Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thursday 10 x 10 "Side by Side"

Need just a tad more rest, or a tad more work?  Well, this 10 x 10, Side by Side ladder is for you....just ignore the miscounting vortex I fell into, and swing!

whoops...did we do an extra one?  I think I forgot I was the one that started with my set so yes...we did another set:

If you want to try both sides then swing with me the first time around, and with Deepika the second...or vice a versa...or both!  Possibilities abound! Enjoy....oh and let me know what you decided to try!

110 partner #1 / 135 partner #2 swing reps, approx 7 min.

To find your copy of "Side by Side" featuring my good friend Jeff Sokol SFG 2 click on the link below:

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Swing Quest's 10 x 10's Learn how to program your own workouts!

10 x 10 #1  all two hand swings

The Swing Quest's latest event was probably the most fun for me that I've had to date!  At the last minute, kind of on the fly I decided to have a couple of guest leaders!  You'll have to watch the video to find out who, but with very little warning (maybe 15 minutes) the two women did an awesome job! Which leads me to again write about why I started posting 10 x 10 workouts, and an upcoming workshop I'm scheduled to teach in Chicago on May 17th and 18th. (

10 x 10 #2  two hand to one hand swings 

First the videos.  I'm posting them one 10 x 10 at a time (5 min workout, 100 swing reps), and then all 5 rounds in it's entirety.  You choose.  Are you just beginning your Swing Quest?  Then maybe one or two of these workouts will be just enough for you to start building from until, if you want, you can do two or three....or four...or all five!  You may have a favorite that you repeat.  As I demonstrate in the first three 10 x 10's you do not even need to have a kettlebell!  Please, stand up, go through the swing movement and pretend!  If you are currently not exercising at all on a regular basis then you must start doing!  Don't let anymore excuses dictate your future health and happiness!

10 x 10 #3  one hand swings (5/5)

This year I changed the first 500 swing reps of The Swing Quest to always be a 10 x 10 (5 rounds), practicing my swing combinations in progressive order as the year goes along.  The Swing Quest 2014 is just that...two thousand, fourteen swing reps, done "equal work to equal rest" (100 minutes = 1 hour, 40 minutes)  I've been leading 4 events a year at my home studio and I'm now beginning to take it on the road!  The goal of The Swing Quest is to have a goal in the first place! much to say, but let's get back to the workouts!

10 x 10 #4 1st Guest lead

10 2 hd sw x 4 sets
5/5 one hand swings x 3 sets
5 2 hd + 5 R one hd sw, 5 2 hd + 5 L x 1 set each
10 2 hd swings

I'll write more about TSQ and my workshop, "Programming the Kettlebell Swing" next time!  But real was an absolute joy to be lead through a workout by someone else!  Maybe someday you would want to be that "someone else", never having to rely on someone else's program or routine!  Come see me if you are in the Chicago area and want to learn how to train The Swing, and stay motivated for the rest of your life.

10 x 10 2nd Guest lead (freestyling!)

10 2 hd sw
5 2 hd + 5 R
5 2 hd + 5 L
5 R + 5 2 hd sw
5 L + 5 2 hd sw
10 2 hd sw
5 R/ 5 L x 2 sets
5 R + 5 2 hd sw
5 L + 5 2 hd sw

PS....I learned how to cook when I was in my early 30's by attending, first, a series of classes based in cooking methods and techniques.  I then became obsessed with watching cooking shows and reading cookbooks....until I realized that if I spent as much time actually cooking I'd become a much better cook that watching and reading about cooking! Please, please, join me in training the kettlebell swing.  Unlike cooking, when you need the right ingredients and the right tools, you need nothing to practice the movement of The Swing.  Only the wanting to improve how you move and how you feel.  

I thank my blog readers (and facebook fans) for all of the interest and support you have given me over the years, but please, if you've only been watching, now is the time to get up and move.  It's never too late, but there is no time like the present!

The Swing Quest 10 x 10, 5 rounds, 500 swing reps. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thursday 10 x 10! Reviewing one hand swings, and an optional progression before the "transfer swing"

Happy Thursday!

Today's 10 x 10 reviews the last swing combinations and it adds in more of the "five by five one hand swings" (5 R/ 5 L), with a bit of a "regression"!  Today I give you the option of practicing your one hand swings without a mid air transfer swing.  Instead you can practice one hand swings, setting the bell down, switching hands, and continue to practice your one hand swings on your other hand, until you feel comfortable and confident to switch from R to L in mid air!  This is commonly how I teach brand new students the one hand swing.

The Swing Quest workouts in January started to lead us into more and more one hand swings, and this 10 x 10 reviews them as we start to expand our skills and abilities of doing more one hand swings, AND our skill and ability to switch hands more often (transfer swing OR "hand to hand" swing)

Here is this morning's 10 x 10, so practice up because I have a real treat for you that I will post over the weekend.....

10 2 hd sw x 1 set
5 2 hd sw + 5 R one hand sw x 1 set
5 2 hd sw + 5 L one hand sw x 1 set
5/5 one hand swings

5 R one hd sw, put the bell down, switch to L, 5 L one hd swings

5/5 one hand swings x 1 set

5 R one hd sw, put the bell down, switch to L, 5 L one hd swings

5 R/ 5 L one hand swings x 2 sets

Whoops....that only adds up to 9 sets of 10!  Add in one more practice set of 5/5 to complete you 10 sets!  Sorry!

Anyway....I trust that you all will do what your motivation, time and energy will allow!  Whether it's 9 sets, 10 sets, 11 sets....or more!  Sometimes you may still need me to lead you through a 10 minute workout, while other times you are fine on your own!  And speaking about being on you own....

The next 10 x 10 blog post will include last weekend's 5 rounds of The Swing Quest in it's entirety (25 minutes) with a couple of surprises!  I hope to also post each round so you can chose how long you want to swing, and which swing combinations you want to work on.  So exciting!  Thank you all for your continued support and interest, but most of all for your wanting to take some action to be, feel, and look your absolute best!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Taking Responsibility Feels Good!

It's been almost 2 months since I became a part-time vegetarian/vegan.  Long enough, in my opinion, to make some decisions about whether or not it's a way of eating I want to continue.  The verdict?  I don't think I will to the degree I have practiced these last two months or so.

My entire motivation for trying this out was that I realized I was overeating meat by justifying that eating more protein was good.  Protein is fine, but not overeating it.  Which brings me to the other more important conclusion from this experiment...really in general, the only habit I still may act on, since weighing over 250lbs, is overeating too regularly.  

I often post pictures and write about large/extra large salads I make, and large bowls of soups and chilis that are staples in my diet.  I've never pretended to eat small portions, in fact quite the opposite.  The entire reason I adopted a Veg First Diet is so I could eat larger portions and bigger meals while keeping calories low.  And it worked!  And it still works!  As long as it vegetables I'm overeating! Overeating protein, fats (cream/cheese/nuts), and other "healthy" foods along with the vegetables started to become part of the overall habit of overeating, even when I thought I was aware of it!

Years ago when I started blogging (2006) I wrote a series of posts titled "Evolution of a Diet", but I never really finished them....and now I can see that maybe I never will.  I feel so differently about food/eating than I ever have before and it's still changing, in a good way.  

I was lucky enough to do a phone interview this morning for someone else's blog and one of the things I heard myself say was;

"Healthy eating is the attitude you bring to your dinner plate, not the food that's on your dinner plate!".  

I would much rather not want to overeat, than enjoy overeating.....does that make sense?  And the good the great news, is that I'm closer and closer to feeling that way everyday!  In fact I'm so close that today could be that day!  Lucky me!

The True Lesson

The true lesson was not to stop eating meat.  The true lesson was to
bring awareness to an old habit that is no longer serving me, emotionally, the way I thought it used to. (overeating)

Since greatly reducing the amount of animal meat protein I have started the habit of taking very small portions when I do eat it.  Although I will add meat back into most one of my daily meals, I predict, naturally, I will stay vegetarian/vegan 2-3 days a week because that ratio feels right.

I also greatly reduced the amount of dairy, cheese / yogurt / butter, and to my surprise I didn't miss it much considering how much of it I used to eat.  I plan to add these foods back in, but probably not on the same days I eat meat.  For some reason it makes sense, and again, it feels right to alternate.

I got back in the habit of weighing, measuring, and researching (googling) correct portions and calorie counts of foods I was trying to guesstimate.  I also started portioning out smaller containers of servings, while still giving myself permission to eat more if I wanted to, but with the condition of having to wait 20 minutes first.  Most times I did eat more after the 20 minutes, but I still feel that I ate much less starting with smaller portions to begin with.

It feels good to take responsibility again.

Some of my new favorites:

Pumpkin Chili
Roasted eggplant
Savory oatmeal 
Bagels and bread! (lol)
Miso soup

photos above; kale/chard salad w/avocado and pumpkin seeds portioned out in a size less than half of what I used to.  Meatloaf I made this morning sliced very thin and measured out in 2.5 ounce servings instead of my previous 4-5 ounces!

Monday, March 24, 2014

When there's a will, there's a way! Savory oats for tomorrow's lunch!

I was shocked at how much I loved this newest savory oats recipe that I tried (Mark Bittman's, that only suggested green scallions and soy sauce.  I posted my picture of the bowl I made on Facebook and had a couple of comments about adding a fried egg on top.  I'm not a huge fan of runny yolks (although I wish I was) but Tuesday Foster suggested maybe I try a hard boiled egg, sliced, on top.  I decided to meet in the middle.  I soft boiled two eggs, which I will gently reheat tomorrow, using a microwave, that will most likely produce something between a soft and a hard yolk.

I've been keeping part time vegetarian for maybe 5 days out of seven in a week, so I'm due for some kind of animal protein soon.  Tomorrow might as well be the day!  

I soaked some thick, old fashioned, oats in water all day to soften and swell, then I transferred them to the refrigerator.  Tomorrow I will microwave them (at work) to heat them up.  They are pretty much soft/cooked, all they need is heat at this point.  Since the eggs, scallions and soy sauce will be left to come to room temp in the hours before lunch (5:30am-10:00am) it should only take 20-30 seconds to heat the eggs, without "cooking" them any further.  I might even be able to skip trying to reheat in the mic, instead using the residual heat of the piping hot oats.

I'm using some soy sauce packets that I had left over in my fridge...why not?  Simple preplanning and packing.  When there's a will, there's a way!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Swing Quest is coming....10 reps at time! My latest 10 x 10 rest ladder

It was just me and Andrea at Sunday morning practice so I had to drag her into demonstrating my latest 10 x 10 rest ladder/"side by side" workout!

In this workout Andrea completes 14 sets of 10 reps at equal work to rest ratio (15 sec work/15 sec rest), while I ladder up equal work to equal rest sets of ten.  Here how it looks on paper:

1 10 rep set (15 sec work/45 sec rest)
2 10 rep sets (1 x 15/15 + 15/45)
3 10 rep sets (2 x 15/15 + 15/45)
4 10 rep sets (3 x 15/15 + 15/45)

In total I complete my 10 x 10 in 7 minutes.  Follow along with me, or follow along with Andrea, OR better yet, recruit a friend or family member to work along with you, "side by side"! (

I'll be leading my second event of "The Swing Quest 2014" next Sunday, March 30 from 7:00am-8:45am approx.  More details to come soon about this event and the next ones....

In the mean time here are a few links to past blog posts about The Swing Quest:

Friday, March 21, 2014

Non Vegetarian Day...maybe

It's official....I could live on my pumpkin chili!  Seriously.  It's loaded with veggies, a ton of flavor and very low in calories....unless you eat a ton of it, OR allowing you to eat a ton of it!  Which is the way I like to look at it!  Because of this chili I barely miss meat at all, and it's made becoming a part time vegetarian so easy.....maybe too easy?  

I've changed my recipe to lean more towards a "barbecue" flavor with the addition of vinegar and brown sugar (1/4 c of each), and cutting back 1 1/2 c. lentils to 1 1/4 c., using the stalks of red chard or kale for extra body.  Last night I decided to leave the skin on the pumpkin.  I like to think of it now as "Rustic Barbecue Pumpkin Chili" lol!  But really it's just laziness!

I also found some "corned beef" sausage at Whole Foods the other day.  I don't think I've ever seen that before.  I'm sure it has something to do with the store having leftover corned beef from St Patty's Day, but it peaked my curiosity.  Mark loves corned beef so it stands to reason he would like this sausage!  Mark also loves my vegetable soups!  Cabbage seemed like a good pairing along with the giant Italian white beans I had in my freezer.  Nowadays, since becoming a part time vegetarian, I've learned how to cut back on animal protein in general and only use two sausage links, at the most (sometimes only one) when making any kind large meal for us.

This corned beef cabbage and bean soup turned out so good I think today will be my non vegetarian day....although I'd be perfectly fine eating another bowl of my pumpkin chili!