Showing posts with label 30daychallenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 30daychallenge. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

5 Things I Learned from Going Plant Based for a Month

For the month of February, I dipped into plant based living for the first time with the FASTer Way VIP Community (I am a member and a coach). I was looking forward to giving it a try to see what, if any effects it would have on me. Plus, both of my step daughters are plant based so I was excited to learn more about their lifestyle.

My goals going into the month were pretty simple:
  • increase my veggie consumption
  • reduce my meat and poultry intake
  • try new recipes

I really expected to eat a pescatarian diet throughout the month. Most of my life I've been pretty picky about vegetables, so I thought if I didn't at least have some fish I'd probably be starving!

Not exactly!

The great thing about this plant-based challenge, was that we had LIVE trainings in the VIP community to help us navigate our way. This was so helpful for someone like me who was brand new to all things plant based! Each online training was meant to help us learn more about the lifestyle, understand the benefits and the effects. Our training topics included:
  1. A plant based Q&A
  2. The science behind plant-based living with Dr. Stephen Cabral
  3. Why being regular is important!
  4. Review of the documentary, Game Changers with Dr. Alex 

So, how did it go? I was not plant based 100% of the time. I had eggs a couple of times, some cheese on a cauliflower crust pizza and a few meals with fish. Most of those happened when we were traveling. However, I did not have meat or poultry at all, and made it a point to eat veggies at almost every meal. 

One thing that made this easier for me was that mrC was totally on board with trying plant based month, too. We initially became curious about the benefits after watching the documentary Game Changers.  

Here are my top five takeaways:
  1. Definitely felt the benefit of more fiber! Gassy and a little bloated at the beginning but definitely regular. Regular people and happy people!
  2. My bad knee which always feels swollen, even though it doesn't look swollen, began feeling almost normal and was overall less cranky. This was a HUGE win for me.
  3. I'm a pretty good sleeper in general, but I have been sleeping through the night and skipping the early morning wake-ups to use the bathroom.
  4. I need more veggies in my life! This challenge has made me more aware of ways I can sneak more veggies into all of my meals.
  5. There are a lot of really good plant based recipes that I will keep in my recipe file!
Moving forward, neither of us are in a rush to go back to our old diet of chicken and turkey and lean beef with nearly every meal, but we will be eating fish again. Plant based month has been great for getting more veggies in our lives. There is no downside to eating more fruits and vegetables.

Are you plant based or tried it?
I'd love to know your thoughts or your favorite recipe.
Share your comments and questions below!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Practice, Practice, Practice!!

mrC and started the day with a walk before he had to go to work. Sometimes the environment just invites me to strike a pose. Even though I was just playing around, I noticed right away that doing this pose was A LOT easier than it was a couple of months ago. Consistent yoga practice really does work.

Speaking of yoga practice, I went back to my regular studio for a Flow with Alignment class. This studio has more space than the new one I found across the street. I tried to take a picture of the removable wall they use to open up the room when the class fills up, like today. I decided to get another pass even though it is more expensive, because sometimes I like to just be a part of the crowd. 

This class felt good. I was feeling a little sore from yesterday's yoga and Pilates workouts, but I felt strong. It also felt good to know what I was doing most of the time and I was able to keep up just by watching since the class was ALL in Chinese!

While scrolling through my Instagram feed, I came across a new challenge. I've been talking about Pilates a bunch lately and I believe that everything happens for a reason, so I took this as a sign that I was meant to do it. 

What new challenges are you taking on lately?

Friday, June 12, 2015

I Joined a Fitness Center

Even though I haven't had a membership to a gym for about eight years, when my new friends in China told me about the Hilton Fitness Center, I had to see it for myself. It was AMAZING! State of the art equipment, sauna, jacuzzi, indoor and outdoor pools...and a HUGE price tag. Too much even for a little piece of fitness heaven.

Then we learned of a DEEP discounted (like more than 80% off) membership available and mrC decided I should have it. I didn't plan on getting a gym membership, since I've gotten by without one for so long, but the pools, the was meant to be!

When mrC's car arrived to take him to work this afternoon, I hopped on my bike and rode 10 minutes to the HFC to get my membership officially started.

After a quick registration process, I didn't waste any time getting my workout started. I stored my things in the locker room and jumped on one of the ellipticals for a 10 minute warm up. The view of Shenzhen Bay and the outdoor pool below is amazing, but if it bores you the cardio equipment all come with attached TVs.

The place was empty, so after my warmup I had my pick of machines. I took my time getting reacquainted with each piece of equipment: a couple of sets on the leg press, chest press, lat pull, and seated row.

There was plenty of floor space for me to do #MeanAbsJune Day 12 using one of the provided yoga mats.

After the 45 minute indoor workout, I went to the pool and swam around for about 45 minutes.

Yesterday I bought a small blender, so when I got back to the apartment I excitedly made my first smoothie using frozen raspberries and blueberries, some yogurt, and milk. Ahhh! I still need to find some protein and pick up some spinach, but it was a pretty good smoothie.

I'm looking forward to spending more time in the Hilton Fitness Center and testing the equipment and amenities I didn't get a chance to try today.

Do you workout at a fitness center?
What's your favorite thing about fitness centers?

Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Few Wrong Turns and a New Toy

This morning I laced up my running shoes earlier than I ever have before: 530 AM. mrC had a trip and left before 5 and since I was already awake it seemed like a good time to try to beat the humidity.

I'm pretty sure it was the best decision ever.

The streets were pretty quiet when I started which really amazes me when I look around and see all the surrounding apartment buildings.

The first half of my run went really well. I even found this inspiring message "planted" among the vines growing on a wall.

In my head I knew exactly where I was headed to make a loop back to our apartment. Suddenly I thought I was on the wrong road and made a right turn. And then a left. And then I was lost. 

The thing about China is that all the streets look the same and the names of the roads are very similar. I followed the metro signs until I figured out where I was and finished with my longest run in China. Since I was using my Charity Miles app to support #MaddieStrong, my run mileage wasn't completely lost after I forgot to un-pause my watch at one of my where-am-I? stops.

I'm learning that June is a popular month for expats to make a move (either back to their homelands or on to a new adventure) and have "apartment sales." So after some coffee and a shower, I hopped on my bike and went shopping.  I was hoping to bring home a yoga mat (the seller actually had one that she keeps at her school, so I will get it next week), but instead I found this goodie! 

(and yes, I rode my bike back with that thing sticking out of a bag in the front basket)

When I returned home, I scrambled up some cheesy eggs for myself and then remembered to do #MeanAbsJune day 6. I seriously can't wait to get that yoga mat because the tile floor is hard!

Have you ever had a run go wrong, but turn out right?
Any new fitness toys you want to share?

Sunday, May 31, 2015

My Mermaid Run and June Goals

I wish it wasn't so darn humid in Shenzhen.

I'm a morning runner and I don't mind getting up early to beat the heat. No matter what time I run, I can't beat the humidity though.

This morning I ran a route that I had put together in my head as we walked around.

I live in Shenzhen, China. Shekou is the name of our "neighborhood"

I'm calling it the Mermaid Loop because there is a giant mermaid statue of an ancient Chinese goddess where I turned around. I'm pretty sure she's naked 1. because she IS a mermaid and 2. it's so freaking humid, no one WANTS to wear clothes here.

There are great bay views from the mermaid waterfront path. Eventually the waterfront at our apartment will connect to the mermaid waterfront area. It's closed off now because of that new building construction you can see in the mermaid photo (above).

As usual I was a hot, sweaty mess at the end of my run and my pace was much slower than what I had been running in NH. I think it's time to embrace the climate.

So I'm setting some goals for myself for June.

Running: I've got to learn to deal with the humidity in small steps. Besides that, my knee is not the same as it was pre-Meniscectomy. Running, walking, biking, gets cranky a little more often than it used to.

Strength: I completely dropped the ball on this in May. So, it definitely feels like it's time to bring on a 30 day challenge. I'm bringing back a favorite that I pinned a couple of years ago.

Who wants to join me? It's more fun to do it together, right? Let me know if you're in by tagging me on Twitter @runningescapade or Instagram @runningescapades #MeanAbsJune

What are your June goals?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Training Truths: Staying Strong

Has it really been 4 weeks since I started dealing with my hip?

Last week I spent more time with Dr. Bri and worked on my strength (in ways that I could). At first that was just standard sit-ups, but as my hip pain lessened I was given the OK to do more.

So, after a couple of sessions of Graston, I was able to get back to my Tabata workouts that focus on core and lower leg strength. The only thing I couldn't do was side planks or anything else that caused pain in my hip.

By Sunday, I was itching for more and came across the Under Armour #SweatADay November challenge on Instagram. I've done the #SweatADay challenge numerous times in the past.  It helps me keep my fitness focus whether I am running or not and I find great new exercises

The weather was perfectly crisp for an outdoor morning workout following the challenge for day 9. Since I was getting a late start on the challenge, I also did a few of the previous workouts.

It felt really good to be outside working out. None of the exercises caused pain in my hip, but admittedly it felt…funny. Kind of tight, kind of tired? Not sure if the feeling in my hip is negative (pain-like) or positive (I've been used!).

Today I see Dr. Bri again and will hopefully get some more answers!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Workout Wednesday: 30 Day Challenge

Even though I returned from vacation and resumed my running and cross-training activities, my angry knee needed some attention. A trip to my doctor on Monday resulted in another cortisone shot and two days of rest.

Needless to say I was super excited to see a 30 day challenge invite from Sarah, one of the co-owners of TI Fitness where I go for SurfSet, and it started on Monday.

I really like challenges that use a progression approach to the same set of exercises. This way I can feel and see my improvements through the 30 days.

These are also relatively low impact exercises, although I had to modify the lunges to be paper plate  sliders to let the cortisone do its thing in my knee.

The other great thing about this challenge is that you start it at any time! If you are looking for some online support, Sarah has created a Facebook challenge group here. In addition to posting reminders and motivation, she is sharing daily challenges that focus on diet, fitness, or mental health. The challenge is open to everyone, just request to join the group!

What workouts are you loving right now?