Saturday, April 25, 2009

OK.....I Lied

Food and eating does run my life, LOL!

OK, it doesn'r run my life, but it's a big part of my life in a postive way, how can it not be? It's what I do. What is it, exactly that I do? I am so committed to understanding what makes us fat when, I believe, it's not our true nature. Sure I believe it's our nature to do we survive without eating? We can't, of course, and I believe, and it's my experience that maintaining health....and health means a healthy bodyweight in addition to some level of physical fitness as well as a body free of so multi-dimensional that there is no ONE answer.

The "answers" are the same and different for everybody. Why do we get fat? We eat too much food our bodies don't need. The question that everyone has to answer for themselves is why do I eat too much food, what am I going to do about it and how do I find the motivation to do what I say I want to do? That's were I come in......

I am fascinated with the subject because I have to be. I refuse to ever be so overweight and out of shape as I once experienced, but I also refuse to accept any idea that my life has to be any less than I want it to be by restricting, or feeling like I'm restricting, one of the joys of that this physical life and eating. I am always looking for answers and I am always finding them, and that's why I know I'll never weigh 250lbs again. And anyone that talks with me can hear my excitement and passion for the hope and belief I have for all of us that have had, or is having, the experience of being fat to make the changes, permanently, so we can live to our physical potential.....which is our true nature. Everybody knows how to diet, but how do we live a healthy life without ever having to diet? That's really the goal, isn't it?

I am in my 3rd year of maintaining a healthy bodyweight and I don't see that changing, but, even though, I consider cooking as my favorite hobby, which keeps food constantly on my mind, I do believe there will be a day when I don't "react" to food in unhealthy ways. Food is art to me, I love it, I love everything about it, but as I've mentioned many times before, food is not the emeny.....our eating habits and behaviors are. We can change our habits and behaviors. I've changed many of mine and that is the key to my success, and that's no lie.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Misery Loves Company

It does and doesn't surprise me that the biggest responses I get to any blogpost I write comes after a "binge confession", or some sort of "admission of defeat". I suppose it's because we can all relate to the crazy emotional drives that lead us to act in ways that have become judged as "shameful"....good Lord, shouldn't we be ashamed of ourselves.....we can be such pigs! (you know I'm being sarcastic, don't you?, lol)..... And I don't mind telling anyone that I'm capable of eating a whole pint of ice cream, a whole bag of cookies, or a whole pound of a "starter", lol....but I will not wallow in misery, or ask anyone to wallow with me because of it, nor do I expect anyone else to wallow in misery over their crazy habits or behaviors.

Good God.....I train my ass off, I show up to every stinkin' workout....without fail! Food, eating doesn't run my stinkin' life, and it never will! So what, I overeat what, I act compulsively sometimes.....but I'm in control of my life. No one makes me do anything I don't want to do....period.

I'm freakin' sick of all the "victims" wallowing in defeat and expecting the rest of us to go along for the ride...... and I have alot more to say about it.....but no time....why? Because I've got to get to double yoga class this morning, that's why.

My life is great! How's yours?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

'Tis the Season

Good Lord....finally! Freshness, warm weather and more choices than ever. Next week is the start of most weekday farmers markets, (I love Wednesday and Friday markets because the weekends are just too busy for me these days), and although I've lightened up a great deal about buying exclusively from FM's and even "organic", there's nothing like being reminded of what's "in season", and that's what's fun for me.

There's rarely a day that goes by that I don't use my pressure cooker for something! Polenta in about 15 minutes (total time), risotto in the same amont of time, braised shoulder cuts of meat, plenty, plenty of beans and bean dishes, tons of chilis and stews, especially lamb these days....good Lord, although I grilled a butterflied leg of lamb and made a salad of grilled lamb, and then I grilled the veggies, chard, red bell & red onions w/farro (farro is my new favorite grain these days, made in the PC, of course!), there was plenty of olive oil on the grilled veggies, so a squeeze of lemon was all I dressed it with. I could go on and on....(oh, and I've been adding pasta into many of my soups and stews, cooking it also in the pressure cooker!)

But back to what's "in season". Eating and cooking with seasonal ingredients along with buying from local growers is what Farmers market shopping is all about for me. And although I've been poaching pears, (in the PC with white wine a little bit of sugar, and finely diced fresh ginger, eating it over yogurt), whose "season" is over......but they're still in the grocery stores, lol.....I finally made it to the market on Sunday to see what's really in season.

I didn't buy much, mostly because I'm trying to cook less these "less" I mean at one time, lol, I still cook daily, but smaller portions (my 4 qt PC, surprisingly, is the one I use the most these days!). Along with staples of chard, spinach, cabbage and celery, I've been buying more fresh herbs, asparagus, and my "seasonal" buy was kumkwats.

Kumkwats are very small orange citrus that looks about the size of a large olive......I didn't like them! I looked up some recipes using them, and mostly they're used for jams, chutneys or marmalade, but I did find some savory dishes but nothing inspired me. So, I decided to just throw a couple of them in one of my yogurt smoothies to get an idea of their flavor and......bitter! (you're supposed to be able to eat the skin and the fruit) I couldn't get the taste out of my mouth all day! Oh well!

I decided not to join CSA again for the simple reason that I have all the time in the world to shop farmers markets during the week and because most CSA services have a waiting list I thought I would give another family the luxury of local organic veggies. The organic farm that I did get my CSA box from last year sells daily at a roadside stand in Watsonville, so Friday, Mark and I may go and see if they've got agretti!


Lamb goes on sale after Easter so I always take advantage and buy a whole leg, have the butcher bone it for me (I need the bone to make stock!).....I could do it myself, but that's his job, lol....... divide the leg in two, grilling the "upper half" and using the lower half in a braised dish.

Grilled leg of Lamb and Farro Salad

cured, grilled sliced lamb (spice rub recipe follows)
grilled red bell, chard, and red onions
squeeze of lemon

I left the red bell and chard leaves in large pieces, tossed them in olive oil, s & p, before grilling, and then sliced the red bell into smaller strips for the salad. I cut the onions in 1/4 inch slices and brushed them with oil keeping the slices intact while grilling.

Spice rub for lamb

1/4 c. kosher salt
2 T. sugar
1 T. freshly ground black pepper
2 T. chopped fresh herbs like rosemary, sage, thyme, or combination of

Rub meat with mixture (you may not use it all, store leftovers sealed in fridge for up to 2 weeks). Cure the lamb for 12-24 hours in the refrigerator, wash off the salt and let come to room temp before brushing it with olive oil and then grilling. Grill meat for 8-10 minutes, each side or until the internal temp reaches 130-135 degrees. Let sit 10 minutes before slicing aganist the grain.


Follow instructions on the package, but I used my pressure cooker.

1 c. farro
1 1/2 c. water or stock ( I used lamb stock of course, lol)
1 t. kosher salt

Bring pressure to high, cook for 10-15 min, let pressure come down naturally.....that's it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Brussel Sprout Pesto, Sauce and Spread

Almost any green vegetable can be made into pesto. What is pesto? Pesto is a sauce for pasta traditionally made with basil as the main ingredient, followed by pine nuts, parmesan cheese, garlic and brought together with olive oil. Most Americans think a pasta sauce is either a tomato sauce or a cream sauce (alfredo), but in Italy any vegetable or combination of, along with olive oil is considered a "sauce" tossed with pasta and a dusting of a good hard cheese like parmesan reggiano cheese. Sometimes the veg is sauteed with some pancetta or bacon, maybe anchovy, for a little extra flavor.

Any kind of pesto you can make can be tossed with pasta, or used as a spread for bread, crackers, pita chips (etc.), or even veg sticks, as long as you own, and know how to use a food processor the possiblilties are endless! All you need is the following ingredients.....

any green / herb/or veg

basil. parsley, cilantro, spinach, chard, kale, arugula, brussels, broccoli, bell peppers, tomato, etc...


pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, hazel nuts, macadamia, pistachios, etc....


usually a hard cheese like parmesan or romano, but not necessarily, try blue cheese, feta, hard chedder (w/broccoli?), etc, as long as it's a good quality cheese. Please don't use crappy commercial chedders, jacks or american!



olive oil is always my first choice, but you can also use oils flavored with chili, lemon or herbs

Brussel sprout Pesto

brussel sprouts (I didn't measure, but about 15-20 med size)
1/2 c. walnuts
1/2 c. paremsan cheese
1 lg clove garlic
1/2 c. olive oil (or less, you decide how loose you want it)

a pinch of red pepper flakes, S & P

Here's the method;

Place your greens/veg in the processor along with your clove of garlic, you want to chop these up first.

Add nuts, process until chopped fine, but don't process so long they turn into nut butter!

Add in grated cheese, again just process until mixed in.

Now turn the processor on a med speed and add in the oil in a slow stream until the pesto looks the way you want it. Turn off machine, taste for S & P. that's it.

One last tip when making traditional herb pestos like basil and cilantro....adding a small amount of italitan parsley will keep your pesto a bright green and add a certain "brightness"....try it!

Here are two of my favorite pestos

cilantro, jalapeno, pistachio (a variation of Fawn's recipe)
spinach, walnut, lemon

both with parmesan, garlic and olive oil

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Transforming Body

It's rare these days for me to post one of my KB workouts because my workouts are simply variations of the same theme, lol! I've got so many archived on my other blog that I, myself, could go back and do some of my earlier routines and still get a great workout! (BTW if anyone doesn't know by now, I re-opened Physical Potential months ago, and my curent KB class schedule is updated regularly there). But one of the subjets of this blog is transforming your body, and without a doubt my style of training kettlebells gets all the is great, but it's just a compliment to my real training.

I've come to the conclusion that the 12kg is just too light for me. I can swing it for 2 hours of classes while giving instruction without getting into my target heartrate, and the 16kg just beats me up, even though alternating with the 2 weights works beautifully, for the base of my high volume swing training it was time for me to find an I bought and inferior KB in a 30lb weight! (14kg) There is room for all kinds of KB interval training that includes speed, weight, reps, length of sets, etc, but I need to get into my target heartrate for effectiveness, so with Mark's suggestion of 2 minute work/ 30 sec rest sets this is the workout I came up with......

2 minute sets w/ 30 sec rest. Break down the 2 minute set into eight, 15 seconds sections, the first 15 seconds starts with 10 2 hand swings, alternating back and forth w/ 10 transfers. After the first set add on additional sections of transfers (alternating 10 2 hd sw) until the last uphill set and then it's all transfers.

10 2 hand swings, 10 trans, 10 2 hd, 10 tr, 10 2 hd, 10 tr, 10 2 hd, 10 tr
10 2 hand swings 20 trans, 10 2hd, 10 tr, 10 2 hd, 10 tr, 10 2 hd
10 2 hand sw, 30 trans, 10 2 hd, 10 tr, 10 2 hd, 10 tr (get the idea?)
10 2 hd, 40 tr, 10 2 hd, 10 tr, 10 2 hd
10 2 hd, 50 tr, 10 2 hd, 10 tr
10 2 hd, 60 tr, 10 2 hd
10 2 hd, 70 tr
80 tr
repeat backwards downhill

40 minutes total (not including warmup)

I think this new weight is just what I needed, by the time I got about halfway through I was sucking wind big time wishing my rest period was longer.....perfect! These types of work/rest sets will be my Monday KB workouts, Max on Weds., and Saturdays I do all sorts of stuff with my 4 back to back swing classes (the toughest part of the workout with my intermediate swing students).

Is it time for you to re-evaluate your workouts?

Monday, April 6, 2009

I just want to feel good

When did I start trying to turn every part of my life into a metaphor? When did every word I spoke have multiple meaning depending on some answer I may be looking for, some "sign" that I'm doing things right, or as a warning I'm not.....or why I'm not....I never wonder why I do things right, only when I don't, lol! And what is wrong and what is right....what are the answers I'm looking for? How to be perfect is the first thought I have when asking myself that question. Good God, being conscious of the choices I make for my life is one thing, but living in fear of saying the wrong words, decoding every move I make and missing the answers given in "signs" is starting to work my last nerve! I just want to feel good.

Why, why, why?......I'm tired of asking the questions, I'm tired of looking for the answers. It's time to lighten the load.....hmmnn, "lighten the load".....what does that mean? Just kidding, but seriously.....I've gotten to the age where I want to throw everything out and start over. Hmmnn, start everything over.....what does that mean? Is my age, or is it something else? I think it's age! We only have so much time.....only so much time in a day, only so much time in a life. Clearing out the "chatter", the "clutter", the things and people in our lives that drain our energy. Hmnn, maybe that's something draining me or energizing me? Interesting..... OK, today I'll do things that energize me, and try to recognize when I let the things I do or say drain me, and turn them into postives.....

This is what I know about today....

Kettlebells in 10 minutes....good thing.

Make some veg soup.....good thing.

Clean my house before yoga....good thing (a clean house feels good!).

Scheduled appt with a friend to do her nails and pedicure.....draining, but I'll have to change my attitude about it and turn it into a positive....afterall, I've already made the commitment, so at least I can feel good about keeping my commitments.

Taking in my back screen door to be re-screened, (those freakin' cats!)....a good thing.

Making resevations for a trip down South next weekend.....good thing.

I have so much free time and I'm lucky to recognize it!....good thing.

Although I'm tempted to go back and do a 4:30 yoga class (my second for the day), instead I'll spend my time with Mark.....good thing! He can help me medicate the cats for fleas.....definitely a good thing!

Changing my attitude about things I may see as draining, or not 'good things" will be my focus today....afterall I have to put on some tight yoga clothes and find a way to feel good about it, lol!

Life is good, feel good about it.