I started this blog about a year ago after finding out my cortisol was high and impeding my ability to sleep well. I spent a year focusing on reducing my cortisol, improving my sleep, and balancing recovery and strength building. After 4 doctor’s visits with great bloodwork and months of 7-9 hours of sleep of night, I got busier at work/with life in general, and, predictably, my cortisol was slightly elevated in November. I decided to cut out all unnecessary time commitments in my life (sadly, like this blog), and spent more time meditating/relaxing, started doing more yoga, and focused on sleeping more.
I don’t retest until February, but I can already feel the difference. I’m getting more consistent, deeper sleep (as told by SleepCycle) and my workouts have been much better. I hit 250 lbs on my back squat (my max was 225 4 weeks ago), am running 400m at 14.0mph, and just feel more recovered and less tense. 🙂
(To see the video, check out my instagram later tonight @mtroiano31)
Okay, so maybe I still feel exhausted at the end of my workouts… But in a good way!
While my goal is to post on SSS more in 2015, life as a lawyer does not always leave the time I would like for all the things I love. And, as this blog is about my pursuit of health (not just fitness, which I adore, or nutrition, which I obsess over), I had to make the conscious choice to take time off to avoid regressing to a stressed out or less healthy place. In hindsight, I know it was the right choice–and will be the right choice again in the future if I am busy–even though I tend to set a high bar for myself and feel annoyed or frustrated by being unable to juggle everything.
For today, I offer some quick plugs for my latest fitness/cooking/health purchases that I’m loving (I am not paid for any opinions – these are really just products I’ve found that I like). I hope to have way more recipes, workouts, and tips to share soon!
(1) Adidas Powerlifter 2.0 / Inov8 Fastlifts: I love these lifting shoes for deadlifts, squats, cleans, overhead squats, snatches, etc. I easily added about 10-20lbs per lift using these shoes because of the stability and slight elevation. I prefer the Adidas’s for squats and cleans and the Inov8’s for deadlifts and overhead squats/snatches/etc. I could never go back to lifting without them.
(2) Polar M400 Watch: I am loving this heart rate monitor – it tracks steps, sleep, and reminds me to move every 30 minutes. It also separates training sessions by types (outdoor run, treadmill, cycling, lifting, yoga, etc) – which allows me to compare apples-to-apples workouts for heart rate, duration, calories, etc. It is super easy to use, comfortable, and offers a huge number of features at a more reasonable price than some other Polar options.
(3) Reps and Sets App – If you follow me on Instagram (@mtroiano31), you know I am LOVING the app reps and sets. You can pre-program workouts in with sets. supersets, rests, etc. After completing a programmed workout (or a tracked exercise) once, the app stores the number of reps you did and the weights you used, and it let’s you see your history from past workouts. It also lets you add notes and rate how your felt after the workout. So, for instance, I have been doing the same 6-day workout cycle for 5 weeks. All six workouts are programmed into the app (which takes about 3-5 min/workout), and I can adjust on the fly if I add sets/reps or change weights. When I start the workout, the app tells me the weight I used the previous week, or I can look at a more detailed history to see all previous weights I have used for a particular exercise. While in the middle of a workout, the app counts down rest between sets and tells me what exercise comes next. There have been times where I thought about dropping the weight, but seeing what I had done the previous week pushed me to do more.
(4) Spices from Spices and Tease – I got turmeric, garlic salt, and cajun seasoning and think they all taste amazing. I am a big fan of turmeric on chicken – this one has a great smoky flavor.
(5) Mina Harissa – all natural, no weird ingredients, huge kick, and goes on nearly everything I eat. A great sugar-free alternative to sriracha.
(6) Jacob’s Raw Fermented Sauerkraut – I have gone through 2 containers (spicy and garlic) in just a few weeks. This probiotic sauerkraut tastes delicious and is great for your gut.
(7) All things Tessamae’s – I love making my own mustard, salad dressing, ketchup, mayo, etc, but as mentioned above, I rarely have time to make all of these things. Tessamae makes a Paleo-friendly, all-natural, no-weird ingredient version of each of these that all taste delicious.
Look for more recommendations coming soon! Happy New Year!!