Monday, May 27, 2013

My Week As A Raw Vegan~ WJ

Hey everybody, 

it's W.J. again! As some of you know, i'm a lacto-vegetarian, i'm also a huge lover of all things instagram. Well, today one of the people I follow called @Organicandhappy  decided to start a raw vegan challenge, and I decided to participate. 

So I thought it would be cool to share this journey with you all. I personally would not advise a raw vegan diet as your actual way of life. I personally feel as if you would lack nutrients and stuff.  Read here on more info as to why this isn't the only way to be healthy. 

Nevertheless, I want to try this out. It will introduce me to healthier ways of eating and i'm hoping that it might also detoxify my body.  I looked up some info on how to be a raw vegan and I shall share it with you all! :D

"Raw veganism is a diet that combines the concepts of veganism and raw foodism. It excludes all food and products of animal origin, as well as food cooked at a temperature above 48 °C (118 °F).[citation needed] A raw vegan diet includes raw vegetables and fruits, nuts and nut pastes, grain and legume sprouts, seeds, plant oils, sea vegetables, herbs, and fresh juices. There are many different versions of the diet, including fruitarianism, juicearianism, and sproutarianism. The definition of a raw vegan diet can be loosened to include vegan diets with at least 75–80% raw foods." ~Wikipedia 

Juices and smoothies are amazing and raw. Just take a fruit or vggie or even both and then blend them and drink it. Fairly easy.  You can also make ice-pops on hot days.

For foods, the first thing that comes to mind is eating a salad. However, there has to be other stuff, right? You can eat whole vegetables, nuts, raw sandwiches, here's a link for it, you can eat wraps (lettuce as the wrap instead of bread!) The possibilities are almost endless. I'll have fun experimenting :D This might show me how my vegetarianism can be less expensive :)

I'll update you all! Join this challenge if you want!!


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Fitness for the Unfit- W.J. Style

Hey everybody,
This is W.J.! :)

Many people may wonder what they need to do to get in shape. They want the quickest and easiest formula  however, after searching the interwbez they realize their's no such thing, and then they get tired of every website telling them that there's no such thing.

Every website says 'Get Motivated!", well that;s fairly obvious. Everybody says, "Eat Right  Eat Clean! Work Out!" well, that's rather obvious as well. What we all ask is how, what should we eat, how should we exercise  what should we do to reap the maximum results.

I'm no nutritionist, not am I a trainer, but I do know what has worked for me in the past. The main thing I will say is that consistency is key. Stay consistent and n matter what, you're losses and gains will remain with you.  Also, to loose weight there is one simple fact that people tend to ignore. You can jog a mile and eat whatever you want, but you need to have a deficit meaning that you must burn more calories that you consume. Just by breathing and walking around we burn calories, so having a deficit is rather easy if it is done correctly.

So here are a few steps that i'm following that you may find helpful as well. They're fairly obvious but you might find it resourceful!

Be aware of what you eat

For me this means that I record every meal that I eat. As a vegetarian I like to know if i'm getting enough protein as well as other important nutrients and stuff. I use My Fitness Pal to figure this stuff out. The mobile app allows me to scan the bar codes on products I eat and then it quickly adds it to my profile.

You could technically eat almost anything, and as long as you're in a deficit you could lose weight. However, be aware of what you eat. Eat clean food. Eat whole foods and healthy ones as well. By doing this you're not only going to, hopefully, get your deficit but you're also eating foods that will give you energy and will be healthier overall for your body.

Deficit, deficit, deficit 

So, to figure out my deficit I use My Fitness Pal as well. Here's an image of what it does. This is today's chart and I haven't eaten yet so that's why the numbers are 0.
So, I aim for 1,200 calories a day, however, I also workout so those calories I burned would then go into excersise which would increase what I could eat for the day. 

Workout and Have Fun!

So, how do you get a deficit? You work out! Build up a sweat and have some fun. Pick up a sport if you want. If you're anything like me, you might not want to go jogging. Maybe a treadmill makes you feel sad. Pick up a sport instead. Learn how to play soccer, play some tennis, even swim. Play golf (although i'm not sure if you can build up a sweat with that), take up fencing, join your high school's or colleges sports team. Just do something that will get you active. If you're overweight and can't do anything too physical then don't do something that will have you jostling about. They have those bike things at the gyms, i;ve never used one but i've seen some of the less mobile people use them and it builds up a sweat just like using an elliptical does.  Maybe sit down and lift some weights. I can not stress the importance of lifting weights. Not a baby 3 lbs, but lift heavy. If you are a lady you will NOT bulk up! Don't be a cardio bunny, pump some iron. Be a bro :P 

My opinion is always changing and i'm always growing as a person. So my opinion may change and alter and i'll continue to update you about how I become fit. :)


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hello, I'm W.J.!

Hey everybody!
I'm a new blogger for this blog. For some reason when I blog I like to go under the initials W.J., it stands for the Writing Junkie, my original blog.  I've been surfing through this site for a while and for the first time I realized that I can actually contribute so I asked if I could do so, and here I am!

I was wondering, "gosh, what should my first post be about," and I decided to share what I ate today as well as some things about myself.

I'm hoping to bring a teenage-ish (i'm 18 and turning 19 in a three months) view to this blog as well as a vegetarian perspective. I'm a student athlete as well, so I can talk with you from a few different angles.

However, today I will not overload ya'll with stuff. I'll just share what I ate today :)
I'm a lacto-vegetarian, meaning that I don't eat eggs but I drink milk. So I took one black bean burger and microwaved it for two minutes. I then mixed it in a bowl with some home-made salsa, a pinch of black pepper  a sprinkle of red pepper, and a pinch of salt and some cheese. I then cooked it at 350 degrees for 13 minutes. It's clean eating, meaning that it's healthy. It was delicious and filling as well ;)

I added a side salad with some french dressing.
I get hungry pretty easily since I workout every so often, so when I can get something filling and healthy then i'm a happy camper!

Eating healthy yet hearty foods can aid you with your weight-loss or health objectives. :)

Right before doing this I was out on my deck doing some yoga. I went to the gym a few days ago and I hurt my inner leg area while I was working with some weights. It hurts like crazy so instead of going to the gym and furthering any damage, i've been at home doing sun salutation and other various yoga sequences in the hopes that I could stretch away the pain. It's not working yet though :/ I might share some yoga poses with you all!

I'm not sure if you guys want me to do things like this or to just chat with you on what i'm doing. Tell me what you want and i''ll try to do it!


Body Disconnection*

I was talking recently with a friend about being people that divorce body from mind. I struggle with feeling connected with my body. Often this is a sign of childhood trauma, and with the absence of the usually associated trauma, I began to reflect on why I was like this.

Even when I thought about it for just a little bit it seemed so obvious. As a child I was smart, imaginative and frighteningly logical. My mind worked quite well and could be relied upon. My body was another story entirely. I am clumsy and uncoordinated. Even when I ran around all the time (the main activity of my childhood) I had no speed or stamina. I came last in everything physical. My body could not be relied upon.

If the difference hadn't been so stark, maybe I'd have developed more balance. Or maybe if I hadn't had horrific experiences with team sports, physical 'education' and being bullied, I wouldn't have stigmatised my ineptitude in my own mind so severely. Either way it is clear to me now, that by the time I reached my 20s there was a full on disconnection. I thought of my body as something to be struggled with, to be ashamed of, and like a cage.

More than anything else I tried not to think about it. I got angry and upset in situations that forced me to think about it. And I got way more angry and upset in any situation that exposed this vulnerability to others. This wasn't entirely illogical - have I mentioned the bullying?! And everything about how our society views bodies and difference told me that the whole thing was my fault. As if somewhere along the way I had made a choice, or series of choices, to be this person in this shameful cage.

And maybe I did.... maybe if I was just somehow superior, wiser, more balanced or something I would have figured it out. But then I guess I would have been a different person.

It is better. I am better. I get it more now. But I still forget. I get surprised sometimes when I'm in a new situation and my body doesn't let me down. My natural first reaction is always that I wouldn't be able to do that. There hasn't been a eureka moment that suddenly made it all easier. What there has been in a series of developments, a continued growth if you will, towards taking that back. Much of it is sporadically documented here.

I might wish it to be fitter, faster, stronger, sleeker, slimmer, and more reliable, but I don't think of my body as a cage anymore. I don't fight with it any more. We might suck, but we're in this together. For life.

*this started out as a post about hiking - it just went somewhere I didn't expect!

Monday, April 15, 2013

emerging after hibernation

it's been a good while since I posted about running. Unfortunately I got hit with the Damplung* in about October, which is kind of my seasonal asthma, I had to stop running for about . The other option was continuing to run sounding like Gollum and bringing on a potential attack! I had a good chunk of time concentrating on resistance work, and just accepting that maybe I should go with my very ungirly abilty to build muscle. but that fell by the wayside a bit too. I'm going to blame the weather. I have never wanted to stay inside curled up in a duvet as much as I have the last few months. It might be having to go out and walk every day that resulted in that feeling! And with the cold weather lasting until... well... yesterday, the desire to go out running was well and truly flattened.

With a bit of sunshine, and the hope that my lungs might clear up a bit in the next week (although it would probably help if I just remembered to take the bloody preventative inhaler!) I'm thinking about it again.

I spent yesterday with the family and my interactions with the niblings** really made me think about getting motoring again. First I went for a walk with my SIL and 4 (and a half) year old nephew. He's in that phase where he has loads of energy and you need to wear him out. He was on his balance bike and in an effort to expend the energy I raced him. So yes I've been running for the first time this year already! It didn't totally kill me, and I was more hampered by my jeans falling down than my lungs, but it really made me want to get back into it. Even just to be able to run around with him and know I'm not going to be wrecked by it.

Then later on my was 'bouncing' my 5 month old niece. She's just in the smiling stage - after having been suspicious of the lot of us for quite some time. She was laughing at being bounced so it was lovely, but by god did my arms feel like they were going to fall off. If I'm going to keep up with these kids, I'm going to have to get into training!!

*possibly a made-up disease... also possibly from Firefly
** a better term, IMHO, than Niecephews! props to Deelea for that one

Monday, December 31, 2012

For the totally unfit

I notice we get lots of hits on this blog for people searching for what to do when totally unfit. The nature of the blog means that people see the latest update when they search and might not be aware of the transition. I personally have gone from outstandingly unfit, to sort of regularly unfit to shocking myself with being able to run 5k (which is like the superfit version of me!)

The thing to remember is that unfit means different things to different people and I would never want to proscribe a course of action that suits all. Your overall health, age and ability is always going to dictate your progress. What I would say is that everyone deserves to be able to use their body and its worth taking the time to take proper care of yourself. Even small amounts of exercise can dramatically increase your health and longevity. If you think you have any health issues then its certainly worth talking to your doctor, if even for piece of mind.

Starting out:
Often I think we see 'getting fit' as something requiring spandex and embarrassing aerobics classes, when really its much more simple and less exposing. I would say walk. Do you walk anywhere? If you do, that's great. How comfortable are you when you walk? Do you think you could walk faster or longer? Then that's something to try. If you don't walk at all, then see if you can go for 10 minutes, down the street and back or wherever. You might feel like you're not getting anywhere but if you keep a journal and make a note of where you got to and how long it took then you should see an incremental improvement in how far and how fast you can walk, certainly within a week or two.

If you are not mobile then there are other exercises you can do. I've often heard mention of the chair workout, although  I haven't used it myself. Its to provide people who are not able for traditional workouts to exercise in a systematic way. Similarly I like Davina's workout DVDs because they offer low and high impact options.

The point here is that gently does it. Don't try and kill yourself with something that is too hard at first. Chances are you'll get injured or just give up because it seems so impossible

If you're well able to do the things above, then you're probably not as unfit as you think and can build on that. There's obviously tonnes of different plans and advice out there, but I would say to think of something you would like to be able to do, and then find the plan to help you do it. Being able to run seemed like a pipedream for me, so when I started down that road and found myself progressing it was very motivating. Maybe you'd like to be stronger, a better swimmer or learn how to surf or dance... think about what you'd really like to do and start on it

Tell yourself that you and your body are important. You don't need to give over all of your time to being fit and well but you do need to give some of it. In his little video 23 and a 1/2 hours Dr Mike Evans makes a great case for limiting the time you spend sitting or lying down to just 23 and a half hours per day, and suddenly it really doesn't seem that much to give over just 30 mins a day to making yourself well and happy. Honestly it does make you feel good!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Race Report 5k

As I kind of expected my first race didn't go brilliantly. It was the Great Pink Run 5k (there were people doing a 10k option also) I signed up about 7 weeks ago and the first 4 weeks my training was great and I was on course. In the last 3 weeks a lot of things got in the way and my running was suffering a lot. About a week ago I realised I was having a breathing problem and that was probably what that was about, and so I took the week before the race as a rest week, doing precisely zero runs!

The day itself was really mixed with rain, sun and wind, but the course was flat and the organisers had gone for a real family party atmosphere. However the registration process took a long time and delayed the start of the race for almost half an hour, which meant I'd been standing in the same spot for about 45 minutes before we actually moved. I placed myself at the back of the runners and before the walkers. Of course I started out too fast and took some trouble to pace myself and slow down. After the first 2km I'd been passed by most runners... my legs really felt like lead and were very stiff, and I was really thirsty. I took a bit of a walking break to stretch out my calves and started to run again.

Somewhere in the middle of the race I decided I couldn't be bothered to push myself. That might sound defeatist, but the breathing problem I'd been having was a direct result of me not giving myself a break, so I decided it would be a positive thing to enjoy the rest of the route without hurting, so I decided to walk the rest. I kind of thought I might run the last k, but when it came to it I really wasn't pushed, although I probably could have. All in all though I was surprised when I crossed the line that the clock only said 52minutes. My best time for a fully run 5k is 50minutes, which means I must have been running fast. The chip time published in the paper has me at 51minutes.

Around 3k I started to be lapped by people doing the route twice for the 10k. I had thought that being lapped would annoy me, but actually I enjoyed it. it was great to get an opportunity to see the runners at the front, which I wouldn't normally get to see. The winner of the 5k completed in 17 minutes, and the winner of the 10k completed in 37 minutes... they were like gazelles - it was great to see!

So anyway my first official race is done and I got my medal... and made my rookie mistakes! I'm suffering from DOMS this week so I'm not running until recovered, but I have already signed up to my next race for December. I'm planning some more trainer sessions between now and then and hopefully I'll manage to run the whole thing in a respectable time!