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  1. The Prologue: Output. The 'easing back in' is done...time to get up to full speed: 1. Strength training at least twice weekly (goal is 3 workouts) for 30 minutes, focused on the lower body and core. 2. Running (or alternate cardio) at least twice weekly for 30 minutes, tied in to the progression goals below. 3. Yoga daily -- but at least 5 times weekly -- for at least 20 minutes, except on weekends when 10 minutes will suffice. My best streak so far is a mere 9 days -- looking to improve that dramatically! 4. Progressions: In addition to the regular lower body workouts, alternating days with push-ups and pull-ups, and planks. These all come with a planned progression: I'm working my way to 100 non-stop, good form push-ups, 25 pull-ups, and a 5-minute plank over the next year. The full plan is linked in the Prologue spoiler, but the next couple of challenges will be in this section: Goals are (hopefully) minimums, though I know there will come a time pretty quickly when they're reach goals. This is a lot for a 50-year old body, so I'm aiming just to walk on the weekends, and am reserving Wednesday as an optional rest day (again, just walking and light yoga) if I start to get fatigued. Intake. 1. Nail the macros. I'm not so worried about calories, but wobbled through a protein shortfall in the last challenge, so continuing to focus on meal planning and getting the macros right. 2. Hydration: more water, less coffee, less alcohol. Last time, I kept this vague and made minimal progress, so this time I'm making hard goals: 2 cups of water with each meal and workout, no more than 3 cups of coffee per day, no more than 1 alcoholic drink per day (average across the week...I like 2 on weekends and don't need one every day, so we'll see how that goes). 3. Sleep. At least 7.5 hours asleep per night, going dark by 10:30 and up by 6. Hopefully edging earlier to make room for walks. 4. Walks. Aiming for a daily walk of at least 20 minutes duration. This is not a workout or meditation...just a walk to enjoy being outside. I hope to do these in the morning like last time, but if I sleep in I'll try to work it back in. We walk the dog every night, but that's not going to count for this goal. Meditation and prayer. I tried last time to use the walks for meditation, and it just didn't work. This time, I'll aim for at least 10 minutes daily in meditation or contemplative prayer. Reporting. I'll keep as close to a daily log as I can, and post this summary weekly: It seems like a lot, laid out like this, but it has been manageable so far since there are really only a few active elements each day, and none of them take more than half an hour. That said, I am holding the optional Wednesday rest day close to my heart! Happy Challenge, all!
  2. ☐ ☑ It is time. My birthday is coming up, a day of family and cake, and another of potluck and boardgames with friends and then I am officially a year older. Who would have thought? (What's with the English speaking side of the world continuing to pretend I were 29? What kinda BS is that? I LIVED those years. I EARNED those exp. Who dares try take that from me? -sometimes cultural differences are so hard.) Anyway Wednesday week 1 I am turning 33 and I love it. I am happy and proud to have run my very first Mud Run this past challenge. It was fun, and it was awesome, and if I'd done it alone, I would have been in trouble because lifting myself over things: still not awesome, but I wasn't and we had fun and it was good. Also, I jogged the whole thing. This challenge I am going to be playing with my head a bit. I will be cutting calories for a while there. I am planning for three weeks, but we'll see how it goes. It all depends on me writing down my fricking intake, obviously, and apart from the hunger grabbing me and me going after all kinds of edibles, I imagine, the logging is the thing that limits how long I can do this. The idea is to get used to cutting. For a limited time. So my mind learns: Yes it sucks, but it's not forever, and I'll be okay. Well here we go: week 1 don't eat like a dickhead but do enjoy your birthday. Log food. S☑ M☑ T☑ W☑ T☑ F☐ S☐ (total: ☑ ) week 2-4 log workouts and food calory deficite. S☐M☐T☐W☐T☐F☐S☐ S☐M☐T☐W☐T☐F☐S☐ S☐M☐T☐W☐T☐F☐S☐ (total: ☐☐☐) Go to fitness classes twice a week, only excuse: real sickness. ☑ ☐ ☐☐ ☐☐ ☐☐ (total: ☐☐☐☐) Go to dance class (☐ if no babysitter) ☐☐ ☐☐ ☐☐ ☐☐ (total: ☐☐☐☐) to do list - pending ☑ sign up for trainer licence classes ☐ get rid of the frikkin laundry ☑ get BabyMagneto through school visit ☑ get BabyMagneto to enjoy pool day in kindy logging but not graded: eat something good for you every day (aka the fruit and veggie thing): (total: ☐☐☐☐) ☑ ☑ ☑ ☑ ☐☐☐ ☑ ☑ ☑ ☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ continue water intake: (one ☑ per bottle (700ml) drunk, total: ☐☐☐☐) S☑☑☐ M☑☐☐ T☑☑☐ W☑☐☐ T☐☐☐ F☐☐☐ S☐☐☐ S☐☐☐ M☐☐☐ T☐☐☐ W☐☐☐ T☐☐☐ F☐☐☐ S☐☐☐ S☐☐☐ M☐☐☐ T☐☐☐ W☐☐☐ T☐☐☐ F☐☐☐ S☐☐☐ S☐☐☐ M☐☐☐ T☐☐☐ W☐☐☐ T☐☐☐ F☐☐☐ S☐☐☐ get enough sleep: (total: ☑ ☐☐☐) start: median 8h10m/night over the lat 14 days, goal: stay above 7h30=☑) ☑ ☑ ☑ ☐☐☐☑ ☐☑ ☑ ☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ So this is it. time to get moving again. Yes, I stole those boxes from you, @Rurik Harrgath, I can't imagine you mind, dear sir. On other fronts school restarts tomorrow, I need to mind my sleeping and get enough me-time, so mandatory reading time will be a thing... Love you folks. Katrin aka Morag
  3. And so begins my next challenge, The Path of the Barbarian! This is not only a way to get fit and stay fit, but a way to connect with the great outdoors, regardless of weather conditions. Because a Barbarian does not shrink from a little cold and a few snowflakes! I'll be drawing heavily on many barbarian-esque influences to flavor this challenge. This includes historical barbarians (Gauls and other Iron Age Celts, Germanic tribes, Vikings), as well as fantasy-inspired barbarians (Conan, D&D, etc). I will also top it off with plenty of folk/viking/pagan heavy metal! On to the challenge itself: Goal 1 - Barbarian Mobility: This is the primary focus of the challenge. A true Barbarian should be able to traverse all kinds of terrain, even while carrying a heavy load, even over snow and ice. I will be going for a 20-30 minute ruck (basically walking with weight on my back) 4 times per week. Location isn't really important. I should be able to adapt, whether it's a ruck through the woods or simply through the neighborhood. As winter starts to set in (as it undoubtedly will within the next month) and groomed ski trails become available, I will start substituting crossing country skiing (or XC skiing) for rucking. XC skiing has become a real passion of mine of the last couple of years. Either way, snow or not, I will get outside 4 times per week and put some miles/kilometers behind me.Goal 2 - Primal Awareness: To survive, a Barbarian needs to be in tune with what is happening around him. The goal here is simply to meditate every day, for at least 8 minutes, to keep improving mindfulness and awareness. In addition to meditation, I will also make a daily list of tasks/priorities to complete (in the morning or immediately after work), and make sure I get to bed no later than 11:00 PM. Also for this challenge, NO VIDEO GAMES! Video games are bad for me. After all, a Barbarian should have a strong sense of what his priorities are, and be well rested, in order to be effective and strong. Barbarians don't play video games anyway. Clumsy fingers. Goal 3 - Hold the Heathen Hammer High!: A Barbarian must be strong and able to wield his weapon! For this goal I will complete a sledgehammer workout 3 timers per week. Part of the inspiration for this goal comes from here. The rest comes from the likes of Thor and Wulfgar. I may at times replace or augment this workout with bodyweight exercises (pull-ups, push-ups, squats) and training with a nunchaku. Part of the reason for this is that as I write this, I don't actually possess a sledgehammer. I hope to obtain one by the end of the weekend. But if I don't, and have to order one (I want a very specific size), I want to at least be able to do something in the meantime. Conventional strength and endurance training through body weight exercises will fit the bill. As will some time spinning my nunchaku. I have developed quite an affinity with the nunchaku, as I have re-learned how to relax my muscles when using it. Many aches and pains, especially in my back, have subsided since I started the practice, so I expect that even once I get into the full swing of sledgehammer training (hah, nice pun), I plan to keep up training with the nunchaku.
  4. I dunno about you guys, but I love this time of year. I especially love the pumpkin flavored everything you get this time of year! But, sadly, eating healthier means that most of those delicious pumpkin treats are great big no-nos! So I thought I'd start a new topic for all of us pumpkin nuts to share our favorite healthy pumpkin recipes! Healthy alternatives to the sugar-loaded pumpkin lattes, donuts, and pies. And of course, my favorite, the IHOP pumpkin pancakes! Whoa! I need some ideas for replacing that badboy! So please share your pumpkin recipes with the rest of us pumpkin lovers! Let me start it off with something I found online: Pumpkin Pie Bars Ingredients: 15 oz. pumpkin puree (1.5 cups) 3/4 cup coconut flour 3/4 cup real maple syrup (may use honey instead) 1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt replacement) 2 large eggs Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x9 pan with coconut oil, or butter if you are okay with dairy. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl until smooth. Pour into the pan, smooth it out with the spatula until even. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until firm. Allow to cool completely, then cut into squares. Store in refrigerator for up to a week! (Of course, if you want to use a different flour than coconut flour, this recipe is not going to work for you. Very unfortunate results with almond flour! Ew!)
  5. I made this recipe last weekend, and it is AMAZING. It tastes like someone pureed fall! Adapted from this recipe. Prep: ~30 min. Cook: ~45 min. Ingredients: 1 medium butternut squash, cubed 1 medium acorn squash, cubed 3 medium sweet apples, diced 1 medium onion, diced 4-6 cloves garlic, diced 1 medium carrot (or 5-6 baby carrots), diced 3 cups low sodium chicken stock 1 cup almond milk (or coconut, or rice, or...) 2-3 tbsp EVOO Curry Powder (to taste) Salt and Pepper (to tast) 1. Preheat Oven to 350 2.. Place squash cubes on a greased baking sheet, roast for 30-40 minutes until easily mashed with fork. 3. While squash is roasting, cook the apple, onion, garlic, and carrot in EVVOO until tender (~10 mins). 4. Add chicken stock to apple mixture. Stir, then cover and let simmer (~10 min). 5. Mash squash, and add to apple mixture. Add almond milk and curry powder. Stir and let simmer (~5 min). 6. Add to food processor, puree to preference (I like a slightly textured soup). 7. Serve, refrigerate, or freeze!
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