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:

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Sep 012014
 

I’ve been steady and normal with my workouts…meaning, despite the stresses I’ve experienced this year and the wedding stuff piling up and piling up…one thing that stayed consistent was my fitness. I am grateful for that because I DEFINITELY used fitness as a stress reliever.

Here is an example of a typical week in my fitness world:

Saturday

Boot Camp!

I know, I previously said that I probably wouldn’t go to another boot camp class in the summer because it was way too hot and my heart rate got too high…but I went again anyways. It wasn’t as hot this time. I went to the Warrior Room with a bottle of water and bottle of ice cold Gatorade. I wore a hat this time (which was smart) and wore lots of sunscreen. We were instructed to get 2 kettlebells and walk to the school football field (about 4 blocks).

I got to the school and realized I didn’t have much water in my bottle so I ended up jogging back to the gym and then back again! I guess that was my warm-up. This class was brutal. We did partner workouts. My partner would jump rope and I would sprint to the 50 yard line, touch the line and sprint back to the 40 yard line, then back, then sprint back to the 30 yard line and so forth. BRU-TAL! I was dying. Then we switched and I jumped rope while she sprinted.

Then we did a bunch of kettle bell work (squats, dead lifts, high pull and double swing) then did the sprinting/jump rope intervals. Then back to kettle bells–chest press, shoulder press, pushups and bent over rows. Damn. No wonder I was so sore the next day!

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So that was my calorie burn. It was a surprisingly high for only an hour workout! 753 calories burned.

Sunday

I treated my body to some low-key fitness, as per usual on Sundays. I’m frequently sore and not really feeling like heavy lifting. Sometimes I run, sometimes we go for a hike. This particular Sunday I warmed up with about 22 minutes on the elliptical (2 miles) and then it was time for yoga. I really really really needed that yoga class!

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Calories Burned: 341. I was particularly sore from the Warrior Room.

Monday

Rest Day.

Thank goddess!

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Tuesday

Warrior Room!

I was recovered (about 90%) from Saturday’s boot camp and ready to do some weight lifting! I went to the Kettlebell Conditioning class. It was half isolation and half tabata workout. This class in particular was a killer! We did these “burnout” sets where we did intervals of really hard work. Here is an example: 80 High Knees, 4 burpees, 60 Mountain Climbers, 4 burpees TWICE in less than 3 minutes. Gawd! It was HARD. You’d be surprised at how shaky your legs are by the time you get to the burpee part of the set. Then we did kettlebell work. For example: lateral raises, front raises, bicep curls, and goblet squats.

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It was a rough workout and I was really glad when it was over with. Calories burned: 528.

Wednesday

I wasn’t really feeling the whole weight thing…but I did it. Since I’d done specific isolation workouts with the kettlebells the night before, I made sure I worked other parts of my body. I warmed up and then did one leg romanian dead lifts, regular dead lifts, push-ups and a bunch of ab work. After that I did 2 miles on the elliptical. I went easy on the resistance because the sprints I did at Boot Camp made my knees a little cranky and I wanted to take it easy.

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Definitely less calories burned on my own when compared to the Warrior Room, but it was a nice, stress-free workout and I finished up with lots of stretching and foam rolling. Calories burned: 451.

Thursday

Another rest day. I was a little sore from Tuesday and Wednesday–mainly in my hips. That was slightly odd but not abnormal. Every once in awhile my hips get a little sore but it’s usually a good sore, not like an injury. I took a few walks with Bella this day to loosen things up.

Rest-day-pic

Some weeks Rest Days are difficult. I’m antsy and want to do something. Some weeks I am grateful for those two rest days I have each week! As the years go by, I’ve noticed myself slowing down a little bit and feeling much happier about two rest days a week. My body needs the repair. I’m slowly realizing that I need to EAT more on rest days, actually REST, and let my body do what it needs to do. This hasn’t always been the case, but injuries and over-training at times have taught me to listen to my body and REST when it needs it.

Friday

Swim! I love my swim nights. Sure, sometimes I just don’t feel like it because it’s a process. Drive to the pool, change into the swimming gear, swim, shower, sometimes it feels like a whole thing. But most of the time I look forward to this because swimming is a form of relaxation and meditation for me. It gives me time to think and sometimes not think. I like going on Friday nights because the pool isn’t too crowded and it’s a good transition from the work week into the weekend.

It’s also nice relaxing in the hot tub and sauna afterwards. That always makes my sore muscles feel good! As for the calorie burn, I have no idea. Every once in awhile I used to wear my heart rate monitor in the pool to gauge how my calorie burn is. I normally do not wear it while I swim. The number doesn’t really change much–average burn is 275-350 calories. Kind of low, I know, but the swimming is more for relaxation and to give my joints and body a break from high impact activities.

Saturday

No Boot Camp this day. I was not going to chance it with my knees. Instead I took the Kettlebell Conditioning class. It was a lot of jumping in this class. For example, one routine was this: 5 tuck jumps, 10 frog jumps, 15 floor jumps (i.e crouching down to touch the floor then jumping up with hands high), 20 squat jumps– two times then 12 push-ups. This was another killer. My thighs were ON FIRE. Seriously, on fire. Half way through the first round my legs felt like jelly. Whoever got done first in the class, went into plank position and the clock was stopped. We were timed and if we didn’t beat that time, Ashley made us run. BRUTAL. We ran a few times. LOL

Then we did some kettlebell work–various types of bicep curls, goblet squats, sumo squats, traditional kettlebell swings and two bell kettlebell swings. It was a super hard workout but I was glad I did it.

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527 calories burned. I took my sweaty self home to get cleaned up.

The Coming Weeks

As for biking…I’m kind of disappointed that there wasn’t much of it this summer. I’d hazard a guess that I biked to work maybe a dozen times the entire summer. I wish it had been more but time didn’t allow it. I was busy training for my 5k and then just got busy with other fitness.

The wedding is approaching. My fitness routine will be pretty normal the week leading up to the wedding. Pretty sure I’m going to take that day off, though. :) As for the honeymoon, I am not making any plans. I want to relax and just see what happens. We plan on doing a little hiking, I will definitely be swimming, and we hope to do some sea kayaking. But time will tell. I may end up doing nothing!

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