Thursday – moon day and runny nose!!

Both full and new moon days are observed as yoga holidays in the Ashtanga Yoga tradition. What is the reasoning behind this?

Like all things of a watery nature (human beings are about 70% water), we are affected by the phases of the moon. The phases of the moon are determined by the moon’s relative position to the sun. Full moons occur when they are in opposition and new moons when they are in conjunction. Both sun and moon exert a gravitational pull on the earth. Their relative positions create different energetic experiences that can be compared to the breath cycle. The full moon energy corresponds to the end of inhalation when the force of prana is greatest. This is an expansive, upward moving force that makes us feel energetic and emotional, but not well grounded. The Upanishads state that the main prana lives in the head. During the full moon we tend to be more headstrong.

The new moon energy corresponds to the end of exhalation when the force of apana is greatest. Apana is a contracting, downward moving force that makes us feel calm and grounded, but dense and disinclined towards physical exertion.

Practicing Ashtanga Yoga over time makes us more attuned to natural cycles. Observing moon days is one way to recognize and honor the rhythms of nature so we can live in greater harmony with it.

So as today is a full moon day there will be no yoga practice for me which I am actually quite relieved about as I have had a constantly runny nose and have been sneezing solidly for the last 24 hours. I very rarely suffer from colds so I am assuming that this is just a detox symptom from all the juicing I have been doing over the last few weeks. I feel ok otherwise but am heeding my bodies attempts to clean house and staying relatively inactive today. As I have a tonne of work to do getting my ‘sizzling, sexy and healthy summer’ challenge up and running it is an opportune time to sit and work at the PC. This mornings’ clients cancelled and I don’t have to go out until this evening so I am sat sniffing and sneezing in the office!!

Today’s food and juices have/will be:-

Orange, grapefruit, celery and spinach juice

Orange, grapefruit and apple

1/2 honeydew melon

1/2 pineapple

small bowl of strawberries

Orange, grapefruit and japanese mustard greens juice – (not sure what this one will be like but a client gave me a bunch of japanese mustard greens last night. They are hot, hot, hot and no-one in her house will eat them. I love them as they have a real kick and I am hoping that they may be just what my runny nose needs to push it all out – sorry if that is too much information!!)

Today’s exercise:-

Zippo………..

I am hoping that my runny nose situation will be gone tomorrow as I need to start putting together the workouts for my ‘sizzling, sexy and healthy summer’ challenge and that means not only going through all the workouts to make sure they are appropriate but also photographing all the exercises, which could potentially be a long job if I am constantly blowing my nose!!!

Thanks for reading……..

Wednesday – juices, dates and summer madness

Still mainly juicing but am now eating a little fruit as well…..and also some dates. I think I may have mentioned in the past how yummy medjool dates are. I am convinced that they are mother natures answer to confectionary as they taste like soft toffee to me. So, so scrummy. I went to get some flour out of a cupboard to make hubby a pie for lunch and there were four lonely little dates sitting there looking at me. What could I do???

Now those observant ones of you would have noticed that I just said that I made hubby a pie for his lunch. He doesn’t share my dietary choices and that is fine by me. He doesn’t eat processed foods, bread, pasta, pre-prepared foods – you get the picture, so although he has his grub cooked he still eats a really healthy diet  – it just isn’t raw like mine.

Although the sun has now retired back to wherever it goes to when it isn’t shining here, I am still living in hope that it will make a grand return and stick around for the rest of the summer. Over at my website The Fit Option we are gearing up to make the most of the summer sun when it does dane to reappear and will be kicking of a ‘sizzling, sexy and healthy summer challenge‘ in the next few weeks. I’ll be posting regular updates as it takes shape but it should be fun and have us all looking our best in time for our summer hols.

Today’s food/juices have been:-

Orange, grapefruit, celery and spinach juice

Orange, apple and grapefruit juice

1/2 pineapple and some strawberries

4 medjool dates

1/2 honeydew melon

Today’s exercise has been:-

90 min ashtanga yoga class

Thanks for reading………………

Monday – Camping and cloud gazing……

The weekend was glorious with back to back sunshine. Camping was good fun and we came back feeling as though we had been away for longer than just a night – result. I spent the rest of sunday laying in the garden indulging in a spot of cloud gazing. Bliss.

Back to juicing today with some fruit as well and I think I will continue this way for the next week or so maybe two and see how it goes.

Weight this morning was 129lbs – total lost so far 8lbs

Todays juice/fruit has been:-

Orange, grapefruit, celery and spinach

Orange, apple and grapefruit

Carrot, cucumber, apple, spinach and lime

1/2 pineapple

handful of strawberries

Exercise today has been:-

1 hour interval training with client

45 minute ashtanga yoga self practice (outside – whoo hoo…..)

I didn’t do very much exercise at the weekend, only a short yoga practice on saturday so hope to make up for it this week.

Thanks for reading………………….

Tuesday – Juice feasting day 9

Day 9 already and it is surprising how my cravings have now changed from food to juice. I can’t get enough of pineapple juice at the moment and it is all I am thinking about. I am trying to limit it as it is important to drink enough vegetable juices and especially green juices as well. I save my pineapple juice for the last one of the day and so it feels like a reward and is even more delicious than I had imagined……..

Juices today have been/will be:-

Orange, grapefruit, celery and spinach

Orange, grapefruit and apple

Carrot, apple, cucumber, spinach and lime

Pineapple, mango and blueberry

I received my veggie box today with a load of wild garlic leaves. I am going to juice these with some grapefruit tomorrow and see how that tastes.

Exercise today has been:-

Ashtanga yoga self practice x 90 minutes

Gardening x 2 hours

How I feel today:-

Feeling good, lots of energy, light and happy. Feel like I am in ‘the groove’ with the feasting, it feels very easy. Am also glad that the sun has finally made an appearance and it is almost, quite possibly, if you shut one eye and squint, feeling like summer…….

Thanks for reading and happy juicing……..

Monday – Juice feasting day 8

The weekend went well and the juice feast continues. Basically my juices seem to have fallen into a set pattern and I am having the same everyday with the odd variation here and there. I had more orange based ones on Sunday as we were out for much of the day and they travel better than the others and last for longer.

Exercise over the weekend was :- gardening on saturday – digging over a new flower bed so pretty strenuous!! and a bike ride and yoga on Sunday.

Weight this morning was 132lbs – total lost so far 5lbs

Juices today have/will be:-

Orange, grapefruit, celery and spinach (4 oranges, 1 pink grapefruit, 6 sticks celery and 200g spinach)

Orange, apple and grapefruit (4 oranges, 1 pink grapefruit and 2 apples)

Carrot, apple, cucumber, spinach and lime (3 carrots, 3 apples, 100g spinach, 1/2 cucumber and 1 lime)

Pineapple, mango, kiwi and blueberry (1 pineapple, 1 mango, 2 kiwis handful blueberries)

Exercise today has been:-

Interval training with client x 1 hour

Full ashtanga yoga self practice x 90 mins

How I feel today:-

Really pleased to be on day 8 of a juice feast – something of a first for me. Also pleased that some of my ‘winter weight’ is finally coming off. Still have lots of energy and a lovely calm and mellow feeling.

Thanks for reading, happy juicing…………….

Wednesday – Juice feast day 3 and weight!!!!

One of the reasons I wanted to do a juice feast was to……..dare I say it……..but to lose weight. I find that over the winter months I tend to be on the heavier side and certainly this winter I seem to have put on more weight than usual.

I don’t think that there is any problem with laying down a little extra weight over the colder months of the year especially when you live in more northern climates and even more especially when the winter you have just experienced has been exceptionally cold, snowy and long…….but, I think that in my determination to stay raw this winter I have turned towards denser, heavier, more nut based foods and that has had an effect on my waist line for sure.

So, no more nut based breads, pizzas and cakes for a while until I get back to my slimmer, lighter and more clothes friendly weight!!!!!

I guess that is the next question – what is this weight???? Well, when I am eating a good, clean raw diet (i.e. low on the nuts!!) then my weight naturally falls around 125lbs. At the start of this juice feast I weighed in at 137lbs so I have about 12lbs to drop to be back at my preferred weight. I say preferred weight as this is my own personal view point and I don’t really go by the charts and general recommendations as I think we are all different. I function well at 125lbs and I look ok at that weight, I certainly don’t look too skinny.

I have included the quantities that I have used in each juice today so you can get an idea of how much produce I am juicing.

Juices today have/will be:-

Orange, grapefruit, celery and spinach (4 oranges, 1 red grapefruit, 5 large sticks of celery and 200g spinach)

Orange, grapefruit and apple (4 oranges, 1 red grapefruit and 2 apples)

Carrot, apple, cucumber and lime (2 carrots, 2 apples, 1/4 cucumber and 1 lime) x 2 – this was a really yummy juice and so I went back for seconds. (Annie you will like this one!!)

Blueberries, mango, kiwi and pineapple (1 pineapple, 1 mango, 1 kiwi fruit and a handful of blueberries)

Exercise today has been:-

90 min ashtanga yoga class

How I am feeling today:-

I woke up with a bit of a headache and a runny nose but both were gone after being up for about 1/2 an hour. I have a big amount of energy today (positively bouncing – like Tigger in Winnie the Pooh!!) which is really good and am feeling very happy and positive. The ‘feel good’ factor that I always get when I really strip my diet back to the basics is definately kicking in whoo hoo…….

Thanks for reading and happy juicing…….

Tuesday – Juice Feast day 2

It always takes me a few days to get into the swing of juice feasting and this time around has been no different. Some people do all their juicing first thing and so then it is done for the day but this can be quite time consumming and as I tend to do my workouts first thing I find that I only have enough time to make two juices before I have to be out of the door. So, back home for lunch today and straight to the juicer to make another two juices to last me the rest of the day as I have another client later tonight.

I also fitted in a trip to the supermarket today to stock up on extra produce. I always get a few funny looks at the checkout as most of my shopping is fruit and veg on a normal day so when I am juicing then I really have a lot!! We also run our car on veggie oil in the warmer months of the year and our supermarket is doing a good deal on this at the moment too so today I had a trolley full of fruit and veg and about 10 x 3 litre bottles of veggie oil. No wonder the checkout girl looked at me strangely- maybe she thought I was going to deep fry everything…..

Todays juices have/will be:-

Orange, grapefruit, celery and spinach

Orange, grapefruit and apple

Pineapple and mango

Pineapple, pear and cucumber

Today’s exercise has been:-

1 hour interval training with client

1 hour ashtanga yoga – self practice

Thanks for reading and happy juicing……….

Monday – Fitness challenge wrap up and juice feasting……

Today is day 29 of my 30 day fitness challenge and whilst I haven’t blogged over the last week or so rest assured that I have been keeping up with my challenge and  exercising on a daily basis.

My exercise now falls into 3 categories:- yoga, running and interval training and whilst yoga still takes centre stage when it comes to my daily workouts I am keen to keep up with both the running and the interval training. I am being careful not to overdo the running as it can have a detrimental effect on the yoga – running tightens muscles; especially hamstrings, and with yoga you are looking for the opposite effect to be true. Luckily so far I haven’t seen any adverse reactions to my running – probably because I run so slowly – hehe – so for now I will keep it going as it is.

So, my 30 day fitness challenge has been very successful and I have a renewed appreciation for daily exercise. I will definately be keeping it all going.

Having kick started my exercise again it has made me look at other areas that can use a little overhaul. My diet is pretty good these days being about 95%raw with the odd piece of fish or raw cheese. Over my years of being raw I have tried many times to do a juice feast but have never lasted beyond 7 days. So, my next challenge (I am a girl who loves a challenge!!) I am planning a longer juice feast. Starting today I am going to try and juice feast until the beginning of June when we are going away for a few days. I will probably aim to feast until the 5th June which gives me 27 clear days. I have enlisted some help in the motivation stakes  in the form of my little sis who is going to be doing a modified juice feast alongside me. She will juice for breakfast and lunch and then have a salad for her tea. Hopefully we will be able to keep each other on track.

Exercise today will be:-

Ashtanga yoga full self practice – about 90 minutes

Juices today will be:-

Orange, grapefruit, celery and spinach

Pineapple and pear

Apple,  spinach and cucumber

I will be aiming to get in about 4 1/2 litres of juice a day plus water and hot teas. It usually takes me a few days to get used to drinking that amount of liquids so I guess the first few days may be a little short of the 4 1/2 litres required.

Thanks for reading…………….

Wednesday – day 10 and a lone duck egg…..

Day 10 already and I am a third of the way through my 30 day fitness challenge. I am pretty sure that I will continue with the running and interval training after the 30 days are up but this challenge has been a great way for me to bring the focus back to my own fitness programme.

Exercise today has been:-

No treadmill today as my legs and quads in particular were really stiff yesterday and this morning so I gave them a day off to recover. They already feel a bit looser so hopefully by tomorrow they will be back on form and I can resume with the running.

Ab workout

  1. Leg lift, V crunch, bum lift x 20 reps – lying on your back with legs extended along the floor raise both legs together to 90 degrees making sure that the lower back doesn’t arch away from the floor too much. Take the legs apart to a ‘V’ and do a crunch taking the arms through the legs. Close the legs and do a bum lift – bringing hips and bottom up of the floor. Lower hips and then lower legs to about an inch from the floor before starting over.
  2. 1/2 bridge lift, toe crunch x 10 reps each leg – lying on your back with knees bent and feet hip distance apart. Raise the left leg to 90 degrees and do a bridge lift (lifting hips and bottom off the floor) return hips and with leg still raised perform a toe crunch – taking hands to toes. Lower leg and repeat on other side.
  3. Side plank lift x 10 reps on each side – lying on your side with top leg resting on floor in front of lower leg (like open scissors) Have bottom arm bent at 90 degrees so you are resting on elbow and forearm. Elbow is directly below shoulder. Lift torso off the ground making sure that the top shoulder doesn’t come forwards. Lower and repeat.
  4. Plank 1 min – either on elbows or hands make sure bottom isn’t too high – you want a straight line from shoulders to feet.
  5. Boat – Sit with knees bent and feet on floor. Leaning back slightly but not too much lift legs into air. Keep bent and aim to keep torso as upright as possible. Count for 5 breaths then release. Do 5 sets aiming to get the legs straighter each time.
  6. Boat/sink  x 10 reps – starting in boat as above, lower legs and torso down towards ground at the same time until feet and shoulders are about 1 inch above ground. Come back up to start position in a smooth motion not using the shoulders as momentum.

Workout 2 – 90 minute ashtange yoga class.

Food today has been/will be:-

Green smoothie – the usual

Salad with salmon – the usual

1 apple

3 medjool dates

1/2 pineapple

1 mango

Small bowl of strawberries

How I feel today:-

My energy levels are definately getting better and my legs in particular feel as though they are firming up. My arms are becoming more defined and the abs are beginning to peak through and look a little more interesting!!

Other news:-

Today we found a duck egg outside by one of our veggie plots. I have no idea how it got there but it is undamaged so I have put it in a box encased in straw and it is now sitting on top of our arga which may be a bit too hot for it but as I have absolutely no idea of what I am doing or what I am expecting to happen to it I will leave it there for a bit and then transfer it too the airing cupboard. I doubt it will hatch but you never know………

Thanks for reading……..

Monday – Day 1

Today is day 1 of my 30 day fitness challenge. Whoo hoo….am really excited about getting my booty into some serious shape that I am already thinking about extending it to 60 days. I may feel differently tomorrow though!!

I have an easy day work wise with some clients later in the day so it was a good day to begin. I managed to get my workouts in before midday and am sitting here eating my lunch as I write up today’s blog entry.

Exercise today has been:-

2 workout as follows

1. 20 minutes on treadmill – 5 minutes warmup at a fast walking pace and then I just did random run/walk intervals. I will be more structured with the intervals (i.e. speed and length) in a few days but today I just wanted to get back into running mode again.

Interval workout *– 30 secs work followed by 10 secs rest (took about 25 minutes)

  1. Squat and shouder press left arm
  2. Squat and shoulder press right arm
  3. Wide leg burpee
  4. One leg bridge lift – left leg
  5. One leg bridge lift – right leg
  6. Press ups
  7. One leg sit and lift – left leg
  8. One leg sit and lift – right leg
  9. Plank

Complete 3 sets

Stretches

2. Ashtanga yoga practice – to end of standing and some hip openers – 25 minutes

Food today has been:-

Handful of medjool dates after each workout

Green smoothie – oranges, grapefruit, celery, spinach and banana

2 raw chocolate cupcakes

1 large salad with lettuce, cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, black olives and salmon

Mushroom and avocado pate in lettuce wraps with tomatoes and olives

1/2 pineapple and some kiwis

How I feel today:-

My legs felt like jelly after the interval training – lol, but it was a good feeling in a macabre kind of way. It was a different sort of ‘tiredness’ to how I feel after doing a 90 minute yoga workout and I could definately feel that I had worked my larger muscle groups (quads and hamstrings) in my legs in a more intense way. I’m looking forward to day 2!!

Thanks for reading……..

*I took the interval training from Zuzanna’s ‘Bodyrock TV’ site – http://www.bodyrock.tv