Thursday, December 15, 2011

Final Results of P90x

We want to apologize for not getting the final results and pictures up for the end of our P90x program. For the last four months, we have been relocating from West to East coast. It has been a wild ride and we are pleased to say that the office is setup and ready to go! There are several projects we anticipate for the new year and hope to work on asap. #1 on the list is to redesign and to do that we need an investor and a good web designer/programmer. If anyone is interested in either, let us know. We'll be on the lookout. Here are some pics of the new digs. It is our first actual storefront and we are absolutely thrilled about it. There is more work to be done however the foundation is laid out :-D

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Almost at the top of Dog Mountain. This hike was intense.

Oh blog, how it seems as though you've been forgotten! Well, I haven't forgotten about you. I have just been EXTREMELY busy and even more overwhelmed with my life lately.

I think that Giacomo and I underestimated how much this upcoming cross-country move was going to impact our training. It has been very trying to get our workouts in, and pack up our belongings, and sell our belongings in several different venues, and find a house back east, and make sure we take as much advantage of beautiful Portland as possible before we go, and say goodbye to all of our friends, and the list goes on and on.

I am VERY proud of us though. Although we have switched a few cardio days around, we have not missed more than maybe 5 workouts total throughout the whole p90x program, which is awesome. I injured my hip pretty badly around week 7, and lost my ability to do, oh you know, anything that had any impact on it. :-/ So for me, plyo has been out of the question, as has running which was something I was trying really hard to learn how to do. Cycling has been ok though, and I have been hitting up the ole elliptical at the gym again. I feel like as boring as it is to stand in one place for an hour, I can go hard on the elliptical without worrying about my hip getting hurt again. I have also been a walking machine. Giacomo and I sold one of our cars, so we have been a one car family, which is fine with me because I have always been a walker. I will walk anywhere...seriously, and although it isn't "cardio" by any stretch, the fact that my body is moving more hours of the day than not is just fine by me.

My original goals were to get to 130 pounds, and to do an unassisted wide grip pullup. Lets check in on these. This morning I weighed in at 132 pounds, and last week when I tried to see how close I was to a pull-up, I could do one with 12 pounds of 12 pounds away!
Do I think I am going to hit my goals in the next week? I can and probably will drop 2 pounds this week, but I don't think I'll be able to increase my pullup strength by 12 pounds in one week....maybe 4 pounds? Still, that's pretty damn close. :-) I won't sell myself short just yet though.

These past couple of weeks have been crazy! In a good way? :-) Giacomo had I celebrated our third anniversary by going to an amazing-oh-my-god-this-tastes-so-good-it-isn't-even-right dinner at Portabello Trattoria, an all vegan Italian restaurant. We also got tattooed at Scapegoat, the vegan tattoo parlour in the Vegan Mall (I bet you're wishing you lived in Portland right about now!!!) We are also hoping to go up to Seattle next weekend and see a bodybuilding show that 2 of our vegan friends are in!!! There will be lots of pictures to come. In the meantime, enjoy these ones!

Giacomo's dinner of Eggplant over polenta with a hazelnut stuffing and braised kale.

My potato gnocchi with ragut. For the record, I enjoyed every drop of that olive oil ;-)

Carrot Walnut Raisin Muffins

My vegan tattoo! No bone char here!

Giacomo's cruelty-free bunny!

In case you didn't know.... ;-)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

DAY 71!!!! ~dani

Grrrrr! Being silly after our workout.

So yesterday I tried my hand at my pullup 1 rep max. Being able to do an unassisted wide grip pullup is one of my p90x goals. I have been training using the gravitron machine at the gym, because I feel like when using a chair, it is way to easy to cheat, but that could very well just be me. ANYWAY....I set the gravitron to 18 pounds (which is how much "help" it gives you) and was able to do a pretty decent one, which means I may have even been able to go a little lower, but I was REALLY, REALLY happy with 18 pounds! I only have 19 days to go, and I don't know if I will actually be able to do an unassisted one in that time, but the amount of progress I've made in 71 days is unreal. I have been working on this goal on and off for yeeeeaaaarssss, withou ever making it. Needless to say, this makes me happy.

Also I am pumped at the number of pushups I am capable of doing now, and I mean real pushups, with my chest to the floor. Giacomo was kind of stunned by me during our last chest/triceps workout :-) I do however feel that my triceps are my weakest point, so doing things like narrow pushups, I still drop to my knees about halfway through. I feel like this is partly due to the fact that my left elbow is pretty fragile....which brings me to my net point.

My hip is friggen killing me. Some days it's ok, but other days I am limping. This really sucks because I was making some serious headway with my cardiovascular endurance, which as I've mentioned before is one of my biggest weaknesses. :-/ Doing cardio now is a pain (quite literally) so I have been taking it as easy as I can. I have been walking a LOT and I can't tell if it is helping or hurting me. For the most part I am still able to do the full leg routine except the side to side lunges are just too much impact for my poor hip, so I have been using the abductor and adductor machines in their place. In place of running (which I was finally getting the hang of :-( , I have been cycling)

My diet has been working for me I think. The veganized version of p90x was not working for me AT ALL. I was constantly hungry, but I still always felt bloated and gross. Ick. So I have been doing my own thing, which feels better to me anyhow because it feels more like a "lifestyle change" than a diet. I stick within a 1400-1650 calorie range, making sure to get at least 80 grams of protein a day. This keeps me feeling satisfied, strong, and not quite as crazy as typical diets make me feel! Also, I am down to 135 pounds, and am starting to be able to see my top abs, so WOO! My goal originally was to get to 130 pounds and 18% bf. I have no idea what my bodyfat is now because our scale is clearly a liar as it says I have a higher bf than when I started which is clearly untrue. 130 pounds still seems possible, but I am not going to freak about it if I miss it by a couple of pounds.

Overall, it has been a lot tougher to be as motivated about workouts since we are so busy getting ready for our HUGE cross country move. But I am SO proud of us for keeping up with it, and I am pretty sure that I am going to start p90x again when I am done with it this time. Yeah, it's that good. ;-)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sun, Summer and gettin shredded.. -Giacomo

Happy Fourth of July!!!
(Yes, that is a vegan hot dog!)

Phase III aka the final stretch is underway.

Leaving our home for 10 days somehow only helped us. We slacked during our recovery week and did our best to stick to the diet. I came back home expecting to be behind on progress and that was not the case. I hopped on the scale and realized more weight was lost. Our training sessions had a spark to them as well. After the forced break, we both had a fire to get back to it. My goal weight was to be at or below 180lbs and I weighed in at 177lbs. I've reached my goal!! Dani has been getting leaner herself and is now clocking in at 136lbs, down from 143 at the start. I'm proud of us.

I have been sticking to the game plan with the diet (which I don't feel is sustainable for the long term). Dani has been tossing around the proper caloric intake at the proper macros for the long term and finding success with it now. Once this concludes at the end of July I would like to relax a bit on monitoring everything I take in with a fine tooth comb and enjoy the food in Portland for a little bit before we leave and be as sensible as possible with food choices. With our metabolisms revved up, it should be easier to keep fit now while continuing to train. Will be interesting to see how this works itself out while we're on the road for September and camping out.

Four weeks left for this program and about seven weeks left until we head east. There is sooo much going on right now that it is overwhelming. Here's a list of the most pressing:

-Selling most of our things on craig's list, ebay and amazon is a lot of work
-We are going to try and buy a home because we can't find a decent space for us and the doggies where we will be living
-Three year anniversary of our relationship this month
-Preparation for a one month camping cross country trip for the move
-packing and shipping the essentials
-searching out for new part time jobs before we arrive as we cannot sustain ourselves yet with our own endeavors.

It may not look like a whole lot but it is a big change for us and a ton of work to get there which is a bit stressful.

During this time, it is a true test of our commitment to an athletic lifestyle to keep up with training and nutrition. Especially since a busy lifestyle has got in the way the last 2 years. So far, so good.

Check out our progress pictures that were taken on day 60, as compared with day 1:

I stopped eating clif bars because I never felt they were a viable substitute for whole foods. They were simply included to show you can consume vegan protein bars instead of the ones that were suggested by the p90x program and still achieve great results. Instead, I now add an extra serving of protein powder and a piece of fruit. It's SUMMER, how could I not have fresh local fruit in season?? Dani stopped supplementing with them awhile back also.

It has been nice to go for some outdoor cardio sessions now that the weather is better as well. We use to track our progress and enjoy the scenery. There are some terrific trails out here. 1-2 hr cycling sessions and 30min running sessions. Usually, we get 1-2 cardio sessions in a week.

Almost there.. let's do this!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Got a little sidetracked there.....

Hello folks! Sorry we have been so sparse lately. We were on a 2 week trip to the east coast to visit our families in NYC and Boston. And WHAT A TRIP IT WAS!!!
We tried really hard to plan out our vacation so that our workouts and eating did not get neglected and I would say for the most part we did a damn good job, and both of us made significant progress while we were home which was something neither of us were expecting!!!! I can't write everything that happened while we were there, but I will give you some of the highlights and things we did to prepare!


-We loaded all of the p90x workouts onto our laptops so we could watch them no matter where we were.

-We invested in a good set of exercise bands so we wouldn't need to rely on a gym to workout.

-We scheduled our workouts out on a calendar, so we wouldn't lose track of what we were supposed to be doing.

-We had our families buy the food we have been eating so we wouldn't be forced into eating things we didn't want to, and explained to them beforehand that we were on a fairly strict regimen so they wouldn't be disappointed or surprised.

-We packed jars of our favorite protein powders.

Bands from hell.


-I (dani) forgot my sneakers in Portland....DUH!!! I ended up having to buy new ones, but Giacomo and I both wanted Vibrams anyway so we made the investment, which is awesome, but you can only do some much with them before you're really used to them.

-That said, trying to do full workouts with my new shoes, led to me injuring my hip, kind of seriously, to the point that I was limping while I was just walking.....not good. So for the "rest" week, I literally, just rested, stretched and walked. No jumping around for me.

- Our good exercise bands, turned out to be not so great. I got smacked right in the face with the two heaviest bands (equaling approx 70 lbs) while trying to do wide pulldowns on a door. This led to me crying, thinking I had two black eyes, and icing my face for a half an hour to discover that I had a HUGE welt in an upside down "V" that crossed right across my face and nose....2 days before the wedding. Ohmygod I was so upset....luckily it went away before the wedding but what the hell!!! I felt like Marsha Brady in that football episode....

- Then, for the next workout that required bands, one of them just straight snapped in half.....seriously. So the bands were out from here on in.

-By the time we got to Boston, our second destination, I was drinking caffeine daily, something I havent done in about 6 months. I think that the caffeine made me lose my appetite quite a bit, because I ate like a bird. Seriously, one day I think I ate like 1000 calories and I had to force that down. Overall, I'd prefer this to the opposite, which is just scarfing down food as I see it, and what usually happens when I go home. Giacomo did a beautiful job sticking to his diet. I was very proud of him. :-)

Vibram FiveFinger Sprints!!!

-Because I had no car to get around my hometown in Massachusetts (Giacomo had flown back to Portland by then), I had to do a lot of walking to get around, so even though I felt like I was slacking on my exercise because of my injured hip, I still got in my favorite form of exercise--WALKING!

-I went out dancing twice!!! This, I should mention, did not help my hip at all. In fact I am certain that it exacerbated the situation, but it was so fun! And, hey, exercise. WOO!

-I was kind of taken aback by how many people commented on how fit I looked. I wasn't expecting that at all. In fact most people who were commenting on my weight ( I heard the term "skinny bitch" said more than once....gotta love old friends) didn't believe me at all when I told them I weigh 140 lbs. I told them it's because I'm strong as hell. They mostly laughed...It's ok....joke's on them ;-)

Tomorrow Giacomo and I start Phase 3 of p90x, and I am psyched. I am also way excited to take progress photos tomorrow becase I just put on a bathing suit that I haven't been able to wear in 3 years, and I must say, I'm looking damn good ;-) No Giacomo 6 pack yet, but hey, I'm proud of myself!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dani, Doubles, and Dieting!

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Day 0 vs. Day 30
Would you believe there is not a single pound lost between these two photos?!

So I have been neglecting this blog a little bit, and for that I am sorry. The reason is, I got DAMN frustrated about a week and a half ago! 2 1/2 weeks of dieting hard, and training harder, and I hadn't lost a single pound. Not. One. Pound. I didn't think I had set a very lofty goal to lose 12 pounds in 13 weeks, but apparently, my body disagrees. I mean, I am a personal trainer. This is what I do for people! Help them reach their goals. So why was I so stuck with reaching my own?

There were a couple things I believe to be the reason:

1. Diet. Man, I'm just going to say it. That p90x diet sucks. I see what they're doing, and I think it's a valiant attempt at universalizing a basic "cutting" diet so that anyone can figure it out, but I don't think it is a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. The problem for me personally is that this diet has very very very few carbs, but theyre all in one serving, so for one meal of the day, I feel bloated and heavy and uncomfortable, and the rest of the day I am starved. The other thing is that they push so many of their products into the diet (i.e bars, recovery drink, shakeology etc) that don't line up with the food groups they are otherwise telling you to's kind of confusing. And overall, I found it to be too low of a calorie diet.

2. I've been getting stronger. With few exceptions, you can't get stronger without gaining muscle. So I've been GAINING muscle, which means I must be losing fat in order for the scales to stay the same. To say how much or how little is too hard, but it explains the scale not moving.

Now the scale is not my number one concern, my bodyfat percentage is, so overall, I have moved closer to my goal. Huzzah! But I still have a ways to go, and here's how I am going to do it:

I can't keep doing the p90x diet. Although it is working really well for giacomo, it was making me really uncomfortable, and leaving me with no energy to workout. I know what works for me, I've done this before. So I have changed my diet to roughly a 40/30/30 diet (carbs/fat/protein) and it is at roughly 1600 calories. All of this is divided up into 3 meals and 2 snacks, and every meal has a little carbs, protein, and fat. The fat, overall, is a little bit higher than it is when I'm not dieting, but fat allows me to feel more satiated (think PB&J Smoothie...mmmm) and makes it feel like I'm less hungry in between meals. My last meal of the day is just veggies and protein, and if I'm really hungry later in the evening, I have a piece of fruit. Oh and I'm drinking a ton of water. I record everything I eat religiously into the Sparkpeople App on my iphone, but they also have a website that is even more awesome, but less portable ;-)

The other thing that I am doing differently is that I have decided to do p90x doubles instead of p90x classic. This means that on lifting days, I am doing TWO workouts--lifting and also doing the CardioX workout, which I actually really like. The biggest pain so far has just been the amount of time it takes since cardio is in the am and lifting is in the pm. I feel like I live in sweaty gym clothes on those days, but I can feel my cardiovascular capacity increasing which is a HUGE deal to me! But I am constantly sore ;-)

Giacomo and I are flying to NY next week and we'll be visiting his family in Brooklyn, and then going to Massachusetts to visit my family for a total of 14 days (I think), so traveling and keeping this up is going to be damn tricky. We did buy a good set of fitness bands on ebay, and we're both looking into getting passes to our old gyms, but we likely won't have the best transportation, or the ability to do laundry and will have to rely on the food we are served more than we'd like to, AHHHHH!

So, we have to go into this with a plan! And that we will!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 30! Progress Pics and Starting Phase 2!

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Well, the initial results are in and I am definitely pleased with them! Aside from the improvements in flexibility, cardiovascular performance and strength.. we both look considerably better. It's about time! All work and no play made Giacomo a dull boy. What good is running a vegan business and outreach channel if you cannot be a decent ambassador for the movement? These pictures were taken this morning on day 30. I have lost about 12 pounds and have gained some solid muscle. Dani looks fantastic as well and ripping through pushup like crazy!! Have to say, it is very impressive. This whole idea was hers and going into it with blind trust has led me to a transformed body in one month.

This makes it way easier to keep going. Next week we are going back east for a wedding and to visit family for about two weeks. There will be minor setbacks without planning and we won't have that happen. We are making arrangements to get passes to the old gyms we used to train at and. We let our rents know not to go crazy with stocking the pantry to feed us. Alas, my family has already fed me a good old fashioned plate of Italian guilt. For those of you who don't know what this is, watch out! Nevertheless, we are on a mission and we will stick as close to the meal plan as possible. Dani's family seemed to understand a bit better but either way we can figure it out. The idea is to fit it into your schedule. Easier said than done but if you don't prioritize, life is busy and you'll always find an excuse.

It does help that the suggested p90x diet introduces a much more balanced diet. The total intake is the same however there are less servings of protein and more of carbohydrates. You need that energy to complete the grueling workouts. Already for day 1 of the next phase in and woke up nice and sore :) This is good for dani who is looking for a change from the same old meals we've ben eating and for the both of us so that we can get through the next phase even stronger.

To touch upon my favorite aspect of this program, stretching, it has helped spark new interests. We are getting into acro yoga together and because I can move better, it is working out quite nicely! I am not on par yet with dani in the yoga department but it is sure nice to be able to share her passions now. Weekend classes and a couple of times together during the week have become quite fun and a really great way to connect. Snowboarding season is over as well :-/ (last run was yesterday) but we will most likely keep varying our activities outside of the program all summer.

And without further ado, some progress shots ;-)

Day 0 vs. Day 30:

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Day 0 vs. Day 30:

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Day 0 vs. Day 30:

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Day 0 vs. Day 30:

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Friday, May 27, 2011

by Giacomo - Results, Recap..Rest?

So far so good in the results department. I started around 196lbs and now I am down to 185lbs, which is really exciting. We are only 1/3 through this program and I am also stronger and way more fit overall. The main push for fat loss seems to have leveled out around here for me as I have maintained this weight all week. With another 60ish days to go though I am sure that our ultimate goals will be much closer in sight. One thing I also noticed was that when I do more protein shakes throughout the day as opposed to tofu and seitan (Gardein usually), my weight goes down. It is probably a combination of how quick the food passes through, the salt and also the protein shakes have a bit fewer calories although not by much. It is good to mix up the days for me. Some days more shakes and others more tofu/seitan. I kind of miss not being gluten free but it is a lot easier to follow the program this way because of the demand for more protein.

It will be very exciting to take progress pictures on Sunday as I haven't been on top of blogging this as much as dani has :-/ I still have to say though, I am most gaining the most benefit from the stretching aspect of this program. I haven't ben this flexible in a very long time and it will only be improving. It is improving the day to day, my sleep, working at a computer, walking and of course, training.

So week four is almost to an end and I do feel it was somewhat of a rest week. Not by much though. Core Synergistics was twice this week and that was definitely intense. It was also kind of funny that on 'stretch' day, Tony was asking us to do push ups. I do feel though there was an easing up on the resistance training this week and more of a focus on flexibility with a touch of core and cardio.

I am gradually getting more and more hungry and wanting meals before it is time to eat. It is getting challenging to be militant with exact portions and rather than teeter upon disordered eating, if i need that extra snack, I grab it. If there is an extra serving of condiment desired, I do it. Finally, the main gripe I had with this diet from the get go was the restriction of vegetables to four cups a day for me. If there is one thing you can never have enough of in your diet no matter what, it is veggies. So.. I have been adding an extra cup of veggies here and there. Usually it is salad although sometimes we have some extra in the evening as well.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Day 19

Well folks, the diet has begun to take it's mental toll on us. The good news is that in a week we get to switch it up a little bit, although I think calorically it stays about the same. I was feeling particularly starved a couple of days ago, so I decided to log into and punch in all of my numbers to get a good idea of where I was at. This is what I got.

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Now it's not even the ratio of protein:carbs:fats that is upsetting. It's the sheer number of calories. If I am 140 pounds, one could assume that my basal metabolic rate is roughly 1400 calories per day. That means that my body requires 1400 calories per day to breathe, blink, sweat, digest, you know, all that boring stuff. So if I'm a pretty active person ANYWAY....AND I'm working out hard for 90 minutes every day.....this diet is probably doing me more harm than good. :-(

When you consistently eat near or below your basal metabolic rate, you send your body into a sort of emergency mode, where it starts slowing down the metabolism in an effort of self preservation. Basically, your body thinks there is a famine and starts hanging on to everything you give it, just in case you never see food again. This is kind of the OPPOSITE of what we're trying to do here.

I know that this is partly my own fault because the diet is so damn boring that I sometimes just skip a snack or something, not because I'm not hungry (believe me, I AM!), but because if I have to look at another piece of tofu, I am going to punch it. yeah, I said it. I'm going to punch the tofu.

So, NOW I am making sure to not skip those snacks, and have even added about 100-150 calories worth of an extra fat serving (i.e Sunflower seed butter, avacado, salad dressing, blah blah). ALSO, since Giacomo and I only get 1 serving of carbs a day, we had both been sort of "saving" them for dinner, since it is the meal that we share with each other consistently and we wanted to have it seem like a real dinner. In practice however, by dinnertime (which is usually about 9:30 at night thanks to giacomo's AWESOME work schedule ::rolls eyes::) I have been completely famished. So I started having my carb serving in about mid afternoon, when people tend to hit a slump, and it has helped out a lot. :-)

Giacomo, super hero that he is, barely has a complaint about the way we have been eating. I honestly do not understand this man. If I put him on a sand and ketchup diet, he'd be happy as a pig in mud and have 9% bodyfat in 5 days. I swear to god....alien. he must be. Of course the fact that he's down about 13 pounds in 20 days probably has something to do with the pep in his step, while I angrily sit at my starting weight counting my food out like a looney. Sheesh.

Here are some photos we snapped in cognito at 24 hour fitness on chest/back day!

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Heavy Pants

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Wide Pushups

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Wide Grip Pullups

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Boo Yah! ...I'll get there!

PS, we are very much looking forward to our "rest week", although I've heard it's not really a rest at all! Somehow I am not surprised...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Recapping Week 2!

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Dinner at the Vegan P90X house
veggies, roasted potatoes, and gardein "chicken"

Week 2 has come to an end! WooHoo!!!!

I think Giacomo and I would both agree that week 2 was way harder than week 1. We were really pushing it through all of our workouts, and SO looked forward to every single gram of carbohydrates that we ate. Giacomo actually mowed the lawn this morning, and the smell made him think "mmmm wheat grass juice....sugar". hahaha. So that should give you an idea of how we are feeling.

We did every workout, although we switched up our rest day with a cardio day, but we got them all in. And week two of no cheating on the diet. UGH! We're both starting to feel the effects of this "Fat Shredder" phase, which is both good and bad. By this I mean that if either of us goes more than 4 hours without food, we become cranky, confused, sort of angry for no reason, and just overall sucky human beings. The reason this is good (glass half full people!!!) is that it means that our metabolisms are picking up speed. Before we could go 6-8 hours without food (although that didn't often happen), sans side effects, but not anymore! So our metabolisms are definitely revving up, which is cool! But still, when we hit this point, which we are constantly aiming not to, we should be in separate cages and fed through a slot in the door. Seriously.

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A snake I found wriggling across the street on our run!!
I put him in the grass

Giacomo has shown great signs of a fired up metabolism, and has already lost about 9 pounds. give or take. The same cannot be said for me, as far as numbers on the scale go, which I find to be a little weird, since I have been dieting hard and working out just as much, with no cheats. I have come to grips with the fact that 140 is where my body likes to be, and I know it will fight me tooth and nail if I try to change that too much, too fast. So I am o.k with slow, steady, long lasting change.

I did notice that my clothes are already fitting me differently, so sweet. But MOREOVER, I am getting stronger again; I can feel it and I can see it. So I figured even if the scale isn't moving, my body composition is changing, so I checked it out, and BOOYA! 19.6% body fat. Which is down from 21 point something to start. I don't really trust body fat measurements a whole lot because there are just SO many variables that go into calculating that, but I know for sure mine has gone down, at least a little, and that is making me happy. :-)

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At Laughing Planet where we went for dinner.
Yup, that's a T-Rex eating a corn chip.
No, we didn't do it. We found him like that.

Lean Mean Vegan Machine's Recovery Drink!

Sara over at Lean Mean Vegan Machine posted this video of her recovery drink yesterday! Its really good. I love me some spinach in my smoothies too. And I like that she mixes up her protein sources frequently, making sure to get a good balance of amino acids. Go check out her blog! She rocks!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day 10!

Giacomo has clearly visible abs now.

Ps. I hate him.

Monday, May 9, 2011

P90X Update from Giacomo

Dani is much better at writing than I which is why she's headlining this blog. That and I have to juggle a 40 hour workweek for an employer plus the self employment route. I will probably phase out most hours working for someone else to focus more on the vegan community by the end of this year! Here's hoping.

Anyhow, usually I am ok with the workload and exercise however i've not dedicated as much time and effort to nutrition/training. Normally I just go for the good old fashioned weightlifting routines. Pump iron, get strong, pump more iron, get big, eat clean. The idea of a mainstream workout preplanned for me, I admit to becoming a skeptic without hearing anything about it. I went into this not knowing what to expect and not expecting anything too trying..

Boy was that impression of P90x wrong. Not only are the workouts kinda intense, the recommended meal planning is pretty hardcore. No wonder why people are into this. You are going to get results. It is like any other plan i've created for myself with all the bells and whistles and there is no need to think it out. Plus there are tons of exercises, some of which are newer to me. Of course, i've never really trained with any of these movements consistently either. This is exciting.

What impresses me the most is the flexibility aspect of this. It is in this department that I am highly lacking. What can be said other than I am stubborn and I absolutely refuse to stretch my body even though it is so self evident that it needs to be done. Lack of movement gets so bad for me it causes general discomfort throughout the day. I like the fact that there is ballistic stretching (moving stretches instead of just static ones), more stretches and a full day dedicated to yoga aka - extra cool stretching.

So for me honestly, this is rewarding enough. I cannot believe how much more i can reach for stretches in just 9 days. It is unreal and will surely be my favorite part of this transformation. I've accomplished body transformation before, but it has been at least 9 years since I could touch my toes (back when I played collegiate tennis). It feels AMAZING to have a body that can bend, twist and turn properly all day long. What was I thinking when I gave this feeling up?

Plyometrics. Day 9.

Plyometrics can go bleep themselves.

Too harsh? ok, ok. To be fair, I didn't properly fuel myself for this workout.

Giacomo woke up to do this workout (this is the only workout we do seperately for a couple of reasons.), and in the process, woke me up. So I went to make my morning protein shake with Vega Performance Protein, 8 oz almond milk, and my medium bana....what?! No bananas?! dammit. So we were out of bananas, so I just made my shake without, and watched Giacomo KILL this workout--no pausing, no breaks, and fairly good form (better than last week ;-p).

After he went to work, I got up to do my fair share of jumping around the living room, and I was really proud of making it 23 minutes in before I had to pause it (keep in mind the first 10 minutes is a warm up. :-/ ) , but after that first pause, it was like, every other exercise I had to pause it. I was weak, I was shaky, my heart rate was something stupid like 180....and then all of the sudden it dawned on me: "you moron, you have zero carbs in your body right now!", promptly followed by me drinking 8 oz of pinapple juice.

Although the juice helped me through the workout, it also gave me a little bit of a side cramp. This is not a workout you want to do with much in your belly. All in all, I was a little disappointed in this workout because I wanted to better than last week, not worse! I need to remember however, that I am operating at a very low-carb threshold, so feeling a little more lethargic makes sense. This is, so far, the first time I have felt like the diet has held me back.

Also....we have a terrible floor for jumping on. No matter how hard I try to land softly, it doesn't feel very soft. And the floor has a few bubbles in it too. Here's hoping we don't twist our ankles!

I wonder if Giacomo would like to make a guest post in his own blog....? He is far less cynical than I. :-D

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 8

Me desperately trying to do an unassisted pull-up 3 years ago.

So, today is the first day of the second week, and I eagerly got up this morning to weigh myself and take pictures. The scale moved some, but the pictures aren't much to write home about (not that I expected them to be, I mean C'MON! IT'S BEEN A WEEK!), but I still wanted to snap a few to document the process. I did see some more definition in my back, which is cool. When Giacomo gets home tonight, I will take a few of him too.

So to recap week 1:

*To start, I should mention that we are doing all of the strength training routines in the gym, not in from of the tv. We pay $80 a month to use the gym, and we own neither dumbbells nor bands. Plus, if you know the exercises and the order, and can get your hustle on without Tony yelling at you, I think you could probably do even better at the gym, but hey-that's just us.*

Day 1: Chest and Back. Ab Ripper. nearly all push-ups and pull-ups, neither of which I am especially good at, but it was challenging, if not frustrating. Giacomo did pretty well (comparatively) here. Then we moved onto the ab ripper, and just totally laughed at ourselves because of how many times we had to stop to actually hit the 25 reps for each set. Some exercises (like oblique V-ups), I'm pretty sure we were doing wrong. And this nightmarish toe-touch-roll-down-leg-lift-v-up combo, was SO hard for me, that I couldn't do them at all. And I have a damn strong core! But we did it, enjoyed our delicious recover shake, and went home.

Day 2: Plyometrics. What a freaking nightmare this workout a good way? We did this workout separately for lack of space in our living room, which meant I got to watch Giacomo hop around the living room and laugh at him :-) But seriously, this workout was exceptionally difficult, and I had to pause it about a zillion times. Did I mention I have virtual no cardio vascular capacity? My form was perfect though. As opposed to Giacomo, who made it through without pausing it even once, but I thought his form was sloppy. Eh, we'll get there.

Day 3: Shoulder, Arms. Ab Ripper. This workout wasn't nearly as hard as all of the others for me, which is probably why so many people call this one the "favorite" workout. I felt really swole when I was done, but I didn't feel breathless or anything like that which was nice. There is one exercise where you do 4 bicep curls with one arm, while the other just holds the weight static at 90 degrees, then switch for 4 reps, until 16. That was an awesome move. The Ab Ripper, while still being extremely difficult, was less difficult than even 2 days prior! SCORE!

Day 4: Yoga. As my friend Sara over at lean mean vegan machine told me, this wouldn't be the greatest yoga workout ever....and it wasn't. It was like power yoga, without any of the calm or centered mindfulness. It was a tough physical workout, but with Tony yapping through the whole thing, it was really hard to get "into". Also, while doing crow (which they call crane on the dvd?), I actually somersaulted into the tv stand. It was priceless.

Day 5: Legs, Back. Ab Ripper. As I was transcribing all of the exercises we would have to do the night before, I was in pure horror! ONE-LEGGED-WALL-SQUATS?!?!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?! Ugh. This workout was a toughie! And both Giacomo and myself used very little weight. Giacomo was much more sore the following day, most likely because he never does lunges, and I usually do. As for all of the pull-ups we did, I found that I could drop my weight on the gravitron (dropping weight on a gravitron, makes it more difficult. when you get to 0, you can do an unassisted pull-up!) from the 4 days prior. Unfortunately during Ab Ripper, my hip (i have a tricky/clicky hip) wouldn't allow me to do any sort of in-and-out leg motion, but I did everything else, and Giacomo did great!

Day 6: Kenpo. I watched the Kenpo Dvd, and decided I really wasn't in the mood to shadow box in my living room, although I am sure that I will do it eventually. So Giacomo and I went to the gym and got on the treadmills. He jogged at various inclines and I did sprint intervals for an hour. Now, I am not a runner, although I have always wanted to be. and I was sprinting at 8mph (!!) for one minute, and my heart was recovering in about 75 seconds. Normally I don't recover so quickly. Mind over matter? It's possible, but either way I like it.

Day 7: Rest or Stretch. I stretched like crazy. Felt amazing. Giacomo, being the madman that he is....went snowboarding!

So Giacomo and I didn't go nuts or kill each other or anything like that, although we both definitely got a case of the hangries here and there. I can feel myself starting to get hungrier, and that means I have to mix it up a little. Part of the problem with diets like this, is that they are SO routine, that you get bored with eating, and then you just plain aren't eating enough. Taking the time to have different dinners each night, and mixing up your snacks is important to keep yourself as fueled as you can on a diet as limited as this.

Did we cheat? We didn't cheat. Some times we would save one of our "snacks" for after dinner and have a couple of those little squares of dark chocolate. That's as cheat-y as we got. And we are also lucky enough to live in a town that has a marvelous vegan salad bar with the tastiest tofu around. So we went out to eat once, and that was nice and let us still feel normal.

As always, feel free to shoot us any questions you have!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Nutrition Program

P90X comes with a nutrition program, that people who have had the greatest transformations, have followed to the the letter. Now, if you're a vegan and want to try it, that poses a problem, because this diet relies heavily on animal products. So let me break down for you how we have veganized it.

I WANT TO START OFF BY SAYING THAT WE DO NOT THINK THIS IS THE HEALTHIEST DIET. Will it get you to your goal faster? We will see. And we will make adjustments as we go, but right now we see that this diet lacks in the overall health department. Just a little disclaimer so no one thinks we are saying "this is the ideal diet" or anything like that.

P90X is broken down into three phases, each lasting 30 days. And each phase has an accompanying diet.

Phase 1- FAT SHREDDER. This is the phase Giacomo and I are in now. It is very high protein, low fat, and low carb. As far as I am concerned, this is the "crazy-making" diet. Any time either of us do this sort of diet for a prolonged period of time, we both go nuts, get angry easily, and basically it is just no fun. Physically however, you will see changes, and likely see them fast, which can be a great motivator when you move on to the following phases.

Phase 2- ENERGY BOOSTER- This is still pretty high protein and low fat, but with some complex carbohydrates added back in. This is what they call a maintenance diet, but I don't like this idea. However, you can maintain this diet for the rest of P90X if you are happy here.

Phase 3- ENDURANCE MAXIMIZER- To me, this is the most well rounded of the diets, its a good mix of proteins and carbs, while still maintaining fairly low fat. I would say that this is how Giacomo and I were eating pre-P90X. They say you have to "earn" this diet....we'll see.

P90X was never intended to be a weight-loss program, therefore the nutrition guide, doesn't include a calorie deficit (which is necessary to lose weight). It splits people up into "levels" based on the number of calories they burn per day (which is estimated).

If you weigh:
100-149lbs, you are LEVEL 1
150-199lbs, you are LEVEL 2
200lbs or more, you are LEVEL 3

As an example of the traditional plan, In Phase 1 (the first 30 days), as LEVEL 1 eater, you are required to eat per day:

5 servings of lean protein
2 servings of low fat dairy
1 serving of fruit
2 servings of vegetables
1 serving of fats
1 serving of carbs
3 "snacks" (will explain later)
1 condiment
and a crap load of water.

Now, the only spot that really needs changing, is that pesky dairy category, and really, all that low fat dairy is, is protein, so all I am going to change is to add 2 servings of protein, and subtract the dairy category altogether making this:

7 servings of lean protein
1 serving of fruit
2 servings of vegetables
1 serving of fats
1 serving of carbs
3 "snacks" (will explain later)
1 condiment
and a crap load of water.

10 servings of protein
1 serving of fruit
4 servings of vegetables
1serving of fat
1serving of carbs
4 "snacks"
2 condiments
and a crap load of water

13 servings of protein
2 servings of fruit
4 servings of vegetable
1 serving of fat
1 serving of carbs
6 "snacks"
2 condiments
as much water as you can stand!

As you can see, phase 1 is pretty unbalanced and crazy inducing. And like I said, I hate this diet. Yeah, yeah we own Vegan Proteins, so you think I would love it, but no. I love food, and I love it more when it tastes good and has variety. We carry the best protein supplements around, but I don't think it's reasonable to expect anyone to drink 13 protein shakes a day. Also, lets not neglect the fact that there are only 2 servings of veggies a day (for me anyway). That is just not enough... HOWEVER, it is only for 30 days, before we move onto the next phase. And if by week 3, we really feel wonky, we will adjust this further.

PROTEIN (100 calories)
1 scoop of protein powder (roughly 20 grams of protein, so Sun Warrior is 1.5 scoops)
3 oz tofu (we use wild wood high protein tofu)
4 oz tempeh (many brands of tempeh are high in fat, if it has more that 8 grams, count it as a fat too!)
1 gardein "chicken" breast.
1.5 boca burgers
2 cups of light, unsweetened soy milk

VEGETABLES (50 calories)
1 cup cooked veggies
2 cups fresh veggies (we really pack 'em in those measuring cups!)
50 calories worth of veggie soup

FRUITS (100 calories)
1 medium banana
1 medium apple
1/2 a mango
1/4 of a medium cantaloupe
6 oz juice
2 cups of strawberries
1 cup of other berries (blue, black, rasp)
1 large orange

CARBS (200 calories)
1 cup beans
1 cup pasta (cooked)
1 cup rice (cooked)
1 cup quinoa (cooked)
1 medium potato
1 medium sweet potato
3 corn tortillas
1 large whole wheat tortilla
1 cup oatmeal (cooked)
2 slices whole grain bread
1 bran muffin (2.5 oz)
2 whole wheat waffles
1 medium bagel

FATS (120 calories)
3 oz avocado
4 oz olives
1 Tbl any oil
1 Tbl nut butter
.5 oz to 1 oz nuts depending on the nut

Condiments (50 calories)
2 Tbl Barbecue Sauce
3 Tbl ketchup
2 Tbl fat free dressing
2 Tbl Jam or Jelly

P90X is pretty weird when it comes to these "snacks". They say that a "snack" is 100 calories, but then try to push their shakes and bars as snacks even though they contain way more calories than that.... SO, you could just make all of your snacks 100 calories worth of a healthy food you want, like trail mix, or air popped popcorn, or a frozen fruit bar, or what have you. But they recommend both a recovery drink and a protein bar every day. I definitely agree with the recovery drink (roughly a 4:1 ratio of fast digesting carbs to protein), because you will need it after those workouts. The bar however, Giacomo and I have been eating a clif builder bar, because the macros ratios on the clif builder bar, and the p90X bar, are nearly identical, plus I get to pretend that I'm eating a candy bar. :-) We will probably stop eating the bars at some point throughout this because, frankly, we both get sick of them fairly quickly.


I (Dani) am a level 1 eater, and Giacomo is a level 2 eater. Here is a sample of what we have been eating so far.

Dani, Phase 1, Level 1:

8 AM-1 cup almond milk, 1 Scoop Vega Performance Protein, 1 medium banana
11:30- recovery drink, which is 8 oz pineapple juice, and 3 tsp Vegan Proteins+
1:30-A medium salad with baby greens, onion, cabbage, tomato, carrots (all together roughly 2 cups packed), 2 Tbl Vegan kalamata Olive dressing, and 2 servings of tofu.
4:00 - cliff bar
6:00 - 1 scoop Sun Warrior Chocolate, with water.
8:30- 2 servings of tofu, 1 cup of brown rice, and one serving of broccoli. There is usually a liberal dose of hot sauce all over this bad boy.
9:30 - a frozen fruit bar if I feel like it.

Giacomo, Phase 1, Level 2:
8 AM - 3 scoops Sun Warrior Vanilla, with water.
11:30- recovery drink (8oz pinapple juice, with 3 tsp Vegan Proteins+)
12:30- 3 scoops Sun Warrior Vanilla with water, 1 servings of steamed veggies
3:45 - 1 scoops Vega Performance Protein, with water. Clif Builder Bar. 1 serving of tofu.
6:45 - 1 scoops Vegan Proteins+, 4 oz avocado, 1 apple, 1 serving steamed veggies
8:30 - 2 servings tofu, 2 servings of broccoli, 1 cup brown rice, 4 Tbl Barbecue Sauce

To explain all of Giacomo's protein shakes, he works at a desk and can't eat at his desk, so he drinks a lot of proteins shakes. If this were me....I'd go nuts.


Thursday, May 5, 2011


Ok, so we actually totally forgot about this blog, since we created it, but we're back! Lots of good things have been happening for us at Vegan Proteins, which has made us extremely busy! (In a good way of course!) Between moving, and working, and going to Veg fests, and moving, and oh, moving, our fitness has kinda slipped to the wayside, making us not-so-great ambassadors of our own products.

Although Giacomo and myself have been working out regularly and eating well, our workouts haven't had quite as much "oomph" as we'd like them to, and we have certainly been eating too much-although mostly good stuff! Recently we acquired the program P90X, and decided to dive in headfirst! There are so many amazing transformations that I've seen from dedicated people, that it seems to be pretty inspiring. However, upon looking more into the diet aspect of P90X, it is certainly NOT vegan friendly. Not even remotely. And a lot of the information that I found online, didn't really offer much insight as to how to replicate this type of diet without using animal products. We worked it, and tweaked it, and number crunched it, and we've gotten really close to the same macro ratios as the diet, as we want to keep you all informed as to what we are doing and how.

We have a bodyfat scale that seems pretty inaccurate, but for the sake of consistancy from week to week, that is what we will use.
DAY 1:

Dani- 24 year old who is fairly active and pretty strong although my cardiovascualr endurance is very much so lacking. Height- 5'7" (or 170 cm for you out of the country) Weight- 142.4lbs (64.5 kg) Bodyfat- 21% (awww man!)

Giacomo- 30 year old, overall strong, with good cardiovascular endurance. Height- 5'11"(180cm) Weight- 190lbs (86kg) Bodyfat-11%


Dani- My goal is pretty straight forward...135 lbs and 18% bodyfat. I don't like to drop much lower than this ever, anything under 130 is too far from my natural weight for my liking. On another note, I DESPERATELY WANT TO DO AN UNASSISTED PULLUP!!!!

Giacomo-"I'd like to be 180lbs, 7% bodyfat, and I'd like to increase strength, endurance, and especially flexibility."


Tomorrow is Day 6 of P90X for us, and we will update tomorrow with new information.