Week 10- DAOFitlife Meal and Exercise Plan
Taking progress pictures can help you stay on track. To the left: me at Equinox pre-pandemic; and then post-pandemic in May 2021. Notice how the exact same locker room changed, too!

Week 10- DAOFitlife Meal and Exercise Plan

Here is my weekly update on my meals, exercise, and recipes.

RECIPES AVAILABLE HERE (UPDATED FOR WEEK OF MAY 6)

Customizable DAOFitlife Meal Plan and Grocery List Links– Week 10

DAOFitlife Exercise Plan – Week 10

Exercise Template Links

Meal Plan 

I am on week 2 of no artificial sweeteners – including Stevia and Monk Fruit. I eat a lot of fruit and it tastes SO MUCH sweeter than before. The taste explodes in my mouth! Which makes sense because research confirms that artificial sweeteners can make fruits and vegetables less appealing

To that end I have been eating more carbs earlier in the day, around my workouts. I have been eating foods I will normally eat for breakfast for lunch, because they give me the burst I need to get through the afternoon, instead of coffee.

I have decided to cut back my caffeine to 1-2 cups of green tea a day. The great thing about this meal trackers is that I am not just tracking my food but also beverage. And I realized I was drinking 4-5 cups of coffee a day. Because it was making feel more dehydrated, I decided I need to make an adjustment and lower my caffeeine intake. I have been sleeping a lot better and so far the withdrawal isn’t too bad, but the more I cut back on caffeine the more I realize I need food for energy.

And it turns out that caffeine can actually inhibit muscle growth, something I am focused on after going back to the gym. This is why it is often recommended not to have coffee right after a workout when your body is in repair mode. This is because of the release of the hormone cortisol, which I definitely have had an interest in understanding for a long time and look forward to sharing some info about that with you.. After I have tea in the morning, but then I immediately start munching on my fruit. And then once I do my workout, it’s only water and herb tea from there. I hope I won’t crack and can keep this up, so help me stay accountable!

Tart cherry juice can help sore muscles and be a preventative for delayed muscle onset soreness (like when you feel sore way after your workout).

I have also been infusing my water with tart cherry juice syrup, just a small amount. Tart cherry juice helps your body recover faster. Now that I am lifting more weights, I feel very sore, and I don’t have the extra caffeine to give me the adrenaline oblivion.

Exercise Plan

Finally! I get to go back to the gym after being vaccinated. Walking into an Equinox Sports Club fills me with so much happiness. I have been going back to my favorite yoga and barre classes, and I will try a boxing class next week. You can also book “solo” workouts for a certain time. Even though this is a COVID-related precaution, it is really a great way to plan on when you will be working out and have to stick to a certain schedule.

One thing I noticed right away after starting to go back to a gym with a full suite of equipment is that I have definitely lost a lot of strength. My cardio endurance feels great, but when doing squat rack, deadlifts, and chest press I had to really cut down on the weight for safety reasons. I could not believe that I could barely squeeze out a few chin ups – which as you will see is one of my favorite arm exercises. But we should all celebrrate our bodies for where they are. I know that I will get stronger and that it will take time. But I am excited for this part of my journey as we embrace the world again.

In my post about igniting your why, I recommend taking progress pictures. I put my money where my mouth is and just took one to compare where I was pre-pandemic to where I am now. Comparing these pictures (which were taken in the same spot) just also makes me see how much our lives have changed – the mask, the signs on the floor for physical distancing, the tables cleared of all amenities. But we are slowly transitioning back, and I have much more appreciation for things I regarded as routine, including going to Equinox.

I also was so happy to be able to go back to a SoulCycle outdoor class last weekend. Next week I will feature my experience at an outdoor SoulCycle in DC!

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