making a comeback.

by Janetha on December 5, 2011

in meals,moves

hey guys! how was your monday? mine was cold. marsh and i just got back from taking the pups for a romp in the park. it is a mere 17 degrees out.

actually, i was freezing all day. i had a warm, fuzzy blanket on my lap all day at work. the luxury of working in an office, eh?

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i feel bad for marshall—he works outdoors and it’s only going to get colder from here!

i had a super busy day today! it was go, go, go. actually this is the first time i have taken a load off and it’s 5 minutes to 10 PM.

things started at 5:45 AM today. i have to be at work an hour and a half earlier on mondays, meaning i have to actually wake up an hour and a half earlier on mondays. rough. somehow, i manage.

i had eight hours of work, followed by my workout, followed by three hours at my mom’s office.. taking photos of her clients with santa! yes, santa. he was in town!

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my mom is a real estate agent and every year her office invites all clients—past and present—to have photos taken with santa. i was the photographer this year. need a house? call momma b.

i got home around 8:30 PM and whipped up dinner. i was barely finished eating before penny was pulling me out the door to go to the park. since our fence blew over in the windstorm, the dogs haven’t been allowed to romp in the yard at their leisure.. so they were really antsy to get some fresh air.  some fresh, 17 degree air.

i came  home, made a dessert i will show you in a minute, and am now drinking tea and blogging.

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PHEW.

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my workout today was day 57 of jamie eason’s livefit trainer.. which also marked day one of the third and final phase.  HOLY CRAP. judging by the first workout of the phase, i can tell phase three is going to be a doozy.

i told you guys i would post progress photos at the end of phase two.. but i dropped the ball on having someone take those photos. so, i took an iPhone mirror photo instead…

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…i know, classy. hey, it works. all that matters is that i am happy! my abs are making a comeback! i think my hard work in the gym has been paying off. we all know it’s not all the cookies i’ve been eating. those haven’t been doing me any favors whatsoever. and by the way, when i talk about cookies all the time.. i am not just being cute or sarcastic. i have been eating cookies every day, way too often. it’s got to stop.

anyway…phase three really ramps it up with the intensity! my quads + calves workout today incorporated weight training, plyometrics, and active resting (butt kicks, high knees, etc.)  it was tough. i am excited to see how i handle the rest of the workouts this week—and throughout the remainder of the program. i think the added movements will really aid in fat burning and hopefully the plyometrics will work wonders on my core. oh, and my thighs.

another aspect that is introduced in phase 3 of livefit trainer is carb cycling.  this is something i have thought about trying before, but not for quite some time. actually, not since back in 2009 when i posted about it.

as i mentioned in previous posts, i didn’t follow the livefit nutrition plan for the first two phases of the program. i have been focusing on eating clean (uh, most of the time, aside from that cookie problem…) and really didn’t have the desire to get super strict with my eating habits. there is a time and a place for strict eating habits, and i wasn’t there yet.

HOWEVER.. i just might be trying out the three weeks of carb cycling outlined in weeks 10, 11, and 12 of the program. i realized that i am heading to mexico in a little over seven weeks. hmmm.. yep, i think a trip to mexico warrants “a time and a place” for stricter eating habits. because christmas is smack dab in the middle of the carb cycling weeks of phase three, i realize this may be tricky.

for  a gal of my size, jamie eason’s plan suggests consuming 70 grams of carbs on low carb days and 175 grams of carbs on high carb days. today i decided to tally up my carbs, just to see where i fell with a day of typical eating—sans cookies.

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i didn’t take photos of it all.. because i really fail at the whole take-photos-of-everything-i-eat concept these days.. but here’s a rundown:

  • breakfast was 8 oz of plain 2% chobani, a sliced banana (140 grams), 2 T uncooked oats, cinnamon, and vanilla bean paste. i also had coffee with 2 T of whole milk.
  • lunch was 8 oz lowfat cottage cheese on top of a big salad with lettuce, cucumber, bell peppers, and celery. i used 2 T of trader joe’s raspberry vinaigrette dressing.
  • i mixed up some powdered BCAAs and drank them before and during my workout, then immediately had a protein shake post-workout. it had 1 cup almond milk, 2 cups spinach, 1 scoop vanilla whey protein, 1 cup raspberries, ice, and the gums.
  • i headed to do the santa photos and then came home for a late dinner. we had huevos rancheros.. i had mine with egg whites, black beans, avocado, greek yogurt, salsa, and a sprinkle of cheese.
  • i just finished dessert which was a pumpkin chocolate chip protein cake.. you can see it below.

i tallied up everything i’ve had today. 155g carbs. hmm—i’ve almost hit the limit for the suggested high carb day. pretty interesting. when i did body for life, i aimed for 125g of carbs each day. this was very doable and i didn’t feel carb-deprived in the least.  i think i have really just upped my carb intake without realizing it because CARBS ARE EVERYWHERE.  good ones, bad ones, delicious ones.. everything has carbs. even things that i consider my main source of protein have carbs—like greek yogurt and cottage cheese. i had both of these items today, so my carbs were probably higher than if i had eaten more zero-carb protein like chicken.

don’t get me wrong.. i don’t think carbs are bad. i am not “one of those people.” i have never in my life tried a low carb diet. however, i do think there is something to carb cycling and believe it really can help lean you out.  but since i am used to eating around 150 carbs each day, eating 70g each day is kind of unfathomable to me. i know i can do ANYTHING i put my mind to—especially if it’s only for a few weeks—so i might give carb cycling a try. if not this month, then for sure for the three weeks prior to my trip to mexico. in fact, that might actually be the better time to do it. (it is not suggested to carb cycle for longer than 3 consecutive weeks since it can lead to muscle loss.)

now that i have opened my eyes to my carb consumption today, i think i will skip the cookies for a few nights. i bypassed the cookie jar tonight (as much as i wanted one) and instead, i am adjusting my cookie habit and opting for something just as sweet and satisfying., and definitely more filling.

i make a lot of different versions of protein cakes and muffins—a favorite being one from deb. however, since i am being carb-conscious, i went for one of my lower carb recipes.

pumpkin chocolate chip protein cake. yes, it’s making a comeback!!

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ingredients:

  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (i used MRM natural vanilla)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 T canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 7-8 dark chocolate chips, melted

directions:

  1. spray a mug with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in the mug and whisk well.
  3. melt chocolate chips in a separate container (i use a small silicone bowl.)
  4. whisk chocolate into cake batter.
  5. microwave for 90 seconds (give or take, depending on your microwave power.)
  6. remove from mug and eat!

nutrition info:  95 calories, 14g protein, 5g carbs, 2g fat.

considering all those cookies i have been eating are roughly 150 calories apiece and, uh, maybe one gram of protein and very high in fat and carbs (and sugar).. this is a pretty stellar swap.

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for now, at least.

this post was long. thanks for reading.

Q~

are you carb conscious? ever tried carb cycling?

xo. janetha g.

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Ananda December 6, 2011 at 10:00 am

I hope I can get abs like that with BodyRock!

Sarah@The Flying ONION December 6, 2011 at 10:06 am

You look so great! Strong and toned. I’ll bet you feel amazing to boot. :D

I love my carbs, but try to stick to the wholesome varieties (quinoa, oatmeal, etc.) With a little extra wiggle room for sweet treats and gooey delicious carbs, especially now that the holidays are arriving. ;)

Paula @ lipstick and lunges December 6, 2011 at 10:18 am

Cold weather and tea go together perfectly! The idea of carb cycling scares the hell out of me! I’m pretty glad that I have no occasion to attempt it b/c I’d probably end up attacking someone in a lack of carb induced rage haha. Good luck!

Kelli Preston December 6, 2011 at 10:19 am

Thank you for the cookie! I am trying to lower my carb intake, but I struggle with the after dinner dessert. What is a cookie lover to do? Apparently, I just need to make a protein cookie! Thanks for sharing!

Susan December 6, 2011 at 10:26 am

I have to work an hour earlier on Mondays at my job too (well, when I’m actually working it that is). It certainly sucks! You and Momma B are too cute with Santa. I am taking Buster to get his photo taken with the big man on Thursday.

I don’t think about carbs at all anymore, although I’m supposed to up my protein intake because chemo literally eats away at your muscles. Add it to the list…

Annette@EnjoyYourHealthyLife December 6, 2011 at 10:33 am

You look awesome–you’re right, the abs ARE making a comeback! Weight training totally does that :)

I love a good protein shake after a workout too-YUMM.

Christin@purplebirdblog December 6, 2011 at 10:34 am

*whistles* Your body is super rockin’, my friend! I have ab envy ;)

Paige @ RAN December 6, 2011 at 10:38 am

Hehe, that’s funny that you pointed out that you’re actually eating those cookies. It’s one of my blogger pet peeves when bloggers try to be cute by saying they ate half the batch or have been eating cookies/brownies/whatever dessert they made every day…when you’re never really sure if they’re telling the truth or not.

Anyway, I can definitely tell a difference in the pics…way to go, Janetha!

Mama Pea December 6, 2011 at 11:01 am

I’ve never done carb cycling before but I’m super excited to see what it does when I’m in Phase 3. Love your protein cake recipe…looks like something close I’ve been eating for an afternoon snack.

Love you!

natalie (the sweets life) December 6, 2011 at 11:11 am

umm you are hot!

also, i don’t have a blanket at work (wish i did but it’d be too noticeable)…but i do have a heating pad that i discreetly use all day long! it’s like having a car seat warmer :)

elise December 6, 2011 at 11:23 am

you WOULD have houndstooth on your computer. haha.

i live for carbs. i have no concept of how much of them i eat, but i would guess 99% of my food is carbs soooo a lot.

your abs are looking SICK girl. keep it up. and hoorayyyy for mexico!!

Heather @ Better With Veggies December 6, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Wow – look at those abs – jealous!! I’m not sure I want to go back to the calorie counting thing, but I do like to do a daily check every once in a while to see where i am.

the delicate place December 6, 2011 at 12:16 pm

you look great! i typically eat 65g-100g carbs daily. every 10 days or so i will go up around 150-170g carbs (usually the result of some treats :) i’m pretty loose about my carb intake so long as i’m under 100g for the day and that they come from whole fruits, veggies or raw juices (no sugar added). i honestly, think it’s the reason that i have abs for the first time in my life. they popped out this spring when i did the carb thing and nixed dairy (not a big deal since it made me bloated and gassy anyway). some people in the paleo world prob would think i eat too many carbs but hey i do what works best for me and my energy levels!

Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats December 6, 2011 at 12:50 pm

You are one ripped lady! :) I’ve never tried carb cycling. Once I get to Phase 3 we will see how strict I’m willing to be with my eats!

Krista (kristastes) December 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm

bahahah 1. you’re lookin HOT! 2. my mama is a real estate agent, too! 3. I am a carb goddess…I just love them too much.

Megan December 6, 2011 at 2:12 pm

I’m planning on starting Jamie Eason’s 12 week trainer (once my nasty cold goes away), but are you following it to a “T”?

Janetha December 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm

I am not. You can see my thoughts on it here: http://mealsandmovesblog.com/2011/11/30/living-fit/

:)

Brittney December 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm

I wish I was more carb conscious, I just love them so much! I really should count how many I consume for a few days like you did. That might make me cut back a little, because I really wouldn’t mind some abs :)

Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile December 6, 2011 at 3:34 pm

You are rippppeddd!! I think that carb cycling is really interesting. I’ve actually heard about that when my brother was trying to get ripped but I have never followed it.

Andrea@WellnessNotes December 6, 2011 at 3:39 pm

You look great! Your hard work is certainly paying off!!!

I’ve never done carb cycling, and I haven’t counted carbs for a long time. I know I’m probably eating a few too many these days though… I think I’ll have to cut back on carbs a bit, but I don’t want to count them every day or follow any sort of strict program as I know it can set me up for all sorts of not so good patterns… I think I’ll count all my carbs for a day or two though just to check in and see where I’m at. :)

Stephanie @cookinfanatic December 6, 2011 at 5:10 pm

your abs look killer, go girl!!! i guess i would consider myself carb conscious in that i dont like to fill up on large portions of pasta or bread… but that’s about it?

Tara @ Sweat like a Pig December 6, 2011 at 6:42 pm

You look great, Janeetha! I’ve been carb cycling for the past 6 weeks. It’s painful (you’re right, carbs really are in everything!) but the results make it worth it….almost ;)

Becca December 6, 2011 at 7:18 pm

I like your blog a lot, so I hope this comes across in the right way.

I guess I just don’t understand the carb thing. I read a lot of these blogs, and they are all about health, which is cool. Health means working out and eating reasonably a reasonable portion of the time. I respect this, and I live this way myself.

However, there is nothing that is “healthier” about cycling carbs. I’m certain I eat over that number of carbs per day. Most of my carbs come from fruit and whole grains. This is completely healthy. The only reason to “cycle carbs” is if you are concerned with IMAGE, not health. I mean, you are absolutely shredded already! I guess I don’t understand what you’re trying to achieve. What’s the point of eating this way if it’s not for health? Just to prove you can? To try to live up to some weird body standard for women? I genuinely don’t understand.

I just felt it was important to say this. I like your blog; I just wish we didn’t worry about appearance as long as we’re healthy.

janetha @ meals & moves December 6, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Hey Becca! Thanks for your comment. It definitely didn’t come off the wrong way and I appreciate your opinion!

I agree with you–the way you said you eat most definitely sounds (and is!) healthy. I believe there are several different ways to be a healthy individual–not just one way. There are so many various diets and preferences when it comes to eating and what each person deems healthy.

I am currently following a program and that is why I am considering the carb cycling. I have been doing this program for over two months now, but actually have NOT followed the outlined nutrition plan because I felt the way I currently eat is healthy–but that doesn’t mean I thought the suggested nutrition plan was NOT healthy. I think it’s all healthy, it just depends on what works for each individual.

With that said, I am wanting to lean out. Not for the way others see me.. but for me. Just like people practice and enjoy excelling at sports.. I like to practice weight training and excel at strength gains. I am aiming to gain more lean muscle mass. This is a personal goal and has more to do with strength and success than it does with the need to appear a certain way.

Thank you for saying I am shredded, but that photo above doesn’t tell the whole story. I still have quite a bit of fat to lose on my legs, butt, and arms. I have a personal goal to gain muscle, gain strength, and become a more lean individual. Ideally, I would like to get back where I was in 2008 after Body for Life. Because I loved how fit I was at that time and because I KNOW I have the capability to get there, I have taken the LiveFit challenge upon myself so I can push myself to be a more physically fit individual.

Healthy comes in all shapes and sizes. Healthy has many different foods. Healthy can be high in carbs, healthy can be low in carbs. But I think that what is most important that whatever healthy each person chooses, that healthy also has to equal happy.

There is a quote by Voltaire that I love: “I have decided to be happy because it is good for my health.”

I think that each person should lead a lifestyle–both with exercise and eating–that makes them healthy AND happy.. for THEM. I choose to do this training program because it makes me happy. I am thrilled when I can lift heavier weights, when I see a new muscle pop out of my back, and when I have more energy from eating healthy meals.

I also am happy when I sleep in until 3 PM, bake and eat 8 kinds of cookies in 3 weeks, and stay out til 2 AM at the bar with my friends.

Just because I choose to follow a specific program doesn’t mean I care about appearance. It just means I have set some goals for myself and I want to make the most of my efforts, because succeeding is what makes me happy.. which also makes me healthy. Mentally and physically.

:)

Becca December 7, 2011 at 5:28 am

Janeetha, thank you for your reply! This really helped me to understand, and I appreciate your taking time to explain. This is why I like your blog so much! What you say makes perfect sense. I was kind of having “a moment” when reading your blog where a bunch of stuff was piling on…this is a good reminder for me to keep a more open mind.

Sarah December 6, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Looking great! It appears the bloating is a LOT less severe now, too?

I just checked my average carb intake for the past 6 months (I love logging programs for that reason, even if it is a bit nutty to log all your food!), and it’s an average of 170 g per day. Not bad, considering I eat all plants! 70 g would be really difficult though on a vegetarian or vegan diet. Not even sure it would be possible without having a VERY low calorie intake! I usually shoot for 30% of my calorie intake from protein and fat, and 40% for carbs. Looks like my average is 44% from carbs, so I’m not TOO far off the mark!

Lara December 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm

You look HOT!

Barbara December 7, 2011 at 6:21 am

Janetha, you look STUNNING1 Your abs are ridiculous! i do not see why you are worried about eating a few cookie a day–as long as you balance the rest of your meals with nutrient rich food– when you look like that! Obviously you are metabolising everything very well! Congratulations! I agree with all the comments: you look hot!
xoxo

Christin December 7, 2011 at 10:58 am

okay…I have those exact same black workout capris with the turquoise waistband and accent on the leg…and I don’t look NEARLY as good in them!

I think you’re onto something with your Jamie Eason training…gonna jump on board after the holidays… :)

Janetha December 7, 2011 at 11:11 am

Don’t you love them?! I have the matching top, too. Love TJ Maxx!

Christin December 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm

definitely! :)

Lesley December 7, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Hey Janetha!

At what point in the training program did you really start seeing results? I’m doing it now too (thanks to you!), and I’m on Day 39. I’m seeing some changes in my arms and shoulders, but not as much in my legs or abs. Just wondering!

Thanks!
Lesley

Janetha December 12, 2011 at 11:18 am

Hmm.. I didn’t take progress photos but I would say the tail end of Phase 2!

Shannon December 9, 2011 at 10:24 am

I made your pumpkin chocolate chip protein cake last night and it was amazing! Thank you!!

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