We are back with another catch-up following the Joe Wicks 90 day plan. Over the last couple of weeks we have been flexing our muscles along with the body coach and testing out the Joe Wicks ovenware with some delicious recipes.
We have now moved on to the second month of our plan, known as cycle 2. This part of the plan aims to strengthen alongside the healthy eating and getting lean. I have discovered that I think a bit more about what we are eating at home. I plan evening meals further in advance and shop accordingly. Rather than shopping first and then figuring out what to make with it later. There have also been times where I have eaten out for special occasions. Times like that, I have just tried to make the best decisions to eat as healthy as possible from the menu and just make sensible choices.
I just got back to training and eating from the plan as soon as possible. Eating out didn’t jeopardise my progress at all, which means the odd meal out or take away fits in to my lifestyle easily. This part of the plan involves more resistance and strength than I currently possess. My arms especially are really not strong, so this for me has been quite a challenge. In a way though it has made me more determined to get a bit stronger and push myself more. Having a new dog in the household motivates me to get out and walk more. This means that on the days I am not following the training plan, I’m still active and get to go out for nice walk and take in some fresh air. I have found that I definitely have more energy, there have been many occasions where instead of sitting and watching TV, I have instead decided to do something in the kitchen or organise my cupboards. The perfect opportunity to clear out some of the clothes that no longer fit!
I have started to prioritise and fit my training into my daily routine. Instead of leaving work and cooking straight away, I go home and workout first. This makes our dinner a bit later but not by much, and it's nice to prepare a healthy and nutritious meal after you’ve done a tough workout. I tend to cook extra with the evening meal so that I can have a delicious portioned lunch the next day at work.
My ovenware pick:
I’ve really enjoyed using the 3 piece ovenware starter set. The set includes an oven tray, oven dish and a 6 hole muffin tin. All three pieces are a great size with a superior Aerolift non-stick surface. Absolutely fantastic for cooking fish, meat and roasted vegetables with perfect food release. This makes cleaning much easier, plus they are dishwasher friendly. However, the piece of ovenware I had most use of is the 6 hole muffin tin. Perfect for homemade wholemeal protein muffins and breakfast muffins. The coating of the muffin tin prevents any food sticking to it and the holes are lovely and deep so you can get a lot of mixture in. Overall this is my favourite piece and it had plenty of use.
We’re about halfway through Cycle 2 now, which has meant new recipes and new workouts. I’ve enjoyed the change of both. Workouts and food on Cycle 1 had good variety but it is definitely nice to shake things up a little and try something new. I did treat myself to a takeaway at the end of the first cycle. I think it’s important to have a treat to aim for to break up a regime like this, especially one that lasts 90 days, but it’s equally important to get straight back to the plan after that treat!
The workouts have shifted focus to be resistance/strength training and become more intense, which is good as am starting to notice a difference. I didn’t see a huge weight loss from the first cycle, but as I said in the first blog, that wasn’t necessarily the aim, and as I am hoping to build up muscle, I’m probably not likely to see a large drop in weight. The change in workouts has also meant that we are able to eat more carb-based meals per day to make up the extra energy required for the more strenuous workouts. From a food point of view, I definitely feel like this has made things easier, with a greater range of meals available, especially for lunches. I have definitely settled into a routine now. I’ve continued with smoothies for breakfast as they are quick and easy to prepare in the morning. For lunches in Cycle 2, now that I am able to have two portions of carbs per day, I have started to make double portions for dinner the night before which takes the pressure off prepping.
Fitting workouts into the week has been a little more tricky this cycle than the last as I have started playing hockey again. This means training one evening a week and a match at the weekends. I’m counting these towards my four to five weekly workouts, so only have to find three additional days to workout. I have a 7 month old baby at home so weekday evening workouts tend not to happen until after his bedtime. As a result I’m generally not starting training until around 7:30 and eating dinner at 8. This seems to be working reasonably well, and eating properly during the day means that I am able to wait until later on to eat. For the most part I’m finding myself to be motivated for the training and, although all the cycles have multiple different workouts. I definitely think that the change in focus of the workouts in cycle 2 has helped with this by keeping it fresh. There are some days where I’ve felt less up for it, but it is important to try and fit them in regardless. Over the month and a half of the plan so far there have only been a few days where I’ve skipped a session due to tiredness or feeling sore from a workout the previous day, but this has still meant I’ve hit the minimum 4 workouts per week, which I’m pretty pleased with.
My ovenware pick:
The Joe Wicks 3 piece ovenware starter set is a really useful piece of kit. Personally I’ve not yet had much use from the muffin tray, though there are a number of recipes that will work for this. It would be great for some of the breakfast options, but I’ve tended to keep to my smoothies. For me, the best of the three pieces is the baking tray and I’ve been really impressed with the quality. The Aerolift non-stick works incredibly well. The material and design work together and the textured surface means there is a lower surface area of the food in direct contact with the tray, ensuring that food does not stick. All three pieces in this set are sturdy and definitely feel like they will last. They come with a 5 year guarantee to back that up.