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Posts Tagged ‘review’

Weekly Review: Veganism

My week as a vegan!

So last week, I decided to give the whole super-healthy vegan thing a try, just to see if I would become one those super-humans who only eats plants and feels amazing all the time. I actually did stick to the vegan rules the whole time (ok, well almost), and there were some good things and bad things I think.

First, the good.

The best thing about trying to be a vegan was that it forced me to cook. Every night. I actually got home from work, opened the refrigerator and pulled out ingredients to make a meal! Crazy! Kevin usually does all the cooking, but eating vegan without him left me no choice. I found myself liking it a bit; there’s something intrinsically rewarding about pulling together a homemade meal that I really did enjoy. I certainly eat a more balanced diet when I make dinner for myself, rather than just eating hummus and pita chips for dinner.

Then, the bad.

I missed my dairy! I have a piece of string cheese and a yogurt for lunch every day and I sorely missed those. I tried to replace them with a Kind Bar and an apple, but it just wasn’t the same. Honestly, it was really hard to feel full. The tempeh tacos I made filled me up, but that’s about it. I always left dinner feeling not hungry, but not really satisfied. Plus, may I’m just not good at making vegan meals, but nothing tasted all that great. It wasn’t that things tasted bad, but just nothing that really satified me in a delicious way.

And, the ugly.

I craved everything I wasn’t supposed to eat. I hated feeling so restricted, and I know that for the future, it just isn’t how I want to live my life. I don’t like feeling that certain foods are off limits, and I don’t want to feel guilty all the time. I much prefer to think about adding good foods, rather than restricting foods. I did find some new foods I’d like to add to my diet, like hemp milk and tempeh, and I found new recipes I’ll keep in the rotation. However, I just couldn’t justify living within such a narrow restriction forever. Plus, I’d have to take vitamins, which I really hate.

I’d love to hear about any of your dietary adventures! Have any of you ever tried veganism or another radical change?

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Weekly Review: CrossFit

Hey Guys,

Kevin and I are starting a few new things this week, one of which is the weekly review. Every Wednesday, one of us will post a review of either a diet or exercise plan. Sometimes it will be books we’ve read or workouts we’ve tried, but we’ll always try to make it something interesting and relevant. This week, Kevin is reviewing the very popular new workout: CrossFit

I have always defined myself as a runner, but after 8 years in the Corps I kind of feel more like a jack-of-all-trades. Weight lifting, survival swimming, martial arts, miles of hikes with gear in excess of 75lbs were just some of the things I was used to doing every week. Having the daily demands of being a firefighter and Marine, just running fails to meet my needs no matter how hard or far, and even the daily group exercises together would never be enough to meet the physical goals I set for myself. This desire for finding the hardest, fastest most strenuous exercise led me to Cross Fit.

 Cross Fit is EXTREME, max effort exercise plan that has a daily routine that includes gymnastics, weight lifting, running, and pure old school exercises. You can find CrossFit online where a new workout is posted each day. Cross Fit has many mottos, but “mess you up” is my personal favorite and probably the most accurate. 

The Good: Every day the post a WOD or workout of the day. They have a huge pool of workouts and you can go months with out repeating. This can be a great exercise plan IF you want hard! It is an outside the box plan that will truly challenge and push you to you limits. Most of the exercises they ask you to do they have a video demonstration and have a step-by-step breakdown for the most complicated. They are becoming so popular that there are gyms that only focus on there workouts.

The Bad: You have to belong a gym to do all of the WOD’s.  Kettle bells, gymnast rings, box platforms and a pool are just some of the equipment required. Even with the videos, some of the exercises are more like human origami and figuring them out can be quite hard.

The Ugly: You need to already be at a level of high! Fitness to do the WOD’s they are not for the feint at heart.  Even the most fit people have a difficult time with this and I have seen personal trainers, marathon runners and other elite athletes succumb to rhabdomyolysis, a serious muscle condition which can be potentially life-threatening. And finally, if you are going to perform or try to perform exercises that you have never done injuries (and serious ones at that) can be quite likely, so be cautious when doing this workout and don’t bite off more than you can chew.

-Kevin

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