Sunday, December 26, 2010

my massage wish list

Since we've "graduated" to working on non-classmates in what is termed "clinical settings", I've not been getting my twice-weekly in-class practice massages. Man do I miss them! If/when I ever do walk into a massage therapist's office one of these days, here's what I'll want them to work on:
  • my hands in general, specifically my right thumb and forearm
  • both my calves (I *really* need someone to dig in and knead 'em till they let go!)
  • my left ankle (remember my injury? there's a lump of scar tissue/ excess collagen / something-or-other that needs "shredding"!)
  • my left rhomboids and surrounding area
  • my right QL and surrounding area

A session that does justice to all this while also providing a decent all-over massage should take about 1.5 hrs. My main (mental) obstacle is wanting to make sure I go to someone who can do an excellent job, because ugh the cost of massages is really high so I want to make sure I get my money's worth, y'know? I can go to my main massage instructor, but at the same time I'd like to try out some other people too. But I want them to be totally worth it.

Any recommendations, Springfield?

(Image source)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

didn't last :p

Well THAT didn't last...

Tuesday I woke up too late for Zumba, and the Yoga/Pilates class wasn't calling out to me, so I didn't go, justifying it with a plan to hit one of the evening classes at the Y,,, which I proceeded to forget about as I cooked then delivered a Philly Cheesesteak Quiche to a "birth-tay gurl" *and* had a massage victim in the afternoon...

Wednesday I woke up with an unhappy ankle, prompting me to see if I could get a mssage session of my own... unfortunately my massage instructor was fully booked ("EVERYONE wants in before Christmas!")... so I just kinda moped around...

... and today, Thursday... I let the hubs take the car to work, so the Zumba or Yoga/Pilate session this morning was off the cards. Maybe, just maybe, if the hubs isn't on call, we might to some r-balling this evening. Don't hold your breath though.

Friday it's supposed to friggin snow... no classes at the Y anyway, and they close early... so I should get off my butt and do some sort of workout at home, heck even just a comprehensive gentle stretching from head to toe would work... or try a full round of the Daily Energy Routine...

I gotta say, seeing the actions makes 'em a lot less intimidating/confusing than just reading about 'em accompanied by some photos/sketches. I *might* just do this...

...mañana! :p

Monday, December 20, 2010

back on track?

Well, this site fell into a bit of neglect... I have a good reason for it though.. I'm taking a Massage Therapy certification program, and that takes up all my weekday nights, and most of my Mondays too. That doesn't leave as much time for futzing around online... I *had* still been working out pretty often, then came some news (TBA later) *and* the cold... and next think I know I've not worked out in weeks!! Aaargh!

But hey, I get three -- yes count 'em: THREE! -- weeks off between semesters! And I intend to hit the Y as often as I can during this time, and use that momentum to keep me going into the new year.

So far, yesterday (Sunday) played racquetball with the hubs for about an hour: again, something we've not done in what seems like forever. My ankles ached the next day, ugh! And today I did 1hr of Zumba, 30mins of which were the "Latin Sculpt" version i.e. with light weights. I was going to go straight to an hour of yoga afterwards, but they changed the schedule, gah! Now I'm going to have to choose one or the other. Grrr! Tomorrow I'll decide between Zumba and the Yoga/Pilates class. Wednesday I'll probably do the lunchtime yoga. Thursday should reflect Tuesday. No classes on Friday, and the Y is closed on Saturday, so I'll have to do some home exercising on those days.

I just hope the weather stays kinda warm (haha), because I really do NOT enjoy the cold, and it's way too easy to just snuggle under the covers and sleep the day away!

Friday, December 3, 2010

this is an SEO site?

A long time ago I submitted IQ vs lbs to Blog Explosion, in the hopes of getting traffic from like-minded bloggers over this way. So long ago, in fact, that I thought BE had died or something. Then all of a sudden yesterday I get an email saying this blog has been declined, because "as stated in our user guidelines, we are not currently accepting SEO sites into our directory."

This is an SEO site? Really?

*shakes head*

If it had been declined because I wasn't posting regularly, I'd totally buy that. But labeling this blog as an SEO site??!!

Ridiculous.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's Turkey Day!

Gobble gobble, (aluminum) foil and (apple) crumble...

... turkey burn (oh no!) and casserole bubble?

To all those who celebrate it, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Kefir smoothie?

So yesterday I asked if you'd had kefir before. Today I'll share a peek of the kefir smoothie I made:



This was my first smoothie in aaaaaages! Once I started classes, everything kinda went out the window... am gonna try to get back on track now.

So this smoothie was a simple one: a banana and a cucumber, with a ½ cup of strawberry+banana-flavored kefir and a splash of water.
Verdict: considering I hadn't tasted this kefir straight out of its container, I couldn't tell you just how much change/improvement there was in its taste/consistency. But based on the other one I'd tried, I can safely say that it felt to me like a lassi. There wasn't much taste to it: cucumber is very subtle, and the banana just melted into the existing strawberry-banana flavor that must have also been quite subtle because I couldn't have told you what it was I was drinking!

I'll be fixing myself more of the stuff over the weekend. More updates if there are new things to report :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Have you tried kefir?

A few weeks ago I picked up a bottle of LowFat Plain Kefir in an attempt to get more of those good bacteria in me... in general I've been really bad about food consumption lately, and my gut was pretty unhappy, I figured this might work better for me than the yogurt that seems to just sit on the fridge shelf totally not calling out to me when I am hunting for food and end up getting thrown out because they are waaaaaay past their expiration date. Besides, kefir is supposed to have a lot more, and better, types of bacteria, some of which actually colonise the intestinal tract rather than passing through they way those in yogurt do (see Kefir vs Yogurt)

Anyways.


I'd heard about kefir before, and somehow had the impression it was made with coconut milk. Wrong! It's made with any type of milk, really: the one by Lifeway was made from cow's milk. I hear the natural foods store in Springfield might carry non-cow varieties, I plan to look for 'em, later.

But back to the bottle I picked a few weeks ago: I was expecting a drink like a lassi... boy was I wrong! You see, lassi is a lot more liquid, I suppose you might call it yogurt diluted with water/milk... kefir on the other hand seems to be liquid yogurt. Very thick! And very very sour. Not bad, but... not what I was expecting... ... and so the opened bottle sat there for weeks until I decided it needed to go. A waste, yes. :(

Recently I went back and got the strawberry-banana version.
And will use it in a smoothie.
And blog about it.
Tomorrow.
Stay tuned!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Zumba vs Nia

yes yes yes I'm SO overdue for updates on ALL my blogs :p Today I'd like to just blog a little bit about the two main dance-type exercise class thingys that I do to keep myself moving to replace the treadmill / ellipital machines and step aerobics type sessions.

First up: ZUMBA
This is essentially Latin-based dance moves and music... the first time I tried this out I felt so utterly stiff, I can't (read: "don't!") wiggle my hips that way, ugh, so I went through the whole class essentially doing masculine/dynamic moves because that was pretty much all I knew.

After a while I started to remember the routine for each song, and once I learned the moves, I could kinda relax into them a little bit more... but the overall spirit of the class is pretty controlled: "these are the moves, in this specific order, if you don't follow them then you are out of step with everyone else and you might just end up lost!"

See these two vids for examples of Zumba songs/routines (shot right here in the Springfield IL YMCA Walnut Room! No, I'm not in the crowd, this was a few months before we joined):







Compare this with NIA:



See the difference in energy? See the smiling faces? See the fluidity in movement?

One of the key elements to Nia is to learn the move, then DO the move, and then energize the move ... play with it ... enjoy... feel the joy in movement...

It was only after starting Nia (or, to be more specific, after I started taking Nia classes with a lady who also does bellydancing!) that I slowly gave myself permission to 'play'... and that has translated back into more fun Zumba for me, because while yes I keep up with the 'expected' routine, I usually throw in a lot more hand movements... I make it a point to follow my hands with my eyes when we're going those "two steps to one side while punching/punching out" moves, for example, or not caring about how I might look as I try to swivel my hips around as I pretend to salsa, LoL!

A RELATED ASIDE: There is also a Hip-Hop class that's pretty good. It's MUCH better than Zumba in its energy; each song being much longer, with lots of repetition of the same set of movements so it's easier to get through the learn-do-energize sequence within each song. My only beef with it is it's such a crowded class I can barely see the instructor and therefore struggle to get the movements down (and I'm not a fan of crowds!). So I've been skipping the last few weeks of this... maybe I'll gather the energy up again this weekend? :p

In the meantime, I find Zumba more than I Nia, but *only* because I can only catch a max of 2 Nia classes a week, while Zumba is available almost daily at the Y ... but Nia is slowly infusing me: I find myself starting to dance through life, adding arm and hand movements, even swaying my hips, as I walk around the apartment, as I go through my massage class, and before you know it I'll be the crazy lady dancing in the street? LoL!

If you have the opportunity to experience a Nia class, please do so! :) Here in Springfield Terri tries to hold a free class for first-timers every month or so, and/or your first class is free, so you can experience what Nia is all about. I hope to see you there!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Friday: double smoothie!

... and double potato chips! :p

Woke at 5:15am but was still late to the early morning step class (no thanks to the cat ... grrrr!!), but hey at least I made it! I've been threatening to go for weeks now, but every Friday morning has seen me turning the alarm off and dropping back off to sleep.

So, this time I drove.

Class was by a substitute (P, who usually does Zumba). While she stumbled (not literally) a bit through the routine, it was good enough for me: I sweated, my heart rate was up, good enough! And at least I didn't feel the pressure to keep up the way I knew I would with the normal instructor.

Also, I felt quite -- distanced? -- from the actions and didn't really enjoy the session: I had kinda expected that, though, because what's important to me nowadays is first and foremost enjoying myself, and not scrambling to keep up with some moves while making sure I don't trip myself up! I want to smile and move, not frown and flail! As such, I may need to find myself something else to do on Fridays (can't wait for the Friday Nia class to come back!)

Despite all the sweating, I didn't drink much water during or immediately after the workout. Bad bad lynne! :p Kind made up for that by downing over 2L of water the rest of the day!


Food:
~8am: banana + apple + handful of baby arugula smoothie (very yummy!)
~9:30am: a large skinny vanilla latte, and one plain chocolate Hershey's nugget
~12:30n another banana + apple + handful of baby arugula smoothie
then it went downhill.... there was the polishing off of half a bag of potato chips... and almost a whole other bag later in the night... in between there was an attempt to stem the tide with watermelon, and an egg... but the chips still won. Ugh. Just have to not have 'em in the apartment. Just like ice cream.

Overall, though, it was a relatively good day: I *really* like that I downed so much water (those salty chips had something to do with it, I suppose :p)

... we'll see how well I stick to the smoothies over the weekend: weekends are always a challenge! :p

Friday, August 6, 2010

Tues Wed Thurs: not going so good ...

Tuesday:
Woke up too late for smoothie-making.
Had a ¾-boiled egg (the white is solid, the yoke gooey), and allergy meds washed down with a few sips of Sprite Zero (water wasn't immediately on hand!)
Biked to the Y
Did 45mins Zumba (Gold) and 15mins Sculpt with 2x5lb dumbells.
Biked back
Had another ¾-boiled egg.
Don't remember what else I ate over the rest of the day, but I think I was pretty good apart, from some mindless SunChips consumption.
Made up for it a little by hitting the gym again in the evening for an hour of Yoga (drove).
Total water intake ~1.0L

Wednesday:
Biked to the Y.
45mins Zumba
1hr racquetball
too hungry for smoothie-making! instead had bagel & cream cheese w almond milk, water.
More poor eating ... take my word for it, the resolution for healthy eating was shot to hell with lots of unnecessary snackage of bad foods (ooey gooey coffee cake, anyone?).
At least water intake was over 1.5L, but that had to dilute 2 cans of Coke Zero, ugh.

Thursday:
Biked to the Y.
Another 45mins Zumba (Gold) and 15mins Sculpt with 2x5lb dumbells.
Biked back.
Was slightly better about food intake; had a chipotle chicken salad for dinner, drowning in sour cream, plus guacamole and snacked on potato chips out of the bag :p
At least water intake was over 1.5L and had only one can of Coke Zero.

= = =
Okay, so the smoothie twice a day is not getting achieved (heck I had two smoothie-less days!), gotta buck up on that. And the snacking... that's gotten waaay out of hand! One good thing, tho: I've not been tempted by ice cream recently, let's keep it that way!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Monday: getting back on track

One reason I was totally derailed food-wise was I wasn't keeping proper tabs on my consumption... just the effort of keeping track of food intake goes a long way in getting one to think twice about what they are going to mindlessly shove down their gullet, methinks.

So here it is again, more for me than for you... my daily food/activity diary.

Monday August 2nd 2010

Morning smoothie(s): collard greens smell really funky... but taste fine when blended with banana apple and grape tomatoes! I made it thick, so had a mugful before, and after, workout.

"Lunch": throughout the early afternoon, grazed on THREE Great Value (i.e. from WalMart) High Fiber Oats & Chocolate Chewy Bars (140 cals each) and finished the jazzed-up mac&cheese from last night (lots of added red & green peppers, some red onion and lots of sharp cheddar cheese).

Dinner: ok I was bad (because I'd been doubly good exercise-wise, see below)... got myself chili cheese fries and a patty melt... and two cans of Coke Zero... but gulped down another 20 fl oz of water!

Workout(s) & other activities:
Morning: Biked to/from the Y. Did 45mins Zumba (no Weights On Ball today, sob sob!). Consumed almost 600mL water (20 fl oz) during workout.

Evening: drove to/from the Y. Did 15mins Strictly Abs followed by 1hr of Zumba. Also consumed 20 fl oz water.

Night: up and down a flight of stairs a few times for laundry

= = =

So... food intake still all over the place: definitely need to work on that. Decent water intake, would have been better with only one or no soda tho. The double exercise was nice, even though it helped justify the bad dinner! Not sure why I decided to hit the Y twice in one day, both for Zumba. I don't even *like* Zumba that much! But hey, seeing the mindless repetition of unpleasant kicks (or what passes as kicks) prior to the abs class just further cemented my stand of not wanting to force myself into unappealing repetitive exercises. Better daily Zumba where I can work on letting loose and wagging my tail!!

It's 1:20am ... time for zzZZzzzZzz!

Monday, August 2, 2010

August Resolutions

Well, as you might have guessed from the dearth of posts that almost all aspects of my health efforts have gotten sidetracked. I have been hitting the gym frequently, mostly for Zumba classes, and the once-a-week Nia treat. However, I have also been doing a LOT of ice-cream and potato chip binging. Not good, for my physical, mental and subtle systems!

But August is a brand new month, and I once again reset my resolutions.

I currently hit the YMCA / dance studio on the following days for the following activities:
    Monday: mid-morning 45mins Zumba followed by 1hr of Weights On Ball
    Tuesday: mid-morning 45mins Zumba Gold followed by 15mins Zumba Sculpt
    Wednesday: early morning 45mins Zumba
    Thursday: mid-morning 45mins Zumba Gold followed by 15mins Zumba Sculpt
    Friday: [keep intending to restart the Step class, but keep not going][This used to be my Nia day, but that's moved to Sunday until further notice]
    Saturday: [not consistently, have caught mid-morning 1hr Zumba Gold plus 30mins Zumba Sculpt]
    Sunday: 1hr Nia


#1: Ramp it up
Do cardio every day at the Y / dance studio / home [i.e. fully implement the above schedule], and follow-up with weights for upper-body toning [already doing 2-3x/week, want to do every day]. In addition, I will continue to bike to/from the Y unless the weather is bad, or I'm running way too late.


#2: Green smoothies for breakfast and lunch
I've been pretty successful in fixing myself one once I wake up (and when I'm late/don't feel like it, I grab an apple which is still much better than past behaviour!), but now I'd like to down another pretty much once I'm back from working out. This should help up my nutrition intake, and reduce the chances of stopping by Grab-A-Java for a vanilla latte after Nia!!

#3: 1.5L water intake
I've not been monitoring my water intake, but I know it's terribly erratic. You know how if you feel thirsty it means you're already dehydrated? Yeah, I know that thirst well. I'll be looking for a simple water filter jug to help with this, because sometimes the tap water tastes weird :p

Okay that's it for August. Notice I am silent about any specific quantity of weight loss goals, about Coke Zero consumption. If August goes well, then I can tighten things up next month. Right now, let's just focus on those above three things, k?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Some early smoothies

It's not like I was taking notes, so these combinations are picked from an unreliable memory :) but here's an attempt at recording some of my smoothie combos.

Saturday morning:
apple, banana, mango, radish, celery, carrots: a decent first try

Saturday afternoon:
apple, baby spinach, mango, carrots, soy milk: very 'light' without the banana

Sunday morning:
apple, banana, blueberries, baby spinach

Monday morning:
banana, tomato, radish, apple and a whole bunch of baby spinach

Tuesday morning:
banana, blueberries, radishes, spinach, tomato, ginger: color not so much green as blue, not as appealing: too many blueberries? Also, a little ginger goes a long way, I could have done with perhaps half of what I'd used; that plus two (small) radishes, and this smoothie had a bit of a kick!

As I mentioned before, I'm making it a point to have a (green) smoothie for breakfast/first thing in the morning: so far so good. Not going to clamp down on the other meals of the day yet. I also want to get to the gym daily again, whether for the 5:45am classes, or something else if I can't wake up: a bit of a challenge, but getting there again.

I'll try to remember to weigh myself at the Y today.

Friday, July 9, 2010

a late start in July

I cut myself some slack in June, knowing that come July & August, if things went the way they did the last time hubby turned into a vampire, I'd be able to hit the gym in the mornings on most days *and* eat both less and better.

Then I realised we were heading to the in-laws' for the July 4th weekend, so I cut myself even more slack.

I also had some sort of mental block about the [cheapo] blender plus food processor I'd picked up at Wal-Mart: it's been sitting in its opened box for a few weeks now, when I should have been fixing myself fruit & veggie smoothies already.

Grrr.

Well yesterday I made another round of fruit & veggie shopping:
  • bananas
  • cherries
  • red seedless grapes
  • 3lb bag of gala apples
  • small container of fresh blueberries
  • 2 cans of pineapple chunks in unsweetened pineapple juice
  • a small bunch of beets
  • a large container of baby spinach
  • a bag-o-salad
(just ignore the fact that I also bought a pint of Ben&Jerry ice cream that I finished up in one go, *and* a package of Golden Oreos! shhhhh!!)

I also have the following 'in stock' from my previous round of shopping:
  • a bunch of parsley
  • cucumbers
  • frozen strawberries
  • 3 lemons
  • celery
  • some tomatoes
  • 2 mangoes
... in addition to things that are almost always available here in chez naranek:
  • a red onion
  • semi-fresh ginger
  • capsicums (capsica?) of various colors
  • minced garlic
  • lime juice (bottled)
  • lemon juice (bottled)
  • baby carrots
That's plenty to work with!

So here's the plan: minimum of one green smoothie daily, preferably in the morning. Seeing as I also plan to hit the gym by 5:45am almost every day, I should then plan to wakey around 5am on those days in order for the drink to be made *and* at least semi-digested before I start trouncing around! After a week, I'll reassess and perhaps start enforcing other raw meals. I should start daily updates again from next week. Stay tuned!

    DISCLOSURE: the link to Amazon.com is an affiliate link. Please don't hesitate to click it to get more info on the blender/food processor: the link is safe, and costs you nothing. I receive a commission only if/when somebody were to purchase goods or services via this link (I believe it's a 24-hour cookie, but don't quote me on that). Said commission is paid by the seller, not you the buyer. Any commission earned is greatly appreciated :) however, rest assured that any compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog.

Monday, June 14, 2010

June is "meh"

... I'm suffering from my as yet not totally identified allergies ...

The Resolution(s) by Month for June is simple: no Coke Zero! Implied is no cola, ideally no soda at all. It doesn't mean no caffeine tho.

On one hand, so far so good... early in the month I had a few cans of Sprite Zero; we've done a few gas station crappuccino runs (this will stop soon - the quality is so disappointing most of the time it's not worth it!); I've had a few cups of coffee when we had breakfast 'outside'; and I slipped and ordered a coke at Kosh's work function last weekend.

On the other hand, it's not like I've made up for it by increasing my water intake!

... for July & August: I will be implementing as many of these recommendations as I can (see page 9), in addition to once again targetting daily weekday 5:45am workouts.

Currently I am forcing myself to the YMCA but reach it only occasionally (I don't feel human enough to go / interact with others!!). I ~do~ have Nia classes with a new/different instructor starting this week: if it goes anything like last week's free class, it's gonna be great! Great enough that I might ignore how I look/feel and just go.

/out

Saturday, May 29, 2010

May's been a washout!

So I had intended on jumping right back into consuming just raw/lightly-processed foods ... but that somehow didn't take... I think a huge part of how I was able to stick with it last time was the hubby's turned around hours... yes I felt good, but now that seems like a distant memory, not a tangible benefit anymore. His next round of vampire hours takes place in July & August, so I'll plan on getting two months in (as opposed to 3 weeks last time), and hope that I'll have enough momentum and habit-making in two months to continue into 'normal' hours.

I have been working out again... did a round of racquetball last weekend and the ankle held up well. Also went for some Zumba, Yoga/Pilates, Yoga and Weights on Ball. The latter had me pleasantly aching all over for quite a few days - high time I get back into some weight-bearing exercises!!

Had one Nia session before classes are suspended for summer (and perhaps beyond??!), but the instructor gave us a DVD of the Opal workout ~and~ a book on the Nia Technique "... so you can still work on Nia over the summer!": so nice of her! Watching the DVD and getting about a quarter-way through the book, I can say that I haven't tapped into the 'joy of movement' they tout... but I wanna get there... perhaps a Nia road trip would be beneficial? We'll see....

The ankle's been doing okay... I notice that it 'pops' a lot nowadays though. There's a slight pain when it happens, like popping your knuckles: except that the latter I do on purpose, the former I'd rather not have happen at all!

I'm psyching myself up for resolutions in June... haven't identified the one or two particular things I'd want to work on; you know, in addition to the 'regular' [haha] fiber intake & exercise, and the so far failed daily meditations!

Have a great weekend, and see you on the flipside!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Back in the USA!

My time in Malaysia (and Singapore) revolved a lot around food and drink, as expected.

I didn't visit Restoran BRJ for its orgasmic nasi lemak this time around, so it will be a MUST do on my next trip. I did have a few other sub-par nasi lemaks from various kopitiams and restaurants: good enough to satisfy the craving but nothing that knocked my socks off.

Had plenty of kaya, teh tarik, various types of roti, fried noodles and Coffee Bean drinks...

Got some exercise while hopping along on crutches for a weekend... and I extruded rivers of sweat just by virtue (?) of being physically present in the heat and humidity that is Malaysia, so perhaps that counts as some sort of detox? Haaha.

Started to feel rather bloated and unhealthy after a while, though, which underscored the importance of getting right back on the raw/lightly processed foods wagon once I got back home.

That time is now.

Of course, last night's 'meal' of gas station crappucinno and half a bag of potato chips doesn't count. Shhhh!!

Today, so far so good: my morning started out with a large mug og Ho Yan Hor chinese herbal tea with a teaspoon of honey at 430am (couldn't sleep, gave up trying!), followed later by an apple (~8am), and then finishing off the wasabi almonds (~9am). Gotta make sure I get plenty of water.

For exercise, I will be cleaning the apartment (the cat's been a bad bad kitty!) and doing the laundry. Will start hitting the YMCA/gym again next week.

Monday, April 26, 2010

April 25th & 26th: not yet going overboard

Sunday the 25th was a slow day, mainly because I only went to bed at 3 or 4 am, yet was up and about by 9am. I’ll blame that birthday party the night before for resetting my body clock, LoL!

In terms of caloric intake: had a large mug of lemongrass green tea upon waking up. Later during the day I grazed on some kuih bahulu, a large mandarin orange, and a small green apple. Dinner was another rice thingy, this time at Restoran Santai in TTDI, with tom yum, daging masak halia, ayam masak kicap and kangkung belacan. It was okay. The kangkung belacan was disappointingly cair, no oomph. Dessert was at home, mango – delish!

I also had an impromptu coffee outing at Amcorp (Starbucks): my first iced vanilla latté (from such a coffee place, McD’s lattés excluded!) in a year, probably. It was surprisingly drinkable, but I found the price to be just a wee bit higher than comfortable. Inflation has hit the already high prices, I suppose?

No exercise – dah of rest mah?! LoL!

= = =

I was quite active on Monday the 26th: my father and I hit a nearby park for a 7am walk. I let him go at his own pace (remember he’s got a weak heart) while I did two sort-of rounds and was reminded of how boring it is going around the ‘lake’, how dirty the lake is, and how humonguous the mosquitoes are. I also broke out into a jog in two instances, not for protracted periods of time, but enough to work up a heck of a sweat (being in a humid environment certainly helped matters along). Note to self: BRING A TOWEL next time!

Breakfast was two soft-boiled eggs; toast with (margerine? butter? one doesn’t ask such questions at a mamak!) and kaya; accompanied by a glass of teh o limau panas (hot lemon tea), next time I need to ask for kurang manis or plain ol kosong so that it’s unsweetened.

I went into town and made my way around the Sg Wang – Low Yat area; monorailed it to KL Sentral (extra exercise because of construction that forced a convoluted way to Sentral itself) then Komutered it to MidValley, arriving a few hours early for an appointment with [Mandy].

So I treated myself to lunch at my beloved Coffee Bean: ice vanilla latté w/ skim milk, and chicken & mushroom fusili. Prices have shot up thru the roof tho, it seems: RM32 just for those two items?! Ugh.

Once she arrived, [Mandy] and I headed to Nando’s: I was too full from lunch to eat anything, but the free refills of iced lemon tea were great and the reason we chose that location. Of course, the large amount of drink filled me up too, so much so that I ended up not having anything else to eat that evening/night except a little bit of mango and apple.

It’s not like I’m denying myself food: I just really wasn’t hungry. Glad I'm not going overboard (yet) in terms of the food!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

April 23rd & 24th: back in Malaysia!

I’ve been back in Malaysia for about 1.5 days now. While I won’t hold myself to the April resolutions of weekday daily exercise and raw/lightly-processed food, I will try not to fall too far off the wagon! One way to help with that is to continue keeping track of my activities, so read on if you’re not bored to tears already!

April 23rd:
Upon arriving on early Friday afternoon, I accompanied my parents to lunch, and sipped on air kelapa muda (coconut water) while they ate. Later that afternoon, I had a snack of a few pistachios and a quarter of an apple. Dinner was some sambal fish, tau foo with crabmeat, stir-fried beans with garlic, and rice from Sri Melaka restaurant.

April 24th:
Early morning (6 am) had a large mug of my lemongrass green tea (yup, I brought a box with me!). Joined my mother for her yoga class at 9:30am, then had breakfast at a nearby mamak: was good and had teh ‘o’ limau (hot lemon tea) instead of teh tarik with my roti telur, although that was accompanied by not just dhal but also some sambal and various chutneys that rightly went with my mother’s thosai! In the middle of the day I had half a green apple as a snack. Dinner was a variety of items from the buffet at a pal’s mother’s birthday party: I took just small amounts of the food, and totally skipped dessert, so I pat myself on the back for not being tempted!! I did have two glasses of teh tarik though! :D

So far so good, food-wise ... and I'm gonna go easy with exercise seeing how I'm sweating so much just by being here already! Seriously. Humidity is *so* much fun! How on earth did I survive it before, I wonder?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

April 16th: pistachios binge :(

My Resolutions for April are two-fold: weekday daily exercise, and raw/barely-processed food consumption. Here's how I fared on Friday, April 16th:

Exercise
Step Blast in the morning was BRUTAL!

So brutal, in fact, that I sweated like I've never sweated before! Okay so part of that was the stuffy environs of the Y, but still..!

I don't think I've sweated all the way through my butt like this before! .. tmi?

Food
Breakfast: two eggs with garlic and lots of cheese cut with milk, nuked -- a quick-and-easy scrambled eggs. Almonds. A mug of lemongrass green tea with cinnamon sticks.

Dinner: The last of the dhal bukhara (wheeeee!!!!) plus diced celery. And an entire bag of pistachios. I have no idea what came over me, but binge on pistachios is what I did. Ugh.

= = =

This weekend we have a wedding celebration to attend, so I'll try to be good for all other meals. I also am leaving for Malaysia very soon, and have no illusions about attempting to achieve any sort of healthy eating habits, but I will strive to at least work some of the food off... if I don't keel over from the humidity!! :p

Friday, April 16, 2010

April 15th: back on track

My Resolutions for April are two-fold: weekday daily exercise, and raw/barely-processed food consumption. Here's how I fared on Thursday, April 15th:

Exercise
Power Pump in the morning, followed by 25 mins elliptical, and 3 sets of racquetball.
In the evening, I also went for Yoga.
It was good.

Food
Breakfast: half cup of Fiber One cereal, half cup of MultiGrain Cheerios and a serving of banana strawberry yogurt. This violates the raw/barely-processed food edict, but I really wan't feeling the pull of yet another round of dhal bukhara! This was followed-up with almonds and an apple.

Dinner #1: a small bowl of dhal bukhara (yes, still!!) with a nuked bag of Wal-Mart's Mixed Garden Medley veggies and taters.

Dinner #2: a can of tuna mixed with leftover salad dressing from Chipotle from last week when I got myself a salad, plus two stalks of diced celery.

Late night/early morning snack: went to bed early, but was wide awake at 2am. Grrr! And I was hungry... ended up snacking on quite a few stalks of celery.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 14th: body says no!

My Resolutions for April are two-fold: weekday daily exercise, and raw/barely-processed food consumption. Here's how I fared on Wednesday, April 14th:

Exercise
No Nia in the morning, class canceled :(
I couldn't sleep the night before, nor could I sleep during the day, I was so wasted I didn't feel up for any evening exercise. So today was a total day off. My body demanded it!

Food
Early morning snack: Ho Yan Hor chinese herbal tea with a spoon of honey
Morning snack: an apple
Breakfast: oatmeal with milk and two spoonfuls of honey, and a serving of craisins (weird combination - not doing that again!)
Dinner: a steak burrito with almost the complete works, from Chipotle (I *so* needed a treat!)

Finally passed out and got my rest. I'm going to blame delayed effects of having done a lot of exercise within a small period of time on Tuesday/Wednesday! I'll be sure to pace myself better next time.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 13th: Power Pump, elliptical and racquetball!

My Resolutions for April are two-fold: weekday daily exercise, and raw/barely-processed food consumption. Here's how I fared on Tuesday, April 13th:

Exercise
Power Pump with C (with light bar, was feeling a bit wimpy), followed by 20mins elliptical, followed by two sets of racquetball (I lost, again!). Was pleasantly sore all day -- and why not, I'd worked out for a total of over 4.5hrs within 18 hours!

Does doing laundry count as exercise? :D

Food
Early breakfast: (and I mean early -- 4am!) a bowl of the dhal bukhara

Breakfast: a soft-boiled egg and half an avocado with a handful of almonds

Dinner: a large bowl of dhal bukhara mixed with a can of tuna, with two handfuls of almonds

Note: Didn't drink enough today!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April 12th: 2h 15m evening workout!

My Resolutions for April are two-fold: weekday daily exercise, and raw/barely-processed food consumption. Here's how I fared on Monday, April 12th:

Exercise:
Since I wasn't keen on a Turbo Kick session with K (I found it boring last week, remember?), I decided to skip the early morning workout. Instead, I hit the Y in the evening:
- 15mins Strictly Abs (N)
- 1hr Zumba (J)
- 1hr Pilates/Yoga (T)
I could have gone the Power Pump and Step n Sculpt route, but I knew I'd be doing the Tuesday morning Power Pump, so chose to go for the general cardio and core/stretching. It was good.

Food:
The weekend had been typical in terms of bad food: Thai for Saturday dinner (and leftovers for Sunday lunch/dinner); greasy spoon breakfast on Sunday, plus gas station crappuccino. So Monday needed to be a good day.

Early breakfast: a mango

Later breakfast: homemade country (red) potatoes with onion and capsicum. I cheated before I could catch myself, seasoning the 'taters with fish sauce... plus a ton of other spices... everything still tasted kinda bland, so I shook in some of that Chicken & Pork Rub from Stonewall Kitchen, and ooops that kinda took over everything! So it ended up being saltier than I ever fix things usually :p. Had that with a soft-boiled egg.

Dinner: a bowl of the dhal bukhara and a container of Greek yogurt.

Snack: almonds, both wasabi and regular types

Saturday, April 10, 2010

April 9th: oops!

My Resolutions for April are two-fold: weekday daily exercise, and raw/barely-processed food consumption. Here's the report for Friday, April 9th:

Exercise
It was my first time attending the early morning Step Blast class (last Friday I chose Yoga)... and it was also the first step class in YEARS for me. Had a lot of fun, though - I guess muscle memory does exist?! Sure I kept stumbling over one or two parts, but still... I was happy to know I easily fell back into an easy rhythm! Sweated like mad too! :)

The hubs wasn't done with work by the time I finished, so I tacked on 15mins on the elliptical: nothing fancy, the Random setting at Level 2.

Called it a day after that.

Food
Breakfast: I neglected to be very specific about what I was choosing not to eat during weekdays, so when I agreed for Kosh to get us an eggy breakfast from the hospital cafeteria, I just said "no muffin for me"... should have also said "no biscuit"... said biscuit totally violated the raw/barely-processed food goal.... I'll be quiet about the cheesy hash browns, LoL!

Snack: finished off the banana chips

Dinner: another violation of the raw/barely-processed goal... I just didn't have the mood to do anything except crack open a can of chipotle chicken chili: it contained hydrolyzed corn starch, and smoke flavoring, among other things that make it very processed :p It was edible, but wow did I pay for the beans later! Toot toot!!

Late night munchies: oatmeal in milk with ground cinnamon and honey. Also almonds.

= = =

I didn't drink as much I should have. Also, the two main meals were major violations. Perhaps subconsciously my overcoming temptation the day before twisted itself into today's behaviour? Who knows. But it's now the weekend, time to ease off the food policing. Monday starts another week :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

April 8th: dhal bukhara

My Resolutions for April are two-fold: weekday daily exercise, and raw/barely-processed food consumption. Here's the report for Thursday, April 8th:

Exercise:
The early morning Power Pump with K was nowhere near as good as with C on Tuesday. Yes, this is the same K who had me not enjoying Turbo Kick on Monday morning. Hmmm. Well, now I know. I'll still stick to early morning workouts until my vacation starts... once I get back, I'll probably not bother with any of K's classes. Sorry hun, but you and I just don't seem to click :(

Since my arms were still sore from Tuesday's Power Pump workout, I went ahead and used the lighter weights for today's workout. So the fact that I hardly broke into a sweat - was that from the low weights, poor exercise structure/instructor, or yes?

Later in the evening, I went back for a session of Yoga - bonus!

Food:
Post-workout snack: an apple

Breakfast*: two soft-boiled eggs, Greek yogurt, and cheating potato chips with water to drink

Pre-dinner snack: an apple, followed a while later by more cheating potato chips

Dinner: two bowls of my dhal bukhara experiment (read the full write-up at Life After Work).

Late night snack: too many wasabi almonds, lots of water.

= = =

Wow was the dhal filling! And the double exercise session was good too. Today was a good day.

* was SO tempted to cheat for breakfast, i.e. talk the hubby into a horseshoe or something, but I figured I was almost at the end of the week, and I give myself license to be bad on weekends, so why not wait? Phew! One temptation faced and overcome!! :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April 7th: more Chipotle

My Resolutions for April are two-fold: weekday daily exercise, and raw/barely-processed food consumption. Here's the report for April 7th:

Exercise:
Due to the weather when I woke up, and considering how things didn't go as planned last week, I decided to forego the Zumba class at the Y in order to pick the hubby up from work at 6:15am so he wouldn't have to walk back in the rain (even though it has stopped by the time he was ready for pickup!), and to just go to my Nia class at 9am which I missed last week because I didn't feel like doing that after the Zumba class. My Nia instructor was missing her iPod so the session was essentially just free dance. Sweated a lot, don't know how much of it was from the dance vs dancing in a really stuffy studio! (I'll expound on Zumba vs Nia in another post)

Food:
Early morning snack: a mug of a Chinese herbal tea with a spoon of honey. This was the first time in YEARS that I'd fixed myself this drink: glad I pre-emptively added the honey, it helped dull the 'thick' taste I remembered, which I used to be able to palate easily enough, way back when. It's supposed to be good for general wellness, though for me it was recommended to reduce my 'heaty-ness', the ubiquitous bane of everyone in Asia, it seems, LoL! What with my loose bowels, and flare-up of my face (I wonder if it's Rosacea), I figured it wouldn't hurt to have this drink once a week or so.

Breakfast: A half cup of oatmeal in a half cup of warmed milk topped up with hot water. It needed something sweet, but wasn't going to go back to the kitchen just for sugar/honey. Also had banana chips, and water.

Lunch: a cup of Greek yogurt

Dinner: a barbacoa salad from Chipotle (smothered with sour cream, oops!), followed by an unnecessary amount of pistachios! More water.

From never having had anything from Chipotle, I've now been there twice in one week! It's not that great food-wise, and $7 for that salad seemed a bit expensive, but since they are more responsible about the source of their ingredients than most other food places, I think I'll shift my default go-to fast food option from McD's to Chipotle.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April 6th: pistachios!

My Resolutions for April are two-fold: weekday daily exercise, and raw/barely-processed food consumption. Here's the report for April 6th:

Exercise:
This morning was my second time round doing the early morning Power Pump with instructor C. Perhaps it's because he's older, or perhaps it's just the format of the class that's more mellow, but find I enjoy this class quite a bit. Then again, I've always preferred focused controlled attention to weights & reps, rather than a frantic running through of sets.

For this workout, I also upped the weight of the bar: last week I used two 2.5lbs discs; this time around I took the next level up, making my bar weigh just over 10lbs. It made a huge difference, and by the time we were done with the various bicep curls, I was doing one rep for every two counted by the instructor!

Then came about 45mins of racquetball with the hubby.

About two 500mL bottles of water were consumed just in the morning - yay!

Food:
Pre-workout snack: pistachios!

Breakfast: banana chips, a ¾ boiled egg, and pistachios!

Afternoon snack: pistachios!

Dinner: "tuna guacamole" made by mixing a can of tuna with an avocado, diced onions, leftover mild salsa from Chipotle, and a dash of red wine vinegar. And pistachios!

Night snack: some grapes.

... I've been plagued by loose bowels for a few days now... not sure if it's my system adjusting to the food change, or if there's something specific I ate that's upsetting my system. Either way I'm just gonna grin and bear it! :p

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 5th: some cheating today, plus stuffed eggplant!

My Resolutions for April are two-fold: weekday daily exercise, and raw/barely-processed food consumption. Here's the report for April 5th:

Exercise
This morning was my first time catching the 5:45am Turbo Kick class at the Y. I didn't enjoy it. I don't know if it was the choice of music, volume of said music, or the routines the instructor (K) put us through, but within 15mins I was eyeing the clock thinking 6:30 couldn't arrive fast enough.

This was followed by 2 sets of rather frustrating racquetball. I have noticed that if I'm running on empty (and I'd not had much sleep before getting the day started) I tend to play suckily, and that gets me frustrated, and if the situation persists long enough there can be incidents involving the smashing of racquets against walls.

Yeah. So it wasn't a particularly fun exercise session for this Monday.

I drank lots of water though, at least 1L just from the exercising!


Food
Breakfast: a mango, a small sample of hubby's leftover steak burrito (it was from Chipotle, so it's not a cheat per se in my book!) and a few spoonfuls of the spicy roasted chickpeas.

Snack: major cheat.. I was starving while shopping and bought a pack of reduced fat kettle-cooked potato chips. I guess I thought kettle cooked meant baked. Wrong. But I munched on them anyway while putting away the groceries. Washed it down with half a bottle of Bolthouse Farms' Vanilla Chai Tea -- another 'cheat', kinda!

Dinner: Fixed myself stuffed eggplant, based on this recipe, sans bread crumbs; washed it down with the other half of the Vanilla Chai Tea.

Snack: a bunch of grapes, and water to sip on.

So despite having started out as a meh day, and despite the cheats, I think it was still a good day overall. ... I just need to keep on eye on my arm to make sure there are no delayed injuries from the racquetball meltdown! :p

Saturday, April 3, 2010

April 2nd: eggs, fruit, roasted chickpeas

My Resolutions for April are two-fold: weekday daily exercise, and raw/barely-processed food consumption. Here's the report for April 2nd:

Exercise
Knowing full well I'd be sore from the workout the previous evening, and since I had a choice of Power Pump vs Yoga for Friday mornings, I went for Yoga. It was my first time on a Friday morning and with C as the instructor. It went pretty much as expected, with one or two moves that were new/different to me. I like how one can still work up a sweat doing what are essentially stretches!

Food
Breakfast: two ¾ boiled eggs, half an avocado and a mug of cinnamon & lemongrass green tea.

Dinner: a mango, and snackage on a delicious new batch of roasted chickpeas. Sipped lots of water. Actually went to bed relatively early, but woke up wide awake at 1:30am!

Proceeded to catch up on some Ghost Whisperer (don't judge me!) while working my way through 4 kiwi fruits. Still couldn't sleep, so munched a bit more of the roasted chickpeas and drank another bottle of water while messing around online.

I had been tempted to say that the weekend started when I woke up, but decided I could very easily hold off on being bad until the hubs got back from work. Yay.

In general, I'm amazed at how full I feel.
I hope the rest of my weekdays continue as smoothly as these two have been!

Friday, April 2, 2010

April 1st: an "egg salad", and three fruits

My Resolutions for April are two-fold: weekday daily exercise, and raw/barely-processed food consumption. Here's the report for April 1st:

Exercise
Since I couldn't wake up in time for the targeted morning workout, I instead went for 1hr 20m of "Strictly Legs" and "Body Conditioning" in the evening. It was my first time with this instructor (M), whose style I would describe as mellow - doesn't mean it wasn't a good workout, it just means things weren't done at a frantic pace, as is the case with the Tuesday evening instructor (N)!

There were one or two places where I decided I was better off sipping my water and catching my breath rather than trying to push through. My feet were unhappy with me at many places during the workout, but as usual there was no lasting effect. I'm guessing I just need to strengthen my soles - I wonder if I've gotten flatter-footed over the years?

Overall it was a good workout, and I knew my muscles would be pleasantly sore the next day. Drank a lot of water as a result of this workout.

Food
Breakfast: scrambled eggs with mushrooms, capsicum and cheese on a bed of lettuce. So technically it was an egg salad? Ha! It was bit of a weird combination, but I didn't want toast or bagel... and the whole wheat tortilla that the hubby used still had a list of ingredients longer than I would allow myself to consume. I cheated with the cheese, I suppose, but there's no way I'd have eggs without cheese! :) Don't remember what I drank.

Dinner: I had a mango; half an hour later an avocado; and as a late night snack an apple. I was surprised that I felt full, and that I wasn't tempted to cheat. I drank some water.