Harder, better, faster, stronger.

One week into making a real effort towards being fitter and losing the extra junk (mental and physical) that the last 6 months have brought, and I’m already feeling harder, better, faster, stronger (with my thanks to Daft Punk for refreshing my workout playlist).

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One of the main things I’ve focused on this week has been nutrition. My take on nutrition is pretty simple: eat smaller meals, comprised of whole foods, 5-6 times a day, protein with every meal, don’t forget to add healthy fats. This simple approach has always worked for me in the past. I feel healthy and strong doing it, and I do not feel deprived- unless I skip a meal and then all hell breaks loose and I end up elbow deep in the peanutbutter jar.

On Monday, I did a ton of pre-cooking. 21 chicken thighs, sprinkled in a corriander mint combo spice that I found at the grocery store. This was enough for me to eat 2-3x a day depending on the size, plus extra for suppers when I didn’t feel like cooking, plus MORE extras so that if my husband ate some I wouldn’t be short on a meal.

I then made turkey meatballs using this recipe that I found on Pinterest for southwest turkey burgers, and just rolled them into meat balls and cooked them in the over at 400 for 35 minutes

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I used fresh cilantro and added cut up celery. I made a double batch to ensure I had enough for the week, plus extras for my husband.  There were two left this morning which we scrambled into some egg whites. Yummy.

I also cooked a gazillion protein pancakes, which I ate every. single. day. for breakfast, and sometimes a third pancake at night if I was hungry and craving something sweet and carby.  My favourite protein pancake recipe is from here http://mealsandmovesblog.com/meals/protein-pancakeswaffles/

Make these pancakes, they’re fantastic.

I also pre-cut and put into baggies a variety of raw veggies for snacking on. Every bag had a combo of cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red, yellow and orange pepper, zucchini and baby carrots.

From there I was able to quickly put together most meals. A typical day looked like this:

– 2 protein pancakes with berries

– protein shake with 1/2 frozen banana, frozen mango and almond milk

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– 2/3 chicken thighs, grilled veggies, 1/2 mashed sweet potato sprinkled with chili

-meatball, bag of cut veggies,

– Different supper every night, usually a meat (chicken, pork, one night chicken sausage), a salad, and a carb of some sort (usually a slice of sprouted grain bread because I love it).

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Its Saturday now, and I’ve managed to stick to my meal plan all week with some minor deviations. Eating like this makes me feel best. My stomach feels flatter. I don’t have the energy spikes I would otherwise have during the day (I usually get comatose around 3pm), and my skin is clearer. Already, after only 1 week of consistently consuming clean, healthy food, balanced portions of protein, fat and carbs – food is pretty powerful stuff.

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If anything, when I look back on my week, I rely a little heavy on protein powder (its in the pancakes, and in the shake) and ate a little bit more fruit than I would like (I’d prefer to have more veggies than fruit when trying to lose weight). That said, the protein powder and the fruit mean that I haven’t had any really bad cravings for sweets / sugar, so I’m going to chalk it up as a win.

The main trick now will be sticking with it. I’m so bad for being back on track for a week, or two, or even three, feeling in control of myself again, and then falling completely and totally off. the wagon. Not even on the same road as the wagon. I’m going to keep the 21-days-to-form-a-habit in mind. Keep consistent for that long and it will get easier. Eating like this used to be effortless for me. As mindless as breathing.  I can get there again.

In my basement.

This morning I woke up at 5am. I had 1/2 protein shake and 1/2 a banana, then I did something that used to define my day. Something I haven’t done for 6 months. I did an AM workout. A full blown, dripping in sweat workout. Dripping from my elbows and knees, pushed as hard as I could. In my basement.

I did a TRX workout. I bought the TRX when I moved

thinking it would be a great tool to workout with at home. Turns out though – I don’t like working out at home. I like the gym. I like the artificial lighting, and the air conditioning, and all the shiny equipment all lined up just waiting for me to lift and pull and push and triumph. The gym makes me feel great. I like to watch the other people working out. The muscle heads, the cardio queens, those just starting out – I love to see them pushing themselves,  I admire their dedication, and think of them as kindred spirits.

In my basement, I am alone. There’s no bright lights, no ‘friends’ pushing themselves further than the day before. It’s just me, my ipod, a skipping rope and some crazy straps mounted to my ceiling. I haven’t been able to really get ‘in’ to this kind of workout. I miss lifting things. I miss the atmosphere. I miss the pump that I get from weights. But, this is me being rigid. Wanting things to be exactly the same. Wanting to re-create my old routines in a new place, and it just doesn’t work here.

I need to adapt. To be flexible. To be comfortable alone. On my own. In the basement. Just me, my sweat and I. And the TRX is an amazing workout, even without the shiny equipment, the heavy weights, the air conditioning and the fluorescent lighting I love.

21 days

21 days to form a habit.

I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for ages. I just keep waiting. Waiting to think up the perfect name. Waiting to compose the perfect post, waiting for things to be just so.

I get this idea in my head of how things should be and stick to it.

I used to be really rigid about my workout schedule. Wake up at 5am, gym by 5:30, home and showering for 6:45, work for 8am. I pre-cooked every. single. meal. I ate all my meals from ziplock containers. Egg whites, 1 slice toast, sautéed veggies; cut raw veggies and a turkey meat ball; baked sweet potato grilled chicken, leafy greens; more grilled chicken and sautéed veggies; protein shake. Every single day. Well, most days that’s for sure. I looked great. I felt strong. I was proud of my muscles. I was proud of how far I could push my body. I admired my muscles in the mirror at the gym. I did my reps with heavier weights than the man next to me with pride. I was unstoppable.

Then, I moved. I changed jobs. I got stressed. I couldn’t find a gym that was convenient to go to. I stopped pre cooking all my food – too stressed, too tired. I stopped eating as healthily as I was accustomed to. My body grew softer. My curves curvier. My muscles less pronounced. My stomach more pronounced.

I spend a lot of time now feeling guilty. Guilty for not eating as well as I should, guilty for not working out as much as I should, guilty for wasting all the effort I put in for those years. Then, I feel guilty about feeling guilty. Guilty for having low self esteem, guilty for hating my body that has served me so well, guilty for my rigidity that has stopped me from adapting to my new life.

This blog will be about me learning to be flexible. To embrace health and fitness with abandon but while giving myself a mental break. Learning how to fit fitness into my life again. Learning to adapt. They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit, and I’m starting today.