Wednesday, May 25, 2011

PLANKS Challenge - Week 2

I'm thrilled to have so many of you joining me in this challenge, especially with my in-home partner taking this more as a test of will power rather than training. (Yes, he plans on pretty much doing nothing and then seeing how much longer he can hold his plank in 6 weeks. It'll be entertaining at least.)

How did week 1 go?  I'll be posting my updates mid-week and following the blog topics that are part of the challenge.  Here's a re-cap of my week.

Monday Original Test: 1 minute 43 seconds straight armed plank.

Tuesday Worked out for one hour with my trainer focusing on arms and core as my legs were still recovering from the half marathon.

Wednesday  Did a few minutes of planks while watching television but was really sore from Tuesday.

Thursday 20 minute core workout including plank push-ups, my pathetic attempt at side planks, and some inner core stuff I learned from my old chiropractor when I was having a lot of lower back pain after pregnancies.

Friday 3 mile run plus 15 minutes legs and core

Saturday - nothing

Sunday - Re-test: 2:30 straight-armed plank

 It was a fairly low-key week with a bigger focus on strength that I've had in a while.  This week I am starting out pretty slow so we'll see what happens. But I added 47 seconds to my plank test time so that's a great start! Just another 2 minutes and 30 seconds to go! I'm re-testing each week so I can monitor my progress and adjust my plan accordingly.

Over at Life After Bagels, you can find the weekly topic posted on Wednesdays. This week is Belly Talk. Morgan posted today about digestion and bloating in How I Stay Flat. I had to laugh as my belly hasn't been anything that remotely resembles flat in approximately eight years and even then it was more like the closest I'd ever come to flat so we were just gonna leave it like that. But good digestion is certainly something I can get behind.

After battling a very unhappy gall bladder around the time my second child was born, I learned a lot about digestion. I eventually lost the battle and had my gall bladder surgically removed, but the whole experience taught me a lot about being aware of the effects of different kinds of food on my body and remedies for those effects. This continues to be important as I learn to live without a gall bladder, an organic which despite what anyone tells you your body does need.

Some things I've learned...

A food journal can be a crucial tool in getting to know how your body responds to different types of food. Write down what you eat and how you feel for a week to see what you can gather.

Hot water with lemon is the first line of defense both as prevention and treatment. I usually add fresh sliced ginger in there, too. This has brought me much relief over the past few years.

Fat is not the problem. Good fats are important and good for you. Chemicals and substitutes are going to give you much more trouble than good healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, almond butter and more.

Dairy is something to watch out for. It gives so many people so many problems that they just don't realize. I felt fabulous on a digestive basis while I was vegan. Raw dairy can be an improvement for some.

Grains and gluten are also something to watch out for.  Talk to anyone eating a paleo or grain-free diet. Grains can be the root of a lot of problems. We certainly were never meant to eat the amount of grains we eat, no less in the forms we eat them. Soaking grains can help their digestibility immensely.

Hydrate! Not drinking enough water can make you feel sluggish and can make your digestion sluggish. Drink water all the time. Throw in lemon, lime, apple, or orange slices for some flavor.

Digestive enzymes are both overwhelming and helpful tools especially when used with the help of a natural practitioner. These can help your body re-learn how to digest foods properly and balance things out.

Processed junk will make you feel like junk. Try to eat food in the simplest form possible. You'll feel best.

No matter how careful you are with what you eat, if you eat too much, you're not going to feel well and your belly is not going to be flat. Overeating can leave you with a slight discomfort or can have you doubled over in pain depending on your body, how often you over-indulge, and what you over-indulge in.

And lastly, a blender full of green smoothie a day can make all the difference!

How are those planks going? Any comments on the belly talk?

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