Feeling the Burn

Well, I did it! I got up an went to the gym this morning to work out all by myself. And you know what? It felt great. The 24 Hour Fitness I signed up at it is super nice, clean and has a lot of cardio machines available at 7:30AM. I did peek at the Nike Group Class that started at 8 and it looked BOMB (the instructor was an incredibly attractive, jacked chick) so maybe I’ll try that out next time. Today I stuck with two different ellipticals; the kind where you’re responsible for your stride, and the kind that you can program to change it for you. Spent a total of 50 minutes between the two machines and worked up QUITE the sweat.

Showered off quickly (they have pumps of bodywash in the showers!) and hopped on my bike to the office. My legs were NOT happy about this. I was already kind of sore from yesterdays circuit training before heading to the gym, and made sure to stretch some… but MAN, after that 50 minutes, the 2.5 miles were like torture. I’m still having difficulty walking. However, I feel very good about my decision to get back into my gym groove. I even unlocked the gym rat badge on Foursquare; it’s like the social media gods are trying to give me some encouragement.

On an even bigger note, I pushed myself because I wanted to, not because of a poor day of eating. This is HUGE for me. I realized in college, I generally only pushed myself extra hard in the gym after a binge or if I was feeling particularly guilty. Now, I’m able to focus on my desire to be in shape, strong and healthy and use that as a push. Granted, I’m a little less than thrilled with my weight right now, so that is driving it, but I’m not guzzling down laxative tea and spending 3 hours in the gym cursing at myself, so I’m calling it an improvement.

So what was this great day of eating I had yesterday?

  • Quest Bar
  • Soy tea latte and plain greek yogurt
  • salad with lean steak
  • carrots and harboiled eggs
  • grass fed beef burger on romaine with homemade caprese, romaine “chips” and homemade salsa

To my faithful readers, I apologize for the recap, but it’s nice for me to have all in one place. Unfortunately everything was so good, and I was so hungry by the time we ate dinner, I INHALED everything before I remembered to grab a picture.

I know; it is a LOT of red meat and we have plans to follow that up with some more this evening (grass fed london broil). We bought quite a bit of grass fed beef at the farmer’s market, and because the package got punctured somehow, we gotta eat it. I’m not complaining… it’s freaking delicious. For anyone that’s a meat-eater and hasn’t tried grass fed yet… do it, thank me, and never eat factor farmed red meat again. The color, flavor and texture are all completely different, for the better. You can read more about it here. I’m not suggesting it will cure cancer or anything, and I don’t think anyone should eat red meat everyday… but I don’t think anyone should eat ANYTHING every day. That’s how you breed food allergies. It’s better to try and mix it up and keep things interesting. Variety is the spice of life! (I don’t remember where I heard that…)

I assure you, however, that I would still prefer to be eating a more vegetarian diet and have spent all morning trying to make my nutritionist’s plan (basically modified paleo) and a vegetarian diet (very NOT paleo) work together. So far what I’ve come up is eating vegetarian for breakfast and lunch, and then allowing myself more animal proteins at dinner. This makes sense for me because: vegan protein substitutes often are higher in carbs so I can’t have any after 3pm BUT I can have them over salad or with veggies as breakfast or lunch; the boy is a meat eater, therefore, most of the dinners we cook together contain meat… I already don’t eat a bunch of other stuff he likes (rice, pasta, bread) so at least if we’re eating the same protein it doesn’t have to be two totally separate meals; breakfasts are usually a protein bar or shake already anyway – no need to change!

The only issue I keep running into with this plan is my desire to not eat processed foods… Tofu, tempeh, seitan – they’re all processed. I think I’m going to compromise though and say tempeh is an acceptable sometimes food because it contains only 3 ingredients and is not as processed as the other two. I could make my own seitan, true, but it’s pretty high on the carb scale (it is wheat gluten, afterall) so that’s probably a no go. While it’s not paleo friendly, I think I will try to start working beans back into my diet at lunches; probably garbanzo, lentils and sprouts. I know sprouted beans is where people on raw diets get a lot of their protein, in addition to nuts, I’m just worried about the effects the carbs will have on my insulin levels… I don’t want to snap into crazy biploar Sam because of mung sprouts or something weird like that.

*Sigh* I’ll figure it out. I definitely just need to find a balance in this crazy food world. But if you have any suggestions, I’m definitely open to them!

On the bright side, I’ve scoured dozens of paleo sites in conjunction with some low carb baking sites, and I think you’ll be happy with some of the stuff I manage to come up with over the next couple weeks 🙂

Now, I have to share with you my caprese salad recipe because it was SO good. I know, caprese is usually straightforward, and Italians will probably scoff, but the medley of flavors was really awesome. It has to be known by others!

Not my photo... but it looked kind of like this... and photos are fun!

Modified Caprese Salad (serves 2)

  • 2 ripe tomatoes (preferably heirloom; I don’t know what  mine were… they were from the farmer’s market)
  • 2-3 oz mozzarella cheese (I used that organic block I bought; it would have been better with buffalo… but use what you got!)
  • big handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1/4-1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • salt/pepper

Thickly slice your tomatoes. I got about 5 slices out of each one. Slice the mozzarella so that you can layer a slice of tomato, then cheese, then tomato etc. Grease a pan lined with aluminum foil with 1T of the olive oil. Put in a toaster oven (or regular oven) at 450 for about 8 minutes (the cheese with just start to get soft). Meanwhile, over medium heat, whisk together your basil, balsamic, remaining olive oil and spices. It will reduce about in half and get thick and drizzly (about 5-7 minutes). Once the right consistency is reached, drizzle over tomatoes and cheese, and serve.

Operation “3 perfect weeks” is going pretty okay. Sugar cravings have been subsided by modified hot cocoa and flavored sparkling water. Carb cravings replaced by small romaine hearts dipped in salsa. The urge to binge/purge is mostly at bay… last week was really bad, and I didn’t really talk about it mostly because I was so ashamed by it (pretty sure I did it everyday)… but part of “perfect” is making sure I’m actually feeding my body and allowing it to digest the nutrients, so even though the scale this morning told me I’ve gained about a pound, I know it’s because I’m keeping good food in my body and it’s not from excess carbs or sugar. If I can make it the whole 3 weeks with no bingeing or purging this could be HUGE.

What I’ve eaten so far today:

  • Protein Shake, Maca and Brown Rice with almond milk and peppermint extract
  • Tea latte with skim, apple and almond butter
  • Mixed greens, carrot and eggs

What else I plan on eating:

  • Greek yogurt
  • London broil, broccoli and kale

Happy middle of the week! Any fun plans everyone is looking forward to this weekend?

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