BBQ Obsession

In my house, we have sorta been on a BBQ obsession for a few weeks.  Racks of ribs, roasts, all of it.

Not gonna lie, I heart some good BBQ flavors.  And I don’t care who knows it.

The point of this post is to share a SUPER SIMPLE slow cooker meal with ingredients that you might already have on hand.

Enter, the BBQ’d pork roast.

First off, we are lucky peeps.  We have a freezer full of beef and pork on hand at all times.  Because farmers rule, yo.  Tell yo friends :) .  I love a good plain old roast, I do.  But…..I LOVE BBQ.  So, the past few times we have busted out pork roasts here, we have done it up BBQ style.  Super simple too.  You need seven ingredients (and I bet you already have many of them on hand) – vinegar, a can of tomato sauce, minced garlic, worchestershire (how do you actually say it?), the roast itself, a BBQ rub of some sort, and something sweet like brown sugar, honey or, in a pinch-cuz-you-don’t-wanna-go-to-the-grocery store…..maple syrup.

Cover the roast LIBERALLY with the rub on ALL sides.  Don’t be chintzy here…..do it up.  This is your FLAVA FLAVE.

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Then, brown all sides of it.  I like to brown mine in butter.  And don’t turn it over for awhile….let it sit there and REALLY get brown.  Because a browned roast crusts up a little outside, and this keeps the juice IN.  And also gives you those delicious crusty bits to chew on….those are a HOT COMMODITY.

 

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While the roast is browning, mix up your “sauce.”  I used a whole can of fire roasted tomato sauce (I’ve used regular….this is all I had on hand), 2-3 tablespoons minced garlic (winners don’t skimp on garlic), some drizzles of worchestershire, a capful or two of vinegar, and a couple drizzles of maple syrup.  When the roast is browned, toss it in the slow cooker on LOW.  Pour the sauce over it.  Then…..and don’t forget this step…..deglaze the pan you were browning your roast it.  “Deglazing” sounds fancy, but it really means turning the heat down a bit, pouring some liquid in (stock, wine, beer, water, whatevs…..) and stirring it around and getting the crusty bits off the bottom of the pan.  Pour all that deglazing goodness in your slow cooker too…because that stuff is FLAVOR.

Let the roast go low and slow allllllll day.  You know it is done when it starts to fall apart and off the bone.

 

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Tell me this doesn’t look like the most amazing thing ever!

We enjoy ours with some homemade “fries” – roasted white sweet potatoes or regular potatoes tossed in EVOO, S & P, and roasted in the oven.  Probably whatever veggie we have on hand too.

And leftovers?  If you are lucky enough to have any, they are AMAZING over a salad or shredded into sandwiches.  Or in scrambled eggs with leftover potatoes :)

You know what that lean muscle that you’ve been building loves?  A BBQ pork roast!  I’m serious!  Try it!

 

 

 

Training Log: Snatch Test + Lats On FIYAH!

It has been a much lower key training week from last week.  But it was still awesome.

Volume was MUCH lower.  Skill work was MUCH higher.  So was recovery work.  One of the days of my weekly plan has a ton of rolling around on the floor, rocking, crawling, tennis ball and foam rolling drills programmed in along with planks and hanging knee raises.  So it feels like a very nice recovery day that isn’t “work.”  That day is conveniently a day in front of……

……snatch test day!  Knocked out another snatch test this week – done in 4:41!  And it didn’t feel like it was as hard as a week and a half ago!  BOOM.  And I got some new, more awesome bells with amazing handles that don’t make your hands get funky.  So that was a big help as well.  Those handles feel like BUTTAH.

I’ve been knocking out hollow planks and push-ups, push-ups, push-ups.  Full push-ups, negative push-ups, knee push-ups, elevated push-ups, and wall push-ups.  Just building up that strength so I’m ready for my push-up test.  Needless to say……my lats (or armpit muscles I say) are on FIYAH this week.

Which is awesome, because strong lats + strong glutes = superhuman strength :)  In case you were wondering :)

So here is my super fun day 2 workout that I loooovvvveeeee so far.  Just thought I’d share in case you need some inspiration.

I start with heavy deadlifts, just 5.  Focusing on breathing 3 full breaths under full isometric tension at the top of each rep (this gets you PUMPED UP)

Then, some sort of push-ups variation (whatever my poor arms and lats are up for based on recovery from previous workouts), 3 x 15

Supine Rows 3 x 15

Double Front Squats 3 x 5, 20kg bells

Easy Two Hand Swings – 2 sets of 20, 20kg bell

Pressing ladders – working eventually up to 5 rungs, but I’m at 3 ladders right now, 3 rungs on each ladder, 16kg bell

Row, 3 x 8, 12kg bell, but focusing on using lats BIG time and pausing at the top

So far, this is a strengthy one.  You know me, if I can lift it for low reps, and not a ton of cardio……sign me UP!

And….you know what goes amazing with training?  EATING!  Here are a few lunches that I enjoyed this week:

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*Greens, rice (black rice…..it tastes exactly like white or brown, but it looked cool so I bought it), a little CHEDDAH, a little blue cheese, red onion, 1 sliced hard-boiled egg, and a can of tuna, drizzled with ranch, alongside a slide of grainy toast with about 1/3 of a mashed avocado on it.

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*Much like the salad above, except with a diced apple and croutons mixed in, and no egg.  And a few crackers instead of the toast.

 

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*Pork.  The other white meat.  And a baked sweet potato with butter.

PS – all of those lunches were leftovers, and took less than 5 minutes to put together.  Because when you are hungry, you DON’T GOT TIME to be Martha Stewart in the kitchen, yo.

 

 

Love, And The Evils Of Comparison

Before you read what I have to say, please go read what Mistress Krista has to say regarding Love FIRST.

Seriously, I’m gonna wait this out while you go read it.

A little over a year ago I wrote the I Love You post.  It still gets read most every day here on my bloggy blog by you peeps (which I thank you for).

What I want to address, at least for MYSELF, is exactly what Mistress Krista wrote in her post.  I love myself.  But dang, it is not fun when sometimes those un-likeable moments sneak in.

Like the majority of women, I can get caught up in the comparison game.  Even if I don’t say it, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen in my head, when I’m in those icky moments of un-likeableness , and feeling maybe a tad insecure.  Even if I don’t like to admit it, it happens.  Maybe you can relate.  Getting caught up in the “I wish I had her legs” game.  Or, I wish my shoulders looked like “that.”  You know, life would be easy if we could put our bodies together from a collection of all the people we compare ourselves to, so that we can become “perfect.”

There is just a small issue though, and I feel like I am on repeat when I say this.  WE aren’t THEM.  The lady who legs I think are fabulous?  She is a few inches shorter than I am.  Those shoulders that I envy?  Are on a frame that is much different from mine.  The biggest problem of comparison for me is that it will absolutely get my nowhere positive.  I cannot change my height to get the awesome legs.  I can’t change my bone structure to suddenly get perfect shoulders.

I can’t do those things because I have different DNA.  Different parents.  I’m not THEM.  I’m ME.  I can’t change my DNA (or can we now in this day and age?  I’m not into following super science-y things right now).

But just because I can’t change those things doesn’t mean I still don’t love me.  I do!  I just sometimes don’t like me in those random moments.  And when I sometimes don’t like me, it is easy to get right back on the comparison wagon.

You know what?  I’ve actually had someone say they like my shoulders.  And even thought I appreciated the compliment, it was hard for me to hear it *internally* because all I could see was THOSE shoulders that I’d been comparing myself to all along.

Where the hell did that get me?  Nowhere positive.

Blah, I’m going nowhere fast in this post.

Except…….if I stop and think about all the things I want to change about my body, maybe I CAN change one thing.  Maybe I can change my attitude towards those icky un-likeable moments.  Maybe I can CHOOSE TO APPRECIATE in those moments.  Appreciate the things I have, and the things I can do.  MY legs and MY shoulders.  And maybe I can choose to appreciate myself enough to just give myself a friggin’ break and not compare.

I LOVE me.  Sometimes the “I don’t like me” moments DO sneak in and I deal with them.  But the LOVE part is always there.

Unconditionally.

And you know the REALLY cool part?  Maybe because I love me, my daughter will see that, and she will grow up loving who SHE is and what SHE looks like.  And maybe one day she will have a daughter who will do the same thing.

 

 

 

Training Log: Workout Buddies & 148 Days VLOG

The last week was one of those where the stars and planets lined up exactly perfectly, and my training buddy and I had one of those stellar weeks that will go down in training history.  You know….the ones that don’t repeat often, but dang it was fun while it lasted.

Just for a little insight – we moved almost 95,000 pounds of weight collectively last week.

It was GOOD.

And we are still alive to talk about it :)

What we’ve really noticed over these past few weeks is that it pretty much friggin’ rocks to have a training buddy.  I mean, we don’t always train together.  But when we do, it’s nice because it is the extra little boost that is awesome to have when things get tough, or just to have someone to shoot the breeze with between sets.  We solve a LOT of the worlds problems during our training sessions together.

So, this whole concept got me thinking about YOU.  Do YOU have a training buddy?  I would LOVE to be your training buddy!  Having people face to face to train with is AWESOME – like a one on one session or a group class or whatever.  Having someone to text or Instagram or Tweet or Facebook check in with is amazing too!  So, join me!!!  Show me your motivation, your workout sweat angels, your kettlebell sizes, or whatever the heck you want (but keep it clean please) and hashtag them with #tmtrainingbuddies.

This past week included a little visit to my coach to prepare for the RKC (148 days away!!!!!).  Instead of type all that out, I video-d it for you.  Feel free to watch me ramble on if you’d like in the video below :)

Peace out, homies.  Have a great week!

 

There Is No End Point

Fitness and food are not something with a set end point.  They aren’t something you “do” for 4/8/12 weeks until you reach your goal, and then stop.

That is silly.  Why do we do things a certain way for 12 weeks only to “get there” and stop doing those things, and then find ourselves frustrated because all those things we were doing worked for the 12 weeks, but then we went back to how it used to be and we are no longer “there?”

Take someone who has gone through a weight loss journey. You know, someone who has actually kept it off.  The ones who have been through a weight loss journey….that is probably a pretty large number.  Compare that to the ones who kept it off for years….do you think there are as many?  What did the ones who kept it off do differently?  They changed their habits FOR LIFE, and not just for 12 weeks.

Why do we have to have an “end point” in our food or fitness journey?  Take those same peeps who have kept the weight off….did they have an end point?  Well, maybe that had a sorta endpoint of eating a little less, or the time it took them to reach their goal weight.  But then what happened?  They didn’t just go back to their old ways, right?  Nope….they had to learn how to keep going.  Only, maybe the rules changed just a little bit – you know, having to learn how to eat and move that now keeps their body weight stable instead of dropping.  But they still have their great habits they learned while losing.

When I think about applying this to fitness, programs like 90 days, or the magical 8 week shredder (I made this up), why do they have to end?  Well, first of all….those types of things needs to maybe have an end point because they probably aren’t sustainable for the long haul.  But….let’s say you do a 90 day super hard program, do you just freaking QUIT after that?  Nope, you probably switch your focus to something that focuses on just general maintenance of your strength and fitness levels for a good long while as your body relaxes and enjoys a more moderate approach to fitness again.

Why, why, WHY do we approach our food or fitness with an end point in mind?

Instead, why don’t we practice positive habits that we can sustain and that fit our life and that allow us to ENHANCE OUR LIFE and allow us to GROW within our expertise of food and fitness?  Like Dan John says, those things spiral out into the rest of the things in our life for the positive, not the negative.

The pounds I lifted today and last week are preparing my current body – my joints, my tendons, my muscles, my mind……for loads I will lift down the road.  If I just jumped in as a newbie for 90 days and went balls to the walls, and then quit, what sort of service did I do my body?  Not much of one….at least in my opinion.

The foods I ate and enjoyed today and in the last week….I ENJOYED.  I really did.  And they nourished my body, and prepared me for days of LIFE to come.  If I had just eaten 1200 calories a day for 12 weeks to drop a bunch of weight, with no regard to changing my habits or having a plan for coming off this strategy…..what sort of service did I do my body?  Again, not much of one.

Why, why, WHY do we continue to think as food and fitness as a means to an end?

Why is this something we feel like we should “start” and “stop?”

Why do we feel like we need to make a note of – either verbally or mentally – that we are “on” or “off” plan today?

Why are we making this so hard on ourselves?

 

How I Deal With Cravings

This title of this post probably implies that I might tell you how to deal with your cravings by making a lower fat/lower calorie/substitution/switch-out blah blah blah of your current favorite foods that you crave.

Nope.

There are TWO simple ways I deal with cravings.  Want to hear them?  They might surprise you.

1)  I eat “enough.”  I don’t diet.  I don’t always try to do “less” with my food.  I eat it.  I eat what I like to eat and how I like to eat.  But I always eat ENOUGH.  By eating ENOUGH food, my body doesn’t have to constantly tell me it is hungry and tell me to crave something.  I’m not always thinking about food or what foods might be “forbidden.”  Hell no.  Life is too short.  Eat enough.

2)  I chew my food.  I enjoy my meals.  I try to be present when eating my meals.

Seriously, that is how I deal with cravings.  I eat enough and I eat when I eat, I try not to Facebook and multi-task when I eat.  So I find myself without cravings most of the time.  Must be doing something right I think?

Oh yeah.  And if a donut from Kick’s Bake Shop sounds good today, even if it doesn’t “fit my macros”, has gluten, has sugar, is processed food, and all the other trendy buzzwords we know about food, I eat it.  And enjoy it.  And there might even be two donuts.  

Because deprivation for me means that I will deprive for so long, and crave and crave and crave and then eat 12 Kick’s Bake Shop donuts in an hour five days from now.

I like not having food drama.  It is way more peaceful on this side of the fence.

PS – if you are reading this and thinking that I exist on Kick’s Bake Shop donuts, cupcakes, McDonald’s and whatever the hell else I want, that isn’t the case, but they are “allowed” for me.

PPS – you can love the food you eat, and love how you feel at the same time – physically and emotionally.  You can CHOOSE to eat whatever you like instead of having a “naughty” list.  I never knew this was possible.

PPSS – Knowing this is possible AND doing it……is INCREDIBLY EMPOWERING for someone who has dealt with food issues for a long, long, long time.

Breakfast Yummies

Over the past couple years I have gotten tons of awesome breakfast ideas from others that have inspired me to make my own versions or creations.

So, I decided to spend this week documenting MY breakfast choices.  Not that you should eat like me, but maybe this will give you some ideas to use in YOUR own breakfast choices.

About five years ago, I would have sworn I would always be either an oatmeal for breakfast girl, or a peanut butter on toast breakfast girl.  I never, EVER strayed from those two options.  From time to time they do still come back around breakfast, but I have really grown into enjoying other breakfast choices over the years.

So, here they are, in pictures:

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This one is a few strawberries, a small pork patty, eggs (2) scrambled with leftover roasted yellow beets from two nights before, and onions and mushrooms.

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This one might seem strange to you because it isn’t typical breakfast foods, but it was so dang good the night before that I ate it again for breakfast the next morning!  This is one baked yam with butter, salt and pepper and two large chicken meatballs busted up with homemade marinara poured over the top.  OMG.  So yum!

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This baby was 1/2 a super large already baked sweet potato diced up and roasted first with onions and mushrooms.  Then I scrambled in three eggs.  And ate some strawberries along with it.

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This one also makes a nice snack when you have a loooonnnggggg stretch in between meals, or a quick lunch or dinner.  Super simple, and super delish.  This is a big fistful of good quality sliced lunch meat (ham) from the local butcher, super grainy toast (this is Ezekiel bread, and I choose this a lot because I digest it better than most other bread, not because it is actually better than other bread) with half and avocado mashed on top and sprinkled with sea salt, strawberries, and tomatoes.

I don’t like to eat a hundred times during the day, nor do I have time to (does anyone?).  So having a big breakfast is super important to me.  I’ve learned over the years that having a bunch of protein early in the day keeps me satisfied for a long time.  I’ve also learned that I can’t eat boring breakfast because life is too damn short.  If it tastes fabulous and isn’t typical breakfast food, I’ll still eat it for breakfast.  I’ve been known to eat a “breakfast salad” sometimes too – fried eggs, maybe some potatoes and onions over mixed greens and maybe a little cheese, and some light dressing over the top…or if the eggs are runny no need for dressing.   If I have leftover chilli in the fridge, you can bet your tail it is going over my eggs the next morning.  While I don’t count calories, if I don’t eat “enough” of them, I spend the rest of the day fighting hunger even if my other meals are sufficient.  So, I don’t skimp at breakfast.  Also….I try to get some produce, hopefully veggies, into breakfast as well.  You know…….”all the fiber and nutrients” is important.  And, I also need some fat (egg yolks, avocado, etc). for staying power with my meals.  If I’m missing fat, I’ll throw a handful of nuts alongside my breakfast just to be sure I’m getting some in.

These breakfasts might look like they take forever to make each day, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  I use leftovers for breakfast most days.  I will throw a bunch of veggies in a pan that are laying around in the fridge along with some onion and then scramble together with eggs.  Or, I’ll dice up potatoes and onions (and jalapenos and mushrooms……OMG the list is ENDLESS) and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and blast it in the oven at 425 while I’m showering and getting ready so they get nice and crispy but still soft, and then take 3 minutes to scramble in some eggs just before eating.  Last nights leftovers only take a minute or so in the microwave before they are ready to eat.  Or the cold breakfast lunch meat plate literally takes about one minute to pull all the ingredients from the fridge and put together on a place.

So, while I don’t think you should eat like me, I think seeing how other people put together meals is worthwhile.  I’ve watched others do it and then made my own tweaks with foods I like.  It is super fun to come up with new combos.

Play around with your breakfast!  Pull a leftover pork chop from last nights dinner and heat it up in a skillet along with some spinach or something, and eat it alongside a sliced apple.  OMG, that sounds so good we might just have to have pork chops for dinner tonight!  If I start my day nourished with awesome food, it just seems to go so much better, you know?

And, it goes without saying ALWAYS.  My breakfast is ALWAYS served alongside a mug of coffee, WITH cream.

Training Log: The Queen

Yo.

Training, time to update, I guess.

The week of New Years was a very nice “de-load” sort of week.  Like, I cut WAY down on volume AND workout days.  My body liked it.  But, by the weekend I was feeling that crunchy and crusty feeling from non-movement and being locked in the house from cold weather and holidays.  This week was straight up just basics, nothing fancy, and probably the only super constructive thing I did all week was sleep an ass ton, eat, drink wine,  and talk smart.

However, Tracy Reifkind was making her way to St. Paul today, Monday, and I was more than resting up for that.  Look, this lovely lady is known as the Queen of the Swing.  Because her volume is INSANE.  And what she does with swings and combinations is absolutely out of this world.  And her programming is amazing.

Look, I’m not her.  If I’m the queen of anything with the swing, it is go heavy for low ass reps and max it out at 10 minutes if I can.

Cardio…..is that Spanish?

Look, I’m not proud of my non-swinging ways, but I just LOVE the weights yo, and swings always, always, always get pushed to the back burner.  Hmmmm…..so do snatches.  Because they jack my heart rate up to Jesus.

Man, I showed up to swing with Tracy and the class today, and was so damn thankful for doing about 200 swings per workout throughout the month of December so at least there was a prayer that I wouldn’t die.

You guys, like 1100 swings was the count I think.  Chatting with Tracy before hand, she said we were going to be doing a ton of one hand swings.  Cool!  I grabbed a 16kg and 14kg (for when it got tough).

Yeah, shit got tough in 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes I’d switched to the 14kg.  Because we did swings in some form or fashion of equal work to equal rest.  Non-stop.  Like not 5 minutes of equal work to equal rest, then a big ass long break, then five more minutes of equal work to equal rest.

Nope, we did 55 minutes of equal work to equal rest.  Need water or chalk?  Get that shit done in the 30 seconds you have “off” and get your ass back in front of your bell.

Twenty minutes in, and I dropped down to 12kg.  It was a great, humbling experience to NOT be the instructor.  I got PUSHED.  In a great way, not an unrealistic way.  I just had to drop my bell size.

This is what I needed to kick my non-swinging self into action as this RKC looms over my head, you know?  I mean, I don’t need to swing THIS much for the RKC or for my regular training plan, but I can certainly incorporate longer swinging sessions into my weeks and months leading up to the RKC.  It is, after all, why kettlebells are so popular.

So stay tuned.  And KEEP ME HONEST ON THIS!  I shall be busting out a little “Tracy Style” in the coming months.

(after my hands from today’s work feel less “crunchy” of course)

 

 

“Results”

How often do you think about your “results” or the “end game” of where you want to be?

You know, like:

– losing 10 pounds

– having a million dollars in your 401(k) by age 65

– owning a cabin on the lake

Those things might be what you want, or your “end game” or “results.”

And that is where we get stuck, because we focus on them.  We spend our efforts thinking about what we want…..

…..and spend little to no effort on THE CHANGE.  You know, like what we have to DO…..the big hairy-scary-monster things we must DO that we don’t do currently.

If you think about your results all the time, I bet you are going to get nowhere.  You are going to stay exactly as you are.

I bet if you think in terms of CHANGE, you will launch yourself forward.  Be stingy with change though.  What is the SMALLEST thing you can change right now to get you heading in the direction of that result.  Do THAT.  Just THAT.  Do it til it gets reallllllllll easy.  Then layer on one more little thing that you launch you forward again.  And keep repeating that.

What does action (or change) breed?

RESULTS.

Training Log: December Recap

December was a great month for training!

Actually, December was a great month in general, but whatevs….this post is about my boring old training log, so we will go with that :)

I am proud to say I did 2,738 swings in some form or fashion in December!  BOOM!  I should mention, that volume is low compared to some, but for me….the queen of non-volume swinging – this is a big damn deal.  My volume is getting up there.  I’d like to keep it up there, too!  I’d like to ramp it up through January.  So, right now, I’m averaging about 685 swings/week.  I’d like to increase that by 10% in January.  So that brings me to about 750-ish swings per week in January.  I’m excited by this.  A 10% jump seems very manageable, and will allow me to grow and keep up with my strength work WITHOUT overwhelming me.  That’s about 250 swings on a three day a week routine, or 190 on a four day a week gig.  Manageable.  I like manageable.

I’m also excited, because I’ve set up a routine with my coach.  I’m going to meet with her on the 10th to chat about RKC prep and she is going to get me on an honest plan of progress towards that.  Then, every 4-6 weeks, I’ll go back and meet with her and we will assess and modify as needed right up until the RKC.  BTW – 162 SHORT days til the RKC :)

I’m freaking PUMPED and scared at the same time.  It will be a great learning experience FO SHO.

Something else I’ve noticed over December…..I didn’t do one single snatch.  I did a ton of swings and a lot of one-handed and transfer swings.  Heavy ones too.  So, today, I did about 60 snatches with the 16kg (my test bell for the RKC), and they felt easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.  I’m excited to get going with more snatches again.  Especially if they keep feeling easy!

I’m also excited, this Monday I’m taking part in Tracy Reifkind’s winter kettlebell swing tour.  We meet in St. Paul at Fawn Friday Kettlebell Training, and I guess are projected to swing 1000 swings!  Holy Fantasia, that’s a ton.  So, I guess I won’t have to worry about my swing count in the first week of January…..I will have that locked up all on Monday.  I’m excited to see how she progresses us through this swing workout though.  Really excited.  I love learning from other people, and being in the presence of a ton of cool kettlebell peeps is bound to be a good time.  I will write a review when I’m done!

 

 

Originally this was my journey to Tough Mudder…now it's my record of all things fitness and health!

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