Pre-Plexus & Day 1

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The Season Before: Spring 2017
I was on track in the spring with working out 4x a week, then fell off the bandwagon. It was a busy season: I bought a house, got engaged, got a puppy, was working on home improvement projects, taking summer courses, and so many more excuses. Rob was astounded at how much I slept on the regular. I just love sleep so much…and I did not have the energy or willpower to work out aside from taking the dogs for walks.

I have always been a huge water drinker. It’s rare to see me without a 32oz water bottle in hand. In a normal day, I drink 3 of these (96oz of water a day). On days I’m more active, it’s not unusual for me to drink 4 or 5 bottles. I have a history of vasovagal syncope, and hydration has always been key to keeping that at bay. Drinking so much water helps me not overeat as I’m fully hydrated. (You’ll see why I brought this up later.)

The Week Before: June 13
I started my workouts again and have tracked them daily. I also put my Fitbit back to work. I was 130lbs. I don’t have a goal weight, per say, but I have a goal of being toned and strong.

Day 1 of Plexus: June 20
I weighed in at 133lbs this morning. I binged the night before when I ate out for my brother’s birthday (Brazilian rodizio – so good!) and I had just begun working out again, so a lot of these few extra lbs are likely water.

First Drink: 8:30am
Morning Mix Thoughts:
How much of this supplement’s success is due to people simply hydrating more during the day? People are forced to drink 2 12-20oz bottles of water with the mix, 30 minutes before a meal. This might make them feel fuller and eat less. Also, if they simply don’t drink water, being hydrated in itself could be the reason for weight loss success and feeling energized. Will keep an eye on how hungry I am compared to pre-plexus. Being a consistently hydrated person, I don’t think drinking 2 extra bottles a day with the pink drink (or replacing 2 bottles with pink drink) will affect any weight loss for me.

First Drink:
This stuff tastes pretty good. But I still prefer water. *Chugs an extra bottle of water with the pink drink*

1 Hour Later…
Ate leftover pasta and chicken for breakfast (1 cup).
2 Hours Later…
Absolutely ravenous. Finish leftovers (2 cups).

Second Drink: 3:30pm
Afternoon Mix Thoughts:
Now the nutritionist in me is nervous. I didn’t do enough research before putting this in my body. I discuss my concerns with my fiancé, who agrees with my points about hydration possibly being the reason for peoples’ issues clearing up (relieving migraines, boosting focus, aiding in weight loss, providing clearer skin, etc).

I look more into the ingredients but the amount of each ingredient is a Plexus proprietary secret, which is a red flag in my mind. I like to know exactly what’s going in my body. I can research each ingredient. All seem safe enough on their own in certain doses. But how much am I ingesting of each? Who even knows the long term affects of taking this product for years on end? The only similar clinical trials I have found research on end the trials at 16 weeks or a few months, claiming no adverse affects. But what about longer use of the product? I’m not sure.

Hoping for the best and praying I’m not doing my kidneys or liver in for overtime, I finish my drink.

Workout: At 9pm I did a full body cardio circuit for 30 minutes.

 

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I Can’t Believe I’m Trying Plexus

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Anyone who knows me knows I am a traditional fitness girl. I believe in healthy eating and exercise. That’s what gets results. Period. There is no easy fix, no magic pill, no snap of the fingers that get you from point A to point B overnight. Any “fix” product that does make such a claim, I would be inclined to label as dangerous anyway.

So what is the hype of Plexus? I’m on a week long mission to find out. This is NOT a Plexus promotion. I have no affiliation with the company. I am making no money from writing this post or trying the product. This is my curiosity in action, for myself and anyone else who is interested in what I might find, and my findings STILL aren’t going to push you to buy, or sell, or avoid this product.

NO BIAS.

Stay tuned for a day by day, play by play of my experience…

Running Shape

I guess I took for granted how easy it is to maintain endurance when you’re fit. I could run just fine in the heat. I could run after taking two weeks off, come back to running, and my lungs still felt good.

They do not feel good right now.

I’ve been jogging more and more now that I’m cleared from PT and have proven that my knee could literally take a pounding again (9 mile run in June – even if it was quite a slow pace…). But man is it HARD.

As a teenagerimg_0215 in high school, I can remember grueling track meets where I got PR’s in the mile… And that’s how difficult my run felt yesterday.

Except I definitely didn’t PR in the mile. I barely kept a 10 minute pace and I was hurting.

Just two years ago I was running sub-7 mile repeats for 5+ miles like it was no problem. Just last year I was doing sprinting workouts and my lungs could handle it like a champ while I Aqua-ran or did bike workouts.

But I fell out of my routine when my appendix came out, and by the time I was well enough to exercise I had knee surgery. And let’s just say it was really easy to follow the whole “rest and recover” instructionsI got complacent with my easy PT exercises after surgery and now my lungs and my muscles are out of shape.

It sucks to train from ground 0. I’m still doing my PT exercises to keep my VMO, hamstrings, hip flexors and quads strong. I’ve finally felt comfortable enough to include more intense exercises to my routine like reverse lunges on a physio ball, wallsits and short sprints in my routine again.

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I’m feeling a little sore today – but in a good way! It’s going to be an uphill battle but I know if I can push through the next couple of weeks my body will adapt and I will be SO happy when it does!

 

Recipe of the Month: PB Energy Bites

This is my favorite thing of all to make and eat. My boyfriend has me make a triple batch before his rugby tournaments almost every weekend and since I’m just so kind (aka since they are just so easy to make) I always oblige.


These are no-bake bites, so they are perfect for the hot summer days when you don’t want to turn the oven on. 

The ingredients (1 batch makes 15-18 small bites or 12 large bites):

  • 1 cup oats 
  • 1/4 cup honey (if you prefer less of a peanut butter taste, use 1/3 cup, but I prefer less sugar)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup shredded coconut (toasted if you prefer)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds

Have a Tupperware container lined with wax paper or parchament paper ready for the bites to be placed in, because my method gets messy.

Using your hands, mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl until the oats are well blended. Take small sections of the mixture and roll into bite sized portions, then place the ball into the container.

Once all the bites are rolled, put them in the fridge for about an hour. I like to cheat and throw them in the freezer for 10 minutes so I can eat them right away!

These are great for on the go breakfast, a midday snack, or a pre-/during- workout boost. Enjoy!

First Run Back!

Last Saturday I ran for the first time since February! And obviously I didn’t ease back into things…

I spent last week on a La Vida wilderness excursion in the Adirondacks in NY with a group of my students. I chaperoned the trip and had two knowledgable and fun Sherpas to work with. We rock climbed, hiked, canoed, portaged and did other camp things.


On the final morning back at base camp, there is a tradition where participants are driven off site and run 9 miles back to base camp. I figured I would give it a shot and walk a while, then jog for a few minutes, then walk again.

Well obviously I’m horrible at pacing myself when it comes to these things. (Re: stress fracture).

One of my students who ran cross country for the first time this year paired up with me and we did fabulous together! We ran the entire 9 miles with only short walking and stretching breaks here and there! We finished in 1 hour and 50 minutes. I’m so shocked that I was able to:

  • Run
  • Run 9 miles
  • Run 9 miles without my knee swelling up
  • Run 9 miles at a ~10 minute pace

It’s definitely not where I was before, or where I want to be, but that is darn good for a first run back. I’m so happy! I enjoyed the post run muscle soreness and am pleased to say my lungs didn’t mind the exercise one bit. 

I wouldn’t say I’m free of the exercise bike completely, but I’m definitely getting back to running!

My La Vida crew!

Love/Hate Relationship: the Indoor Cycling Bike

It’s officially been 3 months since my knee surgery and I’ve just complete my physical therapy. Thankfully, my knee didn’t need huge repairs. I had a plica removed that was causing cartilage to tear on my patella – so it’s a good thing I had it done because that damage would have only progressed! I still can’t bend my knee completely and certainly can’t do squats or run yet.

So, since PT ended and I needed to continue strengthening, I indulged myself and bought an indoor cycling bike on Amazon. The bike is great! For $199 I got a solid, very adjustable, handsome bike! 

The only problem is I hate it as much as I love it. Does that even make sense?

I hate it when I first get on because:

A) I’m still weak-ish, so my knee can be achey (what did I expect?)

B) I slacked off a lot after surgery so I’m out of shape-ish, so it’s hard (lol duh)

C) I would just rather be running.


But then once I’m about 15-20 minutes in, I love it! I’m sweating, I’m breathing heavier, my leg muscles are working hard and I remember how much I just love the feeling of exerting my body. So by the time I get off, I love the bike again.

A weird phenomenon, but one I’ll have to get used to as it will be a while until I can really run for a workout again.

Recipe of the Month: Mexican Bell Peppers

I saw a picture of what looked like a DELICIOUS stuffed pepper, and decided I would try to make my own.

I used:

  • 3 big red peppers (or 6 small)
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 2 cans corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with juice – I like Rotel … it’s a bit spicy!
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 red onion
  • Mexican cheese, shredded
  • 1-1.5 lbs lean ground turkey
  • Spices – chili powder, oregano, salt, pepper

First I cooked the turkey in a big pan. At the same time I boiled my rice. When the turkey was done I added the corn (drained), onion, garlic, and beans (drained and rinsed). I let those stew for about 5 minutes before adding the rice, tomatoes, and spices. I just eyeballed my spices, so if you like your food bland, don’t add as much spice… Or if you like spicy, put more chili powder. It’s your food 🙂

I let the mixture cook for 10 minutes. In the meantime, I cut my peppers in half and gutted them. I microwaved them in a dish with water for a few minutes to soften them up.

Once done, I set the peppers in a glass baking dish and generously spooned the finished mixture from the pan into the shells. I topped them off with the Mexican cheese and put them in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. 

They were perfect!! It was delicious. I ate the leftover mixture on bean chips with guacamole and salsa and it was also super good. This is a meal you definitely should try, as it’s pretty darn healthy!