Past and Present

Hello there! β˜€

Although I haven’t been around for a little while, since Friday last week to be preise, and my schedule has been a bit chaotic, I still wanted to share what’s been going on.

The Easter weekend was lovely and quiet, we didn’t get up to much because my lower back had most movements quite impaired. We kinda just hung out at home and went for a little walk waddle around the block. That along with plenty of cuddles with this little guy..

20130406-141046.jpg

Mowgli also was quite the busy little boy kitten – it was his first birthday on Thursday! This means he’s not a kitten anymore and if he was human he’d be about 15 years old now! A teenager!!! 😳 Apparently.. 😊 Needless to say, he’ll always be our little baby..err – kitten! We got him a present in the shape of some premium ham.. Oooh he was delighted with himself 😻
Quite different to last June and Mowgli’s first visit to the Vet, when he wasn’t so happy (after a thorough ear cleaning and check-up), I present to you the cutest, yet annoyed little kitten

20130406-142916.jpg

Aaaanyway, on to workouts..or rather lack thereof! Argh! All I’ve been able to do is walk really. My Love and I went for a few 2.6/.7 walks around the city late at night on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but yesterday we managed to switch it up and headed out for a simple 2 miler in the morning! Woohoo! πŸ˜ƒ
My back is nearly all mended now, for the moment anyway, so I’m hoping to be back to the excitement and fun of strength training and running. πŸ’ͺ

As for this weekend- I gotta dash to work now, actually and tomorrow’s the same, but I shouldn’t and won’t complain, because they have been cutting hours at work and I take what I can get!

Happy weekend!!!
K❀

Not As Planned

This week has definitely not been going as planned, although things had been going well until about Tuesday or Wednesday.. I was working out, planning meals, snacks and all.

Tuesday was my active rest day, I had a day off work and went for a walk with my Honey, followed by the Long & Lean stretching routine from the TIU BeachBabe DVD and before going to bed, I could definitely feel my lower back niggling a bit. Typically, I ignored it, having weighed up my options (err..workout vs no workout ;) ) and got on with the Self magazine Drop10 2013 Toning workout. And – oooh, it felt good! I’m loving the new moves! My back didn’t give me any trouble, except during the last move, which I ended up modifying for the 2nd and 3rd set- basically just doing it on my hand and knees instead of my forearms and toes.

So..all well and good – until yesterday that is! I woke up with an excruciating pain and stiffness in my lower back, making me nearly instantly grumpy, annoyed and frustrated. All I wanted was to work out and, well, move around freely and without having to think about my every move.

This is how I had planned my workouts for this week (based on the Tone It Up schedule and with the Drop1o challenge in mind):

workouts march 25 31 2013

Considering the fact that I’m currently sitting here with my TENS machine attached to my back and ready for my next dose of NurofenPlus, it’s safe to say that I won’t be working out today. I’m hoping for a little walk, if you can even call it that, through town and to the grocery store. Whoop-dee-doo! ;)

Instead of focusing on the negative, I’ll try continue to appreciate the fact, that I got lucky with another holiday weekend (gotta work on the Bank Holiday Monday) off work and that I’m blessed with the most amazing and supportive Boyfriend a girl could wish for.

On this note, I’m off to live vicariously through other people’s (#TIUteam) workouts via Instagram, heehee!

Happy Easter!

K❀

Eat Me!

It’s been quite busy so far this week and it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day. I know, I know..you gotta make time..

Apart from working out, I’ve been quite organised when it comes to food..from juicing my heart out to lunches/dinners I brought to work to healthy desserts. If preparation is the key to success, I’m winning! 😊

Here’s a look at a selection of food and beverages I’ve been eating..

20130327-010553.jpg

It’s safe to say that, when it comes to breakfast, I haven’t been very adventurous lately..just your ordinary amazing porridge with different added extras..always made with unsweetened Almond Breeze and cinnamon, then topped with, mmh, well, let’s see..- banana, chia/sunflower/sesame/pumpkin seeds, PB or AB, but always sprinkled with more cinnamon! πŸ˜‹
On other mornings, or pre-workout, I typically make a green juice. This usually consists of carrots, apples, pears, spinach, kale, ginger and lemon/lime..if I feel like it (or haven’t run out of it) I add beetroot and cucumber. Yummy!
As for tea or coffee- one or the other is always essential.. be it black tea with almond milk, green tea, chai or vanilla roiboos tea, an almond milk latte or a “blended” iced latte (coffee+almond milk+vanilla extract+ice cubes=wizzed together in a blender).

20130327-010611.jpg

Err..speaking of predicable – chicken, chicken and more chicken.. oops! I actually had a vegetarian salad with falafel at work on Sunday, which went undocumented, but I can assure you it looked and tasted delicious.
Aaaanyway, so apart from the chicken, red cabbage and kale has featured quite heavily on the menu these past few days – because both just rock my taste buds! The Boyfriend is quite the fan too..win-win!

20130327-010626.jpg

Mmmhh – desserts! Dried pineapple..can I even count the ways..!?! It’s just so..so..so delicious and nutritious aaaand addictive ..read:dangerous! I kinda feel the need to state that I only eat the unsweetened kind, cos otherwise what’s the point! Plus, I tried the sweetened one only once and didn’t like it.
Then there were a couple of new discoveries .. alcohol-free vanilla extract! Amazeballs! Perfect for adding to yogurt/cottage cheese, coffee..anything that isn’t baked really. Like Greek yogurt..nom! 😊
The second new find -the Green Glow smoothie (desserts), which is based on Tone It Up’s recipe, only I added almond milk instead of coconut water. So, yes- that’s a super delicious dessert that’s good for you. Dreams do come true! Hehee!

And with that, I’m off to dream about the “Green Glow” dessert..gotta buy some avocados tomorrow.. πŸ˜‹

K❀

Lets talk about RPE

When it comes to cardio workouts, one of the most common mistakes a person can make, especially when they are new to exercising in general or to that particular exercise, is failing to measure the intensity of the workout. After all, giving it your all right from the start can leave you feeling burned out or injured and when you’re not working hard enough, you might wonder why you aren’t reaching your goals and making any progress.

So let’s have a quick look at a popular way of measuring the intensity of your workout without the need of fancy or not so fancy, well – basically any, equipment or particular skills. Hooray!
How do I do this you ask? All you need to do is, while working out, or just walking from A to B, to estimate how hard this current form of activity feels to you, on a level of 0(sitting/laying down, i.e. complete rest)/1 to 10.
Level 1 being very light activity, such as standing or pottering around the house, as opposed to level 10, which would mean you’re racing your arch rival to the finish line. 😀

The chart below (based on Borg’s modified scale) is a good example of the different levels

20130319-191919.jpg

While you either need a heart rate monitor (which is still a very important and valuable tool – I can’t imagine running without my Garmin) to measure your heart rate or otherwise need to stop and take your pulse, at least with thinking about how hard the workout you’re doing feels to you, you can adjust as you are, quite literally, going.
It’s also great because it’s tailored to you and only you.. your level 7 might be a 10 min/mile, but that could be my level 9. = you’d be able to go on for longer and this would be our last run together. 😜

HIIT workouts often don’t give you information on the speed you should complete an interval at, but how hard it should feel to you. Which is why with this way of gauging the intensity you can still work with different speeds, but -again- work at 8mph and rest at 5mph, might be either to easy or hard for you.

While we’re on the subject of HIIT – I have a date with my treadmill and the “WildEngineRevver” from the Self magazine Drop10 Challenge and K&K. Happy weekend!

K❀

Get Ready for THAT Bikini

Happy Wednesday !

We’re halfway through the week already, how did that happen, eh?! I guess the long, extended weekend for St. Patrick’s Day, or any other Bank Holdiday weekend, always make the rest of the week fly by.
Not much, apart from work, some workouts and a bit of juicing, has been happening around here. Although, speaking of workouts, it felt so good to exercise after hardly moving on Monday. I might have been a little bit hungover..😳 ahem..

Karena and Katrina posted the workout schedule here, but here’s what my workout plan looks like for this week (pretty much the same 😊):

20130320-113150.jpg

This is the Self Drop10 BikiniBody workout in detail:
Do these 8 moves, for 3 sets:

> The Ballerina Chop (abs, butt, thighs) x12
> Kick It (triceps, back, abs, butt, hips, thighs) x12/alternating legs
> Tummy Tucker (abs, obliques, shoulders, back, butt) x12/side
> Complete Curl (biceps, abs, obliques, back, butt, hamstrings) x12/alternating legs
> Skinny Dip (triceps, abs, butt, thighs) x12/alternating legs
> Power Press (chest, abs, hips, legs) x12
> Bridge Burner (back, chest, butt, thighs, hamstrings) x12/side
> Reach and Squeeze (back, obliques, butt) x12/side

And now for the LivestrongWoman “ToneItUpTuesdays” BikiniBootcamp

20130320-125824.jpg

You can find more details, including the printable here and the video here.

Now it’s time for some HIIT on the treadmill and along with the SummerSlim workout (TIU&LivestrongWoman) afterwards. I’ll be back on Friday with a post on RPE.

K❀

Happy St. Patrick’s Day or just March 17th

Well, what’d ya know – it’s March 17th!

20130317-134000.jpg
(Source image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)

That can only mean that on this day in the year 45 BC, in his last victory, Julius Caesar defeats the Pompeian forces of Titus Labienus and Pompey the Younger in the Battle of Munda.
On 17. 3. 1776, during the American Revolution, British forces evacuate Boston, Massachusetts, ending the Siege of Boston, after George Washington and Henry Knox place artillery in positions overlooking the city. As well as, on the same day four years later, in 1780, still in the midst of the American Revolution, George Washington grants the Continental Army a holiday “as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence.”
To this day, in 1805, the Italian Republic, with Napoleon as president, becomes the Kingdom of Italy, with Napoleon as King. All but 56 years later, on the same day, in 1861, the Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946) is proclaimed.
Meanwhile, in Nauvoo, Illinois, USA, on March 17, 1842, the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is formed.
Later, during the 20th Century, in the year of 1948, the Benelux States, France, and the United Kingdom sign the Treaty of Brussels, a precursor to the North Atlantic Treaty establishing NATO.
South Africa, 17. 3. 1992, a referendum to end apartheid in South Africa is passed 68.7% to 31.2%.

Aaand then, of course, somewhere between Julius Caesar defeating Pompeian forces, the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius being born and passing (17. 3. 180), on this day, in the year of 460 AD, Ireland’s patron saint, St.Patrick died. He had a busy life, that one.. πŸ˜‰ How he found the energy to chase snakes into the sea, and banish them from the island, after fasting for lent, is beyond me, but who am I to argue with history and legend.

So here we are, I’m certainly ready for today’s shenanigans.. Which shall quite possibly include a drink or two, watching the parade, sampling a selection of local artisan foods and whatever else today may bring!

20130317-125653.jpg

Whether you’re celebrating or not, have a very happy and wonderful Sunday, March 17th, 2013 aka Saint Patrick’s Day! πŸ€

KπŸ€

Toning It Up

Wow, how is it the middle of March already..?! Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, which marks four months until our summer holiday. Even though it’s not a beach/sun holiday but rather an active, round trip that will take us to a different place every day, lots of time will be spent in the great outdoors and hopefully plenty of physical activity and I wanna improve my fitness and hopefully take my body to another level, not only for this upcoming vacation, but also for life. 😊

Since I love, love, loovvvvve the Tone It Up girls, Karena and Katrina, and the whole lifestyle they embody and motivation they provide for so many women – and possibly a few fellas? – out there, I’ve been taking inspiration from their weekly workout plans since the start of the year when the ladies launched their L❀ve Your Body series. These plans were so popular, they decided to continue posting them each week. Hooray! πŸ˜€
At the moment, I’m using their workout schedule more as a guideline and following it depending on how I feel, cos listening to your body is so very important (as hard as that can be-sometimes you gotta switch of your head that’s telling you that you must workout, etc.) and how much time I have (well, you gotta make time..). Here’s week 2 of the Spring Fling schedule.

Here’s what my workout plan for this past week looks like

20130316-215354.jpg

A few notes – the “Sweet 16″ and the “Plateau Buster” HIIT workouts are from the Self Magazine’s 2012 Drop 10 challenge, which Karena and Katrina were, and still are the trainers for.

20130316-221831.jpg
(Source)
You can sign up for this year’s challenge here, it launches next Wednesday, 20.3.! Who’s excited?!πŸ˜ƒ
Tone It Up have also been partnered up with LivestrongWoman since early last year and have been bringing “Tone It Up Tuesdays” to an even wider audience since then.
The 3-move “Love Your Legs” workout is part of that series.
Tomorrow, Sunday, is supposed to be the day to Run It Out as per “Sunday Runday”, but my back has been at me again since last night, so I might just make it a “Sunday Walkday”.☺

Now I’m just about ready to relax for the evening, before my Love and I will be diving right into the crowds for the festivities tomorrow.

K❀

The Little Things

Monday… *groan*… Not over here though! I’d like to say that I’ve been having a happy and quite productive and “random” Monday so far. I’m currently sitting on the sofa,with a happy, purring kitten on my lap, eating my, quite late, lunch.

20130304-164547.jpg

That would be a gluten/wheat/sugar free cheesy bap (from The Quay Co-op Bakery in Cork) topped with a Edamame dip (from Tesco πŸ˜„ hehee), as well a hot cup of Vanilla Drink Me Chai. Holy yum!

Let’s start from the beginning though. Given the fact that I’m off today and we’re nearly out of dry cat food -exciting stuff, I know! ;) – I was planning on taking a trip to the pet shop today (because there’s only 2 shops anywhere near us that stock Mowgli’s Royal Canin food).
Anyway, the Boyfriend had to work a bit later today, so I thought I’d join him on his journey to work and kill two birds with one stone – spend a little bit more time with my Love and get cat food at the same time, as one of the pet shops is in the same town in where he works. Yay! πŸ˜€It’s the little things that make a difference and can brighten your day.
Another example- a walk on a cold, breezy day. Two and a half miles to be precise.. just wonderful!
It made me feel refreshed, relaxed and invigorated.

Next on the agenda: shopping..
So, naturally, I couldn’t just walk in and out of the shop with just the food, but also picked up a couple of new toys for our little bundle of energy.

20130304-170653.jpg

Needless to say, Mowgli loves his new “buddies” already.

On my way back through the city, knowing that I needed to pick up another few items, I popped into a health food store, the Quay Co-Op, really just to buy some cinnamon..πŸ˜‹ One essential ingredient that I usually always have in my kitchen, but ran out of it a few days ago! Shock! Horror!
Now, all is good again

20130304-173312.jpg

All of this might just be run of the mill, nothing out of the ordinary, but then I found something worthy of it’s own post (ok, obviously not) ..

20130304-173837.jpg

Yes, I’m talking about Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almond Milk! πŸ™€πŸ˜ƒ And to put the cherry on top, they stock not just the “original” aka sweetened kind, but also the unsweetened and chocolate ones! Holy shmoly! Oh-ehm-geee! I actually wanted to hug one of the ladies in the store and couldn’t help but comment on the fact they are now stocking it! As far as I know the Quay Co-Op is the only stockist of Almond Breeze in Cork! To say I’m delighted might even be an understatement. *happy dance*

Other things I picked up:

20130304-174818.jpg

Yummy Chocolate Chai Tea and a Vanilla Chai drink ( which is powdered and more of a treat rather than a drink to have on a regular basis).

20130304-175236.jpg

Apple Cider Vinegar, another essential ingredient!

20130304-175436.jpg

Ginger and irish-grown baby beets! How cute are they!? I only bought a few, because I’m still not into beetroot as much as I’d liked to be. So here goes another attempt trying to make myself love them, as listing all of the beets’ health benefits hasn’t worked.😜

Well, that’s all for now, I’m off to run a couple more errands and then I have a date with my Spring Fling ..with the lovely ladies from Tone It Up.

20130304-185221.jpg
(Source)

Although I don’t live in SoCal, today it’s time for me to HIIT the Beach along with some Cowabunga. πŸŒŠπŸ‘£β˜€πŸ’ͺ😊

K❀

Thank you, Kitten!

“What greater gift than the love of a cat?” – Charles Dickens

20130301-013334.jpg

Thank you, Mowgli, for being in my, in our, life! I’m so grateful for your company, unconditional love, trust and comfort, the fun and excitement you bring to every moment of every day! Thanks for “training” us to your liking and convenience :-P and your unique character. Thank you, for the happiness and joy you bring, your affection. And thanks for turning your daddy into a cat person! :D

“Sleeping together is a euphemism for people, but tantamount to marriage with cats.” – Marge Percy

Thanks, Mowgli, for keeping our feet/back/neck warm at night and your lovely purr for a wake-up call in the morning! Thank you for listening to me and occupying my lap whenever you get a chance ❀ and for your curiosity, the constant entertainment and letting us entertain you!

“Gentle eyes that see so much,
paws that have the quiet touch,
Purrs to signal “all is well”
and show more love than words could tell.
Graceful movements touched with pride,
a calming presence by our side
A friendship that takes time to grow
Small wonder why we love them so.” Author Unknown

K❀