Sunday, December 21, 2014

Insanity MAX:30 - Week 1 Round-Up

Many people thought it was crazy that I was going to start a new fitness and nutrition program the week before Christmas. What was crazy is that the program I was starting was the new Shaun T workout from Beachbody, Insanity MAX:30. I couldn't wait! But I have to admit I was quite nervous because this wasn't just any ol' home workout video. I saw other Beachbody coaches in the Test Group work through this program for the past month and I knew it would take some very hard work. WOWZA! Check out the first bit of info on Insanity MAX:30 here and here

What Does It Mean To Max Out?
To max out means that you are not able to continue with the specific exercise you're trying to complete. For example, say you have a nice rhythm of push-ups going and then you struggle with the up OR down. You've maxed out. You are pounding out those power jumps and then you simple can't get your knees up to your elbows. You've maxed out. 

You simply write your time down, catch your breath, and then get back into the workout. You DO NOT turn off that DVD. You finish the full 30 minutes and then do again the next day. When you do the workout again, you try to beat your previous MAXED OUT time. It's you against you, so you have to push yourself to be better than you were before!

**And unlike Insanity, this MAX:30 has two modifiers. You can DO this workout no matter your fitness level. You will get results if you follow {only} the modifier. And what's nice is that there is a Modifier Track option you can select and see the modified moves on the screen the entire time. Score! I choose this selection with every day. I am absolutely not afraid to modify because I know my form will suffer if I don't. I still get a great burn from these modified moves!

The Schedule:
Monday was the Cardio Challenge and it was designed to be the "fit test" that many saw in the original Insanity. All I can say is that it was certainly challenging and eye-opening. But we all have to start and this was my starting point. Yes, there are water breaks. Quick. Water breaks. 

Tuesday was Tabata Power. Tabata simply means a pattern of high intensity for a time interval with a rest for another rest interval. This workout was structured as power exercises for 20 seconds followed by rest period of 10 seconds. It's also broken down into lower body and upper body. Then it's lower again and finishes up with some core work. Yes, there are water breaks. Quick. Water breaks.

Wednesday was Sweat Intervals. Whoa! I hope you can tell by the picture how much this workout is appropriately named because I was astounded at how sweaty I was by the end. I workout in the basement laundry room and it's always pretty cool, especially in the winter. You would have thought I was working out in a sauna by how I looked at the end of this workout. The kicker of this workout -- I barely broke a sweat by the first water break. Well, I certainly made up for it by the end. Yes, there are water breaks. Quick. Water breaks.

Thursday saw Tabata Power again, so I had my first chance to push through and try to Max Out further into the workout than I had on Tuesday. When I write down my Max Out time I also write down what exercise I was doing. Plyo push-ups were my downfall on Tuesday, so I had to push through this Thursday. The good news is that I did. That bad news, which really isn't bad news at all because we're {SUPPOSE} to Max Out, is that I reached my limit in the very next exercise, pop-up push-ups. I was modifying the push-up section and I still Maxed Out. I know I'm going to get so much stronger and sleeveless shirt-ready arms. Remember, we make our summertime bodies in the winter! Yes, there are water breaks. Quick. Water breaks.

Friday is Friday Fight, Round 1. This is where Shaun T combines what you have done all throughout the week and puts it together. There is no water break until 15 minutes, or halfway, through the workout. They're a bit closer after that, but we're trying to make the first round and Max Out in those first 15 minutes. I actually can't believe I made it as long as I did! I wanted to Max Out in the warm-up, no joke! By Friday I was so tired and sore from the previous days' workouts, but I powered through and made it to almost nine minutes. 

Saturday is an optional rest day or active recovery day. The active recovery workout is called Pulse and don't let the fact that it's a low-impact workout mislead you. It's only 20 minutes, but it's sweat-inducing. It's hard at times. The pulse squats got me because my legs were tired. It makes your muscles burn just like earlier in the week, but by the end you feel renewed, stretched, and no nearly as crazy worked as Monday - Friday's workout. I made the mistake with wearing my glasses and thinking I didn't need my contacts. Yeah, I won't be making that mistake again. And I have to say that I loved the fact that I was able to hold some of the core moves when my youngest decided to "help" me and jump on me. My core is getting stronger and I'm learning to focus better. 

Now I'm off to make my meal plan for Week 2. It's was quite easy to follow in the first week and I'll touch upon it next Round-Up. Oh, and I'm off to take my rest day. ;)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Recipe Review-Days: Maple Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Welcome to another installment of Recipe Reviews-Day. These posts are where, as the name implies, I review a recipe that I have made for my family. I am not one to create my own recipes; not at this point in my life right now anyway. The recipes have to meet our whole-food standards of eating. We don't prescribed to any one diet such as gluten-free, paleo, veganism, etc., but we do try to minimize processed foods as much as possible. Do we eat the occasional processed cracker, candy, or stop at a fast-food chain. Sure, life happens. But with some planning we can make those times few and far between. Without further ado, here is the recipe review.

This recipe comes from the site Against All Grain, but this recipe is actually a guest post from Paleo Foodie Kitchen. Again, our family doesn't do paleo or primal eating exclusively, but that does NOT stop me from searching that eating lifestyle for some amazing recipes. I know I personally can't tolerate gluten or dairy, so these types of recipes are perfect for when I want to share in the eating festivities with the kiddos and hubby. Plus AAG's Danielle Walker has two {FABULOUS} cookbooks that make getting more veggies and/or reducing your grains not only easy, but delicious!! 

  1. 1 lb pork tenderloin
  2. 3 tbsp maple syrup
  3. 3 tbsp EVOO
  4. 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  5. 1-1/2 tbsp dried thyme
  6. 3/4 tsp onion powder
  7. 3/4 tsp paprika
  8. 3/4 tsp coarse black pepper
  9. 3/4 tsp salt
  1. Mix all of the above in a plastic zipper baggie and let marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes up to overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 450°F and at the same time place a 10 inch cast iron skillet in the oven. The skillet will heat up with the oven.
  3. After marinating, place the pork tenderloin in the heated skillet and place back in the oven. Roast for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the skillet and flip the pork tenderloin. Reduce heat of oven to 400°F and roast for another 10-15 minutes. 
  5. The pork tenderloin is done when the thickest part of the tenderloin reads 160°F as its internal temperature.
  6. Remove the roasted tenderloin and place on a cutting board. Tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Slice into 1/2 inch slices and serve with your favorite roasted veggie and salad.
  1. Best pork tenderloin we have ever had -- my 5 and 3 year old wouldn't keep their hands off of it at the dinner table!
  2. Resting and tenting really helps to distribute the juices. I usually skip this step, but I'm glad I didn't this time. The wait was worth it!
**The cooking instructions are my own and how I usually cook pork tenderloin. 

The pictures aren't the best and pork tenderloin uncut isn't pretty. At least you get the idea of what I did!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

HBH: Weeks 7 & 8

| | | HOME BUILD HAPPY | | |

The Basement Floor & The First Floor Walls

Watch out because this blog post is a doozy and picture heavy. The pictures aren't the greatest of quality by any means, but I have to make due with the lighting, time of day, and camera available to me at the time. I'd rather have a crappy picture to save and remember than no picture at all. 

Here is our basement floor after the gravel was tamped down and the radiant heating tubing was installed. You can see as you scroll through the pictures that the tubing was spaced appropriately and tied to the rebar with zip ties. There is a back panel of plywood where the tubing comes up the wall for access should anything go wonky with the tubing. I should certainly hope not as it's now encased in a permanent home of concrete.

After the tubing was installed, it was time to pump in the concrete. This job took quite a bit of coordinating from Adam and David as we needed a cement mixer to supply us the material, a separate outfit to pump the cement from the mixer to the basement, and lastly still another crew to finish the surface and cut the cracking joints. We were lucky to discover that the latter two crews work together at almost every job and the owners lives within five miles of us. 

The finished floor after a day or so when I was able to make it down to the site and take a decent picture. The humidity in the air was low enough for the camera. As you can see there is some leaking from the first floor decking above, but we were fortune that only two holes in the finished concrete developed.

The boys are excited because Pap told them that they can now bring their remote controlled cars and/or bikes down here and ride. I'm all for that once the craziness of Christmas and New Year's is over and we can just sit and play during the day. That's just not happening right now with all of our errands, shopping, and parties on the to-do list. 

Oh! And we {FINALLY} received our sewage permit. Assuming we pass all inspections, we'll now be allowed to occupy our home upon completion! Huzzah!

I have to admit, as excited as we were/are about the basement -- that means that the walls won't cave in now -- we're even MORE excited about seeing walls being fabricated. David and Pete built the first couple of walls down and then raised them a la an Amish barn raising. You can see a completed wall not yet raised in this picture below.

The First Floor Framing & The Conduit Trench

This picture is once again taken from the same vantage point -- there is an old crooked tree beside me to my left. You can see that the first floor perimeter walls have been raised. Talk about EXCITEMENT!! It didn't really hit me until I walked the whole way down and got a closer look.

You're looking at what will be our living room/great room-that-flows-into-the-kitchen room.

Here is the other side of the above picture. Check out the saw for a reference point.

Now there is a framed wall in the below pic exactly where I was standing in the above pic.

This framed room is our laundry room.

The framed room we're looking into is Adam's and my "owner's suite." The term "master bedroom" is so 2006, didn't you know.

Here is the beast of a machine that Adam and David used to dig the conduit trench. The trench runs from the beginning of our driveway (house end) until the utility pole behind the pine tree in the below picture. About 0.15 of a mile distance. It's called a ditch witch and I thought it endearingly cute that Duders though this ditch witch was related to the Switch Witch. They are in fact, not.

The trench that goes directly back is our trench and the trench that veers to the right is The Farm's's going to house the electrical lines for the families' shared barn. 

You can see how deep the trench is....30 inches to be exact.

And finally, here is the end of the trench at our driveway's end. And nope, in case I have yet to mention it, we're not building a garage right now. That will have to come later as more funds become available.

Need A Refresher or Have to Catch Up?

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | First Dig | All Clear

Sunday, December 14, 2014

What is a Challenge Group?

I get this question a lot from folks just like yourself seeing my posts about support and accountability groups as we call them in the Beachbody world, Challenge Groups. The funny thing is that when people see the word "challenge" they automatically assume that it is synonymous with "hard," and that couldn't be further than the truth. Yes, there will be work involved with a Challenge Group, but the beauty of the Challenge Group is that I've taken the actual "hard" work out of getting healthy and fit.

You do not need to come up with a fitness program or gym regimen at all. You don't need to spend hours upon hours doing rep after rep to get the body that will make you healthy. There is no online searching late at night or the day before to come up with healthy and clean meals. And most importantly, there is no need to go through {any} of it alone because as the name implies, it's a GROUP. There are others just like you how are looking to make a change, to lean on one another, and to pick you back up if you stumble. And let's face it, we ALL stumble when we try something new. But we grow the most as a person when we get back up after falling and also encourage someone else along the way.

And that's what a Challenge Group is all about. Support for YOU while you support ANOTHER.

Every month I host a new, private (closed), online fitness Challenge Group aimed at help YOU achieve YOUR goals. I talk and work with you to determine what your goals truly are based on your current fitness level, eating habits, and lifestyle. We talk about which Beachbody fitness program would be the best fit for you and I share with you the value and importance Shakeology and clean eating play in your health and fitness goals. Throughout the whole length of the group, which are typically 21, 30, 60, or even 90 days, I am your 1 on 1 personal coach. I am there to answer questions, remind you of your goals, help with recipes, teach you how to overcome typical pitfalls, and again, to pick you up of you stumble and get your back on track. Remember, the "challenge" doesn't come from the "hard," but from the "work" that you have to do mentally and physically.

When you decide to invest in your health, which by the way shouldn't be a guilt-inducing action, you have the opportunity to forever change your forward path. You not only make yourself healthier, happier, and more fit, but you become an example of a healthy lifestyle for all of those around you.....especially those immediate family members!

For those of you that love A LIST, I speak your language too ---------------->

  • An entire home fitness program that included a calendar. All you have to do is press play on the assigned workout that day and you're good to go!
  • The Healthiest Meal of the Day, Shakeology, for 30 days.
  • Accountability & Support via a private, closed Facebook group
    • 1 on 1 coaching
    • daily motivation & encouragement from myself, other coaches, and other challengers in the group
    • meal plan with healthy, clean recipes
    • weight loss plan & routine that is customized for you
    • the opportunity to work with me as your partner while you lose weight, tone up, and learn how to eat for nutrition rather than emotion 

If you think support and accountability in the form of a Challenge Group is something that you can get on board with, then shoot me an email, find me on Facebook, or check out Beachbody site. I'm more than willing to answer {ANY} question, no matter how big or small. I LOVE talking about this stuff!!