Health Supplements & Insanity Month One

I have bunch of little tidbits to catch you up on so I’m going to get right in there and be a little random today.

First off, I hope everyone is having a good week so far. We are half way through the work week already. These weeks have been flying by lately crazy fast.

Moose had his second tooth extracted on Monday and he is doing very well. They didn’t have nearly as much trouble with this tooth as they did his other one, and he didn’t have to be under anesthesia as long. We are happy that is over with, and so is he. Thanks again for all of your sweet comments.

Let’s see, Monday evening’s dinner was one you have seen a million times by now, my favorite salmon recipe, but I still snapped a photo because it’s always so pretty.

salmon

And breakfast yesterday: banana with almond butter, honey, and cinnamon = Num.

banana with almond butter

Insanity Update

Two days ago I finished Month One of InsanityIf you’re new to my blog, you can quickly catch up on my weekly Insanity reviews here:

Here is what went down this last week:

Body and Strength Changes

I don’t feel like I went through many body changes this past week although I do feel my core continues to get stronger day by day. I feel this has helped tremendously with my back pain. I continue to see my chiropractor for adjustments but we have been able to stretch out my visits to every two weeks now versus what began as twice a week visits. That is great progress that I am super happy about.

Besides that, I may have hit a bit of a plateau, where my strength isn’t improving much, and my endurance is at a standstill.

So, this week I have started the recovery workout. The focus of this workout is on recovering from all of the cardio madness, giving muscles time to relax, yet still working them so as not to fall back in your progress.  It is a slightly more mellow workout which focuses on core and balance. For the next six days the program has you repeating the same workout daily. I’m a little nervous that I will get bored from the repetition because I usually can’t handle doing the same workout day after day. That being said, the next week of recovery may take me longer than six days to complete because I may throw in some runs or other workouts here and there.

Soreness, Fatigue, or Aches

The sore elbow that I mentioned last week which has been persistent for the last month or so is no longer an issue. Who knows what that was I’m just happy it’s gone!

Every now and then I will get a little tenderness on the top of my feet and occasional knee discomfort. When this happens, I try to take a day off to rest and then get back into it the following day once the tenderness has subsided.

Overall Thoughts and Feelings

I can’t believe month one is complete! I did take before and after photos but I think I may keep them to myself (I haven’t 100% decided either way yet), but what I can tell you is that I see some great results. My stomach is flatter, leaner and stronger, my legs are more toned and much stronger, my arm strength has increased greatly and I am now able to do hands and toes push-ups much more easily. I see more definition in my arms and my shoulders, and I have less back pain! Besides training for the half-marathon, I don’t know if I’ve ever been so diligent with a workout program before, especially with one this intense. I am very proud that I have kept with it this long. Time will tell how the second month goes. If I feel it is too intense for my body, I may scale back. We will see though.

I’m happy to have this week to “recover” before starting up with the even more insane workouts to come. My body could use a little rest, plus I am missing running and hope to get some of that in this week.

To any of you contemplating the Insanity program, I will tell you right now that it is not easy, but it is so worth it! The results are worth it. The way I feel about myself and the strength I have built, is so worth it. If you want to see results and build a stronger body, absolutely complete this program.

But first…Please consult with your physician before you begin this program if your health is compromised or if you are hesitant about the intensity of the program. 

A Sneak Peek at Last Night’s Dinner

I’m hoping to share this barbacoa recipe with you all sometime this week. It was a spicy one and SO good!

beef balcacoa

Health Supplements

Last topic of the day I promise. It has been a little while since I have given an update on my current health supplements I am taking in the journey towards my total wellness. I want to share this with everyone in case there are others out there who are fighting for wellness (in my particular case Ulcerative Colitis), and to give others some hope that alternative medicine can really truly make a difference! I plan to go into this in further detail another day, but today I would just like to keep it to a brief update.

Again I want to reiterate that I truly believe that if you are eating a healthy and balanced diet, and if you are completely 100% healthy and not fighting any type of disease, that you may not need to take supplements. You can get the nutrients you need from foods (Vitamin D is a probable exception) and your body is able to utilize those nutrients properly, but for those of us with compromised health, supplements can be a very good option in helping to find balance. I continue to work with my chiropractor and naturopath, who are working with me to find proper supplements to suit my particular health needs.

Last time I checked in with you all on this subject, I was taking:

  • cod liver oil
  • a multivitamin
  • calcium plus vitamin D3
  • probiotic

Today, I am taking these:

  • cod liver oil
  • multivitamin
  • folic acid
  • calcium plus Vit D3
  • probiotic
  • digestive enzymes

Digestive Enzymes are enzymes that break down food molecules in our body, which helps the body to digest and absorb food and nutrients from foods. I don’t take the enzymes with every meal as recommended, but I take them when I feel my body may need extra help in digesting a meal. For example, if I am eating a meal with broccoli or cauliflower, I will most likely take one beforehand. They really do seem to ease the digestion process for me and they make me feel better and able to tolerate more foods.

I had a terrible experience with the cod liver oil a couple of days ago however. The one I currently have is a liquid cod liver oil with cinnamon tingle flavor. Apparently I coughed right as I was swallowing the liquid and it got caught in my throat. For the next couple of hours my throat burned and all I could taste was fish. It was terrible. I continued to feel nauseous well into the afternoon. I asked my chiro about other options and thankfully there is a gel that has a chocolate flavor and there are also tablets available. The only downfall to the tablets is that you have to take 7-8 a day. I am going to try the chocolate one next and hope that I can tolerate it better because my cinnamon experience totally ruined any chance of me taking that one again. My body LOVES this stuff though. It’s like liquid gold. It’s full of omega-3’s, and Vitamin A and D. Before I take it I imagine it coating my intestines  like a cozy blanket to protect them. That’s weird, huh? Then I chug a gallon of water to get the taste out of my mouth.

Anyway, this is getting a bit lengthy. I do want to write another post about my experience with the naturopath and go more into detail about the specific brands of supplements I am taking, what they are primarily used for, and other health changes I have made to aid in my healing process. But for now, I am going to call it a day.

Happy Hump Day!

What are your thoughts on supplements? 

Insanity Week 3 Complete: Push Yourself

First and foremost, Moose says hi!

moose

 

Sometimes I think we should enroll him in puppy modeling because he is so adorable, but I wouldn’t want him to lose his modesty. 😉

I can’t believe how much I have been slacking creatively in the kitchen this week. Honestly, the majority of my meals this week have been “wing-it” meals and I have been settling with Greek yogurt and a couple of snacks for my evening meals. It’s a little strange! I’ll get back on the ball though; I always do.

Insanity: Week 3 Completed

I can’t believe I have just finished week three of Insanity. In case you missed my other Insanity posts you can catch up real quick:

Let’s take a look at how week three went down!

Body and Strength Changes

Many of the moves in the workouts are starting to feel “easier” because I am able to use more core strength to get through it. I say “easier” because these workouts continue to be incredibly challenging, I am just able to keep up a little better with some of the exercises. My core continues to feel stronger each week.

The amount of push-ups I am able to do has doubled since I began Insanity and I am so incredibly excited about this! I am still working towards my goal of being able to do at least one unassisted chin-up and I am thrilled to tell you that I am SO close! One of these days I’m going to hop on that pull-up bar and crank out a solid chin-up. I can’t wait.

My legs feel like stronger and more toned. My pants are all feeling very comfortable although I feel like my legs are looking a bit thicker; this may be in my head.

Weight Fluctuations

For the sake of my sanity (ha) I think I am going to remove this column from the following recaps. The scale and I have a poor relationship and I don’t like having to step on it every week; the number doesn’t matter and I don’t want this to be a focal point. I am feeling really good about the changes I am seeing, and I don’t want the scale to jeopardize these feelings.

The main reason I put this category in my recap posts was because I felt readers may be interested in any weight changes during the Insanity journey, and for that reason I will more than likely include that information in my final Insanity recap post, just not weekly. Thanks for understanding!

Soreness, Fatigue, or Aches

My back was really sore last week for some reason, but this week it is feeling just fine. This is a very good thing because that means I can continue the Insanity workouts.

My elbow is a little sore and have no idea if this is associated with the workouts or not. Kind of strange I realize but I don’t know what else it would be from!

Overall Thoughts and Feelings

I continue to prefer to do my Insanity workouts in the morning before breakfast and after I’ve had a chance to wake up for a few minutes. It’s a little hard to get moving during the warm-up but by the third set of the warm-up I am usually feeling good to go. I love the feeling of being completely done with an amazing workout early in the morning and having the rest of the day to do what I need to do. It helps me to stay energized throughout the day too.

(glistening post-workout photo)

insanity

This week of workouts flew by very quickly. I had an easy time finding motivation to complete the workouts (unlike last week). I think part of the reason why is that I am feeling so good about the changes my body is going through and I want to continue to feel and see those changes. I am feeling so much stronger and I am in complete amazement at the changes a person can make to their body in such a short amount of time. I can’t tell if my body is changing enough for anyone else to notice, but I can personally notice subtle changes and that’s all that matters to me.

motivation insanity

I found this Insanity Survival Guide on a blog I ran across on Pinterest, and if you are following the Insanity workouts or thinking about starting them, you should really check this out. He lists 17 tips to help you safely get through the Insanity workouts.

I began this Insanity journey to build strength, to increase endurance and stamina, and to challenge my body and push it out of it’s fitness comfort zone. I can honestly say it has done all of that and more and I am not even halfway done.

I am proud to say I am done with week three and gracefully moving on to week four!

Here I go!

When’s the last time you pushed yourself out of your fitness comfort zone? How did it go? How did you feel?

 

Insanity Week 2: Completed

Happy Thursday to you all. It is a dreary one here today and my mood definitely matches the weather right now. I’ll work on turning that around though.

I don’t have one single photo to share with you all from yesterday. Such a bummer, right? What I DO have to share with you is my week two Insanity recap. If you missed out on week one’s completion recap, you can check it out here: Insanity Week 1: Completed

Insanity Week 2: Completed

Body and Strength Changes

I continue to notice more definition in my core. I failed to take pre-measurements of my body so I don’t have actual inches to compare to, only photos but that’s okay. Push-ups are feeling easier although I am not able to keep up with the push-ups on the DVD and wind up having to do them on my knees.  My legs are looking more toned and lean. My pants are feeling completely comfortable again!

Based on my results of Fit Test #2, my cardio, endurance, and strength are all improving! It’s very gratifying to be able to see my progress!

Weight Fluctuations

I have lost 1-2 lbs so far which is great but not a major marker of my progress whatsoever considering I am (hopefully) building lean muscle which weighs more than fat.

Soreness, Fatigue, or Aches

My back has been pretty darn sore at nighttime this week. I’m hoping that it’s just a coincidence because I would really like to continue with the Insanity workouts. If it continues to feel wacky, I may have to cut back.

My energy level is generally GREAT!

Overall Thoughts and Feelings

Finding the motivation to complete the workouts this week was extremely challenging. I think it was mostly because we had the 10K run thrown in there on Saturday and it took me a little while to recuperate from it.

smoothie coffee

 

Now that I am repeating the workouts, they’re not as exciting to me. I know what to expect and tend to dread certain ones. But on the bright side, I ALWAYS feel fantastic after I get done with the workouts. Always.

On Monday I completed the Pure Cardio and then had to finish it off with the Cardio Abs and found this to be extremely challenging. My body was in so much fatigue from the Pure Cardio that I had a rough time pulling through the abs.

All in all, week two was more challenging in the sense that I had a harder time mustering up motivation to complete the workouts. I do think my strength is improving and plan to continue the Insanity challenge as long as my body can hold out. 

I continue to eat a clean diet full of protein, fruits, and veggies which helps me fight through the workouts and recover from them quickly. I did have some sugary treats this past weekend though. My body didn’t love me for that!

On to Week Three! 

motivation

Hope you all have a great day! I’ll try to turn my dreary mood around if you promise to do something that makes you happy today. Deal? I’m going to hang out with my family tonight and have that to look forward to which makes me SO happy.

Insanity: Week One Completed

Happy Earth Day my friends! If you ask me, we should be celebrating this everyday…

earth day

Some things we can do to help preserve our earth:

  1. Use reusable bags when shopping
  2. Walk or bike instead of driving when we can—I’m so guilty of this one
  3. Take shorter showers and really watch our water usage—guilty
  4. Use cold water more often when washing clothes
  5. Recycle–DUH! I am huge on this one. Someday I hope MN is as posh as Colorado is in terms of their recycling habits.
  6. Use refillable water bottles more often versus throwaway plastic bottles
  7. Use energy-saving light bulbs
  8. Turn off lights in the house when you aren’t using them
  9. Unplug appliances when they are not in use

That’s just a short list! Even if we all start making a few changes it can make a HUGE difference! Don’t forget about our future generations and their well-being.

How are you helping to preserve our planet?!

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This is definitely going to be an odds and ends kind of post. As you may have noticed, I took the weekend off from the blog and had a couple of lovely guest posts for your enjoyment. In case you missed them you can check them out:

I pretty much gave the camera a break the whole weekend–it needs time off too. 😉 I did manage to snap a couple from last night so here are a couple of photos for those of you who enjoy food photos as much as I do…

For dinner last night we had the salmon dish that made me start liking salmon. Simply grill the salmon with pepper and then top it with an almond caper drizzle that is made on the stove top using:

  • about 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1/4 cup or less of sliced almonds
  • 1-2 tablespoons of capers
  • 1-2 tablespoons of sesame oil

You want the almonds to turn slightly toasty but this whole process only takes about four minutes.

salmon salmon

It’s definitely my favorite way to eat salmon.

Check out our super healthy stocked fridge. It is filled to the brim with fruits and veggies and I love it!

fridge

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Insanity: Week One Completed

I told you this was an all-over-the-place post. Next up, I have finished week one of Insanity! I thought it might be interesting if I shared my progress week by week for anyone who might be interested in dabbling into the Insanity workouts, and also to do it for my own accountability and to really take the time to notice any progress I might be feeling or seeing.

Body and Strength Changes

Although it has only been a week and some may say you can’t see changes in a week, I am definitely feeling more toned already. I’m still working towards being able to keep up with the push-ups in the videos, but I do notice my strength is improving. After week two we will be completing another Fit Test which tests your stamina and strength, and helps you to note your progress. I will be anxious to see how that goes.

I am very excited to build my core and back strength. I feel this will really help alleviate some of my back problems.

Weight Fluctuations

No changes in weight.

Soreness, Fatigue, or Aches

After the first couple of workouts, I thought I was going to vomit (TMI?) but now I feel really good after a workout–no more nausea. My calves were tight during the first few days as well, but that has since subsided.

Right after a workout I feel pretty exhausted, but after I shower and get ready for the day I am finding I am highly energized.

Overall Thoughts and Feelings

I want to mention that although Insanity suggests you workout 6 days in a row and then take the 7th day for rest, if you feel like you need a break on any day in between, by all means TAKE A BREAK. Continue to listen to your body. Let your body recover to avoid injury, and get back at it the next day. Life happens, and there are days when you may be unable to get a workout in. That is okay but again, just start on up the next day.

I am doing my best to follow the program and follow it’s recommended schedule, but I am going to be throwing in days of rest and there will be days where I may be running instead and taking the day off from Insanity, but mostly I a sticking to the plan.

I love the trainer, Sean T. He is an excellent motivator and super easy on the eyes too. 😉 He really pushes you but not to the point where it’s annoying. He reminds you that it is okay to take quick rests during the workouts and that water breaks are super important!

I am so loving the fact that my hubby is doing this workout too. It always helps to have someone else going through the journey with you and we help to keep each other accountable and motivated.

I continue to eat a clean diet full of protein, fruits, and veggies which helps me fight through the workouts and recover from them quickly.

So far I am feeling GREAT!

Bring it on Week Two!!