Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday motivation (part 2)

Motivational pics of the week.

I wanted to make some motivational quotes of my own this week, how do you like them?  Feel free to share them, save them on your computer or smartphone, whatever.

Workouts this week:

Monday Gym, gym, gym! Upper body strength training at 6 a.m. The chin-ups went perfectly! Maybe I should consider doing this regularly. "I don't have time to work out - I MAKE time." I was actually a bit worried about waking up at 4:45 a.m., but by the time the alarm went off I was wide awake. I had to force down my breakfast; apparently I'm not used to eating at 5 a.m. :D

Tuesday Instructing a pilates class and a functional training class. One of my regular Personal Training clients cancelled Tuesday's session, so I'll have the perfect opportunity to do a 55-minute lower body strength workout in the morning. That's more than enough; supersetting sumo squats and walking lunges kills me. In a good way. I've really improved my squats: I was able to do sumo squats w/ a 90 kg barbell (4 sets of 8 reps) on Sunday. Happy.

Wednesday Gym (upper body strength) + Zumba in the park. I've noticed that I don't ever "cheat" while instructing, I give 120% of myself. I just love to instruct to a large group of people. In July I had ~250 participants in my Zumba class in the park. Pure awesomeness. This week I'll have another instructor with me - double the fun!

Thursday Time for a new InBody-analysis, yaiks! Instructing a functional training class + a deep stretching class. In other words, rest.

Friday Gym time! Lower body strength, again. I absolutely love my new program, the plyo combined with squats and lunges make me want to kill myself - in a good way. Does that even make sense? :D

Saturday Jogging (60 mins). Hope my hamstrings won't fail me.

Sunday Gymmin' away, upper body strength. My main goal is to not be able to wash my hair afterwards, with my upper body muscles sore from the workout. My arms will be totally useless for the rest of the day, ha ha.

My main focus this week is definitely food: making sure I eat enough. My smoothies are really healthy and keep me satisfied for a long time, but they are way too low in calories to keep me going all morning until noon... I'm going to have a serious discussion with myself this week.

What are you guys up to this week? Anything new and interesting?

Stay dedicated,

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Clean eating: Smoothie (part 4)


As I promised before, here comes my recovery smoothie. This smoothie serves as my breakfast smoothie, if I go for a quick workout in the morning. I feel satisfied really fast because of the avocado, the rice protein helps me build muscle mass without any additional (E-coded) ingredients. I buy all my protein powders and other dry ingredients online, I prefer iHerb or Luontaispörssi.

Clean eating: Recovery smoothie
(makes 1-2 servings)

1 ripe avocado
2-3dl blueberries
1 tbsp lemon juice (fresh)
1 scoop (30g) rice protein powder, unsweetened
2 tsp BCAA (branched-chained amino acids)(click here to buy)
1 tbsp (organic) maca powder
1 tsp (organic) lucuma powder
1 tsp (organic) raw cacao powde
1 sachet Pukka Clean Greens
1 tsp Opti-MSM powder
2-3 dl water
a pinch of unprocessed sea salt (or himalayan salt)

Place all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Tip #1 Use different berries for a change in taste.
Tip #2 Use a banana instead of avocado for a higher carbohydrate content.
Tip #3 If you haven't eaten maca or MSM before, go easy on the amounts of powder you put in your smoothie.. Both maca and MSM have a very distinct taste, which you'll learn to like. Blackberries are a nice addition to smoothies when you're learning to use MSM, since the berries cover the yuck-y taste really well :D
Tip #4 I usually carry the powders in a tiny plastic bag with me wherever I go. If I don't have the opportunity to make the smoothie in a blender, I'll blend it in my shaker (with just water; no avocado or berries) and drink it on the go. However, I use a larger amount of water and maybe a teaspoon of goji powder just to get some berry flavours in it.

Ahh, the joy of delicious food. To be honest with you, I had to get used to drinking this recovery smoothie after my workouts. I hated it at first, until I got over the fact that MSM is derivated sulfur and tastes like cr*p. I still won't drink it with water so I'll have to mask the taste with berries. I know MSM is really good for my muscles and joints (I can feel the difference!), but for some reason my taste buds don't like it... Well, let me know what you think!

Over and out.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Clean eating: Smoothie (part 3)

Good morning !

I wanted to share my most basic smoothie recipe ever. This is the base to all my weirder experiments (including beetroot smoothie, goji and cloudberry smoothie etc). This is also the smoothie I recommend to my nutritional coaching clients, just to get them hooked on berrylicious flavours (and to wean them off sugary treats in the morning). I'm really into making smoothies for recovery drinks. The consistency is a lot different, since I use protein powder and other supplements with the basic recipe. I'll reveal my secret protein shake to you some other time.

As you have seen in the previous smoothie posts (here and here), the smoothies are really easy to make. If I have a really busy morning, I usually place the ingredients in the blender the night before (and the blender in the fridge, ofc). I'm a regular multitasker in the morning: I usually brush my hair or apply my make up while the smoothie is mixing in the blender. If I'm in a real hurry, I'll pour the smoothie in a protein shaker and drink it on the go. "Fast food" ;) So no excuses for skipping breakfast!

Clean eating blueberry and strawberry smoothie (Makes 2-3 servings)

1 banana
200-250g quark
2-3 dl blueberries and strawberries
2-3 dl water
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
pinch of Himalayan salt or unprocessed sea salt

Place everything in blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
The smoothie can be stored in the fridge for up to two days.

Tip #1: As before, try using different berries and fruits: whatever you have in your cupboards. Anything goes, as long as it's fresh (or freezed) - try to avoid canned products, especially if the fruits are conserved in glucose syrup.
Tip #2: For a dairy-free smoothie, replace the quark with coconut milk, rice milk or almond milk. I'm really loving the quark, because it's packed with protein to keep me satisfied all morning. Being creative is always a plus - so keep mixing it up with different bases ! Chilled herbal or green tea works really well as a base, as you may already know.
Tip #3: If you're used to making smoothies for one, you can store the rest of the banana in the freezer. Cut it up in "coins" and place it in the freezer - it makes a delicious snack or a base for your smoothies later in the week. One option is to make a bigger smoothie and freezing it in popsicle moulds for later. Mmmm...
Tip #4: Use different sources of fiber, changing it every week. Psyllium, flaxseed, chia seeds, other seeds and brans work wonders in your GI.

I love this smoothie because I always store these ingredients at home. My freezer is always packed with berries, a few peeled bananas, grapes and spinach, I always keep quark in my fridge - and my cupboards are always filled with herbal teas.

Here's to a beautiful day!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thursday motivation (part 2)

Happy Thursday, fit people!

Just wanted to share my motivational pics of the week with you guys. As I've said before, I keep a motivational diary with pictures, quotes, exercise routines, recipes, nutritional diaries and so on.. This week I've been focusing on motivational quotes to keep me going. Here are few of the pictures from my diary.

I'm still really far from my main goal, but I've reached one of my goals for this summer (-5kg/-11 lbs in fat mass). The weirdest thing about this is that I feel absolutely amazing, I love pushing myself outside my comfort zone! I'm more motivated than ever right now. I just can't wait to sweat again!

Workouts this week:

Monday Gym, gym, gym! Lower body strength (60 mins). Feeling the burn in my buns & thighs, almost impossible to walk down a set of stairs. Had to wear baggy sweatpants after the workout, since my muscles were so pumped that I couldn't fit in my jeans.

Tuesday Pilates (60 mins). Jogging with my baby pug (60 mins) + NTC Core Crunch + NTC Ab Burner. How can something hurt and feel so good at the same time?

Jogging with miss Nuppu, the best Personal trainer ever. She never takes no for an answer, always believes in me and is actually fit for a pug ! Love.

Wednesday Powerwalking (30 mins) in the morning. Did this with an empty stomach, though I believe it had absolutely no effect on my body burning fat - I felt nauseous afterwards and had to force down my breakfast. Strength training in the afternoon (60 mins). Supersetting lower body workouts with plyo = almost passed out after 45 mins. :D I had to do some light cardio on a stationary bike for 10 mins to steady my pulse and allround feeling in my body before returning to my burpees. 60 mins of Zumba in the park in the evening. Had some real trouble moving my legs, they felt like concrete !

Thursday Deep stretching for 60 mins. Thursday means rest&recovery this week!

Friday Gym time! Upper body & core strength for 60 mins. My main goal is to do loads of chin-ups, dips and push-ups.

Saturday Swim, baby, swim. Trying to hit HIIT in the pool. Can't remember the last time I've been to the pool by myself (and not with clients). It's nice to do something different for a change :)

Sunday Deep stretching for 60 mins (i.e. rest). I'm doing two deep stretching sets this week, since my hamstrings and quads are sore from all the gym workouts I've been doing. Normally I'd do a second set of upper body strength on Sundays, but this week I'm keeping it light. Besides, it's good to have a recovery day after a HIIT workout.

What are you guys up to this week?

Have a strong weekend!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Eating clean: raw chocolate ice cream

I used to be an ice cream monster. Seriously, I could gulp down a litre of ice cream in one week - that's an enormous amount of unnecessary sugars and bad fats. I felt really bad too - my digestion wasn't exactly thrilled about the dairy I stuffed myself with. And the guilt! Almost unbearable.
I've lived without sugar since April this year, when something just clicked in my head. I realized that all my workouts so far have been wrong, my diet was totally off and my stress levels were way too high. Now I'm eating clean and I do mostly strength workouts. And I'm feeling awesome.

This is my absolute favourite cheat meal so far. My weekend treat, the best way to start a Friday night.

Raw chocolate ice cream. Pure deliciousness in a bowl. The texture feels a bit like sherbet with a taste of chocolate and banana. The taste is just divine, so chocolate-y and sweet.

Raw chocolate ice cream (makes 2 small servings or 1 big serving)

2 bananas
1-2 tbsp powdered raw cocoa
1-2 tbsp powdered lucuma
½ dl chilled green tea or coconut water

1. Peel and chop the bananas and stick them in the freezer for a few hours.
2. Put the frozen bananas and the rest of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until the mixture is a fluffy smoothie. I recommend using a lower RPM on the blender for best results.
3. Enjoy!

Tip #1: Season the ice cream in different ways. My favourites are mint chocolate ice cream (using 1 drop of peppermint oil), mocca ice cream (using a chilled espresso in stead of the green tea) or coconut ice cream (with coconut milk as the base).
Tip #2: In case you need an additional sweetener, add a few drops of stevia or honey to the mix. Lucuma is a natural sweetener (powdered fruit) - I find the ice cream sweet enough with 1-2 tbsp of lucuma.
Tip #3: Raw cocoa and organic lucuma can be bought at several webshops, my favourite is Luontaispörssi. You'll find loads of superfood in this section, click click.

//EDIT: I made choco ice cream, and satisfied my chocolate needs quite fast. Here's the result of my raw chocolate popsicles:
I simply poured the ice cream into popsicle moulds, and stuck the moulds in the freezer. I did a small experiment, crushed a few blueberries in the mix - the taste was so much lighter and more fresh than a simple chocolate ice cream. I sincerely recommend testing it ;)

Let me know what you think!


Friday, August 3, 2012

My newest addiction: CXWORX

Love doesn't need handles.

Picture source: Les Mills

My most recent addiction is the CXWORX program by Les Mills. It's a new program, launched in early 2011. I tried a CXWORX class during the Les Mills instructor quarterly workshops last year, and I loved it! We got the program a few months ago to our gym, and the participants love it too.

The CXWORX is a 30-minute program, and believe me - you'll feel the burn by the end of the first track! On a scale from one to ten (one being the lowest, ten the highest) the intensity of this workout is definitely an eight or a nine. No need for a longer workout!

It's a low impact and low cardio program, and it fits every fitness level. The CXWORX gives you a quick and effective, but really tough workout. It tightens and tones core muscles and improves your understanding of how the core works.
The CXWORX gives you a nice kick to get you out of your comfort zone. No challenge, no changes!

The workout consists both of isolating exercises (crunches, extensions) and integrated moves like hoovers and standing exercises. The integrated exercises gives you functional strength and core stability. You'll need a tube, a mat and a barbell weight to get started (provided by the gym, ofc). Bring yourselves, a bottle of water and a positive attitude and you're good to go!

Picture source: Les Mills

Describe the CXWORX class in one sentence:
"Omg I have muscles there too?"
"Feel the burn to look HOT later on.. "
"How can something that hurts so much still feel so good?! "
"I love it, I hate it, Im doing it!"
"A real killer, but it's so worth it."
Quotes: the CXWORX Facebook page.
The great thing with Les Mills classes is that the program changes every three months! New tracks, new moves, new choreo and feeling the burn in new places. Since this is a group fitness program, you'll be motivated by the people around you and feel the "group effect". As always, you should let your muscles recover between workouts. I recommend a maximum of three CXWORX classes a week (every other day).

Ok, so some of you have probably noticed that I'm easily addicted to hardcore training. What I love the most about this workout is that I can never complete it 100%. I'll always have something to work on. The hardest part with the current program is the walking hoovers - my triceps feel like they're on fire! That's what keeps me motivated.

Be proud, but never satisfied.

Have you tried the class already?

I'd love to hear your thoughts about it!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Clean eating: Smoothie (part 2)

Part two of my "clean eating: smoothie"-series. My goal is to share different smoothie recipes for clean eating and "cheat meals" - i.e. reward foods. I'd go crazy if I didn't reward myself with some delicious smoothies, home made frozen yogurts or other treats. I eat clean 90% of the time, giving myself a 10% cheat margin for each week, i.e. 1-4 meals of pure delight.

Everyone deserves a reward meal, no matter where you are from reaching your goals. Having a reward meal every now and again is good for your metabolism when you're following a strict, clean diet. Eating a high-calorie meal has your body working hard to process the food and boosting your metabolism. So endulge once in a while. No need to count calories, when you remember the facts I list below.

The main thing with cheat/reward meals is to:
  • Keep it in proportion. Don't make it a cheat day!
  • Eat at a table, focusing on your food. Once you get up, the meal is over! No snacking or refills.
  • Avoid large portions, fried foods and plain junk food
  • Enjoy!

Now, back to the recipe.... This smoothie works really well as a morning smoothie, a snack or a special treat. The fiber from the apple makes the smoothie a little thicker than usual and fills you up really well. If you find the smoothie too thick, add a little extra water to it. Chia seeds work as thickeners, so make sure you control the use of them. If you find the consistency too thick, ditch the chia seeds.

This is a dairy-free and sugar-free smoothie. Really easy to make, too. I grow the ingredients in my back yard, but in case I need to buy groceries, I always prefer organic ingredients.

I love to vary this recipe by changing the liquid part. I get easily tired of eating the same stuff, and I often use different teas and veggie milks as base in my smoothies. Green tea has a detoxifying (and fat burning!) effect on the body and gives a caffeine kick in the morning. I'm one of those people who are caffeine-sensitive, so I don't make this with green tea if I plan to enjoy it after 4 p.m.
(I didn't include soy milk in my ingredients list. Soy doesn't work well for me, but you could use unsweetened soy milk as well, if you like it.)

Clean Eating Cinnamon Apple Smoothie (Makes 2-3 servings)
2-3 dl cubed or sliced apples (I prefer tangy apples)
2-3 dl raw spinach or oak leaf lettuce
2-3 dl unsweetened almond milk, rice milk or chilled green tea
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp chia seeds
(½ tsp spirulina powder)

Place the ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Tip #1: Make this smoothie with different types of apple. For a sweeter version, you could also use pears or add a banana to the mix.
Tip #2: No need to peel the apples. Blend the apples for a little longer for a smoother texture.
Tip #3: If you like to use spirulina, make sure that you taste the smoothie before serving it! Spirulina has a funky taste, and you might want to use smaller amounts before getting used to the taste.. Spirulina is one of the world's most antioxidant-packed nutrients. It's used widely by athletes and health enthusiasts, and there's a reason for it. ;)
Tip #4: If you find yourself "too busy" to make yourself a smoothie in the morning, make it the night before. Add a splash of lemon juice to keep the apple a light colour. The spinach and spirulina are actually natural preservatives (because of the high antioxidant levels), so by using a larger amount of greens you make sure your smoothie stays fresh a little longer.

I haven't yet made popsicles from this smoothie, but I'm eager to try it sometime. Today there were no leftovers (soooo yummy!).

Have a strong day!