Eating clean on a budget
Not that long ago Chris Topher and I decided that we weren’t going to worry about the cost of groceries. I mean, we aren’t eating caviar and champagne every night but we eat well. We consider the amount of time, effort, and yes, money into our lifestyle to be an investment. I’m worth it. Chris is worth it. All of us are worth it. But often we hear that eating clean and getting healthy isn’t cost effective. That it’s cheaper to eat unhealthy, and cheaper to live an unhealthy lifestyle.
That’s not true. In here to put my two cents in and officially say “saying you cant afford a healthy lifestyle is total bullshit”.
It takes more effort, yes. It takes planning. And commitment. But you can eat healthy on a budget.
Today I stopped by three different grocery stores after Bootcamp and did some bargain shopping. Yes. Three. I went with a purpose at each store because I like eating as clean and sustainable as possible but even though we don’t WORRY about money, it’s nice to not spend it all on food, too.
At Albertsons, they had a deal on their chicken and pork (and beef but I didn’t get any)- buy 1 get 2 free. Yes, I said that right. I spent $80 on meat (and drinks) but on my receipt it showed I saved $119. I just bought $200 worth of groceries for under $100! At Trader Joes, I went for the goat milk cheese, and I love their raw honey. It’s way cheaper to get those products there too. And finally I stopped at Safeway for their bargain foods. I got four packages of free range chicken at half off. AND some deli meats for snacking at half off also.
I also got this nifty calendar for me and Chris to plan things out a little better.
Oh and for my reinforcement? I splurged and bought this veggetti peeler to make super healthy spagetti! Who wants some zucchini lasagna?
Do you have any pointers for those who want to eat clean but don’t have the funds to shop at Whole Foods and PCC?
100 things I want
No, don’t worry, I’m not going to post my entire list of 100 things I want. But this list was an assignment from my mentor, Karen Petersen through her Army of 100 group. I’m honored to have been invited and I like the challenge of thinking about what I want right now and in my life.
My list is kind of sporadic. It took me over a week to finish it. Some of my goals are life dreams- ambitions for a better me. Job in England or Ireland is at the tippy top. But I also have smaller ambitious dreams- I’d love to win an AAZK award in conservation, or enrichment, or hell, let’s go for gold and say Zookeeper of the Year!
I’d like to accomplish some new experiences also. Gretchen Suzanne has really inspired me to want to try pole dancing. I’d like to work towards conquering my fear of heights, and Raina ‘s regime of trapeze aerials looks fun and terrifying. I want to try! Climb Mt. Rainier. Hike the Stehekin trail. Tough Mudder.
I’ve created some goals to increase my fitness- handstand push-ups, mile swim under 32:00. Finish all the “girl” WODS. Bench my body weight. Deadlift over 200 lbs.
Some of my goals are to get healthier not just physically but psychologically as well. I wish I could see myself the way Chris Topher sees me. He sees this amazing and beautiful woman. I’d love to see that in myself as well. One of my greatest ambitions is how I’d like others to remember me. I want to be known as the person “who truly lived”. And the greatest compliment I’d love to hear is that I am an inspiration to everyone I meet.
I actually have 100 goals. It may take me years to fully complete the entire list, but I wrote it all down. And I have some serious work ahead of me.
I’ll leave you with my #1 top goal. It’s my dream and ambition. It’s what I want to do each and every day.
#1- to be the absolute best version of myself each and every day!
What are some of your dreams? Are you brave enough to write your list of 100?
Your body needs water, so drink that sh*t!
I have so much difficulty drinking enough water. But everyday for the past week I’ve had about 100 oz.
and while I am not super proud of my eating habits this past week, I am proud that I’ve kept this aspect strong.
I do believe it’s helped me sleep a little better at night. I usually run very hot at night. It’s uncomfortable for me and it’s uncomfortable for Chris. But making sure I get enough h2o is going to help in so many aspects.
I admit, water has become an acquired taste. I used to drink the crap out of Crystal Light. Which I argued was better than drinking soda. And it was at the time. But I challenged myself last year to cut artificial sweeteners and haven’t opened a crystal light pack since.
Once in a while, and especially when I was weaning off sweeteners, I created some infused water recipes that were great tasting and really good for you. If you are looking for ways to increase your water intake, my recipes are really simple. My two favorites were citrus and cilantro and a combo of ginger, cucumber, lemon, and mint. Put the ingredients in water and let them sit overnight in the fridge. Pour yourself a glass of delicious and beneficial goodness!
Most days I have to force myself to finish off my 100 ounces. I’ll forget to drink some every hour. I’m not allowed to have water on my person all day so I have to remember to run back once in a while and drink a few gulps, and it’s starting to slowly become something of a habit. But it IS becoming a habit. And what a good one it’ll be!
How do you ensure you drink enough?
Rest days (insert teenage emo eye roll here).
I don’t enjoy rest days. Not gonna lie. I rarely take a full intentional actual rest day. I enjoy active recovery- swimming, Bootcamp, PiYo. But to take a day where I don’t work out at all and let my muscles take a breather? Don’t do it nearly as often as I should.
But I took one today. And I’m going to take one next week, and the week after that. Because doing the Wendler program (also known as 5-3-1) EXHAUSTS my muscles! And my body is TIRED! And if I take today off, then my body can recover from tearing and building muscle, and then I can bust ass and kill the rest of the week. And that is way more important than “getting a workout for the sake of working out”.
Wake up early and workout before your brain realizes what you’re doing.
I am strangely a morning person. But I do like to not that snooze button! Like, a LOT! But in light of yesterday’s post about positive reinforcement, there is NOTHING more rewarding or energizing than kicking ASS first thing in the morning!
In fact it’s very difficult for me to be in a bad mood after a morning WOD. It happens, but it’s extremely rare.
Plus, I get to work early and all ready to face the day full force!
Today’s was a great example. Didn’t Rx, but I did push myself at 65 lbs for push press and sumo deadlift high pulls. And I feel I rocked the AMRAP with 3 rounds + 4 reps (100 m and 3 burpees).
It was a great feeling to finish and be alert and awake for the day.
What wakes you up in the morning?
The other day I had a dream where I witnessed a man being tortured so he would help his torturers with something. When given the chance to talk to some authority figures, I asked them how well punishment was working for them and then talked to them about positive reinforcement and how much more effective it is in changing behavior, teaching, and for getting what you want. That was the basic gist of the dream although there were tons of details I’m leaving out right now.
In fitness and creating healthy habits, it’s important for you to reinforce yourself. And more important not to punish yourself. Why would you repeatedly do exercise if you loathe the activity? What would motivate you to keep going? Nothing, that’s what.
Reinforcement is incredibly individualized too. What is reinforcing for me might not get results with someone else.
What I find reinforcing and encouraging to me is actually quite interesting. A really challenging workout is incredibly reinforcing for me, especially when I finish, and most especially when I do it well. Nothing gets me more pumped and energized!
During a workout, I don’t find people watching me very reinforcing. But having someone NOTICE that I just lifted a heavy weight or hit a milestone and saying “good job” is extremely motivating.
Fist bumps sound lame, but when my coach gives me one, I feel on top of the world!
I’ve experienced the other end of the spectrum before as well. Where you are penalized with burpees for being late to a workout, or you weren’t doing an exercise quite right and the trainer called you out in front of everyone. I’ve been shamed and guilted into exercising, but as you can imagine, that usually doesn’t work out so well. I lose momentum quickly and motivation goes out the window.
I don’t expect everyone to love working out quite like I do. But you’ll find certain ways in these routines that are very satisfying and you’ll start craving them as much as any other treat.
Go ahead and reward yourself with a great big cup of “YOU’RE AWESOME”!
Just keep swimming!
Today I swam. I got my base time for a mile, and I’m pretty satisfied with myself- 37:08.97. That’s a very decent base time and it’s not going to be easy to shave off a lot of time, so I’m going to have to work extra hard if I want to meet my goal.
Swimming is an interesting subject for me. I absolutely love doing it. I sometimes think I’m more at ease and more natural in the water. I jokingly say my middle name isn’t Grace because I’m such a klutz, but in the water it’s a completely different story.
I’ve always been drawn to water. I knew as early as five years old I was going to work with marine mammals. I became a swimmer and I was damn good!
So why don’t I swim more often? I give myself the excuse it takes so long- to get ready and afterward to get dressed again. And sharing lanes is not my forte. But the real reason is so much dumber. My subconscious doesn’t like remembering how good I used to be and how natural it is for me to be in the water because I don’t have those things. I quit swimming in high school and I regret it almost every time I enter the water. I could have gone to the Olympics. I don’t swim with dolphins or belugas anymore. I haven’t dove in over six years.
These things do race throughs mind when I’m swimming. I won’t lie. But today I pushed through the negativity, finished my mile, and felt good. As soon as I got home I filled out a volunteer form for Seattle Aquarium. Chris proved he was the love of my life by getting my refresher for scuba diving course taken care of for my birthday. And I swam a mile in under 40 minutes. This is bliss. This is my happy place. My subconscious can suck a big fat one because I love being in the water. I’m going to start diving again and I’m going to be around marine life again, even if it’s just as a volunteer.
All I need to do is just keep swimming!
I think I’m already starting to look at every moment in my day to help motivate and encourage me to increase my fitness and healthy lifestyle. I even related my dream this morning to fitness, and maybe I’ll write about it soon, or even tonight, but what I want to talk about are my NEW TOYS! That I MADE MYSELF!!!! Aren’t they beautiful?
When you look for medicine balls for performing wall balls or medicine ball cleans, you’ll find that most of them cost around $50-60. These two that I just made cost me a total of $25. The most expensive part was the pretty duct tape!
I bought a couple of basketballs from a thrift store, cut holes in them large enough to fit a funnel into, and filled them with sand. I weighed them out to 15 lbs, and then covered the hole with tape and then wrapped them completely with the decorative duct tape.
And Bob’s your uncle- homemade medicine balls.
Now, I won’t be able to do any ball slams with these, or try to throw it overhead, but it’ll be perfect for Russian twists, partner passes, or a stabilizer for floor wipers. I’m sure I can think of a few other fascinatingly wonderful exercises to use with these also!
Can’t wait for Monday’s zoo Bootcamp!
Today I woke up excited about my appointment I had with a personal trainer. I “knew” it would be what I’d write about today. And then i received the call saying it was cancelled. Well, what am I supposed to do NOW?
What else is a girl supposed to do? She goes shopping!!!
I bought these shirts at Target (pronounced tar-jheh) and I can’t wait to wear them to the gym! Especially the Thor shirt when I’m lifting with Chris ! And just because I know you all care deeply about the subject, I also bought super adorable underwear!
No siriusly, check these out! I have MINION underwear!!!!
Ok, ok, so what does new clothes (and adorably awesome underwear) have to do with fitness? Everything! My frame of mind wasn’t deterred by my appointment getting cancelled. I still worked out (and PR’d my shoulder press and Back squat to boot). But I had a gap of time to fill and instead of doing something unhealthy, or just laying around the house, I got out and did something great for myself. And the clothes are definitely fitness based!
I also got a nice workout shirt that I’m currently wearing for only $6. SCORE!
New clothes, new year, new motivation!
Did any of you get new workout gear for the new year?
Today, being the first day of the year, of the challenge, and everything, I decided to chart some progress in my workout exercises. Crossfit boxes often have a whiteboard to mark high scores and achievements by their members, so I decided to take some time out off evening to see where I stand on some of the more popular movements.
Here are my scores for today. I’m not judging myself on any of these, even if I had hoped I would have done better in some of them. This is strictly preliminary so as I try these out later on, I should see improvement.
500 m row- 1:57
One minute sit-ups: 37
One minute squats: 40
One minute push-ups: 25
Box jump height: 25 inches
Plank hold: 57 seconds
100 burpees for time- 9:48
Can’t wait to see my scores improve along the way!