Been a While

I haven’t posted in a long time and I’ve sort of dropped the ball on the whole exercising thing. To be honest, I’ve been lazy and I’ve been living off of bread, cheese and wine for a few days.

Thankfully, I haven’t gained weight but I noticed that my body is adjusting to the change. Sure, I feel slimmer, but I’m starting to lose a bit of that muscle tone that I was just starting to achieve.

So I’ll be back at it again…hopefully it’ll stick…wish me luck!

Advertisements

Weekly Update IX

Exercise Plan

It’s the tail end of the Recovery Week and the start of Phase 3 of P90x Doubles. I felt a bit under the weather and took a 3 day break…sigh. Another delay in completing the final phase of P90X, but hopefully it will be the last. Instead of doing cardio exercises three times a week, it’s being bumped to four days a week. So I’ll be alternating between Plyometrics and Cardio X for my cardio workouts so I don’t overwork my body.

  • Core Synergistics: Finished it in its entirety but it still feels difficult to complete.
  • 3 Day Break…I don’t remember how this happened!
  • Yoga X: I’m getting better at the Right Angle Pose, Twisting Half Moon, Wheel, Crane, and other more advanced poses. Surprisingly, the yoga belly section is getting easier and I can actually feel my abs “engaging.” I like it.
  • 1 Day Break
  • Plyometrics: It’s been challenging completing all the exercises, but it was done. I got to finish Phase 3 strong, so no more breaks!

Food Plan

Made a pact to avoid eating at chain restaurants after spending a dinner a California Pizza Kitchen, CPK.

I’ve been eating pretty sporadically but now, I’ve been planning meals and made some great meals for the next week.

Photos

PB&J Pumpkin Pancakes, 1 Hard-Boiled Egg, Nonfat Frozen Yogurt with Berries and Flaxseed Meal

Carrot Bread with Raisins and Walnuts and Sorrento Salad and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Japanese Vegetable Curry with Sorrento Salad and Steamed Rice

Chipotle BBQ Chicken with Fusilli and Sorrento Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Udon with Scallions and Quail Egg

Weekly Update VIII

Exercise Plan

Working out after a 3 day break isn’t the easiest thing to do. I had to ease my body back into the workouts which extended my schedule once again.

  • Plyometrics: Plyo is always more difficult to complete after the weekend and this week was no exception. I ended the workout 15 minutes early because I just didn’t have enough energy to complete it. A bit disappointing, but it’s my fault for having a 3 day P90X break.
  • Break (1 day)
  • Legs & Back / Ab Ripper X: I was feeling a bit unmotivated, but I sucked it up and knocked these two workouts. I probably could have gone lower on the lunges, but at least my form was good. Used blue bands instead of green for pull-ups and I felt the increase in tension and a slight soreness the next day.
  • Kenpo X: This is one of my least favorite workouts because I’m never quite sure if my punches and blocks are good. A mirror definitely helps and taping my wrists helps my form. It’s still difficult to punch air.
  • Yoga: I skipped the Stretch/Rest day because I’m eager to get into Recovery Week. I made it through the Yoga Belly section fairly easy after skipping it for two weeks. I guess my core got stronger in the meantime. I actually held Crane for 60 seconds while resting on my head, did the right angle pose finger hold, and attempted Wheel. I still need to get better at half moon and twisting half moon.
  • Core Synergistics: I did half of the exercise before I felt fatigued and light-headed. I should probably eat before doing this workout.
  • Kenpo X: A good cardio workout but I need to improve my form.

Food Plan

I’ve been tracking my food intake and I stayed in the 1400 calorie range this week. Then again, I haven’t been working out in the mornings so it definitely knocks out a couple of extra calories that I’d be burning. Also, my food plan kind of went out the window and I’ve been eating more sporadically.  I had pizza for lunch one day, but everything else was pretty healthy…steamed veggies, stews, soups, and rice.

I did notice that I haven’t been eating enough fruit even though I have several packs of frozen berries. Perhaps it’s because I rarely have anything in my freezer that I don’t think to look in my freezer to find the fruit and put it with my yogurt. I’ll be working on increasing my fruit and veggie intake next week.

Photos

Chicken Adobo with Celery and Steamed Rice

Mochi balls with Sesame or Almond Meal


Weekly Update VII

Exercise Plan

It’s Week 7 of P90X Doubles, one more week until Recovery Week. I only got through half the week before I felt super tired and I needed a break. But that doesn’t mean I was a lazy bum….I just haven’t been doing P90X. But once Monday comes around, I’ll be back on it! =)

  • Plyometrics / Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps / Ab Ripper X: Plyo never gets easier after the weekend. For the strength-training exercise, I mostly used 10 lb weights with 10 reps and modified the push-ups so that they are regular pushups. No Ab Ripper X, did it yesterday.
  • Plyometrics: I completed the workout at 10 PM, which wasn’t a good idea because I was really tired by the end, but it makes for a good night’s rest.
  • Plyometrics / Back & Biceps / Ab Ripper X: skipped Plyo today because I wasn’t that energized, perhaps it’s due to yesterday’s late workout. For strength-training, I mixed between 15 lbs and 10 lbs…Felt a bit stiff the next day, but in a good way.
  • Yoga X: I completed everything except the Yoga Belly section (7 mins) I think my abs need a break. Got a good stretch for all my slightly achy muscles and feel more flexible this time around.
  • Break (3 days)

Food Plan

I’m not listing out my daily caloric intake, because it’s too long but I’m learning to track it online.

This week, my average is about 1750 calories. Three days I went over 1850 calories, two day I went under 1600, and the rest fell between 1600-1850. The calorie counter I’m using isn’t all that accurate since I make all the food myself,  can’t always find the same ingredients/brands that I buy. I guess that comes with ethnic cooking. There are some things I eat that are kind of obscure so it doesn’t show up like Chinese sausages, French macaroons, and water chesnuts.

I think it was a pretty good week, food wise..made lots of dishes that lasted me until Friday and they weren’t expensive or hard to make either. Just tasty and delicious!

Photos

Sweet and Sour Chicken with Celery on Sweet Potato Bread

Stewed Tofu with Mushrooms, Fungi, Dried Shrimp, Chinese Sausage and Steamed Rice

French Macaroons from Jin Patisserie


Weekly Update VI

Exercise Plan

So it’s the second week of Phase II in P90X Doubles (Week 6/13). I decided that Cardio X is too easy as the second workout and instead, I’ll be doing Plyometrics as my extra dose of cardio. It really gets my heart rate up.

  • Chest, Shoulders & Triceps, Ab Ripper X, Plyometrics: Did plyometrics in the morning and fell short of completion by 15 minutes, but at least I jump off the ground. Completed Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps with a mix of 5 lb and 10 lb weights, did a couple of modified moves for the push-ups. Ab Ripper X, did everything but only hit 30 Mason twists due to fatigue. It’s not a good idea to do strength training too late at night because I was quite tired throughout.
  • Plyometrics: made it through the entire workout plus the bonus round. I can finally do hot foot without feeling pain in my shins so I’m getting stronger. My triceps were a bit sore from yesterday but it didn’t impede my range of motion.
  • Back & Biceps, Ab Ripper X, Plyometrics: Plyometrics in the morning again and it seems a bit easier. Looking into the mirror during the workout helps keep your form, especially when you’re tired. For Back & Biceps, I tried to increase the weight and tension when it comes to curls and pull-ups. Ab Ripper X felt a bit easier.
  • Yoga X:  Yoga never gets easier since there are always more ways to increase intensity. I’ve been getting stronger and more flexible since I’ve finally been able to do the hand grab during the right angle pose, was straighter for the twisting half moon, and did crane for 50/60 seconds. In the end, I skipped 7 minutes of the yoga belly section.
  • Legs & Back, Ab Ripper X,  Plyometrics: Only made it through half of Plyo before I started feeling really light-headed and dizzy. Guess I didn’t have enough energy…perhaps I should’ve eaten something beforehand. Skipped Leg & Back and Ab Ripper X.
  • Kenpo X: Didn’t do Kenpo today, but I did go to a Power Yoga class for 1.5 hrs. It wasn’t as challenging as the Yoga X, but it definitely works up a sweat and I did feel fatigued a bit at the end. Good workout.
  • Stretch X: Legs & Back and Ab Ripper X as a makeup. Took it pretty easy on the Legs & Back since it’s supposed to be my rest day. Stretched afterwards as well.

Food Plan

Since last week, I fell into a lazy streak of not planning ahead, I took the earlier part of this week to make as much food as possible. I had a lot more cheese in my diet this week than I’ve had in over a month. Aside from the overabundance of cheese, it was a pretty good week.

I realize that I’m not a big salad person, I had salad for a while, but I just got bored of it. So I need to figure out another alternative to getting a massive dose of veggies. Also, I tend to eat more apples, citrus, and berries than any other types of fruit. I got pears, plums, and bananas before…but I never finish the lot of them before they start to rot. I should probably stick to what I like or get less of the other types of fruit. Also, I need to add more flaxseed meal into my food since I bought a bag and it’s about time it gets emptied.

It’s been a while since I’ve done some daily food logs, so here’s one for this week. Personally, I think I eat too much for someone my size…but I guess I’m working out a lot, so it’s justified…maybe?

Day 1

  • Breakfast: 2 tbsp peanut butter, 1 slice home-made pizza, 1 tangerine
  • Lunch: 1 bowl steel-cut oatmeal, 1 cup Earl Grey tea, 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • Dinner: harvest blend, 2 pork tenderloin medallions, mashed sweet potatoes, and blanched asparagus with oyster sauce
  • Snack: 1 tangerine, 1 slice of Monterey Jack cheese, 1/2 cup unsalted soybeans, 1 cup air-popped popcorn

Day 2

  • Breakfast: 1 tbsp peanut butter, 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • Lunch: 2 slices home-made pizza, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 tangerine
  • Snack: 1/2 cup unsalted soybeans, 1 tangerine, 5 mini pumpkin pancakes
  • Dinner: Clay pot style rice, steamed spinach, shiitake mushrooms, dried shrimp and Chinese sausage with sesame seeds, soy sauce and oyster sauce
  • Snack: 1 slice Monterey Jack cheese

Day 3 ( I was awake from 4:30 AM – 11 pm with a short nap, so I ate more than usual)

  • Breakfast: 5 mini pumpkin pancakes with maple syrup, 1 slice of Monterey Jack cheese, 1 vanilla ice cream bon bon
  • Snack: 1 bowl oatmeal, 2 hard-boiled eggs, and lemon water
  • Snack: 1 container Fage 2% Greek yogurt with honey and 1 pack roasted seaweed
  • Lunch: 2 slices home-made pizza
  • Snack: 1/2 cup mashed sweet potatoes with 2tbsp flaxseed meal, 1/2 cup coffee, 1 tangerine
  • Dinner: Fusilli with chicken broth, spinach, Shiitake mushrooms, and Chinese sausage
  • Snack: 1 tangerine, 1 TJ mini mint ice cream mouthful, 1 bowl air-popped popcorn, celery sticks, 1 tbsp peanut butter

Day 4

  • Breakfast: 2 hard-boiled eggs, 2 slices of home-made pizza, 2 tbsp kefir
  • Lunch: 1 ounce blanched peanuts, 1 tangerine, mentos
  • Dinner: pork tenderloin medallions with harvest blend, mashed sweet potatoes, blanched asparagus and oyster sauce
  • Snack: 1 cup kefir

Day 5

  • Breakfast: 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • Lunch: 2 slices home-made pizza, 1 tangerine, 1 cup kefir
  • Snack: 1/2 grapefruit with cinnamon
  • Dinner: Balsamic chicken, steamed spinach and steamed rice
  • Snack: air-popped popcorn, 8 slices of pepperoni and smoked gouda cheese

Day 6

  • Breakfast: 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 slice of homemade white bread, 1 cup kefir
  • Lunch: 1/4 rack of ribs, 1/4 cup mac & cheese, 1/4 cup pork and beans (from Baby Blues BBQ)
  • Snack: 1 ounce peanuts, 1 slice of gouda cheese, 1 doubleshot wheatgrass (from Jamba Juice)
  • Dinner: 1 bowl beef and veggie stew with fusilli

Day 7

  • Breakfast: 1 bowl air-popped popcorn, 1 small bowl beef and veggie stew with fusilli
  • Snack: 2 hard-boiled eggs, 1 tangerine
  • Lunch: 1 omelette, 1 cup mixed fruit, 1 cup hot cocoa, 1 nutella pancake with syrup (from Cafe Laurent)
  • Snack: 2 French macaroons (from Jin Patisserie), 1 cup kefir
  • Dinner: 4 grilled chicken wings (from Baby Blues  BBQ), 1/2 cup steamed broccoli, mashed sweet potatoes

Photos

Air-popped popcorn (no salt, no butter)

Mini Tangerine

Garlic & Herb pizza crust with Marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, lentils, spinach, peppers, scallions, and pepperoni

Balsamic marinated chicken, steamed spinach and steamed rice

Clay pot-style rice

Grilled chicken wings (from Baby Blues BBQ), steamed broccoli, and mashed sweet potatoes

Supplements for Exercise

When it comes to supplements, I try to limit its usage as much as possible. I believe that you don’t really need them if you eat a complete balanced diet. This is my opinion for my current lifestyle and I’m sure other people have different needs.

Since there are few people out there who do eat a complete balanced diet everyday, supplements are a useful tool to keep your health in order. Currently, I am taking 4 supplements: a multi-vitamin, an iron, fiber, and fish oil supplements. It is the minimum set that works for me though eventually, I want to wean off them all.

As for P90X supplements, recovery drinks, and protein bars…I haven’t tried any of them and I don’t plan to in the future. I don’t think that bars, shakes, and specialized vitamins will have a greater effect on my body than what I’m already taking in.

  • When it comes to vitamins, my current multi-vitamin is enough because whatever my body does not absorb, it flushes out. I know the P90X multi-vitamin packs way more than I need, so I’ll still be flushing out the excess and that’s a waste.

  • After a workout, Tony Horton always stresses the importance of a recovery drink to help speed up the muscle repair process. For me, I had 30+ days without a specialized recovery drink and I recovered quite well by drinking lots of water and adding some salt/lemon if I need something extra. Since my workouts are getting more intense, I’m taking in chocolate milk for an additional push and it works as well as any other recovery drink. However, I make my own chocolate milk from 2% milk + unsweetened cocoa powder.

  • Protein bars. If you look on any fitness website or blog, I’m sure you’ll find many different brands and types of protein bars out there. Supposedly, the main purpose of the P90X protein bars are to help you build muscle and lose fat. They’re useful if you need a snack and don’t have other options or you need additional energy while doing some high-endurance activity. It’s probably best to have these bars once in a while as a last resort instead of a daily snack.

I prefer eating natural food/snacks instead of protein bars/shakes. In high school when I was on a rowing team, we were only allowed to eat Clif bars during our race days to keep up our energy without making us sluggish. I consumed 4+ bars on those days because I was so hungry. When I look back on it now, I think it was more the sugar that kept us energized, not the other stuff in the bars.

Overall, I’m no fan of shakes and bars because it doesn’t fit into my lifestyle. First of all, they don’t taste that great. They have many different flavors, but I don’t like chocolate and I’m really sensitive to sugar. Second, I don’t like the texture of powdered drinks and dense, chewy bars. Third, I don’t believe that they have a significant effect on my performance. So, P90X supplements are not a worthwhile investment for me.

They are only supplements...they are supposed to provide whatever is lacking in your current food plan, but it should not be a permanent substitute for a balanced and healthy meal.

*All photos from Beachbody.com

Weekly Update V

Exercise Plan

This week was supposed to be a normal week, but I felt lazy so I had a two day break from P90X. I know, I should have been more disciplined, but this is real life and I am not perfect. The doubled workouts aren’t too bad and it’s just what I needed. In Phase I, I wanted to do an additional workout everyday, but now…I have to double up on my strength-training days…exciting! I hope next week won’t have any workout breaks.

  • Yoga X: It flew by really fast this time and I did all the push-ups before downward dog. I made it through the Yoga Belly section without much difficulty and I stayed in the crane pose for the entire allotted time but one foot was still touching the ground (I’m almost there). Still working on the right angle pose, the wheel and the twisting half moon.
  • Break (2 days)
  • Legs & Back / Ab Ripper X / Cardio X: 10 reps for all pull-ups with increased resistance from last week, completed all reps required for the exercises, added 10 lb weights for calf raise squats, calf raises, and step back lunges, and added 5 lb weights for balance lunges, alt-side lunges, and toe-roll iso lunges. Skipped Ab Ripper X. Cardio – tried to follow Dom who was doing the more extreme version of the workouts and definitely felt tired by the end but it felt good. Sweaty but good.
  • Kenpo X: I learned how to punch properly and I might need to tape my wrists to improve my punches, the kicks are fine and since I kept kicking waist level or higher, my hamstrings are a bit sore
  • Stretch X: I needed to stretch since Kenpo left my hamstrings sore, so it worked them out well

Food Plan

I didn’t have much to do this week and yet, I was pretty lazy coming up with a food plan. I ended up eating more sporadically throughout the day and the week, which led to some extended periods of “fasting.” When I looked at my fridge, there wasn’t much I wanted to eat and I let a couple of things go to waste.

When I did eat, I snacked a lot of non-fat, non-salted popcorn. So, this weekend, I took it upon myself to find more appealing foods that I know I’ll eat even though it might be more expensive. And I’ll be making a lot of things ahead of time so I can’t complain that I don’t have any food in my fridge and I don’t have time to make something to eat.

Photos

Lemon and Ginger Thins from Trader Joe’s

Hot Chocolate from Cafe Buna

Potato Pancakes Brunch from Cafe Buna

Home-made Pork Tenderloin Medallions on Harvest Blend with Blanched Asparagus with Oyster Sauce and Mashed Sweet Potatoes