The recipient of our 11/1 Strongman/Kettlebell Expo Event is Girls on the Run Capital Region. Please help us support this wonderful program that supports and encourages young girls to be strong, confident people!http://www.gotrcr.org/
Stop by The Kettlebell Fitness Center on November 1 anytime between 10 and 1, watch some kettlebell demos and strongman feats, and support this worthwhile program! https://www.facebook.com/GOTRCR
The recipient of our 11/1 Strongman/Kettlebell Expo Event is Girls on the Run Capital Region. Please help us support this wonderful program that supports and encourages young girls to be strong, confident people!http://www.gotrcr.org/
The other day, I got to thinking of the many differences between the USA and the UK that resonated with me personally. Aside from the obvious (accents, spelling, different words for zuchinni, eggplant, gas, sweater, pants, hood, trunk etc), it dawned on me that over the past 13 years of living here, I have never felt that the New Year has marked a “fresh start” like it did in the UK. It seems to me that in the UK we had Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and the work week slowed down over the Christmas and New Year holidays. It was the end of a year; time to wind down and get ready for the beginning of a new year.
Here, it feels like as soon as Hallowe’en is over, you’re getting ready for Christmas, with a wee sidetrack to Thanksgiving, and then all bets are off. The day after Christmas, you’re back at work as if all those weeks leading up to it never happened. Then, you get the day off for New Year, and then back to work again like any other day, without a sense of relaxing or winding down at all. It’s been a little dispiriting and I find myself starting a new year, already exhausted and unready.
However, I find the end of summer, and, especially Labor Day weekend to be different, It’s coming to the end of summer – weekends of relaxing (no snow shovelling or rushing around buying gifts), doing things around the house, enjoying my garden’s bounty or fresh tomatoes and lettuce and chilling on the deck. I look at myself by the end of summer, and see how less motivated I’ve been. I have given in to hot dogs, burgers, beer, pizza, icecream (Oh, Perry’s Bittersweet Sinphony, how I shall miss you!). I have exercised less, and given in to the siren call of the stack of books on my bookshelf. I have not yet found a way to combine exercise with reading a good book.
Labor Day weekend marks the end of a long, lazy summer for me, and the beginning of a new school year. Even though I don’t have children, it still feels like the start of something new to me. The smell of autumn, and its promise of cooler, crisper air beckons. It seems a perfect time to make a “new start”.
Yes, I have walked, and kayaked a bit, but mostly at weekends, have been sitting on a deck, reading, and snacking and looking out at the Little Lake in Northville. I’ve not been to many kettle bell classes because I have not forced myself to get out of bed in the mornings.
Now as I face a new start, I feel a little overwhelmed at how unfit and less healthy I feel. I don’t want to start from scratch again. But, I know that there are consequences to face if I don’t look after myself, and so I’m telling myself to “suck it up, cupcake!”. I’m turning over a new leaf for the fall – in fact, I feel like I need to turn over a whole tree of leaves if I’m to get back to being strong and fit again. I’m not being self pitying – this is a practical look at where I am (flabbier and unhealthier) and where I know I can be (stronger and healthier). I have to remind myself that this is NOT a punishment but a gift to myself. Did you see Nancy’s thought piece on the Kettlebell Fitness Center facebook page about taking care of yourself as a gift? Click on the link and read it, if you haven’t.
After being at a wedding yesterday, feeling uncomfortable in a dress due to the flabbier me, I felt like that woman in Steel Magnolias dancing at the reception.”Looks like two pigs fightin’ under a blanket!”.
Talking of pigs in a blanket – let me move onto food. I went to Penzey’s Spices in Crossgates Mall for the first time. I want to live there. The Turkish Seasoning smells divine, and I want to make my own Wasabi Mayo for my roast beef roll ups. Spread Wasabi Mayo on a thin slice of roast beef and roll it up around baby spinach. Delicious! The Hot Mustard powder comes in useful especially for pot roast. I like to rub the mustard powder over the piece of beef before searing it, so that it gives the pot roast a little “oomph”.
So my friends, this is where I am at the moment. Ready for a fresh start. I do want to hold myself accountable, as this blog is supposed to be about my adventures (successes and failures) in fitness and Paleo. So please feel free to ask me the hard questions and keep me on track. I may give you a Paddington Bear Hard Stare, but will also appreciate it.
Oh, and Happy New Year to you all!
This year’s event will include a demonstration of Russian hardstyle kettlebell moves in addition to several Strongman events. It is not an official Strongman competition.
Admission is free and spectators welcome! More details coming soon. Email Nancy email@example.com or check our Facebook page for updates.
Details coming soon!
I began writing this at 6am last Sunday, sitting in the Kansas City airport waiting to board a plane back to Albany. Despite having gotten only one hour of sleep, I’m wide awake, my mind and heart full and still processing being part of the Women’s Fitness Summit. The annual event is organized by GIrls Gone Strong https://www.girlsgonestrong.com/the-womens-fitness-summit/, a group of bright and dynamic women who are passionate about empowering women regarding a broad range of health and fitness topics.
Speakers at the Summit included integrative medicine docs, a variety of strength and conditioning coaches, https://www.girlsgonestrong.com/the-womens-fitness-summit/researchers, and physical therapists. An underlying theme throughout the weekend was self care, and on what it means to be strong: physically, mentally, emotionally.
Many of us have suffered trauma and loss. As a result, the concept of self-care may be foreign, let alone difficult for us to act on. One speaker at the conference commented that putting ourselves first is important, not selfish. Flight attendants instruct us to “put your oxygen mask on before assisting others”; good advice in an airplane emergency. The analogy has been used to encourage women, especially moms; to “take care of yourself so that you can be your best mom/wife/sister/daughter”. This has always struck me as a good idea with limits. It’s good advice but….why does the end goal have to be about us helping others?
What if we decided to take good care of ourselves for the simple reason that it makes us feel good? Makes us perform well, be happy, period? That we matter? Maybe that makes you uncomfortable, maybe it sounds “selfish”. At a young age I learned that it was important to take care of everyone’s feelings, especially how they felt about me. I had warm, loving parents, and still I learned that the most honorable thing I could do was put myself last, and to put my needs last and to make everyone around me happy and comfortable. To be unselfish and self-deprecating meant I was a good person. Destined for heaven. Did I mention I was raised Baptist?
Of course I failed. Over and over. Much later I figured out that not only was that impossible, it was harmful.
We matter and deserve our own loving attention because we exist. If we’re lucky, we have people in our lives to love and care for. But relegating our needs to the end of the line serves no one, and exacts a toll on our souls as well as our bodies.
One of my favorite things to hear from the men and women I’ve coached is how our kettlebell classes have made them feel powerful, and how that has spilled over to other parts of their lives. Let’s start a conversation about self care and let’s support each other, walk our talk together. We have a lot to learn from each other, no one needs to go it alone.
I wanted to start this week’s blog by thanking everyone who commented on the last one I did on stress. Some of you commented face to face, some on my Facebook page, others on the The Kettlebell Fitness Center Facebook page, and still others privately, by email or messaging. Turns out we all have ways we cope with stress, some good and others not. I’m glad that it gave you some encouragement, made you realize you weren’t alone, and thanks for advice given too; I really appreciated all of your input. You are all wonderful!
I am glad to tell you, dear readers that I am trying to get back on track and have “winner, winner chicken dinner” stuff to share. This past few weeks has been busy, but good busy. Some of us at The Kettlebell Fitness Center got to pull a humongous Hercules C-130 plane – even without a full team, we did great, with a better time than last year!
Nancy has introduced the “Simple and Sinister” workouts to KB classes…very simple workouts, but sinister in that it’s a tougher workout physically than it looks. Basically it consists of Turkish Get Ups followed by Swings. That’s it. However, it has helped me reach another goal this year that I thought I wouldn’t be able to because of my shoulders. I can now do get ups with a 14kg bell – thrice huzzah! On to a 16!
Also my shoulders are feeling a lot better, and I attribute it to…..Indian Clubs! Yes, we use them at class. Remember those vintage videos of women in bloomers and muscular men with mustachios swinging indian clubs to music? Well, that’s us! Well, it’s not us, but that’s what we do as part of our warm ups. Nancy and Mike love ‘em and now so do I. Here is a sketch of me swinging my clubs. Really, people, you should do it. It works, it’s beneficial and it’s funny when you bang your knee really hard with one of them.
I haven’t been able to get to Kettlebell workouts as much BUT have found different ways to keep strong. We have been rebuilding our deck and having fun times with sledgehammers. Under the deck is a LOT of crushed stone and I’ve been the one loading the bags of stone from the truck to the wheelbarrow and then maneouvering the wheelbarrow (with EIGHT bags of crushed stone at a time) through the yard to get it to the right place, picking up the handles of the wheelbarrow Farmer Carry stylee. (No, my capable husband didn’t lose the use of his arms, but I really wanted to move that stone myself just to do some “strength” stuff.)
Yard work can be a nuisance, but it is a good workout! Bending over, weeding, raking, chopping etc uses all parts of my body, but it’s a great feeling to move and have the benefit of seeing results at home.
Speaking of benefits of yard work, (see that neat segue there?) I have been growing lettuce for the first time – butter lettuce and head lettuce. I haven’t had to buy lettuce for 8 weeks now, and have enough to give our neighbours regularly. My tomatoes have started to ripen: I have a Russian Krim (deep purple), a Mr. Lemon (yellow obviously) and a Big Boy (big huge red tomatoes). I am in heaven. There’s nothing like a warm, fresh vine-ripened tomato drizzled with a little good olive oil and sprinkling of pepper! My kale grew like crazy and then bugs got at them, but I enjoyed them while they were baby things, sauteed with bacon, chopped up to put in burgers etc. If any of you garden and have advice on how to stop your kale being eaten to bits by bugs, please let me know!
Now I must get back to sitting on my new deck with a good book and a glass of iced tea with lemon ….
First of all, let me apologise in advance for this week’s blog. I had written one, but it seemed forced and pretty uninspired, so I scrapped it and have been struggling a bit, trying to find something to write about. To that end, I am eternally grateful to Nancy who has been posting very inspiring blogs on the Kettlebell Fitness Center’s FB page from Strong First and other websites to keep us motivated and encouraged.
This regular blog I write is about my adventures, ups and downs, successes and roadblocks on my road to health. I mean, I know that you wait with bated breath every week as I dispense wisdom like delicious Sherbet Pips upon your upturned and eager faces. (You don’t??) But this past couple of weeks has been an adventure in stress, sobbing, heart palpitations, and me turning into a first class lush and I have no idea where I am going with today’s blog. So I will just be me, and share with you my lush-ness and failures and lessons learned so that you can either nod your head and say, “I’ve kinda been there too..” or you can shake your head in disgust and whisper in a shocked tone, “I am appalled that you aren’t a superhuman being who rises above it all!” (Somehow I don’t think the second reaction will happen, because, let’s face it – we’re all human and wonderful.)
I know that many of us who go to The Kettlebell Fitness Center have gotten to know each other pretty well in our classes, and so I can safely say that this past year has been a tough one for a LOT of us – accidents, deaths, illness, injury and stresses of all kinds. Mine, in the face of others may not be so major but it was still stress I was dealing with and, looking back, didn’t deal all that well.
It all came about when we decided to buy a house in lovely Northville on the Great Sacandaga Lake and sell ours at the same time. I know! You see where this is heading, right?
We had a week to do a few things to our house to get it on the market and so we painted the hallway, mended the cracks in the plaster up the stairs and painted the high ceilings and the horrible purple bathroom, bathroom cabinets, radiators, medicine cabinet and anything else that was in range of our paintbrushes. I was up extremely early in the mornings before work and late at night with the darling hubs, painting, sweeping, dusting, decluttering and drinking copious amounts of wine. (Multi-tasking!) Kettlebell classes and exercise got pushed to one side. I think I managed once a week this past few weeks.
I walked through our door Thursday night, happy in the knowledge we had done all we had set out to do, only to see the hubs gazing upwards to the kitchen ceiling, where a huge bubble had formed. The upstairs toilet had been leaking all day and wanted to let the kitchen know that fact. I ended up kneeling in a pile of mushy sheetrock, sobbing and being generally pathetic. I drank bourbon that night.
However, gentle reader, I am married to Dan Dan Handyman. He had the beams dry in no time and took a day off to nail and tape new sheetrock to the kitchen ceiling. I, on the other hand, came home and opened a bottle of wine. That night in bed, I couldn’t sleep. I felt sick. My jaw hurt, my face was burning up and my heart was thundering in my head.
After the week from hell, we put a bid on Northville house, confident that we would sell our house within 10 days. (Houses in our street are snapped up as soon as they go on the market.) After a hectic and stressful day of scrambling to sign and email a pile of forms, we were told that we didn’t get the house after all. Boos and booze were the order of the evening.
So! We decided to stay put, and do some upgrades to the house, starting with the deck. Little did we know that we were opening a can of worms. The person who originally built the deck basically had it resting on a semicircular piece of tin protecting a basement window and had nailed it to the house with some cheap nails. We found rotting wood nailed to the house, resulting in wet wood behind it. My, a cold beer tasted good after that discovery!
So here I am, looking back on the past few weeks and learning that I do not cope well with a lot of stress on my head. I don’t like emotional drama and histrionics. I get enough of that over the phone during the day at work. Drinking alcohol nearly every night won’t help. Please don’t get me wrong; I wasn’t a hot mess, staggering around the place and telling everyone I loved them with earnest teary eyes. Just a glass or two of wine, or a bottle of beer at night to (supposedly) calm my stress. But it wasn’t good for me. I can feel the difference in my health, in my energy levels, in my sleep pattern, in my brain and in how my clothes are fitting.
Articles on stress tell us to stop and ask ourselves how we’re feeling, where is it coming from, what can we do to resolve, stop and breathe, take one step at a time, pray if you’re a believer. I know all this, of course I know all this, but in the midst of everything, all that advice went out the window. I have learned that I need to work on coping with stressors, so that I don’t get ill or “lush-y”. Robb Wolf has a great article on how to manage stress and what it does to you – Adrenal Fatigue
The things I push aside during moments of stress are important to my well being. Exercise, eating well, sleeping well, drinking water and breathing well are important to my well being. Friends and family are important to my well being. And, I’ve missed my kettlebells – they are very important to my well being, both as exercise and being with people I really like.
So, my friends – that has been my last couple of weeks. Not a great time, not a success, but a bump on the road to health and fitness. I would really like to know, either by commenting on my facebook page, the The Kettlebell Fitness Center FB Page, or by commenting below, how you deal with stress. We can all learn from and encourage each other. I would love to learn from you, so that I don’t buy out the whole stock of Upstate Wine & Spirits next time I hit those road bumps.
Now excuse me; we have a deck to finish – J
As a kid, I was fortunate to have lived abroad, in Papua New Guinea, where I went to school until I turned 10, and then went to boarding school in Queensland, Australia for a few years. This photo is of my and my little sis, at boarding school, rockin’ our Sunday uniforms back in ‘76. Apparently I was named after my dad’s Belgian second cousin, Jeannette, but at boarding school was nicknamed “Yogi” which stuck. Even the teachers called me Yogi. My mum calls me Jinny and my husband calls me Jin. The weirdest name I have been called by a customer service representative very recently is “Tunita”.
What’s in a name? We have all grown up, and sometimes defined ourselves by names and labels we have had or allowed others to put on us. I look back at some of the photos of me at high school and wonder why I ever thought I was fat. Probably because I allowed someone to stick that label on me. I remember someone saying that I obviously liked my food. I remember a guy in a pub once looking at me and saying to his friends, “Who let the fat chicks out tonight?” Isn’t it so crap that we always remember the negative names and labels that people throw at us?
Today, I am still sometimes guilty of disagreeing with my husband. When he tells me I’m beautiful. I tell him I’m not. He tells me I look great. I tell him I look fat. What a way to throw compliments back in someone’s face!
(Photo courtesy of Katie Hunter Photography) One of the girls at The Kettlebell Fitness Center said something to me once that really resonated. “I never considered myself an athlete, but now I am one!” I thought that was awesome. We are a bunch of people from all walks of life, all ages and all sizes who love to swing chunks of iron, who like to challenge ourselves and be challenged by amazing instructors, and have found that we ARE “Athletes, Strong, Committed, Consistent, Encouragers, Healthy…” How pretty darned amazing is that? So shed those negative labels, and let the positive ones stick. It’s harder than it sounds, but SO worth it. Please believe in yourself and your strength and your determination to work towards a healthier and stronger you.
Recently, I’ve found that I am walking with more confidence and with better posture, and as I feel healthier, and fit in my clothes better, I don’t care what mean people want to label me. I am beginning to know that I am strong, and unique and pretty smokin’ awesome! (Except when I’m nagging the husband to pick his clothes up off the floor). Oh, and by the way? My shoulders that I’ve been working on are getting better and stronger!
The Paleo “diet” is something that seems to have attracted a “fad” label. Have you found that sometimes people roll their eyes when you talk about it? They tell you about their fat-free/sugar-free/special diet food/detox cleanses and you tell them about your real food, and then they go, “Oh, are you on the Paleo thing?” and you say yes, and conversation then goes downhill. I don’t like being labelled “One of those Paleo” nuts… I just want to eat real, wholesome, good food and fats and minimize the stuff that makes me feel less healthy.
Cooking shows are great, and on PBS Create, my woman crush is Lidia Bastianich, a feisty Italian woman. She cooks great food. However, she also uses sugar, so I do alter some of her recipes. One of my favourite dressings she makes is something I use with boiled red potatoes, or oven roasted potatoes. I chop a handful of mint and a handful of parsley finely and add to apple cider vinegar and EVOO to make a thick dressing and leave it for a few minutes for the flavours to develop. Pour it over the hot boiled or roasted potatoes and thank me later.
I also found a great recipe for chicken. My husband said it was the best marinade ever, and I agree. Found it at the website Elana’s Pantry, and uses dijon, olive oil, chili powder, fresh lime juice and cilantro. Check it out here: Baked Mustard Lime Chicken and enjoy grilled or baked.
One last word about labels…when you’re shopping, do make sure you check ingredients on the cans/packets/jars. Just because something is labled “organic” or “natural” or “healthy” or even “Primal” or “Paleo” doesn’t mean it actually is. Check for soy, sugar, carrageenan, things you can’t pronounce or understand.
So, my strong, fine, wonderful, healthier living friends – keep going, keep at it, crush your goals, aim higher, rest when you need to and remind yourselves that you are amazing people.
- Jeannette the Glorious.
Admit it! The title of this week’s blog made you think of the Spice Girls with their mighty anthem “Spice Up Your Life”, and you started walking around shouting “Ha Si Yah! Hold Tight!” My work colleagues keep singing it while glaring at me as it’s now their earworm for the week. William Cowper, an 18th Century hymn writer and poet once said in his poem “The Task”: “Variety is the spice of life, that gives it all its flavour” and I believe it to be true both in your exercise program and in your eating. Before I started Kettlebell classes, I would run 3 or 4 days a week, using the same route. Running is pretty much a solitary thing, because if you think I have enough breath to chat with you whilst pounding the pavement, then you live in Lala Land. I would also go to the gym and use the same machines over and over. After a while it got boring for me. I need variety in my workouts to keep me interested, and that’s why I love The Kettlebell Fitness Center so much. Everyone is fun, and over the past year or two it’s been a pleasure to get to know people and make friends there and, importantly, the workouts are never dull.
“Variety” is Nancy’s middle name – (not Ermintrude as I once thought). In every class, we are hinging, pushing, pulling, squatting and doing loaded carries in various guises: press ups, prowler pushing, military presses, Turkish Get Ups, swings, cleans, snatches, deadlifts, single leg deadlifts, pullups, rows, goblet squats, doubles, farmers carry, suitcase carries etc – you get my drift? But then TKFC goes a little further and here comes even more fun…Strongman Challenges!! Lifting Atlas Stones, Farmer Carries, pulling SUVs, Barbell Deadlifts, Tractor Tire Flipping (my fave). And then…we get to pull a Hercules C130 at the Annual UMAC plane pull! Such larks! Jolly japes ahoy! Makes me want to shriek “ZigAZigAh!!” like a Spice Girl. (Not really. Actually, it really does.)
Sometimes my cooking on Paleo gets a little same old, same old during weeknight dinners. However, herbs and spices are my special friends. I have just potted all my herbs this year – basil, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley, chives, dill and cilantro which I use to zhuzh up any dinner. I use them make Amazing Paleo Salad Dressings, to make the tomato sauce for my spaghetti squash zing, to make grilling meat sparkle with citrus & herb-y marinades. I also love spices. A lot of Paleo bloggers out there like The Clothes Make the Girl, Stupid Easy Paleo and Whole 30 especially love Penzey’s Spices. If you like spicy and fragrant meat, I highly recommend you look at Well Fed’s recipe for Ras El Hanout…if you ever make it, you will use it constantly. I use spices to mush in ghee and garlic and slather under the skin of organic chickens. Make Zingy Ginger Dressing, Chimichurri (AKA Magic Sauce)(you will thank me), Homemade Mayo, Pestos and use them liberally. As Melissa Joulwen says whilst making them, “Rejoice that you have a nose!”
Here is a photo of my spice cupboard. I think it may need a tidy. I have garam masala, cumin, turmeric, chipotle pepper, cayenne pepper, ground ginger, ground cardamom, ground cloves, cinnamon, mustard powder, garlic, lemon pepper, mustard seeds, garlic… the list is endless, and I also have loads of dried herbs…fennel, oregano, basil, rosemary, bay leaves, rubbed sage, dill, thyme and on and on. You get me? Don’t get stuck with a boring rut in your meals. Keep them simple by all means, but learn how to use them and mix them, even if by trial and error, then treat your tastebuds to the party of the century in flavour and spice up your life!
Photograph of me flipping the “heaviest tractor tire in the whole world (honest)”, courtesy of the amazingly strong woman who taught me how to: Katie Hunter of Katie Hunter Photography
I see a lot of talk recently around the word “mindfulness”. To be honest, when I first started reading about “mindfulness”, I thought it was just a fad that groovy, hippy, rainbow and unicorn people were into. However, I have changed my mind as I continue to try my paleo and fitness lifestyle. (Disclaimer: We at TKFC have absolutely no problem with rainbow and unicorn people – in fact, they are among our favorites! :))
Mindfulness: “the intentional, accepting and nonjudgemental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment”. However, when we are working out with kettlebells and focusing on our form, aren’t we being intentionally mindful? I had a private class with Nancy the other day and as we moved through each muscle with the amazing
Alpha Tune Up Balls I concentrated on how it felt & what it was doing. Then, as I spoke with her about my goal adjustments,we worked on my lats and shoulders. All I did was lie on my side, one arm holding a light kettlebell raised to the ceiling, making small circles, then lowering my elbow, but I could feel the difference as I made small adjustments ensuring that my lats were engaged. Even though they were light weights and tiny movements, I certainly felt it the next day, but I can also feel my shoulders improving every day.
Planks next: I had to pay attention to tightening the core, squeezing the glutes, my stomach, my knee caps and my forearms. Trying to make sure each part was engaged was just as tiring as doing the bloomin’ plank!! And again, I felt it the next day!
Finally, 15 sec on/15 sec off swings for 5 minutes. Here, I had to be mindful also. It’s not just about the hip snap and hinge – I had to remember to squeeze my glutes, lock out my knees, and pack my shoulders instead of bringing them up as I tend to do and to remember to breathe properly. Becoming mindful in our training gives us marvelous opportunity to hone our form, build great foundations, avoid injury and go on to great things with no rainbows or unicorns in sight! (See above disclaimer.)
It’s the same with our eating. We love our food, yet pay scant attention to it whilst eating. We love the look and smell of it, but quite often just gobble it down with a book propped up in front of us, or with the tv on. I know that before I got married, I would always eat in front of the tv or the computer. Dan and I do try and eat at the table together every night where we chat as we eat our dinner, but am I mindful of what I am eating? Not always. But it makes a difference. My favourite meal to make is sweet potato hash crisped up in the pan, wilted cooking greens and soft poached eggs on top with a rasher of bacon crumbled over it all, seasoned with Trader Joe’s lemon pepper.
It looks good, smells good and tastes oh, so good! I could eat it in front of the Today show or standing in the kitchen while checking my phone, and it would nourish me. However, if I take my time and mindfully eat it, I really enjoy it even more.
Let me take you on this culinary journey. (Cue Barry White growling “We really got somethin’ goin’ on, baby.”) My breakfast sits there on the table, a work of art, orange sweet potato, with a pleasing dark green contrast, topped with beautiful white eggs with a yellow center. Crumbled dark bacon is a colourful sprinkle. Smell that bacon – doesn’t it smell good? Cut into the eggs and let the soft yellow yolks run over the greens and orange.
Take a forkful, put it in your mouth, and feel the crispy texture of the bacon and sweet potato hash, and the velvety viscous softness of the eggs combined with the slightly fibrous greens. Taste those delicious golden eggs, the saltiness of the bacon, the slight bitterness of the greens and the sweetness of the potatoes, all combined in one luscious mouthful. Chew it slowly with joy….and swallow. And that’s the just the first fork-full. You still have those sensations to come at you again. And as you eat, remind yourself of the goodness you are nourishing your body with…protein, good carbs and vitamins and good fats…it’s all going towards giving you healthy and strong body. As for my strong, dark, French Roast
coffee, made in my cafetiere…well. Everyone knows that you don’t speak to me until I’ve had my coffee. Slightly oily on the top from the freshly ground beans, the smell of heaven wafting up my nostrils and the mouthful of liquid gold, like a rich, smoky, warm welcome home. Nothing like it.
Mindfulness, people. It’s not just for the rainbow and unicorn people! Try it, and let me know how you get on.
Last week, I went to see a doctor about the inflexible shoulder that is giving me trouble and some pain. This doctor had never met me before, didn’t know my history, yet here were his recommendations:
1. He brushed off my request to go see a chiropractor and told me my BMI number. Argh!
2. He said it was probably a little arthritis and perhaps I should look at other forms of exercises other than kettlebells. I responded by giving him what we Brits call a “Paddington Bear Hard Stare”.
3. He prescribed ibuprofen.
4. He told me that now I’m 50 I should have a colonoscopy. I’d say that was a successful visit! (*dripping sarcasm*)
I am NOT giving up kettlebells. If you remember, my goals this year were to be able to swing a 24kg bell 100 times, do a Turkish Get Up with a 14kg bell and to do 5 perfect push ups. However, push ups & shoulder presses seem to aggravate my shoulder. Should I push through the pain just to get to these goals, or should I adjust my goals to something that will not cause more injury?
I think the sensible option is the second. It’s not failure. It’s recognizing that it’s going to take longer to get to some goals that others may sail up to and breeze through, but if I don’t have a great foundation to build upon, I’m only going to end up getting injured. And yes, that is also a metaphor for life and so many other things! I’m meeting with Nancy to talk about this goal adjustment. Perhaps it’s just work towards more mobility in these darn shoulders. Because I am NOT going to give up. So if those bloomin’ annoying voices inside start the comparison thing or the “you’re going backwards” whisper, I will trample those voices on my way to my (adjusted) goals.
Dan and I went to Ogunquit, Maine for a few days last week. Beautiful sunny, cold days and yes, I did go “off-road” in my eating, so I have decided to start another Whole 30, just to re-set as my jeans are feeling a little tighter and my wobbly bits a little wobblier.
One of my favourite things to make on a Friday night is steak or chicken fajitas because it’s so easy and quick. Hannaford has a great recipe for fajita sauce, but just like adjusting my goals, I have to adjust the recipe so that it is Whole 30 compliant. So, no brown sugar and no Worcestershire sauce. However, I find that coconut aminos is quite sweet and pretty much compensates. If I am not doing a Whole30, I may add a little amount of honey or maple syrup for the sweetness.
For the marinade, I use 2 tbsp EVOO, mixed with the juice of 1 ½ limes, a tbsp coconut aminos, (a squeeze of maple syrup if you are not doing a Whole30), ½ tspn ground cumin and 1 tbsp (or more) minced fresh cilantro. I also add a dash of Tabasco and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and chipotle cayenne pepper, but adjust to your taste. If I’m doing steak fajitas, I quickly sear the steak on both sides, slice thinly and chuck the steak in the marinade for 20 minutes. If I use chicken, I buy an organic rotisserie chicken, pull it to pieces and chuck that in the marinade.
Slice up a red onion, and a red and green pepper and cook them in olive oil or coconut oil in a hot skillet (I love to get a kind of blackened thing going on with the peppers) until cooked, then add the meat and marinade to the skillet until the meat is warmed through and the marinade has coated everything. That’s it. I eat mine with some salsa and guac, and Dan has his with flour tortillas and some sour cream and salsa. There is a recipe for Simple Paleo Tortillas and I know some people who swear by them, so give them a try!
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