Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mastering the Hardstyle Kettlebell Swing....just in case you missed it!

Dragon Door just announced on facebook this afternoon that our DVD, "Mastering the Hardstyle Kettlebell Swing" is days away from being available!

This DVD teaches the proper techniques to learn the KB Swing including all of the corrective drills. It then reinforces everything in two 30-40 minute workouts designed and lead by me with my best friend Fawn riding shotgun, lol!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Is Your Food Boring?

As I sit and write this blogpost Mark is finishing his dinner. A stir fry of onion, mushrooms spinach, garlic and eggs with which he ususally eats for lunch, but tonight he is eating it for dinner. Oh, the stir fry has changes slightly sometimes if we don't have all of the ususal ingredients, but for the most part it's the same. I've pretty much had the same exact foods everyday myself. A carrot salad with chicken for lunch, some carrot soup (the last 2 days was carrot apple, today it was roasted carrot/ cauliflower curry w/raisins), and savory steel cuts oats with feta and black pepper (yesterday I added some roasted corn). My snacks stay the same as well, peanut butter on something (lol), or nuts, dried fruit, an apple.

As much as I love to read cookbooks and magazines (Rachael Rays "Everyday" is one of my current favs) I just don't understand this desire we are supposed to have to eat something different everyday (no pun intended). Lots of magazines have special sections that will map out entire daily menu plans one month at a time. Good grief....and I do mean grief. I find the most time consuming thing about cooking is trying new recipes, especially every night.

Oh, I look through cookbooks and cooking blogs for ideas, maybe some flavor combinations I've never thought to try, but for the most part I'll stick to the same meals, and if I do try something new that I like, I'll do it to death, changing it up to suit my tastes until something else comes along and then I repeat the process. The savory oat idea is a perfect example of this. Even though I eat the same basic foods I still get plenty of variety.

I can't remember the last time I was bored with my food. But I remember what it was like when I was. Back in the days of relying on ready made foods I got bored pretty regularly. There always seemed to be a debate on which of the 4 or 5 fast food choices to buy dinner at. Let's see....burger, taco / burrito, pizza, different kind of burger, Chinese....goodness, remember Mr. Chau's? A ton of food for around $5...and I do mean "a ton" those plates of food were heav-y!

Why go to a "nicer" restaurant? All of the usual chain restaurants food menus were barely a step up from fast food, so why pay two to three times as much for what? A burger, a taco, a burrito, a pizza....but you could get a salad at least....a salad with 1000 calories of processed meat, cheese, candied nuts, bacon bits and drowning in dressing.

When I go out these days it takes me forever to find anything on the menu that is half way appealing because I know how it's prepared. I'd rather come home and eat my own foods...I guess now I'm the one that's boring!

The question may be, is your food boring, or are you boring? I don't mind being healthier and boring.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Intermediate "Snatch Transfer" Workout

As promised here is a slightly more difficult routine using my combination of "Snatch Transfers". There are 4 snatches and 4 transfer swings every 15 seconds. 8 of each in 30 sec, 12 of each in 45 sec. and 16 of each in 1 min.

The beginners workout starts with 30 second intervals, increases to 45 sec and then to 1 min. The first workout is equal work to rest, the second is less rest by only timing each rest period for 30 sec regarless of workset length.

In this Intermediate workout the first workset is only 15 sec. However every rest period is also only 15 sec as the worksets increase 15 sec each until a 1 min set is achieved. In this video I demonstrate an uphill/downhill ladder combination. It can be done in all uphill rotations, or all downhill rotations.

4 sn tr, 15 /15
8 sn tr, 30/15
12 sn tr, 45/15
16 sn tr, 1 min/15
12 s tr, 45/15
8 sn tr, 30/15
4 sn tr, 15/15

5 min 45 sec. 64 snatches, 64 swings

x 5 = 28.5 min., 35 sets, 320 snatches, 320 swings

Here's another version using an uphill ladder:

4 sn tr x 4 sets (15/15 x 4 = 2.5 min)
8 sn tr x 4 sets (30/15 x 4 = 3 min)
12 sn tr x 4 sets (45/15 x 4 = 4 min)
16 sn tr x 4 sets (1 min./15 = 6 min)


31 min. 32 sets, 320 snatches, 320 swings

Although the two workouts have the same number of snatches and swings the second has more one minute long sets.

Enjoy....oh and practice because the Advanced version is next!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Where's the "Off" Switch?

I finished my carrot projects around 7:00am (I was doing laundry, cleaning, and doing some computer stuff too!), but I wasn't quite happy with my carrot soup (details to come). I was wishing I had an apple to add to the soup, it just needed something....lucky me I live within a mile of a Market that opens at 7:00am so I decided, like I often do, to kill two birds with one stone. Walk and shop! I made my grocery list and off I went.

I get a chance to do alot of reflecting while I walk and on my way home (carrying about 12 lbs of groceries on my shoulders) I was thinking about the trip Mark and I are taking in August to Hungary. It's going to be the longest trip away from home I think I've ever been on, and the worry I have at the top of my list is eating. I never worry about eating while in my everyday routine. I'm talking about eating, not food.

I was thinking about the people I will be with, none of them overweight, and wondering what they eat, or should I say how they eat. I already know the answer. They eat when they are hungry and stop when they are no longer hungry.....I live with someone like that! I like to eat, I like the feeling of full tummy, and sometimes I have to wonder if I have an "OFF" switch....there's no other way to explain it. Feeling like I can't stop eating is not rational.

Traveling triggers all kinds of feelings of urgency to eat foods you may not get another chance at. I've already made sure we didn't make hotel reservations with the "free" breakfast...I don't eat breakfast at home why all of a sudden do I feel the need to while on vacation? But it starts way before we get to our hotel. All sorts of "tricks" and "strategies" I could think about. Why can't I just stop eating when I'm no longer hungry? That would solve the worry. I think I'll try that one.

I've estabished habits at home in my everyday life but I haven't while traveling. I'll have to think about that.....establishing traveling habits. Reminding myself that I'm not missing out on anything, that there will always be plenty of anything I could want, and there's always more if and when I do. There's enough....there's enough....there's enough.

I feel better already.

Almond Butter

Since I do the majority of my cooking before the crack of dawn, way before any grocery stores close to me open it's important for me to have ingredients I need before I retire for the evening the night before. I ended up only buying a few things at the Farmers' Market on Sat., a 5 lb bag of carrots (I hope you all like carrots, lol), broccoli with thick stalks, fresh bay leaves, oh and corn! The first corn of the season...woo hoo!

Back to the carrots....

So the obvious use for all of those carrots is a salad and a soup. I add 2 tbl almond butter in my carrot soup and I also make an Asian salad dressing with peanut butter, but I thought why not use almond butter instead. Well...I didn't have any almond butter at 4:00 this morning...but I did have almonds, and plenty of them.

I've never made nut butter but I've heard it could be done in a food processor. My food processor is so old I couldn't imagine that it would do the job, but I thought my blender might! Well I was wrong about both of them. The belnder did not work, and my food processor ended up saving the day (or should I say the morning!).

I put 6 oz of raw almonds in my blender and it made beautiful finely ground almonds! But the blades were not long enough to pull down the almonds the finer they became and everything ended up around the sides of the blender....drats. One more appliance to clean out.

I dumped the ground almonds into my food processor, and I have to say I was worried. Around and around they went not seeming to be turning into any kind of butter. But I had no choice but to stick it out and keep going.

Finally the ground almonds started to come together, clumping up into small buttery balls. Whew! The motor of my food processor did get mighty hot though. I can see how peanut butter would be easier as peanuts are a softer nut.

On with the cooking. As I mentioned I made some soup and a shredded carrot and broccoli stalk salad with Asian Almond dressing. I'll post recipes and pictures soon.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Savory Oats w/ feta and black pepper

After class this morning one of my students, Maribel, asked me if I had ever tried savory oats. Of cousre I replied, "Savory oats? What do you mean?" She then told me about how she cooks steel cut oats and seasons them with a little salt, black pepper and cheese (a hard stinky kind of cheese...I've forgotten the name, but since she comments on my blog regularly I'm sure she'll remind me....). Oh, and sometimes Maribel puts a soft boiled egg on top.

I'm all about savory! I like my sweets as much as anybody else, or turn one into another or combine the two and I'm a happy gal! I'm proud to say that I'm the one that reminded Maribel about using a pressure cooker and she has been using it like crazy, even doing her own side by side taste tests! (I'm trying to talk her into writing down her results so I can post them here, on my blog!)

Steel cut oats are a breeze in the PC. 1 cup steel cut oats to 2 cups water, (or stock if making a saory dish), 1 tsp kosher salt, lock the lid, bring to high pressure, cook for 10 min. (probably not even that long, but that's my time table), and viola! (remember though...this makes 4 servings @ 150 cal per) Top with cheese and freshly ground black pepper.

I picked up some crazy good sheep's milk feta cheese at the PA Famers' Market this morning and OM freakin' G! I would not normally use a cheese like feta, but the one I got at the FM is very mild, not so sharp. Some shaved parmesan would be my first choice had I not come across the other. I think this will quite possibly be my dinner meal every night this week.

I think most people forget that black pepper is a spice and therefore seriuosly unappreciated and under used as an ingredient. While looking up some info on black pepper I came across recipes that included black pepper ice cream! Here is a link with more info about black pepper....give it a go, expand your ideas...

Snatch Transfers and the definition of "beginner"

I will eventually put together a high volume snatch workshop and DVD (maybe next month while teaching in Hungary!), but in the mean time I've posted, many times, my progressive "warm up" worksets. If you've missed them, here I'll list them again:

1 swing, 1 snatch, 1 transfer x 12 = 1 minute workset (1 sw, 1 sn, 1 tr)

1 snatch, 1 tr x 16 = 1 minute workset ( sn/tr )

5 snatch R, 5 snatch L = 30 second interval (5 snatches per 15 sec, "5/5")

These are the first 3 snatch progressions, also known as "HV" which stands for "high volume" and "Hardstyle Ventura". Last year before I left for the Hardstyle Ventura Kettlebell Workshop, in So CA, I developed workouts based on these progressions, and I thought it was interesting that the two shared the same initials!

What is a "TracyStyle" beginners workout? Well, in my class description it may not be clear if you are not familiar with how I train kettlebells. "Beginner" has nothing to do with skill level, instead it has to do with one's cardio strength endurance. I often get emails from people wanting to attend my Intermediate and even Advanced level classes because they have already been training kettlebells. They know the skill, but what they don't know is the amount of work high volume training requires. If you think the RKC weekend is tough, you haven't been in one of my HV classes!

Here is a "Beginners" version of a "Snatch Transfer" workout, using your own "snatch weight" bell. (equal work to equal rest)

1 sn, 1 tr x 8 = 30 sec.,
rest 30 sec

1 sn, 1 tr x 12 = 45 sec work
45 sec rest

1 sn, 1 tr x 16 = 1 min work
1 min rest

repeat x 5 = 22.5 min

Next....(more work, less rest)

Same progressions only keep the rest periods consistently only 30 seconds.

1 sn, 1 tr x 8 = 30 sec work
30 sec rest

1 sn, 1 tr x 12 = 45 sec work,
30 sec rest

1 sn, 1 tr x 16 = 1 min work
30 sec rest

repeat x 6 = 22.5 minutes

same amount of time, less rest, 36 more snatches, 36 more swings.

During the next week I will post two Intermediate level "Snatch Transfer" workouts. but in the mean time here is video from the last set in my Advanced workout this morning. Four minutes of "Snatch Transfers" with the 14kg. You can use it for pacing. A four minute set is an advanced workload but I think you may be surprised at how quickly you can get this accomplished. I had never done this workout with the 14kg before although I always wanted to, each time I have done it with the 12kg it was tough enough.

Over the next week I will be posting the two more workouts based on this combination for both an Intermediate and then Advanced level....get ready and practice!

I ended up doing 3 similar snatch transfer workouts this morning. The first class we trained it for 15 minutes (12kg), the second, Advanced for 30 minutes (7 min. w/12kg, 22 min. w/14kg), and by the time I go to my 3rd class I used the 10kg for another 15-18 min.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Unpicky and picky at the same time

I wrote a blogpost a couple of years ago about being a vegetable snob and I've posted tons about my love of Farmers' Markets....who would have ever thought I'd get over it...kind of! During this time I also subscribed to CSA (community supported agriculture) and picked up weekly organic vegetables from a local farm in Santa Cruz in addition to frequenting every Farmers Market within 30 miles of my home....and that's alot of Farmers' Markets!

When I first started to buy organic only I shopped at Whole Foods for my veggies as I believe it was around the late fall winter time and I hadn't truly discovered FM's yet. But once I did I stopped shopping at Whole Foods for veggies but still bought the rest of my groceries there. I would shop the FM in the morning and then drive about 1 mile to WF and it always amazed me that there were a ton of people buying produce there instead of the farm fresh produce practically within walking distance!

I'm not sure when it happened, over a year ago for sure, but not only did I let up on the pressure I put on myself to only eat and buy organic, but I've actually started shopping at Safeway again! I think up until this past year I hadn't stepped foot in a Safeway in maybe three or four years. Even before that though I started to shop again at my local Mexican and Vietnemese markets too.

Why the change? A few reasons. I realized I was putting too much pressure and stress on "being perfect" and it was exhausting. I realized that I had managed to lose over 120 lbs without ever eating an organic vegetable, buying most of my produce at the Ethnic markets closest to me (and saving tons of $$). I also read in one of my favorite cookbooks, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman, one of my absolute favorite cookbook authors (more about his books to come) that it was common for him to shop in stores like Safeway for two simple reasons. He wanted his cookbook readers to be able to find the ingredients he uses in his recipes easily and because he travels so much and often cooks while visiting friends and relatives he is sure to find a "regular" grocery much easier than specialty stores. If it was good enough for him it was good enough for me!

In addition to buying non organic produce again I also started to buy mostly non organic animal proteins, instead of the fancy smancy ones...I know, I know.... I know all the dirty stuff on the meat industry as well as all the dirt in industrial agriculture (no pun intended)...I read Omnivoire's Dilemma twice! But really, it's the stress that kills not the un organic foods. I grew up on nothing organic and somehow I survived my childhood.

After everything I just wrote however I am still picky when it comes to a few things. Buying seasonal produce is way more important to me that organic but I did force myself to buy grapes out of season just this past year. Tomatoes top my list of unseasonal no-no's followed by asparagus corn and summer squashes like zucchini. And for the life of me I can't believe how popular strawberries are no matter what the time of year. It drives me so crazy that I stopped buying strawberries altogether. (you'll not find one recipe with strawberries anywhere on my blog since it's beginnings 4 years ago)

But does anyone know the season of onion, celery and carrots? I don't have a problem buying those year round! Same with apples. Unlike onions celery and carrots, fruit is quite easy to figure out what's in season, so apples are really the only fruit that I make an exception for. I practically lie in wait for persimmons, cherries, apricots, all stone fruits and the king of melons...the Crenshaw.

As far as meats go (and eggs). I have to admit that my conscious feels a little bit better when I buy "designer" proteins (that's what I call "organic", "grass fed", "air chilled" etc), I mean who wouldn't prefer to eat an animal that is fed in pasture? I do feel "cleaner"....but I can't live my whole life worried about those kind of details 24/7. I buy designer when I can and if I feel like it, and the rest of the time I still enjoy my food whether or not it comes from WF, or Foster Farms. I believe every animal sacrificed for our eating pleasure, organic or not, deserves to not be wasted.

Around here Spring was a wash, literally with unseasonably cold and rainy weather, but here we are the first week of summer, finally! I have been to the Famers Market in Palo Alto after Saturday classes for the past 3 weeks....oh my goodness.... I was quickly remided of the beauty of it all. It was like I could breathe again. I so was overwhelmed that I didn't know where to I didn't! I did manage to bring myself to buy asparagus since I know the season would be over in a blink of an eye (I was already late), and pasture fed chicken livers. But tomorrow I will be ready and since I took my last container of tomato soup out of the freezer to thaw in the sink I'm hoping to stock up again...with a vengence!

I'm not planning on returning to my old picky ways, but I will plan on taking advantage of truly seasonal foods only buying things I know I won't be able to get anywhere else. Let's see what I come home with tomorrow!

Picure above is my last container of tomato soup I made in Sept/Oct last year. I ate it with some brown rice and chunks of lamb and turkey meatloaf.....omg! I always label my freezer containers with athletic tape because that's what I have in one of my kitchen drawers! You may notice that the label says that the tomato soup is unseasoned....that's because I was so sick of making batch after batch after batch that I couldn't bring myself to taste anymore! Boy, I was so glad I did all that work though! (recipe for lamb and turkey meatloaf to come)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Go Big or Go Home! Turkey Ham soup w/ white beans and lentils

As I mentioned in a previous blogpost Santa brought me two gifts: my immersion blender and a 10 qt pressure cooker. You might think that I wouldn't need another pressure cooker but the largest one I had was an 8qt, perfectly fine, but I wanted one even bigger!

One of my dieting philosophies is to plan and prepare in advance. For me having good foods ready and available is key. In addition to salads I live on soups/stews and chilis and pressure cooking has made these meals quick and easy to make, not to mention highly nutritious and inexpensive. Part of the quick and easy is not only the time it takes to actually cook proteins that traditionally take 1-2 hoursin 1/3 the time, but pressure cooking decreases the amount of prep time because I can add a whole head of garlic and a whole bunch of herbs without having to chop them. Pressure cooking adds nutrition and saves money by allowing me to use bone in cuts of meat that also adds flavor while making it's own stock as it cooks.

Without a doubt I see a 12qt in my future!

Turkey Ham Soup w/ white beans and lentils

What's not to like about ham and split pea soup? The most common answer I get is that alot of people have the prejudice left over from childhood because of the mucky green color! Split pea is one of my favorite soups and one I make regularly. But if you are turned off by the color then use beans instead. All of the other ingredients stay the same.

Most of the time I use ham shanks, although ham shanks don't have much meat. I started to use smoked turkey legs and thighs which are much much larger and have a ton more well as a bone for flavor. Because smoked turkey legs and thighs are so large they also have a ton more salt! So much that I ususally will also add to the soup a plain unsmoked turkey thigh. Either hams are inexpensive, but you can use any kind of cut of smoked cured meat (ham).

A while back I didn't have any split peas in my pantry so I decided to use white beans. since I wanted to make a really big batch (I had all that meat, might as well!) I added in lentils. The result? I had never realized that white beans were so creamy...yum yum! I'm not sure I will ever use split peas again!

Here is my recipe for Split Pea Soup;

The recipe is the same only for a really big batch use one smoked turkey leg/thigh and one regular turkey thigh. Replace the 1lb pkg of split peas with one 1 lb pkg of small white beans (navy beans, pre soaked) and 2 cups of lentils (I used 1 c brown lentils and 1 c. green lentils) with 3-4 qts of water (12-16 c.) Bring PC to high pressure, and then turn down heat and cook for 20-25 min. Traditionally split pea soup would take 1 1/2 hours on the stove top.

Don't forget a good squeeze of lemon on top!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's only because I care

I was all set to write a blogpost about food and pressure and all, but now I feel I should address the misunderstanding going on as a result of my last blopost and in comments section. I want to but I don't have the energy. In fact this is the 4th draft I've started to write about it. It's almost 7:00pm and I've erased everything I've written for the past 2 hours.....this time I will make it "short and sweet".

I really dislike being or sounding defensive so I won't..... I may come across harsh, but it's only because I care. Anyone that knows me personally knows how much of myself I give away without thought. I rarely give my opinion unless asked and when I tell people that I was able to lose 50 lbs is three months I'm not do so to brag, I'm doing so to give hope.

I will get back to each individual comment in the morning. I deeply value the time any readers take to post a comment.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Short and Not So Sweet!

Man....if I could say some of the things I really feel this would be a whole 'nother blog. Anyone who knows me in person must know how much I hold back.... Sometimes I dream of being the Dr Laura of weightloss! Here are some ridiculous questions someone asked me the other day when I told her that I had lost 50lbs in the first three months of my weightloss diet.

She asked "Was that safe?"

Are you kidding me? I told her, "Do you think weighing 250lbs was safe? Which do you think is worse?"

I only told her about my experience because she asked me if I thought a person (she) could lose 30 pounds in 3 months time. She then asked me if I had ever hit a plateau.....I told her that I never hit a plateau. To which she said, "That's what I'm afraid of...hitting a plateau!"

I said, "Are you crazy? Why don't you lose some weight first and worry about the plateau later? Consider yourself lucky to hit a plateau!"

When I told her that she would have to change what and how much she ate she said, "So it has to do with food, huh?"

"No, it has to do with eating!" I started to lose patience after talking with her for a solid 15 minutes, getting even more short and not so sweet with my answers. She then turned to someone else to ask their opinion!

Some people just keep looking until they hear something they like. In the mean time they stay fat. I saw her in yoga class the next day wearing a long sleeved shirt, and long underwear underneath her sweat Bikrams yoga! It's freaking 120 degrees! I guess someone told her she could sweat it off!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Rediscovering Food and Thought

When I started this, my second, blog I already had a popular and frequently visited first blog (Rediscovering Strength). Why two blogs? Well, it was my original intention to keep this one kind of a secret. I never, ever, announced it's existence on Rediscovering Strength because my intention was to create a blog more focused on food and eating. It was never my intention to post any workouts or write about my kettlebell training at all. (there's more than plenty of that stuff on my first blog) The original title of this blog was "Food and Thought"...I may have to change it back! In fact the only reason why I started to journal my training and workouts here is because both Mark and I closed down our original blogs....Mark's blog was down for 9 months, and I never did resume writing on Rediscovering Strength.

Because my first blog was started riding coattails of Marks blog it was quickly noticed in the kettlebell community by other KB enthusiasts, not necessarily the overweight or formerly overweight.....although "my peeps" did find me there! I mostly wanted to offer a safe place to write and talk about the craziness of eating disorders, specifically compulsive overeating away from the judgmental eyes of the "always fit and athletic" types. I wanted to share the joy of food and eating.....and sometimes the pain. The pain that I still experienced at the time in my own compulsive behavior and habits that seemed to sneak up on me from out of nowhere. The pain of "the fight". The pain of the pressure to stay thin, thinner....the thinnest....who are we kidding we all secretly want to be skinny.

I wanted to write about how I found relief from an obese lifestyle through food, not through food restriction. My whole diet philosophy is built around abundance of real foods and the infinite choices we all have to build nourish and create health in every cell of our bodies. Food and cooking is one of my hobbies and I enjoy everything about it. Learning how to cook and prepare my own foods has become my Savior, and I want that for everybody.

As I finished my commitment last month to write a blogpost a day I'll recommit again these next 30 days. But this time the focus will be on food and eating. This is going to be way harder and much more of a commitment than most of you know. Taking and editing pictures (nice pictures), and writing recipes is one of the most time consuming projects ever! This is why I don't do it, or should I say I've been doing it less and less. But no more.

I can't promise quality but I will promise quantity. I have one of the worlds smallest and oldest kitchens without a dishwasher and with a counter space the size of my cutting board (for which I got a new one today especially for the occasion)...I'm not kidding! In fact in the "after" picture above taken for Womans First Magazine I had to borrow my training partner's kitchen for the photo shoot. When I can't post about foods I'll post my thoughts about eating or our obsession with food, eating and being skinny.

I will also continue to post workouts but my focus will be more on my beginners routines. All beginners routines can easily be made more difficult and I'll give instruction on how to do that. I'm revisiting alot of my former posted workouts from Rediscovering Strength because those routines are just as relevant as ever, in fact the workout we'll be doing tomorrow morning was published in May 2008 and you can find the details here

It's time for me to Rediscover Food and Thought.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Saturday Squats?

I decided to put squats on Saturdays (for a bit) because I swing heavy on Sat and I want to squat heavy....heavier I should say! I know what heavy squatting is being married to a former powerlifter, and I'm not squatting heavy, lol! First order of business though started off with some single arm snatch testing:

Each set has no rep count, hand switch or putting the bell down.

Two 4 min sets, 1 min rest w/8kg (1 set R, 1 set L)
Two 3 min sets, 1 min rest w/10kg (1 set R, 1 set L)
two 2 min sets, 1 min rest w/12kg (1 set R, 1 set L)

24 minutes total

I'm not going to lie.....that last 2 min set w/12kg on my left side was a bit, OK alot, shaky. It reminded me of last weeks crazy ass snatch! But I lasted the entire length of each set.

On to heavy swings and squats.

Quick warm up of 2 sets w/12kg combining one 2 hd sw and one goblet squat.

24kg 10 2 hd swing x 1 (15/15)
20 kg 1 sw/ 1 gb sq x 5 x 1 (30/30)
dbl 12kg's 1 sw / 1 dbl cl, sq x 5 x 1 (30/30)

These are the three swing/squat combinations we did. I laddered up the sets of 10 2 hd swings w/24kg but kept the sw/sq sets at only one per rotation.

24kg 10 2 hd swing x 2 (15/15)
20 kg 1 sw/ 1 gb sq x 5 x 1 (30/30)
dbl 12kg's 1 sw / 1 dbl cl, sq x 5 x 1 (30/30)

24kg 10 2 hd swing x 3 (15/15)
20 kg 1 sw/ 1 gb sq x 5 x 1 (30/30)
dbl 12kg's 1 sw / 1 dbl cl, sq x 5 x 1 (30/30)

24kg 10 2 hd swing x 4 (15/15)
20 kg 1 sw/ 1 gb sq x 5 x 1 (30/30)
dbl 12kg's 1 sw / 1 dbl cl, sq x 5 x 1 (30/30)

24kg 10 2 hd swing x 5 (15/15)
20 kg 1 sw/ 1 gb sq x 5 x 1 (30/30)
dbl 12kg's 1 sw / 1 dbl cl, sq x 5 x 1 (30/30)

At this point we ran out of time so instead of the last two swing/squat combinations we finished with 5 more sets of 10 2 hd swing w/24kg.

Why does the 24kg feel so much heavier than dbl 12 kg's? Good-ness! I hadn't done 20 kg goblet squats in forever. My original plan for this workout included more swings with both the 20kg and the dbl 12kg's....oh well, there's always next week!

20 sets of 10 2 hd sw w/24kg = 200 swings
4 sets of 5 sw/gb sq w/ 20kg = 20 swings, 20 squats
4 sets of 5 sw/ dbl cl sq w/ 12kg's = 20 dbl sw, 20 dbl cl/sq

only 18 min. not counting a 5-6 min warm up.

All the Reasons Why You Can't

For a time last year I used to train double Bikram yoga classes every other day on M, W, and F to get 6 practices in week, and that worked for quite a few months until I decided to try some other styles of yoga. In addition to that my schedule keeps changing.....or should I say that I have so many options to change my schedule, on the days I do decide to double up I find myself weighing the pros and cons during my first class debating whether or not I should stay for the second if I've given myself a choice to change my mind. It's fine not to train "extra" but that's not really the point.

It occured to me during one of these self debates that for every reason I came up with to bail I had a reason to stay. By the time my first class was over I had realized that for every reason I felt I was justified in using to leave was the exact reason why I couldn't.

Here is some of my inner dialogue:

But I don't have the time.

Well, you shouldn't have committed then. Besides you had the time earlier, now all of a sudden you have better things to do?

I do have better things to do.

Really? Like what? Shopping? (lol)

But I could take a shower, get done early and runs some errands. I know by the time I'm done I'll be too tired to do anything else.

Errands can wait.....and who cares is you're showered?

But I didn't bring any food with me and I'll have to go home first.

Well, you should have thought about that. You had plenty of time to grab something before you left, instead you spent to much time on the computer, or too much time doing things less important and now you think you have a choice.

But I don't need to do two yoga classes.

Well, then you shouldn't put it into your schedule. Make peace with it and don't commit or do what you say you're going to do. No one else cares how much yoga you do, you don't do it for anyone else.

I don't like this teacher.

Well then too bad! You don't like this teacher because she's making the class harder, the exact reason why you need to stay....quit being a weenie.

You exercise too much anyway.

Really? Since when do you consider improving your practice, something that makes you feel good, "exercise"?

Walking is better, you should have gone for a walk.

Again, then you should schedule a walk instead. Don't flake out on your commitment.

No time? Make time.
No energy? Training gives you energy....and a sense of accomplishment.
It's too hard. It's harder not doing it!
It's not really making a difference. It is if you don't do it. You are not getting younger, stronger or healthier, in fact the opposite. Older, weaker and more open to sickness.
Too many options? Don't give yourself the option.
Better things to do? There's nothing better than good health and feeling more fit and strong.

Instead of thinking of all the reasons you can't think of all the reasons you can, you will, you must....besides, you want to!

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's Fair

Do you want to be "in shape"? Fit? Thin? Lean? Strong? Healthy? What do you think it takes? Do you think some people are born with these things? If you do then who do you know that does absolutely nothing and still they seem to be healthy, fit, thin, and strong? How old are they? Even if you do think you know someone who was born this way, I'll bet if you follow them around and eat what they eat, and do what they do you may find out that it isn't a "cradle gift".

Personally, even if I knew someone I thought health and fitness was simply given, I still wouldn't trade it with what I've done for myself, and what I continue to do every day. Sure someone may look healthy becasuse they are thin, but I've been around strong, fit and healthy people and let me tell you, they earn it....and it shows!

It amazes me how many people think that there's some magic answer, or should I say "easy" answer....or should I say "easier" answer, because there is an starts with eating right and exercising....and it's as easy as you make it. There's no conspiracy keeping anyone fat and/or out of shape, they're doing a fine job of that on they're own.

Don't think it's not fair that you have to put some effort into being or staying in shape. What I don't think is fair is that anyone would think they could have what I have without the same effort and commitment. When it comes to better health and fitness it's available to everyone, and the beauty of it is that no one can just buy it....but it's here for the taking! If that's not fair then I don't know what is.

Picture above shows an example of what years of consistent training can do! The picture at bottom was taken in November 2005 142lb, 11 months after weighing 250lbs. Although I weigh about 5 lbs less in the above picture, I'm 6 years older but much more muscular and way, way more fit! (check out those thick biceps! cool!)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Grip Strength....and the last crazy ass snatch!

For the past month or so I've been lucky enough to be able to play around with some different types of ideas of taking my own training in a slightly different direction. I've been testing swing and snatch sets as long as two minutes with heavier bells. I do want to get stronger, but it's not my goal for absolute strength to be the core of my training. I will always train high volume with acceleration and power as the focus, but once a week I'm going to be working on kind of combining the two.

I'm not interested in training GS style of swings or snatches but I have the highest respect for those who do. I'm quite interested in the challenge of snatching the 16kg for 5 minutes without a hand switch on both right and left sides. No doubt at some point my form will take on a more efficient style, but I'm excited to have started the process and to see how it evolves over the next few months time.

Yesterdays workout started with six 2 minutes snatch sets with one minute rest period in between. Each two minute set was attempted with no hand switch. That means 3 sets on the right and 3 sets on the left. You could put the bell down however as many times as you wanted to. The goal was endurance, to go as long as possible, not speed.

I started out with the 16kg for the first 2 sets, went down to the 14kg for the next 2 sets and the 12kg for the last 2 sets. That was my plan knowing that even though I would be decreasing the bell weight, taking so little rest inbetween sets it would not get much easier....and I was right!

16kg snatch R

I lasted the entire 2 minutes and that was my goal. I believe I counted 36 snatches.

16kg snatch L

I lasted the entire 2 minutes....barely! As you can see in this video, that I so generously share with you, that I almost lost the bell on that last crazy ass rep! Let me tell you that even with all of the training I do, and have done, it's been forever, if ever, since I felt that kind of instability overhead! When the grip goes, it goes, and the thought of 36lbs falling on my head was scary! rep count 33 snatches.

14kg snatch R

It did not surprise me that I could not last the entire 2 minutes of this set. I did however last 1 minute 50 seconds, having to put the bell down for the last 10 sec. Still I was mighty pleased to have lasted that long. rep count 34 snatches

14kg snatch L

Not so lucky with this set....or should I say, not so strong! I lasted about 1 minute 30 sec. Rested 15 seconds and finished the 2 minutes. rep count 32, rest, 4, total 36 snatches.

12kg snatch R

Again, grip giving way after 1 min. 30 sec. Although it seemed as if my pace was faster with this lightest bell it was not! I got 32 reps, rested and got another 7 reps, total rep count 39 snatches.

12kg snatch L

Last 2 minutes set....1 min 30 sec. 30 reps, rest 15 sec. another 7 reps, total rep count 37 snatches.

Whew! And this was only half of our workout! We went on to power snatches and heavy 2 hand swings for the remaining 30+ minutes. This was by far the hardest training I've done in a long time, and I still had to lead an Intermediate and Beginning Swing class.....oh well what's another 1200+ swings and 150+ snatches?

Lucky me. I'm not being sarcastic, I really mean lucky me!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Standing Forehead to Knee...left side....check!

We all know which side of our body is stronger, more balanced, or more flexible (sometimes that means the same thing), but yoga can make it more obvious. There are many different styles of yoga but I've been practicing Bikrams yoga for over 4 years now. I found that most yoga practitioners either love or hate Bikrams. I can appreciate both attitudes.....weird you might think? Well, knowing what I know about the skill of strength, balance and stretching I know Bikrams leaves a lot to be desired. But because I know how to coach myself I have made great gains in this style.....also this particular practice suits my strengths and it's easy for me!

I've tried other styles, in fact just this past year I cut my Bikrams practice of 6-7 classes per weekin half substituting Vinyasa and Iyengar classes. I liked both the the others for different reasons, and I hope to go back to splitting my practice to include at least 2 classes a week of the other styles. But Bikrams is extremely popular in my area and I can choose from 5 times as many class times as any other practice. The studio I'm going to now offers about 40 classes per week, and I have at least 4 other local studios to choose from if for some crazy reason I can't make it there! To compare, there is only one Iyengar studio with a very limited class schedule.

Anyway..... one of the things about Bikrams that used to bug the crap out of me was that every pose started on the same side of the body....and you don't have a choice which side starts first. I always felt that after I used some of my strength and endurance on one side I had less strength and endurance on the other! How was I ever going to match them up if I always started with my stronger side?

To top it off, most of the teachers hold the first part of each posture longer than the second part. Seriously. Most of the teachers get so caught up in delivering the dialogue (the instructions) in the first half pose they hold it easily 20-30% longer. So there I am, holding a pose longer on my stronger problem....and then I have to try and do it on my weaker side and I'm tuckered out at this point....I don't have much left!

This is especially true in "Standing Head to Knee". Standing head to knee is a difficult posture to begin with, it could take weeks if not months to simply stay in the first part of the pose for 1 full minute (picture 1 above). At the point that you are strong enough to kick your leg out parallel (picture 2 above), it could take weeks and months to bend your elbows down to your knees (picture 3 above).

Now here's the tricky part.... Once you get your elbows down around your calves, tuck your chin to your chest and touch your forehead to your knee! (picture 4 to left) Hold it there for at least 10 seconds, usually longer. Oh, and then come out of the pose exactly how you went into it! head up, straighten your arms (picture 5 to left), bend your knee, stand up.....whoops!(pictures 6 and 7 below, lol)

I've been able to the pose on my right side for a long, long time, but my left side has eluded me. I hadn't even been close for months after I got it on my right side, maybe even a year, until....

Last year I was lucky enough to watch my brilliant husband Mark teach the handstand skill at Hardstyle Ventura. Learning about handstands helped my Standing Head to Knee? Yep, here's how.

I learned about "stacking". To practice standing on your hands you have to stack your shoulders above your hands, then stack your hips above your shoulders and then up go your legs "stacked" above your hips. What does this have to do with my yoga pose? Well, it demonstrated to me how to identify the part of the pose that's the "trick". "Stacking" is part of the trick of balance!

I applied this to many parts of my yoga practice, but here's how it helped me in this pose. By looking in the mirror I could see how I wasn't stacking my the weight of my body over my one support, my right leg! So I shifted over slightly and viola`. That was enough to get me balanced with my head up. Now to tuck my chin to my chest and balance without looking forward.

Think it's not that hard? Well, stand on one leg, nothing too difficult, and then close your eyes! Ah....different story eh?

So, the next challenge, the "head to knee" part. This was hit and miss for the past year. Lots of times I would blame it on the fact that the teacher held me in the first part of the posture twice as long not leaving me with much for the second, more difficult half....and let me tell you I get pissed when that happens....anyway.... I think I finally put all the pieces of the puzzle, "the trick" together!

Now I had the balance, all I had left was to stay in that 'sweet spot' and build my strength endurance. I visualize my standing leg to be as solid as a tree trunk with roots growing down into the earth....and here's the really cool part that made all the difference....I also visualize the leg that's kicking out as a horizontal tree trunk with roots growing into the mirror in front of me keeping me solid horizontally and vertically. I'm rooting in both directions.....aren't I smart?

Sure there are a few other little things but for the most part I think I can check this posture off the list.

Adding in Squats....again

The two kb lifts that I rarely train is the Get-up and the squat. The Get-up I simply don't make enough time to do, and it may be because the platforms in our garage gym are too narrow which poses one more obstacle. The squat I've trained off an on, mostly off, because my legs are plenty big enough, (picture to right), and my abs are plenty thick enough! The one thing both lifts would improve however is my flexibility.

I'm adding in squats back into my workouts on Thursdays as part of my doubles workout, and I may add it in with a single bell on Tuesdays only because I have a killer swing/squat workout that I call "The Torture Chamber" that I may want to produce for video and I've got to get in shape to do it! The workout combined single and double bell sets as well as pacing....and those of you who have done some pacing work with me on my Programing the KB Swing DVD know how freakin' hard that is!

I train swings for at least 30 minutes and 15 min of light snatches with a client (or 2) before a 20-30 minute doubles workout.

Warm up the single clean/squat for two 1 minute sets. Warm up the double clean/squat for 1 min.

dbl cl/sq x 5 w/12kg's, 30 sec work/rest

dbl pr x 6 w/ 12kg's (30/30)

dbl sn w/10kg's x 12 (30 /30)

dbl sn w/8kg's x 12 (30/30)

2 rotations = 12 min.

Then I realized I didn't need anymore ballistic work so I dropped the dbl snatches and went to dbl presses, but no rest between switching weights.

dbl cl/sq x 5 w/12kg's (30/30)

dbl pr x 5 w/ 12kg's
dbl pr x 5 w/10kg's
dbl pr x 6 w/8kg's (1.5 min/30)

4 rotations = 12 min.

I finished up with 5 sets of 8 rep bottoms up cleans (30/30)

I didn't want to overdo the squats so there will be much more to come.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Counting Calories and Chicken Liver Pate

It's no secret that I'm a calorie counter. What does that mean exactly? Well, what it doesn't mean is that I count "exact calories". There's no way anyone should live in fear of an "exact" calorie count of consumed foods. It may seen contradictory to what I'm saying but what I believe is more important than "exact" calorie count is educating yourself on the facts about how much food, how many calories, you eat.

I think more people than not have absolutely no idea how much food, or calories, they eat in relation to maintaining a healthy bodyweight......including myself sometimes! In these current times, in this modern culture, there is so much abundance that overeating has become the "norm". Once you know how much you are eating then the choice is yours. But if you are overweight then you are eating too much and consuming more calories than your body needs for the energy it puts out, period.

How can you make cutbacks if you don't know what to cut back? You have to educate yourself. Once you are familiar with most foods it's easy to gauge, or guesstimate your daily calories....but if you still weigh more than you say you want to weigh then you are guesstimating your daily calories too low!

It's fine if you don't want to cut back but don't look like a deer in the headlights.....

One of my favorite meals for the past few months is chicken liver pate. I spread it on apple slices, I spread it on crackers, I even spread it on prunes! I freakin' love chicken liver pate! I first learned how to make it from an Italian caterer I stayed with for a week in Tuscania, Italy. It's really easy, but for some reason, although I would buy a pound of chicken livers, I hate to admit, I would never get around to it and ended up throwing them out.....along came "Hip Pressure Cooking".

Elle, who has a blog called "Hip Pressure Cooking", and had commented a few times here on my blog, posted a pressure cooker chicken pate recipe and I've been making it at least once a week since!

Sure chicken liver pate is higher in fat, but it's high in protein also. With Elle's recipe only 2 tablespoons of butter is used, compared to a whole stick (yikes), so it's relatively lower in calories per serving. Oh...but here's the really cool only takes 3 minutes in the PC! The whole process probably takes less than 20 minutes from the first slice of onion to measuring out and portioning the finished product.


I was at the Farmers' Market in Palo Alto on Saturday and bought what I've been waiting for all winter....pasture fed chicken livers! Talk about decadent! I bought 2 lbs of pasture fed chicken livers knowing that I would have to cook it all and freeze some of it. Sure I could have bought only one pound but I was scared I wouldn't get back to the market for more....hmnn...leftover childhood fear of not getting enough...oh well....

I tried to make a "double batch" one time and it just didn't turn out right, so tonight I made two separate batches. While the first batch was cooking I prepped the ingredients for the next batch. I cut one extra large onion for both and then measured out the rest of the ingredients exactly. I know I put more onion in the first batch, but for some reason the first batch measured out to 28 oz., where the second batch measured out to 16 oz...? Big difference.

Pressure cooking does create steam, so the first batch not only had slightly more onion, but probably more steam moisture. Either way counting the calorie per serving is the same. The first batch has bigger serving per calories, but I suspect the flavor in the second batch will be more concentrated. Lucky for me my taste palate is not that sensitive!

Sometimes I use a recipe calorie counter to calculate the total calories in any of my personal recipes and then divide the total per servings. Here's the link to the calculation of my chicken liver pate:

1 pound chicken liver 757 (750)
1 lg onion 44 (0)
1 tablespoon olive oil 119 (100)
2 oz brandy 126 (120)
2 tbl capers 4 (10)
2 anchovy fillets 17 (20)
2 tablespoon butter 204 (200)

1271 total (1200)

Above is the calories listed by the recipe calculator, in parenthesis is what I would have guessed based on my own knowledge or research. I was "off" by about 70 calories but divided by 4 or 6 servings it is only less than a 20 calorie difference. Not a big deal for everyday life.

As you can see from the picture above I was able to divide the first batch into three 7-8oz portions (2 serving per portion, 200 calories per), and the second batch into two 8 oz portions (again 2 serving per portion, 300 calories per). I will freeze 3 portions leaving one of each batch in the fridge for the next 3 days to "taste test".

I love chicken liver pate....and so does Mark!

Picture at top was borrowed from Elle's blog.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Two Minute Test Sets

I haven't been doing much 16kg snatching, although I have been doing my share with the well as swings with this weight. I'm not quite ready to train high volume with the 16kg, but I did have a ton of fun a couple of months ago when I did five 2 minute long snatch sets for reps with the 16kg. Here are 4 videos I took from Saturdays workout explained in the next few paragraphs.

So yesterday I thought I would do two minute long 16kg snatch test sets but not just "for reps", but maybe with only one hand switch, something I should do more of. If I want to train that skill and strength more then I have to start somwhere...and that somewhere was here! (above video)

The first two snatch sets with only one hand switch, (hardstyle, "over the top"), I changed it to snatch with a neg press (health snatch/half snatch) for two sets, (above two videos), and then finally back to hardstyle snatch but for fast as possible, switching hands multiple times. (video below)

Since we were on a "two minute" roll....I continued to "test" sets with doubles, starting with swings. I had never swung dbl 12kg's for more than 20 reps before, I never tried! So I extremely pleased to have done 40 before having to put them down for 15 seconds, finishing with 30 more. (I think Meg did all 80!). On to double presses.

For double presses the rules were that you could strict press, push press or jerk, just dbl press as long as you could before having to put the bells down, getting as many reps in the two minutes as possible.

Back to a single bell. Two hand problem to swing for 2 minutes straight, but I chose the 16kg because of course the 12 was too light, but I didn't feel like going heavier, I wanted to be just right.

Single bell presses next. Like the first snatch sets, one hand switch was allowed, but like the dbl press sets strict press, push press, or jerk was athletes choice.

Last but not least, back to the snatch. This time with the 12kg and all out for reps at the end.

Ta da! If you have never tested your skills then two minute long sets are plenty challenging enough, so go for it!

16kg snatch w/one hand switch x 2 (40 reps)

16kg snatch/neg press, one hand switch, x 2 (41 reps)

16kg snatch for reps, mulitple hand switches x 1 (53 reps)

12kg's double swings x 1 (70 reps)

12kg's long cycle double presess, LC x 2

2 hd swing w/16kg (80 reps) x 1

12kg single LC press, one hand switch x 2

light snatch, one hand switch x 1

light snatch for reps x 1 (60 reps)

All rest periods were two minutes.

I only taped the snatch sets because I didn't know what I was going to train next...

Rockin' the 10 minutes Snatch Test

Yesterday I shared the love of testing..... Before I post my own training I wanted to give a "shout out" to my 9:00am Intermediate group class that is on the verge of turning into an Advanced skill level class.

I knew it was time to put them through the fun of a real challenge. Although I initially thought to test them for 5 minutes, I reconsidered and knew nothing short of 10 minutes was going to give them a real sense of accomplishment for all of the hard work and commitment to training they have all showed for these past months.

They all rocked it, and I feel like a proud Mommy! I know how much work we get done in a 45 minute class. Literally hundreds of swings and snatches regularly. Easily 3, 4, 5 times work to rest ratios.....and more!

I taught all but one their very first swing and I remember how 10 swing reps was a challenge, as it it for everyone first learning. Now on to even more bigger and better workouts! The summer is going to be a blast!

Congratulations to time I won't forget to take a picture!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Xmas in June

Guess what I go for Xmas this last year? Well, I got what I asked for, a 10 qt pressure cooker and an immersion blender! Why I never had an immersion blender before is crazy...seriously. With all of the chilis, and soups that I make it should of been a must, and now it is.

Speaking of chilis and soups....I used my immersion blender 3 times already is less than a week, I feel like it's Xmas all over again! The time and clean up it saves me is so worth whatever the cost was (I hear Santa has to pay retail). I used to have to put steaming hot soups in the stand up blender to puree, but it's the pulling the damn thing out of the cabinet and cleaning it out afterwards that's a drag. This morning I made a huge pot of one of my favorite soups, roasted curry cauliflower and was able to blend it to a smooth puree right on top of the stove.

I love putting all the veggies I can fit into my soups and stews. Last night after dinner I cut a lg onion, 2 carrots and 2 stalks of celery into a small dice ready to use first thing this morning to start my soup (mirepoix). Along with 1 head of cauliflower. Before I left for a double Bikram class at 5:30am I took the veggies out of the fridge to come to room temp while I was away so when I got home at 9:15am everything was ready to go.

It took about 25 minutes to roast the cauliflower and only 10 minutes to saute the mirepoix. So total cooking time was about 35 minutes, but no prep (it was already done!). My immersion blender finished the soup in a couple of minutes and 10 cups of soup later.....all pre portioned and packed....except for the big bowl I ate with some diced turkey I took out of the freezer yesterday.

Cauliflower is one of the best deals at the grocery store. Trader Joes and many "regular" grocery stores sell a whole head for less than $2. Don't worry too much about the size consistency when you cut it up for soup as long as the largest pieces aren't larger than around 1 1/2 inches. Don't forget about the core and the stem!

I turn the head upside down. When you look at the stem you will see where the hard fibrous ring surrounds the core. Cut all the way through the cauliflower on the four sides of the core, right inside of the fibrous ring. This should leave you with 5 large pieces, including the core piece. You should be able to simply snap away the bit you don't want (the woody part of the stem) from the base of the 4 larger pieces. Now just chop into smaller chunks. Remember it's all going to end up pureed, so don't stress.

Roasted Curry Cauliflower Soup

1 head of cauliflower cut into small pieces (described above)
3 tbl olive oil (2 tbl for roasting cauliflower and 1 tbl for saute)
1 lg onion, small dice
2 med carrot, small dice
2 stalks celery, small dice
4-6 c chicken stock
red pepper flakes
1-2 tbl curry powder
salt and pepper

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees, make sure and pre heat your 2 roasting pans too! Toss cauliflower in a large bowl with a generous pinch of salt and red pepper flakes. Drizzle with 2 tbl olive oil, and toss and "massage" to coat all of the cauliflower. Divide cauliflower onto the two pre heated roasting pans and cook for 15 minutes. Turn, toss cauliflower and maybe switch the positions of the pans, cook for an additional 10 minutes.

At this time heat up your soup pot with 1 tbl olive oil. Saute the onion, carrot and celery for 5-6 minutes, add chicken stock. When the cauliflower is ready add that to the soup pot with all of the ingredients, bring to a boil, turn down heat and let simmer partially covered for 5-10 minutes.

When to add curry powder? You can add the curry powder at one of two different stages. You can sprinkle it over the cauliflower in the last half of roasting, OR, you can sprinkle it to the sauteed vegetables, toss and toast it slightly in the hot pan before you add the stock. I don't find it matters.

With your immersion blender, blend until smooth (or the old fashioned way....wait until cool enough to handle and puree in blender in small batches) Always add more stock to the consistency that best pleases you.

I posted a super simple version of this soup a few weeks ago using basically only cauliflower, onion and stock. Both version will get you to the same end, but this one has more nutrition, and depth. I would be happy with either one, but I love to cook so when I have the time to put in that little extra I do.

Picture above: Viking immersion blender....I love commercial grade kitchen equipment!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thursday Light

I wanted to get a blogpost up with today's workout, which I did twice...well three times if you count the number of swings...I'll explain....

I did my own workout this morning that totaled 1400 swings, and then repeated it for my afternoon class with only 700. It's a great workout and I will post details and video tomorrow with both an Advanced and Beg/Inter version. In fact I may do it again in my Sat morning class and re-tape it! It'll be a bit always gets better!

But for now here's a little workout I did after my swings. Again I didn't have dbl 12kg's and that OK cause I snatched alot on Wed., and I've got some big plans for heavy snatches, swings and presses this Sat.

All press sets combined short cylce and long cycle (short cycle is only one clean and then multiple presses, long cycle is a clean before every press). 15 sec SC, 15 sec LC = 30 sec interval

30/30 sec intervals
dbl 8kg's

14 dbl snatches

6 press, 4 cl/pr

6 push pr, 4 cl/push pr

6 jerk, 4 cl/jerk

each rotation took 4 minutes to complete x 5 = 20 minutes

As I explain in the video it was pretty easy and I would have added a set of 14 dbl snatches to make it more difficult. It would look like this;

14 dbl snatches

6 press, 4 cl/pr

14 dbl snatches

6 push pr, 4 cl/push pr

14 dbl snatches

6 jerk, 4 cl/jerk

This would take 6 minutes to complete and I would have done 4 rotations. It's nice to "leave a little in the tank" as Mark always says!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Messing Around

Tuesday morning I teach and train for about 60-75 minutes, take a break, go for a walk or cup of joe, and come back tp Girya to train presses and clubbells with my sweetie. I ususally have a few minutes to play around with some other kind of stuff, and since I added vinyasa and Iyengar yoga a few months ago I like to practice inversions. (although I have put those practices on hold for the past month...)

Because I was a chubby child I never did cartwheels or played on the monkey bars upside down (to this day I've never done a cartwheel), so being upsidedown has never been comfortable for me. All I feel is the total weight of my body above me, I don't feel light at all. Since I happen to be married to the handstand King I do not like being coached by yoga instructors, I don't trust to begin with, teaching basic yoga postures, much less inversions. If someone cannot teach me the progressions of a skill because they don't know them how can I learn? I'm not interested in learning how to run before I can crawl.

So, I've been messing around with this little exercise I do to start to feel comfortable with my weight upside down onto my hands. I use the stability ball to lift my torso up and stack my bodyweight over my hands, kinda to build some strength but more for confidence before kicking up.

We'll see how I progress. I'm not in a hurry.