Thursday 24 June 2010

Short break

Swimming intervals yesterday and a good nutrition day.  Hard gym today, increased my side-planks with rows to 7kg and still managed 3x10 each side.  AND managed 3x10 with the clean and press at 25kg.  Very pleased with that.  Good food again today, but as I'm slipping into the holiday zone... wiiiine!

Won't be updating until we're back from THE VALENCIA GRAND PRIX :oD  But I should have lots of photos to share.

Keep it healthy and fit guys!

Tuesday 22 June 2010

Wobbly DOMS

By the time I got to today's gymming, I still had DOMS all through my core from Sunday's session.  This makes press-ups, rowing, pull-ups etc. a bit difficult and I got really quite wobbly a bit earlier in the press-ups than last time.

This morning, I decided to try a porridge experiment (mostly because there were no flaked almonds left and I like them with my yogurt a lot more than not having them in it) involving soaking the oats overnight in the fridge.  So, oats, water, raisins, honey and a spoon of mascarpone went into a bowl in the fridge overnight.  Vile, vomitous-looking mix came out in the morning, I must say, as the mascarpone just sat there in little chunks.  Still, I mixed it, microwaved it for 2 minutes, mixed it some more and microwaved for another minute and out came a beautiful, creamy, thick porridge; to which I added some chopped strawberries.  And it was nice, though the strawberries that didn't sink and get heated up didn't really go very well with the porridge - too acidic - the heated up ones went a bit mushy and much nicer.  So.  Score for the porridge.

I was gymming today so lots of snacks and gymmage went OK apart from the wobbliness; I'm going to up the dumbbells in the side planks with rows as the 6kgs are getting a bit easy now.  I'm still on 6kg with 3x8 each side on the lunges with cross-over arm raise things, my triceps really feel it especially on the left.  I'll try to hit 10 each set next time, but it'll be quite a struggle.  And another 8, 8, 10 with 25kg barbell on the clean and press which I'm still quite chuffed with, but I want to make it to 3x8 with 30kg by the end of next week when I'll see my trainer again.

When I got home today, apart from the mysterious half-eaten sausage on the lounge floor with one kitteh sat on his bed ignoring it and the other one AWOL (I would love to know where it came from and how, 'cause we don't have any sausages in the house, never mind cooked ones like the one I found), I found my chilli plant has finally got a ripening chilli on it - and it's pretty!  I was starting to worry that they weren't ripening, but it looks like the warmer temperatures now are setting it off; which is great.  Very pleased :o)

So pleased, that I heated up a frozen goat vindaloo for dinner with a couple of toasted wholemeal pitta breads to mop it up (I really couldn't be bothered to cook up any rice) and ohhhhh....

As with chilli con carne, bolognese sauce and curries in general, the goat curry had really improved with freezing and re-heating and it was really really nice.  There's one portion left and it miiiiight still be there when Mr TOTKat gets home for him to eat, but I might get the munchies before then ;o)

B - porridge with honey, mascarpone, raisins and strawberries
S - banana
S - 1 scoop MP Max in skimmed milk
L - salad; lettuce, celery, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, beetroot and chicken breast
S - smoked almonds and a nectarine
S - cottage cheese with 2x seeded Ryvita Thins
D - goat vindaloo with 2x Waitrose wholemeal pitta breads

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 139.4 (30.7%)
Carbohydrate (g) 233.1 (48.1%)
Fat (g) 42.9 (21.2%)
Fibre (g) 25.4
Fruit & Veg 12.3


Monday's dinner; tilapia fillets with baby new potatoes and broccoli tossed in olive oil and toasted flaked almonds.  A nice, light dinner after a rest day with some quite impressive DOMS right through my core muscles that I could still feel just as strongly today.  Sunday's gym session was quite clearly a bit different and worked them all nicely.  I do suspect the negative pull-ups as the hand position I can use at the local gym compared with the one near work is different (I think a bit easier, so I can get better results so I tried even harder).  I'll just be happy when I can actually do one positive one, you know?  Sometimes it feels like I'm almost there and then... I can't do it.

B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop MP Max, fruit compote and flaked almonds
S - banana
S -  smoked almonds
L - salad; lettuce, celery, cherry tomatoes, beetroot, sweet peppers and a chicken breast in a Discovery wholemeal tortilla wrap
S - carrots and houmous
S - greek yogurt with fresh mango and chopped mint
D - baked tilapia fillet with baby new potatoes, broccoli, flaked almonds and olive oil

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 131.0 (34.8%)
Carbohydrate (g) 155.3 (38.7%)
Fat (g) 44.2 (26.5%)
Fibre (g) 30.7
Fruit & Veg 13.6

Sunday 20 June 2010

Great day; really great day

Gorgeous brekkie today of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toasted wholemeal, seeded bagel with lashings of tea.  Bit of mooching about the house and getting ready, along with a banana just before gymming.  And a very pleasing gym session it was too.  Mr TOTKat was with his trainer, so I had a bit over an hour to fill with my current routine plus a bit extra.  I added in some tricep pull-downs and bicep curls at the end after my intervals on the cross-trainer and I can really feel the burn in my arms now!  I also managed to squeeze out 8, 8, 10 with the 25kg barbell with the clean and press, so that's more progress.

Mr TOTKat's trainer was really positive about my "negatives" (negative motion pull-ups), which was nice.  He did think I should be able to do a full positive pull-up if I'm doing 12-15 4s negative ones.  I just never think to try a positive one until I've already done 10 of the negatives, so I have no juice left!

What really made me pleased today was trying on a couple of shirts that were too tight last time I tried them (about a month ago).  And they fit -exactly- now!  The last time they fitted like that, I was 3kg lighter than I am now.  Which just goes to show you that the scales are -definitely- not the only or best measure.  I have dropped 0.3% body fat over the last 2 weeks, despite being well over maintenance last week and only just 500kcals under it this week.  On average across the 2 weeks, I was 90kcals over maintenance, so I shouldn't have lost any weight, but I have definitely done so even according to the scales.  So it looks like I am actually gaining muscle somewhere as well as losing body fat.  My BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is for sure higher than WLR thinks it is for my lifestyle setting of "moderately sedentry" (i.e. I do walk about a bit, but my job is mostly sitting about all day and I log proper exercise separately).

Off now to have a warmed sultana scone with cherry jam and mascarpone with lots more tea!   (and dinner is going to be kangaroo steak with couscous, peas and sweetcorn *dribble*)

Saturday 19 June 2010

I <3 curry

Adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe... lamb korma (serves 6 and packs some heat depending on your chillies)

  • 1kg Lamb, Neck Fillets
  • 225g Onion
  • 30ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Green Chilli Peppers
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • Two thumb sized pieces of root ginger
  • ½ Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala
  • 30g Desiccated Coconut
  • 30g Ground Almonds
  • 2 Tsps Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 20g Flaked Almonds
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 Can Light Coconut, Milk (Reduced Fat)
  • 1 Can Chick Peas, Drained
Put 1/2 the coconut, the garlic, tomato puree, 1/2 the oil, two of the chillies, the ground almonds and one of the pieces of ginger into a container for blending.  Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry pan gently until they smell right, grind with a pestle and mortar and add to the container.  Blend with a hand blender or food processor until you have a smooth paste.

Peel, halve and finely slice the onion.  Finely slice the remaining chilli pepper and finely chop the second piece of ginger.  Dice the lamb into 2" chunks.
Add the remaining oil to a large, non-stick pan and heat.  Brown the lamb chunks for 5 minutes. 
Move the lamb to one side and add the onion, chillies and ginger and cook for a few minutes until turning golden, then stir in with the meat.  Cook for 10 minutes.

Add the curry paste and work it through the meat and onions etc. until every thing is nicely coated with paste and smelling great.
Add the coconut milk, flaked almonds, the rest of the coconut and the drained chick peas to the pan, bring to a bubble then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. 
Check and stir periodically and add a little water each time you stir if it is drying out too much.

Serve on rice or with warmed naan or pitta bread.  Try not to eat all 6 portions between 2!

Per portion:-
Calories (kcal)540
Carbohydrate (g)17.5
Protein (g)36.6
Fat (g)36.1
Fibre (g)3.7
Fruit & Veg1.2

Thursday 17 June 2010

Feeel the warmth!

I have a warmth in my shoulders.  This is because I increased the weights on my clean and press up to 25kg (from 20kg!).  It was really hard, but I managed to get 3x8 out though the last 2 of each set were really difficult to get to the top and I had to restart a couple of them from the floor again.  But I did it.  And my shoulders are all warm from that, plus the new 6kg lunges with cross over things.  Good hard burn of 520kcals out of today's session :o)

So the routine is now:-
  • warm up - 1km on the rower at L7
  • squat and swing with 14kg dumbbell - 3x10 (superset A)
  • pendulum swings - bodyweight - 3x10 each leg (superset A)
  • lunges with cable rows - 12.5kg - 3x10 each arm (superset B)
  • side planks with rows - 6kg dumbbell - 3x10 each side (superset B)
  • lunges with cross arm to opposite knee from vertical - 6kg dumbbell - 3x10 each side (superset C)
  • planks - bodyweight - 3x60s (superset C)
  • clean and press - 25kg barbell - 3x8
  • sprint intervals on the cross-trainer - 30s sprint, 60s rest - x3
  • cool down and stretch
Very tired today and it's making me feel a bit queasy, which is annoying in a background kind of way.  Constant nibbling on snacks does help a bit, but having thoughts of pie and mash... that'd really help.  I don't remember the last time I had actual pie.  It may have to be worked into a cheat at some point soon, I think.

B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop MP Max, fruit compote and flaked almonds
S - nut and seed bar
S - 1 scoop MP Max in skimmed milk
L - salad; lettuce, celeery, peppers, beetroot, chicken breast
S -greek yogurt with mixed seeds and raisins
S - banana
D - salad; lettuce, sweet peppers, new potatoes, boiled eggs, bacon and a honey, mustard and vinegar dressing

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 154.6 (37.2%)
Carbohydrate (g) 132.8 (29.9%)
Fat (g) 60.7 (32.9%)
Fibre (g) 18.2
Fruit & Veg 7.9

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Wednesday swim intervals

I'm still very much not feeling the love for swimming lengths, especially in a tiny pool like the one near work (17m, goddamit!) so I decided to drag myself to the pool today and do something different, to get the interest levels up - swimming intervals.  So, 10 lengths warm up, 10 lengths at pace then 2 fast, 2 normal alternating through legs only, arms only, full crawl, full breast-stroke etc.  In the normal pace lengths after the sprint ones I felt really strong, which was nice. Got a good old heart rate out of the sprint crawl lengths too, topping out at 177 BPM.  And, the most important part was that I wasn't totally bored all the way through.  AND I managed my usual mile in 32 minutes despite the arms only and legs only lengths and a couple of waits at the end of lengths to try to read my HRM watch to compare sprints with normal pace laps.

The spinach I've been growing in the garden was finally harvestable in a reasonable quantity last night, so I had some in my salad today (I love the way the beetroot turns the chicken pink!) and it was pretty nice, though it is still very delicate and less thick and crispy than the stuff you get in the supermarket, so I might let it get a bit bigger before I harvest any more.

Snacks today were a bit more interesting than usual.  Although I really really love carrot and houmous (apart from today's second carrot which tasted disgusting so I had to throw it away and spit out the first mouthful!), I could do with a bit of variety to be honest.  So this afternoons second snack was greek yogurt with raisins, apricots, dates and pumpkin seeds.  Sadly, the pumpkin seeds didn't survive refrigeration with wet things very well and the result was chewy, soggy seeds.  Otherwise it was a nice mix as the juice that seeped out of the dates added sweetness to the tangy yogurt.  Yum!

B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop MP Max with fruit compote and flaked almonds
S - nut and seed bar (much tastier than expected!)
S - 1 scoop MP Max in skimmed milk
L - salad; lettuce, sweet pepper, cherry tomatoes, beetroot and chicken breast
S - carrot and houmous
S - greek yogurt with raisins, apricots, dates and pumpkin seeds
D -beef chilli with wholemeal pasta and roasted cherry tomatoes

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc/exercise)
Protein (g) 163.7 (36.8%)
Carbohydrate (g) 182.1 (38.4%)
Fat (g) 49.1 (24.8%)
Fibre (g) 25.6
Fruit & Veg 12.0


Lots of packed snacks again today (like the cottage cheese with tinned pineapple here) and back into the gym.  Cottage cheese on plain rice cakes isn't great; I think it needs something like Marmite mixed in for flavour.  Increased the weights on the side planks with rows and lunges with cross-arm-to-opposite-knee to 6kg but, really really annoyingly I forgot my heart rate monitor watch so had to estimate the overall burn.

Another really nice bit of progress was in my negative motion pull-ups which I actually managed 2 sets of 5 at 4 seconds for the lowering.  A great improvement, so maybe 3 whole days off was a good bit of recovery and muscle re-building :o)

B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop MP Max, fruit compote and flaked almonds
S - cottage cheese with tinned pineapple in juice
S - 1 scoop MP Max in skimmed milk
L - salad; lettuce, celery, sweet pepper, cherry tomatoes, beetroot, falafel and mint
S - carrot and houmous
S - cottage cheese on plain rice cakes
D -Waitrose buttered onion and mustard sausages with mashed butternut squash

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 140.7 (33.3%)
Carbohydrate (g) 155.1 (34.4%)
Fat (g) 60.8 (32.4%)
Fibre (g) 24.2
Fruit & Veg 12.9

Monday 14 June 2010

Slippage yet again

Last night's dinner resulted in slippage again.  750kcals over maintenance through over-doing it beyond what was planned.  Dinner itself was really lovely, clean and though the veal was overcooked, it was pretty nice.  But then I was bad and that ended up in a final snack of buttered toast with Marmite and way over maintenance.  And today I'm not well, so I haven't gone to the gym and that means my allowance for the day is low and I'm hungry and feeling sick at the same time and there was leftover Easter chocolate which has survived the last 2 months in the fridge untouched...

The rest of today's food was less bad, and I finally got a picture of my fruit and nut bars.  The recipe is based on one by BrokenYoYo which I've modified to my own taste after a first run (which I really didn't follow her recipe closely at all anyway) which wasn't as nice as this run.  The first batch didn't have anywhere near enough fruit for my liking, so this run I dropped the amount of puffed rice and really ramped up the fruit and mmmmmdelicious!  They are almost as calorific as the 9 Bars we've bought in the past, but I think my bars are nicer because the 9 Bars don't have fruit in them (though I have done a nut and seed one with no fruit for Mr TOTKat which, apart from the honey disaster, seem to have gone down well.)


  • 50g Large Organic Oats
  • 30g Pecan Nuts
  • 100g Pure Clear Honey
  • 35g Organic Walnuts
  • 140g Organic, No Added Sugar, Organic Peanut Butter
  • 71g Soft, Dried, Pitted Dates
  • 40g Wholegrain, Brown, Organic Puffed Rice
  • 37g Organic Almonds
  • 40g Mixed Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, linseed, sesame and flax)
  • 75g Organic Raisins


Pre-heat oven to 140-150C and line a baking tin with greaseproof paper.

Weigh oats and puffed rice into a bowl.  Weigh and chop fruit and nuts into the bowl and add in the seeds.  Weigh peanut butter and honey into a separate bowl.  Microwave for 30s, stir and microwave for a further 15s.
  If it's pretty runny it's ready, if not, another 10s in the microwave.

Mix all of it together thoroughly and dollop into the baking tin. Press down firmly (use the back of a spoon or a bit of greaseproof paper and your hands, which I find much easier).

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool until hard; this will take at least an hour. Then turn out and chop with a sharp knife into portions.

 I really love these ones; the honey and peanut butter mix caramelises a little during cooking and tastes almost chocolatey.  Of course, this means I've gone a bit crazy with the next online shop and ordered lots of different dried fruits and nuts for the next lot.

Anyway, I feel rubbish and at the same time extremely lucky that my body appears to be dealing with what I think should be excess kcals in ways other than laying them down as fat at the moment.  I'm not sure why, but it may be that I have gained muscle mass recently (not taken a body fat measurement to find out) and thus my BMR is a bit higher but to be honest I don't think I could have gained enough muscle over the last 2 weeks for it to make an appreciable difference to BMR (I forget the calculation for it at the moment so can't do a finger in the air guess on what kind of difference an extra pound of muscle would make, for example).  In any case, back to the gym tomorrow as long as I'm feeling better.  I've got a long weekend away coming up and I want to make sure I deserve a 4 day break from exercise!  (though there is a pool at the hotel...)

B - Dorset Cereals muesli with semi-skimmed milk
S - 35g of organic chocolate mini eggs
L - beef chilli with roasted cherry tomatoes
S - fruit and nut bar
S - carrots and houmous
S - 2x mini BabyBel Light
D - salmon fillet with couscous, peas and sweetcorn

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 104.9 (23.6%)
Carbohydrate (g) 185.7 (39.2%)
Fat (g) 73.2 (37.1%)
Fibre (g) 26.7
Fruit & Veg 8.5

Sunday 13 June 2010

Yep, more rest

Brekkie in bed, brought by Mr TOTKat after he'd got back from his morning run :o)  So that was nice.  I've done loads of domestic bits and bobs today; 3x washing loads, stripped the bed, made nut and seed bars...

So.  I made fruit and nut bars before twice now and they worked really well.  I decided to try to replicate 9 Bars myself but instead of oil and sugar to bind the bars, I decided to use just honey.  Oops.  As I was pressing the mix down into the grease-proof paper lined oven dish I could see that the mix was sticking really badly to the paper.  When it was cooked and pretty much cooled, I turned over the slab and... ohyes the paper was totally stuck, the honey had sunk to the bottom and was still very very sticky.

It's all chopped up into bits now and I've stuck it in the fridge to try to firm it up a bit.  I suspect it will have to stay in there until the second before it's eaten.  You can see here that it's all shiny from the honey (it's bottom-side up here in the photo).  It's pretty clear that the peanut butter mixed with the honey in the fruit and nut bars I made before helps to emulsify the honey as bit and keep it drier.  Eh, you live and learn.  These are going to be really tasty little bars, but a total nightmare to handle, plus some of them still have bits of greaseproof paper stuck pretty hard to them.

I also made up a chilli batch today and I think it's a good one.  The only annoying thing was that we actually didn't have any fresh chillies left.  I did put a lot of cayenne into the chilli sauce, but the whole point is that there are chilli peppers in there.  So I decided to bite the bullet and harvest some of my chillies to add in.  The biggest, plumpest three on the plant were selected and plucked but they looks so small on the chopping board and despite being really crisp and juicy, I don't think they were anywhere near ready to be picked despite having been on the plant for a month now.

It does taste really good so far so after a good old freeze and re-heat I'm pretty confident this is going to be pretty tasty in the end.  Plus, I'm definitely going to have a few lunches out of this batch as well as dinners.  Chilli for lunch really does rock!  You can see most of the apple rising to the top as the chilli matures here.  We usually put apple, pear and raisins in the chilli which gives it a certain sweetness and richness but pears are not good at the moment and I actually forgot the raisins this time!

B - toasted Food Doctor wholemeal, seeded bagel with a poached egg and Marmite
L - ciabatta with Philadelphia Light, sweet peppers and mustard
S - Dr Karg crisp bread and cottage cheese
D - rose veal rib-eye steak with sweet potato wedges and peas

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise]
Protein (g) 107.5 (26.7%)
Carbohydrate (g) 178.2 (41.5%)
Fat (g) 56.9 (31.8%)
Fibre (g) 20.4
Fruit & Veg 5.2

Rest rest rest rest

Absolutely nothing this weekend.  Rest rest rest and more rest.

And some nice noms; chicken in black bean sauce with buckwheat noodles:-

I really love this, but it's quite labour intensive to make, so we don't have it as often as I'd like.

This resting lark makes it really quite hard not to get hungry as I'm getting really used to having over 1800kcals per day, so it's maintenance all the way this weekend.  I've managed to get it back within 1/2kg of my exact target weight, so I'm not too fussed about staying under maintenance at the weekend (trying not to go much over it though!).


B - toasted Food Doctor wholemeal, seeded bagel with Marmite and a scrambled egg
L - ham, Philadelphia Light and lettuce on granary bread with butter
S - fruit and nut bars x2 (I was -hungry-!)
D - chicken in black bean sauce with buckwheat noodles

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise]
Protein (g) 115.4 (25.9%)
Carbohydrate (g) 185.4 (39.0%)
Fat (g) 69.7 (35.2%)
Fibre (g) 27.0
Fruit & Veg 4.3

Friday 11 June 2010

Premature peaking!

I've been working towards an exercise milestone; 100,000 kcals burned in recorded exercise since I bought my heart rate monitor and started to use it on 15th June last year.  I had intended to hit that 100,000 mark tomorrow, but I got my sums wrong and instead of needing to stay under 521kcals today, it should have been 511.  So, when I reached 514kcals and stopped today... oops.  All-time total; 100,003kcals.  Argh!  I missed it!

Still, I increased the weights on the lunges with cross arm to opposite knee to 5kg and still 3x10.  Which was a struggle, but I managed it :o)

Lunch today was a real treat!  I had leftover beef chilli with roasted tomatoes and red peppers and it was -gorgeous-!  Really tasty, a lovely change from salad and kept me full for absolutely ages this afternoon.  Having worked out that it costs £1.90 per portion of beef chilli that we make, I think I'll be having it for lunch again.  Oh.  Yes.

And having had chilli for lunch, salad for dinner wasn't boring at all :o) It being a chicken and avocado one helped even more! I was tempted to add bacon, but the fat % for today was already a bit high and even very trimmed bacon comes up quite high on the fat content on average.  (So how come ham is so lean?  Same animal!  And bacon is so very trimmed these days, you just try to get any -with- rind in a supermarket *mutter*)

B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop MP Max, fruit compote and flaked almonds
S - fruit and nut bar (I'll take a photo of one of these before they all vanish!)
S - 1 scoop MP Max in skimmed milk
L - beef chilli with roasted cherry tomatoes and red peppers
S - cottage cheese with Dr Karg crisp-bread
S - greek yogurt with fresh mango and chopped mint
D - salad; lettuce, cherry tomatoes, baby new potatoes, avocado, chicken breast and a honey, mustard and cider vinegar dressing

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 161.1 (36.9%)
Carbohydrate (g) 161.6 (34.6%)
Fat (g) 55.4 (28.5%)
Fibre (g) 23.2
Fruit & Veg 11.4

Second rest day of the week

Anyone would think I was taking it easy this week.  No exercise Tuesday or Thursday, but proper gym Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Thursday went like this:-

B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop MP Max, fruit compote and Grape Nuts
S - Dorset Cereals bar - super high fibre
L - salad; lettuce, tomatoes, celery, sweet peppers, mint and falafel
S - greek yogurt with fresh mango and chopped mint
S - carrot and houmous
D - beef chilli, couscous, peas and sweetcorn
S - 2x Kallo rice cakes with butter and Marmite

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 101.7 (27.2%)
Carbohydrate (g) 174.3 (43.7%)
Fat (g) 48.3 (29.1%)
Fibre (g) 28.4
Fruit & Veg 12.6

Thursday 10 June 2010

Almost Friday!

Last nights munchies went away after a while.  I think my only one snack in the afternoon recent schedule hasn't been working very well and I was just really hungry by dinner time; the usual "wait for it to go down a bit" patience worked and I soon had the proper sateity sensations.  *phew*

Rest day again today and a proper update later.  I'm not in the best state of mind about food and exercise at the moment, though I am zeroing in on 100,000kcals recorded exercise  for a 12 month period.  I have until Tuesday to hit that target and I'm currently at 99,489kcal mark so it'd be really hard not to reach the goal :o)  That might just help shift this meh-ness I'm feeling.

Wednesday 9 June 2010

Not really feeling the journal vibe

I'm really not feeling the journalling vibe at the moment.  Probably mostly because I've been out and not been doing very well on the keeping things sensible front.  So.  Quick round-up and probably a couple more days of quiet if I'm still not up to it tomorrow.

Monday... I had a great gym.  We went out to dinner (I had goats cheese terrine, steak with spinach and cabbage, and stilton and water biscuits at the end) to celebrate something.  I ended up lots of kcals over maintenance (2962kcals, 750kcals over maintenance) mostly due to the Bellinis before and the champagne during dinner.  We stayed out in town - fantastic blaggage on where we stayed but that's a story for another day.

Tuesday... rest day; we couldn't be bothered to cook so we ended up with takeaway.  I was still very comfortably under maintenance kcals (1646kcals, 140kcals under maintenance), but...

Wednesday... the scales punished me big-time.  Back up 1.5kg again.  Yeah I had saltiness in the takeaway, but seriously.  *sigh*

Gym today was good and bad.  I was "helped" by some guy who told me that seeing as my planks looked so comfortable (hah!) I should try lifting alternate legs, or doing Superman planks.  Yeah.  Thanks.  I do know how to progress planks and actually I was trembling during those planks.  However, my arms did feel amazing during and after my clean and presses, buzzing/fizzing/vibrating; nice!  AND, my negative motion pull-ups are getting better and more controlled.

I got a freebie from Ocado the other day; a new snacky bar thing, branded by "Elizabeth Hurley".  I was very skeptical and then I read the ingredients and there actually wasn't any crap in it.  I tried it today after my protein shake after gym as I was still hungry (I'm having one of those "permanently hungry" days :o/)  Very sickly sweet but pretty flavourless in the end though.  It was supposed to be banana and chocolate flavoured but it was just bland and sweet.

So, not impressed and wouldn't bother actually buying these.  There are plenty of other, better products on the market already and, yeah it may have "only" 100kcals in a bar but there's nothing special about it, it didn't taste of much and it was only 26g.  Many many other, better fish in the sea.

Dinner today was not too bad in the end, despite the fact that Halloumi goes rubbery pretty quickly after cooling down.  The mango went very nicely and mint in the dressing topped it off nicely.  But, like all of the rest of today, I'm still hungry.  I am.   It's not fair.  I wish I wasn't.  But I am.  And all I really want right now is crusty, white baguette with spread, not even butter.  I could nip out and get some from the Sainsburys down the road, but I'm not going to.  This week has started off badly enough already (though the food on Monday was really good and clean too, I drank a bit too much wine) and I'm not sure how much of my current weight is transit/water etc.  So I do want to be close to my loss kcal target for the day.

B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop MP Max, fruit compote and flaked almonds
S - banana
L - salad; lettuce, celery, cherry tomatoes, beetroot, sweet pepper, Food Doctor Herb Boost, chicken breast
S - 1 scoop MP Max in skimmed milk
S - Elizabeth Hurley bar - chocolate and banana
S - carrot and houmous
D - salad; lettuce, mint, olive oil, vinegar, mango, toasted pine nuts and grilled Halloumi

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 140.8 (32.3%)
Carbohydrate (g) 137.6 (29.6%)
Fat (g) 73.7 (38.1%)
Fibre (g) 23.9
Fruit & Veg 12.2

Tuesday 8 June 2010

Monday falter

Yeah, bit of a messy one yesterday.  Good gym, but evening excess.  Will update you all later when I'm home with my laptop to upload photos...

Also, due to oopsage, no packed food today for work, so it's a tricky one to plan the day - thank god for the bananas on my desk as a bit of a help though!

Sunday 6 June 2010

Still with the DOMS then

Pecs, shoulders, arms etc. all still DOMSy since Friday's session.  Must've really given them something to think about :o)  I did do a bit of gym yesterday, some rubbish cardio which earned me naff all kcals and naff all enjoyment, though it -was- fun gymming with Mr TOTKat and I did do some weighted lunges at the end (I figured my current routine isn't legs heavy so it wouldn't be -too- bad to work them a bit the day after a weights routine).

Rest day today and a sarnie for lunch; I do tend to have bready lunches at the weekend for a nice change, though it's not white bread - today's being roasted spinach falafel, cream cheese, lettuce and tomato relish on wholemeal granary bread.

Waitrose are doing some really protein-rich yellowfin tuna at the moment (line-caught) so I got some in and we had it for dinner - 31.5g protein per 100g and the steaks are 140g, so that's a whopping 44g protein in the fish alone!

I had hoped to use one of my home-grown chillies this evening, but they're still not quite ready to harvest even as green chillies just yet.  How much longer, I wonder?  I was feeling a little short on fruit and veg today, so chopped some mango and banana to have with greek yogurt, with a sprinkle of mango on top... still not sure about maca really, it is quite bitter and harsh as flavours go, despite smelling like caramel and tasting a bit that way too.  There's the same amount of banana and mango in a tub for a morning snack tomorrow (maaaybe I'll add some yogurt in too as it's a pre-gym snack).

Having found my old personal trainer's measurements sheet again, I ran through some stats (weight, waist, chest, hips, butt, thigh, knee and arm measurements) in Excel and decided to put in some measurements for today just to catch it up a bit.    I braved the body fat measurement machine (full body bio-impedance jobbie) and was pleasantly surprised to see that I'm only 0.5% up on where I was in March.  I could claw that back in a month if I wanted to and hopefully lose the sofa-button look for the next triathlon; though I did say that if I did the last one in less than 1 hour 29 minutes, I'd buy a new all-one-colour tri-suit which would be more flattering than my current one.  I can't really justify that until August's pay packet as I'm really skint at the moment, but selling my Joggler and getting my fee from the Daily Mirror for the article last year will cover a new tri-suit, so I just might treat myself. 

Not buying anything at all over 3 months might be a touch hard, though I've done that kind of thing before.  (I do plan to spend up to £15 on a pair of shorts from New Look, but that's about it.)  But, it is really good to look back and see what I've achieved in transforming my body shape with exercise since I started going to the gym - 7% total body fat loss is not to be sniffed at!

Yes, there's a little upturn at the end, which is due to some excess around many recent triathlons and celebrations and a 4 week hiatus in exercise after my skiing injury.  I'm still pretty pleased :o)  The question now is where to go with it all next.  Focus on the final triathlon and the Thames swim training, or on body fat loss.  I don't know and I don't have long to decide, really.  Time for a think!

B - toasted Food Doctor wholegrain seeded bagel with butter, Marmite and a poached egg
S - fruit and nut bar
L - Waitrose spinach falafel, Philadelphia Light and lettuce with Discovery tomato relish on Hovis wholemeal granary bread
S - banana and mango with yogurt and maca
D - tuna steak with lime and chill on wholegrain rice with peas and sweetcorn

Exercise - rest day

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 100.4 (25.8%)
Carbohydrate (g) 185.4 (44.7%)
Fat (g) 51.1 (29.5%)
Fibre (g) 23.4
Fruit & Veg 4.2

Friday 4 June 2010

Work-day packed foodz

I pack lots of food when I go to work, to keep me going throughout the day; alongside a big plastic box with dry munchies like beef jerky and pistachios which lives in my desk drawer. I eat -lots- throughout the day and it all needs planning, packing and keeping from leaking, breaking, stinking or making a big mess in general.  So here's today's haul.  You can see a a pot with 3x hard-boiled quail's eggs in it, wrapped in kitchen towel to protect them; a Dr Karg crisp-bread that miraculously didn't break; 2x carrots, one Dorset Cereals berries and cherries bar; one tub of cottage cheese to go on the crisp-bread; one tub of Waitrose houmous with about 1/3rd left in it to go with the carrots; and a box of salad with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, roasted chicken and Food Doctor Herb Boost.  What you can't see is the shaker with whey protein powder in it for after my weights session.  Good haul, eh?

My gym session today was slightly awesome!  Someone was using the only pair of 12kg dumbbells (oddly, there are multiple sets of every other even numbered weight except for the 12s), so I had to use a 14kg one for my squat with swing.  Then I decided that my side-planks with rows needed a bit of a boost, so I used a 5kg dumbbell for that instead of the usual 4kg one.  And I pushed out 3x10 on the clean and press as well as 2x 5 negative movement pull-ups (OK they were definitely not all 4 seconds long, ohhh no, but still I tried!).  Adding in those pull-ups tips the balance on the timing so I've cut the cool-down on the cross trainer to only 2 minutes instead of 5 or so at the end but still managed the usual stretching on the power plate.  Good session!

I (and my team) moved desks in the office today, right down to the other end of the building, so... there were cakes. So I had a tiny one; a Thornton's Caramel Shortbread thing which was all sticky in the warmth and really really sweet. Thankfully, dinner was quite light: chicken breast wrapped in 2 slices of chorizo and on a bed of mashed butternut squash.  I overcooked the squash a bit so it was really soft and gooey when it got mashed :o)  Lotsa black pepper on top and scoffage ensued!

Slight oopsage in that when I got home I fancied wine.  So I'm sipping wine right now, and it is nice.  We'll see how much I end up having, it depends on how I feel and how nice it is (and it is nice!).

OK, so if I drink wine today I won't lose as much fat as I wanted to this week, but hey, I feel good at the moment and I'm not -too- fussed about losing fat really quickly.  Of course I have to look fabulous at a couple of weddings later in the summer, but that's only the icing on the cake of being fit and feeling stronger than I have ever felt in my life.  I think I might have got the muscle back now that I lost while losing loads of weight 4 years ago.  It's taken a year, but it's back and I feel great!

B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop MP Max, fruit compote and flaked almonds
S - cottage cheese on a Dr Karg cheese and pumpkin seed crisp-bread
L -salad; lettuce, cherry tomatoes, Food Doctor Herb Boost, chicken breast, quail's eggs
S - 1 scoop MP Max in skimmed milk
S - carrot and houmous
S - Thorntons caramel shortbread biscuit, Dorset Cereals bar - cherries and berries
D - mashed butternut squash with a chicken breast wrapped in chorizo slices

Exercise - 55 minutes gym

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 157.5 (34.4%)
Carbohydrate (g) 155.0 (31.7%)
Fat (g) 44.7 (12.9%)
Fibre (g) 22.6
Fruit & Veg 10.4

Thursday 3 June 2010

I actually giggled

Yesterday, when I was doing my clean and press at the new weight of 20kg... after the first set, I sat on the step and looked at my heart rate monitor to see a heart rate of 186.  I actually giggled! :o)  It dropped to 141 in my 60s rest, which was nice, but still... 186 from pushing iron!  No wonder I have DOMS today.

This morning, the pizza weight from Tuesday had gone bye-bye so I'm "only" a kg up on last Friday now; I expect a bit more of that will be gone by tomorrow morning too.  Back on track for target weight next week again so all is well there and given the ferocity of my current weights routine, I'm reckoning fat % should be dropping too :o)

I was going to have a rest day today, but I had one on Tuesday, which I wouldn't normally do, so I figure some cardio today might be fun a good idea. A little playing in the Wave machine, which I've not done in a while, and some intervals maybe on the cross-trainer with a little faffery on the static bikes (which killed my thighs so I only did 5 minutes of that!).

Another of my comfort dinners this evening; beef chilli with baked beans mixed in.  I just love it!

[photo to follow - oops, Mr TOTKat had borrowed my camera for the day, so no photo!]

B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop MP Max, Yeo Valley fruit compote and Grape Nuts
S - Dorset Cereals bar; berries and cherries
L - salad; lettuce, cherry tomatoes, celery, sweet peppers, spinach falafel
S - 1 scoop MP Max in skimmed milk
S - carrot and Waitrose houmous
S -  MP beef jerky
D - beef chilli with baked beans

Exercise - 45 minutes cardio

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 145.8 (36.0%)
Carbohydrate (g) 162.5 (37.7%)
Fat (g) 47.3 (26.3%)
Fibre (g) 34.5
Fruit & Veg 13.8

Wednesday 2 June 2010

Quick update

Just added in race photos into my race report post.  They're not -too- hideous :o)

Weird mix

Monday was excessive.  Really.  The race was good and then we went out for Mr TOTKat's birthday celebrations and I had far too much beer.  And ate my own body-weight in pistachio nuts at the pub.

So.  Yesterday I felt horrible all afternoon and evening.  Totally my own fault.  And, of course, the only way to fix feeling that kind of horrible was to eat lots of bad things, like takeaway pizza.  The result being that this morning I weighed the same as a walrus.  Yes yes about half of it is just transit pizza and will go away again, but the weekend was just over the top in general and I'm going to have to pay the price for that now.

This morning I felt better but still not great.  2kg up vs. Friday morning and feeling rough.  11am gym seemed like a ridiculous joke as it approached, but I went and did it anyway; tanked in a really good warm-up row, upped the clean and press from 3x10 17.5kg to 8, 8, 10 at 20kg.  And it was good :o)  And my trainer was around so I told him about the great triathlon result and the fact I'd upped the clean and press, and that I've hit the point on the assisted pull-up machine where the assist doesn't work any more and the platform just drops away, so he showed me an extra exercise to add in at the end of my current routine; 2x5 4 second negative motion pull-ups.  I reckon after a few goes at that I might actually be able to do a whole pull-up unassisted now.  *beam*

So now I feel a weird mix of great and rough, though the rough is starting to win again.
  • warm up - 1km L7 on the rower
  • squat and swing - 12kg dumbbell - 3x10 SUPERSET A
  • pendulum swings - bodyweight - 3x10 x2 SUPERSET A
  • lunge with cable row - 12.5kg - 3x10 x2 SUPERSET B
  • side plank with row - 4kg dumbbell - 3x10 x2 SUPERSET B
  • lunge with single arm swing opposite arm to knee - 4kg dumbbell - 3x10 x2 SUPERSET C
  • planks - 3x 60s - SUPERSET C
  • clean and press - 20kg bar bell - 8, 8, 10
  • negative motion pull-up - bodyweight - 2x5 at 4s count for the drop
  • 3x 30s sprints - cross-trainer L6
  • cool down on the cross-trainer and stretch
B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop MP Max, blueberries and flaked almonds
S - banana
S - 1 scoop MP Max in skimmed milk
L - salad; chicken, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, celery, beetroot, sweet peppers
S - carrot and houmous
D - salad; chicken, eggs, new potatoes, lettuce, sweet peppers, grapes and cherry tomatoes with honey, mustard & cider vinegar dressing

Exercise - 53 minutes gym
Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 158.4 (42.0%)
Carbohydrate (g) 144.3 (35.9%)
Fat (g) 37.1 (22.1%)
Fibre (g) 24.8
Fruit & Veg 14.0

Tuesday 1 June 2010

Achey knee and a bit delicate

Feeling a tiny bit delicate after Mr TOTKat's birthday celebrations last night.  A couple more beers than I'm used to so rubbish quality sleep and quite tired today.  Gentle day today, day off work and I should be right as rain tomorrow.

Yesterday.  The race!

5am start was a bit harder than last time.  No idea why but it just felt ickier.  Thus followed a catalogue of small errors that could have made lots of dents in my race performance...

First off, last time I had fruity malt loaf with peanut butter for breakfast which worked really well; this time I had yogurt with fruit compote, muesli and chopped banana.  I had real trouble eating it and it didn't feel nice in my stomach at all.  Error number two was, er, number twos related.  I suddenly needed to go with less than 10 minutes to go before the start of the race and we were in the first wave of swimmers so I didn't have long.  Queue of 7 people for 2 loos!  Argh!  Got all flustered trying to get my tri-suit back on again so it took ages (the zip is up the back and goes through the "ladies support" section elastication so it's really hard to do up) and I ended up trotting back to where Mr TOTKat was waiting for the start of the race with only about 30s to spare before ditching our warm clothes for the swim.

The swim felt vile again; I think I just don't fare well swimming from cold and first thing in the morning.  I got overtaken once which was really downheartening especially given that I had to wait at the side of the pool for a good 20s for the overtaker to actually do the overtake and then she didn't whizz off ahead of me, so I just ended up with a bit of a draft for the last 4 lengths.

A little trot to transition and my bike where Mr TOTKat was almost ready to go off (he was race #16 and I was #17 so we were very close together) and I made errors number #3 and #4; I put my running/cycling top with my race numbers pinned to it on backwards so had to tear it off again, lost two pins from the front number by doing that, and jam it back on the right way around after finding one of the pins that had pinged off and pinning both back in place.  I lost a good minute or so there.  *sigh*  Then I put on my helmet and did it up, decided not to bother with socks, jammed my trainers on and grabbed my cycling gloves to put on whilst running out to the cycle start.  Mistake #5 there.  Of course you can't put gloves on whilst wheeling a bike and trying to run a bit!  So I ended up with them wedged under my palms against the handlebars which meant that gear changes and braking were impeded and tricky.

I then spent the next few minutes of the cycling deciding to try to stuff them down my top (mistake #6).  Hah.  My tri-suit goes quite high and I'm not stable enough on the bike to take hands off the bars (so yes, I can't signal at the moment).  So the next few minutes were spent mostly thinking about what to do with my damned gloves rather than concentrating on cycling quickly.  I eventually decided to lose them.  Left hand, easy, just lift it up a bit and let the glove drop.  Right hand... well, less easy as I didn't want the glove to drop into my chain or wheel and foul it up so I had to get my hand down to the middle of the handlebars whilst not losing the glove, get the other hand close on the bars, pass the glove to my left hand, move my right one back to where it should be, similarly the left and then drop the glove somewhere safe.  Faff!  Wasted thinking and effort and speed!  Still, once they were gone I could actually concentrate on cycling.

The rest of the cycle was pretty sore-butt-making as the roads aren't in great condition and this new bike is a lot stiffer and less forgiving.  And the last 6km it got quite windy, which dropped my average speed from 28km/h down to 23km/h.  So, overall a very disappointing cycle.  But the run...

...started as usual with legs made of puffed lead, or so it feels.  It took a few minutes for them to loosen up and feel normal(ish).  As I rounded a corner where you can see the start of the run join up with the circuits, I saw Mr TOTKat heading for the half-way mark of the run.  Disheartening as all hell as it meant he was 15 minutes ahead of me and I was expecting to be only 10 minutes behind.  Still, the kids helping out the marshalls were really encouraging and spurred me on a bit and I even managed a sprint finish right at the end :o)  Watch time 01:34:21 so with up to 7 minutes to cut off that time for the non-racing portion I was well in for hitting or even beating my target time of 01:30 for the race.

Official results: 01:28:32 beating my last race time by exactly 6 minutes and 30 seconds!  I did improve on the swim+transition by 1 minute and 13 seconds, despite the faffery with the backwards top and re-pinning my number.  I improved on the bike time by less than I'd hoped (2 minutes 26 seconds) but the really pleasing part was the run+transition improvement of 2 minutes 51 seconds!  Very very pleased with that improvement indeed; a whole 9% :oD  Overall 7% improvement in the race time and exactly 1000kcals burned.