NROLFW update & more mango

I’m halfway through the first stage of NROLFW and wanted to do a quick update on my thoughts/progress so far with the plan.

Stage 1 calls for 16 workouts, alternating between workout A & workout B. After 3 full weeks, I’ve completed 8 of the workouts at the “2 set” phase and just today moved into the second half of stage 1 which increases the sets to 3.

I’m not going to do any updates on measurements yet, I’ll wait until the end of stage 1 for that. Sorry, no awkward full body muscle pictures today. Winking smile 

In general, I love it! In these 3 weeks, I’ve learned to live and function in a perpetual state of soreness (in a good way!). This is the longest I’ve ever stuck with a strength training program before. I seriously look forward to each and every workout. I think a few things are contributing to that:

  • The way the program is structured it encourages you to add heavier weights as the workouts progress.
  • It gives you “beginner” moves when necessary so it’s easy to tell when you’re gaining strength because they start to feel easy and you move onto the “real” moves (push-ups are an example here).
  • I think the emphasis on dumbbells and barbells instead of machines makes it more easily recognizable when you can handle increased weight.
  • I already see a difference in muscle definition. Positive reinforcement baby!


These are me not flexing. I’m going to call them my “rolling hills” and I’m pretty sure they weren’t there before. Winking smile Well on my way to looking like the book cover.


Click here for before pictures (granted, I am flexing in those so they’re not totally comparable).

A few fun facts:

Prone jackknife is my favorite move of this stage.

Step-ups are my least favorite (boring and tedious)

-I can now do 3 sets of 10 full push-ups!

-In general this is how I feel about deadlifts:

Diet wise I haven’t been doing anything out of the ordinary besides being more cognizant of my protein intake. I will try to have a protein smoothie or something high in protein after each session. It doesn’t always happen, but I’d say about 75% of the time.


Today’s smoothie, which overflowed the second I put the camera down and which Ginger promptly licked up.

Stay tuned after another 3 weeks for a full Stage 1 recap.


Now, let’s talk about mangoes. Again.

I actually bought 2 mangoes for last week’s Mango black bean salad but only ended up using one because the other was hard as a rock. 6 days later after hanging out next to the bananas getting all ripe, it was begging to be used. After reading Jenna’s recap on her fruit detox, I had been craving fruit and couldn’t even think about “real” dinner foods. I just wanted fruit. The practical side of me kicked in though and somehow I ended up with this.


Quinoa, mango, spinach salad.


With a piece of whole wheat sunflower seed bread. Delicious, light dinner.

Quinoa Mango Spinach Salad

Makes 2-3 full dinner servings or 6 side dish servings

  • 3 cups cooked red quinoa
  • 2 cups chopped baby spinach
  • 1 mango chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half a lime
  • juice of 1 small orange
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt & pepper


Rinse quinoa and toast with coconut oil before adding water and cooking normally (optional, but recommended). Combine next 6 ingredients in a large bowl. When quinoa is finished cooking, add to bowl and mix to combine. Whisk together last 5 ingredients and pour over salad. Toss. Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.


What’s the weirdest craving you’ve ever given into for dinner (or any meal)?



Filed under Dinner, Recipes, Strength training

18 responses to “NROLFW update & more mango

  1. haha! your rolling hills. now where are the flexing pictures so we can see your deadly guns?

  2. Sounds like it’s going great! I’ve been trying to do more strength-training, but I feel a little disorganized in my method….which is to say that I don’t really have much of a method or plan at all. I might have to check this out!

  3. I looooove that commercial. The never-works-out-ever hubby didn’t think it was funny, but I was definitely laughing. Way to go with the workouts!

  4. Kim (Book Worm Runs)

    Woo-hoo. Look at you and your guns!! 😉 I have to agree about the step ups…not a big fan of those either. The prone jackknife is fun because it is different and challenging but doing 3 sets of 12 yesterday was HARD! Lol! Definitely need to work on my core strength 😉

  5. I don’t do any type of strength training or lifting, this is totally inspiring me to start though!

  6. I am so excited to hear even more about your new workout routine. Sounds awesome! Nice rolling hills 🙂

  7. I love the update – your can totally see more definition in the muscle. I’m very jealous. I need toning. Bad. Like, real bad. Also, some time would be good. Can you add another 2-3 hours on to each day for me? Thanks!

    As for the meal – Chinese or McD’s. How horrible is that?!

  8. The quinoa salad looks fabulous!

  9. Haha, that advert! 😀 And your arms are looking super toned, without flexing! Nice work! 🙂 The salad looks good… ahh salads, they feel like a distant memory at the moment! :/ Never seen red quinoa before either… does it taste much different??

  10. Holly @ pink runner

    Lookin good!! I really want to try this book out!

  11. Sweet rolling hills! I get in ruts with working out and am just not into it. But your rolling hills are good motivation!

  12. the rolling hills look great 😉

  13. I was on not kidding like 6 blogs yesterday who all did a quinoa salad…some with fruit, too. I have to get on board 🙂

    Great arms….nice job Gina!

  14. Holy crap! I’m so jealous of your arms! I definitely suck at (and don’t know how to) strength train. I usually consider yoga or pilates strength training and call it a day. Maybe I should get that book!!

    As for the weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten for dinner…I’d have to probably say cookies or ice cream. Less weird and more just lazy. Haha

    Congrats on the strength training success!

  15. I am really impressed with your rolling hills 🙂

  16. I have tiny rolling hills but yours rock! Fitness books have never worked for me though….but maybe I should check this out! Thanks for the recap.

  17. Pingback: I’m Not At Work | Love, Sweat, and Beers

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