Archive for ‘Fitness and Exercise’

July 6, 2015

Emily Skye F.I.T. Program Vegan/Vegetarian Version

by jem614

I’ve been stalking Emily Skye on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for a while now and finally hit the “purchase” button this past week.  She had a 50% off special and it was only $35 for an entire month of food lists (weekly) as well as a menu and a workout plan. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to at least try it for a month.

I don’t know about you but I need to be constantly on top of my fitness goals or I let go and it becomes a nightmare trying to undo the damage of unhealthy eating.  What I love about this plan is that everything is extremely healthy- I am reminded of how I was eating when I first became a vegetarian; clean, whole eating.

There is a wide variety of breakfast options including pancakes, quinoa cereal, chia pudding- which can be made the night before to save time. Lunches are tempeh stir fries, chickpea cakes; snacks are protein shakes (I use my favorite Garden of Life protein shakes in Chocolate or Marley Coffee) and protein balls or FIT protein muffins.  She uses tons of veggies, nuts, seeds, raw foods.  It’s clean eating- no milks except for the occasional unsweetened yogurt with berries and stevia.

The best part of the plan is that you will never be hungry, there is so much protein and whole foods that it filled me up.  I was actually wondering how I could fit it all in.  Her plan has it all set up so you literally do not have to figure it out on your own.  The recipes are tasty and simple so you won’t be overwhelmed with thousands of ingredients.
And lest you think that you’re spending a whole lot on just yourself, most of the recipes feed more than 1 person so you can either put it in the freezer and eat later, or feed the rest of your family!

I’m not 100% yet, I’m going into this gradually or I won’t stick to it.  My snack today was the pumpkin protein balls which literally have no sugar in them except a little bit of dates.  However, I only had four dates left so I subbed with bananas and it didn’t work out so well.  The dates are what sticks it together, the bananas just made it mushier.  Regardless, three of them make a great snack and I’m stuffed till lunch time.  Note to self- don’t sub!

Her 28 day Phase I plan also comes with a workout routine that I’ll be starting tonight.  You do need at least dumbbells at home if you’re not going to the gym, so be prepared if you decide to check her out.  Even if you don’t check her out today, this Aussie is an incredible role model and worth following on social media.  She’s all about positive energy and building others up.  .

Have you tried any great fitness plans lately?  Have you tried Emily Skye’s plan?  Let us know how you’re doing!!

For more information on Emily Skye, go to: Emily Skye Website or on Facebook.

July 18, 2014

I love Orangetheory Fitness!

by ashley

Orangetheory FitnessHave you heard of Orangetheory Fitness? I have been hearing people talking about these classes for a few months now, but my aversion to boot camp style fitness classes has made me shy away from it. Yesterday I finally conjured up enough courage to go and check them out, and I’m so glad that I did. It was so much fun, challenging yet not overwhelming as I had been afraid it might be. A little background on me: I am 26 years old, active on and off but certainly not an athlete. I am slightly overweight, BMI of about 26, and have never been religious about working out. I was afraid that I would get there and be way too out of shape to keep up, but the class really is tailored for anyone. The Orangetheory next to my house offers three free classes and I was able to make an appointment to come the same I called. When I arrived the manager greeted me and explained how the classes work, handed me a heart rate monitor and introduced me to the instructor. The instructor, Kelley, then took me around to the different machines and explained how to use each one. It is important that you come about thirty minutes early your first time so you can have this instruction, otherwise you may be lost during the class. The class itself is fast paced, but if you pay attention to the instructor you will be able to follow along. Your heart rate will be shown on a screen for everyone to see so that the instructor can make sure you are getting as much out of the class as you can. This is great, as you aren’t competing with the others in your class, who will most likely be at different fitness levels, but rather you are competing with yourself. At the end of the class the instructor will look over your heart rate statistics to see if you got into the “orange zone” for at least 12 minutes, where the name Orangetheory comes from. The logic behind this is that if you are in the orange zone for 12-20 minutes of your work out that you will spike your metabolism for up to 36 hours.

Orangetheory Stats E-mail

Orangetheory Stats E-mail

During the class you will be on a treadmill for about 30 minutes using one of three programs: power walker, jogger or runner. The instructor will call out instructions for each level as the class progresses. The other 30 minutes is a mixture of the rowing machine, free weights and body weight exercises. The instructor at my Orangetheory was really great about paying attention to the newcomers and making sure our form was correct during the free weight and body weight exercises, which was wonderful for me as it was the first time I was doing many of these.

After the class is over Orangetheory will e-mail you a report of your heart rate, calories burned and your time in each heart rate zone. This is great for tracking your own progress. Memberships aren’t exactly cheap, but are on par with many of the comparable gyms in my area. Single classes are $25, the basic membership (4 classes per month) is $59, the elite membership (8 classes per month) is $99 and the premier membership (unlimited) is $159. Additional classes for basic are $14 and elite are $12. You can also use your membership at any Orangetheory location.

I’ve only done one class so far, but I signed up for the elite membership and am thinking about switching to the premier. I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going!

June 25, 2012

Pregnancy Glow Plan!! From “For The Glow”

by jem614

It’s finally here!!  For those of you who have been dreaming and searching for a pregnancy-friendly meal plan, look no further!!

Our friend at For The Glow, Jenn, has sent us this amazing overview plan for eating while pregnant.  Her advice is to eat to nourish, not to lose weight. (Of course, we always encourage you to speak with your doctor before starting any food plan).

I love that she has plans for vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians…. so every woman can eat right for her stage in life.  Her website is www.fortheglow.com.

Vegetarian Nourish (link to pdf here).  Go to www.fortheglow.com for more information.

January 23, 2012

Ashley’s Vegan Bodybuilding Update: 3 Weeks

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

So far I’ve lost a total of four pounds in three weeks – not bad, but I know I could have done better. While I’ve been good about doing some sort of exercise frequently, I haven’t been doing all I could and I certainly haven’t been following the plan religiously. It’s hard starting a new routine, especially one that is drastically different than how I normally would spend my time or fill my stomach.

For a reason unknown to me, I usually live life in extremes. I am either extremely motivated, overdoing it with exercise, eating way too little and/or restrictively or completely the opposite, barely wanting to move and eating with gluttony. My personality is also like this, moving from one extreme to the other. It can be a whirlwind of emotions and motivations (or lack thereof). In some ways this makes me more creative, fueling my artistic side. But more often than not, this lack of consistency is a hindrance.

New Year’s resolutions are usually superficial things – losing weight, changing the way you look or dress. I want this to be more than an irrational resolution that will be just as quickly forgotten as it began. I need a bigger change in my life, one that will put me on the path to greater happiness and health. January should be a time of reflection, a time we remember the good from the past year along with the bad. Visualize the person I want to be, realize the traits I already possess and work on those I feel don’t line up with my goals. One of these things is eating in secret – it’s a horribly embarrassing thing to admit, but I have a problem with secret eating and binging. It’s something I’ve only just let myself realize, but it is something I’ve done since I was very little.

Binge eating is a serious issue that affects those overweight, underweight and average alike. I began binging when I was borderline anorexic as a young teen. I would refuse to eat for days, snacking on limes and other very low calorie foods – and then, when I couldn’t handle it anymore, I would hide in my room in the middle of the night and eat high calorie foods. I was very skinny and looked fit until I moved in with my boyfriend at 18 or so – and that’s when I started eating all the time instead of in secret. He was a better influence in terms of binging, but a worse influence as he doesn’t eat very well and made it so I didn’t need to eat unhealthy things in secret.

In the past year I began looking at the way I eat and realizing that it isn’t healthy to continue like this. I went from a size 0/2 at age 18 to a size 10 at age 22. Now that I’m 23, I’m back down to a size 6, squeezing into a 4 in some things =), but I know that I have a long way to go to getting to the healthiest I can be. Jessica and I have tried several detoxes and diets, that while I may not have completed with perfect, I have learned something from each and every one. And that is what I’m hoping happens with this, our most drastic diet/exercise regimen yet. While I haven’t eaten perfectly, I’ve slipped and eaten dairy and even had fish once, I want to continue learning. From July 2011 I’ve lost a total of 17 pounds and kept them off, which is a huge feat for me, someone who’s never lost a significant amount of weight before.

My update is two-fold: I’m happy to be continuing thinking in healthier, more active terms and yet I haven’t been perfect in either the diet or exercise. I can’t be too hard on myself, I’ve come a long way. I just know I have a lot farther to go before I’ve banished all my bad habits =)

January 6, 2012

2012 Vegan Bodybuilding Challenge

by ashley

We are doing a Vegan Bodybuilding Challenge for 2012! See more about our program here:

http://vegontherun.com/2011/12/29/new-year-resolutions-vegan-weight-lossmuscle-gaining-regimen/

We will be posting regular updates, recipes and exercise ideas throughout the coming months.

Scroll down to see our most recent updates!

January 6, 2012

Vegan Zucchini “Pasta” with Tomato and Spinach Cashew Cream Sauce

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan 

My number one goal for our vegan bodybuilding challenge is finding healthy, protein-filled recipes that are fun to eat. This is the only thing that will keep me out of the trans-fat laden cheese and potato chips. I’ve been wanting to make zucchini “pasta” for quite some time now, however just never had the energy to cut it up. If you buy a spiralizer, this process will be much easier. As it is, I used a mandolin to cut the zucchini in strips, and then julienned them into small noodle-like strips.

My fiance is trying to go vegan with me for a while. Although I know he isn’t planning on sticking to it 100%, it is wonderful that he’s learning that every meal does not have to revolve around un-healthy meats and dairy products. His favorite sauce just happens to be vodka sauce, so I decided to make a vegan version, sans the vodka. I originally didn’t have high hopes for this recipe and was debating making a dairy version for him separately, however when I took my first bite it was heavenly. I hope he likes it, it’s all he got in his lunch today =).

You’ll need to start the cashew cream before you can begin on anything else. While the cashews are soaking, cut up the zucchini.

Cashew Cream

1 lb raw cashews (imperative that they be raw, unsalted)

2-3 cups coconut water

Seasoning (optional)

Boil regular water in a medium saucepan, enough to cover the cashews. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, remove from heat, add cashews and cover. Set aside for 30 minutes. (Now is the time to start cutting your zucchini noodles.)

After 30 minutes, drain cashews in a colander and put into a food processor, blender or Vitamix. I used a food processor and it worked perfectly, however I’m not sure how well this would come out in a regular blender. Of course, the Vitamix is made for this sort of thing – but I haven’t found a huge need for one as of yet.

Add the first cup of coconut water and blend until all water is incorporated. It will probably be pretty thick still, but this is where your tastes come in. To thin out the cream, keep adding coconut water until you reach your desired texture. I like mine pretty creamy, like a sauce, so I added about 2 ½ cups or so.

Once you’ve reached your desired thickness, now is the time to season. If you’re making the zucchini pasta, you’ll want to add some garlic, a little salt, maybe some pepper. Get creative with it. It doesn’t have to hold full flavor by itself, just have a little kick of savory (or sweet if you’re making a dessert).

Makes about 6 cups cream, depending on amount of water added.

 

Zucchini “Pasta” with Tomato and Spinach Cashew Cream Sauce


2 large raw zucchini squash, washed and dried

4 cups fresh baby spinach

2 cans stewed tomatoes (I use the basil/garlic seasoned kind)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

¼-1 cup cashew cream (recipe above)

While you were soaking the cashews for the cream, you should have been slicing up your zucchini noodles. This is how it should be done, either use a spiralizer (the easy way out) to make noodles from the fresh zucchini or julienne them into long strips. You can use a mandolin to make it easier, cutting the zucchini first into long, wide strips, and then cutting from there into noodles. Set the zucchini aside once cut. 

In a large sauteé pan, heat the cans of stewed tomatoes, minced garlic and spinach over medium heat until bubbly. The spinach should start to wilt. Make sure to stir frequently. Once the mixture boils for 1-2 minutes, add the first ¼ cup of cashew cream and stir generously to incorporate. Taste and keep adding until there is a nice balance, all according to your tastes. Let simmer for another 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly and making sure you scrape the bottom and sides of the pan.

Once it looks nice and thick, add the zucchini noodles. Stir for about 2 minutes and serve.

Makes about four servings.

 

January 6, 2012

Ashley’s Vegan Bodybuilding Challenge Update

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

I think this is the first time in my life that I feel empowered to make a drastic change in my eating and exercise habits. Over the past year I’ve accomplished so much, including losing 15 pounds and keeping 11 or so of those off, even during the holidays. I’ve also completed my first half-marathon. I’ve learned about vegetarian and vegan diet habits and have been able to incorporate them into my daily life. My entire outlook on nutrition and exercise has completely been turned upside down.

 

A few years ago I would starve myself before an event, take diet pills, live off crazy things like lemons and cabbage. All of those things made me lose a few pounds and inches, sure…but the weight would come back on and I would feel worse and worse about myself after. I felt like a failure – I seriously couldn’t understand why I couldn’t handle eating 500 calories or so per day (which sounds ludicrous now). I am so lucky to have learned these things, incorporating more and more into regular habits. I certainly have not been eating perfectly this whole year, however I can say that I have eaten better than ever.

 

And so, as I embark upon this next step in my journey, I know that I have the right tools to succeed. I may not end up getting the supermodel body of my dreams, however I know for a fact that I will walk away having learned yet another lesson that will improve the rest of my life. My advice to anyone else trying to follow a strict diet and exercise program – don’t make it so strict! Have fun with it, it’s the only way to succeed. I’ve been playing around with new recipes, trying to make my workouts fun by using the Wii, walking with loved ones and going to classes with friends (i.e. JESSICA!). Challenge yourself, listen to your body and most of all – know that what you are doing is for you, not for anyone else.

 

A quick update on my progress:

 

Stick to the routine that I originally posted, I tried to make it more difficult this week (thinking I wasn’t going to be challenged enough). DON’T overdo it, you’ll end up dead sore and unable to do anything. I think the cardio every other day and weights on cardio off-days is the key. I was trying to do weights everyday and that didn’t work at all.

 

Secondly, you WILL be sore starting weight training for the first time – incredibly debilitating pain that will shoot through your arms and legs as you try to do daily activities. As long as you were careful to keep your form during exercises, this is just normal pain and soreness. If it doesn’t go away after two days or so, take a rest day. But don’t give up – the pain is from muscle growth and you only have a short window before you lose your progress. As long as you keep up the weight training, you will start to get less and less sore after each workout.

 

As always, I’m here if you have any questions about what we’re doing. We aren’t experts by any means, but we’ve been through a lot of these type of programs (especially with nutrition) and know a lot of resources that could help you, plus personal experience.

December 29, 2011

New Year Resolutions: Vegan Weight Loss/Muscle Gaining Regimen

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

While it sounds incredibly kitschy, Jessica and I have decided to do the most cliché thing I can think of this time of year: take a New Year resolution that we have every intention of keeping. We are going to lose weight and gain lean muscle, all on a completely vegan diet. Jessica has me hooked on all of the success stories BodyBuilding.com has for women. There are literally dozens of stories coming from women of all ages, sizes and ethnicities, complete with their full diet and exercise programs used to come to these results.

The thing we noticed while looking at all of these stories was that they use tons of supplements and almost no vegetarian/vegan protein options. Jessica being the huge fan of Brendan Brazier that she is, we are fully aware that it is absolutely possible to build lean muscle without consuming animal protein. We haven’t started yet (don’t want to set ourselves up for failure on New Year’s Eve), but I am going to start eating better between now and Monday. We will begin the full plan on January 02nd, so if you want to do it with us, by all means please do. And if you do choose to join in, please send us a quick message or comment, we’d love to hear from you to help keep us motivated.

(These are rough ideas of a plan that we haven’t yet started. These may and probably will be changed as we begin, but we will let you know of any changes made throughout the plan.)

The Diet Plan

Breakfast –

½ cup plain oatmeal

1 cup spinach, banana and strawberry smoothie, with one scoop vegan protein powder

Snack #1 –

½ cup hummus with raw celery

OR

Vegan protein bar

Lunch –

Lean vegan protein, such as tofu, tempeh or beans

Vegetables

Whole grain or seeds, such as quinoa, barley, brown rice or millet

Snack #2 –

1 cup almond milk with scoop of vegan protein powder

OR
Vegan protein bar

Dinner –

Lean vegan protein, such as tofu, tempeh or beans

Vegetables

Whole grain or seeds, such as quinoa, barley, brown rice or millet

OPTIONAL Snack #3 –

If you absolutely need another snack after working out, try an apple, ½ cup oatmeal or a vegan protein bar.

The Workout Plan*

(*this workout plan is taken 100% from Rebecca Bargeloh’s success story on BodyBuilding.com)

Day 1: 30-45 minutes cardio (130+ heart rate)

Day 2: Upper Body

Dumbbell Bicep Curl, 3 sets of 15 reps

Side Lateral Rise, 3 sets of 15 reps

Front Dumbbell Raise, 3 sets of 15 reps

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown, 3 sets of 15 reps

Day 3: 30-45 minutes cardio (130+ heart rate)

Day 4: Lower Body

Barbell Squat, 3 sets of 15 reps

Dumbbell Lunges, 3 sets of 15 reps

Seated Leg Curl, 3 sets of 15 reps

Standing Calf Raises, 3 sets of 15 reps

Day 5: 30-45 minutes cardio (130+ heart rate)

Day 6: Full Body

Pushups, 3 sets of 15 reps

Dumbbell Bench Press, 3 sets of 15 reps

Triceps Pushdown, 3 sets of 15 reps

Side Lateral Raise, 3 sets of 15 reps

Barbell Deadlift, 3 sets of 15 reps

Dumbbell Lunges, 3 sets of 15 reps

Barbell Squat, 3 sets of 15 reps

Day 7: Active rest day (clean the house, go for a walk on the beach)

September 21, 2011

Blk Water: Fulvic Acid and pH Imbalance

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

While I normally avoid cloudy water, both Jessica and I were intrigued by the extremely dark Blk(sic -brand name) water while browsing our local health foods store. Neither of us were extremely knowledgeable on fulvic acid, which is Blk’s claim to balancing pH in the body, however we decided to give it a try since it was only $0.99. The first thing that really caught my attention when opening the bottle is the surreal feeling you get when drinking it – the water is pitch black, yet it tastes no different than regular spring water. It’s something I’d have to get used to if I decide to continue drinking it.

When we got back to a computer, I decided to do some research on fulvic acid and maintaining pH levels in the body, since I really was (and still am) pretty ignorant on the subject. Doing a simple search on the subject brings up a lot of false advertising – claims that body pH can cause cancers,  is a cure to all sorts of diseases and also that the body doesn’t naturally heal itself to these contagions. The simple fact is that most of these sites are looking to sell you something, and therefore their information is questionable at best. So I delved deeper into the internet, trying to find scientific facts on the subject of pH and fulvic acid. I couldn’t find much on fulvic acid, other than it is a naturally occurring substance made of dead organic matter (plant). Being that it is made from several algae species, I can understand how it would have a high alkaline pH. Dark, leafy green vegetables are well-known for being very alkaline.

Most of the other information I have found is quite contradictory, though. There are many arguments to the effectiveness of consuming alkaline liquids and several more against it. After hours of research, I still couldn’t find a definitive answer, however I am starting to lean toward believing we do need to watch our body’s pH levels but that alkaline products are not necessarily the answer. As with many other health aspects, the best way to maintain a healthy body pH is through a proper diet rich in dark, leafy vegetables and low in dairy/fats.

There may be individuals who need more than just a simple diet change, such as those who suffer from acidosis. But these conditions are rare and should be treated under the strict guidance of a trusted doctor. A simple alkaline beverage will not cure you of any disease. I don’t think drinking alkaline products, such as Blk water, are bad for you. However due to the fact that most people who will come in contact with this beverage, i.e. through their health foods store, are already conscious and therefore simply do not need the help. Be careful with over consumption of high-alkaline products as well, as the opposite of acidosis is alkalosis and can be triggered by a highly alkaline bloodstream.

I’m certainly not trying to bash an entire diet, as I’m not qualified enough to do so, however as with any other fad diet, you should always check out every argument to make an informed decision. We only get one body, so treat it with respect and love!

Here are some good resources I’ve found on this subject:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002164/

http://www.apswater.com/article.asp?id=198&title=Alkaline_Water_Hoax_-_It_Is_Simple_Science.

http://www.anaesthesiamcq.com/AcidBaseBook/ABindex.php

June 15, 2011

South Beach Takes a Spin with Greener Transportation

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

While I may be a Miami local, for some reason I always fall into the touristy areas when it comes to weekend outings. I think it’s just the lure of living in a vacation destination. Regardless, I am absolutely ecstatic to say that Miami is now competing with larger, greener cities by introducing the DecoBike program. Tourists and Miami Beach locals alike can now easily and affordably maneuver through the crowded streets of South Beach, on rented bicycles that are available at terminals throughout the city.

What I love about the program is firstly, the affordability. For a quick ride around the city, whether for exercise or just to enjoy the ocean air, is only $5 an hour. And if you decide you want to stay out longer, keep the bicycle up to 24 hours total for $4 per 30 minute increment. Yes, this can get VERY expensive if you keep it out for too long, however this program is really meant as a means of transportation. There are docking stations located throughout South Beach and up into parts of North Beach, therefore just dock it wherever you head and pick it back up when you’re ready to jet off again.

What I also love about this program is the iPhone app they have. It shows all the different stations, on a map so they can be easily found, and also how many empty slots (for dropping off) or bikes are available to pick up. Here are some screenshots, it really is a very user-friendly interface:

         

My only qualm is that on my most recent trip, I did have a problem docking the bike (I wasn’t sure if it registered as being returned, and they charge you $675 for a lost bike). When attempting to dial the telephone number on the actual docking station, I found it was disconnected. I looked on the app and the website, and to my dismay they were all the same number, all disconnected. It has now been a couple of weeks since then, and I was not charged anything more than I should have been. All is well, but I hope they fix this soon.

Overall, DecoBike has been a welcome addition to the area. It is a fun way to spend an afternoon, a good way for tourists to see the sights and a great way to have cheap transportation for beach residents. If you are a resident of Miami Beach, they have a pass that is $15 month that offers unlimited 30 minute rides. However, I have spoken to many people in the area and the passes take a while to get and you are still charged the $4 per 30 minutes over if you forget to dock the bike. I think this is a great step towards independency from cars on the beach and I applaud Miami Beach for supporting this effort. This program is still in its infancy, and as it grows I’m sure the kinks will be worked out.

Miami Beach DecoBike:  http://www.decobike.com/index.php

UPDATE 17 JUNE 2011:

DecoBike (via Twitter) has advised that they were having troubles with Atlantic Broadband, but their telephone line is now working properly.

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