Salad Monster

For the past 3 days I’ve had the same lunch : veggie brown rice sushi and pineapple. Weird? Maybe. But it works – I stay full longer, snack less & have figured out the perfect ratio of insulin for best blood sugars in a while.

I will become sick of this combo soon enough...I go through phrases.

Last phrase was a salad with newbie star : strawberries! Then all of a sudden it sounded like a dreadful idea. The thought of salad for lunch sounded like torture.

Until tonight. Stuck at the office I got to order in and I decided it was time to try a new salad place on my list. Now when people tell me they had a large salad I scoff. My regular small order puts theirs to shame (something about ordering out? restaurant portions?

{ Well except for maybe this one, I believe her.}

Tonight was the winner!

Holy salad!20110330-095354.jpg

Do you get salad burnout?

I usually keep my salads “dry”. Not only do I leave off the dressings during lunch but I stick with simple tastes like red peppers or edamame and carrots. I love fruit in my salad and mandarin oranges usually dress it up.

Tonight’s recovery ingredients were roasted Brussel sprouts {seriously, why do more places  not offer this??} & dried cranberries {Not sure how those got in there, try to leave them out for the sugar (rather it in M&Ms after) but tonight I went with it, sans guilt….and then had M&Ms …)

Side note: there’s been a major increase in discussion about being healthy in the office, especially in the guys.

What are your favorite salad mix-ins?

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Gyming Jamming

The gym was packed last night. I usually don’t get there until at least 7:30 but a PT session had me walking in an hour earlier. Whoa….so there’s one advantage to always working so late. The locker room was a crowded steamy mess. Even all the tables in PT were taken. When I walked back out on the floor the machines & weights were still bumping. Lots of people. I hopped on the Elliptical for some light cardio, testing out my knees. When time was up, I took one look at the crowded mats and headed home.

I do this often. I rock out on the cardio and then flat line once stretching is over. I’m terrible at strength training. I don’t follow plans and I lose all direction. I tell myself that I’ll go home and “finish” in my apartment – putting those weights to use and following magazine guides. Only I never do.

I come home. I sit down.  I’m done.

I can’t wait to start classes again, someone to push me.

{for the record – that’s what every wall squat feels like to me. so not a fan}

Do you follow a strength training plan? Do you ever promise yourself you “finish” part of a routine later …and then never do?

On the flip side {yeah I went there} I managed 4 different exercises while reading blogs tonight.. Whoohoo.  Already failed my 12am goal for bed, lets see if I can make 12:30

Chorus…RUN!

While I did always want to run away from chorus class {I lip-synced throughout middle school & being a goody two shoes still got me an A}, this isn’t about my lack of vocal talent {and yes you won’t actually hear the words coming out of my mouth during Happy Birthday}.

Remember how I mentioned my crying tight legs yesterday? Well you may have asked your self what caused my legs to act as if they’ve never been stretched in their life {I know I did}. You know, since I’m not actually running at this point.

CHORUS INTERVALS!

I get 30 min of Elliptical. And since we’re trying to build my quads I realized a little resistance challenge would be beneficial over my standard beating the numbers game. So insert chorus challenge – during the chorus of a song I “sprint.” I know, I know, I’m not the first to come up with this idea, in fact I’ve seen it numerous times.

It worked. Sort of. Apparently my Rebecca Black tendencies go beyond just singing. I definitely didn’t always match up to the chorus but I didn’t care! I got the general idea & followed the pulse.

I didn’t focus on the numbers. Didn’t care if my calories burned beat yesterday’s or if I was boosting my dailymile log. It was a mix of letting go and pushing through. It was my first session where I felt “back in the game” – I felt strong.

How easy is it for you to let go of the numbers? What helps?

Where it all began…..as a benchwarmer

It all started with intramural soccer in 5th grade. My bff was the only other girl on the team. When team sports opened up in 7th grade and soccer was first officially introduced, I jumped to join and continued straight through until I left for college. We were the underdog sport of the school, rarely winning games. I blame this on a rotation of new coaches each year.

Spring came and I was introduced to Lacrosse. The cool new sport made up of field hockey champs, tennis stars and soccer misfits. While the program started the same year, pushed by a leading coach we would  go on to win games and build a team. Fall of senior year I injured my MCL , not as hardcore as an ACL and no surgery required so I conditioned to join my Lacrosse team that spring for my final season. I made it half way through the season before re-injuring and unofficially becoming the scorekeeper/cheerleader/team mascot {as girl on crutches – try holding a lacrosse stick while on those}.

Now here’s the funny thing : from the start I was always a benchwarmer.

I was afraid of disappointing and gave it my best effort but I didn’t have the confidence to push myself. I had the get of jail free card of being able to go off to the side to do a blood test when I didn’t feel well….I probably would be doing a lot less blood tests these days.

It was my first session of PT that year that helped me listen to my body, discover its strengths and find my self motivation. It was my first round of gym sessions and pushing myself. One-on-one with the treadmill.

Picking up yoga that summer continued to teach me how to pay attention to my needs & strengths.

Picking up {my addiction to} health & fitness blogs refreshed this sense of motivation, challenge, inspiration and community. All things that became stagnant after college. It took personal stories, triumphs, lessons and following for me to realize that a 10k wasn’t just for the hardcore {dare I say – even 1/2 & full marathons became a realistic dream??}. That sometimes it’s ok to walk on a 3 mile run. Most importantly….sometimes you need to walk after those first 3 miles in order to complete the rest of your 10k. It’s not “all or nothing”. It’s “give it your all but nothing is more important than what your body is telling you.”

And with that, I’m jumping off the bench, I’m ready to get in the game.

What high school sports did you play? Were you a benchwarmer or a super star?

IT’s tiiiight

So there’s a difference between rock hard muscles & rock tight muscles. Did you know that? Because apparently I didn’t – until yesterday.   Though my legs felt dense & solid and made me believe that they were just showing off as super strong, I realized that they were actually tight, very very tight. There’s a difference between sore muscles resulting from a good workout and muscles cranked tight like a wind up toy.

Needless to say, since no matter how many groupon or living social deals are offered, a massage is not part of the plan & my legs were crying for some attention. Even my hot date with the foam roller (that’s the cool way to spend Saturday night isn’t it?) wasn’t enough.

The Stick Travel Stick

And then I realized. I realized the lure of The Stick. To be honest, when I saw it mentioned on blogs I thought it sounded a little informational-y. Foam Roller vs. The Stick? Basically accomplishing the same goal right? Why would you need both? The Foam roller looked a lot more natural and versatile.  The Stick looked like it might sit in the bottom of a basket with my jump ropes {really? I thought I’d be jump roping in a NYC apartment?}.  Plus, at least $30 for something that looks like a child’s toy? Or a rolling pin? Eh…

I was wrong. I was so very wrong. I’m in love all over again. I’m cheating on my Foam Roller. FR {don’t think I can pull off  giving them names} will always be there for deeper support but TS is my spring fling. It doesn’t demand my full attention {wonder what the roommate is going to think as I walk around rolling TS all night}, can meet my needs any time {have I mentioned small NYC apartment?},  is willing to travel and helps losen me up. Plus it works wonders as a foot masseuse.

Now, I’m still trying to accept the costs of PT & fitness {yeah, no one really warns you that you’ll soon want to be shopping for new gear the same way you were looking for Friday night dresses and Saturday night heels, only you’ll find it much easier to justify the costs …like $25+ for foam}. So while I definitely tried to shop around for the best deal, I’m also learning that there’s some things worth investing in. As I sit here intermittently rolling & typing, I can tell you – so far it’s worth it. To go from legs that felt like the might snap from tension with a sudden move to be able to coax them into release …it’s worth it.

I have to give credit to Theodora & Tina, after seeing their devotion I headed over to google for a little research before crying uncle & ponying up for the purchase. While the FR really helps with my IT band issues, TS really helps target each part of my legs {yeah inner thighs & glutes – I’m looking at you}.

Now that the legs are a little looser it’s time to go attempt some yoga to really work this out.

What toys help you with injury treatment / prevention ?