Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hold the French Toast: A P90x Breakfast

Diet advice is like a handshake. Regardless of height, weight, or general physical condition, everybody has one and will probably give you their's if you so much as say "Hi, my name is..."

I've listened to a lot of diet advice in my day. A metric butt ton of it, if you will.

But as I listen, I am usually saying an emphatic, "Yes, I know!" in my head.

This is not my first rodeo. I've lost a total of 60 lbs since college and not one of those pounds just "fell off" like I keep hearing happens to some lucky, mythical creatures on infomercials.

And what works?

Eating right and exercising. Go effin' figure.

So... I keep on keeping on and sometimes I bump it up, sometimes I slack off... but for the most part I stay on the level. This tells me that I've probably found my body's comfort zone. I'm slowly becoming okay with that.

Now that I'm P90x-ing though, I'm seeing results and getting demanding. I see some results so I want to see more! I see progress, so I want to see perfection!

I didn't - I know you're wondering - start following the P90x Nutrition Plan by the letter this week.

I thought about it. And if I had a personal chef and loads of money, I would probably be on board. I've heard both good and bad things about it, but I prefer to try things for myself.

So why am I not doing it?

I can't get over the "but diets don't work!" mantra, and I don't know that I want to. What if I find a diet that really does work? I'm either stuck on it (which isn't healthy) or I get off it, flounder a bit, and gain weight (which isn't healthy). And please, for the love of all that's good, don't tell me that the P90x Nutrition Plan isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle. Because... just think about it... I'm getting stronger and so is my right hook. Kthanks. Right now I feed my body what it needs and what it tells me it wants.

Basically... I'm better off doing me.

And while I'm P90x-ing, it wants good food and a lot of it.

When trolling around BeachBody.com, I found an article on big breakfasts and fell in love.

The author explains things like feeding your body the most when it is the most hungry. And eating certain fats, carbs, and proteins in the morning to set the tone for the rest of the day. I tell my students to choose strategies that make sense to them and their writing styles... Well, this big breakfast thing? Makes TOTAL sense to me and my cooking style.

I mean... hello... Have you been paying attention the "breakfast" tag on this blog?

So today while I did Yoga X in the livingroom, I was roasting a turkey breast tenderloin in the kitchen. Man, oh man, did it smell good.

The meal as posted on BeachBody was:

1 package plain instant oatmeal, prepared, with 1 scoop BeachBody Whey Protein Powder
1 cup fresh blueberries
3 oz. roasted turkey breast
1 large hard-boiled egg
1 oz. dark chocolate

Delicious, right?

I certainly thought so. But... being fitness (read: not food) bloggers, they left it at that. No instructions, no cooking times, just a good luck. Thankfully, I'm good at googling and experimentation. *ahem*

What I came up with was this:

So... allow me to make it easier on you than BeachBody made it on me. Here's my long-hand, food blogger version of their above breakfast. Also, if you're interested, there are a few other big breakfasts on the above link. I'll be making them soon, no doubt.

An hour and a half before you're ready to eat:

- Preheat oven to 350.
- Prepare turkey breast by placing in an oven-proof dish with 1/4 cup water.
- Sprinkle with basil, oregano, black pepper, and garlic powder.
- Bake covered for 30 minutes.

While the turkey roasts, do something else. Anything else (I did yoga) to distract you from the unadulterated protein you can't eat for another hour.

When the timer goes off...

- Remove foil from turkey and continue to roast for another 30 minutes.
- Put egg(s) in pot and cover with cold water.
- Set pot to boil but pull immediately from heat and cover as soon as it does.
- Let egg(s) sit in hot water for 17 minutes.

When those timers go off... (they'll probably be pretty close together)

- Remove turkey from oven. Cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Remove eggs from hot water and place in bowl of ice water until cool.

While waiting for turkey and eggs...

- Gather chocolate & fruit and prepare oatmeal. (I didn't have fresh blueberries, so I had strawberries, which I nommed during the epic cooking event. Annnnd... I didn't have chocolate so I had 1 oz. of a chocolate power bar. Since I didn't have the Whey Protein to add to the oatmeal, I figured this balanced out.)

When the final timers go off...

- Slice one half of the turkey breast tenderloin (3 oz) and peel one hard-boiled egg.
- Plate with oatmeal, fruit, and chocolate.
- Nom the hell out of it.

Now... honesty is the best policy, so I'll tell you now that my prep was nothing like this. It took me a whole lot longer to prepare this meal than it should have.

But... I... uh... had never hard-boiled an egg before? I thought it was a quick thing! Eh... now I know. And... more importantly, I made four today instead of one, so I'm set for a bit.

Mid-prep, I worried that I wouldn't be able to eat so much food. It just seemed like a whole lot to have for breakfast.

So how much did I eat?

Oh... only this much:

And the best part is, I feel great! I didn't feel full but I did feel satisfied. I felt like I was good to go. And now, a full four hours later, I'm still feeling good. I had a banana just now and I think my body is asking for more of that leftover PowerBar.

Don't mind if I do...

Friday, March 25, 2011

P90x Day 30(ish)

It's that time, friends! Time for the first set of progress pics!!!

Tonight at dinner, a friend asked how P90x was going. I told her the truth, "It's going well... but I start Phase Two tomorrow and I'm nerrrrvous!"

She smiled in a you-chose-this-not-me way and said, "You know, I feel like I've been part of this experience and I also feel like it's been longer than 30 days."

Ehh... she's not wrong.

If you've been following me on twitter, you might remember that my journey has been a bumpy one. I missed a few days for a quick trip to Portland. And I missed another day or two when I was sick at the very beginning.

Annnnnd... then I messed up during week 4. Instead of moving to the Week 4 "recovery" workouts, I did another of the strength training, muscle building first weeks, thus pushing myself back an entire week.

So... all told, my Phase One lasted all of 43 days. 35 of those days I was actively grunting, sweating, and bringing it. Those other 8 days... were lost for one reason or another.

That's alright though.

Tony says that there are several reasons why someone would choose to extend a phase. There must be even more ways in which someone could screw up the phase and accidentally extend it. I'm sure I'm in good company.

Now... before I run away from Phase One and move on to things like the Corn Cob Pull Up and who-knows-what kind of demon push ups, I want to make note of some lessons learned.

1. My flex face still sucks.

Go ahead. Go back and review. I don't mind.

After my on video flexing, a friend told me I looked like I smelled something bad. I revised... and now I just look slightly angry. Or... something.

2. My backgrounds suck worse than my flex face.

Again... review...

An open closet?! C'mon... If I had just closed the door, it would have been perfect. Solid background AND you'd think I am organized.

3. That freaky armpit muscle is still growing.

Picture 4. Feast your eyes on that sucker.

According to the anatomy coloring book flashcards Kate gave me, I believe this is the pectoralis major. Maybe. Whatevs... as long as I don't get that man neck thing, I'm fine with it.

In conclusion...

Dear P90x,

You're pretty okay in my book. Though you scare me, I'm excited to see where this relationship goes. Here's to another 60(+) days together.

Bringing It,


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Things I Miss at the Moment...

This girl:

And these biscuits:

While neither you or I can have the girl for the next couple of months, we can sure as hell have the biscuits.

Well... I mean... let me level with you. You can have the biscuits.

I'm going to tendril for a minute here... if you just want the biscuit recipe, then feel free to scroll. I'll still love you.

Today marks the last day of my 5 week long (yes, I extended it... albeit accidentally) first phase of P90x. This morning I did Yoga X and though Tony begged me to clear my mind throughout the 90 minute exercise, I (no one is surprised) did not.

I thought about my students, my messy apartment, the brunch I knew was coming. I thought about the United States Postal Service and the five day work week. I thought about whether I'm by nature a cat or dog person. I thought about whether I'm a pet person at all.

But... then... I also thought about some things that some people might consider relevant. For instance, this whole P90x experience has introduced me to results in a way that no other exercise program or routine has. I am continually surprised by my own progress. Each time I do military pushups, I can do a couple more than I did the last time. Each time I do shoulder flys, I up the weight or the reps. Many times when Tony congratulates us for finishing the "hard part" of the workout, I think "Oh... really...? I didn't think we'd been going an hour yet..." I can see muscle development. I can feel myself getting stronger. Today when doing yoga, I was actually able to do the straight arm shoulder stands and alllllmost tackled the half moon. Almost.


There's always a but.

The other thing that I kept thinking about while doing yoga today was my stomach. I mean... it's hard not to think about. What with all the bending and twisting and downward dogging.

My stomach is my least favorite body part. It's not flat. It's nowhere close to flat. And I'm afraid I might have ruined it by the years I spent dancing around a size 18. It may just be beyond that spring back point.

The thing is, though, I won't know if I don't try everything I can right now. At this moment, I am literally in the best shape of my life. I'm working out daily and I'm happily playing along with something called "Ab Ripper X" three times a week. If there were ever a time for me to flatten and tighten my stomach, this would be it.

Here comes the hard part... There is one aspect of the P90x program that I've been neglecting... The Diet. The P90x Nutrition Plan.

I capitalized it because it's that big of a deal. For me, at least.

I don't do diets. At least not seriously. I play with them. I try them on for size. And... then I drop them after a few days. But... I kinda want to see what would happen if I tackled this P90x diet and stuck to it.

It's only 60 days, right?

And who knows... the diet may just be the last piece of my flabby-to-flattened stomach puzzle. I don't know. What I do know... is that buttermilk biscuits are nowhere near the P90x diet.

Which is why I threw out the remaining two biscuits this morning.


Anyway... who wants biscuits with sausage gravy?? : )

April and I used the Perfect Buttermilk Biscuits recipe from Phe.Mom.Enon and Paula Deen's recipe for Sausage Gravy.

Yeah. When we do it, we do it right.

As we were making our shopping list, April let me know that under no circumstances would we me using my "nasty milk" for either of these recipes. And since Little Bit was shipping off to boot camp, I wasn't going to get into the all too common house debate over the merits of skim versus whole milk. So... we came home with Whole Milk and Buttermilk. The situation was intense... but the rewards were great.

We ate on those biscuits and that vat of gravy for days and STILL had leftovers to pitch.

My recommendation: Make these and make them now. But perhaps scale down the recipes a touch.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to figure out what crazy people with flat stomachs eat. Besides the protein sludge. Because I still don't want to go there.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Yet another video post about P90x...

I've been holding out on you guys.

I made this video about a week ago. I made it as a joke, with a lot of input from my brother.

(That guy.)

But then I showed it to a few people. And when they stopped lolling, they each said the same thing: "You need to post this."

So... thank them, if you like the video. If you don't... let me know to smack them the next time I see them.

(I'm cringing over here.)

Anyway... the point of this video WAS to mark the day that I did my first three unassisted chin-ups.

What is the real take-away of this video?

I think only you can answer that one for me...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Video: P90x Week 3 Update

Oh heyyyyy...

I won't bother you with a wordy introduction, because this video is a bit of an investment at a full 8 minutes and 24 seconds.

But... eh... I couldn't really be bothered to be concise. Rambling is muuuuch easier.

Without further ado... my P90x Week 3 Update:

So... for those of you who know things, I'll go ahead and say that yes, I know it's a corn cob PULL (not push) up. I noticed I misspoke when I was reviewing the tape... but I wasn't offended enough to retape that bit.

And... sorry, Grace, no Eminem in this video. There's always next time...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Handwriting Game

This week, Grace (over at Grace Undone) tagged me in The Handwriting Game. The rules are simple. Answer the seven questions in your own handwriting, post pics, and then tag three other bloggers.

I would make it complicated by having at least half a dozen handwritings. It's what I do. I can't help it. Different situations call for different scripts.

Why do you think there are so many fonts in the world?! Same thing... I just like have my own internal font system.

Be jealous. Anyway... this is my quick and dirty handwriting. The one I use when I'm not thinking about my handwriting. I figured it was the truest version of the thing.

The Handwriting Game

1. Your name / Your blog name (Yeah... just noticing I did that one wrong. Whatevs. You know me.)

2. Your website

3. Write: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."

4. Your favorite quote

5. Your favorite song

6. Your favorite singer or band

7. Anything else you'd like to say?

And now to the tagging bit...

(Don't be sad if you didn't make the three, do it anyway and let me know. I kiiiiinda have a thing for handwriting. See the tag below.)

1. Kate

Enjoy, ladies. And the rest of you... go write something, will you?!