Gym evaluation and an alkaline raw porridge

20140422-141802.jpg

I have now finished my one month of testing how the gym makes me feel and as I said I will now evaluate it. Just as I really started to get into it and had created some sort of a routine, I have to leave which is a bit annoying but as they say; do something for 21 days and it becomes a habit. Exercise is now a habit ( so precious and I need to make sure I don’t loose it ) Next I am going to test Hot yoga!

So how was the gym experience;
Fairly good I must say, absolutely amazing to get to use my muscles for something other than doing zoom zoom zoom with my kids (which is pretty amazing too but only works the arms….and stomach….and legs) Also really enjoyed some good cardio to get the heart pumping. Now to the evaluations categories.

How much have my spirits lifted ( do I feel on top of the world? )
Quite regularly I do feel on top of the world whilst being at the gym. The happy happy techno/ disco music and the full-on positive self-talk, that I learnt after my MS diagnosis, makes me feel that way. 8/10

How happy do my muscles feel (stretched, no pain, stronger etc)
I feel stronger, muscles are aching in both a positive and negative way. I do get little aches and pains from the gym, especially if I don’t stretch properly which isn’t so good. 4/10

How calm and at peace do I feel
As calm as a testosterone-filled, Duracell bunny rabbit on jugs of Java! But I guess I do loose a bit of negative energy 3/10

How happy does it make me feel
I do feel happier. Healthier hence happier ; ) but not ridiculously happy hormone levels 5/10

How clean and refreshed do I feel
Sparkly clean! I love the sauna and shower straight after gym combo. I know I know since I have MS apparently I shouldn’t use the sauna but hey apparently I should take medicine to suppress my immune system rather than eating lots of healthy stuff to make my immune system as strong as possible, so…….I don’t always believe everything being said about how to deal with MS. Please note if you have MS, don’t take my word for it. Sauna works for me but might not for everyone. I do take it fairly easy in the sauna and make sure I regularly leave the sauna for ice-cold showers. 10/10

Fitness and cardio levels
Stronger and easily did a 4k run on Thursday so very happy with fitness and cardio. My body is slowly starting to be less of a Picasso painting and more like….well less like a Picasso painting at least! 8/10

20140422-105515.jpg

So for today’s recipe I want to add a raw food porridge that I have become totally hooked on. A friend recommended this breakfast that she had got from a fab Swedish website that talks about the alkaline diet, smartamaten.se. As you probably know I’m not a big fan of putting a name on how you are eating but if there’s one “diet” out there that makes sense to me this would definitely be it. This is pretty much how I believe one should eat to be healthy. A humongous amount of plant based food, and a low amount of meat, dairy and gluten. But with the alkaline diet there’s no no-no foods. As long as you eat alkaline food 80% of the time you can eat acid food 20% of the time. If you want to read more about it here’s an article in the Telegraph. For you Swedes out there, do check out smartamaten.se where you can read more, get a free ph-list and subscribe to getting more great recipes.

Raw food porridge

Serves 1

1 banana
1/2 an apple or pear
A handful of raspberries ( I use frozen )
A handful of almonds
A handful of pumpkin or sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon of crushed sesame seeds
2 Brazil nuts
A couple of teaspoons of cacao nibs ( I use Creative Nature )

Mix everything apart from the cacao nibs with a handheld blender. Sprinkle the cacao nibs over. Enjoy! This breakfast keeps me full until lunch!

I put all the nuts and seeds to last me for ten breakfasts or more in a large jar which makes the mornings much easier

20140422-140858.jpg

Perfect exercise and a quinoa, peanut butter, hemp, chia seed protein bar

20140414-152313.jpg

Right, the search for the exercise or combination of exercises that will make me feel the best, physically and mentally has started. I will try on a monthly basis all kinds of normal and not so normal ways of get my body moving. Then I will evaluate them. You know, as a fun experiment that you can do on yourself. I have started with something that I’m quite familiar with, the gym. A bit boring I know but a really great deal came up and I thought picking something familiar can be a good way to get back into doing some exercise. Maybe I’m just a creature of habit…..
Next on the list is bikram (hot) yoga, again another great deal, and after that some personal training thanks to a dear friend who very kindly passed on some sessions that she can’t use.

Things I also want to try are dance (salsa, flamenco and old school jazz dance), recliner Pilates, running (if my knees are up for it) and various kinds of non-hot yoga. I’m sure I will think of some more fun ways of getting fit and if anyone has something to recommend please leave a comment below.

Evaluation categories will be as follows;

How much have my spirits lifted ( do I feel on top of the world? )
How happy do my muscles feel (stretched, no pain, stronger etc)
How calm and at peace do I feel
How happy does it make me feel
How clean and refreshed do I feel
Fitness and cardio levels

I will post the evaluation of my gym sessions by the end of this week.

After one of my visits to the gym this week I was in the need of something to eat. My muscles and body felt tired and stomach screamed feed me so I thought about getting a protein bar to give my muscles something to feel better. Until I read the ingredients list…….seriously, do we go to the gym to get fitter and healthier or to get unwell? It’s like; Great you have done a fantastic workout to make yourself healthier. Now, stuff some rubbish into yourself because too much of this healthy stuff can be bad for you…….honestly!

Anyhow I decided to make my own protein bars and stay away from 15 types of sugars and sweeteners and e-numbers and milk and gluten and fillers and flavourings and whatnot. And it is so easy to make your own. Then I know I’m giving my body some really good healthy nutrient filled protein rather than just a lot of rubbish. These bars contains appx 9g of protein and appx 225 of calories. They are lower in protein than the standard gym bars but since I’m not a body builder and not currently doing really hard exercise I don’t feel I need more. If you feel you need more protein just add a scoop or two of some whey protein powder.

20140414-152326.jpg
Quinoa, dates, hemp seeds, chia seeds, peanut butter, cacao powder

10 bars

1/3 cup quinoa
2/3 cup of water
10 pitted dates
1/2 cup cashews or almonds
6 tablespoons of peanut butter (no added sugar)
4 tablespoon of Chia seeds
4 tablespoons of shelled hemp seeds

Soak the chia seeds in 3 tablespoons of water. Rinse the quinoa. Add the drained quinoa to a saucepan with 2/3 of a cup of water. Bring to the boil then lower the heat and cook covered for 15 min. Take it off the heat and let it stand covered for 5 min.

In the meantime add the remaining ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth-ish consistency. Add the quinoa and blend for another couple of minutes. Add to a 30x20cm pan and flatten it out with your fingers or a spatula. Put in fridge until cool. Cut into 10 pieces. Wrap individually in baking paper, pop in freezer and when you’re going for some exercise bring one along and it will defrost during your workout.