Starting Saturday the Sweaty Way

Today started out on a super-sweaty note with a great cardio workout at the gym.

workout 004

I took today’s workout up to a secluded loft at our gym that personal trainers typically use to train their clients and take them through plyometric and boot camp-style workouts.

Today the loft was deserted so I took advantage of the private space and completed two rounds of Jessica’s At Home Cardio Blast workout.

workout 005

I jotted down Jessica’s workout back in April and have kept it in my little gym bag ever since so I always have it on hand just in case I feel inspired to put myself through a heart-pumpin’ workout.

workout1

The elliptical also got some attention during my morning workout, as I warmed up with 15 minutes on the elliptical and finished my workout with 10 minutes on machine.

Post workout, Ryan and I took Sadie on a 2 mile walk around the lake near our apartment.

Now it’s time for a BIG breakfast! I ate a quesadilla (string cheese microwaved on a whole wheat tortilla) before the gym, but my tummy wants mo’ food!

After breakfast, I have plans to lay by the pool with my friend Merri before heading back to our apartment to tackle wedding invitations and run some errands with Ryan.

See ya in a bit!

Stuffing a Turtle Down My Shirt

In the words of Ron White, “It’s gonna be a good day, Tater.”

I mean how could it not be? It’s the Friday before a three-day weekend!

Plus, it was a b-e-a-utiful morning in Central Florida.

Downtown Orlando

This morning Ryan and I soaked up the warm Florida sun during a lovely morning walk with our crazy dog.

My Little Lovers

We walked around Lake Eola and even saw a little bird eating a fish… or so I thought.

Bird with Fish???

As I got a little closer to snap a picture, I saw that the bird’s prey was not a fish at all. It was a tiny turtle. 😦

I used to own a little turtle just that size when I was in high school. His name was Eli and I bought him in Myrtle Beach when I was on vacation with my friends. When I went to bring him back to Illinois with me, the security people told me I couldn’t bring a live animal through.

After sneaking off into the bathroom, I stuffed the little turtle down my shirt and walked through a different security line to sneak him aboard. A little gross? Maybe. But it worked and little Eli made it to Illinois safe and sound!

As if seeing a little baby turtle on our walk wasn’t exciting enough, I think I saw Healthy Ashley running, but since we’ve never met in real life I didn’t want to be a super-freak and stop her mid-run to ask if it really was her… So I smiled awkwardly instead.

Workout

Today’s workout took me through a total-body weights routine after a quick 10-minute warm up on the elliptical.

I did three sets of 15 reps of the following exercises:

  • Lunges (15 reps on right leg followed by 15 reps on left leg), 15 lbs.
  • Shoulder raises, 8 lbs.
  • Incline bicep curls, 12 lbs.
  • Tricep extensions, 20 lbs. (total)
  • Leg extensions, 35 lbs. (I made sure to do Ryan’s flex method on these and they were killer!)
  • Prone leg curls, 40 lbs.
  • Bridges, 20 lbs. (total)
  • Crunches, 100 total

I completed this routine by super-setting two exercises at a time, so after one set of lunges, I did a set of shoulder raises before going back to lunges and repeating the sequence. I love super-setting because it makes the workout go by a lot faster and keeps your heart rate UP!

Breakfast

After a good workout and a nice walk with Ryan and Sadie my stomach was growlin’!

Feed meeee.

I opened the fridge and looked around the kitchen for inspiration.

An old banana caught my eye…

What To Do with an Old Nanner?

After peeling the banana and promptly devouring about 3/4 of it on the spot, I assembled a delicious breakfast that included a cup of Chobani Greek yogurt, honey, Flax-Z-Snax butter pecan hot cereal (chilled) and the remainder of the banana.

It's Friday! Things Are Looking Up! (Note the Arrow.)

This was a winning combination.

The Spoonful of Food Pictures Are My Favorite

The banana made the meal! I think the fact that it was on its death bed made it extra sweet and flavorful. Yaaa-um.

Now it’s time to work!

I have a hot lunch date today with El Ryan, so I’ll see ya in a bit with a lunch recap that will likely involve our favorite lunchtime spot! 😀

Question of the Morning

Who is your favorite comedian?

Mine is a toss-up between Ron White, Ellen DeGeneres, Sinbad and Robin Williams. Love ’em all!

An Almost Restless Workout

Ryan always leaves the gym super sweaty.

His strength training workouts are no joke. To me, they seem like a combination of cardio and strength training because he never stops moving. In between sets of one exercise, he does another less-intense exercise that typically only uses his body weight (such as crunches), so his heart rate never drops too low.

Though my workout today wasn’t nearly as fast-paced as Ryan’s, I did make an effort to not rest for more than 30 seconds between sets of each exercise. At first I thought this would be plenty of time, but those 30 seconds of recovery fly by!

My workout today looked like this:

Slam Jam Those Muscles!

I also did 10 minutes of cardio on the stair master to warm up and completed 10 minutes of cardio on the elliptical to cool down.

Post workout, I came home to shower and made a concerted effort to tone-down my Swamp Beast habits. (You guys should know I’ve come a long way in my Swamp Beastliness, though I still hop out of the shower right away because it’s grossss to linger. 😉 )

Breakfast

I was achin’ for some bacon for breakfast today and turned to the freezer to grab some Morningstar Farms veggie bacon to include in my morning meal.

Morningstar Farms Veggie Bacon Strips

I used the fakie bacon in a breakfast sandwich that I made with a wedge of Laughing Cow light Swiss cheese and an egg white.

Veggie Baconified Breakfast Sandwich

On the side I also enjoyed a cup of strawberry banana Chobani Greek yogurt.

Strawberry Banana Chobani

If you’re not so sure about the whole Greek yogurt thing, you should know that Ryan thinks plain Greek yogurt is gross, but loves this flavor. The strawberry banana Greek yogurt has officially replaced his typical plain strawberry yogurt.

I think he was swayed to convert to Greek yogurt when I showed him that a serving of the yogurt he was buying had almost 40 grams of sugar… more than a serving of ice cream (which is 10x more delicious… I’ll take my sugar consumption elsewhere, thankyouverymuch).

Tonight

Stay tuned for information about our plans tonight! I am beyond excited for what we have in store. I felt like it was Christmas Eve as we were going to bed last night… Okay, total lie, but I am pumped! 😀

Question of the Morning

What is your favorite sugar-laden food?

Do I really need to tell you mine? ICE CREAM!!!!!!

20 Minutes of Intervals > 5 Mile Run

You would think that running five miles non-stop would be more challenging than alternating walking with running for 20 minutes, but for me that just isn’t the case.

This morning I did a 30-minute interval workout on the treadmill and was one heck of a sweaty mess by the time I was done.

30 Minute Treadmill Interval Workout

For 20 minutes, I alternated running at a 9.0 pace for 20 seconds with walking at a 4.0 pace for 40 seconds. Let me just tell you that those walking breaks go by quickly!

At the conclusion of my workout, I couldn’t help but feel like I got a better workout doing 20 minutes of interval training than I would have if I ran five miles. When I run, I get into an almost zen-like state and just sort of go, only challenging myself toward the end of the run. During the 20 minutes of intervals this morning, I challenged myself for 20 minutes straight!

Since I really wanted to flip through one of my bridal magazines, I finished my workout with an easy 20 minutes on the elliptical.

Breakfast

Thank you again to Lindsay for sending me several Glo Bars and packets of Barney Butter. They both made a delicious appearance in my breakfast today!

Nectarine + BB + GB

To make my morning meal, I sliced a large nectarine before topping it with a packet of Barney Butter and a crumbled Chocolate Chia Glo Bar.

Drool.

Of course I didn’t let any Barney Butter go to waste…

Every Last Drop...

Along with my nutty nectarine bowl, I also enjoyed a banana.

All Together

Git in mah belly! 😀

Question of the Morning

  • Do  you prefer a short, intense workout or a longer, less intense workout?

How to Work Out in the Morning

Buy one, get one free deals get me every time.

Thanks to a fantastic BOGO deal at Publix yesterday, I now have two packages of Toufayan thin bagels in the delicious “everything” flavor.

Everything bagels are so flavorful. I don’t generally like thin bagels, but the everything flavor is a good one. I love the combination of the onion flavor with the texture of the poppyseeds. Yum!

Everything Bagel + Cheese

For lunch I made myself a Provolone cheese bagelwich that I enjoyed with a side of grape tomatoes and a sliced red pepper.

Bagelwich

Red Hot!

Lunch also included a fresh apple.

A Taste of Fall

Monday Lunch

Operation Healthy appears to be in full swing! 😀

How to Work Out in the Morning

Beep, beep, beep!

What? The sound of your morning alarm doesn’t motivate you to wake up early and hit the gym? 😉

In all seriousness, it can be very hard to get to the gym at any time during the day, let alone before the sun comes up.

I remember when I made the transition from afternoon workouts to morning workouts. In my first job after college, I hit the gym after work. I got off work at 4:30 p.m. and was able to work out and still be home by 6 p.m. This schedule worked very well for me.

Then I changed jobs. All of the sudden my hours were all over the place. I’d often be at work after 7 p.m., and frequently found myself in the office later than 9 p.m. It was not fun. (Side note: I was seriously miserable in that job and quit after finding a new job less than eight months later. Lesson learned: Bigger pay check does not equal happiness!)

As I became accustomed to my new schedule, I found myself irritated that my varying hours and demanding workload cut into my gym time.

Gradually it became clear to me that if I wanted to make my health a priority and get my heart pumpin’, I had to work out before I went into the office. This meant waking up in the 5 a.m. hour. The horror!

The first week was a challenge. My workouts were not nearly as intense and I felt sluggish.

The next week wasn’t so bad. By Wednesday, I felt like my workouts were returning to their normal intensity. Plus, it felt amazing to be done with my workout as I headed into the office. Checking something off my to-do list before 7 a.m. felt great!

Once the third week of my new morning workout routine rolled around, it felt natural. I didn’t have the desire to sleep in anymore because I felt like I would be missing something. I didn’t want to drive to work without that feeling of post-workout satisfaction.

As I shifted my work outs to the morning, I found the transition easier by following these little tips:

  • Commit to it: Your first morning workout will not be fun. You’ll be tired and cranky, but that’s okay! Don’t give up. General consensus says it takes around 21 days to make a habit. Commit to keeping up your morning workouts for 21 days and they will begin to feel like part of your routine.
  • Schedule a Workout You Want to Do: For your first morning workout, schedule a workout you want to do. Don’t tackle sprints or a five-mile run on your first morning workout if this is the workout you dread the most! Plan to take your favorite spinning class, walk your dog, or bring a friend with you for an early morning yoga session to give yourself something to look forward to when you get to the gym.

A Walk with Sadie: A Work Out I Always Look Forward To!

  • Revel in the Post-Workout Sense of Accomplishment: When your morning workout is over, make a mental note to remember how great it feels to have your workout done before the day really begins. Remember this feeling when the alarm goes off in the morning.
  • Make it Easy on Yourself: Make getting to the gym in the morning as effortless as possible by laying out your workout clothes, filling up your water bottle and having your keys ready the night before. (Click here for my tips on streamlining your morning routine.)
  • Enjoy that “I’d normally be at the gym right now” Feeling: When I switched my workout to the morning, I loved thinking “I’d normally be at the gym right now” around 5 p.m., when I would typically be working out. It made me appreciate the effort I put into getting my workout done earlier in the day.

*Special thanks to blog reader Katie for inspiring this post! 😀

Of Possible Interest:

Question of the Afternoon

  • When do you prefer to workout… morning, afternoon or night?