Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Tuesday DATE with the stair monster!

If you read yesterday's blog about my return to the treadmill, you'll remember everything went well, and I had no pain in my hip flexor, and ended up having an awesome workout followed by some much needed foam rolling. I burned 668 cals altogether. (Btw, using this heart rate monitor has become my new best friend in the gym. You can't check how many calories you burned until the end of your workout, so it makes you PUSH for rewarding results!) Anyway, last night, my hip flexor and entire lower body was sore, i figured from my tough leg workout. Well, when I woke up this morning, my hip was in SO much pain. I mean so much pain it bothered me to WALK. I hadn't planned to run today, just had a date planned on the stair master AKA stair MONSTER. I stretched out and warmed up when i got to the gym, and met my match. The great thing about the Stair Monster is that its LOW IMPACT--no pounding on the joints.  I spent 30 minutes on that bitch!! My playlist is the ONLY thing that made me stay on there...well, and the fact that I want to be RIPPED. I got goals to accomplish! I stayed mainly between levels 8-12, never slower. I did some 1 minute intervals with my arms over head....wow, way to get the heart rate up and sweat more. I really try to never hold onto the machine, because usually that defeats the purpose. After my monster cardio, I did an upper body BLAST:

Tuesday's tough stuff:

Circuit 1: 3 sets 12 reps, increase weight each set 
Seated low row
Seated cross-cable delt pull
One arm low row w/torso twist
Toe touches on bench w/10lb ball
Russian twists on bench w/10lb ball

Circuit 2: 2 sets 12 reps increasing weight, 3rd increase weight and drop-set until absolute fatigue
Tricep pull down with rope
High face pull on one leg with rope
stiff arm lat/tricep pull with rope

Circuit 3: 3 sets as many reps as possible, using heavy dumbbells, drop-sets
Bicep curl to overhead press (20s, 25s)
Chest press (20s, 25s, 30s)
Arms overhead L-crunch on bench (12 reps per set)

Circuit 4: 3 sets 10 reps
Reverse shrug using dip station
full twist w/oblique crunch

Circuit 5: 2 sets until fatigue
Lateral raises on one leg (8s, 10s)
Reverse flys bent over on one leg (10s)

Foam-rolled, stretched out my shoulders A LOT, and did more scorpions and hip flexor stretches. 90 minutes, 586 cals burned, 35% from FAT. It's crazy how hard the Stair monster is , yet doesn't burn as many calories as running.  For me, running is usually relatively painless. My body has become so well-conditioned for running, that I don't feel PAIN after running a 7:34 mile, just lots of sweat. 

I wish someone could get a photo of how SICK my back and shoulders look when I work out. Today, when I was working hard on the dip station, I saw striations in my shoulders! I was so shiny (aka sweaty) and ugh I just remember looking at myself in the mirror and thinking DAMNNN my shoulders look hot! (If only my booty had the same prominence...) I took a photo before I worked out today because I liked the outfit I wore to the gym, but you can BARELY see the definition in my shoulder caps thanks to my crappy cell phone quality.
I cant help but smile when I look at this photo: that top is a size 2 from lululemon, and those pants are a size small, and I have to pull them up sometimes! You can't tell from the photo, but the back of my pants have grey detailing that matched my shirt perfectly. If you care...haha.
Anyway, I would love to hear from anyone who follows my blog!!! BOTHER ME!! You can also read my twitter at twitter.com/lizbrody or mention @lizbrody on twitter. I tweet about everything, but you know i can't help but tweet about food and exercise!! 
Much love.
Burn some calories tomorrow!! 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday: operation booty

If you've been paying any sort of attention to my blog, you know I ran myself into a little hip flexor tweak. Well, after a few tough days away from the treadmill, I returned to it today. Here's how it went:
--First, I WARMED UP before getting on the treadmill. Dynamic stretching and loosening up the hip joints and hamstrings. Not just hitting the ground running like I usually do. Oh, AND I got to run in some BRAND new sneaks. Same model I always wear, but a new pair. I run out of my shoes SO FAST because I'm always ... running!!
--ON the treadmill:
--walk 2 minutes at 4.0
--ease into a 6.0 stride
--4 rounds of 6.0/6.5/7.0 (1min intervals)
Nice and warmed up at this point, I ran mainly between 6.8 and 7.0, and didn't run faster than 8.2. After I had been running for 15 minutes, I felt comfortable with my pacing and hips. No pain! I ran 3.5 miles in 32 minutes, and cooled down with a minute of 6.0, then 4.5, then 3.5.
It was a GREAT, but not crazy intense 35 minutes.
THEN, I moved onto my 2012 mission: operation booty.
i NEED to build my glutes!

circuit 1:
deadlifts 60lbs (10,12,15 reps)
goblet squats 30lbs (10,12,15 reps)
tricep support roman chair crunch (10,12,15 reps)

Circuit 2: 4 sets 12 reps
hyperextensions: no weight 2 sets, 10lb plate 2 sets
obliques off hyperextension bench

Circuit 3: 3 sets 10 reps
Alternating back lunges holding 10s
Side lunges w/reverse fly 8s (really 6 sets of flies)
dip station L-sit
Hanging ab crunch to pike

Circuit 4:
Swiss ball glute extensions 2 sets 25 reps
swiss ball straight leg bridge 2 sets 25 reps
30 sec static hold in each position

--plank dips 3 sets of 10
--downward dog-plank-pushup 15
plank walks

I cooled down my workout with lots of stretching for my hip flexor.
Worked out for 90 minutes, and checked my cal burn at exactly 1:30.
668 calories!! Circuit training burns SO much its unbelievable.

Try out some of my strength training workouts, I promise they won't disappoint (and neither will your growing muscles, either.)


Just Because..

Happy Monday!! So, every Sunday night, I plan out what the rest of my week is going to look like in terms of meals, work outs, rest days, etc. (I also plan when I'm doing laundry and homework, but that's not relevant for this blog!) I find that planning is the only way to be successful. If it's written down, the chance of remembering a pattern or task is way higher than if it were to just be floating around my head.
I do VERY basic plans so many days in advance. I often don't decide the EXACT structure of my workout for that day until the morning, or an hour before I go to the gym. That's because I design my workouts based on how my body is feeling, not based on what my mind WANTS my body to do on a certain day.
Anyway, enough talking. Here's what I planned out last night:

11-pre-workout snack oats, oat bran, choc protein 
12:15 WORKOUT: RUN + legs/butt workout
2: post-workout: oats/protein/flax
afternoon snack celery.pepper.cucumber
dinner: tuna/spinach/avocado/flax

7am: 1/2 serving oats w coconut milk
9:30am egg /whites/spinach/flax/ezekiel
--class snacks: carrots
12:45 ezekiel/avocado/pepper
1:30 WORKOUT: Stair master, abs, upper body werkout (burn out triceps)
3pm: oats, oat bran, protein
afternoon snack celery/pepper/cucumber
dinner: tuna/spinach/peppers/carrots/celery/apple

730am: egg/whites/spinach/flax/ezekiel
9:30 coffee
11:30 cucumbers,alfalfa,peppers,avocado,tofu
3pm dance
4:45 Green juice w 1/2green apple
6:30 Turkey,ezekiel, sprouts, veggies veggies veggies

7am Oats/protein/flax/coconut milk
9:30 coffee
class snack: veggies
12:30 1 cup egg whites/spinach/ezekiel
1:30 workout RUN, legs, back
3pm post workout protein pancakes
home: tofu/avocado/sprouts/peppers/cucumbers

--->SEEE?? I also don't plan out the ENTIRE week, because I need to cooperate with my body. If my body needs a rest day on Friday, I'll take it. If not, I'll plan a workout, and map out my weekend at that point. Planning really helps me to stick to my goals, but I allow myself to tweak..TINY adjustments. For example, I added 1/3 of an apple to my post-workout oats today, and didn't add flax seeds. whoop, big whoop. I'm going to use another part of the apple for my big salad tonight. THAT's what I mean when I say TWEAK. If you don't already do this, try to get in the habit of it.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Friday Workout: Upper body FLAMES

Without the ability to run, I did this SICK upper body workout to break a sweat
  1. Circuit 1: Lat Pull Downs/Seated Rows --increase weight each set, go HEAVY
    1. Wide grip seated lat pull down 3sets x 12 reps
    2. Reverse grip seated lat pull down 3 sets x 12 reps
    3. Seated low row 3 sets x 12 reps
    4. Seated cross handle pull (toward shoulders) 3 sets x 12 reps
  2. Circuit 2: Bicep Curls/Overhead Press/Lat raises
    1. Bicep curl to overhead press: 15s,17.5s,20s,22.5s,25s. (15reps/12/10/8/4)
    2. Lat raises: 7.5s,10s,12.5s (15reps x2, 10 reps x2, 8 reps x2)
    3. Standing Arnold press: 15s/17.5s/20s . 15reps 12 reps 10 reps
  3. Circuit 3: Upright row/Bent over row/Squats
    1. Upright row: 20lb kbell 12 reps x2, 25lb kbell 12 reps, 30lb kbell 10 reps
    2. Bent over row: 17.5s 12 repsx2, 20s 10 reps x 2, 25s 8 reps x2
    3. Deep squats: 45 lbs 20 reps,15reps. 65 lbs 15 reps, 12 reps. 95lbs 12 reps, 10 reps.
  4. Circuit 4: Reverse Flys/Toe touches w/12.5lb dbell/Tricep dips
    1. Rev Flys 7.5s 15 reps x2, 10s 12 reps x2, 12.5s 8 reps, 6 reps
    2. Toe touches on bench w/12.5 lb dbell 3 sets 20 reps
    3. Tricep dips off bench 5 sets 12 reps
  5. Swiss Ball and Cable ham curls and kickbacks
    1. Glute raises and ham curls swiss ball 3 sets 10 reps
    2. Cable ham curls and kickbacks 2 sets 15 reps
AAAND THAT , WAS MY UPPER BODY BLAST. Sore shoulders, sore biceps, sore lats!!  Sets on sets on sets!

Running myself straight into INJURY!!

So, if you've been reading my blogs, you know I've been a running MACHINE lately. Running 4 to 6 miles at a time, quick, no problems, 4-5 times a week, awesome! Averaging at between 20 and 25 miles per week, for over a month now. Well, all good things must come to an end, right? Unfortunately, as I expected it would, my perpetual sprint has been ceased. My hip flexor FLARED up during my last treadmill session. On Thursday, after taking 2 days off running after a painful 1 mile walk-run and sore legs, I set out to conquer some distance. Telling myself to just take it easy and EASE back into my running pattern, here's what I had planned:
--40 minutes on the treadmill. Pattern= 1 min @4.0, 1 min @6.0, 8mins running between 7.0-7.5. Repeat 4 times. Well, I did that for 1 round, and just wanted to RUN. I said, okay self, let's just finish up 4 miles and call it a day. At about 18 minutes, with 2 miles done, I kept running between 7.0-8.0. After 3 miles, I decided I'd keep running until I hit 45 minutes. At the 5 mile mark, I decided I might as well run until 50 minutes. Soooo much for my easy mild run. 5.6 miles in 50 minutes, my hip flexor felt weird, but i was SO thrilled to have run some quality distance and torched major calories. I only had 10 minutes to stretch and foam roll after my run. I really needed a solid 25 minutes to focus on just my hamstrings and hip flexors and psoas muscles. Everything felt wrong, but I had to run out to catch a train to go HOME to westchester! In my frantic rush to the train, I downed a scoop of protein with some baby carrots to follow, threw everything in my huge lululemon bag, and went on the subway to grand central. with 15 minutes to spare in grand central, i got a big green apple and HUGE water bottle to drink on the train. My hip flexor was in SOOO much pain just sitting on the train and I wanted to SCREAM. LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES!!! UGH! See what happens when you DONT listen to your body? Mentally, I KNEW that 40 minutes of mild running was RIGHT for me. But my CRAZY runner/athlete side wanted to be wild and run almost 6 miles with a bad hip! Now I'm being punished by not being able to walk too fast, let alone jog or run. I'm trying my hardest to rehabilitate this hopefully MINOR injury/setback so that I can get back into my workouts. I'll keep you all posted. In the meantime, run an extra mile for me! (Unless something like your good old hip flexor begs you not to...)

Backed up!!

I've been going through some UPS and DOWNS this week.. Let me back it up for you:

Last Sunday, I moved back into my dorm in Union Square. My roommate and I were having LOTS of issues with our disgusting creature suitemates with live-in boyfriends the WHOLE first semester, and worked all semester trying to resolve the issue before going back to school. Despite my mom calling and emailing everyone at NYU, we still had to face them and live alongside their filth for the first week of the semester. My schedule was all sorts of OFF.. not eating breakfast in the mornings, sitting in class with no caffeine at 8am, walking around in the cold, returning to the SOY protein crap that I have in my dorm that makes my tummy feel weird. Overall, it was a little bit stressful to leave my absolutely beautiful and comfortable home in Westchester with my family after really getting into the swing of winter break and making myself at HOME again. Over break, I was able to dedicate EVERY MINUTE to myself and my mom's wellness. My days were all about my workouts and diet (and mom's too..) I had so much time to rest my muscles and fuel myself CLEANLY, with no distractions.
Being back in the city changes things a bit. While you might not realize, the constant walking, running errands, paying attention in class...all adds up, and takes a toll on you--mentally, and physically. Over the weekend (I went back home), I thought about why I was feeling soo tired and depleted. Well, Monday through Thursday, I ate less than usual (in my attempt to get SUPER SNATCHED,) worked out too much despite a twinge in my hip, and just exhausted myself. On Friday morning when I went to work out, I got on the treadmill, and realized there was WAY too much pain in my right hip flexor. I couldnt run at ALL! Even though my upper body was a bit sore from a previous workout, I made the best of it, and did lots of HARD and HEAVY circuits using primarily upper body muscle and abs.
One really STUPID thing I did was SQUATS. Probably did NOT help my hip flexor. But I'm re-training my squats to utilize DEPTH and full range of motion, so I just used 45-65-95lbs. I'll post up Friday's workout in another post because I did lift some pretty heavy dumbbells! Anyway,  I ended up moving OUT of that gross suite with my roommate into another room in the same building. I moved yesterday, and all the heavy lifting and STRESS and organizing drove me NUTS. My hip flexor still hurts. No gym today. Nothing. Just chilling. Getting used to my new room. Sorry for the VENT !!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Veggie Tales !

So today, I just haven't been in the mood to eat a lot. I feel a little puffy, didn't have a crazy workout lined up...so I'm taking the day off from my usual regimented eating. Instead, I am listening to my BODY, and my body wants fresh vegetables!! I had the meanest craving for a fresh green juice, so for lunch, I had this:

(Kale,cucumber,spinach,chard,celery,romaine,1/2green apple,lemon,ginger) It was SOO good. After I drank that, I drank some cold water, and cut up a heart of celery, and a yellow pepper, and ate them for lunch. Perfect and light. Then I went to pole...my first time back at the pole in a couple of weeks, and it was GREAT! I had the pole to myself, I felt strong, and did all the tricks I was doing before my break. However, I was NOT happy with the way my stomach looked in the mirror. Looking back I realize it was probably all the friggin fiber and water sitting in my tummy from just eating and drinking veggies...but ew. I did not think my tummy looked too nice today. After pole, I sat in the sauna for 45 minutes, stretching and doing ab exercises here and there. When I came back from the gym, I had a small cut up cucumber,another heart of celery, and a small red bell pepper, with about 1-2oz of tofu. And LOTS of cold water!!

 Sometimes I need days like this, mini-fasts, just to give my body a break. No protein powders, almost no soy products besides the two bites of tofu. As I type this, my stomach is already starting to feel emptier and back to normal. I'm dancing later, and have a really intense workout planned for tomorrow, so i hope my hamstring stops SCREAMING like it did all day yesterday and today. Yesterday when I stepped on the treadmill I HAD to get off after a MILE of walk/run..pathetic! But, listening to your muscles is KEY. Clearly, my hamstring wasn't in the mood to run. So I listened! Know the difference between GOOD PAIN and OVERTRAIN. 
Think you could handle an all-veggie day? Try it, you might be surprised! 


Monday, January 23, 2012

Manhattan Monday workout: An hour of fun

So today was the first day of the second semester for me, and I just moved back into my dorm yesterday. That means:
--New routine
--Crunch, not equinox
--Way less availability in terms of kitchen functionality (I had to make my oats and protein in the MICROWAVE today..)

So on this GROSS , rainy day.. Here's what I did. I didn't want to spend forever in the gym, because I'm dancing at 7:30, but I ended up getting crazy anyway.

Treadmill: (I wasn't going to run, but my legs wanted to loosen up!) Ended up running About 3.5 miles in 32 minutes..and I wanted to keep running!! The last 10 minutes of my run, I alternated between running at 7.0 and running backwards at 5.5

Circuit 1: 3 sets: 15/12/10reps, increasing weight each set
Seated low row (20/25/27.5)
Seated upright row (5/10/12.5)
seated one arm row with torso rotation (10/12.5/15)

Circuit 2: 3 sets 12/10/10 reps, increasing weight
Tricep pull down w/rope (35/40/45)
High face pull w/ rope (40/45/55)

Circuit 3: 3 sets aim for 10 reps
bicep curl w/40lb barbell
Overhead press w/15lb dbells (15 reps)
Bent over row on one leg w 15lb dbells

Circuit 4: 2 sets 20 reps
Tricep support lat dips on roman chair (think shoulder shrugs but reverse motion)
Tricep support oblique crunches on roman chair
downdog to parallel pushup (15 reps per set)

I stretched and foam rolled, and ended up burning 569 calories in just over an hour!! 40% calories from FAT! Felt GOOD to see those results after working my BUTT off for a solid hour.

NOW I'm about to go dance my butt off...and burn even MORE calories.. I've been eating enough though! All this running I've been doing, I NEED to write a blog about it. Every week I cover AT LEAST 20 miles..pretty incredible, considering the amount of things I do ALONG with that. 

What are YOU proud of yourself for?
Think about that...

Til' next time! 

Sunday's SICK workout:

So on SUNDAY, I had plans to really work on my ASS ... because all of the running just makes it TINY!! Buuuuut, before I could start my LEG and Booty work... I popped on the treadmill. Lately, I've been LOVING my runs, and not wanting to get off the treadmill AT ALL!! So, with the intention of maybe running a warm-up mile or 2, I ended up running 4 miles in 34 minutes, averaging a 7.0 pace for my run (that was including 2minutes of warming up at 4.5-6.0, and some inclines and running backwards!) I was SWEATY beyond belief! After my run, I did some circuits: 

circuit 1:
Manmakers (3x5reps, 10lbs)
Mountain climbers (30)
Leg Press (3x12 reps, 135lbs)
Lat raise (3x12 reps, 7.5s)

Circuit 2:
Frontal Raise (3x12 reps, 7.5s)
Reverse Flys (3x12 reps, 7.5s,10s)
Deadlifts (3x12 reps, 60lbs)
Bent over row (3x8 reps, 60lbs)

Circuit 3: (12/10/8reps)
Tricep pull down (30/40/50lbs)
High rope face pull (35/42.5/50lbs)

Circuit 4: 3 sets 10 reps w/10pulses after each set
Glute raises on swiss ball
Hamstring curls on swiss ball
Stiff legged glute raises on swiss ball

Circuit 5: 2 sets 25 reps
Toe touches w/12lb ball, squeezing pilates ring between ankles
Russian twist w/12lb ball
plank walks, feet on medicine ball

Did about 3-4 minutes more of strictly ab work and obliques
Foam Rolled

Done ! Burned close to 700 calories!! SICKENING! JUST what I needed to start the week off RIGHT ! 
Remember to RE-FUEL after you workout like that!! (IF YOU DO...lol) 

Saturday: RESTaurant review

Soooo despite Saturday's snow storm, I had to go into the city to meet with some of the other girls I'll be teaching Barre Pro with at Pilates Pro Works. My mom came into the city so I wouldn't have to brave the snow alone, and we planned to go to this Vegan restaurant on the Upper West Side after I was done. Sooo, if any of you KNOW me--you know I DON'T go to restaurants. If there's one thing I'm high-maintenance about, its my FOOD, and my body. I don't TRUST restaurants with my food for the most part, for fear that they'll put oil on something i DO NOT want oil on, or that they'll grease the omelet pan with butter instead of non-stick spray, or give me TOO MUCH sweat potato, etc.. I always have to know EXACTLY what's going into my food. I measure everything when I cook on my own, because it gives me COMFORT. Anyway...I don't remember the last time I want to any type of restaurant, so it was HUGE for me to find a place i WANTED to go to! 
The place:
Cafe Blossom
Columbus Ave Between West 82nd st and West 83rd

After getting on the train and trekking through the FREEZING weather and SNOW on our way from 14th street to 83rd, there was nothing I wanted more than to sit down in a warm restaurant and have a little coffee and some yummy food. I started with a decaf coffee with almond milk (YUM, only $2.) Mom and I ordered the LIVE NACHOS and RAW sweet potato rolls as appetizers.
LIVE NACHOS: Dehydrated flax seed crackers, fresh avocado, diced tomatoes. They were SO GOOD!!! 

 SWEET POTATO ROLLS: jicama, coconut noodles, carrots, scallions, avocado, mango, tomato. Wrapped in sweet potato. These were ALSO amazing..and entirely raw! After we ate those, we ordered one entree to share, which was Eggplant served 3 different ways:

1 Way (my favorite) : Grilled eggplant sliced soo thin, wrapped around bean sprouts.

2nd way: Basically vegan eggplant parm. I took the oily skin off, and just ate the eggplant inside. It came with really yummy whole and tomato puree and basil on top of it

3rd way: (I didn't eat this kind..looked kinda gross) Babaghanoush on top of crostini breads. Uhh, why wouldn't they serve this on some kind of yummy whole grain bread? I'm a really picky eater, so the spread didn't interest me anyway. I let my mom eat that. My mom and i ALSO split an order of BAKED sweet potato fries. Overall, the food was AMAZING, and I want to go back to try different things on the menu ! They have everything from steamed kale to soy bacon to zucchini noodles! Definitely something for everyone. Oh, there's french fries for the anti-health fiends out there, and cookies and cake, and milkshakes. I DEFINITELY recommend it for anybody looking for a nice, comfortable, HEALTHY place to eat with a friend. Let me know if you go!! It was amazing to not feel bloated and fat after sitting for appetizers and an entree! When we got back from the city, my stomach looked LEAN! That place gave me hope for finding places I can go with friends in the future. Not on a regular basis, but once in a while. It was a sick way to have a "cheat" meal... not really cheating though :) 

Check it out if you're in NYC ! 

Friday, January 20, 2012

100% Recovered, 100% LIZ !

So today, I woke up, had my usual breakfast, with an extra 1/2 whole grain pita for a couple of extra carbs. About 2 hours later, ready for the gym, i was feeling so ENERGIZED!! Even though my legs felt a little stiff, I had a feeling I was gonna kick ass on the treadmill. I just wanted to RUN! I warmed up my legs and spine, and started walking at 4.5...that lasted about 30 seconds before i just HAD to get moving. I forced myself to run at 6.0 for a minute, then upped it to 6.5, then 7.0...before I knew it I was back at my usual pace! Running between 7.0 and 8.0, sweating, covering lots of distance! I felt so light on my feet, felt no urge to slow down or stop running. When I hit my third mile in 25 minutes, I decided I'd do ONE more.. then at 33 minutes, ONE more...I hit 5 miles in 42:08. I definitely could have run 6, maybe even 7! But I just cooled down with some backwards running until I hit 45 minutes. It felt SO good to get that run in. I can't believe I was in the hospital LAST FRIDAY! I feel GREAT, energized, fast, and strong again. 
After my run, I decided to hit my triceps, delts, and hams and glutes. 

Circuit 1: 3 sets 12 reps, increase weight each set
-->Tricep pull down (25/30/35)lbs
-->High face pull w/ rope(35/42.5/50)lbs
-->seated one arm low row w/ rotation(12.5/15/20)lbs

Circuit 2: 3 sets 20 reps
-->Cable hamstring curl (15/20/25)lbs
-->Cable kickback(10/15/20)lbs
-->Cable lateral pulse(5/10)lbs

-->pull-up w/crunch, pike, release (5 reps for pull-ups, 10 for crunch/pike)
--hanging wide grip shoulder shrug 10 reps

plank pike/crunch, feet on swiss ball 20 reps
V-sit w/ medicine ball 20 reps
Plank walks feet on medicine ball 20 reps
Plank hold 1 min

SUCH A GREAT WORKOUT!! It feels so good to be back in action!
Hope this inspires you to go kick your own ass!! 

Sun or snow, get in a workout (or 2) this weekend!! I can't decide whether tomorrow or Sunday should be my OFF day.. tomorrow I have a pilates conference for my job..which will involve some form of working out .. 

I DO KNOW ... that I get a "cheat" meal tomorrow!! Going to a vegan cafe with my mom, and I'm NOT worrying about consuming too many carbs after 3pm...blah blah. Everything on the menu seems pretty CLEAN, and definitely yummy. I'll post pics and review it tomorrow!! 

Much love, XOXO ! 

Thursday, January 19, 2012


You know those days when you just feel HUNGRY , ALL DAY ?!?! I swear, ever since like 2pm today...I've been SO hungry, no matter what I do. Whenever I'm hungry, I down a HUGE glass of water before eating anything. If I'm still hungry, I consider what I should eat. Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger! Anyway, I had a sick workout this morning, and my metabolism was kickin' ALL DAY i suppose. Here's my workout:
started with some treadmill time! So I hopped on the tread, was warming up at 6.0...and 3 minutes in, the treadmill STOPPED. I was kinda mad, but hey at least it was only 3 minutes (.28 covered) I hopped on the next treadmill and started at 6.5. I did 2 miles in 16:30, then kept running until I hit 20 minutes. Covered about 2.3 miles. Then I headed to the weights to train with my MOM. You have NOT met a strong woman until you've met my mom. She pushes 40 pound dumbbells with no problem! Here was our strength circuit:

4 sets. Increase weights each set. Aim for 10 reps for sets 1-3. 4th set DROP SETS until fatigue

*Drop set: Start with heaviest weight, as many reps until fatigue, immediately drop to lower weight. We dropped from heaviest weight to lowest weight, about 6-8 reps per weight)

-->Bicep curl to overhead press (15's, 17.5's, 20's, 22.5's)
-->Reverse fly's (7.5's, 10s, 12.5s...couldn't up to 15s without sacrificing form)
-->Bent over row (15s,17.5s,20s,22.5s)

4 sets took a LONG time, and we were both quite fatigued. That didn't stop us! We punched with dumbbells for 30 sec on each side (I used 5lbs) TRY IT. It gets sweat dripping and shoulders and traps burning! 

I did some decline abs and oblique twists holding 12.5lbs for about 3 minutes, then hopped back on the treadmill:

--started at 6.0 for 2 minutes, then upped my speed. Finished the mile in 8:28, and ran backwards at 5.5 until 10 minutes. I walked 1 minute to cool down, and was SPENT. I stretched out, and rushed home to make mom and I's post-workout fuel:

(1/2 cup 5grain hot cereal, 1tbsp oatbran, 1tbsp shredded coconut, 1/2cup blueberries, 1 scoop protein, cinnamon, 1tsp flax seeds)-->double for 2 servings.

We inhaled our food and rushed to the SPA for deep tissue massages. (THATS another post...)

After our deep tissue massages, we stopped at starbucks. By the time we got home, it had been about 4 hours since post-workout food. I was STARVING. I ate a small serving of pistachios and made peppermint tea. STILL HUNGRY..drank more water..tummy growling. Okay...when my body is saying FEED ME, I don't ignore it!! I spread 1/4 of an avocado on a slice of sprouted multigrain bread. I was trying to satiate my crazy hunger with healthy FATS, instead of fruit (SUGAR!!) Drank more water...how was i STILL hungry? I grabbed a few more pistachios, some blueberries...guess they were calling my name, and made more tea and got the heck out of the kitchen. Thank god that's over....
NOPE ITS NOT!! 2hours later my stomach was growling like crazy. Went down to the kitchen, made MORE TEA, about 40 calories of liquid eggwhites with cinnamon on 1/2 a fiber pita (only 45 cals and 4 carbs..) Sheesh. My workout clearly revved my metabolism today.. now its less than 2 hours since that snack and my tummy is growling AGAIN. For dinner, I'm just having basic solid albacore tuna with celery over a bed of spinach and lettuce with fresh squeezed lemon. 
Even though I ate more than usual, everything was CAREFULLY selected so that I didn't stock up on carbs my body doesn't need...and according to my LOSE IT calculations, I'm still way under my daily cals due to the calories i burned exercising. So DON'T ignore hunger...try to drink a big glass of water before mindlessly snacking. If you're hungry, THINK for a minute: what foods can you choose to best satisfy hunger, without spiking your blood sugar and cravings for more carbs and sugar?! Go for healthy fats, veggies, protein, fiber, complex carbs...LASTLY SUGAR. don't start the snacking with sugar...the chances of snacking gone bad are definitely higher (in my experience, at least) if you reach for fruits and carbs FIRST. Instead, curb the hunger, and top it off with a tiny bit of sugar if you need. Keep it healthy, ALWAYS!! 

Want some snack ideas?
---1tbsp natural almond butter (or PB) with 6 celery stalks (or an apple)
---1 slice sprouted whole grain EZEKIEL toast with 1/4 avocado and 2 eggwhites
--1/2 scoop protein powder mixed with 8oz unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk
--1/3 avocado with celery and baby carrots (Raw guacamole!)
--1 bell pepper with 1/3 cup cooked quinoa inside (add 1tbsp hummus or avocado if u like)
--1/4 cup almonds or pistachios with 1/2 cup blueberries

The list is REALLY endless... goal is to combine healthy fats with proteins/veggies/complex carbs to satisfy your hunger without a full meal!! 


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A day of REST does not mean LAZY

So as part of my recovery and easing back into the gym, I took the day completely OFF exercise. My amazing mom is having a LOT of trouble with her bad knee (3 surgeries so far..) the past few days, and I made her stay out of the gym too, since she can barely HOBBLE AROUND! Anyway, the point of this post is to help you to understand that a day off can go HORRIBLY wrong if you don't plan...mainly with DIET for most of you. A day off the gym means your metabolism is likely going to be acting differently, and not getting that sick SPIKE after a tough workout. Unless its a RE-FEED day, it's important to keep your meals in line so that your food intake is spot-on, and likely a little less than on training days. Today, I woke up and made protein pancakes with 3tsp of unsweetened coconut and 1/3cup blueberries. More protein, less carbs...since I won't be torching carbs on the treadmill or with my dumbbells. Had coffee, usual, made mom an eggwhite omelet with spinach and broccoli, and a tiny portion of quinoa (Again, no workout--less carbs).. 
Despite my mom's knee condition, she still wanted to hit Woodbury commons for a couple of hours. Knowing we'd be there until about 2, I packed lunch for us so we wouldn't STARVE and wanna eat the whole kitchen by the time we picked up my sisters and got home around 3:30. I made myself a piece of sprouted whole grain bread (only 11carbs per piece) with smeared avocado and a small portion of tofu, and romaine lettuce. I made mom a small salad with chopped romaine, 1 bell pepper, 1 kiwi, 1/3 avocado, and 1/2 serving tofu. I drizzled lemon juice on it. simple, and yummy! I also chopped up a yellow bell pepper and 6 sticks of celery for the car ride home after we ate our mini-lunches.  Late afternoon, it had been about 2.5 hours since we'd eaten, and mom had some small tomatoes, and I had UNSALTED pistachios. I finally found a nut that doesn't bother my stomach, and I like the unsalted ones....I have a natural distaste for all things salty...blech. Much later, I prepared dinner for my mom and I, AND my little sister, and my Dad. I was forcing my mom to put her knee up with ice, so I took over! I made my mom and I this awesome SALAD with romaine, spinach leaves, orange and red bell peppers, alfalfa sprouts, 1/3 avocado, and lemon juice. We each had a can of no-salt tuna on top of it, made MY way (celery, flax seeds, lemon juice, carrots).. I made my little sister WILD salmon and teriyaki quinoa, over the same salad my mom and I ate. 
IF YOU SET YOURSELF UP TO EAT HEALTHY...YOU WILL ! Take PRIDE in the healthy foods you make. They should look so good you wanna take pics of them! Whenever I make something, my mom is like "wow you should upload that." Take the time to PREPARE your foods. If you're busy, do it the night BEFORE if you don't want to wake up early or spend time chopping veggies during the day. The best part about eating CLEAN is that NOTHING can possibly require much effort or time to prepare. No need to sit around marinating meat or breading chicken...Eat it PLAIN. Things are more flavorful on their own than people give credit for. Heavy dressings even RUIN the crisp flavor of cold bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and more tasty raw veggies. It takes roughly 3 minutes to take out a heart of celery, wash it, cut the ends off, slice into bite-size pieces, and package in tupperware. Just those 3 minutes could potentially SAVE YOU from being hungry, and ruining your diet with a bag of pretzels or sugary smoothie on the go. Preparing food is ESSENTIAL for sticking to your diet. When your food is THERE, there's no need to try to find something sorta healthy. You'll end up in line at starbucks contemplating whether the 140 calorie oatmeal or the 190 calorie brownie square better suits your diet. Guess what, if you're not about to work out, NEITHER OPTION works. Avoid situations like that (or more serious, like a dunkin donut craving..because apparently some people have those) by bringing HEALTHY things with you to work, class, long list of errands, etc.
 Because of my careful planning today, I kept right within the proper calorie range, ate lots of quality proteins, got lots of greens and fiber into my day, and kept my sugar intake low. I'm working out tomorrow, and getting a MUCH needed deep-tissue massage. I'll DEFINITELY be blogging about that. PREP YOUR FOOD. Slice up the veggies, prep the no-salt tuna. Tupperware is your BEST friend!! 


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Recovery: Running again

Sooo today was my second day back in the gym, and I just gave myself a 3.5 mile run to complete. I wanted to run it slow (er) than my usual fast pace, and just take the distance easy. Its been a week since I ran, and wow it makes a difference. On top of that weakness, my legs were still sore from yesterday's workout. I walked at 4.5 for 2 minutes to loosen up, started running at 6.0, then pretty much stayed between 6.5 and 7.5 for the rest of my run. I finished in 32 minutes flat. Not slow, but slow for me. I walked at 4.5, then slowed it down until I hit 45 minutes. It was a tough run overall, and I was sweating SOO much, but it felt good to cover 4.3 miles total. 
After my run, I went to the mat to majorly foam roll and stretch for about 15 minutes. I think I'll either take tomorrow off or do something extremely easy at the gym, because I was feeling some soreness towards the end of my run. When I got home, I drank a huge glass of COLD water with lemon, and made myself this:

1/2 cup 5 grain hot cereal
scoop vegan protein
2 tsp flax seeds
2 tsp unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup blueberries

I cooked the blueberries so that they were mushy, and ended up turning the oatmeal purple after I snapped that picture! I'm always yelling at people to EAT MORE before and after workouts, and then I remember that I have to yell at MYSELF to do the same. On my "Lose It" account, I track all my cals and nutrients and exercise, and end up with something like 800 net calories consumed by the end of the day. NOT ENOUGH!! I'm also focusing on really upping the variety of foods I eat, especially protein sources. Eating eggwhites three times a day is NOT okay. Those are JUST for breakfast from now on, unless I have nothing else to eat. Tonight, I'm trying out a recipe I've been thinking about for a long time, since my family loves chinese food. I'm making vegetable fried rice (optional chicken or tofu for some family members) tonight, BODY BY LIZ style. I will probably serve mine over a small portion of red quinoa instead of brown rice. I will upload pics and post the recipe tomorrow, but here's what I'm thinking of putting in there: 
1 whole egg
3 egg whites
1 cup dry brown rice (yields 4 servings when cooked)
1tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp low cal teriyaki
broccoli florets
diced red bell pepper
diced zucchini
diced carrots

--I'll prepare 6 oz chicken and 1/2 package of tofu in case anyone wants to add. I might have tofu with mine. No chicken for me!

I cant wait to try it!! Hope its a success...I'll keep you guys posted! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

On the Road to Recovery: post-Hospital visit

sooo, if you weren't aware, I was hospitalized on Thursday afternoon for just over 24 hours. Those 24 hours felt MUCH longer than that though. I woke up on Thursday morning with some weird abdominal pain and a sore back, and was really procrastinating on getting to the gym (I knew something was off at that point) So finally I ended up tagging along with mom as she went to the gym around 12 for her SECOND workout.. 
Feeling sick, but determined, I strapped on my heart rate monitor and got on the treadmill. Just WALKING, my heart rate shot up from 67bpm to 170!! My heart rate hovers around 150bpm when I'm running at 7.5! The pain in my stomach and back got worse, and I just went to sit down and try to breathe until my mom was done in her spin class. When I went to find her, I was having trouble catching my breath, my face felt heavy and stuffed up, and i was hurting. As soon as I sat in the car I had the WORST pain surge into my left lower back, near the kidney. I was having trouble breathing, and was really nervous as to what could have been happening. We were luckily in Greenwich, about 5 minutes from the hospital. My mom brought me straight to the emergency room. At that point, i was actually CRYING...like heaving with tears. That's how much pain my back was in. I felt like my lower back was on FIRE and throbbing. I couldn't sit still, it hurt to walk, I couldn't get my mind off the pain. Finally after almost 10 minutes, I was in a hospital robe with an IV in my arm and a big dose of pain killer. Soon enough, my pain eased from a level 10 to a 6 or 7 (still bad, WITH strong pain killers) and they sent me for a CAT scan, thinking I had a kidney stone. 
Turns out, there was no kidney stone. So why was I in the worst pain I've ever felt in my life? Well, they came across a 7.5cm (over 3inch) CYST on my left ovary. The weight of the cyst was likely pulling on my lower back muscles, and the excess fluid was putting pressure on places that were causing severe pain. The doctor said the fact that I'm really small made the cyst's impact greater on my system. Long story short, I ended up spending the night in the hospital, getting a dose of morphine every 2 hours just so I could bear the pain all night until having surgery done in the morning. My mom and Dad were by my side the whole time, and my Dad slept next to me overnight in an uncomfortable chair. Due to the fact I was supposed to have a surgical procedure done, I couldn't EAT anything, and was only allowed to drink water before my ultrasounds because they work best on a full bladder. I was able to have the cyst drained without anesthesia and without the labrascopic surgery, thankfully. It was an incredibly painful procedure, but only lasted about 35 minutes, and successfully drained all the fluid and immediately eased a lot of my pain. 

a little bony...
After the procedure, I got to eat and relax for a couple of hours before I was allowed to go home. My mom had brought me a nice big turkey sandwich on ezekiel bread from home, and lots of celery sticks and diet coke. That was probably one of the best meals I'd had in a LONG time. Being in constant pain for 24 hours was absolutely DRAINING, and I was pretty much advised to remain a vegetable for the rest of the weekend. And i did just that. I laid in bed watching tv and episodes of SVU all day saturday and sunday, with the exception of going down to the kitchen to eat my SO DELICIOUS Coconut milk ice cream, and refilling my cup of ice water to stay hydrated and flush the pain killers out of my system. I lost about 5.5 pounds during my stay in the hospital, and felt like a soggy cucumber laying in my bed. 4 days without working out made me NUTS, and my system was exhausted from the whole hospital ordeal. Even though I ate a LOT when i got home from the hospital, I still looked bony and gross on Saturday morning (when i snapped that pic). I continued to eat my coconut milk ice cream and lots of quinoa and yumminess on Saturday til I filled up again. I received beautiful flowers from beautiful people, and tried to give my body all the rest it could possibly need.

24 hours of THIS...
After relaxing ALL DAY Sunday, I thought I'd be ready for a workout by Monday. I was right! I went to the gym today, and um...kind of pushed my limits. As usual. I was told not to exercise for a WEEK....no thankyou! I promised myself I would take it easy but I just couldn't! I pushed past my weakness, I couldn't stand feeling like a soggy cucumber any longer! I chest pressed 30lb DBs today, a new record. Did lots of work with the weights and cables, and ankle weights, and truly exhausted every muscle group in my body (except the low back and abs...those areas are still vulnerable and I don't want to bother them.) Then the treadmill was just BEGGING for me to take a few strides. I couldn't help it. One minute I was walking at 4.5, the next thing I knew I was finishing up a mile running at 7.7mph with ease. I only ran one mile, but it was JUST what I needed to feel back on track after a tough strength training workout. I'm going to continue taking it slow, and I'm not even wearing my heart rate monitor to burn a crazy number of calories or have the most intense workout of my life. I'm just working out to regain my strength and speed, and slowly return to the animalistic workouts I was tapping into a week ago. My diet was almost perfect today, and i FED myself enough calories..unlike the few days before and during my hospitalization. I tried out a new post-workout meal today, it wasn't bad!

Post workout: (After drinking a HUGE glass of cold water with lemon)
1/3 cup 5 grain hot ceral (combo of rolled oats, barley, ground golden flax, etc)
3/4 scoop brown rice protein powder
--i made those in 5 oz water and 2oz unsweetened almond milk, and threw in cinnamon and 1tsp flax seeds and 1/2tsp vanilla extract while it was cooking. I added 2tbsp fresh blueberries. 
I made my mom the same thing. Good balance of carbs and proteins to refuel after a tough workout. Under 300 cals, Yes please! 

Tomorrow I'm gonna do some running! Still taking it easy...probably 3.5 miles of running and some walking afterwards. Not gonna take the speed above 8.0. 
Thank you to all of you who showed concern and love while I was in the hospital, it really means a lot to me!! 

Xoxo, glad to be healthy and back to the blog! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012



So, today ended up being a day of veggies...and not much else. I was too busy to eat, didn't even GET hungry. Started with my usual egg/whites/spinach/flax/ezekiel toast.. and went to the city with mom.. 

did 15 minutes of hard rowing and 5 miles FAST on the stationary bike, and did glute work with a swiss ball.. about 60 reps of bridges and hamstring curls. Then i took POLE DANCING, and had the pole all to myself...I was already warmed up from my cardio, and really kept sweating during pole! After pole, I went to take a dance class with JONTE---> 
If you DONT know who he is... I highly suggest you search him on youtube. I don't dance much anymore, and his class is one of the ONLY classes that can hold my attention and BOOST my energy and remind me why i still LOVE to dance. Just amazing. And not to mention...he gets us WORKING and doesn't stop..so there's a definite workout involved there. Class was from 3-4:30, and I started cardio at my gym at 12:25 .. So I was pretty much on the go for 4 hours. After dance, I went to JUICE GENERATION for a supa dupa greens juice: romaine,celery,cucumber,spinach,kale,parsley,ginger (I asked for NO APPLE)
I drank that super fast and went back to the train. On the train, I ate what I had packed for the DAY: sliced bell pepper, baby carrots, and fresh celery. 
By the time I got home, I needed to put something from each food group into my body to give myself some form of calories...
Here's what I ate/drank
20oz water w/lemon (was soo dehydrated...)
6 oz eggwhites with chopped veggies and flax seed frittata
1/3cup cooked quinoa
1/4 avocado (I scooped it out on celery/baby carrots)
1 apple w/ cinnamon
some blueberries

I literally had to force myself through the food...because i literally wasn't hungry! My belly still feels puffy from all the friggin veggies i had with the eggwhites, and all the water content from the celery. Tomorrow, I'm on my regular schedule, with plans to workout with TINA The fit green goddess !! It's amazing to think my belly will be flat as ever in the morning, judging by how FULL it is right now. I swear eating 100 calories in veggies can have u feeling fuller than eating 400 calories of JUNK.



Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Okay, so yesterday I stopped by Vitamin Shoppe to pick up a new brown rice protein formula. It doesn't taste too bad, and is pretty much identical to the one I was using before. Better than that soy crap (even though the soy protein tastes great.) Anyway, when I checked out, the cashier offered me a free magazine and threw it in my bag. The magazine is "Muscle & Performance," and seems to be entirely geared at men. I work out like a dude, NO ELLIPTICALS AND 3 POUND DUMBBELLS FOR ME, so I was ABSORBED in the magazine. They featured this actor Kevin Phillips, who regularly trains with various celebrity trainers. The workout plan this magazine featured is designed by kenny johnson, his regular trainer. Its a 7 day cycle, with 5 days of hardcore workouts, and 2 strategically planned rest days between "metabolic" and "cardio" workout days. On one of the "cardio" days, the task is to run one mile as FAST as possible, 5 times, with 3-5minute (or more if u need) rest in between each mile. 
WHAT?! YES, THATS WHAT CARDIO SHOULD BE. Think your snail hour on the elliptical can compare with that? One of the "metabolic" workout rounds involves an exercise called "manmakers" paired with 50 mountain climbers, back to back 5 times. There are tons of other workout segments in the magazine, and you'll hear about them as soon as I attempt them first!

Sooo, WHAT DID I DO? I combined these! I planned to do 3 one mile runs, and the manmakers and mountain climbers, followed by decline abs and hyperextensions. Let's call this my WOMAN MAKER workout!!! 

Tuesday's ass-kicking:

Treadmill: 4.5-5.5 for 3 minutes, loosened up the hamstrings so I could bust my ass in my first fast-paced mile.
1st mile -- 7:42
----walk at 3.5 til 9 minutes, rest 1 minute
2nd mile--7:40
-----walk at 3.5 til 9 minutes, rest 2 minutes
3rd mile--7:29
----walk suuuper slow at 2.5 til 9 minutes...and BREATHE for a minute
Running as fast as possible showed me that I should really be running for SPEED more often than for LUXURY. Sure, it usually doesn't take me longer than 8:30 for a mile..but ummm i can run WAY FASTER! Just over 2 years ago, I was worn out after running 1 mile at 6.0.  Enthusiasm and persistence has turned me into a treadmill monster! Talk about shredding..whew! I regrouped, and set out to conquer the MANMAKER/Mountain climber set. 
(Manmaker= holding light dumbbells, i used 7.5lbs, squat, place weights in front of feet, jump back into plank position, pushup, row right arm, pushup, row left arm, hop back, stand, overhead press. thats 1 rep.)

5 sets back to back, decreasing reps on the manmakers 5-4-3-2-1, each set followed by 50 mountain climbers, no rest unless you have to. (I had to rest 30 seconds between sets) Full pushups, NO CHEATING on form, that makes it useless! I tried to find a video of someone correctly executing manmakers, and none had proper form!

At this point, only about 42 minutes into my workout, i was DRIPPING.

--decline ab bench:
-arms overhead, lay back and use core to come straight up 45 secs non-stop
-oblique circle/twists 45 secs nonstop
-static hold 30 secs repeat twice

--Hyperextensions (only supported til below the hip, FULL range of motion) 40 reps, with squeeze at the top. WHOA my glutes and back were on FIRE

--prone bridges on heels 50 reps
--10 vsits
did some serious stretching of the hamstrings, and was SHOT.
Less than an hour later, 500 calories burned

So motivated to PUSH myself as hard as possible!! 

This chick can take on MANMAKERS any day, puhLEASE.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday workout: Jan 9th

Sooo I ran 6.56 miles yesterday, so I had to force myself to take a day off running. Here's what I did in the gym:

10 minutes levels 8-11

10 mins @ 4.0 speed. alternate between side shuffling, walking , and walking backwards 

Workout: Today was a focus on LEGS...operation GLUTES 2012

Cables: (using ankle strap) 3 sets 15 reps
--stiff legged kickbacks
--hamstring curls
--lateral cable pull

Cables: 3 sets 12 reps
--wide grip lat pull 27.5lbs
--one arm low row w/rotation 12.5 lbs/17.5lbs
--low row double pulley 20 lbs/25 lbs

Smith rack:
--one legged deadlifts 45 lbs 10 reps per leg
--reverse grip deadlift 65 lbs 12 reps
--one arm bent over row 25lb plate 10 reps per side
--10 reps hanging abs

--one legged deadlifts 45 lbs 10 reps per leg
--reverse grip deadlift 85 lbs 10 reps
--upright row 25lb plate

--one legged deadlifts 45 lbs 8 reps per leg
--one arm bent over row 25 lb plate 10 reps per side
--deadlift 85 lbs 10 reps
--bent over row 10lb plates 10 reps

--stiff legged deadlift 65 lbs 8 reps
--stiff legged deadlift 45 lbs 8 reps
--bicep curl 45 lbs 8 reps
--overhead press 20 lbs 10 reps

plank position / row 20lb kbell 10 reps per side
feet on towel, plank walk across studio 2x

Kbells: 2 rounds
Suitcase squats 20lb kbells 15 reps
Swings 20lb kbells 15 reps
10 calf jumps
lateral burpees 10 reps
30 second plank

At the end of my workout, I was really bummed to see I only burned 479 calories, but 42% were burned from FAT... which is pretty sick!! And weight training keeps your metabolism working at an increased level for 8 hours afterwards, so I guess it was a good workout afterall! I could barely walk after... 

Back at my blog, don't worry! Stay tuned for tomorrow's diet and workout!!