Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What's in Your Oatmeal?

(Be forewarned, I'm a long story teller)

Wednesday mornings I have my usual back to back Bikram yoga classes, 7:15am & 9:15am, so I looked at the scheduled teachers to know, a little better, of what to expect. Drats......Yi-Ting at 9:15am! My second class had the harder teacher.

I stopped training Bikram 6-7+ days a week in exchange for 3-4 days a week, but on Mon., Wed. and Fri., I practice twice, with Sat. being an optional 7th practice. I started this about 4-6 weeks ago to give myself a complete day off from all that I do, every other day....for example, I train KB's Tues., Thurs., and Sat., and then I add in my Spin class only twice a week but on the same days as KB's, for the simple fact that I'm already in Palo Alto on those days, and I take Spinning at Equinox. The opposite days I practice Bikram....Sunday is a complete day off.

Anyway, back to breakfast....and yoga...

I never eat an official breakfast, instead I enjoy a couple of cups of coffee with full fat cream every morning, sometimes before my last workout (Spin, or between yoga classes) I may have a dried persimmon, apple, more coffee (or a coffee drink), or even piece of candy! Nothing like a little caffeine and sugar to get you through until lunch, lol....speaking of caffeine, sugar........and fat......

So this morning, as I mentioned, my second Bikram class was being taught by Yi-Ting. Yi-Ting is one of the toughest teachers because she cranks up the heat & the humidity, never opens the door while all of us are suffocating, holds the postures longer than, practically, any other teacher, but worse than that, she holds us in the "set-up" for the posture so freakin' long......arghhh. I knew I couldn't go into my second class the least bit hungry or feeling weak so I decided to take some oatmeal to eat right after the 7:15-8:45am class to help me feel solid, refreshed and ready to go another 90 minutes.....or so I thought it was a good idea.....and it was, sort of.....

Mark and I stayed with Keats and Tammy Snideman this last weeknd in Phoenix AZ for the HKC Mark taught in Tempe.....and they we very graciuos hosts.....unfortunately for us they don't drink coffee......WHAT? Who doesn't drink coffee? Mark and I can barely become conscious (much less friendly, lol) before our first cup of coffee....or two....or three....

Well, this may have been a small blessing because by the time we made it to Starbucks that first morning (hey we had to drink something!), we noticed the instant coffee packets Starbucks now sells called Via. (as in, "it will save my life, 'VIA' the caffeine", Mark just said, lol) Jordan, who is the evening KB trainer at Girya, has some of these packets at the Studio, so he must've thought they were pretty good, so I thought I should give them a shot. Good Lord, hallelujah! (I had to look up the spelling of that word, btw) The possibilities are endless with this instant, strong shot of good tasting, yep, good tasting, quick, portable, coffee option.

Back to breakfast.....
I made a small batch of oatmeal this morning and in it I added, cream, sugar, and VIA! Poured it into my small thermos and viola'....I liked it....alot! I need to work out a few was a little bitter beause I got a little carried away with the coffee, but really, the only mistake I made was I ate too much between the two classes( I think my little thermos holds about 8oz, and I ate it all!)....nothing too bad though. Although I haven't eaten a regular breakfast for years, and years, I may start this little habit mid morning....maybe I'll throw a chunk of chocolate on some days...I've often said that I love oatmeal so much I could turn it into dessert, lol!

PS I didn't even need a spoon!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

HKC Chicks

I rarely take many pictures these days.....although when I do I tend to be such a poser, lol....but here I am with Anne J, and Terri K, at this last weekends Tempe AZ HKC. Both women traveled from Tucson and had been training KB's for months, and decided to take their knowledge to another level.

I know Anne mentioned wanting to gain a deeper understanding about the kettlebell to train, not only her 65 year old father, but also her 5 year old daughter! Wow!

I teased Terri, at the end of the day, about being a problem child, but truly she wasn't! She took, remembered, and applied, every correction that was relevant to her, and I do believe she'll take, like Anne, the knowledge she got from the HKC and apply that to her current training as well as passing it along to her lucky future students. (Terri happens to be built exactly like my training partner Meg....which is why the Swing/Squat workout I put them through near the end of the day was.....a little challenging.....that's all I'll say about it, lol)

Oh the guys were cool too! And I hope to see them all again at the next level....RKC!

(Guys....Keats, Mark C, Jared W, Mark, Frankie B, Gene M)

(pictures above on right hand side, both Anne and Terri crushed the former 25 second qualifying strength requirement for go girls!)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Max Workout

Tuesday morning I teach a 45 minute Swing class @ Girya before I run over to Equinox and train my Intermediate/Adv "Class". I use "quotation" marks because most of my "classes" have only 1-3 people training along with me, (as many as 7-8), so it's not really a "class"......but that's another blogpost for another time.

The point of this blogpost is simply to journal my workout. I'm calling it "Max Workout" because I do so many Max Vo2 "based" workouts, that are not truly VWC....again, another blogpost for another time....

After some serious high volume KB swinging from 6-7:00am, I continued my workout, and from 7:15am-8:00am here's what we did.

Quick warm up of swings, and swing / snatch combinations for about 5 minutes. I used the 12kg & 14kg, Brian the 16kg & 20kg, Trevor the 14kg & 16kg,. This was a short warm up before some 1 minute heavy snatch sets.....

Tracy 16kg
Trevor 16kg
Brian 24 kg

10/10 snatch, 30 seconds per L/R = 1 minute work, 1 minute rest
11/11 snatch, 30 seconds per L/R = 1 minute work, 1 minute rest
12/12 snatch, 30 seconds per L/R = 1 minute work, 1 minute rest
13/13 snatch, 30 seconds per L/R = 1 minute work, 1 minute rest
14/14 snatch, 30 seconds per L/R = 1 minute work, 1 minute rest
15/15 snatch, 30 seconds per L/R = 1 minute work, 1 minute rest

12 minutes work 150 snatches. (I'll write more about this training strategy soon, as this is for a specific reason....)

And then we did" Max"!

Tracy 14 kg & 16kg
Trevor 16kg
Brian 20kg

Here is one, 5 set rotation, all sets are 15/15 work to rest ratio;

6 snatch R
6 snatch L
6 snatch R
6 snatch L
10 2 hand swings (one rotation before increasing to....)
7 snatch R
7 snatch L
7 snatch R
7 snatch L
10 2 hand swings

repeat this 5 set rotaion 7 times....yep 7 times for a total of, including the firt 5 set rotation, 40 sets of "Max" = 20 minutes.

This is alot of work by the way....especially after 50 minutes of high volume swings....over 1200 with the 12 & 24 kg.

We finished at 8:00am and I rolled our my hips on the foam roller for about 15 minutes waiting to see if I had sheduled a new student for 8:30....I couldn't remember....I hadn't, so off to Girya for Level ll training with Mark.....




My training is turning in an interesting direction, so is my life.....and, to quote Martha Stewart...."It's a good thing."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 sweet little granddaugher, Sophie....

Saturday afternoon I had Rick, (my oldest son), Cristina, and my grandaughter Sophie over for a belated birthday dinner....and cake, of course! Rick's 28th B-day was on 2/25, and Mark's B-day....well, let's not say which B-day it was for him, but it was on 3/1.....(53....shhhh, lol).

I made my "signature" pasta meal of carmelized onions with red bell peppers (of course I snuck in some jalapenos too) with Italian sausage and seems to be the favorite of both my sons Rick and Gabe, (also a great way to sneak in a ton of veggies in the guise of pasta!, lol see *note) I also made with pesto, olives and parmesan, and the other with spinach, shitake and feta. No salad, but I showed both my future daughter-in-laws, Cristina and Lily how to make hummus and served the hummus with some raw vegies to start with.

(I made the garbanzos in the PC....of course!)

We ended the meal with a Carrot Cake that Lily made, and a German Chocolate cake that my son Rick picked up from a local bakery....oh yes, and some coconut ice cream from the Mexican market (real sugar and cream!). This afternoon I had to have Mark throw out the leftover cake......what can I say? "Throw it away, people!"
I made a couple of pizzas again tonight using leftover carmelized onions. peppers and sausage, another with the pesto I had taken out of the frezzer for the last pizza....sometimes hoarding pays off, lol!

middle picture is 4 super large onions, 2 red bell peppers and 4 jalapenos....about 5-6 cups of veggies, cooked in about 2-3 bl olive oil with a big pinch of red pepper flakes, in a big saute pan for about 30 minutes. I only added one 1 pound pkg of thick spaghetti noodles and it served 6 people, generously, with at least one serving left over! Veggies are a great way to add nutrition, volume, AND flavor without the extra calories.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A "Hanging" Thorn in my Side

OK, so I admit.....I'm really good at swinging a kettlebell nonstop for who knows how long, but what I'm not good at is high tension strength movements, and lifts. It's not a natural talent for me, endurance and repetetive stuff is, but we all gotta do stuff we're not good at sometimes....don't we? So......

When I found out about the strength requirement for earning your HKC, which is a "bodyweight flexed arm hang" for women, based off of the Marine Corp standard for women candidates, I was shaking in my shoes....why? I suck at hanging, I suck at pull-ups, I suck at strict presses (same thing, but opposite, by the way).....good Lord do I really have to, actually, work for something? I'm too old for this shit!

OK. I never have to do a flexed arm hang if I don't want to...I'm RKC afterall, I've already proven myself. 100 snatches w/16kg in 5 minutes, any day of the week....everyday of the week....but why do I have to do a flexed arm hang? Because it would be totally hypocritical to assist at any HKC without meeting the same requirements for earning that Certification....period.

I knew I could train for it, afterall, I am married to a Master Instructor....who has a better coach at any kettlebell lift or strength requirement than that? But I'm a lazy ass. So, when I went to my first HKC, in fact the first ever HKC, in St Paul this last Sept., did I train for it? Nope! Why not?

Well, first of all, I had inquired about being an assisant for the HKC, but Dragon Door was not soliciting "official assitants"...maybe they didn't know whether or not they would need them because everybody that was anybody was already there....all the Master Intructors, Seniors and plenty of Team Leaders.....good God I think they had over 10 teams assembled. But I went anyway, offering up my volunteerism because I had 3 of my own personal students attenting and a good friend who is a long distance phone client there also, not to mention Mark was teaching....and, my best friend Fawn Friday lives in St I need any more reasons? Good God.

Anyway, the morning of the registration, since I wasn't there "officially" I had planned to "party crash" as I always do, not asking to be a part of it, in any way, if they didn't need me to help, but conveniently with a "RKC Instructor t-shirt" on, lol, I ended up helping out on Brett Jones's Team for the day, but......

I couldn't feel good about including myself in the official HKC photo because I couldn't meet the strength requirement that all other females were asked to meet, and because of that I felt I was simply "riding the coattalis" of my brilliant husband, as usual.....(I was the only one there that day that sat out the HKC photo)

At this point you all should know I'm a long story teller......

So, clinging to technical standards of Cert qualifications I had 3 months from the HKC weekend to succesfully complete the strength requirement of a 15 second flexed arm hang......which I admit, I couldn't do that day. I couldn't even hang for 1 second. Seriously.....I couldn't even hang for 1 freakin' second! Why not? Because that skill has never entered into my weekly training, and I've never had to add it in (the training to accomplish it), and I was plain lazy because I knew if I put the time and effort into it I could do it....when I was forced to.....

Enter Girya's first HKC scheduled for 12/5/09. Here it was Sept.....I had just about 3 months to train for the 15 sec. flexed arm hang.....technically. What I didn't factor in was that by the time December came, DD would change the time requirement for the flexed arm hang to 25 seconds! Almost twice the time as previous. How could I go from 0 seconds to 15 seconds to 25....twenty-five seconds. Why do I have to? It was on principle. I could never feel good about assisting an HKC, representing one of the highest Kettlebell Certifications one can earn, without myself meeting all of the requiements that go along with this honor.....arghhh!

OK. December 5, I only had to hang for 15 sec, which I did by the way! Not bad considering I couldn't hang for 1 second, 2 1/2 months earlier.....but now, I had to keep working at increasing that time to 25 seconds....and I had "technically" 3 more months to accomplish that. But, you can imagine how "peeved" I was to have Meg L., and Ayssa C. attending Girya's HKC, and, without a blink, in fact least the clock ticked away at the 25 measley seconds they were hanging.....I hate them.

I'm too old for this shit. But here we are......

Although the requirement was changed back to 15 seconds, thanks in part to Mark, here's why.....

A 25 second flexed arm hang for women was more about upperbody endurance, than strength. It's supposed to be a strength requirement, which was out of phase with the Men's requirements of 5 pull-ups or chin-ups, which was the point.....a chin-up is much easier than a pull-up (chin-up, underhand, has a better mechanical advantage, than a pull-up, overhand).

I told you I was a long story teller..... Back to me......(lol)

December 5 to March 5 gave me my 3 months to accomplish my 25 second hang. Well I did it way before the 3 month deadline....again based on principle, but here's the video of my "new improved" 25 second time I did Saturday morning, which was March 13th, but I had actually accomplished it the morning of Girya's second HKC FEb. 6th (2 months). I hadn't taken video until this last weeknd....oh well, you'll have to trust me on it!

The point? Good God, now that I've decided to train for the RKC Level ll in July in St Paul (lucky me, my BBF Fawn is also earning her Level ll the same weekend....YAY!), now I have to train for a pullup......I'm too old for this shit! Anyway, I intend to always be able to do a 25 second flexed arm hang as long as I plan to assist at HKC's (and that's a long time, btw), it forces me to train my weakness. I can't expect anyone else to accomplish something that I can't.

Bottom line? Strength is a skill, and I do believe this. Sure some of us are naturally strong for some skills, but not for all skills....that's where the RKC comes into play, and why I decided that earning my Level ll was relevent and worth my time to train for.....(another blogpost for another time).

If hanging for 25 seconds is easy for you then brav-o. For me, I worked for it, and earned it. Now, like weightloss, getting there is only half of the battle....staying there is going to take consistent work, but I'm up for it. Now bigger goals (smoals) are in order and I'll be pull-up-ing, and pistol-ing away for Level ll by July. If you don't think I'm going to have to train, long, hard, and "right", then think again. Training to improve skill is a calculated and luck involved, only hard work (but fun....I can't forget fun! I can't take myself too seriously afterall! I'm too old to take myself too seriously, lol.....besides, if I can't do a pull-up or pistol by July I have 3 months to keep trying....LOL!).

Top Photo; First ever HKC in St Paul, Sept 2009, me, Diana B, Jesse G, Sabina D., and Gen O. Second photo, me on 12/05/09 completing my 15 sec hang. 3rd and 4th photo, Meg L, and Alyssa C, laughing at the measley 25 seconds they were required to hang (I hate those girls....argh!). Last's the closest I ever got to a pull-up without ever training for it. Let me say that I weighed under 130lbs, compared to about 142-144lbs now, which makes a difference....but you know what? Strength is a skill, and I don't have to be that skinny and learn to do a pull-up.....just wait, I'm going to be a pull-up and pistol queen.....whoops, did I just say that? Yikes!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Evening Out the Score

I've been posting alot about kettlebells and training these past few weeks, as the past few weeks have been, for me, mostly about, well....kettlebells and training! But this blog was never meant to focus on that part of my life, in fact, the biggest reason I started this blog was to write about food and eating.

I used to spend so much time staging foods for blogpost pictures about cooking and preparing homemade foods, or taking pictures and writing about Farmer's Markets and organic foods....."local", "seasonal", etc. (more about that another time)

The other part of this more private blog was to share the craziness of food addiction, compulsive overeating, binge eating, and other sorts of eating and food behaviors that, I believe most people understand, but don't admit to eachother. Just look around....more people than not are overweight, it seems. And the question is not how did they get there....more importantly the question is why?

I was laying awake one night thinking about being fat. I can use the word fat because I was fat. Not overweight, but fat. Fat is fat.....whatever.

Before I go any further though, let me say this one thing. I spent most of the past two years weighing 10-25lbs more than I had at my lowest (my "perfect" bodyweight was 129-132lbs), and I will admit, because if I don't, Mark will tell on me, lol, that I was miserable about the situation, and at times I hated myself....just plain hated myself. BUT, during this time I never thought I was fat. I knew I wasn't fat. 140-150-155lbs who knows? But what I did know was I wasn't fat....I know what fat is. Enough said.

Anyway, I was thinking about being fat.....and this thought came to me. I overate as a way to "even up the score" Overeating was under MY control, and I was going to eat everything I wanted when I wanted to, and no one could tell me any different. There were plenty of times in my life when it felt as if things weren't under my control, or so I thought, but taking, and eating, all the food I wanted to, and could afford to, was.

This came to me afer having a conversation with a new friend and we were talking about "restriction" and dieting. Restriction is a feeling, and it's a feeling that we will rebel against, as no one likes to be restricted. What do we do when we are? The opposite....if we can!

"Evening up the Score". Since I could remember, all my life, unfair things have happened to me....or at least that's how I saw it. (this is where my anger comes from)

We were "low income"....other people weren't. "Other people" had stuff I didn't have. Toys, new clothes, a bike, birthday presents.....two parents!

Two parents. Was I the only girl in the world with no father? A father I would never see, a father I would never lay eyes on. No one to call daddy? Why? Why me?

I had this big gap in between my 2 front one else did, why not? (did that come from my father? I'll never know.)

Smarts. I was never good in school. I was lazy? That's what I was told. (I scored high on my tests but I was too lazy to complete my homework)

"Skinny-ness" My sisters were stick'm sorry, super stick thin! Why? What did they do that I didn't do? Clothes fit them. Boys liked them. They looked "normal" I was the "chubby kid".....the only chubby kid in the whole school....Elementary, Jr High AND High wonder I cut school so much.

Speaking of High School....what's a High School Diploma? I wouldn't know, I don't have one....but everyone else does....not me.......

A normal life, with normal family and friends. A normal job. A normal house. Normal spouse (2 parents), normal kids, normal names, normal, normal, normal. (what kind of name is "Tracy" in an hispanic family?)

Do I care now what's considered normal? Hell no. But I wasn't always a 46 year old woman, I used to be a little girl looking out into this big world, intimadated and scared. Luckily I grew up, but still a little scared, and certainly, intimidated. Finally, no one was in control of least not in my private world. You know, the private world of being able to eat a whole quart of ice cream. That private world of drive-throughs, ordering enough food for a whole family, but it was really all for me. My private world of cupcakes, cookies and candybars. I was going to "even out the score" and take for myself, what looked like, everyone else had.

Why do you eat? Do you feel slighted? I suspect you may. It was only in the past few months that I realized, in terms of food, that everything and anything I wanted was here for me, in fact I had too much, too often! I would cook and prepare so much food, and then feel as if I had to eat it before someone else would, would go "bad" before I could eat it all....and I had to eat it all, because it was mine.....

It wasn't until I reminded myself that I could have anything I wanted, whenever I wanted it. I could make it, afford it, drive to go get it, order it, whatever...anything I wanted I could have. and you know what? I started to feel as if I didn't want it as much! I simply didn't feel the need to get my fair share before it was all gone....why? Because it will always be there for me....always. And if it's not something else, something just as good, something better, will be there to replace it. This world is in no short supply of good, really good, stuff to eat.

I successfully cleaned out my freezer of all of the homemade goodness of soups, stocks, etc., that I was "hoarding"...."it's mine, it's all mine!" The summer tomato soup that I was so afraid of running out of, the seasonal fruit chutneys I was afraid to run out of..... I'm now restocking the freezer, but with a different attitude.

I'm busy! I love to cook, and I love to eat, but the more I cook, the more I eat! So a compromise? What I love about cooking is really the preparation of the ingredients. So I spend everyother night only preppping ingredients, and then, I cook the meal the following night. I still cook extra to freeze......and on the nights I dont have to cook, maybe I'll write a blogpost, lol! (I currently have a huge batch of spicey slit pea and smoked turkey soup, plenty of fixin's for numerous salads, farro and lentils, and bean soup....whatever I want. I can even make kettlecorn if I want too!)

I'm not saying that alot of my motivation doesn't come from trying to prove that I'm worthy because it does. I want to be better, to prove that I am better, but I don't have to "out eat" everyone to "even out the score" anymore.....if you do, then knock yourself out!

Top, and my skinny ass sisters Christy (back) and Donna (front), middle picture, my 4th grade picture when the photographer made me say something silly, like "pickle", and I was trying to hide the gap in my front teeth by using my lips to cover my wasn't until my 30's that I finally gave up the embarrassment of my "gap" and now I'll smile "full gap-toothed", screw anybody that doesn't like it, lol! bottom....again in Santa Cruz CA, with my skinny ass sisters.....I'm the chubby one on the right hand side....could you guess? (in this case "skinny ass" is a term of endearment BTW, lol)