Quest bar dominance continues.

Um. Quest bar has some new flavors out this year. The two best are Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Cereal Bar. Don’t buy them unless you want to have to buy them every day forever because THEY ARE TOO DELICIOUS TO BE TRUE.

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My Energy Crisis Part 3: Keto Fail?

Duuuude. Ketosis didn’t work for me. Or rather, I suck and ate too much butter (like all the time, as a snack) so I didn’t lose any weight doing keto (except like for two weeks in July) and have actually been GAINING on the world’s favorite miracle diet, so…I have no choice but to quit… Eating butter all of the time.

It’s been almost a week since I gave up on keto. I stopped counting vegetable carbs, or more accurately, I’ve been eating whatever vegetables I want instead of basically only greens. And I’m not drinking Bulletproof Coffees and not eating butter like a food, and not eating whole packs of bacon for lunch because *surprise* that shit wasn’t working.

I’ve stopped gaining weight. (Duh.) But now that I’m not peeing purple strips anymore, I’m back to feeling like the walking dead. I have NO ENERGY. None. Zombie all the time. It sucks. So now I have to figure out some way to tell myself I’m not doing keto (so I don’t eat butter like it’s food) while tricking myself into doing keto. Because this shit is not OK. Right now, I’m basically telling my body “here, you can have like a teeny bit of carbs, and some fat, but not enough fat/too many carbs to put you in ketosis, and not enough carbs to give you any energy at all: just the right ratio to give you no fuel whatsoever, cool? Cool. Good luck with that.”

No wonder I’ve been skipping workouts all week. Ugh.

If you’re a “normal person,” who can just eat all of the kinds of food without sending yourself into a binge or feeling like absolute ass…In other words, if you have no idea what I’m talking about…just be thankful for a second, OK? Because some people aren’t normal, and struggle all of the time with some issue or another and get ZERO joy from eating because food isn’t food, it’s a crazy mishmash of drugs that we’re trying to navigate so we can just FEEL NORMAL for one hot second…BE THANKFUL YOU BLISSFULLY OBLIVIOUS NORMAL PEOPLE!! I hate you. I mean I’m really jealous of you. Be thankful for the awesome superpower you don’t even know you have, OK? OK. Merry Christmas. Enjoy your cookies ya lucky batches.

 

 

 

Day 1 of #makesweatcrychallenge

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Yes, I’m doing a 30 day challenge. No, I’m not following a nutrition plan. But yes I am going to try to re-arrange my food style from Mostly Proteins and Fats with some produce to Mostly Produce with proteins and fats. Because, duh.  I know that’s right. We all know it’s right. It’s just DOING the right thing that’s the thing. So. 30 days of actually really doing the thing.

And yes, obviously I had pizza last night because that’s what you do the night before Day 1. Key to success. Everybody knows that.

HEY! UP FITNESS TRACKERS ARE ON SALE!

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1. I lost my UP24 fitness tracker a while back. It was sad princess day. Since then I’ve been walking it old school with my trusty $20 Omron pedometer. Which is totally fine. But a tad inconvenient because most of my high-waisted workout pants don’t have key pockets.

2. But guess what! It’s Christmas time and them UP tracker shits are on saaaaaaale!!!!

3. So my husband just bought me one on Amazon because they’re hella cheap right now. And he’s a very nice guy. 🙂 And also he probably doesn’t like to hear me bitch all the time about how nothing fits, so…it’s kind of a future-present for him, too.

Why do I like Jawbone and not FitBit? Especially now that FitBit has a heart rate tracker? Because. Jawbone looks better. And I pay for design. The end.

I spent the last three days researching. Let me save you some time.

Here’s what you need to know:

UP3 = their newest one. Has heart rate monitoring. Which I thought I wanted. BUT, it doesn’t really do “you’re in the zone”-type monitoring during your workout. It does resting heart rate, and kind of a picture of your daily average. Or something. It isn’t well explained. But the FitBit Charge HR clearly does “during workout heart rate feedback.” So I figured, if UP did that, they would say that they did. And they don’t. So…not worth it to me. Plus, I might get creeped out by those nodes pressing on my pulse points all day. BUT, they are SUPER CUTE. They are by far the best looking tracker bracelets on the market. And, if you’re into it, they’re on Oprah’s Favorite Things list. So you can get a 20% discount on Jawbone site with code OPRAH. 

UP4 = same as the UP3 but you can Tap To Pay with an AmEx. Which I think is fucking stupid. But I’m 90 years old inside.

UP2 = just like the UP24, but updated. Adjustable size. Available in solid bracelet style and girlier thin strap (split-strap) versions. Split strap comes in more colors. I looked at them in person, and both are cute.  But I’m a little afraid I’d catch the straps on something, so I’m getting the classic solid shape. And after much deliberation and drooling over white, gold, purple, red, green, and teal, my ass is sticking with simple solid black. Why? Because when I was nine I chose a pink and purple ten speed for my birthday present, and my mom said “Now you’re sure you’re still going to want a purple bike with pink tires when you’re older?” and I was like “Hell yeah I will!” and I was wrong. I don’t trust what I like today to be what I’ll like next year.

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But you don’t care what I like. You like what YOU like. And if you like the idea of the UP2, it’s on sale on Amazon today. They’re $99 pretty much everywhere, but on Amazon the solid is $60ish and the strappy is $80 ish. The prices seem to change every day. They might even go down more, who knows? But I’m impatient, so I bought today. http://www.amazon.com/Jawbone

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HEALTHY GREEDY SHOPPY TIMES TO YOU!

 

Workout Review: Heaven and Hell Bootcamp

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Gotta love Groupon.

This year I also took advantage of a Groupon for a local boot camp called Heaven and Hell. I’ve never done a boot camp before. And frankly, I used to think boot camp sounded terrifying and miserable and always took place outside before dawn in the rain with someone yelling at you. I am not a “no pain no gain” person. I am an “I have to enjoy it or else I won’t go” fitness person. But luckily, I was totally wrong about boot camp.

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About Heaven and Hell.

Heaven and Hell describes itself as “functional group training.” I never really understood what “functional fitness” meant, but I am getting the impression it means “moving your body and some weight around in all sorts of different directions.“ This class takes place in a strip mall (I live in the burbs, so that’s where everything is), in an open room, with every piece of fitness equipment you could dream of. Like…medicine balls, heavy balls, battle ropes, bosu trainers, sand bags, stability balls, kettle bells, dumbells, weighted bars, bands, rebounding step thingies, regular steps, plyo benches, giant tires, TRX, chin up bars, jump ropes, mini balance pods, weighted mini balls, slider disk thingies, and probably ten other things I’m not remembering. Basically, it’s a fitness playground. And it’s hella fun.

What it is, is circuit training. The instructor creates 7-12 ish different exercises (depending on class size), demos them at the beginning, and then you do each one for a certain amount of time, or you do two timed-sets with a mini break, and then you move to the next exercise. You usually go around 3 or 4 times in the 45 minute class, with a core training session (planks, pilates, on your back ab work) in the middle or at the end.

Results?

It’s great. You can’t get bored. If an exercise sucks, it’s only going to last like a minute and you only have to do it a few times. 45 minutes is the perfect class length. There are all sorts of people in there, so there’s always someone struggling more than you and always someone going turbo to look up to. I love it love it love it. You gain good cardio fitness, get some good core results, and your arms and shoulders get results because of the push ups and whatnot.

Between Dailey Method and Heaven and Hell Boot camp this summer, I was really having a great time, looking forward to all of my classes, enjoying feeling fitter and fitter, and getting visible results. I mean, look at my arms in this picture! That’s not from “lifting.” That’s from all sorts of different fun types of moves and equipment and body resistance stuff.

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Courtesy of Kelly Allison Photography. KellyAllisonPhoto.com

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Look, ma! An Ab! ONE AB.

AND, at one point, before everything went to shit and I stopped going to both, I swear I was starting to see more than just that one oblique I could always see if I sucked in hard and leaned over to the side.

 

CONCLUSION

Three word review for Heaven and Hell Bootcamp: Fitness. Playground. Fun.

I don’t have many pictures from bootcamp, but I tended to take happy sweaty selfies afterward, so that tells you something.

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How to wash your workout wear.

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OK. So. Now that you’ve ponied up 100 bucks for a schmancy high performing pair of workout pants, you need to take proper care of them to make them last.

Why? Because if you don’t, they will start to hold onto odor, they’ll stop wicking, and they’ll lose the perfect stretch and compression you paid so much for.

HOW should you wash athletic clothes? 

-In COLD water. (hot is bad for elastics)

-Only with other performance fabrics. Why? Because heavier/ rougher fabrics will beat up the sport fabric. Rough it up. Stretch it out. Cause it to pill.

-And HANG DRY. Before and after you wash. You should really hang your workout clothes up after you peel them off. Let the sweat evaporate, don’t throw them into your laundry pile all crumpled up and wet to fester and rot. Hang them to dry after washing, too. I am personally a hang dry-only freak. I hang dry everything except for sheets and towels. Because I can’t handle the emotional damage that shrinking will cause. I’m dead serious about this. Do not wash my clothes. Beware the wrath of the girl whose favorite whatever doesn’t fit anymore because it accidentally got thrown in the dryer. You do not want to be on the receiving end of that torrent of uncut rage and tears.

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Don’t even aim a blow dryer at my shit. I will cut you.

WHAT kind of detergent should you wash your athletic clothes with? 

-POWDER not liquid. Why? Because you don’t want residue. Any residue stuck to the fibers will coat them and keep them from wicking. You also don’t want fabric softeners or “optical brighteners” because they also coat fibers.  So unfortunately, Woolite is out.

-This is also why “Tide plus Febreeze” or any regular wash that just adds an odor eliminator doesn’t cut it.

-Most “sports detergents” focus only on body oils and odor. Apparently, active wear really likes to become permanently stinky. Because body oils and stinks bond differently to synthetics than they do to cotton. I guess I’ve noticed that a little, but overall, I’m more concerned with keeping the wicking performance and elasticity. And I assume if a detergent is good enough to preserve elasticity, it’s probably already got the odor and body oils thing covered.

Even the most “sporty” sports detergents (Win, Sport Wash) are liquid. So despite their macho labels, high prices, and sports-store distribution, they’re totally not ideal for keeping the physical performance properties of the fibers in tact. WTF right? BUT. Good news…

There are a few powdered sports washes out there, Vapor Fresh Sports Laundry Detergent (which is a good source of information, too) and Sports Suds. I haven’t tried either, but it seems like they should be good.

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I usually use Forever New. It comes in through the “fine garment care” door instead of the “odor eliminating” one. It’s for delicates and it says that it “preserves fiber flex” and “maintains elasticity.” I mean, if people wash their french lingerie in it, I trust it.

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Here, I’ve done the shopping for you!

Forever New: $14.50 for 32oz (16 washes)  on Amazon, prime eligible.

Vapor Fresh: $22 for 80oz (32 washes) + shipping on their site, same on Amazon, but prime eligible.

Sports Suds: $21 for 14oz (34 loads) through Amazon, prime eligible.

I was about to just order some more Forever New, but after doing this research for y’all it’s obvious that these other guys are cheaper per load, so I’m going to try Vapor Fresh, too. Although, I’m still not sold.  I don’t trust a detergent designed by a boy to eliminate stink to take care of lycra and preserve stretch as well as a lingerie detergent. Hmmm… Either way, I’ve gotta stop using the Tide with Febreeze. My clothes just feel slimy. Bad news.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE  The residue from liquid detergent is coating your washer too. So you’re supposed to clean it out by washing old towels in your new powdered detergent first. Not sure how this is going to work for me since we wash everything else in liquid…but…I guess we’ll just have to gradually switch from liquid to powder for everything. No reason not to.

Here’s what Sports Suds says about that:

http://www.sportsuds.com/First-Use-Information.html

So. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you you’re doing everything wrong. But now you know. And I learned some new stuff too. If it makes you feel better, I can’t do my stinky-ass laundry for a few days because I’m waiting for the special detergents to get here…