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ST Challenges and More Food Reviews

Friday, March 22, 2013

So I didn't take a rest day yesterday. I didn't make it in for my morning ST routine. I did, however, get it done after work, along with some bike intervals.

Not only did I do the workout, I upped the weights and difficulty to challenge myself:

Workout A: 10lb dumbbells for Rows/Press, 15lb dumbbells for step, Exercise ball, Step
1) Dumbbell Rows - 10 reps
2) 75% Parallel Squats (as opposed to 50% Parallel) - 8 reps
3) Overhead Press with Dumbbells - 10 reps
4) Step-ups with Dumbbells - 15 reps each leg
5) Exercise Ball Crunches (pulled myself further off the ball) - (10 reps, then 10 reps each side)

Today, I am REALLY feeling it in my thighs. I think the squats really did me in. I'm sore everywhere, but that's the area that is complaining every time I move. However, I am glad that I did that. I finally figured out what weights/difficulty were a challenge for me and I really count these as a starting point. While I got a decent workout last week, I was able to do the full 15 reps for everything, which means that I needed to try some bigger weights this week. Step-ups are the only area I can still do 15 reps in. I don't know if I can go higher with the dumbbells though because I don't think my arms can handle it. My legs and butt were fine.

Now today, one of two things is going to happen. I will either go for a 30-min swim after work or I will go on home and sit on my behind for the entire night. After four days of powerhouse workouts, I would feel no guilt about the butt-sitting. I'm just concerned as to whether the swim will help my muscles recover or cause even more soreness. I do have one more ST workout tomorrow and then NOTHING ELSE the rest of the weekend. Promise.

Monday I am meeting with the trainer at the Y to go over the free weights section. Yes, I know I should take what he says with a grain of salt. Thanks to GETSTRONGRRR and BEECHNUT13, I have downloaded "Starting Strength" by Mark Rippetoe onto my Nexus and am now deep into the mechanics of the squat. So I feel I will have enough base knowledge to know whether he's talking out of his a** or not. BUT he is a competitive lifter and I've talked to him before and he seems fairly knowledgeable. And I would just feel better taking advantage of this free session just to make sure I can ask him any questions I might have about the actual equipment we have. I want to make sure I have as much information as possible so that I can do this right.

And I'm proud to say I charged right over to the free weights section last night and completely ignored all of the guys. Well, except for the guy who was grunting, screaming, and using really bad form while lifting way too heavy weights. He made me think of one of those gym guys from the 80s. I was waiting for him to start kissing his biceps. He was kind of hard to ignore. And the guy who had every weight from the top rack on the floor in front of him and was rotating through them all for about 20 minutes. Thanks to him I had to deter from my typical rotation and focus on crunches and squats until he got done.


March has been the month of trying new things, I guess. Here are some more reviews and thoughts on different things I've tried this week.

1) Make-Ahead Oatmeal Smoothies

So I know my pic above does not look as pretty as hers. In fact, mine kind of looks gross. But it tasted pretty good. I ended up with my own smoothie concotion of soymilk, spinach, frozen bananas, kroger lite strawberry greek yogurt, and a few teaspoons of dark cocoa powder plus the oatmeal flour and chia seed combo she had.

These were super easy to make in a batch. I did two rounds and made enough total for 4 2-cup jars. I had the jars already thanks to my mom's fantastic canning skills, so I just used the metal lids that came with them and had no issues.

- Super easy to make in batches
- Super easy to grab and go (can drink on the commute or once I get to work, just give them a good shake first)
- Had some texture to them with the seeds, so if it's got to be perfectly smooth for you to drink this is not a good option.
- Kept me reasonably full as a breakfast option until it was time for a snack

I will definitely make these again with some different ingredients.

2) "Over 9000!" Pasta Sauce

So you all know I love spaghetti. And try as I may, I just can't give it up. I have switched to whole grain pasta and as long as it doesn't cause any health issues on my part, I'm going to continue to go this route (though I would like to try spaghetti squash at some point).

However, the sodium in the pasta sauce bugs me. As does the fact that spaghetti, sauce, and a little cheese just isn't all that filling anymore when I stick to serving sizes. Unfortunately, I have a ton of store-bought sauce in the pantry that needs to be used.

So what to do?

- Take 1 tbsp olive oil and heat a big pan to medium heat.
- Toss in 8 ounces of raw mushrooms. Let cook until they have a nice color.
- Toss in 2 cups of frozen broccoli. Let cook for a few more minutes. (fresh bell peppers are good too!)
- Toss in about 10-12 ounces of chicken breast (canned or fresh - just make sure it's cooked before you do this.)
- Add in 1 can of no salt diced tomatoes (I get the ones with basil, oregano, and garlic already in them). It'll have a little juice, but that's OK. Few more minutes to cook.
- Also throw in 1 cup of the pasta sauce. Do this towards the end if you want more sauce, or earlier if you want most of the sauce to boil out/thicken up.

About halfway through that sauce process, throw some angel hair whole wheat pasta in a separate pot to cook (only takes about 5 minutes - I do 2 ounces a serving).

Once the pasta has cooked, I drain it and add it into the pan with the sauce. I also let it sit for a few minutes.

Plate it, put some cheese on top (about .25 cup per serving), and serve. Proceed to take your tongue out and slap yourself upside the head with it. That's OK. I'll wait.

It's even better as leftovers, when the pasta has had time to soak in the sauce. The above makes 2 HUGE dinner portions for me (roughly 600 calories), so it could actually be split into 2-4 servings depending on what your calorie needs are. I would probably even cut down on the cheese next time I make it and split 1 serving of cheese over the 2 servings of pasta.

I don't know if I will ever be able to look at normal pasta the same way again after this.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I know this is from last week, but I was driving in my car yesterday morning, and this popped into my head:

    "take your tongue out and slap yourself upside the head with it. That's OK. I'll wait."

    and I was giggling to myself all the rest of the way to work.
    1817 days ago
    The pasta looks yummy! I've recently started using ground chicken to make my sauce because my daughter loves pasta and some nights I just don't want to cook two things.
    1821 days ago
  • OPTIMIST1948
    I advocate swimming as a solution to muscle soreness. Movement will get the blood moving and clear out the lactic acid making yousore. Go you animal you!
    1823 days ago
  • BOPPY_
    Yes, if you're new to an exercise, or even lay off for a few weeks, you get to have a new "conversation" with the target muscle group. The muscles, hiwever, are not particularly interested in what you have to say. They do all the talking! emoticon

    Hey, but you're making progress. emoticon

    Lee emoticon
    1823 days ago
    Good on you....get trainer guy to impart all his knowledge to you. I'm a fan of trainers. I've been working with one for 3 years straight and have used various trainers on and off over the years to make sure I am doing things right and that they push me beyond what i can do on my own. It's a partnership, not a paduan/master relationship

    Glad you like the book...I re-read it periodically to remind myself about the nuances (knees out on squats, back flat on deadlifts) to keep fine-tuning my form. He also has videos on youtube

    Keep at it!
    1823 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/22/2013 9:02:32 PM
    Your spaghetti does look yummy. Tongue slapping ensues.

    Congratulations on "just doing it" at the gym. It must have been hard not to giggle at Mr. He Man.
    1823 days ago
    Good job with the ST and yummy food prep. I actually think you might feel better after a light swim but I think you're good either way! emoticon
    1823 days ago
    I actually had a great time with my trainer at the Y. We're now friends and he has been super helpful when I've hit roadblocks in my routine, such as how to work my legs when I've hurt my ankle or how to make my push ups deeper. As long as you show that you're knowledgable, that you've done your research, and you want to work hard, there won't be a problem I'm sure!
    1823 days ago
  • KATYDID412
    Pasta looks amazing! The smoothie ... I'm not sure about. Maybe once I'm over my slow cooker oatmeal streak, I'll try an oatmeal smoothie.
    1823 days ago
    That pasta looks delicious! And you are doing so great at the gym! It can be so intimidating to head into the free weights section but it sounds like you handled it just fine.
    1823 days ago
    Your pasta looks yummy!! You seem to be doing great with your strength training. Don't forget to allow your muscles some recovery time. emoticon
    1823 days ago
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