Saturday, July 19, 2008

:: kettlebell featured in fitness ::

I was thrilled to see kettlebell featured in this month's (july) issue of Fitness. I'm hoping that more women would take notice of this AWESOME tool - scientifically proven to burn 70% more calories than the typical strength routine. They also featured quite a number of drills to learn from.

The first gripe I have is the lack of mention on the importance of learning the core drills from a kettlebell expert - its so easy to do the wrong thing and hurt yourself, especially on the swings & snatches! The second gripe is that the recommended starting weight is 10 lb (isn't that kinda light??) and there's no emphasis on the importance of increasing weight to push one's self.

Regardless - i'm so glad there's been PR on it!

:: Day 34 - Summary (in Boston) ::

Activities: 660 cal burnt
60 mins elliptical trainer on resistance level 10
1 min: crossramp 10, slow & easy
2 mins: crossramp 10, sprint
1 min: crossramp 1, slow & easy
2 mins: crossramp 1, sprint

I find that I can't just do an hour straight of cardio, the seconds just seem to crawl by. The way I get around it is by doing some form of interval training. My goals are more manageable when they are broken down into X minutes made of Y milestones instead of 1 single milestone of 60 minutes! Not to mention, you burn mucho calories that way too :) As a rule of thumb, if i'm not sweatin' buckets, i ain't workin'! The HRM also helps keep me honest.

Pre-workout& post-workout: 120 cal

1 kashi bar 120 cal

Breakfast: 72 cal

1 apple 72 cal

Lunch: 490 cal
1 turkey breast subway 6" + honey mustard dressing 340 cal
1 oz cape code potato chips 150 cal

Dinner: === CHEAT MEAL ===

12-course chinese dinner, sigh, what can i say. At least we had an awesome time at the wedding! Tmrw, I'm going to kill myself at the gym; 1000 calories.


Friday, July 18, 2008

:: Day 33 - Summary (in Boston) ::

Activities: 623 cal
I finally arrived into Boston after the red-eye flight and am totally exhausted. The guy next to me had a _really_ bad cough which was really disturbing. But having been in his situation before many a times, I decided to show plenty of grace. Nevertheless, I am still praying hard that I won't fall sick even though I've started to cough a little bit. The upside was I had plenty of legroom in United's bulkhead row!

I'm going to hit the gym for a solid hour to battle this cough and hopefully come out of it a winner.
3pm: 60 mins cardio, 623 cal burnt, HRa 151, HRm 171
5 mins walk, incline 15.0, speed 2.5
4 mins jog, incline 3.0, speed 4.0
1 min sprint, incline 3.0, speed 5.0
(repeat for an hour)

Breakfast: 350 cal
3 angelcots 150 cal
1 kashi bar 120 cal
1 tbsp trailmix 80 cal

This was literally breakfast in bed! The other option was a $9.95 buffet which I passed on.

Lunch: 195 cal
Some boston-specific snacks (courtesy of the bride and groom) that I shouldn't be eating.
1/3 of a (delicious) cookie + 1 raisinette + a few chips
1/2 granola bar 45 cal

Afternoon snack @ North End: 205 cal
- 0.5 cafe vittoria's iced mocha, 125 cal
- 1.5 bites of cannolli from Mike's Bakery80 cal

Dinner with Sunjeev/Andrea at Fugakyu: 435 cal
I tried to keep dinner very light since i knew they were going to take us for dinner. Good call :)
- wakame salad 90 cal
- miso soup 85 cal
- spicy tuna salad 180 cal
- 2 pieces of mikee's rolls 80 cal

Dessert @ Finale: 250 cal
- "Whole 9 yards" mini dessert platter, shared. Approzimately 1 slice of cheese cake 250 calories

Total calorie intake: 1425 cal
Note to self: mostly eating not-so-healthy food

Thursday, July 17, 2008

:: TJ Soy Orange Bar - "Crunchy" edition ::

I had to have mine after hearing Iris talk about it over IM. But i decided I needed a little bit more calories today so i added some "crunch" to my soy bar. The thing about this particular bar is that its creamy and soft so you can easily add things to it. (Btw Iris has reported that there is a CHOCOLATE version of this, also 80 calories! YES!!!)

Step 1:
Assemble ingredients. For crunch, I used 1/5 cup Kashi's Go Lean cereal. I imagine you can use all sorts of cereal and/or nuts.

Step 2: Press all surfaces of soy bar against the crunchies on a flat plate. Use a flat surface like a measuring cup to help you. (If you are using large crunchies you might need to crunch it up first)

Step 3: Enjoy! As you eat it continue to press the edges into the crunchies to "pick up" the loose crunchies from the plate

Other notes:

- Crunchies will add on more calories! My crunchies were about 30-40 cal for 1/5 cup. But they were high in protein!
- This is a good way to get flaxseed into your diet! Grind up a tablespoon of flaxseed and sprinkle all over!
- If you find it hard to get the crunchies to stick on, give the bar a minute or two to get even softer
- Eat it over a sink or a plate if you want to be tidy, I had a few loose crunchies disengage from the bar

:: Day 32 - Summary ::

Activities: 335 cal burnt
3pm: 33 mins kb, 26lb double-hand swings d/hill and u/hill ladder, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 90, 80, 70, 60, 50 = 800 reps! {15 push-ups and 45s rest in between) 335 cal burnt, HRa 149 HRm 167
This was an awesome workout!!!! Felt soooo strong!!!

Early morning snack: 110 cal
Small handful of trailmix

I weigh myself every morning right after I get up and pee. I just weighed in at 184.8. I think I am losing weight dangerously fast. There are two things going on: I am eating very little and I am exercising alot. Is that bad? I swear I wanted to eat more for dinner last night but I was already full. Based on my research, it's not good to eat under 1,200 calories so today I will actually perk things up. Although with the weekend being spent in Boston for yet another wedding, I am sure the calorie count will be up there.

Breakfast: 320 cal
Oh how i craved a sausage mcmuffin with egg today. Not wanting to break the MacDonalds fast (it's been a month!!!), I decided I will attempt to make something at home that will satisfy me. I used flaxseed bread, turkey bacon, avocado and eggs. It was healthIER but not by alot. But it satisfied me.

Mid-morning snack: 110 cal
2 angelcots

Lunch: 370 cal
3 pieces boiled broccoli
2 oz sweet potatoes with chicken
4 oz shirtaki noodles with tofu and asparagus
1 Trader Joe's Soy Creamy Vanila Bar "crunchy edition" (See recipe) 120 cal

Afternoon snack: 110 cal
2 angelcots

Dinner: 406 cal
4 oz shirataki noodles with tofu and aspragus 150 cal
PBJ sandwich on flaxseed spread 200 cal
1 angelcot

Total calorie intake: 1420cal

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

:: Mid-Point Results ::

1st place: X has lost 7.25%
2nd place: Y has lost 7.06%
3rd place: Z has lost 6.10%
Honorable mention: Jo has lost 6.00%

This week:

1st place: Jo
2nd place: X
3rd place: P
Honorable mention: Q

I guess I am still in the game!!! woohoo! I'm thinking that if I had 5 weeks like the rest of the contestants I may have been up there! Oh well, just means I have to continue to work extra hard to make up for that week. I think i might actually have a shot since my calorie-burning kettlebell muscles have started to work overtime. I'm going to crush this!!!

:: the warrior diet? ::

So I've noticed endorsement for the warrior diet on various kettlebellers' sites including Tracy Reifkind, Susan and my coach, Joe Sarti. After reading up about it, my first impression was... Are you crazy??? Especially the part about the diet fallacies - I could not believe its claims. But the main idea is that you undereat during the day and overeat when it's dark. It's 12pm right now and i am STARVING for lunch.. will I be able to do this? I would like to give myself another challenge - another kick in the butt so that I can leave everyone else in the dust so therefore I am seriously considering it. (Especially since it's been endorsed by people i trust and respect)

People who know about the Warrior Diet (WD), what are your thoughts?


TOP 10 DIET FALLACIES (according to the WD)

1. BREAKFAST is the most important meal of the day
2. EATING BEFORE EXERCISING will provide your muscles with instant energy
3. EATING LATE will make you fat
4. FAT makes you fat
5. CARBS are your enemy
6. COUNT YOUR CALORIE INTAKE to control your weight
7. It's ok to eat everything but in moderation
8. Low carb products will help you lose weight
9. To build muscles, you need to consume a fixed amount of protein/pound body weight
10. Your diet should consist of a certain fixed ratio of protein / fat / carbs

:: Free iphone app: restaurants ::

I love this app! It tells me what the calorie counts of items from fastfood restaurants. NExt time i feel like binging at MacDonalds, I just have to look up the calorie count. 770 cal for a large shake??? dang!!!


:: Day 31- Summary ::

Activities: 1000 cal
6am: 51 mins interval weight training bootcamp, 398 cal burnt, HRm 162, HRa 129
4pm: 30 mins treadmill on an incline, ladder, 8, 10, 13, 15, 300 cal burnt
30 mins kb, 30 double, 15R, 15L, 20 snatch, rest {repeat}, 302 cal burnt. HRa 151 HRm 164

Breakfast: 220 cal
2 softboiled eggwhites, 50 cal
1 kashi waffle 85 cal
2 tsp (23g) greek yogurt 30 cal
1/2 cup soy milk 55 cal

Mid-morning snack: 180 cal
2 figs 60 cal
1 kashi bar 120 cal

Lunch: 250 cal

boiled broccoli
4 oz sweet potatoes with chicken

Afternoon snack: 106 cal
1 angelcot
1 flaxseed bread

Dinner: estimated 350 cal
3 pieces boiled broccoli
2 oz sweet potatoes with chicken
4 oz shirtaki noodles with tofu and asparagus
TJ's Soy Creamy Vanilla Bar 90 cal

Total calorie intake: 1,106 cal (Need more calories!!!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

:: official mid-contest weigh in ::

I am weighing-in in style today (incidentally my new size M dress from Target)! I may not be in the running but at least I can show up looking good! it can still be intimidating to the other contestants, right? :)

[1:04pm] I weighed in at 188 lbs!!! WOOHOO!! And this is after 4 straight days of eating out + desserts. I must be working out real hard and the muscles are finally doing some calorie-burning work! I'm probably also better at picking the right foods to eat at restaurants.

:: Day 30 - Summary ::

Workout: Forgot the HRM.
6am: Slow & Easy 40 min kb workout: I've noticed that my swinging has become somewhat sloppy. Today I focused on syncing and linking and really making each rep count by cracking the darn walnut between my buttcheeks. Graphic, but the best analogy to use.
8pm: 30 mins interval training with elliptical trainer (level 10), 1 min sprint, 2 min norma, 337 cal burnt, HRa 151 HRm 170

Breakfast: 241 cal
2 softboiled eggwhites, 50 cal
1 angelcot 56 cal
1 fig (35g) 30 cal
1 kashi waffle 85 cal
2 tsp (23g) greek yogurt 30 cal

Morning snack: 60 cal
2 figs 60 cal

Lunch: 270 cal
Boiled veges
Salmon patty
tofu casserole

Afternoon snack: 112 cal

2 angelcots 112 cal

Dinner: 370 cal

I'm like the Rachel Ray of chinese cooking. 4 dishes in 30 minutes!
1.5 oz wild salmon, pan fried, 90 cal
4.0 oz sweet potatoes with chicken 200 cal
steamed broccoli 50 cal
Boiled chinese veges 30 cal

Post-workout treat: 60 cal

3/4 of a Trader Joe's Soy Creamy Vanilla Orange Bars 60 cal
SO DELICIOUS and yet low in calories! It's non-diary but totally satisfied by sweets craving. Sigh.... happy.

Total calorie intake: 1113 cal

Curious how I know the exact calories of what I'm eating (not all the time though). Weighing scale!


:: of milestones ::

[victory dress milestone]: It's very unlikely that I will be able to squeeze into it before cousin debbie's wedding this saturday. The part where I am experiencing problems is the bust area and I doubt I can lose an inch in 4 days!!

That being said, I have other dresses I can now fit into! And like Susan and Mikee said, it's not a matter of "if", it's a matter of "when". Still a few more weddings to go!

[size M milestone]:
I've been consistently size L or XL but started to notice that I could fit into size M stuff. I went to Target after work yesterday for more data points. Tried on 5 different size M tops from different brands and they all fit!!! I am officially size M on the top! Still have to continue working on my lower body though which has proven more stubborn...

[bootcamp milestones]: As part of Hao's bootcamps, we have to do evaluations before and after each 4-week session. This gives us a very good idea of how far we've come. In my case, I really wanted to push myself as much as possible when doing the plank - and guess what, I topped out at 3 mins and I could've gone even more! teehee

[unofficial milestones]: There are those milestones that you plan for (victory dress) and there those milestones that you notice, only when they come. This morning I realized I can touch the ground... with my palms FLAT! Ohmigosh, it's been decades since I was last able to do this. The last time I did that I would've been about 3-4 years old I think. All through elementary school and up to college I've always been struggling with flexibility. Who knew after 4 weeks of bootcamp and kettlebelling, I would be able to do it at the grand age of 29! woohoo! (I know i'm modest, but do we see some definition on the delts? hehe)

[diet milestones]: Eating within calorie ranges 99% of the time :) Is it time to push myself to the next level? I think I may try a raw food diet 1-2x a week, per Susan's recommendation and see what that does to my body. Might be a good time to detox as well.

Monday, July 14, 2008

:: to weigh or not? ::

So the weekly weigh-ins are completely optional, except the one tmrw. I was wondering what would work better for me...

1. Weigh in weekly: that would give me an idea of how I compare with the rest of the contestants. But it may also mean that I'll know early up front that I'm not even in the running and get demoralized. On the other hand, if I am in the running I may get complacent and slack off.

2. Don't weigh in until final weigh in: This means I just have to work my ass off and see what happens on game day.


:: the indentation! ::

Monday is weigh-in day, mugshot day and measurements day. The measurements don't show the needle moving significantly at all. But I'm starting to like the mugshots! The arms have tapered sharper right at the shoulders, the back and abs are definitely tighter and you can even see the 1" indentation on my obliques (With some photoshop help of course, look at the shadow)
p.s. although this is 30-minutes post workout, i am totally not flexing!


:: Day 29 - Summary ::

Activities: 1056 cal
6am: 63 min bootcamp, interval training, 492 cal burnt, HRa 133 HRm 177
4pm: 55 min on treadmill,10 gradient, 3.3 speed, 564 cal burnt. HRa 149 HRm 162

1/2 kashi bar 60 cal

Breakfast: 305 cal

2 egg whites + 1 egg yolk hardboiled 120 cal
1 kashi golean blueberry waffle 70 cal
1 tsp bovril 10 cal
1 tsp organic peanut butter 40 cal
1 tsp ovalmaltine 10 cal
1/2 cup soy 55 cal

Mid-morning snack: 35 cal

1/2 orange 69 cal

Lunch: 300 cal

1+ serving MIL's cold tofu 300 cal

Afternoon snack: 60 cal

1/2 kashi bar

Dinner: 270 cal
Boiled vegetables 50 cal
Tofu casserole 100 cal
1 salmon patty with ketchup 120 cal

Dessert: 350 cal

So... this was a major challenge for me tonight. I was invited to the MSG Girl's Dessert night. I really wanted to go for the fellowship despite it not agreeing with my current diet. The idea was I would bring my angelcots and abstain from the dessert. My resolve ... well dissolved. I did have 1.5 of Marcela's nutella crescents and 1/2 a mini-biscuit with strawberries and some of alice's raspberry pudding. And yes I ate an angelcot as wel. I estimate the damage to be around 200+ 50+ 50+50=350

mini crescent rolls

1/2 of the biscuit that I did not eat

Total calorie intake: 1380 cal


Sunday, July 13, 2008

:: MIL's cold tofu with duck's eggs ::

Who says chinese food can't be healthy? This recipe has a calorie count of only 250 per serving AND it's delicious!!! Didn't think it was possible eh? Most of the ingredients need to be purchased at an asian supermarket like 99Ranch or Lion.

2 boxes of "Regular" tofu (180 cal per box, 360 total)
3 preserved duck eggs, without lead, diced (80 cal per egg, 240 total)
1 packet of preserved vegetables, chopped (40 cal per bag)
1 stalk of green onion, minced (10 cal)
soy sauce
sesame oil
sugar (optional)

1. Dunk the tofu into boiling water for a few minutes
2. Drain tofu and cut into 1" cubes
3. Toss everything together in a big bowl, trying not to break up the tofu
4. Serve immediately or chilled.

Total calories: 700 cal
Servings: 3 (If served as a main entree)
Servings: 4-6 (If served as a dish, appetizer)


:: Day 28 - Summary ::

Activities: 1003 cal burnt
11am: 36 min jog/sprint interval training with Mikee, 393 cal burnt, HRa 153 HRm 173
3pm: 63 min kb, 609 cal burnt, HRa 144 HRm 167
Kettlebell mambo mix... i seriously cannot remember exactly what i did but there were alot of one-handed swings and snatches today.

early morning snack: 80 cal
PBJ mini 80 cal

Breakfast:265 cal

2 slices of flaxseed 100 cal
2 egg whites + 1 egg yolk 120 cal
1 tsp bovril 10 cal
1/3 cup soy 35 cal

Pre-run: 1 bite of banana 15 cal

Lunch: 450 cal

MIL's Tofu prepared with Duck Egg + Preserved vegetables 250 cal
(This happens to be one of the most delicious and healthiest chinese dishes ever! I'll be posting a follow-up post for the recipe. How blessed I am to have family that will help watch out for my diet!)
2.5 boiled dumplings 80 cal
bite of flank steak with tomatoes 30 cal
1 red bean Popsicle 90 cal

Dinner @ Harvest: 670 cal

2/3 Shrimp mango salad, vinaigrette dressing 120 cal
2 small pieces of bread 150 cal
a bite of mikee's chicken sandwich 30 cal
1/2 cup of minestrone soup 40 cal
and 1/3 of the most amazing hot chocolate bread pudding _ever_...+ ice cream. 300 cal

Ok, no more sweets for me this week. I'm disgusted at myself, 3 straight days of dessert.

Total calorie intake: 1445 cal