Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Love

Fridays are officially my favorite day of the week.

Not only do they hold the promise of an AMAZING weekend ahead, they also:

Mean early mornings...

Complete with nutrition class + Starbucks...

Followed by an entire afternoon and evening to do whatever the ____ I want!

Today was one of the best. (and it's only 2/3 done!)

Pre-class breakfast was 2 egg whites and 2 pieces of whole wheat toast with Earth Balance.

I happily sipped a grande Red Eye with one pump of pumpkin spice + soy milk throughout a fascinating class, where we covered all sorts of cool nerdy nutritional things.

The most exciting of those is something I'm really looking forward to letting you guys in on over the coming weeks.

As part of the curriculum, our class has to complete an assignment the professor calls our "Daily Food Intake." To do it, I've registered for this website where you input all your personal stats- height, weight, age, activity level, etc and it calculates how much of EVERYTHING you should be eating- calories, fiber, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, the whole shebang.

Then the work comes in: we have to enter every.single.thing. we consume for 3 straight days (the program contains thousands of items with their nutrition facts already input). After the 3 days (or 7, if you're a total nerd like me and want to take it 4 steps further), you check out what you've consumed and see if it lines up with what you were SUPPOSED to be eating.

I cannot express without delving into full dork-dom how excited I am about this project.

I've always been curious about how and what I should be eating. I want to give my body everything it needs and this seems like a great way to start figuring it out!

You know I'll keep you posted ;)

We also talked about necessary protein combinations in a vegetarian diet- very relevant for me. It turns out there are such things as "complete" and "incomplete" proteins. The most complete? Good old fashioned beef, chicken and pork. Since I've voluntarily cut those animals out of my diet, I've got to be extra aware of the sorts of proteins I am ingesting.

Here are the basic ways to combine plant based proteins to get COMPLETE protein (according to my professor, a registered dietitian):

click on them to get more info
According to the prof, if you have a meal containing one of the above combinations, you'll be nourishing yourself with a full serving of complete protein, sans the animal product.

The good news is: I eat fish, eggs and dairy so I'm still getting a lot of calcium and other nutrients that STRICT vegetarians (aka vegans) are lacking.

Thank God for THAT! (And the ability to eat real ice cream)

The last interesting thing of *note* we discussed was our body's need for electrolytes. I always wondered what the big deal was with Jennifer Aniston's Smart Water and big, beefy athletes' Gatorade in those commercials.

Turns out: without electrolytes (electrically charged ions-sodium's the big one- in the body that control our cells' intake and excretion of water), we'd die.

It's especially important for active people who sweat a lot (long distance runners, bikers, etc) to get extra electrolytes from sports drinks, enhanced water and the like because our sweat is essentially valuable electrolytes pouring from our bodies.

So drink your Smart Water, guys. Rachel would be proud.

After class, I went to Target.

"Ahhhhhhhhh" (those were the clouds opening and angels singing, if that wasn't clear).

I love Target. As I am sure almost anyone reading this can attest, they have EVERYTHING- and it's not a Wal-Mart kind of everything. Their items are pretty. Dare I say "classy?" And it smells like popcorn when you walk in...

I only needed a couple of things, but I had nowhere to be so I just moseyed around the store for an hour looking at things, debating if I'd regret a certain purchase and dreaming of having a bottomless bank account. I still ended up spending too much.

I came home and had a snack. (Gah, I didn't snap many pics of my food today)

It was yogurt, grape nuts, raspberries + ground flax seed.

I changed and headed to the gym where I went back to my favorite: the elliptical. After trying my hand at both the treadmill and Stairmaster, I think it's safe to say that the elliptical gives you the best bang for your sweat.

When it comes to cardio, interval training is- hands down- the best way for me to get a good workout in.

The music is ESSENTIAL. The way I keep myself from getting bored and complacent is by creating my own "song." By that, I mean I import a dozen or so songs (depending on how many intervals I plan on doing) into Garageband (I'm not sure of the Microsoft equivalent) and mix them-yeah, DJ stylee- to time out with my intervals.

For example: If I'm going to do 30 minutes consisting of a 5 minute warmup followed by 20 minutes of alternating walking for 1 minute/jogging for 1 minute, I'd mix a "song" like this:

First 5 minutes: Steady song that gets me jazzed for a workout- not too fast just yet
fades into...
1st minute of running/jogging: A fun upbeat song like Lady Gaga or Rhianna
fades into...
Minute of walking: Bring the tempo down but don't lost your momentum- I like TV on the Radio for these segments
fades into...
2nd minute of running: Pick up the pace of the song... and your booty
fades into...
Minute of walking: Bring it down a little, etc.

You get it.

I swear, that method has been a breakthrough for me in terms of getting the most out of otherwise dull machine-induced cardio workouts.

Just be sure to pick songs you dig and that will get you excited! (One thing I noticed today was when the songs that I was ehhhh on the fence about played, it made my intensity and dedication level slip a bit).

After the gym, I made a run to the market for a couple of ingredients for a new recipe I'mma try sometime this weekend (Hint: it's healthy, gives you power and is cookie-like).

I came home to a green smoothie (again no pic, whoops) and line memorization for that scene I was telling you about.

Even though I'm meeting Alex for sushi later, I was a STARVIN' MARVIN and made this little post-lunch/pre-dinner combo:

Salad with spinach, garbonzo beans, carrots, bell pepper, goat cheese and balsamic + a whole wheat pita with my homemade hummus schmear.

WORD. It was so good!

Now I'm off to finish my hairdo and head out for the evening.

I've said too much already- I'll tell ya about gardening tomorrow ;)

Have a great Friday night!

Love and happiness,

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