Bullet Proof Coffee- A Recipe

How to Make Coffee to Super Charge Your Day, Hold the Sugar

What is Bullet Proof Coffee?

It is important to note that Bulletproof Coffee is a brand, which manufactures and distributes coffee and other health focused products. This company/brand came up with the concept for the drink “Bulletproof Coffee”. Bulletproof Coffee (the drink) is a high fat, sugar free coffee drink which has become popular in some health and fitness circles for its potential benefits. The basic formula to make this drink yourself is to combine brewed coffee with grass fed butter, and medium chain triglyceride (MTC) oil.

Start with the Coffee

Any good Bulletproof coffee starts with, you guessed it, good coffee. I will be framing out this recipe the way I make it, but any coffee or brewing method can be used.

  1. Grind your coffee beans. Grind yourself some whole coffee beans, either for a brewing pot or individual cup. Fresh ground coffee always tastes better, in my opinion.
  2. Use clean water. The quality of your coffee beans and water will contribute to the quality and taste of your coffee. Some type of filtration for your water is necessary, do not just use tap water to make your coffee.
  3. Prepare your grass fed butter and MCT oil. An easy and affordable source of MCT oil is Coconut oil. When purchasing Coconut oil, look for virgin, unrefined coconut oil. Refined coconut oils may have their structure altered due to heat used in processing, and you will find they do not have the same smell and taste of coconut. I use one tablespoon of each for 1 standard cup of coffee, placed in the cup so the drip coffee melts both during brewing.

4. Add sea salt. I like to add sea salt (a few pinches) for flavor and electrolytes. Optional at this step, you could add spices like cinnamon for flavor.

5. Combine all ingredients. For this step, use a milk frother (a few types pictured below) or a blender. This is important to whip the drink and combine the MCT oil and melted butter into the coffee. If you do not take this step, you will end up with a butter oil slick on top of your coffee, which is not very appetizing. I usually spend about a minute on this step.

Compare to other Coffee Drinks

Nutrition facts for the drink you just made are (approximately):

  • 230 calories
  • 0 grams protein
  • 0 grams sugar
  • 25 grams fat

Compare to nutrition facts of a coffee drink you may order from a chain:

  • 410 calories
  • 12 grams protein
  • 49 grams sugar
  • 13 grams fat

(The above sample is for a small)

Why Bulletproof Coffee?

Drinking a bulletproof coffee may provide you more sustained energy, and help you feel satiated (full) throughout the morning. This is due to the combination of good quality fats with coffee, and no sugar. The standard cappuccino drink or coffee with cream and sugar is going to trigger an increase in blood sugar and an insulin response, which will actually make you hungry in a few hours.

If you are going to try bulletproof coffee, based on my experience I recommend trying it as a stand alone drink. So, substitute this drink for your usual morning coffee, and don’t eat breakfast for a few hours. If you combine a bulletproof coffee with a meal containing carbohydrates, you will likely get a similar result to the sugar coffee drink.

Can I add Artificial Sweetener?

This is your discretion, there are pros and cons to adding artificial sweeteners. Personally, I prefer to make this a savory drink rather than a sweet one, but everyone’s taste preferences are different. The pro to artificial sweetener is it makes the drink more palatable for some. Potential cons include putting an artificial ingredient into your body, and also that artificial sweeteners can trigger an insulin response in your body.

Give it a try!

I hope this guide and recipe for Bulletproof coffee is helpful, give it a try and let me know what you think!

Have a Happy (Healthy) New Year!

Your One Stop Shop to Make a Healthy New Year’s Resolution

Photo by Oleg Zaicev on Pexels.com

New Year, New You?

Happy New Year! How is 2021 going for you so far, did you make a New Year’s resolution? If you did, this post will help give you some ideas to tune up and strengthen your resolution. If you have not made a resolution, it is not too late…make a January 9 resolution! There is nothing magical about the date of January 1 to commit to self improvement, the only truly important factor is your commitment and follow through.

Getting Started on the Path Towards a Healthier You

Given the theme of my blog, I assume you are reading this post for ideas on Health or Fitness related resolutions. The framework I am going to outline can be applied to other goals as well, but the examples will be related to Health and Wellness. Last year, I wrote a fairly extensive blog post about goal setting, please take a look if you would like some additional information about the general topic of goals.

First, start with where you are. Take inventory of your daily and weekly routines of nutrition, exercise, stress, and sleep. A great way to accomplish this is a daily journal, to help you log specifics within each category. It is important to be as detailed and specific as possible when journaling, as this will help inform your goals. Also, be honest with yourself, you cannot make goals to improve if you are not being real about your starting point. Here is an example of what I daily journal can look like, to help give you an idea to get started:

Monday

Exercise: 2,000 steps during the day.

Food and Drink:

Morning: Coffee with cream and sugar.

Around 9 am: McDonald’s Bacon Egg and Cheese Breakfast Bagel, Hashbrowns, Coffee with cream and sugar.

Around 12 noon: BLT Sandwich with Mayo, 1 granola bar.

Around 3 pm: 1 Diet Coke, 1 Nutra-grain Bar.

Around 6 pm: Baked chicken breast with honey mustard glaze, side of rice, side salad.

Around 7:30 pm: Snack (bag of Doritos), 12 oz Beer.

Sleep: To bed around 11:30 pm (did not fall asleep right away), woke up at 6 am for work.

Stress: I was stressed out by my commute to and from work, my meetings at work, and dinner preparation.

Keep daily journal entries for a week before you think about making any changes, and be honest and accurate with yourself. Once you have a week of “baseline data”, you can then start to look at goals, and how you will work towards them.

If you are looking to make a change to your diet and your journal looks something like above, do not worry about counting calories or macro-nutrients if this is not something you have done before. Rather, take note of the food choices, and estimated portion sizes to give you an idea of your starting point.

If you have weight loss or nutritional goals, start with the obvious answer before taking measures such as counting calories and macro-nutrients. Can you identify the low hanging fruit/obvious improvements to the food journal above? Here are a few that will result in improvements if practiced consistently:

  1. Ditch the cream and sugar in coffee. Drink black coffee, or substitute black or green tea.
  2. Ditch McDonalds, and make your own breakfast. Even with similar food choices at breakfast, you can control the ingredients and limit processed/fried food.
  3. Ditch the soda, substitute water, seltzer, herbal tea.
  4. Ditch the late night snack and drink, you don’t need to eat so soon after dinner, you could move the beer to Saturday as a treat if you like beer. Substitute a cup of herbal tea or other calorie free beverage.

Are there other areas for improvement in the food journals above? Sure there are, and I bet you found a few. The basic concept I wanted to demonstrate is that we all know the parts of our routine that provide little to no nutritional value and do not enhance our health, it is truly not rocket science.

What are your Goals?

Realistically, you probably had an idea about your goals before you did a daily journal to see your baseline. Here are a few examples of common goal categories related to Health and Fitness:

  1. Desire to lose weight or some other physical/appearance related goal.
  2. Desire to change something in our diet (stop drinking soda, for example).
  3. Desire to improve our physical fitness (increase steps per day, get stronger, start running as examples).

If you have not had a chance to think about specific goals, take some time and do this before you start making changes to what you find in your daily journals. If you do not know your goals and outcomes, you can’t really be intentional when making changes to what you are currently doing.

Find Your Theme

In addition to goals, I recommend creating a guiding theme for you to follow and reference during 2021. I had a guiding theme in 2020, and saw some of the best sustained results I have ever experienced. A guiding theme is not a specific goal you can achieve, but rather a phrase that inspires you and keeps you moving towards your goals. For more information on guiding themes, check out the Goal Setting Post I referenced above.

Analyzing your Personal Data from Journals

Now that you have goals, and (hopefully) a guiding theme, take a look and see if what you found in your daily journals is serving you in achieving these results. I will use the sample daily journal above for this example:

Sample Goal: I want to add weight training in to my daily routine, 3 days per week, for 30 minutes. For the example above, assume there is no weight/resistance training at all.

Challenges: I am very inexperienced with weight training, I do not have a Gym membership, I am uncertain about Gyms due to the state of COVID in 2021, I don’t have time during the week.

Solutions:

  1. First, find the time! Based on the daily journals above, this person could find time in the morning, or the evening to do 30 minutes of exercise. For the morning, they would need to go to sleep earlier, so they can wake up earlier to exercise. If they are not a morning person, they could exercise in the evening. Personally, I have a hard time winding down to go to sleep if I work out in the evening, so I choose the morning.
  2. Go on Google or You Tube and find some basic, body weight exercises, you don’t need a Gym to train! The internet is a wonderful tool, and this person will find that you don’t need a Gym (or equipment) to get an excellent workout routine using body weight exercises. In your home with no equipment, you can do push ups, modified pushups, sit ups, crunches, lunges, squats, chair squats, etc, etc. You can even find some free workout videos to follow along with, even better!
  3. Pick very basic exercises, and spend time learning the technique of them before following along with a workout video. You can teach yourself enough of the basics to get moving and get some results.
  4. Considering hiring an online personal trainer or coach. As mentioned above, you can learn enough of the basics to get moving and get some results. However, if someone is inexperienced, it is always advisable to seek professional help to make sure your movements are safe and functional. For example, someone might be powering through push ups and see great results, but if their technique is even slightly off, they may end up with sore elbows and have no idea why.
  5. Once you meet your goal, stop and reassess. It is a big deal to build a routine of consistency when it comes to exercise, but once you accomplish any goal you need to think about what is next. This is where a guiding theme will motivate you for constant improvement.
  6. Keep journaling. Write down your own ideas for goals, challenges, and solutions as you make improvements.

Example Next Level Goals: Using the example above, once you accomplish your goal of weight training three times per week, here are some possible next steps.

  1. Hire a trainer or coach to help me learn better technique, new exercises, and develop a plan.
  2. Find variations of the exercises I have learned to make them more challenging.
  3. Add time to my workouts, perhaps increase to 40 minutes per day 3 times per week.
  4. Add cardio exercise or steps to the days of the week I am not weight training.
  5. Make a change to my diet which will help increase my energy levels and results, such as cutting out added sugar/artificial sweeteners gradually, starting with soda.

Tip: Regardless of your goals, I highly increasing the quality of your sleep. Sleep by nature is restorative, and will enhance any area of your health and wellbeing you have as a goal. I plan to write a more comprehensive post about sleep in the future, but for now just try and make sure you are getting 7-8 good hours of sleep per night.

Also, continue to journal as you make progress and set new goals. The daily journals will help you keep track of what is working for you, and perhaps what may not be working. Journals can also be a source of motivation, they help you see progress along your journey.

Make It Happen!

Remember, there is nothing magical about January 1, you can make meaningful change any time of the year. Make 2021 your year, it starts now!

Photo by Allan Mas on Pexels.com

Happy (Healthy) Holidays

A Blog Post all about How You can make a Plan to have a Happy, and Healthy Holiday Season!

Photo by Oleg Zaicev on Pexels.com

Jingle All the Way! Catching Up on the Series

If you are brand new to my Blog or this Holiday posting series, welcome! This post series is the final leg in a series about breaking the Holiday Cycle of adding pounds and inches to our waist from October- January 1, and making a New Year’s resolution to essentially undo the damage. If we are not careful, this can be an annual occurrence.

This blog series is a case study format, I made a Holiday Health plan for myself and documented my progress. For more information on this topic and ideas to make your own Healthy Holiday plan, please see my previous post.

These posts were broken up into a series, so please also see my Thanksgiving post to catch up on the first month of the Holiday Season. This will show how November went for me, and also tips I share from my experience.

Summary of Tips, Challenges, and Highlights [Video]

My Top Tips for Healthy Holiday Success

During the program, I included a series of tips and strategies that worked well for me, I invite you to take a look at them below and hope they may give you some ideas or inspiration.

Intermittent Fasting: Put simply, intermittent fasting is going period of time without eating or drinking anything with significant calories (black coffee has some calories, but does not break a fast). There are potential metabolic benefits to fasting, and it is also a strategy to help manage your overall intake of food in a day. If you eat breakfast at 6 am, Lunch at 12 noon, dinner at 6 pm, and have late night snacks after dinner, your overall intake of food/calories will likely be higher than if you manage all meals within an 8 hour time frame each day.

The basic concept is to have a 16 hour fast, and an 8 hour period in which to eat your meals; this protocol can be adjusted to incorporate a longer fast and shorter eating period as well. The style I used this week was one meal a day (OMAD) intermittent fasting.

This is something I have in my dietary toolbelt because I spent some time building this metabolic flexibility while trying out the Keto diet for 30 days in September. If you started off trying to manage with one meal per day, it may be quiet uncomfortable if you have not spent some time trying out fasting and adjusting. If you wanted to give intermittent fasting a try, here is an idea:

  1. Eat dinner at 6 pm after a normal day, no late night snacks.
  2. When you wake up, do not eat breakfast, only have black coffee, tea, or water (no sugar or artificial sweetener.
  3. If you get hungry before 10 am, drink plenty of water.
  4. Eat your first meal at 10 am.

You have just fasted 16 hours!

I found that utilizing intermittent fasting a few days per week (especially the week of a holiday) helped me operate with slightly fewer calories than I need. This slight calorie deficit to (hopefully) help balance out the holidays that week.

Hydration: Hydration is important with any nutrition plan, but especially with intermittent fasting. Your body will sometimes send signals that indicate hunger, when actually you are thirsty and just need some water. And when I say hydration, I mean pure, clean water…you can have other beverages during the day, but the majority of your fluid intake should be water. Here is a helpful previous post on Hydration.

Eliminate Trigger Foods: Trigger Foods are foods that you are unable to stop eating once you have even a little bit, and they are different for everyone. It doesn’t matter if the food is “healthy” or not, what matters is your ability to control intake and stop eating the food. Mixed nuts may be considered “healthy”, but for me they can be a trigger food, so I avoided them during my Holiday plan.

Eliminate (or greatly reduce) Grain, Added Sugar, Alcohol: This is a strategy I picked up during my Whole 30, and found that there are exponential returns on your health and energy levels when eliminating these food and drink groups. If you think of your trigger foods from above, I bet you a vast majority of them either have grain, or added sugar (or, you have a harder time controlling the trigger food if you have a few drinks).

Make the Weekend Winning Time! Use the weekend to get even more sleep, spend more time meal planning, and do some fun movements and exercise. If you party, drink, have treats, and stay up late on weekends (every weekend), you take away progress you are working towards.

Exercise on the Holiday! Even if you are going to have your favorite treats on the Holiday, make it a point to move and exercise. Do something that is fun and meaningful for you; walk, run, push up, pull up, lift weights. Make exercise and movement part of your celebration, you will feel great, and rev up that metabolism before your big day!

Theme your workout for the Holiday to give you extra motivation. If you like to run, go for a jog Thanksgiving morning and call it the “Turkey Trot”, for example. I used “Jingle (Kettle) Bells” and featured Kettlebell or Barbell exercises on all weight training days, as my theme for December.

Stick to your plan. You made a plan to be healthy during the holidays, make sure you stick with it! No late night snacks on Tuesday, no drinks and delivery Pizza on Wednesday before Thanksgiving Thursday (for example). If your plan is to dial in your nutrition every day except the Holiday, stick to your plan! Part two of this tip is immediately get back on your plan after the Holiday. Allowing the same habits to stick around for another week can be bad news for your goals, so get back to it!

On the Holiday, Eat what you like! What I mean by this is when you are deciding to enjoy a Holiday, or any particular meal, eat the foods you really like. You have already decided that it is ok to indulge a little bit and have some treats, but there is really no need to add foods to your plate that you consider to be just “ok”. For example, if you love Turkey and Mashed Potatoes, but can’t stand green bean casserole, skip the casserole! Do not worry about counting calories on the Holiday, but do consider that eating foods you don’t really love fills you up unnecessarily, can make you uncomfortable, and take away from the enjoyment of the day. Another example of this is eating things simply because they are there, like appetizers. Apply the same logic, if you really like the appetizer being served have it, if you don’t, skip it!

Exercise the Day After. No matter how you feel the day after a Holiday, get up and do something. Even if it is as basic as a walk, getting up and exercise the day after helps renew your commitment to health and wellness. The trick is, make a specific plan. In your plan, include what you will do for exercise, and when you will do it…if you leave it open ended “I will do some type of exercise the day after Christmas”, you are much less likely to follow through as compared to making a specific plan. I found from my experience that when I knew a workout was coming the next morning, I didn’t over indulge quite as much as I might have otherwise.

Sleep. Make sure you focus on quality sleep is part of your routine to be happy and healthy during the holidays. Sleep is low hanging fruit when it comes to getting some excellent benefits related to your energy levels and overall healthy. Strive for at least 7-8 quality hours per night.

How I made My Plan

To make my plan, I thought specifically about how I wanted to be performing, looking, and feeling on January 1. I thought about what I would need to do for exercise, and how I would need to eat to achieve the desired results.

Tips on Getting Started

(Adapted from a previous blog post)

  1. Make this winnable! I am using my plan as an example, not as a template for you. You may look at my routine and goals, and think “no way am I doing that, way too intense!” You also may look at my exercise routine and think “Dom, those lifts are weak sauce, need more  intensity!” Start with where you are, make goals to get better, execute your specific goals and plan so you can win.
  2. Write it down! You have to write down your goals, and write down your progress towards them. If you do not track goals and progress, you won’t have a sense of direction or accomplishment, and most likely lack motivation. You cannot hit a target that you cannot see.
  3. Make time! You need to make time in your week to grocery shop, meal plan, meal prep, and exercise. Add this to your calendar like you do a work appointment, or it will not happen.

My plan was to focus on maintaining my frequency and intensity of exercise through the Holiday season, and to not gain weight or belt loop holes in between November-January.

My Specific Goals

I made myself some specific, measurable, realistic goals to hold myself accountable during the Holiday season. These were goals I made back on November 9, which held fairly consistent from November 9-January 1 with a minor adjustment in the Cardio goal.

  1. Make sure that added Sugar, Grain, and Alcohol stay in the treat category (once per week max), focus on whole, unprocessed food being dietary staples.
  2. Keep weight on the scale, and belt loop the same, or improve them (I don’t want to have to loosen my belt on January 1, compared to November).
  3. Assure that my weekly frequency of cardio exercise stays the same, even when the weather gets colder.
  4. Add volume (reps and sets) to my upper body, body weight exercise routine of Pull Ups, Dips, and Push Ups.
  5. Assure to wear blue light glasses before bed each night, consistent bed time, strive for 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.

The plan also included a weekly check in on these major goals, to see how I was doing, and any adjustments I may have needed to make to stay on track.

My Daily Journal Structure

*A word about my daily journals and routine. The main reasons I include my daily journals in this series are as follows:

  1. To show an example of what a daily journal can look like and hopefully spark some creative thinking and ideas for readers.
  2. To hold myself accountable…writing down my food intake and exercise/activity on the internet is a big motivating factor for me to follow through on my goals.

My daily journals are not intended to be a prescriptive program for readers to follow, this is simply what works for me. Whether it be my exercise routine, what I eat, or when I eat…it falls under the umbrella of “this is what works for me”. If you are interested in any of my rationale behind my meal timing and planning, I would invite you to take a look at my Thanksgiving post, sub heading of “Dietary Strategies I Use“.

Below is a sample of one of my daily journal entries and the structure I followed:

Monday

Exercise: Nordic Track, 60 minutes, 3.70 miles (no “ski poles)

Food and Drink:

Morning: Coffee, water.

Around 7:30 am: Black coffee.

During work day: Plenty of water, 2 green teas.

Around 4:30 pm: Spicy coleslaw made with slaw mix, olives, chopped garlic, hot pepper, dressed with salt, pepper, avocado mayo, apple cider vinegar, sriracha sauce; 1 can sardines; 1 sliced avocado; 1 cup air dried kale chips.

My Before and After Stats

Timeframe of all stats and photos: Date of Before is November 9, 2020, after is January 1, 2021.

Photos:

Before
After

Weight:

Before-201.6 pounds

After- 198.0 pounds

Both photos and weigh ins were taken after morning cardio, to keep conditions similar.

Belt Loop: 

Before- 4th (4th is ok, 5th is better, 3rd is not good…higher belt loops=lower waist circumference)

After- 5th belt loop

Cardio Frequency: 

Before- At least 2 walks (or equivalent) at least 1 jog (or equivalent) per week. Best run of a 4.9 mile loop, 48:30

After- At least 3 Cardio sessions per week, 60 minutes in duration (Nordic Track Machine).

How did I do?

Overall, I was very happy with accomplishing the goals I set for myself during the Holidays. The week between Christmas and New Years had a little bit of slide when it came to diet (reflected on the scale), but I did stay consistent with my exercise routine.

During the Holidays, I found it very beneficial to have nutritional guidelines to keep myself on track, and also to have exercise goals for motivation and accountability. I hope this blog series was helpful, and gave you some ideas you could apply to a New Years Resolution, Summer Vacations, or Next Year’s Holidays!

Until next time, stay Healthy my friends!

Jingle Kettlebells-Week 3

Week 3 of a Plan to Break the Holiday Cycle and End 2020 Healthy and Fit

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Catching up on the Jingle

If you are brand new to my blog or this Holiday posting series, welcome! This post series is the final leg in a series about breaking the Holiday Cycle of adding pounds and inches to our waist from October- January 1, and making a New Year’s resolution to essentially undo the damage. If we are not careful, this can be an annual occurrence. For more information on this topic and ideas to make your own Healthy Holiday plan, please see my previous post.

Challenges This Week

Idle time was a challenge this week. This came in the form of time off of work, unstructured time. I find that whenever I have time off, if I am not careful to plan my routine, treats tend find their way in to the daily routine. At the start of the week, I made a plan to continue my exercise routine, and did my usual meal prep as if it were a work week. I also took an inventory of some household tasks and errands that could be accomplished during my time off, to add additional structure to my days leading in to the Holidays.

Tip of the Week

Don’t forget to hydrate! Even during the winter months when it is cold, if you are exercising or clearing snow outside, you still need to hydrate. It may not seem intuitive to hydrate when it is cold outside, but you still sweat and lose fluid through breathing the same way you do during the summer. Build in hydration breaks, and also have some water after you finish your exercise or snow clean up.

Hydration is important with any nutrition plan, but especially with intermittent fasting. Your body will sometimes send signals that indicate hunger, when actually you are thirsty and just need some water. And when I say hydration, I mean pure, clean water…you can have other beverages during the day, but the majority of your fluid intake should be water. Here is a helpful previous post on Hydration.

My Strategies for Healthy Holidays

As a reminder from week 2, I made myself some specific plans and strategies to keep myself on track this week. Here they are:

  • Continue nutrition and exercise plan through Wednesday.
  • A slightly longer period of fasting Wednesday going into Thursday, and also Thursday going in to Friday.
  • Morning Exercise Thursday, with slightly higher volume (weight training). This will be a themed workout, Ring those Bells! Featuring Barbell Deadlifts, Kettlebell Swings, and Kettlebell Push Presses.
  • Exercise on Friday, cardio. This will be a themed workout, the Jingle all the Way Holiday Trot! AKA, going for a run in the cold.
  • Morning exercise on Saturday (Kettlebell Swings, Push Ups). This will be a themed workout, Answer the Bell post Holiday Jingle.

Daily Journals

*A word about my daily journals and routine. The main reasons I include my daily journals in this series are as follows:

  1. To show an example of what a daily journal can look like and hopefully spark some creative thinking and ideas for readers.
  2. To hold myself accountable…writing down my food intake and exercise/activity on the internet is a big motivating factor for me to follow through on my goals.

My daily journals are not intended to be a prescriptive program for readers to follow, this is simply what works for me. Whether it be my exercise routine, what I eat, or when I eat…it falls under the umbrella of “this is what works for me”. If you are interested in any of my rationale behind my meal timing and planning, I would invite you to take a look at my Thanksgiving post, sub heading of “Dietary Strategies I Use”.

Sunday

Exercise: A few random sets of pull ups, push ups, dips (in between present wrapping and house chores), around 1 mile walk, stretch and foam roll.

Food and Drink

Morning: Black Coffee and water.

Around 8:30 am: Bulletproof Coffee.

During afternoon: 1 stout beer, 2 scotches.

Around 6:30 pm: Beef rib roast, mashed potatoes, roast vegetables.

Monday

Exercise: Nordic Track, 60 minutes, 3.53 miles, using “ski poles”.

Food and Drink

Morning: Black coffee, water.

Around 11 am: Black coffee.

Around 1 pm: Spicy Coleslaw Spicy coleslaw made with slaw mix, olives, chopped garlic, hot pepper, dressed with salt, pepper, avocado mayo, apple cider vinegar, sriracha sauce; pepperoni.

Around 5 pm: Ginger tea and water.

Tuesday

Exercise: Weight training. Pull up 6,7,7,6,5; Dip 7,8,9,8,7; Push up 10,9,8,8,7; Total Gym row 12,12,12,12,10; Ab wheel roll 10,10,10,10,10; Kettlebell Swing 53 lbs 12,15,15,15

For the above exercises, what I did is go through each exercise in the order listed, with very little rest in between each exercise, and then take a few minutes rest after Kettlebell swings before starting with Pull up again.

Food and Drink

Morning: Black coffee, water.

Around 9 am: Bulletproof coffee.

Around 1 pm: Spicy Coleslaw Spicy coleslaw made with slaw mix, olives, chopped garlic, hot pepper, dressed with salt, pepper, avocado mayo, apple cider vinegar, sriracha sauce; pork rinds; beef jerky stick.

Around 5 pm: Ginger tea and water.

Wednesday

Exercise: Nordic Track, 60 minutes, 3.60 miles, using “ski poles”.

Food and Drink

Morning: Black coffee, water.

Around 8 am: Black Iced coffee.

Around 9:30 am: Beef jerky stick, pork rinds, 10 olives, cheddar cheese 🧀.

Around 12:30 pm: Cold brew coffee, 2 spoons coconut oil.

Around 5:30 pm: Ginger tea.

Thursday

Exercise: “Ring the Bells!” Deadlifts-205: 3, 225: 3,3; Double Kettlebell Push Press 35s: 10, 44s: 6,7,7,7; 2 Hand Kettlebell Swing 72: 5,6,7,7,7; Hanging Leg Raise 10,10,10,10,10

*I performed the exercises in the order above after warming up on the Deadlift, taking very little rest in between exercises (a few minutes before each Deadlift set), probably about 40-45 minutes total time.

Friday

Exercise: “Jingle all the way Holiday Trot”, around 5 mile outdoor run, around an hour total time. The main challenge of this run was rain, rather than cold…it was in the 50’s and raining on Christmas Day.

*Saturday is posting day.

Included Saturday was a morning themed workout “Answer the Bell”. I needed to adjust this workout, I was a bit sore due to my run (I hadn’t run in over a month). I turned this “workout” into stretch, foam rolling, and walking.

My Weekly Progress Report

This is an update to see how I did on my goals/focus areas for the week, here is my check in for week 3:

  1. Sugar, Grain, Alcohol were treats only outside Holidays. I was particularly happy that I stuck to this plan Monday- Wednesday, especially being off work and having lots of access to snacks and drinks.
  2. Weight on Thursday (due to Friday travel was) 193.2 pounds, which is about half a pound lighter than last week. I’m not counting calories, but I suspect I’ve been operating at a deficit on my intermittent fasting days. That, combined with limited treats and my exercise routine are logical contributing factors to lower scale weight. Also, 5th belt loop, so waist circumference is staying steady.
  3. I met my goal of three 60 minute cardio sessions this week!
  4. I assured that each weight training day featured a kettlebell, and/or a barbell exercise, and added themed workouts for extra motivation!
  5. I wore blue light glasses every light at least 1 hour before bed, and was able to log 2 days of 7 hours of sleep. I also grabbed a few naps during the week due to time off.

Looking Ahead to Next Week

Next week has 1 Holiday, New Years Eve! I personally do not treat New Years day like a Holiday when it comes to eat, drink, and be merry…more like a day of reflection and planning for the upcoming year. It will be important for me to dial my nutrition plan back in after the recent Holidays to close 2020 on a high note!

Next week’s post will be a wrap up/summary of the entire Holiday season from November 9- January 1. This will be an opportunity to see how accountable I stayed to my plan, and also share my top tips for Healthy Holidays. For context, I’ll give you a window into my stats from January 1, 2020, when I did not make a plan.

Thanks for following along, see you in 2021!

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Jingle Kettlebells-Week 2

Week 2 of a Plan to Break the Holiday Cycle and End 2020 Healthy and Fit

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Catching up on the Jingle

If you are brand new to my blog or this Holiday posting series, welcome! This post series is the final leg in a series about breaking the Holiday Cycle of adding pounds and inches to our waist from October- January 1, and making a New Year’s resolution to essentially undo the damage. If we are not careful, this can be an annual occurrence. For more information on this topic and ideas to make your own plan, please see my previous post.

Week 2 of my plan has been very successful when it comes to meeting guidelines and milestones I have set for a happy and healthy Holiday Season!

Challenges This Week

Well, we had a snow storm Thursday, which slightly threw off my perfect plan of the 5 day report to work week and the nutrition and exercise routine which accompanies. Thursday turned into remote work, clean up snow, and daddy day care. This added a slight bit of stress, and also some temptation related to having some nice dark beers after snow clean up, which is not part of my usual Thursday nutrition routine. I met this challenge by counting snow clean up as exercise Thursday (subbing out my planned weight training), and getting right back on plan Friday morning with my planned cardio and intermittent fasting. Unexpected changes in routine will come up, and it is very important that we think on our feet and make good decisions that support our goals when life happens.

Tip of the Week

Plan to exercise the day before, the day of, and the day after your Holiday! Making an exercise plan, and sticking to it will help affirm your commitment to your Health and Wellbeing. Even if it is going out for a walk the morning after your Holiday, the accountability and continuation of your fitness routine will go a long way towards ending 2020 on a high note. The trick is, make a specific plan. In your plan, include what you will do for exercise, and when you will do it…if you leave it open ended “I will do some type of exercise the day after Christmas”, you are much less likely to follow through as compared to making a specific plan. I will share my specific plans for next week at the end of the post, I hope you will consider making a plan of your own!

Daily Journals

*A word about my daily journals and routine. The main reasons I include my daily journals in this series are as follows:

  1. To show an example of what a daily journal can look like and hopefully spark some creative thinking and ideas for readers.
  2. To hold myself accountable…writing down my food intake and exercise/activity on the internet is a big motivating factor for me to follow through on my goals.

My daily journals are not intended to be a prescriptive program for readers to follow, this is simply what works for me. Whether it be my exercise routine, what I eat, or when I eat…it falls under the umbrella of “this is what works for me”. If you are interested in any of my rationale behind my meal timing and planning, I would invite you to take a look at my Thanksgiving post, sub heading of “Dietary Strategies I Use“.

Sunday

Exercise: Active rest (stretch and foam roll)

Food and Drink

Morning: Black coffee, water.

Around 9 am: Green tea.

Around 12:30 pm: Leftover greek salad with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Afternoon: 1 stout beer, 2 scotches.

Around 6 pm: Beef tenderloin, crab cakes, side of potatoes with cheese.

Monday

Exercise: Nordic Track, 60 minutes, 3.70 miles (no “ski poles)

Food and Drink:

Morning: Coffee, water.

Around 7:30 am: Black coffee.

During work day: Plenty of water, 2 green teas.

Around 4:30 pm: Spicy coleslaw made with slaw mix, olives, chopped garlic, hot pepper, dressed with salt, pepper, avocado mayo, apple cider vinegar, sriracha sauce; 1 can sardines; 1 sliced avocado; 1 cup air dried kale chips.

Tuesday

Exercise: Weight training. Pull up 6,7,6,6; Dip 7,8,9,8; Push up 10,10,8,7; Total Gym row 12,12,12,12; Ab wheel roll 10,10,10,10; Kettlebell Swing 53 lbs 12,12,12,12

For the above exercises, what I did is go through each exercise in the order listed, with very little rest in between each exercise, and then take a few minutes rest after Kettlebell swings before starting with Pull up again.

Food and Drink:

Morning: Coffee, water.

Around 7:30 am: Bulletproof coffee.

During work day: 2 green teas , plenty of water.

Around 4:30 pm: Spicy coleslaw made with slaw mix, olives, chopped garlic, hot pepper, dressed with salt, pepper, avocado mayo, apple cider vinegar, sriracha sauce; left over crab cakes; 1 sliced avocado; 1 cup air dried kale chips.

Wednesday

Exercise: Nordic Track, 60 minutes, 3.83 miles (no “ski poles)

Food and Drink:

Morning: Coffee, water.

Around 7:30 am: Black coffee.

During work day: Plenty of water, 2 green teas.

Around 4:30 pm: Spicy coleslaw made with slaw mix, olives, chopped garlic, hot pepper, dressed with salt, pepper, avocado mayo, apple cider vinegar, sriracha sauce; 1 can sardines; 1 sliced avocado.

Thursday

Exercise: Snow clean up, probably around 2.5 hours total time. Yes, physical activity counts as exercise!

Food and Drink:

Morning: Coffee, water.

Around 7:30 am: Black coffee.

During work at home day: Black iced coffee, green tea, some water.

Around 5:00 pm: 2 Stout beers.

Around 5:30 pm: Spicy coleslaw made with slaw mix, olives, chopped garlic, hot pepper, dressed with salt, pepper, avocado mayo, apple cider vinegar, sriracha sauce; 1 can sardines; 1 sliced avocado; 1 humus and pretzel.

Friday

Exercise: Nordic Track, 60 minutes, 3.92 miles (no “ski poles)

Food and Drink:

Morning: Coffee, water.

Around 7:30 am: Black coffee.

During work day: Plenty of water, 2 green teas.

Around 5:30 pm: Parmesan cheese crisps, humus and pretzels, guacamole and chips. *Not my usual spread, plans fell through for take out so needed to improvise.

Throughout evening: 1 stout beer, 2 scotches.

*Saturday is blog posting day.

My Weekly Progress Report

This is an update to see how I did on my goals/focus areas for the week, here is my check in for week 2:

  1. Sugar, Grain were treats only, had a little bit more alcohol than my standard week…not going to beat myself up, just staying accountable.
  2. Weight on Friday was 193.8 pounds, which is about a pound less than last Friday. Of note, there are a lot of factors that can influence weight on the scale. For my example this week, I may have been down some fluid (dehydrated) after the time spent clearing snow/ probably not enough water, 2 beers, and 60 minutes of cardio the next morning. Also 5th belt loop, so waist circumference is staying steady.
  3. I met my goal of three 60 minute cardio sessions this week! I will make sure to replicate this next week heading into the Holidays.
  4. I assured that each weight training day featured a kettlebells, and/or a barbell exercise…although I needed to sub out my planned Thursday weight training.
  5. I wore blue light glasses every light at least 1 hour before bed, I had 1 great night of sleep, over 7 hours. I had a few poor nights of sleep due to kid interruptions, so need to pay attention to his routine as well. Overall, kept a routine bed time of around 9 pm.

Looking Ahead to Next Week

Next week has 2 holidays! Yes, for me Christmas Eve counts as a Holiday. I will not include food journals for Thursday and Friday next week because they will be full of delicious treats, but will have exercise logged for those days and my fasting window. Here are some specific plans I have to set myself up for success, leading into the Holidays next week:

  • Continue nutrition and exercise plan through Wednesday.
  • A slightly longer period of fasting Wednesday going into Thursday, and also Thursday going in to Friday.
  • Morning Exercise Thursday, with slightly higher volume (weight training). This will be a themed workout, Ring those Bells! Featuring Barbell Deadlifts, Kettlebell Swings, and Kettlebell Push Presses.
  • Exercise on Friday, cardio. This will be a themed workout, the Jingle all the Way Holiday Trot! AKA, going for a run in the cold.
  • Morning exercise on Saturday (Kettlebell Swings, Push Ups). This will be a themed workout, Answer the Bell post Holiday Jingle.

I am so excited to enjoy some family time in the upcoming week, and also staying accountable to my plan! Thanks for following along with me, see you soon!

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