whole30 | two weeks down

Jay and I are doing the Whole30 program.

What is Whole30 you might be asking?

It’s a revolutionary way to change your life; you’re health, your emotional attachment to food and your relationship to your body and exercise.
You can read all about it [here]

Basically we are doing away with alcohol, sugar, grains, legumes, dairy and healthy-treats (referred to as Sex With Your Pants On) for a full 30 days!
But don’t focus on what is being avoided, focus on the positive; whole food, healthy – as close to nature as possible – food, detechnofying (is this actually a word?!?) and simple movement for a month.

It’s been a little challenging. The no alcohol is what’s really got me. I usually have a glass of wine or a martini every night. And not snacking between meals has been challenging (snacking avoidance is also about temperance) although I’ve still been having at least one snack a day, like late-afternoon I have some beef jerky or a handful of nuts.
I’ve also gotten a little sick, Jay calls it the “carb flu” but Whole30 says its not unusual to get a little sick as your body is trying to rid itself from all the toxins in the first week or so, the immune system is a little overloaded. So days 7-11 I struggled with an ear and sinus infection which was not fun.

Today is Day 14. And you should see my skin and eyes; clear and sparkling! I’ve always had pretty good skin, but I can really see a difference. And my clothes feel a little looser. I am enjoying the food; eating naturally but all the cooking is pretty intensive! Last night was the first time we ate out since starting to program; we went to Mumu Grill which specialises in grass-fed beef & free-range pork/chicken. It was weird not having a glass of wine with the meal (especially on a Saturday night) but we made great food choices and left feeling satiated, not bursting at the seams and with dessert, wine & the other extras, dinner was so cheap!

Here’s a few pics of our food over the past week:

homemade paleo muesli
homemade paleo muesli

made with no grains; just seeds, nuts & coconut. I have this with coconut milk or homemade almond milk.

brekkie; bubble & squeak with poached egg
brekkie; bubble & squeak with poached egg

a great way to use left over veggies; bubble & squeak fry-up topped with a poachie

breakkie; scrambled eggs with hamburger beef pattie & kale salad
breakkie; scrambled eggs with hamburger beef pattie & kale salad

grassfed beef patties with scrambled eggs and a kale & tomato salad

lunch; mince fry-up & salad
lunch; mince fry-up & salad

super quick to prepare; grassfed beef mince & onion with a salad of kale, tomato, jicama & blanched broccoli

coconut chicken 'nuggets' with sweet potato sticks & waldorf salad
coconut chicken ‘nuggets’ with sweet potato sticks & waldorf salad

so yum! chicken nuggets made with freerange organic chicken mince, Thai spices & rolled in coconut then shallow fried, served with sweet potato sticks & waldorf salad (without the blue cheese and made with paleo mayo)

dinner; mushroom burger with sweet potato wedges
dinner; mushroom burger with sweet potato wedges

mushroom bun, grassfed beef pattie, salad & paleo mayo served with sweet potato wedges

steak, sweet potato & zucchini grilled on the bbq with salad
steak, sweet potato & zucchini grilled on the bbq with salad

grassfed scotch fillet barbecued with sweet potato & zucchini and served with a quick salad of blanched broccolini, green beans, pepitas & cranberries

meatloaf muffins & zoodles
meatloaf muffins & zoodles

grassfed beef mince with chopped veggies & herbs to make a ‘meatloaf muffin’ served with zucchini noodles and homemade basil pesto

tightening the reins

Remember my New Years Resolution? Well it’s now March and I’m finding general life & eating fairly easy with the paleo way, however, I have noticed a few too many paleo treats creeping in and portion sizes creeping up, so I’m reading and listening to podcasts to realign myself. I have also let my regular intense exercise regime slip; mostly due to my ankle injury flaring up a bit but also because I’ve just been a little slack.

Time to tighten the reins!!!

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ready to run | week of health & fitness

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For today’s post I thought I’d borrow something from Australian Women’s Health magazine Running Guide from their July 2013 issue.

Before I started 12WBT I couldn’t run 500m let alone 5kms. Although I now scale back and forth with the length and frequency of my runs, for some people running is an exercise that comes naturally and for others it can be really daunting. My friend and work colleague Phil is an insanely good runner. He naturally balances his eating with his exercise and has a runners body to prove it. This is a man who regularly knocks out 10kms in his lunch break in 50 minutes! My ultimate goal is to go running with him one day!

*********all text below from WFH mag*********

Haven’t run since high-school athletics? No sweat. (OK, well a little.) This workout plan designed by coach Jenny Hadfield, co-author of Running for Mortals, will help you build from a walk to a run. By the end, you’ll be able to run 30 minutes without stopping – and you’ll be showing off a rock-hard body under your shorts. Whether your goal is to run 5km or 10km, or drop some extra kilos, in one month you’ll be well on your way.

Your Plan: Run 30 minutes in 4 weeks

For all weeks:

  • Warm Up: 3 minutes. Start easy, progress to a power walk
  • Cool Down: 3 minutes. Gradually dial your pace down to an easy walk.
  • Frequency: Perform running workouts 3-4 times a week, every other day.
  • Cross Training: Add a total-body strength-training workout, and either yoga or pilates on 2 of your days off.

Week 1 – Get Outfitted

The two most important items of gear a runner needs are a supportive, high-impact sports bra and running shoes. Both can be found at your local running specialty store. Make sure they fit well: a poorly fitted bra can reduce breathing capacity and make your run feel more difficult. The wrong shoes can give you shin splints, knee pain and a host of other issues. Get fitted by the experts for these items.

Week 1 Runs

  • Warm-up
  • Run 2 minutes, walk 2 minutes
  • Repeat 7 times (28 minutes in total)
  • Cool down

Finish with Flexibility

Just 5 minutes of stretching and muscle-release exercises after your run is enough to maintain a healthy range of motion in your joints – and prevent tight muscles, which can lead to inefficient form and injuries. Use a foam roller to loosen up your shoulders, hamstrings, quads, calves and iliotibial bands (outer thigh). Also take a minute to stretch your chest and your hip flexors.

Week 2 – Monitor Your Breathing

Your running pace or speed ca vary every day because it’s based on a lot of variables: how you slept, food intake, stress, your (female) menstrual cycle, whether you went out last night…you get the idea. The easiest way to run at the perfect pace every day is to run by the sound of your breath. Take the talk test: if you can’t say the words to Happy Birthday out loud 4 times without gasping for air, slow it down. You should be able to hold a conversation while you run. Being out of breath and not being able to talk means that your running pace is too fast.

Week 2 Runs

  • Warm-up
  • Run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute
  • Repeat 7 times (28 minutes total)
  • Cool down

Think About Your Form

It’s normal to feel awkward during the first few weeks of running, even if you’ve run in the past and are starting up again. Begin every running segment on the right foot by thinking about good running form:

  • Head is balanced over your shoulders and focused forward, not down towards the pavement.
  • Shoulders are relaxed to allow your lungs to expand.
  • Arms are bent at the elbow about 90 degrees and swinging like a pendulum from your shoulders (elbows close to your body).
  • Hands are relaxed and not crossing over your belly button as your arms swing.
  • Hips are under your shoulders and stabilising your legs as they move under your body.
  • Feet are landing with short, light, quick strides under your hips.

Week 3 – Find The Fun

The best way to guarantee running success is to finish with a high-five moment. When you finish your workout feeling as if you can go just a little further, you feel a sense of pride, happiness and success – all of which lead to wanting to do it again and again. Running habits are created as a result of happy running moments, so try to keep it fun, rather than pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion.

Week 3 Runs

  • Warm-up
  • Run 4 minutes, walk 1 minute
  • Repeat 6 times (30 minutes total)
  • Cool down

Work On Your Stride

A common mistake that many runners make is covering too much ground with every step. That’s a bit like climbing stairs two or three at a time – it takes a lot more energy and the impact on your body is much greater. Aim for short, quick strides and a turnover rate (the number of steps you take in  1 minute) of 180. To figure out your turnover, count the number of times your left food hits the ground in 1 minute and multiply by 2. To increase your turnover, match your stride to music that’s about 180 beats per minute.  You can download mixes at this speed, and others, at rockmyrun.com.

Week 4 – Learn To Listen To Your Body

If you start to feel aches and pains that don’t go away after a few days, it’s time for active recover with lower-impact activities like cycling, swimming and the cross trainer. In most cases, minor aches will heal with a few days of TLC. Aches may also be a sign you’re pushing too hard. Ease up a bit, and you’ll continue to improve without injury.

Week 4 Runs

  • Warm-up
  • Run 5 minutes, walk 30 seconds
  • Repeat 6 times (33 minutes in total)
  • Cool down

Ebb And Flow

Running is like life: there will be rockin’ fun workouts and also runs that humble you. You’ll make the most gains when you run based on how you feel on any given day. On days when you feel great, take advantage of the opportunity to push a little harder or run a little longer. That way, when rough days come along you can ease back on the throttle and still make progress.

Week 5 And Beyond

Building your running regimen by adding 3-5 minutes to your workout time and decreasing your walking time every 1-2 weeks until you reach your goal.

*************************************

bootylicious | week of health & fitness

I am loving this set of exercises aimed to tone the butt and core. Performed barefoot with 10 slow reps of each exercise; 3-4 times per week. Perfect to do in your house before anyone gets home (looks a little weird)!!!

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Wall Bridge

Lie on your back with your butt against the wall and arms at your sides. Bend your knees and plant your feet 3 to 4 feet up the wall. Raise your lower and middle back off floor, keeping your shoulder blades on the ground. Hold for a deep inhale, then exhale and slowly return to the starting position.

MAKE IT HARDER


Cross your right ankle over your left knee so that only your left foot is on wall.

MAKE IT EASIER


Don’t use the wall. Keep your feet flat on floor as you lift into a bridge.


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Windshield Wipers

Lie faceup on the floor with your legs against a wall, the bottoms of your feet facing the ceiling. Slowly lower your left leg down the wall like a clock arm toward 9 o’clock, then return to the starting position. Repeat with right leg, sweeping toward 3 o’clock. Continue to alternate legs until you’ve completed all of the reps.

MAKE IT HARDER


Wrap an elastic exercise band around your left foot. Hold both ends at your right hip for added resistance as you sweep your left foot down the wall. Do all reps, then switch legs and repeat.

MAKE IT EASIER

Move your butt 3 to 6 inches away from the wall while performing the move.


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Toe Reaches

Lie on the floor with your heels pressed against the wall, your legs straight. Reach your right hand toward your left foot, allowing your right shoulder to raise off the floor. Return to the starting position. Repeat with your left hand and right foot. Continue to alternate until you’ve completed all reps.

MAKE IT HARDER


Perform the exercise with your feet stacked toe to heel.

MAKE IT EASIER


Reach toward your knees.


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Wall Scissor

Begin with your butt close to the wall, knees bent, and your feet planted on the wall. Raise your hips up, and place your elbows on the floor and your hands on your hips to support your lower body. Walk your feet up the wall so that your legs are straight. This is your starting position.

From here, lower your left leg toward your head, keeping both legs straight. Return to the starting position and repeat with your right leg. Continue to alternate until you’ve completed all reps.

MAKE IT HARDER


As you lower your leg, pause and pulse 2 or 3 times, moving it up and down an inch or two, before returning it back to the wall.

MAKE IT EASIER

Start with your hips 3 to 6 inches away from the wall.

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Knee Press

Lie on your back with your butt against the wall, knees bent, and feet planted 3 to 4 feet up the wall. Raise your butt and back off the floor and cross your right ankle over your left knee. Without moving the rest of your body, pulse your knee toward the wall 20 times. Lower your body, and repeat on your left side.

MAKE IT HARDER


As you press your knee, lift and lower your hips a couple of inches with each rep.

MAKE IT EASIER


Do the move with your butt on the floor.


Pictures & Content from Prevention

gotta get up | week of health & fitness

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What gets you up and out the door in the morning for your early workout?

I know not everyone does their exercise in the morning, but for me if I don’t get it done before I go to work, chances are pretty slim that I’ll get it done later in the day. Exercise guru Michelle Bridges always says that it doesn’t really matter when you workout, as long as you do it, but it’s better to do it first thing in the morning before “life” gets in the way. I agree!

I get up in the morning for 2 reasons;

  1. because my love of food means I have to workout.
  2. because I have a little dog named Harley who needs to go for a run before we leave him for the day, otherwise we’d come home to a house destroyed!

I’m lucky that I live in a beautiful suburb where my morning jog is along the gorgeous Sydney harbour. I don’t take my iPod because I love the early morning quiet. It’s just a time to detox from the busy city life.

Here are my top tips to make getting up at the crack of dawn just a little bit easier:

  • go to bed early. It’s almost impossible to get up at 5.30am if you’ve only had 6 hours sleep. I make sure I’m tucked away in bed by 10.30pm. That means that the TV is off by 9.30pm!
  • layout your workout gear before going to bed. It’s way easier to fumble around in the dark (and the cold in winter) when your stuff is on the floor next to your bed.
  • prep your breakfast and lunch the night before. That way your when your workout is over, you’ve had a shower and gotten ready for work, your breakfast is easily prepared and you can grab your lunch and head out the door. On schedule!
  • have a backup plan so if it’s raining you can still workout; at the gym, with a workout DVD in your lounge room or like me, out the door in a raincoat!

Hope this helps you on your workout tomorrow!!! And I’ll leave you with a few photos of the views I enjoy on my early morning workout adventures… 

chasing pavements
chasing pavements

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nothing but fog....winter settles in around the harbour
nothing but fog….winter settles in around the harbour
before sunrise; a view of the city
before sunrise; a view of the city
after sunrise; a view of the city
after sunrise; a view of the city
welcome sailors! a cruise liner on it's way into port
welcome sailors! a cruise liner on it’s way into port

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view from Barrangaroo
view from Barrangaroo
my little workout buddy; Harley
my little workout buddy; Harley & his stick

Happy Monday!

a week of health & fitness!!!

weekoffitness

get ready for it!

a whole week of health & fitness posts

something to motivate and inspire you (and me)
and get us both moving!

it’s winter here in Sydney and I’m starting to use that snooze button a little longer than usual. lucky I have Harley who helps get me out of bed while it’s still dark but I’m always on the lookout for inspiration.

whether it’s scrolling Pinterest, reading fellow bloggers food & exercise posts or dog-earring fitness magazines, I thought I’d dedicate an entire week to motivating us all to eat a little better and exercise a little more!

watch out for the first post Monday 17th June

WOW | Workout Of (the) Week

I’ve got this annoying achilles tendon issue that just won’t go away. I’ve been dealing with it on & off for about 4 months and it’s so frustratingly painful. 

That really has nothing to do with my WOW post but it’s just front & centre in my mind (and body) at the moment so I thought I’d share with you…since we’re friends and all!

After not having done a Kettlebell workout in quite some time (the kettlebells were hiding in our storage cage. Out of sight, out of mind!) I thought I’d break them out of hiding for a session in the park this morning.

20130312072246035After listening to a non-animal-loving-fascist berate me for not having Harley on a leash, we got down to it!

**Warm-up:

  • 600m jog

**Kettlebells:

  • Swing – 3 sets x 20 reps swing
  • Squat – 3 sets x 20 reps squat
  • Windmill – 2 sets x 20 reps windmill
  • Round the world – 4 sets x 15 reps roundworld [all demo photos by Beth Bischoff via WomensHealthMag.com]

**Finish off with Abs & stretching

It really gets the heart rate up and the sweat pouring; everything you want from a morning workout! 

And to cap it all off, 12WBT (assuming this is Michelle Bridges’ support crew) replied to my tweet!

twitter

♥♥♥♥♥

weekly fitness roundup | week 1 | 12wbt

You know that feeling of accomplishment you get from sticking to a punishing schedule? Yes?!!! Well that’s what I felt like this past week being back on Michelle Bridges’ 12 Week Body Transformation program.

My calorie intake is capped at 1200 per day
&
I am doing 6 days training per week.

Here’s my round up….

Monday:

Monday
Monday workout

6am outdoor training session; interval walk/run, running stairs, steps-ups & abs.

brekkie - banana bruschetta
brekkie – banana bruschetta
dinner - fish with chickpea, tomato & spinach salad
dinner – fish with chickpea, tomato & spinach salad

My BFF Gracie stayed the night & loved this dinner too! We’ve committed to doing the 5km Color Run in May in Newcastle! Isn’t she supportive?! Can’t wait!

dessert - fruit jelly
dessert – fruit jelly

Tuesday

Tuesday
Tuesday workout

6.15am Body Pump class at the gym.

brekkie - apple muesli
brekkie – apple muesli
steak with green beans & mushroom sauce
dinner – steak with green beans & mushroom sauce

This is one of my fave meals! The sauce looks creamy but it’s made of Philadelphia extra light cream cheese for cooking, dijon mustard & mushrooms – and only 283 calories – yum!!!

dessert - fruit salad
dessert – fruit salad

Wednesday

Wednesday
Wednesday workout

6am outdoor interval walk/run & abs

brekkie, coffee, dinner & dessert
brekkie, coffee, dinner & dessert

brekkie – avocado & eggs on toast
dinner – potato, spinach & feta frittata
dessert – fruit jelly

Thursday

Thursday workout
Thursday workout

6.15am Pump class

macchiato & brekkie
macchiato & brekkie – avocado, beans & rocket on toast
dinner & Valentine's Day dessert
dinner – beef with avocado & corn salsa & mini-cheesecake bite for Valentine’s Day dessert

Friday

Exercise Rest Day!!!

brekkie, lunch & dinner
brekkie, lunch & dinner

brekkie – banana bruschetta
lunch – mushroom frittata & salad
dinner – pita pocket pizza

Saturday

Saturday workout
Saturday workout

The aim was to burn 1000 calories but this tough workout got interrupted by a thunderous storm that forced us shivering & completely drenched, in white t-shirts, running the 1.5kms back to the car!

brekkie
brekkie – eggs, ham, tomato, cottage cheese & spinach
lunch
lunch – pumpkin, avocado, chickpea salad
dinner - Japanese
dinner – Japanese

Sunday

Sunday workout
Sunday workout

Body Balance class. Jay even came with me & loved it!!!

brunch
brunch – coffee & pumpkin, walnut & chicken salad
dinner
dinner – homemade beef burger & wedges

Keep training hard!!!

fitspiration friday

It’s easy to fall off the good nutrition & exercise wagon. 

Most people generally know what to do for good health; eat less, move more.

Sounds simple enough right? Well why do we struggle at times?

Personally, it’s my love of food that is my downfall. I go hard with my exercise but I.love.food. And unfortunately you can’t out train a bad diet.

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You-cant-out-run-a-bad-diet1 [via]

I’ve put back on a few kilos of my hard earned weight loss but thanks to my new year’s kick-start detox earlier in the week I’ve lost 1.1kg (2.4lbs) of it and am off to a good start for this year’s fitness & weight loss goals.

Essential to my nutritional well-being is my regular green smoothie. I have these about 3 mornings a week. I really notice the difference in my skin, digestion & general “perkiness” when I drink them regularly!

I’m always trying new variations of the green smoothie but at the moment this is what I’m loving:

green smoothie ingredients
green smoothie ingredients

kale
cucumber
celery
green apples
pineapple
coconut water

The trick is to keep all the ingredients green. The moment you add carrot or beetroot it turns brown. And there is nothing worse than drinking a tall glass of brown liquid first thing in the morning!… Keep those other non-green ingredients for juices!

mmmm nutritious & delicious
mmmm nutritious & delicious
use a Vitamix for uber smooth awesomeness
use a Vitamix for uber smooth awesomeness

Kickarse workout:

This one is bound to kick you up the butt and make you pay the next day!

I do this one outdoors but you could also do it at the gym. All you need is your GymBoss timer, running track/treadmill & a step/park-bench.

*15 minutes interval running; 2 mins run, 1 min walk x 5 sets
**mountain climbers; 3 x 1 min, 30 sec rest
**sumo squats; 3 sets 20 reps
**burpees; 3 sets 10 reps
**step-ups; 5 sets 20 reps
**front to back lunge (L & R); 3 sets 20 reps
**high knees; 3 sets 1 min interval
**Russian twist; 3 sets 20 reps
**V-ups; 3 sets 20 reps
**plank drops (L & R); 3 sets 20 reps each side
**Superman holds; 3 sets 20 reps
**cool-down stretching

my lovely reward!
my lovely reward!

Ready?

Lets-Do-This[via]

signature - melly xox