Working Out in the Doldrums

UGH.

srsly.

ladies, you know what i mean. it’s the day you wake up to what you’ve been dreading all week. you feel it coming… slowing down your movements, tiring you out, retaining water and making you fat. yes, it’s that time of the month. why do i mention this on the internet? because it’s my blog, dammit, and if i want to talk about nasty stuff like that on here… then it’s my given right as an American. free speech, and all that.

actually, it’s foremost on my mind this morning not just because it’s here, but because it made me realize i’m going to have to re-evaluate my workout goals.

this whole week i’ve been feeling sluggish. i’m struggling to meet the max numbers i’d been meeting previously with no problem, and my brain feels like it’s full of fuzz. i couldn’t figure out why until this morning, when it all culminated into one long string of menstrual cramps.

guys, imagine this: you have diarrhea cramps for a minimum of 3 days straight. you feel dehydrated, your lower back aches, and because of all that you also feel weak, and possibly nauseas, depending on the severity of the cramping.

that’s what it’s like to be on your period. (minus the actual mess) you’re welcome for giving you a newfound appreciation for being a man.

back to my workout goals.

i recently set new goals for myself, but i’m going to have to up them. i realize that if i want to be able to do a certain amount of an exercise at any given time, i’m going to have to shoot for higher than my original goal. i don’t want to only be able to meet my goal 3 weeks out of every month. i want to meet my goal any time. therefore, i’m going to have to overshoot my goal so that on days like today, i can still hit my minimum.

for the ladies, here are my Tips For Exercising Even When You Feel Like You’ve Been Run Over by Aunt Flo’s Donut Delivery Truck:

Set Yourself on Autopilot. when i run, i usually just push the “play” button and go. this time, i found a song with a good cadence, and played it over and over and over. I put my feet on autopilot, slapping the pavement to the beat of the song and just moved forward until i knew i had reached my goal. by the time i got home, i actually thought i felt great until i stopped running.

Set a Time Goal. Set a minimum number of minimum minutes for exercising non-stop. when there’s an end in sight, it’s easier to push yourself towards it.

Set a Number Goal. set a minimum number of reps for each exercise. when i exercise at home, i have a routine… a set of 5-6 different exercises that i do in rotation, resting one muscle group while i’m working another one. once again using the theory that “when there’s an end in sight, it’s easier to push yourself towards it”, is key to getting through each exercise. i rotate between exercises until i’ve met my time goal.

Be Realistic. now isn’t the time to push yourself too far. you’re low on iron, energy, and in pain. focus on technique, rather than speed.

Rest, but Keep Moving. it’s okay to take a break from working out your muscles, but remember to keep moving. the second you stop moving, the second you’ll start feeling like crap again. throw in some katas (martial arts forms) or yoga asanas in between reps to keep your muscles limber and your head clear.

 

…and that’s all i can think of for now. yes, i know i’m not an expert. everything i say is more for my own benefit then the readers i don’t think i have. these are all methods i’ve used over the years that help me out. everybody is different, so what works for some, won’t work for others. if there’s anything you want to add in the comments section, feel free to! i could always use some advice myself, since i’m only halfway to reaching my own exercise goals.

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Glazed Peach Amaretto Cake (Vegan!)

Today is my 30th birthday, and I wanted to try something new. I took this recipe I found, tweaked it a bit, and went into a pleasure induced coma soon after it was done.

 

Vegan Glazed Peach Amaretto Cake

For the Cake:

½ Cup Earth Balance Butter (softened)
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
½ Cup Firm Silken Tofu (pureed)
1 15 oz Can of Peach Halves (Drained, then Pureed. Don’t keep the liquid.)
1 Tsp vanilla
¼ Cup Amaretto Liquor
2 Cups Flour
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt

For the Glaze:

1/4 Cup Earth Balance Butter (melted)
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsps Vanilla Soy Milk
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract, or 1/2 Tsp of other Extract (Almond would probably be pretty good!)

 

Prepare  the cake:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease and lightly flour a bundt cake pan.

Mix your dry ingredients (NOT the sugar) together in a bowl, and set aside.

Whisk your butter and sugar together until it’s nice and fluffy. Set Aside.

Drain the can of peaches, and puree the peaches. (you should get a little over 1 cup of pureed peaches) Whisk these into your butter and sugar mixture. Then puree the Silken Tofu until smooth and creamy. This works best by pureeing the whole block, then measuring out 1/2 cup. Whisk your 1/2 Cup of Pureed Tofu into the peach/butter mixture. It will look nice and curdly at this point, so don’t worry too much.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the liquid. Whisking, whisking, whisking. When about half your dry ingredients remain, stir in the Amaretto. Continue whisking in the dry ingredients until all of it is combined. Whisk until it’s nice and smooth.

Pour into your cake pan, and try to get the surface as even as you can.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until the top is a nice golden brown, the cake springs back up when lightly pressed on, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Once cake is cool, prepare your glaze.

 

Prepare the Glaze:
After your cake has cooled, sift 2 Cups of Confectioner’s sugar (aka Powdered Sugar) into a bowl.
Melt 1/4 Cup of Earth Balance butter, and slowly add into the sugar, stirring as you go.
Add 2 tbsps Vanilla Soy Milk, and Whisk vigorously.
Whisk in your Extract.
Slowly pour the icing on top of your cake, letting it dribble down the sides.
Lick icing bowl clean.
Devour cake.