Tag Archives: onaquest

Free your mind :: and the rest will follow 😉

Today was a pretty good day. I woke up for cardio, and I have to say – that part of the day wasn’t as great but somewhere after that it really all turned around.
If you’ve been following my blog you know it’s kind of been more about the “push-ups” portion rather than the “pugs” and I assure you I’ll start blogging more about all things dog/pet as well! Actually, my husband and I are currently going through a trial period with dog food and diet changes because our pug, Charlie, has gained some unwanted weight this winter. More on that in a later blog though.

For now, I’d like to keep it short but give an update about what’s been going on.
For some reason this week I’ve really grabbed a hold of my training. It’s been a little weird – sort of like no rhyme or reason – but it’s been more than usual and it feels great! Here’s how the week had played out:

Sunday: taught body pump, trained back in the AM and chest in the PM
Monday: legs
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: fasted cardio in the AM (stairmaster 40 min), shoulders PM
Thursday: bodypump
Friday: fasted cardio in the AM (stairmaster 45 min), back and biceps in PM
Tomorrow I’ll have off unless I decide I have energy after work and I’ll do an at home circuit, and then Sunday I teach and go to the gym with hubby later in the day.

I just feel like something has shifted in my thinking. I feel like I’ve begun to learn to free my mind

Like my motivation is intrinsic, and I really think I have intuitive eating to thank, at least in part. For the first time in a long time I’m feeling fed. After cardio this morning I was craving a pumpernickel bagel – weird because growing up I thought they were gross. I got it with veggie cream cheese and also got a chocolate milk and a blueberry crumb muffin. The muffin wasn’t that good – but I ate it all because I was starving (not the best moment but took it as a learning experience and not harping on it — learned not to go to the gym without my post workout shake in tow or I’ll eat an entire muffin before even able to get home and have the bagel which is what I actually wanted).
Hubby came home and we went to the supermarket where I got some yogurts and picked up chips that I ultimately put back because I didn’t really want them at the moment – but I know they are there and I can go back to get them if I do want them later – and a got a chocolate bar. I told my husband that the coolest thing about intuitive eating is that I can buy that chocolate bar knowing I will want chocolate eventually but that I don’t need to eat it as soon as I get home. I did have some of it, but as I sit here at a quarter after 11pm, there’s still 3/4 of a chocolate bar in my cupboard – this is quite unusual but I feel good about it.
This freeing feeling with my nutrition has allowed me to open up my mind for other things – including training. I really enjoyed my workout tonight – it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to truly enjoy a solo workout session and that makes me overwhelmed with joy!
Before I sign out, I’d also like to point out that my amazing husband bought me a box of quest bars, and I chose to keep them in my car because I know that if I get bored I may wind up in the quest bars – small action step to force myself to utilize my intuitive eating steps that I’m learning. The quest bars aren’t punishment, they aren’t bad, and I can have them if I want them… Truly want them…. And for now, I’ll keep them far away so I have to work for them lol.

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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 10 & Day 11


Good Morning Sunshine!

Wednesday: Day 10: Woke up 5:23am, well – actually I woke up at 5 but stayed in bed until 5:23 because I was having a lot of issues with motivation – playing on facebook/instagram sounded like much more fun. Eventually I got out of bed and walked the dogs, grabbed food for the day, and headed to the gym. I got to the gym around 6:30am and did 45min on the stair master at level 9. I’m noticing that level 9 doesn’t seem as hard – next time I will up it to level 10. I like small increments when it comes to the stair master because a small increase seems like a huge one especially when the high intervals come (yikes!! My old smoker lungs can’t handle it – HOLD UP – yes, I used to smoke. I quit about 7/8 years ago but I still feel the effects when it comes to high intensity cardio like intervals or when I’m trying to sprint on the spin bike).
After my workout I had a chocolate peanut butter quest bar and off to work I went (after the shower of course!).
At around 10am I had 1.5 of the muffins I had made the previous night (see last post for recipe!), and at 12 I had the remaining 1.5 muffins. Lunch was around 3pm, and I was unprepared as I brought two uncooked eggs – what was I thinking? – so I went to the supermarket and picked up a small package of spring mix, some Pollock, basmati rice that I could microwave and some cranberry trail mix. Lunch consisted of a handful of said spring mix, 2 pieces of Pollock, about ¾ cup basmati rice and a handful of the trail mix thrown together to make a nice sized salad.
The trail mix was probably not the best idea as I kept grabbing cranberry trail mix as snacks whenever I thought I was a bit hungry starting around 6pm.

As I was leaving work I am so delighted to see this on the table:


But don’t worry, I didn’t touch it!

When I got home around 8pm I had ¾ cup of basmati rice with 2 scrambled eggs mixed in, and then continued to snack on cranberry trail mix until about 9-9:30pm. I didn’t realize until before bed when I was writing what I ate for the day to prepare to write this out that – Holy cow I didn’t eat any veggies today!!!
Tomorrow will be better with the veggies!!
Overall my energy is pretty consistent throughout the day and I don’t feel like I need any extra coffee or caffeine in general. Fueling with whole foods (for the most part) seems to be helping with my energy levels as a whole!!

Thursday: Day 11:


I woke up at 5am rearing to go. I was excited for Body Pump, as I usually am. Because I felt woozy last time I took the morning class I made sure to have a protein shake before class. Around 5:50/6am I had about a cup of chocolate Muscleegg mixed with 1 scoop of Metabolic Nutrition Protizyme. Class didn’t start until about 6:05-6:10 so I felt like I had enough time to digest but it was probably a little more protein than needed all at one time (but oh so good!). After class I went home to shower and get myself ready for my day. At around 8am I had ½ cup of oats, 2 eggs, and ½ cup of raspberries (mixed into the oats). I really need to go food shopping, because I miss my cream of rice – oats don’t seem to sit in my stomach as well as cream of rice – but I will make due with what I have for now. After that, I cooked up some beef and rice and put together a few meals for the rest of the day and headed to work. Around 10am I was a bit hungry so I had an apple and ¼ cup of that cranberry trail mix from Wednesday. I made sure to only bring a half a cup so I wouldn’t spoon it in my mouth all day. At 12 I had the other ¼ of the trail mix because my tummy was grumbling. Lunch was between 2:30 and 3 and I had about 3oz of beef (seasoned with salt and pepper), a ½ of a 99% lean turkey burger, about ¾ cup of broccoli and ¾ cup of jasmine rice (Jasmine rice seems to digest better in my belly – the basmati rice from the day before seemed to just sit there). After lunch I seemed to be fine, but got hit with hunger pangs like no other after work. I left work at 6:45 and went home – on my way home I pass a starbucks and a GNC. I contemplated stopping for coffee but then remembered how I’d be up all night if I did that so opted for a quest bar. When I got to GNC the bars were on sale so I picked up 4 of them. I ate one of the quest bars on the way home (which to put into perspective – it literally takes me 2 minutes to get home from the GNC… the bar was gone way before I made it out of the parking lot). I got home and heated up the dinner that I had made for myself earlier in the day – 3 oz beef, 1/2 turkey burger, 3/4 cup broccoli, 3/4 cup jasmine rice and I added about a 1/2 of an orange bell pepper with 2 tbsp hummus. Here’s where things get fuzzy. Remember those quest bars? So I think I had a moment where I would have typically “binged” because between 7:45 and 8-8:15 I had eaten all three remaining bars. Logically I know this doesn’t make sense, I wasn’t hungry – But as I continue to learn about why I do things, and extrapolate information from previous experiences – I think I was “lucky” to only really have that trail mix and the quest bars available to me. I find that when I buy only one, it prevents me from doing these types of things – I’m filled and I don’t need more so I won’t go out of my way to go back to the store to buy more. But when I buy multiples – or when I buy a box of something for instance – it’s like having just the one is not the same – I “must” have them all. At least, that’s what happens. It almost feels like an out of body experience – like my logical mind is no longer in control and my “Must eat everything” mind kicks in. My goal in all of this is really to understand what drives this – what force inside me causes me to eat uncontrolled amounts of food when I’m not hungry. I could immediately go to stress or tiredness, or some emotion driven response – but I don’t feel like I was stressed, or bored, or very tired for that matter. I think the problem lies in the purchase of the product. I know that multiples are a trigger – but I bought multiples anyway, because I was really hungry. I told myself – somewhat half-assed – that I would buy more than one so I had a quick go-to snack for the following day. Last week when I bought multiple quest bars and they lasted in the house – it was because I told myself – without question – that I was buying them so that I had a quick snack throughout the week – allotting each bar to a particular day. This time I just said “yea it would be good I’ll have a snack for now and cool I’ll have something for tomorrow.” But I didn’t really commit to having a bar for the following day nor did I commit the other bars so they were fair game – or so I thought.
I don’t feel bad for eating the bars, I actually feel okay about it because I’m learning from these experiences so that hopefully they can be few and far between rather than an everyday occurrence. I still feel good, less bloated, and am full of energy! Real food = healthy & happy!IMG_5628

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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 1

Today is my first day back to work after 5 days off, the first day of December, and the first day of my self proposed 31 days (I changed it to 31 days to be the full month of December) of clean foods.

Here’s my criteria for what constitutes as “clean” :

  • All produce
  • All unprocessed frozen fruits and veggies
  • Organic deli meat (This is more for convenience because of my schedule and I won’t eat this everyday)
  • Any animal protein
  • all RAW ingredients – for instance: if it comes from the isle sections at the super market – it should have only one or two ingredients. (this has been a tough one and it’s only day 1!!)
  • I will allow myself to have an occasional Quest bar as it is “clean” to an extent but this might change (for now I will have one on hand in case I’m starving and it will keep me out of the vending machine at work)
  • I will take Metabolic Nutrition C.G.P. every morning before my workout
  • I will take a multivitamin daily
  • I will take L-arginine in the morning and before bed (until I find research that tells me this is incorrect usage)
  • I will continue to drink Advocare’s Spark before my workouts
  • I will continue to drink Advocare’s Slam when I really need a boost
  • I will continue to take Advocare’s Thermoplus until I no longer have any and then I may or may not reorder
  • I will continue to drink Metabolic Nutrition whey protein shakes as part of my overall health plan

I will continue to add/subtract from my criteria as the month goes on and I learn more about what eating clean really means.

Moving on…


Today was neither hard nor easy. I woke up at 5:30am and took – what seemed like – forever to get ready. I had to feed the dogs, feed the tree (this silly Christmas Tree is like another child! Why did I say okay to getting a real tree??) I couldn’t find my pants so I made my husband get out of bed to help me, and finally got out of the house at 6:45am! The plan was to get out of the house by 6:15, to the gym by 6:30, and be done with my cardio by 7:15 so I had plenty of time to shower and get ready for work so I could make and eat my breakfast and get to work on time. This clearly did not happen. I was in the gym by 6:55, on the stairmill by 7:00 and finished at 7:45am. I ran out of the shower and got to work at 8:04am to find out that two of the drop off patients were there waiting for me! Yikes! This meant not a lot of time for food – or anything at all – welcome back to work!

I finally got a chance to drink my protein shake at 8:45am which is much later than I’d have like to! I’m really trying to eat something within 15-30 minutes of my fasted cardio – the longer I’m fasted the more opportunity my body has to take it’s energy from my muscles – in essence breaking down the wrong macronutrient since I want it to break down fat – which it will do with the fasted cardio at no longer than 45 minutes! Anyway, after this the rest of the day went pretty well.

At around 11am I had about 1/4 cup of raw almonds – I would have liked to make this a more complete snack but I didn’t have a whole lot of time (this would have been a prime time for a quest bar). And at 1:30 I had lunch. For lunch I had about 1 cup of jasmine rice, about 2 cups of iceberg lettuce, 1oz chopped hazelnuts (they were in my bag and looked like they’d taste good as an extra added fat source), 4oz of baked chicken breast, and 6 cut up organic grape tomatoes. I had no idea how good this would be, I tend to just mix all different things together with a total disregard for flavor, but this was really good! I was surprised by how full I was – I wasn’t over full, but I was satisfied and I was satisfied for over 5 hours!! That is almost unheard of in my world!

At around 6pm I started to get a little hungry and it was almost time to leave, so I decided I’d finish up with what I was doing with work and then I’d eat my snack on my way home. The next time I looked up it was already 6:45 and oooo boy was my stomach grumbling. It’s important that I don’t let myself get too hungry because this has been a binge eating trigger in the past. I decided it was about time to leave work so I grabbed my medium honeycrisp apple (my all time favorite, I really wish they were all year round kind of apples) and 2 oz of organic deli turkey for the road.

I don’t really like eating in my car because it has become a bad habit – and a place where I can eat where no one can see me – which in turn has been a binge eating trigger as well, but I decided I had to go to the bank and pick up some meat for dinner so this was my best bet – plus I didn’t have any other food with me so I was pretty safe.

I headed to the bank and then to the supermarket. While at the supermarket I picked up some thinly sliced chicken breast and some thin sliced flank steak. I also picked up a few quest bars and an organic chocolate milk that literally had whole milk and cocoa powder as ingredients. I don’t usually do dairy but I was really craving chocolate and decided that this was probably my best bet – plus chocolate milk is a great recovery drink after a tough workout so I thought maybe I can add it to my shake tomorrow or Wednesday?! (So, maybe the chocolate milk wasn’t the “cleanest” of foods but, I’m still human and this is a work in progress – plus I promised that I would be honest and document everyIMG_5196thing!

When I got home I took care of the pups, and I cooked the flank steak and baked a sweet potato. I also decided it was a good idea to have two eggs and about 1 cup of green beans. Again, I don’t think about flavor, I just put things together! This meal was actually pretty darned good and I had IMG_5204it at about 8:45/9pm.

After 5 days of being home, Charlie was not happy that I left him all day. Definitely taking some time to cuddle with my poopsy – this is good for the mental health!!

Knowing that I will probably be asleep by 10pm I don’t have plans on eating anything else – but I will be honest, know that those quest bars are there is troubling me a bit – but I have to be strong. I will leave them and eat them when I’m actually hungry.

Oh, I should also mention that I have had 1 gallon of water today and I was chewing a piece of Orbit gum between lunch and my late afternoon snack.

SO far I think Day 1 has gone well. I’m a bit nervous about scheduling in the next few weeks because my schedule at work is about to get really crazy – I’m pulling in extra shifts which is going to throw off my training, which means I’m actually really glad that I’m going to be doing this but it also means that I’m going to have to be strong and really stick to the plan!

What are some of your tips/tricks for eating clean? Do you find that recipes can sometimes be overwhelming? What’s your favorite go-to meal while eating clean?

Hopefully at the end of the month I’ll be able to answer more of these questions!! Stay tuned to find out!

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Know Your Worth. The Warhouse Gym Camp 11/15/14

First of all I want to start by thanking you for stopping by my site! I know it may be a little confusing at first – “what do pugs have to do with fitness?” is probably my most asked question! My love for both animals and fitness have brought me to a cross roads. I work as an oncology technician in a very fast paced animal hospital, but I also hit they gym 6 out of 7 days a week, teach Les Mills Body Pump, and have a dream of stepping on stage as a physique competitor.

Yesterday I had the chance to meet one of the most influential group of people who I have ever encountered. I decided that for my birthday, I was going to meet Ms. Olympia (2013) – Dana Linn Bailey, Rob Bailey, and their staff. I was going to drive 3 hours away to Reading, PA and spend the day in the presence of greatness. My goal was to learn as much as I could from the best in the industry, and go home and train even harder – have a plan – and get my ass on stage sooner rather than later. I knew that meeting her would light a fire within me, but I had no idea what I was really getting myself into.
The day started early, I woke up at 4:30 am after going to bed at 1am. I was tired, but excited – so I packed up my meals, gave my husband a kiss and headed out the door. I was upset because originally we had planned to go together but my husband wound up stuck at work and over exhausted so he asked me late the night before if I’d mind if he stayed home. I’m not a big fan of changing plans at the last minute – especially because of how excited I was, but I told him that he could stay home and I would go regardless.

The drive was nice, no traffic, quiet. I saw horses and lots of funny signs like the horse and carriage for the next 4 miles sign – that made me giggle. I watched the sun rise from my car, and enjoyed the fresh air all while wondering what in the world was the day going to be like.

I drove up to the warhouse gym at around 8:30am. When I got there I was welcomed by two employees directing me where to park. I parked on the side of this big blue warehouse next to a car from Michigan – “woah, and I thought I traveled far,” I thought. After taking it all in, I walked up and around to the entrance of camp. I didn’t know what to expect, I stood there for a second – took a photo of the huge panting of my idol, laughed to myself about all the skid marks on the parking lot floor (I’ve seen videos of them doing crazy stuff in those cars and here’s the proof right in front of me!), took a deep breath and walked in.

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Now, for anyone who knows me, I’m pretty shy at first. I’ll have a brave streak in me to get me there but once I’m there I’m awkward. I don’t know how to do small talk, I forget everything I want to say or do, and I’m kind of a dork. Here I am, awkward, standing in line to check in. Looking around, seeing all the people walking around, wondering where DLB is, wondering if I’ll be awkward when I meet her, or if I’ll be able to hold it together. “Ma’am?” I hear, “Oh! Sorry!” I step forward and I’m asked to sign a waiver – then I’m asked for the remainder of my money and my driver’s license. The young man scans my license and says, “okay, You’re all set, step down and these guys will help you get all your goodies!” I’m first greeted by a very pretty young lady with cool red streaks in her hair. She hands me a sheet of paper and explains the Instagram/blog contest, then I’m told to pick my shirt size and I’m handed a backpack by @1stphorm with a goodie bag from @MetabolicNutrition. Woah! Holy goodie bag! I’ll get into the specifics of the goodies later – but for now, just know that if you choose to go to one of these camps – it will be WELL worth the $150 it costs to go!

At this point the camp doesn’t start until 9 so I have a chance to walk around, check out the vendors, and shop in their store. As I made clear earlier – I don’t do small talk very well, so I attempted to go over near the vendors but I didn’t want to just grab the freebies and run – so I kind of just checked it out and then moved on over to the store.

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Shopping? Heck yea!! So, if you’ve ever shopped at the Flagnorfail.com website you know that their stuff is limited quantity and hand printed. At their in-house shop they have some of the prints that went array and lots of things that they no longer have on the website! Since my husband didn’t come, I had all the money that I was going to use for shopping AS WELL as all the money that I was going to use to pay for him…. This may or may not have been a good thing! So, after rummaging through some stuff I decided to get my husband a shirt, myself two crop tanks, a pair of crop pants, and a sweatshirt. I’m pretty sure if I had bought this stuff online I would never have been able to afford it all in one shot but the prices are severely discounted and the selection is awesome!

I still had some time and wanted to get out of the store before I spent every penny I had with me, so I walked around a little. They had free coffee and water, as well as @muscleegg samples to try (Holy cow is that good!! If you haven’t checked them out YOU SHOULD!). After getting myself a cup of coffee (I was tired from the lack of sleep and long drive) I walked over to the area where they had seats set up. The Flag nor Fail airstream was set up with couches in front of it and then chairs for us all to sit and listen. I decided to find a place that I thought I would be able to see, and sit down.

photo 2While sitting there, taking it all in, I noticed a tall man in flannel walking by to my right. “Holy crap it’s Rob!” I thought, then I had to remember that obviously I’d be seeing Rob, he lives there. I also had to tell myself to calm the heck down because they are normal people, they just happen to be extremely successful at being themselves!! Not too long after this Rob came over and sat down on the couch in front of the airstream. The room was filled with more people than I could count – quietly, attentively sitting there listening.

photo 1 (2)Rob opened with a welcome message. He thanked us all for coming, he told us that Dana had woken up Jose Raymond a little later than she should have, so they would be there in a little bit. Then he threatened us. In most cases this would be out of the ordinary, but I would expect nothing less from the Bailey’s as I’ve come to know them on Youtube and Instagram to be very candid people – especially Rob. So, he threatened the group – he said “If you feed my dogs, I will kick you out.” Hell yea! I thought! As a vet tech I am acutely aware of the animals, I saw them walking around – my protective instinct in me knew that I’d be watching them all day.

Then, Dana and Jose Raymond came. Excitement filling my entire being, but again – I told myself to calm down. I was humbled – I don’t know what I thought she’d look like in person – hard and muscular like the photos she posts on Instagram? I guess it didn’t dawn on me that unless she was just working out she probably won’t be all hard and veiny. She came in, almost shy, but happy. Soon I realized she was quiet because she was sick. I wondered if she was nervous – but how could she be? She’s Dana Linn Bailey!

photo 5 (2)They went through their bios, Jose Raymond had the entire room laughing hysterically as he didn’t exactly start with his bio – but you would have had to be there to really understand. He then told us that he had been competing for 22 years. He talked about how it used to be, before social media and how it wasn’t as easy to get a pro card as it is today. The best part of his autobiography to me was when he discussed the first time that he met Kai Greene – before this he thought HE was an animal, a freak of nature – and then he met THE freak of nature. He touched on natural body building with this story by talking about how in the beginning Kai was enormous, he was (and still is) a freak of nature and back then Kai was living on the streets only lucky enough to get his next meal – he made his point without even having to say it – but whatever you believe now – Kai was huge he was 20 years old and swole as hell, and he could barely afford to be where he was let alone take supplements or inject his body with things.

Anyway, moving on. Dana and Rob were up next to tell us their story. During this Rob said “when we met Dana had a boyfriend and I had a boyfriend….” PAUSE. Dana almost fell off the couch, the room rumbled with laughter, Rob laughed and said “see that’s the kind of thing that winds up on the internet.” She talked about how she was always an athlete, how she went to West Chester University for four years in Kinesiology, and how she was always competitive. Rob talked about how he went to school for football, he eventually realized that wasn’t what he wanted so he went to school for art which he did for a few years but ultimately he didn’t find what he was looking for there. He talked about how while all of this was going on he was working at a restaurant, working long hours, only really getting a small break in the middle of the day where he would go to the gym. They told us that this is really how Dana got into lifting. Rob told her that if she wanted to see him, she’d have to come with him to the gym. And the rest is history – but really, if I tell you all of it you won’t go to the camp, so go, and get the whole story straight from them!!

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After bios they talked about Nutrition. Jose and Dana both agreed that it’s important for you to figure it out on your own. Hiring someone can be expensive, and often times you spend a lot of money and time while the person you hired tries to figure out your body. They both agreed that you should figure out your body first, and then if you need help with improvements, you hire someone. Dana talked about how her prep and off season diet is very similar. She discussed eating the same exact things, just not being as strict about timing and amounts. She said since she’s on off season right now – if she wants to have a cookie, she will! But 85% of her diet is the same year round. She made it clear that she believes that she has a roll to fill. She is a professional athlete, and that is what people expect from her, so she believes she should look like a professional athlete 12 months out of the year. Plus, they both agreed, it’s not healthy to gain 30lbs on the offseason – for what purpose? To bulk? I got the feeling that they feel this is just another excuse so people feel like they can eat junk.
One of my favorite quotes (which I will paraphrase) that Jose used was the idea of driving a Ferrari. If you want to drive a Ferrari you must put high-octane fuel in it. If you want to drive a “shit box” you put shit fuel in it. There really isn’t much else to say on that topic.

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The moral of most of their stories was consistency. Be consistent with your training, be consistent with your diet, and consistent with your business.

At 11:30 we took a break to do the raffle prizes. There was everything from @metabolicnutrition goodies to @versagrips to @muscleliciousfoods pudding to a big @6packbags and @promerasports products (among other things!!). There were 14 prizes, but each prize was awarded to 2 or more people. I didn’t win, but that’s okay. I had fun watching those who did win!

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Next up Rob went into the business. He talked about how learned that sometimes you need to go to work early or stay late, off the clock, to better yourself and be the best you can be at your job. He related this story to back when he worked in the restaurant. Then he talked about how he has been successful. His “formula” includes honest decisions, honest marketing, and not making decisions based on financial decisions. They talked about this as a whole – encompassing not just the business but Dana and her values. Dana has not faltered on staying strong with what she believes in. The judges told her she needed breast implants. She refused. Coaches told Rob to give Dana estrogen blockers and tell her they were niacin, he didn’t. Making honest decisions in both life and business is what I feel has propelled them into the place they are in today.

Then we took a break for lunch. The recent camps have had some fun themes, and the theme to this camp was Thanksgiving. So, they had deep fried turkeys, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans, and gravy all catered by @rocbodyfitnesscafe which was cool because they are from my neck of the woods! During lunch I also went back to the store – I couldn’t help myself – and I purchased a t-shirt for myself, another sweatshirt, and a sweatshirt for my husband. He only got two things since he left me to go by myself!

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After lunch we all reconvened in front of the airstream for one more talk on training philosophy. Dana discussed the way she trains – to failure, and Jose explained how he trains – til he gets to the biggest point of his pump and then he’s done. It was interesting to see the differences between training styles. The biggest take home from this part of the camp was when Dana told us to do what we love. If you love training everything with huge supersets – do that! If you love doing plyos – go for it, but training should be, at the end of the day, enjoyable. If you hate what you’re doing, if you hate what you’re eating, why the hell are you doing it?

After this, we all got to experience a shortened version of a Dana Linn Bailey workout. They trained shoulders this day, and Dana discussed why she does what she does, and went through – while torturing Jose (because again, he doesn’t train the same way she does) – a few sets of some of the typical things that she will do.

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Once Dana finished torturing Jose,  we all came back and sat down to ask questions before they opened the gym up for open train. During the open training session, Rob Bailey, Jeff Logan, Jose Raymond, and Dana Linn Bailey walked around giving pointers and helping people with equipment. I didn’t train. I actually became angry because my husband had left me. There were a lot of people, all training and doing things like they had a pre-planned workout that they were going to do as soon as they got there. I felt like I had no direction, no clue where to even start. So I took this chance to go over to the vendors one last time. I found myself talking with the @questnutrition girls who were incredibly nice and told me to take samples, as well as the @muscleliciousfoods people. I was informed that @rocbodyfitnesscafe would be carrying the @muscleliciousfoods protein pudding so I didn’t have to order online to get my fix. I was given samples and they seemed extremely grateful for my business after I bought three of the puddings because – man was that stuff tasty!

photo 2 (6)At around 5pm Dana went over to a table close to the entrance door and a line began to form. “Here’s my chance” I thought, so I got in line and waited. While I waited I got to play with Mo, one of the @flagnorfailpups, and I watched as Dana greeted each person, and gave them time – there was no “okay, you have to go now, next person” she took her time with each and every person, answering questions, asking where they were from… small talk… “Oh crap” I thought, “what do I say?” So I started going over in my head how I would tell her that I work at an animal hospital and how I love that she is so into her dogs, and how I lost a lot of weight, and how she is an inspiration to me and how I want to compete and how I love everything they stand for and they inspire me to be myself and not let other people’s judgments stop me…. And then it was my turn.

With my arms crossed, she greeted me with a huge smile and opened her arms to give me a huge hug. I lightened up a bit and let my arms down. She asked me my name – and as my voice cracked and my face turned the color of a cherry tomato I said “Suzanne, sorry, I’m nervous.” Of course she asked me why, she laughed, said it was just her and her lack of a voice. “She’s taller than me” I thought, but then I just stood there. Then I said “My husband was supposed to come” she said “oh? Why didn’t he?” “He was tired and wasn’t feeling well,” I replied. “Well, you tell him that that’s not an excuse! I slept two hours and have no voice and I’m here!!” then she laughed, I smiled like a crazy person. “Do you have any questions?” She asked. I shook my head and I think maybe I made some noise like I was saying “no.” “Do you want a picture?” Nervous and excitedly I said “Yes!” we took a photo, and then she signed a photo of herself. Before she let me go she said she was going to sign one for my husband too, but she had to write him a note.photo 1 (7)He’s going to love this, I thought, we smiled at each other one more time, and I walked away, holding my pictures wondering why I have to be so damn awkward, but still smiling ear to ear.

All in all I learned a lot from my day @thewarhousegym. I learned that I’m incredibly shy, and I really need to cut that crap out, but most off all I learned that I was starting to fall into this idea that I wanted to be part of some cool exclusive club – like back when I joined the sorority in college thinking it would help me be less of a freak when I try to talk to people, or maybe give me some sort of feeling like I belong. I learned that I can’t get caught up in the bullshit – because there’s a lot of it – that I just need to do what I love, and what I love to do is train.photo 3 (5)

In short, I learned that I shall not Flag nor Fail. I shall know my worth, and I shall make honest decisions both in and out of the gym. I will not want for anything, I will just do what I love and if opportunity knocks, I will not let financials be the reasons why I make decisions. I will stay true to myself. And gosh darn it Dana Linn Bailey, I will be back AND I WILL TALK TO YOU.

I hope you all enjoyed my recap of the day, if you ever have the opportunity to meet DLB or go to the warhouse gym camp – I suggest you do!!

I want to say THANK YOU to @Danalinnbailey @flagnorfail and @thewarhousegym and their entire staff for holding these camps. I learned a lot! I also want to thank all of the vendors and the sponsors who help make this camp possible!

photo 4 (5)photo 1 (6)Thanks also to 1stPhorm for the hand written note! The time it took you to write this is much appreciated and shows the kind of company you are!photo 5 (4)Here’s a list of the sponsors and vendors that gave some really awesome goodies in the bags that were given out in the morning and who help make these camps possible:

logoFollow me on Instagram @pugs_and_pushups and @suz_rice

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