Hey lovebugs! Have I told you that you rock? Well, you do. Thank you for all of the love on yesterday’s video. Matty and I were a little nervous about putting it out there but we’re so happy you like it and want MORE music! I suppose we will just have to deliver. So, keep your eyes peeled.
UPDATE: By a random number generator, the winner of the sweater giveaway is Mary! Congratulations, girl! Email me your info so I can ship it out to you this weekend.
This morning’s workout was welcomed and embraced…and left me with one burning core. I was determined to create a quick and efficient total body routine that focused on the abs. I think I have delivered, my friends. After 25 minutes on the arc trainer, I busted through three circuits of this bad Larry:
Yep, you’ll feel it on this one. The key is to keep your abs engaged the entire time (think belly button stuck to your spine) and repeat all three circuits without stopping. If you’re not too keen on doing a tricep dip with a kick, you can watch it here.
After my workout, I mosied over to class, where I ate my usual Vega chocolate protein pudding oats, fruit and black coffee. It never fails me, I tell you. After class, I came back to my room to work on…well…work, until I broke for lunch.
A new-to-me Sabra hummus was on the horizon today!
I topped one slice of Ezekiel bread with
a smearing a LOT of sun dried tomato hummus. I love the chunks of tomatoes in the hummus; it is so delicious! I ate my open-faced sammie with a big ol’ salad of kale, sliced red peppers, baby carrots and broccoli. I topped the veggies with nutritional yeast and Annie’s Papaya Poppyseed dressing. Yummy in my tummy.
The remainder of the afternoon was spent in class and doing more school work. Thrilling, I know. Speaking of thrilling, dinner was pretty fantastic.
Tonight, after my last class of the day, my friend Kristen and I had a lovely dinner date at the dining commons. I’m seriously loving this new menu!
Tonight’s meal was a vegan pattie made from sesame seeds and pecans, topped with a tangy tomato sauce. It was out of this world! On the side, I enjoyed agave-cumin glazed carrots and sauteed spinach with onion and garlic. We chatted away and left with satisfied bellies.
Brendan Brazier Talks Plant-Based Nutrition for a Better Life
If you’re not new to the blog, you know that I’m pretty much obsessed with Vega and the brand’s creator, Brendan Brazier. If you are new to the blog (Hi!), I’m pretty much obsessed with Vega and Brendan Brazier. I consume Vega products on a weekly basis and have read Brendan’s book Thrive, which is about how to properly fuel your body for optimum athletic performance. Last night, courtesy of Learn it Live, I had the pleasure of jumping on a live webinar featuring Brendan Brazier, superman vegan triathlete and brilliant braniac of the plant-based community.
The conference was titled “Plant-Based Performance Nutrition: How to unlock your mental and physical potential through food.” The webinar was more of a review for me but it was still awesome. Plus, it’s always great to hear information in a new way; it can be so invigorating. Lucky for you, I took notes! Here are some ways you can reduce stress and improve your quality of life, straight from Brendan himself.
Stress can make or break our athletic performance.
When we are stressed, our cortisol levels are elevated. This throws other hormones out of whack too. In other words, when one hormone goes up (cortisol), the other hormones must come down. Before adopting a plant-based lifestyle, Brendan was training hard while gaining weight. It took him over a year to learn stress was the culprit. 40 percent of stress is caused by poor nutrition! Brendan stopped eating refined foods (protein isolates, meat, dairy, refined foods) and adopted a whole foods lifestyle. He has never looked back.
Most of us don’t reach our deepest level of sleep due to stress. High cortisol levels also means a decreased quality of sleep, which is one of the keys to weight loss and good health. When you switch to a plant-based diet, your sleep quality will improve and you will need less of it (6 – 7 hours).
When fueling for a workout, choose carbohyrdates before and protein after.
Exercise is a stress too, because we are breaking down muscle tissue; and that muscle tissue needs repairing. Therefore, we need to fuel ourselves properly with whole foods to “de-stress” our bodies.
Pre-workout, consume carbohydrates. A couple of dates provide immediate energy because they are made of the simplest sugar, glucose. Half a banana provides longer-lasting, or slow-releasing, energy because it is made of a slightly more complex sugar, fructose.
Post-workout, amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) are the key to recovery. High quality protein sources (quinoa, hemp, chia, beans with whole grain brown rice, organic tofu, organic tempeh) are great options. You can also consume any of Vega’s high quality, plant-based protein products for optimal recovery.
Vitamin B12 is not a vitamin. It is actually bacteria, which is often airborne, that comes from the soil!
Any plant-based foods originating from bacteria (the good kind) will have vitamin B12. Plant-based sources of B12 include: kimchi, sauerkraut, dulse, kombucha and nutritional yeast. Organic root vegetables from farmer’s markets also contain vitamin B12 because it will be in the dirt. Just make sure you wash and don’t peel the vegetables.
Stay away from protein isolates.
Soy/whey protein isolates have been isolated from the carbohydrate and fat source of the original, whole food. Because the protein is not whole and has been altered, it takes more energy to break down. Kale is 45 percent protein. Just sayin.
Try not to eat carbohydrate 1.5 hours before bed. It can inhibit growth hormone, which inhibits muscle from forming!
There you have it! The webinar was wonderful and I can’t wait to participate in more Learn it Live session in the future!