Yesterday, on Day 14 of the Raw Food Challenge, I ate:
– Glass of lemon water with a digestive enzyme capsule and a few leaves of romaine lettuce (my stomach felt really awful when I woke up. It was in a very sensitive state so I opted for lettuce and water. They helped a little).
– Glass of lemon water with 1/2 scoop calcium/magnesium powder, plus some pineapple and 1/2 banana
– Fruit salad with 1/2 banana, chopped pineapple, 1/2 apple, and 1/2 pear, plus a mug of ginger tea
– Walnut cranberry squash “rice”: I swapped raisins for cranberries, added chopped crimini mushrooms, and omitted the cilantro. I heated this up on the stove just to warm it slightly. I quite liked it! Although I don’t think I’ll include the walnuts next time. Much as I adore nuts, I usually don’t like them in my meal; I prefer them by themselves or in nut butter form.
– Chocolate ice cream: this was much better than my previous failed attempt. Also way cleaner and cheaper! I just took 1 1/2 frozen bananas, a generous shake of cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp of cacao powder and whirred it all together in the food processor. Delicious! I started off with 1 1/2 bananas but it felt so good on my little tummy that I decided to make it again 🙂
– A few more romaine lettuce leaves, a couple slices of pear, and 1/2 banana dipped in cashew butter, along with 1 glass lemon water with 1/2 scoop calcium/magnesium powder
– 1 mug peppermint tea
– Lemon water with magnesium/calcium powder
I know. Serious lack of greens here- although that was a lot of romaine lettuce that I consumed over the course of the day- and a shockingly high amount of bananas. Funny how much it changes from day to day with what our bodies *need*! My stomach felt sensitive the entire day; when I woke up in the morning it took me a good half an hour to actually get out of bed because it was so sore. Towards the end of the day it was starting to feel better. I’m hoping this doesn’t persist! I haven’t heard of any detox symptoms in which the stomach is sore, but perhaps that’s the reason for it?
Book Review of Core Performance Women: Burn Fat and Build Lean Muscle
Penguin Group sent me this book a while back to review. Yes: we have another health book written by men, for women. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m skeptical of female-centered books written in the male voice (because it doesn’t make a lot of sense), but this book is written beautifully considering my skepticism about the style.
One of the things that I really liked about this book is that the authors are upfront about their ideas right at the start: “When [we] were asked to write Core Performance Women, we were a little taken aback. After all, we possess Y chromosomes. Plus, we viewed our previous books as not solely for men.” The entire book is set up in a fashion similar to most other health books of this nature (and the kind that I enjoy): it’s an examination of how we can change our mental attitudes, nutrition, and fitness to improve our health.
Written in the colloquial tone, Core Performance Women injects little anecdotes throughout to support the main premise. It is divided into four major sections: Mindset, Nutrition, Movement, and Recovery. I like the terminology of the word Movement, as it implies lifestyle activity and not only the exercise we get from going to the gym.
I very much like the analogy in this book that compares finances to how we treat out health. The notion is that we should automatically take a small amount of each paycheque and put it towards savings or investments, before we’ve even paid any of our bills. This way, we learn better how to manage our money, and we also are able to have extra money set aside in case of emergencies or in case we want to purchase a big-ticket item. This in particular is very close to my heart right now, for reasons which I will disclose next week.
The reason why our financial situation is relevant to our health is that if we do not take care of ourselves now by eating well and exercising- or by putting money into investments- our bodies will take the toll (just the same as our financial situation will take a toll). As Verstegen points out, “We need to stop looking at training our bodies as a luxury but as a necessity, like saving for the future.” It doesn’t matter how expensive your rent is, you should always think about how you can save even what seems like a very small percentage of your finances so that your finances are taken care of. Similarly, it doesn’t matter how busy you are every day, you should always eat well and fit in some kind of exercise to prevent illness or injury.
As with most other books of this nature, Core Performance Women identifies a number of different eating styles (for example, the procrastinator, the emotional eater, the portion distortionist and so on). I have read countless health books, so this sort of thing does start to feel redundant after a while, but I appreciate that the reason why there are so many books like this out there is because it is all relevant to consumers everywhere. Something that is rather neat about this book, though, is that they have cute little easy-to-navigate coloured charts (I get such a kick out of books with graphs and pictures :)) illustrating the kinds of foods we should eat, according to our age and weight, at various “fueling times” during the day. For example, a 30-year-old woman at 140 lbs is advised to eat 1 grain, 1 protein or dairy, 1 fruit, and 1 fat for breakfast; 1 fruit and 1 fat (or 1 meal replacement bar/shake) for a snack, 1 of each grain, protein or dairy, fruit, and fat, along with 3 vegetables, for lunch; 1 grain and 1 fat (or 1 meal replacement bar/shake) for a snack; 1 of each grain, protein or dairy, and fat, along with 3 veggies, for dinner; and 1 fruit and 1 veggie (or 1 meal replacement bar/shake) for a snack. Obviously, these are very general guidelines, but it’s nice to see it all laid out so clearly.
The workouts included in this book are accompanied with images of how to perform the workout, with several pictures depicting each part of the exercise and even how you should look from different angles during the movement. There are also some interesting variations that I’d never seen before on classic exercises such as the plank position. Although some of the exercises require equipment such as a foam roller or a mini band, there are plenty of other exercises which only call for body weight, and the ones that do require extra equipment could probably be adapted if so desired.
One issue that I do have with this book is the emphasis on EAS Myoplex and Myoplex Lite. It got to the point where I was looking in the inside flap of the book to see if the authors were affiliated with the company that makes Myoplex. It’s not as though the authors pressure the reader into going out and filling up on Myoplex meal replacement shakes/bars, but they do mention Myoplex multiple times throughout the book. I’m not an advocate of these kinds of shakes and bars, especially when they have ingredient lists as long as Myoplex does (artificial flavours and at least three different kinds of sugar, in addition to unpronounceable ingredients that I’ve never heard of? No thank you!).
Overall I very much enjoyed this book and would recommend it without any hesitation to anyone who is looking for a way to get started on their nutrition and fitness program. It acknowledges that everyone is at different stages in their lives and it addresses how the book can help women of all ages, no matter what your daily schedule is like or what kind of life you lead.
Want to win a copy of this book or of The Body Fat Solution (which I reviewed here) for yourself? Just leave a comment on this blog post telling me what kind of nutrition or fitness program you follow, why you think one of these books would be especially beneficial to you, or your favourite health tip. As always, originality or a little humour can increase your chance of winning either of these books! Giveaway is open for a week; the two winners will be announced one week from today, on Friday, January 22nd.