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 πŸ˜‰ ) 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! πŸ˜‰

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❀

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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

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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 😊):

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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

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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❀

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

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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.

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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.

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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! πŸ˜‰ – 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.

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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

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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) ..

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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:

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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).

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Apple Cider Vinegar, another essential ingredient!

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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.

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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❀

Thursday Inspiration

Thursday Inspiration

The weekend is getting closer..hooray! But instead of wishing your life away, procrastinating and pondering whether you should work out, make a healthy meal, apply for that new job, take that leap of faith.. – Just do it! πŸ™‚ Because … Continue reading

Supplement Shopping plus discount code

Hello hello! πŸ™‚

Well, it sure has been a while..yet again.. since my last post, but to make up for my absence I’m gonna share a special πŸ˜‰ discount code for iherb.com

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Iherb offer “one of the largest selections of high quality nutritional products in the world” with well-known, leading brands, great value (such as multi-buy discounts) and fantastic shipping options, ranging from same day delivery in the USA to international delivery to about 150 countries (with great rates – iherb would be my first port of call for delivery to Ireland as it’s offer cheaper and better value in terms of shipping rates and $-€ conversion also).

So if you need to stock up on some nutritional supplements or other goodies, why not make sure you get an extra $5 off your first order. (Unfortunately it doesn’t apply if you’ve ordered from iherb before, or you could pass it on to a friend, order with them and share shipping costs with them too!)

What are you waiting for?! Head on over to iherb.com , fill your cart and enter MUH985 at the checkout !

Happy shopping!
K❀

Disclaimer: I was not sponsored nor in any other way endorsed by iherb.com, I’m simply choosing to share the discount code with you πŸ™‚

Sweat:On!

Good Morning!

The weekend over here was off to a good start, with a Tone It Up Booty Call which consisted of a 5 minute run to warm up, followed by Karena & Katrina’s Fine Toning Arm Routine.

fine toning arm routine tiu livestrong women

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Instead of doing the 3 rounds back to back though, I added a 5 minute run after each circuit and cooled down with a 10 minute walk. My cooldown would usually only last five minutes, well – depending on how intense the workout was, but today I felt the need to stretch my legs out a bit more. The final touch was a proper stretch of all muscle groups πŸ™‚ happy days!

After sweating it out, I was sooo ready for breakfast..

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Mmmmhh, porridge made with skimmed milk and cinnamon, topped with ground flax and banana plus more cinnamon! I could eat this every day, and I’m not ashamed to say that I often do. Although, Peanut Butter is sometimes added to the bowl of deliciousness, which makes this even more amazing. β™₯ I hope I’m not the only one that gets this excited about oatmeal.. πŸ™‚

In other news, as planned my honey and I went Christmas shopping yesterday and I’m happy to report we didn’t just purchase 60% of all the presents needed, they are now also wrapped already! Whooohooo!

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There’s just something about wrapping presents that makes me feel all christmassy inside, that and an open fire, hot cocoa, mulled wine, baking…Β  Unfortunately, we don’t have a fireplace in our apartment and I have yet to have mulled wine this year, maybe tomorrow though as I’m off work and there’s a small Christmas market with stalls selling all sorts of goodies, well worth a visit I reckon. Next Tuesday will be my last chance to bake some cookies before the big day as I’ll be working straight through until late on Christmas eve. Something or rather someone else making me feel festive is Mowgli.

I couldn’t resist the other day when I saw a Santa collar, it was cheap and even if he couldn’t stand it all, I wouldn’t have wasted more than a couple of €’s. Well, he loves it! Mowgli’s never liked any other collar, so he might be running around as Santa Paws all year. πŸ˜‰ Now the little munchkin wasn’t in the mood for photographs this morning, so you’re just gonna have to take my word for it, until I can provide you with the goods.

For now, it’s time to get ready for the madness at work, β™₯

This or That?

Well, how about another day that didn’t go as planned – Wednesday, I’m looking at you! As I was a bit all over the place yesterday and had planned, and failed, to take pics of all my eats for my first WIAW – What I Ate Wednesday – post, I thought I’d take a detour and do a little This or That? – survey instead, but health and fitness style! πŸ™‚ So, how about it…to the questions, which have been floating around the blog world for a while.

    • Run/workout in the heat and humidity or snow and freezing temps?

As much as I’d like to say heat/humidity and therefore, usually, running during the summer, this is Ireland and we only really have two seasons – winter and something else, with some humidity thrown in. So, should I run outdoors, I’d prefer the cold!

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    • Have washboard abs or flat abs?

I’ll take a bit of both πŸ˜€ please! Start with flat abs and work up to a ‘something’-pack.

    • Dr Oz or The Doctors?

Dr Oz! There’s just something about him, he makes a lot of sense.

    • Cardio or Strength?

Cardio is my energizer, though I love strength, especially coupled with cardio in a circuit.

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    • Cravings: Protein or Carbs?

Ooohh, protein wins every time.

    • Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper?

This is a difficult one, I like them both.. ok, Jillian cos I find her more intimidating. πŸ™‚

    • Frozen Yogurt or Ice Cream?

FroYo! Which for some strange reason isn’t that popular here yet. I love some natural frozen yogurt with fresh raspberries and slivers of almonds or nut butter. πŸ˜›

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    • To train: Upper body or Lower body?

Both, I love weights for the upper body and bodyweight exercises for the lower half.

    • Protein powder or foods with protein?

For the sake of trying to eat unprocessed foods, it’s gotta be the latter. I do like to bake and cook with protein powder though!

    • Lunges or squats?

How about a side lunge with squat and side leg lift, on of my favs!

    • Sweet or salty?

Sweet and salty together, yummy! Sandwich the two slices below together and it’s perfect πŸ™‚

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    • Workout attire: cute or comfy?

It’s gotta be a combination of both, cos I can’t choose, heheee.

    • Body Pump or Heavy lifting?

I’ve never attended a Body Pump class, heard lots about it and would love to try it.

    • Yoga or Pilates?

Pilates, I’d love to get into yoga too.

    • Nike or Adidas?

Errrhm, Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Lululemon, UnderArmour, and whatever fits, looks and feels great.

    • Running on the treadmill or outdoors?

Our treadmill lives in the spare room and is one of the best investments ever! The pavement is fine, if you live somewhere with good roads/streets and neighbourhoods in general.

    • Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s?

The day either store comes to Ireland will be amazing, it’s probably never gonna happen, but a girl can dream. If I lived in the US, the novelty factor alone of being able to shop in either, I wouldn’t care if it was Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

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    • Summer or Winter Olympics?

London 2012 was amazeballs, but I also have fond memories of watching figure skating, hot cup of cocoa in hand, cuddled up to my mum on the sofa.

    • Exercise classes or exercise videos?

Exercise Videos and DVDs, from these ladies in particular

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    • Steamed veggies or roasted veggies?

Roasted veggies are my love, the flavours are amazing!

Until soon, β™₯

Link Love

Today’s Tuesday..which means it’s exactly 2 weeks until Christmas day! yay! πŸ˜€ I can’t believe it’s so close and to say I’m organized would be a lie. Uh-oh.. but- this Friday I shall finally dive head first into the crowds and buy most, if not all, presents in one go. For today though, I thought I’d share some links to carefully selected sites with you πŸ™‚

Here we go..

Something to decorate cupcakes & co
Sprinkles

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How to Make Sprinkles for Cupcakes

a boredom busting cardio workout
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Fitnessista’s HIIT and Steady Cardio workout from October

delicious Holiday Brunch ideas.. especially this tasty-looking Kale salad
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Kale Salad with Dates, Parmesan and Almonds and other Holiday Brunch Recipes

super cute workout tees
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Eat Clean Train Dirty and other awesome workout tanks and tees from FiredaughterClothing

a protein pancake recipe…mmmh
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Shine Or Set’s Protein Pancake recipe

Tips on mastering the most daunting (for some) workout moves
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Tips on How to Master Any Workout Move

 

Enjoy!β™₯