Friday, February 19, 2010

It's Official

I am crazy. I gotta be. Wednesday night, I came up with the bright idea to do not one, but two Jillian Michaels workouts the following day. If I've been slacking, I'm the type to do some ridiculous workout as a come back. If you follow me on DailyMile, you'll see days of inactivity. Then all the sudden, BAM! I did everything in one day. I do the same thing with running too. If I haven't run in a while, my first run back is short, but HARD. I always push the pace when I should be easing into things. I figure, pushing it will get me back to where I need to be sooner. Get the pain out of the way now and it's smooth sailing from there.

So I started out with Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism. This was the workout I was afraid to do after previewing it. I put it off and didn't tackle it until about 2 weeks ago. The exercises I thought I would hate were okay. And the ones I thought would be okay SUCKED. Lots of plyometrics and such. Lots of muscle burning. When I did it yesterday, it wasn't as bad as the first time. But it was still a tough workout. I was completely expecting to feel somewhat beat down at the end of this (53min including warm up and cool down). But I was cool. I refilled my water bottle, ate some raisins, did a couple things around the house, then started the next workout about 10min later.

I moved on to No More Trouble Zones. Now remember, this is the workout that had everything but my face sore. This was my third time. And I must say, the more you do it, the better. As long as you get the first workout out of the way, it's all good from there. Even if I haven't done it in over a week, it feels easier. Somehow my body remembers what it's supposed to do. My abs, shoulders and arms were nice and tender from the previous workout. Any time they were engaged, the burn was extra special. But when it was all said and done 52min later, I still felt good. Actually, I spent the rest of the evening wondering when I'd feel like I was hit by a bus. It never happened. I woke up this morning sore. But it was the I-can-tell-I-worked-out sore, instead of Oh-my-God-did-someone-just-beat-the-crap-outta-me-with-a-bat sore. Two completely different feelings.

Out of all the body parts I worked, my traps were the most sore today. That's nothing. So I did about 30min of yoga. There was a portion dedicated to abs. And I worked them hard. But then I decided to do another one of Jillian's workouts, Level 3 of 30 Day Shred. This was my first attempt at Level 3. The Shred workouts are much shorter (26 to 27min). For the most part, if you've done her other workouts, the moves are nothing new, except a couple. But she picks the ones I hate to do most (walking planks, mountain climbers, sumo squats, jumping lunges, traveling pushups, plank rows with leg raises, and jump squats). In this short amount of time, sweat was dripping off my face onto the mat. I was trying to keep it out of my eyes. Mind you, I had the fan on. Yeah, it really didn't matter. Needless to say, I got that Yeah-I-worked-out-and-kicked-ass sore going on. Who knows what I will feel like in the morning. But I hope to get a swim in before Saturday night's festivities. I'm heading to NYC to act a fool celebrate a friend's birthday. Whatever soreness I got going on won't keep me from traipsing around the city. Should be lots of fun. On that note, I'm out. Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cooking with Chef Christie

Anyone who somewhat knows me knows that I cook. Anyone who really knows me knows that I tend to cook at the oddest hours. No matter what time it is, if I'm hungry or have the taste for something, I will cook it. I'm the type to not keep too many convenience foods around. For one, they're not healthy. Two, they're crap. Three, my food tastes better anyway. Four, I discovered that I actually like cooking. If you ever have stuff on your mind, start chopping onions or something. It's therapeutic. Okay, well not the eye burning part. But I've noticed that my eyes aren't irritated if I'm wearing contacts.

So last week, I got a sweet tooth and ended up baking pumpkin muffins around 1am. Last night, I was determined to get into my spaghetti squash. So I started cooking in the wee hours again. If you were on twitter last night, you were probably wondering what the hell I was doing up so late (or early depending on how you look at it) getting my Lidia's Family Table on. Yes, I can throw down like a big boned, Italian wench (with some veg friendly and healthy modifications) when I want to. So it was about 3am when I finally ate. I woke up with my kitchen still smelling like Lidia was in there putting in work.

And now for the Cooking with Chef Christie show that I put on last night:

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil.

Add tomato paste and red wine. I'm using burgundy.

Add spices. I got oregano, thyme, basil and marjoram going on.

Add whole tomatoes. Then break them up with your spoon. Don't forget to add a pinch of sugar to cut down on the acidity. Just a pinch. Don't go crazy with it.

Add salt and red pepper flakes to taste. I like mine spicy. Then let it simmer.

Add tofu for protein. I like a balanced meal. Use your protein of choice. Continue simmering.

Time to tackle the spaghetti squash. I don't think my knife is big enough.

Got it open without a struggle. Time to scoop out the seeds.

Spaghetti squash is easy. Just microwave face down.

Scoop out the 'spaghetti'.

Plate and serve with garlic toast and maybe some wine.

In case you're wondering, I'm not vegan or vegetarian any more. I eat fish occasionally (no creepy crawlies, no sea urchins, nothing in a shell, just fish with fins). Even knowing that, people still call me vegetarian. But whatever. I eat what I eat. Most of my cooking is vegan, since I don't eat eggs. If I make any type of pastry, baked goods, or pancakes and such, they are vegan (so I'm vegan on those days). I don't cook with dairy unless I specifically want dairy, like a grilled cheese sammich (making me vegetarian on those days). Then there are times I will cook a piece of salmon or tilapia to go with a side of veggies and a baked potato (making me pescatarian on those days). Most of the time, I use tofu or tempeh as my protein of choice . But hey, cook how you want to cook. Just make it tasty and healthy.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Nope. I'm not doing it.

I'm still not running. It's not about laziness or cold weather or whatever. I'm still injured. Before I had taken close to 4 weeks off. But I found out quickly that it wasn't long enough. It didn't matter how long or short the runs were, my hip region was still irritated afterward. It wasn't a problem during the run though. So it's quite tricky. Usually if you're injured, the discomfort hits you while running. But that's not my issue. I can still run. And I had run as much as 10mi with the injury. But it's after the run that would kick my ass. It's been, what, six weeks now? It has improved a lot. But it's not 100%. So I'm still not running. Part of me really wants to go out for a spin. I miss running. I really do. But I don't want to re-injure myself by not giving it enough time.

In the meantime, I'll keep up with my cross training. Well, somewhat. I got caught up watching the Australian Open at ridiculous times of the night and morning. It completely threw my schedule out of whack. So there was a week that I did absolutely nothing, not even yoga. But the tournament is over now. Back to business as usual. I've skipped my Y classes simply because I don't feel like going. But I replaced them with some kick ass Jillian Michaels dvds. I did No More Trouble Zones a couple weeks ago. And I was sore from head to toe. Everything, except my face, hurt. I did it again today and I have no post workout muscle soreness (yet). I also did 30 Day Shred a couple times. It's a lot less painful, yet effective. Next, I plan to tackle Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism. Something about it scares me. I gotta feeling I won't be able to lift my leg. But we'll see.

Whatever I've been doing for the past few weeks has definitely been effective in the strength training department. You know why? Because I can do push ups now! I can't do a bunch. But I can do more than ten at a time. That, to me, is HUGE. My arms are easily cut because I don't carry my weight there. But my strength (and weight) is in my legs. Previously, I could only do modified push ups. And that alone, was enough work for me. My, have things changed. I hope that all this other stuff will make me a better runner once I get back to it.

Speaking of running again, I am seriously considering buying a pair of Vibram Five Fingers. There's something to this barefoot running thing. Heck, my dad even brought up barefoot running the other day. He's not a runner. I'm hoping it will cure whatever I got going on, if I start slowly. I read somewhere that it can be good for those who were jacked up but now coming back to running. I can't see running in them all the time, but it would be a great training tool. And I've seen a bunch of blogs/training logs of VFF runners who adore them. It's worth a try. But first, I need to stop being lazy and measure my foot. Where's my ruler?