Friday, June 9, 2017

Going Beyond

What I ate:

I still love these boxes for packing my lunches. My turkey/veggie meatloaf and grilled corn feels like decadent comfort food to me. The veggies were super fresh and crunchy. The cherries were the perfect "dessert".
  I think you know what this is going to be :)
I traded my regular chicken breast out for some spinach/feta chicken sausage. I found these two flavors at Aldi. I am hopping the one with the cranberries won't be too sweet. I am planning to alternate the chicken breast and the sausage. The sausage is a bit higher in calories and definitely has more sodium. 
I have been working on snacks that make me feel better physically than my beloved chips. I saved a little of my veggies and cherries from lunch and had them later in the afternoon with a super cold bottle of water.  Truth be told this did not happen for every snack...there were some chips, but in very limited portions. 
I enjoyed lettuce wraps with pork tenderloin. The green sauce is a fresh salsa I bought at the farmers marker. It is like a salsa verde with the addition of pineapple and avocado. I even had a conversation with the vendor about ingredients, so I could figure calories...that did't happen last summer when I first discovered it. I am feeling bolder and a little more take-charge of my situation. Good news is that there is less than a half of an avocado in a whole two cup container of salsa, so the calories are very reasonable. If my tomatillos do well this year, I think I am going to work on a version of this salsa at home...I love the pineapple and avocado, but I would like a bit more heat to balance the sweetness of the pineapple.
Oatmeal with fresh apple and black was so good. Veggie egg muffins on the side for a stick-with-me breakfast..
Chicken tikka masala I made earlier this week specifically for lunches. I confess I was a little disappointed because I'd planned to have the meatloaf again. However, someone else in this house loves my meatloaf and it went "missing" :)

I know I have talked about most of these foods/dishes before. When I am eating healthy I tend to lean on some core go-to meals. Eating healthy does take more planning, so these foods have become my version of convenience foods. This weekend I hope to spend a little time working on finding a few recipes to mix things up.

What I did:

Double Light abs workout 

For some reason, we mostly got video of this particular workout. At first, I was disappointed to not have more pictures, but then watching the videos I was able to see how much harder I am working. I am especially proud of how hard I am fighting to go beyond what I think I can do.

Accordion crunches - This exercise works the obliques (read, love handles) by bringing the knees and elbows together while sitting on the hip.  You will notice the extra towel under my hip. I would think with the padding I had this would not be an issue, but my hip bone needed a little extra cushion.
Twists - These weren't too bad. In fact, you might even see a smile during the video.
Figure 8s - I did these for the first time last week and I could really see improvement this week
Flutter kicks - These are getting better too.
I can't believe I can already tell a difference in what I am able to do with these workouts.

Fitness Blender video

One of the ladies in our group challenged us to complete this Fitness Blender video. Fitness Blender offers tons of free videos on their website. I have tried them in the past, but it has been awhile. This one is a low impact beginner cardio workout, but they offer all sorts of exercises at all levels. I am very impressed and who doesn't like free?  They do also offer pre-arranged workout packages (set up on a calendar) that you can by for nominal fees. On a side note, I love my Chromecast. I can send the video from my computer straight to my tv where I have room to move.

I enjoyed this workout (well, as much as I do enjoy workouts that are challenging). As I have mentioned, I am not the most coordinated, so a couple of the moves I had to modify or replace. One min particular, was a modified plank where you had to reach back and touch your toes while in the blank position. That was not happening. I replaced it with a previous exercise. I liked how they incorporate a little preview of what was coming up for each section. I need an extra second to wrap my head around the moves.
I was home by myself when I did this workout, so I had to take my own pictures while I was doing the video.

At the end of the workout, there was some nice cool down and stretching exercises. I have never been able to do the quad stretch where you reach around and hold your foot up. I realized the arm of the couch was the perfect height to prop my foot so my quads got that same stretch without me toppling over. I finished the workout with a hot sweaty smile.
Thank you, Mary for turning me on to these videos. Fitness Blender was created by Kelli and Daniel Segars. This article is an interesting read about how they started and continue to build their fitness "empire". In this particular video, Kelli is demonstrating the workout and Daniel is narrating. It tickled me a little when Daniel said if you can't go as fast as Kelli that's fine, but if you can go faster that is fantastic. It reminded me of watching Ina Garten when she says, as she frequently does, something like...

3.9 mile evening walk with my friend.

It has been a long time since we walked together - we used to do it regularly and I have missed her.
There were dogs everywhere. This guy and his young friend came out to greet us. The puppy was too quick for a picture.
 I thought this frog was fun. I think it might have been used to hold their hose.
After my Friday workout, I will have officially finished four weeks of Double Light. I have already been warned that in month two we will be ramping it up. I wonder at what point I will have to stop calling it Double Light. Judging from this video, it may be awhile yet. Remember the "ladder" workout from a couple weeks ago. This is my husband's version of a "ladder" workout:
Now all of that fifteen more times!! He said he took a minute break after ten circuits. Yeah, I 'll be Double Light for awhile :)

This morning my glutes are especially sore, so I have high hopes that big ol' muscle is doing some major fat burning :)

Any fun plans for the weekend?  I am planning to hit a big neighborhood yard sale not far from us. Our big event, will be going to an airshow to see the Thunderbirds perform.


  1. Look at you kicking that Double Light's butt! I am so happy you found something you love. And you ahve been with it for FOUR WEEKS! THAT IS AWESOME!!

    Love your food pics. I don't even eat half the stuff you like and it still looks yummy!

    1. Shhh...don't tell my trainer...he is already threatening me with Single Light workouts. One day I will get you over to my culinary point of view :)

  2. Wow look at the progress you've made in that time! That's awesome Anna! And as always I'm so impressed by your gorgeous food! Gary is super fast at those ladders! Holy cow!

    1. Thanks Desiree!! Watching him do his workouts is crazy - I can barely remember what he was like a year ago.

  3. So many things. 1) Your food looks so fresh and beautiful!! 2) I am so proud on how much you've already progressed with your workouts. If you keep chipping away at it, you're going to be crazy strong! 3) That Ina meme made me laugh so hard. Any time Eric and I drink champagne or have some fancy dinner out, we do the Ina laugh and the "who wouldn't love THAT" quote.

    1. It feels good with thing coming together - food and workout. Gotta love Ina :)

  4. Congratulations on a full month of workouts!

    Sounds like a fun weekend coming up. We will be remodeling a bathroom.

    1. Four weeks went by much more quickly than I anticipated. We remodeled our bathroom a few years ago - what a project!! Good luck with yours :)

  5. Very impressed with your food...going to copy some of it for myself....I need to plan !!

  6. Such pretty food!

    I love that you're pushing yourself harder. You're getting so strong :)

  7. Girl you are doing amazing!!!! (And as always your food looks delicious!!)