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!!