Where have I been the past month, tough decisions and some soul searching…

So first things first…

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I hope you all had an amazing time during the holidays, I know we certainly did! Even though because of my experiment I couldn’t leave the lab and take the extra 2 weeks off like everyone else (BOO!!) we still made the best of it! Stayed home for Christmas and went out to an AMAZING dinner (Thank you “The Gun“) for NYE and we met the awesomest (is that even a word LOL!?!?!) people!!

Just a few snapshots from the holidays…

Oh and @mymamus got me the BEST christmas present that I ‘ve been wanting for soooo long! Thank you 😉 ❤ I totally love it!

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Now topic number 2… Where have I been?

I wrote my last blog post literally a month ago. I have never taken such a big break of blogging since I started (a year ago yesterday…)

I have to admit it’s been a few hard days for me around here. Apart from a complete writers block for the past few weeks I had to deal with the fact that I can’t run anymore for a while…. 

I had plans you know? I was training for the Manchester 2017 marathon I was on a roll… And then my foot got totally out of whack! What happened to it is that the bunion on my right foot has hurt the tendons on the top of the foot and after anything more than 2 miles the pain gets seriously bad… something like that (i ‘ll spare you the grossness of my own feet that’s why the cartoon):

So all I could think about was… “but i have a running blog, if I can’t run what the heck am i gonna talk about….?” and this made my block last even longer.

This is a photo of my last run on December 31st…

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It all felt great after my last 7 miles till the next morning when I felt like someone was tearing my foot apart 😦 Tried again once and ended up coming back after literally 5 minutes…

So at the moment i am at a back and forth with the doctors’ trying to sort this out (and if you now NHS you’ll now that if you are not on your deathbed the referrals come for two months later…) till then i m on a non running diet doctor’s orders…

Did I accept it? I had to.

Did I like it? I am hating it.

Have I cried and been mad? Like there is no tomorrow…

But at the end of the day I am still here, still healthy (foot aside) and I can do another million things! I hate being stuck and (mentally) immobile. So I have started the BBG program and I have spent countless time on my static bike – once the weather gets a little more forgiving around here I ‘ll break out my normal bike as well!

Accepting the fact that I have to stop till further notice was a very hard decision for me (please don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware that the world has way bigger problems than me can’t run and I am grateful to still be generally healthy…) but running has been my outlet, the thing that has kept me sane the past year being a place not compatible with me and my personality (i am sorry London it’s not you it’s me…)

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I am grateful for all my races and experiences last year… Running has taught me so much! How to be resilient, believe in myself and trying my best for my goals, how to be patient and how to dig deeper…

Other people made NY resolutions to start running and mine had to be to stop… Life has a funny sense of humour…

On a happier note, Happy blogiverssary to my little corner of the internet!!!

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Yesterday was one year since I started sharing my life, travels and running stories with you all. I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU! For all the support and the comments!! It’s been an awesome year, and I am so very happy and grateful for all the amazing people I got to meet through my blog!!

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How I kicked my coffee addiction.

Hello friends 😀

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Happy Monday!!! The weekend just flew by as usual and here we are again in the madness of the workweek, oh well…So this post is all about a little experiment of mine (occupational hazard LOL) that I conducted on myself. A few months ago a friend of mine commented on my coffee intake, which I thought was on quite normal levels to be honest, and I didn’t really put too much thought into it. A few weeks after this incident, and while @mymamus was away travelling I decided to spent Saturday night at a friend’s house. Since I had to work in the morning I didn’t get there till late evening around 7pm. Where am I going with this story? Well, it was such a busy day (and I had run out of milk – can’t drink my coffee without it) and I just didn’t have time to grab my daily caffeine dose, and honestly I didn’t think much of it, until around 6pm that evening. I got home and got ready to get to my friends but I realized that all day I was feeling totally “off” and had a K-I-L-L-E-R headache… I thought to myself “bravo girl, you are getting sick :(” and decided to just sit on the couch for a bit relax, get some rest and… a coffee!

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That 10 minutes after my first few sips I felt like a different person. I felt completely fine and totally myself… well, obviously, that got me thinking. I don’t like to be dependent on things (or people for that matter but that’s a post for another time…) and I thought I wasn’t since after I quit smoking 3 years ago. That was the moment when I decided I need to kick that caffeine habit away and start to really enjoy my coffee again. So what was the plan?

Go off coffee for 1 week and then reintroduce it back to my system slowly and keep my intake to 1 cup a day (2 cups only when I really need the extra caffeine). Well let me tell you how did that work out for me:

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Day 0

Kept a log of how much coffee I normally drink in a day. I was dumbfounded… It all added up to 4-6 cups…. That is a lot of caffeine for one person!

Day 1

I FELT LIKE POO. 

Woke up and got to work, had one of the worst headaches of my life and I tried to really avoid people since I felt like I didn’t want to speak with anyone. Looked totally zombie like for the whole day. Drunk as much water as I could and some warm water with lemon.

Day 2

Felt a tiny bit better, but by now I was convinced that this headache will never go away… I was totally still dragging my feet around and avoiding people. Had a cup of Jasmine green tea along with tons and tons of water.

Day 3

So at this point the headache was reduced to an annoying buzzing on the back of my head (i don’t know if it was me getting the hang of it or the fact that I was taking 2-4 paracetamols a day…don’t judge) but I have to admit that I felt more rested when I woke up in the morning. Now a bit of TMI here, I was shocked when I went to pee that morning. SHOCKED! I never thought that human pee could be so (how do I put this LOL…) bright/neon yellow??? hahaha… Keep in mind I ‘ve been drinking quite a bit of coffee since I was 16 years old so I guess my body never new any different.

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Day 4-7

I felt pretty good – granted not as on edge and running around as usual but still pretty good! The headaches were gone, I would sleep really good at night and wake up rested, my pee continued to be as bright as ever LOL hahahaha 😛 and even my skin felt a little better.

So what did I learn from this little experiment of mine:

  • Caffeine addiction is a -VERY- real thing!
  • Those headaches are brutal!
  • Your sleep pattern will get all disruptive even if you don’t drink the coffee later int he evening.

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What I am doing know:

  • I get 1 cup a day 1.2 to 2 hours AFTER i wake up (2 only if it is an emergency aka I have tons of work and I am sleepless).
  • Try to drink more water and/or green tea than coffee.
  • Have no caffeine past 1pm.
  • Try to consciously enjoy my one cup of coffee and not just chug it as fast as I can for the fix.

So, this is what I learnt from this little experiment of mine. I dare all of you caffeine addicts out there to try and go a few days without it (especially if like me you think you are not addicted…) It ‘ll be hard but it ‘ll be worth it I promise. For me now, savouring that one cup makes all the difference. It’s like a treat to myself, a little 10-15 minute break where I can relax and regroup before I kick off my day 😀

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So have a great day everyone and an awesome start to your week!

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Christmas Gifts for Fitness Lovers -BUDGET GIFT GUIDE & GIVEAWAY!

Ok, after some major thinking/researching it is final here!!! I did all the thinking for you -LOL- so all you have to do is pick one of those AWESOME fitness related items for your favourite -total fitnessnut – person and make them super happy this year 😉

AND without spending a complete fortune as well! All of the suggestions here are (way) less than £100 ($125). Because who said being fit and healthy has to be super expensive??

Shoes

No more words necessary… Currently i am totally in love with these babies 🙂 they aren not suitable for running but they work great for HIIT, cross-fit and most sorts of cross training! Also the colour and design is absolutely COOL – you can also get them in blue!

Price: £44.99

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Check me out here with all these wonderful ladies 🙂 Just had an awesome -killer – crossfit session with the creators of those amazing shoes and workout kit… oh and if you are wondering about the outfit… —>

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Workout Kit

This workout outfit has definitely become one of my favourites! – and no, not only cause it matches my shoes LOL – but because it is incredibly comfy to work out in and durable and looks great AND you can’t beat the price!!

Price for top: £14.99 // Price for capris: £17.99

Compression Socks & Sleeves

Know the saying “a woman can never have enough shoes?” same goes for “a runner can never have enough compression socks” 🙂 I totally loved these ones – wore them for the rest of the day after my marathon and felt SO MUCH better!! – and you can get them on Amazon here and here. Also you can follow them on Twitter.

Price: £9.90

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Camari water bottle

With a price you can’t beat and some seriously ragged functionality, this would make an awesome gift for any fitness or outdoors lover! Personally, I have been dragging it around with me EVERYWHERE since I got it and it hasn’t disappoint me. Its Eco Friendly & Non Toxic BPA and Tritan Free Plastic make it very appealing and there is no weird taste to the water after leaving it in there all day (fits 600ml) 😉 You can get it on Amazon.

Price: £11.99

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Fitness Planner

Most of us go a bit “off the rails” during the holidays and then our loved ones have to listen to us complaining about all the unhealthy foods and sweets we had and how we need to “get back in shape” etc etc… well, this year help a fella out with this planner 😀 It is designed to work along with food & exercise tracking apps to save the user valuable time but also help reflecting  and increase mindfulness – i know I am TOTALLY using it to get back on track with my food after eating my face off before my marathon! You can get it here.

Price: £14.99

Books

Got a bookworm/ foodie/  runner or/and triathlon junkie in the family?? Well, look no further. These are two of THE best books on runners/triathletes nutrition I have read (and used)! Totally worth it! See my review and where to buy them here 🙂

Price: £9.98

TRX(-like) workout equipment

Ok, let me tell you. THIS is every fitness junkie’s dream BUT very few of us can actually afford it. The TRX is the ultimate suspension bodyweight training tool but at a price between £130 to £180 it is quite hard to get. So most people – like me – just get to use it at a gym. Well no more 😉 Have a look at this baby! I got to use it at an event recently and let me tell you, it has ABSOLUTELY no difference to the -very- expensive TRX ones. You can get it here from Decathlon.

Price: £19.99

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Gym Bag

Even though I am not a gym-goer anymore since I prefer to workout at home or do classes I still have to carry around workout gear, since I’d usually hit those classes after work. As you know I am not a fancy person and I just refuse to pay the big bucks for something that I dont need to (LOL)… So here is my choice of gym bag from Decathlon. Oh and please do look at the price….;) No Joke!

Price: £3.50 

OnMove 220 GPS watch

Ok, this has to be one of my VERY favourites! Granted is probably the most expensive item in my guide but in comparison …not really! So a little back story here… I used to have a Garmin and then accidentally after my trail run it kinda ended up in the washing machine…. well it is still working but no Sat connection -surprise there…

So I was mid-marathon training and in desperate need of a GPS watch but not in a great financial position. So after a little research I decided to take a chance in this one.

And let me tell you, I was not disappointed one bit!! There are two differences between the Geonaute GPS watches and the Garmin ones. #1 the software and #2 the price… I can’t reccomended enough to you! I run my marathon with it and it didn’t miss a bit!

Price: £64.99

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Finally, as for opinion goes, you need to know that all the items on the list I have personally use (and liked obviously… LOL). I have one simple rule… Unless I’ve used it, work with it, run with it, sweat on it and so on and so forth, it will NOT make any of my lists or my blog. I’d never suggest something that I don’t personally like.

Well, these are all my suggestions 😀 I hope you all have a very MERRY christmas this year filled with love and great moments! ❤

I really hope this guide will be helpful and give you some great ideas 😀 And think about, maybe all the money you save by shopping smarter this year could go towards something else… 😉 🙂

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Now, second order of business… The GIVEAWAY 🙂 Two lucky readers will get one of the Camari water bottles as a little christmas stocking stuffer from me ❤

ENTER HERE: a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Best wishes,

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My yoga #101 (total beginner) experience with WeTRAIN!

Hi friends 😀

Ok, I am sure you all know by now my opinion (or should I say my PAST opinion) on YOGA.

I tried (really hard if I may say) a few months ago to start a morning yoga practice routine. Oh what happened to that??? Well, it didn’t happen. That was such a ROYAL fail… No matter how hard I have tried I could never make myself enjoy yoga or even get it right… I would keep thinking to myself “this is not exercising”, “this is soooo boring”…Or I’d get intimidated by what people in the videos/IG accounts I was browsing could do… And I ‘d think to myself “jeeeez, I could NEVER do that or this”…

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Well there comes a time in everyones life where the stars align and things just happen. So my time was right about now. When these pretty awesome people from WeTRAIN ask if some of us would like to take a month and try all of their classes I jumped on the opportunity 🙂 So last weekend after my long run (11.2 miles) and while I was still riding the “high” from it, I set off to my very first yoga session – I justified it to myself as “It’ll be a great way to get a good stretch in”… Totally scared about it since faceplanting in front of another 4-5 people isn’t in my immediate aspirations list 😛

I even tried to make a side plaid (in one last attempt to even remotely resemble a yogi … I know laughable…!) Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 11.20.21.pngSo I get to the studio which was about 15 minutes away from my place by bike.

And Yvonne, my pretty awesome yoga instructor met me by the door politely saying that it will only be the two of us today – since her other students had a little too much fun the night before… She asked if I minded and I was SO HAPPY 😀 I thought at least I won’t make a fool of myself!

So after a small chat we started the session. I did tell Yvonne that I am a total newbie and that my main focus was to stretch after my run. She reassured me that we aren’t going to go faster than I was comfortable with.

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I TOTALLY LOVED IT! I obviously had a tough time with the breathing but I did try my best!

Yvonne also taught me how to do a crow!!! I know my jaw dropped to the floor when I saw the picture! After I did for the first time I excitedly yelled I did it and of course lost balance and graciously face-planted 😛 hahahaha….

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And of course… after THIS success I gathered up my courage and after Corey’s suggestion – who by the way is one awesome yogi herself !!! – I went along for yet another session with yoga instructor Katie, a few days later. It was a lot of fun and very relaxed! I totally enjoyed it and… learn how to do a pigeon pose!

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We were a pretty nice group of people! And the space was just amazing! 🙂 The picture obviously doesn’t do it any justice but the ceiling was beautiful!

I really think I will keep going to yoga session with WeTrain since I really loved it!! As a matter of fact I have another one on Saturday 🙂 so what did I learn from all this? If you fail once that doesn’t mean you should stop trying… Get back up on your feet and try again…and again… and again…

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How to break out of a fitness rut

We have all been there… You wake up in the morning and you think to yourself “I don’t feel like it, I ‘ll work out once I get back from work/later in the evening”. Then the evening rolls around and you find yourself on the couch binging on Netflix with a glass of wine after dinner… Then you say “Tomorrow for sure I’ll work out” and this is how the week goes by and this “tomorrow” never quite comes…

But what do you do when most of the stuff (good ol’ tricks) that we have all read before don’t help? You bought new work out clothes to motivate yourself but they are still there tag on tacked away in your drawer… You made a plan you have yet to follow since last week… You joined a FB support group but looking at other people’s progress only makes you feel more like a failure…

…NOW WHAT???

I am afraid there is no magic words, pills or tricks apart from pure effort and dedication. I have to admit I was in a rut for quite a while now, just going through the motions, and these are a few things that REALLY helped me to get back up and break out of this rut 🙂

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1.STOP saying I’ll start on Monday! Start NOW!

There will always be set backs and even though I am all about Mondays as new starts to a fresh week etc, stop waiting for Monday to make your move. Don’t give yourself this as an excuse to binge and eat all the crap you want since “I’ll start being healthy again on Monday”… I used to get into this loop ALL the time and then I realized there is no better time than now!

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2.Do something you enjoy! 

I know you want to run the marathon, I know want this PR but lets see it this way, a different work out is better than no workout!!! … If you don’t feel like exercising it is x100 more difficult to follow your marathon/triathlon etc training plan. It is OK to do something different as long as you keep moving! You don’t feel like speed work and the track today? Hop on the static bike. You don’t feel like strength training? Get out for a run and enjoy the sunshine 🙂

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3. It is suppose to be HARD!!!

Whoever said it is going to be easy they lied to you… Remember those times when you were 15-20 lbs lighter, your decline to alcohol and chocolate was a given and a morning run was second nature for you???? Well these times where THEN… What about NOW??? Now it’s been a while, your body is not in the same shape it used to be but most of all your mindset is not the same either! So take it easy, lower your expectations and celebrate your small victories! Work hard and commit to it and instead of beating yourself up about how you “used to feel“, how you “used to look like“, how fast/long you “used to run” think about how fast/long you actually run TODAY! Reset the clock and set new standards! No one wants to look back wards why do you????

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4.You fail to plan, You Plan to fail!

It is as simple as that… FOOD PREP! Unless you now for sure (like working from home)  that you will have time to cook EVERY single meal/snack of your day then you need to cook ahead! Not just have an idea of what you will cook for dinner, but have as much of it as you can prepared! It is more probable that you ‘ll decide on something easier and faster than your planned meal if you get home late and there is nothing ready or prepped! SO cook your chicken/fish etc on bulk, roast a lot of veggies, pre cut your veggies and pack your lunches! There are so many blog posts/articles out there on food prep and pinterest is FULL of ideas about it!

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5.Sign Up for a race ALONG with friends

First of all, signing up for a race (and spending the money LOL) will give you some extra motivation to get out the door… Also, if you sign up with some of your running buddies not only you can train together, but also a little bit of healthy competition or helping each other through will take you a long way!!

But most of all don’t forget to SMILE 😀 and be sure your are healthy and fit to exercise without pushing yourself to the limits (to avoid injuries…)

Happy Tuesday!

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5 Delicious salad recipes

Hi friends 😀

I hope you are all doing great!! Everything is well around these parts of the woods. We had an awesome few days with my favourite @M&M_taleoftworuns (MIL) and I have a little confession to make… somehow 3 pounds managed to find their way in me LOL! During @M&M_taleoftworuns’s visit we ate – no really, WE ATE – quite a bit more than usual…I mean, it isn’t such a big deal and I enjoyed every single bite! Oh this woman can cook! We are talking home made bread and pies (both sweet and savoury) and cookies and home made greek food… So here we are now where both of us are … hmm how to put it nicely?!?! Well there is a little “more” of us than before 😛 So both me and @mymamus decided to kick it into a little lighter gear than before… Not a really big deal since we really both love salads and greens but it made me to come up with a few seriously yummy salad recipes! These are the kind of salads that can provide you with a solid dinner, packed with protein and fiber and very little, if any, carbohydrates 🙂

#1 Soya sauce pan seared turkey breast over greens (lettuce, string beans, spinach) with corn and cherry tomatoes – topped with black sesame seed and a light balsamic vinaigrette.

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#2 Baked chicken breast over pan seared Brussel sprouts in coconut oil with avocado, cherry tomatoes and a poached egg topped with chia seeds and a pinch of chilli powered.

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#3 Shredded baked salmon on soya sauce over roasted broccoli and sweet potato chunks with lettuce topped with avocado and black sesame seeds.

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#4 Soya sauce pan seared chicken over kale and spinach greens with pineapple, cucumber  and avocado chunks topped with pecans, white sesame seeds and cheese (low fat) crumbles.

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#5 Balsamic and rosemary glazed-baked carrots and chicken over lettuce and sweetcorn.

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Of course all 5 recipes are @mymamus approved. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Bon appetit mon amis 😀

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Home Gym – pocket edition!

Hi friends 😀

I hope all of you had a great weekend!

So, as you all know -since apparently according to @mymamus and all our friends I keep mentioning it 😛 –  we recently moved to London from New York city. Do I miss the city? Yes of course I do… but London is (very slowly) growing on me. There is one thing though that no matter how long we live here I don’t think I’ll be able to mentally embrace! How expensive a gym membership can be… We all thought NY was expensive?!?!? Yeah right…. This all changed in my head when we moved here and good ol’£££ entered our lives…. Well granted there are alternatives such as “classpass” where with £79($110)/ month  you can get unlimited access to gyms and studios but it is mostly for classes and right now that doesn’t really appeal to me and my needs.

So before I go on and tell you -or more likely show you – my solution let me tell you why to my opinion working out from home isn’t such a bad alternative.

  1. It is not expensive at all – you can find very cheap exercise equipment in places like Target (or for my UK friends Sports Direct and Argos).
  2. Given that UK weather isn’t the nicest thing, and most mornings are gloomy, rainy, cold and … dark. Not having to get out of the house sounds like a blessing to me!
  3. 24/7 gyms around here….? erm not really. London isn’t as “anytime,anything,everywhre” as NYC even though I have to admit is getting there 🙂 So, if for some peculiar reason you get the urge to workout let’s say at like 11:30pm – you know after scrolling down some SERIOUSLY motivational IG posts 😛 -then no problem at all, because all you need is right there! No need to hop on the subway (or…the tube) and get your butt to a gym 30′ away from home.
  4. It makes it fun and … comforatble! Do you get bored on the treadmill/spin bike? Imagine doing it while your kiddos or your partner are around to crack a joke…Or imagine just getting on your spin bike or lifting weights on your PJs – yeap been there done that… no judging 😛

So here is how I do it in our very – VERY – tiny apartment! This –> is how our living room normally looks like. Pretty right? The only two things I couldn’t store away anywhere are the stability ball – which doesn’t really take up any space behind our entrance door and my FREE spin bike. Yes I did say F-R-E-E!! Try freecycle people, it works!!

Before layout livingroom

And here –>  is how our living room looks like when I am in full blown work out mode! Granted this usually happens during the weekend, but during the week I can always bring out only what I need to work out depending on my plan 🙂

DURING LAYOUT LIVING ROOM

So what do I have?

  • 3 set of weights
  • 1 kettlebell
  • yoga mat
  • resistance band
  • (mini) bosu ball – also doubles as a feet massager 😉
  • push up handles

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And now the 1 million dollar question… Where do I store all these?!?!?! Right in here –>

OTTOMAN

Remember this inconspicuous little ottoman in the corner of our living room, that also looks very pretty? Well this little piece of furniture has many different roles in our tiny apartment 😉 First of all it is @mymamus desk chair, then it is my mini home gym storage and it also doubles as a workout bench and step! Yes it is THAT sturdy!!

And finally, here are three of my favourite things for my outdoor workouts.

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  • jumping rope – I can’t really do this inside the apartment like I used to in NY 😦
  • heart shaped *essential* hand warmers
  • and yes, theses are hand weights for walking/running with a little light to make you extra noticeable in the dark! I haven’t used them in a while but they are AMAZING to built endurance during your run. I have to admit… I did carry those in my suitcase from NYC!! And of course @mymamus wasn’t very excited about it since we had to leave some other stuff behind – like the power supply thingy for his computer … not that important right?!?! Well as you can all see I do have my priorities straight!!!

So as you can see, all you really need is very few ££ (or $$ or €€) and very little space to have your own home gym and eliminate every single excuse as to why you can’t work out LOL 😛

See you soon!

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21 Day Fix Extreme Review

“Disclaimer: This is NOT an affiliated post, I am not a Beachbody coach or in any way affiliated with the company, this is my personal opinion.”

Hi Friends 😀

I hope everyone is having an amazing weekend!

When we first moved to London back in September I was in a huge fitness downfall. Moving countries and trying to find a new apartment and starting a PhD program was taking away all my energy and my motivation was floored. Our lunch and dinner options had to be fast and not always healthy… So after we finally moved in our apartment and we got settled I felt like I needed a push, something to seriously pull me out of this non – healthy rabbit hole.

A few months ago I read about this new exciting exercise training and weight loss program called “21 day fix extreme” from BeachBody’s Autumn Calabrese. I had looked into it at the time but unfortunately i couldn’t afford it neither had the space/equipment needed for it. Looking into it again I thought it might be a good idea to try and maybe that was the push i needed. So I ordered it.

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Now before I go on, I really want to say that this is just my opinion and an honest review. I am NOT trying to bash or badmouth the program at all! Please know that even with my fitness downhill I was still a very active person (also a runner) and definitely not a beginner when it comes to exercising.

The basic outlay of the program is; 30′ minutes daily workouts and portion colour coded containers for the eating plan which lasts 21 days. Also though some basic calculations you are being allocated in a calorie bracket which corresponds to how many containers of each colour are you allowed in a day.

Here is what I (personally) think of the program:

Pros:

  • 30 minutes/day is not very long and most people can do
  • the workouts are fun for the first couple of times
  • depending on where you live it is cheaper than a gym membership
  • you can work out at home
  • very suitable for parents since it doesn’t take long and you can work out at home

Cons:

  • if you really want to stick to the eating plan you need to food prep four at least a few hours in the weekend
  • there aren’t many recipes included (unless you buy the cook book) and things get to be boring food wise real fast
  • (for UK costumers) they do sell the program in the UK but their costumer service is really (REALLY) bad! I don’t know about the US costumer sevice
  • if you are a runner, even if you go up a calorie bracket bracket, you ‘ll still be hungry and feeling tired.
  • if you don’t have a lot (more than 20-30 lbs) of weight to loose this is not the program for you.
  • you need to have some basic equipment at home to complete the workouts, such as dumbbells, resistance bands and a yoga mat (optional).

To sum it all up, I think it depends on what you are looking for. If you have a lot of weight to loose and you are new to a healthy life style it is a great program for you. But if you are someone who is already quite fit and lives a healthy lifestyle I ‘ d say don’t bother and don’t waste your money or your time with this program. As for their success pictures on their website, please know that these people did try extremely hard but also even though they were on the same eating plan it was a very restrictive form of it with only certain foods allowed – they call it “competition plan” and it’s totally carb depleted. They also used most of the company’s supplements (which cost more $$$) and food replacements to get shredded.

My personal experience with their UK costumer service is also what completely put me off this program. The first set of DVD’s they sent me weren’t working, the second set they send me it never got to me cause they used someone else’s address and i finally got a working set 2 months after my initial order. Also they claim that if you buy the program you ll have access to it online which actually never happened to me since even though they do stream in the UK they require a US address and bank account!

All and all even thought I do agree with the programs mentality and i like the fact that Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 14.30.03they make it easier for beginners to exercise and follow a healthy lifestyle I would never recommended to anyone especially if you are anywhere but the USA. I don’t believ this program is suitable for people that already have a healthy life style and also I think that it is quite expensive for what they are really offering – which in reality is 1 week worth of workout and a portion control containers for ~$60 or $72 if you are based outside the US (~ £42 – £50).

Now that being, said for all of you fitness nuts out there, if you are looking for at home work outs I would recommend Fitness Blender! They have all shorts of workouts for any type of exercise and level and the best part is that 90% of them are FREE!! They also have a youtube channel if you don’t want to create an account with them. I am currently using FB a lot and I really like most of their workouts!

So how did I finally get out of my fitness rabbit hole?!?! I signed up for a marathon!!! Well that did the trick for me! Even though i am still figuring things out I have to say I am in a much better state right now than I was back in September 😉

Have a great weekend everybody.

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Best strenth training moves for runners

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Hi friends 🙂

As I was running the other day i realized how much I ‘ve missed strength training. We were quite busy around here last week, so even though i put in my planned milage for the week cross-training did suffer a little. So yesterday evening since my training plan called for an active rest day it was the perfect opportunity to drop down and get some reps of my favourite strength training exercises in 😀

I like to mix it up so i will not get bored and these exercises are the perfect mix for me!

– Russian twists and holds

  • 4 twist and then hold both legs off the floor for 20-30 seconds (repeat 5 times)

– Squat on the toes

Do a regular squat (use a kettle-bell for a more challenging workout) and then when coming up stay on your toes for about 5 seconds. This is an awesome strength exercise for glute and calf muscles. Repeat 15-20 times.

– Curl lunges

I really enjoy lunges (said no one ever 😀 LOL!!!). So here is a way to get a little bit more out of them;

  • Do a forward lunge and then 5 reps of tricep curls.
  • Step back.
  • Do a forward lunge with other leg and 5 reps of tricep curls with other arm.
  • Repeat sequence 5 times.

– Raised leg bridges

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  • This is a normal bridge but only one leg is on the floor. The other is raised in a straight line. Do 10-15 repeats on each leg. Rest for 20 – 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

– Plank & Side plank

Planks are a runner’s best friend!! During a plank you simultaneously work your arms, core, butt and legs!!

  • Do a side plank for ~20-30 seconds on its side
  • Finish strong by holding a normal plank for as long as you can!!!

You can repeat the whole work out from 3-5 times depending on how much time you have and your level of endurance.

Finally, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy it!! Exercising is all about being healthy and working towards a better you! Never compare yourself to anyone else but the you from yesterday. Here is me rocking my “sweaty silly smiley face” and “superman – look at those biceps” looks 😛 after a really cool workout!!

Enjoy!

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Disclaimer: I am not a licensed personal trainer neither a sports specialist. Consult your physician if you are unsure as per your ability to undertake these exercises. I am JUST a fitness-nut that likes to share my workouts. 

 

 

Beginner’s Yoga 7 Day Kickoff

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Hello friends,

Happy Friday! 😀 The weekend will be here shortly and i can already feel the excitement!

So I have a little back story to share before I dive into my post for the day. For the past two months every once in a while I have felt the need to just drop whatever I was doing and stay still for a few minutes. Kind of like a “reboot” or “refocus”. I have also been feeling pretty stiff lately. No matter how many days I cross-train or how many miles I run. And also i feel disconnected. All these little feelings here and there – truth be told – weren’t having a huge impact on my day-to-day life, till now… When these feelings/physical states start to occur more often, and they don’t feel like a phase or a momentary lapse any more, this is when I realised that I had to take action. Being an athlete for a long time i have become hard wired to listening to my body – it’s the best injury prevention method to my opinion – and trusting my instincts. So in this case my body and my mind have been yelling at me for a while to do something in order to get my old “me” back. After trying many different things, from changing my cross and weight training routines – thinking it might just be boredom – to drastically fluctuating my milage, the situation didn’t improve.

This was the point where the problem solving scientist in me took over and research began. So after putting two and two together (like how much i had enjoyed my last longish stretching session and how good it felt to just breath for a few moments before my run) the verdict was YOGA.

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Now, i need to confess that not only i am a totally clueless individual when it comes to yoga, but i am also one of those people that have always said “Yoga is not for me. I couldn’t never sit still for that long!” – said the clueless person thinking that that’s what yogis do…

Ha! Only if ‘ve known better…

So after reading – a lot – and looking into a million free source material about yoga, I have decided to start small and try to incorporate it into my morning routine for 7 days and see how i feel by the end of the week.

What is the plan?

  • change my morning high impact routine into a series of beginner’s yoga poses (using one of those printable guides here and here)
  • this will last about 20 to 25 minutes
  • give myself 5 minutes to relax, focus and work on my breathing after the session
  • write a few bullet points every night about how (if) this change in my routine had an impact on my day

Hopefully I will make it through the week, it will make a difference and I will enjoy it! Speaking about things I enjoy, @brother_taleoftworuns who is a far more experienced yogi than I am, happily agreed to have a Skype yogi session together this weekend 🙂 So excited to get to spent some quality time with my big bro who I don’t really get to see that often anymore! .

My big brother and I at Nafpaktos town, Greece – summer 2013

And I also plan to thoroughly enjoy having a laugh with him while i fall on the floor face first ..- Oh right, positive thinking  “I wont be falling on my face…I wont be falling on my face…”

I will keep you guys posted about my new adventurous endeavour and definitely give a full review of it by the end of next week. Feel free to join me to this endeavour! I will be starting this coming Monday.

Any newbie yogis out there? Or advice for more experienced ones?

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