Fitness Friday: Intermittent Fasting

Oh the shame…

The past two or three weeks, I got off track with fitness and nutrition. That isn’t to say I completely stopped working out or running, but I seriously downgraded what I was doing. I also ate too much processed food…and a LOT of it. I totally binged through my toddler’s Easter candy (he helped me; don’t judge!).

Sugar rush selfies!

It’s been a fun month. I’ve had family visiting, or I drove out and was visiting them. I also got together with friends. There’s been lots of fatty foods and fun. But now it’s time to crack down. My jeans are snug again, so without stepping on the scale, I know that I’ve put fat back on around my middle (and everywhere, I guess). Even worse, these last couple of days, I’ve felt tired, sluggish, and bloated. I don’t like feeling this way.

Hubby will be home in just over two months. He’s been working out hard on his own, and I’m feeling a little competitive, hahah. In a healthy way, of course! One silver lining about taking it easy the last few weeks is that my right foot has barely bothered me. I was disappointed to bail on my half marathon this month because of it, but I’m hoping to run the Divas Half Marathon this fall. Several of my friends are interested in running with me, so I’m optimistic that this will be a blast!

Being realistic

I’ve become addicted attached to Instagram. I follow all these amazing fitness women, and it’s easy to look at them and want their bodies. But there are a couple of things I keep reminding myself.

First- we all have different body types and genetics.

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And second- whatever it takes to get me to that goal, that’s probably what it’s going to take to keep me there. So if I have to spend six hours in the gym every day to get the body I want, am I prepared to continue to spend six hours a day to keep it? I need to be realistic about what I can actually maintain.

Intermittent Fasting

Even before I started slacking off on my diet and exercise, I could tell that I’d hit yet another plateau in my fat-loss journey. After doing a bit of research, I know it’s important to incorporate even more High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in my routine. And I’ve also decided to try intermittent fasting.

Have you heard of intermittent fasting? It’s not really a new concept, although it’s been gaining popularity in the last few years. Everyone fasts. That’s what the word “breakfast” means. You go to bed at night, fast while you’re sleeping, and when you get up, you “break” your “fast” when you eventually eat.

Intermittent Fasting (or IF) is based on studies that indicate while your body is fasting, it’s likely to pull energy from stored fat cells, since there’s no recent meal to burn. Additionally, your body is most sensitive to insulin after a period of fasting. The more sensitive you are, the more efficiently your body consumes food. In a nutshell, IF can help your body better burn fat and build muscle.

There are numerous methods of intermittent fasting. A common way is to eat normally for five or six days a week. On the other days (and they shouldn’t be subsequent to each other), you don’t eat.

Another popular method is a daily 14-16 hour fast. This is the one I’m following. I don’t eat after 8pm, and then my next meal is at 10am or noon the next day. Basically, I skip breakfast. I still eat my full amount of calories, but it’s in a shorter period of time than I used to.

There is, of course, controversy where IF is concerned. You’ve probably been told that the key to weight loss is eating six to eight small meals a day. You may have also heard that breakfast is the “most important meal of the day” and that people who skip breakfast are more likely to be obese.

However, 90 percent of Americans eat breakfast but about 70 percent of adult Americans are overweight or obese. So clearly, eating breakfast is not helping the general U.S. population lose fat. So what’s with all the studies then? This article can shed a little light.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that skipping breakfast is automatically going to make you lose fat. You still have to monitor your overall caloric intake as well as the quality of food that you eat. Some people may have trouble with bingeing after a fast, so that is something to take into account.

It’s also important to point out not many reports have been done to study the effect of IF on women, and the studies that I have read indicate IF works better for men than women.

When it comes down to it, intermittent fasting is not going to be for everyone, but I’m giving it a try. I’ll update you after a month and let you know if I’ve noticed a difference in my body composition.

Do you practice intermittent fasting? What ways do you try stay healthy?

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One-ingredient ice cream (Fitness Friday)

Okay, it’s not really ice cream, since there’s no cream or dairy products of any kind. But I promise you, that it’s as creamy as “real” ice cream, healthy, and tasty. Unless you hate bananas; in which case, I got nothin’ for ya.

When I first heard about one-ingredient ice cream, it seemed simple to do. Freeze a banana, then run it through a food processor. Voila! Frozen banana with the same creamy consistency as ice cream. So I tried it, and just about froze my hands off trying to peel and then slice a frozen banana. Don’t do it that way. This is what you should do–

One-Ingredient Ice Cream:

Step One: Gather your bananas. I like to use 1-1.5 medium sized bananas a person. Slice your bananas into pieces about an inch thick.

Step Two: Lay your banana slices flat in one layer on a cookie sheet or pie tin or casserole dish, and then place in the freezer.

Step Three: Let your bananas freeze for 4-6 hours*, and then remove from the freezer.

*You can freeze your slices overnight if that’s more convenient, but you may want to let them defrost for 20 or 30 minutes before putting in the food processor. The first time I used banana that had been frozen for 24 hours, I was afraid I was going to break a blade on my food processor!

Step Four: Place the slices in your food processor and blend for 2-3 minutes. You may have to stop a couple of times and use a spoon to remove banana slices off the blade**.

**If at any point the mixture starts getting too liquidy, pop it back in the freezer for 20 minutes. You can also do this after blending but before eating.

And that’s it! You’re ready to eat your delicious, healthy one-ingredient ice cream!

Flavor Suggestions:

If one ingredient is too boring for you or you’re ready to be adventurous, try mixing in peanut butter or Nutella or berries or some ground cinnamon. My favorite flavor combination is one banana, one tablespoon of cocoa powder, and one tablespoon of freshly ground peanut butter.

Looking for other ideas? Check out this list of five one-ingredient ice cream flavors from

Fitness Friday:

Well, the last couple of weeks have been a little rough. I’ve been exercising and gotten a few good workouts and runs here and there, but I haven’t been pushing as hard as I should, and I’ve been missing too many days. I need to prioritize better.

The good news is that my foot hasn’t been bothering me as much. It’ll still get sore here and there, usually after I’ve put in about 4 miles, but occasionally just from walking around in unsupportive shoes. I did purchase new running shoes, and I know that has helped.

My diet has been mostly good, but there have been a few days where I just ate a lot of junk. That’s not typical of me, but I think we all struggle at one point or another, right?

I’ve been keeping upbeat about it, and I’m just determined that next week will be better. Health/fitness is a life-long journey. Sometimes my path is going to dip downhill for a bit, but as long as I get back up again and continue the climb, that is a success.

The Link-Up:

If you’re a blogger, I invite you to join up with me every Friday at and We Have It All. Share your fitness and/or weight loss goals, successes, and failures. Have a healthy recipe? Share it!

Not a blogger? You’re welcome to let us know in the comments below how you’re doing with your goals, so we can support you.

How was your week? Were you able to get out and be active? What yummy foods did you eat this week?
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Fitness Friday: 3/14/14

Another week down! It’s almost time for Baby J and me to head back up North. Hubby will be heading down to Texas for another few months of training. We do have orders, finally! After J’s training is over, we’ll be moving up near DC and Baltimore. I’m very excited about that! I’m a teeny bit familiar with the area and like it. There’s so much to do!

If you’re not already following me on Instagram, I’d love for you to connect with me. My username is emegburg. I’ll follow you back, if you leave your Instagram profile name in the comments, or you can email it to me at emegburg at mylifeaworkinprogress dot com. Several times a week I check in on Instagram with a photo that sums up my fitness for the day. This was started by FitFluential, and all participants use the tags #FitFluential and #FFCheckIn. You can read more about it HERE, but it’s highly motivating and keeps you accountable. After I post my photo in the evening, I’ll search Instagram for other users with the check in hashtags. I’ll like some of their photos and follow a few new people each time. It’s a great way to “meet” like minded people too. =D

Baby J playing while mommy uses the Stair Master.


When I posted Fitness Friday last week, I was hoping to go for a nice run outside on the weekend. Well, that didn’t happen. I just completely forgot about it! By the time I remembered, I wasn’t willing to give up any family time for a run. I did end up running outside on Monday after my gym workout. I did just a little over two miles. I definitely could’ve pushed myself further, so that’s disappointing, but I was being careful about my foot. I noticed that every time I ran on pavement, my foot hurt. But after a minute on grass, it was fine.

Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I worked out at the gym. The first day I concentrated on lifting and strength training with some cardio afterwards. I didn’t make it to the gym Tuesday, because Baby J was having a rough day. I knew that he’d never survive 60 or 90 minutes there, so I did some home workouts. Honestly, it was a little puny, so I tried to make up for it on Wednesday by doing a full-body workout.

Because of that, I was pretty sore all over on Thursday. I did a little strength training, but then concentrated on cardio for about 40 minutes. To keep it interesting, I rotated from the treadmill to the stair master to some other machine I’ve never seen before (SEE PHOTO BELOW) and back to the treadmill. I attempted to do HIIT on the treadmill and weird machine.

What is this??

I really only feel that I had three days of working out (cause Tuesday was blaaaah), so I haven’t met my goal of four. I MUST do something either today or tomorrow here at the hotel or outside (the family fitness center is closed until Monday). I’ve noticed if I go a couple days without working out, it’s hard to get started again. So taking 3 days off and starting on Monday…yeah, that’s not ideal for me.

One thing I really tried to do this week was mix up my usual exercises. I know our bodies get used to the workouts we do, so I have to change it up to not plateau. That’s something I’ll continue to work on.

Overall, I’d say my foot is much better, but I do occasionally feel a little pain, depending on what I’m doing. I’ve been doing a better job of stretching both my feet after working out, and I think it’s time for new shoes before I start training again. And about the training…I don’t think running this half marathon in April is feasible at this point. It’s just a few weeks away. I’m concerned that in order to be ready in time, I’ll have to work fast and hard, and that may cause issues with my foot again. If I don’t train that much for the half, I’m going to end up walking most of it, which is okay, but I just don’t think I’d enjoy the overall experience as much. At this point, I’m planning on looking for a different half marathon (in the summer) and running that one.

I don’t know…what do you seasoned runners think?


I’ll admit that it’s been difficult to eat the way I like while living in a hotel. There’s a stovetop and microwave but no other appliances, other than Hubby’s Magic Bullet. I’ve been sticking to frozen veggies, brown rice, boiled chicken, eggs, smoothies, etc. It’s working, but not ideal. We did eat out a couple times, but I wouldn’t call that a failure, since we are away from home and that always throws things off.

When we get back home next week, I’m making some of my fruit and nut balls. I’m also going to try making my own protein bars. Should be interesting.


Last week a ready mentioned she has more accurate results with an electric tape measure. I’m going to look into this, because clearly I haven’t been taking my measurements accurately!


With packing and traveling next week will be a little more difficult to feel motivated to work out. I still need to get at least four good days in. And then sometime this weekend, I need to run at the very least. Also, I’d like to learn some new abdominal and plyometrics exercises.

I also have to keep working on getting more protein in my diet.

Fitspiration/Fitness Stuff I’m Loving:

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out Jill Conyer’s blog. Besides hosting a Fitness Friday link every week, she posts some amazing healthy recipes (like this one for a chocolate banana protein mug cake), and I always find her inspirational.

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