insanity diaries: day 56

Today marks my eighth full week of Insanity completed. At this point, it feels normal, like  a way of life. We got back from Florida a couple days ago and although I felt ill due to some sort of cold/flu I picked up from the boyfriend and a serious heat rash, I managed to sneak in 3 days of the Insanity workouts. Along with a couple other days of running.

Although I was skeptical, I’m happy to report that my running endurance hasn’t skipped a beat despite my 6-week hiatus. Actually, it almost felt like Insanity has helped build it. I could run easily for half an hour straight with some self-induced short bouts of sprints. Thank goodness! Right where I want to be, especially with warm, perfect for running weather upon us.

Since I haven’t been feeling so well, the last couple days of Insanity workouts have been a struggle. I’m hoping it’s because I’m battling a bug and not because I took a few days off over vacation. I’m sure it’s the former, since I have that icky I-don’t-want-to-move-another-inch feeling that comes when fighting something. I managed to sneak in Core, Cardio & Balance yesterday and this morning I pushed myself through Max Cardio Conditioning. And then jumped right back in bed. Yuk, I hate feeling terrible.

So believe it or not, I only have 2 more full weeks of my Insanity schedule. I can’t believe it’s coming to an end! As I mentioned previously, it’s not really an ‘end’ but just a time to start the next phase. I heard last week that Insanity Asylum is being released this month so I will most likely try to sink my teeth into that next. Above all, I’m planning to create a hybrid workout schedule that incorporates Insanity, running, and some of my old favorite Jillian Michael’s workouts.

I’m hoping that I’m feeling back to 100% over the next couple days so the Max workouts don’t kill me this week. I really want to push it through these last 2 weeks, and that is nearly impossible when your body is dragging. I could really REALLY live without these last 5lbs that won’t seem to budge.

The week before vacation I was feeling progress with the harder workouts and starting to get my mind and body to a place where I can totally ‘dig deeper.’ That’s what it’s all about, and I’m realizing that the only way to take it to the next level of fitness is to either get your mind out of it or along for the ride with the right mentality. I remember reading somewhere along the line that our minds are actually programmed to prohibit us from giving it our absolute all physically, this comes from the times where energy conservation was key to survival. So, I just remind myself during the points in these workouts where moving another inch feels like my legs may fall off that I CAN do it and my physical limits are all in my head and yes, these crazy workouts do end.

I endure another Fit Test this week. It will be interesting to see where I’m at with my week of vacation/being sick!


quick power snack: hand-cut sweet potato fries with carrots

Looking for a quick and delicious boost of healthy disease-fighting beta carotene? We’ve got it covered with another quick power snack idea. These ain’t Ronny Mac’s fries! So grab that bag of sweet potatoes you’ve got hanging around in the kitchen and some baby carrots that haven’t been touched in days in the fridge. (Ok, that’s what I did)

Here’s what you need for 2+ servings:

2 medium sweet potatoes

2 cups baby carrots


Herbs/spices for seasoning

Set oven at 400 degrees. Microwave sweet potatoes on high for 2-3 minutes or until slightly soft to make easier for slicing. Grab a large bowl and toss in baby carrots. On a large cutting board, slice sweet potatoes into french-fry width pieces – thickness is up to you!

Add sweet potato fries to carrots in bowl, drizzle with 2 tablespoons EVOO (you do not need much). Add seasoning of your choice, I used  Tuscan Seasoning which includes garlic, lemon, red peppers, salt. You can also add salt and pepper but I did not since my seasoning already included it. Toss to coat with a large spoon, tongs, or even your hands!

Coat a baking sheet with non-stick spray and evenly distribute the sweet potato fries and carrots. Put in the oven and check every 10 minutes or so until crispy and slightly brown. Let cool for 5 minutes, and serve with ketchup.

These will also make a creative side dish, or serve along with crisp cut veggies for an appetizer. Enjoy!

36broadway on location at siesta key beach

Check this out! Believe it or not, this was only done with an iphone, a bomb camera, and a creative boyfriend.

36broadway comes with me everywhere I go! More fabulous pics from our trip coming soon.

we’re on vacation!

Florida here we come! We’re hopping on the first flight to Orlando in the morning, and then down to Siesta Key on Tuesday. How jealous are you that this will be my point of view for a week!

Of course, serious workouts will be part of 6 out of 7 days but I must say I’m looking forward to going a little lighter with Insanity. I am wiped from this past week, 5 days straight of super intense Max workouts. But who am I kidding, I’m an addict and will be jonesing for a good sweat sesh in 18 hours.

So I must finish packing, see you next week!


insanity diaries: day 43

So I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but the past SIX weeks of my life have been nothing but Insanity. Doesn’t that sound crazy? Hello it goes by fast. I’m alive but not without some battle wounds. And some potential concerns. I’ve had some highs and lows, and since my challenge with Insanity is so intertwined with starting 36broadway, I want to talk more about where I was, and where I am now.

I’ll start by sharing the results of my third official Fit Test. Here’s results from when I started, and where I came in last week:

Fit Test

Switch Kicks              2/18: 115        3/22 : 135          Goal: 140

Power Jacks               2/18: 44          3/22 : 53            Goal: 65

Power Knees              2/18: 94          3/22: 99            Goal: 100

Power Jumps             2/18: 38         3/22: 45            Goal: 50

Globe Jumps              2/18: 9             3/22: 12            Goal: 10

Suicide Jumps           2/18: 17          3/22: 20            Goal: 20

Push Up Jacks         2/18: 15          3/22: 24           Goal: 20

Low Plank Obliq    2/18: 68          3/22: 81            Goal: 80

So as you can see, there are some moves like Globe Jumps and Push Up Jacks where I have already exceeded my goal. Does that mean we give up? Hell no!

I guess this looks like great progress with the numbers in front of me on paper. However, if you asked me how I FEEL like I’m doing with, say, Push Up Jacks, I’d tell you I really struggle. Yes, I did 24, but I’m sure most of them were borderline unacceptable form. But the fact that I’m not modifying every single push-up exercise in this workout anymore is reason enough for celebration. It’s easy to forget where you started when you’re still being challenged.

Here’s my body measurement progress

Waist     2/18: 27″      3/22: 26.25″

Bust       2/18: 33.25″      3/22: 32.25″

Hips      2/18: 38.25″      3/22: 37.25″

Arm       2/18: 11″      3/22: 10.67″

Thigh    2/18: 20.75″      3/22: 20.50″

So this is interesting. I’ve made the most difference in my bust and hips, which is fine. But I really wish I could tone up my arms a bit more. The workouts are so lower body/core focused that I see why I may not be finding much of a change in my upper body. However, the Max workouts have a ton of plank/push-up variations so we will see where I am over the next four weeks.

I was pleased to see SOMETHING move in my thigh measurement. The number of jumps, squats, sprints, etc. etc. I’ve been doing  is ridiculous so the fact that not too much has changed in my legs is insulting. However, I take the ‘Thigh’ measurement around my upper thigh so (hopefully) I’m replacing some fat with muscle mass. It’s definitely the meaty part of my leg.

I was thinking this weekend, and also looking through some pictures of me over the past year or so, that I don’t think I look too much different. Could I be getting similiar if not better results with the workouts I had been doing? Should I still be running? There are times I start to doubt my decision to take 10 weeks to do these workouts and really nothing else. I like to think I had an effective workout schedule before Insanity, and if I just focused on kicking it up a notch and being a little better with my diet I could be feeling and looking exactly how I want. I’m actually looking forward to going back to some of the other things I like to do, like weights and running.

Therefore, this week I busted my ass with the Max workouts but don’t feel like I’m making too much progress. This can probably be explained by my T-rex cycle. So (boys cover your ears) I am currently having trouble getting my period. I get it about a week later than normal as is, and we’re a week past that right now. Not fun. I’m not sure about anyone else, but I know that my  body builds up to a ‘P’ – I get bloated and cranky and just miserable but the release when I finally get it is a miracle. I feel fresh and lean.  I finally feel like Amanda again. I’ve been looking forward to this release. Since I haven’t gotten it, I feel like I’m in this limbo phase where I’m not really T-Rex anymore, but I’m feeling pudgey and not seeing results after all the maniac workouts I’ve been doing. Sigh.

This may be a stretch, but I read that it is possible for our bodies to stop our cycle during times of excessive exercise or change in exercise behavior. I’m talking like gymnists and athletes. Basically, your body goes into a state where it shuts off all non-essential processes, and reproduction is one of them. It sounds a little extreme in my case, but I have been super regular for the past 6 months or so and to be fair these Max workouts are the longest most intense workouts I have every done.

I’m really hoping it’s a false alarm and I get it this week. We’re off to Florida on Saturday and if I don’t feel thin and emotionally stable I will lose my mind!

Aside from that issue, overall I do feel that I am living on another level of balance and wellness. This was and still is my number one goal. I totally believe that when you feel whole and are running on all cylinders, you can face anything. And when you bfeel complete, you don’t need things, people, or jean sizes to make you feel alive. And little daily troubles don’t have such a negative impact on you. For the most part, this is what I’m experiencing. Of course every day I am still tested by little annoyances and times of not feeling 100%. But now that I have a little more direction and feel like I’m accomplishing something, it’s given me new perspective and something to be proud of. This workout program along with this blog feels right, it feels like Me. And that says a lot!

Shaun T just tweeted this link – check out this video on Insanity just to get a taste of the moves/intensity. I think some of the results they show here are definitely not normal, you can expect to lose a lot of fat if you are overweight but I’m not sure about getting so ripped. I’m certainly not looking like that!

So what’s next? Another obscene week of the Max workouts and then I’m off to FL for a week! I’m hoping to finally get my P before I leave so I can feel like myself (and not so bloated). During vacation I’m planning to try and do the videos as much as I can, but I will most likely start running again. It will be a nice change of pace, and I’m anxious to see how it feels to not religiously complete a ridiculous Insanity workout every day. We shall see!

spread the word: best reads of the week vol. 1

I do a lot of reading. Yes, I wish I meant Great American Literature but I actually mean anything remotely related to 36broadway scattered across the world wide web.

So I’ve decided to start sharing my top reads each week. Picks will always be from sites that I find to be highly credible and inspiring, and those I personally look up to. It’s my way of sharing content relative to my site while giving a big shout-out.

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

Tiny Buddha – Let Go of Control: How to Learn the Art of Surrender. Are you a control freak? I am. Well, I’m recovering and only thanks to a slew of inspiration from Tiny Buddha. This is one of Lori’s guest posts from Dr. Amy Johnson from Modern Enlightenment. Here, she speaks about the root causes of control and attachment and how to free ourselves for a unburdened and more peaceful existence. Yes, please!

Thrive Personal Fitness – The Reward Factor. I can’t count how many times I have seen food suggested to be used for rewarding yourself after a tough workout or sticking to a plan. And we’re not talking about a celery sticks. In this post, Pamela of Thrive Personal Fitness discusses how developing a mindset that it’s ok to incent yourself with high calorie foods in order to get fit can be detrimental to your health and progress. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a repeat offender to the weekend diet-derailer, but this puts it in perspective and I can see how some may take it a bit too far, especially those just starting a wellness program.

Fit Sugar – Vegan Snack Recipes.  I’m a sucker for a slide show of tasty, nutritious, and quick anytime snacks. Fit Sugar get’s it right with 10 yummy take-anywhere options that incorporate filling fiber, good fats, and protein. I especially like the Apple & Nut Butter Sandwiches and Edamole – what great ideas! Perfect for the girl-on-the-go.

Momentum Gathering – A Simple Guide to Remembering Who You Are. This is one for me. A simple but powerful reminder of how it’s important to remember and recognize who we really are amidst the chaos of our lives.  When I shift my focus and let myself ‘feel’ me, I find myself in some of my most content times, regardless of what else is going on. I know with a full-time job, this site that I just love sinking my teeth into, along with obligations to family and friends, it’s easy to move furiously from one thing to the next without a much purpose or a sense of self. Learn how to stop, look, and listen to the one that does it all.

What inspired you this week?

quick power snack: tasty caprese crispbread

If you’re in the mood for a quick, easy, and hearty snack made with ingredients you most likely have on-hand, this one’s for you!

Our  homemade Tasty Caprese Bread is a fast and simple way to whip up an arguably gourmet snack to satisfy a crunch or salt craving. All with ingredients you can feel good about.

Here’s what to grab for 2 servings:

4 crispbreads

1 tomato, sliced

mozzarella (buffalo is best, but shredded is fine)

balsamic vinegar

basil flakes

Top crispbreads with tomato slices.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and top with shredded or sliced mozzarella. Add a generous sprinkle of basil flakes.

Toast in a toaster oven for 7 minutes or until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Let cool and enjoy! You have just made yourself a filling, all-natural power snack.

I’d like to thank my boyfriend for this wonderful creation.