Lean Machine Project : Week 1

I have signed up for the Lean Machine Project to give me a boost going into 2017, and some good nutrition habits to take forward through the year.  It is the brainchild of Mitch Shepherd and Emz Watts, both highly respected Personal Trainers, with Emz also a nutritionist, and together they have created a 28-day male-specific nutrition and exercise plan.  I have been sent three manuals, Introduction, Nutrition and Workouts, and they are thorough, clear and easy to read through.  I just need to put them into practice.  In these blogs I am going to give some idea of what I do and eat, without giving the precise details, obviously, but I will give you the full facts and the true results, so you can judge the effectiveness of the Lean Machine Project for yourself.

January 2017 has turned into a very busy working month for me, so while I attempted to start the Lean Machine Project on Monday 9 January, after two weeks it was clear I was not doing it justice as I had barely managed to carry out any of the workouts.  I started again on 23 January, but again very long working days prevented me from doing the workouts, although I was managing to stick to the nutrition side of things.  With that in mind, and definitely wanting to do it full justice to measure its effectiveness, I started again on Monday 30 January.  This will be my final attempt, and I will make it happen.

I took my before photographs and my measurements on the evening of Sunday 8 January, and will use Sunday evening as my measurement point at the half-way mark, and at the end of the 28 days.  I will post before and after photographs in my final blog of this series.

All my initial measurements are in centimetres :

Neck – 38

Shoulders – 55 (122 all round)

Chest – 109.5

Bicep (unflexed) – left 34 right 33.5

Waist – 105

Hips – 101

Thigh – left 60 right 58

Monday 30 January 2017

I was working from home today and planning to get the week off to a good start as I know it will be filled with work meetings from Wednesday.  The Lean Machine Project suggests starting the day by drinking a glass of water with the juice of half a lemon and some tumeric.  I will be taking that a step further, and started my early morning with a frozen lemon drink I have mentioned in my blogs before now.  It is a mixture from Matt Ollie Ollerton (of the Channel 4 television programme SAS : Who Dares Wins fame) to be drunk first thing each morning, at least 30 minutes before any food.  It is half a grated frozen lemon, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil, a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and hot water.  It works for me, definitely kick starts my metabolism, and seems to hold my appetite in check !  Once I had drunk that I ate my breakfast of muesli with almond milk.  The muesli is from Rude Health and contains oats, rye flakes, raisins, sultanas, barley flakes, apricots, almonds, brazil nuts, dates, golden linseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cranberries, quinoa flakes, apple, buckwheat flakes, goji berries, hazelnuts, puffed rice, blueberries, poppy seeds, linseeds and cinnamon.  As I have said, I was working from home today so I was able to make my banana wrap morning snack when I wanted it, and was also able to make my lunch today !  I had a super wrap which was delicious, but impossible to wrap because the ingredients were bursting out.  I have come to love the wraps in the weeks I have been following the nutrition advice, even taking a couple of them along with me when I was a spectator at Tough Guy, which you can read about here.  I was making sure to keep drinking water through the day as well, with a target of between 2 and 3 litres each day.  I also drank a cup of green tea in the morning, and one in the afternoon.  I have also certainly developed a taste for green tea over the last few weeks.  My evening meal was a quick and easy 3 bean salad, to which I added some of a Tribe paprika and chilli mineral boosting seed mix.  It tasted very good.  However, my workload did not allow me to find time for a workout, so that was not such a good start to the week.

Be interesting to see what this does…

Tuesday 31 January 2017

I was working from home again and knew it was going to be another packed day.  I had my lemon drink first thing, and made eggy avocado for breakfast.  It sounds so easy.  I really need to work on my cooking.  The photo is actually from last week, but my cooking has not improved since then !  I drank water and a cup of green tea through the morning, and ate a banana wrap for my late morning snack, which really doubled up as my lunch.  I walked to the shops in the afternoon to stock up on food supplies for the week, and in the evening ate a 5 bean salad.  Once again, I ran out of time to do a workout, which is starting to get to me.

Very eggy avocado

Wednesday 01 February 2017

I had a meeting in Birmingham today, which meant getting up around 0500 in order to get the train from St Albans to St Pancras, then taking the short walk to Euston to catch the train to Birmingham.  I did not have sufficient time to have my lemon drink and then wait 30 minutes before eating, so I just ate a bowl of overnight chia oats, which I had prepared the night before and left in the fridge.  It included strawberries and banana, and was delicious.  I drank water during the journey up, and drank a green tea when I arrived.  I had brought a banana wrap and a super wrap with me for my morning snack and lunch, and continued to drink water and another cup of green tea through the afternoon.  I also drank a cup of peppermint tea after each time I ate through the day of contract negotiation.  One very good thing from the last few weeks is how much water and other good liquids I am taking in each day, and I am definitely feeling better for that.  I did not eat after my lunch.  I had left the house before 0600 and I got home just before 2300.  Another day without a workout.

Yummy fruity chia oats

Thursday 02 February 2017

Matters had changed, and I was working from home today instead of going to a meeting in London, so I decided to take full advantage of that.  I started the day with my lemon drink, and half an hour after that I ate a bowl of bircher from Rude Health, which contains oats, apple, raisins and banana, and to which I added flaxseed and chia.  As well as constant sips of water, I drank a green tea in the morning, and ate my banana wrap, and then before I knew it the afternoon had disappeared and I was into the evening.  I ate a 5 bean salad.  Again.  It has become my go to meal when I run out of time.  I did not do a workout, and I need to change that.

One of my many bean salads

Friday 03 February 2017

I had a meeting in London during the day which was just going to get in the way of everything.  I have settled into a good morning routine of lemon drink and breakfast, which was bircher again today, and then banana wrap morning snack.  I also keep going with the water and green tea.  Where I fall down is eating at lunchtime and through the afternoon, and continuing drinking water in the evening.  Plus I need to do my workouts !

Super wrap

Saturday 04 February 2017

I woke up later than planned and the small of my back was aching.  I drank my lemon drink to get me going, and ate a banana wrap from brunch.  I was down in London during the day for a performance of Candide by Leonard Bernstein as Debbie was playing bassoon in the King’s College London Symphony Orchestra.  We went out for a curry in the evening and I stayed as good as I could be with a chicken tikka tandoori and a mushroom rice.

All the ingredients for the delicious banana wrap

Sunday 05 February 2017

It was another early start but for the right reasons this time, as I was going to Sunday morning OCR training session, which you can read about here.  That left me too tired to do any other exercise through the day, so I had not managed any of the workouts this week, which is very disappointing.  It has to be the primary goal for next week.  After our training sessions we always have a picnic of food everyone has brought with them, and this week we were treated to blueberry muffins from the Lean Machine Project cookbook, prepared by Kirsten Whitehouse.  They were delicious.

Loving the variety of the picnics

  1. OCR Training (St Albans) – 8.1 kilometres – 1 hour 16 minutes

Positives from this week : my nutrition has definitely improved, and so has my water intake, and I feel much better for that.

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