Monday, December 28, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different

Many of you know that I have used Turbulence Training for most of the past 2 years and love it. For the past year, I also have been a member of the Precision Nutrition forums. When I was looking for a new workout to use after my current TT workout, I stumbled onto the workouts section on the PN forums. One of them really caught my eye and I have decided to give it a try! It's a bit different from what I have been doing, and there are lots of techniques that I've never done before. So I'm pretty excited to get started!

Overall, it's a 22 week program, broken into 7 phases. Each phase is only 3 or 4 weeks long. The 7th phase is just the last week; I don't think I will actually be doing that phase because it's supposed to be a final "peak" week prior to a competition. And as I don't plan to compete anytime soon, I'm probably going to just take that week off before I begin my....[fanfare]...12 week half marathon training!

Yes, you read that right. I've signed up to run a half marathon at the end of this summer! That's 13.1 miles - Yikes!

I'm going to concentrate on this other workout program first. The first 10 weeks is focused on building muscle (but I'm going to continue to run on only Saturdays during this time).

Since I am using a workout from the PN forums, I've decided to more closely follow the 10 principles or "habits" of PN. I've been a little lax with a couple of the principles. I also am going to aim to get more sleep, which means going to bed about 30 minutes earlier than I am now.

My new program kicks off this morning! I'm looking forward to the first workout. I have my new hot pink training journal and am ready to go! :)

If you are looking for a new training program, don't forget the next TT contest has just begun. Nothing like a competition to motivate! And currently Turbulence Training is selling for 50% off until Friday, January 1st, at 9:00pm ET. (Comes with 5 bonus workouts and 30 days of access to the TT Members website.)

Have a great day!!

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase the product, I will receive a small portion.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Recipe Wednesday - Chocolate Chip Cookies

My mom makes the best chocolate chip cookies. They are basically the Original Toll House Recipe with just a little tweak. But instead of giving away her secret, I'm going to share my adapted, slightly healthier version. After all, a cookie is still a cookie. :)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1.5 cups spelt or whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) butter, softened
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 Tablespoons pumpkin puree
1/2 cup powdered Stevia (I used "Stevia in the Raw")
3/4 cup Sucanat
1 Tablespoon unsulphured molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 (10 oz) package of grain-sweetened chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a small bowl, blend flours, baking soda and salt.

3. With a mixer, beat butter, Stevia, Sucanat, molasses and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the coconut oil and pumpkin. Then add the eggs one at a time, blending well after each one.

4. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

5. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. (I used a small scoop and used parchment paper on my cookie sheet.)

6. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Do not overbake.

According to the Toll House website, their recipe makes 60 cookies at 110 calories each. I made 49 cookies at about 92 calories each.

Sorry for the bad picture. Maybe Santa will bring me a new camera. :)

Happy Holidays!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

OK, So I'm Feeling Like A Wimp

I was all fired up yesterday because I was going to run outside. I got up, ate a banana, and then decided to go grocery shopping first to let the banana digest. When I left the grocery store, it felt cold, windy, and was starting to snow, so I...went to the gym and ran on the treadmill. Argh!

So I felt a little wimpy about that. :)

But I did have a good workout at the gym. Here's my treadmill workout:

Time - Speed
0-6:00 (5.0mph)
6-6:30 (8.0mph)
6:30-8 (5.0mph)
8-8:30 (8.1mph)
8:30-10 (5.0mph)
10-10:30 (8.2mph)
10:30-12 (5.0mph)
12-12:30 (8.2mph)
12:30-14 (5.0mph)
14-14:30 (8.1mph)
14:30-16 (5.0mph)
16-16:30 (8.0mph)
16:30-18 (5.0mph)
18-23:30 (5.5mph)
23:30-43:30 (6.0mph)
43:30-49 (5.5mph)
46-55:00 (5.0mph)
55-60:00 walking cooldown

Totals: 60 minutes, 5.42 miles

While I was working out, I realized I listened to two songs with the title of "Halo" - one by Depeche Mode, and one by Porcupine Tree. Which do I like better? Hmmm...It's close. I really like both bands, but I think I like the Depeche Mode "Halo" more. :)

And here's the link to this week's TT Fat Loss Call: Weekly TT Call This week Craig talks about how many calories you burn during different activities (including Wii games), mindless eating and the TT Fusion 2K6 Workout.

Have a great day!!

Disclosure: This post does not contain an affiliate link. I just think the calls are fun to listen to. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Recipe Wednesday - Dutch Speculaas Cookies

Some of you may know I have a lot of Dutch in my background, so when I saw a recipe for Dutch Speculaas cookies in a recent issue of Vegetarian Times, I wanted to give it a try. If you've ever had a "Dutch Windmill Cookie", those are kind of like a Speculaas.

When I started making the recipe, I was thinking, "did I even read this recipe before starting?" because I kept running out of ingredients and had to improvise on the spot! The cookies turned out great, though, so I wanted to share my adapted recipe. Don't be afraid of the number of ingredients - these go together pretty quickly.

Dutch Speculaas Cookies

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup spelt flour
3/4 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup almond meal/flour
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teapoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups sucanat
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons unsulfured molasses
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 egg
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted (optional)

1. Blend together flours, spices, baking soda, salt and pepper.

2. With an electric mixer, cream butter, coconut oil and pumpkin until smooth. Add sucanat, honey and molasses and beat until smooth. Add egg and blend until smooth.

3. Mix in flour mixture by hand, using a large spoon or your hands. Fold in almonds, if using. (To toast the almonds, place in a skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.) I only had about 1/3 cup on hand, so that's all I used. Cover dough and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove about 1/4 of the dough from the bowl. Roll dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper until 1/4 inch thick. (I highly recommend using the parchment paper here.)

5. Cut with cookie cutters and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 9-10 minutes. Continue with remainder of dough, placing the dough back in the fridge briefly if it gets too sticky.

6. These can be decorated with icing, but the plain ones were "kid approved" so I didn't bother putting any icing on them.

I don't have nutritional info for this recipe simply because the number of cookies will vary. The recipe said it would make 48 cookies, but I made about 70! I know I was rolling the dough a bit thinner near the end, and my cookie cutters might have been smaller than what they used.

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

TT Contest Voting

The Turbulence Training Transformation Contest Finalists have been chosen! (I'm not a finalist.) This time there are 3 categories: Men, Women, and Advanced. The voting is open to everyone, so if you would like to vote, here is the link:

Turbulence Training Contest Voting

You have until Friday, December 18, at 9:00pm ET to cast your vote. The next contest starts December 27th! Go vote and be inspired by the results these finalists achieved in 12 weeks!

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase the product, I will receive a small portion. I don't get paid for reviews, and I only review items that I actually own.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Falling Off the Wagon, Rolling Downhill, Getting Trampled by the Horse...

So the past 2 days have been pretty awful nutrition-wise.

I had been doing so well and then one little sugar craving and it all goes south. It started Thursday with a stressful afternoon at work. Then when my husband picked me up from work, the roads were so icy and horrible, it took us 2.5 hours to make a trip that should have taken 15-20 minutes. Since it was close to 7:00 and we were not at home, and the kids were hungry and cranky, we ended up having pizza for dinner. The pizza itself wasn't too bad, it was the chocolate chip cookie chasers that did me in.

So Friday I woke up craving more sugar and I gave in all day. The roads were still bad Friday evening, and we went and got family pictures taken. The photography studio was busy and noisy, which makes it more stressful, and my willpower was already toast.

This morning I had a slightly running nose and a sore throat. That almost always happens if I eat too much junk. Either my body must be allergic, or the sugar suppresses my immune system, or a little bit of both. I think I read somewhere how sugar can affect the immune system. Does this happen to anyone else? It's like a junk food hangover. Blech. Update: So 5 minutes after posting this, I was catching up on some of the blogs in my blog list and someone else had posted about this very topic! You can read that post HERE if you are interested.

But today is a new day. I had a good workout this morning and am feeling good. I did my TT intervals, and then did some running at the end in order to complete my 4-6 mile longish run for the week. The whole run felt really good and I actually ran faster and farther than I had planned. Maybe it's from all the extra carbs I ate last night, or maybe it's the new shoes....

Finally decided I needed new running shoes! These are the Saucony Triumph 7; I previously had the Triumph 6, but when I went to get new ones, they didn't have the 6 in my size.

After stretching, I walked by the chin up bar and jumped up to see how many I could do. I still felt really good and managed 7 full chin ups...while listening to Tiffany. (Yes, I have Tiffany on my mp3 player.) For some reason I found the juxtaposition of listening to girly, pop Tiffany and doing full chin ups amusing. :)

So today will be a good day because I will make it a good day. Time to kick the sugar cravings to the curb.

Have a great day everyone!!

PS. If my brother is reading this, I need your wife's Christmas list ASAP, or else she's just getting pajamas this year. :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Results from TT Contest....

Here goes nothing! Here are my final results. As I mentioned, not as dramatic as past contests, but I am happy with where I am. That was part of this contest - losing the "contest mentality". This was about lifestyle goals. I just wanted to work out hard, eat healthfully and mindfully, and not neurotically count every calorie.

When I used to look in the mirror, what I saw was never quite right. On the one hand, I was "too fat" and all I saw was loose skin and stretch marks from my pregnancies, then I would lose weight and become "too skinny" and would set out to gain weight.

After the last contest I entered, I decided I needed to gain 5-10 lbs. In the process, I gained some very bad eating habits (like late night snacking and large portions), along with about 20 lbs. This contest was for losing that excess 5-10 lbs, but in a healthy way.

During this contest, I had an epiphany while I was at the gym. A “skinny” girl got on the treadmill next to me and entered her weight into the machine. I was surprised that she weighed EXACTLY the same as I did. My brain really thought about that one…If I think she looks good…and she’s the same weight as me…hmmm….maybe I really look OK!

I learned many other things during this contest as well, such as:

…there’s more to post-workout nutrition than whey protein powder.
…take a day off from training…and mean it!
…it’s OK to feel a little hungry every once in a while. I don’t have to snack at night.
…I like asparagus…I mean, I really like it!

I am happy with my results and am exactly where I want to be. I lost the weight safely, over a reasonable amount of time, in a healthy way. My clothes fit better and I feel great!

Here are the TT workouts I used:

TT for Athletes (phase 1)
TT for Mass @ Home
Original TT for Abs

So that's it! Right now I'm using Original Turbulence Training. I can't remember if I've used it before or not - I've done so many different TT workouts over the past 2 years! But I like it so far. And it's been even more fun because my husband has been doing the weights part with me at home. (Then I've been going to the gym for intervals on the following day.)

I'm also committed to maintaining my running endurance that I've gained, so I am trying to get in a 4-6 mile run at least once a week. I had a nice 4 mile run this morning. It was 25 degrees (F) out, but the sun was shining and I was nice and warm after the first mile.

Before I forget, here is the link to the Weekly TT fat loss call. This week covers the TT Fusion 2K9 workout, the next TT Contest (starts right after Christmas), and how to calculate your calorie needs.

Have a great week!

Disclosure: This post does not contain an affiliate link. I just think the calls are fun to listen to. :)