Not seeing the results you want? 13 Signs You are Overtraining.

Overtraining is a topic near and dear to my heart because I have been guilty of falling into the overtraining trap more than just a few times! The problem is, I never realize when it’s happening. It just sneaks up on me. One week I’ll be eating like a champ, nailing my workouts and sleeping like a baby. A week later I’ll be frustrated because I’ve gained 2 pounds even though-hello-I’m eating like a champ and nailing my workouts. And two weeks later I’m frustrated because I can’t sleep, my joints hurt, my legs feel like lead and I’m 3 pounds heavier which doesn’t make sense because not only am I eating like a champ-I’m not even hungry! And not being hungry makes me cranky, because I like food!

And then I ask my husband, “Do you think I’m overtraining?” To which he always gives me a sideways grin and says, “maaaaaaaaybe.”

Dang. It got me again!

It’s simple logic though! Some exercise is good so more exercise must be better, right?! And the same for diet. If cutting calories leads to weight loss, cutting more calories must lead to more and faster weight loss, right?!

Nope, sorry.

Unfortunately, training progress does NOT look like this:

CHART 1

Although that sure would be nice! In real life though, training is all over the place and it depends on all sorts of stuff so it can take any shape or form, more like this (although really it can look like anything, this is just a chart I made).

CHART 2

Think about professional athletes. They work super hard and then they have an off season where they do other stuff! But thanks to marketing and social media the rest of us are afraid we will blow up like a balloon if we don’t “go hard or go home” every. single. day.

I see tons of people in the gym hitting it hard day after day and they’re frustrated because no matter how little they eat and how much they exercise they just can’t lose those stubborn 10 pounds. Sound familiar?

Let’s take a look at the signs and symptoms of overtraining, shall we?!

  1. Decreased physical performance
  2. Elevated resting heart rate
  3. Loss of appetite
  4. Weight gain (increase in fat stores for people trying to lose weight)
  5. Weight loss (loss of lean mass for people trying to gain weight)
  6. Sleep disturbances/inability to sleep
  7. Frequent colds or sore throats
  8. Irritability, restlessness, depression and/or anxiousness
  9. Overuse injuries
  10. Menstrual cycle disturbances
  11. Excessive thirst
  12. Constant muscle soreness (legs feel heavy)
  13. Bloating/water retention

If you have symptoms of overtraining, take a day off, will ya?! Better yet, swap 1 (or 4) of your intense sweat sessions for a light walk and re-evaluate your training plan.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you are making your training schedule.

  1. Workouts don’t need to be a full hour. I’m not sure where this 1 hour thing came from but I’m trying to change it. If you are working HARD (and you should be a few times a week), 20-30 minutes is all you need.
  2. You should be excited for your hard workout. If you are dreading your Friday workout already, that’s not a good sign.
  3. You should be able to go all out during your workouts. If you are still sore from your last workout then you shouldn’t be doing another hard workout.
  4. Don’t do HIIT workouts or other max effort workouts every day.
  5. Obey hunger signals. When you feel hungry, EAT. Don’t ignore it until it goes away. It’s like my acupuncturist says, “body doesn’t lie, brain does”.
  6. Always, always, always listen to your body. I’ve ignored my body many times before and 100% of the time it gets me in trouble with injuries. I can’t say this enough: If you are starting to experience pain from overuse, take a break.
  7. And last, stop feeling guilty for having a light workout every now and then!

Happy Training!

Laura

Spring Cleaning & Garbanzo Chips

Happy Tuesday!
We had a big weekend of spring cleaning (I feel so boring and grown up starting a post like that). We got our carpet on the main floor steam cleaned so we spent a great deal of the weekend just moving furniture and cleaning and then not walking on the wet carpet.
Neither the hubby nor I are very into decorating or furniture but we bought a new bookcase/room divider thing and I think it looks pretty stylish! I saw this idea on HGTV and got inspired. Since we live in a townhouse, the main floor is the kitchen/dining/office/family room and there aren’t any walls to separate these spaces.

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I like it!

Oh and that lamp on the shelf is a Himalayan Salt Lamp. It’s supposed to be a natural air purifier. Something about ions. But even if it doesn’t really do that it looks cool!

We went out to dinner and I wore those skinny jeans so here is a picture of that outfit.

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The whole outfit and bag is from Francesca’s and the shoes are from Victorias Secret and they are ouch!! I got them for a wedding we are going to this summer so I’m trying to break them in. So far they are breaking me.
Nowhere near as cute as a pug. But on that note, my husband and I are both starting to have puppy fever. I flip flop a lot. One day I’ll say “I don’t think I’ll ever want another dog” and the next day I’ll be cruising the classifieds for dogs. We actually found one we really, really, really wanted but the people selling it were sketchy and sounded about 12 years old on the phone so we had to let that one go. I have the hardest time looking at dogs because I get attached to every dog I see. I told my husband there’s no point in me going to “look” at a dog. I might as well say, bring it on over, I’ll have cash ready, because there’s no way I could look at a dog and then leave without it.

I’m also starting the second week of my cleanse this week! So far it’s going pretty well. I haven’t been 100% perfect but pretty close. I made these garbanzo chips over the weekend.

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They were really easy to make and tasted good but I’m not sure I would make them on a regular basis. I will probably use them as a salad topper but I feel like using regular ol’ garbanzo beans on a salad accomplishes the same thing. They would make a good snack but I could get pretty carried away and end up eating the equivalent of 1 can of beans which would be…a lot of beans.

I’ll be back soon with a great happy hour recipe and a new broccoli recipe! Oh the excitement! Have a great week!
Laura

Juice Recipes

I have a major wardrobe problem in that I only own workout clothes. So even on the weekends when I’m running errands or going out to dinner or the movies I wear workout clothes (yes I know that’s bad). My friend Ari once told me she was going to sign me up to be on the tv show What Not to Wear. To make things worse the only shoes I wear are sneakers, flip flops if it’s warm and winter boots when it’s cold.

Well big news, I got my first pair of skinny jeans a few weeks ago! I know I’m a couple years late to the skinny jean party but I’ve finally arrived. I have tried skinny jeans on many times and each time I’ve been slightly traumatized. But with lots of encouragement I finally found a pair with enough lycra to actually feel comfortable! I got them from Francesca’s and I even got a top and a purse! This is huge for me. I’ll post a picture of this outfit someday when it isn’t snowing in Salt Lake!

But now I’m seeing overalls are back in style? (and very expensive!)

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And even worse, wide-leg printed pants?

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Is this true? Did I miss the skinny jean party completely? It’s really hard to keep up with fashion. For me anyway.

So let’s talk about juicing instead 🙂

Here are 2 amazing and not scary at all juice recipes! I was absolutely terrified to drink these beet juice concoctions because beet juice doesn’t smell all that great. I was expecting drinking it to be like fear factor but beet juice is surprisingly sweet!

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Beet juice is also supposed to be good for the liver, eyes and blood. It is not good for light carpet. Just a warning.

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I really like this juice recipe. It isn’t sweet which I like.
Morning Energizer Juice
1 beet
1 chunk of ginger
1 lemon
handful of baby carrots or 1-2 regular carrots

This is a really good one too but too sweet for my liking. This would be a good “starter juice” for someone who is tentative about drinking vegetables. This recipe makes 3-4 servings.
Sweet Beet Juice
1 beet
1 mango
1 green apple
handful of baby carrots or 1-2 regular carrots
handful of spinach

Oh and I started my cleanse on Monday so I’m already on day 5. Yay! Unfortunately I’m not past the point of craving sugar and cinnamon rolls yet so hopefully that passes soon 🙂

Have a great weekend!
Laura

New Energy Bite Recipe

I have a new energy bite recipe to share! I have been having these as a morning snack lately and they are delish! I also made them for an event last week and they were a huge hit so I’d say these bites are a winner!

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These are perfect for taking on hikes or bike rides or after a workout.

Last weekend my husband and I went to Sun Valley, Idaho and it was beeeeeautiful!

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This is the view from one of the snowshoeing trails. The air was amazing! And the sun, oh the sun was glorious! I am starting to have pretty major spring fever.
Sun Valley is one of the few ski resorts in the country that allows people to ride the lift up and speed fly off the top. My hubby of course is the speed flyer in the family. If you don’t know what speed flying is, it’s worth a google! And then after you watch a video, yes, my husband is a crazy man. And I love him for it 🙂 And no, he doesn’t have a flying squirrel suit and I’m happy for that.
So he went speed flying and flying and flying and I stayed on the ground, went to an amazing yoga class and tried to walk a dog that has no interest in walking in the snow.

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I couldn’t get her to walk. She kept turning back to go to the warm car.

Oh, and I know I’m kind of a cheese ball with this stuff but I wanted to share this. I love motivational quotes and what not. I have this hanging in my office now. It’s always good to have reminders 🙂

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Oats and Honey Energy Bites
Makes Approx 18 bites

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter of almond butter
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped and pitted Medjool dates
1/2 cup dried cherries (or other dried berry)
1-2 tablespoons almond milk

Combine the oats, flaxseed meal, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a large bowl.
Combine the peanut/almond butter, honey and vanilla in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds then stir to combine.
Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and stir to combine. If the mixture is too dry add 1-2 tablespoons of almond milk. Fold in the dates and dried berries.
Using your hands, roll the mixture into approximately 18 balls. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Have a great week!
Laura

Summer cleanse time!

Ok, before I bore you with the details of yet another one of my cleanses I have to tell a funny story. Shortly after I started dating my now husband, he came over to my house and met Lilly for the first time. So, he came over to my house and when he sat down on the sofa, Lilly promptly hopped on the sofa, climbed to the back of it and got right up next to him and put her ARM on his shoulder and then rested her chin on his shoulder!

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She totally put the moves on my man! She had never done that before in her life and she has never done it since! She was like, ‘thanks for bringing me a boyfriend, mom!’
Anyway, it was too funny and I just came across that picture and had to tell that story.

Ok, if you want to know what I’m eating these days, read on…

When we were in Maui it’s safe to say I overindulged a bit. I don’t regret it even a little by the way. It was a vacation after all! Plus I love trying different foods when I’m in a new place.

We brought our magic bullet with us along with some vanilla vega sport. Once we got to the island we hit up Costco and whole foods (I LOVE going to grocery stores in new places, are you with me on that or is that weird?). It saved us hundreds of dollars making our own breakfast and lunch. But, then we would go out to dinner every night. Date night! I usually just had salad, but restaurant salads can be huge and it’s still easy to over eat. We also got on a French fry kick and I’m pretty sure we had French fries every day. We do love fries. We also found this incredible coffee/gelato place that served vegan chocolate gelato! We probably went there 7 times. Too good! They made this iced macadamia nut, dark chocolate latte…pure heaven in a cup I tell you. And then there were all the chocolate covered macadamia nuts! We felt it was our personal responsibility to try every variety and every brand. Tough job but someone has to do it :). Don’t you love how all my plant-based-ness goes out the window as soon as chocolate arrives on the scene?

Anyway, all that was a long way of saying, by the end of the trip I was feeling really excited about getting home and getting back on track! I just felt like it was time to do a cleanse since its been a while. The cleanse I do isn’t hard core at all. It’s more like being grounded from sugar and wheat for 3 weeks. I started two weeks ago and I feel really good! The first week I was 100% good. This last week I fell off the wagon a few times because I got into the chocolate covered macadamia nuts. :). But I just pick up and move on. The point is, do the cleanse, don’t expect to be 100% perfect. Any improvement is an improvement.

So here’s what I’m eating on this cleanse:
Breakfast: Tropical paradise protein shake
Lunch: Brown rice, tofu, stir fry veggies (from the frozen food section at the grocery store) drizzled in this peanut sauce
Snack: 1 scoop of vega sport but sometimes I’m not hungry and don’t eat it. Or sometimes I eat a Lara Bar.
Dinner: A big salad. Lots of greens, guacamole for a dressing, throw a Dr. Praeggers veggie burger on there or some quinoa salad.

Furthermore, I’m really trying to drink more water these days! I have this 800ml water bottle and my goal is to drink 3 of those a day. Also, I’m not shying away from fat. I’m eating my share of almond butter, peanut sauce and guacamole. Eating fat really makes you feel full and therefore crave less sugar!

Thanks for hanging in through this post! I’ll have more recipes coming next week. Enjoy the hot weather this weekend!

Magical Miraculous Diets

Clean eating and working out regularly is hard so it’s no wonder so many people turn to “quick fix” diets and expensive programs that claim they can help people lose 10 pounds in a week.
Hey, my wedding is in 2.5 weeks…I GET IT!!

On a side note, I often think that if I had to eat every meal while wearing a bikini I would probably eat less…can that be my miracle diet idea? I think I’m on to something here…

Anyway, I’ve been seeing so many of these miracle diets, miracle cleanses and fat-sucking-body-wrap advertisements lately I wanted to give some straightforward, no nonsense, FREE and EASY advice that anyone can do and it won’t cost a thing (other than a few groceries). No pills or expensive juicers needed!

When it comes to making dietary changes I encourage people to ADD healthy foods to their diet, rather than thinking about REMOVING foods. Over time the healthy foods will crowd out the unhealthy.
blog foods
Breakfast: Try adding a grapefruit to your morning meal. If you remember grapefruit being bitter and inedible, try again! The less sugar you consume the sweeter grapefruit will taste. Also, grapefruit might aid in fat burning!

Mid-morning munchies: Try this fancy water and you will feel refreshed and like you are at a spa. It will also help you drink more water.
Fill a pitcher up with 8 cups of water (filtered is best) and then add:
1/2 a cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 lemon, peeled and thinly sliced (not squeeqed)
10-15 mint leaves
Refrigerate overnight. I can get 2 “fills” out of those ingrediets but by the third refill it isn’t very good.

Another option is:
8 cups filtered water
1 lime, peeled and thinly sliced
10-15 mint leaves
8-10 strawberries, tops removed and thinly sliced

There is nothing magical about the amounts used for that water or the ingredients. So feel free to adjust anything as you wish!

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Lunch: Lunch should be a hearty meal to give you energy through the afternoon so you don’t go forraging for an afternoon junk food binge. Try adding some vegetables to your lunch, any vegetable will do!

Afternoon munchies: Many times when we feel hungry we are really just thirsty and/or bored or looking for a distraction. Try drinking a cup of decaffeinated tea in the afternoon. You might find you aren’t hungry after all. Or you might really be hungry and need a snack, which is fine.

Dinner: This should be the lightest meal of the day since we sleep all night. I know that’s the opposite of what most people are used to since big dinners are the American way. Try eating a salad before the main course, even if it’s a very small salad. I used to eat exactly ZERO vegetables in a day. Then I started having a tiny salad before dinner and after while I enjoyed the light feeling of a salad so much it is now all I eat for dinner (I load it up with good stuff of course, I don’t just eat a bowl of lettuce. That’s crazy.)

Dessert: Sometimes you just really crave something sweet after dinner. I do anyway. Now that it’s summer, put out a plate of fresh strawberries or rasberries. They are far more delicous than any dessert and they won’t make you feel weighed down.

And last, here is a picture of Lilly having lunch at Chipotle! I know normal people don’t let their dog sit in a chair at the lunch table. But I did. I know that’s naughty, I know. But she was so good, she just sat in her seat the whole time and didn’t beg. A stranger took her picture because she is so beautiful (or ridiculous).

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Good luck and happy eating!!

CRUSH Challenge-Week 4

Good Monday Morning!
I hope you all enjoyed Yoga this morning with Aaron. And if you didn’t enjoy it, I hope you at least appreciated the fact that you were giving your body a new challenge and doing something really good for yourself.

In class today, we did some really tough poses and Aaron kept saying, “focus on your breath” and “bring it back to your heartbeat”. In other words, STAY PRESENT even though this is REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE!

So your challenge this week might be the toughest one yet: LIVE IN THE MOMENT all week long.

It is always easier to think about what you have planned for the day or what happened yesterday than it is to actually stay present with what is going on NOW. That is especially true during uncomfortable or painful times. We love to distract ourself by looking forward to the weekend and it is so easy to let days or even weeks slip by without actually appreciating what is going on. Have you ever driven all the way home from work and realized when you got home you don’t even remember the drive?

So this week, challenge yourself to stay present even when something is hard. If we are always living in the moment we will make good choices about what we eat, what we say and how hard we work. We will be more productive! Think about it: when you are dwelling on the past are you enjoying what you eat? Are you productive at work? Are you having good conversations with your friends?

Have a radiant and bright week everyone and LIVE IN THE MOMENT!

The 3 Week Cleanse

Today I am finishing up my second week out of my 3 week long cleanse and I feel GREAT!
My cleanse does not involve cayenne pepper or lemon juice or any pills. It is a purely plant based food cleanse designed to remove inflammation from the body and get it running smoothly again.

Why am I doing this?
I have a couple nagging injuries that just refuse to go away. My ankle has been hurting for at least 2 months now and I suffer from chronic neck pain. Inflammation is the culprit for both these injuries. Taking 3 weeks to let the body heal and re-set is good to do 2-4 times a year, particularly when the seasons change.

What is the cleanse?
I have talked about it on here a couple times before, it is from the book Quantum Wellness by Kathy Freston. In her book she writes about how making changes to our diet and life will some day result in a “Quantum Leap”, and you won’t know when that will happen or what it will be. I first did this cleanse 4 years ago and sitting here today I know I have made my leap. My life is profoundly different than it was 4 years ago. I absolutely love my life and it all started with this little 3 week challenge. I set out just to do this to test my toughness and ended up changing my life.
The Cleanse:
No sugar
No caffeine
No alcohol
No gluten (including oatmeal)
No dairy or anything containing casein
No meat
No animal products of any kind (including eggs, butter etc)
No foods that contain any of the above ingredients

Is that tough to do? YES! Especially the first time I did it!

The past two weeks I have been living off my Green Smoothies for Breakfast, Tomato Basil Pesto Pasta for lunch, Hummus and carrots for a snack and my Avocado, Strawberry Quinoa salad for dinner. So I’m hardly suffering!

Giving up caffeine and sugar all together is really hard. Every day I have to turn down a brownie or cake or some yummy treat. It’s tough, but after 2 weeks I am feeling really great!
I have been waking up before my alarm and my neck is starting to feel better. My body just feels happier overall and the longer I keep it up the easier it is to turn sweets down. Coffee on the other hand, I can’t wait to get back to enjoying 🙂

So what do you think? Does this sound like a fun challenge? What’s the worst thing that could happen? You could start to feel really great and have more energy?

Let go of the things you can’t control and focus on what you can control

I’ve been frustrated and stressed lately about things in my life I can’t control. And it’s silly things really, like my most recent running injury. I realize it’s ridiculous to stress about the things we can’t control because it only makes matters worse and wastes our precious energy!  So I came across a post on tinybuddha.com about focusing on the things you can control. I really liked the thought of that so here is my very abbreviated list of things we can’t and can control.

Things you can’t control
1. How fast time passes, either fast or slow
2. What other people say, do or think
3. Injuries & illness

Things you CAN control
1. How many times a day you smile
2. How well you pay attention when you drive
3. How nice you are to other people
4. How much money you spend on things you don’t need
5. How many times you tell someone you love them
6. The food you put in your mouth
7. How often you exercise
8. How hard you work at your job
9. How good of a friend you are
This has really been helpful for me. Now when a frustrating thought enters my mind I just smile and let it go, because I can control how many times a day I smile 🙂