Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Positive thoughts. Positive outcomes.

Somehow, there are only a handful of days left in the month of May.

Aside from being sidelined for a few days from unseasonal seasonal allergy sickness, I'd say this month was pretty a-MAY-zing as originally planned.

a-MAY-zing workouts logged
thursday, may 1: taught 7P spin class 
friday, may 2: 6A beach body boot camp @ city surf
saturday, may 3: 1) taught 9A rpm, walked --> city surf, 2) 11A city surf circuits, walked --> car
sunday, may 4: 1) taught rpm at 1030A 2) 630P bodypump
monday, may 5: taught 7P spin class
tuesday, may 6: 1) took 6P RPM and 2) 730P buddha board (yoga) @ city surf (had jury duty in the AM, so I was ready to blow off some steam)
wednesday, may 7: team taught 1) 6A and 2) 7P RPM
thursday, may 8: due to tornado threat/flash floods, cancelled my 7P class, but rode an hour-long tough RPM playlist from 9-10P at the gym once the rain had cleared
friday, may 9: 6A beach body boot camp @ city surf
saturday, may 10: 1) taught 9A RPM, walked --> city surf, 2) 11A city surf circuits, walked --> car
sunday, may 11: taught 1030A RPM (skipped bodypump because it was mother's day)
(monday, may 12: SICK. missed 6A beach body boot camp and my 7P spin class)
tuesday, may 13: recovering from sickness, but made myself go to 730P buddha board yoga @ city surf
wednesday, may 14: still sick, so I taught the 6A rpm class, and skipped the 7P
thursday, may 15: taught spin at 7P
friday, may 16: 6A city surf
saturday, may 17: 1) taught 9A RPM, walked --> city surf, 2) 11A city surf circuits, walked --> car
sunday, may 18: taught 1030A RPM, but was way way way too sore from circuits to do bodypump
monday, may 19: 1) 6A city surf and 2) taught spin at 7P
tuesday, may 20: 730P buddha board @ city surf
wednesday, may 21: taught RPM at 6A
thursday, may 22: taught spin at 7P
friday, may 23: 6A city surf
saturday, may 24: 1) taught rpm at 9A, walked --> city surf, 2) 11A city surf circuits, walked --> car
sunday, may 25: taught RPM at 1030A

monday, may 26: 930A cyclingREMIX at BEYOND Pedaling
(snooooozed my alarm and skipped 6A city surf circuits. bummed, but moving on)

tuesday, may 27: bodypump at 7P, or some sort of hour-long cardio party, depending on when I can leave work tonight
wednesday, may 28: teaching RPM at 6A
thursday, may 29: teaching spin at 7P
friday, may 30: 6A city surf
saturday, may 31: 1) teaching RPM at 9A, walking --> city surf, 2) 11A city surf circuits, walking --> car

I must say, I owe most of my newfound positivity and good vibes to my new obsession: 

I've got this one on the back window of my car. Always reppin'.

I have this as my phone background for when I need a quick stress reliever for the work day.

Here's my ode to City Surf Fitness that I recently posted to Yelp:

City Surf is my new obsession, and I see no turning back. I teach 5-6 spin classes a week and take BodyPump classes when I can, but I was starting to plateau. I needed something to challenge me and wanted to shake up my routine, and I absolutely found that with CSF.

The instructors are great. The RSX boards are intimidating at first, but I've seen noticeable improvement in my balance/stability/abilities in just the one month I've been taking classes here. You will fall, but you're not far off the ground, so it ain't no thing.

I've done Buddha Board, City Surf, Beach Body Bootcamp, and City Surf Circuits, and I've loved every single class. Buddha Board is CSF's take on yoga, and the poses done might be easy off the board, but are absolutely a struggle while on the board. It's a great calming end to my Tuesday. The top-notch instructors and sick playlists get you through tough 30-second and 45-second intervals. I had never done the types of moves asked of me in the classes, and suddenly, I find myself empowered and doing things I never believed I could do. 

The workouts are tough, but it's the kind of ass kick that you look forward to and sign up for, week after week. I can't get enough, and can't say enough good things about CSF. I'm looking forward to seeing this place grow! Almost all of the classes I've been to have been full, so I'm a little worried about when word gets out that I'll have trouble getting the classes I want!

If you want to give City Surf a try, create your online account here. Once you're logged in, you'll be able to see current specials, the weekly schedule, book classes, and make purchases.

They've been doing #FitFreebie Mondays (every class on Monday is FREE), but space is limited. Just book the classes you want online or via the City Surf Fitness app. You'll be able to see immediately if there's a waitlist for the class or if you're good to go.

City Surf is running a special now where you can get unlimited classes for June-August for $200, and I believe they're running the $15 2-week unlimited introductory special that got me hooked.

Book that $15 intro now, and check out a variety of classes. I've loved every single one, and I'm hooked on City Surf Circuits on Saturdays. So so so so so so so so good.

The only classes I haven't tried are Kowabunga Board (another take on yoga), and Pipeline, their take on the popular barre workout, but I have no doubt they're just as awesome as the rest.

To give you an idea of what's in store in a typical City Surf class, here's
"City Surf - The Intro" on Vimeo:

Just around the corner from Post Square, Starbucks, and i Fratelli Pizza

Try something new.

Shake up your routine

You might be just $15 away from discovering your new obsession.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Stuck after SEVEN

So, I made it through day seven on both tries thus far of the 21 Day Sugar Detox, but day eight is now officially when my body decides to totally crap out on me (literally, last time, and more figuratively this time around).

Today is day eight, and today, I was a bad, bad, bad, broken, sick girl. (Sue me, I have Fiona Apple "Criminal" playing in the background, thanks to the shuffle feature on Spotify)

A Dust Bowl rolled into Dallas late last week, with tornado-force winds and lots and lots of rain on Thursday, and then just lots of wind, heat, and humidity on Friday. These types of conditions absolutely kill me, and I knew I was in for a rough time.

Friday, I was good and on point (powered through a 6A city surf workout taught by an instructor who is a Dallas Mavericks dancer on the side, and ate a completely on plan breakfast/lunch) until a dinner date rolled around (which I had accounted for), but what I had not accounted for was having 3 vodka sodas and eating very little food on my date. Alcohol is definitely on the no column of my YES/NO list, but I decided that I wasn't going to let one setback completely reset the counter to day zero.



Saturday, I woke up extremely hungover with a postnasal drip-type sore throat, and taught RPM at 9A, changed tops and headed to Starbucks for an Iced Venti Americano (5 shots of espresso + water + ice), and then had one of my best-ever 11A City Surf Circuits classes.

It's a wonder what a hangover and a prior workout can do to you. I had improved noticeably since last week on my plank form. I noticed my balance on the board was a lot better than before, for the most part, and I felt really empowered through all 3 rounds of 12 30-second HIIT stations and all 12 in-between station exercises (low, single-leg pulsing lunges, and then "wave runners," aka mountain climbers, or the optional plank hold for 30 seconds). The rest of the day was completely in line with the detox.



11A-12P (planks, and lots and lots of other 30 sec HIIT stations, x 12, 3 rounds)

Sunday rolled around. I taught RPM at 1030. I came back home and ate some 21DSD food to tide me over until a late Mother's Day lunch, and built my own completely fine salad with avocado and salsa for dressing. Dinner checked out, too. Then, I headed to meet some friends who were at dinner, and I ordered an iced coffee, but got handed an iced cappuccino, which fell on the NO side of the list, but I drank it anyway… and then another.

NO. But YES, times two.

All day Sunday, I had nonstop sneeze attacks, a runny nose, and watery eyes, and every single meal with family and friends was outside on a patio, which was really fun and beautiful, but probably didn't help out my allergy situation much.

This is me right now. (I googled "tissues miserable")

Today is day eight (of 21). On paper, I had a 6A City Surf Circuits class booked and I was pumped, and then had my regular Monday 7P spin class that I teach at an apartment complex to look forward to at the end of the day.

Well, 4A rolled around. I hadn't gotten one wink of sleep, and my runny nose wouldn't quit. CSF Circuits has lots and lots of up and down motions and planks, and the thought of that + a runny nose just didn't sound doable, so I cancelled my class from the City Surf app, was notified I'd be charged for a late cancel, and went back to sleep for a bit. 

Unfortunately, no amount of money or prescription medications can fight the type of seasonal and yearly allergies I have today (I type this while staring at a digital thermometer, off-brand Benadryl, the RX nasal spray my mom drove over to me today, chronic dry eye notes from my doctor, and a few million tissues), so I ended up going home from work after only being there a few hours, and unfortunately, ended up going off plan at lunch, snack, and dinner.

What is it about day eight? I was doing so great for days one-seven (aside from the aforementioned vodka sodas, which are sort of table stakes when you're on a date, amiright, and the accidental iced cappucinos)

Day eight today was No workouts. Lots of NO foods. Just an all-around NO day. I let one slip-up at lunch turn into an all-day affair. But, to quote that book I never read, "Tomorrow is another day."

I just threw out all of the off-plan things that were hiding in my pantry, and I've given myself several slaps on the wrist, and I'm ready to just declare tomorrow day eight, take two. Today was like a practice swing in golf. It doesn't count. Well, it counts, but since I'm committing to turning things completely back around tomorrow, it's an exception to the rule, and not habit.

Never forget that. Don't let one slip-up completely undermine all of the hard work you've done.

Nobody is perfect. There will always be stress. There will always be temptation.

There will be times when you get sick, and you just have to rely on comfort foods that might not be within your particular lifestyle/intake plan.

But hopefully more often than those scenarios, there are those times when you just absolutely kick ass and take names in the kitchen, out with friends/family/your boo, and in the gym. And that's where you find true north.

Today wasn't pretty. I'm still sneezing and my eyes are crying, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do when I run out of my last tissue box tonight. But tomorrow is another day.

Here's to getting things back on track tomorrow (HELL OR HIGH WATER) with day eight, part two. And to my airwaves getting back to normal.


PS I really want to see this when it comes out.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Finding balance, dealing with curveballs, and choosing the right level for the 21DSD

MAY DAY. How did we get to May 1 so soon?

I don't know about you, but I'm sure as shit thrilled that April 2014 is behind me.

It had way too many downs than ups, and to April 2014, I say, good riddance.

Mantras from City Surf Fitness. Making this WORK for May and beyond

I made it to day seven of the 21 Day Sugar Detox Diet, and then got hit hard by a stomach bug (or possibly, food poisoned myself by overdosing on coconut oil/coconut butter one evening).

I had to take not one, but two days off from work to just recover physically, and also, to de-stress my life a bit. With IBS, your brain/gut connection is HYPER-active. Telling sign? One of my RXs is called an anti-spasmodic, to slow down my "spastic colon." I try and lead a stress-free life, but a few things added to my work plate last week sent me into an absolute tizzy.

I haven't been that sick in a while, and it's a bit ironic that just two days prior, I had my annual shoot-the-shit chat with my GI (who is my favorite medical professional on the planet, and I'm already dreading the day he retires), and told him everything was "normal." That's a relative term when you have IBS, but at that point in the week, I wasn't lying. (PS: Another reason I dislike April? April 2015 means baby's second-ever Colonoscopy. The procedure itself is A-OK, but it's the day/night before...oh, the prep...I'm on an every three year plan with the doc, based on findings in my first one at the ripe age of 25)

Then Wednesday 3A hit.

Thankfully, I've got a partner in crime for Wednesday RPM, and I was able to sit out both classes last-minute. After lots of 30 Rock, sleep, Grape Pedialyte, Ginger Ale, expired Imodium, Chicken Soup and plain Kid's Pasta from Cafe Express (Mad shout-out to online ordering for curbside pick up. You can look like an absolute scrub and get your business handled), I finally recovered.

Clearly, the remedies required for the stomach bug were off the 21DSD detox, and the thought of returning to Coconut Oil and kale turned me off for a few days, so I made the conscious decision to press pause on the detox.

Intake-wise, I didn't go too far off plan, but have allowed myself the occasional squeeze packet of Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, and have worked in some green-tipped bananas with PB2.

Burn-wise, I changed things up dramatically. I fell in LOVE with City Surf, and made the most of my $15 two week unlimited pass, and ended up signing up for 10 more classes, and then unlimited monthly classes, starting May 30. I'll have to wax on poetically about my love for CSF in another post.

My one-year-old is branded. SO happy to have this back after VW crashed it into their car wash...

I'm hitting reset and starting with day zero on Monday, May 5. Cinco de Mayo. Not Cinco de Drinko for me, as my fellow Oxy Tigers branded it back in 2006.

If you're curious about the 21DSD, here's the quiz from the book that helps you decide which level to follow:

"The 21-Day Sugar Detox has three main levels. The difference between the levels and modifications for the various tracks, while minor at first glance, translate into some very different food choices on a daily basis. In order to determine which level you should follow, as well as any possible modifications you may want to make, complete this short self-quiz.

Select the answer that best describes you:
  1. Are you new to the 21-day sugar detox?
A) yes
B) no, I have completed it once
C) no, I have completed it two or more times

2. I currently eat:

A) bread, pasta, and other foods made from whole grain or other types of grain flour (wheat, teff, spelt, kamut, rye, etc.)
B) bread, pasta, and other foods made from gluten-free grain flours
C) a grain-free, Paleo, or primal type of diet

3) I currently eat:

A) fat-free dairy products
B) low-fat dairy products
C) no dairy

4) I feel that my sugar and carb cravings are:

A) so strong that I'm admittedly fearful of how this detox will go for me
B) pretty darned strong – that's why I'm reading this
C) not terrible, but certainly not under control the way I think they should be

5) I:

A) am currently following a pescetarian diet – I eat seafood, eggs, and dairy, but not meat
B) am currently pregnant or nursing one or more children
C) live a very active lifestyle, work at a physically demanding job, or participate in high-intensity physical activity or exercise regularly
D) have been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition
E) none of the above

Questions 1-4
Determines which level is right for you.

If you answered mostly A, select Level 1.
If you answered mostly B, then select Level 2.
If you answered mostly C, then select Level 3.

Question 5
Determines the modifications, if any, to the level you determined was right for you based on your answers to questions 1-4. 

If you answered A, then follow the Pescetarian modifications for Level 1 or Level 2.
If you answered B or C, then follow the Energy modification for Level 1, 2, or 3.
If you answered D, then follow the Autoimmune modifications
If you answered E, then simply follow the level that is right for you."

(Source: SanfilippoDiane."The 21 Day Sugar Detox: Bust Sugar & Carb Cravings Naturally." )

To read about the modifications and the different levels, here's where you need to go.

I'm not going to lie to you: it's not easy, but in those seven days, I saw some big changes. That lower belly fat that stared at me in my private "before" mirror selfies literally melted away. I felt more energized and just generally lighter every day, and it translated to a loss of about 2-4 lbs on the scale. I think 2 of those lbs were from the stomach bug, because they crept back up on the scale the next day.

The 21 DSD doesn't promise weight loss, but you may notice some fluctuations. It's really more about resetting your brain and your habits. Some days, I found myself thinking, "What am I going to have for dessert tonight?" and recognized what typically trips me up. Having the YES/NO guide also helped me make better choices in the kitchen when making dinner, and when shopping for a week's worth of groceries.

Going completely off sweeteners also makes things taste sweet to you. I was suspicious that my Iced Venti Unsweetened Passion Tea had sweetener in it, but after a few more sips, realized that it was 100% made correctly, and my taste buds were just shocked by the tartness, and confused it with sweetness.

It's crazy how such minor diet changes (at least for me, following Level 3) really messes with your blood sugar and hormones. It kicked in my regularly scheduled monthly programming a week early, which freaked me out a bit, but apparently is normal, and it flushed out toxins in the form of jawline acne. Not a good look, but it faded away after a few days.

If you have any questions about the detox, or just general health/lifestyle things, feel free to email me: christine.stella@me.com or add me on myfitnesspal (stelebrityfitclub) to see what I'm eating/doing on a day-to-day basis.

It ain't easy, but it's absolutely worth it to do something good for yourself every single goddamn day.

XO, Stel

PS Here's some food porn of things I made while following the 21DSD. Check out my Pinterest board for recipes and Pinspiration.

PALEOmg Spaghetti Squash Italian Sausage Casserole (5 ingredients, MEGA easy)

Spinach Avocado Dip (Lemon Juice, salt, 1 avocado, 6 c spinach, and food process)

Zoodle Shrimp Scampi (in full-fat coconut milk)

Sunbutter Unsweetened Brownies (sweetener is green-tipped banana)

GEAR. Love that Unsweetened Artisana Almond Butter

Baby Carrots + Coconut Oil Spray + Sea Salt. "Fries" baked at 400F for 20 mins

Homemade Unsweetened Almond Butter. Almonds. Process. Add Salt and 1 tbsp Coconut Oil.

Zucchini Carrot "Quiche"

Zucchini Crust Pizza.

Zoodles with Peas and Smoked Salmon