossfit or pump in the morning, work, and then lifting like I used to. I haven’t don’t a traditional bodybuilding workout since I started going to crossFit – mostly because I don’t have enough time in each day, plus I really need to focus on the cardio and breathing for the Spartans that I have coming up. 

Either way I feel like I’m on my way to becoming a better person both in and out of the gym. I find myself encouraging others much more than I have ever done in the past, and really looking at my abilities as a whole rather than comparing to anyone else. I still have moments where I get unsettled by a comment or someone telling someone else how strong they are… Like hello?! What about me?! But I’m learning that it doesn’t matter what other people think or say, what matters is that I dont give up and I keep trying to be the best version of myself!   

I also haven’t really talked about my eating disorder much lately. I actually think I’ve been doing pretty good – I haven’t had any real bad binge moments – I have had a few times over the last month or two where I’ve eaten either too little or too much but it hasn’t been an all out binge where I’ve considered throwing up. There has been a shift in my mindset since starting crossFit – it’s almost like unconsciously I know there’s a lot of cardio, and I know if I consume a lot of food – more than I need – I will feel heavy and my workout will suffer – whereas if I eat what I need – I will feel good and my workout will be awesome. I had an unintentional low carb day the other day followed by a high carb day — I really didn’t plan it – it just happened to be what was available – and I’ve gotta say – the day where all my carbs came from fruits and veggies rather than bread – I felt like a million bucks. My diet is always a struggle but I feel like I’ve taken a lot of the pressure off by not focusing on how I look, but how I perform. I’ve noticed how I feel during a workout after eating different things and have shifted gears towards the more whole/natural foods – craving and then therefore eating less processed foods. So, overall I feel like I’m in a good place, and headed to an even better place nutritionally.  

In other news – I got a new tattoo (thanks to my hubby)! It says ” the road less traveled” which is a paraphrasing of the famous Robert Frost poem: The Road Not Taken. To me, this means that in all that I do – I will not just follow the crowd, I will not let obstacles stop me, I will overcome all that is in front of me and I will take the road less traveled.   

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…Enter the wonders of intuitive eating

Today is a perfect example of how intuitive eating is slowly working to my advantage.  I think that one day I will have to diet again, assuming I still want to compete, but while I am learning to have a healthy relationship with food, that whole idea of dieting is kind of being thrown out the window (for lack of better words).

Today I woke up, posted a quick blog about how I’ve been doing with intuitive eating, and headed to the gym. Before the gym I took a l-carnitine supplement (click here for more info on this supplement) and drank 1 scoop of Metabolic Nutrition Tri-pep. When I got to the gym I warmed up with about 10-15 minutes of fast speed-walking, and then it was time to get ready to teach Body Pump. About 10 minutes before body pump I knew I had to eat something and of course I had planned ahead so I had my oatmeal mix (oatmeal + 1/4 cup egg whites + 1/4 cup water + ~ 1oz trail mix) which I didn’t finish – because I ate until my tummy wasn’t grumbling and then had to go teach.  I knew it wasn’t the best choice – to wait to eat until the last minute, but I also knew that I wouldn’t have had the energy to teach without eating something – so I picked the better of two evils.

After class I felt a rush of energy and decided to get in a quick back workout. Here’s what I did:10431540_10100692422431887_5202003198178565359_n

  • Superset (SS) x 4 sets – reps were around 15-20 each set: lying overhead lat pulls, seal rows, bent over rows
  • SS x 4 sets – reps between 12-16: Lat pull down (wide grip), seated cable row (tight grip)
  • SS x 4 sets – reps between 12-16: straight arm pull down (using the ropes – hands together at the top, hands at my hips at the bottom), behind the head lat pulldown medium grip
  • SS combo – 1 set: Deadlifts: Deficit for 12, straight leg for 10, sumo for 10.

I would have continued doing more deads but without a belt or straps my forearms were beginning to give especially with all the rows I had just done and body pump prior to that. It was a pretty good workout!

After I was done, I went to my favorite burger place called Elevation burger, where i got a kids burger (1 patty) in a lettuce wrap with onions, no cheese, and tomatoes. Then I headed home and made protein pudding – 1st Phorm CTC protein with a little water to make a pudding consistency (it’s like eating cinnamon toast crunch without the crunch haha!) and I put another 1oz of trail mix in my little container. I started eating the trail mix but stopped because I wasn’t really that hungry anymore.

…. Enter the wonders of intuitive eating.

I’m still learning about all of this, but it’s really becoming somethi97e725c49ab211ddba107acbd7f9b29bng that I can handle on a daily basis. Early I spoke about celebrating the little things, and I think that given my scratchy past with overeating and binge eating disorder, it’s pretty amazing that I’m able to recognize that I’m no longer hungry. A big thing I’ve noticed lately is an increase in my thirst – I’ve been very thirsty lately and I wonder if it’s because my sleep has been off, or if I’m finally recognizing thirst vs. hunger. I know that they say that in the beginning you may notice an increase in your weight at first, and maybe that’s true – but overall I feel good, and I feel like with a new tool for making good choices, I’ll be more likely to make better choices for my overall health as time goes on and as I continue to explore this anti-diet.

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Recap 2014, Goals 2015

2015 has begun, can you believe we are already on day 2?! I’m still trying to get over this sickness, and since I’m home-bound for the remainder of the day, I decided what better way to spend a sick day then to reflect on 2014 and plan for the remainder of this year.

I’ve found lots of different things that I wrote early in 2014 outlining my goals for the year. I’m glad to say that I was able to knock down a few of the items on my list!

On December 1, 2013 I wrote:

Goals for 2014 – no particular order!10176210_10100464648966737_7988876620813816139_n

– Become COPE certified with TSFL
– enough financial freedom so pat doesn’t have to work overnights
– Become fitness instructor (PT v spin/body pump instructor tbd)
– Hit goal weight; transition to maintenance correctly
– Run 1/2 marathon (The North Face endurance challenge – trail run)
– move to Talleyrand / cruise for anniversary
– Run 10 mile race in Bronx, NY
– run color run & muderella
– begin training for NPC bikini competition!👈yes… This is serious

At the time I was a health coach with TSFL and I had big dreams of working hard with the company and really developing my business.

On January 10, 2014, I wrote:

5 lifestyle events I’d like to experience and what habits to get there
1. Run half marathon in May
2. Becomes Les Mills Body Pump instructor
3. Go paddle boarding in the Pacific Ocean this summer
4. I want to reach my goal weight
5. Hike the Appalachian trail (The NY part) with my husband and dogs without any of us dying from lack of ability/oxygen/water/nutrition lol
– train properly for half marathon, and don’t give up
– work on core strength
– go to body pump 2-3x per week and continue to get strong so I can successfully get certified
– re-read DYOH as many times as needed, keep in contact with my health coach/business mentor
– track food and monitor measurements and weight weekly by utilizing my fitbit as well as sticking to the 5&1 until I get to my goal and then transition correctly!

This year was challenging, I started the year well into my second journey with TSFL and I was determined to “do it right” as you can see by my references to the plan both in December and January.

In February I drove down to Washington DC to do my initial instructor training for Body Pump (Les Mills) and began to falter a bit with my nutrition.bodypump I was working out so much that I began to have signs of exercise induced amenorrhoea (the absence of menstrual period due to excessive exercise and/or low body fat). My hormones became extremely imbalanced and I began dealing with a lot of health issues that were contraindicated with the low caloric diet and high intensity exercise that I was doing. My doctor advised me to stop working out so much – and to increase my food intake. My doctor didn’t know my history with binge eating, and advised me to increase my calories to at least 1400-1500 rather than the 1000-1200 that I had been on (I was usually close to 1000 even on days where I’d run 8 miles and practice Body Pump). I quickly began to binge eat, hide food, and fall back into old habits – consuming upwards of 2500+ calories at any given time. I made the decision to slowly back out of being a TSFL coach, slowly letting my clients “fall off” and for that – today I sit here, and feel that I did such a disservice to those people and feel terrible. The biggest problem that I had was that I became so engrossed in what i was doing, trying to figure out some sort of balance for myself, that all those that I was helping fell at the wayside.

It took a long time for me to really get a hold on my nutrition – I still struggle with it, a year later, and I’m sure I’ll struggle for the remainder of my life, but I feel that I’m in a better place – one where balance is happening day by day.

As I mentioned, it took awhile for me to get to a better place – still not perfect, just better. I contacted a bodybuilding/competition coach once I was able to figure out my hormones to the point where I wasn’t gaining 10 lbs every time I ate anything “off plan” and had high hopes to begin training for a competition. To my dismay the coach was more concerned with my overall health than helping me get to a competition – I know that sounds backwards, why would I be upset about this? – well, I am notoriously the person who “wants what I want” and “gets what I want” and when I didn’t get what I wanted I followed the plan half ass’d. Something that, sadly, took half the year to figure out, was that I need to trust the process and stop thinking everything needs to happen NOW. I wanted to compete – I thought that competing would “fix” my nutrition problems and allow me to train as much as I wanted. Boy was I wrong. When I fell into some financial issues and was no longer able to pay for the coaching that I wasn’t listening to anyway, I decided to go it alone – talk about wake up call.

Since the summer of 2014 I’ve been able to maintain my weight within 5lbs. I’ve managed to maintain a fairly clear head and continue to read about and watch videos about successful people in “the business.” I’ve learned that I can absolutely compete, but it’s not going to fix any of my food issues – so I better get my shit together before I even consider a competition!

So, last year I started the year with a list of goals, and this year I will do the same. Last year I vowed to become a certified Body Pump Instructor – which I have accomplished. I also wanted to run the 1/2 marathon which I did in May. I reached my goal weight, and then gained 25lbs back (boo). My husband still works overnights, and I still live in the same apartment, and as I bet you can expect – I didn’t become a COPE certified coach. I did however go to my first Veterinary conference in St. Louis, became an AFAA certified group fitness instructor, I went to the AIM 1 for Body Pump, and I have managed to open myself up and really be honest with myself with my fitness/health goals.

This year I want to take my goal setting to the next level

My 2015 goals are as follows:

– Run Spartan sprint1941510_10100435167417997_780316614_o
– AIM 2: Body Pump
– Elite Trainer status: Body Pump
– The NorthFace Endurance Challenge: 1/2 marathon (Bear Mountain)
– Travel to LA to visit Pat’s family & Katherine
– Visit Alycia and the babies at least twice this year
– Try crossfit – most likely fall in love, and figure out a way to afford the local box
– Travel to Ohio and see Robyn & Joe (only fair since they came to visit us last year!)
– Financial freedom (this will probably be on my list every year)
– Become certified in another Les Mills program: GRIT or CxWorx
– Read a new book every month!
– Every time I want to binge, STOP, drink water, wait a half hour, and redirect myself to healthier options that don’t involve food

For now that is where I will leave my 2015 goals…. As my goals are forever changing, I’m sure I will continue to reflect on what I want out of 2015 as the year goes on. Although I still strive to enter into my first bodybuilding competition I’m not sure that I’m quite ready for that mentally. For now, I will continue to work hard, continue to push myself physically, and mentally, and work hard on my nutrition.

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31 Days of clean foods: day 18

Day 18 was like any other, woke up at 5am and headed to the gym for Body Pump. About 10 minutes prior to pump I consumed a small apple, 2 eggs, and 1 slice of Ezekiel toast.
I felt good during pump, I had energy and really felt strong.
After class I headed home to get ready for work. At 8:30am I had 1 cup muscleegg, 1/4 cup oats, 1/2 cup raspberries, 1 scoop Metabolic Nutrition Protizyme protein, and about a TBPS PB2 mixed together to make a shake. After my shake I headed out the door for work.
Work wasn’t a very busy day, which is unusual, but my food intake started like no other. By 12 I was hungry so I split up my lunch and had 1/2 cup rice, and about 2oz chicken. At 2:30 I went to lunch and had the rest of my lunch which was 1/2 cup rice, 2oz chicken, and 1 cup green beans.
Here’s where things got rocky… We were done with our appointments, so I got bored…. Between the hours of 3-5pm I consumed about 1200 calories of trail mix…. Yup, that wasn’t exactly planned for. I literally fell into one of the binge eating disorder comas where you eat and eat with total disregard… You know the kind that I’m trying to learn more about why this happens so I can stop them or at least try and prevent them… I also only has 2 liters of water all day, which is minimal since I’ve gotten back on my gallon + a day water habits again.
I know boredom was a huge factor, but I’ve noticed there’s also a trend in trail mix and quest bars. You’ll see on day 19 I continue the quest bar trend – but more about that tomorrow.
I want to start trying to add another 2-4oz of chicken, 1/2 cup of rice (or more) and veggies into my daily intake – maybe having more full meals will keep me away from all of the grab and goes.
After work I went home and had 1 cup rice, 4oz chicken, and 1 cup green beans at around 7:30pm. By 8:30 my husband and I went to my jobs holiday party – I didn’t skip this one, but I made sure to eat before I went!
My husband ate which was fine, I had a glass of water and enjoyed the company – I wasn’t hungry but there was pizza in front of me, I looked at my husband and said “I want a slice of pizza” he said “stop” and moved it away from me. I thanked him and we continued with out night.
It’s so important to have a support system. I’m so thankful for my husband, because I may have made some sort of excuse as to how that pizza was “whole” and had a slice just because it didn’t have cheese, but I wasn’t hungry – at all – so I’m glad he was there to move it and support me!

So I talked yesterday about how I would talk about my new hairstyle… When I was younger I always did what I thought was socially acceptable – Id always stay out of the lime light, I was the kind of person who was quiet, and sat on the side lines. Too much attention and Id hide away until the attention was no longer on me. I was a big self conscious mess, until I met a few very integral people who have helped shape me into the person I am today. I am still uncomfortable sometimes in large crowds or when there’s too much attention, but at the same time I challenge that uncomfortability and I welcome it most times. The biggest example is when I teach body pump – I honestly do my best when I have a large class – give me a room full of people to focus on me and I turn into a confident instructor! How does this relate to my hair? Well, a few times in my past I’ve done a few big things with my hair that caused people to pay attention – the first being in 10th grade when my mom died my hair pink for Halloween and it never washed out – for weeks Id cry myself to sleep because I hated getting made fun of. “Halloweens over” they’d say… Yea, well the pink won’t wash out, what do you want from me?!?! I’ve cut my hair to my chin and put colorful streaks into it in my early 20s and then when I was 25 I cut off my mid-back length hair to a pixie cut – with shaved out sides and all. Now, 28 years old – trying to grow out my pixie, I decided I hated how it looked and it was time to do something drastic – if I didn’t have a real day-job Id go even more drastic but – I really think this is going to be my “signature look” for awhile. So, I express myself with my hair – I’m spunky, edgy, and have an air of “badass” around me. Don’t get me wrong – I know i’m not capable of a lot, and I’m continuously working towards getting better everyday, but I am confident, something I never used to be. And although sometimes what others say affects me, overall I don’t give a fuck what people think and I am going to push forth towards my goals whether the general public agrees with what I’m doing or not!

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31 days of clean foods: day 14&15

December 14th. Day 14.
It was a slow Sunday – nothing was really planned but I felt a sense of energy that I hadn’t felt in quite some time, so I decided to get up for fasted cardio. I got to the gym around 9am and I hit the stairmaster at level 9 – which was almost too easy – but forgot I had done level 10 the last session so in hindsight it makes sense. I had a meal replacement shake provided by the gym at 9:45 and then I went in to teach Body Pump. The group consisted of 13 people, 13 strong, athletic people. It really felt good, had them working really hard and they worked me just as hard. After class I was going to head home when I decided I still had energy and I wanted to capitalize on that so I did a 1 hour legs workout concentrating on hamstrings (my weakest part of my leg) followed by a 20 min handstand practice – it’s been awhile and that was clear for the first few tries but I’m getting stronger in my core which is making the “liftoff” easier!
After I finally decided I was spent, I headed home. At 1 pm I consumed 5oz chicken and 1 cup white rice. I wanted veggies but I just couldn’t bring myself to eat them so I decided I would just hold off til later. At 4pm I had 4oz chicken, 1 cup white rice, and 1 cup broccoli (yay! Finally veggies!). At 4:30 the hubby and I headed to the gym to get in about an hour and a half of arms – which consisted of three major supersets of Bicep curls with Dumbbells and the bar, Tricep dips, tricep pushups, pull downs, concentration curls, hammer curls, and wrist extensions — that’s not in order that’s just a few of the exercises we did!
After the gym we went food shopping, and by 6:50 I was feeling a bit hungry so I grabbed a quest bar.
For some reason I really wasn’t that hungry after all that working out on Sunday so for dinner I had 1 cup of organic chocolate milk – my muscleegg is defrosting so I bought that chocolate milk from the local farm that I bought in the beginning of the month – 3.6 cocoa nibs (organic and only had 5 ingredients – all of which were in plain English and consisted of real foodstuffs) and 1 scoop of metabolic nutrition Protizyme protein.
Around 10pm I finally decided to hit the hay after a long and exhausting – but fun day!

Monday, December 15th. Day 15:
As with every Monday I woke up at 5am. I thought about sleeping in but decided I’d only get another hour to sleep which isn’t worth it so hit the gym. I got to the gym by 6:30 after making breakfast and lunch and putting together snacks for the day which includes an apple and those cocoa nib thingys. Got to the gym, feeling energized and hit the stairmill – level 10, 45 minutes. But something happened mid step.. With 18:10 remaining a wave of nausea hit me like a ton of bricks and by 18;04 I had to stop, breathe deep and take off my sweatshirt. In the almost month and a half that I’ve been getting in at least 3 days of fasted cardio in a week, I have yet to have to take off my sweatshirt…. I quickly recovered from my nausea and got back to it. But with 3:36 seconds left it hit me even harder and I started looking around for the nearest garbage pail. What the hell is going on? I stopped, held my towel up to my mouth, downed my liter of water and told my body to cut the shit. I finished my 45 minutes, with a 2 minute cool down on the stairmill and an 8 minute walk on the treadmill. I’m confused about the reason for this feeling – the ONLY thing I did differently this morning was not have my morning vitamins with the C.G.P. Like I normally do. About a week ago I stopped adding Spark to my morning drink because I realized I didn’t need the extra energy – only adding it when I really needed it. Could the lack of creatine monohydrase really be the reason for the overwhelming nausea? I’m going to have to keep close tabs on this one that’s for sure….
Here’s how the day went with food:
8am – morning shake – 1/2 banana, 1/4 cup oats, 1 scoop MN protein, 1/2 cup chocolate milk, 1/2 cup egg whites, drizzle of muscle egg – it’s still defrosting so I used the chocolate milk and egg whites to mimick my muscleegg
9:50: quest bar
12:30: 3oz chicken, 3/4 cup broccoli, 1/2 sweet potato, 1.5 cocoa nibs
4: Apple, 1 cocoa nib
7:30: 3oz chicken, 3/4 cup broccoli, 1/2 sweet potato, 1 cup rice, organic sweet potato chips with hummus
8:45: banana, 1 cup chocolate milk
Here’s the 7:30pm meal:
Check out my Instagram @pugs_and_pushups for more on this meal….
Overall I felt alright as the day went on. Stomach was still a bit unhappy throughout the day up until that dinner. I have a feeling that I haven’t been eating enough for the amount of training I’m doing, plus I didn’t really eat dinner on Sunday night.
Let’s see how I feel tomorrow….

Halfway there — and overall the 31 days isn’t half bad…. Follow along as I finish up the rest of this month strong!!

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31 Days of Clean Foods: Day 7

Day 7 was pretty uneventful. I woke up at 7:30, had breakfast at 8:45am which consisted of 1 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup mixture of 1 scoop Metabolic Nutrition Protizyme Peanut butter cookie protein and 1 cup of muscleegg mixed, and then I headed to the gym. I was teaching Body Pump at 10am and I was a bit nervous – I wasn’t sure if it would be a good class or not. To my pleasant surprise the class was awesome! 14 people and the energy in the room was amazing! Each person challenged themselves and I really used all the things I learned the day before and it was a blast!
After class I headed home. At 12:50 I had lunch which consisted of 1 cup of jasmine rice, 2 organic ground turkey patties, 1/2 cup pistachios (lightly salted), 14 organic baby carrots with 2tbsp of organic hummus.
I fell asleep around 1:30 and didn’t wake up until about 3:30-4pm and when I woke up I was hungry, but had to do some work so I sat at the computer to get some stuff done.
At 4:30 I had the other 1/2 of the muscleegg mix and then at 5:30 I had 3/4 cup jasmine rice.
At 7pm my husband came home and we headed out to a local burger place that has organic grass fed beef so I had a burger in a lettuce wrap with onions and tomatoes. After dinner we headed to the whole foods market and I got a pulsin bar and about 5 date & coconut rolls (organic dates rolled in organic coconut).
I was really hungry at night but I think it’s because I hadn’t had much water at all. I’m slacking on my gallon big time and I slacked on Friday too!
At 10 I had 1/2 cup pistachios, a handful of carrots and hummus, and a banana with almond butter.
I stopped myself because I saw it turning into a big problem. I’m really tired these last few days and it’s causing me to start old habits… I must stay strong. It’s only day 7… I need sleep and maybe it won’t be so hard mentally.

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31 Days of Clean foods Day 5 & 6

Picture this: it’s Friday morning, for over a year now you have woken up every Friday morning at 7am and gone to the gym by 9am for Body Pump followed by Spin (obviously this has a few exceptions but it’s pretty much been this way). But this Friday was different. After two days off from work I woke up at 5am, got my stuff together got to the gym by 6am for fasted cardio (Stairmaster for 45 minutes), drank 1 cup of chocolate muscleegg right after, showered, and headed to work. When I got to work I had my usual cream of rice with Metabolic Nutrition Protizyme protein and peanut butter breakfast and then it was work time. We hired a new doctor, and she has a new technician who needs training since she’s a fairly new technician and she’s new to the service – so I volunteered to help out where I could with her training. I would be lying if I said the day was easy. I don’t know why I had this idea that it wouldn’t be too bad and I’d be done by 3 or 4pm. By 2 pm I was starving – hadn’t not eaten anything since breakfast at 8am, so I ran quickly to have an apple, ¼ cup of almonds, and some water. I worked through hunger, and any sort of lunch break, and I didn’t leave until after 8pm. By the time I got home at 9pm I was starving, but I really didn’t want anything – funny huh? So I had chicken and turkey (about 2oz of each) with edamame (I think about a cup) and a sweet potato. I really wanted to make sure that I didn’t eat anything that I shouldn’t have so I stayed away from the supermarket and just had when I was supposed to eat for lunch. I knew if I went to the super market it would be bad news bears and I’d make excuses for why it would be okay to eat whatever I wanted, but it would have only been because I wasn’t really running on all cylinders. Anyways, after this I cooked up some steak, made another sweet potato (I poke them a few times with a fork – 4 minutes on each side in the microwave and voila! Perfect potato), and I put together a “little” salad for Friday (Day 6). Once I had my food packed for Friday, I fell asleep on the couch around 11pm, and woke up around 12:30 to go to bed. Les Mills Body Pump AIM 1 tomorrow bright and early in Maryland!

IMG_5563BEEP BEEP BEEP! The alarm went off at 3am. Since I had everything all set up the night before I was able to just get up and get to it – although half asleep, I was surprised how fast I got up and out. I was out the door by 3:40am – while leaving my complex I swiped my front bumper on the concrete wall taking some paint off – which made me seriously consider going back to bed, but of course, I didn’t. While in the car I had a cream of rice and oatmeal mixture with 1 scoop of Metabolic Nutrition ProtIMG_5566izyme. At 7am I stopped at the Delaware Welcome Center and got some coffee, I also had an apple and ¼ cup of almonds. I arrived at the Bethesda YMCA at 7:45am, full of excitement and nerves.

The day went well, I won’t go into it with minute by minute detail because I think it’s important for other instructors to experience the AIM module for themselves and not through me, but I will tell you this – we started with an introduction, we found out what track we would be presenting, and we got right into it. The room was broken into two groups – two people teaching at the same time to a group of other instructors. This reminded me of my AFAA group fitness certification, where there was other things going on and you had to tune it out and just listen to the music and do what you do. As soon as each person was done the instructor gave us “feedback on the fly” where she went over what we did good and things to work on for the second presentation later in the day. She said that I have great form, clean lines, and I’ve got layer 1 down pat. She said I am good with short cues teaching people “like a bodybuilder” would. I laughed, because that’s sort of what I do – which made me happy because it’s recognized and not a bad thing. She said that I need to work on getting people to move better – and really focus on the layer 2, challenging people and making sure to give the track focus and remind them throughout what that focus is. I was overjoyed that nowhere in that conversation was my voice mentioned – during my initial training all my instructor kept saying was that I needed to find my voice (well Adam, I guess I found it!! I’m not the quiet girl anymore!!).

She said that I have great form, clean lines, and I’ve got layer 1 down pat. She said I am good with short cues teaching people “like a bodybuilder” would. I laughed, because that’s sort of what I do – which made me happy because it’s recognized and not a bad thing.

After the presentations we all came together and began discussing Les Mills more indepth – we talked about the difference between brands and products and how as an instructor we are the face of Les Mills. If we are passionate about the program, we are the interface between our participants and the company – so what we portray will be what the members believe Les Mills to be as well. This is one big responsibility if you ask me, but I’m okay with that because I literally LIVE for body pump! It sounds crazy, but I love it so much and it really has helped keep me on my journey! Around 10am we took a little break and I had a half of my sweet potato and about 2oz of organic deli turkey.

We talked about the Body Pump brand, and how everything we do brings members either closer or farther away from the program. After we went over some more businessIMG_5587 we did some flexibility tests and got moving. I’ll leave the specifics out, but I will say for anyone who has gone through an AIM 1 training – my low back was killing me the entire way home but it was challenging and I’m better for it! Then we had a break for lunch. Lunch came around 2pm and I was famished. I knew that I had steak and a salad and another half of a sweet potato but I wanted some coffee as I was starting to lose steam. So, I used my GPS to find a 7-eleven and I was on my way! While I was there I picked up some Krave Beef Jerky, and some quest bars for the drive home. I also picked up a Caveman bar. I had never heard of them before but all of the IMG_5588ingredients were readable and I thought why the heck not! So for lunch I wound up having the caveman bar, 1.5oz of steak, the other half of my sweet potato and coffee. I should mention too that during this entire day I was drinking a gallon of water.

Then, after moving and challenging each other, we talked about coaching. We went into voice just a little more than the initial training (at least my initial training) and discussed where we could dial up and do something more or dial down and do something less. I asked about being too authoritative – being too much – because sometimes I walk in the room with a body builder/hardass type attitude and I really need to remember on a daily basis that not everyone in my class has my goals – and I’m there to help them with their goals! At 3 pm I had a banana while we dove deeper into our goals as instructors and started thinking about how we were going to present in just a short while.

We scripted a little bit before our final presentation, and we were given the opporunity to practice our scripts before we had to put our practice to use. Since we had 15 people we went through the entire release, all together for the warm up, and then tracks 2 – 8, each person presenting (again with the room split) and then we all came together to do the squat track as one large group. After our second presentation we all cleaned up the room while our trainer wrote out evaluation forms. My evaluation form was really quite good, She didn’t tick off the box saying that I’m AIM 2 ready, but that’s okay – even though this was my goal for today. Although I screwed up my choreo a bit in the second set, she marked that I did choreo, that I teach in the essence of Body Pump, that my technique is on point, and for the most part my coaching is quite good. She said that I added more followup than before but I just need to work on this more. I was very proud of myself for going through this day despite all of the things against me and I made sure to fuel myself which I’m sure is a huge reason why I was able to successfully complete the day.

I left around 6:15pm after finishing the training, and my gallon of water, to head back to NY and boy did I hit traffic. My first hour was literally stop and go and IIMG_5571 was hungry from just burning myself out during the last presentation, but I had a quest bar and my jerky to hold my tummy. At 8:45pm I stopped at the Delaware Welcome center again (which was only 45 minutes from the training but took me an hour and a half to get there because of traffic) and got a liter of water and filled my gas tank. During this stop I also had my second quest bar. At 10pm I was in NJ fighting myself to stay awake, contimplating stopping and taking a nap, I decided to eat something – maybe that would help. I had 1.5oz of steak and about a handful of the salad that I had made which was literally just iceberg lettuce in a ziplock tupperware container. Although tired I was close to the GWB and decided to just muscle through.

I arrived home around 10:45pm and immediately hit the showers. I fell asleep sometime around 11:30pm/12am happy with how my day went but utterly exhausted!

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31 days of clean foods: Day 3

So today I was off from work (sort of, more on that later) but I still got up at 5am for fasted cardio by 6am. I’m still taking too long to get out of the house but it’s definitely a work in progress and if I have to get up earlier, I will just have to do that. So, I decided the stairmill was a good idea today and I forced myself to stick it out despite wanting to take a 2 minute rest at around 35 minutes – I tried “positive self talk” and just told myself to keep going, work harder, and not to quit until the 45 minutes was up. I walked for about 10 minutes once I was finally done with what felt like the never ending 45 minutes of intervals on my friend/foe mr stairmill and headed home. Once home I ate my breakfast which consisted of about 32g of cream of rice, 1 scoop of Metabilic Nutrition Protizyme peanut butter cookie protein and 1/8 of a cup of almonds because I really just didn’t want…. Yes I said it… I didn’t want peanut butter.
At about 9:45 I decided I was hungry but it was probably bordum, and I had my other quest bar from the other day – not too bad, two bars lasted more than 2 days in my house (new world record?) and had already finished 2 liters of water by 10 am.

I took today off from work because I haven’t been feeling good and today is really no exception. I’m not 100% me and I don’t exactly know why – moments of dizziness and sinus pressure with a lovely headache to top it all off. I’m just kind of tired, but I don’t think it has anything to do with food, maybe I’m wrong, maybe it’s my body getting used to this “healthy” real food I’m eating. It’s only day 3 so I’m not sure how true that is. It’s interesting though because I got strep throat back before I did my initial body pump training and now, three days before AIM 1 I’ve been struck with the ick. Coinkeedink?

I’m reading this book called “The Sports Gene: inside the science of extraordinary athletic performance” by David Epstein. I’m only on chapter 5 but it’s very interesting, and helps get me through the 45 minutes on the stairmill without becoming overly bored.IMG_5241.JPGI love reading and learning new things, and as I become increasingly interested in sports nutrition and athleticism I find myself turning to sciencey books related to sports and how elite athletes become elite. I was leaving the gym today when I had a quick, but very good conversation with Phillippa, the woman who works the front desk at the gym that I both train at and teach Les Mills BodyPump. She said “you work at the animal hospital? I thought you were training for a crossfit competition, but I guess we all need a day job to get paid right?” I laughed and replied “I’ve always wanted to do crossfit but I just don’t have an extra 200$ a month right now” she went on to tell me that she competes (she said in what but I don’t remember as I was half dead from 45 minutes of fasted cardio) and that one day she decided to just close her eyes and go for it. I told her I feel like it’s my calling to do this, to be physically active in any capacity that I can be, and she said that I not only could, but SHOULD compete in the crossfit games. Of course that couldn’t just happen right off the bat – being that I’m inexperienced with everything that IS crossfit other than understanding some lingo, watching the 2014 games, and having a general idea through powerlifting, weight lifting, body pump, and other athletic sports I’ve had experience with – what it’s all about – it would be a long time until that happened – it was very interesting to hear from pretty much a perfect stranger that I not only have the body of a competitor but I seem to have the determination and drive to do so. How can someone see all that in one hour of watching me die on a stairmill and having a quick 5 minute conversation while she tried to run my card since my membership was 2 days overdue? (Oops!) How can someone who doesn’t know who I am until I say “I teach Bodypump on Sunday” get so much insight into what I’m capable of? Has she paid attention to me before? I mean, I’m in the gym everyday (or close to it). Potential … Determination … Drive … Bravery … It’s funny how my whole life I’ve always held myself back, this short conversation has really led me into deep thought of how much I let money or fear stop me from doing what I feel like I’m destined to do.
So many things running through my head – I’m entertaining the idea of getting my personal trainer certification so maybe I can take on some clients to save up for crossfit dues or more les mills certifications? I’m interested in the ISSA sports nutrition certification as well, and all the while I’m still interested in continuing with my vet tech career. Can someone be interested equally in two completely different fields? Can I find the time to train as much as I would like to and still be present at work the way I should be for my patients? It’s going to be interesting to see how 2015 plays out. I’m pretty sure in the next day or so I’m going to put together my list of what i want to accomplish in 2015. Most of the things on my 2014 list actually got done… I’m excited to sit down and get my thoughts together around what I want to do… I know that when I put my mind to it, I get it done… So let’s see what I can come up with 🙂 more on that at a later date though…
Moving on to the rest of my day…

Lunch was at around 12 and consisted of roughly 2 oz beef, 3 oz chicken, 1 cup green beans, 1 small ~ 120g sweet potato. Boy did that fill me up! I ate all the green beans first then the meat and I had the sweet potato without the skin!
I had a meeting at work at 2pm (hence me sort of being off) so I brought 1/8 cup almonds and an apple with me, and headed out to the meeting. The meeting wound up not starting promptly and I wound up having to wait so at around 2pm I ate the above mentioned snack. Our meeting finally started around 3-3:30 and was over around 4:50pm which worked out because I had been asked to cover a class for a fellow instructor at the gym who had a horrible migraine headache so I headed over to substitute teach body pump for her. Even though I haven’t really been feeling well, I made the decision to help her out since she seemed much sicker than me, plus we are like family so we help each other whenever needed! Class went well, and afterwards I saw this on the sign up sheet for the class!
IMG_5250.JPGwhich totally made me feel great, but I was hungry when it was over at 6:30pm. I couldn’t wait to get home and eat! Thank goodness I had prepared for dinner earlier in the week when I cooked up a LOT of chicken!
When I got home I heated dinner up and my hubby and I enjoyed baked chicken (4oz for me, unknown amount for hubs lol but 4-5 pieces of chicken breast so probably closer to 6-8 oz) seasoned with Himalayan salt and pepper, green beans (I had about a cup – his was half his enormous plate) and jasmine rice – half a cup for me, 1.5 cups for the hubs! After that I was still really hungry so I made a mug cake from 1 scoop Metabolic Nutrition Protizyme peanut butter cookie protein powder, 1 large brown egg, three raspberries and water. It was most definitely filling and made my tummy happy! Since I really didn’t eat anything from 2-7 I was feelings quite hungry, it’s funny because I mentioned twice that I was hungry today but it wasn’t at any point a trigger to binge – just eating to fuel my body which is awesome!

On another note I’m excited because my chocolate muscleegg came in today! I can’t wait until it’s thawed so I can get my chocolate “milk” on tomorrow!!!

I also should mention that I’ve been taking all of my supplements except the omegas at dinner, I really need to get better about this! (For full list of supplements see Day 1 blog).

Time for bed….

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