Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Insanity Recovery Week and Starting Month 2

Ooooo, Month 1 of Insanity....I miss you already. Last week was my "recovery" week of Insanity. This is a recovery on the Insanity level, not to normal ppl. This is really just a normal workout, it's just at a slower pace, with a lot longer moves and more burning.
I liked this workout, you still broke a sweat and it felt good to my muscles after month 1. It was a lot of the same moves, just slower, but there were some new things thrown in there like "hip flexer burners" and "shoulder burners" and they definitely burned! I didn't even know my hip flexers could burn the way they did! It was a nice break for the week.....which was kind of a tease before starting Month 2. I thought i would lose the intensity i had built up the first month, but i'm sure you don't, Saun T seems to know what he is doing......

Then yesterday started Month 2.....
This makes month 1 seem like a walk around the neighborhood. This is the most ridiculous workout ever. I have never done anything harder (workout wise) in my life. I think i kept screaming "this is crazy" while i was doing the workout....because it is. But I loved it. There are 4 new DVD's this month, Max Interval Circuit, Max Plyo, Max Cardio Conditioning and Max Recovery. I started with the Max Interval Circuit on Monday after work. These worksouts are a full hour rather than 40 minutes, this is 20 extra minutes of full on workouts added onto the first month. But the workouts aren't just longer, they are harder too.

The workout consisted of a 10 minute warm up (it's really a full workout, not a warm-up) followed by 5 minutes of stretching.  Then starts a circuit of four different moves, each 45 seconds long with no rest.  After the 3 minute circuit, you get a 30 second rest to bring your heart rate down and get some water. The circuit is then completed two more times, for a total of three times.  At the end of the third set, there is one more additional move added onto the circuit (just for kicks ;-))

The workout then goes on to two more full circuits with the same set up as above: 4 moves, 45 seconds each without rest, a 30 second break, repeat the circuit twice more, then one more move tacked onto the third set.  After all the circuits are completed, there is a short cooldown stretch, and then you collapse on the floor and die (if you haven't already done so).

Some of these moves are crazy, when i watched him demonstrate the first time, i thought he was crazy. But I did them, not perfect, but I did them.

Then this morning i had to do the Max Plyo workout. I thought this one was even harder than yesterday, but that could have been because i did it at 5:30am. I don't think anyone should workout that hard first thing in the morning. In the end, I was glad i got it done, but it is DEF harder to do that type of workout first thing in the morning. This one had a lot more push-up and shoulder work than the day before, some of the push-ups we had to do i never thought i would be able to complete, so it's kind of cool to see the progession. I cant wait to see how many I can crank out at the end of this!
I think this month is definitely going to be a challenge, but if i can get through it, I think it will provide good results. I already feel a lot fitter since I started. I have not weighed, measured or taken pictures of myself yet, but overall i feel in a lot better shape and have a lot more energy throughout the day.

Wish me luck as I continue this Insane Journey!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Insanity Month 1 Recap

So I have officially completed the first month (or 5 weeks in my case, as I did an extra week) of Insanity!! I think this is a pretty big accomplishment and i am only half way through! It took dedication, afternoons i wanted to relax or go out instead of working out, mornings i wanted to sleep in instead of working out, but I pushed through it and followed the schedule pretty much to a T. I will admit a missed a couple work outs here and there (no more than 1 in a week), but still completed at least 5 each week! But really, for 5 weeks, you cannot expect something to come up that you may have to miss a workout. That's real life, whether it be you are not feeling well or sick or something last minute comes up you need to attend. You have to weigh your priorities and decide if pushing through a workout when not feeling well is worth it or beneficial in the long run, or missing seeing that friend or family member to do a workout is worth it.

Overall, i loved the first month of DVDs. i will admit, adding that last week in made it pretty boring, i was ready for something new, so probably should have just gone ahead with the recovery week DVD, but oh well, you live and you learn.

These DVD's were tough, every day was tough, there was never an "easy" workout. The DVD's consisted of Cardio Power and resistance (lots of pushup and tricep work), Plyometric Cardio Circuit, Pure Cardio + cardio abs and Cardio Recovery. Each day i think the DVD is going to be easier than the day prior, but it's not. Even the cardio recovery is hard, you have to stay in long poses that make your whole body burn, but in the end, it feels amazing.

The first week of starting this i thought it was impossible to get through these DVD's without taking several breaks (that SaunT did not announce), but in the end I was able to get through DVD's while only taking 1 or two breaks that weren't already included. The only breaks in the videos are for 30 seconds after about 3 minutes of full on intensity. But if you pay attention to the videos you see even the people in them are having to stop and take breaks, and Saun T encourages it if your form is suffering.

All the videos were about 10 minutes of "warm-up", which is not really a warm up, it is a full on work out. The warm up is the same every day, which gets pretty lame though. Then about 5 minuttes of stretching, and 15-20 minutes of full on insane workouts. It all goes by pretty fast, and i have enjoyed the 45 minute total workouts. I know this is about to end though because month 2 workouts are atleast 60 minutes if not more.

I have been able to tell a big difference in my endurance getting through the workouts. I dont feel like i am going to throw up anymore and I can crank out pushups better than i ever have in the past. As far as my body changing, i personally feel and see i am more toned. I dont think i am to the point for other people to notice, but i see it. I think mainly my thighs are much more stronger and muscular along with my triceps and sholders. The only day we do tricep work is in the Cardio Power and Resistance, but it is a lot of different tricep dips, and more than i ever did in the past. There is shoulder work every day, whether it be a variety of pushups, or burpees or planks, you are always working your shoulders. I think i have lost muscle in my biceps, i was doing pretty consistant bicep work before i started this program and there is Nothing in here that works them, but that is one price you pay for not using weights. Also, the ab work is limited. There is one Ab video, that you do after Pure Cardio. It is a good ab workout, and i really enjoy it, but you only do it once, maybe twice a week. But, during all the workouts Saun T always tells you to contract and try to work your abs.

Next on the Calendar is a recovery week. it is a DVD you do every day for a week that is supposed to help your body recover for the second month of even more intense workouts. I think it will be nice to have an easy week but I may miss the high intensity workouts.
So that is my thoughts on Insanity so far.

Overall, I love it, and would definitely recommend it to someone looking for a new workout routine. But, be prepared, it is HARD, even for someone already in shape. And, it takes time and dedication, but I think it is a great workout and it makes it even better you can do it at home!

I will do a recap later in the week of how the Recovery week is going!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

No Meat Monday!

Phew, what a weekend!! It consisted of more football, birthday parties and Prison Break! It was fun, but another exhausting weekend that needed an additional day to recover.

This week starts another round of the 1st month of Insanity. I decided to extend the first month of DVD's another week since it is still pretty challenging and I am in no rush to get through it. I am kind of making my own schedule of which DVD i want to do which day, but none will be back to back and I will do the recovery DVD on Thursday (which is my fav!).

Yesterday I did a little bit of grocery shopping. I did not buy a whole lot since we still had some stuff left from last week but on the list was:
Sub rolls
Spinach/arugula mix
Granola bars
Deli meat
canned soups
Frozen spinach
Almond Milk
Kashi cereal (cinnamon flavor)
Coffee creamer

For dinner we made a meal with NO Meat!! Which is very rare in our house. I think we had enough Quinoa though to not miss the protein of the meat.
We cooked quinoa then added cooked mushrooms and spinach and tossed it with olive oil and salt/pepper. It was really yummy and there was plenty left over for lunch today!

Along with this, we cooked the butter beans and squash we bought at the Farmer's market last week.
We had never cooked butter beans our self, but they were really easy and really yummy! All we did was boil them for about 30 minutes and add our own seasoning to them. In the future I would probably cook them in some chicken broth or meat flavor, but for improvising they turned out great.

Along with that we roasted some squash. All in all, a great Meat-less meal!

I dont think i could ever be a vegeterian, (although, never say never), but I think this is a good meal substitute! Just make sure you still get your protein, in whatever form you can!

I'll keep you updated on what other meals come out of those grocery ingredients!

Friday, October 12, 2012


So, i think i found my new favorite fall/winter veggie......Okra!!! Wow, it is amaaazing! I had never cooked it before, and embarrassingly enough, only eaten it either fried or in some type of veggie soup.
So when we went to the Farmer's Market this past Sunday i decided to buy some and try cooking it (NOT fried)! It was way better than I ever expected!
I decided to roast it, which is always a pretty fail proof way to cook a veggie. I cut off the stems, and sliced them in half long ways and layed them out on a baking sheet. then covered with olive oil and sea salt and baked on 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.
These were SO tasty, they were a little crispy, not slimey at all, and had a Great flavor!

Along with this we made baked chicken in a bbq sauce and Quinoa which we added the BBQ juice from the chicken on it, yum yum....i want some now just talking about it!

I have not been able to post much this week or take many food pics, so sorry for that! But on Wednesday night we decided to make some tacos! We used to do tacos pretty often but fell off the wagon recently. We use ground chicken for ours, and then taco seasoning. Top that with lettuce, cheese and salsa and on top of a whole wheat tortilla and you got an awesome and healthy meal!
And of course you cannot have tacos without Beer!!

For an Insanity update....this week is the last week on the schedule for the first month of workouts. The calendar for Insanity says that after the 1st month, you do 1 week of a "recovery" video (notice i put recovery in quotations, because i am pretty sure it's not really recovering), then the second month you start the second set of DVD's called the "MAX" level Insanity workouts. I am thinking I am going to do another week of the first month of DVD's. I am not really in a rush to get through the workout plan and still find the first video's tough, where i am not just going through the motions, so i figured i would do it a little longer before going into the next phase.
I will be doing a fit test on Monday to still track my progress after the first month and will post those on here! I will also give a full recap of the first month.

This is definitely a TGIF kind of week, been a busy and mentally stressful week at work, but for good reasons since I have been training on a new process we will be using at work soon.

Looking forward to the nice fall weather this weekend and some football! Hope you all have a great weekend as well and maybe even try to cook up some okra!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend Recap

So this weekend was very exciting, one of my good friends got married!! And I was lucky enough to be a part of it. It was all gorgeous, from the bridal luncheon to the wedding venue and decor and the food was delicious!
That is Salmon, Steak, roasted veggies and the Gouda cheese potato cake, wow, so good.
A fuzzy pic of us and the bride! What an awesome group of girls!!

Me and my friend Julia who also just got married this year!!

A pic of some of the Amedeo's crew!
Sunday the Accountant and I finally made it out to the Farmer's market and got several pumpkins and 1 yellow and 1 orange mum to put on the front door step! We plan to carve out the pumpkins in the next week or so, but for now, it looks pretty festive!

No major plans this week, just sticking to the Insanity schedule and hoping to try out a couple new meals! We got some squash, okra and butter beans at the Farmer's market i cannot wait to try out!

Hope everyone else had a fun weekend and is enjoying the fall weather!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

But in this case, I turned Cauliflower into Mashed "potatoes"!! It's magic!

I tried this for the first time a couple weeks ago and was really happy with how it turned out, i think it may become a regular side dish! So I decided to share with you all and hopefully you will try it out!

Here is what I did:
Cut up a head of cauliflower to remove as much stems as possible
Steam for about 30 minutes, until really tender, enough to mash up
Mash with a potato masher, fork, or whatever you have handy!
add 1/2-1 cup of milk (I used almond milk - not flavored!!)
Add 1 tablespoon of butter
Salt and pepper to taste

And easy as that! A much healthier and nutritious version of Mashed potatoes! We also baked some Tuna steaks and had some green beans with ours!

Now I am off to do some Insanity! We actually did not have time to do it yesterday, so we did 1 session this morning (the cardio recovery) and going to do another session tonight, and then one early tomorrow morning!! Whew, that makes me tired just thinking about it!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Preparation is Key

This past weekend was packed full of football and friends! ECU won, after sitting in the pouring down rain for hours....but I tried to keep a smile on my face ;-)

The female tailgating crew:
This must have been BEFORE the downpour ;-)

 I never had time to go to the grocery store yesterday, but thankfully we had food left from the week to make dinner last night and lunch today. They actually turned into some pretty awesome meals. One thing I have learned, especially if you have a busy schedule, is preparation is key for eating healthy. If you do not have groceries, or plan ahead what you will have for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you end up with nothing then having to run out and get a quick unhealthy meal. I have learned some easy ways to prepare lunches for the week, without having to eat the same thing all the time!

Last night we grilled some pork chops, and i finally cut up and cooked the butternut squash i had bought. That thing was a PAIN to peel and cut up, but in the end, it was worth it. I ended up peeling all the skin off, cutting it into cubes, and them roasting it on 425 for about 45 minutes. I tossed it in Olive oil and salt, then at the very end i added Cinnamon and brown sugar. That was a good idea! It added a nice sweetness to it that was a good contrast to the pork chops.
In preparation for lunch today, and probably tomorrow, we grilled two large pieces of chicken breasts while grilling the pork chops. I knew we did not have much for lunch so i took some that we had out of the freezer. It took no time at all to cook it at the same time as our dinner. Then all I had to do was throw it in some Tupperware for the next day.

Also, while already roasting the butternut squash, I threw a couple sweet potatoes in the oven. Again it took no time since i was already baking. Just put them in a Tupperware when done, and warm them up for about 30-45 sec the next day and they taste just as good!

We made quinoa to go with dinner last night as well, which is another thing that is good to cook and store in the fridge, it tastes exactly the same heated up later. I made way more of this than we needed and just stored the rest. This can last a full week in the fridge if you want to make a lot and keep it on hand for dinner, sandwiches or salads.

Lunch today:

So next time you are making dinner, think about what you have for lunch that week and try and throw some extra food on the stove, in the oven or on the grill. You will be thankful the next day when you all have to do is grab a container out of the fridge the next morning and have an awesome meal for lunch!