Yoga was awesome! I haven’t been to a yoga class since before Christmas, and I definitely missed it! This was a power yoga class. I generally like Power yoga best, although one of the only other types of yoga I do is Vinyasa yoga. For those that don’t know, Power yoga focuses more on strength, while Vinyasa focuses on moving with your breath. I personally find that Power yoga helps me more with flexibility, and today’s class was no exception. My muscles were killing me but I definitely loosened up.
After yoga, it was dinnertime! I had big plans for dinner; an avocado stashed in my fridge! At the dining hall, I whipped up this plate:
Greens and tomatoes with grilled chicken, and avocado of course! I also had a little of the prepared salad, which was some kind of ranch mixture that wasn’t very exciting. I do wish the dining hall had more interesting things to put in salads though. That little red chunk on their is tofu with tomato sauce, which I was curious to try. I didn’t have any carbs on my plate, so I decided I should probably grab some. I ate a banana with peanut butter, plus a half a whole wheat english muffin with butter. Overall, not a bad dinner.
One thing I want to talk about is the timing of my posts. Normally, I write up my posts at the end of the day, after my last meal. While I really like this timing, it allows me to reflect on the whole day, it doesn’t make the most sense in terms of my work. Evenings/nights are my best time to get my work done. I have several awkward roughly hour long breaks during many of the days, and this isn’t really enough time for me to be productive anyways. So I’m considering trying to post then. Thoughts?
Ok, now on to today! I was up early for a team erg. Thursdays are our hardest workouts. Beforehand, I had a few bites of my Vanilla Peanut Butter Protein bars. Love them! My workout was tough, but at least it was shorter intervals, rather than longer ones like 6ks. However, it was a little frustrating for me. Although I beat my goal times significantly, I still had trouble getting my times as low as my teammates. I was feeling pretty down about this, but since then I’ve thought of a few things I can try to work on the close the gap. Besides rowing technique, I think I really need to strengthen my core. I usually have a pretty strong core but I haven’t done too many abs exercises lately. During the workout, I was slowing down, not because I wasn’t pushing myself mentally (I tend to have trouble pushing myself through the longer pieces), but because I simply wasn’t going fast. Core may have something to do with this. At the same time, this reminded me that I definitely have room for improvement on the longer workouts, because for those, the barrier is mental, so I know I am at least capable of doing better. So in summary, the workout was hard. One thing that made my day a little bit better was a t-shirt! My first piece of varsity athletic gear! The shirt was for my school winning some type of championship…no one was exactly sure what it meant, but still awesome! I wore it today with pride. Plus, it’s a really nice shirt. Normally I feel like feminine fitting t-shirts can be kind of strange shaped, but this was really nice!
A chocolate protein shake was in order! Being the cool person that I am, I took basically all the ingredients (except milk and yogurt) to the dining hall just so I could use the blender and avoid cleaning mine…
Into the mix went protein powder, cocoa powder, milk, plain yogurt, a frozen banana, and a spoon of peanut butter. Overall, the protein powder was pretty good. It was a little bit grainy. It’s not Whey, and I think Whey mixes better…But it doesn’t have any artificial sweeteners, which was a requirement for me because they usually leave a weird aftertaste that I don’t like. I also probably put a little too much in….I also have vanilla protein powder that is whey, which I used for my protein bars. They turned out well despite the stevia in the powder, so maybe I should try making a protein smoothie with the vanilla protein powder and cocoa powder to see what happens. I also ate some fruit, as you can see.
After breakfast was class. I was overjoyed to find that the weather is warming up a bit! It was a single jacket day, for the first time in a looong time. After class, I had a sort of awkward amount of time. I thought about blogging, then decided that a quick nap was in order. It was only half an hour, and I’m not sure if I ever fell asleep, but it was rejuvenating all the same. I definitely need to be getting more sleep. Tonight’s goal is in bed by 10! I don’t have any work due tomorrow (although I always have things I should be working on), plus I have a long weekend coming up, so that should be an attainable goal. I woke up in time for lunch at my more local dining hall. I forgot how good lunches are now, way better than dinners!
Salad with sesame dressing, pesto tofu, and a cheese and chicken quesadilla. Plus salsa and some type of salsa mixture that appeared to contain avocado…not sure about that one. The pesto on the tofu was good, but the tofu in general would be so much better if it was cooked differently. It’s always the same, and I’m not sure how it’s made, but it’s always kind of tough. Oh well. Can’t win them all.
I also had the last bite (literally! It was tiny) of my protein bars. I need to make something else like that to keep on hand for a snack, that I can just grab a few bites of. I’ve seen a ton of recipes for protein balls, so maybe something like that. Any suggestions?
After my snack, I was craving something sweet, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Finally, I realized I really wanted super dark chocolate. I didn’t have any baker’s chocolate on hand, so I ate a small spoonful of peanut butter with unsweetened cocoa powder. Pretty darn good if you ask me!
Practice today actually went pretty well. I wasn’t feeling too great about it at the beginning because my legs were still dead from this morning, but my boat ended up getting into a great rhythm, plus the water was super calm. We got to row out way farther than normal, all the way into the bay! Nothing like watching a sunset from the bay, on a calm day!
After practice, I made myself dinner. Naturally, I snacked on trail mix while I did this. I seriously can’t prepare food without eating. Unfortunately, I totally forgot to grab spinach earlier, but this worked all the same.
Plus this. It’s from whole foods, and it’s delicious! And look at that ingredient list! Awesome!
To make this:
That’s dorm room cooking at its finest, my friends. I had a pouch of microwave brown rice, plus a leftover half avocado laying around (seriously, most people would kill to have half of an avocado laying around), plus broccoli which I brought back with me from break. Yum! Super simple, and super delicious. Plus, avocado makes everything better, right? For dessert, I had this:
I seriously don’t know why I ever messed around with microwave brownies. This is definitely where it’s at. Super healthy, and super delicious. I bet it would be superb with some chocolate chips added in (for when I’m not on my sugar challenge). I’m considering experimenting with this to make it into more of a cake-like thing, and possibly added oats and egg. We’ll see. I also considered doing something like that peanut butter apple crisp thing I posted yesterday. Like doing the base of banana and cocoa powder, then topping it with the peanut butter and oat mixture. How does that sound?
So I’m going to go home a little bit during this long weekend, but I’m not sure how long. I don’t have practice, so I have some freedom. I was only planning on being home a day or two, but now I’m considering being home all weekend because there’s a nasty stomach bug going around my dorm, and I really don’t want to catch it! One thing I am excited about for this weekend is a little bit of freedom in my workouts. We don’t have anything assigned, so I get to do pretty much whatever I want! I’m super pumped to lift some weights on my own on Saturday. I’m going to do my all time favorite weights workout (more on that later). I’m also looking forward to a couple of shorter workouts on the erg to work on speed.
Ok, now on to talk about my no sugar challenge! It’s going super well! I’m not sure why it’s so much easier this time around. It could be the additional effort I’ve put into eating better lately. It’s easier for me to resist sweets when the rest of my diet is healthy. But I’ve started to ask myself, what happens when the challenge is over? What do I do then? It’s easier to avoid sweets when there is a particular amount of time that they are to be avoided. But it’s not like I want to give them up forever. I definitely intend on indulging a little right when it’s over, although this will probably be the time I will want them the most. Here’s the thing about me and sugar. In general, I have a pretty bad reaction to it. It makes me jittery. It makes me crazy- I feel like my hormones are all over the place. It makes me feel gross, and worst of all, it makes me crave it even more. Here’s the thing about my challenge: I wouldn’t say I feel better all the time now that I’ve cut out the sweet stuff. But I never feel bad. In the past, due to its addictive nature, I would often gorge myself on sweets! Which naturally left me feeling terrible. So I never get that anymore. Plus, the temptation of sugar often put some added stress into my life. I looove the science behind the metabolism of sugar, so I know just what it is doing to my body. But despite all this, sugar definitely tastes good. Hopefully I will have some more answers for myself by the end of this challenge. Maybe I could continue 30 day challenges, with a treat in between? We shall see! Either way, I’m enjoying this one.
Do you have any suggestions for my future with sugar? How do you find a healthy balance with eating sweets?