Oh Monday. My favorite.
I thought I would start today by addressing a question I seem to get often, which is "how much cardio do you do?" First it is important to realize you have to decide what your goals are and then from there figure out what is going to work best for you. I am more than happy to give you guidelines and point you in the right direction, but ultimately you have to do what will produce results for your body, and that may be different than what I am doing. With that said, I have done NO cardio since the beginning of November when I finished the LiveFit Trainer. I take that back, I didn't actually finish it- I got through week 2 of phase 3 and then stopped because the carb cycling and intense leaning out was not what I wanted to do at the time, and I was sacrificing too much muscle in the process. So, since then I have just been lifting heavy trying to increase my strength and grow my muscles as much as possible so that I can create a really solid foundation. Remember, it is very important to increase your lean muscle mass because that will in turn increase your metabolism, which will cause your body to burn more calories even while you are sitting on the couch watching TV. I tend to be a hard gainer (meaning it's hard for me to put on muscle) so I've been eating as much as I can and leaving out the cardio so that all my calories go to building muscle. I actually just stepped on a scale for the first time in a long time this past weekend, and my weight is in the exact same range that it was during trainer, which just goes to show you can stay lean without cardio, as long as you keep your diet clean, clean, clean. I will probably continue working out this way until mid March-ish and then start doing HIIT again a few times a week. Ideally, I won't have to change my diet much (because I love my carbs) but my goal is to actually have abs this summer so we'll see what I have to do to get there! Don't you worry, I'll keep you posted :)
Also, here is a fantastic recipe I played around with this weekend!
1 large red bell pepper
1 can low sodium garbanzo beans, drained
3 Tbsp EVOO
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup tahini
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp minced garlic
juice from one lemon
1. Roast bell pepper at 375 for about 20 minutes or until skin starts to turn black.
2. Remove outside layer of skin and place bell pepper in food processor along with all other ingredients.
3. Blend! Place in refrigerator to cool.
Enjoy your Monday! (If that's possible...)