Friday, May 28, 2010

Why are Bananas Junk Food?

These days I'm finding it harder and harder to write blogposts, so when I do start writing I tend to try and express an opinion without telling the whole here's what I meant when I said that bagels and bananas are junk foods.....

First of all let me say that I noticed that the comment on my last blogpost left by Paul, asked me the question...."why are bananas junk food?" BUT not "why are bagels junk food"! We all know, or should know, the false security of "low calorie", "no fat" bagel....right? (most bagels are around 400 calories btw...that's with nothing on butter, cream cheese jelly, etc...) Remember the 80's when muffins were all the rage? I mean the super big "Rebecca'a Mighty Muffins"? But they're made with bran......doesn't that make them healthy? But what about the false secruity of the harmless "low calorie" banana?

Since I am a former "fat person", I feel I can use the phrase "fat person", and to me, usually, it describes someone that is at least 40-50lbs overweight....(and more, lots more....although I do recognize the "skinny fat", but that's another blogpost) Anyway......most people that are fat really do want to lose weight, that I believe, but..... No one wants to be uncomfortable doing it, so most people try and justify what they already eat as "not that much". In fact, I can't tell you how many times someone asks me for diet advice and then claims that they can't figure out what they are currently eating that's so bad, because they barely eat anything at all! Or, they make the claim "I eat pretty healthy".....what does that mean? Most people overweight in this country today eat very little fresh foods, like veggies, but most never even eat fruit, unless it's a banana!

Without fail, seriously, without fail, put a fat person on a diet, and when given the choice of one fruit a day, guess which fruit they pick? I'll give you a's not an apple. Stereotyping? Well, whatever...I've heard it enough times to believe it.

To me bananas are the "potato" of fruits.....potatoes are low in calories too, but why do they affect the body differently than most other vegetables? Bananas are super sweet, and super dense, and high in calories, as far as fruits go (so are mangos BTW), I believe bananas can affect our body composition differently than other fruits, similar to how potatoes affect us differently than other veg. But why is this a problem? Because most overweight people already overeat....that's the problem! What keeps them from overeating healthy bananas (and bagels)? Nothing.....they still overeat these foods. I've never met a person who has lost a significant amount of weight eating bananas as their "fruit of choice".

I've made public my own "weightloss menu" as including a yogurt/fruit/fiber shake as my lunch meal. In fact, this shake combination was my daily lunch for at least one year, but I used blueberries as my main fruit. When I did use banana, I never used a whole banana, it was always 1/2 of a banana. If I remember correctly here's the recipe;

1 cup plain yogurt (unflavored, unsweetened, not nonfat, but mostly 2% Fage)
3/4 cup frozen blueberries
2 tbl psyllium fiber

tons, and tons, and tons, of ice

& sometimes the leftover morning coffee....

it was a "treat" to use 1/2 banana!

Bottom line....recognize starchy foods, calorie dense foods, super sweet fruits and veggies (beets, sweet potatoes, etc.), and don't fool yourself into thinking you can overeat these foods and still lose weight. Here's a list of seasonal fruits that are much better choices....

strawberries (if you eat strawberries at any other time of the year, then shame on you)
cherimoya (I've been paying $3.99 lb for these at the market!)

grapes (my favorite)
berries (this includes blueberries)
figs (moderation)
melons (go hog wild...I do, lol)
nectarines and other stone fruits like,
peaches and

asian pears (and all I see some cheese in the picture?)

blood oranges
passion fruit

Of course I kid around about eating "out of season" fruits.....if you don't mind eating fruits grown and trucked/shipped from other parts ot the world, then knock yourself out! But seriously....for the life of me I really don't understand why, when there are so many food choices in every season....well, maybe not winter, but winter foods are wonderful in their own way....anyone would have to eat strawberries in the Winter, BUT, we do live in modern times, and if it's available, and you have the money, and not the conscience....again. I'm kidding.....

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Where's the Food?

I've been dying to write or post something about food....afterall this blog is about Thought, Body AND Food.

Since I started this blog I've changed the title a couple of times. The original title was Food, Body, and Thought....kind of like a play on the phrase "Food for Thought", but then, actually, I don't remember the first title change (and I'm too lazy to look back right now...who cares anyway?), but here I am....Transforming Thought.....Body.....and then Food...(is that right?)...anyway....

Some time ago I realized that one had to change how they think, yep, "think" about food and how they think about their body, so transforming one's thoughts about food could change how food affected their physical body, or visa versa. So transforming thought had to come first. Well....once the thoughts were changed then the body would follow, right? Makes sense to me.

I wrote a blogpost a while ago about the "chicken or the egg" theory.....which comes first? Changing how you think about yourself, and therefore through some miracle you start to eat better foods, or eat less, or eat the same damn crap but not gain weight?

Genetics, sme-netics....sorry I don't believe in "genetics". Why is it that some people can seem to eat whatever they want to and never gain weight? But's not that way for all of the siblings in the family....just one...the "special" one, (lol). Hell, these days look around, there's not even one "special" family member that is thin (skinny), everbody is fat. Of course we blame it on junk foods...whatever....back to the point.

What is the point? The point is that one, you, me, must start to see the vision, the hope, the possibilities, the trust, the knowing.....of what? Food is blood. We cannot live without it. Oh sure.....remind me of how water is more important than food....but give me a break.....good God.

Over the past, almost 5 years of maintaining a 100lb weightloss I've been motivated to count calories, I've been motivated to obsess over "working out", and I've been motivated to starve myself. But these things do not motivate me anymore.

I can only stand guard of my calories for so long. I can only pound myself into the ground for so long. I can only deprive myself for so long....and then what?

All I can do now is to focus on what, and how I want to feel. I want to feel light. I know what it feels like to feel light and I like it. I want to feel young, I know what it feels like to feel young after so many years of feeling old, and I like feeling young more, lol. I want to feel secure. I thought that eating everything in sight made me feel vindicated of all of the "things" taken from me or all of "wrongs" done to me, but I was the one doing myself one else was, or is keeping score.

This is what I know or what I think about food.....

I'm not obsessed over eating only "organic foods" anymore. I haven't been to a Farmers Market in, at least 6 months. I managed to lose over 120lbs without ever eating an organic vegetable (or meat....or doing a TGU, lol....another blogpost for another time....). I do believe in supporting local farming and foods, but the stress of being perfect is not worth it. I do love shopping at Farmers Markets, because I love to shop, lol....but I don't stress about it anymore. More importantly is cooking and preparing all of you own foods....which I do, and I love, love, love to do. I love food prep, I love cooking, and I love that I know how to feed myself.

If you claim to be a vegetrarian, or vegan, and you don't prepare and cook most of you own foods, then shame on you. You should know more about every kind of vegetable, grain, nut/seed, legume, etc.... from seasonality, to preparation, and nutrition. Unlike my nephew, a vegan in his mid 20's, who asked me how to pick a ripe tomato, and who also admitted that he didn't know how to cook beans....what? Who feeds you? Good freakin' Lord!

Sugar and fat are not the enemy....neither are "carbs"....get over it. But be realistic.....bagels and bananas are junk some fresh veggies everyday.....if broccoli and carrots are the best you can do then so be it, but realize there are tons, yep tons, of other veggie choices.

This is your life. What can you live with, and what can you live without? Things change, thoughts change, feelings change, foods change.

I used to, without fail, have some kind of salad pre-prepared and ready to eat with homemade schedule has changed and I have found it hard-er to find the energy to shred vegetables! (hey, this shit takes time....but I love it) My pressure cooker always saves the day with chilis, stews, soups, grains and all kinds of homemade goodness, BUT being around big, fresh, hot, huge batches of food "triggers" something inside of me to overeat....

I love food and I'm not apologizing for it. I love training kettlebells, and Bikrams, I love walking even though I haven't made more time for it. I love taking my afternoon nap. I love my red wine, and cheese and I will not believe that it's bad for me.

My life rocks! Lucky me. (thanks Sweetie)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

16kg Downhill Snatch Ladder

Tuesday morning I swing with my 6am class for about 45 minutes @ Girya (today we also added in snatches and goblet/front squats), and then I head off to Equinox to train my 2nd Max Vo2 "based" workout of the week.

I haven't been snatching the 16kg regularly for quite a while, but I was inspired on Saturday to test this snatch ladder combination w/16kg after doing it with the 12kg. Meg and I usually do some sort of a Max "based" workout for a solid 30 minutes (60 sets of 15/15), and then I have us train at least one long set of snatches or a swing/snatch combination for at least 5 minutes straight. Well, I decided to do a snatch ladder, start at 1/1, 2/2, 3/3...etc...until the end of a 5 minute minimum timed set, because I had no idea how high on the rep ladder we could get. It ended up, almost perfectly, with about 10 seconds to spare, snatching at an extremely moderate pace, all the way up to 10/10! I love it when I discover "even numbered rep combinations", lol.

If you added up rep ladders as much as I have, then you know 1-10 = 55, so if you do 1-10 on both sides that must = 110! Let's see, 110 snatches in 5 minutes transferring 19 times ain't bad. Mark commented that it may be a good strategy for the 5 minute snatch test, so I thought I'd give it a go with the 16kg....(guess what we're doing on Sat, Meg? lol)

But apparently the bell slows way down the heavier it gets, lol! I was able to complete it in 5 1/2 minutes. Drats! As Mark says...."It's all easy 'til it's heavy"

I got to the first part of set 3/3, by the 5 minute mark, but needed 30 seconds to finish the 2nd #3 reps, then 2/2, 1/1 for a total of 9 snatch reps after the 5 minute mark. That means I completed 101 snatches in the five minutes using this I still would pass the RKC snatch Requirement, but who wants to pass it, barely? I've got more work to do with the 16kg.....


FYI My Sweetie just bought me 4 each of the new 14kg and 10kg Dragondoor Military Grade I lucky girl or what? Although the incremental weight difference may seem small, for us women, and most of my class students are women, this is going to add a whole new level of fun! (not to mention making the RKC a more challenging weekend for us women....I'll write more about my opinion on that another time) Just click on the new Kb size you want to order and it'll take you right to the site....woo, freakin' hoo!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Enough about me....isn't my little Sophie the cutest, or what?

So, I walk in my daughter-in-laws house, after 2 weeks absence, and here's what my granddaughter Sophie is doing, pigtails and all.....sitting up all by herself! She is the most precious thing, and it kills me that I live 1 1/2 hours away from her.

She is saying Ma-Ma, Da-da, and making "raspberries".

I already have plans for her to be our flowergirl when Mark and I renew our wedding vows near our 25th wedding anniversary. I'll probabaly spend more on her dress than mine, lol!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thursday's workout is ususally double KB's

Thursday I get to Equinox to swing on my own from 7:00-7:30am, which is fine by me because I ususally play around with some swing combination ideas that will inspire me for my Saturday classes. Here's my first swing workout this morning....remember, I have my intermediate KB class to follow....

12kg workout #1

20 2 hand swings 30 sec work/rest x 5 sets
20 transfers, 30 sec, work/rest x 5 sets

40 2 hand swings 1 min work, 30 sec rest
30 2 hand sw, 10 tr, 1 min. work, 30 sec rest
20 2 hand sw, 20 tr, 1 min work, 30 sec rest
10 2 hand sw, 30 tr, 1 min work, 30 sec rest
40 transfers, 1 min work, 30 sec rest
30 tr, 10 2 hd sw, 1 min work, 30 sec rest
20 tr, 20 2 hd sw, 1 min work, 30 sec rest
10 tr, 30 2 hd sw, 1 min work 30 sec rest

40 2 hd sw, 1 min work 560 swings

23.5 minutes work

DBL 12's, and 24kg Clean press, clean squat, heavy swing workout #2

after about a 10 minute warm up of swings and single clean press, clean squats.....

#1 one 12kg, clean press R x 5, clean press L x 5 (one clean, 5 presses), 30 sec work, rest
#2 two 12kg's, dbl clean, dbl press (clean inbetween each press) 30 sec work, rest

repeat 5 times = 10 minutes

#1 one 12kg, clean, 4 squatR, clean, 4 squat L x 5 (1 clean, 4 squats), 30 sec work, rest
#2 dbl 12's, dbl clean squat x 6 (clean before each squat), 30 sec work, rest

repeat 5 times = 10 minutes

10 sets of 10 rep 2 hand swings w/24kg, 15 sec work/rest = 5 minutes

10 2 hd sw w 24kg, alternate with
10 1 hd sw R, 10 1 hd sw L, 30 sec work, rest

x 10 sets each = 15 min.

10 sets of 10 2 hd sw w/ 24kg, 15/15 = 5 min.

400 swings 25 minutes

total workout approx 55 minutes

Workout #3 Beginners class (equal work to equal rest)

I did a "pacing" workout that I'll post another time..... Pacing is one of my techniques that I demonstrate in my DVD and I'll be talking more about in the following weeks. But, basically I swung the 12kg for another 30 minutes using the "equal work to rest" ratio which should translate into about an additional 600 swings.

total workout time approx 1 hr 48 minutes....and then off to Spin (I survived over 45 minutes!).....shower (Equniox's showers are impossible to resist....better than home!) to Girya for windmills, bent press, and one last PT client before I stop at the Wine Club on my way home......whew!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Video is's in the can......

Wow, has a full week passed since I had one of the greatest thrills of my KB life? Yep! Last Sunday, I, along with Mark and Dave Whitley, was asked to do a workshop to present some of our training secrets to a group of kettlebell enthusiasts. First I'll talk about me......afterall this is MY blog, lol!

I presented, "Training the Kettlebell Swing." I've heard all kinds of things said about what I do , or how I train with the kettlebell. Everything from...."You don't have to do thousands of swings.", "You know, all she does is swing.", and "Did she get all that muscle just from swinging a kettlebell. Really? Well maybe some people don't have to do 1000's of swings, but ask someone like Bud Jefferies, who has discovered, after me I must say, the importance to high volume swing training. No one has to do anything. Why do people run a marathon? No one calls it "high volume running". Who needs to run 26 one time?

And as far as "all I do is swing"....high volume swing training produces, without a doubt, some of the most amazing results when it comes to increasing ones level of fitness. No matter how young or old, how "athletic" or "non-athletic" a person is (ask any of the workshop particpants whether or not what I taught them was challenging...and intense). I had, at one time, in the middle of my workout presentation had a super fit, super strong, young kid (young kid to me, lol) "knock knuckles" with me because he "got it". Yep, this former fat girl, now woman of 46 years old, was putting him through a fun and challenging my life good (and rewarding) or what?

Here's some of the highlights.....enjoy!

In this video clip I explain one of my training strategies, which is "distraction". Distraction may not be best word to describe what is actually more of a "re-focusing". Re-focusing is about how to program small rep progressive swing combinations (10-20-40 reps), so the focus is not the crazy amount of work you're doing, but another simply complete an easily obtainable "set number combinations, or rotations of combinations. Guess what? The swings add up really, really quickly!

This is just a small piece of what I presented as my original methods, or original system of training the kettlebell swing. I mean , everyone knows that the swing is the thing, but who knows what to do with it? Me, that's who!

Swinging a kettlebell, will burn more calories, build more muscle, and is far more efficient at improving strength and conditioning than any other exercise, and I'm living proof. Training the KB Swing changes your body faster then anything I've ever seen. Women tell me their triceps pop out after two swing workouts, or they can actually feel their abdominal muscles (or any kind of muscle at all!). Students tell me they feel more, and look more, fit than they have in years, or even their whole lives! They start to notice the shape of their bodies changing in ways they never thought could happen, much less happen so quickly....Amen! of Mark's phrases...."The Kettlebell Won't Swing Itself." You still have to show up and swing! I'll be posting, soon, more details about what you can expect in my first DVD....the first DVD of many!

Mark's presentation focused on "Lats, the Super Muscle". An in depth and practical look on "Lats", where they are, what the do, and how to use, the second largest muscle in our bodies, to swing better, press better, build a better pull up, as well as stabilize the shoulder and hip at the same time. I can't wait for my copy! I learned so much, but like a good movie, you always catch something you missed the first time around. What you can learn about your "Lats" crosses over into all strength sports, but for me, it has already improved my teaching of kettlebell skills, and my own yoga practice, and has been of great value.

Dave's "Strong Man" presentation was nothing short of impressive.....wait until you see the frying pan he rolled up like a tortilla, and pushing a nail through a thick peice of plywood to pop a ballon on the other side.....with his bare hands! Some of you may already have seen Dave's "Sledgehammer Get-Up" that I video taped and Mark posted on his blog. then presented his interpretaion of how the "Get-Up is Foundation for all Tension Lifts"

Laree Draper is responsible for making one of my dreams a reality, and for that I'll be forever, and I mean forever, grateful.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thursday workout @ Equinox...and beyond!

I met with a private from 6:00am to 6:30am, then off to Equinox for a 7:00am start time.

7:00am first class (Kettlebell Calorie Burn)
40 2 hand swings, 1 min work/ rest x 5 sets = 10 minutes, 200 swings
40 swings, in progressive combinations, 1 min. work/30 sec. rest x 10 = 15 minutes, 400 swings
600 swings in 25 minutes

7:30am second class (Kettlebell Conditioning)

After about 10 minutes of swing combinations including snatches and clean/presses, the real work starts....

Double Kettlebells 12kg (Brian used two 16kg's)

All laddering sets worked at equal work/rest ratio using "I go, you go" timing.

dbl clean strict press uphill and down hill ladder
1/2/3/4/5/5/4/3/2/1 (total of 30 reps)
dbl clean jerks
1/2/3/4/5/5/4/3/2/1 (again total of 30 reps)
dbl snatch/negative press
dbl snatches
dbl clean squat

The hardest part of this workout was the very first rep of dbl would of been great to do a dbl swing first, to build momentum....but, I toughed it out and took the first rep straight off the floor.....if double snatches with two 12kg's are easy for you, then you "go"!

The workout continues..... I knew I wanted to slow things down before finishing, afterall the real work had been done, so now it was a little bit of fun combining all of the previous skills, but one kettlebell at a time!

I started by combining all 5 skills on my right side once, and then transferring to my left, it wasn't enough work, so I then performed each of the 5 skills twice on my right side before transferring to my left, twice, for a total of all 5 skills done 3 times in about 2 minutes....1 minute rest.

I finished the workout with two, 2 minute sets that used all 5 skills, done 3 reps at a time before transferring to the other side.

3 clean/press R
3 clean jerk R
3 snatch neg press R
3 snatch R
3 clean sq R
transfer L
3 clean press L,
3 clean jerk L,
3 snatch neg press L,
3 snatch L,
3 clean sq L

2 minutes work 1 minute rest x 2

done....except for about 15 minutes of swing /goblet squats and my 3rd class (Kettlebell 101) at 8:30-9:00am.

I teach the KB Swing 101 HKC style. Deadlifts, hovers, hike pass, swing (8:30am-9:00am)..... My one and only student, at this time, in this class has had about 6 previous classes with me so we get to the swings fairly quickly. I let her do most of the work, but again I probably did an additional few hundred swings. Ironically, my one and only KB 101 student is my Spinning teacher, Janet! (she told me today that my kb class is the workout she most looks forward to the whole week!)

Spinning for 45 minutes....I hate Spin, truly I do! And today was no exception. After I did a little Gravitron/hang/lat pulldown work, it was off to sit on that damn bike..... As I look at the timer on my bike.....barely 10 minutes....I wonder how I can possibly stay on that bike for 40-45 minutes (50 minutes is my max, as the Spin bike has no "cruise" option, it's pedal, pedal, pedal...). The hardest part of class was that today the music kinda gotta have the music! Spinning is like dancing in a bike....why else would you do it? (I lasted 45 + minutes a certain point you have to ask yourself, "Is one more minute going to make a difference? Why are you so obessesed with every second? I mean it about burning calories? Or training? A little of both.....we're getting there!)

Shower, and off to Girya for another private at 11:30am, and then....more training! By this time I barely have anything left, but as long as I'm working toward my goal of level 2 RKC, then I have to keep going. I warmed up with windmills, on to the bent press, Get-Ups, and a little pistol work before heading off to my last private lesson of the day, scheduled at 1:30pm.

Life is so freakin' great! 6:00am to 2:00pm, nothing but training....... Oh, but tomorrow my little Sophie! I can't wait, and the fact that my ass will probably be in a 5:30am yoga class to make it happen shows my commitment to my granddaughter and my training!

Lucky me.

*Video details. This video was taken after my workout, by Janet (my Spin teacher). It demonstrates each of the 5 progressive skills I used in my earlier workout. This video shows each of the 5 skills performed one time each side (R, L), but as I wrote, in detail, in this blogpost, the last two sets were done performing all 5 skills 3 x for about 1 minute before transferring to the opposite side, performing all three skills 3 times on the other side, for a total of a 2 minute set, with one minute rest......(we may have done this set 3 times, but I can't remember, lol!)

Monday, May 3, 2010

How the Reifkinds "Roll"

Yesterday was a great day! Mark and I, along with Dave "The Irontamer" Whitley, did an all day workshop together that was also video taped for production....woo hoo what a blast!

Anyway, here's a photo of me and Mark "foam rollering" as we listened to one of Dave's presentations and someone jokingly said, "Well I guess this is how the Reifkinds 'roll'!". I thought that was funny so I had him take a picture....more to come, lots more but I'm late for yoga this morning.....