Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What is Making, or Keeping, You Fat?

My favorite answer to the question, "How did you lose all of that weight?", is...."I stopped doing what was making me fat!" I knew, without a doubt, what I was doing that was making and keeping me fat....and making me fatter every year. Do you know what is making and/or keeping you fat? I think you do.

I'm writing the outline for a workshop I hope to do starting in Jan., and part of my research is to help others answer, for themselves, questions about how to lose weight's the best part....keep it off!

I would greatly appreciate, by way of comments, your answers to this question.

Also, is there something that you would like to know, in more detail, about my own weightloss? Maybe for yourself, a client, or someone you love.

If you want to share your thoughts, but keep them private, you can email me

Thank you so much for taking the time to, potentially, contribute to helping others with your experiences. I will keep everyone in the loop as this very important subject is developed into a workshop that will combine hope, inspiration, support, and motivation, using kettlebells, cooking/nutrition, bodyweight exercises, stretching, and pertinent scientific information relevant to the "real person" me!

Live to your Physical Potential. I hope I can help you want to do that.
Picture above is me teaching KB swings in the front window at Lululemon, Palo Alto! Could you ever imagine that the 2nd picture is of the same woman, weighing over 250lbs, 6 years earlier? Dreams and miracles happen....that I know, because that's my life, I live's never too late!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

HKC San Francisco

I had a blast this past Sunday at the first ever San Francisco HKC! An exhausting blast, but a blast nonetheless! Before I get into the details of the work and training, let me mention that this past weekend was also the same weekend of the Folsom St Fair....if you need to know what it's about then "google"'s a hint....kinky, fetish, freaky public display of all the fun and games San Francisco has to offer...on steriods! An interesting backdrop.....

Patrick Jerrnigan (RKC 2, Brazillian Jiu Jitsu practioner), hosted the Certification at Gracie Jiu Jitsu Studio on Howard St (1 block from Folsom), and we had a nice little group of, mostly, fitness professionals. I think most came with what they thought was a knowledge of how to train with kettlebells, but left with a new, and most certainly, deeper understanding of what it requires to be HKC, and RKC Certified.

I got the chance to take the candidates through one of my newly designed workouts, based on the drills used to teach the KB Swing (soon to be featured in a beginners DVD!), and another swing workout that teaches the Roundabout. No Goblet Squat Torture Chamber workout, but maybe next time!

A few little measley swing workouts is nothing compared to the 8 hours of teaching and coaching Mark put in. Using his expert eye he also was responsible for judging the technique demonstrated by each candidate in all 3 of the HKC skills....AND....the hardest part of all......judging whether or not they are qualified to teach the progressions that were just taught to them?

Here's a huge hint to all future HKC and RKC candidates who want to earn their Certification.....TEACH THE PROGRESSIONS....IN THE ORDER THAT YOU LEARNED THEM! That's all.

All in all, I love what we do.....seriously! Tempe HKC in about 4 weeks time! I can't wait! Keats Snideman is hosting, and Mark and I have been there before so we are familiar with his gym (Reality-Based Fitness, Tempe AZ). Keats and his wife Tammy were generous enough to invite us to stay in their freaky street fairs in AZ, but I'm expecting some good weather and, same as last time, good company!

PS the small picture at the top of the post was taken of a man, in a leather g-string, ass hanging out, across the street from the Studio....that was mild in comparision to all of the really cool crazinees of year? Be there, or be square! I can't wait to go back.....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Hungarian Snatch

The first time I really did some "hardstyle snatching" was this past February at my RKC recertification. Since the 14kg was not yet available, I was left with only two bell size choices to do all of my training with. The 16kg is too heavy to use for 3 days of training, but the 12kg too light. So, I had to make training with the 12kg as "hard" as possible. This is when I became real familiar with Hardstyle swings and snatches.

What's a hardstyle snatch? Well, I define it as the same as a hardstyle swing where a person puts as much speed on the backstroke as possible, in other words, throwing the bell behind you (using your lats and arms). A snatch is held over head of course, and that's where you get a bit of rest, whereas a swing has very little resting time at the top of the movement before you take it right into the next rep. A hardstyle snatch also has a powerful, crisp, lockout....technique is emphasized, not # of reps, or how fast you get those reps done. (Max)

Mark got an email from Peter Lakatos, Senior RKC Instructor, explaining and showing, him what Peter calls the "Hungarian Snatch". I believe this is similar to a hardstyle snatch, but Peters methods for training this tehnique is what makes it "Hungarian" (leave it to the Hungarians to take the snatch to another level!) Here's the link to Marks blog with more details, since I'm still learning the method myself,

I did a modified version of this type of training because, as I just mentioned, I don't have enough understanding of the method yet, so this was just a trail run prior to my Max based training yesterday.


10 minutes of 10 snatches per arm, rest inbetween sets
All 10 rep sets done hard, fast, crisp, and powerful, resting until heartrate comes back down to around 120ish. I didn't count them because I was too focused on gauging when it was time to pick the bell up again. I think I did 11 sets of 10 = 110. Next time I'll do the 200 reps required and time the length of the workout.

on to the rest of my's a version of last weeks snatch workout.

14kg snatches
16kg swings

7/7 x 1
10 2 hd sw x 1

7/7 x 2
10 2 hd sw x 2

7/7 x 3
10 2 hd sw x 3

7/7 x 4
10 2 hd sw x 4

7/7 x 5
10 2 hd sw x 5

22.5 minutes
210 snatches
150 swings

30 snatch sets
15 swing sets
45 sets total

Picture above is from my RKC this past February with my Team Leader Peter Lakatos (now Senior Instructor), Gerard Rush and Marcus Martinez.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Blender Diet...revisited

Here's a "blast from the past" blogpost I wrote almost 2 years ago (original post 10/16/08). I was reminded of it because I ended up having a smothie for dinner tonight! I haven't had a smoothie in a long time, but I wanted something cold, creamy, sweet, and other words, I wanted dessert!(although I made it a bit savory recipe below)

I often pose this question, when talking to someone about what kinds of foods they currently eat in their daily diet...."Would you put all of your days food, from breakfast to dinner, in a blender, blend it all up without adding additional water, and pour it down a kitchen sink that had no garbage disposal?" Most times that question creates the image of the point I'm trying to make.

First off, if you don't eat alot of fresh foods,(vegetables) all of your days food might break a blender! The sludge you're eating, when whipped up, would clog a kitchen sink! What's it doing after you force it down your esophagus? Do you wonder why you're constipated?

And then what would it taste like? Personally, most days I could say that I wouldn't have a problem taking my whole days food, blending it all together and eating it. It would be a loose consistency and because most every one of my meals is veggie based, it would probably taste like a green veggie smoothie, lol! (not as sweet...unless I happened to have a cookie binge that day, LOL!)

Now a whole days food is an dramatic example, so what about just one meal? How many of each of the meals you eat in a day could you blend together and still eat? What about the meals you feed your kids? If you're not eating enough fresh vegetables, are your kids?

Just some thoughts.

tonights smoothie....

plain yogurt (fage 2%)
maple syrup
1 cup frozen mammey fruit
2 tbl psyllium fiber
1/2 t. cinnamon
good pinch of salt and a good squeeze of lemon (yep salt)

I stirred in 1/2 c. cooked farro. (that's the savory bit!)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sophi....come for Grandma!

Sophi was not having a good's sucks getting older!

Sophi's big 1st birthday party and she was not having a good time!

Too many new faces, not enough freedom to run around.

She fell asleep between the maincourse, and cake! Sophi....Grandma needs cake!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Is Tomorrow Saturday? For Real?

OK, it's Friday night, and its probably way past my bedtime, but I'm having a bit of fun, as Friday nights tend to be, answering emails, fooling around on facebook, and almost forgetting that tomorrow morning is the hardest workout of my week (hard AND long....), lucky me!

Mark and I did a telephone interview today,, one of three interviews about our DVD's in the last three's amazing how adrenalized you get from public speaking.....whew! Back to real life....tomorrow....

Forget training....tomorrow is my grandaughter, Sophi's, first birthday party! Although she turned 1 year old 2 weeks ago, her "official" party is tomorrow. I have a full schedule at Girya in the morning, and then Mark and I are stopping by Doug Fioranelli's place, Rise Above Performance Training, in San Bruno, for their 1st year anniversary, before heading up to Fairfeild to celebrate with Sophi!

It's Sophi's Day! If I'm really lucky, she'll share her birthday cake with Grandma!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Same, but's all about me!

Couple of things....first, my second workout of the morning I did with my beginning class. It was a modified version of my Tues Max-based workout. Here it is...oh and Diana commented that I should file this one away's a keeper for sure!

15 set rotation 15:15 (work to rest ratio)

7 snatch R
7 snatcch L
10 swings (2 hand or dbls)
7 sn R, 7 sn L x 2 (4 sets total)
10 swings (2 hand or dbls)
7 sn R, 7 sn L x 3 (6 sets total)
10 swings

repeat each rotation as many times as you feel applicable! 7 1/2 minutes per rotation.

I did the same 15 set snatch/swing combination, rotations as Tuesday, but adapted it to the skill levels of all involved. Here's 3 different weight versions.....

Me.....double 8kg's for snatches, and a single 12kg for 2 hd swings (it was my second workout of the morning afterall. If it were my only workout, see my last post, or.....I would have chosen 12 kg's for double swings, or a 16kg for 2 hand swings....)

Scott.....male, no more than 160lbs, about 5'9" (36 years old...he told me!) 16kg for snatches, two 12kg's for swings.

Janet....tiny little Spinning teacher (and yoga), 5'2" and maybe a buck 10/15, and has been training high volume with me for about 5 months (age? I haven't asked, but she has a little grandchild like me...I think she's a bit younger?) 6kg for snatches, 10 kg for 2 hand swings.

The reason why I love this 15 set rotaton of 15:15 snatches and swings is that the 7 1/2 minute rotation lends itself, perfectly (OCD) to a 15/30/45 minute workout. It incorporatesfast snatches with the ultimate...swings! It ladders up, the difficulty, progressively, starting again at the bottom of the ladder with each rotation.

Swings are more difficult than snatches. If you don't believe me then do 80 sets of 10 rep swing sets with your snatch weight and let me know how it goes for you! I'll always chose to incorporate swings, (Swngs, the Center of the Kettlebell Universe), with snatches any day of the week.....


OK, so now, in the words of Master RKC Instructor Brett Jones, "It's all about 'thisguy'"("this guy" is all one word, lol), but in my case, it's all about "thisgirl".....

Jordan left our Studio to start his own business a couple of weeks ago, but he was generous enough to leave the DVD player he had mounted in the window behind (his own new Studio, Average to Elite, doesn't have walk by traffic the way Girya does. Girya being in the heart of downtown Palo Alto). So we popped in a copy of my new DVD, to play continuously, in the front window, along with a laminated copy of the article about my story, in Vitalics Magazine, about my amazing weightloss and physical transformation, using my methods of training the kettlebell swing.

I woke up this morning to an email from Pavel, with a glowing endorsement for my first DVD! Expect to see my DVD, along with Mark's DVD, "Lats, the Super Muscles", and Dave Whitley's DVD's, produced by Laree Draper, for sale on DragonDoor soon! But the best part is that I was asked to present some of my methods at furture RKC's and have some of them incorporated into the RKC curriculum! It's been a dream of mine to have a group of potential RKC's swinging in rythym to my instruction!

Dreams can come true!
Another dream? To live someplace else, like Hungary, for 3-6 months a year, training, teaching and coaching kettlebells! And cooking, of course.

Life is good. Transformations happen. Transforming body, lifestyle into miracles. If you can believe it, you can achieve it. I chose to believe.

It's Thursday Doubles Again....the Queen of Ladders strikes again.

Here was my first workout of the day, this morning. It's a bit tough to decipher, but you gotta be tough to do it. It lends itself to a partner as all sets are "off the clock" but done "equal work to equal rest", "I go, you go" fashion. (with the last 5 sets being the exception).

2 12kg's, laddering up reps, long cycle (long cycle means there is a clean before every press)

1 dbl cl/pr
2 dbl cl/pr
3 dbl cl/pr
4 dbl cl/pr
5 dbl cl/pr x 5

14kg single bell clean press, first on one side, rest and then the other, laddering up reps

1 sngl cl/pr R, rest L rest
2 sngl cl/pr R, rest L rest
3 sngl. cl/pr R, rest L rest
4 sngl cl/pr R, rest L rest
5 sngl cl/pr R, rest L rest

16kg snatch / negative press, both R and L, laddering up reps before rest

1 sn/ng pr R, tr, 1 L rest
2 sn/ng pr R, tr, 2 L, rest
3 sn/ng pr R, tr, 3 L rest
4 sn/ng pr R, tr, 4 L rest
5 sn/ng pr R, tr, 5 L, rest

dbl 12's, 16's the first set of dbl swing w/12's, the second set of 5 dbl swings w/16's, all dbl cl/pr done long cycle with 12's)

5 dbl sw rest, 5 dbl sw, rest x 5 rest

now add in dbl cl/pr, in an uphill ladder before every 12kg & 16kg dbl swing set

1 dbl cl/pr, 5 dbl sw, rest, 5 dbl sw, rest
2 dbl cl/pr, 5 dbl sw, rest, 5 dbl sw, rest
3 dbl cl pr, 5 dbl sw, rest, 5 dbl sw, rest
4 dbl cl/pr, 5 dbl sw, rest, 5 dbl sw, rest
5 dbl cl/pr, 5 dbl sw, rest, 5 dbl sw, rest

same weights, but laddering up the 12 kg dbl swings, in addition to laddering up the dbl cl/pr reps....the 16kg dbl swings stay at 5 reps

1 dbl cl/pr, 6 dbl sw, rest, 5 dbl sw, rest
2 dbl cl/pr, 7 dbl sw, rest, 5 dbl sw, rest
3 dbl cl/pr, 8 dbl sw, rest, 5 dbl sw, rest
4 dbl cl/pr, 9 dbl sw, rest, 5 dbl sw, rest
5 dbl cl/pr, 10 dbl sw, rest, 5 dbl sw, rest

let's just cut to the chase and end this the hard way!....dbl swings w/ 12's

20 dbl sw, 30:30 x 5

Approx 45-50 minutes

I'll be posting my second workout momentarily.....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday 35 minute Max based workout

This morning, after my 6-7:00am class at Girya, where the focus was on Swing pacing, my next stop is over to Equinox and here's the last 35 minutes of my Tuesday workout....enjoy!

Each snatch/swing rotation has fifteen, 15 second work/rest sets. The first rotation is only performed one time before increasing the number of snatch reps (by one per set), and then repeated 3 times in total. 60 sets of snatches and heavy swings = 30 minutes.

for snatches and 24kg for 2 hand swings

15 second intervals (work/rest)

1st rotation

7 snatch R, 7 snatch L x 1 (2 sets)
10 2 hd sw x 1
7 snatch R, 7 snatch L x 2 (4 sets)
10 2 hd sw x 1
7 snatch R, 7 snatch L x 3 (6 sets)
10 2 hd sw x 1

2nd, 3rd, and 4th rotation,

8 snatch R, 8 snatch L x 1 (2 sets)
10 2 hd sw x 1
8 snatch R, 8 snatch L x 2 (4 sets)
10 2 hd sw x 1
8 snatch R, 8 snatch L x 3 (6 sets)
10 2 hd sw x 1

total sets per rotation = 15 x 4 = 60 sets. 30 minutes.

10 2 hd swings x 10 sets 15:15 = 5 minutes 100 swings w/24kg

14kg snatches 276
24kg 2 hand swings 220

35 minutes

This past Saturday I started a new Max Vo2 cycle with the 14kg. I started with 50 sets of 8 with my Max-based class, but today was the second Max-based workout this week so I don't stick to the strict Max protocol of snatches.....I do so much other KB training that I modify Max to suit my own needs. Personally, I think swings are much more difficult, therefore productive in a different way, than snatches are. I will always mix in swings when designing maximum difficulty workouts....and 24kg swings? Goodness!

Monday, September 13, 2010

End of the Summer Salad

Well, it seems, weather wise, summer never really came....I'm actually expecting Summer to come in Oct. and Nov., somehow visualizing a Thanksgiving heatwave. But for now, it never got hot enough for a killer tomato season, and as I mentioned previously, the fruit left much to be desired.

But, I do have a freezer, semi, full of tomato soup and sauce, and it's not quite over yet, but Wayne's garden is out of stock! Wayne and his wife Carolyn have numerous fig trees that I'm still waiting word on, but no more $1.50 a pound, vine riped, home grown tomatoes. I'll have to settle for second best, in my book, and that is the farmers market. Still up to $3.50lb and lucky for me I can still afford to buy 10+ lbs for that extra stock of soup, and I will not rest until it's safely tucked away for a rainy day.

I've got 3 tomatoes left and 2 of them ended up in my "end of summer" salad. A mix of 3 or 4 left over olives, and 1/2 doz. hard boiled quail eggs started the inspriation. I think I only added some greens, red vinegar, about 1/2 t. sugar, and the olive oil the olives were brined in....whoops, I forgot the last of the summer corn.

Here's the thing I love about hard boiled quail eggs....because of the size and shape, somehow, the yolks stay surrounded by their whites, even after you toss the salad...weird? I did end up shopping at a larger Vietnemese market where the quail eggs had an expiration date, and I feel much better. I also decided to continue to buy my little frozen, individual size, frozen quail in the same market. $6.99 for six as opposed to $14.99 for four....I had to get over it. Unlike an expensive pair of shoes, I didn't feel all that much better with the "designer" Whole Foods quail.

PS I felt like a kid in a candy store, literally, shopping at this larger Vietnemese market. My favorite thing, besides fresh quail eggs? Dried, candied cherry tomatoes! OM freakin' G. I love, love, love, dried fruit of any kind, and these sweet little gems have been on my mind..... I still have half of a pkg, but I know it's a seasonal thing and I've got to get my ass over there again soon for more (pictures to come)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Former Fat Girl....Claim to Fame

Here's the deal....the first 1-2 years after losing 120lbs, and looking, if I must say so myself, freakin' was a blast seeing the look on the faces of people, I've never met, in shock (and horror) that a former fat girl can look so freakin' fact, looking better than they did! I had a long time friend of mine actually say to me, I never thought I'd ever hear myself say, "I want to look like Tracy Reifkind!" That's a true statement.

For some reason the past couple of years I've tried to downplay my former Fat Girl self because the longer I maintain this weightloss, the more unimpressive it becomes. Kinda weird, but here's what I mean. The longer I stay thin, fit and athletic, the further from the truth it seems to be.

The Truth. I am a woman that spent most of her life overweight. Most of her life overweight when it wasn't "normal" to be overweight. I was the last one picked for any team sport in school, even though I showed some athletic and determination along with a bit of athletic talent, still no one wanted me. The "tough boys" targeted me in dodgeball, and most of my Elementary years were hiding in utter shame. In fact I think I was the only fat kid in school, all the way through high school, and that's one of the reasons, feeling alienated, that I dropped out of school only completing the 10th grade.

I was never asked to a dance, or even when I went to a dance with girlfriends, I was never asked to dance. I was judged as "less than" because of my weight. I could never wear clothes that other girls were wearing. I could only fantasize what it would feel like, playing with Barbie dolls until I was about 14 years old.

I'm even judged by my own mother....if I'm fat, then one of my other sisters becomes the favorite, but when I'm thin, my mother is much more proud that I'm her daughter.....(but she treats most of my sisters the same way too)

So, here I am. Just releasing my first DVD on training the kettlebell swing, and I still don't feel respected by lots of people in the kettlebell community, as I first did when my claim to such a tremendous weightloss seemed so impressive by many. Am I just imagining it? Am I still looked at as "the fat girl"? Because I let myself get so fat in the first place does that negate the fact that I've developed a training system, while I was losing the bodyweight, that is the one of the most effective ways of burning the most fat and calories while at the same time build the most amount of muscle that can be done....although it works, it's hard to do! You still have to swing the bell....alot! No one was using the term "high volume" when I started training kettlebells. In the process I become one of the healthiest and most fit people I know, not to mention that I still practice what I preach everyday of the week.....but what do I know? I just swing, right? (I've heard that said about me many times from different sources)

Training is hard, it's not for everyone. Cooking, preparing and being responsible for all of the foods and meals, daily, in ones life is not easy for most. But these things are easy for me because these are the things that get me out of bed in the morning. These are the things that I look forward to everyday, but especially on new favorite day (blogpost to come). There may come a day when I quit training, or have to quit training, but it will never take away what I know. I will never forget my experience and my discoveries about how to move toward, and acheive a healthy and strong body.

This is what I know. I don't really care about the "Skinny Minnies" of the world. I was tortured by their judgements all of my life. What I know is this....I was really fat for a long period of my life, but not anymore, being unpopular doesn't bother me....much. I'm still going to keep doing what I do, and maybe I'll start bragging about it more.

In the words of my completely devoted husband Mark, "You live the life of the rich and retired!" If I do two yoga classes in a day, it's my job. If I teach 4 kettlebell classes or do 1000 swings in one day, it's my job. If I spend the whole day prepping and cooking our food for the week, it's my job. And I have to thank this luxury in my life to being a "Former Fat Girl".

I will always been proud of my past, and if I have to play the "Former Fat Girl" card then so be it. But I'm feeling as if my "Claim to Fame" is still to be determined.....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Near Perfect Training Day

Tuesday mornings I teach an all level 45-60 min class at Girya and then I hop over to Equinox for a more advanced KB class. It was a near perfect training day in terms of the length of both workouts as well as the volume.

For my first workout, I used a method of training the KB Swing I call "work into rest". It's explained on my DVD so I won't go into any details here. But I can tell you that the first 30 minutes of class we did a solid 750 swings, increasing the size of our bells as we went along. I then applied the same method to snatches and our snatch count was 336 in 17 minutes....47 minutes of high volume kettlebells....any day of the week I would be happy with that kind of workout, but Tuesdays I get a bonus......

10/10 x 10 minute snatch = 200 reps
(about a 2 min. rest period)

16kg roundabout swings with the female friendly handle

3 min., 120 sw, 1 min. rest
4 min, 160 sw, 1 min rest
5 min., 200 sw, 1 min. rest
8 min., 320 sw, 1 min rest
5 min, 200 sw

29 minutes, 1000 16kg swings

Total for 2 workouts
1 hour 28 minutes, 1750 swings, 536 snatches

In addition to a bunch of other pull-up and Level 2 drills, 5 sets of 10 rep, dbl bottoms up cleans. 45 minute walk Bikram.

Did I say near perfect? I meant perfect!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Food Falling into Place....

Every once in a while I get an email or a blogpost comment about how I turned someone on to pressure cooking! I admit that recently this blog hasn't come close to it's original intention of focusing on the behaviors and metaphysics around eating and food first, instead evolving into another kettlebell training blog. I can only look at that and reflect.....if I keep my focus on training the rest will fall into place....

So what's been falling into place in my kitchen lately? Well, I still use my pressure cooker more than any other piece of equipment in my kitchen, and I use it practically everyday. At this moment I've just poached a whole chicken with my onion, celery and carrot scraps I collect in my freezer, for about 15 minutes, then I harvested the meat for some chicken curry that I'll make tomorow, and some of the meat I'll use for salads. I've put the bones back in and the pressure cooker, and it's continuing on to make about 2-3 quarts of chicken stock I'll use to cook the curry in addition to beans and grains the rest of the week.

Here is a salad I've been kinda hooked on this last week from one of my favorite blogs....(pictured above and linked below)
Fawn made and served Mark and I a salad with fresh herbs from her there anything better than fresh herbs?

I found the green soy beans (dried edemame), for the above recipe, at the Korean grocery and I have to say..."Yum-yum!" Although a very popular food, I have never bought edemame, fresh or frozen, and now I don't feel as if I ever will! The dried beans cook quickly in the pressure cooker and combined with garbanzos and barley, tossed in olive oil, fresh thyme and lemon, thinly sliced radishes and baby greens or arugula....goodness, somebody stop me! Seriously, if my biggest problem is overeating fresh homemade foods then I've got some high quality problems!

Another grain I'm absolutely in love with is farro (pictured above to the right). I haven't found inexpensive farro, instead I can only find this imported Italian brand, costing $5.99 lb....come on now, grains shouldn't cost more than $.99 a lb for God's sake. Anyway, I could eat farro mixed with yogurt and raisins, or now my freakin' favorite way, pressure cooked in tomato soup and mixed with some cottage cheese when it's still warm......

I would never be privy to this amazing world of dried beans and grains if it weren't for the pressure cooker. Using my own homemade stocks, making soups, stews, chilis, rices, polenta, and all sorts of other, ususally time intensive meals are less than 15-30 minutes away. (I sent my son Gabriel to the store the other day for some dried black beans....he looked at me with a puzzled look....."What are dried beans, and where will I find them?", he asked. As much as he sees me cook, and eats the foods I make, he still has no idea beans come from anywhere but a can!)

But let's not forget salads..... It's the end of summer (well, it would be the end if summer ever comes, lol) and balck beans seem to end up in all kinds of salads these days. Currently my favorite salad (at least for a few more days...) is,

vine ripened tomato (seeded and chopped)
black beans (pressure cooked)
avocado (here's the fat...thank you Fawn!)
seedless watermelon (diced)
a good pinch of kosher salt
good red wine vinegar
baby greens

bonus (es)
chicken (protein, pressure cooked)
cojito cheese (diced)
grilled corn (cut from the cob)

I looked back in my photo album to the same month last year, and the year before, to see what I was eating. Last year it was my Raw Cauliflower salad,
....good God, how did I forget about that yummy salad (cauliflower, balck beans are in the fridge waiting, along with the fresh tomatoes from Waynes garden on the kitchen counter...), the year before? I started making tomato soup.....even more tomatoes waiting on my counter for tomorrow nights sauce....I've graduated from soup to sauce! Goodness I've got some killer tomato sauces in my freezer, including Sloppy Joe sauce (recipe to come shortly)

Bottom line? I cook and prepare most of my own foods and meals. Fast foods are things like nuts, dried fruits, and fresh fruits......and, of course ocasionally cookies, and ice cream (but not at the same time....hey!...) I try to eat seasonally because in the modern world we live in with so many choices and abundance of all kinds of foods, why not eat the foods God intended for us to eat, at the time He intended us to eat them....can God be wrong?

What the heck....God invented refrigeration, and gas for trucks to get us strawberries in the knock yourself out! Whatever works, don't feel guilty. What's right for me doesn't have to be right for you. Just enjoy, and learn how to make it yourself!

Life is good. Life is yummy. Swing some kettlebells tomorrow.....if you didn't already swing today!

PS I took away the split peas from the recipe above from Lucullians delights because I couldn't keep them from getting mushy! But try and find the dried edamame, it's texture, shape and flavor is a really fun , and inexpensive, salad addition.
PPS Radishes, as I written about before, are, in my opinion, the biggest $ deal at the market! They are yummy in stir frys, as well as salads. And for about $1.00 a bunch, if you can find them with fresh looking greens attached it's a bonus....don't discriminate against radishes!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Testing Day

Next Saturday me, and my class, will go back to traditional Snatch vo2, 15:15, so today I thought it would be good to take our 10 minute snatch test, with our newly assigned weights, as a baseline for the next test.


Meg 263
Tracy 246


Sabina 190
Mina 230 always learn something new when you test. If you don't already test for time, at least twice a year, you should! Snatches, swings, presses, get-ups, whatever! Testing against the clock and "all out" helps you map out future workouts and set new goals based on you first performance. Testing also helps you explore "testing strategies", which is just as, if not more, important that the actual number of reps you do.

So what did I learn from my 10 minute 14kg snatch test?

First let me say that I was very surprised I only did 246 reps. I purposely did not watch Meg because I didn't want any influence of her test to affect my strategy....speaking of strategy....

I had none....oops! I didn't go "all out". I don't know what I was thinking until it was over and I had time to reflect on it. I seemed to have picked a cruising speed....kind of.....I started out with 12/12 and stayed with that rep count until about halfway before I started trying different combinations of reps.....that was maybe a mistake..."trying" new rep combinations. Mark had asked me if I wanted him to give me my count every minute or so and I said no. Why not? I don't know. Would it have helped? I don't think it would have made a difference, but now I'll never know.

I think one mistake I made was I never had a goal number. Yes, I did ask Meg her final count, but it really didn't register that maybe I should do a bit of math before I started, so I could figure out some kind of pace based on her outcome.

I went into this "test" with the mindset that it was only a baseline.....and that's what I got!

A baseline of 10 continuous minutes snatching the 14kg with no real urgency, and not really putting myself on the line. I should have gone as fast and hard as I could, burned out, put the bell down, picked it up, fast and hard, whatever! It was only a test for God's sake! I should have collapsed when I was done!

Next time, lol!

Congratulations Meg! Meg tested her 10 minute 12kg snatch basically one year ago and had just about the same number of snatches! Huge improvement, unbelievable! (I was there so it has to be believed!) We both did the same test with the 16kg this past Dec., 210 for her, 211 for me, and she learned a bunch from that experience that she brought into this one. She told me that the one thing she was better prepared for was the transitions from L to R.

Congratulations Sabina! Good God, probably the most admirable performance of the morning! Sabina has only, ever, snatched the 12kg maybe a dozen times....ever! She regularly started training a Max based workout these past 4 months with the 8kg and the 10kg, but had never done anywhere near high volume snatches w/12kg. I was counting her reps and she easily did 100 in the first 5 minutes, only to slow down slightly to finish just under 200! Sabina's goal was to not put the bell down for the entire 10 minutes, and she never put that bell down! This was nothing short of amazing!

Congratulations Mina! 230....TWO HUNDRED THIRTY? Mina started training regularly with me a few months ago and joined my Max class just two months ago. Mina has used the 20lber, the 10kg and the 12kg for Max, but has never completed 80 sets of 8...yet! Her form has improved greatly thanks to, #1, training regularly, and #2, Mina is smart enough to book some time with Mark a few times a month to specifically work on her technique. Mina is standing next to me in the video and you can hear the excitement in her voice at the end when she heard her count....again, 230! Her goal was also to not put the bell down and was greatly inspired by watching Sabina the previous 10 minutes.

Wasn't that fun?

Friday, September 3, 2010

I Have Enough

Do you stock up on your favorite foods? I don't, because I don't need extra, I have enough. I have so many favorite foods that my favorites change all the time, because I don't stock up on them! For instance, I used to eat yogurt, dolled up with raisins, sliced almonds, a bit of honey, brown sugar or jam, fresh fruit, oatmeal....oh, and a good pinch of salt, of course....lots of stuff! So I stopped buying more than one container at a time, and since not having it in the house, I moved I have yogurt that sits in the fridge for weeks at a time, until I use it for dressings or something other than psuedo ice cream.

Foods I don't currently have in my house, because if I did, I'd eat that food until every last bit, in one sitting, was gone. "Gone" means one serving, doesn't it?

Peanut butter. I only buy fresh ground PNB because I can dispense 2 tbls at a time and it costs about $ .36 I could eat PNB on all kinds of stuff including dried fruit, and veggies.....speaking of PNB....

Bread. I can't remember the last time I bought a loaf of sliced bread....years, I'm sure. Not that I haven't bought an occasional loaf of french bread, but I usually by the smallest one, (a mini), or a baguette. I've made pizzas....but I stopped.....again, if I buy it, or make it, I eat it.....all.

Raisins and prunes. Two of my favorite dried fruits are raisins and prunes.....natures candy! I only buy these in the bulk isle because, again, I can buy one or two servings only. If I buy more.....yep, I eat more. I'm not ashamed to say I eat prunes!

Flour. I don't keep more than 1-2 cups of flour in the house because if I get inspired to bake, then too bad for me! I gave up baking long, long ago. If I bake a batch of cookies, I'll eat a batch of cookies. If I bake a cake, I'll eat a cake.

Same with sugar. I only buy small amounts at a time.

I stopped buying popcorn. (remember kettlecorn?)

I stopped buying almond butter from Trader Joe's (5lb weight gain in 2008 when I gave up sugar for a month). And although I buy walnuts and almonds I don't dare buy peanuts (my #1 no-no).

I stopped buying ice cream in flavors that I like. Mark's favorites are completely different than mine, and I'm not tempted by his favorites....most of the time, lol!

I stopped buying more than one pkg of my favorite crackers....ok, I buy 2 pkg's....but never more than two!

I stopped buying the "healthy" multi grain corn chips. Chips are chips....too salty! If I'm going to eat salt, I'll eat cheese.....

I only buy more cheese when I completely run out. I never buy more than two different flavors and/or styles, even though the cheese dept always looks so dang much cheese, so little time....

I have sometimes given into buying more fruit than I should, but I'm back on the wagon, limiting myself to only a pound or so, of any kind of fruit, at a time. And I routinely throw out, yep throw away, any peice of fruit that doesn't taste perfectly sweet. For some crazy reason the fruit this year sucks! There's at least a pound of grapes in the trash can right now, and I spit out 2 nectarines earlier today. I've thrown away more melons this year than I've joke. Life is too short to eat bad fruit, or anything that tastes bad.

To me "junk foods" are sweets. I don't buy cookies without the intention of eating them all. I don't dare buy a cake, or donuts. I wrote a blogpost a while back about buying one of each kind of candybar at the gas station Mini Market, and I was triggered slightly the other day when I stopped for gas, but have not done it.

I saw a sign today announcing an annual Rummage Sale at a local high school.....I know for a fact they will be having a killer bake sale.....speaking of triggers....I started planning to drive by there tomorrow after my workout, even though it's on the other side of town.....whoops....

It occured to me recently that I've stopped binge eating. Not that I haven't had a binge or eaten "compulsively", but having "a moment" and "owning" a behavior are two different things. I used to think that I was a binge eater, and that I was a compulsive overeater, but not anymore. I will not give myself such a title. I will not own that description of myself....ever. Did I chose to stop overbuying some of my favorite foods, or did it choose me, once I made up my mind to let it go....?

Many times.....many times.....I find myself hovering over a certain food purchase, or stalking the candy isle, asking myself, should I, or shouldn't I? Most of the time I already know the, I always know the answer....if I buy it, I eat it! But for now I'm content on giving myself the option, and I do give myself the option....I can buy it, I can eat it.....whatever. I can make my own choices, afterall I'm a big girl, most days! But some days I'm just a little girl that didn't get enough candy, I mean food, I mean love....did I say that last part out loud?

....and then I remind myself....I have enough. I have enough candy, I have enough food, I have enough love.

Life is good.

PS My precious Sophi turned one year old yesterday! I took her for pictures in her birthday dress and out to lunch with Mommy. Sophi's party is in a couple of weeks...the theme is Sesame Street....where can I buy the biggest stuffed Elmo?
I've titled this photo "chocolate cake girl"! Her first taste of chocolate. Let me say this....her mother, Cristina, has been one of the best and most responsible young parents I have ever known. Cristina has never fed Sophi a bunch of crap in the name of convenience. This is Sophi's first taste of chocolate cake, and her next will be in a couple of weeks at her birthday party.

PPS Sophi is spelled correctly!