It’s Almost Here- Scope Time

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Hey! It’s Mo tonight and I am holding my breath waiting for Friday. I have had some problems with my left knee for over two years now and on Friday I am having a Scope done to find out my fate. Please keep your fingers crossed for me that I will not need surgery again. Ahh genetics are a wonderful thing. My Dad and my Grandma both have had a lot of knee problems and it turns out so do I.

In May 2011 I ran a half marathon and played three soccer games in one week. The result was my ACL being completely torn and my MCL having a partial tare. I also had a small fracture in my tibia. Well… it wasn’t really the exercise but playing in a co-ed soccer league has it’s risks and a guy hit me from the side while going for a ball. Truth be told, I was having a really good game which made it more devastating. It was a terrible time and the most disgusting feeling I have ever experienced. We had no idea what was wrong with me and it took until August 2011 to be diagnosed from an MRI. I underwent surgery in February 2012 and started a very long recovery process. I gave up soccer for the time being and after going to the gym with my friend Julie’s husband (he is a physiotherapist) I took up lifting weights. I fell in love with lifting weights and the results it had for my body. I gave up on sports for awhile and focused on living in the gym.

A big push from my husband and brother-in-law got me back into playing reverse 2’s volleyball in the spring of 2013. We set up a net and played a lot of games and in tournaments. I was finally getting to be competitive which is something I crave. As my luck would have it, I went up for a big hit (as big of a hit as a 5’4 midget can do) in volleyball and ended up hurting myself again. I think I may have rolled my ankle and my knee gave out trying to compensate. I was screaming on the ground because of how scared I was to go through this process again. My Dad showed up about 30 minutes after I did it and gave me some wonderful words of wisdom “next time your ankle goes then just fall over.” Which I mean is great advice when you are already laying on the ground injured. Thanks Dad! Anyways, we went to the hospital and waited 4 hours for x-rays and no results. I spent a few weeks back on crutches and icing like crazy before I slowly started to go back to the gym. I took my rehab time very seriously and built back up to going to the gym regularly. One of the things I have learned from the professionals is to strengthen your butt and hamstrings to help your knees. We typically think to strengthen our squads to help support our knees but women need to strengthen the backside. Squats, lunges, and deadlifts are great exercises. Please seek out professional advice before starting any rehab process.

I saw my surgeon in November and he determined that he wants to do a scope to see the extent of my damage. So on Friday I will get put under and get my results. I am praying I don’t need surgery because the pain is very minimal currently and I do not want to go through this recovery process again.

Anyone else ever had knee surgery or other surgeries? How have you stayed with a healthy lifestyle given those challenges? I am taking up outrigger paddling this year as a way to have that competitive side but still take care of me knee. 2's

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Interview With a Crossfit Enthusiast- Meagan!

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Mel and I love finding information about different types of eating and exercise for our own personal knowledge and for our readers. We understand and promote that everyone’s bodies are different and we all need to find workouts that challenge us. Crossfit has become a huge movement in the last few years and one of our readers is a Crossfit enthusiast. We wanted to share this amazing fitness movement with you. Let us introduce you to our friend Meagan Sarnowski Nelson.

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Sister Act Fitness: What made you get into Crossfit?
Meagan: A close friend’s husband became a trainer and in learning more about it, the variety and the difficulty level of it made me interested. 
 
Sister Act Fitness: What is your favourite thing about doing Crossfit?

Meagan: The variation, we rarely do the same workout again just different variations also the difficulty level. It is at your own pace but being in a supportive CF atmosphere makes you push your limits further. I love seeing my improvements. Even if it’s just adding 10 pounds to my dead lift I get a little happy happy feeling inside hehe. 

Sister Act Fitness: What would a typical Crossfit workout be? 

Meagan: There is really no typical workout. Each class is a different variation. We start with a warm up for 5-15 minutes then work on a strength/skill which could include a specific weightlifting movement or skill that we could work on and the strength/skill is than varied with different amount of repetitions. After that we go into a workout, the workouts range from 15-30 minutes of intense work usually keeping your heart rate up. Crossfit is famous for its common WODs (workout of the day) and they are typically named after a female, or a fallen soldier. These are benchmark workouts and aren’t completed every day but they help measure your progress when you do them again in a month or two. They are usually tougher but I always feel great after. 

Two of my favorite love/hate workouts are:
Cindy:
Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
5 pull ups
10 push ups
15 air squats
I love/hate her because it sounds easy but once your 5-10 rounds in you are feeling the burn and  have to learn to push yourself to keep going. 
 
Filthy Fifty:

For time: 

50 Box Jumps on a 20 inch box

50 Jumping Pull-ups 

50 Kettlebell Swings @30 lbs 

50 Walking Lunges

 50 Knees To Elbows hanging on bar

50 Push Press, 45lb bar 

50 Back Extensions 

50 Wall Balls, @14 lbs 

50 Burpees 

50 Double Unders (skipping)

And this I love/hate because it’s one of the toughest to get through but I feel so accomplished when I finish. 

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Sister Act Fitness: Top 5 songs on your workout playlist?
Meagan: We listen to Songza in the gym one I like is Hard Rock, Hard Bod or drop a beat. 
 
Sister Act Fitness: What is your favourite quote?
Meagan: Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. OR
A crossfit quote:
the goal is to get fit,
Make it the best hour of your day,
Stay safe,
Turn up the music,
High five some people, 
And blow off some steam.
So remember that,
Relax, have fun, work out. 
-Pat Sherwood
 
Sister Act Fitness: What is your favourite post workout meal?
Meagan: BBQ chicken and a fresh salad with fruit and nuts. 
 
Sister Act Fitness: What inspires and motivates you?
Meagan: Feeling great. Even after a tough day, it is a stress reliever. Motivation is to lead a healthy lifestyle to stay active in the things I love. 
 
Sister Act Fitness: What is your favourite recipe?
Meagan: It’s an easy one, the Maple Blueberry no-cook oats breakfast. 

 
Sister Act Fitness: My cheat meal I could not live without is…? 

Meagan: Lasagne or any pasta and dessert. I would love to opt out of dinner to just have dessert haha

 
Sister Act Fitness: What does a typical day in your eating look like?
Meagan:

Daily food:
 Breakfast:
No cook oats with blueberries 
Coffee
Snack:
Fruit or yogurt or both
Lunch:
Chicken, veggies and either couscous or quinoa. If I’m still hungry I will have some salad. 
Snack:
Apple and cheese
Dinner:
Chicken, small salad, veggies, and either mashed cauliflower (my fav, have about once every 10 days) or we will have a carb such as rice, quinoa, couscous or baby potatoes. 
 
I do not take any supplements currently other than a BCAA drink during my workout, and on off days. 
 
Sister Act Fitness: What is your favourite thing about Sister Act Fitness?
Meagan: The updates! I love the recipes and new ideas you’ve tried  it has been a great help and motivation. 
 
Sister Act Fitness would like to thank Meagan for sharing her healthy lifestyle and Crossfit with us. Have any of you tried Crossfit? What do you do for your workouts? Sister Act Fitness would love to hear from you!  
 
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Superbowl Challenge!!!!!!!!!

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Hey you! Ya you! The one who plans on feasting during the Superbowl game (yes I’m talking to myself) – How about accepting a little interval challenge before you chow down?

“Now why on earth would I do that Mel?”

Because interval workouts speed up your metabolism and keep your body burning fat long after you have completed the sweat-fest. How does it compare to regular cardio? “You see the instant that you are done with low intensity jogging, your body is done burning calories.  But, do an intense set of intervals, and your body burns calories for the 2-4 hours after the workout” (taken from the article here: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/fat_loss_with_interval_cardio.htm ) I’ll leave all the technical mumbo jumbo to the professionals but the bottom line is that cycling high heart-rate with low heart-rate is great for burning calories

So – what’s the challenge you ask? It’s 3 different exercises done as fast as you can then a one minute rest – then you repeat 4 more times for a total of 5 sets. Yes we are keeping this short but sweet – if you have more time feel free to repeat the set a couple more times (and brag about it on our facebook page – we smile when you do) if you have less time so be it – even in 10 minutes you should be sweating and cursing Sister Act Fitness

Here’s the break down:

First things first WARM UP (5min walk outside, arm swings, light stretching, treadmill, elliptical – whatever, get moving for 5 min, get your heart rate up)

Then cut the crap and let’s kill this (start your timer, if you dont have one no big deal):

Jumping Jacks – 30 of them

Pushups – 10 of them

Squats – 30 of them (remember to stick that butt out as if you are going to sit on a chair, keep your back arched and chest up)

1 min rest (focus on getting your breathing back under control) 

NOW REPEAT!!!!!!!!!! How many sets can you do in ten minutes? I’m going to do this workout tomorrow as well and post how many sets I completed. PS if you know me you know I hate pushups! I do them from my knees and I’m not ashamed to say so – if you can only do 5 then do 5 – this isn’t bootcamp this is asscamp as in get your ass moving before the chicken wings hit the table at the Super Bowl party!

If you do happen to eat a bit more then you wanted try drinking some tea after – my favorite is peppermint after a meal, helps with digestion 😉 It also wouldn’t hurt to take a digestive enzyme before and after you eat – I know I will be

Let us know how you did as we loving sharing with our little community 🙂

 

Sister Act Fitness wishes both the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks good luck tomorrow, however, given proximity to the Hawks Nest and the fact that the house we are watching the game at is heavily inhabited by Hawks fans we can’t help but say GGGGGGGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWKS!

(Please don’t unfollow us)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with a Raw Goddess – Our friend Amber

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upsidedown amber

Since I’m a self-certified meatatarian (It’s a personal choice) we wanted to feature someone who is my polar opposite (food-wise) so our followers can be made aware of the benefits of all sorts of different eating lifestyles. Finding a lifestyle that works for you is the key. Today we wanted to feature my long time friend Amber who I am proud to say I have watched transform over the past few years, putting herself and her health above anything else.

Mel: So how would you describe your diet?

Amber: I wouldn’t describe it as a ‘diet’ it’s more of a lifestyle change. I’m raw-vegan which is all about eating food in its natural state or very close to. Being raw-vegan is actually very easy and very simple once you learn a few tricks of the trade. I never have to cook anymore, I just prepare foods. Making pies only takes me twenty minutes and I can eat it for breakfast because it’s only fruit and nuts.

Mel: That sounds nice and simple. So what turned you onto this diet?

Amber: What got me into this lifestyle was definitely meeting some new people who were already on the program. Just reading the 80/10/10 diet book and watching some YouTube videos had me sold. When you really think about it most of the foods people eat today are so over processed you really don’t know what you are eating. With a raw-vegan lifestyle you know exactly what you are eating and I really like that. I didn’t eat meat or dairy often so that was easy to give up. The bread and grains and pastas and cookies and candy – now that was the hard part!!

Mel: Ahhh yes the sugar laden foods are always the hardest to give up. What health benefits have you noticed since going raw-vegan?

Amber: The health benefits that I’ve noticed are huge over the last two years. Right away I noticed more energy and a clearer mind. As I continued to eat this way obviously I noticed weight loss – almost 30 pounds over the two years without working out, simply accredited to a lifestyle change. My body handles stress better and I don’t find myself in as much pain as I used to. My skin has done a 180 and I barely ever wear makeup – Mel you’d know that’s a big one for me. Now that I also incorporate calisthenics into my daily routine my mind body and spirit feel more aligned, I’ve learned to love myself more and accept the things that I can not change. Obviously some of this just comes with age and time but being raw-vegan definitely helped clear my mind. It’s hard to explain but once you go raw you can just tell. My other raw friends and I had a discussion the other day about how to explain this part of the lifestyle and we came to the conclusion you just can’t explain it it’s something that needs to be felt.

Mel: We also heard you have access to a yoga swing! (Seen in photos) What is that and what physical benefits have you gotten from it?

Amber: I don’t actually have the yoga swing yet but I did make my own by using an old sheet and making the main swing part but my man has an actual yoga swing that I use quite often. It is amazing and I have noticed more flexibility in my body, more peace within myself, and an overall leaner physique. A yoga swing is a great way to get your daily stretches in and make it fun. It’s also great for inversion which is amazing for your inner body parts – helps to realign your intestines which start to droop over time making it harder to digest properly. It also has saved me trips to the chiropractor time and time again.

Mel: So, as we all know, nobody is perfect so when you have a hankering what is your go-to indulgence?

Amber: Haha – Sometimes I really crave something like a pizza but I will eat a vegan gluten free pizza, always pick the best option and I always read the ingredients list. If there are more than two ingredients that I don’t know I won’t eat it.

Mel: What would be one simple way people could incorporate more raw food into their diet?

Amber: The simplest way to incorporate more raw foods into your diet is to juice. You can juice for yourself at home which is a bit time consuming but worth it for me. I enjoy doing juicing and when I use pineapple (which is almost daily) I use the pulp to make raw pies. You can also go to places like Natures Fare, Choices or Whole Foods for green juices and they are amazingly tasty and relatively affordable. I was drinking one 16 ounce bottle per day which cost me approximately 9 dollars so they don’t overcharge at all. Another easy way to incorporate raw is smoothies. Replace one meal a day with a green smoothie it’s simple, affordable and yummy. My favorite is a green-a-Coloda smoothie. I use every green I have in the house so usually kale, spinach, cilantro and cucumber. I add coconut water, pineapple, coconut milk, vegan protein powder, mangoes and raspberries. I add flax seed oil as well as maca, spirulina and lucima for a superfood boost. Those last three ingredients have big flavours so if you aren’t used to them add very small amounts at first to help introduce yourself to the flavour. Also with maca be careful, I had a strong reaction to it for a long while and had to build my tolerance. It can make you feel very nauseas and make your heart race if you aren’t used to it. It took me a full year to incorporate it into my diet at a full dose so sometimes these things take time. (Note maca can be used to treat thyroid issues but please consult your local supplements store for dosage information)

Mel: What would a day in the life of Amber look like?

Amber: I start my day with a 32oz green juice or smoothie depending on my mood. Green juice consits of kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, pear, pineapple and honeydew – it tastes like Hawaii haha. Lunch is usually two peppers, yellow and orange, with hummus – I’m addicted to this right now. Dinner is most often a huge kale salad with shredded beets, carrots, tomato, onion, hemp hearts. I always toss in a bit of turmeric for its anti-inflammatory and other amazing health benefits. Then whatever organic salad dressing I have in the fridge or decide to make. If I’m not feeling a salad I will make raw sushi – shredded coconut flakes mixed with a bit of water and tamari to get that sushi flavor with shredded beets, carrots, avocado, green onion rolled up in seasnax seaweed wrap – so yummy! For snacks throughout the day I eat fruit, oranges, apples, kiwis, grapes and sometimes a hand full of raw nuts.

Mel: Wow, I’m hungry talking about this. How do we make these pies you were telling us about?

Amber: My raw pies consist of a crust made from pitted dates and nuts (my fave is walnuts cause they are cheap and taste the best in this recipe) – mixed with a scoop of almond butter, blended, then pressed into a pie plate. For filling I take fruit and blend with soaked (for 5 hours) macadamia nuts or avocado or both. Pour into the crust and freeze for atleast an hour. For apple pie I just shred apples in my processor, add vanilla and cinnamon and sometimes some goji berries and add that to the crust – this one you can refrigerate instead of freeze.

Mel: Amber thank you so much for sharing your amazing, healthy lifestyle with us and our online family. Before we let you get back to your pies and yoga swing we want to ask you one more thing 🙂 What do you enjoy the most about Sister Act Fitness?

Amber: Haha of course! What I like most about Sister Act Fitness is the support I read from everyone. Life isn’t a health competition it’s about support and love which I find very important in sticking to a healthy lifestyle. Plus I love reading your gals posts – you two are both hilarious!

Sister Act Fitness thanks Amber so much for doing this interview – we look forward to having more of our friends, family and followers share their lifestyle stories in the near future.

swing life away

My Last Year of My 20’s…

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ImageHappy birthday to me! It’s Mo and today I am 29! I feel lucky that I have one more year in my 20’s. I woke up this morning at my usual time of 4:30 am and got ready for the gym. My husband got me an awesome new workout shirt, my favourite chocolate and made me an incredible video of some of my favourite pictures. I hit the gym this morning and completed this brutal workout: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jamie-eason-livefit-trainer-phase-2-day-40.html 

I did not take a rest day today because we have been having a lot of birthday treats lately. I went to Victoria with a group of my friends on the weekend to celebrate our birthdays. We had an incredible high tea and I indulged in many ways. I will also be attending two more birthday celebrations this weekend and a dinner with family tonight. I had to get my butt up this morning and start earning all of those cheats. I am trying to make my cheats in moderation.

So when I was on the treadmill this morning I was reflecting about the last year and the things I want to accomplish before I turn 30. I created a bucket list a couple years ago and I add to it regularly. I completed three things from my bucket list last year that I want to share with you:

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1. Learning to surf: since I was a child I have been obsessed with surfing and surfers. I used to have my room plastered with posters of surfers. I was obsessed but had never taken lessons. I have surfed in Australia and Tofino but had it all wrong. My friend Becca and I went to Costa Rica on a surf and yoga vacation and I finally learned to surf!

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2. Ziptrek: I am terrified of heights so going ziptrekking in Costa Rica was a stretch for me! I am thankful for the people in my life that push me to stretch myself. When I actually did it, it wasn’t even scary.

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3. Boudoir Shoot: This year I took part in a boudoir shoot and it was one of the best things I have ever done! I am going to do an entire post on it one day but this was one of my favourite things that I crossed off my bucket list this year.

So what is on my list to do before I am 30:

1. Travel to a different country: My sisters and I are planning a big trip for my 30th but there may be a smaller trip before then.

2. Fitness: Get my body as strong as possible before I may have to have knee surgery again. I want to get a 6 pack this year!

3. White Water Rafting

4. Have 100 followers for our blog!

I have many more ideas of things I want to do but I want to keep it manageable. I would like to say a big thank you to all the people in my life who have supported me, challenged me, encouraged me and made me laugh this past year. I feel very thankful that I have such incredible people around me that pat me on the back and also give me a kick in the ass when I need it. I love you all very much and I wouldn’t be where I am without you.

As special shout out to the other half of this blog. Hope it is a fit and healthy year for us! Watch out 29… here I come!

Lean On Me

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Who do you turn to for support? Whether it’s after a hard day at work, when you need that extra drive to get to the gym or maybe when you drank two bottles of wine and need someone to hold your hair back. Who is there for you? Once you’ve answered that question ask yourself this – Are you there for them? Do they know how much you love and appreciate them? If the answer is no I beg you to change that. 

I’m blessed with an amazing support network in my life – My boyfriend, who is currently dying with grace in Call of Duty while I write this, was called on tonight when I asked him “Can you please encourage me to do my sprints”? I worked a fairly busy/stressful 10 hours today and am slightly proud at the amount of excuses and procrastination techniques I can produce in one workout protest. My man (fairly well aware of my workout avoidance skills) calmly replied “Go do your workout, I’ll start dinner shortly, it will be ready when you are done” – Crap, how can I not workout after that?

More than once I’ve called on my sister for the same encouragement only her response is usually along the lines of “Get to the gym fatty” which I usually laugh pretty hard and then I go (yes this is what our sense of humour is like, no it doesn’t bother me) – My sister is also an expert in figuring out what people need in stressful situations and she has supported me in many “I need the truth even if I don’t want to hear it” moments in my life.

My Mother is another everlasting source of support – whether its financially (she let me move back in with her when I 4×4’d and ate prawn tempura through a whole big line of credit), emotionally – once in a blue moon I like to escape the world and lay on her couch and drink peppermint tea or just awesome Mom stuff like helping clean my basement suite with me when I moved (Don’t assume her efforts went unrewarded, I fed her beef jerky while we worked) 

My Dad and Step Mom are great in supporting us in our young adult years. Buying us laundry detergent and toilet paper and taking us out paddling with them to remind us to stay active as much as we can. My Dad wanted sons – I think we got as close to it as we could – instead of sons he has three daughters who can fish, play soccer, be put into a last minute rowing race and throw a football with a mean spiral – thanks Dad. 

Then there’s my gang of besties – who make me smile, and are always gung ho for whatever quirky/hippie/fundraising scheme I’m plotting. From our Adopt a Street to our Relay for Life team to supporting my need to do a Murder Mystery party for New Years. Even going on bike rides on the weekends cause they know I have a love for the outdoors. I have amazing friends. 

I hope these people know how much I love and appreciate them and I hope I contribute to their lives as much as they enhance mine. My goal is to continue to strive to be there for these shining stars that keep my life so bright.

Does your support network feel your support? Do you love and appreciate the relationships in your life that are equal parts give and take? I sure hope so and if not I sure hope you committ yourself to changing that

 

Starting Week 3 of Live Fit Trainer- 3 Pounds Down

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ImageHey everyone! It’s Mo and I just finished week 2 of the Livefit trainer. I am still loving it and feeling great. I have had a few cheats over the past couple weeks but have been trying my best to be consistent. I lost 3 (scale) pounds but I feel as if I have been gaining muscle. The last time I did this program I found that I started to bulk a bit in the second phase due to the increase in food and the lack of high intensity cardio. I am looking forward to starting phase 3 in a couple of weeks and amping it up. I still need to be very careful with my knee because I am waiting for a scope to see the damage I have done again. I injured my knee again in August and it has been a very long and slow process to recovery.

Anyways, while doing my workout on Friday I strained something in my abs. It hasn’t been super painful but uncomfortable enough that I checked it out at the doctors and it turns out that I did strain something. It is important to rest when your body needs it and my body has an annoying ability to let me know when I HAVE to rest.  I took a couple days off and that time off made it difficult to get up to go this morning. This image perfectly captures what was going on in my head:

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Despite that internal conversation, I still forced myself to go and I am really glad I did. January is a very busy month with a lot of birthday celebrations so it is crucial that I get my workouts in when I can. The gym was packed full of people this morning but the atmosphere pushes me to work harder than I would ever work at home. I was motivated by some of the women lifting heavy and even doing pull ups. Anyways, I finished a shoulder workout and once again remembered how much I hate them but I am motivated to get strong shoulders!

We want to hear from you! Which muscle group do you hate working out? How do you regain motivation when you break your routine? How are your doing with your goals for 2014?

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