Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It begins!

(I apologize for the no-picture very wordy post)

Late last week this foodie received a package full of DVDs and books all from Team Beachbody!

Over the holiday I spent a good chunk of time reading from cover to cover the books that came along with the P90X DVDs along with taken my measurements and "before" photos.  Lets just say that this girl who used to run 6 miles a day AND lift for at least in hour in college is far far away!!  I may be 5'9" and not obese by any standards.  BUT I am 36% fat and my ability to do a pull up is just plain sad!

I fully admit that in a way to deal with my terror of taking on this challenge I spent an extra few days procrastinating setting up my bedroom workout area with a chin up/push up bar, new extra cushy yoga mat, my dust collected resistance bands and a folding chair for all the exercises to come.  Once that was set up, I entered in my workouts into a Google Calendar and synced with my iPod so I can track everything!  (P90X has a GREAT App for tracking your stats, workouts etc...).   With everything ready, the only thing left was to get my toukas out of bed!  So here is the routine going forward for the next 4 weeks.

Phase 1 (Weeks 1-3)

Tuesday 5am - Chest and Back plus Ab Ripper X (60 minutes)

Wednesday 5am - Plyometrics (60 minutes)

Thursday 5am -  Shoulders and Arms, Ab Ripper X

Friday 5am -  Yoga (90 minutes)

Saturday 7am -  Legs and Back, Ab Ripper X

Sunday 7am - Kenpo X (60 minutes)

Monday 5am - Rest or X Stretch

Recovery Week (Week 4)

Tuesday 5am - Yoga (90 minutes)

Wednesday 5am - Core Synergistic (60 minutes)

Thursday 5am -  Kenpo X

Friday 5am -  X Stretch

Saturday 7am -  Core Synergistic (60 minutes)

Sunday 7am - Yoga X (90 minutes)

Monday 5am - Rest or X Stretch

After this Phase 1, I will start Phase 2 which will begin another round of muscle confusion ending with the recovery week.  I not worried about the early morning wake ups, I am usually up at this time anyways. I am more concerned with getting in all the workouts with the holidays coming up.  Can I fit them in when home with the family or on weekends away with friends?

My number one goal for this adventure is to try my best and not over think it!  I am notorious for trying to be perfect at something right out the gate and getting overly frustrated when I am not.   I have 90 days to perfect a push up and accomplish a real chin up.  There is no reason to beat myself up for not being perfect on day 1 or if I miss a workout when traveling.

The fact that I am trying this and getting way more exercise than I currently do is something I should be proud about.

Now some other good and bad things I have noticed with this new routine....

  • I may never straighten my hair again... too much work just to wash it every day....
  • I need to double up on my snacks at work.  Working out in the a.m. is making me VERY VERY hungry come 10am...  Need to investigate more healthy protein rich snacks!
  • I am stronger than I think!  Out of the gate I did 5 diamond push ups!  I didn't think I could do even one!!
  • My room is not ideal for this set up but come January when there is a foot of snow on the ground I will be happy I do not have to venture out to work out.
  • I forgot how much I like working out and having an instructor guide me and push me. ( I was a Billy Banks addict in college! )
  • I have signed up with an online coach (Coach Dan) who is great and also makes me a part of a P90X support group.  It is really nice to hear success stories from other people going through the challenge and also a great place to vent when you feel a little down about your progress!
Ok, so I think that is enough for week one...  I promise to add in some pics of the setup soon.  I am still debating on posting my before pictures.  Not that I don't love you guys, just not sure I want those pics out on the WWW for eternity...  I will however do a post on my stats.. Unlike most ladies, I could care less that you all know how squishy I am on day 1.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Scenes from Vermont

Here is a snap shot of a great mini getaway with my family & a few friends for Thanksgiving up in Brownsville, Vermont this past weekend.


View from our room

Grama and niece with their new BFF, Baby Jack

Papa and niece snuggling watching football

Homemade Morrocan Spiced Dates w/ Goat Cheese n' Bacon!

Baby Jack using my sister's arm as an appetizer!

Play time!

Food Heaven!

Soooo much food!

Niece n' Nephew made us all place cards!

local VT eggnog!  To DIE FOR!!!

more playtime!

A visit to Simon Pierce and Harpoon Brewery on Friday!

Then over to Quechee Gorge Village from some touristy adventures

From Quechee we were over to Woodstock to meander thru the quaint shops and beautiful scenery...

Somebody was all bundled up for his first tour of Woodstock!!
The cutest snuggle bug EVER!

Pumpkin Latte to warm my belly

GORGEOUS sunset!
 Back at the condo I had a glass of wine in one hand and this sleeping chunka in the other.  I was a very happy auntie!!

Dinner was a much needed salad beast with turkey and cold stuffing!
The week flew by but we had such a great time with family and friends! Also we could not have asked for better weather!!!

Now it is back to BIG kale and veggie salads, P90X in the a.m. and lots n lots of H2O!  We had our fare share of beer and wine up in VT!  This foodie is in Thanksgiving Detox (at least till I start making Xmas Cookies!!)

Dag Nam You Black Friday & Cyber Monday!!!

Ok guys... this is getting tough!!  I have had to spend the past 4 days deleting emails, changing channels and running past store fronts to avoid the urge to shop!!!  What the hell was I thinking when I decided to do this almost 2 months ago (Dec 19th will be 2 months, 4 to go!!)

Think my boss would care if I put this up in my office?!

Honestly the only thing keeping me from shopping right now is my inner monologue telling me that whatever I buy now will not fit after my 90days of PX!  Yes, I know I have insane thoughts and will most likely not need a whole new wardrobe BUT it has kept me from shopping so I am sticking to it!

One of the good things coming out of this challenge is that I have noticed that when you shop online you don't realize how much impulse shopping you really do.  You go to a site for one item and next thing you know your "cart" is full of stuff that you probably don't really need.

I am still finding myself perusing the interwebs for deals but have been closing the webpage and walking away for ten minutes.  I then come back and look what I had put in the cart.  So far I am batting 100% for stuff I don't need.  I still need to pick up Xmas gifts for the family so the worst is yet to come but I feel pretty good right now....

Now if only Amazon, Target, J.Crew and Banana Republic will stop sending me insane deals every 20 minutes!!!

Anyone else taking on a challenge during the holiday season?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A snowy thanksgiving morning!

Scene of the mountain from our condo
Happy Thanksgiving from Vermont!  The foodie family is back in Brownsville for another mini vacation to Vermont.  This year we have brought along CW&MW with the newest member of the their family, baby Jack!
Miss Ainsley is in LOVE with her new friend Jack!
The day will be filled with parade watching, making centerpieces, cooking and general relaxing!  I am elated to be with friends and family in such a peaceful setting.  Tomorrow we will venture out to Woodstock to peruse the town, but today is all about cooking and relaxing.  Recipes and food pics to follow!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Hope you have a great Turkey day!!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Soccer & Breakfast!

I live in a very Irish neighborhood and my go-to pub since college is the perfectly quaint establishment The Banshee.  This neighborhood pub is exactly what an Irish Pub should be!  Great pints, amazing food and friendly faces.  

I love that if you go during the day you will find a puppy sitting under the bar and two old men fighting over the latest premiere soccer game with a couple of properly poured Guinness pints in their hands.   To me there is nothing better than strolling down to the pub on a cool evening and ordering up the stew of the day with a good Guinness!  

Another selling point to this pub is that they play just about every soccer and rugby game that is aired all the time!  That means that if for example, your favorite team from Scotland is playing their biggest rival at I don't know, say 0730 local Boston time. Then the Banshee will be open and serving breakfast so you can watch it!  YUP!  Now, I am not insane and I am not the only one who goes either. Trust me!!!

My favorite team thanks to my fellow Scottish co-workers is from the Town of Inverness in Scotland. The Caledonian Thistle Futbol Club!  They may be the Mets of Scottish Soccer but they are a great team with amazing fans.  

This Saturday they will be playing their biggest rivals The Celtic Football out of Glasgow (think Red Sox/Yankee Rivalry!!) 

The Banshee will be airing the game because it also happens to be the home pub for the local fan chapter of the Celtic Team!!!  

I know, I know... when I go to watch the game it is like walking into a bar in Brooklyn wearing only Red Sox gear...  BUT the Celtic Fans are some of the nicest fans around!  I am pretty sure they are just excited to have other soccer  football fans around.  Especially when my co-workers come with me.  They are right off the boat Scottish and are here for work.  I admit when they all start talking, I can usually only pick up half of what they are saying.  Their accents are THICK!

Soooo, tomorrow morning this foodie will be heading down to the Banshee BRIGHT AND EARLY for the best egg and cheddar baguette w/ Irish Bacon in the city and some good heart'd heckling while my favorite Scottish Premiere Football Club takes on the Pub favorite Celtic Football Club.  

If you are in the area and up oh so early, please come on down and join us!  Inverness could sure use the extra fans!!!
hehe, I love this headline!!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A week of heavenly pork!

One of my favorite quotes is from Anthony Bourdain that he made during an episode of No Reservations years ago. "God lives between the skin and bone of a pig"  I don't remember anything else from the episode but that quotes passes through my brain weekly. It sums up my love for this animal so perfectly!

The royal pig gives us some of my most beloved meats... BACON, pork tenderloin, pork chops, pulled pork, ham, pork belly, PANCETTA, crispy pig skin (yeah I said it!) the list goes on and on.

So when I slow cooked 4 lbs of heavenly pork shoulder on Sunday I had no fears that any of it would go to waste!

That doesn't mean I planned on eating the same pulled pork with salad all week.  The key to stretching $7 worth of meat is to vary what and how you serve it.  Variety is the spice of life people!

Pulled pork isn't just for lunch or dinner!  This yummy meat is the perfect addition to omelets or even hash. It is already cooked so you can throw it in quickly and have bfast in a matter of minutes!

Even the panda is eyeing my breakfast!

Pulled pork with wilted collard greens and oven roasted potatoes (thanks to brother-in-law for the potatoes!)
Place the pork over raw collard greens dressed w/ a little olive oil.  The greens will wilt perfectly when you reheat at lunch.

Add a bit of fresh salsa for spice and fresh zing to every bite
Pulled pork right from the oven with a side salad
10 minute miso pulled pork soup

This was so easy, spicy and yummy!  Boil a few cups of water.  Once boiled turn off heat and add in a few tablespoons of miso paste to dissolve.  Once mixed, add in noodles, dried wakame, ginger, diced scallions and shredded pork.  I also added a small spoon of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce to add a kick.  Go easy with this if you are new to it.  It gets really spicy, very quickly!!!

A classic dish that you have to make with pulled pork in my mind is pulled pork tacos!  Savory meat, spicy salsa and tangy sour cream (or plain greek yogurt for this girl).
I have to say for $7 and a few hours in the oven this pork shoulder has gone above and beyond what I expected!  This may have to be a monthly Sunday dish!  I don't think I could eat pulled pork every week, but for the price, taste and ability to morph into tons of dishes this food experiment gets an A+++

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Overnight Oats

I always say that there are trends in the blogging world.  Things that we all tend to do, eat and indulge in.  I would have to say that the one item that is most prevalent is Overnight Oats and Oats in a Jar!  I dare you to search your google reader or the internet for either of those phrases and see how many hits you get...  I did and for Oats in a Jar I got 242,000 hits!!!  That is a lot of jars!!

Why is it so popular you ask?  Lets see shall we....

  • They take minutes to prepare
  • Require 0 thinking in the morning
  • Very healthy
  • Super filling
  • Travel friendly
  • Limitless flavor combinations!
  • Works for every season

OIAJ! Look at the nut butter surprise at the bottom
You can make this super tasty breakfast any way you like.  I usually stick with the same 2 base recipes and add to them depending on my mood....

My go to recipe is 1/4 cup of raw oats (not instant), 1 smashed banana, 2 Tbls of chia seeds, and 3/4 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice).   From there you can add fruit, canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice or whatever your heart desires!  I tend to add a bit of granola to the mix in the morning for some contrast in texture.
Pumpkin overnight oats w/ smashed banana
My back up recipe that I have been loving lately is 1/4 cup raw oats, 2 Tbls nut butter, 2 Tbls chia seeds, 1 container of Chobani yogurt and a splash of almond milk.

Oats in a mason jar... ready, set, GO!
Which ever style you choose on, mix together your ingredients in a container and refrigerate overnight or at least an hour.  Don't be too concerned with precise measuring.. to be honest, I never measure.  I just dump into a bowl, stir and voila! Breakfast in a flash!

This breakfast is my weekday favorite!  I encourage all of you to go out and create your own oats in a  jar!  Then please come back here and tell me your recipe!  Sharing is caring!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A fitness overhaul

You've been there.. its way too late at night and you can't help but watch that same infomercial for the umpteenth time.... 
Who doesn't want a sham WOW!?

You think, I could do that right... I have an extra hour every day.  But then you talk yourself out of it because it's an infomercial and there is no way it could work.

That has been this girl for almost 2 years with the  P90X.  infomercial.

I always watch it and think; I could do that, I did do that in college! Yeah, bootcamp for freshman year orientation does great things for your abs!!
MMA Cadets during 2010 Orientation
However, I always end up talking myself out of it with lame  excuses like

  • It is too much $$
  • I don't have the time
  • I don't have space in the apartment
  • I would bother the people living below me with all that jumping (my personal fav excuse!)
All of that seemed enough from keeping me from ordering it until this week. I finished my bootcamp course at work (it was hella awesome by the way!).  I saw the infomercial AGAIN and decided to research it online for some real feedback.  I also received an email from asking if I was interested in sharing links about their site/products with you my readers.  (more on that later this week)

Soooo I decided to suck it up and order it!  I did this for a few reasons.

  • It is based on exercises I have done in the past and have seen positive results with.  
  • It is not advertising a magic solution, just hard work over time.  
  • Muscle Confusion! The solution to my eternal hatred for doing the same DVD over and over again. (Have you noticed I am a bit ADD when it comes to life...) I need the change up!
  • I am getting older and I have noticed that I am losing more and more muscle strength each year.  I want to be strong and healthy, at every age no matter what the scale says!

What does this all mean for my life and the blog?  

Mainly a plethora of hilarious posts for you all to read as I try and kick my own butt over the next 90 days.  I am going to use the blog as a way to chronicle my journey from squishy so-so in shape food lover to uber buff kick arse foodie!  I imagine a post about once a week on this topic over the 90 days.  I will probably include some photos varying on topics like my transformation to kick arse foodie, to how I set up my room for the workouts and action shots of me on the verge of death! (If I ever figure out that stupid self timer!!)

I will be honest and say that I am partially terrified to take on this challenge but I know that I can do it!  When I started college many many moons again I had to go through a 2 week bootcamp.  It was 2 weeks of push ups, running, 8 count body builders, planks etc...   I know, I know... I was 18 and it is many years later but I am the same person!  If I could push myself like that 24/7 over 2 weeks than I can totally find an hour a day for me!

Once my DVDs arrive, I plan on working out in the a.m.  My morning routine now is pretty sad, I usually wake up, make a cup of coffee and get back in bed for 45 minutes while I watch the news!  Yeah... can you say time waster!!  If I can do that, than I can certainly turn on the DVD and get my heart rate going each morning.   I know the holidays and traveling will put a strain on this challenge, but since I am not shopping. I should have plenty of time/energy to burn up!  Plus I can pack the DVDs in an overnight bag and bust out a workout before everyone else wakes up....

So has anyone else tried P90X or another type of at home fitness routine?  Do you have a plan to stay fit through the holiday season?