Sunday, January 31, 2010
Right now I only have one student in my first Basic Beg Swing class after her 2 friends bailed a few weeks ago....but good for her to keep showing up (and lucky her to have 1-on-1 attention!), anyway.... I thought it was time for her to learn the snatch, and without going into any details....I pulled out all of my teaching know how, every drill and every method I could think of, but I just couldn't get her to be successful....this time! Bummer. But I realized it quickly, and decided to gt back to our swings.....still a bummer. Did my best.
Max V02 w/16kg. Me, Mark and Meg train next. Mark is currently training his "Swing Max"http://rifsblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/swing-vo2.html, and Meg and I were supposed to finish up our Max w/16kg this last weekend before the both of us participate in the Feb San Jose RKC in 3 weeks. All of us training 15/15 work/rest sets. Mark's workout was to go to 50 sets.....which he increased to 60 when he realized he had a bit more in him!
Meg shows up and comments on how heavy the bell seems this morning! I had the same experience when I picked up the 12kg in my first class! Whoops.... I wanted to do my 80 sets of Max w/16kg....with at least 75 of them 8's....yeah right! That was not going to happen. And Meg either. Right now, with the RKC looming, overtraining is not an option....we both did our 80 sets, but I altered my reps, and Meg altered her reps and using 3 different bell weights, 12kg, 14kg, 16kg.
6/6 x 4
7/7 x 4
8/8 x2 (10 sets warm up...)
7/7 x 8
8/8 x 2 (repeat until set 40....I was done with 8's!)
7/7 x 40
80 sets, 564 snatches (I think that's right)
80 sets was what I wasn't going to let kill me. It wasn't the weight, it wasn't the reps, it was 40 freakin' minutes....80, eight-o that was sooooo far away from the first 10 sets....
I realized that I wouldn't be doing 8's at all after the first half of the workout, much less the majority of the workout. Once I made peace with it, my focus was completing.....approaching set 60 I was ready to call it quits, but I just couldn't do it. I kept telling myself the weight felt light, it wasn't the weight. I kept telling myself 80 was just a number....so close to 60, just 10 set L, 10 sets R and it would be all over.....and then it was! Done. (PS doing 7's saved my hands. I actually walked away from the 16kg uninjured!)
Max again? Yep, this time with my Intermediate class....AND the 12kg! I love Marks "Swing Max" and decided to work my girls up to their 60-80 sets of snatches by combining swings too. So, after our warm up, we headed straight into 15/15 for 60 sets alternating snatches with 2 hand swings (the exact workout is Top Secret, lol You have to come to class and train with us!)
Basic Beginning Swing Class.....I get to slow down a bit and train equal work to rest now....whew! I have a great group of people in this class, and yesterday I had a new person join us for the fun! I was able to put my #1 star student in charge of a few back to back sets while I worked with my new gal, and she did great making the adjustments she needed to improve her one hand swings (her 2 hand swings were great!). My #2 star student has been working hard and it's showing! I widened the stance of another student and it completely changed his swing.....Yay! All good stuff....I must be a pretty good teacher!
Private group of 4 for a brand new Learn to Swing class. OMG this was the best group to end my day! All four are fellow Bikram yoga students so I knew it was going to be a walk in the park, and it was! The "hinge" movement of the KB Swing is similar to the first part of "awkward pose" so I knew I had a good analogy that they would all understand. Everyone did super, in fact I had to hold them back and stop the class at our 30minute allotted time because I wanted them to be able to walk today! Seriously, the first time you swing, if you're not careful, it can sneak up on you, and you'll pay the price!
3 hours of training.....and then I headed off to 90 minutes of Bikram.
Lucky me, or unlucky me? For the first time ever, ever, ever, I got to yoga a bit later than usual and the 12noon class was full.....with a waiting list 14 people long! (I hate the 60 day challengers) I knew Mark was at home waiting for me to finish my day of training with a couple of bottles of good red wine, so I didn't waste another second being pissed, I got in my car and raced home! (PS I got to wear my high heels, wink, wink!)
Great food and wine
Life is good, life is great!
Saturday, January 30, 2010
I found this powdered honey at the Korean Market the other day for $1.99, and I thought it could be interesting. Since it was right near the checkout I didn't look too closely at the ingredients, although I thought I read that it was simply "honey", but what I read was "100% natural"...I assumed it was only honey. But after getting home I read that there was indeed one other ingredient.....refinery syrup.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Cooking is my hobby....so is shopping! So shopping for food is a double joy! The problem? It's only Mark and me at home these days and since I cook (and shop daily), I have too much food already cooked and ready to eat. I still have about 4 qts of my favorite tomato soup in the freezer, from this past season.....and I can't bring myself to eat it because if I eat it, it'll be all gone.....as if tomato season won't come around again.
I have the same problem with my clothes. I have so many really nice things to wear, but if I actually wear them, they'll be dirty, and may not be available when I want them.....I'm crazy.
I feel as if I'm always "saving" for that "rainy day"......
I don't eat my favorite foods, because then they'll be gone, and I don't wear some of my favorite clothes, because then they'll be dirty (unavailable). Life is passing me by.......
I know.....I'll buy some rainboots, and eat everything in my freezer, while I wear all of my favorite clothes......I swear I'm not going to cook one more thing until my freezer is empty. It's been raining for about 2 weeks straight, and the time is now.
Whoops....I already own rainboots....no more shopping either, lol!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I'm always bragging about the fact that I don't eat out, especially fast foods, but what are fast foods....really? Fast foods, to me, are foods you don't prepare, or cook yourself. Well, if that's how I define fast food, then what is a "coffee drink"? What is a piece of chocolate, or dried fruit?
I refuse to eat "energy" bars, protein bars, meal replacement bars, in other words, fake candy bars. If I'm going eat candy, then I'm going to eat candy, and not pretend it's anything other than what it is. In fact a few months ago when I confessed how I was addicted to the "bulk" section at Molly Stones Grocery, and specifically the "energy nuggets", I realized, as I was writing about it, that there was no difference betwwen those energy nuggets and, what I totally despise, "power bars" (etc.), I vowed at that time to never again buy them or eat them....and I haven't.
If I look at the types of snacks I used to have a couple of years ago, then it was common to have an apple, my favorite, or celery/carrot sticks w/PNB and raisins, yogurt, pretty much that would be my ususal snacks, but I can't eat veggies before a workout, that would start a "digestion process", and I train until, sometime 2:00pm....what can I eat? Well, if I know I have a 12noon yoga class, I can pretty much eat any kind of small meal around 9:30-10:00am....protein, oatmeal, small salad with grains as the main ingredient, etc., but these days I try to plan all of my workouts, back to back. Most days if I just take my mind off of food, then it doesn't really make a difference if I eat anything at all....I just go, one right after the other....I always survive, lol! (Not without coffee though...I have to have my coffee).
OK, so I don't eat Mc Donalds, but what are my favorite fast foods? (currently)
Sushi. I don't really like sushi! I know that the fact that I buy "ready made" sushi at the Korean Market near my yoga studio, may be confusing, but although I wouldn't choose to go out and eat sushi, I happen to like the way they make it and I don't mind picking some up while I'm also buying "Jap Chae" Korean salad....which I plan on making myself. (Blogpost and video to come soon!) PS I happen to know how to make sushi.....I took a few classes and have the kitchen tools to make it at home, but I don't like it enough to make it often, and for it to become part of my "repetoire")
Candy! Candy is fast food! This catagory includes cookies, cakes and any other sweet baked stuff that only requires me to open a package, or pick it out of the the bakery case! My current favorite candy is Gingerbread Caramels made by Jo"s Chocolate Company, (pictured above), that I was able to clean up on at 1/2 price after the Holiday season (blogpost to come, lol). These are the caramel candies I diced up and added to my Drunk, Blind, Candy Pizza a few weeks ago! I rarely by any other sweets "ready made" these days as I have a ton of caramels yet to eat! I'm pretty good at limiting my quantites and may only treat myself to one caramel a day. (with my mid morning, pre yoga coffee!) I do tend to torture myself with trying to buy only the highest of quality of readymade candies, cookies and cakes! In other words I rarely but Oreos....not that there's anything wrong with Oreos (etc.)....I can respect the "Oreo binge", lol!
Crackers, and corn chips.......(thanks Fawn!) I'm so over this "no carb shit"...seriously. A little salt, a little crunch....again, I'm good about limiting the quantity. My favorite crackers are from Trader Joes, their "Multi Grain" crackers are about 130 claories for 15-17 crackers, and Whole Foods (and BevMo, lol! more to come about BevMo!) carry these multi grain corn chips that are pretty darn tasty too!
Cheese......ofany kind! You have to eat a few small slices of cheese with your first glass of wine for the night....don't you? I love buying many kinds of cheeses and trying all of them! Again....in moderation.
And speaking of wine.....red wine. Uncork a bottle.....does it get faster than that? I consider wine, food. Period.
So as it may sound, I treat myself to tons of "fast foods", but I do need to say one more thing....until I have time to write a longer blogpost about it.....I have felt some recent motivation to drop some of this extra weight before the Feb. RKC that I will be participating in, and I haven't given up any of my favorite "fast foods", but I have managed to drop a few pounds regardless.....it's not what you eat, but how much you eat.....
You can run, but you can't hide.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Warm up (sets 1-10)
8 double snatches w/two 8kg's x 5 sets
10 2 hand swings, hardstyle, w/12kg x 5 sets
Work sets (sets 10-60)
5 dbl snatches w/two 12kg's x 5 sets
10 2 hnd sw, hardstyle, w/16kg x 5 sets
5 dbl snatches w/two 12kg's x 5 sets
10 2 hnd sw, hardstyle, w/16kg x 5 sets
5 dbl snatches w/two 12kg's x 5 sets
10 2 hnd sw, hardstyle, w/16kg x 5 sets
5 dbl snatches w/two 12kg's x 5 sets
10 2 hnd sw, hardstyle, w/16kg x 5 sets , repeat
10 2 hnd sw, hardstyle, w/16kg x 5 sets
Good Lord, this was t-t-t-t-tough! What's harder than timed interval sets of double snatches w/12kg's, and hardstyle 2 hand swings w/16kg? Try it and let me know, lol! (yep Diana, I dare you.....) I was seriously sucking wind during the double snatch rep intervals (Mark describes it as a "moderate" sucking of wind, lol.....it was great! It reminded me if the first few times I trained Max Vo2, years ago!
I did a fraction of the number of snatches I regualry do.....the equivilent of 20, 16kg snatches, and only 100, 24kg santches! Compare that to last weeks workout of over 800 snatches...and I continued to do many multiple sets of snatches in my next class that same morning! In addition to my Monday santch workout too!
Friday, January 22, 2010
Previuosly I had 1000 snatches in 48 minutes, but that was not a continious 48 min., it was with 3 rests, the first one after 25 consecutive minutes. This Saturdays PR wasn't about the number of snatches, but the continuous time.... In fact I had snatched as fast as 12/12, and 15/15 the first time, while this time I stuck to a strict 10/10 per minute. (little did I know I miscounted and did an additonal 4 snatches in the last five minutes) I decided to take Meg along on the ride with me!
Here are two videos from last Saturday, the first is 10 minutes long, and I don't expect too many people would be interested in watching the whole thing, but the "entertaining" part (my singing debut) is in the first couple of minutes!
In this first video I knew 10/10 was the pace I wanted to set to go the distance, and I could see Meg in my peripheral vision and if left to her own devices she would have snatched faster, but I had to stand my ground and set the pace I wanted! She did 600 snatches in 30 minutes, and most likely would of stayed with me for the additional 10 minutes, but she was taking an RKC prep course the next day with Jordan and she knew she would be testing her 100 snatches w/16kg....which she did in 4 minutes! I hate her!
This second video is the last 5 minutes.
The funny part of this is near the end when my next class started showing up, and while finishing my set I was telling them what to do to get ready for class! Molly started dancing to one of the songs playing, so it inspired me to throw a little dancing in too, at the end....
PS in the first Video I try to imitate Brittany Spears singing her song 1-2-3....lol! Brittany's songs are my latest "guilty pleasure"....come on now, after all she done to herself these past few years? Girlfriend is looking good!
A white one piece and high heeled shoe boots? I might be able to pull it off! yeah right....although it's already January 22nd and that only leaves me about 9 more days to get some high heels on these feet....twice (Mark reminds me!)...yikes!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I have 3 pressure cookers. I bought my original 6 qt. PC, probably 15 years ago when I worked in a gourmet kitchen store called 'Home Chef". It sat, undisturbed, for over a decade until I spent a long weekend with my BFF Fawn Friday, and she introduced me to the amazing world of pressure cooking (this was a mistake on her part, lol....she was simply cooking some pork, in a PC, little did she know the "pressure cooker", not the pork, was the true gem of knowledge I would take away with me and go crazy with, lol).
After using the crap out of it, I was ready to buy another when a woman known as the "Veggie Queen" made a comment on my blog and I ended up buying, not only her DVD on "how to start pressure cooking", but also her cookbook, and an 8qt /4 qt, combination pressure cooker from her! (these 2 pressure cookers use the same lid, so, 2 bottoms, one top...fyi) I decided to give my son and his family the 6 qt. to see if they actually will use it, and then I'll repossess it, and buy them their own. I also gave them my copy of the Veggie Queen's DVD.
Anyway....back to the story......
Every week when I visit, I help Cristina make lunch...in the pressure cooker of course! I have her do the work, as I explain what to do. I believe the best way for someone to learn is by them actually doing it themselves.
After the first week, I returned to find out that they had not used the PC again, or watched the DVD! But, because I believe in PC-ing, and I helped them make another meal in the PC...forcing them to get over the fear. Well.....guess what?
I get a phone call from Cristina asking me if she can cook beans in the PC! Of course, in fact, if you watch the DVD I left with you, it will show you exactly how to do it! Then the next day Ricky calls, asking me some questions about the timing of cooking some chicken and rice. And then I get another call a day later asking how to cook pork shoulder.....
Are they actually using it? Yes!
After the pork shoulder was done, Rick calls me back and tells me how they just finished eating dinner, and how the pressure cooker "ROCKS"! How proud am I?
PS Rick and Cristina did finally watch the DVD! That tells me that they have a lifetime of yum, yum, yummy, fast nutritious homecooked meals in their future.....and Sophia's future!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Tracy, I would like to try this. How long do you roast the veggies? I'm assuming you also add some seasonings? Thanks for any info.
Sorry for taking so long to get back to your comment....
The great thing about roasting veggies is that the only seasonings you absolutely need is salt. Oil is the fat that provides the "lubricant"....and flavor, lol, but, any other seasonings you use are a "bonus". Here are my top 3...
Red pepper flakes ( adds heat!)
Curry powder (also adds heat, but curry is a strong spice and you have to like it!)
Lemon....(sometimes you need a little "acid" to balance the oil and salt), great on asparagus.
But oil and salt, that's it....pepper is good, but remember, pepper is a spice too!
Now for roasting times.
The more "dense" a veggie is then the longer it needs to be roasted, but most veggies, no matter what their density can be cut in a way to promote even cooking times, about 20-30 minutes on 375-400 degrees...you know your oven better than I do! (mine is 400). About half way through shake the pan, or use tongs, a spoon/fork to turn over, as the veggies brown....you want the "brown" stuff", lol!
For instance, root veggies, winter squashes, carrots, turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, etc. Of all of the above, carrots are the most dense and need to be cut a little smaller than the rest to cook in the same amount of time.
Greens....brussels, (Kori B mentions) green beans, asparagus, cabbages (cabbages are big brussels, lol!) depend on how big they are, or how small you dice, or slice them.
Other veggies like cauliflower, red bell pepper or any peppers, onions (shallots), garlic, broccoli, mushrooms etc., can all be exciting combinations, but I would probably suggest roasting one type of veggie at a time. Once you get comfortable with a favorite, then you can start to combine them....it's addicting!
A few things to remember.
When you add oil, at least 2 tbls to a full roasting sheet, that adds 200 calories! But "fats", I don't believe, are an enemy, necessarily.....it's not WHAT you eat, but HOW MUCH you eat!
"Roasting" is a "winter time" cooking method. Can you imagine turning your oven up to 400 degrees on a hot July afternoon? Summertime is for "grilling". Also keep in mind the difference between "winter" and "summer" veggies and that can determine whether or not your roast, or grill. We live in a country where winter and summer veggies are available year round, but I find being conscious of seasonal foods is a habit that saves money and helps you develop a style of cooking that is true to our nature.....whatever that means, lol! If you place importance on seasonality, then fine....but if you don't......pick up some strawberries for dessert!
The difference between "roasting" and "grilling".....both are "dry heat" methods of cooking, and both require a hot pan, or hot grill top to start. Put your roasting pans in the oven to pre-heat while you're cutting your veggies....the same as you would start your grill, get it hot and then place food on top of the hot grill.
The best way to learn is to "do"! Look up some other roasting recipes to find the "common theme", and go for it! Don't be afraid, and don't be intimidated....it's just cooking!
And remember....I'm not an expert when it comes to cooking, I just cook! Alot.
The above photos show 2 heads of cauliflower I roasted tonight, for soup tomorrow. Also, I cut one butternut squash in half and placed on a oiled 1/2 sheet pan, (don' worry about the seeds or the skin....it's so much easier to clean the seeds out of squash, and scoop it right out of the skin after it's cooked!), at the same time, in the same oven, for soup that I'll make tomorrow night.
I've had alot of anger show up during my yoga classes these past few months. Anger, depression, feelings of defeat, and failure. Feeling angry is not fun, and I don't like it! Anger is not pretty. Anger is "hard", not soft. Anger is not yoga. What am I so angry about?
Well, if I had to answer that question off the top of my head I would say that I'm angry that my practice sucks....it sucks compared to my practice 1 year ago. At least I think it sucks. My practice is harder than it's ever been, and up until recently I blamed it on the extra bodyweight I had gained over the past year. Think about it.....put a 20lb backpack on and try to do all of the same physical stuff you normally do.....try some yoga poses with a 20lb backpack on and let me know how that goes for you! Was I angry about the extra weight? Hell yes. OR was I angry because I let this extra weight take my practice from me, a practice I was proud of, and worked hard for. Yikes, did I just become a victim of this extra bodyweight? It was time to take it back! Take back my ability, my talent, my skill and my hard work.
For months I suffered being a victim of this extra weight. I let my bodyweight keep me from felling good about myself, keep me from having a good practice, keep me from being proud of my practice. It still affects me....I'm not perfect. Yesterday was a good example because it put me to the test....seriously! You should of heard me swearing under my breath and fighting the "pissy" look I'm sure I was trying to hide on my face! My emotions ran the whole gamut.....disappointment at who was teaching, avoidence because I wanted to skip class and just go home, determination because I wasn't going to give up and let it get to me, calmness because I knew if I didn't remind myself to stay calm it was going to feel like torture, and I'm tired of feeling tortured in yoga....it's painful....now sometimes I can embrace pain, you know, "No pain, no gain", but that's physical pain....different than emotional pain. Then, to top things off, I didn't like what I wore to class.
I know what's important in my yoga practice, I wrote about it just hours before class. Stillness....do you know how hard it is to look straight into your own eyes and be still? Look into your own eyes and remind yourself that you're capable, strong enough, soft enough, smart enough, that you're going to be OK....more than OK?
I survived. I did better than survive, I left in a better mood than I came with. My practice was good, I still don't like this teachers class but who knows, she may become my favorite! I'll be sure and let you know if that happens!
PS I just looked at the yoga class schedule for the next week, and guess who's teaching my next class? Yep!
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Anyway..... My Bikrams practice has been my biggest challenge these past months and I made some changes about a couple of months ago that has helped a great deal....attitude changes! Those changes, which I'll write about when I get home later today, has gotten me to the point of my practice starting to improve again.....my practice had taken a nosedive, and it's a miracle I didn't quit....seriously, I wanted to quit.
So, later today, I'll find myself standing in the front row of class staring into my own eyes, for 90 minutes, smiling....at myself.....seeing beauty, feeling strong, feeling flexible, and practicing stillness inbetween the postures. Stillness is where I find compassion, for myself. Stillness is where I feel love, for myself. Stillness is where I find forgiveness for myself.
Compassion to not judge. Love, to know why I'm here. And forgiveness to let go and find relief.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Back to food and eating. I was talking with a good friend this morning about temptations....really good, well prepared foods, that were available to her at her workplace. Everyday, every single day. Quick, delicious, high quality, healthy (? only in the correct quantity!), foods....at her fingertips, and all she had to do was order it, and pay for it.......how does one choose? Not WHAT to eat, but HOW MUCH, and when to STOP eating all of that good, high quality, gourmet, healthy, nutritious, freshly prepared food?
So, in our conversation, her question to me was, how can I resist? Well, "resist" wasn't her word, but that was the bottom line feeling. I used my own analogy of how I was able to "resist" fast food for over 4 years now. In fact I haven't had to "resist" it at all! Why? Because it's not attractive to me anymore, there's absolutely no "resistance".....I find it disgusting, and therefore it doesn't bother me to not eat it. What changed from the days, the years, of eating fast food daily....yep, like many of Americans, I ate fast food daily. I can tell you, right now, my favorite fast food meal:
3 regular cheeseburgers ($3.00)
6 chocolate chip cookies ($2.00)
maybe some fries.....
maybe a softdrink.... (the cookies were the important part!)
Almost every single day. And if the drive-through line was too long, I'd sit in my car cursing all of the "idiots" in front of me keeping me from my food.
So what McDonald's wasn't "gourmet", it was still de-li-cious....to me!
I dont care if you eat at McDonald's, PF, freakin', Chang's, Olive, freakin', Garden, Red, freakin', Lobster, Some super high end resturant, like French, freakin' Laundry, temptation is temptation.
I'm not saying that I don't eat too many calories....I must, because I've increased my bodyweight by 20lbs this last year.....so I'm eating more than my body needs to maintain a lower bodyweight....that's the "science" behind it. Calories in, calories out.
But I'm searching for the bigger picture.....
Sure, science may have to be respected, but science doesn't explain everything.
Tracy! Where are you going with this? Good Lord!
My point is....are we tempted because we feel as if we have to resist? Resist what? Resist all of the great foods available to us. Guess what? We will never run out of good food. I don't need anyone else to make it for me, I can make it all by myself.
Pasta. I can make any kind of pasta I want to. I have plenty of dried pasta in my pantry, and I have fresh pasta in my freezer (well I guess that doesn't qualify as "fresh", lol). and the knowledge to make any kind of sauce my little heart desires. Creamy, cheesey, meaty, whatever.
Desserts. Why do you think I don't keep flour in my house? Because I don't know how to bake? Yeh right! I used to host an annual Xmas Cookie Exchange just so I could make dozens and dozens of cookies....get my friends to make dozens of cookies too, and then exchange with eachother so I could have, and EAT more cookies. My "signature" dessert was a Mocha Trifle made with homemade pastry cream....I can bake with the best of them!
I keep only small amounts of ingredients like coconut milk.....I'd make rice pudding everyday. Popcorn.....I'd make kettlecorn everyday....and speaking about sugar, I buy the smallest boxes of C&H sugar as possible, as not to ever have a ton of it in the house! Nuts....and never nut butter....good Lord, nuts can get out of hand. I don't even keep fruit preserves (jelly) in the house. Jelly can turn anything into dessert. Yogurt....isn't yogurt ice cream? And speaking of ice cream.....I only by the flavors I don't like .
Enough already. The point?
Do I not keep these things in the house, or if I do I keep them "out of sight", because I'm so tempted by them I wouldn''t be able to control myself? OR, does God (the Universe) give me the strength I need, on any given day to focus, (or not focus) on the fact that I can have anything I want, anytime I want it, and therefore relieving me of the "urgency" of getting all I can before it's all gone?
Am I making any kind of sense? Seriously.....
Don't focus on resistence. Don't focus on what you can't have. Don't focus on what you don't have. Don't focus on what's "unfair"....life can seem unfair, unless we choose to see something different.
I'm not saying I'm perfect. And I'm not saying that I don't have my head up my ass some of the time....I do. BUT, I know the difference of putting my own head up my ass, and playing the victim of "life" putting my head up my ass....if it's there, it's because I put it there.
I'm a long story teller.....
My life is speeding at 100 mph......
So much insight, so much self discovery, so many revelations, growing, evolving, finding relief, at light speed I can't type fast enough.....
I will never be fat again, that I know.....no fear of being fat again....
because......I will never be hungry
My life is full of abundance......especially food.....too much food...
If you live in this country, at this time in history, the choices available to you are great. (period)
What the hell are we complaining about? We have too much? Too "F-ing " bad for us, huh?
Cry me a river.
I will never be hungry , go hungry, in fact just the opposite.
High quality problem.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Lots of other stuff you can put on candy pizza, or desert pizza like;
chocolate chips, or other flavored chips
Not that I'm trying to encourage this kind of eating, but part of my new New Years attitude is to lighten up...at least I made it myself! And if I can do it, drunk and blind, then it has to be easy.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Ground meat. Good Lord, the only meat I ever bought before I knew how to cook was ground beef.....seriously, that's it. I'm searching my memory....oh, OK, maybe some chicken...but I didn't know how to cook it...OK, I didn't know how to cook ground beef either, I just dumped it in a non-stick pan and cooked it to death, I'd add some jarred spaghetti sauce, then I'd add some over cooked, under salted, spaghetti noodles (that's before I called it "pasta", lol), and voila....dinner. (do hot dogs count as meat?)
But the one "recipe" I always, kinda, knew (and still use), was my mothers meatloaf. Plain and simple;
ground beef (2 lbs...why make meatloaf if you not going ot make a BIG one, lol)
egg (1 or 2 I don't remember)
oatmeal (no specific kind, like "old-fashioned", or "quick", but at least 1 cup)
ketchup (I go by "look", but probably 1/2-3/4 c....not tomato sauce, but good 'ol ketchup)
salt and pepper (maybe pepper! But at least 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt....kosher.)
Form into a loaf and bake in oven for 30-45 minutes @ 375-ish until done. (use an insta-read thermometer and bake until 165 degrees)
It's amazing how many people I talk with about food, and their mothers basic meatloaf recipe is always similar! My aunt Virginia used to create these "ditches' with her fingers in a diagonal pattern on the top of her meatloaf and actually fill them in with extra ketchup! (I copied her "fancy technique")
The only changes I make in this original recipe is....I add veggies now! I start with a minimum...onion. Diced celery, diced stems of any greens I may use, mushrooms, jalapeno (of course!), and sometimes greens like chard sliced into thin strips, etc. I saute the diced veggies, and the add the greens if I'm using them, let them cool, and add to the meatloaf mixture. I almost always use a combination of beef, pork and veal, ground meats.....but I don't trip on any details......
Back to meatballs....speaking of details. Meatballs are simply small meatloaf, aren't they? I think so! So how do you make meatballs? Well, let's look at the basic ingredients:
Meat.....ground. Beef, chicken, turkey, pork, sausage, what else is there? Whatever it is it'll work...don't trip!
A "binder". Usually and egg....or two
A "filler". Oatmeal, breadcrumbs, (if you have breadcrumbs or know how to make them, then you already know how to cook, lol....no one buys breadcrumbs if they don't know how to use them!), cooked rice, barley or some other grain (be creative), etc.
Some kind of tomatoey stuff! Ketchup, diced tomato, tomato sauce, tomato paste (be careful with this one it's highly concentrated).
Salt (and pepper...if you like pepper). I use 1 t. of kosher salt per pound of meat. Sea salt and regular iodized salt is more concentrated, so I would use slightly less.
A few tips....
Don't "overwork your meat". In otherwords, the less you "stir" the better. Get your ingredients incorporated with as little mixing as possible, or it will make your meat tough. Use your hands!
Let meat come closer to room temperature before you mix it and it will be easier to NOT overmix. I always take my meat out of the fridge at leat 1 hour before I plan on cooking it, more like 2 hours....use you own judgement, but the colder the meat, the likelier you are to overcook it trying to heat it all the way through.
If you mess it up, then try again. Meatloaf and meatballs are hard to taste before they're cooked....because they're raw! But always use your own tastebuds to judge what needs to be adjusted. If you don't use enough salt this time, you can always add salt as you to them after they're cooked....but take note...add more next time.
Practice, pratice, practice! Whether it's meatballs, meatloaf....whatever "recipe" or cooking method you decide to try, you have to do it again right away, and as often as you have time or energy to! That's why I started this blogpost about how I was into making them for a couple of weeks. After the first time I tried, I did them again right away, and then again, and again. Each time slighlty differently because I made the adjustments I felt (and tasted!) that needed to be made.
The best recipe is one you don't need....and learning to make things based on knowledge you have from experience is the only way to cook without recipes. The only way to gain knowledge and experience is by doing something, repeating it, so often it becomes effortless....second nature.
How do you cook meatballs?
Well, once you form them into balls, there's a couple of things you can do with them.
1) Saute them in a pan until brown on all sides and add them to soups, pastas, sandwiches, etc. But this uses extra oil to for the browning process (browning adds extra flavor too....so it's a trade off). Or you could simply...
2) Dump the formed meatballs into hot soups, or sauces cover with lid until meatballs are cooked through. This shouldn't take more than 10 minutes or so if your meatballs are about 1 1/2 inches diameter....if they're super huge, 2-3 inches then use common sense...they'll take longer! In fact if they're seriously big, then you may want to turn the heat back up, and cook them in near boiling soup or sauce.....make an adult decision, people!
3) Freeze them indivually and save them for another time.
I chose to dump the meatballs into my soup as not to add anymore calories/oil to my food. In fact with one batch of soup I used a 2 tbl scoop and never used my hands to form balls, I just used the scoop and dropped them into the soup.
PS If you chose to add diced veggies to your meatloaf/meatballs then sauteed red bell pepper is a nice addition, as is some red pepper flakes. Oh, and by the way....I am in NO way an expert on cooking.....I just cook....alot.
PPS The top picture I actually took the time to form balls, lol! The second picture is my bean and bacon soup w/ground turkey thigh meatballs and chard. The last picture is the same basic bean and bacon soup with collard greens and beef/pork meatballs. Of course I make my soup in the pressure cooker, but I didn't bother to form the meatballs into round balls, I just 'scooped' them into the boiling hot soup, replaced the lid and let them cook in the residual heat for about 5-10 minutes (the meatballs were already at room temp when I added them to the soup).
PPPS blogposts about food and recipes are THE most time consuming......that should give a clue as to my passion about homecooking. This blog is about food and eating as much as it is about anything.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
We are still in the first days of the New Year, and of course like every other start of a new year, we reflect. We reflect and think about how we want our lives to be different, usually, of course, better. Wouldn't it be nice to reflect on all of the good stuff too! Yes, theres are alot of sucky things that happen, or sucky choices we make, but like I wrote about at the end of the last blogpost....If I could've, I would've! I know more than I did the year before, and based on that I'll think of some fun stuff to change. Why so much pressure? If anything, one of my goals is to "lighten up"! Good Lord....
"Goals", "resolutions", "challenges".
One of my goals in 2006 was to weigh 132lbs by my April RKC. did I accomplish that? Yep. But with my next Cert coming up fast in Feb., there's no way I'm going ot weigh 132lbs, much less 142lbs.! Why can't I just make it a "goal"? I'm not motivated, that's why. It's just not that important to me, because I'm not at the same place....or whatever.... Goals should motivate action, not de-motivate.
A resolution I've made every year, since I can remember, was to stop saying the "F" word! I seemed to have forgotten about that one this year, because it never crossed my mind until right now....I've given up.....am I a bad person because I use the "F" word? Or because I don't care any more? Resolutions should motivate action.
A challenge I gave myself last year was to practice yoga 365 days....you know how many classes I was able to attend? 338.......short by 27 classes..... Was the challenge about the "exact" number, or was it to prove something? Should I feel bad about myself because I only went to 338 "F-ing" yoga classes last year (you know, part of me does....high quality problem huh?)? Challenges should motivate action.
If setting a goal, making a resolution, or challenging yourself in a way that's only going to make you feel bad about yourself, then what's up with the self torture? Who's judging us? We are.
2010 Goals, resolutions, and challenges
Train less....cut out the "junk miles". (blogpost to come)
Eat only foods I love. )(I already do, but enjoy it more)
Drink only wine I love (I already do, but enjoy it more)
Wear high heels at least twice a month (Mark says...."yeah, to and from bed", lol)
Smile more....at myself!
Listen to only happy music.
Own less, give more away......the true 60 day challenge (more to come)
Be the kind of spouse, mother, sister, friend I want to have.
Say the "F" word all I want to.....I may not want to as much now!
Stop having these "pretend" competitions with every other woman that walks the earth to be the "skinniest', the "strongest", the "prettiest"....good F-ing Lord I'm 46 years old, when is it going to stop?
Be happy for other people....truly.
Embrace the fact that I'm weird.
Relax, let go, breathe, move, stretch, open up, believe.
More to write about, but I'm off to sweat in yoga with my sweetie......
Monday, January 4, 2010
I looked up, online, one of the many definitions of "goal", and this one, "A dream with a deadline" seemed to hit it the nail on the head. "A dream with a deadline"....."a dream"......"a deadline".....
Maybe it's the "deadline" that I have a problem with.....no, maybe it's the "dream"..... why can't a goal be "A reality with a deadline"......or how about "factual actions with a deadline"...I don't know....
If I have a goal of losing 50 lbs, is that just a "dream"? And then I put a "deadline" on it....a "deadline" on a "dream"? Hmmnnn.... Why can't it be "reality" instead of a "dream"? It can be, and there's no rush , or "particular future date" to feel beter about yourself, no matter what you weigh....that's not a dream.
If I want to make a goal of 365 yoga classes next year, is that a "dream"? Well, the deadline is obvious....what if I don't, or can't do it, or change my mind? Can I change my mind? Or is that a cop out? What if it's not good for me to never take a day off? Should I ignore the importance of recovery just because I set a goal...had a "dream"? Well....it seemed like a good idea (goal, lol), but what's the "reality"? Am I more special if I go to yoga everyday? No, I think I'm special regardless of how many yoga classes I go to....that's reality! What do I need to prove?
What if my goal is to become debt free. Is that only a "dream"? I think the dream was spending all of that money....wake up, lol! OK, seriously.....
What if my goal is to lift a certain amount of weight, or run a particular distance in a certain amount of time...and have a deadline date to accomplish it. What if I can't, really, I can't....I'm too old, I'm injured, I'm just not as young or strong, or fast as I used to be....oh, guess what? I have a job, a family, bills, is 'lifting', or running, or competing (whatever) really that important? Does my Boss care? Does my husband/wife or kids care? What about them....what kind of goals, or dreams, do you have that include them?
What if my goal is to be a better mother/grandmother....is that just a dream? Does that have a deadline? Yes...today! It doesn't have to be a dream, I can make it a reality....no deadline.
What if my goal is to eat better.....could I have eaten better than last year? No! Why not? Because I didn't! If I could have, I would have....we all do the best we can, until we know better. Do I now know better? Well, I know more than I did last year, but not as much as I'll know next year! I'm doing the best that I can....we all do.
Just keep doing your best. Be your best, and you may never have to think about setting goals....about putting deadlines on your dreams......
PS I, in no way, think it's a bad idea, or silly, or dumb, to think of ways to challenge ourselves in order to practice being our best, or wanting to be better or more committed at the things we chose to do in our lives....go for it!
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Of course I didn't check my last workout, I thought I'd remember...but I didn't! Meg remembered we had done 70 sets....that sounded familiar, so I went with it.....here's my breakdown:
6/6 x 2 (12 reps)
7/7 x 2 (14 reps)
8/8 x 68 (544 reps, unbeknownest to me, until 5 minutes ago, this was a serious PR!)
72 sets total
570 snatches in 36 minutes
here's the last Max w/16kg workout;
5/5 x 4
6/6 x 6
7/7 x 10 (20 sets, 126 snatches up to this point)
8/8 x 42
7/7 x 8
70 sets total
518 16kg snatches in 35 minutes
As you might notice.....in my previous workout I took 20 sets before I started 8/8, this week I only took 4....yikes. Also I ended the workout with 10 sets of 7's.....this time I took the 8's all the way to the end. 42 sets of 8's compared to 68 sets of 8's....good Lord that's a PR of 26 sets, and a snatch total PR of 52 additional snatches.
Oh, and in addition to my neck "crunching and munching", my right hand tore open with 20 sets left in the workout....and I've got the bloody socksleeve to prove it....ouch! But it reminded me of the "old days" when tearing open my hands happened practically every week with Max.....even with the 12kg! Battlescars.....
I'll add Megs workout when she emails it to me. I wasn't paying much attention to anything else yesterday because I had been too focused on fixing my back and neck. what kind of workout partner am I?
6 sets of 5 reps (30)
6 sets of 6 reps (36)
6 sets of 7 reps (42)
54 sets of 8 reps (432)
72 sets total
540 total snatches (1080 snatch points!)