Elissa Imran

Elissa Imran

Reboot | Day 19 (Member)
Day 19
Program progress:

Since it's a holiday here in HK (Mid-Autumn Festival), we pretty much repeated our Sunday morning routine.  Hit the American Club for breakfast - fully PCP compliant that way - and then traded off watching the kids and working out.  Workout felt pretty good this morning.  Did my jumps as 250-200-200-200 and was able to take shorter breaks in between - endurance is coming along and speed is improving!

Tried to do a full pull-up - managed 1.  Then did the incline pull-ups - 7, 6, 5, 5...and barely eeked out the last couple...ouch!  No problem using the black (heavy) band for the standing ovation but struggled through the last set of curls with the green (medium) band.  Davincis with blue (light) band and abs not too bad...feeling the burn but manageable.

About to whip up some lunch...wheat pitas with curried chicken (made by my helper on Saturday) and some salad.

But tonight could be a bit of a challenge.  We're headed to the American Town Club for dinner and to watch the National Day fireworks.  I'm sure we'll be fine on soda water rather than drinking...but no idea what the menu options will be.  Hopeful for a salad bar...

Day 16 - Feeling strong!

Did 4x200 to make my 800 jumps this morning.  Only tripped twice.  And able to rest a bit less between sets...still feeling wiped by the end though!  Went straight into my exercises.  All felt good.  Went up a level on my rowing resistance band.  Maxed my stationary lunges but felt a bit wobbly on the last few.  Concentrated on keeping my pelvis straight and knees aligned...hoping to get over this sore knee quickly!  Did my first 2 sets of tricep dips with my legs straight...but my pecs couldn't take it for the 3rd set and had to go bent knee.  Was surprised to see push-ups again today but almost enjoyed the shorter sets!  Struggled a bit through the last few leg-ups - but that was partly my fatigued legs.

I took the kids out for breakfast and dutifully cut up their waffles and helped them stir their nice thick smoothies.  I had a hard boiled egg, sliced it up on wheat toast (1.5 slices), half a sliced avocado and most of a sliced tomato - plus a cup of coffee with a little milk.  Perfect PCP breakfast and felt good resisting the temptation of helping the kids finish theirs.

Actually went to the pub with a couple friends last night - had a couple soda waters with lime - and really didn't mind too much skipping the beer.

Going to the beach for the Mid Autumn Festival this evening.  Love this holiday - glow sticks and picnics and lots of families on the beach.  Going to bring soda water for Shafi and I, pack a picnic for the kids, and wait to eat our dinner after the kids go to bed.

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Tightness in my IT Band...causing my knee cap to pull right when I bend...causing friction and pressure on whatever is on the other side of the knee cap...  So I can keep doing my PCP jumproping & exercises.  Have some stretching and foam roller massage to do.  And she would like to me to do my lunges stationary - put the foot out and go up and down rather than standing up in between each lunge.  Not sure how much that affects the workout...she suggested either holding weights while doing it or doing an extra set.  Since it was a squats day, I will be trying that out tomorrow.  She actually thought my legs & knees were in pretty good shape, all things considered.  So I'm feeling better about the risk of doing the jumping and such.

Otherwise all is well.  Had a tasty stir fry of brown rice vermicelli, squid and choi sum last night.  Ate that at home before heading to a neighbor's potluck rooftop party.  I had Perrier and a few carrot sticks...that's it.  Felt very proud to resist all temptation...as the food looked awesome...and I certainly would have enjoyed a glass of wine.  We did decide to leave when dessert came out...I had brought a fruit platter but no need to tempt fate with several chocolate options.

Enjoyed a nice breakfast sandwich this morning (albeit slightly smaller than the portions of week 2).  And had a nice rice bowl for lunch - brown rice, zucchini, enoki mushrooms, onion, garlic, baby corn, diced chicken breast and diced pork tenderloin (finishing up some leftovers there).

Exercises went fairly well today.  I actually think having yesterday off made today a bit worse?  Did the 4 sets of 200 jumps like yesterday.  Then no problem on squats.  Managed 6, 6, 4 on the incline pull-ups.  But push-ups I did 3x12, 8, 4...total failure after 8 on the 4th set.  And the thumbs-up curls were tough!  Survived the full set of davincis but barely.

Feeling good after the workout and nice lunch.  Going to hit the pub with some friends tonight...but will stick to soda water with lime.

Ran into someone at the gym who I hadn't seen in months.  She told me that whatever I'm doing is working and I look amazing.  Always nice to hear!  Also just uploaded my picture...and I can definitely see some difference from 2 weeks ago.  Abs looking a bit firmer.  Shorts looking a bit looser.  Face looking a bit thinner.  Feeling good...motivated...rock it!

Day 14 - knee pain :(
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I wrote at the beginning about my knee issues...and that I was hopeful that they wouldn't flare up.  Well, the last couple days I'm having some soreness above and to the inside of my knee cap on my right knee.  I was hoping it was just a muscle thing...but today it's a bit worse.  Not sore in the morning...but starts to get sore pretty much as soon as I start doing anything...especially going up stairs.  Hurts a bit doing the jumping but not too bad...dull pain.

Decided to go ahead and push through my 800 jumps today - and managed 4 sets of 200!  Woo hoo!

But also made an appointment to see the doctor midday today...hoping to get a script for a little physio and see what the physio says.  I'm guessing tendonitis and I should rest it a bit...hoping I can sub some elliptical or stationary bike for a few days and get back to the jumping.

At least had a tasty breakfast this morning - brown rice, sauteed broccoli, onion and tomato and my 1 egg and egg white (done just right with a runny yolk!) - and a cup of tea with a little milk.

Also just enjoyed my post-workout yogurt with blueberries and banana in it...mmm.

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I have a packed day today, including needing to leave for a meeting at 9:15 and won't be home until lunchtime.  So I decided if I am going to get to spend the afternoon with the kids then I need to do an early workout this morning.  After getting the kids ready for school I took Will (2 years) out to the playground with me while Leah (4 years) ate her breakfast.  He played while I did my skipping.  And since I had to rush back to take Leah to the bus at 7:15, I only had about 12 minutes to get my skips in...meant I couldn't rest long between sets (4x150, 1x100).  Couldn't manage to do longer sets but did manage with the shorter rests.

Then I did the rest of my workout while Will had his breakfast...and he joined me for some of the workout.  Then Shafi and I actually ate breakfast together before I had to get Will out the door to his school bus.  And now I have a few minutes to grab a shower...

But first a quick post including today's delicious breakfast. This is Shafi's (I always forget to take a picture before I start eating mine!).  Wheat toast, avocado, tomatoes, maitake mushrooms sauteed with a little garlic and a touch of olive oil, eggs "fried" with a touch of olive oil.  We made it into sandwiches and ground some black pepper onto them.  I'm stuffed!

And my meeting this morning is recruiting for my dragon boat team.  Others are baking but I'm bringing fresh fruit...so I'll stick to that for my snack...imagine I can estimate 180g close enough without bringing my scale...

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All the vegetables and fruit, that is.  I used to think we ate a lot of fruit and decent amount of veggies...  Fruit with every meal - but not in the same quantity I'm having now for my snacks.  And a handful of steamed or stir-fried veggies at dinner seemed like plenty.

Now I'm sitting down to my post-workout and morning snack - 100 mL of plain yogurt (1%) and mixed in diced strawberries, grapes and passion fruit.  Delicious!  And way more fruit than I would have had if I weren't weighing out 180g.

Workout went well this morning.  Did my skips in 5 sets - 150x4 and then an easy 100 for the finish.  Pushing myself to do more at a time...but since the total keeps going up I still seem to be stuck on 5 sets...

Managed max reps on other exercises except the incline pull-ups - 6, 5, 5 - and almost didn't make that last one.  Those are tough!  Struggling at the end on the pushups, curls and davincis too...but I like pushing myself...feeling good!

Day 11 - Perseverance
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It's all about perseverance...diet, exercise, motivation, positive attitude...

Broke my skips up into 5 sets of 130 again today.  Still getting to the point at the end of each that I need a minute or two to catch my breath.  And by the 5th set my quads and calves want to give up...but I continue to persevere!

Managed max reps on the rest of the exercises.  Those lunges just seem to go on forever, though!  And I did hit failure on my final tricep dip.  It felt like my pectorals failing though...triceps are feeling okay.  Any ideas on better isolating triceps?  I thought I was keeping my legs out straight and my back close to the edge of the chair.  Maybe the issue is that it was right after the standing ovation...would it make sense to do the dips first?  Or to save them for after the abs at the end?

Took another trip to the grocery store last night after the kids went to bed.  Wanted to find some other options for carbs...things were a bit picked over as far as fresh bread.  But I did find some brown rice vermicelli.  My helper makes an excellent vermicelli with hairy gourd that I'm going to ask her to replicate with this.  And I picked up some soba noodles.  Going to have to look for something interesting to do with that.  Anyone have ideas?

Meal ideas!

Just thought I'd share today's lunch and dinner menus.  Would love to read ideas from others...trying to keep things interesting!

Today's lunch:
Cooked up some chicken breast cut into bite size pieces with just a spray (bought an olive oil mister) of olive oil to keep from sticking (in a non-stick pan), some fresh garlic and ginger, lemon pepper seasoning (salt free) and a little cayenne powder.  Got a whole wheat pita that was almost all of my lunch carbs, added a few pieces of whole wheat penne to make up the difference, chopped romaine, sliced tomatoes, sliced avocados, sliced cucumbers.  Tore the pita in half and stuffed each side with the veggies & chicken and then squeezed some lemon into each.  It was filling and tasty.
In fact, going to do the same tomorrow except using some very lean pork tenderloin sliced thin and cooked up with some pepper, garlic and onion.

Today's dinner:
Once again a spray of olive oil...cooked up some fresh squid cut into rings with some garlic, onion, chili powder and lemon juice.  Put that on top of some whole wheat pasta and added some cut up steamed asparagus.  Squeezed some lemon over the top.  Delicious meal!

I must admit that I am fortunate enough to live in Hong Kong with live-in domestic help.  She is an excellent cook.  I design the menu basics and she handles the execution and also usually the seasoning.  I can't imagine trying to manage shopping for and cooking the food for my husband and I to do PCP while taking care of 2 young kids without help!

Just got home from my workout...have 10 minutes before my first school bus pick-up.  Feeling good overall.  Food portions are huge.  Managed nicely at the salad bar last night with some shrimp and grilled chicken, lots of veggies and a couple slices of grainy bread.  Balsamic vinegar for some extra flavor worked well...think I'll also ask for a lemon next time.

I decided to break today’s 650 skips into 5 sets of 130.  Surprisingly I was able to hold out to 130…where yesterday I really thought going past 100 was going to be impossible.  Admittedly I did rest 1 to 2 minutes between sets…boy do I need some endurance training!

Had my helper make a hearty breakfast for Shafi and me this morning.  Brown rice topped with sautéed portabellas, tomatoes and onions, steamed zucchini, sliced avocado and sunny side up eggs.  Definitely need to add a bit more seasoning next time…anyone have ideas on what herbs/spices would help with that?  I took a bite and just wished I could add salt…overall not bad though.

Waited an hour and a half or so to let that digest before heading to the gym for the workout.  Skips went very well…only 2 trips total!  And then powered through the exercises.  My biceps and shoulders were still a bit sore from the last couple days, but I persevered.  Managed max reps on all except the last set of incline pull-ups I think number 5 and 6 were about halfway up, and the last set of davincis I started to falter around number 8 and muddled through with about half a raise for the remainder.

Going to grab my post-workout yogurt and mix in my morning fruit!

Last night we had a dinner party to go to...that was planned in June...so we couldn't really back out at this point.  Some friends of ours were making biryani and some accompanying Indian dishes.  Definitely too much butter, oil, salt, etc. for PCP.  And definitely not enough vegetables.  But I was good all day long and was very careful on my protein and carb portions at the dinner (not weighing exactly but I think I was close enough for now).  So since I'm not doing this kind of thing every day (not planning to again for the rest of PCP) I decided I was okay with the "cheat."  I didn't have any of the appetizers or dessert and I drank only Pellegrino.

But then we didn't get to bed until midnight, had our 2 year old coming in to say hi at 4 a.m. (luckily he was willing to be put back to bed) and then up at 6 a.m.  What I've read from others about the workouts being harder without enough sleep...definitely applies for me too!  I am sure it was a combination of that and the new exercises.  But whew...lots of grunting and sweating in today's workout...which took about an hour.  Made it through max sets of everything.  Took full advantage of my resistance band set - black (heavy) band for rowing, blue (medium) for standing ovation, green (light) for forward shoulder raise.  Definitely hoping to continue to increase the resistance over time.  I probably could do that pretty soon on the first 2...but barely made it through the shoulder raises as is...  Actually felt pretty good on the tricep dips...managing to do the straight leg version...didn't know I could do that!

My four year old joined me for much of today's work out.  So cute watching her try to do lunges and leg-ups.  And I love that we're instilling a desire for fitness in our kids.

Today's diet has been great so far.  We met friends for breakfast at the American Club here in Hong Kong.  I drank only coffee with a little low fat milk.  And they did a great job of managing our off-menu order.  I actually brought my kitchen scale along...which I think embarrassed Shafi...but it was no big deal to put it on the table and weight out our food quickly.  No one else even noticed.  We ordered 4 hard boiled eggs, a whole sliced avocado, hash browns (done low salt and low oil...which they seem to have done a very good job of) and wheat toast (actually had to ask for 2 more slices as the single order of 4 slices wasn't enough carbs for the 2 of us combined).  The total bill was actually less than our usual breakfast there.  And it was pretty good.  I made a sandwich using most of mine...sliced the 1 egg and 1 egg white, put that and some of the avocado and some of the potato on top of a slice of bread and put another slice on top...perfect!  I think next time I might ask for some tomato slices to go with it.  I ate the remaining bread with avocado spread on top and some potatoes on top of that.  I was stuffed!

I had my fruit snack of grapes late morning, followed by my workout.  I saved a few of my grapes to go in my post-workout yogurt.  And then I made lunch for Shafi and I.  I have to say I am patting myself on the back for making a pretty tasty lunch...using only the microwave!

We had whole wheat penne in the fridge from yesterday.  I measured that out into our bowls.  Then I chopped up 2 zucchini and washed a packet of asparagus.  I microwaved those with a little water (covered to steam)...separate batches since the zucchini takes longer and I didn't want mushy asparagus.  Then I weighed those out so that we each had half our vegetable grams from each.  And last I took a nice fillet of salmon, put some lemon pepper, garlic powder and chili flakes (found all of those in salt-free versions yesterday at the grocery store) and squeezed about half a lemon on top.  That went in the microwave for about 2.5 minutes with a vented cover.  I measured out each of our portions of that on top of the bowl which already had layered pasta, zucchini and asparagus in it.  I didn't fully flake the salmon but did spread it out a bit so the flavors would get down into the rest of the bowl and it would finish cooking through.  Then I put a vented cover on the bowl and stuck that in the microwave for another minute or so to get the salmon cooked through and the pasta moistened/warmed.  Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture.  But we each had a huge bowl of healthy food and it was delicious.  I served it with half a lemon each to squeeze on top and some extra black pepper.

I'm really not one to cook well without a recipe...so I was feeling quite proud.  And Shafi did the dishes without complaining and even complimented me on the meal.  It was a huge portion and we didn't eat until close to 2...I think I might have to save my afternoon snack to eat at dinner since we're taking the kids to an early (5:30) dinner later.

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Got up this morning and instructed my helper on making breakfast for Shafi and I.  I taught her how to use the kitchen scale and olive oil mister.  We used just  a small spray of olive oil to cook some fresh chopped broccoli and tomatoes and then scrambled in our eggs (2 for Shafi and 1 egg + 1 white for me).  We made them in separate batches to get our grams right.  He got 4 slices of wheat toast and I got 3.  Seemed like an awful lot of carbs actually!  Going to try finding heartier denser bread.  I also got some avocados at the market today to use to spread on our toast...the dry toast this morning was not so great...and there were quite a lot of veggies in our eggs...so a bit more balance there would be helpful.  We both drank our milk and packed our morning fruit snack.

Shafi went off sailing with a large apple and I headed to the gym with my after workout yogurt and a baggie of grapes & blueberries (my morning snack).  Hopefully that's okay to combine the 2...it was a pretty tasty snack that way.

The workout took me almost an hour.  I did okay on the skips...definitely increasing my endurance gradually.  And I liked the new exercises.  No problem on max squats.  The incline pull-up wasn't as bad as I thought it would be...used the squat machine at the gym and adjusted the bar down to about my waist height.  First 2 sets of 6 were okay but was definitely approaching failure on the 5th and 6th reps on the last set.  First 3 sets of 11 push-ups were fine...but was definitely starting to falter around rep 8 on the 3rd set...pushed myself to finish although without getting a full elbow bend.

I broke out my fancy new resistance bands for the first time.  They have 5 different bands ranging from extra light (2-4 lbs) to extra heavy (35-30 lbs).  I used the medium for the curls and it was challenging but doable.  And the light for the davincis - also challenging but doable.

Also no issues on the max situps...actually decided to throw in a 5th set since I am really trying to target my core.

Then after a good stretch and my snack I headed to the grocery store to stock up on healthy carbs, low-fat protein and lots of fruits & vegetables.  When I added up how much Shafi and I will need just for the next couple days, not to mention a bit of food for the kids, it seemed huge!  I got some whole wheat pasta, whole wheat pita, and brown rice....definitely different than my usual choices.

My helper is now making lunch for us.  I always thought I couldn't cook without a recipe...but luckily with just a little instruction, she can!  We're having some whole wheat penne with chicken breast and zucchini - using just a little olive oil spray to cook it and some frehs garlic, fresh ginger and lemon pepper seasoning.  I also bought some lemon to squeeze over it.

We'll have a little salad on the side to make up the rest of the vegetable grams.  Anyone have dressing advice?

Day 7 - 500 skips done!
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Wasn't really looking forward to the 500 skips.  I've gotten better at the skipping, but my endurance is pretty pathetic.  I did 5 sets of 100...but my rests between the last 3 were a minute or 2...had to wait for the stitch in my side to go away!  Managed 3 of the sets with no trips and only 1 trip on each of the other 2...so at least feeling good about that.

My 2 year old wanted to join me today and was quite upset that it was only skipping...he did some push-ups and leg-ups anyway.

Sort of missing the other exercises today actually...but had a peek at tomorrow's...and probably best to rest the muscles a bit today!

Ready for the new diet plan...

Day 6 - morning workout

I decided I liked the earlier workout time yesterday...frees up the rest of my morning while the kids are in school.  Going to try to keep that up for now.  Workout was pretty good today.  Definitely starting to hurt with the increased sets, but still able to get through the max on everything.  Managed 2 sets of the skips with no trips and only a couple trips on the others.

The half portion diet is still hard.  But I did meet a friend at the pub last night and have only soda water with lime while she had 2.5 pints...so feeling pretty proud of myself for that.  Looking forward to the regimented diet that begins Saturday.  I'm happy to eat loads of fruit & vegetable along with healthy protein and carbs...just as long as I'm not hungry!  Will be looking forward to some good healthy recipes from the group...my helper is an excellent cook but needs a bit of direction when it comes to non-fatty non-oily low-salt options!

School bus drop-offs that is.  My daughter's school bus is at 7:22 and my son's is at 8:35.  So since the workout is still short and I have somewhere to be at 8:45 today, I got in my workout between my school bus drop-offs this morning.  First time doing it at home instead of going to the gym.  No problem.  My 2 year old enjoyed watching for a few minutes, although was upset that the rope was too long for him.  I did actually get 2 of my sets done without tripping!  But on each one he kept telling me to stop around 40...I guess 70 is a bit long for a 2 year old...would probably be more helpful if he was telling me to keep going though!

No problem on the max on the exercises today.  Approaching failure on the 4th set of push-ups but made it through.

Diet is going to be tough today.  Going to a coffee morning that will no doubt have lots of bagels, muffins, etc.  Going to let myself have 1 - where normally I would probably have 3 - so I think that's okay.  Will fill up on coffee instead.  Although will switch to decaf after a couple...don't want to have crazy caffeine jitters after.

Day 4 - going smoothly
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Felt pretty good about my food choices and portions yesterday.  And no trouble with the workout this morning.  Getting a bit easier even though I'm a bit sore.

Had to share this little cartoon that a friend of mine posted on Facebook

End of Week 2





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