"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Leg Day

One of the things I've paid particular attention to since starting a plant-based diet is my protein intake. This is probably due in part to the number one question absolutely everyone asks when you tell them you have gone plant-based (one which I myself asked): how do you get your protein?

When I was eating meat (and choking down yogurt every day, ugh I hate yogurt) I just never really thought about it.  The truth is I should have paid more careful attention because I wasn't a very good meat eater, I didn't really care for it and I would easily go a week at a time without consuming any at all.

This all changed once we went plant-based.  Every day I do a calculation of protein, calcium and minerals.  I don't try to balance each meal with the perfect protein and amino acid mix (though that often happens just by combining a grain and protein, like beans and rice) but I try to reach a goal throughout the day of a proper amount of protein.

It's working, and the evidence has been unexpected.  After years of doing millions of essentrics strengthening workouts I can see the change in the muscles of my legs: they are much stronger and more defined.  I can run much easier and I seek out hills when I go for walks.

The whole positive change makes me feel much healthier and more optimistic about getting older.  Leg strength is really an indicator of overall strength in the body, our largest muscles are in our legs (and therefore our largest calorie-burners) and strong legs indicate energy and power.

As I begin the process of healing my neck and shoulder I'm really feeling excited, because this means that I should be able to start doing some simple exercises holding weights, which should further increase my leg strength.
In the meantime, I'll continue to do my eccentrics plies and whatnot, because every day is Leg Day!

Do you have a favourite leg exercise? How about with weights?  Any tips for me?

We have a fun day planned today, we're going to visit Poppa and Sofie!  We'll be going out for lunch with Poppa and then having a little visit with Sofie the darling puppy.  I wonder how big she is now... we haven't seen her for two weeks.  I'll bring my camera and attempt a picture of the whirling ball of fur.
Have an excellent day today,
xoxDani

12 comments:

  1. I'm stunned that you loathe yoghurt! It has to be the mainstay of my diet, I honestly need to be kept back from it, (full fat Fage is utterly delicious) but in a way it's a good thing because I've had a life long ( non moral, just icky based) aversion to eggs/fish/meat ( apart from a burger )! Rice, bread and yoghurt are my favourite foods.
    I pretty much loathe exercise so I'm not much help, I've done it three days a week since I was 34 but not with any grace.
    Tabitha

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    1. Tabs yes but you can do those spinning classes so you must have loads of leg strength! I do loathe yoghurt, to me it's just awful. But it gives me a bad belly so it's no wonder. All dairy does that to me, it just took me so long to figure it out. Some people have an acidic response to it and then the calcium is actually leached from the bones in order for the body to deal with it... defeating the purpose of eating the yoghurt.
      You have a very healthy diet that's for sure.xx

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  2. First I must say I adore the first picture in this post. What a handsome man he was.

    it was leg day for me today! More accurately, lower body. My workout was bum, thighs and tummy. I always feel energized when I work out first thing in the morning.

    I am very interested in your plant based diet and appreciate that you've been posting recipes. DH is not ready to give up meat, and probably never will be, but I'm sneaking more and more alternatives into his diet. The trick with him is to keep it interesting and that's where your recipes come in.

    Enjoy the visit with Sofie and Poppa!

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    1. SD he was so handsome, and articulate. I still can't believe he died so young, so devastating.
      I agree the morning workouts are the best! Love that energy. Once I get to mid afternoon it's much more difficult to get in a workout.
      Thanks so much re the recipes, I think you have a terrific balance in your diet and keeping the menu interesting means it is also varied, very good for positive health!
      We had a great visit thank you! xx

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  3. Thanks for continuing to post! I could go veggie pretty easily but I couldn't go vegan--I love dairy too much. I begin most days with a faux-pina colada smoothie made with TJ's 2% Greek yogurt, coconut water, and frozen pineapple. And I love eggs and lattes and must have real half-and-half in my coffee.

    I think that there are a lot of different effective recipes for diet and exercise, and the one that "works" is the one that you can stick with, whatever that may be. I'm glad to hear you're seeing progress.

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    1. Hex that's definitely true and well said. You sound like you have an extremely healthy diet that agrees with you very well. I had an acidic response to dairy which is probably why I have never liked it very much. It took me a long time to figure out what was giving me such an acid stomach!
      Thanks Hex and I hope you're having a good weekend! xx

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  4. If I do nothing else, I do these (every day and sometimes more than once a day): high knees, calf raises, and plies in second position 40 or 50 of each exercise. I also do battements to the front, side, and back 8 each way for each leg. I do these things at the copy machine at work (no one has caught me yet!), when I'm brushing my teeth, doing dishes. Why? My hips will bother me if I don't keep up with these exercises and incorporating them into my day works for me. My legs are stronger and I feel better - win, win.

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    1. Jeannine I love that you do these at the copy machine! So smart, you'd just be standing there anyway, why not use the time effectively? All of those exercises you mention are powerful leg strengtheners, and your hips will be very strong doing those too. Win win, definitely! xx

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  5. Walking fits well into my lifestyle and we have such lovely places here to wander...I am not a runner like you...it hurts my hips, knees and joints.
    I did not know about the correlation of leg strength and health....good to know.
    Your new plant based diet seems to agree with you Dani and you are so dedicated recording your intake of proteins etc. Cheers to continued improvement on the neck and shoulders!

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    1. Hostess walking is such a good exercise! I don't run very often, I just like the feeling of it, having done lots of distance running in my time. These days it's more of an interval training that I'm able to do.
      It does agree with me and I wish I had done it sooner. Thank you for the good wishes re my neck! xx

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  6. I was once a runner, did a marathon and then stopped abruptly. I found it to be very boring. I'm now an avid hiker, walker, bike rider, and also do pilates and some fitness videos through Fitnessblender.com first thing in the morning. we have a Bowflex max trainer machine too, and I do the 14 minute workout 5 days a week. I've never been one to go to a gym.

    I detest yogurt. It's the texture that bugs me. And adding fruit to it doesn't help since I'm not really that fond of fruit anymore. (I know, this just sounds bizarre..........but I'm a fan of savory as opposed to sweet. I don't even eat dessert very often). Much prefer low fat cottage cheese if I'm going for something kind of like that.

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  7. Dani, I so admire you going vegan. I would say I am definitely close to a vegetarian and rarely have meat, and if I could make the transition to vegan I would. I, like some above, love Fage Greek yogurt, the full fat one and have that daily with fruit and nuts and also I do like eggs. I am impressed you have gotten more protein and I do not doubt it. Keep sharing all your good recipes and I am trying many! As far as leg exercises, I do ballet ones a few days a week and play tennis. Not sure if it helps, but I do think my legs have muscle memory from doing ballet when I was younger, so maybe that helps. I hope your neck pains get better and your year shapes up great. You are doing so many good things! xo Kim

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