Sunday, September 30, 2012

Short Shopping List

A couple of weeks ago I realized I had too much food in my house!  I had too many choices, although good choices, and I've been trying to buy less and less until I get in the habit of having "just enough".  I love to cook and prepare food, but I don't need near as much as I think I do.  In fact, this was the point of a discussion Mark and I had one evening.  He said exactly that!

"I don't think people realize how little food they actually need!  Do you know how long it would take you to die from starvation?  Weeks!"  And that's with no food, literally no food.

This part of our conversation stuck with me.  I knew I've been eating more than I need to for months now.  How did I know?  Because I weigh more than I say I want to!  It's not a mystery why.  I had been eating more food because I have so much in my house to chose from!  I think I'm like a lot of people that don't like the idea of throwing perfectly good food away.  And the best way to avoid that is to not have extra in the first place.  Seriously, those of you with pantries full of snacky foods like chips, cereals, crackers, granola bars, cookies, etc, I don't know how you live like that!  Even though I think I have a lot of food in my fridge, it's not that much compared, and I know I have very little in my pantry, but it's still too much, it's a fraction of what the average household has.

I found myself taking advantage of this years summer crops and overbuying fruit especially.  Life is good!  So much good foods available...but really, there's always something as good coming along no matter what time of year it is, and where you live these days is also of little matter.  So I stopped buying pounds and pounds of fresh fruits.  And to be honest, sometimes I feel sad leaving  them at the store!  Big piles of summer melons, peaches, nectarines, grapes!  I've only bought grapes one time this year!  For real!  (but I made up for it with other things, for sure!).

These past two weeks I practically willed myself to not go to the market!  Every time I wanted to stop and pick up a few things I reminded myself that I still had plenty, and if I wanted more I just had to finish the foods I had at home first.....I'm still working on it!

Overbuying may lead to overeating, and personally it had that affect on me more than once!  But I'm reigning it in!  And what a relief!  And here's a real change....ready?  I now leave the house without my lunch!  That's a different subject for another time, but it's related to "over preparing".

I've got a salad for the entire week made.  I've got beef, chicken wings, eggs for proteins this week.  I've got plenty of yogurt, cheese, oats, beans, nuts, avo, salad greens, a melon, figs, and there is absolutely nothing else I need to eat!  I even bought one Big Hunk candy bar in case I feel like chewy sweet nutty treat!

My shopping list was so short this afternoon and it felt great!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sinister Double Bell Progression

I just posted a couple of advanced versions of Sinister, using double bells.  If you are new to double bell swings, then here is another, more progressive routine. warning...this video is R rated (I drop the "F" bomb about half way

5 dbl sw, 10 sngl sw, 15 singl sw, 20 singl sw
5 sgl sw, 10 dbl sw, 15 sngl sw, 20 sngl sw
5 sngl sw, 10 snfl sw, 15 dbl sw, 20 sngl sw
5 sngl sw, 10 sngle sw, 15 sngl sw, 20 dbl sw

I've been training this routine for 2 weeks now and I have yet to get to the 32kg!  I'm getting there! Until then, here is enough for everybody to find a challenging workout!  Oh, and if all else fails?  Get the 32kg!

PS  This is the 3rd of 4 rotations (200 reps each).  This was taped during my first, 90 minute,  7:00 am Advanced class.  We warmed up with 200 reps done 40 rep sets x 5 (1 min work to rest).  We then went on to 30 minutes of dble snatch training (soon to be posted), and finished up with this version of Sinister.  Although you may hear me talk about abandoning this routine after this (3rd) rotation in favor of some other way of finishing another 200 reps (1000 in total for this class), Meg made me "Lady up" and finish the last and 4th rotation.  I did not tape it, but I laddered down, starting with 20 dbls in the first group of 4 sets, 15 in the 2nd, 10 in the 3rd and 5 in the last...much easier!  Not that I wanted for it to be easy, or anything!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Real Quick...Double Sinister!

Double Sinister.  Goodness!  the first time I applied double bells to the Sinister workout I alternated the single 24kg with dble 12kg's.  Really?  I don't know how I did it...pure torture!  (last video demos a short warm up followed by this workout done last year in Sept, but I never posted it)  This time I laddered up the dble bell sets (two 12's) and I think I used either a 16 or 20kg...don't remember now...kinda looks like a 20, but I may have switched them out! It's been a couple of weeks since I trained it)

Sinister, in case you forgot!  All sets start on the "30 seconds", followed by one last 30 sec rest period.

5 reps
10 reps
15 reps
20 reps
30 sec rest

2.5 minutes, 50 swings

5 dbl bell, 10 sngl bell, 15 sngl bell, 20 sngl bell rest

5 dbl bell, 10 dbl, 15 sngl, 20 sngl, rest

5 dbl bell, 10 dbl, 15 dbl, 20 sngl, rest

5 dbl, 10 dbl, 15 dbl, 20 dbl.

4 rotations, 10 minutes, (100 reps w/dbl bells, 100 reps w/sngle bell....I love how that works out!)

Repeat as much as time, energy, will or desire permits!

PS, In the first video I repeat the first four rotations for a complete 20 minute, 400 swing rep workout.  Half way through you will hear me talking with my  training partner who showed up just as I was finishing...I made her swing with me!

Monday, September 24, 2012

1000 swings "Progressive Rest" strikes again

Warning!  This blog post has too much training information!  Just sayin'

I did not take any video of Saturdays workout because it was the same old boring stuff...well, boring to anybody watching, not boring to anybody doing!  I posted "Sinister" last week, and to my delight and surprise a few people actually jumped on the Sinister bandwagon and took their own challenges.  Some big ole heavy bells came out to play!

I post my routines so other people, if interested, can see how much fun and variety there is using this one single movement of the swing.  One routine can be changed up in infinite ways as you have seen in many of my workouts/posts, and as you will see as I post 2 other Sinister variations this week.  But for now I want to share how a Sinister workout done by Karen Rossler, using the 32kg, inspired this weekends 1000 swing workout! (Sept. 20 post on The Swing FB page if you want to watch her video!)

As I mentioned, I don't post my workouts/routines as a challenge to anybody, but if someone gets inspired to challenge themselves that is a great compliment to me.  After Karen did Sinister with the 32kg I didn't feel challenged, but I did feel inspired, and that's really what training, consistent, life long training, should be about, in my opinion.  Constantly trying to look for, or tackle "PR challenges" weekly should not be the goal.  Your regular training is your "study", your homework!  "Challenges" are tests!  Do your homework first!

On to my workout....  Karen did 200 swing reps, 4 rotations of Sinister (50 reps each).  Sure, I was thinking that I would just get to the gym Sat, do my 200 32 kg swings and go on to the rest of my training.  But I wasn't feelin' it!  I had taped multiple Sinister variations last week, all of them heavy, the most grueling (aka, fun) with double bells, I was tired!  Well, I was tired of moving tons of heavy weights, but I was inspired with this "200" rep idea.

First thoughts were of course, since I swung heavy and low reps, I would train 200 swing rep sets, but talk about boring!  How should I design this?  Well, I really didn't know how it would turn out, but what I did know was the first set was going to be 200 reps (5 min), and the rest would come to me as we went along....yep "we" and my 3 training partners!  My instruction to them was simply that the first set was going to be 200 reps, done in any kind of swing combination, or combinations they wanted to, and my suggestion was to switch combinations every 40 reps (every  min), that was my original plan. (10/10, 5/5/, 2/1, 1/1, 2 hd)  But knowing all 2 hd swings would be the most challenging I chose to do all two hand swings.  Oh, and I used the 14kg.

I used the 14kg, even though I'm pretty sure I could have done it with the 16kg because as I just wrote, the point is not to test yourself every workout.  When you do something for the first time especially, it should be to get a baseline idea of where your strength and conditioning stands. Not to pound your body into the ground, and risk injury or burn out/over train. (also, we just finished 40 minutes of dble press training)

During the first set of 200 it came to me out of the suggestion to switch up swing combinations every 40 reps.  We would swing 5 sets of 40 rep sets ("200"!), after the first set, with progressive rest periods.  After the first set of 200, which is 5 sets of 40 without any rest, the next rotation of 5 sets of 40 would have only 15 sec rest in between, with one minute rest period before the next 5 sets of 40.  The third rotation of 5 sets of 40 would have 30 sec rest in between sets, with another minute of rest before the next rotation.  The forth rotation of 5 sets of 40 would have, yes, you guessed it, 45 seconds between each set....and the last?  Well, I'm betting you are not going to guess!

During the fourth rotation of 5 sets of 40 w/45 sec rest I realized this was a very luxurious break!  Sure the original intent was to take 1 min rest between the last 5 sets of 40, keeping with the order of longer and longer rest periods....and this was the end of the workout, a great time to "cool down". but I know my girls!  (and if you are inspired to try this workout/method, then by all means, start with the original intent!  1 minute rest periods at the end)

Last rotation of 5 sets of 40 I went back to PRP, 15/30/45/1 min!  I was also really digging the fact that the rep count of this workout was easy to count/journal.  5 sets of 40 = 200 reps.  200 reps x 5 = 1000.  Couldn't be any easier.  Here it is written out.

200 2 hd sw w/14kg, 5 min/1 min rest (6 min.)

(200 reps) 40 reps x 5 sets, 1 min/15 sec, x 4 with 1 min rest after the last set(7 min)

(200 reps) 40 reps x 5 sets 1 min/30 sec x 4, 1 min rest after the last set (8 min)

(200 reps) 40 reps x 5 sets, 1 min/45 sec x 4 with 1 min rest after last set (9 min)

last rotation, progressive rest ladder

(200 reps) 40 reps x 5 sets, 1 min/15-30-45-1 min rest (7.5 min)


37.5 min.

Really?  It took us that long?  Didn't seem like it!  1000 reps done at EWR calculated out to 50 minutes.  So shaving 12.5 minutes off is pretty good work!  Basically we did it in 3/4 of the time.

A couple of side notes;  This workout follows many of this past months routines I designed around my method of using progressive rest periods.  Here is the link to the original
I ended up training all two hand swings!  My form and technique changed quite a bit from the first set to the last!  I definitely had to give myself (the bell) more "floating time".  It had nothing to do with my cardio, it had to do with back fatique of the two hand swings.  Not grip or forearm fatigue.  Also, maybe if Meg reads this she will chime in which bells she used.  I'm pretty sure she used the 16kg for part of this and maybe even the 18 or 20kg, not sure.  Also, Maribel and Deepika found their own way through, and maybe they will offer up what their strategy was as well!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Bring Joy to Your Practice (smile!)

I really think I used to have a great Bikram's yoga practice!  Better than it has been for the past year or so.  I could blame lots of things, but one thing I know, I simply do not practice as much as I used to.  My schedule has changed, or should I say, my priorities have changed?  As always I still practice, without fail, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with Sunday always being optional (but rarely missed!).  BUT, I used to have a double practice on those three days, which meant that my regular practice consisted of 6-7, 90 minute classes a week.  This past year it's been half of what it was previous, if I'm lucky....oh, but wait, I am lucky!  High quality problem huh?  I only practice yoga 4 1/2 - 6 hours a week instead of 10+ hours a week!  Cry me a river!  Anyway...

I'm driving to class Wednesday morning, in all honesty I was not looking forward to it.  I hear the thoughts in my head...."God this is going to be torture!", "this is going to suck!", "argh!", "maybe if traffic is bad I'll miss, and then I'll just go shopping! Yes, shopping is fun!!", or, "this is going to be so painful"....and the "painful" part is really my ego.  Physically, it's just yoga!  But facing how my life has changed, how I've changed my life, leaves only me to blame.

Maybe it's not as important to me anymore?  But it feels like it is!  I don't like how it feels to know I can do better, but yet not put into action what I need to make it better, or feel as it is as good as it once was, OR, at the very least, stop feeling bad and accept that it may be time to move onto something else. Something else that inspires me to be my best again.  My Bikram's yoga practice is not doing that!  Whoa.....!!!!!!  Was I blaming Bikram's again?

So, as I was driving to my 10:00am class on Wednesday, with all of my negative thoughts about the practice, my practice, the last one negative thought I had....the very last one was this;

I'm just not finding joy in my practice anymore.

Right after I had that thought, there was no denying how negative it was, and I had to stop.  What?  What was that you just said?  You are not finding joy in your practice?  Well!  When was the last time YOU brought joy to YOUR practice?  Busted!  I totally busted myself!

When was the last time I brought the joy?  How could I expect something else to be responsible for how I felt?  It's my responsibility to find the joy in my life, in all parts of my life, not just yoga.  This resonated so deeply that I immediately thought about all of the other parts of my life I could bring the joy, or more joy!  How lucky!  I love my life!  I love my yoga practice!  I really, really, really see now, again, that I am the one that decides my mood!  Amazing!

I see every part of my life as "my practice".  My relationships are a practice.  My eating, and food prep, a practice.  My training, definitely a practice.  My health, from brushing my teeth everyday to washing my hair, a practice.  Keeping a house/home, a practice.  Driving...a practice.  Balancing my money, a practice.  Writing, a practice.  Thinking in positive and grateful ways, a practice.  so much joy to have, and so much joy to bring.

Bring joy to your practice before you blame your practice for not giving you joy first. Smile!

"16 Squared" A Tracyrif No Brainer Snatch/Transfer workout

Sometimes my workouts evolve so perfectly I couldn't do it better if I tried to! I had no idea how this workout was going to go, much less end up until I heard myself talk to the camera.... "16 snatches and 16 swings.....(hey), with the 16kg....(hey), maybe I can get in 16 minutes of training?" Viola! "16 Squared"!

I've been liking "snatch/transfers" lately because for each snatch rep there is a swing rep!  That means I'm able to train both movements equally (almost...not including warm-ups).  And since it's no secret or surprise that I swing three times as much as I do anything else, sometimes it's nice to mix it up a bit more than usual.

Swing warm up (old school)

40 2 hd sw x 5 sets (10 min)

Snatch/transfer warm up w/12kg

sn/tr x 18 x 5 sets, 1 min work/30 sec rest = 90 snatches 7.5 minutes (15 intervals).

Work sets snatch/transfers w/16kg

1 min/1 min
2 min/1 min, 32 sn
3 min/1 min, 48 sn
1 min/1 min x 10 sets, 160 sn

32 min total, 256 snatches, 256 swings (not bad!  That's 512 reps with the 16kg in about 30 minutes!)

Sorry for the poor video, but sometimes a video "production" is not a priority.  I was expecting one of my training partners within 10 minutes or so and I wasn't sure I wanted to tape anything at all, so I just threw up the camera during my 5th set or sure.  I ended up finishing with her snatch/transferring along with me!  Thanks Deepika!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Original "Sinister"! And the workouts!

If you went through this years San Jose RKC, then you might recall a little swing workout Pavel let me take you through.....  OK, so a few months ago, maybe almost 1 year now, I walk into my Bikram's yoga studio, owned by our close friend, and HKC, Mike Mayle.  I asked, "So have you been training lately?"  He knew I meant kettlebells (of course!). His answer?  "Well, I've been doing some swings with the 24kg...5, 10, 15 and 20 reps every 30 seconds."

Hmnn...  In my head I thought, "What?  5, 10, 15, 20?  I've never thought about 5 reps, never thought about 15 reps (except in my "work into rest" method).  My whole swing world consisted of 10, 20 and 40 rep sets (and more, but in increments of 10)  I think I'll give it a go!"  Here is what I ended up naming "Sinister"!

"Sinister" was designed to use "The heaviest kettlebell you know you can swing for 20 reps, but you don't like to!"  (Tommy Blom complimented me on this description of how to chose your correct bell size at the SJ RKC this year!) I named it "Sinister" because it's deceiving in it's's only 20 reps max, right?  Mu-ah-ah-ah!

Every set is started on a 30 second interval. The first set is only 5 reps, the second set, 10 reps, the third, 15, and the fourth, 20 reps.  The last 30 second interval is a rest period, which you will need and be very grateful for!  It's a grip and forearm killer for sure because the deceit lies in the second minute.  The first minute you only swing a total of 15 reps (5, and 10), but the second minute you swing 35 reps, with only 7.5 seconds in between! (15 and 20)

The other beauty of this workout is that each rotation ("round") equals 50 reps, and lasts 2 and 1/2 minutes! In other words it is an "equal work to equal rest ratio, but done in an entirely different way!  Who said EW2R was easy?  I loved it!  And it's easy to add up reps at the end of a workout!

In this first video I invited Mike to train it with me, I wouldn't have had it any other way!  We do 4 rotations, 200 swing reps.  I'm using the 16kg because it was not a "training day" for me, and I wanted to be able to talk comfortably through the workout.  Mike uses a 24kg (his body weight btw is 140lbs!)  I also just finished a 90 minute Bikram's yoga class and the studio was still hot and humid...just sayin'

One more thing...IF the last two sets are still a challenge and you need more rest I demonstrate to you the option of starting the last set 15 seconds later, and 10 reps shorter.  It's all good!  Don't compare yourself to anybody else's workout!  You are your own best trainer and coach!  The important thing is that you show up for your next workout!

"Sinister", the workouts!

"Sinister"  Ladder Up, Ladder Down

This version of Sinister uses 4 progressive sizes of kettlebells, although you can chose two or three, or of course, you can use just one!  If you have the luxury of multiple bells then lucky you!  But if you don't, then lucky you too, because the beauty of training the kettlebell swing is that all you really, really need is one bell!  Ok, so on with the workout!

Arrange your bells in order from light to heavy.  Start the first two rotations with your medium weight bell to get used to the progression.  At this point you can chose whether you want to start the third rotation with your heaviest bell (laddering down), or your lightest bell (laddering up).  My bells were the 14kg, 16kg, 20kg, and 24kg.  I had to share the 20kg with my training partner Maribel, so that's why it's on the end (out of order!), otherwise I always like to line my bells up!

Pretty simple when you know the rep count, and in this version all swings are done, in the original intent, with two hands.  All sets start on a 30 sec interval.

5 reps
10 reps
15 reps
20 reps

50 swings, 2.5 min per rotation

After our first two rotations, with a "medium weight bell", I ladder up.  We complete 6 rotations in total (3 up, 3 down) before finishing 4 more rotations only laddering up, AND getting rid of our lightest bell!  Get rid of it!  Start each new set with your heaviest bell, for 5 reps.  Then go on to 10 with your "new" lightest bell (which should be your 2nd lightest of the original 4).  My new bell order was 24kg, 16kg, 20 kg, 24kg.

I have posted the entire 40 minute video on Youtube here:

It includes a bonus!  A bonus of 3 rotations of "Mini Sinister"!  Mini Sinister is a shorter, but not easier, version I designed to do in a class held in Minneapolis!  Get it?  "Mini-apolis"!

Enjoy!  Oh, and not to worry about your next workout!  I've got another, even better (aka harder) version "in the can"....get those double bells ready!

PS I love doing Sinister in city's that start with an "S".  Not sure if I did Sinister in San Clemente....oops, I'll have to get back there to do it if I forgot!  Look for Sinister in San Diego soon!

"No-Brainer" Swing/Squat #2 (the entire 24 minute workout!)

Last week I posted my swing/squat "no brainer" workout with progressive rest, laddering swings into the rest period, and this week I did the same, almost exact routine.  "Almost exact" in the fact that I replaced the two hand swing/goblet squat with a one hand swing/clean/squat.  In the first video I remind you what last weeks version was, and if you don't know how to a one hand "clean/squat" you can always repeat the two hand/goblet squat version.

1 two hd sw, "catch the bell", goblet squat x 10 = 1 min

1 swing, clean, squat R, transfer swing, clean squat L, transfer swing repeat x 5= 1 min (5 R + 5 L = 10 swings, 10 cl/sq)

Each set starts on a two minute interval, adding on 10 more swings each set, decreasing your rest period by an additional 15 seconds each set. I give one hand swing options, but after my experience last week I conclude that using all two hand swings is more challenging (for me).

1 sw, 1 cl/sq x 10 (5 R, 5 L) (1 min/1 min)
1 sw, 1 cl/sq x 10  + 10 sw (10 tr) (1.25 min/ 45 sec)
1 sw, 1 cl/sq x 10  + 20 sw (5/5 x 2) (1.5 min/30 sec)
1 sw, 1 cl/sq x 10 + 30 sw (15/15 x 1) (1.75 min/15 sec)

8 min., 40 clean/squat, 100 swings each rotation ("round")

I completed 3 rotations.  The first w/12kg and the last two w/16kg.

Personally I feel that my squat is my weakest skill, which is why I've avoided it for so long.  My limiting factors are tight hamstrings and limited ankle mobility.  Most of my first reps I barely break parallel!  For now I'll do what I can, but with consistent practice, which I'm committing myself to, I should see some big improvements.

I rarely post squat workouts because I have found through my own business of personal training that more people than not cannot do a proper squat. mostly for the same reasons why it's difficult for me....tight hamstrings, limited ankle mobility (age and extra weight doesn't help either!).  This is why I like swing workouts so much, because swing training is the most "scale-able" for most everybody.  If you are not sure if you can do a proper squat or do the movement safely (rounded back), then please work with somebody, or don't worry about it for now!  I've got plenty of other workouts you can do in the mean time!

*note  Last week's version was much harder because not only was it all two hand swings, but, the first set did not have 1 minute rest period!  Instead the first set added 10 sw, the 2nd set 20 sw, the 3rd 30 sw, and the 4th set 40 swings!  The 1 minute rest was not until after the 4th set!  Still this was plenty hard!  Here is the last workout (no video)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Un-"Stocking Up"!

I posted this on my facebook fan page but I thought it was worth copying and sharing here....(just in case a few of you are not on facebook!)

First I ran out of brown sugar (my personal favorite), now I'm out of white sugar (which I use the least of...but non the less, now I'm out!). I've got about 2 tbls of maple syrup in the fridge. I've got about 1 c., maybe less of raw hone
y. I think that's it for sweeteners in my house, and I'm wondering how long I can go without buying any more, and when I do how little can I buy if I get it out of the bulk section, say maybe 1/2 c. at a time?

I'm not a sugar hater, or a person that wants to get rid of all sugar in my diet. This is not a challenge, and I'm not advocating it to anybody else. It's just an experiment on consciousness. Personally I gave up sugar for the month of April back in 2008 (I think), and I gained 5lbs replacing it with almond butter binges (back in the day of binges). So, for me, not anybody else, I don't feel the need to give up sugar, just maybe the need to "stock up" on it!

I may post more thoughts about this subject, but now that my chicken stock is strained and in the fridge, my kitchen is clean,  my dinner already done, time to take a little nap so I can get those workout videos posted before I go to bed tonight!

Making Chicken Stock

I have been making my own stocks and broths for years and years now. It's so easy, and if you cook a lot then saving vegetable scraps and bones is not hard, in fact you will always have more than you can use most of the now!

Summer is not usually the time to put on a big pot of stock, which is why I'm a bit behind.... Until I started making it in my pressure cooker I did it the old fashioned way, in a huge 12qt stock pot, overnight, on my stove top!  (8 hrs minimum)  In a pressure cooker it can take as little as 30 minutes for vegetable and fish stocks, or as 1 1/2 hr - 2 hrs for meat stocks.  Really the biggest drag is when the stock is finished! Straining, separating, storing.....I know, I know, high quality problem eh?

Straining is not hard, separating is not hard, storing is not hard, if I only had a couple of quarts to deal with!  But I've got to use my big guy...the 10qt PC and it's heavy filled to the brim with bones, veg and water!  OK, enough whining!  Making stock couldn't be easier and so worth getting into the habit if you want to make your own soups, sauces, heck, making grains like rice, farro, even steel cuts oats, or lentils and beans, with stock is so much tastier and nutritious why not use the free bones and veg scraps otherwise ending up in you trash?  You'll soon find out that purchasing stock or broth is money you can save (and time!)

I find that homemade stock is not the type of cooking you need to "perfect".  Just throw a bunch of stuff in a pot, bring it to a boil, simmer it forever (or just a couple of hours in the PC), strain it, cool  it, freeze it, or use it right away.  Just know that the more bones and veg you use, and the less water the richer the stock.  Personally I like to use as many bones and veg scraps as possible because you can always thin out a rich stock using water, but making thin stock richer is time consuming (it just requires extra cooking, and who wants "extra cooking"?)

Ok, enough...on with making stock.

Put a bunch of bones and veg scraps in a big pot.  Bring to a boil (if you cover the pot it will come to a boil quicker!).  If making the traditional way now would be the time to "skim" off the crud that rises to the top with a fine strainer....but it's not a big deal, really. Turn the heat down and cook it as long as you want to, or have time for. (2-8 hrs)

Let it cool enough to handle.  If you are like me then it's about 5 minutes!  If you are not comfortable handling 8 qts of scalding hot stock, then wait a couple of hours!  Use tongs or a large slotted spoon to scoop out the big bones so you can then pour the stock through a towel lined strainer into a container large enough to hold it all.  This may be another large stock pot, or large plastic commercial container.  Refrigerate.  You'll notice the fat that rises to the top will harden in the cold fridge so you can simply scoop it off and throw it out (or use it in your chicken pate like me!)  Seperate it into smaller usable servings, 1 c. 2 c. 1 qt, etc., and freezer until ready to use.

I'll use a portion right away, or keep 2 c - 1 qt. in the fridge until I'm ready, or up to only 3-4 days.

In the PC

Fill PC with bones and veg scraps.  Lock lid, bring pressure to high.  Turn down the heat, continue to cook for up to 2-3 hours (as little as 20 min).  Let the pressure come down naturally.  Remove large bones, pour through towel lined strainer.  Cool, refrigerate, separate, freeze or use right away.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, like anything, if you get into the habit, making stock regularly is really effortless and the pay off is big in so many ways.  It's probably the healthiest habit I have!  (ok, it's in the top 10!)

Friday, September 14, 2012

When Good Habits Go Bad!

When does a habit turn into an obsession?

I'm always talking and writing about establishing habits that support the kind of person you want to be and the kind of life you want to live, and I truly believe change happens by first becoming aware of the wanting or the need for change, and then taking action.  Taking action over and over and over again, until it becomes part of who you are (we are our habits).  I am really proud of many of the habits I've been able to establish these past 6 years, taking charge of feeding myself is the one I'm most proud of.....which ties for first place with my habit of training regularly...which ties for first place with how I think in a positive ways about myself and the people I love.  Okay, back to feeding myself!

I am lucky enough to be able to go to the market everyday if I want to, and I'm lucky that I like going to the market!  Or am I? Recently I've had to draw the conclusion that I shop too much! I buy too much food, more than I need.  Why is it that we overbuy anything, including food?  The habit of "stocking up" may, or may not be so healthy.

One of the explanations for stocking up may be rooted in fear.  Fear of running out in case of a disaster and not having enough "supplies" to survive (here in CA it's earthquake country), thank goodness for Costco and Sam's Club!  Or how about the fear of missing out, either on a seasonal product, may it be the last of the farm fresh corn, or the Halloween candy corn!  And then what about the fear of missing out on "sale" foods? (one of my old favorites!)

Part of being in charge of feeding myself is shopping, but also preparing foods and meals "in bulk". I call it planning ahead!  Again, I'm wondering if this habit has crossed over from good planning or fear of running out of "good foods" which may lead to making other "bad" choices?

Example #1:  I bought $20 worth of my favorite nectarines a couple of weeks ago.  Way more than I needed, for sure, because I was afraid of missing out.  They weren't even that good!  Some of them were starting to go bad and I figured I better eat them before it was too late (and again I would be missing out).  I also had purchased 3 small orange honeydew melons, and 2 baskets of figs, for the same reason.  This is at least 2-3 weeks worth of fruit I bought in one day!  Seriously!  So I need all that food?

Example #2:  I always, always make my lunch and pack it with me any time I'm going to be away from home for an extended period of time.  It's not difficult at all, and I can honestly say I enjoy it.....but what would happen if I forgot to bring it?  Well, I can tell you what would happen because I forgot to put it in my car yesterday!  I almost...almost freaked out!  Why?  Is this a healthy reaction?  I mean there are plenty of good food choices to buy at numerous eateries and groceries.  And if all else fails I'm only 20 minutes away from home!  Good-ness, can I hang on for 20 minutes, or am I afraid of starving to death?

Fear.  To me, fear is the first sign that something in my thought process needs to change.  I don't want to live on any kind of fear, large or small.  I have to much to be grateful for, so much goodness, love and luck to worry about things that can go wrong (and a little bit of smarts!)

Moving on....

Sure I will still shop, cook, prepare my own foods, but I will take more care, more notice, when I'm reacting in a way that doesn't help comfort me, instead makes me anxious or fearful.  Going to the store less doesn't mean that I buy more when I do go, it means that I buy enough.  Enough.  There is always enough.  That will be my new habit! To remind myself more often of that very thought...."I have enough, there will always be more, or different, I have enough, lucky me."

PS  I got home around 1:00 to eat the lunch I forgot to take with me and I didn't die!  I'm almost tempted to stop taking my lunch, practice relaxing and just come home to eat!  And my favorite market, Piazza's isn't going out of business anytime soon...and if they did there will be another "favorite" market!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Scaled Progressive rest ladder Swing workout

Here is another version of the weekends "Progressive Rest Ladder Swing workout".  I have one of my training partners, Meg, swing alongside of me to demonstrate the option of using the progressive rest option, or if you find you are not quite ready to challenge you rest periods I demonstrate how to change the rep count to reflect an "equal work to rest" variation. (EWR)

You will see that Meg and I switch options, alternating back and forth after a short warm up (EWR).  It's also appropriate to scale back to EWR if you want to challenge yourself with a heavier bell.

10 2 hd sw (15/15)
20 2 hd sw (30/30)
30 2 hd sw (45/45)
60 sw, 3 min

(EWR, me first)

25 2 hd sw (1 min 15 sec total work and rest)
30 2 hd sw (1.5 min total)
35 2 hd sw (1.75 min total)
40 2 hd sw (2 min total)
40 2 hd sw
170 sw, 7.5 min


(progressive rest intervals, Meg first)

40 2 hd sw 1/15 sec
40 2 hd sw 1/30 sec
40 2 hd sw 1/45 sec
40 2 hd sw 1/1
40 2 hd sw
200 sw, 7.5 min (+ 1 min rest)

430 swings total, 19 min.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

No Brainer "regressive rest ladder" squat / swing....bleepin' hell!

I loved last weeks swing/squat No Brainer, as well as this weeks'!  I did video last weeks, but the camera angle was too low and I cut off my head! (not that you need to see my head or anything!). This morning I was just too lazy and too bad because it was a good one!  Here I've journaled it, and I hope to treat you to the video, if I have the energy to repeat at least one rotation on Thursday morning in front of a camera!

OK, so this was pretty killer!  In keeping with my "progressive rest ladder", this is the opposite so I'm calling it a "regressive" rest ladder!  Instead of the rest periods getting longer, the rest periods get shorter, and in fact, this workout would qualify as one of my "work into rest" routines as all additional reps "work into the rest period".

The first rotation wasn't so bad because I used the 12kg. I also did NOT squat that deep because of my tight hip....which I did not properly stretch out beforehand (whoops).  I ended up trusting that I was "warm enough" by the last part of the last rotation to squat deeper, so that's how I ended the last few sets.

Each set starts "on the 2 minutes".  The swing/squat reps should take 1 minute, and then every set increases swing reps 10 at a time, taking away from the rest period until the full 2 minutes is being trained, which is how it qualifies as a "work into rest" method of training.  After the last and 4th set a full 1 minute break is allowed before the option of repeating the rotation again, choosing the same or a different size bell.

1 swing, 1 squat x 10 + 10 2 hd swings (1 min 15 sec work/ 45 sec rest)
1 sw, 1 sq x 10 + 20 2 hd sw (1.5 min/30 sec)
1 sw, 1 sq x 10 + 30 2 hd sw (1.75 min/ 15 sec)
1 sw, 1 sq x 10 + 40 2 hd sw (2 min/1min)

140 sw, 40 sq, 9 min (or 8 if you are only completing one rotation)

I did the first rotation with the 12kg, mildly difficult.  I skipped the 14kg, because I like to skip it if I can and went directly to the 16kg.  I was cursing by the last set!  But I knew I was going back down to the 12kg which made it much easier to not wimp out.  When I did get to that last rotation with the 12kg it was not that much easier as far as the cardio element.  The weight was not a problem, but I had got my heartrate up, and there it stayed making me develop quite a beautiful sweat!  I love to sweat!

PS, this is a "no brainer" because it's only 2 movements, and the first minute is always the same.  You only add 10 swing reps per brainer, right?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Where are all the diet recipes? The "Never Get Fat Again Diet"! (revised)

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Where are all the diet recipes?  Let's look at one of the definitions of "diet"....the simple one, the first one....

"The usual food and drink of a person or animal."

And let's stop here.  My own personal diet is how I eat, and how I live.  I'm not "doing" something. I'm not "on" something.  I'm not "acting" a certain way, I've become a certain way.  My usual foods and drinks, my eating habits, follow a certain pattern (I like patterns!).  That's what a habit is, it's a pattern!

"A behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance.""An acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary."

The way I chose my foods and drinks follow a pattern. I was motivated to write about this because I realized that most of the pictures I post on my facebook fan page are either pictures and video of my training, or images food, lots of images of food!  Not recipes, but ingredients for recipes, that's what real food is. Safeway, a major grocery chain here in CA, promotes it's business as the place to buy "ingredients for life".  I like that!  And for me getting to know food, by learning to cook and prepare my own meals using real ingredients, helped to establish the habits, the pattern for health and happiness, and is the key to my permanent weight loss...or should I say, my permanent "never get fat again diet"?

Looking over the photos of foods I've posted on facebook, I notice how the order of foods/nutrients I chose in my everyday meals is reflected.  Lots of vegetables, proteins, fruits and beans/grains.  No desserts.....and that is on purpose.  Do I eat desserts?  Cookies, cakes, candy?  Sure I do, but dessert is easy. Desserts are so easy that lots and lots of people regularly start their day out with a dessert!  Cakes, scones, muffins, even breakfast cereal is dessert.  I don't care to glamorize dessert, I care to glamorize foods are the building blocks of a strong healthy body.  And yes, dessert can be part of a healthy body and a healthy life, they are for me, but dessert does not come first, and certainly not for breakfast!

Become a smaller, healthier person by creating the habits, the patterns of behavior, of choosing good quality foods, and in doing so the action becomes nearly or completely involuntary! You don't have to think about it, it's a given, it's who you are.  Here are some of my habits for my own "never get fat again diet".

I choose vegetables first, and the freshest ingredients I can afford in both time and money (time is valuable too!)
I home cook and prepare my foods and meals regularly (like my training, consistency is key)
No ingredients in my home to bake cookies, cakes or pie crust! (no flour)
Choosing foods and meals I can plan and prepare in advance.
If I don't buy it, I don't eat it!  (this is the one that I practice the most!)

My favorite answer to the question, "how did you lose all that weight" is this one;

"I stopped doing what was making me fat!"

I was in the habit eating and choosing foods that made me fat, and I took responsibility for it.  It was never a mystery to me.  And because I knew exactly why I was fat, and how I got there, I know without a doubt now that I will never be that fat again. I know it, without a doubt, because I am not acting in that way anymore, not even close.  I have no fear because it's impossible for me to be anything else but the new, and much improved, happier, for sure healthier, never fat again self, my habits support it!

Food is not the enemy, what is is your habits that don't support who you want to be.  And don't let anybody tell you that old habits are hard to break because that's bullshit....a future post....

PS....I write this post not in the tone of "look at me and what I did, aren't I special!"  But for you to see that your current condition, if you want to change it, is simply a result of your habits.  It's not a judgement about what you are or who you are inside.  Changing our diets is not rocket science.  We have likes and dislikes when it comes to foods, and trust me, there are enough choices in our world to accommodate our palates and a healthy body weight simultaneously.  Find what those choices are, establish the habits and routine that support you making them regularly and you will become, and create the body, the health, the happiness you know you are deserving of....that's all.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A complete 33 minute, 760 swing free workout! One minute KB swing sets. Playing with rest intervals

This workout starts with sets of 10 rep/15 sec sets and quickly goes through 5 of my progressive swing combinations for practice.  It then increases to 20 rep/30 sec sets and then 40 rep sets. The first half of the entire workout is an "equal work to rest" routine, but all of my workouts can be scaled to your individual cardio and strength ability.  Always take the rest you need...there are more swings comin', don't worry!

10 2 hd sw (15/15)
10 tr (15/15)
1/2 sw ld (15/15)
5/5 (15/15)
10 R (15/15)
10 L (15/15)

60 swings, 3 min

20 2 hd sw (30/30 )
20 tr (30/30 )
1/2 sw ld x 2 (30/30 )
5/5 x 2 (30/30 )
10/10 x 1 (30/30 )

100 swings, 5 min

40 2 hd sw (1/1 min)
40 tr (1/1 min)
1/2 sw ld x 4 (1/1 min)
5/5 x 4 (1/1 min)
10/10 x 2 (1/1 min)

200 swings, 10 min.

40 2 hd sw (1 min/30 sec)
40 tr (1 min/30 sec)
1/2 sw ld x (1 min/30 sec)
5/5 x 4 (1 min/30 sec)
10/10 x 2 (1 min/30 sec)

200 swings, 7.5 min

Ladder down progessive one hand swing combinations, ladder up rest intervals

10/10 x 2 (1 min/15 sec)
5/5 x 4 (1 min/30 sed)
1/2 sw ld x 4 (1 min/45 sec)
40 tr (1 min/1 min)
40 2 hd sw 

200 swings, 7.5 min

total workout 760 swings, 33 minutes

I pretty much explain the whole workout in the video as it goes along talking during the rest periods.  It has 5 rotations in total, the first three are equal work/rest intervals and then quickly ramps up to 2 to 1 work to rest ratio in the 4th rotation.  If you can only train at 1 to 1 work/rest then only complete 30 reps instead of 40 reps. That will give you the extra 15 sec to get ready for the next set of 30.

The last rotation is what I call "progressive rest intervals". I first posted this method last year after my trip to Hungary.  If you want to read more about it and the original application and workout here's the link;

Enjoy! Have a great weekend!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

"49" The last day and the last swing workout of my Birthday month!

I am posting two separate videos because until I get this editing thing down I can only post video under 10 minutes.  The firs vid is the warm up, but the "warm up" is the first set of the workout, only repeated twice. So the workout has 5 sets of 49 reps total. Same with the Advanced version, which I also have video of but needs to be either edited or posted the full 11+ minutes. either way, its an easy workout to understand and can be scaled for all levels.

I always like to start with practicing the swing combinations that are required during the training period. In this last "49" workout there are only 3 swing combinations;

2 hand swings (2 hd sw)
5 one hand swing right hand, 5 left hand swings, switching hands ON the 5th reps (5/5)
10 transfer swings, switching from R to L every rep (10 tr)

Warm up/ Workout (first video)

10 2 hd sw x 2 (1 min)
5/5 x 2 (1 min)
10 tr x 2 (1 min)
5/5 x 2 (1 min)
9 2 hd sw x 2 (1 min)

5 minute  warm up 98 swings


10 2 hd sw + 5/5 (30/30)
10 tr x 1 (15/15)
5/5 x 1 (15/15)
9 2 hd sw (15/15)

49 reps 2.5 min

10 2 hd sw + 5/5 + 10 tr (45/45)
5/5 x 1 (15/15)
9 2 hd sw (15/15)

49 swings, 2.5 min

10 2 hd sw + 5/5 + 10 tr + 5/5 (1 min/1 min)
9 2 hd sw (15/15)

49 swings 2.5 min

10 2 hd sw + 5/5 + 10 tr + 5/5 + 9 2 hd sw (1.25 min/1.25 min)

49 swings 2.5 min (not including the last rest = 1.25 min)

196 swings, 10 min (unless you are stopping here, then 8.75 min)
294 swings including warm up practice, 15 min

repeat.  Start with 1 set of each of the warm up sets, or go right back into starting with the first set of the workout.

Advanced version #1 only changes the rest intervals to ALL 15 seconds.  Every other part stays exactly the same.

10 2 hd sw x 1
5/5 x 1
10 tr x 1
5/5 x 1
9 2 hd sw x 1

10 2 hd sw + 5/5 (30/15)
10 tr x 1 (15/15)
5/5 x 1 (15/15)
9 2 hd sw (15/15)
49 reps 2.25 min

10 2 hd sw + 5/5 + 10 tr (45/15)
5/5 x 1 (15/15)
9 2 hd sw (15/15)
49 swings, 2 min

10 2 hd sw + 5/5 + 10 tr + 5/5 (1 min/15)
9 2 hd sw
49 swings 1.75 min

10 2 hd sw + 5/5 + 10 tr + 5/5 + 9 2 hd sw (1.25 min/15)
49 swings 1.5 min

10 min total 245 swings.

Advanced #2  Choose either the longer sets to use all two hand swings, OR do all the short sets with two hands OR do all two hand swings!