Jeannette’s Blog: Tales of Scales

tired faceLast week, I was pleased with my progress as I worked toward my goals. This week, however, due to lack of sleep because I’m married to the Fidgetiest Man In The World, I missed a whole week of Kettlebell classes and workouts. Less than 6 hours of sleep a night does not make me a good candidate for swinging chunks of cast iron around.

 I also did a stupid thing this week. I weighed myself and then went online to see how I was doing on the ol’ BMI scale. According to the interweb and its BMI curve, I’m obese. But when I look at myself, I don’t see that and I’m pretty critical of myself at the best of times. I’m not skinny – I’m curvy. My little 5 foot 2 inch sister back in the Motherland is petite and a powerhouse and likes to be superfit  (and she’s an amazing policewoman). I’m the fluffy one. I’ll never be a size 6, let alone a 0. But I kind of like the way I’m looking in my clothes right now (and in my underwear, as long as I don’t make any sudden moves). I’m a work in progress.

 My weight loss in pounds has slowed down a little recently, but friends listen up:

THE SCALES DON’T SHOW YOU THE WHOLE PICTURE.

Scales ecardOne of the many benefits of eating paleo is that you do lose weight, but if you are swinging big chunks of metal all over the place, and picking things up and putting them down, you are also going to gain muscle (and no, a pound of muscle doesn’t weigh more than a pound of fat and I’m not getting into that debate) and therefore, your scale may not be your friend; indeed your scale may disappoint you, BUT IT WON’T TELL THE WHOLE TRUTH ABOUT YOU.

 Your scale will not tell you, “Hey, look at you! Those jeans are fitting fabulously!” Your scale may scream out a BIG number in pounds (or kilograms), but will not whisper, “You look so much better now you are getting more sleep”, or “That muffin top is disappearing like the wind!” or “Your shoulders and arms are getting shapely” or “You nailed those Get Ups today!” The truth, my amazing, strong and powerful friends, is that your body is changing for the better and your scales need to be locked in a dark room while you dance around in jeans/dress/shorts/the nude because you are looking good! As Shakira wisely said, “Hips don’t lie.”

sardinesNow onto scales of a different ilk. Ask my ever lovin’ fidgety husband about fish. I like fish…a lot. I found out years ago that Dan would only eat canned tuna if it was mixed with mayo or oven baked salmon if I twisted his arm, but I had to spring fish on him. If he knew during the day that he was coming home to fish for dinner, he would be depressed ….all day.

 Last year, we went out to dinner for our wedding anniversary. We hadn’t booked a table and forgot that Saturday nights in Albany are pretty packed for a good restaurant, so we tried further afield and ended up at the Lake Ridge Restaurant during Saratoga Restaurant week.  Dan, being a meat-eating North American man, chose steak, and I went with swordfish.

 As loving wives do, I offered him a taste of my food (practically shoved it in his face, actually). Long story short – we now eat swordfish, tuna steaks or salmon at least once a month. He actually asks for it and looks forward to it! 

swordfishI found a great recipe for Lemon and Herb Crusted Swordfish on the Food Network website. It’s a recipe of Emeril’s, but I substitute different herbs. (What is chervil anyway?)  I use any kinds of fresh or dried herbs, Organic Stone Ground mustard instead of Dijon, and of course, coconut oil instead of vegetable oil to cook the fish. I mix a little of the mustard, and lemon juice with homemade Mayo to make a lemony dressing and serve the swordfish with roasted or steamed asparagus. Very simple and only takes 10 minutes to cook. Try it, but remember, when you buy fish, try and get the wild-caught rather than farm raised. It does make a difference.

 Hope you’re all getting on well with your workouts and if you are trying Paleo for the first time, let me know how it’s going – there’s a huge support group out here for you! 

  • Jeannette
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It’s Gonna Be All White, All Right? Jeannette’s Blog

 

Kettlebell shirtFirst, let me thank you for the lovely comments from the past two blogs. I really appreciate it. Secondly, I still have scabs on my knees from all those Turkish Get Ups! However, I take solace in the fact that scars are tattoos of the brave.

 

Feeling a little pleased with myself this week as I work towards my three goals to accomplish by the end of the year.

  1. Swinging a 24kg bell 100 times.
  2. Five perfect pushups
  3. Turkish Get Ups with a 14kg bell.

I was swinging a 22kg bell like it was my job the other day!  But I am so sick of the white stuff aren’t you? I want the sun to shine, the mornings to be cool but pleasant, and to be able to workout outside just to impress the neighbours with my grunting and snorting, or, as we Kettlebell lovers like to call it – breathing.

KBs in grass

I got a few emails from friends who are considering Paleo and want to know more, so I have some great links for you. The book that started it for me is It Starts With Food which explains the “why” as well as the “how-to” of eating this way. The Whole9 site has shopping lists, loads of tips and great testimonials.  Robb Wolf ‘s website is excellent,  The Beginners Guide to Paleo Eating is very simple and informative, and Going Paleo? 5 Things You Need to Know from Nerd Fitness is helpful whether you want to dive in head first or gradually make your way toward eating the Paleo way.  What about eating out? Try this link: Tips for Eating Paleo in Restaurants from The Clothes Make the Girl

Many of us are sick of feeling sluggish, tired or just plain “bleugh” all the time. By cutting out processed foods, grains, legumes and other inflammatory ingredients, I no longer feel tired, bloated, and generally unwell. I am trying to pay attention as to what triggers any cravings for junk and as I continue on this path, I find I have less cravings. True story. I am the original chocolate chomper.

Remember how I said I would share with you my cooking successes AND disasters? Week nights, I normally keep dinners simple – a protein and lots of steamed or sauteed veggies, with sauces from The Clothes Make The Girl  – Dressings & Sauces that I make at the weekend.

However, Monday night, for reasons known only to myself, I decided that even though I’d never made it before, I could whip up an amazing Green Thai Chicken Curry. I printed off two recipes and decided to combine them. Don’t even ask me why.

I imagined this dinner being light, fragrant and full of delights. I used onion, chicken, button mushrooms, coconut milk and, to mix up the colours a little, frozen cauliflower. Can you see the “white food only” theme going on here? Why? Why didn’t my brain bring me to my senses, yelling “It’s ALL going to turn out BEIGE once you add the green curry paste?!”

Beige curry

Husband Dan (My Paleo Guinea Pig) came home and looked at it suspiciously before grabbing a tangerine and wordlessly sloping off to the living room, leaving me to my Thai hell.

I couldn’t put it off any longer. I served it up – over white rice (for crying out loud!) for him…and in a plain (white bowl) for me. I tried to zhuzh it up by adding the green ends of scallions and chopped cilantro to draw the eye away from the beige gloop, but it didn’t really work.

Apologizing profusely to My Paleo Guinea Pig, I set it on the table, pouring out a large glass of restorative (white) wine. (You can see I’m in my own inescapable vortex of white hell here, can’t you?)

Turns out, it tasted MUCH better than it looked. My Paleo Guinea Pig gave it a thumbs up AND had a second helping. What do you think…was he telling the truth or was he just plain hungry?

                                                                       Putting on a brave face

ขอให้เจริญอาหาร!

 

-Jeannette

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Nothing Compares 2 U

JeannetteBlueberryCobblerI just had my 50th birthday. Still can’t quite believe I’ve lived for half a century! Anyhoo, off I bimbled to The Kettlebell Fitness Center on the day before my birthday for a workout. Nancy gave us a choice of different workouts to do that incorporated the number 50. I opted for 50 Turkish Get Ups. I did 50 Turkish Get Ups. Listen… I DID 50 TURKISH GET UPS!!!

JeannetteTGU1

You know what I thought half way through the workout? “I’m only using a 8kg/14lb/10lb bell. Nancy can do 58 with an 18kg bell…” Yep, that’s what I was thinking. Comparison sucks, people. It sucks the joy out of your accomplishments, whatever they may be. Fortunately, I whupped myself upside the head with a metaphorical 2 by 4 and came to my senses as I continued my birthday quest. This time last year, I was struggling with TGU’s and form. This year I DID 50…count them…FIFTY of the little blighters!

JeannetteTGU2

Comparison can be a good thing when you’re shopping for electronic gadgets, or prices, or food. But when you start comparing yourself to others and their achievements, just stop. My husband’s favourite historical person, Theodore Roosevelt wisely said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Believe it.

 

As the mighty Prince once wrote, “Nothing Compares 2 U”. What you’ve accomplished, in strength, goals or in your eating habits, is not necessarily going to be the same as another’s accomplishments. What you’ve achieved over the past days, weeks, months, years is YOURS. Own it. Delight in it. Get your swagger on, because Prince is right – Nothing Compares 2 U.

 

So I’m not yet swinging a 24kg bell…but I’m swinging a 20 and I’m going to get there. Maybe I can’t do a proper push up yet…but I’m doing better than last week, and am going to achieve that too. And, perhaps I crashed and burned at the weekend with couple of my eating choices…but hey, today is a new day and I am making right choices today and I’ve come a long way since last year!

 

Before Dan and I got married, I told him “I don’t think I can cook.” I was single ‘til the age of 36 and never felt the need to cook proper meals for myself. My meals consisted of fish fingers (you call them fishsticks) on toast, or fish & chips or Chinese food from the take out place below my apartment and I made a fantastic proper British Bacon sarnie.

 

As I settled in to the role of Domestic Goddess, I found that I wasn’t half bad at cooking after all! I make an awesome beef & ale stew and chicken cacciatore. On Saturday, my poor husband had to deliver propane out in the snow and freezing cold all day. So, on Sunday afternoon, I decided to make Fresh Blueberry Crumble from Practical Paleo  for him.

JeannetteBlueberryCobbler

May I tell you what my husband asked me as he saw me making this? I quote, “What will you put in the blueberries to make them sweet?” Yes, my friends, you heard correctly. I whupped him upside the head with my busy metaphorical 2 by 4.

 

May I also proudly tell you that he LOVED my blueberry crumble. That it tasted just as  good as non-Paleo blueberry crumble and that he wanted huge seconds.

JeannetteDan

As you dip your toes into cooking and eating Paleo, be aware that what you make may not come out looking like the perfect photographs in your cookbooks. And that’s OK. Your food may not taste exactly the same as your favourite junk food, but it will be delicious! Your meatballs may fall apart, you will make mistakes (ask me about my naan-bread). It may seem overwhelming at first, so keep it simple. But the main thing is, you started doing something good for yourself, which is a step further along the path to a healthier you.

 

Keep at it. Have fun with it. Be proud of what you have accomplished so far, and let’s see your swagger, because nothing compares to you!

 

I am available for tastings.

  • Jeannette
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Jeannette’s Blog

JeannetteKayakHi! My name is Jeannette, and I love my food. I LOVE food. And wine. Red wine. I love wine. And photography, and reading and the Adirondacks and kayaking.

And in amongst all of that, I love Kettlebells.

keep-calm-and-shout-huzzah-2

Those of you who know me, know a few things about me, like the fact that I’m British, that I like to shout “Huzzah!” when I’m excited and that I met my wonderful American husband online in 2000 when everyone had AOL and meeting people online seemed a little weird. We celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary next month…(see, it can work!)

 I’ve also had a love/hate relationship with food and sometimes with my body, throughout my life.  Below is a pic of me back in 2007, five years after emigrating to the USA.  As you can see in this picture, I had come to terms with the HUMUNGOUS piles of food that American restaurants serve up to show their love for your patronage!

JeannettePre

I’ve done Weight Watchers, counted points, I’ve weighed my food and myself, I’ve bought Slim Fast, I’ve eaten fat-free, sugar-free, taste-free, green tea…woe is me! I’ve cried on the scales. I’ve despised myself while wolfing down chocolate, chips, pizza.  Ben & Jerry’s Raspberry Fudge Chunk is frozen Greek yogurt, therefore if you eat a whole pint it’s good for you…isn’t it?  Well…not so much.

Nancy introduced me to the “Paleo” way of eating for excellent health, and has asked me to write a regular blog about my adventures in cooking and eating this way, and how it has changed my life. Having completed a couple of Whole30s and enjoying its multiple benefits, I would love to share my adventures (derailments included) with you. Completing the Whole 30 made me realize how much of the food I was eating made me feel sluggish, slow and affected my moods.  Without the “dieting” mentality, I not only feel better, but have also dropped a couple of pant sizes!

JeannettePost

Best of all, after all these years of struggling, I am at last really enjoying food!

 In future posts, I’ll share recipes, links to helpful Paleo websites, and my successes AND challenges with cooking and with my training. My photos of food will not always be perfect, my recipes may not always come out as intended. My husband has agreed to be a guinea pig, and to be photographed enjoying, or NOT enjoying my food!

 OK – here’s what I had for breakfast after a great swinging and snatching kettlebell class at The Kettlebell Fitness Center with Nancy and some lovely people this morning. Jone’s Dairy Organic breakfast pork sausage meat with cooking greens, sweet potato and eggs. Just wanted to get you salivating!

JeannetteBreakfast

Lastly, I will say this. If you are a food lover, you will LOVE Paleo. It’s not all about meat and grunting like a caveman while you devour said meat. It’s about variety, and whole foods, and chucking that processed food. It’s about loving real food and about listening to your body and maybe for the first time, loving your body…which I think I am, at last, beginning to.

 Thanks for reading. I hope this blog will encourage and support you on your journeys; I look forward to hearing about your adventures too!

  • Jeannette
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Snow evening….

Tuesday January 27: No 6PM Class tonight.  Drive safely if you need to, stay inside if you can!

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Thanksgiving Holiday Class Schedule

Tonight’s (Wednesday’s) classes are cancelled due to weather predictions.

But there are TWO FREE classes left this week! We’re collecting personal care items for the Bethlehem Food Pantry (toothpaste/brush, soap, shaving cream, etc.) if you’d like to donate.

Thursday, 8:00am. FREE Swing Class. That’s it – just lots of swings to start your day of feasting off right!

Friday, 8:00am. Strongman Class. Farmer carries, stones, deadlifts, prowler, and as always, swings!). If you’ve never tried this class, now is a great time to do it!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, enjoy your family and friends and be safe wherever you are.

I’m grateful for all of you!  Nancy

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New Date for Kettlebell Strength and Fitness Challenge

Due to multiple events colliding this Fall, our October Kettlebell Strength and Fitness Challenge is being pushed back to January.  The bright side is this gives you lots of time to train for it! Stay tuned for exact date….

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October Kettlebell Strength and Fitness Challenge

Test your strength, fitness with kettlebells!

On Saturday, October 25 at 10:00am, put your strength and endurance to the test using your kettlebell skills. Choose to compete with others or simply establish your own personal best in the Super Seven kettlebell moves: deadlift, squat, overhead press, TGU, snatch (or high pull), swing and a farmer carry.

This event will be open to the public, so invite your friends and family to show them exactly what it is that you do with those “cannonballs with a handle”.

The events are as follows. You’re encouraged to participate in each one, but you may opt out of any if you choose.

1) Max Deadlift. You will have three attempts to perform one repetition of the deadlift with your choice of kettlebells or barbell. Your heaviest successful completion of the lift will be counted. Once a weight is attempted, you may not go back and attempt a lighter weight.

2) Max Military Press. You will have three attempts to perform one repetition of a Military Press. Your heaviest successful completion of the lift will be counted. Once a weight is attempted, you may not go back and attempt a lighter weight.

3) Max Goblet Squat. You will have three attempts to perform one repetition of a Goblet Squat. Your heaviest successful completion of the lift will be counted. Once a weight is attempted, you may not go back and attempt a lighter weight.

4) Max Snatch or High Pull. You will have your choice of bell to perform as many snatches or high pulls as possible for 3 minutes. You may switch hands once. You may set the bell down to rest without penalty.

5) Max Swing. You will have your choice of bell to perform as many two handed swings as possible for 3 minutes. You may set the bell down to rest without penalty.

6) Max Turkish Get Up. You will have three attempts to perform one Turkish Get Up on the side of your choice. Your heaviest successful completion of the move will be counted. Once a weight is attempted, you may not go back and attempt a lighter weight.

7) Farmer Carry. You will have three attempts to perform a farmer carry for a TBD distance. You may use either a pair of kettlebells or farmer handles. Your fastest time and the weight of the bell will be counted.

Consider this a chance to establish your current “bests” and strive to kick them up a notch or two in when we hold another event next spring.

Registration Deadline: October 14.  To register or for more information,  email nhallock@gmail.com.

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Mothers’ Day Special!

Do you know a mom (to a human or pet), or are you a mom, or do you have a mom?  Would you or any of those women like to get strong(er) and have fun doing it?  If so, please pass this on to them!!

This year’s Mothers’ Day Special begins next Monday, May 12!

Participants will learn how to perform three basic kettlebell moves with strength and grace: the Swing, Get Up and Goblet Squat, along with additional core work.

In addition, the class will enjoy plenty of metabolic burn or “cardio” with ZERO impact on joints, except for making them stronger and more stable.

Classes will be held twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 5:45 – 6:45pm for four weeks, beginning Monday, May 12.

Cost: $80/8 classes.  Class size will be limited to ensure adequate personal instruction.

Current members refer a woman/mom/sister/friend and receive 10% off their next class card purchase.

I’m excited about this!  Please let me know if you have any questions.
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T Shirt Contest!

Want to win free class passes? Announcing our first ever T shirt design contest! Submit one or more designs for a new TKFC Tshirt (no X rated/snatch “jokes” please. You’re more clever than that!). Deadline for entries is Friday, April 18. Have at it and have fun!

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