Sunday, August 31, 2014

Day 18-30 - the Thirty Day Challenge

so i dropped off the face of the planet.. it happens! i kept up mostly with workouts until the day i boarded the bus, and then of course everything changed. i've managed to keep my diet in check since i left for the coast, there was one fast-food indulgence on the bus, and a frank at a husky stop. otherwise, not bad! i have a few packets of shakeo that i've been using every few days when i need a pickup, but i had skipped a shipment that was due the same time i'd planned to travel. i have other boosts to make smoothies with until the next box arrives.

the bus ride was rough, needless to say i didn't get much exercise. i did manage to get a few thousand steps in each day by walking as far and back as i could at meal stops, or doing laps of the terminal places i couldn't wander too far. sleep was minimal, bus travel isn't good for that unless you don't mind sitting for days on end. some people pass right out, not me... impossible.

after wandering Vancouver for a couple days i've already located places to  buy cheap fresh produce, and places to collect various healthy goodies i enjoy like unsweetened coconut water and bulk nuts and dried fruits. speaking of wandering Vancouver.. being a pedestrian in this city is a workout of it's own. i'd love to get a bike! everywhere is a hill. the way home for most people involves going up for the most part. i love that i haven't climbed an actual set of stairs all week and yet my fitbit sees the change in elevation with my steps as flights, apparently i did 43 flights yesterday.. that's pretty cool.

well i'm rockin' a place to stay for now in the city until i move along, and i'm doing my best to get back into a sort of routine. i've been retired from retail for a month now, and really digging in to what it takes to be a wellness coach so that i can help others make progress on their goals as i have, despite extra little challenges. right now being transient is one of those challenges, and i must adjust to my environment and situation.

ahhh yes and to conclude the 30 days i've lost 3 pounds and 4 inches total. not bad considering i'm nearing the end of my 50 pound weight loss goal! sorry about the delay, i'll attempt to stay connected in the coming weeks despite the impending adventures. to health, happiness, and fresh air!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Day 12-17 - the Thirty Day Challenge

all of a sudden, it got real busy. the good news is, i haven't skipped a shakeo or a workout. the meh news is, the scale isn't moving much.. but the number has decreased. i wasn't expecting much considering i'm at the last ten pounds of my fifty pound overall weight loss challenge this year, and i've been stuck here for a while. i lost over 30 pounds in the first 21 weeks, then.... huge plateau. the interesting thing is, my shape is changing. it's showing minimally in the measurements [i'm down overall about 2 inches and a pound and a half] but i do look and feel different. clothes fitting different, that sort of thing. something is happening..

i feel pretty good. i've been hella busy preparing for a big long journey west, and this challenge has been the cornerstone of keeping any sort of schedule or routine. i'm keeping up with it despite my strange sleep patterns, sometimes the workouts happen around midnight, sometimes it's early in the morning. but it's happening. i don't get to choose when i sleep, but i'm sleeping. i'm working on the when, and it won't help changing three time zones next week, so i think i'll wait on the when till i get there.

for the past few weeks we've been getting some pretty decent weather. cooler than our average summers, it's been nice sleeping outside in the tent. the time has come to pack it up, and busy as i have been, kick my agenda into high gear. each day between now and departure is right full, and it will be an even greater [but very much worth it!] challenge to keep it up. the bus journey will be interesting. i'm starting to collect some clean snacks, and some not-so-horrible treats so i'm not tempted to grab junk on the road.

well, i've got to get to my PiYo and clean up a little. tomorrow i have some running around to do, lunch with Matty [probably our last date before i go] and bring the last load of stuff i don't need to the storage locker. gotta fly!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Day 11 - the Thirty Day Challenge - Manual Juice Press

a couple months ago i'd ordered this manual juice press in my frustration of our power going out frequently in the morning. sometimes it'd be just long enough to not have the time to make juice. once i had it, the power stopped going out of course. i had this brilliant idea that perhaps i can cram this thing in my backpack somehow, and take this show on the road [still working on that!]. anyways, it sat in it's little box on the shelf ever since, and since i haven't been juicing much and miss it, i thought i'd giver a try.

it's about as easy to assemble as any masticating juicer, and it takes up less space. it does absolutely need a solid, immobile base [the counter on wheels was a no-go] to be able to crank it properly. of course everything is pressed by hand, and the juicer itself is smaller, so everything must be cut into very small pieces before attempting to press it through.

i found right away that i was more thoughtful about exactly how much produce to put through the juicer, and how much finished product i wanted to have. this is probably the slowest method of juicing, so every bit of liquid is noticed as it drips into the little cup.

celery makes the most juice. vegetables are key when juicing, and celery, believe it or not, is very juicy! and this is my favourite way to consume celery. or as little peanut-butter boats with raisins, or hummus.. oh anyways, back to the juicer.

something else incredible that i noticed about this thing, it takes a good amount of effort to turn that crank. and it's best with consistent pressure so that it doesn't jam. i had to switch arms for each 'load', and by the end of the 925ml jar i filled, i could feel my chest and arm muscles... neat!

all said, it's still not an every day activity, but i love juicing as a sure-fire cleanse or nutrition boost. so when i'm not feeling well or i want to refresh, juicing is where it's at. and this is my new favourite way to get'r done!

oh snap, the PiYo! that too. it was back to upper body today. i can't do the damn side-step with the PiYo curl or whatever that thing is called, so i just omit the step part and make sure i get a good stretch and flex in. other than that, it's not so bad. i did have pause a couple times, and it's still making me sweat. no movement on the scale, but i'm not really expecting it. i usually gain during my 'time-of-the-month' and shockingly i've only gained a pound. not bad.

i did the shakeo thing too. not sick of the recipe yet, but i should probably come up with another or order another flavour soon just in case. no plans yet for tomorrow, just going with the flow. peace!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Day 10 - the Thirty Day Challenge

yesterday was supposed to be my rest day in PiYo, but i worked it yesterday to reserve my day off for today, just in case. i knew i'd be visiting with family, making my way to the cemetery with my brother and stepdad, and i had a feeling a hike would be involved.

it was a gorgeous day. lots of sun, just the right breeze. i started right with the Shakeology, and packed it up into 250ml mason jars so i could take it with me. not gonna lie, i'm surprised at how long it keeps me full for. in fact, i was fully expecting it to be like every other shake i've tried that says it'll keep you full, but this stuff is for real! sometimes i can't even finish the last few sips.

anyways, after visiting mom, we dropped off my stepdad at home in Niagara and decided to venture to Queenston to do a little heritage walk and find the farm house that our family lived in before and during the war. our hike involved the path of endless stairs down the side of the escarpment, and the winding path to get back up. no problem passing the 10,000 step mark today, fitbit says we even did 16 flights of stairs on our journey. neat!

tomorrow, back into the PiYo!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Day 9 - the Thirty Day Challenge

not gonna lie, today was pretty uneventful. the first day of my cycle usually involves lying in my bed and writhing in pain, so the fact that i remained conscious is a miracle. today was supposed to be rest day in PiYo anyways, but my lower back was so tight i had to do something.

i skipped right to disk 2 and put in 'Buns'. i had to go a little slower than the tape and i needed about half an hour in child's pose after, but much to my surprise the pain in my back subsided. Shakeology was my saviour today, i likely wouldn't have eaten otherwise.

i even made a huge garden salad! absolutely every piece of produce was from our back yard. a cucumber, tomatoes, some kale and some parsley. delicious! my appetite just wasn't all there. i shared with Matt and of course he loved it.

tomorrow i'll be venturing out with my brother to visit family, the cemetery, and the Niagara Escarpment to learn more about our family history and what happened during the war. instead of today being PiYo rest day i'll save it for tomorrow, and we will likely get a hike in anyways.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Day 8 - the Thirty Day Challenge - Shakeology Recipe

alright day 8.. first of all, today was 'Sweat' day in PiYo land and holy crap i could barely keep up. i actually had to pause it a couple times! no one said i was in shape, which is the point in the first place. hopefully in a couple weeks i'll be able to make it straight through. as you could tell by the title of the episode, it was designed to get you moving. it's about ten minutes longer than the other ones so far and much quicker paced.

now back to that Shakeology stuff.. when i ordered it i'd told my coach that i would try it and probably stop the auto-order because i usually don't do premixed shakes. after yesterday's taste test i was a little more confident that i'd be able to 'work with it'. i have a fail-safe 'base' recipe that i've been hiding various supplements and superfoods in for my breakfast smoothies, so i decided to give that a try.

Chocolate Vegan Shakeology Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie

in the NutriBullet tall cup i put a frozen banana [fresh is fine but not the 'frozen shake' consistency], some unsweetened almond milk and unsweetened coconut water to a bit under the fill line. then i add the Chocolate Vegan Shakeology, a tablespoon of cold pressed coconut oil, a tablespoon [or to taste] of natural peanut butter, and some hulled hemp. pulse a few times, then blend. sip,.... amazing.

first of all, yes i am aware of the extra calories from the banana, coconut oil and peanut butter. if this concerns you and you want to try the recipe, alter it as you need. i use a lot of calories throughout the day as i don't spend a whole lot of time at rest. plus, these ingredients keep me full for longer and give lots of energy and i don't need to eat as much later on, which is why i use this base in the first place. it's actually more filling with the shakeology, and i split it in to two servings, breakfast and brunch.

a good day indeed. tomorrow is 'rest day' in the PiYo program, but i'll surely find something to do to stay moving. until then..

Day 7 - the Thirty Day Challenge - Shakeology first impressions

alright now for the fun! i've been excited to try different recipes with Shakeology ever since a friend told me about it. if i'm going to use a shake or meal replacement it must be vegan as whey does unpleasant things inside my stomach. in fact, i don't usually use any pre-mixed shake at all vegan or not, i've never found one i enjoy enough to keep using.

that said, it's usually all kinds of fun trying to hide the taste of said shake mix inside of some crazy recipe. i wanted to try my first serving on it's own though with some almond milk just to get a good idea of what i'm working with. the grit isn't as bad as others i've tried, and the cacao seems to mask the fresh-cut-lawn taste. it took a few sips before i could accept the taste [after my own recipe for smoothies not much stands a chance taste wise]. BUT! i could accept it.. just on it's own. that would never happen with other shake mixes. i hate to name names but i loved Vega as for what it could do for me, but there was no way in hell i could drink it straight, and it was a struggle even blending it.

 alright so we got taste covered. did it keep me full? actually, yeah it pretty well did the trick till noon and i get up at six. i usually don't eat much in the evening anyways, and i didn't feel the need to eat more than usual that's for sure. i don't know about curbing cravings though, that probably would come in time. and if it works to help for weight loss, i'm hoping i'll be able to tell in the first couple weeks.

oh energy, that i had today for sure. i went to the gym today and came home immediately after and did PiYo. the stretching felt good, and the flexing i could def feel the muscles that were worked yesterday. i hope i see some results from this program, i'm digging it so far.

tomorrow, trying an actual recipe for Shakeology, and PiYo: Sweat.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Day 6 - the Thirty Day Challenge - PiYo first impressions

today was better. i finally got to pick up my challenge pack! when i brought it home i got started right away. i had already tried PiYo-Align, the intro to PiYo just to get a feel for the moves. i was hoping it wasn't too low impact to have noticeable results. today i tried the second episode, Define [lower body].

to my shock and utter amazement, by the end of the workout, i was SWEATING! like i mean actually good and drippin. my problems with some workouts is they either aren't to-the-point enough to keep me engaged to the point of sweating [i don't like dancy-schmancy fancy moves type workouts, far too uncoordinated], or for whatever reason i make it through and barely break a sweat til the end. this stuff had me sweating! and flexing! and stretching! i felt like i had accomplished something at the end, and wasn't horribly sore from over exerting my joints. in fact, my joints are just fine. so far, i like it.

my Shakeology was in there too, but i had already made my home brew for the day. tomorrow i'll write a post about that experience of course, as i'm not usually one to enjoy shake mixes. we'll see!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Day 5 - the Thirty Day Challenge

man i thought yesterday was rough.. the challenge to lay my mother to rest isn't over yet. i'm not having an easy time dealing with the town she is buried in. i never imagined i'd be fighting bylaws and paying a fortune to put her to rest in her hometown with her family in a plot they already own. and now town won't let me mark her grave, it's all been very upsetting.

on top of that i'm having a hard time getting my finances together according to plan. apparently the company from which we get our deferred profits is 'overwhelmed with clients making account changes'. as in, i'm not the only one who... yeah. so i likely won't have that loot until well after i'm gone west, which i also learned today. it just hasn't been a good day. i'll tell you what was good, the bag of home baked cookies in the freezer...


still, if i wasn't conscious of myself today i wouldn't have bothered even making the shakes or sticking to veggies otherwise, i would have just gone to mcD's for a bag of greasy cheese burgs. i almost did walk over there too. it's close enough... and there's plenty of other greasy options just steps away from my front door. which adds to the challenge, especially when the wind comes in from that direction when the fryers are going. mmm.... anyways.

keeping my steps up too, well trying my best. on work days 30,000 steps was no problem even if i rode my bike to work. now that i'm retired i actually have to stop myself from riding some places just so i can get in my steps. yesterday i made a random fitbit check and bam! 14141 steps. my mom had a thing with the number 14. maybe she was trying to tell me to calm the eff down, and do what i gotta do. or something. either way, i felt a little better to see it.

tomorrow... please come shakeology and PiYo challenge!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Day 4 - the Thirty Day Challenge

nothing to see here, folks.

just as predicted, today was a recovery day. and not from working out... from eating way too much at a family reunion yesterday. i didn't feel too fantastic this morning, my guts reminded me the real reason why i can't eat all kinds of food. today was mostly relaxation, a good couple hours of biking back and forth to the garage.

i managed to mostly pull my diet together today, but i had to eat some left over roast potatoes and corn from yesterday. other than that and my smoothies i didn't consume too much. i'm hoping my package comes tomorrow, i could really use some motivation to get on track. i suppose it doesn't help that it's been a rough week, trying to deal with finally getting to bury my mother's ashes months after she passed only to be met with disagreeable situations. and unfortunately it's not over yet, rest her soul.

thankfully i signed up to an accountability group started by my coach. if it wasn't for this i likely just wouldn't care right now, and be gorging on everything in sight.


i know i've said this before and i'll say it again, tomorrow is a new day.

i miss you mom, and i won't give up on myself. for you, but for me really. thanks for life.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Day 3 - the Thirty Day Challenge

ughhh holiday weekend! well, it wasn't all bad, there was a rather large selection of green salad and vegetables, so i stuck to that. i'll have to admit that i felt i must try the garbage can turkey. i had never seen a turkey cooked that way before, and i concluded that at least it wasn't deep-fried, and gave it a try. delicious by the way, very tender.

i managed to get 15,000 steps, as i had mentioned last post getting the minimum of ten thousand is proving to be more of a challenge now that i'm 'retired'. i'm sure that will change soon once i hit the road again. minus the bus trip of course. let's not think about that yet.

Matt's family barbecue was at a campground with it's own lake and a few trails around the grounds. we made sure  to do the tour and snap a pic of the sunset on the way back to camp. i had a feeling today wasn't going to be easy, i almost died to return to the trailer to see a huge platter of assorted grandma-baked gluten free cookies. i couldn't help myself, they were even gluten free! one of the grand kids have an allergy. he became my best friend and my worst enemy in that moment.

earlier in the day, before surrendering to this feast, i did manage to get a bit of a workout in. i couldn't wait any longer to get my PiYo so i streamed the first episode off the interwebs to get a feel for the moves. not bad! i'm excited to try it. i also went for a short twenty minute jog, another 40 squats just because, and spent some rest time in child's pose on the mat under the canopy of my tent. again, not horrible for a holiday long weekend. another day without alcoholic beverages, in fact the only thing i drank all day [besides my breakfast shake] was water.

 alright, one more day of this silly long weekend. tomorrow i can tell you already will be recovery from today. i don't anticipate being able to move very much, but i will try anyway.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Day 2 - the Thirty Day Challenge

i'm not sure whose idea it was to start this challenge on a long weekend.. haha. just kidding Steph! i didn't get my challenge pack in the mail yet from Beachbody so i'm still kinda freestyling until it gets here. it was rather warm and humid today so it didn't take much effort to get a sweat on.

i started my day by dragging all of my camping gear out of the house. i live in the basement, so every trip out of the house was up a flight of stairs. i made sure to only grab one piece of gear at a time to do as many flights as i could. once i got the big tent assembled, i took a break to do 40 squats under the tree. after i set both tents up and dragged them around the yard looking for a good spot, i decided it'd be a good day to also run some stuff down to the garage.

in order to get the most of the mission, i made three trips back and forth from my house to the garage on my bicycle, with my rucksack stacked full to the top. it added up to about an hour of slightly more intensive riding. i also broke a good sweat organizing the garage, moving heavy stuff around. one thing i'm worried about being newly retired from a warehouse job is not having that all-day physical engagement sort of forced on me. i'm certainly not getting the 30,000 steps a day i was getting at work and i have to find ways to compensate.

when i came back home i decided i may as well have a fire. chopping wood is a good workout, and i hadn't done it in a while. i settled in with a nice big bowl of cucumber salad. i don't drink alcohol, so there's no challenge to avoid something like that on a holiday weekend. but there's no avoiding lounging around. some moderate exercise, clean eating and a decent amount of rest. tomorrow i have to focus on getting the steps in!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Day 1 - the Thirty Day Challenge

i've been a little stuck lately, and i needed a boost to get me out of the rut. the main reason i started this blog is for accountability, and so that i can look back at my journey to reflect on what i did to get where i am today. last week i decided i'd step it up a notch, and sign up for an online fitness club. as you can see over the past couple years i've tried various programs and products with different levels of success. so far it's clear that nutrition is a big part of it, and the best workouts for me are ones that involve little or no equipment.

my friend Steph introduced me to Team Beachbody, the very company that produces some of my favourite workouts. i decided it'd be a good idea, given i'm a fan of their products and the price was right. after taking a look around the site, i decided right away that i wanted to be a coach. with tools like this available i could keep myself accountable, and help others to reach their goals at the same time. sounds kinda like exactly what i was looking for. i joined her challenge group, which started today, August 1st.

to sign up just as a club member is only 2.99 a week. for a network of buddies to keep you in check, and a workout schedule template to follow it's not a bad deal. as any good fitness club should have, there's also a free option.

i'm glad i joined a support group, as my first day was a little rough. today was also the day we could finally bury my mother. knowing i'd need time later on, i went for a nice hour long bike ride in the morning, and packed a bunch of clean food for lunch, with a couple smoothies. good thing i did, trying to find something clean on a foodplace menu isn't easy. especially when your mind is elsewhere. my mother's story and how she passed inspired me to take a better look [and action] into my own health.

my thirty day challenge consists of a low-impact workout program, some biking, a vague clean-eating/vegan diet and meal plan, a smoothie or two, and soon to introduce the Shakeology. they have vegan shakes which are hard to find. especially that taste good! i usually mix up my own shakes, but there are lots of ingredients [which a lot of are in Shakeology] and i won't be able to carry them around. i'm pretty excited to see if there's noticeable results, i already feel better knowing i have such a neat program to look forward to with impressive success stories. i'd like to add my own to the pile, and i've already have reached some key milestones towards my goal. today, clean eats, and organizing my schedule.

not a bad start to the thirty days considering. tomorrow is a new day.