Category: strength training

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

I’m happy to report that the cold I mentioned last Monday is practically gone, leaving me feeling as though this is quite a Marvelous Monday. I know everyone has seen an explosion of cauliflower pizza crust recipes, so that is exactly why I am going to share mine. You can never have too many right?

I am going to serve up a side of Marvelous things to go along with my pizza crust recipe, seeing as it is Monday and all. Each centralizing around updating you on my exercise routine.

Marvelous is: Finally registering for my next half Marathon the first week of May. It will be my 5th time racing in a half.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Ingredients: Instructions
•1 tbsp vital wheat gluten

•1 tbsp coconut flour

•2 tbsp unsweetened whey

•1/4 tsp baking soda

•1/4 tsp baking powder

•1/4 cup egg whites•1/2 cup of mashed cooked cauliflower•salt•rosemary

•basil

1)Cook the cauliflower and mash it well. I don’t have a processor so I mash with a fork.2)Press out liquids with a clean dish towel.3)In a separate bowl mix all dry ingredients4)Add in egg whites and mix well, then cauliflower (mix again)

5)Bake for 15 min (convenction bake 350deg F)

6)Add toppings and bake for another 5-10 min

Category Mark Comments Overall Grade
Convenience

D

I will be the first to admit that the whole process from start to finish is a bit time consuming.

B-

Health

A

Without toppings the whole recipe is only around 150 calories mostly coming from protein. Once you get some cheese and meet on it you are working your way towards a more appropriate meal amount.
Taste

B+

This doesn’t have the yeasty taste of regular breads, but it does taste delicious grilled with cheese. I have had this with and without rosemary, so it is safe to say I prefer it WITH the rosemary.
Texture

B

Not crunchy, however you can pick it up with your hands without it falling apart. A must for pizza crust!
General Comments:
If you  make this expecting a regular pizza crust –> you will be disappointed.If you make this after having attempted another cauliflower pizza crust that fell apart when picking up –> you will be pleased (I hope).

Marvelous is: Accepting the fact that my time for the upcoming half marathon will most likely not be what I want. I have had a tight schedule for training, a heavy cracking cough, cold damp weather, and right foot woes to slow me down.

Marvelous is: Enjoying my alternate day strength training despite the fact that I usually don’t enjoy strength. I have been adding more exercises to my strength routine and the variety has pleased me immensely!

Marvelous is: Making it through the entire winter without having to pay for a gym membership or buy expensive class passes. It is great having a good running coat, medicine ball, dumbbells, swiss ball, and skipping rope to make friends with.

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What are your favorite pizza toppings (cheese is a given!) –> Mushrooms, basil, and olive (exactly as pictured!)

 Do you pay for gym membership? –> Nope

If you could only have one STRENGTH fitness item what would it be? –> My weighted medicine ball

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Strong is Beautiful

Hello mon petit choux! In case you do don’t know french “mon petit choux” is a term of endearment which translates to “my little cabbages”. I used to use this idiom all the time, because I was in french immersion until grade 4. Unfortunately I never kept up with my french, so I only remember “un petit peu” (a little bit).

But that’s enough french lesson for today, because I have a more important lesson to remind you of…

This weekend I had the opportunity to go to the finalist match for women’s singles tennis Rogers Cup. Serena Williams won after dealing with injury and illness the past year (source), which is quite inspirational for those currently dealing with injuries. I haven’t played much tennis, but I was still thrilled to be there.

The Women’s Tennis Association recently  launched a great campaign “Strong is Beautiful”. Which I didn’t know about until attending the Rogers Cup.

This campaign is such a great reminder that beauty DOES NOT mean being able to count your ribs and have toothpick arms. There are plenty of videos, and beautiful images that you can check out here.

And since you can’t get strong without plenty of food…bring it on!

Breakfast bowl of puffed kamut, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, almond breeze, chia seeds, peanut flour paste, apple, strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, grapefruit, and hemp seeds.

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What languages do you speak? Do you play tennis at all? 

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How Long Does it Take to get Unfit?

The summer’s clock is tic tock-ing away and I’ve been savoring every moment possible. I’ve also been savoring a delicous dinner accompanied with reading.

This is one of my favorite fitness books I have read. The thing I love about it is that it’s organized by questions so you don’t have to read it from cover to cover. You can just skim the table of contents (which you can preview here) and flip to the question you are most eager to read the answer of.

broccoli slaw, cauliflower, greek salsa sauce, canned black beans, egg whites, mushroom, hummus

Since I gave you a sneak peak tease of some of the questions last week, I will satisfy your curiosity and give you the answers!

Is motivation to exercise genetic?

  • “Your genes do play a role in your athletic destiny”
  • “There isn’t an exercise gene”

There is a pumpkin growing in my yard!

How long does it take to get unfit?

  • “The literature on detraining, or loss of fitness, is surprisingly complex, because different adaptions to your muscles, heart, and metabolism fade away at different rates”
  • “As a rough rule of thumb, the evidence suggests that you retain endurance gains for about two weeks without training, but by the time you hit four weeks you’re back to baseline”

Tempeh, berries, and magazine reading

Do spinning classes offer any benefits that I can’t get from biking on my own?

  • “Spinning doesn’t, in fact have any magical effect on oxygen circulation. The results simply indicate that people in an ordinary cycling class managed to reach higher peak intensities than they did during the rigorous progressive exercise tests that doctors and researchers use to measure Vo2max- and much higher intensities than a typical gym user slogging away on a solitary exercise bike.”

Indecisive toppings: laughing cow + lemon curd (favorite!), peanut butter + cottage cheese

Will taking antioxidant vitamins block the health benefits of exercise?

  • “Exercise stimulates the production of free radicals, which is why athletes are often adviced to take extra antioxidant supplements. But exercise itself is also an antioxidant. During exercise, the body learns to gradually produce more and more of its own antioxidants”
  • “One theory now gaining support is that taking extra antioxidants means that your body never gets the opportunity to adapt on its own”


caramel pudding, chia seeds, and apple

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What have you been doing to enjoy the last month of summer? What are your favorite beans?

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July E's: Goals Recap

This Weekend E’s are going to focus more on July’s E’s in the form of goals. Here are the goals I made in the beginning of July:

 Edibles (Goal 1):

I successfully tried quite a new food this month. One of them being oat bran, which you all know I am a fan of. This one is Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup oat bran with cocoa, peanut flour, egg whites, and almond breeze topped with greek yogurt mixed with cocoa powder and swirled with runny peanut flour paste

I also tried Soyogurt, which was great combined with my nutlettes in the past WIAW. It was also great with fruit:

Speaking of fruit, I also gave mango a go: Second new fruit tried was avocado. Not just plain avocado, because I already know I’m not a fan, but avocado disguised in the never disappointing hummus…

So much better then the other new dip I tried and didn’t like:

I also tried Quinoa for the first time:

Exercise (Goal 2 + 3):

Goal 2:  So far so good, I’ve stuck to the New Rules of Lifting Plan and am almost complete stage 1. I print out my logs on queue cards and keep them in one of those queue card filers. I definitely feel stronger and have loved mixing up my exercise routine.

 Goal 3: Success: I went to a dance class and had a blast. I’m so glad I made this a goal. The friend I enjoy going with is gone for a month on a missions trip in Africa but when she gets back we are going to go to more dance classes together.

Experiences (Goal 4):

If you missed why I made this goal you can catch up here. I successfully abstained from watching any romance movies this month. And you know what? I feel pretty darn good. I feel confident that my time will come, yet I am in no rush. I am happy with who I am and am satisfied at that. I do not need a man to romance me in order to feel valued.

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Have you tried any new foods recently? Anything you didn’t like? Anything you loved?

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Tea Time

First of all: thank you all for the sweet comments on Saturday’s post. Each and every comment truly makes me smile, and I appreciate it so much.

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Now a days I don’t often find myself slurping down one of these.

However every once and a while I decide to enjoy a can, albeit the evening bloating can cause discomfort. How do I enjoy my pop? There is only one way for me

Mixed with chilled tea.

I try to always have cold brewed tea on hand, along with a freezer full of icecubes. That way, I can make a beverage I truly enjoy.

Let’s take a little jog away from the tea for a minute. Speaking of a jog, the next topic I wanted to touch on was exercise. It’s been awhile since I’ve written about my current fitness routines and schedule. Since work started 2 months ago, I’ve finally settled into a weekly routine that works for me. Ironically the strength training plan in The New Rules of Lifting for women fits almost perfectly into my schedule and I would like to take this opportunity to lay down my current fitness routine.

Keep in mind that most weeks depending on weather/appointments/my mood this schedule gets changed or altered. Often times something gets removed. I never force myself to go for a morning run if I’m not feeling it. The reason being: I love my mornings. I don’t want to ruin the best time of the day by doing something I don’t want to do. When a day comes along and my schedule changes I try not to sweat the small stuff and instead reflect on how strong and forgiving my body truly is.

The summer sky is unbelievably beautiful, and I am always thrilled to snap a few shots of puffy white clouds

Before I let you all go back to your daily lives (if you haven’t already left) we’re going to take a quick sneak peak at a fabulous tea that appears in tomorrow’s recipe.

Yes folks, that really is coconut tea. And just incase you were wondering it really is fabulous.

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Do you ever drink pop? What’s your favorite thing to drink on a hot sunny day?

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Weeekend E's: Canada Day Edition

Although I can’t say “hope you all had a great Canada Day!” I can say “hope you are all having a great long weekend”. I guess that still isn’t entirely accurate and since I don’t want to make habitants of other continents left out from my greeting I will leave it at “hope your all having a great weekend!” Now that we have that cleared up, I believe it is time to get to the weeekend E’s. For those of you who aren’t aware, every weekend I post about the experiences, edibles, and exercises I plan to partake in over the weekend!

Experiences:

  • Yesterday my parents and I drove up to the camp my younger sister is working at for a Canada Day Picnic and baseball tournament.I did not play baseball, but watching sure reminded me of the good ol’ days of playing at recess in grade school. I have a confession to make. Disclaimer: It’s a long winded one!
I am afraid to play  be around any sport involving balls being thrown. I could attribute this to the sad-but-true fact that I got hit with a ball one to many times in gym class, but there is a bigger reason behind this fear. I have dental implants. For some strange unknown reason the two adult teeth beside my two front teeth were never present. When I lost those baby teeth around grade 5, that was it. Needless to say I was very insecure and upset about my smile. To make things worse my parents didn’t even console me and told me that I should “think about how much better off I am then my older sister”. You see my older sister had much worse jaw and dental issues then me, so mine were considered insignificant, and I was left all alone in my misery. You can’t get dental implants until your done growing so I was given horribly fitting/always breaking false teeth. Way to make me feel like a grandmother! The story ends on a somewhat happier note however as last September I received my permanent dental implants, and you can’t even tell they aren’t real! I cried of relief when they successfully ‘held’ to the bone, but I fear everyday the my bones will degrade and I will once again be found without teeth. Hence why I always pre-cut my apple and am afraid to be around a flying ball.
I’m sorry if some of you fell asleep during my little story, but I really believe it played a big part in who I am today. It’s not something I share with most of my real friends, but it is one of those things that you just feel better about after sharing, so I did.

Edibles:

Now on to the part of the post that is fun, happy and look tasty
  • During the work week I don’t get much opportunity to enjoy a crazy dressed up fruit salad bowl, so I think I’m going to be taking advantage of the weekend and have multiple editions of dressed up fruit.

apple, watermelon, cranberries, strawberries, peanut flour paste, yogurt, cocoa powder, unsweetened almond breeze, hemp seeds, coconut

Exercise:

In last week’s Weekend E’s I mentioned that I purchased my very own copy of “The New Rules of Lifting for Women”. Well now that I’ve read it thoroughly (with a few chuckles in between) it is time to start my training program! Stage one starts today, right after I stock up on protein powder and set up my room gym style!
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What are your favorite sports? What are your weekend plans?
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So Close Yet Still so Far

Have you ever gotten that feeling during a workout when you are trying to target a specific muscle? You know where the muscle is located on your body, but no matter what strange position you contort yourself into you just can’t seem to reach it. So close yet still so far.
If you can’t relate to this perhaps you can relate to this true analogy: I almost made my own delicious ice cream. Instead it turned out to be a total flop.
The ingredients were blended silken tofu, cocoa powder, greek yogurt, almond breeze, and Xanthan Gum. I licked the blender (with the help of a finger) and it tasted great, so into the icecream maker it went.
Unfortunately as the mixture was starting to freeze I decided to add shredded rhubarb. Don’t ask me what possessed me add as much as I did though. Why didn’t I just leave it as it was before? Who knows, perhaps I wanted a bit more pizzaz. I  was so close yet still so far to having a recipe success.
Now back to the ‘hard-to-reach-muscle” with the similar “so-close-yet-still-so-far” situation. My solution to this is somewhat expensive but very effective: Reformer Pilates. There is a pilates studio close by which offers group reformer classes. If you haven’t heard of a reformer before, then let me inform you about what it is:
That is a reformer platform which you spend the class on. When I first realized the majority of the class you spent lying on the platform I was quite taken back. My opinion quickly changed by the end of the class when I could feel the burn in muscles that I have never felt burn. You may be wondering why reformer pilates is able to target so many hidden muscles. Here is what I dug up at this source:
“One of the best things about the reformer is its versatility. Exercises can be done lying down, sitting, standing, pulling the straps, pushing the footbar, perched on the footbar, perched on the shoulder blocks, with additional equipment, upside down, sideways and all kinds of variations thereof. In other words, the reformer can train many parts and dynamics of the body in so many different ways with just one relatively sleek piece of equipment.”
Some other benefits that I discovered from the same source:
  • The reformer is a set-up for eccentric contraction. That is one of the keys to achieving the long, strong muscles without bulk that Pilates is known for.
  • The instability of a rolling carriage with the springs set at different levels of resistance provides all kinds of stability challenges that develop core strength and promote better balance.
I always find these classes very enjoyable and time seems to fly by. The only problem is trying to get into a class before its full. The class that works with my schedule and level always seems to have a high attendance, but it must be my lucky day because I just got into the class off a waiting list! You know where I will be this evening!
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Have you ever had a ‘so-close-yet-still-so-far” cooking experience? Have you ever tried reformer pilates or other pilates classes?
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Please Don't Make me Sit

I’m still sore after Saturday’s intense Bootcamp class. If I’ve been sitting for over 15 minutes and then I stand up…I have a limp. So I’ve been avoiding sitting down all day, which is kinda very hard at a desk job. The sore muscles are a sure sign that I pushed myself in the class. I hope I have been providing my muscles with enough protein.

After the class I had wanted to consume a high protein super refreshing alligator stew so that’s what I did. But by the time I actually got to eat it, over an hour had elapsed from the end of my workout. Dang that commuting time from the gym.

I was curious to know more about the “window of opportunity” for muscle synthesis after a workout. So I did a little internet searching and found a few interesting articles.

The Importance of Time

The Top 10 post workout nutrition myths. I was so conforted to read that the window of opportunity may actually be longer then just 1 hour post workout. Please note that some of the pictures on this article’s website are quite unnecessary.

“Enter the most underrated scientific paper in the last 5 years. Tipton and colleagues (2003) examined responsiveness of protein synthesis for a day after a workout, and found it to reflect a 24 hour enhanced level. That’s right folks, a FULL DAY! This means that having a morning shake will have the same impact on muscle protein synthesis as one consumed following the workout! These results shouldn’t be too surprising because we’ve known for over a decade that postworkout protein synthesis is jacked up for this long (MacDougall et al., 1995), but if you’re discovering this for the first time, then it’s pretty exciting!”

The Importance of Easily Digestible Foods

The Importance of Post Workout Nutrition

“Liquid Meals Have A Fast Absorption Profile, Whole Food Is Just Too Slow. The latest research has demonstrated that liquid supplemental formulas containing fast digesting protein (whey hydrolysates and isolates) and carbohydrates (dextrose and maltodextrin) are absorbed more quickly than whole food meals.”

The Importance of Glycogen

Solving the Post Workout Puzzle – Part 1. I hadn’t realized why carbs were so important post strength workout until now.

“First, remember that glycogen replenishment is important for several things. It’s necessary for maintaining peak performance in both resistance and endurance training (3,4,5). In addition, if glycogen stores remain low, muscle protein breakdown can result and lead to loss of muscle mass (6). Finally, since glycogen attracts water to the muscle, the cellular hydration that results may stimulate new growth.”

The Role of Fat post Workout

Post Workout Meal Nutrition – What To Eat After A Workout. I was really surprised that fat should be avoided in a post workout meal. Here is why:

First, let’s start with a quick explanation of why you shouldn’t eat fat after a workout.

Many times throughout this website I explain why fat is NOT a bad thing (when it’s the “good” fat) and why it is an important part of everyone’s diet. However, there just happens to be a certain time when fat (good or bad) wouldn’t be ideal to eat. This of course is in the post workout meal.

Why? Well, fat slows down digestion. In this case, it would be slowing down the digestion of protein and carbs. As you’re about to find out, this is the exact opposite of what you want to happen.

After reading all these articles and learning about post workout nutrition I will continue to enjoy my high protein Alligator Stew.

So how much protein is really in this alligator stew + toppings?

  • Pina Colada Protein Powder: 1 scoop = 24 grams
  • Smaps Maple Crunch Cereal: 1/2 cup = 15 grams
  • peanut flour: 1 tbsp =  4 grams

That’s a total of 43 grams protein folks, not including the trace amounts in the coconut topping of course! You can bet that this was enjoyed until the bowl was licked clean. I want my muscle fibers to grow and get stronger, but there is one slight problem holding me back.

Fear of the Hulk: I have a fear of my leg muscles becoming like the hulk. A little background…I used to be a dancer (ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, ect). I was dancing around 15 hours a week and I always had very strong calf and hamstring muscles (if I do say so myself). As a result, I have always been self conscious about my legs. I’m comforted to know that women just don’t have enough testosterone to become the hulk naturally. I plan on going to this strength class again though, so clearly these fears won’t be getting in the way!

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What protein myths or facts have you heard? What is your favorite after workout meal? Are you ever afraid of massive muscle bulk?

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