Monday Eats

Monday was a good day. Good food, good workout, good art class.

In the morning, I went to the gym for a treadmill workout. I did a 4-3-2-1 workout that went like this:

4-3-2-1 Treadmill Workout
time (mins)…speed
0-4…………….6.6
4-8…………….6.8
8-11…………..7.0
11-13…………7.2
13-14…………7.4
14-15…………6.6
repeat minutes 4-15 two more times
37-38……….6.6
38-39……….6.5
39-40……….6.4

This totaled 4.6 miles. It was definitely a challenging run, and could be made more difficult by increasing the speed or increasing the incline (I set it at 1%). Unfortunately, my leg was bothering me a little bit afterwards, so I will try to take it easy the next couple days.

Breakfast is unpictured, but it was exactly the same as the cottage cheese/trail mix/apple combo I had a few days ago. For lunch, I had the last of the yellow split pea and sweet potato soup with some salad on top (all you can see is the salad).

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In the afternoon I snacked on some banana mixed with cashew butter and cinnamon:

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After work, I went to half of a yoga class at my gym for some stretching, and then enjoyed a dinner of a cottage cheese biscuit, brussel sprouts, and lentil cakes. I smeared some raspberry jam on the biscuit and added a few almonds to the mix.

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This was the first meal I had with the biscuits and lentil cakes, and I would say everything came out really well! The biscuits were especially good – I could see having them for breakfast!

Stair Stepper and Magazines

Until about 6 months ago, I had never stepped foot on one of these guys:

stair stepper[source]

I tried one for the first time last spring since I was taking some time off of running due to injury, and I read in a magazine that stair steppers were the best gym machine – after the treadmill – to get you working really hard. The first time I tried it, I was struggling just to get to 10 minutes. Isn’t it crazy how different types of exercise work your body in such different ways? I could run a marathon but was dying after 10 minutes on a stair stepper – why is that?!

Given my competitive personality, a new challenge was born! The stair stepper has now become one of my favorite gym machines. We are definitely in <3. How do I love thee, stair stepper? Let me count the ways:

1. You make me super sweaty.
2. You make my heart race.
3. You make my legs feel strong.
4. You let me read when we’re together.

This is what I read on the stair stepper today:

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Yes, I am reading intellectual magazines at the gym. #NerdyGirlOnStairStepper

Actually, there’s something of more substance to this…I used to always read magazines in the vein of Fitness, Shape, and Women’s Health while crosstraining. As I came towards the end of my eating disorder recovery, I began to notice some disturbing attributes about these types of magazines. Examples of said disturbing attributes: focus on weight loss, idealizing of ‘thin’ rather than healthy, constant talk about counting calories, implying that women who are thinner are automatically happier, more desirable, and better. I decided that reading these magazines was only encouraging the pattern of restrictive eating and heavy exercising that I was trying to overcome. Although I will still read these types of publications once in a while (let’s face it, shallow literature is fun every once in a while), I intentionally don’t subscribe or buy them myself.

For anyone struggling with body image, dieting, or over-exercising issues, I would recommend stepping back from the weight loss magazines. They are not doing you any favors, trust me. Plus, you don’t have to give up fun monthly reading! Here are the magazines I am currently subscribed to:

  • Runner’s World: This magazine is full of great running and fitness tips – without the focus on weight loss. The articles are well written and, often, inspiring. I’ve also learned lots of useful injury-prevention exercises.
  • Women’s Day: This magazine allows me to continue reading about women’s issues, beauty products, cooking, and exercise, but without an obsessive focus on weight and appearance. I think this is an extremely empowering and healthy magazine for women to read. Bonus: there’s always an article about some awesome pet saving their owner. I find these stories simultaneously hilarious and incredible.
  • Time: I’ve got to get my news somehow! Since I don’t listen to the radio much and only download my news podcasts sporadically (at best), Time tells me most of what I know about the world. Don’t judge me. I like the variety of substance and the fact that most articles are short enough to read fairly quickly. Joel Stein‘s comedic column at the end of each issue is always a highlight.

Anyway…back to the stair stepper from my magazine tangent! I’ve improved to the point where I can do 25 minutes and still feel really good. I suspect I could increase my time, but more than 25 mins seems a bit long to be on the machine – I would rather switch to something else for variety. Tonight I was short on time, so I could only squeeze in 20 minutes before heading to basketball.

Before all this exercise, I had some dinner:

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That’s a kidney bean patty on an english muffin with dijon mustard and spinach – veggies on the side. This was YUMMY! After I got back from basketball, I had some homemade hot-cocoa-for-one, cinnamon style.

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In other news, my roommate is currently in the monster pit at the Lady Gaga concert. Just wanted to throw that out there. 🙂

1-Minute Treadmill Intervals

This morning I headed to the gym for some Stage 3 NROLFW. Today was my last time to do Workout 1 for Stage 3. I’ll finish up Workout 2 later this week, so stayed tuned for a full report coming soon.

Since I had done a lot of lifting, I wanted to keep my cardio short but intense. I opted for a two mile treadmill run with one-minute speed intervals. It went like this:

set treadmill at 1% incline
time……speed
0-3………6.0-6.5
3-4……….7.5
4-4½…….6.3
*repeat minutes 3-4½ two more times

7½-8½….7.8
8½-9……..6.3
*repeat minutes 7½-9 two more times

12-12½……6.3, extra recovery
12½-13½….7.5
13½-14……..6.3
*repeat 12½-14 two more times

17-18…………6.0

This brought me to just over two miles.

After the gym, I was craving cereal, so I had some Kashi Go Lean with coconut milk, a handful of almonds, and an orange on the side:

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Treadmill Run and DELISH Breakfast

Remember the snow yesterday? This is what it looked like this morning:

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I snapped that pick while heading to the gym for some NROLFW Stage 3. The area of focus for today’s workout was definitely the back, and I felt a little sore after. I also did a quick treadmill run. I did a variation of Fitness NYC’s 3s and 5s treadmill challenge. Since I’m trying not to run more than 3 miles at a time until my knee/IT band issue is fixed, I had to modify the workout a bit. Here is what I did:

set treadmill at 1% incline
time (mins)          speed
0-3                          6.0
3-6                          6.5
6-7                          7.5
7-8                          6.0
8-9                          7.5
9-12                        6.7
12-15                      6.1
15-18                      6.7
18-19                      7.5
19-20                     6.0
20-21                     7.5
21-22                     6.0
22-23                     7.5
23-26                     7.0
26-27                     6.5
27-28                     7.0
28-29                      6.5
29-30                     6.0

The run ended up being 3.3 miles. Whoops. 🙂

After the gym, I had THE MOST DELICIOUS BREAKFAST EVER. You absolutely must make these two recipes immediately:

1. caramelized bananas
2. couscous breakfast bake

Then you must combine them (and smear with nut butter, obviously) and enjoy this:

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Soooo good.

Treadmill Test

Today I tried my new running shoes for the first time. Since I’ve been fighting an injury, I haven’t been running as much as usual, and I also didn’t want to use my shoes outdoors the first time just in case I didn’t like them and wanted to return. My plan was to try a fairly easy 4 miles on the treadmill and see how it went:

ready to go!

ready to go!

I was surprised at how good I felt! I had a little discomfort in my knee (which is where the whole trouble started), but besides that I didn’t have any hamstring or major IT band issues. I ended up going for a little more distance than I had planned – 4.4 miles in 40 minutes.

After the run, I definitely felt a little soreness on the outside of my knee but nothing terrible. I think I’ll try another run the day after tomorrow to test the waters again. When I got home I had a post-workout breakfast. I cooked 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill 10-grain hot cereal with 3/4 cup water in the microwave and topped with 1/4 cup trail mix, coconut milk, and a sliced apple.

this is good

this is good

Considering my beloved Minneapolis is currently a -2.2°, the day definitely called for a warm breakfast.