Saturday, July 12, 2014

Rest weeks

I went into this week with the best intentions; I had all my workouts planned out (and was somewhat ambitious in my scheduling), and a list of new recipes I wanted to cook. Let's just say things really didn't pan out exactly like I wanted to.

First up, the heat rash I'd picked up during our layover in NYC flared up (itchy and painful) meaning that working up a sweat was a bad idea. I tried to soldier on Monday and Tuesday, before waving a white flag and allowing my body to settle and recover. Also, the program I'd decided to tackle relied too much on weight machines and without access to a gym membership, it wasn't really viable even when I made the kettle-bell substitutions I could.

On a brighter note, I'd managed to do all the yoga flows I'd planned including a 60 minute flow working up to Firefly pose, did a Tai Chi session (much to happiness of my body) and finished the week on a strong note with two body weight workouts today.

Unexpected rest weeks are pretty awesome.

Nutrition-wise, I ate well 90% of the time although did barely any cooking. I made the first recipe on my list but between M offering to cook (with delicious results) and low motivation on one occasion, the rest just didn't get shopped for or made. There's always next week though.

Not much on the excitement-front this week; plenty of work involved, with today being the highlight.

There were World Cup matches to watch at the local pub (and the final tomorrow to look forward to).

And the neighbour's tail-less cat chilling out on my yoga mat. 

Given I'm travelling to Texas for a meeting on Friday, my workouts for the week looks something like this:
  • Sunday: rock-climbing, workout w kettle-bells; yoga to unwind (35) 
  • Monday: bodyweight workout; yin yoga (35)
  • Tuesday: workout w kettle-bells; detox flow (45) 
  • Wednesday: bodyweight workout; core yoga (30)
  • Thursday: workout w kettle-bells; wind-down flow (20)
  • Friday: bodyweight workout; run; post-run flow (20); 
  • Saturday: workout w kettle-bells; heart-opening flow (55)
I thought about what program I should do, and ended up revisiting one I'd completed previously. With my current workout equipment situation (yoga mat, resistance bands, kettle-bells only), it seemed like the option I'd be most likely to stick to, so consistency is trumping novelty this time around.

One question, should I schedule a rest day though? My body has managed over the last few years with little issue so I'm not entirely sure I need one, but given life has a way of throwing the unexpected at me, I figure rest days will happen even if I don't plan for them.

Given I didn't make the recipes I wanted last week, this week is about redemption:
  • Turkey vegetable meatballs
  • Cassoulet with lots of vegetables
  • Eggplant dirty rice 
  • Cauliflower chickpea curry 
Let's do this. 
Sophie Life Explorer

Live. Love. Learn. Laugh. All with plenty of hugs.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Hurricanes and Flight Delays

Due to Hurricane Arthur causing havoc with flights in the Northeast, were stuck in NYC until Saturday night. As expected with a storm so close, the weather has been miserable with plenty of malicious-looking clouds and rain, rain and more rain. Still, we had a comfortable bed, warm sheets, and nowhere to go until Monday.

Then miraculously, Saturday was bright and shining, with the sky a brilliantly beautiful shade of blue.

As a further silver lining, we're were fortuitously stuck in NYC for the 4th of July celebrations, so hooray, fireworks!

As for the last month, my workouts have been based around what's available. Food choices have been similarly made.

It feels good to have access to a reliable grocery store and kitchen as I'm finally able to organise my meals, and a fitness plan for the week that I now have a higher chance of completing (and without having to shoot low due to uncertainty).

So my week looks something like this:

  • Sunday (done)!: cardio warm-up and workout w kettle-bells; spinal yoga flow (30) 
  • Monday: cardio warm-up and workout w kettle-bells; lunar flow (30)
  • Tuesday: cardio warm-up and workout w kettle-bells + body-weight finisher; relaxing flow (20); 
  • Wednesday: cardio warm-up and workout w kettle-bells; Hatha yoga flow (20)
  • Thursday: bodyweight workout; Forrest yoga flow (45)
  • Friday: run; post-run flow (20); Taichi + Wushu (maybe)
  • Saturday: cardio warm-up and workout w kettle-bells; Firefly flow (60)
Phew, ambitious much?

Meal-wise, I've got the following planned:
  • Kombu ginger chicken soup 
  • Turkey vegetable meatballs
  • Cassoulet with lots of vegetables
  • Eggplant dirty rice 
  • Cauliflower chickpea curry 
Looking forward to a productive week ahead. 
Sophie Life Explorer

Live. Love. Learn. Laugh. All with plenty of hugs.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The End of the Journey: Ilhabela and Sao Paulo

The last three weeks have passed by in a blur. It’s hard to believe that we’ve traversed across Brazil and met so many friendly people in such a short space of time. Part of me is looking forward to getting back to some kind of routine (staying in strange apartments and hostels and not knowing where we’ll be eating next has a way of throwing a spanner in the works), but the greater part definitely does not want to leave this beautiful country.

I guess it doesn’t help that we spent a few days in the idyllic island of Ilhabela (“Beautiful Island”). Scuba diving, boating around to beaches, driving through forests in a jeep – paradise really doesn’t get better than that. Well, thinking about it a bit more, paradise without the evil bloodsucking, mad-itch inducing black flies would definitely be better.

Seriously though, look at this scenery...

From Ilhabela, we made our way to Sao Paulo, staying in the Vila Madelena area that was filled with weird and wonderful graffiti.

We risked some cheap street food (and survived), and made time to catch the sunset with some locals and their dogs.

For our last day, we lazed about in our hostel, checked out the Museum of Art Sao Paulo, enjoyed a lunch in the basement restaurant, before making our way to the airport.

What a trip. I managed to squeeze in some yoga/stretching each day, a few bodyweight workouts a week and plenty of walking so fitness-wise, I don’t think I’ve slipped too far backwards. Which reminds me, I need to find a new workout routine and set some goals (I’ve never been particularly good at that though so any suggestions are appreciated).

Our experience has been about trying the local food, and going on as many adventures as possible taking in both the cultural and natural beauty of Brazil. Oh, and catching a few football games as well (which if I’m honest, was the primary reason for the trip). We’ll definitely be back, and intend to see a lot more of South America next time around. 

Sophie Life Explorer

Live. Love. Learn. Laugh. All with plenty of hugs.