Focus T25 – Days 38-40, Plus My Weekend

Y’all I don’t even know what day of the week it is anymore. Thankfully last week went by quick (first full week back since the holidays) because I was so busy, which is good thing. I finished off the week with some great workouts and a girls night on Friday night.

T25 still challenges me on a daily basis. It’s a solid 25 minutes of cardio, with the occasional weight thrown in with circuit training during the Beta phase (month 2). My favorite part is that it’s only 25 minutes and I’m getting in a great workout. I know though that I would have better results if I was eating better. This is something I’m focusing on this week.

Last Tuesday, my workout was Upper Focus – a lot of push ups, upper cuts and vertical jumps. I know that I’ve gotten stronger because I can do all the push ups regular versus bending my knees. It’s a great feeling for sure!

Day 37 T25_1 Day 37 T25_2 Day 37 T25_3

Wednesday’s workout was Speed 2.0. I like 2.0 better than 1.0 because you are challenged to really give it your all. You do one set of moves three times; each time getting faster. You then do another set of moves three times, with each round going a little faster. Finally, you complete the workout with 3 rounds of all the moves combined. This workout goes so fast, and you’re dripping in sweat by the end of the 25 minutes. It’s awesome!

Day 38 T25_1 Day 38 T25_2

Rip’T Circuit on Thursday brought on the weights & lots of core action. I’ve been using 7.5 pounds, and was thinking about increasing it to 10 pounds this week, but can’t for reasons I’ll explain in a minute. Pretty bummed. Happy I got in a great workout last week though with the weights.

Day 39 T25_1 Day 39 T25_2 Day 39 T25_3 Day 39 T25_4

Friday, Friday, never looked so good! Woke up ready to rumble. Today was double workout of Dynamic Core & Speed 2.0. My first workout was great & went so well. I started Speed 2.0 and was not feeling the workout. I have no idea what was wrong, but I just couldn’t get moving. Has that ever happened to you during a workout?

Day 40 T25_1 Day 40 T25_2

I told myself I was going to do it when I got home, but I didn’t. I won’t make excuses because I could have made those 25 minutes work, but I didn’t. Instead I started cooking dinner for my girlfriend’s that came over for a girls night. I made roasted tomatoes stuffed with gluten-free bread crumbs and blue cheese; green bean, mushroom, kale and onion cassarole; and white fish with sauteed leeks and shallots. For dessert I made a gluten-free raspberry pound cake with homemade whipped cream.

Dinner on Friday

It was a pretty amazing dinner. The dishes were full of flavor and pretty healthy. I was a happy camper 🙂 I think my guests liked it too! We had such a great time. Nothing like a night with good friends!

Saturday the boy and I went and grabbed lunch. I enjoyed this gluten-free open sandwich of fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, and vegan pesto. AMAZING!

Saturday Lunch

On Sunday, I planned out my meals for the week and went to the grocery store. Later that night I decided to prepare what I could for the week and watch the Golden Globes. I prepared three salads, cooked two spaghetti squash and one butternut squash, and made protein pancakes from Tone It Up. I was on such a role until I had a bit of an argument with my immersion blender. I won’t get into details (I still have my whole finger), but I did have to make a visit to the Emergency Room Center on South Lamar. The boy and the staff at this center were my heroes for the night. I’m so crazy that I went home after being at the ER and remade the protein pancakes that were ruined the first time around.

Weekly meal prep 2  Weekly meal prepWeekly meal prep 3

Yesterday morning I wasn’t disappointed. I enjoyed protein pancakes with fresh strawberries and a little maple syrup. Last night I needed to eat something in order to take my antibiotics, so I enjoyed a grapefruit and raspberry pound cake mini muffins (I had extra batter on Friday so I made mini muffins).

Clean eating

I didn’t get in a workout yesterday due to doctor instructions, which is probably a good thing because the workout was Rip’T Circuit. Not sure if I should be lifting with my finger situation. I’m going to try and do it tonight and modify the moves (shifting all my workouts this week one day). Here’s to a quick recovery for my finger!!!

Question: In all my years of life I have never had stitches or injured myself in the kitchen until Sunday. I made it 30 years, and killed two birds with one stone. Have you ever injured yourself in the kitchen & how? Also, have you ever had to get stitched & why?

New Year, New Starts

Happy New Year! I know I’m late to the party (a week exactly), and I promise no excuses this year. Life is always going to be crazy and busy, and I just need to learn to make time to check in with all you during the week.

How is your new year going so far? Did you make your new year’s resolution or set goals for yourself? I have decided not set a resolution or goals because the last few years they have been the same; this year would have been no exception. Instead, I’m approaching each day as the new day that it is and setting goals for myself to complete that day. I have however, set some professional goals for myself, as I think this is extremely important to help me grow.

This week marks week 8 of Focus T25. I’m absolutely loving this program. Twenty-five minutes four days a week, and one 50-minute workout 1 day a week (two 25 minute workouts). That’s it! You really can’t go wrong.I’m feeling stronger and getting faster each day. I’ve even been successful with getting up in the morning and doing my workout first thing. Such a wonderful day to start the day. Here are some pictures from Days 22-24, Days 34-36:

Day 22 T25_1 Day 22 T25_2 Day 23 T25_1 Day 23 T25_2 Day 24 T25_1 Day 24 T25_2 Day 34 T25_1 Day 34 T25_2 Day 35 T25_1 Day 35 T25_2 Day 36 T25_1 Day 36 T25_2 Day 36 T25_3

Two and a half weeks and I’m done with Focus T25. I can’t believe it! I’ve already started planning ahead for what’s next. On January 27, I’m starting P90X3. It’s another 30 minute program, which is perfect for anyone’s schedule, and will be great while I’m on the road for work. Curious about T25 and P90X3? Send me a message! Currently, these programs Challenge Packs are on sale with over $90’s in savings. Check them out here: http://www.lstern412bbcoach.com and click “Shop”.

This week my focus has been on my eating. Yesterday started out promising with a good morning workout, a productive day at work, and a good plan of clean, healthy meals. The Central Market version of Pirates Booty and dinner were my downfalls. I finished the last third of the bag of “Pirates Booty” at lunch, and then for dinner I ate left over polenta (which had all kinds of cream and cheese in it), a piece of blue cheese, and some of the filling I made for the stuff acorn squash I had planned on eating for dinner. For dessert I had three caramel squares. Ugh, I felt so sick!

Today is a new day! Putting yesterday behind me and refusing to let it bring me down. This morning I did T25 Beta Upper Focus, which went really fast today. Breakfast consisted of 2 eggs, 2 egg whites, and broccoli scramble with 3 pieces of turkey bacon. Morning snack was Chocolate Shakeology with peaches. Lunch was stuffed acorn squash (black beans, quinoa, sweet potatoes, onions, and roasted tomatoes). Afternoon snack is going to be Chocolate Shakeology with cranberries and peaches.

Speaking of Shakeology, Beachbody is releasing a new Shakeology flavor – Strawberry! They currently have Tropical Strawberry, which is vegan. The new strawberry is regular like the Chocolate and Vanilla. I cannot wait to try it!

Cheers to the new year! 2014 will be a great year!

 

Hello, yeah, it’s been a while…

Hello friends! I took a little break from social media to enjoy family and friends this holiday season. It was a much needed break, but I’m happy to be back. How was everyone’s Christmas? Was Santa good to you?

For the 8th year in a row I spent Christmas in New Jersey with two great high school friends of mine. They are a brother and sister (the brother and I were in the same grade), and we started this tradition the year their father passed. I’m thankful for the tradition we start, even under the very terrible circumstance. This family has become like a second family to me, and I’m always grateful for the time I get to spend with them.

It was weird flying to New Jersey for Christmas. The last 7 years I drove because I was just in Maryland. This year was different for a couple reasons – 1) I had been to NJ since March, 2) I was flying home for the holidays, and 3) I brought the boy with me. 🙂 He was definitely more ready for this than I was. I was nervous about him fitting in and about what everyone would think. I should have known better that he would be just fine. He’s a social butterfly and will talk to anyone.

A favorite Christmas tradition of mine is pub caroling the eve before Christmas eve. It’s a time when all their good friends gather together at the local pub drink lots, donate monies to a great cause, and sing lots of carols. It’s a really special time. Here are a few pictures from the evening

Pub caroling

Christmas eve’s tradition means lots of kids running around having fun, playing with toys and eating lots of food. This year there were 16 kids and 25 adults…yep you read that correctly. It was pure chaos and everything I love about Christmas and the holidays.

I got these fun new kicks for Christmas

New kicks

My eating wasn’t the best while I was gone, but I was fairly under control considering I couldn’t eat cookies (none of them were gluten-free) or most of Christmas eve dinner because it was Italian. Don’t get me wrong I did NOT go hungry. I was very fortunate that my friends’ sister and brother-in-law brought the three gluten-free people gluten-free PF Changs. It was delicious and made me chuckle a little – a Jew eating Chinese food on Christmas. Haha! Good times.

I am happy to report that I kept up with my workouts while I was on, and even started phase 2 Beta last week. I’ll fill you in tomorrow on the workouts. Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

Focus T25 – Day 21

Week 5 of Focus T25. I can’t believe I’ve started the last week of phase 1! It’s amazing how time flies when you’re having fun. 🙂 No really, I love this program. I know I have 25 minutes to make it count. Even first thing in the morning, the energy Shaun T exudes gets me excited and motivated to push harder in my workout. It’s ONLY 25 minutes and we all have 25 minutes to give to OURSELVES and our HEALTH!

Yesterday’s workout was Total Body Circuit. Quite the way to start a Monday. it got me motivated and ready for the work week. Seriously, I was so productive all day long.

T25 Day 21_1 T25 Day 21_2 T25 Day 21_3

I felt really strong during the workout, and pushed myself twice as hard during the burnout. Look at my face, I was ready to either pass out or throw up. Good news I didn’t do either.

Yesterday I stuck to the “meatless Monday” fade. I enjoyed Shakeology for breakfast, veggies with hummus and quinoa & black eye pea “salad” for lunch, Shakeology for afternoon snack, and roasted veggies, baked sweet potato and spaghetti squash with pesto for dinner.

Clean eating lunchClean eating dinner

All-in-all it was a good day of clean eating. I did enjoy a few gluten-free ginger snap cookies that I made over the weekend. Don’t worry, they’re almost gone. Promise!

After dinner the boy and I went to “Trail of Lights” in Zilker Park. It was really great! So many lights. I wanted to see Santa, but someone didn’t want to wait in line. LAME! Haha, I know I’m Jewish, but I still love Santa 😉

Trail of Lights 1 Trail of Lights 2 Trail of Lights 3

I love where I live; I love this city!!! It’s been an incredible year. If 2013 could be this awesome, I CANNOT wait to see what 2014 brings.

Question: What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?

A Weekend Full of Cheer!

With the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving and my sister’s wedding and everything happening at work, I hadn’t been much in the holiday spirit until this past weekend. I finally am ready for the holidays and in a cheerful mood. Tis the season!!!
Chrismukkah Tree

Friday was a nice quiet evening. It was rainy and cold, so dinner out and then a night in was exactly what the doctor ordered. Shortly after the boy and I got back to his place from dinner I crashed on the couch. I forewarned him that I was going to be asleep minutes after getting back, and I stayed true to my word 🙂

Saturday I spent the day running errands and getting in the holiday spirit. Saturday night I accompanied the boy to his office holiday party and then to my friend’s cookie exchange. We decorated cookies at the party. How did we do?His and Hers Gingerbread People

For the cookie exchange I made gluten-free gingersnap cookies with Smart Flour Foods all-purpose flour and they were amazing! I brought some into work this morning and they’re practically gone now.

Sunday I went to the grocery store, spent the day cleaning, decorated the Chrismukkah tree (see above) and made an amazing dinner (simple and yummy) – salmon with acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and black eyed peas.

Sunday Night Dinner

Wanna make this acorn squash? It clean eating and gluten-free! Here’s the recipe:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

Ingredients:

  • 4 acorn squash
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 can black eyed peas
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Thyme chopped
  • 1/8-1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle smoked seasoning (or other favorite seasonings)
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Cut the bottoms of the acorn squash just a little so they lay flat. Cut off the top about 1/4 an inch and remove seeds. Place acorn squash in a cooking pan and add about an inch of water. Season the squash with salt, pepper and Chipotle seasoning. Drizzle a little olive oil on top and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
  2. Cook quinoa – Bring 1 cup of broth (I used chicken, but you can use vegetable) to a boil. Turn down heat to low-med and add quinoa. Stir in quinoa and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until liquid is gone.
  3. Cook beans – Place beans on stove for about 5 minutes to cook.
  4. In a small bowl combine cooked quinoa, beans, Thyme, Parmesan cheese and seasonings.
  5. Remove squash from the oven and add the quinoa/bean mixture in each acorn squash. Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese on top and place it in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  6. Turn the oven on broil for 3 minutes or until the stop starts to slightly brown.
  7. Remove squash from oven and ENJOY! (Disclaimer: be careful when eating the squash. It stays hot for quite a while, so don’t burn your tongue.)

Hope everyone is having a great Monday!

Focus T25 – Days 18-20

Happy Friday the 13th!!!

Friday the 13th

I now realize why the day felt sooo off. Haha! Sort of.

After sleeping through my alarm this morning, I got in a great workout. Today was Speed 1.0 and Ab Intervals. The good news is the workouts are only 25 minutes. The bad news, I only had 40 minutes to get in my workout, so I did what I go. I did all of Speed 1.0 and part of Ab Intervals. Don’t worry, I plan on doing the full thing either later today or first thing tomorrow.

T25 Day 20_3 T25 Day 20_2 T25 Day 20_1 T25 Day 20_4

I feel stronger and faster than I did four weeks ago. I feel lighter on my feet, and my vertical jumps are better than ever! I can’t believe that I have one more week of Alpha phase. Eek 🙂 So excited!

Wednesday workout was Lower Focus – lots of squats and lunges. Here’s to toners thighs!

T25 Day 18_2 T25 Day 18_1T25 Day 18_3

It was a great workout. I woke up really focused and was determined to get push harder throughout the entire workout.

My day was made when I came home to these beautiful flowers from two dear friends

Flowers from the girls

The card is an inside joke, but make the flowers that more special. I’m a lucky girl!

Thursday – one day closer to the weekend. I couldn’t wait for the day to be over so that it would be Friday and I could enjoy the weekend. Yesterday’s workout was Total Body Circuit. I was out of breath, sweating, and feeling awesome after the workout.

T25 Day 19_1 T25 Day 19_2

There are so many push-ups in this workout. I’m happy to report that I’m definitely getting stronger. I was able to do 90% regular push-ups versus the modified push-ups. Every day is a new day to get it right; push a little harder; get a little stronger. I may not be perfect throughout the entire workout, but I give it my all, focus for 25 minutes and then I’m done.

This weekend is full of errands, chores and prepping for the holidays. Who else isn’t 100% ready for the holidays? I’m so excited for them, and can’t wait for them to get here, and after this weekend I’ll be ready. 🙂

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

 

 

Focus T25 – Day 17

Yesterday when I woke up I still wasn’t feeling well. I decided not to workout until later that evening or push my workouts one day. I know the importance of feeling 100% to get the most out of my workouts. I didn’t want to kind of workout; I want to give it my all if I was going to workout and I knew in that moment I couldn’t give it my best.

Thankfully, I was feeling better throughout the day, and even later that night. When I got home I immediately put on my workout clothes and got to the workout. It still wasn’t my best effort, but it was a lot better than it would have been had I tried to workout that morning.

T25 Day 17_1 T25 Day 17_2 T25 Day 17_3

Total Body Circuit reminds me so much of an Insanity workout. I was EXHAUSTED after the 25 minutes and ready for bed. I slept like a rock, which was even better!

Yesterday I tried to be really good with what I was eating as to not mess up my stomach any further. For breakfast I had an on the go bar, Shakeology for my morning and afternoon snack, gluten-free chicken noodle soup for lunch and Chilean Sea Bass with roasted carrots, beets and sweet potatoes, and green beans for dinner (this was AMAZING!) I’m only sorry I didn’t get a picture of dinner. I’ll have to share with everyone the recipe. It’s super easy.

Hope everyone is have a good week! Happy Hump Daaaaaaaay!