Getting Pumped!

I’m so excited for my new vegan challenge! I’ve been planning out the menu and the workouts but it is not ready yet. I’ve decided to officially start when Daniel and I return from our trip on January 13th so stay tuned! However, I’m going to try to eat as vegan as possible before then to get my body a little better adjusted… I ate sausage and cheese last night! My parents had bought Daniel this box of meat and cheese with crackers for Christmas and we broke into it last night. I gotta admit it was pretty tasty.

Here’s what I ate yesterday:

meal plan

meal plan

meal plan

Since I couldn’t put the exact information in for the meat and cheese box, I just chose similar items and amounts. I had some left overs for lunch: the chickpeas curry with rice, and a Wendy’s side salad.

For my workout I did Jillian Michael’s six week six pack. It is killer! My abs are sore today.

Tomorrow, we leave for Kansas City so I’m hoping to fit in another good workout before we leave! My goal on this vacation is to eat as close to vegan as possible and fit in as many workouts as I can. But it’s vacation, so I’m not going to stress about it! I’ll kick it into high gear when I get back!

If I don’t drop in before the 1st, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

New Year, New Goals

I’ve been on a little unintentional blog hiatus lately. I didn’t mean to get so behind, but life happens. With the semester over, I’m proud to say I managed a 4.0 GPA for my first semester of grad school! Definitely proud of that, but it came at a price: a sore throat and a cough during finals week.  I’ve pretty much recovered except for a residual cough.

I also survived the holidays. Ok, just one holiday (my crazy new year’s eve plans are yet to come). Unfortunately, my cravings got the best of me. I ate cookies, fudge, pie, oh my! I have no documentation to embarrass myself with (trust me, if you saw my dessert plates, yes plural, you would shake your head in shame).

However, with the new year comes new goals. I want to refocus. My goal currently was to reach 120 by the new year. Well with only a few days left, I don’t think that will happen. I’m at 123.7 lbs. I haven’t been sticking to any diet, counting calories, or exercising regularly. Whoops. But that’s all about to change.

With this new year I plan to take on new challenges. Particularly, a vegan challenge. Ok, I know I’ve been testing out so many different diets, different exercises, and I haven’t been good at really committing to them. But I’m hoping for a better outcome this time, mainly because I’m going to PLAN EVERYTHING. Everything I eat, drink, and do. The ‘do’ part is the exercising. I found a blog that really got me motivated. Robin, from Robin’s Sweet Confessions, has a 30 day Paleo Challenge which has a plan for each day describing what and how much to eat and drink. It even provides the youtube video workouts that you do each day. I got so pumped up about it that I even did the first couple of days. I didn’t buy everything on the first week grocery list luckily, because I’m going in a different route now as I mentioned. Instead of Paleo, I’m going Vegan for thirty days. That means no meat, or products made with animal by-products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, or any processed foods that contain these. So if it has eggs, or whey, I won’t eat it. I am still going to eat honey though.

One road block I see in the near future is my trip to the Northwest United States. Daniel and I will be gone for about two weeks. We’ll head to Kansas City for New Years Eve and then fly out to Seattle on the 2nd to see one of my best friends that I haven’t seen in three years and probably won’t see for another three (she’s moving to Japan with her husband who is in the the Navy). After visiting her, we’ll head down to Portland to visit Daniel’s sister. I’m so excited for the trip! However, I’m worried about when I’ll workout and if I’ll be able to stick to my new diet. I plan to fit in a workout whenever possible and just try to stick to veganism as much as I can. If I end up just being vegetarian, that’s ok too. I just want to attempt a mostly vegan diet.

Why, you may ask, is my new obsession with going vegan? Watch Vegucated on Netflix! It’s an excellent documentary! Also,  if you’ve kept up with me since August, you now about my aversion to animal cruelty. So, in an attempt to save a few animals’ lives and not support large agriculture tyrants like Tyson, I’m attempting to be vegan for thirty days.

If you still don’t understand what I mean by all the cruelty animals experience, watch this Video of what happens to the animals we eat posted by Pissed Consumer. It was posted on Facebook so you may need to be logged in to view it. I couldn’t even watch the whole thing. It’s horrendous.

So, pretty soon, I’ll be posting my own version of a 30 day challenge. I still plan to follow the exercises that Robin has provided on her site, but I’ll add in some strength training, and of course my own meal plan. I can’t wait to share it!

If you don’t want to go vegan but would still like to try the challenge, feel free to follow Robin’s challenge in the link above. She had great results from it and some good food plans! Here’s some delicious stuff I ate for the first couple of days!

Grilled chicken with fresh spinach and sautéed onion and green peppersgrilled chicken with sauteed onions and green peppers

Quiches made with eggs, broccoli, asparagus, red pepper, and spinach (so good for breakfast)

vegetable egg quiche

Spinach salad with grilled chicken, strawberries, blueberries, feta, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds

Spinach salad with strawberries, blueberries, and feta

Mediterranean vegetable bake with eggplant, onion, zucchini, yellow squash, Roma tomatoes, and basil

mediterranean vegetable bake

I’ll still be able to enjoy the vegetable bake, but the chicken and feta will have to go. It’s going to be tough! I’m not sure when the official start date will be though the past couple of days I’ve avoided meat and dairy. It may not officially start until I return from my trip or I may just jump the gun and start it even if I can’t fit in all of my exercises or eat exactly what’s in the meal plan while traveling. You’ll find out soon!

What are your new challenges or resolutions for the new year?

Working It Out

This week has been surprisingly good for me in the exercise department! I’ve gone to the gym twice this week and one day I stayed home and did some strength training.

Monday was a gym day. I was on the treadmill doing a workout suggested by my best friend, Charissa. She has been rocking it in the gym doing walking workouts only! Can you believe it?

She suggests using the highest possible incline on the treadmill (typically 15%), and walking at a pace of 4.2 MPH. It kicks my butt! I could only handle about two miles of it at that pace and then I walked half a lap before running 1.25 miles (without an incline). I started out at 7 MPH but after a couple laps I knew I couldn’t keep it so I lowered it down to 6.5 MPH and then eventually 6 MPH. I walked a couple laps after that to cool down. It was a challenging workout. Here’s the summary:

workout summary

Typically running a mile only burns 100 calories but the inclined power walking really burns a lot! 514 calories for going 3.75 miles? I’ll take it!

On Tuesday I did the strength training exercises from the Health magazine article I found. I ended up only doing one set though.. I was tired.

Yesterday I was determined to get another good treadmill workout in. I did the same inclined power walking workout for 2 miles and then switched to running. This time I wanted to run a farther distance so I started at 6.5 MPH so I wouldn’t get burnt out as easily. I ran for two miles and then walked 3 laps for a nice cool down. It was so refreshing! Here’s the summary:

workout summary

I’m pretty excited for these new workouts and hope to keep them up. Today I’ll be doing more strength training at home. I plan to incorporate more track running with the treadmill workouts just so I get more “real” running in. I’ve noticed that switching from treadmill to track is really hard, at least for me. I find treadmill running easier because the track does some of the work for you. I’m hoping to maybe start running two miles on the treadmill and then running 1-2 miles on the indoor track afterwards to start out.

It feels so good to be working out again!

Do you have a favorite treadmill workout?

Thanksgiving Recap

Soooooo tell me how your Thanksgiving went?! I hope it was filled with love, laughter, and lots of food–mine was!  Admittedly, I probably did eat more than I should have… let’s take a look!

Here’s what I estimate that I ate for the Thanksgiving meal:

Meal Food Calories
Thanksgiving Feast Chips and queso 113
Mac n’ Cheese 80
Turkey rollup 50
Baked beans 70
Creamy corn 60
Mashed potatoes and gravy 79
Glazed ham 85
Turkey 34
Broccoli cheese casserole 50
Pink Salad 44
Red Hot Salad 60
Total 725

Wow. For one meal. And it doesn’t look like very much does it?!

Thanksgiving feast

I want to note that I didn’t eat everything on my plate so luckily I didn’t completely consume all 725 calories. There was some mac n- cheese left which is hiding under the chips in the picture, and a little pink salad, mashed potatoes, turkey, and broccoli cheese casserole left. Everything else was consumed.

Now here’s my estimation on how many calories the meal would have been if I had eaten a full scoop of everything:

Meal Food Calories
Thanksgiving Feast Chips and queso 130
Mac n’ Cheese 110
Turkey rollup 50
Baked beans 100
Creamy corn 90
Mashed potatoes and gravy 110
Glazed ham 130
Turkey 50
Broccoli cheese casserole 80
Pink Salad 100
Red Hot Salad 100
Total 1050

Over 1000 calories for ONE meal! Craziness. You’ll notice it’s not twice as much as before just because I felt like for some items I had a pretty decent portion of it. By putting a little less on my plate I shaved off 325 calories! And I still felt full. I don’t know about you but I usually feel inclined to clean my plate (I can’t stop eating if it’s in front of me) so if there is more on there initially then that’s more I have to eat (or overeat). So by starting out with less, I didn’t feel as bad cleaning my plate, and actually felt so full by then end that I couldn’t eat everything. If you’re good at stopping when you’re full then this isn’t a problem for you. But if I had put more on my plate I would have definitely ate more before stopping.

Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of my dessert plate. You don’t want to see it. I split it with Daniel but I’m pretty sure I ate most of it. On our plate we had a slice of pumpkin and pecan pie, and two types of brownies. Both brownies weren’t very big but pretty sure I devoured them without leaving Daniel more than a nibble. One brownie had a layer of cookie dough at the bottom, then an Oreo layer, then brownie mix on top. It was amazing!

I’m gonna guess it’s safe to say it was over 500 calories for that dessert plate.

I feel like a hypocrite because I didn’t have the chance to follow my own advice from last week on how to indulge wisely.  I was at Daniel’s family’s Thanksgiving and no salad was provided (I’ll have to offer to bring that next time instead of pie, but my pecan pie turned out so good!), then we had to watch the KU game (though I did do some running around with his nieces so that was my exercise instead of a walk), and then the men played Risk while I ate most of the dessert plate and watched Daniel play.  It was a fun day but I could have been more strict with calories, especially the dessert plate. But it was the Holiday so I’m not going to let it get me down!

After spending time with Daniel’s family we came back to Manhattan to have dessert with mine. I thought maybe we’d have dinner but it ended up being just dessert with another slice of pecan pie and apple pie split between Daniel and I and some more board games. Whoops. But I had lots of fun!

So now I have 25 days to stay on track before I pig out again at Christmas dinner. If I can do that, I may not even worry about restricting myself that day. I hope to workout at least 3 times a week with at least one day of strength training. I will probably mix up my strength training regime but for now I like this basic one from Health Magazine:

strength workout

It suggests doing 12-15 reps of each exercise twice a week but I plan to do 2-3 sets each time. Let’s see if it really does shave of 4 pounds of fat and add 2 pounds of muscle!

This week off was much needed but now it’s back to the real world tomorrow! Work, school, and hopefully some working out!