Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Transformation 2011 - Day 2

I started today with a basic yoga sequence. The idea is to stretch my muscles in every direction and lubricate my joints and restore ease of movement and also to slightly increase the degree of intensity from the movement session I did yesterday morning, which was basically nothing but moving my joints. I like doing these basic yoga positions because they address all of the major movements of the body. Yoga requires a bit more muscular strength and control than yesterdays movement session, so it also starts to stimulate and integrate my strength more to prepare for the more strenuous workouts of the next two days.

I want to make sure its clear that what I'm doing is a demonstration, not an instruction. It's a record; I'm posting what I'm doing, not necessarily recommending this to anyone. Not that it's bad, but it would be irresponsible of me to suggest anyone do this unless I knew they were able to safely and correctly. In this video, sometimes the camera angle is obscuring important details about the pose. So if you do want to follow along, and if you're not already basically familiar with yoga, then be very careful. It it ever doesn't feel right, don't do it.

My breathing in this is very focused on exhaling. Although it sounds like I'm occasionally exhaling and then holding my breath, I'm actually not. I admit that I sometimes hold my breath during transitions, but that's natural. I try to breathe very relaxed as often as I can.  I'm working a lot with the Buteyko breath method on the recommendation of my Body Tuning mentor, Dr. Shmuel Tatz, and this method is teaching the importance of not overbreathing; especially as a cure for asthma. And so I'm breathing in very slowly and slightly and then exhaling very intentionally with force.




Last night, I got home from rehearsal and my stomach was growling with hunger.
During rehearsal for Dancing Fools, I was given a gift by the playwright.  It was a bagel wrapped in a scarf. (For you OCD people, don't worry, the bagel was wrapped in cellophane.)  It was an everything bagel, which means it had garlic on it, among many other things.  Since, I have a strong aversion to garlic, it was easy for me not to eat the bagel.  But had it been another type of bagel, it might have been more of a challenge because I was pretty hungry.  But typically, eating that type of simple carbohydrate is not even on my radar. I don’t think it's worth the high caloric count and the amount of simple carbohydrates (sugar) for what it would offer me nutritionally.
Now, earlier, I couldn’t finish my 5:00 dinner because I ran out of time and had to run off to teach class.  And then, after class, I went directly to rehearsal.  So it was about 11pm before I got home; I hadn’t eaten in six hours and between teaching class and the dance rehearsal, I was pretty active most of the evening, so despite the fact that it’s not usually a good idea to eat that late at night, I had to eat something. 
And since I had gotten into the habit of eating sweets over the past few weeks, I had a mad craving for sweets.  But I knew how to satisfy my sweet tooth and have a decadent dessert without being too unhealthy.  I make these healthy “sundaes” by cutting up some fresh fruit and mixing it with this acai smoothie mix. I top that with nuts and yogurt and sprinkle it all with chia seeds.  It ends up looking and tasting like a rich dessert, but its made with ingredients that are actually healthy for you.  Much better than ice cream and hot fudge. 
The drawback is that all that fruit late at night isn’t the best idea for fat loss. While it was quite healthy, and full of nutrition, it was still basically a bowl of carbohydrates. It would have been better to have a low fat protein snack like a hard boiled egg or a piece of chicken breast. But I didn’t have either of those things in the house.  
So, my project for today is going to be to buy some groceries for my new lifestyle. I’ll include eggs and chicken and lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as some nuts. 
When I look back over my day, yesterday, it seems to me I may have gone overboard on the diet part. I probably should have eaten a bit more; and I could have if I had planned my day better.  I’m not a calorie counter.  That drives me crazy and makes eating seem like a chore.  But writing down the day’s food intake, like I’m doing for this blog, let’s me see at a glance what I consumed. I guess, because of my years of experience in this field, I can just tell by looking that it wasn’t enough. I don’t want to fall into a trap of undereating for a few days and making myself so hungry that, by Wednesday I’m famished and surrender to an emotional eating binge fueled by starvation.
So, each day is a new day.
9:30 am Breakfast:

oatmeal with a splash of milk
handful of blueberries
Tbsp of spirulina
Tbsp of flax seed meal
I was working in the Body Tuning studio all morning and I noticed that I was hungry at around 11:30.  That’s only two hours after I ate breakfast, so that tells me that I didn’t eat enough for breakfast.
Since I was working, I wasn’t able to eat anything and I didn’t plan ahead and bring a healthy snack, so I just had to press on with the hunger.  Around 1:00 I could hear my stomach growling.
I stopped on the way home to pick up some eggs so I can have a more substantial breakfast tomorrow.  We’ll see how that goes. I got home at around 2pm and I was famished.
This is the perfect scenario for making unhealthy food choices.  If I had a bag of potato chips in the house, for example, I’m sure i would have dived right in.  Fortunately, I know better than to have unhealthy food in the house.  So instead I cooked up my lunch...
2:00pm Lunch:
1/2 lb Kobe beef burger patty
Wedge of parmesan/jack cheese
2 cups mixed steamed vegetables
a handful of raw spinach
and then an orange for dessert
Ahhh.  And then I felt MUCH better
As I was leaving to go to rehearsal, I wasn't yet hungry, but I knew I'd need some fuel for the dancing, so I mixed some chia seeds in water and had some chia seed gel. I was fine during rehearsal until about ten o'clock. Then, when I got home at 11:30, I was pretty hungry.  I didn't want to eat a big meal that late so I just grabbed a handful of pecans and some yogurt.
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