WIAW #6: Glycemic Index Diet

Hi there! I hope everyone is having a great week so far.

I’ve been super tired the last couple of days, which I’m guessing from the combination of cutting out caffeine and the extra workouts for the Midline Massacre. On the positive side, I’ve been sleeping wonderfully!

I’m going to share my eats from today for What I Ate Wednesday. If you’re new to WIAW, head over to Peas and Crayons and check it out!

Breakfast – 9 a.m.

Today’s breakfast included steel cut oats made with skim milk, blueberries, almonds and a sprinkle of cinnamon. It looks like a big bowl of blueberries, but there is oatmeal hiding under there, I swear!

Lunch – 12:30 p.m.

For lunch I stuffed a pita pocket with hummus, turkey, spinach, tomato and avocado.

I also had a bowl of greek yogurt, blueberries and a little bit of Kashi GoLean Crunch.

Snack – 3 p.m.

I had a hair appointment this afternoon and knew I would be hungry right about the time I got to the salon, so I snacked on an apple and a handful of almonds on my way out the door.

It’s amazing just a little trim can make your hair feel so much better. This haircut was long overdue so my ends were badly in need of some attention. All better now!

Dinner – 7 p.m.

I was on my own for dinner tonight, so I attempted to make an omelet. My attempt failed miserably but I still ended up with a pretty good scramble of egg whites, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and cheese.

Since I was already having breakfast for dinner, I decided to have a small bowl of Kashi GoLean Crunch to wash it down. Surprisingly, this cereal is one of only a few approved for the low glycemic index diet. Even though it has a fair amount of sugar, I’m guessing the high protein and fiber content helps reduce its glycemic index.

This was my second day following the glycemic index diet, and so far, so good! I’ve been loosely following the meal plan provided by my gym but had to alter it a little bit because chili is on the menu for lunch and it is too freakin’ hot out for chili. I am staying within my caloric limit, hitting my protein quota, sticking to low glycemic index foods and keeping up with the workouts. I’m interested to see what happens!

Have a good one!

Glycemic Index

Greetings from Connecticut! I made it to my parents’ house yesterday evening after a surprisingly easy drive from Alexandria. I thought I would hit major traffic but there were no delays and I made the drive in under 7 hours. Not bad!

While I’m here I will be starting a diet and exercise program with my CrossFit gym back in Virginia Beach. I attended an info session on Saturday and after learning about the plan, I was in.

The program is 7 weeks long and includes both diet and exercise. Since we are all CrossFitters, we are obviously doing CrossFit several times a week, but the program includes supplemental WOD’s which all of the participants are doing in addition to our regular workouts. There are two supplemental WOD’s per day, an a.m. one and a p.m. one. Each workout is about 10 minutes long and focused on core strengthening exercises such as planks, burpees, mountain climbers, grasshoppers, v-sits and tons of other fun stuff.

While the WOD’s sounded great, the nutrition part of the program is what really intrigued me. If you read my post about my goals for the month of May, you already know that I have been working to reduce my sugar intake. Unfortunately, it turns out that I have very little self control when it comes to cookies and fro-yo.

The diet plan that goes along with the weight loss challenge focuses on low-sugar, low glycemic index foods. Why is that important? Let me share the science behind this, which I learned from my awesome coach who put this program together.

When we eat sugar, it is quickly converted in glucose, which dissolves into our bloodstreams and spikes our blood sugar levels. When our blood sugar levels spike, our bodies release insulin, which is not great for weight loss. There are two reasons for this:

1. Insulin reduces the amount of glucose in our bloodstream, diverting it to various body tissue for immediate short-term use OR storing it as fat. So, unless you’re going to hop on the treadmill immediately after eating a package of M&M’s, and I mean immediately, because that glucose needs to be used up FAST, then your body will store those calories as fat. That is why endurance athletes basically consume pure sugar during their events- it is quick energy- but it is gone just as fast.

2. Insulin inhibits the conversion of body fat back into glucose for the body to burn, making it even harder to shed body fat.

So, by consuming foods that are low on the glycemic index, you will get longer lasting energy from your food, therefore feeling fuller for longer. Low-glycemic index foods include steel cut oats, quinoa, apples, berries, almonds, lean meats and most vegetables. These foods are low in sugar and high in fiber and protein, making them great for energy and satiety.

The plan also includes calorie counting, because ultimately you must expend more calories than you consume to lose weight. It stinks, but it’s the truth. The plan suggests that everyone hover around 2,000 calories, but since I am so small (I am only 5 feet tall, people) I know that I won’t lose weight at that number, so I am sticking with 1600.

I am hoping this plan will give me the structure I need to reign in my sugar cravings and lose a few stubborn pounds. Yesterday was day one and it went really well. The workouts were killer, the meals were tasty and I felt full and energized throughout the day.

I’ll be sharing some of the meals and workouts in the next few weeks and keep you posted on how it goes. Wish me luck!

Have you ever tried or heard of the low-glycemic index diet??? What do you think of it?

One Year Ago

This Memorial Day weekend has been extra special because exactly one year ago, Brian and I got engaged! We tied the knot three months later and the rest is history 🙂

Being the dork that I am, I insisted that we celebrate the anniversary of our engagement while visiting Alexandria this weekend. I will literally find any excuse to celebrate. Happy “engage-me-versary” to us!

We went out to dinner at Vermillion, one of our favorite restaurants in Alexandria and the same place we went the night of Brian’s proposal.

One Year Ago:

Today!

Do you notice a wardrobe similarity? I thought it would be cute to wear the same outfit as the night that Brian proposed. There is no limit to my corniness.

I ordered the panko crusted grouper with spring pea risotto, spinach and ham. It was delicious but unfortunately every photo from the night is terrible because we only had Brian’s iPhone and the restaurant was extremely dark.

Brian had the beef tenderloin which was also really yummy.

We also enjoyed a chocolate hazelnut gateau (fancy word for cake) which I devoured so quickly Brian was lucky if he got two bites.

This was a perfect way to celebrate our one year engage-me-versary. Only a few more months until we celebrate our wedding anniversary!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! And a big thank you to all of the men and women who serve in our armed forces. God bless you.

A Cure for Treadmill Boredom

Hello, hello! If your holiday weekend has begun already like mine, happy weekend! If not, hang in there, you’re almost there!

Brian and I have some exciting plans for this weekend. We’re heading up to our old stomping grounds in Alexandria, Va. tomorrow after a special CrossFit class (more on that another time) for the weekend. Then on Memorial Day I will be braving the traffic to drive up to Connecticut to stay with my family for three weeks while Brian is in a training school in Quantico, Va. I am so lucky to have a job that allows me to travel whenever I want to – as long as I can bring my computer.

I’ve got some big plans for while I’m in Connecticut:

  • Buying a new car! (hence the 9-hour drive rather than a quick flight)
  • Trying a new CrossFit gym
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Cuddling with my family’s adorable pooches, a Bichon named Porkchop and a teeny-tiny poodle named Lily
  • Baking!!!! I have I so missed having an oven. I will be baking inappropriate amounts of delicious treats and bringing them back to Virginia Beach.
  • Downloading $100 million worth of books onto my mom’s IPad and holding it hostage for the duration of my stay

I’m going to miss my hubby, but I am really excited to get to spend some time with my family and friends. My schedule has been so crazy that I’ve only spent a total of about seven days in my hometown in the last two years!

Anywayssss, after all of that blabbering, it’s finally time to get to the title of the post, treadmill boredom. I often suffer from treadmill ADD when I go to the gym. Even if I’ve got a good book on the IPad or something good on t.v., I really can’t handle more than 45 minutes on the treadmill without going nuts. After that point, I start counting down the 0.01 miles on the treadmill which just makes the workout feel a billion times longer and more difficult.

Whenever I’m feeling especially ADD, like I was yesterday, I come up with a fun treadmill workout to keep things interesting. Yesterday’s workout was a good mix of jogging, sprinting and walking on some serious hills.

Because I am a huge dork, I like having some sort of “scheme” to my treadmill workouts. The idea behind this one was matching the sprint speed to the hill incline, which gave me something to mix up on the treadmill settings every minute or two and kept my boredom at bay. The walking portions of the workout did feel a little tedious compared to the sprints, which just flew by. This workout covered 3.5 miles including warm up and cool down in about 40 minutes and got me nice and sweaty.

If you want to try it out, please feel free to adjust the settings to your fitness level.

I’m off to do a fun partner WOD at CrossFit and then spend the rest of the day being a beach bum.

Enjoy your weekend!

How do you battle treadmill boredom???
Pandora, books and music on the IPad, and switching up the speeds and inclines

WIAW #5: A Momentous Occasion

Hi there! Soo I totally spaced yesterday and forgot to take photos of my food, so instead of Tuesday’s meals I’ll be sharing today (Wednesday’s) eats instead. Cool? Cool!

If you’re new to What I Ate Wednesday, head on over to Peas and Crayons and read all about it.

Breakfast – 9 a.m.

I made a batch of banana oats on the stove and they turned out super thick and delicious. It’s not the most exciting looking breakfast, but it tasted pretty darn good. In the mix were oats, milk, a mashed banana, pinch of cinnamon and a scoop of almond butter. I also had a cup of coffee that went un-photographed.

Lunch – 1 p.m.

I took a break around lunchtime to go for a run on the beach because the weather was finally nice for the first time in what felt like forever. Since the weather has been so crappy, running has been missing from my workout routine lately. I ran four miles on the beach and my legs and lungs were burning like no other. Note to self: run more often. It will make the experience much more enjoyable.

When I got back I threw together a wrap with hummus, turkey, spinach and pickles with some baby carrots and hummus for dipping on the side.

 Snack – 4 p.m.

I was hungry a few hours later so grabbed a peach and some almonds. The peaches I bought at Harris Teeter on Sunday ripened FAST so Brian and I are trying our best to eat them as quickly as possible. I don’t think that’s going to be too difficult though :).

Dinner – 7 p.m.

I made Rachael Ray’s Spanakopita turkey burgers for the first time a few weeks ago and they turned out great, so I repeated the recipe tonight. That woman annoys the heck out of me but she sure knows her stuff when it comes to making delicious, healthy burgers. These babies are packed with spinach, feta and fabulous spices.

Of course, I totally spaced and got halfway through my burgers before I remembered to take a picture. I eat way too fast for this to ever be a “What I Ate” blog every day of the week.

My burger was bun-less tonight because we only had a few sandwich thins left and I’m too cheap/lazy to buy any more since Brian and I will be away for three weeks beginning this weekend.

Dessert – 9 p.m.
 

Since I was such a selfless wife and sacrificed my burger bun for Brian, I deserve fro-yo tonight, right? Just nod and say yes, mmkay.

My cup of deliciousness included chocolate, vanilla, cake batter and peanut butter frozen yogurt topped with blueberries, mango, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips and coconut. If there was a competition for who could include the most ingredients in a cup of fro-yo for under $2.50, I would win, no contest.

I also got a cup for Brian to enjoy when he gets home from work later tonight. He is boring and only likes one or two flavors and toppings at a time, so I got him oreo fro-yo and the same chip selection that I had.

Note how much bigger his serving is – not because he can eat more fro-yo than me (hah! what a joke) – but so that he will think I am a generous wife when in fact I am just planning ahead for when I make him share with me later. I am an excellent planner when it comes to the important things in life.

Now for the exciting part: when the cashier rang me up, she told me that I had completed my loyalty card! YESS!

Free ice cream makes me crazy happy! Or just crazy. Either way, there is a free small cup of frozen yogurt in my very near future.

Stay tuned next WIAW for a post including the biggest cup of frozen yogurt ever assembled.

Have a good one!

Surprise Workout

I was in for a little surprise when I went to CrossFit today. I was expecting a workout with some power cleans and knees to elbows, but when I arrived for the noon class I discovered we would not be doing the posted workout that the other classes were doing that day. Apparently a group from one of the classes yesterday asked to do an ab workout that one of the coaches had recently done instead of Thursday’s WOD. This is what it looked liked:

For time:
100 GHD sit-ups
75 toes to ring
50 knees to elbows
25 wall walks

I found some images of the exercises since most of them are not typical gym exercises:

GHD sit-ups

Source 

Toes to rings
Video

Knees to elbows

Source

Wall walks

I couldn’t find any videos of them the way we did them in class, so I made one using my awesome terrible video skills.

Yeah. Ho-ly CRAP. I think my reaction to this workout was clear on my face because one of the guys in class said, “Maria looks really happy about this.” I was not happy. I do not like surprises. Anyone who has ever tried to surprise me knows this.

I am also noticing a trend with CrossFit workouts where I walk into a class convinced that I won’t be able to complete the WOD and end up not only completing it, but doing better than I’d anticipated. That is one of my favorite things about CrossFit- I am constantly surprising myself and discovering that I’m stronger than I think I am.

That being said, this workout was INSANE. It took me a little over 36 minutes to complete, and that was with the beginner level version of knees to elbows because my core was so fried by that point. My abs are sore already and the workout was only 2 hours ago. I am scared to wake up tomorrow because I know that just making my way into a seated position is going to be brutal.

But until that DOMS kicks in, I feel great! Tired, happy, surprised and accomplished.

Tune in for tomorrow’s post, where I’ll probably be sharing my favorite stretches for the rectus abdominis 🙂

WIAW #4: Cookie Love

Happy Wednesday! I woke up this morning hoping for some sunshine, but when I opened the curtains I was greeted by another gloomy, rainy day. Yuck.

On the bright side, my chest, shoulders and back are nice and sore from yesterday’s workout! Not too sore, but just the perfect amount of DOMS. Am I crazy or does anyone else like being sore after their workouts?

Another good thing about today is that it’s What I Ate Wednesday! If you are new to WIAW, head over to Peas and Crayons and check it out.

Here are my eats from yesterday:

Breakfast
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I toasted a cinnamon raisin bagel thin and topped it with some sunflower butter and a sliced banana. I also gulped down a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts French vanilla coffee with vanilla soy milk.

Lunch

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I made a delicious sandwich with whole wheat bread, mashed avocado, turkey, swiss cheese, tomato and spinach. I was so good I ate half of it before remembering to take a photo 🙂 I’m thinking I may need bigger slices of bread next time since my sandwich fillings were coming out the sides of my sandwich.

Snack

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Black cherry Chobani is hands down my favorite yogurt flavor. Sometimes I stick it in the freezer for a bit then put add a few chocolate chips and it tastes just like a healthier version of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any chocolate chips yesterday, but it was still delicious. I also had a Jazz apple which went un-photographed.

Dinner

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Brian came home for dinner and informed me he only had an hour before he had to go back to work, so we made a quick, easy dinner of whole wheat pasta with Prego tomato basil sauce and Al Fresco sweet Italian sausage. I ate mine atop a bed of baby spinach to add a little veggie boost to my dinner.

Dessert

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After dinner I enjoyed one of these babies: a coconut pecan cookie from Harris Teeter. These cookies are SO good. I don’t normally buy baked goods since I love to bake, but we don’t have an oven in our hotel room (a.k.a. our home for the summer) and I was having a major cookie craving this week.These cookies are chewy, moist and have lots of delicious coconut. I definitely recommend them!

There you have it, another What I Ate Wednesday! Have a fantastic day 🙂

What is your favorite kind of cookie?? 
I never met a cookie I didn’t like, but if I had to choose I would say my favorite is oatmeal butterscotch. Mmmmm.