Friday, July 26, 2013

Fitness Update: Week 9 & 10

It’s that time of the week again to do my accountability post! I'm combining weeks 9 & 10 into one as I procrastinated (as usual). As usual, there has been a lot going on, but not too much that I can’t make time for my workouts or eating healthy. Ain’t nobody got time for fat! Especially this girl! So here we go!

Fitness Plan
Without a plan, you plan for failure. I’ve experienced this all too many times, throwing in the towel and giving up on myself. When you plan, you plan for success. I recently started a new weight lifting program called the New Rules of Lifting for Women(NRoL4W) that is AWESOME and is already kicking my butt into high gear. I also finished Round 1 of FitnessBlender’s Fat Loss program and started onto Round 2. I will tell you this – I’m so ridiculously excited to be lifting weights again it’s not even funny. I’m being totally serious too. I had forgotten how much I loved lifting and it makes my heart happy to have a plan to get stronger and leaner.
Contrary to popular belief, lifting heavy weights as a woman, DOES NOT make you bulky. It’s quite the opposite actually. You see, muscle has an appetite and loves to chomp down on fat. The more muscle you build, the more fat starts to melt away as it takes twice as much energy to maintain and rebuild muscles. Also, women do not produce enough testosterone to build enough muscle to look like Shera. If you want to get all big and bulky like a body builder, you have to do A LOT more than just heavy weights to get that build. So as a woman, weight lifting is your best bet to losing weight in addition to a healthy diet and moderate amounts of cardio as it does a great job of burning fat too. The beauty of weight lifting comes after you’ve stopped lifting. Your muscles are rebuilding and chomping on fat which burns lots of calories long after you’ve stopped working out. Cardio on the other hand, only burns fat while you’re doing it and there is no after burn. I’m not an expert on this stuff, but I’ve done plenty of my own research to know the basics. So be smart and don’t believe what you read here, go out and do your own research and come up with your own conclusion. This is my conclusion and I’m sticking with it.

Now that I’ve upped my game in the weights department, I’ve really been slacking on the planks as recovery has been about 2 days. The last plank I did was on 7/18 and I broke another personal record (PR) at 3:00!!!! I never thought this could ever have been possible, but I did it and I came out stronger. Did I have to start out small and build up to it? HECK YES! Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was my planking strength. Thank God I decided to do the plank challenge as it got me ready for the NRoL4W workouts.


07/19/13                                                                            07/26/13
Weight: 159.2 (-0.2 lbs.)                                                  Weight: 157.4 (-1.8 lbs.)
Calf: 15"                                                                               Calf: 14 3/4" (-1/4)
Thigh: 22"                                                                           Thigh: 22"
Hips: 41” (-1/2 inch)                                                         Hips: 41 1/4" (+1/4)
Waist: 32.25" (-1/4 inch)                                                 Waist: 31 3/4" (-1/2)
Under bust: 34" (-1/2 inch)                                             Under Bust: 34
Bust: 39"                                                                              Bust: 38" (-1) RIP boobies...
Wrist: 6"                                                                              Wrist: 6"
Forearm: 9" (+1/2”)                                                          Forearm: 9"
Bicep: 12"                                                                            Bicep: 12 1/4" (+1/4)


This week I outdid myself by making a Clean Taco Salad that was ginormous. So huge, I was full up until dinner which never happens since I usually eat lunch around noon and eat dinner after 8 PM. Eventually I'll get the recipe up on the blog, but if you follow me on Instagram, it was on there in all it's glory. Oh by the way, I joined Instagram! My handle is @thehungrylatina so follow me! :)

I also re-discovered why I don't eat a lot of dairy anymore (partially lactose intolerant). I was a total blotation device this week and felt sick to my stomach after every meal that included Greek yogurt. This should've been a "no duh!" moment as I hadn't eaten hardly any dairy in months. Alas, I like learning things the hard way. Goodbye breakfast Greek yogurt with almonds and maple syrup. *SIGH* Oh well.

Even though I re-discovered that dairy makes me sick to my stomach (literally!), I did discover another delicious item - almond butter! Puts it's cousin peanut butter to shame. I probably won't eat PB any more since discovering the deliciousness that is almond butter. Nom nom!

Well, that's all for me this week. This weekend is going to be rough eating wise. There's the annual Garlic Festival in Gilroy, CA that Panda and I will be going to. A lot of yummy food and probably bad food will be there. I'm going to prepare by hitting the gym in beast mode to prep for it. I figure I've been good for the past few weeks that one day won't be that bad. I can do this! Hope you all have a safe and wonderful weekend! Until next time!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Quick & Easy Breakfast: Overnight Oats

I’m not a morning person. My morning begins with me angrily swiping at my phone to hit the snooze button for 30 minutes and then dragging myself out of my bed to get ready for work. I’m literally a zombie until I eat breakfast. Now that I’m caffeine free (3 weeks!) it’s even harder as my morning cup o’ Joe was my source of “get up and go!” So it should be no surprise that I barely have time to scarf down my breakfast before I make the 30-40 minute commute to work. I’ve always been a firm believer that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and my stomach will tell you that by all the grumbling it does. What is a girl to do with no time to eat breakfast in the morning let alone make something? Insert, Overnight Oats! God bless the people of Pinterest and their creative concoctions who created this miracle breakfast!

As I had mentioned in a previous post, my goal this week was to post the recipes of the foods I’ve been eating over the past week to give you guys inspiration to eat healthy. This week all my recipes came from Pinterest and are ridiculously healthy and delicious. I will point out one thing – I’m a creature of habit so I’m fine eating the same breakfast and lunch every day. It makes my life easier to be able to plan out my meals on Sunday and then grab and go during the week. So if you don’t mind this type of eating, then these recipes will help you out.
The beauty of this breakfast is that it’s very versatile and can be eaten hot or cold. I prefer mine cold only because it’s summer. So here’s my personalized recipe which is slightly different than the original recipe.
·         1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats

·         1/2 cup skim milk

·         1 tbsp. ground flax seed

·         1 tbsp. maple syrup

·         1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder

·         5 strawberries stemmed and sliced

Macros (this will vary depending on the ingredients used):
Calories: 340
Fat: 5.6 grams
Carbs: 52.9 grams
Protein: 19.5 grams

The original recipe also puts their overnight oats in a pretty little jar to make it fancy. I don’t have time for that as you can see in my ghetto fab picture above and below, nor do I have fancy glass jars. I just grab the first clean Tupperware container with a matching lid and dump the ingredients in, mix, and then stick in the fridge to work its magic while I’m getting my zzz’s on. The next day you will get oats that look like they’ve been nuked in the microwave for a minute or two minus the weight that seems like forever. I will also mention that I make this nightly and not once a week as the consistency would be ridiculously soggy. Nobody likes soggy cereal and the same concept goes for these guys.

In addition to the Overnight Oats, I will have a hardboiled egg and a piece of fruit or greek yogurt to complete my breakfast that keeps me full until lunch time.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Pork Chops & Savory Mashed Yams

By the time noon hits, my stomach is growling in protest since I skip the snacks. Today all I could think about was the delicious lunch I had prepped for this week. The pork chops took a little more work since I had Panda help out with the brine. Brine is a process used on meats to tenderize them using salt and other ingredients. This is different than marinating which gives the meat the flavor. However, Panda’s brine did serve as a marinade as it had a hickory flavor to it. All I needed to add was crushed black pepper and the chops were ready to be pan “fried”.

Brine Recipe

·         1 cup salt

·         1/2 cup sugar

·         1 tbsp. paprika

·         1 tbsp. cayenne pepper (can omit if you are sensitive to spicy foods but you can’t taste it once cooked)

·         1 tbsp. liquid smoke (the hickory flavor comes from this)

·         1 cup cold water

·         1 cup boiling hot water

·         4-5 8 oz. pork chops with fat trimmed

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and then pour the hot water in first and then the cold water. Stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Then you will pour liquid mixture into a gallon ziplock bag with the pork chops. Place in fridge for 2+ hours. The longer the pork chops are in the brine, the better the flavor. You could do this on Saturday night and then grill on Sunday.
Once the chops have been brined, sprinkle crushed black pepper on each side in addition to any other herbs and spices you want to add. I would stay away from adding on any more salt as the brine is salty enough. You can either pan “fry” or grill the chops. I decided to pan “fry” as I’m a dee de dee when it comes to working a grill and Panda had plenty on his plate. Preheat a skillet or non-stick pan on the stove on medium to medium low heat with 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil (I use Trader Joe’s virgin coconut oil). Place the pork chops on the pan and cook each side about 5-7 minutes until a golden brown crust forms. Then flip over for another 5-7 minutes. You can also use a meat thermometer to gauge how ready they are to be on the safe side. Pork chops should be plump and juicy – ready to eat!

I followed this recipe almost to the tee. I used yams instead of sweet potatoes only because I couldn’t tell the difference at the grocery store and they weren’t labeled. I also baked the yams differently than the original recipe called for. The only difference was that I coated the yams in coconut oil instead of baking without it. The recipe was easy and most importantly – delicious! My modified recipe is as follows:

·         3 small yams

·         3 tbsp. unsalted butter (I used Kerrygold)

·         1 tbsp. olive oil

·         2 cloves garlic

·         1 tbsp. fresh thyme

·         1/2 tsp. salt

·         1/2 tsp. pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash yams so that they are clean. Poke holes into the yam’s skin and then coat the outside with coconut oil. I used a basting brush to put the oil on. Place yams on a baking sheet. I would recommend putting foil on the baking sheet so it’s easy clean up. I speak from experience people! Bake for 45 minutes or until you see goo gushing out of the yams.

Let the yams cool for about 15-20 minutes as you will need to peel off the skins with your fingers. Caution – you may burn yourself if you don’t let them cool off enough! Once peeled, you will put in a mixing bowl and mash with either a potato masher or a hand mixer. Once mashed, add in the rest of the ingredients and mix together. Now you have the best tasting yams on the face of the planet. Even Panda liked them and that’s saying a lot since he’s very cautious about healthy food (j/k!).

Yield: 3 servings (1/2 cup)

Macros (this will vary depending on the ingredients used):
Calories: 223.6
Fat: 8.8 grams
Carbs: 19.4 grams
Protein: 1.3 grams

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fitness Update: Week 8

Another day another dollar. Another week another update. I feel like I just did this...yesterday! Oh wait. I did. Hehe! Hope you guys are having a fantastic Friday! I know I am and for good reason. There was a weight AND inches! To top it all off, I was able to fit into my favorite jeans that I haven't been able to wear in over 2 years! It is indeed a glorious day to celebrate hard work and perseverance. Here's the stats as of this morning:
  • Weight: 159.4 (-1.8 lbs.)
  • Calf: 15" (+1/4 inch)
  • Thigh: 22"
  • Hips: 41 1/2"
  • Waist: 32.5" (-1/2 inch)
  • Under bust: 34.5" (-1/2 inch)
  • Bust: 39"
  • Wrist: 6"
  • Forearm: 8 1/5"
  • Bicep: 12"
It feels good to be back in the 150s. I thought I'd never say that, but here I am basking in it.

What do you guys have planned for the weekend? I'm going to Spin class tomorrow and depending on how my tush feels on Sunday, I'll go then as well. Not sure about lifting or planking though as I somehow hurt my shoulder doing jumping jacks yesterday. Who in their right mind hurts themselves doing jumping jacks?! Seriously?! I feel like a dork. Luckily today is my planned rest day and it is much needed to heal this old shoulder of mine up. Hello ice pack and hot bath. Hopefully it heals up soon cuz I already miss my dumbbell friends. This is a wake up call for me to properly stretch BEFORE and after my workouts. I already do the after stretching. It's the before stretch that gets me every time. *sigh* I'll learn eventually...the hard way.

Anyhoo, have a great weekend and make smart choices! Don't blow your hard week's work on out of control eating or drinking. Sometime this weekend I'll make sure to post some recipes of the food I've been eating to give you guys ideas of some tasty and healthy eats. Until next time - just say no to the donut!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fitness Update: Weeks 6 & 7

Clearly I've been a procrastinator with my accountability posts. I'm behind 2 weeks and a lot has happened since then and I don't even know where to begin!

Caffeine Free
On June 29th I decided to kick coffee and caffeine to curb for health reasons. As many of you may or may not know I was diagnosed with TMJD which is the disorder of the Temporomanibular Joint (AKA: the jaw joint) a couple years ago after I slipped and fell in the bathtub and my face caught my fall. Not only did I give myself a pretty bad concussion, it was also the beginnings of a very painful and annoying journey with my left side of my face. About 9 months ago it was so bad that I was on a soft food diet, meaning that I couldn't eat anything harder than a banana. I was eating soup, baby food, and smoothies for 6 months. It was 6 months of HELL and chronic pain. I was jacked up on muscle relaxers, pain killers, antidepressants, and sleep aids. Even in a drug haze, the pain was constant and annoying to say the least. Let's just say that I wasn't a happy camper for 6 months. 

Let's fast forward 9 months to present day. I can finally eat solid foods as long as they're not too chewy or too hard (think steaks, carrots, almonds, etc.), my stress levels are significantly less than they were back when my jaw was 50 shades of jacked up, and I've kicked all my prescriptions to curb. Even after all of these changes to my lifestyle and health, my jaw was still bothering me. It's like it never fully relaxes and it's tense all the time. Imagine clenching your jaw 24/7 without a break. Now you know how my jaw feels. 

I kept waking up with facial soreness around my jaw, temples, and behind my neck. I couldn't figure out what was going on as I am religious about wearing my night guard. I briefly mentioned this in a thread on the Livestrong Community and someone mentioned that they had the same issue but got better by giving up caffeine. So it hit me - caffeine is a stimulant which can affect your nerves. Part of TMJD is nerve damage or sensitive nerves so a stimulant can wreck havoc to the nerves in the TMJ. Needless to say I had an "aha" and "dee de dee" moment all at the same time. I was an avid coffee drinker because I needed the caffeine and because I love the taste of coffee. I figured that it was worth a shot to give up the caffeine in order to help better my jaw.

Low and behold, two days later I had no facial pain and minimal jaw pain! I was sold, however, the side affects were pretty bad. I was EXHAUSTED and grumpy. It was hard to concentrate and do my work. Twelve days later, here I am caffeine free, minimal jaw pain, and I'm still tired. Can't win all the battles I guess.

Weight Loss
The past two weeks have been pretty consistent with losses both in inches and pounds. I've been working out 6 out 7 days and my eating has been fairly consistent at 1700 calories a day. Although 4th of July weekend was a bit of a challenge to say the least. I managed to maintain my "maintenance" calories (2100) and not go over so that was a relief. So without further ado, here's the tally for the month of June:
  • June end weight: 159.4 (-5.6 pounds)
  • Bicep: 12 1/2 inches (-1/2 inch)
  • Forearm: 8 1/2 inches (-1 1/2 inches)
  • Wrist: 6 inches (-1/2 inch)
  • Bust: 39 inches (no loss - but I'm okay with that ;))
  • Under bust: 35 inches (no loss)
  • Waist: 33 inches (-1 inch)
  • Hips: 42 inches (the loss has been up 1/2" and down 1/2" = wash)
  • Thigh: 22 1/2 inches (no loss)
  • Calf: 14 3/4 inches (-1/4 inch)
As I mentioned, the 4th of July wasn't that kind to me and this girl was smart enough to measure & weigh the day after. Can we say water weight?! Here's the stats for last week:
  • Weight: 161.2 (+1.8 pounds)
  • Calf: 14 3/4"
  • Thigh: 22" (-1/2 inch)
  • Hips: 41 1/2" (-1/2 inch)
  • Waist: 33" 
  • Under bust: 35"
  • Bust: 39"
  • Wrist: 6"
  • Forearm: 8 1/5"
  • Bicep: 12" (-1/2 inch)
As you can see by the stats, it's equally important to weigh and measure. I gained 1.8 pounds but I also lost 1/2 inch in various places. The reason for the gain? It could've been a variety of different things...I did a rigorous Kettlebell workout the day before and lifting weights can cause weight gain the next day. I also ate 2,000 calories on the 4th which might have caused me to retain water, hence the water weight gain. Whatever the cause may have been, there was still loss of inches and in my opinion a loss is still a loss. Moral of the story - measure the treasure AND weigh yourself.

I mentioned in my last post that I was going to start doing forearm planks as there was a plank challenge on the Livestrong Community. I figured why not challenge myself since I was horrible at planking. I started off small with a 30 second plank and then moved up from there in 5-10 second intervals. As of 07/10/13 I'm at a 2 minute 25 second plank! This is HUGE considering where I started and what my goal is (5 minutes). Every day I add on another 5 seconds to the plank. I'll keep you guys posted on the progress in my weekly check ins.

In addition to the planking successes, I'm proud to say that I did something that I thought was impossible. I woke up at 5:30AM to be at the gym for a 6AM spin class! Whaaaaaat?! That never happens! I can barely wake up to get to work on time, let alone go to the gym to get my sweat on. Spin class was a success and I've found my new favorite cardio class to go to. If you haven't tried it, I would highly recommend it. I will forewarn you, it's not for the faint of heart and make sure to get a bike pad or wear a butt pad because your tush is going to HURT like a mother effer! I could barely sit for 3 days after that darn class!

Well folks, that's a wrap! I'll check back in in a few days for this week's progress. Be strong and if you see a donut, just say no!