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stability & strength

I finally started  my day with a workout!  It has been over a week since that has happened. 🙂

I chugged some water, then got down to business with a stability/strength routine.  It is extremely important to make sure that your stability is top notch.  Not only do we use stability while we exercise, but we use it in everyday life.  Did you know that 70% of ACL (and other joint injuries) take place in non-contact events, such as stepping off of a curb?

I am a runner, and we run in a straight line (well, most of the time), so it is rare that we change planes of motion as other athletes do.  Think football players darting all over the field and changing the way that they move in a matter of seconds.  Therefore, our joints are normally not as stable as other athletes.  This also proves true for the swimming and cycling that I do!

I have been experiencing some knee and ankle pain lately, and talked to a few trainers and did research myself, and decided that I need to take a step back from strength training to stabilize my joints.  This does not mean that I need to stop lifting weights, but it does mean that I am going to lift lighter weights and do more circuit training in the coming weeks.

  • Instead of doing bicep curls, I will do bicep curls standing on one leg.
  • Instead of doing lunges, I will do a lunge + lift.
  • Instead of doing tricep kickbacks, I will do them while in a static squat.
  • Instead of doing chest presses, I will do chest presses on a stability ball.

You get the idea, right?

(Source)

These stability moves will strengthen my core, legs and arms and sometimes prove to be better for the normal person than a heavy strength routine that so many of us are accustomed to these days.

Stability is important in our everyday lives, and I want to get myself more stable in my joints in order to improve my athletic performances, and to decrease my risk of injury.  Everyone should start a new routine with stability.

(Source)

I started my new program today with the following 35 minute routine:

  • Chair squats with hammer curls (3 sets)
  • One leg squats, alternating legs (3 sets)
  • Bicep curls on 1 leg, alternating sides (2 sets)
  • Static squat with triceps kickback (3 sets)
  • Overhead press on 1 leg, alternating sides (2 sets)
  • Chest press on stability ball (4 sets)
  • Lunge and lift, alternating sides (2 sets)
  • Static quarter squat with YTA arm movements (2 sets)
  • 12 Pushups to Plank for 1 min. (2 sets)
  • Situp circuit – Vups, Bicycles, Worm (2 sets)

My legs were screaming – so. many. squats.  It was GREAT!

If your goal is to tone your muscle, and not gain bulk, make sure to lift weights s-l-o-w-l-y!  So many people bring the weights up and down so quickly, when in fact, the weights should be lowered slowly in order to engage the muscle.  Try it out, you will see results!

On to breakfast!

Oats with nut butter for post workout fuel to aid in muscle repair.

Steel cut oats with almond milk, banana and ground flaxmeal.  Topped with 1 tbsp maple cinnamon AB, 1 tbsp South America berry jam, 1 tbsp kaia chocolate granola, coconut flakes.

I actually made it look pretty today, despite the fact that I was running out the door.

Lunch consisted of more Millet Patties, on a bed of spinach mixed with pom-orange poppyseed dressing.

And, Key-Lime yogurt with Raspberry granola.

The yogurt was awesome, and more like a dessert.

Snacks included a grapefruit, dried pineapples and cinnamon almonds for some pre-run fuel.

Hopefully this rain holds off for my run!

heart thrives

A few months ago, the very generous folks at The Healthy Baking Company offerred to send me some of their Heart Thrive energy bars to sample.

Heart Thrive Bars are vegan energy bars made with wholesome ingredients.  Each package contains 2 bars (1 bar being a serving) which pack about 160 calories each, 6 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein.

From the website: Heart Thrives are delicious, VEGAN and NON-GMO energy bars.  Made with oats, soy and dried fruits, each Heart Thrive supplies 30% daily protein, fiber and calcium.  Heart Thrives are made from imgredients with a low glycemin index that metabolize slowly providing sustained energy for hours.

I ate the majority of these bars as pre and post workout snacks.  They sat well in my stomach during the workouts, and gave me the energy and protein that I needed immediately after the workouts.

They offer 7 different flavors of the bars, and all of them were delicious.  But, below are my favorites!

Chocolate

Come on?!  Did you think that I would have a favorite other than chocolate?!  I think not. 🙂  This was by far my favorite – next to Apple.  It was moist, and had the perfect amount of chocolate chips baked in.  It tasted more like a chocolate chip cookie than an energy bar.

Apple

Definitely my second favorite.  This was extremely moist and had big chunks of apple in it.  I ate the second of the 2 hearts heated up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream…oh yes, I did. 🙂

Lemon Poppyseed

This was great too.  It reminded me of a Lemon Poppyseed muffin, and made my house smell like they were baking in the oven when I heated this up.

The other flavors were great too, however, I felt like the Apricot, Date, Raisin and Cranberry all tasted very similar.  None of them jumped out at me, even though I enjoyed each and every little heart.

I would absolutely buy these again in my 3 favorite flavors.  I am always looking for healthy alternatives to protein bars for my long run days.  Check here to find out where you can purchase these Heart Thrives.  I have seen them at my local health food store!

quick eats

I started out my morning yesterday by oversleeping!  My body/mind is still exhausted from my crazy weekend in NYC, so I am all about letting it rest and recuperate so that I do not get run down.  So, yesterday was another ‘rest’ day in the workout world.

Once I got up, I was psyched to remember that I had juice waiting for me in the fridge from Liquiteria!

Grasshopper: apple, pear, pineapple, wheatgrass & mint.  YUP – this was delicious.  Not too sweet, not too minty, and I could not even taste the wheatgrass.  Why can’t the juices that I make taste this good?!

Along with my juice, I had 2 slices of Millet toast.  One slice with cashew butter and cherry jam, one slice with homemade Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter.  Honestly, this almond butter is the best thing since sliced bread.

Lunch included some leftovers from last night.  I was so happy that the recipe made so many Millet Patties because they are delicious.  And, perfect for leftovers.  They are good hot, cold, on top of a salad, as a burger, however you want to eat them.

I served 2 millet patties over arugula with peppers, cucumber and an pom-orange poppyseed dressing.

This dressing literally took 2-minutes to make: squeeze 1 orange into a small container, add a splash of pomegranate juice, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a shake of poppyseeds.  Shake up!  This will last me for at least 2 days.

Also part of lunch: Wallaby Vanilla Bean yogurt with Kaia Foods Chocolate Granola.

Yum, this might be my favorite flavor yet!  (Although, I got a tip that they have a maple flavor!!  I will be in love once I find it, I just know it!).

My afternoon snack consisted of another New York City goodie – a raw moonpie from One Lucky Duck!  Super delicious.  It was so rich and chocolaty…and huge…but, I couldn’t stop at just half. 🙂  Dessert before dinner, right?!

And, dinner was one of my favorites – Ten Minute Asparagus and Brown Rice made by Kate!

Along with a salad from Lauren which was jam packed with goodies – mushrooms, peppers, carrots, onions, radishes, dried edamame (which were delicious!).

Just as delicious as it always is.

Yum!  Thanks, girls for a super dinner!!

What a long, but great day!