I have had a fantastic couple of weeks.
I went to Disneyland, I got engaged, I got home, I returned to work with a job that I love, I wrote, I swam, I lifted, I ate food that was fucking awesome. This time last year I was working a job that was slowly killing me, and I was sick- physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I had IBS that made me feel somewhere on the scale of uncomfortable to terrible all the time. I grinded my teeth at night and rarely slept well. I was well on the road to loving my body and treating myself right, but it wasn’t consistently clicking.
When I work, I try to keep these facts in mind. I often get overwhelmed with the sheer volume of effort that I put into Super Strength Health, not because I don’t want to do the work or find it to be a chore, but because most tasks simply take me about three times the amount of time than I think they well, and thus my to-do list is perpetually long.
But the truth is, this work has both changed and saved my life in a number of ways. It gave me something to look forward to waking up to- day in and day out. It gave me huge amounts of self-esteem and a ton of incentive to KEEP doing my best, KEEP talking to myself kindly, KEEP loving the shit out of myself no matter what. Super Strength Health for me is freedom. The freedom to love my body. The freedom to be publicly open and imperfect and raw. The freedom to offer my listening ear most hours of the day, the freedom to let myself be supported financially by something I am extremely passionate about. It helps me as much as anyone else, and to keep it going I have to remember where I came from, and where I am now.
Basically, this “day in the life” is brought to you by a feeling of gratitude. My life is fun and cool and I love it, despite the kinks. (Also, as I’ve said before: I think we need as many feminist, body positive, health at every size advocating, health and wellness practitioners as possible. If you want to talk further about starting a business in this realm, email me! Let’s build an alliance.)
6:30AM Wake up.
When I first started my journey to self-employment, I felt scarred from 5am wakeups and 3 hour a day commutes. I relished in never EVER using an alarm to wake up. I am naturally an early riser, so most of the time I wake up with the sun anyway. It seemed reasonable to allow myself time to get into my natural rhythm. That was awesome for about a year, but these days I find myself using my alarm again, because there is a 7:30AM class at my gym that I genuinely enjoy taking. Although rising to do something I love is much much different than rising to sit in traffic, it is still not exactly easy to wake up to darkness. I never regret it once I am at the barbell, though, so I keep that in mind as I stumble around in the dark.
For those curious: my breakfast is consistently oats with almond milk, banana, raisins, and peanut butter and I always eat before I lift. I know some folks are all about fasted AM cardio, but that feels like shit to me, so I don’t do it. Huzzah for bio-individuality and meeting my own needs.
7:30 AM Barbell WOD
Today’s workout was a warm up, a complex of squat cleans, front squats, thrusters, and push presses, some backsquat sets, some deadlift sets, a superset of push ups and pull ups, and a 7 minute AMRAP of overhead squats and toes to bars. I was thoroughly worked when I was finished and straight chugged my recovery smoothie of Vega Sport, maca, chlorella, pineapple, banana and almond milk as soon as I was done. It tasted heavenly.
For those curious: I consider my workouts and my food to be a serious part of my business. It is my job to practice what I preach and my workouts are scheduled into my life like work hours (barring illness or exhaustion or injury)
9:00AM Prep for my meal prep-clients.
A new (and fun!) part of Super Strength Health is vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar free meal delivery.
It is important for me to offer my clients the freshest local and organic ingredients possible, so first I hit up the farmer’s market. I get the things I can’t get there (beans, coconut milk, etc.) from my local whole foods.
Today’s clients got vegan taco salad (romaine, lettuce, tomato, grilled scallions and green peppers, salsa, homemade bell pepper cilantro vinaigrette, black beans, and walnut taco “meat”) and coconut, kale, kidney bean and chickpea chana saag with wild rice. It took me about three hours to shop, prep, make, and package up enough for everyone and they picked up the goods from my house later that day. (I do delivery too, its just much cheaper for folks to come to me if they can!)
I ate some of the food I made for others for lunch, and it ruled.
12:00 Computer time
This is the moment of reckoning for me, because my email inbox is kiiiiinda cray. I tried to approach it calmly with intermittent deep breaths. I don’t know what it is about the time I have to spend on logistics that tends to give me anxiety, but it’s definitely a thing that I have to be gentle with myself about. I spent three hours computer-ing and it was totally fine. A lesson to Lacy of the future: do not fear the inbox!
3:00 Cofee with this babe.
This is my friend Jaiye. She is most often seen biking anywhere and everywhere, but sometimes we both slow down and get to have coffee with one another, which always feels much needed. I stole this picture from her social media, as it was taken mid-bike tour, which is when I am pretty sure Jaiye is the most stoked.
I caught up with Jaiye at Timeless Coffee while the sun peeked through for the first time in days. Life was good. Oh yeah! I also ate some collard green chips with my Americano ’cause I was feelin’ snacky.
It’s amazing, because my title is health and wellness coach, but much of what I do in a day is not actual session time. Tonight I met with a client that manages to seriously move me every single time we speak. I am amazed at the people that I get to work with! It is humbling to spend time with those who are demanding self-love in a world that doesn’t necessarily promote it, and I am honored to bare witness.
7:00PM Dinner and band practice
After my session, I dove into some food (wild rice, tempeh, romanesco, kale, tahini and nutritional yeast in case you couldn’t tell!), and hopped in my car. Due to some flooding issues of our practice space, we didn’t have a full practice, so one of my greatest homies (oh, and our bassist) and I went over some lyric placement so that I am extra prepared to shred when the space dries out.
9:00PM Shower, dudefriend snuggle, 1 episode of Gilmore Girls, and sleep.
In roughly that order, I relaxed into my off time, mentally high fived myself for a very fulfilling day, and got some shut eye. I am an eight-hours-of-sleep-or-bust type of babe, so I have a strict 10:00PM lights out policy if I plan on having another early morning the next day (which I do!)
See you guys tomorrow with a brand new recipe!
I have to tell you something.
Sore muscles don’t necessarily mean you had a super productive, big time results changing workout.
Not-sore muscles don’t necessarily mean you haven’t pushed yourself hard enough.
Now that that’s out of the way:
It’s not big secret that I am a high intensity exercise kind of lady. I have done all sixty days of the Insanity Workout twice. I work out at a Crossfit gym (the best crossfit gym EVER, by the way.) Power lifting and olympic lifting are both my JAM. I love a heavy kettlebell. I will try to PR every time I go for a heavy lift (not that I’ll always make it!). I am in the last two weeks of The Blissful Chef’s Personalized 16 week program, which has challenged me with workouts that use supersets, that are longer than I am used to, and that have introduced me to a bevy of exercises that I had never even come close to trying before. I am committed. I like to work hard. And really, I hardly ever get sore.
When I first started high intensity training, crossfitting, and working on other kinds of lifting, I got sore all the time. I got sore because I was using muscles I had never before used and because I was asking my body to do something that it wasn’t used to doing. That is completely typical, makes perfect sense, and gradually, it stopped happening.
The moment my workouts stopped destroying me, I got scared. Was I no longer working hard? Was I phoning it in? Should I go heavier? Should I go faster? Was I just plain lazy?
No. No, no, no, and no.
Although I continue to participate in a variety of exercises (lifting barbells and dumbbells in a variety of ways, bodyweight exercise, swimming, running, hiking, biking, and yoga) my body is quite accustomed to the movements I tend to do. When I increase my weights, or reps, or my speed, I tend to be sore right after a workout, but rarely into the next day. That is both because my body has adapted well, and because I keep my pre-and post workout nutrition in check.
Every single person’s body is different, but there are some things about muscle recovery that science just supports.
1) Minerals are crucial for a host of bodily functions, including metabolism, tissue structuring, and hormonal support. (So, eating a plant-rich diet that is extremely full of vitamins and minerals gives me a huge leg up on recovery)
2) Eating (or drinking) both essential amino acids and quick burning carbohydrate within an hour after physical activity and immediately before exercise has been shown to significantly stimulate muscle synthesis. (I eat both before and after exercise, making sure to have a balance of quick burning carbs- in my case 9 times out of 10 this is banana- and solid protein- usually Vega Sport)
3) No matter what your exercise plan is, regular ingestion of snacks and meals providing both carbs and protein helps to promote recovery and replenishment of muscle glycogen. (I do not fuck around with my eating, and slay wholesome food very, very regularly. Like every 2-3 hours regularly)
4) BCAAs – which are found in the protein powder I mentioned above- are amino acids which cannot be made by your body and must be eaten. BCAAs help to transition your body from a catabolic (breaking down muscle) to anabolic (building muscle) stage after exercise.
Proper fuel makes an extreme difference in muscle recovery. Eating is an intrinsic part of muscle recovery. These are facts!
In short, your tool kit for regular ass-kicking in the gym and out is as follows:
1) consistency about activity, putting the time in to build muscles up. Commitment to working past the time of all-the-time-soreness, and into a time where your muscles come to expect to be shredded.
2) hydration, because muscles need water (just like the rest of your body).
3) adequate rest and recovery time (for me, once every 2-3 days I take a rest day, I sleep a MINIMUM of eight hours a night)
4) Pre-workout quick burning carbs (banana, dates, 100% juice, natural pre-workout products)
5) For longer workouts, sustained carb intake- more about that here
6) Post workout nutrition that proves you take your body seriously. My smoothie today was a great example of this: 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup berries, 1 banana, and 1 scoop of Vega Sport recovery.
To avoid sore muscles: Don’t put off eating post exercise, don’t exercise infrequently, don’t skip rest days, don’t shirk sleep, don’t forget your vegetables. Eat your (vegan) proteins!
Now get out there and crush it!
2) Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. (2006). Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. Journal of Nutrition.136(1 Suppl):269S-73S. – See more at: http://vegasport.com/product/performance-protein/#sthash.z0MbywR2.dpuf
There are a few things that are rocking my world right now, so much so that I feel the need to share.
First and foremost, I want to talk to you about my Buca Boot .
This thing is kind of incredible. It’s super functional and SAVES my back from breaking under the weight of my food, computer, books, and notebooks while I bike (I work 12 hour days, I basically commute with my entire life at my beck and call). Plus- let’s be honest- that lil buddy is cute as eff. There has been a fairly gigantic uptick in my bike commuting lately (#homeownership = I live pretty dang far off the beaten path ) and I am SO grateful the Buca Boot helps keep it chill.
Next on the roster of shit to love, is FitQuick.
You know what I’m stoked on? People that put their time and energy into making things that they want to see in the world. That’s what I do with Super Strength Health, and that’s what my friend Holly is doing with FitQuick.
Basically, this is a protein waffle mix. The ingredients include garbanzo bean flour, rice protein powder, vanilla, and not much else. They are vegan, because that’s how Holly roles. They are gluten-free. The taste AWESOME, without any toppings at all, and even better when you add a little banana soft serve, fresh picked strawberries, and peanut butter to jazz them up. My waffle was so appealing that I couldn’t wait to take a bite, as you may have noticed. These jazzed up my breakfast routine as it got a little colder and frozen smoothies seemed just a little less rad.
Lastly, I want to give a shout out to my running shoe, the Mizuna Wave Rider 17.
These shoes have made running about a million times more enjoyable for me.
I’m gonna be honest here, aesthetically, they aren’t exactly my favorite. I will happily wear the free pink fitness stuff that is tossed my way, but I actually paid for these and the cabbage-patch-kid-esque accents are not my favorite. (I can see from the web link that other colors are available, and I am kicking myself slightly for buying them IRL, where there were limited options.) BUT, holy hell are these comfortable. They are light weight, vegan, super supportive, and cushioned in all the right places. My running has gone from about 3 miles a week to about 12 miles a week in the past couple of months, and I don’t think I could have done it without the help of these shoes.
What are you guys loving lately?
- full disclosure! I was given these products to review, but all opinions are my own :)