Fitness Diary #4: Weeks Three and Four

Welcome back to My Fitness Diary series. Click to catch up on My Fitness Diary #1, #2 and #3. This Fitness Diary entry details the third and fourth week of my training programme. Having spent the latter half of the fourth week on holiday in Kerry, I decided to join week three and four together into one comprehensive entry.

fitness diary

My Fitness Diary: Week Three

Thankfully week three saw another good week of training. I did my weights programme Monday, Thursday and Friday with two additional HIIT sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. I continued to see improvements in strength throughout week three.

fitness diary

This week I swapped my usual black coffee for some fresh warm lemon and ginger tea in the morning. Staying hydrated has been important for sticking to my macros.

fitness diary
Week Three Meal: Rosemary and parmesan chicken wrapped in parma ham, with roasted carrot, kale and courgette.

Saturday of week three was a rest day for me but it involved a little too much indulgence to be honest! I went to the Belfast Pride festival and although I only had one glass of red wine while everyone else enjoyed a few more, I ended up getting a tub of Nobó salted caramel ice-cream (Oops!). Probably not the best thing to buy while trying to cut a few pounds so I’ll try not to let that happen again. I did do a lot of walking around the city during the festival so I suppose that might have counteracted some of the excess calories I consumed on Saturday.

fitness diary

Fitness Diary
A low carb aubergine and tomato dish I came up with in week three

My Fitness Diary: Week four

Instead of having my usual rest day on Sunday I was straight back to day one of my training programme. I knew I would be leaving for Kerry on Wednesday and wanted to make sure I had the three days of my training programme complete before then. So I headed straight into week four of the programme on Sunday and reached a new personal best on my squat! I’m delighted to be edging closer to body weight with my squats so fingers crossed the strength gains keep coming! (Maybe all that Nobó ice-cream made for some good pre-workout fuel?)

IMG_4306
Week 3&4 Snack: Cookies! Find the recipe here.

I also weight-trained on Monday, completing day two of my programme. I was a little bit bold again on Monday and had some gluten free Lemon polenta cake with my post-workout lunch, although according to my estimates I was still within calories for the day overall. It was so good! Holiday mode was definitely beginning to creep in early this week as you can see!

IMG_4393

I have been doing my weigh-ins on a Tuesday as part of this programme so my weight for the end of week three/start of week four was 63.4kg. Again not a huge difference on the scales yet. However, I am really happy that I’m still getting stronger and I am definitely a lot more toned than I was when I started!

IMG_4391
I made some spelt sourdough bread in week 4 – I’ll do a blog post on how to make it very soon.

On Tuesday I travelled home for a special family lunch. I didn’t make it to the gym for my usual HIIT session as I didn’t have time. I wasn’t counting any macros that day.  I enjoyed a slice of my flourless chocolate cake and a glass of red wine as part of the celebrations. I should have stopped at that but there may have also been some more chocolate and sweets later in the evening…

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 20.56.11

Wednesday morning I trained again – finishing out day three of my programme before heading to Limerick. I kept my diet much cleaner on Wednesday, although I wasn’t tracking macros. We stayed in Limerick overnight and got up early Thursday to train in the University of Limerick sports facility. This was an adhoc training session and I decided to use the opportunity to try out a leg press for the very first time and to do some hip thrusts (the benches in my Belfast gym make them really hard to do safely and I miss them!). I also did a superset of an incline bench press and a seated row. It was a quick and fun session full of exercises that aren’t on my current programme. So, whilst I didn’t do any HIIT for week four, I did squeeze in that extra weight-training session.

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 13.15.32

After training in UL Sport we went for a lovely healthy brunch in Delish across the road. I had eggs florentine on a flat cap mushroom and an almond milk matcha latte.

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 20.55.50

We hit the road for Kerry and arrived there on Thursday afternoon. It is safe to say that macros and calorie counting went completely out the window at that point! I wanted to relax and really enjoy the few days away and certainly wasn’t going to be worrying about calories while on holidays. One might say I jumped straight off the wagon!

IMG_4485

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 20.55.36

On the plus side we did do lots of walking on our first day in Killarney. We went to see the beautiful Killarney National Park, including Muckross Abbey, Muckross House and Torc Waterfall and took in the views of the stunning lakes, gardens and surrounding scenery. We were so lucky to have had great weather for our trip.

IMG_4640

IMG_4512
IMG_4467

On Friday we attended a fabulous wedding – what a day we had! On Saturday we visited the gorgeous Muckross Park Hotel Spa and enjoyed the outdoor hot tub and all the lovely spa facilities. Another late night followed on Saturday as the wedding celebrations continued! We had so much fun in Killarney, it is such a beautiful place. We will most certainly be back!


Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 13.15.44
IMG_4621

IMG_4626

We got home late on Sunday and I began easing myself back onto my plan on Monday. After four days of pure indulgence my Tuesday morning weigh-in (today) was bang-on 65kg. Of course I expected my weight to go up, to be honest I thought I would have done more damage! I will be getting straight back on track now with my programme. I begin week five today and I am once again tracking macros.

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 13.30.41

Balance is so important and depriving oneself 365 days a year isn’t realistic. There are definitely times when training and macros can take a backseat in my opinion. This weekend was one of those times for me and I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of it! That said, I am more than ready to get back on track now with my motivation fully restored.

The Clean Coconut x

P.S. I had to pause My Fitness Diary entries after my doctor ordered me to undergo a gluten challenge and testing for Coeliac Disease, have a read about what happened next here.  Fitness Diaries will be back soon!

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 13.33.05

Cookies: A Clean Recipe

cookies

I came up with this recipe last week and had to share it. These cookies are so good. I love to have them with a glass of kefir or a chocolate protein smoothie!

These biscuits are vegan, gluten free and low FODMAP too. They are a really good clean treat to have when you want something nice! As well as that they are so quick and easy to make.

Cookies: The Recipe

This recipe makes approximately ten peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

Ingredients:

250g Peanut Butter (I used crunchy)

4 Tbsp Maple Syrup

1 Tablespoon Oats (Use gluten free oats to keep recipe gluten free)

40g Dark Chocolate Chips

2 Tbsp Chia Seeds (ground)

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

Sprinkle of pink himalayan salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the oats, chia seeds, baking powder, baking soda and 25g dark chocolate chips.
  3. Separately, mix the wet ingredients together; maple syrup, vanilla extract and peanut butter.
  4. Combine both wet and dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Roll mixture into small golf-ball sized balls and flatten out a little (they will flatten more when baked so you don’t want them too flat going into oven!) Place each cookie on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper. Ensure biscuits are well spaced apart.
  6. Use the leftover 15g of dark chocolate chips to decorate the top of the cookies.
  7. Sprinkle with a pinch of pink himalayan salt and place the tray on the middle shelf of your preheated oven.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes before removing the tray from oven to cool for ten minutes.
  9. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to complete cooling.
  10. Store in a sealed container. Cookies should keep for about a week – although my batch did not last quite that long 🙂

The Clean Coconut x

cookies

Fitness Diary #3: Week Two

training

Welcome to week two of my fitness diary. Catch my introduction here and week one here.

Training

This week I hit the gym five times, Monday-Friday. A golden week if you will! I completed the three weight-training days of my new programme on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Tuesday and Thursday, I did cardio. Saturday and Sunday were rest days.

training
Oats – My new fav pre workout!

I’ve been pleased to have increased my strength on most lifts this week. I’m really enjoying my new programme. In terms of cardio, I tried a thirty minute “Fat Burn” class at the gym on Tuesday but unfortunately didn’t find it to be nearly as tough as the HIIT session I did in week one. I had hoped that doing a class would push me harder than I push myself but alas that particular one wasn’t for me. On Thursday I did my own HIIT session which I was happier with. My HIIT sessions are handy in that they are short (but by no means sweet!). They only take about 20 minutes. If you’d like me to share some of them as part of my weekly fitness diary let me know!
training

I’ve also been trying to get out and about doing things that don’t revolve around alcohol or eating rubbish. I visited Crumlin Road Gaol and went for a walk around Belfast Castle over the weekend. It was so nice to get out and about in the fresh air and to be hangover free at the weekend!

training

training

training

Diet

I’ve been fairly good with my food this week, staying around my calories and macros for six days out of seven. I have definitely started to notice an increase in appetite from Thursday onwards, but I’ve been able to manage well on the calories I’ve set myself so far. I wouldn’t like to be in any more than a 15% deficit though!

training

training
A delicious vegan caramel slice from 5a was one of my treats this weekend – check out my post on the best places to eat clean in Belfast for more ideas!

training

On Saturday I went for a delicious cheat meal which you may have seen on Snapchat! Of course this would have certainly brought my calories up for the day, likely into a surplus. I want this to be an enjoyable and balanced process though so I’m happy to include a cheat meal once a week as long as its not hampering my progress too much. 

training

This week I also posted the recipe for the above chicken curry on the blog. It was one of my meals this week. Macros are included in the recipe!

Weigh in

As I said in week one, I don’t intend to use the scales as a sole marker of progress. I am however weighing in once a week. This week I weighed in on Tuesday morning again. I was 63.6kg. Basically my weight on the scales hasn’t changed at all yet in these first two weeks. It will be interesting to see at the end of my programme whether my progress pictures look any different! I’m not going to adjust my calories or training until I’ve completed a few more weeks of training and eating well.

I intend to do a comprehensive blog post when my initial strength programme is complete. In the meantime, I’ll be back next week with my update for week 3!

The Clean Coconut x

training