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Feeding My Mitochondria, and Kicking Up My Metabolism in the Gym too…

Posted May 03 2012 8:43pm

I’m so glad I set this three-day challenge for myself. It’s so easy on my brain—generally when I set challenges, they’re complicated or they take a lot of thought and very specific effort (like schedules of what to eat when, etc.). This simple plan to nourish my mitochondria is specific regarding amounts of certain foods per day, and for some reason it’s just easier for me to implement it (and stick to it, and not use willpower—which, by the way, I am NOT a fan of using).

Yesterday, I ate Chicken and veggies for breakfast. I know, it’s weird, but it was already in the fridge and I needed to get to work.

Side note: I occasionally buy the kosher rotisserie chickens at Wegmans in Pittsford (I can’t find them anywhere else)—they are not organic certified, but they have no antibiotics, hormones, etc., and they are free range. I usually eat some of the chicken for one meal (Joe won’t eat it—he doesn’t like chicken), and then I turn the rest of it into chicken salad (usually with just grapeseed vegenaise–because I hate the texture of regular mayo when I scoop it–and pesto). So I had that and some cold asparagus for breakfast. I could do worse, that’s for sure!

I won’t give you a boring play-by-play of my food—let’s just say I ate everything I was supposed to eat on a daily basis, but I haven’t had seaweed or liver  yet (tomorrow, I guess. I have some seaweed I can incorporate into a salad, but I’m still scared of the liver).

At one point, I steamed cauli and put pizza seasoning on it—it smelled great, but tasted so meh. So I added butter and cheese, and then it was fabulous! No pics of that. It sure was ugly—and the lighting here in the evenings is just ridiculously bad.

The high points were two fabulous chopped salads (I use a mezzaluna to chop them–in a glass bowl, then it doesn’t make a mess), and the low point was the plain cauli. Oh, and full disclosure, my breakfast today consisted of coffee and about 3 Tbsp of peanut butter. I know, it’s weird, but it was already in the fridge and I needed to get to work. (ha)

Chopped: 4 cups mixed greens, 5 mushrooms, 1 red pepper, 1 oz goat cheese, 1 cup chicken/pesto salad...with a macadamia oil + pesto dressing (2Tbsp pesto, 1-2 Tbsp mac nut oil). Add everything but the dressing to a glass bowl, chop with a mezzaluna (or chop everything on a board and dump in a bowl). Then add dressing. Awesome! Also, I ate like 4 times this much.


Chopped (the best way to eat salad!): 4 cups mixed greens, 1 cup leftover steamed (cold) cauli, 2 oz cheddar cheese, 5 mushrooms, 3 Tbsp pistachio nuts, 1/4 cup raw sauerkraut, and macadamia/pesto dressing. I was a little worried about this one as I threw things in...but it turned out to be amazing! I love macadamia nut oil, and the pistachios added just a little sweetness (raw, unsalted). I realize it's not pretty---but chopped salads generally aren't!

I worked, did a HIIT workout that I made up with the Ugi Ball and The Equalizer for 30min, and then cleaned the house (mostly. I left the bathroom for Joe–that’s his self-proclaimed chore, and I am so fine with that). I also went on a 6.5 mile walk today.

I like this mitochondria-focus I have going. It feels productive and manageable. On Saturday, however, I’ll be flying to Cali, and all bets are off for a few days. Not really—in Santa Monica, there are tons of healthy restaurants and juice bars and stuff. Kristen and I both have a pact not to repeat what we did for her 30th birthday weekend. Sleep a little. Eat a little. Drink a lotRepeat…for 36 hours, and then fly home. I feel queasy just thinking about it. But hey, you only turn 30 once (or maybe twice, because I was 31 when we did that!).

Notes on my mitochondria: I know that what I’m doing is feeding them well, and I enjoy having that visualization to encourage me to keep emphasizing the importance of keeping these things in my diet regularly. I also realize that eating this way does much more than feed my mitochondria—there is a lot of fiber, healthy fat, protein, and just loads of micronutrients. Many of the things I stand tall for in life, really.

Notes on my HIIT workouts: I didn’t include the one I did today–I wrote it on scrap paper about 5 minutes before I did it, trying to take into account all the principles I’ve learned about opposing muscles groups, high and low impact, and effective exercise pairing. I think I did a good job—I didn’t budget in any transition time between intervals (I just alternated harder and easier exercises), and I like it that way—then I can’t stop and think about how difficult the workout is! I want to make one point about HIIT—it sounds intense, and it is. But High Intensity Interval Training can still be Low Impact! I have a few HI(LI)IT that I’ve made up–I have them because when I have worked out in apartments and places where I can’t jump around and be loud, I still want the intense workout. So for people with joint issues, the low impact workouts can be great–and you don’t have to feel left out of the HIIT craze (which is not really a craze—research is showing it as the number one way to burn fat).

Random: I was going to get so much done tonight, but I ran over to my Mom’s house (across the street) and it was so nice out that we sat on her porch and drank wine. I do not take one single day of living near my Mom for granted. I know it’s not going to last much longer (a year, maybe?)… so I’m soaking it all up.

 Did you try the Feed Your Mitochondria Plan? How did it go?

How do you kick up your metabolism? 

Do you do HIIT workouts? With or without equipment? My Gymboss interval timer is dead–totally. New batteries didn’t revive it. But I downloaded an app, and now I just have to decide whether that’s sufficient or if I want to spend $20 on another Gymboss. Would you?


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