Breakfast Quinoa: Round 2! FIGHT!

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  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • couple of drops of vanilla
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 3 TBSP vanilla almond milk
  • twirl of honey
  • quartered strawberries
  • blueberries

Over medium heat, bring the quinoa, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla to a simmer. Stir periodically. Once rings start to pop, remove from heat and stir in almond milk, strawberries, blueberries, and honey to taste.

This version of breakfast quinoa was HEAD OVER HEELS BETTER than attempt #1. Delicious and crazy healthy!

Summer Goals

☐Run at least 3 times a week (heat permitting)

☐Splits on both legs

☐Pigeon Pose every day

☐Single shoulder stretches every day

☐2 consecutive pull ups

☐4-pack abs 🙂

☐Handstands without the wall

☐Cut out added sugar entirely

 

Baked Eggs & Asparagus

 

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  • 10-15 asparagus spears
  • spinach
  • cherry tomatoes
  • clove of garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 1 large egg (preferably pastured)
  • Optional parmesan

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter a ramekin. Julienne cut spinach to your liking. Quarter 3 cherry tomatoes. Dice 1/2 clove garlic. Put spinach, tomatoes, garlic, salt to taste, and pepper in the ramekin. Break one large egg over contents of ramekin. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until whites set.

Meanwhile, in a skillet drizzle olive oil over asparagus. Add salt, pepper, and garlic. Stir until all asparagus are lightly coated. Cover and cook over medium heat until asparagus turn bright green. Stir, then recover and cook an additional 3-5 minutes until the asparagus is cooked to your textural liking.

Serve with egg on top. Yolk should be thick but runny. A sprinkle of grated parmesan on top adds to the deliciousness.

Day 80 of P90X3 – OMG! Progress!

It is officially summer! 🙂

As a teacher, this is the time that allows me to regain sanity for another school year come August.

As a band director, this is the time of the year that I actually get weekends off. No working Saturdays!!!

Now that I have this said time off, I plan on utilizing it to its full potential. Monday, I had to go to school and do the check out process for the summer. My band hall is being used for summer professional development, so I spent a good bit of time emptying what is usually MY space to be used by an indefinite number of strangers for the next 2 months. It rained… Almost all day. 🙂 Super duper pleasant! I had thought as I drove to school that the temperature was so nice, this might be a great day for a run. But then it rained. So I did my Decelerator instead, cleaned my kitchen, and proceeded to watch 5, yes 5, hours of Orange is the New Black in one sitting. 🙂

Tuesday morning it was 66 degrees when I woke up!!! By 8:30 my running shoes were tied, and I hit the pavement in my neighborhood for an easy mile. I haven’t run in probably 5 months, so I’ll take a 9:28 minute mile! My dude and I took the doglets to the vet and then came back to a joint MMX workout. It never fails to impress me just how much I can sweat during this particular workout.

Today, Wednesday, we utilized this no school(!) day again with a doubles pairing of Pilates in the morning and Eccentric Upper in the afternoon. It was the first time John had done either of these workouts, and he thought they were great! Although he’s been supportive of the results I’m getting with this program, I think he was a little impressed with the design of Pilates and E.U. coming from his far more hardcore background.

In the process of Eccentric Upper I discovered something exciting…

I CAN DO A PULL UP!

Seriously! Like, by myself! No chair! No assistance bands! A full fledged pull up! Just one… But ONE PULL UP!

Okay, so I don’t do P90X3 dressed like this… 🙂 I went back and created proof of my progress well after I showered. And THEN…. I discovered something else!

I can do THREE chin ups!!! I gotta say, I’m impressed. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Super, super impressed! There are probably a plethora of more intelligent sounding intensifiers that I could use to describe just how impressed I am with my little chicken arms, but I’m going to go with my standby “super”. 🙂

Progress. It sneaks up on you!

Breakfast Quinoa: Take 1

HEB has stopped carrying all of my favorite super healthy oatmeals… Which tells you exactly what the people of this area are NOT buying. 😦 So I’ve decided to experiment with breakfast quinoa! Quinoa has far more protein than oatmeal (with protein consumption being a problem for me), higher fiber content, and is a source of complete protein – meaning quinoa has every amino acid your body needs to work.

BREAKFAST QUINOA EXPERIMENT RECIPE ONE:

  • 1/4 cup dry quinoa
  • 1/4 water + 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk
  • couple of drops of vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp cocoa powder
  • sprinkle of cacoa nibs
  • small swirl of agave syrup
  • dash of cinnamon

Well, guess what happens when you try to cook almond milk on the stove… It gets super duper foamy and expands beyond the limits of traditional physics. Seriously, almond milk could be used to demonstrate how a very small amount of concentrated matter can expand almost infinitely to create the universe as we know it. It was crazy.

I let the quinoa cook down for a few minutes while trying to keep the foam at bay, and then I added enough water to just cover the quinoa and a few drops of vanilla. After about 10ish minutes, or until the quinoa rings started popping, I turned the heat off and added a drizzle of almond milk back to the pot. The quinoa continues to absorb liquids, so I let it soak in the vanilla goodness. Meanwhile, I added in the cocoa powder, cacoa nibs, cinnamon, and the agave. A little stir and it was time for breakfast.

It was pretty dang good! 🙂 Actually, it was really enjoyable. It definitely has the texture of quinoa, which might be a turn off to some, but the flavor was nice. I can see this being a good base for a number of varieties of quinoa “oatmeal”.

Edit for next time: try soy milk or coconut milk… must find something that doesn’t foam as much. Or perhaps, cook in water and add almond milk only at the end.

Day 75 & the Dietary Week from Hell

block375Oh my… This week has been a dietary nightmare. This was our last week of school (heavens open, angels sing) and with that comes a plethora of baked treats and excuses to eat out. The idea of packing a lunch for the 176-180th time had zero interest for me, and my rebellion led to some tasty, very much non-vegetarian outings this week. While most of the cookies/brownies/etc found their way into the hands of others or the I-Can’t-Eat-Another-Cookie receptacle, I am reaping the consequences in this sluggish state in which I find myself. I was super good this week and did every workout on the specified day! What a novel idea! 🙂

Wednesday I rocked the Challenge. Last time I did it, my numbers were completely unrealistic choices. This week I was far more conservative, and it paid off as I was able to do do every push up and every pull using correct form, unlike last time in which I ended up on my knees. 😦 After the Challenge, I went out with my dude on one of our “ironic” dates… Those are a whole other story. 🙂

Thursday, I came home and went all out on my X3 Yoga. I pushed every move to the limit, and the result is a sore butt. 🙂 Woohoo! After feeling like a badass, I went out for a friend’s birthday dinner and had the most delicious martini.

Today was Triometrics. Perhaps not my best performance.  I got home late last night, plus the last day of school is always an energy drain. I took a quick power nap and then made my way through the workout with a few more pauses than usual. I will, however, give myself props for doing a couple of the moves plyo for the first time! Yes, I’m on Day 75, and there are still moves in which I having “firsts” in terms of success of completion. I was going to double up and do a second workout today to balance out some of the calorie excess of the week, but as I drank my protein shake outside, it was just so darn pleasant! I instead opted to mow to avoid wasting my first weekend of the summer on yard maintenance. 🙂

All of that being said, it IS the last day of school, and that in and of itself warranted a tasty beverage, this time a Lime Cactus Michelob Ultra – only 90 calories of awesomeness. 😀

GOAL FOR TOMORROW: Stop eating like a moron.

AgilityX – Block 3, Week 3

block372I am getting wildly close to concluding my 90 day journey… That sounds completely cheesy, but I’m going to stay with that tone. 🙂 Today was Agility X which is definitely not my favorite activity. In addition to it simply being an exhausting workout, it’s pretty hard on my already bad ankles.  When I switched to the “right shoes” back in the first block, I felt a real change in how my left ankle in particular reacted to the workouts. However, shoes can only protect you so much from landing unsteadily or the sheer pressure put on those joints after a high knee tuck jump. I also don’t think I tied my shoes well, allowing my feet to swim a bit, and I feel the early sting of a blister… 😦

After my P90X3 “half hour” (I put this in quotes since I rarely spend only 30 minutes… pauses bring that number closer to 35 I’m sure), I did X3 Ab Ripper from the book since I don’t have the elite block DVD.

Let me pause to rant that it costs an arm and a leg for one extra DVD… I didn’t order the P90X3 Deluxe Kit because it seemed ridiculous to pay $125 extra for one DVD. No part of me was interested in the pre-workout drink mix, and I knew I could get resistance bands for a heck of a lot cheaper and Ye Olde Academy. So ultimately, this Deluxe kit was really an extra $125 for one singular DVD… And honestly, I really just wanted the Ab Ripper workout. It’s crap Beach Body… CRAP! Off my rant…

Dolphin Push Ups! These are fun and far more than just an ab workout. You can see how much upper body is engaged. Cool move.

After abs, I spent about half an hour stretching and watching bad TV. Opening my hips and lengthening my hamstrings are an endless pursuit. I spent a good bit of time in pigeon, and that logically also moved into some work on my splits. I’ve posted some pictures of my recent success with my right leg splits. Great! How about the reality of my UNsuccessful left leg splits! 🙂 I look like an awkward moron trying to get out of them! 🙂

Finally, I took a bit of time to work on hopping from crane to plank like a REAL yogi! 😉 By the time I taped it, my wrists were DEAD, and so my crane looks terrible. The whole point is that my upper body and core strength has improved to the point that I can do this move on a somewhat successful level. It’s super neat to see this kind of progress and makes me proud, even if it’s not the prettiest version ever!

For dinner: Morning Star corn dog 🙂 and 1.2 billion sauted green beans!

Block 3, Week 2 DONE!

It has been exceptionally hard these last two weeks to find the time to sit down with my laptop for anything not work related. School lets out for the summer this Friday, so I’ll have time for ME again! 🙂

I’ve been good about keeping up with my workouts despite my inability to blog about them. Block 3 seems completely random. I know it’s all about muscle confusion, but I do enjoy the regular schedule of the previous 2 blocks.

  • MONDAY – DECELERATOR – I really like this one. I enjoy that it’s a total body workout, plus I want every opportunity to try the crane cracker push ups again. 🙂 BTW… I couldn’t do them this week either! Monday was Memorial Day, and I spent the bulk of my time with John. I didn’t even start this workout until almost 9:00pm which was dumb. I could only truly give about 75% effort.
  • TUESDAY – MMX – I did NOT enjoy this workout this week. Perhaps it was the humidity, perhaps it’s the end of school year pressure pushing down on me (sing that last part like Queen), but every sprawl move was torture. I did them all, but I didn’t like it.
  • WEDNESDAY – Spring Concert – My band gave their final concert of the year, and there was no exercise save the ridiculous waving of my baton. 🙂
  • THURSDAY – I doubled up in a strange way. Thursday should have been Triometrics, but I didn’t want to miss Eccentric Upper so I combine that with Pilates. EU+P=sore biceps&hip flexors
  • FRIDAY – MY BIRTHDAY!!! – Friday I turned 32, and my dude did a spectacular job of making me feel very loved. We went out for dinner that night, and I didn’t even consider P90X3.
  • SATURDAY – ECCENTRIC LOWER – One of my goals in this program is butt transformation. 🙂 This week I used 15lb dumbbells for the weighted squats and lunges, and boy do I feel it today!
  • SUNDAY – I probably should have gone back and down Triometrics today so that in the end I can say I have only skipped yoga that once, but instead I spent 3 hours mowing, weed-eating, mulching, digging, sweating… I feel like I probably burned just as many calories in that 3 hours as I would have doing Triometrics, plus my yard looks livable again!

I have 3 weeks left!!! EXCITING! My weight is actually up a couple of pounds, but I’m going to assume that some of that is muscle mass. I’m proud of the hard work I’ve done, and while my before and after pictures are not going to be crazy huge changes since I wasn’t super out of shape, I can feel the difference in strength, endurance, and confidence in how I look. Heck, I mowed in a bikini top today! 😉

Block 3, Week 1

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Block 3 is an interesting one, and I think I’m a fan.

The first month was a whole lot of cardio and the stepping stones of strength building. Month 2 was far more resistance training, and now in the third month it’s a good mix of both. It’s neat to go back to some of the Block 1 workouts and discover that I’m better at them which makes them more fun! 🙂

A super rotten Thursday required sushi and a beer with my dude, so yoga was put off until later. In fact, you’ll notice on my calendar that I still haven’t gone back and done it. My plan is to do it Sunday morning. But even so, I’ve gone back to adding in more ashtanga stretching before I start the workout purely from missing my old fashioned yoga time, and this week the doglets and I took two 1.5 mile walks.

Back in the fall John and I were running quite a bit. I hate running. I don’t enjoy while I’m doing it, and I’m not a huge fan of it afterwards either. 🙂 I find it boring and hard on my ankles. It’s particularly bad on John’s knees. The ONLY pro to running in the fall in addition to my full ashtanga sessions + resistance training was that the layer of fluff on my abs was virtually gone. Some of that has come back (also partially due to a brief obsession with nuts and “healthy” whole grain fig bars 🙂 ) which is frustrating as my goal was to have a 4 pack by the end of P90X3. Bummer.

But… but, but, BUT….

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I can do the splits for the first time in like 18 years! 🙂 My hips need to rotate more squarely, but even at this point I have finally loosened my hamstring and hip flexor enough to get this far! Not bad for a girl who turn 32 next week. 🙂

 

Day 57: Decelerator – A NEW WORKOUT!

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I’m on the final stretch!

Yesterday I was feeling exceptionally good about the gains I’ve made this last chunk of time, and just as my arrogance knew no bounds, I started a new workout(!) with today’s Decelerator. Some of the moves have been used in other P90X3 workouts, so I’ll skip the explanation for older moves.

DECELERATOR

  • Bounding Squats – Very much an agility move. You leap to a corner of an imaginary box, landing on one foot and holding.
  • Crane Cracker Push-ups – THESE KICKED MY BUTT. I in no way can do this move. I tried my hardest. Heck, I just spent the last 45 minutes researching videos online of how to do this balance move and trying their advice… Nope! Scarlet, my usually very supportive dachshund, I’m sure was giggling like crazy. I fell on my face the last time. You do a push up then pull your right knee up to your right elbow. Put the weight of your right leg on your bent right elbow, lean forward, and lift your left leg. Nope… Not yet, but it WILL BE DONE!!!
  • Good God Squats – With a flat back parallel to the ground, do squats on your tiptoes.
  • Elevator Pull-Ups – Just like elevator push ups but on the pull up bar. Think bottom floor, middle floor, top floor, holding as Tony calls out which floor you pull up to.
  • 2-Pop Hop – Standing in a low squat, jump up landing on one leg. Slowly lower into a one leg squat for 3 counts then put your other foot on the ground and continue to lower for 3 more counts. Switch sides.
  • Crawly Plyo Push-Ups
  • Holmsen Screamer Hold – Start in a low lunge. Leap into the air landing on one leg. Slowly lower yourself on one leg back into the lunge.
  • Chin Pulls – Do a chin up. While holding your body at the top, raise your knees to your torso. Lower your entire body.
  • Joel Jump Freeze
  • Starfish Push-Up – Do a push up then roll into a side arm balance with arm and leg raised.
  • Duper 2
  • Vaulter Pull-Ups
  • Elevator Tiptoe Squat – In a wide leg squat, raise up on your toes for the whole move. Much like elevator pull-ups but with wide leg, tiptoe squats…
  • Superman/Bow – Superman on your stomach transitioning into Bow pose. Repeat.
  • Spinning Plyo Squat Lunges – Hop back and forth from a parallel squat to right leg lunge to squat to left leg lunge to squat to complete 180…. continue this loop for 1 minute.
  • Big Brother Burpees – Do a push up. Crunch your right knee to your right elbow. Roll into a right side arm balance. Jump your feet to your hands then leap up into the air. Repeat on the other side, again and again…

This workout was hard! I really enjoyed it though and look forward to improving that dang crane cracker push up move… I WILL get it.

One of these days.

🙂

For dinner: sauted asparagus, a fried pastured egg, and a pinch of fresh parmesan.