WIAW – Carb Cycling #1

Hi guys!

How ya been?

I’ve been a busy gal lately between working, studying for my fitness nutrition specialist certification, traveling home this past weekend, and preparing to reach my first official group fitness class on Friday! (At 6am!)

I’m super excited but also nervous about it. Thank goodness I have been teaching that class for my friend and her coworkers a couple times a week after school – that really helped lay some groundwork!

I’m also really really excited about a new 6 week carb cycling and intermittent fasting program I’m participating in. It’s based off of the book The All Day Fat Burning Diet by Yuri Elkaim. Yuri presents many sound points, one of which is that in today’s age our bodies have become designed to store fat which has many adverse affects. I loved the book and his research and thoughts on nutrition and the role it plays in energy, hormone balance, mood, and fitness really resonate with me.

This program could be used to lose weight if that’s your main goal, but the contents of the book and the approach go far beyond the number on the scale.


Since I will soon be a certified fitness nutrition specialist, I think it’s my due diligence to know what’s out there and have tried different approaches myself so that I can best help clients.

This one appeals to me for a few reasons. First, I’ve been in a plateau for quite some time. It’s far from the end of the world, but being stuck in a bit of a rut and not seeing progress isn’t my fave, either. (This is my “you can love your body but still have goals” mentality.)

Also, this rut has not just been physical. Over the past few years, I’ve developed food habits that aren’t “bad” or “unhealthy” – in fact most of them involve healthy foods – but I’ve relied too much on food habits to structure and dictate my day. I needed a program that would help me break free of those habits. I’m always looking at recipes and there are so many I want to try but I NEVER TRY THEM because I can’t force myself to not eat the foods I’m used to. For instance, I don’t NEED to have a bowl of overnight oats for breakfast first thing, or always have sweet potatoes and loads of peanut butter at every meal. While these foods aren’t unhealthy, I was beginning to feel trapped by them and at the same time anxious if I had to deviate. I no longer knew if those were the foods that made me feel my best or even tasted the best to me, they almost became control mechanisms in my daily life. While I will certainly continue to eat those foods, I will also be including a lot more variety on this plan and I sure do need it!

I also want to really clean out my system and bring my hormones back in balance. Lately my energy had been dipping and moods were blah – or sometimes really elated and then sad sad sad. Time for some nutrition changes and healing from the inside out, I’d say.

The plan started on Monday and we kicked it off with two low carb days! Typically there will only be one a week. I was nervous but my energy and mood have been so high. The plan eliminates gluten and dairy so I’ve really been changing up my meals and it feels awesome. Although, I am excited for FEAST day tomorrow. Welcome back, carbs! (And plenty of them!)

So here’s what I ate Tuesday, which was the second of the two low carb days.

BREAKFAST, 9:45am

Pumpkin protein pancake topped with 1T natural PB with a side of scrambled egg whites. 


I was most worried about breakfast because I am a sweet breakfast kinda girl and I was anxious about giving up my beloved oats with fruit. But this was so good! I’ll be sharing the recipe soon. It’s gluten free and dairy free and deeeelish! I ate this after my morning sprints/cardio sesh. Yay for working out before breakfast – I CAN do it after all! (I used to all the time when I was teaching and had to workout extra early before school – but because of food habits mentioned above I really haven’t been able to for a while now.)

LUNCH, 12:45 pm

One egg, two whites, spinach, mushrooms, half a veggie burger…topped with avocado and sriracha! 


I loved this meal and had the same thing for dinner on Monday night with the addition of chicken. Surprisingly, Iwasn’t  snacky at all between breakfast and lunch. Even though I had a later breakfast, I probably would still have gone to the fridge for something in between. This is one of those meals that I’ve been wanting to eat for some time, but never did because I already had meals I was stuck to! Another win!

DINNER, 7:45 PM

Cauliflower rice stirfy with salmon burger, egg whites, veggies, and liquid aminos. 

So yum. This was a great alternative to a heavy fried rice dish. Very filling and satisfying for a low carb meal. Topped it with sriracha, my new BFF!

SNACKS

Like I mentioned before, I generally haven’t been hungry between meals. I did have some nuts, an afternoon protein shake, and a hard boiled egg yesterday. Again, can’t remember the last time I had nuts instead of just a spoonful of PB for a snack or ate hard boiled eggs either.

Dan is following the plan as well, which makes it even better. He rocked the last two days and is pumped for feast day. Homeboy is about to chow down! Haha.

While this way of eating and exercising might not be the best fit for everyone, I think it’s important to really look at the way you eat, think, and exercise and CHANGE IT UP if need be. We get so attached to what we know and what’s familiar that sometimes we don’t make room for new and potentially better things to come in.

And what do ya know, this applies to life as well!

Hope you have a great day!

Cheers,

Ruthie 

Let’s Chat: Are you a creature of habit when it comes to food? 

Friday Favorites: A new fitness gig, heart rate training, and some special bling!

Hi there!

Happy Friday! What a week it’s been. I’m feeling especially lucky this week, and mood is high. AND, I am extra glad that today is Friday for once, because I actually have tonight and ALL OF TOMORROW OFF at home with Dan. That never happens. I can remember one other time where we woke up together at home an had the entire day and night to do what we wanted with it. Safe to say I’m a leeetle excited.

The weekend plans include pancakes, doggie walks, People vs. OJ, a trip to Ben & Jerry’s (you guys I live sooo close – hoping they have some of the non-dairy flavors?!) and homemade margs and nachos. HAPPY CAMPER HERE.

Before I get ahead of myself, let’s share my faves from this week! I hope that your week was full of things that made you smile, too. It’s always fun to get a glimpse into what’s making someone’s world go round. 😉

Health & Fitness Career Moves!

This was a big week for my future as a health and fitness professional! I began studying for my Fitness Nutrition Specialist Certification, for one. It’s clear that I’m highly interested in nutrition but with all that I know, I don’t have any training in it. With this certification, I’ll be able to coach and guide others about how to fuel their goals and healthy lifestyle. I’m so excited about it. Thanks to my hubby for sponsoring my education as my 30th birthday present!! <3

Also, I got my first gig as a group fitness instructor and I’ll begin in April! I have been teaching a class twice a week at the local high school for a friend and a few of her coworkers, which has been great, but I’m so glad to be taking the next step and working at a gym. Now I’ve got to come up with my schedule and class ideas. Can’t wait!

It’s always a beautiful thing when new opportunities develop!

 

Beets Blue HR Monitor

I used to wear a heart rate monitor on every run and for every workout, but fell out of the habit when my Polar watch started acting funky. It was perfect timing when my friends at Beets Blu sent me theirs to try out!

What’s great about this HR monitor is that it’s lightweight and really easy to use. It connects to your phone via Bluetooth and you’re good to go. Since I usually run and workout with my phone anyway for music, running app, or a timer, etc, it is nice to have this information right there on my phone as well.

I connected mine to the RunKeeper app so my HR was incorporated into the information about my runs. At this point, I don’t need a fancy running watch right now, so just having my distance, pace, miles, and now with this, HR and calories burned is great.

If you’re looking for a way to elevate your training, I’d recommend trying a HR monitor like this one. Knowing your max heart rate and calculating your different training zones can be incredibly helpful in your running and in your workouts. For example, you can make sure your HR is in the proper zone for a long run as opposed to a tempo run, or make sure that you’re in the fat burning zone for HIIT workouts…and that your HR stays in a safe!

 Special Necklaces from Friends

I lucked out in this category this week! I received not only one, but two thoughtful gifts from friends in necklace form!

My friend Tracy gave me this incredible piece and I just love it. It’s a key that says “strength” on it. The necklaces are made by those who are transitioning out of homelessness and looking for employment to improve their situation. The idea is you wear the necklace and embrace the word on it until you find someone else who needs that word as well, and pass it along to them to wear it. It’s special, indeed!



My bestie Ali gave me this adorable elephant necklace that also has a little charm with an “R” on it. I’ve already started wearing it nonstop as elephants are my favorite. As you can see from the sassy photo below, I’m pretty proud of it!

And there you have it! A few of my standout favorites for the week! Happy happy joy joy.

Now it’s off for a workout and day of work before quality time with the hubby! Hope you all enjoy a great Friday and weekend! :)

Cheers,

–Ruthie

Let’s Chat: Do you use a HR monitor? What are you looking forward to this weekend?

Workout Wednesday – The Power of 30 Minute Workouts and I’m Officially a Group Fitness Instructor!

Hey there! Happy Wednesday.

How’s the week going?

It’s been a good one over here so far. I worked Monday and then had an audition for a group fitness instructor position yesterday! And guess what? I got the job!

I’m so excited to begin “officially” teaching and can’t wait to learn more and develop this passion of mine into a career. It looks like I’ll be teaching a couple classes a week beginning in April. Woohoo!

My audition went well in part because the fitness center manager was very welcoming and helpful. It was clear she wanted me to do well and wanted to be a source of support as she new that I’m new to teaching! I really appreciated it.

For the audition, I had to prepare a 30 minute workout that included a warm up and cool down and be able to offer modifications for exercises and demonstrate proper form. Even though I have lots of experience creating workouts, I was quite nervous!

  
  
I ended up choosing to go with a 20 minute total body Tabata workout because this style of HIIT is really effective, especially if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck timewise! Plus, Tabata is a fun and high energy workout format.

Here’s what we did after warming up with some breathing, dynamic stretches, and simple cardio moves:

T1: plank jacks/power squat

T2: lie down push-ups/goblet squat with alternating front kick

T3: weighted punches/plyo lunge

T4: high jump with alternating side row/thrusters

T5: weighted jog/half burpee

So, for each Tabata, we alternated between two exercises. It’s definitely one I will be coming back to in the future!

If you are short on time you can FOR SURE get in an awesome workout regardless. You do not need hours and hours to work out, really! My recommendation is to perform a routine that incorporates strength and cardio in interval format to really make the best use of the time that you do have!

If you need some inspiration, I’ve got some great workouts from around the web to share with you!

Love the format of this 20 Minute Total Body Workout from PB Fingers.

I really dig her workouts, like this Work it All 30 Minute one!

Some awesome moves in this 30 Minute Interval Workout.

Truthfully, some of my best and favorite workouts happen in 30 minutes because you’ve gotta kick up the intensity and focus to get the job done! Go for it. :)

Hope you have a great day and I’ll see you back here on Friday!

Be sure to check out the Workout Wednesday Linkup for more workout goodness! 

Cheers,

Ruthie

Let’s Chat: How long do your workouts typically last? Favorite workout when you’re short on time?

 

WIAW: How to Get Back on Track After You Treat Yourself!

Whoa.

What a week.

I’m typically not a birthday celebration person. Historically I’ve kept my birthday very low key – I’m talking like my mom and sister or a couple of close friends eating pizza at home low key. But, this year was so, so different.

This year I lived it the heck up for my 30th. And guess what? It was one of the best weeks of my life! I went to NYC with Dan to visit my sister and play in the Big Apple, I had some “staycation” days at home in VT, and then I traveled to Boston to meet my mom and sister for additional birthday partying. It was the perfect way to welcome my 3rd decade. I felt so lucky to be living this life with SO MUCH LOVE IN IT!

As you can imagine, I was pretty much eating and drinking the entire week. I did fit in some really good workouts with my sister and at home (my sis is a BEAST in the gym so that’s a bonus!). I can honestly say I enjoyed every bite and sip and it was completely worth the indulgence and couple of lbs that are here as a result. Years ago I probably would have freaked out but happily, today I’m taking it in stride because #balance.

With that said, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ready to get back to my routine and my predominantly clean eats.

It’s really important after a day, week, month of “falling off the wagon” that you’re able to get back on it without guilt. My approach is to pick up where I left off and keep moving forward with positive habits and a can do mindset. It’s easy to let things spiral out of control with the “I’ve already let it go so might as well just keep going” line of thinking, but YIKES! Stop those thoughts in their tracks and kick them out of your brain.

So, here’s what I ate yesterday, a complete day off.

7:30AM: Diluted apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach.

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I’ve been drinking this or hot water with lemon every morning. I don’t really notice much other than I’m not as hungry right away after. Hopefully it’s doing me some good!

8:40AM: Breakfast! 1/2c oats with blueberries + PB, plus egg whites.

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11:00AM: Post run protein smoothie (unpictured) 

 

1:45PM: Roasted sweet potato, ground turkey, and an egg from my friend’s farm. Loving this combo.

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I usually eat lunch much earlier, but I added more fruits and veggies than usual to my smoothie so I wasn’t really hungry until a bit later.

4PM: Snack time! Half a banana, some PB, and granola.

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One of my girlfriends makes this granola using local and/or organic ingredients. It’s the best!

I was pretty munchy in the afternoon but tried not to let the snack attack get out of hand! I ended up having a few more sweet potatoes and half a cucumber. Phew!

7PM: Salad monster!

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It had been a while since salad was on the menu! I loaded this one up with veggies, chicken, light Caesar dressing…and pickles! I just luuuurve pickles in my salad. SOGOOD.

I ended the day with a cup of hot chocolate while watching House of Cards. The new season came at the perfect time because I just finished Nurse Jackie. Loved it and was pondering what I was going to do with my life when it was over so fortunately (or unfortunately, if my life has come to the availability of TV shows! ;)) HOC happened at the right moment!

Overall, I was very pleased with my day of eats. I listened to my body AND stuck to the plan. Remember, after you treat yourself don’t beat yourself! (Ahhh, the cleverness…)Enjoy the moments where you abandon your food “plan” and then move on and get back to making choices that align with your goals and make your body feel good! Just say no to guilt and get back on it.

Hope you have a great day!

Cheers,

–Ruthie

Let’s Chat: What are your tips for getting back on track with healthy eating? What’s the best thing you ate yesterday?!

 

 

 

The 5 Best Things About Having Your Husband Back Home After Two Weeks Away

Hey friends!

It’s Thursday, and today I’m thinking out loud.

I mentioned yesterday that Dan arrived home on Sunday after two weeks at a military course down in Georgia. (Wish I had taken the trip down with him!)

Being a military family has its set of challenges. Dan is gone one weekend a month and spends several days a month at his armory doing work for his unit. As the commander, he has to spend a lot of his time and energy on his unit is on top of his full time job as a detective on our local PD. He is also gone a minimum of two weeks every summer. So, he was gone for two weeks in June, another two weeks for a military training in November, and this last period of two weeks. That adds up! Im growing accustomed to holding down the fort while he’s gone. With his work schedule and national guard schedule, the Friday before Valentine’s day will be the first night in a month we’ll be able to spend together. Cray!

Safe to say that I was very happy to have him back home! I love alone time and totally get in my zone while he’s gone, but it’s better when he’s here. :)

So, after a few days with the man around again, here’s what I’ve determined are the top 5 things about him being back!

1. Hugs, cuddles, kisses

Missed those!

2. He finds the Amazon firestick that you knew was in the couch all along but just couldn’t locate it

So clutch.

3. The dog to human ratio is now even

The whole one human to two dog thing was getting a little out of control.

4. I have a running buddy again

A really cute one!

  

5. I have someone to eat pancakes and Chinese takeout with

Not gonna lie…This could also be considered a con. STUFFED.

Of course there are plenty more but we’ll leave it at that. 😉

I’m off to go work at the brewery and then tonight it’s more Nurse Jackie. So into that show!

Cheers,

–Ruthie

Let’s Talk: Do you like alone time? If you’re in a relationship, do you have similar schedules, spend time apart?