Gone for so long…

So I haven’t blogged for a long long time…

The main reason for this is laziness, however I have had a lot going on. Over the past few months I have been reassessing my career goals etc, and recently I applied for a job in another CITY, and just over two weeks, I got it.

Which means I start tomorrow, and I flew up yesterday, which is nerve-racking but exciting. I don’t have a car here either, and I never fully realised what a mission it is to do simple things without one! I got up this morning (a little later than imagined) thinking I would go to the gym (the hostel I’m temporarily staying at has one), but then I figured I had to sort this grocery thing out for the week, as the free shuttle to the supermarket only goes on the hour, and I have other stuff I need to do (clothes horse shopping anyone?!). So I made it there, and whilst most items were the same at home, there were a few, new exciting things to try. Namely the Wholemeal Pita Pockets (194 calories a pop) which I intend on being the base for my lunches. As I don’t really have a proper kitchen here I bought salad, microwave rice, some canned chicken, and a microwave tortellini for dinners. Plus lots of fruit and a couple of snacks.

As most of my twitter followers may know I’m pretty sushi obsessed as I will probably have this a lot too.

Anyway I have to meet a friend shortly, so will be back later… hopefully updating this more often.

By the way the weight loss is still going well, will do a blog on that later on…

Till later, Kate :)

Introducing: My Eating Plan

Some of you may be reading this blog because you first heard read of me through my twitter. I started tweeting under GirlTweetsEats to make my food journal public, and to connect with other health and fitness tweeters. Making my food journal public definitely made me more accountable, and helped me think properly first about what I would eat any given day.

Since twEating (clever huh?!), I haven’t documented everything thing I’ve eaten, but 80% of my week is up there. Occasionally if I’ve ate too much, or had just called it a day in regards to my eating plan, I didn’t put it up there. However, the fact that I didn’t gave me time to step back and take a good look at why I didn’t want to, and to hopefully fix the eating issue I may have had. Trust me, I’m not perfect in what I eat (are any of us!) -somedays I feel like I’m constantly at battle with my mind vs body, and other days eating within my calorie allowance is easy.

I feel it’s all a learning process though –in order to lose weight two given people may be required to eat 1400 calories, but what they need to eat in order to keep them satisfied, and give them enough energy, may be completely different. So, days I’ve experimented with different breakfast or lunch, and I overate, is all just a learning experience. If I ate out of pure hunger, I can reassess the actual food that was eaten; and if I ate out of boredom or emotionally ate, I can think about why I did, and work to heal that issue. This is probably why often I eat the same breakfast and the same lunch (during weekdays anyway). Because it works for me. It’s not for everyone, but I like it. In Dr Oz and Co’s YOU On A Diet, it’s actually mentions that eating the same breakfast and lunch is beneficial for maintaining your weight (or losing). Face it; it’s easier for your body to predict the calories coming in! If I had more creativity and/or time I would probably make more of an effort in having different meals (but that’s what the weekends are for!).

So as promised by the title of this blog, here are a couple of examples of what I eat each day. Just a quick note -based on my BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), my activity level and weight loss goals, I currently eat approximately 1400 calories a day:

Breakfast: In winter I’m a big fan of Oatmeal (called porridge in most places out of the States!). As you may have seen on many a food blog, using oats as a base for breakfast can let you unleash you creativity on the bowl. In the past I have added raisins, peanut butter, almond butter, almonds, and strawberries (probably my favourite to add). I will probably start having this again soon (I’m a cereal girl in summer).

So at the moment I have been eating Cereal in the mornings. I have been experimenting with a few different brands for the right mix of flavour and fibre. I personally look for a high fibre cereal (great way to start the day), but also something a little sweet. Until a month ago I was eating All Bran Almond Flakes religiously. Then I tried Kellogg’s Special K Advantage. I LOVE this cereal. Not only is it high in fibre and low in calories (1 cup approximately 140 calories), but it tastes divine. Highly recommended.

One thing I will say about cereal though is, measure it out! At first you may think, “that’s crazy”, but you get used to it. I swear you’ll think “that’s crazy” when you realise how much people who don’t measure out their cereal usually have in their bowl (no, I don’t have stats, it’s just a fact ;)).

The cereal by itself (with skim milk) is approximately 200-250 calories so I always have something extra like an Organic Bar or a piece of fruit. My favourite Organic Bar is a New Zealand brand called Nature’s Harvest Organic. I rotate between Apricot & Honey, and Raisin & Honey. These taste amazing and are only 160 calories. Unfortunately they do not have an internet presence yet, but I’m sure they will shortly.

Morning snack: Usually an Apple and a couple of brown rice cakes. Recently I discovered Healtheries Rice Thins in Salt and Vinegar (31 calories a piece). These taste like a healthy version of Salt and Vinegar chips! Great to have a healthy mid morning snack to look forward to. On other days I may have a low fat yoghurt and a few almonds.

Lunch: During the week, I’m boring as. 1 Pita bread, with 1 slice low calorie cheese (I have Edam), with low fat/low sodium Salami or Chicken. I make this the night before, and store it in the fridge. It may be boring, but it’s dependable. It keeps me satisfied until my pre gym snack (or afternoon light snack if skipping the gym). With lunch I’ll also have a piece of fruit or carrots, and if hungry a low fat yogurt (or portioned small treat on occasion! Honeycomb chocolate anyone?!).

Examples of my weekend lunch (all within recent history) are a Veggie Sub from Subway, 2 x Poached Eggs on Wholegrain Bread, or Chicken Sushi (I DIE for Sushi!)

Afternoon Pre Gym Snack: At least 50% of the time my afternoon snack is before the gym. If breakfast wasn’t the most important meal of the day, this would be! The worst feeling is to be working out, and light headed. This is the quickest way to end an otherwise successful gym session. Usually I’ll have an Organic Bar, or yoghurt with almonds (150 ish calories). If I skip this snack I’m usually dead at the gym (unless I had something substantial for lunch like Sushi).

Dinner: I won’t go into dinner too much as during the week at least it’s mostly made for me. Meals on rotation at the moment include a Thai Beef Salad, Fish with homemade wedges and vegies, Chicken Burritos (with low calorie Mountain Bread –my speciality), and Honey Pork Noodles. Every Friday is “Sushi Night” and I always have Chicken Sushi. Did I mention I LOVE Sushi?! Every Friday since I can remember my sister and I have had Sushi, and it’s a traditional hardly ever broken!

Dessert (when I have it): Some nights during the week I won’t have anything after dinner, but other nights I will. On those nights I have 6 pieces of my favourite Green and Blacks Dark Chocolate (Maya Gold). It’s simply amazing. Studies have also shown that dark chocolate keeps us satisfied for longer, and I do not disagree! If I’m hungry on other nights I’ll have an Apple or Strawberries.

…So there you have it! This is a rough copy of my eating plan at the moment, and I’m sure those who follow me on twitter will see a lot of these basics in high rotation.

What are some foods you have on high rotation, and why? Leave a comment :)

It’s finally the weekend

Been a bit MIA in the last few days, apologises (not that anyone cares?! Except my conscience! I want to make these blogs regular).

No particular topic post today, but I have been feeling really great health and fitness wise this week… not only am I sticking to my calorie intake (and it’s been easy, not a struggle), but I lost (since last weight myself 2 weeks previous), 3 kgs (6ish pounds). The reason I hadn’t weighed myself in that long –I usually try at least every couple of days, is that it was my, ahem, time of the month, and also it was a big social weekend last week, and I was a bit nervous about my possible weight results.

Come yesterday morning, I weighed myself, and was simply ecstatic with the scale! Now I know, numbers don’t always matter and I shouldn’t judge myself by the scale (see Operation Beautiful), but when you’ve been at a plateau for a few months, it just feels so damn good! I finally feel like I’ve made the “click”. I’ve been doing everything right for the last few months (exercising regularly, counting calories) but psychologically I wasn’t fully there. During the plateau period I hadn’t been eating lots, at all, but occasionally I’d go over my allowance with an extra organic bar, extra pita bread, or even just a couple of extra apples. I have learnt that in the weight loss phase, if you want to see results, numbers count! However, I do regress, that this is in my OWN circumstances. If something else has, or is working for you, more power to you. But it’s fantastic to finally get it working for me again. Big Yay!

Anyway, this post is rather short as I’m going out with my sister to a movie soon (a trend, we did this last Friday too!), but I have to mention the fantastic podcast I have been listening to while working out lately. Firstly I must mention I love podcasts in every shape and form, and LOVE working out to them. Sometimes when music won’t cut it, I love listening to people talk, takes my mind off the mindnumbing occasional pain. If you’re familiar with MizFit or DietGirl, you may have heard of their new podcast “Two Fit Chicks and A Microphone”. It’s fantastic. Shauna (DietGirl) noted that there was a podcast void since Jillian Michaels KFI show ended, hence the decision to attempt to fill it. They are doing a fabulous job at filling that big ol’ void by the way –the only complaint I have is that there’s not enough of them! A compliment I’m sure! Check the podcast out by going to the website in the above link, or search iTunes, keyword “Two Fit Chicks and A Microphone”

I don’t have time tonight but very soon I must do a full post on all my favourite podcasters as obviously this is an obsession of mine. I just love them. Perhaps one day I’ll have my own and you’ll all hear my crazy Kiwi accent!

If you’re currently losing weight, how’s it going?

 

Fitness DVD Review: Kim Kardashian’s Butt Blasting Cardio Step

Nearly a month ago for my birthday I received a voucher which I chose to spend at Borders. Because I’m so impulsive sometimes I decided to see the voucher as “free money” (hey, it’s not like I earned it –it was a gift!) and spent it on Kim Kardashian’s 3-DVD Collection “Fit Into Your Jeans By Friday. Sometimes this logic get’s the better of me, however I am surprised at how much I’m liking the series.

It’s not that I have anything against Miss Kardashian, it’s just a lot of the time Celebrity Fitness DVD’s are disappointing. I remember years ago I bought Geri Halliwell’s Yoga DVD (remember her crazy yogi faze?!). It was basically Geri’s Yoga instructor taking Geri through basic moves. Geri wasn’t really doing anything. It was lack lustre to say the least and …boring.

Anyway a basic review of Kim’s Cardio Step component of the “Fit Into Your Jeans By Fridayseries:

Butt Blasting Cardio Step DVD

You will need a Step. Some other reviewers state you don’t necessarily need one as the moves themselves could be done on the floor. I have only done the DVD with my Reebok Step, however I can see this being completed without one, it would just be lower impact.

The Step Programme starts with a warm up (which really does warm you up!) and then three Step Combinations, followed by a Bonus Combination combining the three learnt. Then there’s a cool down section.

Being new to step programmes I was wondering whether I would be able to keep in time with Kim, and to my relief I was. In my opinion (and coming from someone definitely not dance or step coordinated!), steps were repeated just enough times to really get the moves down, and put them all together. And of course the great thing about a DVD is you can go back and repeat if you’re finding it tricky. I found I preferred certain routines over others, so at the end I repeated certain moves, but that’s the beauty of being able to go back and forth on a DVD!

When I first heard about this DVD series I did think, oh man, fit into your jeans by friday? What a load of … ! While I probably won’t be fitting into my (old) jeans by FRIDAY, I wouldn’t argue that if you kept this up regularly and ate a good diet, you wouldn’t be far off fitting into them some Friday soon!

Overall I really enjoyed this Step Programme. My heart rate was at an average of 84% of my total heart rate throughout, and the sweat covering my body was a sure sign that I had a great cardio workout. And my butt was SORE the next day, so she wasn’t lying about the blasting!

Can you recommend any great workout DVD’s?

A New Week

So it’s Monday morning as I write this. Was very busy and therefore, slack, in the weekend. I guess it will take a while for these posts to become regular as I’m new to this!

This week I wish to set in concrete, once again, my goals. I wish to

  • only eat when hungry (not out of boredom, or stress)
  • make healthier choices (not succumb to temptation at work etc)

So far, so good, however it is only 9.24am!

Tina referred last week to an earlier post she did about how to avoid office temptations which I have been thinking about today.

resist_temptation

One of the things I have found powerful in avoiding temptations is to know that the food is always going to be there. If I ever want chocolate again, I can have it. It’s not running away! I just can choose to make the healthier decision now, and not have it. This tip works for me because I find my unhealthy food choices are always in line with my impulsive nature. I have applied this to my sometimes impulsive shopping habits too –the stuff I sometimes think I want will always be there. I just need to breath, take some time, and then 9/10 times realise, I didn’t really want it anyway!

Other tips I have found helpful:

  • Just have one thing and work it into my calories
  • Take a moment to think about my weight loss goal and where I’m aiming to be
  • If I do “give in”, know that like a car with a flat tyre, just because I’ve had more than I planned for/given up, I don’t need to write myself off, and let completely loose. If you have a flat tyre, you fix the tyre, not continue until you take out all the car’s tyres! Thanks to Jillian Michaels for this analogy!
  • Know that sometimes it’s okay just to let loose. Don’t beat yourself up if you do so. Just make sure afterwards you bring yourself back to thinking about your goals etc.

What tips/tools have you used to avoid temptations?

Enjoy your day!

My Exercise Routine

Yay, it’s a short week in the city I live so bring on the long weekend! If there’s anyone reading this from the Northern Hemisphere, it’s currently Thursday evening here in New Zealand (just in case you forgot! I’m not calling you guys ignorant!)…

I actually just got back from seeing “My Sister’s Keeper”, which, in one word was draining. Great, amazing, beautiful  – but very draining. Worth seeing, that’s for sure, if you’re not afraid of tears! My Uncle actually passed away from a long battle of cancer last Thursday, so during the film I was not only following the story, but reflecting on his death also. Without giving too much away from the book/movie, the main message of the film was very therapeutic in any case. When are tears not therapeutic anyway!?

Tonight, I thought I would discuss my current exercise regime. I work out most days of the week, missing usually just one day, or two if I’m really sore. This week I am really sore because of the Step Active class that I took Tuesday, so have missed two days which is extremely rare for me, but it’s so important to listen to your body. If you’re too sore, you’re too sore. Full stop! On days I don’t get to the gym I will make sure to have a “lower calorie day”. Note lower calorie, not low calorie. As mentioned in my first post, I base my calories around 1400, so for days I can’t get to the gym, I’ll aim to keep my calories around 1200-1300 if possible.

Because I’m in the process of losing weight, I’m working out at a high intensity (whenever possible at over 80% of my heart rate). To get my heart rate up this high I do lots of cardio and circuit training. I recently joined Jillian Michaels website, and printed off all her circuit training routines. The current programme I’m doing has 5 circuits for one session, with about 5 exercises per circuit. The first day I tried the circuits I was totally exhausted! Her routines move from cardio based exercises (for example, mountain climbers), to resistance exercises (for example, side lunges with weights). The great thing about circuit training is you’re working your muscles, which help you burn fat, as well as getting a high overall calorie burn from all that cardio. Greatness is Jillian Michaels. I heart her big time!

At the moment I’m doing these circuit training sessions about 3 times a week. The downside is they’re quite time consuming to learn and get right –I don’t quite know the exercises well enough to power through them fast enough yet. On other days I’ll fit in an hour to 90 minutes of cardio. I do various cardio –Spin Class (I love!), general gym cardio (bikes, cross trainer, treadmill, stepper), or running outside. Anything to get the heart rate up, and as seen from my previous post I’m always looking for ways to try out different types of classes/cardio.

Some may call me crazy, but if I have time on a Saturday or Sunday (I usually do), and if I’m up to it, I’ll put a good movie/TV Show (Hello, Gossip Girl!) on my Ipod Touch, and hang at the gym doing cardio for a good 1.5 hour – 2 hours. It may be a slower cardio burn, but damn it’s good.

I went through a stage of doing Power Yoga, which I still occasionally do. I did an entire course and LOVED it. I’m naturally quite flexible, so I really enjoyed the challenge of pushing my body into various positions. However, when I was doing Yoga I was smaller, and feel that once I’ve lost more weight, I’ll incorporate this into my workouts again. Right now I feel like my body needs, and craves the gym more.

So now in general you know my exercise habits. As mentioned previously I just bought a step so I can’t wait to incorporate this into my at home workouts (I actually purchased “Kim Kardashian – Fit In Your Jeans By Friday Collection” recently –embarrassingly enough –will let you know how it goes ;)).

I would love to know your routines… what does everyone else do for exercise in a regular week? Also be sure to mention if you’re in a weight loss or maintenance mode.

1# New Experiences: Step Class

I love how some bloggers have posts they do regularly like “Things I Should Do More Often” etc.

My creative idea along these lines is New Experiences:

A few evenings ago I tried something new… Step Class.

 Photo care of www.wellnesscomplex.com

To me, those two words have always sent shivers down my spine –whilst I feel I’m relatively coordinated, I’ve never been a great dancer (except for partying-dancing hehe), and have stayed away from classes like Step.

However, at my gym they recently introduced a new version of Step –Step Active. The class is advertised as a Step class for those sceptical of the rigours of “regular” Step Class. The emphasis is on moving and having fun, as opposed to learning complicated moves.

One thing I would advise others to do when taking a new class that you may be unsure about, is to go to the class 5-10 minutes early and introduce yourself to the instructor. The other evening I did this, and it helped me throughout the class in various ways. Firstly, I felt more comfortable. Others could clearly tell I was new, so there was no expectation on me to excel in the class. Secondly the instructor paid special attention to me to help me pick up the moves. Whilst this wasn’t made embarrassingly obvious, the instructor probably went through moves a few more times than she would have with her regulars, and led up to the bigger sequences a bit slower.

My heart rate was at a 84% average burn also according to my ever faithful Polar Heart Rate Monitor! Which is hard to get just jogging on the treadmill, or gliding on the cross trainer.

Overall I loved it –I have even purchased a Step so I can practise the moves! Actually I have had my eye on one for a while –great also for at home workouts (tricep dips, chest press, flyes etc)!

Has anyone else tried a new class lately? Were you nervous? How was the experience?