I Can’t Live Without Vegetables

I love me some vegetables; throw them in a salad, stir fry them, slightly boil them, eat them in their natural state.  Whatever the case my life is meaningless without them.  Okay, I lie, both fruits and vegetables are a huge part of my diet and without them my food tastes really bland.  I’m still to try out the egg plant though, the way it looks interesting I have a good feeling it will taste as good as it looks 🙂

importance of vegetables Fitness Bae.jpg

Image from Pinterest

I had a most interesting conversation with a friend of mine who loves all things health and fitness but mainly concentrates on the eating healthy part instead of exercising because he says “He’s a fucking fatty”, his words not mine!  We discovered that we have the same blood type which is A Positive. He told me to read more on our blood type and lo and behold, this is what dear Google had to say;

Type A blood: A meat-free diet based on fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, and whole grains — ideally, organic and fresh, because D’Adamo says people with type A blood have a sensitive immune system. 

This confirmed my love for fruits, especially avocado; vegetables and my never ending gastritis issues.  I don’t know about the meat free part because I love all white meat but beef remains my greatest enemy, I don’t like the smell and texture.  Minus the health benefits which include reducing the risk of high blood pressure, some cancers and  the feel good effect I get after I eat fruits and vegetables, I love colour and my plates always look happy when I add vegetables to it.

Do you know what your blood type is and what are your thoughts on the subject of eating according to your blood type?

Now that my secret love affair for fruits and vegetables is out let’s get to working on Week 3 of the January Challenge.

Sunday Run 10 K
Monday Rest
Tuesday 12 000 steps + 200 Russian Twists + 200 Plank Knee To Elbow
Wednesday 6 000 skips
Thursday Rest
Friday 200 Chest Press + 200 Tricep Extensions
Saturday Run 12K

Some of the workouts require dumbbells, if you don’t have any you can use water bottles or fill up empty water containers with sand. No excuses.

It’s going to be an explosive week ahead!

Fitness Bae®

Advertisements

Eating Habits That Changed My Life

Fitness is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. 

If you’re all about health and fitness you have read this saying a million times over.  Throughout my journey I have made a lot of changes that have transformed my body and I give most of the credit to making slow deliberate changes to my eating habits.  I strongly feel that fitness and food should both be a fun experience and that’s why I eat almost everything as and when the need arises; in moderation of course.  Below are some of the changes that have worked well for me.

healthy eating habits Fitness Bae.jpg

Image from Pinterest

  1. I only eat two slices of bread.  I used to eat brown bread but I hated it so decided to switch back to white bread and enjoy my sandwiches in peace.
  2. I have my tea with two teaspoons of brown sugar.  I cut it down to one teaspoon if I’m pairing up the tea or coffee with something sweet.
  3. I drink a lot of water, it’s become a part of my life. I can get up to 3litres of water in a day depending on my activity level.  I think this is the reason why my skin is clearer now, I used to suffer from serious breakouts.
  4. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.  Cucumbers, pineapples, mangoes, peaches or avocado.  Whatever is in season I’m eating it.
  5. Junk food no longer exists on my shopping list.  I can safely walk down an aisle filled with junk food and I won’t even be tempted to grab anything from there.  Actually, I hardly even notice it.  There is something about wanting to eat something even when you don’t want it just because it’s in the house.  If you don’t want temptation, don’t bring it to your house.
  6. I eat when I’m hungry, not just because it’s time to eat.  I take time to figure out if I’m hungry or just plain thirsty.
  7. I prepare most of my meals.  I want to see exactly what’s going into my food so chances of having horrible tasting meals are close to none, I long since declared that my cooking isn’t too shabby, people who have tried it are still alive 🙂
  8. I have an occasional glass of wine.  Okay I lied!  I drink a lot of wine.  May the wine gods help me with this.  I blame December.  I think this month alone I’ve wine I could have had in 3 months!  I love my wine, it helps me unwind but this month I’ve been terrible at managing my guilty pleasure.

This is what has worked specifically for me and I’m happy with the results.  I’m not a dietitian of any sorts, I’m just a fitness enthusiast playing around with food ideas and things I read on the internet.

What have been your dietary changes?  Are they working out for you?

 

Fitness Bae®

My First Half Marathon

On Sunday I ran my very first half marathon.  It was long overdue!  I had promised myself that sometime in 2017 I would make it happen and thankfully it happened just before the year ended otherwise it was going to be one goal that never materialised.  I trained for my half marathon for nearly 12 weeks then stopped at some point because I genuinely lost interest.  The thought of running a whole 21K scared me and I told myself I wasn’t built for it and that was perfectly okay.

My First 21K Marathon Fitness Bae.jpg

After running my first half marathon

However, because of the current December Challenge that team Fitness In The Park is hosting I was 5 days behind on the challenge and chose to up the amp by running a long distance; it’s a no brainer that I chose 21K to climb up the leader board.

The night before my run I dreamt that I had woken up at the time I had set my alarm and it was broad daylight.  I was annoyed and cancelled my run because I’m not the best runner when the sun is out.  I woke up to my alarm ringing and laughed out loud because this run was clearly taking over my entire life!

Soon as I got up I emptied my bladder nearly 5 times because I didn’t want to have to stop along the way for a pee break.  I also think it was the nerves kicking in because I knew that this run was going to be taxing on my entire body!

One thing happened to me during my run that I think every first half marathon runner should be wary of.  I FELT SO HUNGRY around 11K mark but I had to keep going, where was I going to get food from at 4:30am in the middle of nowhere?

Everyone has been asking me how I managed to run for 2 hours and 26 minutes none stop. I have no magic formula for this, the honest truth was that I told myself that I can slow down but I won’t stop and that ladies and gentleman is how I broke the mental barrier and smashed my first half marathon!  Oh, not forgetting the after run selfie and the NRC achievements!

Half Marathon #RunWithFitnessBae.jpg

A few highlights of my run:

  • I started my run at 3:40am
  • I ran 10K #JustDoItSunday with the Nike Run Club community.
  • I ran non stop for 2 hours 26 minutes and 18 whole seconds!
  • I wasn’t listening to any music, it was just me and my thoughts that went from yay I’m so happy to be doing this to you know what, it’s really not too late to turn back and go home.
  • I used a sock to hold my phone.  Believe it or not but it’s way better than those phone arm bands that they sell.  You can make your own, YouTube is your friend!
  • My body felt like it didn’t belong to me after the run.  My legs felt like jelly and I was convinced I was going to collapse and die right there and then.  However, nothing felt as good as knowing that waking up at such an ungodly hour was worth it after all because…did I mention, I ran my first half marathon!
  • My toes were and still are painful but the rest of my body has completely healed, I even ran 10K yesterday and plan on running two more 10K runs this week.
  • Next stop Victoria Falls Marathon in 2018!!!

I’m currently suffering from fruit cravings and I’ve been having them in abundance.  Oh, and I’m hungry all the time!

How was your first half marathon?  What are some of your highlights and regrets?

For some first time half marathon runners here are a few tips: 21K Training Tips

Fitness Bae®

 

Banting While Pregnant

I’m pregnant and I’ve been living the Banting or LCHF (low carbohydrate high fat) lifestyle for almost 3 years.  I’ve been able to keep my weight under check during the entire time. Before then I was a runner who struggled with weight gain, the more I ran the more I gained – it just did not make sense until I discovered Banting. I lost a total of 9.5kgs in 3 months and I’ve not looked back since then!

Banting while pregnant.jpg

Nyasha

My first 2 years as a Banter were full of stops and starts due to uncertainty over the safety of Banting during a pregnancy and discovering that I couldn’t live the LCHF life while breastfeeding. Banting was still too new. This time around, yes, number two is on the way, and I have doubts that Banting is safe, if not the best, during pregnancy because:

  • It provides your growing baby with all the healthy fat need for brain building.
  • It keeps ailments like gestational diabetes at bay
  • It also means you will not have a tough time losing bump fat after you give birth.

I just have to be careful about increasing my carbohydrate intake once the baby arrives as the consumption of carbs is a key building block of milk production.

Back to Banting for those that are NOT pregnant!

While exercise is not necessary to achieve weight-loss when Banting, it is necessary for general fitness and health which is why I do it.  My preferred workouts are brisk walking in proper form and running distances between 2K and 5K. My sweet spot lies within these distances because 2K is short enough to make me run again the next day and 5K is long enough to keep me asking: “Can I shave another 7 seconds off my last run this week?” I’ve recently got more involved in dance based workouts because of the rains and I love them!

My favourite snack for movie night is:

  1. Chicken Skin Crisps, provided they survive till the movie starts! You can season them with whatever you like, my favourite is salted dipped in a Banting-friendly sweet chili sauce!
  2. Salami roll-ups are what I make if I need to rock up somewhere with a plate of eats. I make these from strips of salami, “buttered” with cream cheese and half a pimiento-stuffed olive for each roll up. They look classy and are lovely with a glass of chilled Chardonnay.
  3. When I have more time on my hands, it’s low carb pizza made with a cauliflower, yep, cauliflower, base. If people can’t tell the difference between a Banting pizza and a flour-based pizza, then you’ve made it right!

Eating out can be tricky when you’re living a low-carb life because you don’t know whether your pan-fried fish has really been cooked with butter or regular cooking oil. More and more restaurants are offering Banting-Friendly options on their menus. Delicious Fine Food Emporium at Borrowdale Village has a really comprehensive Banting Menu that I can’t get enough of! I only wish I didn’t live so far away. If it’s a hearty breakfast I’m after, then it’s without a doubt, “The Banter Breakfast” from Brento’s in Greendale. It’s made up of bacon or salmon (for an extra charge), mushroom, tomato and haloumi cheese (all grilled), avocado and 2 eggs of your choice. Eish, I’m actually getting hungry as I write this!! Cappuccinos with full fat milk and no sugar are welcome any day!

The Banter Breakfast from Brentos.jpg

Banter Breakfast from Brentos

I plan what I’m going to eat before I go out.  You can ask for rolls or bread sticks to be removed from your table so that you’re not tempted to dig in! Safe meal choices include grilled meats, steamed veggies and salads. Ask for a blob of butter to add to your veggies and a bit of lemon juice and olive oil instead of dressing for your salad. That way you can still track your carbs and fat intake.

One real problems is drinks and desserts! To low-carbers, alcohol is a toxin, consume it at your own risk. But if you must, go for white wines and champagne that have a lower carbohydrate content than red wines and cocktails. Spirits served with soft drinks are a no-no and beer is literally liquidized carbs! If you don’t eat out very often you can indulge in dessert once in a while but always remind yourself that sugar is as addictive as many hardcore drugs.

Banting Menu from Delicious Restaurant.jpg

What do I love about Banting? BACON – the streaky kind!  The results of banting which are usually visible within weeks of starting out are the second thing I love about banting.

A big thank you to Nyasha for the well written and informative post.  Congratulations on your pregnancy; many new discoveries await.

You can follow her Banting journey on Facebook and stay up to date with what’s hip and happening in the Banting world.

Are you a banter, how has been your experience so far?

Fitness Bae®

 

This Is Why You Are Gaining Weight

Ask anyone trying to lose weight and they will tell you how easily you can gain weight if you stop paying attention to your healthy habits.  It took me an entire year to lose 10kgs but if I’m reckless it takes me just one week to gain 1kg back!  The universe has some mad jokes I tell you.  It has been 3 years on this journey and I now know what makes my body tick or not.  Today I will share habits that easily contribute to my weight gain, I’m sure you will read some of them and notice that they probably have the same effect on you.

1. Poor Sleep

I’m a runner and this form of exercise requires that I get as much rest as I can to perform at my best.  However, on days I don’t sleep properly I don’t have the energy to get up and do one of the few things I love the most.  No energy means no runs means zero progress on that day.  Which translates to me feeling guilty all day long and probably missing a meal which by the way is a bad thing because starving yourself means your body goes into starvation mode which leads to weight gain, my word, the cycle!

2. Clothes

Fashion keeps doing the most.  One time our jeans are all the way up to our boobs next thing they are low cut and at some point they had elastic bands around the waist.  I remember the elastic band phase, I had a pair or two of those.  Now that’s the worst pair you want to invest in if you are trying to lose weight.  The elastic just keeps stretching and you don’t even realise you have gained weight until you wear something else.  Stay away from elastic band jeans, they give you false sense of security!

3. Alcohol

I love me some white wine, on a good weekend I will go through a whole 1litre of white wine and not even feel bad about it.  I run so that I can drink and drink so that I can run; that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!!  I’m pretty good when it comes to watching what I eat and very consistent when it comes to exercise but I promise you, alcohol will be the death of me!  My six pack comes and goes and I know alcohol is the reason why it won’t let it thrive.  Alcohol contains a lot of calories so unfortunately for me, I drink my calories…Just so you know, it’s not just alcohol that contains calories, soft drinks and fruit juices are also an enemy of progress.

White wine has 83 calories in 100g glass

Coca-Cola has 210 calories in a 500ml bottle

Fruit juice has 54 calories in a 100g glass

My advice is drink water, it has zero calories.  If you can’t at least cut down because those clearly these drinks do more harm than good.

4. Stress

My stress comes from my Body Fat Scale.  I used to have a habit where I would weigh myself everyday.  That didn’t end very well and I since stopped the habit and I don’t encourage it either.  Now I weigh myself once a week, same place and same time.  According to researchers stress is connected to weight gain, because a high level of the stress hormone cortisol has been shown to up appetite, drive cravings for junk food, and make it oh so much easier to accumulate belly fat.

5. Pre-Menstrual Syndrome(PMS)

This is the worst time of the month for me.  I hate PMSng, it drives me up the wall with it’s cravings and mood swings.  I crave the strangest things.  Last month I had doughnuts, a whole litre of coke, chocolate, lots of greasy take out and biscuits.  Gosh!  All that bad food in a week.  I don’t know if it’s just me but my stomach has this small bulge of sort when I’m PMSng.  This is one of the worst times of the month for me because I know the moment I hop onto the scale I will be very disappointed!  I promise you the cravings leave me thinking I’m pregnant…but I know better.

*BONUS POINT*

You are all talk and no action.  I see you!

I believe you know what contributes to your weight gain.  You just have to pay extra attention to yourself.  At the same time weight gain is not entirely a bad thing, especially if it’s going to the right places.

My advice is make small deliberate changes in your life and the weight loss will happen.

Let’s talk, what’s adding the weight on your scale?

Fitness Bae®

Run 5K For The Fun Of It!

I love October!  Running is much more colourful thanks to the blooming jacaranda trees. The early morning runs are filled with beautiful fresh scents and that’s an additional reason to get up and run!  I’ve been training for my first half marathon and I’m currently on week 12 of 16.  I’ve stopped following the programme on My Nike Coach for this month because just looking at the set distances is making me sick to my stomach.  I don’t think I’m mentally prepared to wake up and run 18K on a random Wednesday morning.  I’m still going to run my half marathon though, but I’m going to do it my way!

I got this brilliant idea of documenting what you plan to do each week and then sharing both what you and don’t get done from one of my favourite fitness bloggers Piper.  You should check out her September and October goals from here.

What I Planned vs What I Did

Monday Run 5K * Ran 5K. It was one tough run considering I had gone out the previous night and left the event at 10pm, only to get to sleep at 11pm, absolute madness! 

Tuesday 50 crunches 50 push ups and 30 minutes Zumba 50 crunches 50 push ups the only problem here was the push ups.  Now that I know how to do them properly they are pretty intense.  I didn’t feel like doing Zumba afterwards so I let that slide.

Wednesday Run 5K Ran 5K It was mostly an uphill run but I smashed it and clocked in my best time and shaved off a whole 15 seconds from Monday’s run.

Thursday 50 crunches 50 push ups50 crunches.  My right shoulder is in pain.  I think I got overzealous on Tuesday morning.  I had to fix a hot water bottle and lie on it throughout the night to ease the pain on my shoulder.

Friday Run 5K * Ran 5K + 30 minutes of Zumba. It was a slow easy run.  I didn’t have any music today, I wanted to enjoy my surroundings.  My shoulder is still in pain but hopefully tomorrow I’ll be feeling much better.  Threw in some Zumba as well, the hunger I felt within an hour!  I gobbled down half an avocado before I left for work.

Saturday 50 crunches 50 push ups * 50 crunches 50 push ups.  I did these first thing in the morning before my body could make any excuses.

Sunday Run 5K * Ran 5K First #JustDoItSunday of the month, I loved it! 

5af9bf1a1cb3f4cbbf8b0addc476f10f.jpg

Image from Pinterest

My highlight for the week was definitely Zumba.  It takes me to a happy place.  I love how my body can do all these various moves and still get to exercise at the same time.  It gets me sweating, way more than I do when I go for a run!  Maybe next week I will do two Zumba sessions instead of one…will see how things go.

How was your exercise week?  What did you get up to and what have you changed on your fitness plan?

Lesson Learnt This Week: Go out for your run at 5:00am if you want to beat running in the sun!

Fitness Bae®

Keep Calm And Do Yoga

Yoga is one form of exercise that took me a little bit of getting used to but once I got the hang of it, Yoga is in my fitness programme every other week. I took some time out yesterday afternoon and got to talk to one who also goes by the name “Fitness Duchess” and this is what she shared with me.

unnamed (3).jpg

What is your name, your age and where you are from?

My name is Margaret Sandra Munthali.  I am 26 years old and I am from Blantyre, Malawi.

What inspired you to start doing Yoga and why Yoga?

My childhood best friend and I felt like doing something different for hanging out. Something healthy. We agreed upon Yoga. It was just about trying something new. A great way to spend the afternoon. We got our inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram.  We started off with Acroyoga actually.  There was no specific reason as to why we picked Yoga. We didn’t know it much at the time; but after our first session we felt SOOOO  good and got hooked.

0383ef38-ff46-4017-8246-00c480882d73.jpg

Do you do any other forms of exercise?

Yes I do other forms of exercise.  I run here and there. As of December 2016 I’ve been inspired to skip. So I am currently on a skipping challenge.  I also do random workouts on the app Nike Training App.  One day,  I’d love to do Cross Fit activities.

What are some of the benefits of Yoga?

There are so many benefits of Yoga. The physical ones include better posture,  increased core strength,  toned muscles, increased flexibility, pain and stress relief,  weight management and improved breathing. However, I discovered some other benefits too,  it is a great stress reliever!

I found that it taught me some great life lessons. Life is a  journey,  creating small goals is essential for happiness. In Yoga, a pose was a journey,  I would celebrate each improvement or step towards being able to get the pose. I found myself constantly motivated and happy. I apply that to life as well. The journey is just as important as the end goal. Another feeling I can’t really describe is the feeling you get after a great session. A sense of peace. Amaze balls!! It also helped me focus and helped me practice the skill of blocking things out and being able to be present.

unnamed (1).jpg

What would you advise someone who wants to try out Yoga?

Practice, practice, practice. I can’t emphasise this enough. The more you do it the better you get. When you stop you reverse the effects slowly. The Internet is your friend. There is tonnes and tonnes of inspiration on the Internet.  A lot of amazing people doing amazing things. There are many variations of yoga too. Research and choose what suits you. There are different types of yoga too. Personally I enjoy the Hatha Yoga  and Ashtanga types; sometimes Vinyasa too. I would love to try some Iyengar  which is the yoga practice that uses props like straps and blocks and some  Birkam also known as Hot Yoga. (Feel free to search for these Yoga variations on the Internet). My advise is find a partner to do it with. I think that was what helped me to stay on track. When I am practicing alone. It’s okay but not as fun.

Where do you do your yoga and what equipment do you need?

I do my Yoga at home mostly and at places with beautiful backgrounds if the aim is a pose and a picture. In most cases you just need a mat. However, if you wanna try Iyanger  then you will need blocks and straps (or a scarf).

I have noticed your  #RunWithFitnessBae hashtags, what got you to join the group?

I decided to join because I had fallen off the wagon. I had not really exercised in a long time. I was feeling lazy and uninspired.  Body size was not the problem. I was actually weighing less than I had in a long time. But for someone who loves fitness I was feeling very unhealthy. I saw Umba’s post on Instagram and sent a message to Fitness Bae that I want in and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. Not only did I find my inspiration back,  I get daily motivation and a six pack doesn’t seem like an impossible dream anymore

unnamed (5).jpg

Anything you would like to share with anyone who is making excuses to start on working out?

Working out is not just about weight loss.  I cannot stress this enough. You can be in love with the size of your body but you still need to work out. I read somewhere that working out decreases the chance of getting breast cancer by 25%.  Working out also decreases the chance of getting many diseases. It boosts confidence and it’s great therapy.  You don’t have to go out and run 50 kilometres today, just make small exercise improvements everyday and make the habit a part of your life.

Where can people reach you on social media?

Pinterest: @magzmunty

Instagram: @magzmunty

Twitter: @TheeMagzMunty

Facebook: @magz.munty

 

Since I started doing Yoga,  I have noticed that I celebrate the small things.   I am more in love with my body and I have more confidence in what my body can do.

Fitness Bae®