Four of My Favorite Free Fitness Apps

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Nike Training Club

This app has an incredible amount of free content – thank you, Nike! It features interval-style workouts for different fitness levels and goals. Each workout includes exercise instructions and how-to videos (extremely helpful), built-in interval timers, narration, and the option to play your own music. If you have this app it’s easy to perform high-intensity,challenging workouts at home with minimal equipment and little fitness experience.

MapMyRun

The free version of this app performs the basic functions I’m looking for in a running app – it keeps track of my pace, route, and total distance run, as well as calories burnt. As much as I’d eventually like to buy a FitBit or GPS running watch, this does the trick in the meantime.

IntervalTimers

This app is a super simple timer perfect for interval/tabata workouts. What I like most about it is how loud the alarms are – easy to hear even over blasting music.

TwoGrand 

I really love this photo food journal app. As opposed to counting calories or macros, this app allows you to simply snap photos of what you eat, creating a visual sense of how much food you’re consuming. You can follow other users with similar goals/lifestyles and participate in challenges (“Drink x oz. of water per day”, “Workout abs everyday for a month”, etc.). You can follow me under username margeauxvittoria (as long as you promise not to judge me for my Christmas indulgences).

Postpartum Diet Week 2

Here’s my first post in this series:

Also, I have been using the app TwoGrand to track my meals and workouts so I won’t be posting my workouts here anymore. You can follow me on TwoGrand under username margeauxvittoria.

And here’s what I’ve been eating this past week! Saturday and Wednesday were cheat days (in a big way). I also went off plan Tuesday night by stress-ordering a pizza (you’ve been there). But I’m pressing on. My photos are screenshots from the app mentioned above.

Breakfasts:

IMG_2296
1/4 cup steel-cut oats, cooked, with 2 tsp. maple syrup and a splash of 2%
2 scrambled eggs (cooked in coconut oil)
Coffee with 2 Tbsp. 1/2 n 1/2

Lunches (this was a little all over the place):

IMG_2297
-Lentil soup (1/6 of this recipe)
-100 calories carbs (I had pretzels, rice crackers, or quinoa)
-1/4 cup shredded cheese or a piece of fruit
-1/2 cup Edy’s Slow-Churned ice cream

Snacks:
Same as last week’s options

Dinners:

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-Pot roast with potatoes + green salad
-Stuffed butternut squash
-Taco salad
-Roast chicken and carrots with white rice
-The aforementioned pizza

Since I started doing this my weight has been consistently about three lbs. lower than where I was hanging out beforehand. My main goal over the holidays is to not gain any weight but I’m waiting to weigh myself until Wednesday so I don’t discourage myself unintentionally.

Workout Journal (Week of 12.14.14)

Sunday – TIU Total Body Bliss Routine 

I’m continuing with the Tone It Up workouts because, since the schedule is already laid out for me, it’s one less thing to think about. I felt pretty good about this workout – it was challenging, but I felt like I could handle it.

Monday – TIU Kettlebell Routine + 30 min. “Run”

Run

I used a 10 lb. dumbbell for this workout because I don’t have a kettlebell. It was challenging, especially the pistol squats, which I’d never tried before. I’ve decided a few of my short(er) term fitness goals are:

  • 20 full pushups
  • 20 pistol squats (10 each leg)
  • Run a 5K in 27 minutes

This run (my third postpartum) was progress. I ran a full mile with no walking, which was a definite improvement on my previous two runs. I still feel pretty pathetic but I’m pushing through that. (Fireworks added to hide map 🙂 ).

Tuesday – TIU Ab Videos 

This is the Tone It Up week schedule I’m working from – I’m tired of doing individual links. Today I added 40 uneven squats to my daily routine, inspired by this video that contains exercises to do to work up to pistol squats.

Wednesday – TIU Yoga + Arms, 1.7 Mile Walk 

Yoga first thing in the morning felt great – I enjoyed walking outside again too.

Thursday – 2 Mile Run + 10 Min. TIU Thigh Video 

run2

I felt like a badass today! Ran two miles and got into my running “zone” for the first time postpartum, then did 10 min. of thigh exercises plus my uneven squats. Actually feel like I can say I completed a “run” sans the “”.

Friday – 3 Mile Run + TIU Ab + Arm Workout

Ran three miles today with an average 11:10/mile! I’m psyched. I also did today’s TIU video plus my uneven squats and a new addition to my daily routine – pushups. I did one yesterday and I did two today. Planning on continuing by adding one a day. It was helpful to watch some YouTube videos about proper pushup form.

Saturday – Rest Day

Had some definite fitness breakthroughs this week. I feel excited about my goals and as if they’re actually possible – always a good feeling! My runs definitely gave me that “runner’s high” feeling I was missing. 

Postpartum/Breastfeeding Diet

For the first month after Miles was born, I let myself eat whatever I wanted. I started exercising regularly as soon as I felt like it, but I didn’t make any attempt to change my eating habits.

However, last week I decided to start eating healthier…I still have about 12 lbs. I’d like to lose (10 from before I got pregnant) and my eating choices were making me feel tired and stressed.

My number one priority is to keep it simple. For me, this means…

  • Eating 2,000+ calories a day
  • Eating the same breakfast, lunch, and snacks each day (changing weekly so I don’t get bored)
  • Cooking dinner at home

Basically, I eat a healthy 500 calorie breakfast and lunch and two 250 calorie snacks. I decided not to worry about the calories of my evening meals because I HATE counting calories when cooking (as opposed to when making a salad or breakfast…that’s doable). The dinners I cook are approximately 500 calories, and, if slightly higher, help me make sure I’m breaking 2,000 calories/day (which I feel I need to do in order to maintain breastfeeding and exercising). I’m planning on sticking with this calorie window for a month and then adjusting if necessary.

I also went through the calendar for the next month and chose 5 cheat days where I can eat whatever I want. This is the only way I figured I can survive the holidays – plus the occasional calorie surplus will help keep my metabolism guessing.

This is the food I’ve eaten this past week, the first of my program. I’ve included daily treats because otherwise I will binge on sugar. It makes the most sense to me to have a little something sweet everyday instead of depriving myself and being miserable.

I tried to think this through carefully and come up with something that is doable for me. I’ve tried and failed many more rigorous diets and I don’t have the energy or time to do that again!

Week of 12.11.14

Breakfast:

breakfast

  • 1 piece fruit
  • 1 tablespoon nut butter
  • 1 hardboiled egg
  • 1/4 cup steel-cut oats, cooked, with 2 teaspoons maple syrup and a splash of 2%
  • Coffee with 2 tablespoons half and half (if I feel like it)

Lunch:

lunch

  • Big veggie salad with 3 oz. pepper turkey, 1/4 cup shredded cheese, 2 tablespoons toasted pecans, and 1 tablespoon Caesar dressing
  • 1/2 cup Edy’s Slow-Churned Ice Cream

Two 250 Calorie Snacks:

snack

  • Peanut butter Ritz Bitz and an apple
  • Greek yogurt and 100-calorie popcorn bag
  • Larabar
  • 1/3 ChocoLove chocolate bar + 100-calorie popcorn bag
  • Protein shake
  • Starbucks Grande Peppermint Mocha with sugar-free syrup
  • A beer (this was at our pub trivia night 🙂 )

Dinners (all gluten-free):

dinner

  • Crockpot ribs, green beans, corn muffins
  • Corn chowder topped with cheddar, sautéed Brussels sprouts
  • Tomato soup with toast and sautéed zucchini
  • Crockpot curried chicken thighs, sautéed broccoli, quinoa
  • Venison broccoli stirfry, rice

A note about Zach:
Zach likes to sleep in until the last possible moment, so part of my meal plan is keeping a grab-and-go breakfast on hand for him. This week I made paleomg.com’s Easy Breakfast Casserole. Lunch is a free-for-all…I just try to have ingredients on hand for meals Zach makes for himself (omelettes, GF pizza, etc.). We obviously eat dinner together. I’ve found the only way to make a meal plan work for me is for it to work for both of us – otherwise it’s just too much effort.

More weeks to come!

Workout Journal (Week of 12.7.14)

Sunday – NTC Ab Routine (15 min.)

I’m really liking the Nike Training Club app. Zach and I did a 15 minute ab routine on the living room floor while discussing how we wanted Ben and Jerry’s and it was surprisingly hard. We didn’t get ice cream afterwards either.

Monday – 1 Hour Zumba Class

Same class as last week but with a substitute teacher. It’s amazing how different Zumba teachers can be – the regular is definitely much more fun. Zumba can really easily become step aerobics which I HATE. The usual teacher turns it into actual dancing, though.

Tuesday – 20 Min. PiYo Video

Zach did this BeachBody program while I was pregnant and I’m just now getting into it. I like it – however, after my recent hour-long yoga classes, this workout felt kind of like a cop-out.

Wednesday – 1.7 Mile Walk

I went walking with the same friend at the same park again this week. We go around 4:30 just when the sun is setting and, oddly enough, I enjoy the cold and dark. It’s nice to get in touch with nature even when nature isn’t particularly inviting. We saw a bunch of geese, two muskrats, and a few rabbits.

Thursday – 20 Min. PiYo Video

This was an upper body workout with a lot of pushups…I needed it. I can barely do full-body pushups anymore and I miss having that ability – one of my short-term goals is to regain that!

Friday – Tone It Up Video + 30 Min. “Run”

As much as I dislike the style of Tone It Up (the pastel colors, trashy outfits, use of the word “tone” – which is pretty much irrelevant in fitness culture now – and general sorority vibe) their workouts are decent and work for my current fitness level and lack of gym membership. The arm workout I did was challenging with my 10 lb. weights. This week’s attempt at running was about as sorry as last week’s. My phone died halfway through so I don’t know what my exact pace was, but let’s just say it wasn’t great.

Saturday – Rest Day

I’m feeling slightly discouraged fitness-wise this week. As a person, I have a hard time being patient while working towards a goal that is still really far away. I’ve been in much better shape in the past than I am currently and that’s hard for me mentally. But I’m sticking with it! Exercising every day has helped me keep my emotions in check postpartum and upped my confidence too.