Yeah, I know, it's Pitbull and (as Joel McHale says) "K-E-Dollar-sign-Ha." It's totally vapid but I'm a sucker for the chorus and Pitbull's "It's about to go down" command. This one's a favorite in the car on the way to the gym.
I was sent a bottle of Pines beet juice powder recently and I was eager to try it because I've heard great things about beets and fitness. It can improve blood and oxygen flow to muscles and prompts the muscles to use that oxygen more efficiently.
I'm an Eastern European-by-way-of-Chicago chick, so I'm quite familar with beets. A bottle of Manischewitz borscht was a staple in our house growing up. A cold bowl of borscht with a dollop of sour cream -- we're talkin' childhood comfort food.
I've added a spoonful of beet powder to my pre-workout cocktail of Emergen-C and Naturally Calm magnesium powder. It comes out tasting like a lemony beet soda -- don't gag laugh, it's good!
I also threw a couple teaspoons of it into a smoothie the other day, which I'm calling my Red Velvet Cake smoothie. Red Velvet cake is basically chocolate cake with a bottle of food coloring thrown in right? (I don't eat it because the thought of all that food dye grosses me out.)
It was really great, and would make a great breakfast smoothie before heading to the gym. There's plenty of protein and some heartiness from a packet of instant oatmeal, which you can omit if you want, but I found it added that little bit of "cakiness" to the smoothie.
Red Velvet Cake Smoothie
1 cup Silk coconut milk (or whatever milk or milk substitute you like)
Ice (if there's still room in the blender cup; I play fast and loose with that "max capacity" line on the Ninja cups)
Blend and enjoy!
Makes 1 serving. Calorie count depends on the type of milk and protein powder used. This particular smoothie weighed in at 390 calories, so it's definitely a meal. It also packed in a bunch of fiber to boot.
That one pound that I wanted to lose seemed so within my grasp last week has turned into 2 pounds.
I delved into the stats on my Withings scale and here's what I saw:
Since I started adding regular strength training to my exercise, my fat mass has gone down and my lean mass has gone up, but as you can see, my weight is kind of flatlining with a very slight drop.
While that's encouraging, that change in body composition has stabilized the past few weeks. I need to take things to the next level to progress, but I don't know what to change.
I recently switched up my cardio/strength ratio -- instead of 2 days of strength training and 3 days of cardio, I'm now doing 3 days of strength training and 2 days of cardio. (I also do about a mile of warm-up on a bike or treadmill before I strength train.)
Exercise is not my issue. I'm really enjoying the gym (like I LOVE it) and I've long enjoyed my neighborhood walks/jogs.
Food is what's freaking me out right now. And when I mean freaking me out, I mean when I wake up in the morning, I go to the kitchen and don't know what to do. I stand, frozen, in front of the pantry or the fridge, trying to figure out what to eat for breakfast.
Do I eat carbs? Make a smoothie? Eggs? Oatmeal? What will start my day off on the right foot? What will ruin my day.
These are the things that are spinning in my head whenever meal time rolls around.
And it's also frustrating the people in my "weight loss/health care circle." Do I reduce calories? I really don't want to get into that cycle because I'll only be cutting and cutting until I'm freaking starving all the time instead of, like now, sometimes.
Here's where it gets infuriating. I get a LOT of books sent to me and lately it's a ratio of 33-33-33 of "not all calories are created equal and don't cut back on the good ones" to "I'm a famous trainer/chef/celebrity/nutritionist/doctor and here's my really low calorie diet that will work for everyone" to "cut out all these bad foods and weight will miraculously drop off."
I tend to lean toward the "eat the good calories" trend of weight loss science. Last week I got wrapped up in one of those "cut out all your favorite foods for no really good reason" books and I lasted half a day.
I just started reading "The Calorie Myth" by Jonathan Bailor. I listen to his Smarter Science of Slim podcasts all the time (actually, a few of my pals have been on his show -- I'm looking at you, Brandi, Jenn and Lisa!). I talked at length with Lisa a couple years ago at BlogHer about her experience with Bailor's theories and it has taken me until now to finally give them a try myself.
His way of eating is "paleo-ish," which, I discovered, agrees with me, as Dr. Mark Hyman's Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet is a similar way of eating. Bailor's approach is very science based, which I dig because I'm a bit of a geek.
So, off to the gym for the teenager and I! I came up with a new pre-workout drink, which involves a teaspoon each of Naturally Calm magnesium powder, Pines Beet Juice Powder and a packet of Emergen-C. I figure the B vitamins, magnesium and beet juice will help with energy, stamina, focus and oxygen uptake, which everyone needs at the gym.
And I have a great smoothie recipe I made with the beet juice powder, which I'll share tomorrow. Think red velvet cake ...
Every now and then when I'm doing a "grownup thing," like driving, paying bills or doing laundry (y'know, the fun stuff!), I stop for a moment.
This is hard to put into words because it seems silly, but I think to myself "Wow, I can drive a car like it's second nature," thinking back to driver's ed class in high school when I had no idea what I was doing. I thought I would never get the hang of it. I remember the first bill I paid -- a subscription to "Rolling Stone" magazine. It was also the first check I wrote, right before I went away to college.
I think it's because I have a teenager who is just starting to learn the "grownup things" in life, which brings me to today's song, which I heard yesterday on the way back from the gym -- the "grownup" way to get activity, unlike swinging on monkey bars or something.
I love the fun energy of the song and the lyrics, which poke fun at "living in the real world."
(Oh, did I mention that I'm the mayor of my Planet Fitness? I've never been the mayor of anything on Foursquare, let alone a GYM.)
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