Fit Friday: Side Plank Twist

Happy Fit Friday 🙂

Welcome to your first ab move of the blog. I know the first thing people think when they want to tone their mid-section.. crunches, crunches, crunches! But crunches will only get you so far… they work the top section of your core, ignoring the lower abdominal, obliques and lower back which all contribute to a sexy core! Let’s get you well rounded (or less rounded?) and work your entire core with this twist on a side plank. Literally!

FIT FRIDAY: Side Plank Twist

AKA: Side Plank and Reach Through

Weight: Just yourself

Reps: 3 sets of 12-15 on each side, in sequence or incorporated into a circuit

Method: Begin in a side plank position with your feet stacked one on top of the other. Your left hand should be directly below your shoulder, flat on the floor. Your right is extended above your right shoulder. Keep your hips up to make a straight line with the length of your body.

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Engaging your core, slowly reach your right arm beneath your body, twisting and allowing your gaze to follow your hand. Keep those hips up!

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Return to starting position and repeat 12-15 times. Follow suit on the opposite side.

Too advanced? Don’t stack your feet.

Too advanced still? Try with one knee on the ground.

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Sweat once a day, friends 😉

Liz xo

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Half Juiced: Cleanse Update!

I am officially halfway through my juice cleanse! If you missed how I got started or what program I’m following see my intro post here! I figured I’d do a real time, half-way point update to let you all know that I’m still alive, this isn’t crazy, and if I can do this so can you 🙂

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So…

How am I feeling?

It’s Day 5 and I feel great! Day 4’s audio coaching said it should be the last day for headaches if you have any but most likely they will be gone at this point. On Day 2 I did have a slight headache at times and felt a bit tired but I was back to myself on Day 3. It was definitely a bit of a mental game in the beginning where I kept saying to myself, “am I hungry?”, “do I feel weird?”, because I wasn’t sure what to expect. When I just relaxed and went about my business I didn’t feel any different at all 🙂

Am I hungry? 

Surprisingly, no. The juices are very filling and one juice is about 2 cups in size. Because they give me all of the nutrients I need, my body is sending hunger signals to my brain to search for food. Day 2, again was a little tough… I was checking the clock often waiting for my next juice but I often do this on a regular day.  Day 3 I woke up a little hungry and was worried it would be another tough one but I kept busy at work and juice time seemed to pop up before I knew it. The key is keeping your mind busy!

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Have I been working out?

Of course. The program encourages regular exercise to help keep oxygen flowing and aid detoxification. Have I been pushing myself to my usual max? No. I reduced my weights slightly at BodyPump on Monday and took some low options in Tuesday’s BodyAttack. Wednesday night I took a hot yoga class and it was perfect in every way. I plan on finishing the week with more yoga and some light weights!

Did I cheat?

No. It’s only 7 days… cheating would make this a total waste of time. Did I consider it? Yes, but I reminded myself – 7 days, Lizzie!

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Is it time consuming?

No more so than prepping my usual lunches and dinners. Actually I think I have more time on my hands.

Is it expensive?

Again, no more so than my usual grocery bill. Think of all the things I’m not eating: protein powder, nuts, dried fruit, cereal, oats, chocolate, almond milk, etc. Yes I had to make an initial investment to purchase the ingredients for the cleanse but the things I normally use on a daily basis will be right there waiting for me when I finish this. The supplements were a bit pricey but I’ve been wanting to incorporate wheatgrass and a probiotic into my repertoire anyway 😉

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But what do they juices taste like?

Umm amazing. How can something with fresh pineapple and apple juice not taste like a little sip of heaven? I love fresh juice and with the added creaminess of avocado, yogurt or banana it might as well be a dessert!

How do others respond?

The first response from most has been, “Oh I could never do that”. But honestly, anyone can do this. Once I reassure people it’s not a restrictive crash “soup” diet and the Jason Vale program ensure you are well nourished they come around a bit. Most people are just afraid of what they don’t know. A very short time ago, while reading Crazy, Sexy Diet, I looked at my bf and said “I just couldn’t to a cleanse with my job”. And here I am… working and cleansing. Go me 🙂

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It’s not that crazy. It’s just drinking juice instead of eating meals. You are getting all of what you need and none of what you don’t. Some crazy people out there don’t even eat breakfast or eat only 2 meals a day. Now tell me how filling myself with 5 nutritious juices is crazy?!

If you think this is something you could get into… check eBay or Kijiji for a juicer. You don’t need a top of the line model if you aren’t sure its for you. Decent brands are also available at Canadian Tire, Wal-Mart, etc. for ~$100.

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For a little added motivation, next week Jason Vale is putting on The Big Summer Juice Detox. Last year, over 28,000 people from 60 countries took part in the 7 lbs in 7 days challenge together (exactly what I’m doing right now). You can sign up online and get everything you need, including support, right from the website. At first I felt kind of disappointed that I didn’t know about it earlier so I could do it with the rest of the world… then I remembered that I’m halfway through 😉

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Please let me know if you decided to incorporate some (or 7 days of) juicing into your summer! I’d love to support you in any way I can. If you have any questions you’d like covered in the recap post, leave them in the comments box 🙂

Happy Juicing!

Liz xo

Time for a Cleanse

I finally bought a real juicer! The Breville Ikon, recommended by Kris Carr!

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After all of the books, documentaries, and podcasts I’ve been through lately, I really wanted to try a juice cleanse. I’ve been doing morning juices and really cleaned up my diet since becoming vegan but I wanted a total detox. I was lead to Jason Vale’s “7 lbs in 7 days” and decided it was perfect. It’s known as the simplest, most effective juice detox in the world!

*Disclaimer:

  1. I am not doing this cleanse with the intention of losing weight. I am in it for the health benefits 100%.
  2. This is NOT a crash diet. This is a whole foods detox plan that will leave you fully nourished and prepare you for a healthy lifestyle afterwards 😉

The program consists of 7 days of consuming nothing but juiced/blended whole fruits, veggies and natural supplements (wheatgrass, spirulina and probiotics). No caffeine, no alcohol, no preservatives, no toxins! Cleansing allows your body to focus on healing areas that are ignored while the focus is on the immediate toxins. We can’t even begin to imagine the crap that’s deeply stored between fat cells and throughout our digestive system after years of use and abuse.

So I decided that this was the week. I went to Chapters for the book but there were none in stock. It was a blessing in disguise because the iPhone app turned out to be amazing and was only $6.99 on iTunes!

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The app includes the schedule, the recipes, videos of JV showing how to make the juice, plus daily audio coaching, testimonials and tips on how to get into the “mental juice”. My favorite part?! The shopping list generator! Check the days you want to shop for and a list of foods and quantities is created. So. Cool.

So I hit up the SuperStore for supplies on Sunday

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Then I got to juicing! Below are the ingredients for 2 Super Juices (supplements not pictured).

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I made enough to get me through the following day at work. I just refrigerated them overnight then put them in a cooler with ice packs to take on the road. They were massive and soo delicious!

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I made my 5th juice when I got home, while prepping juices for day 2. I was much more efficient the second time around where I was familiar with the recipes.

There are 5 juices a day plus hot lemon water in the morning and a hot apple cinnamon drink at night Mmm 🙂 You are encouraged to drink lots of water and you can have herbal teas (naturally decaf). It’s also suggested to work out to help keep lots of oxygen flowing through your bloodstream and aid detoxification. The juices are packed with nutrients and they are pretty big so you will feel full and energized. JV says if you feel hungry it is a mental hunger or just habit. I say he’s right. The Super Juice has about the same amount of calories I would eat for a regular breakfast (300-400).

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I just completed day 1 it was a success for sure! I wasn’t any hungrier than I am on a normal day. I went to BodyPump and felt totally normal all day at work. I found when my hunger pangs came around it was just about time for another juice anyway.

So here I go into 6 more days of cleansing… I will post an update mid-week and a recap at the end. If you have any questions email me at lizziefitblog@gmail.com and I will try to cover it in the recap post. Interested but think 7 days is too long? Try 5 lbs in 5 days, or even 3 lbs in 3 days. Too short? You can add the 14 day plan to the 7 day app for only $1.99.

Happy Juicing!

Liz xo

Fit Friday: Spiderman Push-ups

Want to work your chest, back, shoulders, arms, legs, and entire core all at once? Of course you do! More buff for your buck 😉

FIT FRIDAY: Spiderman Push-Ups

Weight: Just your body!

Reps: 3 sets of 12-15, in sequence or incorporated into a circuit

Method: Start in a high plank position, hands under shoulders, core engaged, making a straight line with your body.

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Lower your self into a push-up while bringing your right knee up to touch your right elbow. That’s one rep.

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Return to high plank and repeat on the opposite side. Continue for 12-15 push-ups. That’s one set.

Tip: Flex your biceps and core to help keep your butt down. The tendency will be to raise your hips (like a downward dog) but this will take the work out of your core.

In a few weeks you’ll be swinging from the downtown high-rises like its nothin 😉

Liz xo

 

New Blog Title: Lizzie Fit!

Hey Guys,

I’ve decided to change my blog title from Fitness, Food and Engineering to Lizzie Fit. It’s short & sweet and I feel it suits the blog a bit better. Lizzie is a longtime nickname of mine and I think most of my friends will agree ❤

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I’ll share the news on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and I hope you all stick with me in the future. I wanted to make the change now before I risked losing too many followers!

Lots of food and fitness to come! Thanks for following 🙂

Liz xo

Portobello Pizzas

These little babies have been a staple dinner for me since I read an article on easy ways to reduce your carb intake. It’s quick, low-cal, and my go-to whenever the bf wants homemade mini pizzas. One portobello mushroom has about 20 calories vs. 130 in an English muffin or your average tortilla.

You can use whatever toppings you want just as you would with a dough or bread bottom. I rolled with all veggies and Daiya cheese this time but I tried it once with Yves “Pepperoni” and it was amazing!

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Portobello Pizzas

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 portobello mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 oz Daiya mozzarella shreds

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°C.
  2. Cut the stems from the portobellos to make a flat surface for pizza building.
  3. Spread sauce on mushrooms then top with veggies and lastly cheese.
  4. Bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet for 15 mins.
  5. Chow down with a knife & fork 😉

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Calories for 2 of these little gems: 220! Super filling and satisfying with minimal clean up 😉 Enjoy!

E xo

Packing Healthy Lunches

Hi friends 🙂

To me packing a healthy lunch is a must. Whether it’s for work, running errands, or a road trip, I don’t go anywhere without a bag of snacks. This  keeps me from grabbing something unhealthy on-the-go, which most quick options are, and it keeps me satisfied so I don’t go looking for a sugary treat.

I’ve been doing this for so long that it seems second nature to me but I realize that when many people think of packing a lunch they think…

Nobody Got Time

(sorry, couldn’t resist!)

So I thought I’d post some tips on how to make a healthy lunch  and how to make “time fo that”:

1. Take 10 –  Schedule as little as 10 minutes into your daily routine for lunch prep and make it a priority just as you would doing the dishes. I make mine while getting dinner together since I already have a mess in the kitchen. If dinner is heat-&-eat, I do it immediately after so there is no temptation to kibosh!

2. Put a Lid On It – It is so much more enjoyable to take food on the go when you have the right gear. First get yourself a cute lunch bag (or use a small-sized reusable shopper). Then purchase at least 1 set of glass containers. I bought a set of Snapware Glasslock containers at Costco and I also have 2 sets of Pyrex containers. I also highly suggest a few extra small containers for salad dressing and condiments. I got mine at the Dollarama 😉

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3. Stock the Fridge – I recommend always keeping a fridge full of fresh fruits and vegetables so you can throw a sandwich or salad together at anytime. Once you get a feel for what you like in your lunch, it will be easy to know what you want to keep on hand. At the bottom of this post I included a list of shopping staples that are always on my list regardless of what meals I have planned.

4. Love Your Leftovers – In fact, make them! When you are cooking dinner, throw some extra veggies in your stir fry or bake an extra sweet potato. Then you have a main course for the next day or something to throw atop greens (sweet potatoes on spinach salad… I die :D)

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3. Mindful Meal-Prep – If you’re into making a few meals to refrigerate or freeze for the upcoming week, think about what you can use for both lunches and dinners. During the cooler months I would make a giant pot of chili or stew which made a perfect  no fuss meal at anytime during the week. Casseroles, homemade burgers, and salad toppings like baked tofu, quinoa, etc. made for easy lunches too!

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4. KISS – Yes, Keep It Simple… Don’t plan a gourmet lunch everyday with 15 snacks or you will never stick to your guns. For me, a giant bag of baby carrots and pre-cut broccoli is the easiest way to make sure I have fresh raw veggies for one snack. Lots of fruit, nuts, homemade protein bars, individual packed yogurt, etc. also make it very easy to prep lunch in the allotted 10 minutes!

5. When All Else Fails – Keep some pre-packaged bars in the cupboard. I usually grab a few bars at the grocery store when on sale but always have a box of clif bars or Larabars in the cupboard. You can’t always perfectly plan a full week’s worth of whole foods. There will be times when you are in a pinch or too busy. As long as you eat a whole foods diet MOST of the time you are fine. Just don’t eat a Clif bar everyday Mmm K? 😉

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So what does a typical lunch look like for me and when do I eat all of this food?

Disclaimer: I eat a lot more than the average person. Also, sometimes I will spread my snacks into 2 parts (i.e. fruit at 9:30 and nuts at 11:00 depending on how I feel that day). Bottom line, if you’re hungry… eat!

My general schedule of eats:

  • 6:30 am – Breakfast
  • 9:30 am – Mid-morning snack
  • 12:00 pm – Main meal
  • 2:00 pm – Mid-afternoon snack
  • 4:30 pm – Pre-workout/Drive home snack
  • 7:00 pm – Dinner
  • 9:00 pm – Bedtime snack

Some examples of snacks and main meals:

Mid-Morning:

  • Banana & 1 tbsp almond butter
  • Grapfruit & handful of nuts
  • Homemade protein bar

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Main meal:

  • Giant salad of mostly fresh produce with a protein and a healthy fat (almost always!)
  • Wrap or sandwich with small side salad
  • Leftovers, of course 🙂

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Mid-Afternoon:

  • Baby carrots, broccoli and 2 tbsp hummus
  • 1/2-1 cup chickpeas
  • 1/2-1 cup quinoa salad (quinoa, lentils, tomatoes, lemon juice, garlic)

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Pre-workout:

  • Homemade trail mix (almonds, cashews, raisins, dried cranberries)
  • Protein shake or bar
  • Any type of fruit (banana is #1)

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Now that you have some guidelines and a few examples you just need to get into your own groove. Before you know it you’ll be doing this on auto-pilot. Lastly, here is my short list of grocery staples to help get you started.

  • Spinach
  • Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Onion
  • Sweet potato
  • Avocado
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Pumpkin/sunflower seeds
  • Almonds/other nuts
  • Coconut yogurt
  • Oats
  • Cereal
  • Almond milk
  • Almond butter
  • Ezekial or GF bread
  • GF Tortillas
  • Earth Balance (buttery spread)
  • Salsa
  • Hummus
  • Salad dressing
  • Coconut oil
  • Chickpeas
  • Black/kidney beans
  • Protein bars
  • Chia/hemp/flax seeds
  • Herbal tea
  • Coffee
  • Coconut water

Anything extra is picked up based on meal plans but I can’t live without the staples. Now go make time fo that 😉

E xo