Whole Body Wellness

January 30, 2013

CAN’T. WAIT. TO. SHARE. THESE. RECIPES.

And these progress pics.

I sort of feel like I’m living some dream where I’m the best version of myself, and then I’m going to wake up and still be someone just drudging through life. Every day when I wake up and say my affirmations, I have to slap myself in the face and realize: this is real life. I’m doing it. I’m living the dream that is this beautiful reality.

I know I shared a progress pic or two in the last week, but I have yet to share my real progress pics. Some of you other bloggers know what I mean – the pics you take that you don’t really ever want to show anyone? Well, it’s time for another healthy does of vulnerability.

Here goes.

Minimal difference, but at least starting to see some ab lines!
Bigger difference than I thought there’d be – never thought I’d see my back leaning out. I was discouraged at how little fat I was losing off my thighs, but it turns out it’s all coming off my shoulders and spine….? Thanks body.
BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BY FAR! My goal in these pics was to not suck in, but just to stand with good posture and relax. The difference is unbelievable.

Wanna know something else? I didn’t do a single sit-up to see these changes. Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. They’re also made by doing lifting and cardio circuits that utilize your core. My abs are the most sore after doing dead lifts and lunges in proper form, or by maxing out on my pushups.

I can’t even put into words how encouraging these pictures are to me. They are encouraging because I truly did not set out on this journey to lose weight or have a certain body. I’ll never be that girl, even if I ever wanted to be. I set out on this journey to discover what it really meant to find whole body wellness – to find peace spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. The rest has simply followed.

These pictures are a sign to me that I am treating my body with love and seeing my body as a vessel of love. They are a sign that I have found what truly satisfies in life, and it’s not food. They stand for change. They show me how far I’ve come in so little time and allow me to dream unbelievably huge dreams for my future. 

On that note, let’s talk RECIPES!

Vegan Brownie Cup

*Credit to Banana Buzzbomb for giving me the inspiration for this recipe

4 tbsp. whole wheat flour or oat flour (can just use rolled oats that have been food processed)
2-3 tbsp. cocoa
2 tbsp. powdered peanut butter
2 tbsp. Sucanat
1 tbsp. agave nectar or maple syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 rounded tbsp. applesauce
1/3 c. almond milk (or until reaches batter-like consistency)
2 tbsp. vegan chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients in a large cup or mug until they have a batter like consistency. Place in microwave for 2 minutes or until firm around the edges. Let cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Check out that HUGE mug! Shared it with the hubby. Wouldn’t have been proper without the best episode of Portlandia yet! Of course he enjoyed his with a Harpoon…because, really – what doesn’t go with Harpoon?

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition facts:
217 calories 
6 grams protein

Coffee Protein Shake
1/2 banana
3 ice cubes
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
2 tbsp. powdered peanut butter
1 cup almond milk
1 packet decaf instant coffee
3 drops liquid stevia
dash cinnamon

Blend all ingredients until you reach desired consistency. Sprinkle with more cinnamon and enjoy!

Can’t get enough of this one. I love that it’s a little thinner than other shakes, because it really quenches my thirst after a tough workout like this morning’s TABATA!!

Makes 1 serving.

Nutrition facts:
225 calories
23 grams protein (depending on what protein powder you use)

TO PROGRESS.
Avocado Athlete

Finding My Lost Mojo

January 28, 2013

There it is.

It had been missing for quite some time. My running mojo, that is. But it’s back with a vengeance. I put in about 15 miles this past week…yes, I have done a significant amount of distance running in the past and I know that’s not a lot…but with my focus on strength training lately, running had been put on the back burner. Now that I’ve got a handle on my lifting routine, I’m trying to work it back in. Pounded out 4.5 miles yesterday, including 2 miles of intense hills, and went back at it for some more today.

The strangest part?

I was HAPPY. Happy on the treadmill. I felt so invigorated. You know that feeling when you power up a hill at 7.0 incline and finally come out on the other side alive. I was looking around at all the other people with scowls on their faces at the gym thinking, “What’s wrong with you people?!”

Love those days.

Also, shout out to my hubby for sticking with me for a substantial portion of those miles this weekend – it’s no coincidence that my running mojo showed up after our first good run together in a long time.

Best ever reward? My first attempt at protein pancakes. Far from perfect form, but DELICIOUS.

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
1/3 c. oat flour (I used rolled oats ground in food processor)
1 scoop protein powder (I used chocolate)
1/2 c. canned pumpkin
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c. almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla
6 drops liquid stevia
1/2 tsp. cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking powder

Makes 4 medium pancakes (hubby would have wanted 3 to himself)

Mix all ingredients in mixing bowl. Spray flat griddle with cooking spray and place 1/4 of batter in middle of pan. Let cook for at least 3 minutes. [It’s hard to tell when they’re ready to flip.] Make sure to push spatula under pancakes very quickly for good flipping. Flip at let cook another 2 minutes. Serve with yogurt, maple syrup, agave nectar, or like I did: peanut butter powder, almond milk, and chia seeds to your desired consistency!

After this morning’s workout (shoulders, chest, triceps, and running), I wanted nothing more than a second dose of these pancakes. I got adventurous and tried making them with some quinoa we had in the fridge, rather than oat flour. They were impossible to flip, so I ended up with a bowl of pancake mush, but that’s not to say it wasn’t delicious!

Awesome alternative to oatmeal or cereal.

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As for progress in the gym, it’s slow but steady. BUT, today I benched a full set with 10s on each side for the first time ever! I don’t even care if that’s a lot or a little in the grand scheme of things, because my biggest and only competitor is my past self, and compared to her I’m kickin’ ass and takin’ names.

 I’m easily discouraged, but have been sticking with it through the highs and lows, thanks in part to my daily meditations and affirmations.

WHICH BRINGS ME TO…..

THE DAILY MANTRA!

Brought to you today by The Daily Love.

“…human beings rarely feel like they are ready to embrace uncertainty. But, this is what we must do…The key is to value progress over perfection; to value attempt over perfect attempt.”

As you remember this today, repeat these affirmations to yourself no matter what it is you’re working on.

Today, I start before I am ready.

I will handle with Grace whatever may come.

The universe supports me, in every way and even in my mistakes.

Making mistakes is how I learn.

I know it’s minimal, but there is a difference!  HONORING MY PROGRESS!

Then of course the hubby had to show off his muscles too…

Looks like I’ve got a ways to go, hey?

Hang in there, and enjoy yourself some protein pancakes!
AvocadoAthlete