Why I work out and eat clean

I love working out, I am in no way professional but I like pushing limits of my body. Sometimes I do refer to my body as if it would be something outside me:) I say: “my body needs to work out” and it’s true. Sometimes my mind does not feel like working out, but my body is pushing me yo make at least something. I have to do some type of workout every day, even if it would be walking few kilometers. Anything counts. I do work out not because I would look hotter or more attractive ( my husband finds me beautiful all the time) but because I feel good. I always tend to have at leat two different physical activities at a time, to provide myself mental stimulation and variety. When I was a kid, I used to do swimming (5 times a week) and karate (3 times a week) so my body is used to be under pressure. Then I had period of around 8 years where I was not working out regularly, except physical education classes at school. I still would be in shape. It was not until I started getting really chubby that I decided tk stopall this and get back in shape. I got strong body, so it is a sin not to use it. I started running, swimming and my kilograms melted. Then my ex introduced me to rock climbing. It was love from the first sight. Boyfriend was gone, climbing stayed. It is amazing how much it pushes you mentally and physically – you are never strong enough. Rocks are always stronger than you. And when you think…isn’t it crazy that we climb those rocks that have been there fkr millions of years and feel sense of accomplishent when we top it. Rock doesn’t care…but we do…not just for personal accomplish, but for the connection with nature. Most of my most beautiful moments in life are related to rock climbing: travelling, exploring, being absolutely fulfilled and totally content, feeling happy to be alive and have an opportunity to feel and experience, happy to have this body that can climb, being able to enjoy sun burning my back, taking a moment to look around and enjoy beauty of nature, feeling glad that I fight my inner demons and fears, meeting most amazing people and making friends for life. Since I started to climb, I never got back into state of not working out. I also started doing capoeira (brazilian martial art). Most of the days after work I would go to climb for an hour, then head directly to capoeira for the other hour and go by bike home. After that I would feel so weak and strong at the same time. I love being able to explore possibilities of my body, to make it stronger and stronger. I could not find affordable capoeira group in quebec, so I just stuck with climbing and working out at home (bodyrock.tv and some apps). Then I discovered Crossfit, thanks to Couchsurfers from Washington. That was another love from first sight. I feel challenged every time and I love it. I never worked out with weights in my life, so it is all new to me. But climbing helps a lot: I have super strong back, forearms and fingers, great sense o balance and ability to push myself, and pain endurance ( try to climb wog shoes that are 3 size smaller or hold your body weight on 0.3cm edge and pull up), so I am doing quite great in crossfit.

Around the same time when I started crossfit I also discovered Zone Diet, while I was browsing for some recipe book. So, I decided to take a month clallenge with Zone. That was great, I eliminated gluten and changed my way of eating hy having much less carbs. I was reading a lot about nutrition and more and more I felt inclined towards paleo. I took little steps, trying to understand why we eat as we eat finally took Whole30 challenge. Just went cold turkey. It was challenging at the beginning, but I would never go back to my previous eating. I love my body and I want it to be as healthy as possible. I rlrat quality food and I can’t even think of eating something that contains sth that I can’t pronounce or that is not natural. I want to be able to climb when I will be 70, I want my children to be healthy and I love to be in charge of what I eat and how I look. There is no greater feeling as feeling healthy and strong. It requires effort and is not always easy, but what is? In order to be happy we have to work to achieve it, it is a process and it requires effort, but show me a person who doesn’t want to be happy and healthy, just not everyone is ready to work for it. But this is personal choice and responsibility for your own life and way of living.

Zucchini Berry Muffins and Morning Power Smoothie

As my challenge is over, of course I allow myself to indulge in little sweet pleasures, but my taste and attitude changed a lot. Even if I want to have a dessert, I also want to be it as nutritious as possible and better with no sugar added, except from fruits. So, I was searching for some recipe and I could not be more happy when I found Zucchini muffin recipe. I am fascinated about idea of hiding vegetables in foods where you don’t expect to find them(muffins, pizza crust, pies, etc.)  I took this recipe from http://www.paleoplan.com and slightly changed (in the original recipe they were having tapioca flour, but I did not have it, so just did not put it):

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour (check the consistence if you will need to add more. I put 1 cup, but the dough was too dry, then I had to increase eggs)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs allspice
  • 1 cup dates, pitted
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 10-oz bag frozen berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries) OR 1 1/4 cup fresh berries
  • ¾ cup zucchini, grated
  • ¾ cup almonds, finely chopped
  • muffin paper liners

Instructions

  1. Take berries out of freezer to thaw, if applicable.
  2. Preheat oven to 350℉.
  3. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice.
  4. In a food processor, combine dates, bananas, eggs, vinegar and oil.
  5. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and blend until completely combined.
  6. Finely grate zucchini (or food process it).
  7. Fold in berries, zucchini and almonds.
  8. Spoon mixture into paper lined muffin tins.
  9. Bake at 350° for 25 – 35 minutes.

Image

It reminds me a bit of my traditional morning smoothie:

  • Mixed Berries (raspberries, blackberries and blueberries)
  • 1/3 banana
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • water (depending on how thick you want your smoothie to be)
  • few stalks of kale (love the idea of putting nutrition dense greens in smoothies, plus you would not make a difference)
  • 1 pastured egg
  • 1 tsp of almond butter

Food choice challenge

It is funny that Mother’s day date differ from country to country. You would think that such an international thing as Mother’s Day would be the same everywhere, but no….I don’t know how it is determined here, in Canada, but back in my country Lithuania, it is the first Sunday of May. So, I congratulated my mom last Sunday. Father’s day is first Sunday of June. So, I always know when it is Mother’s or Father’s day…So, we decided to have brunch with Keven’s family, to spend time together. Keven’s sister picked the restaurant where they have Sunday Brunch for reasonable price. Last time when I went for the brunch with family, I was simply avoiding gluten in all forms, but did not omit diary and was not in Whole30 challenge. This time everything was much more difficult. So, before going there I decided to make sure that I am not gonna die from hunger if I would not find what to eat, so popped in before leaving couple of Broccoli fritters, just to make sure 🙂 I also took some Paleo mayo, hoping that there would be some nice vegetables so that I could combine salad and just in case if they would not have olive oil.  I like veggies, but I also like to have a dressing 🙂

And actually I had very poor choice in the restaurant, because it was all processed food, fried, made in dough or made with potatoes (pate, fried bacon, fried potatoes, loads of deli meat, cheese plate, pasta, pasta salad, some stew, little meat cakes and etc). They did not have any boiled eggs and they did not fry eggs on site ( even though probably I would have eaten them, because they would not be organic 🙂 ) , the only egg choice was omelet, but I assume that they would put some wheat and diary in it, to make it more filling, therefore I did not risk. I was lucky that they had sea food table where I could pick some baked salmon and some shrimps. I don’t know if shrimps were having any additives, but I decided not to worry too much about it as they were not having any sauce on them. There was no vegetable bar, only salad bar with ready-to-eat salads, but one was with mayo (even before I changed my diet, I never ever ate salad with mayo that I did not make myself. I just find it somehow unsafe) and the other was with feta cheese and oil, so could not fill my carb choice with vegetables. So, went to fruit section where could get some fruits (watermelon, melon and pineapple). So, eventually my plate consisted of salmon, shrimps and fruits :)))) And I had loads of water and black coffee. If someone would have told me sometime ago that that would be my food choice, I would not have believed. But now, I felt totally O.K. with that. I wish I could have had better choice, but well, you can’t expect all the world to turn into healthy food. And I did not feel that much tempted to try out rest of the food, so when you don’t feel tempted, it is much easier to get around. But Keven indulged himself for both of us. Even desserts were not tempting me, I did not feel being seduced by croissant, brownie or sugar pie. Simply because I don’t know what is inside. I would not mind that much in general gluten, but I just can’t stand the idea of putting in my body modified this or modified that, some artificial sweeteners and God what else. So, just the idea about that totally turned me off. Even when everyone around were eating all the sugar load after having all the fat and carb load I did not feel bad. Not a tiny bit. First of all, because my challenge is almost over and I  can really confirm that my sugar dragon was really slated, so I did not feel tempted by all the desserts. Second, because, even f I would feel tempted, I would still wait until I would go home and bake my own Paleo dessert that would taste as good or even better and would not have all the hidden nasty ingredients. So, I survived my Sunday brunch successfully and this time they were not asking me if I am gonna have a cheat day :))))

 

Climbing and working out


My first passion is rock climbing, but sometimes it happens that I do not feel like climbing. Since Monday, I have been thinking to go to climbing gym for some climbing, but managed only today. I just did not feel like leaving home and climbing. It happens. Maybe I am just simply bored of the routes in the gym and simply wait until there will be a competitions and the new routes will be created. Actually I think that subconsciously I sis not want to go climbing since the christmas time and  then my sweetness attraction I gained some weight, so I was scared to fail. It is not that I gained a lot, but I think I gained like 1,5 kg and in climbing it is a lot. I already weight too much for a climber and I am lucky just because I am strong. So, basically, 1,5 kg means that I have to carry those 1,5 kg while my muscles did not got stronger, so it means while I could be able to do some moves before, I might not be able to do them with changed weight. Complicated, no? Anyways, as I lost a bit of weight and I have been training at home with body weight exercises, I felt more encouraged today to go climbing. It was good, I did not achieve anything new, I just climbed the routes that I already climbed, tried some more difficult ones, but did not want to hurt too much my fingers. So, after spending in the Roc Gyms about 2 hours, I got actual climbing probably 45mins, as rest would be warming up, checking the routes, taking rest. I can’t wait to see the new routes when they will be done as it supposed to be changed on Saturday. Then it is easier to be motivated, when you have new challenges waiting for you.

After coming back from climbing I also made some 20mins. workout using Fleetfy app in my iPod. I like thins one as it is more community based and you can compete agains the others, so I joined some challenges and so far so long really enjoy working out. I just don’t like that most exercises are related to wights and as I don’t go to gym and don’t like going to gym my workout options are quite limited. But for now it is fine, I have some challenges to overcome.

When I look back, my first workout partner was Bodyrock.tv  that helped me to start working out as my subscription to the gym did not work out once more. I like doing sport and I really love challenging my body, but gym is not for me. I have fun for the first month as I want to try out all the classes and program created for me, but eventually I am bored and instead of having fun, I start suffering. Then I simply stop going to the gym, usually after 3 months. So, with Bodyrock I could simply workout at home, exercises are challenging and your body will definitely suffer first time, but then they started adding to much equipment to their workouts. And I didn’t like that too much. I don’t mind when they add jumping rope or fitness ball, it’s fine, but then you have different bars, sandbag, ugh ball, etc…So, it seems that I should start having some kind of gym at my home. Not for me….Especially when me and Keven were moving all the time in Barcelona, now changed to Quebec and have no idea where we will be nest Christmas. Keep it simple and light.

 

So, I started using Skimble app for workouts and it is also nice though sometimes funny to listen to robot voice telling you what to do or “pushing you”. But it is nice exercises and you have some kind of personal trainer telling you what to do and once you switch of the sceptical reaction to robot voice and concentrate on climbing it is really fun and useful.

 

I also use “MyfitnessPal”app for tracking my diet. Not so much now, but it was extremely useful during spring and summer when I wanted to loose weight, but could not figure out how to do that properly. It helped me to loose maybe 6-7 kg, simply by loving in what I eat during the day and knowing how many calories I am supposed to consume if I want to loose weight. It really helped with the unconscious snack problem that I think many of us have when we don’t even realize how much calories we eat without counting and it was extremely helpful for the empty calories (so I call drinks). I worked in the bar when I started to use this app and I was shocked to see how many calories can be consumed through drinks: little shot here and there, favourite drinks that are nice to sip while working, clients buying drinks. With this app I had literally to earn calories by working out. And I am sure that at least this way I lost 3 kg or more, just by minimizing drinks and various juices.  I don’t use it now, just sometimes to check for the calories, but I was absolutely following all my food intake for half a year.

Now I want to go back on track, workout a lot (I have time for that) and be in the best shape of my life ;)))