Sunday, June 19, 2016

My Fitness Journey - PX903 - A New Adventure

Well Folks. I've been on a new fitness adventure for the past 4 weeks............P90X3. Its a 90 day workout system that you do at home via either BeachBody on Demand (online streaming) or via the DVD's. I started with the BeachBody on Demand free 30 day trial but ended up buying the DVD's off Kijiji for a steal of a deal.

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I've even given up my gym membership..........which was actually quite traumatic for me. I have residual feelings of guilt and sadness every time I see that YMCA logo:( It has been such a big part of my life these past 3 1/2 years.

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I'm such a traitor.............I'm sorry YMCA.
I was quite happy with my level of fitness and my gym rat routine so why the change? Well I had a few reasons:

Time - I don't have it. I had been working out at the YMCA 4 times a week, usually for 45 minutes. I would either go:

  • on a day off to a 9:15 class which meant I wasn't done my workout until 10:00. By the time I took a shower, "put on my face" and drove home it would be 11 or later. I tended to chat in the locker room - hence the later, or 
  • during my lunch hour at work which took about 1 1/2 hours by the time I walked there and back, showered, etc, or 
  • before work. That was the best option in terms of limiting the time investment since I would just roll out of bed and go. But I would have to remember to pack SO MUCH STUFF the night before or risk showing up at work with no mascara (scary), no bra (that happened) or mismatched shoes. 
I chose P90X3 because the workouts are only 30 minutes (plus a little cool down) and include a blend of cardio, strength and flexibility training. I get up at 5:45 or 6:00 (depending on whether its a work day), do my workout, have my shower and "put on my face" by 7:15. Done. Its incredible. The time savings in my day are incredible. So simple. 

The downside is that I miss my YMCA friendships - those retired ladies are super nice and super inspirational. And I haven't taken many proper lunch breaks for weeks. Going for a class forced me to take a lunch break which was a great mental break. But the savings in time, increase in productivity and reduction in stress have been worth it. 

Strategy - I didn't have one. I went to a variety of classes. I did yoga, HIIT, strength training, dance, Zumba, lifted weights. You name it, I did it. The plus side was that my workouts never got boring and my general level of fitness was pretty high from the constant muscle confusion. But I have to admit that I had hit a plateau. And the little layer of blubber around my middle was evidence. Don't get me wrong, lots of that problem is diet related (okay - sugar related - damn you sugar) but I also started to suspect that as much as I like the unpredictability of my workout I had absolutely no strategy. No targets for when/how much cardio strength or flexibility training I was getting in any given week/month. Hence the plateau. I needed a trainer (for which I'm way too cheap) and some structure in my workouts. 

Variety - I need it. As mentioned above I like variety in my workouts. And I also tend to get a little obsessed with one thing for a while and then get sick of it. I've been through various phases where I go hard on one type of exercise, and then I'm over it and move on to the next thing. I went through a pretty hard-core yoga phase in 2014/15 so now everyone thinks I'm a YOGI - except I haven't really practiced for the past year. Shhhh - let's pretend I'm still super zen. Namaste. 

So maybe this is just my next thing. Which is fine. I'll do it for 90 days and then see what comes next. It keeps things fun and interesting. Its got me pretty excited about working out again.

So that's why I've given up my gym membership (gasp) and am doing P90X3 in the confines of my basement. I've just finished up week 4 so stay tuned on how I'm finding it- another blog post is imminent.

Lots to report. No - I don't have a six pack...........but maybe a two pack. And I have time. I definitely have more time. Notice I've actually started blogging again..................

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Mama's Chocolate Hemp No-Bake Macaroons

Hey Folks, super excited to share this recipe with you.

My kids love them and I took them on my girls weekend to get a second opinion. They got unanimous approval from 11 other mama's. So you know they must be good.  Plus it is so easy. Hello - no bake. Its summertime - who wants to turn on the oven. 

Being full of super foods doesn't hurt their standing either. Hemp. Check. Coconut oil. Check.

I was on a fully grain free diet for a LONG time. But, I have recently re-introduced some grains and am coping okay with them. I generally avoid them early in the day (or my blood sugar gets right out of whack) and their role in my diet is pretty limited. But I'm always trying new (or old) things. I'm not a slave to one particular diet - I just try to figure out what my body is, or is not, responding to at any given time. And trust me, it changes with the seasons, stress, weight, etc. A constant guessing game. 

In the past, when my adrenals where in bad shape, and my blood sugar was crazy low, I couldn't have handled this little snack. But these days, I can indulge in a few oats now and again. As long as I've had a good dose of protein for breakfast and my blood sugar is stable. 
And, oh lordy, am I enjoying these!  Hope you do too! These girls sure did.........

Mama's Chocolate Hemp No-Bake Macaroons

by MamaChanty
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Keywords: raw dessert dairy free gluten-free vegan hemp seeds oats
Ingredients (3 dozen)
    Dry Ingredients
    • 2 cups quick rolled oats (GF if necessary)
    • 1 cup hulled hemp hearts
    • 1 cup shredded coconut (I used fine)
    • dash of salt
    Wet Ingredients
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil
    • 1/4 cup butter or vegan buttery spread (if dairy free)
    • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
    • 6 Tbsp cocoa powder
    • 3/4 cup organic cane sugar
    • 3 Tbsp Stevia (or adjust sweetener)
    In a bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a separate saucepan, add almond milk, coconut oil, butter, cocoa powder and sugar. Stir over medium heat until it comes to a low rolling boil. Let boil, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla (it will bubble up). Pour cooked mixture over dry mixture and mix thoroughly. Scoop packed 1 Tbsp spoonfuls onto a piece of wax or parchment paper. It may stick a bit so you have to work slowly/patiently.
    Let stand until cooled completely. Enjoy!
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