19 January 2011

You Know How Yogi's Are

That is what Lesa (the yoga instructor at my gym) told me yesterday morning when I was still the only person standing in the large room where my very first yoga class was about to begin.  Ummmmm....nope.  Not a clue actually!  I explained to her that I had never done yoga before and she said that usually people kind of meander in a few minutes late and that since it was a holiday maybe I would be getting a personal lesson.  That seemed kind of like a lot of pressure for me so I was happy when a few others started to show up.  Altogether there were 6 students plus the instructor, which was actually perfect.  I was able to get a lot of extra help (which I desperately needed) yet the sole focus didn't have to be on me. 

I love taking classes at the gym, however I always get really nervous the first few times I go.  For one it is always obvious that a new person is there- kind of like starting at a new school.  The instructor singles you out, asks your name and background- then watches you the whole class to see what you are made of.  And let me tell you, I am more like Yogi Bear than an actual Yogi!  Holy moly, yoga is way more difficult than it looks.  But I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to more self torture as I learn to become a human pretzel.  I know that once I learn some of the basic poses and can relax a bit more it will become one of my favorite activities.  It was very meditative and relaxing, yet at the same time I could feel my muscles working hard and I was actually working up a good sweat.  Which I felt bad about as Lesa had to keep coming over and rearranging my arms and legs into better positions.  She was very helpful and encouraging however and gave me lots of good tips throughout the class.  Mondays are going to be amazing.
I had a friend ask me a very interesting question today so I felt it made sense to answer it here as one of my 5 weekly food tips.  The question was what do I eat before I workout since I exercise in the morning.  This has been something I have altered and adjusted multiple times over the last year.  It does depend on what type of workout I will be doing, so it is not a difinitive type of answer.  So here are my 5 food tips for the week:

1.  Up until about a month ago I would usually get up, have a cup of coffee and a cliff bar then head to the gym.  This was a quick and easy source of energy for me, it never upset my stomach and my body was used to it.  Recently, while trying to drop a few pounds I have been just having a protein shake.  It has 140 calories, 30g of protein and only 6g of carbs so my body has to utilize fat stores rather than using the readily available carbs from something like a cliff bar.  At first I was nervous that I would crash doing a hard workout but it has not happened yet.  And I have done plenty of 2 hour workouts on just the protein drink without any negative results as far as my energy levels go.  I use the Muscle Milk Whey protein powder that I buy in an enormous bag at Costco.  The chocolate is best, the vanilla is ok but on the sweet side.  Oh, and I do still have my coffee before I head to the gym of course!  I make sure to eat within a half hour after working out and include plenty of protein then as well for muscle recovery.

2.  Sodas.  Pop.  Coke.  Whatever you choose to call it, I try to eliminate these as much as possible.  Even the diet ones really aren't that great for you.  They have strange artificial sweeteners plus tend to make me feel bloated.  Which is not pleasant.  Granted I might have a rum and diet coke once in a while but lately I have switched to cranberry juice instead.  With the rum still of course.  Much better! 

3.  I have stopped drinking milk.  Now before you freak out and tell me I am about to get osteoporosis let me explain.  Cow's milk has a lot of sugar in it and really isn't the best option out there.  I have switched completely to almond milk and coconut milk and don't miss regular milk at all.  These have much more nutritional value and are quite a bit lower in sugar and calories.  Although I was never a big milk drinker before, really I would just have it in my coffee or cereal so it wasn't that difficult to do.  My biggest challenge is at work- not because I am tempted by the 50 gallons of milk surrounding me but because we don't have the other types of milk alternatives available if I want to have a smoothie or something while I am there.  And this is just milk mind you- I am still eating cheese, yogurt and ice cream. 

4.  I measure EVERYTHING!!!  I read labels and serving sizes then scoop appropriately.  Do yourself a favor and stock up on tons of measuring spoons, cups, bowls...whatever and never just "eyeball" something.  This will save you tons of calories and also give you a better idea of what an actual serving size is.

5.  Bread- I love bread.  And bread isn't really bad for you...it just isn't good for you either.  But if you are going to eat it I would aim for something that has 100% whole wheat in it.  The more fiber the better and make sure there isn't any high fructose corn syrup.  My biggest weakness is probably bagels, which I only eat occasionally (or if I am carb loading for a big run).  I have recently been eating sandwich thins- they work great as a bun or to make a sandwich and they are only 100 calories each.  One of my favorite indulgences is Dave's Killer Bread- it is amazing.  But I try to eat bread only a couple times a week.  I am sure that will change once I get into my marathon training and I need to increase my carb intake.

***Happy Birthday to my friend and running pal Cynthia***

I made Cynthia yummy cupcakes for her dinner party

Here is a list of my  favorite things about her

1.  She encouraged me to train for a half marathon last year as our New Year's resolution and has ran every single race with me.  It will be very strange to run one without her. 

2.  She is smart and well educated.  She has a great work ethic and will be amazing at whatever career path she chooses.

3.  She is a good dancer and fun to go out with.  She makes me laugh, especially when we have multiple jello shots at The Rock.

4.  She loves shopping- even more than I do.  Which is a lot :)  And she is fun to go shopping with.

5.  She loves her dogs.  A lot.  They are spoiled rotten.  But it is very sweet and they are lucky doggies to have such a caring owner.

6.  She is a good mom and always makes sure her son has what he needs and is well taken care of.

1 comment:

  1. This is my fav post... and not at all because the end is dedicated to me :)
    Having jello shots is when we come up with our greatest ideas!