Monday, July 25, 2016

U-Jam Fitness Instructor Workshop!

This weekend, I did something completely crazy and out of my comfort zone. I took the instructor workshop for U-Jam Fitness, the cardio dance workout that I love.

Over the past few years, I've met some incredible people who are U-Jam Fitness instructors, and two of them in particular really encouraged me to take this workshop. I thought I'd take the workshop later in the year, but one was scheduled nearby this month and the trainer was the fantastic instructor who really ignited my passion for U-Jam back in 2011 - so I knew I needed to take this particular workshop.

It's a full two day workshop, which kicks off with an hour-long "Master Class" taught by the trainer and open to the public.  I was delighted that both of the instructors who nudged me to take the workshop were both able to attend!  What a great and supportive way to kick off this weekend!

After the Master Class, day one is filled with learning more about the fundamentals of U-Jam Fitness, including two "choreo jams" where the trainer broke down each song into the core moves and helped us fine tune every movement.  I've been doing these songs for five years, and I learned something new about each one - crazy!  One of the songs was designated as the one we'd have to teach the next day, so we spent a lot of time working on that one (and some folks stayed late to keep on practicing).

Day two started off with a written test covering the materials in the instructor manual that we had received after signing up for the workshop (and discussed during the first day).  After that, we all got to practice our class introductions and then do our "practical" exam of teaching that song from the prior day!  I had lots of fun with that.  Later on, we did two more "choreo jams" to master a total of four songs over the weekend.

However, this doesn't mean I am a credentialed U-Jam Fitness instructor yet!  I need to film a video of myself teaching three of those songs in front of a class of at least five students, and submit that video for evaluation.  Nerve-wracking!!  I hope to do this in the next few weeks, though we do have 60 days to submit it.

I had a great time at the workshop and learned a lot, and am now on my journey to become a credentialed U-Jam Fitness instructor.  Looking forward to seeing where this adventure will take me!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Detox, day 46: finished

OK, that's enough of this for me. ;)  I technically should still do a cow's milk reintroduction and I should retry bread, but I am calling this challenge complete.

Overall, it was definitely an eye-opening experience for me.  I definitely crave sugar and sweets, but I can survive without them.  ;)  I didn't like the total depravation portion, so I don't think I'm going to be doing a Whole30 every month or anything like that.  I do see myself trying to eat along these guidelines for many of my meals though.  I feel like my metabolism has adjusted to this, though, so I need to jump start things and vary it up more often.

I do like that this detox did help accelerate my weight loss for a few weeks - and I'm glad that I've kept that weight off as well.  The true challenge will be to keep it off and lose more over the next year! :D

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Detox, days 44 & 45: peanuts

I'm not the world's hugest fan of peanuts, but I can appreciate a good peanut butter every now and then.  Now that we're near the end of the reintroductions, I went ahead and had peanut butter yesterday.  Thankfully, no reactions!

I think I'm nearing the end of all of this detox excitement.  I'll give gluten another try and do milk at some point by itself, but otherwise, I think we are coming to a close on this. ;)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Detox, days 42 & 43: barley

Barley apparently is an allergen for some folks, but not me, thankfully. ;)  I had a lovely barley soup to which I added extra cooked barley.  Yum.  Not quite as amazing as the cream- and sodium-rich version at Whole Foods, but it was still good.

The gums/sore mouth issue turns out to be BLISTERS from when I burned my mouth on some ridiculously hot food at the family reunion.  So gross.  I'm trying to swish with warm salt water, and stick to soft foods (yay barley!).  It feels better today than yesterday, thank goodness.

I think I'm going to switch tomorrow's plan for milk to peanut butter instead.  The cow's dairy messed me up earlier and I just am not in the mood for potential gastrointestinal issues this week. ;)  Hopefully peanut butter will be non-eventful. ;)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Detox, days 39 & 40 & 41: beans recovery

No issues arose with the beans - hooray!  I made an excellent zucchini rice casserole last night that I will definitely be making again :)

Yesterday was tough with a big family reunion and there were some slip-ups.  I made a massive mistake by not eating lunch ahead of time (and then food wasn't ready for almost 3 hours after we arrived!).  Very big lapse on my part.  Ended up overeating and felt like crap the rest of the night.

Today I felt sluggish and worn down, with a really sore mouth (roof of my mouth and upper/inner gums) - perhaps a weird reaction to something I ate yesterday?  So freaky.

Still planning to attack barley tomorrow, and then cow's milk on Wednesday.  Whee. ;)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Detox, days 37 & 38: soy recovery and beans

Along we go.  No reaction to the soy - hooray? ;)  I'm not a massive fan of soy, but I like tofu on occasion and soy sauce is handy with sushi times, so I'm glad it's not going to be a concern overall.  I still won't have too much of it (especially soy sauce with all that sodium!).

Today, I reintroduced beans.  I totally wussed out on cooking today, and went to Chipotle for take-out lunch.  I had a salad with chicken, black beans and pinto beans, plus the pico de gallo.  Pretty simple.  I was hoping the beans would be more flavorful, but they were just... beans. ;)  I think I'm a wimp when it comes to Chipotle's seasoning though, because my mouth was burning a bit afterwards and I actually took an antacid. ;)  The beans, combined with my inadvertent over-portioning of coconut flour into my smoothie this morning, means I ate more than double the fiber I had the day before.  Oops. ;)

I am so ready to be done with all of this!  Unfortunately, tomorrow starts 3 days of family-reunion-related stuff, so I'm just going to do recovery days for that time and reintroduce something new on Monday.

Completely unrelated: I talked to the manager at my Trader Joe's yesterday and he said my beloved Whole Grain Plus bread is likely going to be out of stock until OCTOBER.  I am so bummed!  Time to experiment with other breads.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Detox, day 36: soy

Had a big gain on the scale this morning - not sure what that's all about.  My calories consumed don't support that number, that's for sure. ;)

Today is soy day.  Had some edamame at lunch, and made a chocolate banana tofu pudding for dessert tonight.  I made the pudding at lunch so it could chill for a few hours.  It's not particularly good though - it was very difficult to blend, so I ended up more than doubling the amount of milk (used unsweetened almond milk since I don't have soy milk handy).  It's also not at all sweet, despite the 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and the banana.  Pretty gritty too.  But hey, it's a different texture than what I've had lately - and it's getting in the tofu.  I just don't think it's a recipe I'll make again. ;)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Detox, day 35: rice recovery

No problems today - hooray!  Still resting a bit though, but we did go for a nice long walk this evening.  Tomorrow brings soy! ;)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Detox, day 34: rice

Yay, new food day!  Hooray!

Today is rice day, and so for dinner tonight, I made a fabulous chicken lemon rice (great recipe, I added a smidge more lemon and no extra salt - would make this again!).  It was so very delicious.  I am excited to be one step closer back to sushi. ;)

I still took it relatively easy today - skipped my usual cardio workout, but I did do some time on an elliptical at the gym.  I also met with a personal trainer there to learn how to use their new weight machines, and she was great (but omg it's expensive to see a trainer so that's not going to happen again for a long, long time).  My shoulders are still really hurting from overdoing it on Wednesday, so hopefully tomorrow they'll feel a bit better.  The trainer really emphasized that I need to devote some time to the resistance training and not just all the cardio - and also that I need to do a rest day more regularly.  (My schedule this week is going to incorporate a rest day since husband has to work late one night!) ;)

No immediate issues with the rice - hopefully tomorrow will be good too!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Detox, days 32 & 33: corn & recovery

So despite still feeling rather meh, I went ahead and introduced corn yesterday.  I really can't keep pushing all of this back even further, and frankly, I didn't think I'd have an issue with corn.  So we had fresh corn on the cob (grown in our backyard!), and it was delicious.  No issues that night or the following day - so I think we're good on this one?  Maybe I should've had more corn to really push the issue, but I think one whole ear is good enough.  I do have some corn tortillas waiting to be eaten in a few days. ;)

Still feeling sluggish, and my body is aching in various ways, so I'm backing off my daily workouts and trying to give my body some time to heal itself.  I know I'm not getting as much sleep as body wants, so hopefully I can work on that as well.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Detox, day 31: cheese & yogurt recovery

Well, crap.

My intestines decided tonight to rebel strongly against the cheese and yogurt - not sure which, of course.  I want to think it's because of the Greek yogurt I had - those probiotics weren't present at those levels over the past month, so maybe that just sent things into a tizzy.  So I'll take a few days off from yogurt and cheese, and when I'm ready to try it again, I'll do just the yogurt and see how that goes.

I am so disheartened by this.  It's so frustrating that my body seems to reject the things I like! ;)  And honestly, I don't want to drag out this reintroduction phase for the rest of the month.  I do plan on eating mostly detox-friendly foods for the long term, but man, I really want some sushi and a slice of cake.  Now.  ;)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Detox, day 30: cheese & yogurt

OK, well... not sure if I should've moved ahead, given that I still feel generally crappy and have various intestinal rumblings still.  However, mentally, I need to move forward.  I can't keep pushing all this off, so today we went ahead with cow's milk cheese and yogurt.

Still with the rumblings, but nothing dramatically worse so perhaps it's okay.  I'll still take it out tomorrow to 'recover' again and hopefully get everything back on track.  I'm overall still meh and feeling tired and wiped out.  It's really frustrating to have invested 30 days into this and still not feel AMAZING as I was promised. ;)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Detox, days 28 & 29: bread recovery continues


First social gathering while on the detox was yesterday, and it was a big ol' barbecue that was laden with all kinds of forbidden foods. ;)  I brought homemade deviled eggs (used olive oil instead of mayo and it worked well!), and carrots and cucumbers and zucchini - but I should've brought more "allowed" foods.  We each had a burger (without bun or cheese, of course), but kiddo in particular wanted EVERYTHING - and though he's not on this detox, I didn't want him to overdo it on cookies and pie and chips and such.  Husband really wanted some grilled corn, but corn is still off-limits right now.  Sitting in front of the dining table (where everyone had piled on the cookies and sweets) was really unpleasant, frankly.  Very demotivating.

And my intestinal woes continue - mostly cramping at this point, but still not back to normal.  I'm also ridiculously tired and worn-out.  Honestly, I am completely over this whole detox right now and just really want to be done.  I'm so tired of not enjoying what I'm eating, and not being able to eat more things.  When I'm not feeling well - over these past 3 days in particular - I am truly and deeply craving comfort foods and they're all forbidden.

Recovering from this bread failure really sucks because it's also pushing out this detox another two days.  I'm supposed to re-try any failures at the end of the reintroductions, but I have a very physically intense weekend shortly after our last scheduled reintroduction, so there's no way I am going to be able to do it then.  Oy!  Gotta stop focusing on that far off though - it's not helping my mental state right now.

The one up-side to all of this: I weighed 48.8 pounds less this year than I did on the 4th of July last year. ;)

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Detox, day 27: bread recovery


So perhaps there is something about bread that doesn't agree with me.  I did gain half a pound overnight (even though my total calories were still the same as my average during the detox), but more importantly, I feel like crap today.  Weird pain in my chest plus some odd coughing this morning, and then the good ol' gastro-intestinal distress this afternoon and evening.  General malaise and fatigue overall too.  Ugh.  At this point, I'm guessing we're going to have to push the next reintroduction back another day, which sucks since we were both really looking forward to cheese! ;)

Sucks to not feel good though.  Odd that the whole wheat pasta didn't affect me, but perhaps the bread did...  Weird!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Detox, day 25 & 26: recovery & bread!

Day 25 yesterday was the recovery day after the wheat reintroduction.  Nothing came up, so I feel okay with the wheat by itself.

Today, we went for some fresh delicious sourdough bread - no sugar in there, and only a few ingredients, so I like this product!  It was SO good, honestly - my husband has been missing bread desperately, but even I was truly enjoying this a lot. :D  A big slice with lunch and another at dinner.  Personally, I've felt hungrier today - and could've easily eaten twice this amount of bread without blinking.  Shall be interesting to see how my body reacts over the next 24 hours or so.  Hopefully I'll be okay with it, but it did help show me that I want to eat less bread going forward - only special bread or baked goods.  No more empty calories.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Goals - June report

June is done! Let's review the goals:
  1. Lose an average of one pound a week - uhm, yeah, smashed this one. ;)  As you can see by the lovely graph generated by Happy Scale, the weight dropped quite dramatically when I started the detox (moving average down 10.4 pounds for the month).  It slowed down a bit - even had a gain in there - but overall it's still going down and that's what matters.  It will be interesting to see how this goes in July when I transition off the full detox.  The awesome news - because of the weight loss with the detox, I am back on track for the one pound a week lost for the entire year.  Woo!
  2. Work out at least 20 times a month - smashed this one too!  29 times this month - two days with no workouts and one with two.  I'm really trying to not only not skip more than one day in a row, but not to do too many double workout days (especially while on the detox).  I do need to do more weights though.  I did try a new class this month - a pilates class that ended up being very fast and set to uptempo music.  It was way out of my league and I left after 20 minutes with pain in my shoulders and hips.  No good.  Maybe I can try something different this month.  
  3. Cook one new (and healthy!) recipe a month - met!  I did several new recipes, including a meatball recipe that totally bombed (it used baking soda and cream of tartar to supposedly make it lighter since there were no breadcrumbs, and it was very bitter instead).  Definitely going to keep going on this!
  4. Make an effort to eat clean and healthy the majority of the time - smashed, obviously ;)  Clearly this worked for me this month, so even though I'll be transitioning off the complete detox in July, I need to keep an emphasis on this and keep the momentum going.