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What I Ate Wednesday

Ok, round two. I just had a whole post almost complete and it somehow just vanished. Note to self, save draft!!!!! Welcome to my second What I Ate Wednesday post of the new year. If anything at all I can commit to getting these posts done, because I love Wednesdays and I love linking up with Jenn over at Peas & Crayons for this weekly eats link up.

This Monday my company started a Biggest Loser Challenge that runs for 8 weeks. I promised the girls I would bring in a big batch of green smoothies to kick-start the challenge. I bought so much baby spinach, I have ended up having this peachy green smoothie everyday. I do love a good tasting green smoothie. On the plus side, I have converted four new people over to the green drink side! Winning! I love introducing new foods to people! It’s very rewarding.

So Green Drink it is – everyday – for breakfast!

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Because the challenge started Monday, I also did some major food prep on Sunday. I stocked my fridge with freshly made grab-n-go salads, lean protein, and tons and tons of fresh veggies.

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This was one of my grab-n-go salads topped with albacore tuna and a Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Served in my favorite *NEW purple bowl from IKEA!

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I posted my pic on Instagram last night of my yummy fish taco dinner. I have been addicted to these bad boys for a few weeks now. I originally made these tacos for girls night the other day and I have been hooked and craving them ever since. Since I started the challenge on Monday, I opted to have my fish tacos, taco-less. (Smile!) I topped this crunchy purple cabbage slaw with a perfectly baked piece of mahi-mahi slightly over seasoned with cayenne. Made my lips tingle a little too much. On the side was a tiny bit of corn and eggplant salsa and topped with some crunchy corn tortillas and cilantro! It was amazing and fresh and light. A perfect change to heavy winter meals.

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I ended my night with a glass of Trader Joes Strawberry Kefir! Adding fermented foods to my diet is my food goal for 2014! So far I am loving the way my body is reacting to the kefir!

 

 

 

 

 

Well Hellllooo There 2014! What I Ate Wednesday

Hi Friends. Happy New Year. It’s been awhile, with lots of schedule changes in my daily life, I’ve neglected my blog space. But as much as I think about blogging, I just can’t seem to figure out a way to get my posts done. This saddens me, but I am making a pact to try and get into a better routine so I can share all my fun stuff with you again.

What better way than to get back into a great routine with my favorite day of the week. Wednesday!!! You know because it’s What I Ate Wednesday hosted by Jenn @ Peas & Crayons. Love all the blogs that link up every week because of all the inspiration that comes bundled in WIAW!

Shortly after Thanksgiving I scored a few pounds of Quince! I have never laid my eyes on a fresh Quince before, only seriously have ever read about them in Martha Stewart Living. But when I saw them I jumped at the chance to make Quince Paste. What an amazing fruit ~ the Quince. Hard like a potato yellow like a pear, shaped like a large apple. The fruit cannot be eaten in its fresh and must be cooked for an extended period of time. Because of the long cooking times, this amazing fruit turns from white flesh to a beautiful reddish pink which makes this an eye catching dish. Although I was attempting Quince Paste, I didn’t let it cook long enough and ended up settling for Quince Jam instead. However I have been eating it on everything. It is especially delicious on bagels with cream cheese, slathered with Quince Jam!

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For lunch I have been eating pretty much soups lately. It’s been rather frigid here in Philly lately and a nice bowl of hot soup warms the soul. Never mind how beautiful it looks in my new set of dishes from Anthropology! This is a homemade bowl of Pho! Don’t you love the little baby round Parisian carrot!

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It’s so cute!

 

Ive been snacking on Pomegranet seeds too since they have been in season. I noticed the other day that they also just sell just the seeds from POM! I get the convenience factor, but I like getting the whole fresh fruit to be honest.

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Dinner has been pretty light since the holidays. Starting Monday, January 13th, my work is sponsoring a Biggest Loser Challenge so I’m back on my P90X nutrition plan. Since P90X is a tried and true method we are bound to win! My team name Snack Smashers!

Last night, two chicken sausages, broccoli and a side of lightened up macaroni n cheese with whole wheat noodles. I’m not sold on the whole wheat pasta, I think I’d rather have the authentic and just smaller amounts.

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So that’s it folks. I’m really going to try hard to finish up some posts I’ve already started and get some time carved out for regular blogging. I miss everyone!

 

 

 

 

Fitness Friday: Running Update

Its Friday ALREADY! This week just flew by, not sure where the days went, but when I woke up this morning and realized it was already Friday again, I was like what the heck!

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I have recently started concentrating on building up my running skills. I’ve been running at the gym on the treadmill for a few years, but only as a last resort to get some added cardio into my schedule. About two months ago, I decided that I wanted to really amp up my running and see if I could actually finish a 5K race.

I downloaded a running app on my phone to track progress and back on August 31st wrote a post about my progress. A few days after that I was signed up to do a 5K at the Wilmington Waterfront in Delaware. It’s a perfect course for beginners as it is mainly flat and on the water so the sights are great which makes running more pleasurable (for me anyway).

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I committed early that week to running the race (not walking) and geared up both mentally and physically. My goal was to finish the race in 40 minutes. Up to this point I hadn’t run a complete 3 miles on the road yet and was a little nervous, but knew I could walk when I needed a break.

I arrived 30 minutes early picked up my registration packet, pinned on my bib, and did a little stretching. Prepped my mappy thing so I could time each mile as I went so that I could look back afterwards to gauge my progress. The BF also came down to watch and support me, which meant the world to me. He encourages me in everything I do, and always says he knows I will do whatever I put my mind to. It was important to me that he be there at the finish line when I crossed. He was. And it made my night.

The gun went off and we headed through the gate and over the timer mat. I took off quickly passing people right out of the gate. I don’t know if it was the adrenaline or what, but I completed my first mile in 10:49. That was the fastest pace I had ever done. Dont’ really know how that happened but it was a cool feeling when the voice in my headphones said “split pace 10:49.” I was like yeah girl you go (in my head of course).

The second mile was not as good as the first, my breathing was crazy out of whack and I started walking/running/walking/running. I finally got my breathing in check and found a good pace after the second mile and found myself next to a younger girl and we were in synch the rest of the way to the finish line. Thinking back that helped me out tremendously getting through the third and last mile.

When I realized the end was coming up and I rounded the corner, I took off for the finish line. There were two older women in front of me the entire time, and I was like “no way I’m coming in behind these two” so I picked up my pace, passed them on the right, rounded the corner to the finish line and crossed with a time of 37:44. Whew!

I beat my 40 minute goal by 2 1/2 minutes. I was exhausted, proud, and really really sweaty.

That was Sept 4th.

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Last night my co-worker and I competed in a second 5K on the same course. This time I ran the entire time only walking to grab water at the water station. My goal for this week was to run from beginning to end without walking and hopefully dropping my time a bit.

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I was late getting there, quickly grabbed my bib and lined up just in time. They decided to start the race 10 minutes earlier because a severe thunderstorm was in our near future. We lined up, listened to the National Anthem, the gun went off and out we went. I felt good even though I hadn’t had a run in a few days.

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First mile pace was 10:17. Slightly better than last weeks race even though the sky opened up and it downpoured on us for the entire first mile and a half. I was concentrating so hard last night to keep my breathing under control because I knew if I was going to run the way, I needed to keep that in check.

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Second mile pace ended up being 12:21 not sure why except maybe that I was just over thinking everything at this point and just kept telling myself “don’t stop running”. I crossed the half way point and grabbed a water took a few walking steps and finished the cup of water and got right back to running. By this time i felt good, my feet were moving at an even pace, my breathing was no erratic (like last week) and I found a good pace that carried me all the way to the end.

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I finished this weeks race (without walking) in 36:36 with an average pace of 11:48. My best time yet!

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I am loving this process. I am thankful that my body can handle what my mind wants it to do. I can’t wait to get better, faster and more efficient in my running. I find it very impressive when they announce at the end of the race the top 70-75 age bracket winners. I want to be one of those women at age 75 still running races. I love that! So encouraging.

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Fitness Friday P90X Review: Recovery Weeks

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Weeks 4, 8 & 12 are your recovery weeks during the 12-week P90X program. This recovery week is just as important in your training schedule as any other week. Don’t take it lightly. And by no means get in your head that because it is labeled “recovery week” that it is easy. Because it is not. The Core Synergistics is just as challenging as any of the other workouts you have already completed.  Core Synergistics is just that ~ a hard core workout.  It’s like Ab-Ripper X but on steroids. 

Week 4 Schedule:

Day 22 Yoga X
Day 23 Kenpo X
Day 24 Core Synergistics
Day 25 Yoga X
Day 26 Kenpo X
Day 27 Core Synergistics
Day 28 REST or X Stretch

This is also the final week of the Fat Shredder Meal Plan phase.  Phase 2: Energy Booster starts with week 5  and  the macros get a change-up and you add a little more carbs into your diet and a little less protein. You might be feeling sluggish about now due to the lack of carbs, but that will all change next week. 
Phase 2 of P90X Week 5-7 were my absolute favorite weeks of the entire program. I started feeling the pump after each workout, I started noticing good results after 4 weeks of hard work with little changes.

Weeks 5-7 were my game changer weeks. I was more dedicated, seeing great results, amping up my weight, doing more reps, in general, just feeling like a rock star at this point. 

My advice if you are thinking about doing P90X, or are just starting out and not seeing drastic changes right away, is to give it time. I didn’t see the most dramatic results until about week 8. It takes time, your body is adjusting, but it if you stick to the nutrition plan and do your workouts YOU WILL GET RESULTS!  Just stick to the plan and give the workouts and your body a chance. 

What are/were your favorite weeks of the P90X program?

Fitness Friday: Running

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I am not one of those people who love running.  I’m learning to “like” running, but I am not at the point where I can say I look to running as my me time.  Katie from Blonde Ambition Blog talked about how she looks at running as a challenge.  I totally connected with that statement.

I look at it as a challenge, too.  It is sort of is how I look at everything in my life.  I have always said that if you say I can’t do it ~ I will make it happen. Kinda bratty of me I know, but that mentality has gotten me some pretty sweet memory’s.

Anyway back to running.  So I started running a few years back on the treadmill at my local gym.  At first, I couldn’t even muster up enough breath to complete 10 minutes at 4.0 treadmill speed.  When I think about it, it kinda makes me laugh.  That’s like turtle speed.  🙂

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By the end of my 3 month training session I was up to a 5.5 speed on the treadmill (that’s pretty good for my little legs) and I could hang tight for a full hour at that speed.

Then I figured I wanted to try to do a 5K.  Which brought me to running outside.  Let me tell you, for me, running outside is a beast.  Nothing like running on a treadmill.

I have had people tell me running outside is harder, running outside is easier, running outside is the same but different (??) I’ve heard it all.  But for me, running outside on the pavement, propelling my full body weight forward is HARD!!!!

It might be mental.  It might not be any different from running on the treadmill in the gym with a consistent temperature and a giant fan blowing on you, but I tend to disagree.  It is hard to run against the wind, up a slight hill and keep up a pace that you think is acceptable.

But I am trying.  I am trying because I see how enjoyable it CAN be.  I am trying because I love reading about everyone else’s goals of 5k’s, halfs and full’s.  It is something that motivates me.  Everyday.  It pushes me to be better.

I am trying because by the end of the year I WILL RUN (from beginning to end) a full 5K no matter the course difficulty.  It’s just what I want to do.  It’s my next challenge.

At this point, I am up to running consistently 2.25 miles at a dreadfully slow pace of a 12 minute mile.  My goal is to get to the full 3.1 miles at whatever pace gets me there.  I am learning not to compare myself to others because for me, just running outside on the pavement for 3 full miles without stopping will be an accomplishment in itself. I have started and stopped many of the running training schedules online only to stop half way through because it just gets to be to much to fast.  I am hoping this time will be different.

So this is my 30 day progress:

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The first workout was on 7/31.  I think I walked most of the way and only ran a portion of the flats.  This route is from my sons work to my house.  I normally drop the truck off to him and walk/run home.  This has been my normal route and I have done it both to and from is work to home.  It is an easy route but has tons of traffic, so not so safe.

The second workout was done on Monday 8/26.  It’s a nicer route through a local housing development and includes two nice hills.  I pretty much ran (or jogged) the entire time except for a few times to get my breathing in check.  I for sure feel better on the second mile as I think by then I am warmed up and not feeling like a log.  I’m a little lighter on my feet and feel I move a little faster.  I just need to work on my breathing. Nonetheless, its progress.  Right?

I really, really, really want to do a mud run.

My goal is to do the Dirty Girl Mud Run that is slotted for Philly on June 21st!

Picture Source:run-like-a-girl

2013 Bucket List Update

I cannot believe it is August already.  It seems like it was just January and I was working on getting this blog up and running.  Now 6 full months have gone by so I wanted to do an update on my bucket list items for this year, make some changes and add some new items.  Here is my original 2013 Bucket List.

I had an extensive list started at the beginning of the year but feel very good about myself for completing almost everything on my list up to July except for signing up for Crossfit. 

January:  Getting my blog up and running and posting regularly!  ~ COMPLETE

This goal for January has been the one that I am most proud of myself for completing.  My blog has opened up so many opportunities for me and I have met some really inspiring, motivating and fun-loving people through the blogging community. I was worried that I might run out of things to say, or write about, but that is just not the case.  Maybe its the Italian in me…..  who knows.  🙂

February:  Signed up for my first 5KThe Philadelphia Color Run slotted for July 14th & took my annual weekend ski trip the BF-COMPLETE

Team Lean Mean & Eat Clean

We took our annual ski trip this year and it was a blast.  Every year we continue to hone our downhill skills moving to bigger and better mountains.  I am hoping that this upcoming ski season leads us to new mountain terrain.  I would love to start checking out some of the other ski resorts that PA has to offer!

The Philadelphia Color Run was soooooo much fun.  You can read my re-cap about it here.  Although planning the arrival was very underestimated on my part the day ended up being so much fun.  I was able to meet up with some new friends that I met through my Facebook Group as well as complete my goal of signing up for my first 5K! 

Tomorrow I will partake in my second 5K this year “The Don’t Just Stand There 5K” hosted by Races2Run which will benefit Stand Up 2 Cancer, Cancer Care Connection and the Gift of Life Organ and Tissue Donor program. 

I’m excited to meet up again with Karen and her daughter (which I met for the first time during The Color Run) and my dear friend Cathy who has recently taken on a new healthy lifestyle by adding regular fitness and changing some eating habits for the better.  I’m so proud of her for taking a step out of her comfort zone.

I am also planning on participating (if I can pull off enough training prep) the Spartan Sprint that is being held here in Philadelphia on Sept 28th!  You can take part in it too (or any open Spartan Race across the US) by entering my giveaway for a FREE race entry by this Friday at midnight! 

Go here to enter my Rafflecopter Giveaway

March:  Start round two of P90X to prepare for Crossfit –STARTED

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I did start round two of P90X, but haven;t stuck to the 6 day a week program faithfully.  I’ve been mixing up my workouts between P90X, insanity, Turbo Fire and running.  Although I have been pretty  consistent with my training I am just not where I want to be in order to sign up for Crossfit.  So this goal has been side-lined for the time being.  Maybe once school is back in session, I can make a little more progress with strength training. 

April:  Learn to Ride – Complete

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What a freeing experience this was.  I signed up for the PA Learn to Ride class that is offered free to PA residents that want to learn to ride a motorcycle.  It consisted of two in class sessions and two on course sessions.  Within an hour n half I was literally riding a motorcycle.  The instructors did a wonderful job explaining every detail and every skill needed to be successful in this course.  I’m still looking for the perfect bike for me, but I know its out there and will find it soon enough. 

May:  Attend Blend Retreat in Utah (this will contribute to checking of one more of the 50 states on my Ultimate Bucket List)- Complete!

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This was by far the best experience of my life.  I was nervous to go, didn’t know a soul there but pushed myself completely out of my comfort zone and jumped in with two feet.  WOW!  Not only did I have the time of my life, get to visit Utah and attend a wonderful blogging conference, but I’ve made some truly life changing connections.  I’ve continued to stay in touch with many of the gals I met at Blend.  They inspire me everyday to be a better athlete and they MOST definitely push me to try new and interesting food stuffs!  Like Kombucha!  I watched plenty of Blend chicks suck down this drink like it was life-sustaining tonic water.  Not until I returned from Blend did I attempt to taste Kombucha.  Now not only am I drinking Kombucha regularly ~ I am home brewing my own!  Sweet! 

June:  Sign up for Crossfit ~ Sidelined

(see goal for March)

July: Complete my first 5K run  – COMPLETE!

(see February goal The Color Run)

August: All you can eat crab fest w/family and friends – COMPLETE!

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This brings us to the current month of August.  Although my only goal for August was to go for an All U Can Eat Crabfest to round out the summer months (which I already indulged in during the 4th of July holiday weekend) I have actually added some new more inspiring fitness goals. 

I will be running my second 5K and working on increasing my running speed and HOPEFULLY making a commitment to do the Spartan Sprint!  (I’m a little nervous about this one too )~ but heck! YOLO right?  Whats the worst that can happen I end up at the end of the day doing somewhere close to 350 burpees! 


 That’s not so bad 🙂

I am also looking to add a few more 5K’s to my fall schedule just to keep the flame alive! 

I feel good about my training schedule and that it has rounded out with more balance workouts that hit on endurance as well as strength.  I feel good about the goals I have accomplished so far this year and I feel good about the upcoming months and the short-term goals that I have set for myself. 

What yearly goals have you set for yourself and have you checked-in with them lately to see if you are on target?

P90X Legs & Back Review

Since I totally blew off last Friday and the Friday before because of the long holiday weekend, we are a little behind in P90X DVD reviews.  But hey ~ better late than never right?

P90X Legs & Back

P90X Legs & Back

Tony says:Legs and back routine exists because I wanted to work on the two parts that I use the most. I love to climb ropes and I love doing pull-ups and I love that kind of acrobatic stuff. I’m also a skier, so I know the benefits of the leg routine, so people say to me, my god, how do you get legs like that and how do you do so many pull-ups? Because I do legs and back, I do them together on the same day. So I thought it would be silly to not provide that lovely little package for everybody who’s doing P90X.”

Last of the three strength training workouts in the first phase this one is unlike the other two upper body workouts and it will continue to be in the workout rotation throughout the entire 90 days.

This is a killer leg workout.  Each leg exercise does not repeat where as the pull-up exercises are repeated once.  Leg exercises start of with balance lunges. 

P90X Balance Lunges

I’m having a harder time with these balance moves the second time around.  I’m not exactly sure why, but it seems I’m falling all over the place a lot more than I was the first round.  Maybe I’m just not concentrating enough. 

Some of the leg moves are calf raise squats, step back lunges, dead lift squats, chair salutations and speed skaters (one of my favorite moves).  Basically the workout is leg-leg-back, leg-leg-back repeated throughout the entire 60 minutes.  I do not find any of these moves entirely difficult to the point I cannot complete, but the single leg wall squats are a killer.  I have yet to complete them to the end. 

Continuing on, there are three-way lunges (not a fan of these), Sneaky Lunges (these make up for the three-way lunges), Toe Iso Lunges, and the Groucho Walk. 

Groucho Walk P90X

For me this DVD goes rather quickly.  I have very strong legs and none of the moves are rather difficult for me.  I enjoy this workout so its nice that it is a part of every week until the end.

Fitness Friday: P90X {Yoga-X} Review

 P90X Yoga  Yay!  I love Fitness Friday’s.  So were did we leave off last week, oh that’s right Day 4!  Yoga-X. 

I have talked about taking a yoga class for nearly a year and half now;  even to this day, after completing P90X,  I have yet to drum up the courage to actually step into a yoga studio and take and official yoga class.  However, I was super excited to see that yoga was part of the P90X program when I first prepared myself for doing the P90X program.

I was excited to learn the moves and build the strength it takes to be efficient at yoga.  That’s exactly what happened.  It was so hard at first, my balance was way off, I was very weak in my upper body so holding poses was difficult, and my flexibility ~ well that’s a whole other story.

Yoga-X is the longest of the series with a hour and half session broken down into 5 sections: Moving Asanas, Balance Postures, Floor Work, Toga Belly, and finally the cool down.

The video begins with what is called the “vinyasa flow” which typically are movements sychronized with the breath.  Vinyasa which is the Sanskrit term for “connection” can be translated to yoga by the flowing connection of one move to the next.

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The P90X version starts with Sun Salutation with a deep breath and moves quickly into plank, chaturanga, upward dog and downward dog.  The flow is repeated over and over adding move moves to the end of the flow each round.  Moves that are added on include Runners Pose, Warrior 1, Warrior 2 and Warrior 3, Reverse Warrior, Prayer Twist, Twisting Triagle and Half Moon. 

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In the beginning Runners Pose and all three warrior poses gave me the most difficult through this flow because of the strength needed in your legs and core to hold the position.  I found that I was frequently coming out of the pose giving my thighs and hips some relief.  As the weeks moved on, I became stronger and stronger and was able to move through the entire vinyasa flow with no problem.  Twisting Triangle still by the end gave me some trouble as I just couldn’t get into the reverse twisting positition.  I came close with the help of a yoga block, but by the end I was still not as flexible as some on the video. 

After the moving asanas portion, you move directly into balance posture moves.  For me, this one I couldn’t get through as it seemed to drag on forever.  Balance posture moves include Tree, Crane, Royal Dancer and Standing Leg Extension. 

Next you have floor work, rarely did I make it to this part of the video as it lost my attention after the first hour was almost up.  But to be complete in my review I must include it as I did complete the video in its entirety a few times.  Floor work includes holding stretching poses for a specific amount of time.  The stretches are not easy moves and Tony warns you if it is an advanced move that you might not be able to do, but to work towards it as an end goal.  Some poses that might offer some nice stretching and relief are Cat and Frog.  Some more difficult poses are Table, Wheel and Bridge.

And finally the last portion of the 1.5 long video is Yoga Belly.  Yoga Belly is comprised of static poses aimed at strengthening your core just like the wicked-hard Ab Ripper X.  Poses that complete this portion are Touch the Sky, Boat, Half Boat, Scissor and Torso Half Twist and Hold.

By this time, your body is completely stretched out, limber and you feel the pump of using every single one of the muscles in your body including your brain!!!!

Time for the cool down.  Bring on Happy Baby and Childs Pose and then most appropriately Corpse pose and the creepy “ohms”. 

I’ve done this dvd several times late at night and worked up a nice sweat but at the same time relaxes me in ways nothing else does.  Overall, its a very long exercise session, but is strategically very necessary in your overall workout program.  I think that although it works every muscle group, it ultimately helps with soreness on the other days providing the much needed flexibility and stretching to aid in healing and building muscle. 

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I would definately recommend this as a good beginner yoga dvd ~ whether your doing the full P90X program or you are just looking to get started doing yoga on a daily basis.  It provides multiple levels of fitness techniques and will properly train you to enjoy your first yoga session in a yoga studio without feeling self conscious.

Namaste.

See these other P90X related review posts:

Great News! #Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador

Its been a little over 6 months since I started this journey with my blog.  At first it was a little overwhelming trying to figure out the technical side of the blog world, but now that I pretty much have a handle on all of that, I am enjoying the fruits of my labor.  This little blog has become somewhat of a child to me.  Nurturing it, caring for it, watching it grow.  It has been an amazing journey so far and I know that only bigger and better things are coming my way.

In May, I was afforded the opportunity to visit a state that I would otherwise probably would have never visited, I have met some AMAZING women on that trip (AMAZING I tell you).  They are strong, dedicated, passionate about what they do, and very caring women, that again, I would have otherwise never crossed paths with in this lifetime.  But so glad I did.  They motivate me EVERYDAY to be the best I can be at life, mothering, friendship and everything else that the day entails.

Which is what brings me to my great news!  Just this week I was accepted as a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador.  I was thrilled with the news because frankly ~ these women are AWESOME!
Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador Badge

 

Here is a little bit about them from their website:

Girls Gone Sporty, LLC

Helping you “Live the Sporty Life!”

The “sporty life” is more than just fitness and nutrition, it’s an attitude that’s focused on embracing fun and adventure. The sporty woman says, “I can do anything I put my mind to, I just need the resources to do it.” That’s where Girls Gone Sporty comes in.

Girls Gone Sporty is dedicated to sharing the top products, trends and ideas for advancing the fit and adventurous lifestyle. We know that sporty women work hard, play hard, compete and eat, all with the intention of being their best, most positive selves. Our commitment is to provide positive, informative and encouraging content that’s based on science and experience.

We know that healthy living is contagious and that healthy living is about more than weight loss. We encourage women everywhere to embrace whole health and an attitude of adventure – body, mind, spirit and lifestyle – right where they are now. As such, we’re committed to creating a community of encouragement through social media and our own forum.

Want to know more then check them out on FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTubeGoogle+ and Pinterest.

As an ambassador this is what is expected from me:

Our Ambassadors form a network of sporty women who band together to focus on positive health. Studies have shown two things: 1) healthy living is contagious, and 2) healthy living is not just about weight loss. While we recognize that achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is important, weight and appearance are not cornerstones of our belief system, and we want to encourage women everywhere to embrace whole health and an attitude of adventure – body, mind, spirit and lifestyle – right where they are now.

I am so happy that they feel I am worthy of spreading the GGS mentality and encouraging others to live healthy and have a positive mind and a happy healthy attitude.  I promise to do my best as a #GGS Ambassador.

Tell me how you incorporate healthy living into your daily lives and what are your goals for this year?

Fitness Friday: P90X Shoulders & Arms Review

I love fitness friday all over the blogosphere.  You can find some great workout tips, new routines, and generally very happy people looking forward to a wonderfully fit weekend. 

Following suit, here is my next review in the P90X DvD Review Series:

P90X SAA

Shoulders & Arms

On the third day of Phase I is the second strength training workout called Shoulders & Arms is performed.  By this time, you have already completed Chest & Back and Plyo-X so you are starting to feel a little depleted.  But when you pop in the Shoulders & Arms workout you are pleasantly surprised. 

This workout is just what you need to refuel and recover from the Ply0 workout the day before.  According to Tony Horton, this is the glamour routine to tighten, tone and build the glamour muscles that shape your upper body to perfection.  As a woman, this routine is extremely important in battling the flabby upper arms that we are all to familiar with as we age.  This is one of my favorite routines in the P90X series.  I look forward to doing this routine because it leaves me feeling pumped, strong, and capable. 

My first go around with the routine I started out with 3 & 6 lb weights gradually increasing to 8 lbs as I neared the end of my final 90 days.  However, in Round 2 I am starting out with 8 lbs and for most exercises I’m using 10 lbs and some 12.5 lbs. 

One of my biggest pet peeves with women and weight training is the fear of using of heavier weights and the stigma that comes along with it.  It is one of the myths that is so hard to get through to women that lifting heavier weights will make you bulk up like a man.  This is simply NOT true. 

Most women want to tone ~ understandable.  However, as a woman you should also want to build strength.  Muscle strength will not only help prevent injury, but in the case that injury was to occur, it also helps with a faster recovery.   And finally one of the best reasons to strength train with heavier weights is that it will also BURN more calories well after you complete the workout.  It is what is known as a metaboloic spike. 

So to all my ladies out there ~ DONT FEAR HEAVIER WEIGHTS!  Give it all you got while doing the upper body P90X workouts because

“Strong is the new Skinny”

 StrongSkinny

The Workout:

As always, Tony starts out with a nice longwarm-up.  He gets your heart pumping and oxygen flowing with running, high knees, jumping jacks and run lunges.  After your heart rate is elevated he moves onto stretching with head and shoulder rolls, arm circles and then wraps up the warm up with some ballistic stretching. 

Now your all warmed-up and ready to get busy.  The workout is designed as supersets that are broken down into 5 sets that target the three major muscle groups: shoulders, biceps and triceps.  These exercises are then performed in this order throughout the entire routine.

My favorite exercises in this routine are:

  • Alternating Shoulder Press
  • In/Out Bicep Curls
  • Full Supination Concentration Curls (sounds hard, but its not)
  • Upright Rows
  • Static Arm Curls
  • Lying Down Tricep Extentions (I have shown 100% improvement here)
  • Straight Arm Shoulder Flys
  • Congdon Curls (named after the boss because they are THE BOSS)

The Shoulders & Arms workout really gets you feeling like you accomplished something here.  I walk away from the routine and run directly to the mirror to flex and pump my biceps (no shame here ~ I love my new muscles!)  Whether you want to build muscle or just tighten and tone, this routine rocks!  Tony tells you if you want to build muscle use a weight that you feel the maximum effort at 8-10 reps, if you are looking to tone then pick a weight you feel the burn at 12-15.  But the most important aspect to remember is to PICK THE RIGHT WEIGHT for your goal! 

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Personally, I love all the upper body routines in this entire series.  I’ve said it in the past, and I’ll say it again now ~ I have never had upper body strength.  So to be able to see bicep definition and defined back and shoulder muscles is a complete turn on to me!  I love it!  I love the feeling of strength.  I love the feeling that I have a sense of power and accomplishment after these routines. It hard work ~ but so worth it to me when I see the results.

So my advice to all my women out there that are thinking P90X is a mans extreme fitness routine ~ think again ~ it will be the most powerful experience of your life if you give this series a try!

Do you like or dislike lifting heavier weight?

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