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Found 7 results

  1. It’s my least favorite month of the year again - Ramadan. Fingers crossed that having 2 years in lockdown during Ramadan will reset the tendency for every business to completely flip their schedules - or shut completely - for the entire month. I think at least yoga will keep a normal-ish schedule this year since the clientele is now majority Western. Still no food or beverage allowed during daylight hours outside, no alcohol and no live music (ever) either. Which is a bummer, since the two big outdoor venues finally got their shit together just in time to close for a month and reopen for maaaaaybe 2 weeks before closing down for the season (until November). Rumor has it the Ministry canceled at least a chunk of the live gigs this weekend in early prep for Ramadan (no idea why other than passive aggressiveness - there have been other ‘knickers in a twist’ things going on in town. I have a feeling this year is going to see all sorts of Westernification pushback in advance of the World Cup and the concessions that will need to be made there. Boo. At least I won’t have to deal much with external negativity, since I a: no longer talk to the group that loved nothing more than to whine about Ramadan daily, and b: aren’t forcing myself to be social through coffee groups with randos. #hermitlife has its perks - all the drama will be of my own making. I will be bummed to miss my weekly post-yoga matcha with those friends. Maybe we can still sit & chat in the outdoor seating of the cafe without being chased off by security. One of these years, I’ll get on the ball and do a month long ashram type deal - that’s a fairly popular thing to do here (use Ramadan as an excuse to do a hard reset), and having a month to work on growth would definitely be a nice thing. Hmmmm …. Maybe I should cobble something together…. DH will be gone for most of this challenge. We’ll also be going on a fun vacation at the end of this cycle - going to visit our friends that moved from here & had a baby + check out Paris for a few days. So that should be fun. I’ve got 90% of the Paris trip planned as well as I want to plan it (Google maps with points of interest/shops/restaurants flagged & a couple tours booked in - + tattoo appointments for the both of us). I’m planning zero things for Amsterdam, since the friend has already got that handled. She’s slightly excited. So. This challenge will be mostly just me, living that temporarily #singleladies life. This sounds like the perfect time to try and force the bulb of growth. Which may end badly; or may get some shit started. Let’s roll those dice and see. PLANNING Nutrition: It’s getting hot so I want “girl spa” food. DH also won’t be home, so shrimp & fruit it is. Maybe. Or maybe ill do vegetarian-lite? I’m in a slightly better place closet-wise, though everything i just pulled to try on of course smells lightly of mildew, since none of it saw the light of day through last mold season… eew. I’ll need to do another mass closet send off to have things cleaned. Should also do a full try on at the same time. I may just segregate out what I don’t fit in if i still cant bear to toss it. Movement: Yoga, yoga, yoga. Maybe extra yoga on top of my 5 classes? Bulbs: Business stuff in case that launches (website, logo, social media, Etsy), Skillshare to learn new things, new craft projects, I’m feeling the yen to draw again. Maybe do something else with home decor. I’m not quite sure what else ill get up to this cycle. We shall see. More tattoo planning to be sure at the least.
  2. This Cycle may or may not see me home the entire time - I may end up following DH on a trip; we may end up taking an actual vacation - who knows? We may just be here the whole time. If I need to adjust, adjustment protocols will be enacted. Nutrition I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s time to shift some weight. I don’t want to buy a second round of new clothes. Cook paleo-ish meals (fake meats, soy and the occasional garbanzo bean are ok) with an emphasis on protein Go back to tracking macros. My scale had itself an electrical aneurysm and started muttering to itself all on its lonesome (it was seriously sad - poor little guy kept trying to weigh air, coming up with wildly different answers, until his batteries died). As it stands, I’m estimating my TDEE at 1541 based on my current weight and activity levels. I’ll start with reporting and tracking via MFP with an eye on coming in under calories and will strive to make protein a priority. We’ll see what that gets me re: fitting into some of my clothes again by the end of challenge and refocus from there. Movement Keep up with my 4x a week yoga with walks to and fro - hopefully in less than 115F temps, “windchill” of 125, and over 70% humidity. Fall, as it were, is coming - the news and the Ministry promised. As my schedule stands, and I hope it continues, I’ve got: Monday morning: Slow Flow (a mostly gentle class) Tuesday evening: Functional Flow (hella hard rehab style movements) Wednesday morning: Detox (a hard class with lots of twists and fun movements) Friday morning: Slow Flow (ha! I guess it’s slow? It’s usually hard and full of novel movement - same teacher as Wednesday’s class) With an 18-minute walk to and from. I also want to add more HIIT or Barre videos at home, but wasn’t quite meshing with that this past challenge. We shall see here and I’ll do what I can. I need to get on my ass about it a bit, but finding the balance between that and the don’t wannas has proven difficult without an actual tangible goal in sight. Enrichment I’m still playing both Stardew Valley and Cozy Grove and will pick Animal Crossing back up if they ever release an update. I’m currently working on an 18thc. shift & chemise set. After I finish that, I want to dye the rest of my medium weight linen with avocado pits, and jump to a modernized walking skirt/vest/petticoat project. I also have some crochet supplies on order - I want to do something with my hands again while watching tv at night. Sashiko sounded great, but is a bit fiddly for my hands at the moment. Hand sewing has been great, but I want to give crochet another go. It seems to hurt my hands less than knitting. I also want to keep up with my digital art practice, and still feel like I should be doing something actually useful instead of just killing time. It’ll ostensibly be cooler soon, so the pups would appreciate more evening enrichment. Although it’s going to suck mightily, walk practice and desensitization with Odin should go back on the docket. And that’s it. Nothing earth shattering, but without something big looming (like a mud run or series of 5ks), self-starting is not my strong suit.
  3. Last cycle was mostly eaten by long travel in the US + the recovery from that travel. On the trip, DH and I both came to the conclusion that we are tired of being fat, tired of feeling like poo, and are ready to go back to doing what needs to be done to return our bodies back to some semblance of the shape we like them to be in. Back to non-sexy basics it is, then. This cycle may or may not include more travel, and if that happens I’ll reframe as necessary. Nutrition My body seems to have been asking for less carbs for quite awhile, but my brain still has the ‘I’d be super happy to just eat rice & pasta with minimal toppings’ mindset, so I see at least a semi return to paleo in my future. This may take a Whole30 to kick brain back into what works for body, but I’ll start small while I work through some of the carbs in the pantry. General Guidelines: Up “safe” (non stabby) veggie content Continue on with my mixture of fake & real meats at home Don’t repurchase cooking oil; stick to my jars of fat + olive oil I can reliably find shiritaki & sometimes riced sweet potato for a substutity side Cut the extraneous breads at home Cut pasta at home unless it’s high fiber and/or protein Cut rice at home unless it’s fake Consider limiting white potatoes as well, in case my trigger switches back to that Keep chickpeas in my life in a limited capacity Keep soy products in my life - tofu and shiritaki are both fine Keep fake meats (at least the ones not including beans or legumes) in my life Chill with the peppers for a bit Keep my fake cheeses (at least the ones that don’t cause stabby stabby) Continue trying to reduce meal quantities if I need to Cut rice + extra helpings of naan with Indian nights No more appetizers with delivery Biryani limited to once every couple months - and only the best biryanis And I think that should do it. Not a terrible amount of restriction on top of the restrictions I already have in place to avoid GI issues - more of a reframing of my relationship to food back to when I chose foods because they were nutritious and delicious (also exciting) and not just empty quantity or a coating of a carb blanket in which to wrap myself. Potential difficulties will assuredly be had because I’m still in full pout mode about my brassicas. I miss my brassicas. Brassicas were the damn cornerstone of my diet when I ate paleo. All of them. With all meals. I’ll have to brainstorm non-brassica bulk veg for my bowl meal system since my loves are verboten unless I want stabby. We shall see what happens. Expect a lot of whining and rationalizing in future challenges. Physical Walking to and from yoga 4x a week + some time in the gym once a weekend while DH is home and can watch the pups + my usual Sunday mall walking. Not sure what I want to do in the gym, but an hour should do it. I’ll combo some deadlifts & lat pull downs (or the rowing machine) - maybe something else to hit biceps a bit - maybe some scorpions for lower back strength. Plus either the elliptical or treadmill inclines for a cardio hit. I’m thinking :30 weight cycles & :30 light cardio work. The Rest Dog enrichment is pretty strong with meals - I need to add some more training work in & break out that agility course again. I also want to go back to digital art creation - I’ve got a little pen pal, at least for the moment - so making physical art is also a good thing. Not sure what I want to do blog-wise, so I’m holding off on prescribing a goal here.
  4. Ramadan will hit around April 13 this year and stretch for that lunar month. This usually means gyms shift schedules around to accommodate later hours, everything pretty much shifts later, with shops and the like staying open until Midnight or 1 every night. Some things open as late as Noon; some actually later - or some shops have a big gap in the afternoon when they are closed. So. Were I not planning on pretty much staying home, this time of year is frustrating. Frustrating, getting hot, and you’re not allowed to drink or eat in public. So. No coffees or breakfasts out. Lots of dinner buffets to go around. I’m hoping to treat this year like last year and have it be a non-event. I’m not in the mental space to buckle down and add too much to my life fitness or weight watching wise - I’ll stay the course with nutrition (adding back in MFP tracking this cycle and macro adherence next cycle), and work on finding a better balance between foods that don’t piss my GI system off and foods that are healthy and nutritious. Again. I need some FODMAP veggie inspo. Goal 1: Nutrition Staying the course on my more recent nutritional guidelines: Smaller portions, less meat, more veggies, nutrient dense food options, no GI issues. Drink enough water. Eat with an eye toward Base MFP goals for slow weight loss: 1,260 calories, 20% protein, 50% carbs, 30% fat but without judgement if I go over or under on calories. Basically, eat what I’m going to eat - but by the fact of tracking, that tends to be more reasonable. I’ll also be continuing on with my probiotics and digestive enzymes in an effort to help with gut issues. I haven’t yet seen any measurable difference I can pinpoint to those two things, but they haven’t hurt - and I’m not yet out of either thing. Goal 2: Fitness Staying my Druidy course of action (shocker) with 4ish yoga classes per week - hoping to continue my M/T/W/F schedule, with walking to and from the studio. We shall see what curveballs Ramadan throws me there. Goal 3: Fulfillment This goal encompasses a bunch of small things I have going on a daily basis already - with a couple tweaks. Some bloggy stuff, some creative stuff, some dog stuff. Checklisty Stuff Daily [ - ] Duolingo Arabic classes [ - ] Digital art practice: [ - ] Enrichment for the pups: [ - ] Yoga class: [ - ] Breakfast: [ - ] Probiotic & Enzymes Lunch: [ - ] Probiotic & Enzymes Dinner: [ - ] Probiotic & Enzymes Snacks: [ - ] Picture of the Day + Daily meal collage Weekly/Challenge [ - ] Promote W30 recipes e-Book in at least a blog post [ - ] Post weekly recipe [ - ] Schedule & post March/April Pins [ - ] Stay connected with the world outside my little bubble - be it through keeping my regularly scheduled weekly chat or attempting to forge new connections.
  5. Brains are interesting things, and the persistence of ones’ past experiences is super fascinating. Case in point: It’s February. I spent my early childhood in the Midwest USA, where we pretty much always had snow this time of year. I split my remaining childhood between the Midwest and Southeastern US, where it was always cold - but not usually cold enough to snow - and potentially rainy this time of year. I moved to the extreme Southeastern US, where winter meant the dry season and temps would dip down to jacket territory. I moved to the Northeast, where the biting wind and snow would occasionally cause the City to freeze, resembling a snow globe. I currently live in the Middle East, where it’s sunny every day with an average temp in the high 70s F. Winter here means the freedom to enjoy the outdoors and (usually) an increase in festivals and other cool things to do. What does my brain think about all this bouncing around? My brain takes the calendar month and the deep shade that is my balcony (my apartment doesn’t get direct sunlight at any time of the year) and translates that into: whelp, it must be cold. Probably with howling winds. Never mind that it’s 23C in the house; you want to hibernate with your gathered nuts. Cabbage & potatoes with kielbasa sounds great. I’m continually shocked that it’s warm outside. Shocked and disappointed that it’s too warm for a jacket (most days, and then the wind kicks up and I’m freezing to death). I’ve spoken about this disconnect to friends from other climates (mostly regarding holidays), and their feeling is the same: my Australian friends fare pretty well - and are more surprised when it’s 50C here in July - friends from snowy climes are confused in similar way to me. Friends that are less hiberatory (just go with it) see less of a disconnect because they deal more in actual reality - whereas I have theory and feeling to inform my brain. Super interesting stuff and has shitall to do with my goals this Cycle, but is a drop in the bucket to explain my seasonal need to pad my ass with fat (lol). More contextual stuff: There is also a rumor that we may imminently be going back into lockdown here. They’ve increased restrictions a bit again (with at least lip service being paid to mask enforcement), but cases are still rising (we are currently at 427 new daily cases). We are also in the midst of the FIFA World Cup 2020 (or something like that) tournament with a big tennis tournament later in the month set to start. And it’s winter - when things usually happen around here. Aaaaaand the blockade just lifted, and with it - a slight lift in travel restrictions (quarantine is still required and tourists aren’t allowed in - but citizens and residents can, at least at this moment, move with some amount of guarantee they can get back into the country if they leave. We’ve also got at least 1 travel bubble in place). So. That all is a conflicting pile of info and it’s unclear what that all will come to mean for day-to-day life. Whatever it is, I shall adjust accordingly. Updates coming if needed. Goal 1: Nutrition Staying the course on my more recent nutritional guidelines: Smaller portions, less meat, more veggies, nutrient dense food options, no GI issues. Drink enough water. Eat with an eye toward Base MFP goals for slow weight loss: 1,260 calories, 20% protein, 50% carbs, 30% fat but without judgement if I go over or under on calories. Basically, eat what I’m going to eat - but by the fact of tracking, that tends to be more reasonable. I’ll also be adding in some probiotics and digestive enzymes in an effort to help with gut issues. Goal 2: Fitness Staying my Druidy course of action (shocker) with 4-5 yoga classes per week - hoping to continue my M vinyasa /T functional/W detox/F handstands schedule, with a 20 minute walk to and from the studio. Goal 3: Fulfillment This goal encompasses a bunch of small things I have going on a daily basis already - with a couple tweaks. Some bloggy stuff, some creative stuff, some dog stuff. Checklisty Stuff Daily [ - ] Duolingo Arabic classes [ - ] Physical craft project (currently sashiko, lucet cord making & planning another quilt) [ - ] Digital art practice [ - ] Enrichment feeds for the pups [ - ] Training for the pups [ - ] Yoga class [ - ] Breakfast: [ - ] Probiotic & Enzymes Lunch: [ - ] Probiotic & Enzymes Dinner: [ - ] Probiotic & Enzymes Snacks: [ - ] Picture of the Day + Daily meal collage Weekly/Challenge [ - ] Finish W30 recipes e-Book [ - ] Post W30 recipes e-Book for sale [ - ] Work on Paleo recipes e-Book [ - ] Post weekly recipe [ - ] Create February/March Pins [ - ] Schedule & post February/March Pins [ - ] Schedule February/March ‘Grams [ - ] Review Q1 financial shit in prep for taxes send off [ - ] Stay connected with the world outside my little bubble - be it through keeping a regularly scheduled chat up (my local bestie is moving to North America next week - so my now-usual Tuesday coffee morning will likely be spotty at best as our remaining coffee friend has a newborn and spotty attendance) or attempting to forge new connections. Or, if restrictions go the other way, who knows? We may just see a return to forced scheduled socialization
  6. I crack myself up. Weeeeeeellll ... it’s another year. Which will hopefully be better than the last. Fingers frickin crossed there. Let’s turn to a fresh page, shall we? Let’s start this year off on the right foot with continuing to stay the course on most things, while peppering in a few extras for spice. Goal 1: As always, Nutrition Staying the course on my more recent nutritional guidelines: Smaller portions, less meat, more veggies, nutrient dense food options, no GI issues. Drink enough water. Eat with an eye toward Base MFP goals for slow weight loss: 1,260 calories, 20% protein, 50% carbs, 30% fat but without judgement if I go over or under on calories. Basically, eat what I’m going to eat - but by the fact of tracking, that tends to be more reasonable. I’ll also be continuing onto my third year of daily food photos (to go along with my Picture of the Day), since y’all seem to enjoy that and get something out of it. Goal 2: As always, a Fitness Component Staying my Druidy course of action (shocker) with 4-5 yoga classes per week - hoping to mix in live 3-D classes with my Zoom schedule. Not sure as of writing this how exactly that’ll take shape. Will update later. Also adding my wrist, ankle/quad/glute, and breath work rehab exercises here for accountability. Wrists & breath work are daily, along with trigger point massage; ankle/quad/glute work is every other day. Goal 3: Fulfillment This goal encompasses a bunch of small things I have going on a daily basis already - with a couple tweaks. The secondary digital project is new, but I’m enjoying learning how to create in this space so I think I’ll keep it up. Pup training is back - I think they’re ready to move on from just working on reactivity; we can find another project aside from deep naps. [ - ] Duolingo Arabic classes [ - ] Primary craft project [ - ] Secondary digital project [ - ] Enrichment feeds for the pups [ - ] Training for the pups Goal 4: Do Some Shit That Feels Adulty We have a few things on the fire at the moment, or hope to in the near future, so I will have goals & targets there. More on those as they materialize. Hopefully. I also still want to focus actual (step up from minimal) effort on my blog, so that goal is staying. Picture of the Day has been going strong for 10 years; I’ll be continuing that Weekly recipes are staying I’m hoping to add weekly ingredient spotlights e-Book(s) are happening this year At least a modicum of Pinterest effort is happening Working on yet again revamping my food photography style for this year And aside from that, I need to find something else to work toward so my brain doesn’t mush. Pulling sentences for the last big blog post I wrote was harder than it should have been, and it isn’t a great post, tbh. More on this one when I pick a course of action.
  7. Valkyrie approached the cliff face, eyeing the sheer surface askance. "I can't do this," she mumbled, shaking her head, "it's too hard." Doubt gnawed at her like vicious rats. Looking over her shoulder, she thought, "I could stay here, it's comfortable, and safe and easy." But she knew it was a lie, because what lie behind her was a mirage, and the comfort would be fleeting. No, she must press on. "I can do this," she said softly, then again, in a louder, stronger voice, "I can do this!" Rise of the Valkyrie: Val's Take on Tomb Raider (the Reboot) Playing the Tomb Raider reboot inspired me to get strong, because if Lara couldn't do a pull up, she'd have been dead about a hundred times. Throughout the game, she is faced with insurmountable and terrifying obstacles, to which she responds, "I can do this..." And she does! I'd like to be Lara Croft when I grow up, but barring that, I want to be able to do cool things, including, eventually, a pull up. That means I need to be consistent and keep trying hard, all the time! I've split my goals into skill tree categories: I have 2 fitness goals and 2 nutrition goals which fit into the Survivor, Brawler and Hunter skill trees and come with their own points, which cumulate to affect my rank at the end of the challenge. I start out at Rookie, and if I get enough skill points I level up to Hardened, and then Specialist. If I get to Specialist, I get a prize! (which I have budgeted for, in compliance with my ongoing goal of Budgeting). There's also a Domestic Rangering goal, which I'm listing under Make Camp. The domestic rangering goal is, unfortunately, one of the most important this time around. I HATE to clean. I am, truly, a slob. It's unfortunate that it takes so much before mess starts to bother me, because now I'm floundering in clutter and mess and I feel overwhelmed and end up not doing anything but adding to it. But I need to clean it up before my boyfriend arrives in February. I need to make it a nice livable space for my own peace of mind. I need to declutter and organize to make the packing process easier for my move later this year. So, it's gotta be done, and it gets it's own category and point system, and a reward that I'd really, really like to get. Make Camp Clean bedroom 10' a day (1 point per day, 35 points total) Reward: 90%+ compliance (minimum 32/35 points): Lipsense Lipstick (I want so, so much) Survivor Drink 100 oz H2O daily (1 point/week, 5 points total) Brawler Complete Scheduled Exercise Days plus Yoga(1 point/week, 5 points total) Exercise will progress: 3 days, 4 days, 4 days, 5 days, 5 days Hunter Track all scheduled days (1 point/week, 5 points total) Tracking: 3 days, 4 days, 5 days, 6 days, 7 days Extra Credit Extra days tracked: 1/4 skill point Extra Workout Days: 1/4 Skill point Total Available Skill Points 15 Ranks Skill Points Reward Rookie: 0-6 N/A Hardened: 7-13 Self Respect Specialist: 14+ Workout Clothing Item (soccer shorts or nerd shirt)
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