Dec 152014
 

Saturday morning I went to the Warrior Room for the Kettlebell Conditioning class. This class focuses more on the kettle bell moves and perfecting form. We worked on “complexes” this class. A complex is basically three or four moves put together in a sequence without putting the kettlebells down or resting in between the moves. The complexes are a lot harder because of this–no resting! Power through it!

Here is an example of one of the complexes: With one kettlebell, rack the bell (basically holding the rack position with the kettlebell close to your body) like this:

frontsquatkb
Then we put one leg bag, kneeled down and put the other leg back and kneeled down. Then with one arm out (similar to above photo) press the kettlebell up for 4 reps, then stand back up and with the kettlebell still in the rack position, 4 squats. Then it was a set of lunges followed by 6 one-armed kettlebell swings. (Here is a good video of the alternating single arm swing to give you an example of good form–even though in class we didn’t do alternating swings.) That was one set. Then the same thing on the other side. Doing these complexes always gets my heart pounding and I do find that I fatigued quicker than when we do regular sets. But the complexes are fun to do and clearly are a good workout:

photo
The class also included lots of burpees, mountain climbers and hill sprints. It was a fantastic class and I felt strong throughout the entire class, which was nice!

Later that day I went grocery shopping to get a bunch of veggies and stuff to make this new recipe I wanted to try. I don’t know where I found this recipe–maybe Pinterest? But it sounded so tasty and I love curry.

I substituted kale for the swiss chard. It had been ages since I’d had kale and when I was in the grocery store looking at that glorious green bunch of kale, I decided to just get that instead. Plus I’ve never cooked with swiss chard (or eaten it I think…) and wasn’t really sure if I’d like it. I knew I loved kale. Also, I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of thighs because we didn’t have thighs. I liked the breasts in this recipe better anyway; it was easier to chop into small bite-sized pieces.

Green Chickpea & Chicken Curry with Swiss Chard

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 624

From: http://www.thecrepesofwrath.com/2014/02/14/green-chickpea-chicken-coconut-curry/

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons green curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, cleaned, trimmed and thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Heat your olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Add in your cubed chicken and cook over medium heat until almost fully cooked, about 6-7 minutes.
  2. Add in your shallots and continue to cook until the shallots are softened, about another 5-6 minutes. Add in the curry paste, chili paste, kosher salt, ginger, coconut milk, and 1 cup of water. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil.
  3. Add in the additional cup of water. Bring back up to a boil, then add in the drained and rinsed chickpeas and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. After simmering, add in the trimmed and sliced Swiss chard. When you're trimming the chard, the thicker, whiter parts are generally too tough to eat, but the smaller, more tender colored stalks and all of the leafy greens will soften as they cook. Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve alone or with some naan or pita bread.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=45137

The kitchen smelled so good while I was cooking this! It was a little higher in calories than I would have liked but it was a healthy, filling recipe so I tried not to give it too much thought. I used light coconut milk to lighten it up a little bit. Really, the calories come from the chickpeas.

photo 1

While it was cooking it seemed like there was too much liquid but I still followed the recipe as it said. When I added the kale it soaked up a ton of the liquid! Mystery solved. I let it simmer for another 15 minutes and then it was done.

photo 2

I served it with a piece of sourdough bread. The dish was delicious with one exception. OMIT THE SALT. I have no idea why the recipe called for salt at all. Maybe it was because I used jarred chili paste and green curry that already had salt as one of their ingredients, but it was JUST on the borderline of being too salty.

photo 3

I liked the spice in this and the flavors. I would make this recipe again but would not add any salt. I had a glass of crisp chardonnay to go with dinner, which was a nice balance to the spicy food. I’d also get some naan next time I make this recipe. Anyways, after dinner Michael and played a few rounds of the Sequence game. I love that game!

photo 4

We brought Bella’s bed into the dining room to try and get her to keep us company while we played. She kept going back to the couch instead. I think she likes staring at the Christmas tree lights. She finally came back in and relaxed once Fat Kitty took her bed. :P They are too funny. Look, ALMOST cuddling. Almost.

photo 5

photo

I got a few new board games recently and we’re going to have some friends over soon to play them. I’m excited! I will let you know how the new games are soon.

Share
Dec 012014
 

I love long holiday weekends! Sleeping in, not having every minute planned, not having to go to work….yay! The weekend held the typical weekend chore stuff but I also brought out the Christmas decorations. A little early for me but I had the time so decided to make the house festive.

Thursday

Thanksgiving day I slept in a little bit and then went to the Warrior Room. I was grateful they had some morning classes on the holiday. My gym is open until 2pm on Thanksgiving but it is such a madhouse every year that it’s a miserable experience and I just didn’t want to do that this year. Seriously, even getting up super early and going to the gym to try and miss the crowds I’d have to park at the mall across the street and walk because the garage was full and every machine would be used. It was never an enjoyable experience, that’s for sure.

Warrior Room was packed but much more enjoyable! I got in a great workout and my friend Debby joined me. Ashley started the class saying “let’s burn 10,000 calories so we can drink 3 bottles of wine and eat pie!” Sign me up! You had me at pie. The workout was hard and there many moments where I thought I might be pushing it…but in the end, I made it through the workout still standing and burned a lot!

photo 1

After that Michael and I took Bella for a walk before the rain set in. I ate light most of the day because I knew I’d be indulging later. I stuck with a small salad for lunch. Then Michael and I went over to his mom’s house for the holiday. Michael’s step-brother got the entire meal already done, you just have to pop it in the oven for a little bit before serving, from Zupan’s. He did this last year and it was wonderful. The food is so good!

photo 4

I ate a lot. I tried to be responsible but ended up overeating anyways. Honestly I’d been having some anxiety about Thanksgiving all week–knowing it was going to be a big calorie bomb. It was discouraging to feel like all the progress I had made lately would be entirely undone with one meal. SIGH. Trying to lose weight this time of year is like running up hill pushing a boulder.

photo 5

I did go easy with the dessert, though. I was honestly too stuffed to eat much more. Pumpkin pie is my favorite thing! And we did not break into this giant chocolate turkey:

photo 3

Seriously, it was huge! It looked amazing, too! Once we were all getting sleepy it was time to go. Michael and I went home to be with Bella and ended up laying in bed with the animals watching House of Cards in our PJs. :)

Saturday

Another Warrior workout! Honestly I was still a little sore from Thursday. I ended up going a little easy on myself during the workout as a result. Thankfully there weren’t a TON of squats during this class! My hamstrings were not happy.

photo 2

Then I met my friend Robyn for a sushi lunch date. It had been awhile since we’d gotten together (I think it might have been my wedding!!) and a lunch date was perfect. We both ended up getting a Bento Box for lunch. I’ve never had Bento before. It was kind of a nice change, even if I had been craving sushi and that craving hadn’t been satisfied.

photo 1

I went with the teriyaki salmon. It was a small piece of salmon, around 3 normal-sized bites. It came with rice, a side salad with cucumber and shredded carrots, a California roll and tempura vegetables. It was really tasty and super filling. It was really nice to catch up with my friend and we drank a TON of green tea and chatted long after the food was gone.

We parted ways and I headed home. I’m not into Black Friday/Christmas shopping and generally avoid the malls and stuff. I did most of my Christmas shopping online and I’m basically done except for two more things I need to get. Now it’s just a waiting game for the packages to arrive so I can wrap them before nosy busy bodies try and sneak a peak. ;)

When I got home Michael and I took Bella for a long walk before the rains arrived. The sun was out but there were some dark, dark clouds off in the distance. Bella got a bunch of walks over the long weekend and was happy with that–as I was happy with getting some extra exercise in!

photo 3

Sunday

Sunday finally came, sad that meant that it was back to work soon. :( I went to the gym (it was very cold and very blustery but the sun was out) and did about 40 minutes on the elliptical (3.35 miles) then it was time for yoga. After being sore for several days that yoga class felt spectacular!

photo
The rest of the day was uneventful until it was time to go to Michael’s mom’s house for a party. She hosts a charity party the weekend of Thanksgiving every year and this year we were actually available to attend! She sells wreaths for a charity and people come over to pick up the wreaths and enjoy a holiday party at the same time.

turkey1

They unwrapped the chocolate turkey! (Sadly Michael and I left before they carved into that thing!)

We went over a little bit early to see if she needed help setting up. The places was already decorated to the max. Tons of cute Christmas decor, the tree was up and decorated and holiday music was playing. The place was packed! There was also tons of food. It was mostly finger foods. There was crab rangoon, vegetable spring rolls, crab and artichoke dip, orange chicken and then meatballs with various dipping sauces.

meatballs
The meatballs were really good. There was a chipotle cranberry sauce that went with one of the platters and it was really good. Sweet but not overly sweet. I basically ate dinner full of finger foods. I had 2 crab rangoons, 2 spring rolls, about 6 meatballs, and 3 orange chicken pieces.

Look at these adorable wine stoppers:

santa1
santa2
How funny is that? We stayed for a few hours, munching on food, mingling with people. Then it was getting late and we decided to head home. Michael was still hungry (I was not, I ate tons of finger foods) so we stopped at Five Guys on the drive home so he could get a burger.

burger1

He did give me two bites of his burger. I went overboard all weekend. I knew it would be a challenge with the events we were going to. At the party I tried to stay away from the buffet table to keep myself from just mindlessly munching, but I admit, it was hard. The festivities made it easy to splurge. :( Anyways, Monday morning and back on track!

Share