Monday, January 26, 2009

Phase 3: days 22 to 28

Am feeling a bit stressed about the amount of work I have to do at the moment (have two jobs on the go) but want to keep posting as it's great for keeping me accountable and helping me to see where I'm going. So for the time being I'm going to do one post for the week and update it each day, rather than doing one post per day.

Date: Mon 26 Jan
Sleep: 11pm-7.30am (8.5 hours) Bathroom at 1.00am (1L water before bed)
Weight: 61.6
Lifestyle cardio: walk TJ to park
Training: Workout B (hang snatch, military press, Russian twist, prone row)
Recovery: 30-min yoga DVD after walk; hot/cold shower after training
Water (not including workout drinks): 3/3
Food: 6/6


Date: Tue 27 Jan
Sleep: 12.30am-8.30am (8 hours) Worked till 10pm, then couldn't sleep.
Weight: 61.5
Lifestyle cardio: none
Training: Intervals (swimming, 1 lap fast, 1 lap slow for about 15 mins) Forgot how much I enjoy swimming. Will have to do it more often.
Recovery: none
Water: 3/3
Food: 6/6


Date: Wed 28 Jan
Sleep: 1am-7am (6 hours) Couldn't get to sleep - hot!
Weight: 61.7
Lifestyle cardio: walk TJ to park
Training: rest
Recovery: 30-min yoga DVD after walk
Water: 3/3
Food: 6/6 Hungry today. Favourite meal = dory with cashew pesto, and sauteed eggplant and red pepper


Date: Thu 29 Jan
Sleep: 11.30pm-8am (8.5 hours) Great sleep. Feel asleep on couch with air-con on.
Weight: 61.5
Lifestyle cardio: walk TJ to park
Training: Workout C (box squats, pullups, hanging leg raises, cable rows to neck) Trained in 43-degree heat and managed pretty well - squats seemed much easier than last week.
Recovery: hot/cold shower after workout - good!
Water: 3/3 (not including workout drinks)
Food: 6/6 Hungry until afternoon then had workout (lots of carbs)
Favourite meals:
Omelette with fetta, red capsicum and eggplant
Grilled dory with a salad of sweet potato, red capsicum, eggplant and spinach, plus grapes


Date: Fri 30 Jan
Sleep: 11.30pm-6.30am (7 hours) Didn't sleep that well. Woke up with sore shoulder from doing cable rows to neck. Not helped by taking dog for walk this morning.
Weight: 61.6
Lifestyle cardio: walk TJ to park
Training: HIIT (sprints, 45s on, 135s off x5)
Recovery: 30min yoga DVD; accupuncture for shoulder
Water: 3/3 (not including workout drinks)
Food: 6/6 Hungry


Date: Sat 31 Jan
Sleep: 11.30pm-7am (7.5 hours) Woke with a bit of a headache.
Weight: 61.4
Lifestyle cardio: walk to coffee shop and back with Rob and TJ
Training: off
Recovery: none
Water: 3/3
Food: 4/6
Off-plan meals:
skinny latte, protein shake, nuts
super vege supreme pizza on cauliflower base, glass of chardonnay

Favourite meal: omelette with mushrooms, olives, red capscicum, eggplant and fetta cheese


Date: Sun 1 Feb
Sleep: 11.30pm-6am (6.5 hours)
Weight: 61.7 (not so hungry yesterday since no training. Didn't go to bed a bit hungry like I have done lately)
Lifestyle cardio: walk to cafe in Brunswick and back with Rob and TJ
Training: off
Recovery: none
Water: 2.5/3
Food: 5/7 (Had a repeat of meal 2. Not starving but was an alternative to the chocolate and chips being eaten around me)

Off-plan meals:
small juice, bircher muesli (made me hungry!)
homemade beef schnitzel, broccoli, glass of pinot noir

Favourite meals:
chicken salad with spinach, tomato, cucumber, fetta cheese, pumpkin seeds, and olive oil, flax oil and balsamic dressing
beef schnitzel

Weekly Summary
Sleep: average 7.4 hours.
Weight: average 61.6kg
Lifestyle cardio: walked 6 days
Training: 15min intervals 2/2, weights 2/3 (planned to do a session on Sunday but ditched it in favour of starting Phase 4 on Monday)
Recovery: three 30min yoga sessions, two hot/cold showers, one accupuncture treatment
Water: 20.5/21 = 98%
Food: 39/43 = 90%

Pretty happy with most things this week. Just need to keep working on sleep. Want a minimum of eight hours, preferably 8.5.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Phase 3: day 21 of 35

Date: Sun 25 Jan

Sleep: 1am-9.30am (8.5 hours)

Weight: 62.1, down 0.1

Lifestyle cardio: walk TJ to shops

Training: HIIT (sprints: 45s on, 135s off x5)

Water: 3/3 (plus workout drink)

Meal compliance: 6/6


Weekly Summary
Sleep: average about 6 hours. Trying to be asleep by 10pm isn't really working since Rob doesn't usually get home until 9.30pm. So have rearranged my schedule so I go to sleep later (11pm) and get up later (7am).

Weight: average 62 (TTOM)

Lifestyle cardio: walked 6 days

Recovery: 1 hot/cold shower. Not enough time spent on recovery this week. Trying to do yoga in the afternoon isn't really working so am going to try going back to doing it in the mornings.

Exercise: weights 2/2, 15 min intervals 2/2 = 100%

Water intake: 20/21 = 95%

Food: 40/43 = 93%
Happy with off-plan meals as they were all healthy:
-Organic beef burger (no bun), mashed coconut cauliflower, glass of pinot noir
-Yoghurt, protein powder, cocoa, walnuts, cherries, frozen into 'icecream'
-Greek chicken salad, glass of chardonnay

Thoughts: Happy with consistency of exercise, food and water intake. Need to clean up my act with sleep and recovery. New schedule to tackle this:
7.00-7.30 up, eat M1
7.30-8.15 walk
8.15-8.45 yoga
8.45-9.00 turn computer on, make tea, check and respond to work emails
9.00-4.30 work (eat M2, M3, M4)
4.30-7.00 get ready for gym, walk to gym, train, walk home, shower, cook
7.00-7.30 eat M5, do household chores
7.30-8.30 work
8.30-9.30 personal internet time
9.30-10.00 eat M6, catch up with Rob
10.00-10.30 read in bed
10.30 lights out
11.00 sleep

Yes, I am a control freak!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Phase 3: day 20 of 35

Date: Sat 24 Jan

Sleep: 12.30am-7am; 6.5 hours

Weight: 62.2 (extra meal yesterday). Seems I spoke too soon about not getting my period.

Lifestyle cardio: walk TJ to shops

Training: off

Water: 3/3

Meal compliance: 6/6

increase banaba to 3 caps per day

My Top Five

Inspired by Nicole's post

- cheese (eat it daily)
- flourless chocolate cake
- D'lush gluten-free chocolate biscuits
- ice cream/gelato, especially caramel Magnums and pistachio gelato
- licorice allsorts

- venison
- beef
- prawns
- kangaroo
- salmon

- asparagus
- broccolini
- carrots
- red peppers
- cauliflower

Starchy Carbs
- sweet potato, especially gold sweet potato from New Zealand
- chickpeas
- pumpkin (in things like soup, curries and omelettes rather than by itself)
- bircher muesli
- fruit bread (Potts brand, with apricots and dates in it)/hot-cross buns

- cherries
- figs (fresh or dried)
- apricots (fresh or dried)
- white nectarines
- royal gala apples and crunchy green pears

Friday, January 23, 2009

Phase 3: day 19 of 35

Date: Fri 23 Jan

Sleep: 9.30pm to 7am, 9.5 hours (shut the animals out of the bedroom)

Weight: 61.6, down 0.4
Think my 'phantom period' is finished. Was feeling a bit down and had chocolate cravings last Friday, I was tired over the weekend (body using up extra energy at this stage of cycle) then had water retention Monday to Thursday like I usually do at the start of my period, but nothing else actually happened. Woke up this morning and knew I'd dropped the water before I got on the scales. Had more definition in shoulders, arms and through midsection. Yay!

Lifestyle Cardio: walk TJ to park

Training: workout A (deadlifts, bench press, external shoulder rotation, barbell rollouts)
Awesome workout. For something different, I am using a machine like this one for deadlifts at the moment.

So hands are to the side rather than in front of me. Did six sets on that (4 reps, 3 reps, 2 reps at submax weight, then 4 reps, 3 reps, 2 reps with max weight). Then same set up for bench press. Got someone to keep an eye on me for my last set of bench press, but he gave me too much 'help' and I ended up doing 5 reps. Apparently it was 'all me', LOL (grrrr).

Had Surge again today but split it into three drinks (pre, during and post workout) and had a Dairy Digest tablet before each. No digestive issues this time, apart from a few burps.

Water: 3/3 (plus workout drinks)

Meal Compliance: 7/7
Ended up having an extra meal this evening (repeat of meal 2) as I was pretty hungry from my workout.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Phase 3: day 18 of 35

Date: Thu 22 Jan
Sleep: 11pm-5am (woke at 4am to check time); 6 hours
Weight: 62, same again (realised I didn't have sweet potato after HIIT yesterday but had a massive serving of veggies at next meal). Feeling a bit tired today and think it could be from missing starchy carbs (as well as lack of sleep).
Lifestyle cardio: none (had to be at audition at 7.30am then crashed on couch when I got home)
Training: off
Water: 2/3 (a bit cautious early on as I didn't want to be going to the bathroom every 10 minutes)
Meal compliance: 5/6
Food tasting at audition (a few bites), then leftover Greek chicken salad and glass of chardonnay.
Short and sweet today. Going to bed now.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Phase 3: day 17 of 35

Date: Wed 21 Jan
Sleep: 11pm to 6.30am (interrupted at 1am by Oscar); 7.5 hours - feeling better today
Weight: 62 steady as she goes
Lifestyle cardio: walk TJ to park. Prefer going a bit earlier when there's no traffic around and it's quieter but I needed the sleep this morning.
Exercise: HIIT (sprints 30s on, 90s off) Maxed out the treadmill - yeah!
Water: 3/3
Meal compliance: 6/6
A bit yawny and hard to concentrate after yoghurt and protein powder (15g pea protein, 10g whey) for second breakast. Will try reducing whey and if that doesn't help, switch to goat yoghurt.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Phase 3: day 16 of 35

Date: Tues 20 March
Sleep: 12.30pm-5.30pm, 5 hours. This is not enough and my body is tell me so (sore glands in throat today). Going to bed earlier tonight.
Weight: 62, up 0.2 (not surprising really after two off-plan meals yesterday)
Lifestyle Cardio: walk TJ to park
Exercise: workout C (box squats, pullups, hanging leg raises, cable rows).
I've decided I like training at 3pm. I feel pretty alert then, and it's before the gym gets too busy.
I ran out of Vitargo today and had some Surge. Love the taste but after drinking it my stomach ballooned up and was a bit sore, from the whey I think. Will look at some other options tomorrow, and may get some allergy testing done soon.
Recovery: hot/cold shower - actually felt really good in this hot weather!
Water: 3/3 plus workout drinks
Meal Compliance: 6/6

Phase 3: day 15 of 35

Date: Mon 19 Jan
Sleep: 12am-5.30am, 5.5 hours 
Weight: 61.8, up 0.5 (the carbs have arrived); total down 0.9
Lifestyle cardio: walk TJ to shops in the AM and PM
Exercise: rest
Water: 3/3
Meal Compliance: 4/6
Rob came home today after being away for about 10 days, so used up some of my meals with him.
-Organic beef burger (no bun), mashed coconut cauliflower, glass of pinot noir
-Yoghurt, protein powder, cocoa, walnuts, cherries, frozen into 'icecream' (eaten while he was having his chocolate biscuits)
Two banaba a day from today.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I apologise if anyone was offended by my last post. It wasn't written in a negative spirit. A lot of my posts are notes to myself, as I try to understand how my body works. I'm still learning.

Best wishes to everyone as they enter the competition season.


Why sugar isn't good for ME

First posted 10am Monday 19 January
Edited 10pm Monday 19 January

My gene test shows:

  • I am at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes.
  • My body is not very good at converting free radicals to non-harmful molecules.

So, what does sugar do?

Sugar creates free radicals

In addition to the more well-known effects on teeth, sugar may also be bad for your blood vessels and many other areas of the body, according to a new study from the University at Buffalo.

  • The study showed that excess sugar in the bloodstream stimulates the generation of free radicals.
  • In blood vessels, free-radical damage causes an accumulation of plaque that can lead to blocked arteries and cardiovascular disease.
  • According to the researchers type II diabetes is associated with an increase in free-radical generation.
  • source

    So if I want to lower the risk of disease and inflammation, and slow down the aging process, it's important for me to limit the amount of sugar in my diet.

    Goal for this Week

    Bed by 10pm

    Sunday, January 18, 2009

    Phase 3: day 14 of 35

    Date: Sun 18 Jan

    Sleep: another 10 hours (interrupted at 2.30am by Oscar)

    Weight: 61.3, up 0.1. Interesting. Guess my body needed the carbs after two lower-carb days. Expected weight to be a bit higher than that this morning. Sometimes it can take two days for carbs to show up on scales, so will 'weight' and see what tomorrow brings.
    Total down 1.4

    Relaxation: walk TJ to park.

    Training: HIIT (sprints: 45s on, 135s off x5). I was aiming for RPEs of 8.5/10 and 5/10 for each phase. Out of interest I checked my heat rate about halfway through my workout, at the end of a sprint phase, and the end of a walk phase. I used the hand sensors on the treadmill, so don't know how accurate they are, but I got 155 after the sprint and 120 after the walk, so I'm working at 65% to 85% of maximum heart rate when I do these. Might try and measure heart rate for the shorter interval sprints next week.

    Water: 3/3 (plus workout drinks)

    Meal compliance: 6/6


    Weekly Summary
    Sleep: average 7 hours - need to go to bed earlier!

    Weight: down 1.1kg since Monday.
    Possible reasons:
    - three days off training this week, and I chose to have low-carb meals for dinner on those three days
    - added some supplements on Wed (fibre drink with flax seeds, fenugreek seeds and chlorophyll; banaba extract; R-ALA)
    - had lots of tuna this week because it was too hot to cook
    - not much coffee or sweetener
    - more water

    Relaxation & recovery: walk daily, 1 x 30-min yoga session

    Exercise: weights 2/2, intervals (15 mins) 2/2 = 100%

    Water intake: 19/21 = 90%

    Food: 39/42 = 93%
    Happy with off-plan meals as they were all healthy: two salmon meals, and yoghurt, protein powder and nuts

    - Should have waited until the end of the week before adding in supplements, as it makes it harder to assess what is responsible for the weight loss.
    - Morning yoga has slipped a bit this week as I've been busy with work. Think I might try and do it on rest days at the same I'd normally do weights or HIIT, since that time is already scheduled for exercise, and then I can do longer sessions too.
    - Skin is improving - don't know if it's from taking out wheat and sugar (always helps but not sure which is the culprit) or increasing water, or both. My workout drink lately has been Vitargo (barley starch) so no sugar there either. It's nearly finished so will be interested to see if replacing it with something sugary like Surge makes any difference to how I feel.


    Decision Day
    Have been following this plan for two weeks now, so time to assess and see if I want to make any changes. Rob isn't here to do my measurements but I've lost body fat (mostly from upper body) and I'm guessing lean mass has stayed the same or decreased slightly. Scale weight has decreased 1.4kg.

    Training is going to stay the same for now (weights every third day, two HIIT sessions a week on non-weight-training days). I'm going to keep food on weight-training days and HIIT days 'as is' as that seems to be working well. On rest days I don't feel like I need much in the way of starchy carbs, so I'm going to try cutting out the sweet potato at dinner. So now my menus will look like this:

    Weights day (every third day)
    M1: egg whites, whole egg, beans, veggies, cheese, fruit, fish oil
    M2: yoghurt, nuts, protein powder, Vital Greens
    M3: lean protein, salad, nuts, oil dressing, fish oil
    M4: lean protein, salad, nuts, oil dressing
    Weights (protein and carb drink)
    M5: lean protein, veggies, fruit, rice & sweet potato, fish oil
    M6: egg whites/protein powder, fruit, oats/quinoa

    HIIT days (2 x per week)
    M1-M4 as above
    HIIT (drink with BCAAs, glutamine and Vital Greens)
    M5: lean protein, veges, fruit, few nuts, sweet potato, fish oil
    M6: egg whites, whole egg, fruit, cheese

    Rest days
    M1-M4 as above
    M5: lean protein, veges, fruit, few nuts, fish oil
    M6: egg whites, whole egg, fruit, cheese

    Will reassess in two weeks.

    End of mega-post, LOL.

    Saturday, January 17, 2009

    Phase 3: day 13 of 35

    Date: Sat 17 Jan
    Sleep: 10 hours (one 'pit stop'). Needed that sleep!
    Weight: 61.2, down 0.7. Most of that is probably water weight since I haven't trained the last two days and starchy carb intake has been low. Will be interested to see where it settles tomorrow after training and carbs today.
    Total down 1.5
    Relaxation: walk TJ to park
    Training: workout B (hang clean, military press, DB row, Russian twists) A bit frustrating today as some weights too light but the next size up too heavy to get out the amount of reps I wanted to do. Will look into getting some plate mates.
    Water: 2/3 (plus workout drinks)
    Meal compliance: 6/6

    One for Lia

    Thought this fit in nicely with Lia's Sgt Evil post

    Friday, January 16, 2009

    Phase 3: day 12 of 35

    Date: Fri 16 Jan

    Sleep: 6.5 hours (solid) So Oscar wakes me up, then goes to check his bowl to see if he has food (grrr). But at least it was 10 minutes before I was due to get up anyway.

    Weight: 61.9, down 0.3; total down 0.8
    Go the salmon, LOL

    Relaxation: walk to park. Kinda worried about this other big lab we keep seeing (don't feel relaxed about having TJ off-lead around him). Might have to change my route.

    Exercise: had the option of doing my HIIT this evening or Sunday and opted for Sunday. Feeling a bit 'blah' today. Took TJ for another walk instead. That put me in a better mood.

    Water: 2/3. Still a litre to go before bed. That's what happens when I feel 'blah' - not so motivated.

    Meal Compliance: 5/6
    Feel like it's coming up to that time of the month, what with feeling a bit down today, plus craving some chocolate. Walked TJ to supermarket this evening to get a few bits and pieces and put some Lindt dark choc in my basket. Walked around the supermarket with it while getting other stuff, then decided I'd rather have some chocolate yoghurt and nuts instead. So went home and mixed up 200g organic natural yoghurt (not low fat), 15g pea protein, 10g vanilla whey hydrolysate (not so bad on my tummy and adds a bit of sweetness), 2 tsp cocoa and 25g of chopped walnuts. Yum! Plus had some steamed cauli. Am just not hungry for carbs on days I don't do weights/HIIT. A few legumes in the morning seem to see me right for the day. So meal not compliant because my plan has carbs in the evenings at the moment. Will fix that next week.

    Thursday, January 15, 2009

    Phase 3: day 11 of 35

    Date: Thu 15 Jan

    Weight: 62.2, up 0.1; total down 0.5

    Sleep: 3.5 hours (not enough!) Didn't go to bed until about 1am since I napped after my workout. Got woken up about 4.30am by Oscar. I tried to get back to sleep but started to get hungry so got up. I will make sure his food and water are full and he has access to outside before I go to bed tonight. If that doesn't work I might have to try shutting him out of the bedroom so I can get a decent sleep.

    Relaxation: walk to park

    Exercise: none. Too tired from lack of sleep and workout yesterday. Lay outside in the sun instead (and just about fell asleep)

    Water: 3L done. Having two cups before each meal seems to work.

    Meal Compliance: 5/6
    Had the rest of the salmon and broccolini, and some apricots. Think I know how I'm going to change my plan next week...

    My take on Mexican beans and eggs for breakfast this morning:

    Make omelet made with 1/2 cup whites and 1 omega 3 egg.
    Place on plate. On one half layer spinach, warm refried beans, grated mozarella and salsa.
    Fold 'empty' side over the filling and enjoy.

    Phase 3: Day 10 of 35

    Date: Wed 14 Jan

    Sleep: 8 hours (broken). Took me a while to get to sleep last night after checking my phone messages and finding out I've been selected to audition for a TV show (sorry, can't give any more info than that for now). Then I was woken a couple of times during the night by the cat. Think he was having a bit of trouble dealing with the heat.

    Weight: 62.1, down 0.1; total down 0.6

    Relaxation: walk to park with TJ. Stinking hot even at 9am. Much prefer going earlier but couldn't get out of bed this morning.

    Exercise: Workout A (deadlifts, bench press, cable external rotation, BB rollouts). First real training day of this phase after finding my maxes last week. Training is heavy with low reps (wave loading). I was absolutely exhausted by the time I finished my workout. Came home and got straight into bed. Only got up a bit later to get something to eat. Am having two days off between each workout to give myself plenty of recovery.

    Water: 3L plus workout drinks, easy peasy when it's hot

    Meal Compliance: 6/6

    Sultanas are back on the menu! I stopped eating them for a while as they seemed to be a trigger food but I think it was probably the other food I was having it in that was the problem (wheat-based cereal). Have been cooking up quinoa flakes with sultanas for one of my PWO meals lately and it's GOOD!

    Have added back in a few things I was taking last year: fibre drink (ground flax and fenugreek seeds, chlorophyll; banaba leaf extract; R-ALA)

    Tuesday, January 13, 2009

    Phase 3: day 9 of 35

    Date: Tues 13 Jan
    Weight: 62.2kg
    down 0.2
    total down 0.5
    Sleep: 6.5 hours (heavy). Was woken at 6am by furry alarm clock. Could have slept for longer but decided to get up so I could take TJ for a walk before it got too hot.
    Relaxation: walk
    Exercise: off
    Water intake:3L done. Tried to have 2 cups before each meal today (x6 = 3L), so I didn't have to finish a litre before going to bed! Plus it was warmer today so I felt more like drinking.
    Meal compliance: 5/6
    10% meal - salmon and broccolini, grapes. Perfectly healthy (and yummy!), but my plan was to have lean meat, sweet potato, veges and fruit.

    What I'm basing my meals on this week:









    romaine lettuce





    cherry tomatoes










    Am going to try making Heuvos Rancheros (Mexican Eggs and Beans) for breakfast in the morning. I love breakfast!


    Monday, January 12, 2009

    Phase 3: day 8 of 35

    Date: Mon 12 Jan 
    Sleep: 6 hours (deep) After going to bed at 8.30 last night, I woke up at 2.30 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. Got up at 3am and got started on my day.
    Weight: 62.4kg (water retention in legs this morning from yesterday's workout)
    down 0.1
    total down 0.3
    Relaxation and recovery: walk TJ around lake; yoga
    Exercise: HIIT sprints (30s on, 90s off 8x)
    Water intake: 2L down, 1L to go, as of 8.50pm (plus 1L during training) 
    Meal compliance: 6/6
    Awesome day today despite the early start. Had time to make breakfast (pumkin, leek and fetta omelette again - yum!), take dog for walk, do yoga, have second breakfast and meet my 9am deadline for work. Nice stress-free way to start the week! Got started on next batch of work and began to feel a bit tired by midday but didn't want to have a nap as I knew I wouldn't get to sleep until late tonight. Got my second wind in the early afternoon and then spent some time on the Precision Nutrition website and a bit of time in the sun hanging out washing, both of which put me in a great mood, and then I went to the gym to do sprints. My fitness is definitely improving as they are feeling easier each time I do them. Rest day tomorrow - just as well as it's supposed to get close to 40 degrees. My fruit and vege box is arriving tomorrow too - looking forward to see what I get this week. OK, going to sign off now, put my feet up, read and finish my water. Ciao!

    This Week's Goal

    Like Lia, I like having a visual goal. So here is mine for this week:

    Drink 3L of water (plus workout drinks) each day

    Having them premeasured like this means I will be able to track how I'm going.

    Sunday, January 11, 2009

    Phase 3: day 7 of 35

    Date: Sun 11 Jan

    Weight: 62.5kg
    up 0.1
    total down 0.2

    Relaxation: walk TJ around lake. He was a bit growly with another big lab, so I had to try and wrestle his lead onto him before anything happened. That got the heart rate up!

    Exercise: workout C (box squats, pullups, cable rows, hanging leg raise)

    Meal compliance: 6/6

    Weekly summary
    Weight: hasn't changed much (down 0.2kg since Mon) but legs and stomach are looking better so number doesn't phase me
    Relaxation and recovery: walked daily, yoga 3x
    Exercise: weights 3/3, intervals (15 mins) 2/2 = 100%
    Meal Compliance: one extra meal on Mon (weights day), 1050-cal 'treat' instead of meal 6 on Wed (rest day)
    Thoughts: Once the first two weeks of this phase is up, I might replace the evening starchy carbs on rest days with an equivalent amount of nonstarchy veges (eg instead of 75g of cooked sweet potato I can have 300g of cooked cauli). That should keep me nice and full and get my metabolism going a bit more. In the meantime, my goal for next week is to increase my water intake. I'm going to aim for 3L plus workout drinks.

    OK, it's 8.30 and I'm off to bed. Feeling a bit worn out after only five hours sleep last night (up late then woken early by the cat), plus trying to find 1RM for box squat today. Managed 70kg OK but got a bit cocky and bumped it up to 80 and got stuck. Oops.

    Phase 3: Day 6 of 35

    Date: Sat 10 Jan

    Weight: 62.4kg
    down 0.2kg
    total down 0.3kg

    Relaxation & Recovery: walk to shops, yoga; walk to beauty therapist (waxing, not so relaxing, LOL)

    Exercise: off

    Meal Compliance: 6/6
    Rob is away and I've got lots of work on at the moment so I've been keeping pretty quiet, making it easier to stick to plan.

    Favourite meal today:
    Pumpkin & Leek Omelette
    - 1/4c leftover pumpkin roasted with garlic, diced small
    - 1/4c thinly sliced leek
    - 20g organic feta, diced small
    - 1 omega 3 egg and 1/2 c egg whites, beaten together

    Place first two ingredients into preheated omelette maker.
    Sprinkle cheese on top then pour eggs over and cook until golden brown.
    Season with salt and pepper and serve (I had mine with 1/4c organic baked beans followed by some fruit)

    Saturday, January 10, 2009

    Phase 3, Day 5 of 34

    Date: Fri 9 Jan

    Weight: 62.6kg
    up 0.3kg (higher carb day yesterday due to training, but stomach looking flatter again)
    total down 0.1kg

    Relaxation: walk to shops to get dog food

    Exercise: sprints (45s on, 135s off x 5)

    Food Compliance: 6/6
    Favourite meals:

    Meal 5
    Kangaroo mini-roast, sweet potato, ratatouille (sauteed garlic, onion, mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash and tomatoes - lots of colours!), orange

    Meal 6
    Banana Omelette
    - half an over-ripe banana
    - sprinkle of cinnamon
    - 75g unsweetened ricotta cheese (I used Lemnos organic)
    - 1 whole egg
    - 1/2 cup egg whites
    - sweetener, if desired

    Mash banana, cinnamon and ricotta in a bowl. Mix in eggs and sweetener (if using).
    Pour into omelette maker and cook until golden brown.
    This slightly overflowed the omelette maker so I may use a little less ricotta or a smaller banana next time.

    Friday, January 9, 2009

    Kick-Ass Power Foods

    extract from Strategy for a Kick-Ass 2009 by Krista Schaus

    The harder you train, the more you need to refuel, replenish and revitalize the body. You build a kick ass physique with high quality nutrition. Incorporate these power foods into your kick-ass nutritional plan for 2009.

    This super-vegetable is very high in carotenoids, which neutralize free radicals in the body. Pumpkins are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which may help prevent the formation of cataracts and reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a serious eye problem than usually results in blindness.

    Besides antioxidants, pumpkins also have a lot of common nutrients, like iron, zinc, and fiber. One serving of pumpkin will give you five grams of fiber: important for bowel health, and will make you feel fuller longer.

    Pumpkin is the low-carb, low-calorie king of the squash family. One half cup of canned, unsweetened pumpkin puree contains a measly 40 calories and 7 grams of carbs. You can sweeten it with some vanilla Metabolic Drive, if you like.

    Add the puree to oatmeal, protein pancakes or smoothes. Steamed pumpkin is nice diced in salad or as a side dish with chicken. The possibilities with pumpkin are endless!

    The dark purple berries of the Amazonian açai palm are rich in essential oils, vitamin E and C, contain up to 33 times the antioxidant content of red wine grapes, and have a robust flavor redolent of unsweetened chocolate.

    Açai's mineral spectrum is also complete, making it an essential food for the active individual who needs to replace and restore minerals lost during intense training. It also contains high levels of glucosamine, which can help protect the joints and rebuild as tendon and joints.

    Free-Range Meat
    Want to improve your physique without changing another single habit? Switch from commercial ground beef to organic free-range beef, bison, elk and venison.

    Free range beef is higher in protein and iron, and has nearly four times more CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) than commercially-sold grain-fed beef. Don't drain the fat, it's the most nutritious part of the meal!

    Free-range meat is leaner and lower in saturated fat, comparable to chicken and turkey, and naturally lower in calories than commercial beef. Not to mention that it tastes way better. Free-range meat should definitely be on your shopping list in 2009.

    Chia Seeds
    Chia seeds are even higher in omega-3 fatty acids than flaxseeds, but unlike flaxseeds, they can be stored for a long time before going rancid, and they don't have to be ground in order for the nutrients to be digested and absorbed.

    Chia seeds are packed full of nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, niacin, zinc, and lots of fiber, and vegetarians will also appreciate that they're a valuable protein source. They're also hydrophilic, meaning they can hold large amounts of water. With this in mind, this is not a power food you want to consume the week before a physique contest.

    Add chia to your oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt and cottage cheese. You can also combine it with ground flax to replace bread crumbs as a topping on chicken or as a fiber supplement.

    Krista's Homemade Omega Fiber Supplement:
    In a mason jar, combine:
    1 cup ground flax meal
    1/2 cup hemp seeds
    1/4 cup chia seeds

    1 tablespoon twice daily with water, greens supplement, glutamine and probiotics will do wonders for your system. Add a scoop of the homemade omega fiber blend to your Metabolic Drive and Superfood protein shake, and you now have a super-complete meal.

    Low in fat, high in protein, and loaded with essential minerals, clams are nutritional powerhouses. They're the number one source of heme iron, which is iron bound to a non-protein compound. Found only in red meat, poultry, fish, and seafood, heme iron is much more easily absorbed by the body than free iron.

    Clams are also an excellent source of vitamin B12 and copper. These three nutrients help the blood deliver oxygen to working muscles.

    Swiss Chard
    According to the Worlds Healthiest Foods, "if vegetables got grades, then Swiss chard would be one of the valedictorians."

    Swiss chard has lots of vitamin K, A, C, E, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron and dietary fiber. It's also a good source of copper, calcium, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, protein, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, folate, biotin, niacin and pantothenic acid.

    Swiss chard resembles beet greens, with a more distinct salty-sweet taste. Rainbow chard is the most nutritionally diverse due to the rainbow of stem colors such as red, orange, yellow and purple. Chop it and sauté with butter or olive oil, red and green onions and garlic, for a super power food combination.

    These seeds aren't technically grains, although they can be eaten like them. They have little or no gluten, are easy to digest, and are high in fiber, protein, and micronutrients like iron. Pseudo-grains are great if you're carb-intolerant, or on a cutting, leaning or paleo-type diet.

    • Red quinoa, unlike its blonde cousins, doesn't taste like dirt. Boil one cup of quinoa in two cups of water, add cinnamon, stevia leaf powder, and chopped fresh ginger for a yummy and nutrient dense breakfast option or post workout meal.
    Stir in a scoop of rice, whey or vegan protein powder, and 1/4 cup natural yogurt for a perfectly macro-combined meal. Quinoa is the only grain product that is a complete protein. Try flaked quinoa instead of oatmeal.

    • Amaranth can be prepared and served the same way as quinoa. It has the consistency of couscous or tapioca when cooked, and is a nice alternative to oatmeal in protein pancake recipes. It also has twice as much calcium as milk, more proof that you can get your calcium without a cow.

    • Wild rice is a water grass seed, not really a rice variety.

    • Buckwheat is a relative of rhubarb. It's very dense, and good in breads, muffins or pancakes when mixed with other lighter flours.

    • Spelt is an ancient species of wheat, virtually unchanged since about 5000 BC.

    • Kamut is another ancient wheat variety.

    No pseudo-grain is better than another. Add all of them to your new arsenal of nutritional superstars.

    Krista's Super Pseudo-grain Pancakes
    1 cup egg whites
    1 whole egg
    1 scoop Metabolic Drive vanilla protein powder
    1/2 scoop pea protein
    1 cup cooked amaranth or quinoa
    1 tsp chia seeds
    1/2 tsp each of cinnamon and molasses
    Mix ingredients together in a blender and fry like a pancake, flipping when bubbles appear.

    Legumes comprise the larger family of peas, beans and lentils, and are full of soluble fiber, which has been shown to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels while also improving the body's ability to utilize insulin.

    Legumes are packed with nutrients as well, such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and folate. Extremely low on the glycemic index, legumes are an excellent source of healthy carbohydrates that provide long-lasting energy without elevating insulin levels.

    Highest in protein and lowest in starch, lentils are the most nutritious and beneficial of all legumes. Prepare red, green, brown and yellow lentils for maximum nutrient density. Canned variations will do in a pinch, but for maximum nutrients, soak and cook your own.

    Peas and beans can also be enjoyed in protein powders. Thicker and denser than whey protein, pea protein is best used as a thickener in soups, stews and protein pancake recipes.

    Legumes still have plenty of carbs, so if you're in a leaning phase going into pre-contest, make sure to keep serving sizes modest, and eat them primarily post-workout.

    Hemp Milk
    Hemp milk is a tasty dairy and soy alternative that provides all ten essential amino acids, digestible protein, fifteen essential vitamins and minerals, and 40% of your daily value of calcium. Hemp milk is also free of the common allergens associated with soy, dairy, and almond milk, but is lower in sugar and higher in essential oils (omega-3 and 6) than rice milk.

    Hemp seeds are high in GLA (gamma linolenic acid), an Omega-6 essential fatty acid. GLA activates brown adipose tissue (BAT), an active tissue that burns calories for heat. When BAT is actively functioning, it's a powerful mechanism for weight loss and weight control.

    GLA also provides the nutrients necessary to control the sodium potassium pump in each cell of the body. This pump is essential for cellular homeostasis, and can account for up to 20-50% of daily caloric energy usage. If the pump isn't working effectively, the body stores that unused energy as fat.

    You can also make your own hemp milk in about 3 minutes:
    1/4 cup shelled hempseeds
    1 cup water
    Vanilla, maple syrup or honey (optional)
    Put seeds in a blender, adding enough water to cover them one inch deep. Blend into a thick cream. Add vanilla, maple syrup, honey, or a ripe banana, and serve as a thick drink.
    You may also mix at a ratio of 4.75 parts water to one part seed for a lighter milk.

    Kick-Ass Nutrition Plan
    Now that you've collected an arsenal of nutrient-dense power foods, here's how you can put them all together into a day of super eating.

    3 pseudo-grain pancakes, topped with maple syrup, pumpkin puree and kefir.

    Morning Snack:
    1 scoop Metabolic Drive
    1 cup hemp milk
    1/2 pack açai pulp, frozen
    1 scoop Superfood
    2 Flameout capsules

    Pre-Workout: Spike, Beta-7

    Workout: BCAA

    Post Workout: Surge Recovery

    3-6 ounces elk or venison sausage
    1/2 cup azuki beans
    1 cup steamed broccoli
    2 Flameout capsules

    2 cups raw baby spinach
    Olive oil & lemon dressing
    1/2 cup boiled baby clams
    1/2 cup blueberries
    Handful of walnuts, pumpkin seeds and pinenuts

    4 to 6 ounces grass-fed bison steak
    2 cups chopped Swiss chard sautéed in olive oil with red onion and garlic

    Evening Snack:
    1/2 to 1 cup organic yogurt sprinkled with chia seeds
    1/2 cup fresh raspberries
    2 Flameout capsules

    Before Bed:
    2 ZMA capsules

    Phase 3, Day 4 of 34

    Date: Thu 8 Jan

    Weight: 62.3kg
    down 0.2kg since yesterday (yes, even after 'chocolate biscuit night')
    total down 0.4kg

    I think part of the reason for the weight drop overnight was that I didn't have any whey protein yesterday. My 'second breakfast' for the last few weeks has been yoghurt, whey, nuts and Vital Greens. I have been noticing lately that I've been feeling tired about 10 minutes after eating it, and my stomach has been quite distended. So yesterday I replaced the whey with a non-dairy protein. I didn't have the tiredness afterwards and my stomach was flatter this morning.

    Relaxation: walk with Rob and TJ around lake

    Exercise: workout B (hang snatch, military press, DB row, Russian twists)

    Meal Compliance: 6/6

    'When you first make up your mind about changing your lifestyle to accommodate your desire to look like a milllion bucks, consider it a short term project. This will help you feel less overwhelmed when it seems like the new diet never ends. Take one day at a time and focus on perfecting one after another. All the sudden this project becomes a habit. And habits have a habit to stick, unfortunately the bad ones in particular, but that´s why it´s a good idea to change a BAD one for a BETTER one instead of trying to have no habits at all.

    Don´t stress about wanting to see results yesterday. It just won´t happen. If it did, remember the old saying what you gain with ease you lose with ease? To crash diet is never the way to stick to a diet plan.

    After a while, reevaluate your diet. Instead of perceiving it as an evil must to get and stay lean, look upon it as what you choose to do. It´s not a sacrifice because following a healthy diet which keeps your weight in check is your best health insurance! So, in the long run it surely will cost you less since you now lay the foundation for extraordinary cholesterol levels, heart, gastric system and you stay away from clogging your arteries with crap!

    Learn to love what you do. Otherwise you won´t keep on doing it. Having an extraordinary physique is a 24/7 job which you never quit. It´s like a business: it does not run itself and it does not increase your payoff if you treat it like a recreational hobby.

    See yourself as an artist. Your body is your piece of work. Work on perfecting it and enjoy the time you´re putting into it. A really amazing physique cannot be rushed or stressed, it takes time, dedication, persistance and determination. Accept that and you will be find it to be your greatest accomplishment that will accompany you as long as you nurture it.'


    Thursday, January 8, 2009

    Found her blog

    I know a few people have pics of Pauline Nordin in their blogs. Found her blog today, thanks to Kim, who has some of Pauline's You Tube vids up at the moment.

    Phase 3, Day 3 of 34

    Date: Wed 7 Jan

    Weight: 62.5kg
    down 0.3kg from yesterday (that'd be the sprints)
    total down 0.2kg

    Thought for the day: 'We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.' (Aristotle)

    Relaxation and recovery: walk and yoga to stretch out tight hamstrings from yesterday's sprints; walk to shops and back with groceries

    Exercise: rest

    Meal Compliance: 5/6
    Treat (can't really call it a 'meal'): 2 gluten-free triple treat brownie biscuits, 100g Lindt Excellence 85% cocoa chocolate (lower in sugar that most other supermarket chocolate, so obviously not as sweet, but higher in fat - so it was filling without causing excess sugar cravings), 1 row almond chocolate. By my calculations that's roughly 1050 cals. And I was hungry again before going to bed.

    Wednesday, January 7, 2009

    Recent pics

    Our big baby

    My family

    Phase 3, Day 2 of 34

    Date: Tues 6 Jan

    Weight: 62.8kg: up 0.1kg (that'd be from the extra meal yesterday)

    Relaxation: walk around lake; no stiffness or soreness from training yesterday so no yoga

    Exercise: sprints (30s on, 90s off x 8)

    Meal compliance: 6/6
    Enjoyed a cup of Hops Slumber Tea before bed. Has an intense sweet licorice flavour - yum!

    I love eating organic but it's more expensive than regular fruit and veges, so I try to waste as little as possible. A while ago I had some rainbow chard (like silverbeet but with brightly coloured stalks) and used the leaves in an omelette, but kept the stalks. I also had some leftover broccoli stalks. So I had steamed rainbow chard and broccoli stalks tossed with grilled chicken breast, olive oil, salt and pepper - lots of colours!

    I also cooked an intact half-head of cauli, using this method. I lifted the whole thing out of the pot and sliced it, then took my meal back to my office. I came out a while later, thinking 'what's that smell?... oh shit!'. Bottom of pot burnt.

    Tuesday, January 6, 2009

    Phase 3, Day 1 of 34

    Date: Mon 5 Jan

    Start Weight: 62.7

    Loving my AM routine at the moment:
    Get up, have first breakfast
    Take TJ for relaxing 45-minute walk around lake
    Come home and do 30-minute yoga DVD
    Have second breakfast
    Start work

    I decided to use this week to try and find some one rep maxes for the main lifts I am doing in this month's strength phase. So, armed with instructions and my man, I did bench press and deadlifts. I've never done a one rep max for bench press before and was pleased to lift 50kg. I've no idea how much I can expect to increase that by in five weeks, but I'll give myself something to reach for and say my new max will be 55kg.

    Food was to plan but I was hungry before bed so had an extra meal (repeat of meal 2): 7/7

    Sunday, January 4, 2009

    Ready to Go Again

    Went away for New Year's Eve and had such a relaxing time we stayed for most of the week. There was no internet access, hence the lack of posting. Am back now and have just had my bodyfat measurements done. I last had them done 8 weeks ago, at the start of my preparatory phase (phase 1). I did that for about four weeks, then launched into four weeks of training to gain muscle (phase 2). My measurements today show that I have put on 3.8kg in 8 weeks: 1.75kg of lean mass and 2.05kg of fat. I'm stoked with the amount of muscle gain. I would have preferred not to have gained so much fat, but I haven't been following my eating plan with 90% compliance, so it's not really surprising. I'm doing very little in the way of cardio at the moment (two 15-minute HIIT sessions a week) as I don't put on muscle when I do a lot of cardio, so I really need to keep my diet pretty clean to minimise fat gain. My goal from here on in is to follow my plan 90% of the time. It's a measurable goal that I can track here on my blog. Phase 3 of training starts tomorrow, and I'm going to be working on increasing my strength so I can lift more to gain more muscle. Can't wait!