All Wrapped Up & Pumped Out

20 Thu, 2011 § 2 Comments

Loving your body means giving it what it wants.

Mine wants nutbutter any time it can get its hands on it.

I have decided I probably should not have a nutbutter sandwich all that often — or at least not every day — but last Wednesday, I really wanted one after two days in a row of indulgence.  I compromised & decided I could have a big dose of sunflower seed butter if I ate it with greens.  Collard leaves on the verge of wilting found their purpose.

Now know while I love slow-braised collard greens, I have never enjoyed them raw; I find them too bitter.  Something worked here though.  The sweetness of the bananas balanced the bitterness out, plus because I did not eat these wraps freshly made, they softened & reduced in bitterness as they soaked in all the flavors.  I love these — have even tried one with raisins but prefer banana — & they have replaced my need for nutty-buttery-sandwiches.

I even talked Dave into tasting a bite.

~

Dave: “While I was eating it, I really liked it; then I got the aftertaste which tasted like collard.

Which I don’t like.”

~

Aw well, almost had him.

[the stalks make good dog treats — crazy Eis loves ’em.]

Since loving my body is not about deprivation, giving it something that is like a treat — like nutbutter —  in moderation is a good thing.  Creating a nourishing snack for my body from that treat feels even better.  This was a great bouldering snack!

Speaking of climbing, remember our pull up commitment training?  It is still going strong. 🙂

We have had this Iron Gym doorway pull up bar for years & love it.  It is as versatile as the review claims, though I only use it for pull ups & occasionally push ups.  Dave found it for a good price at Big 5.

Another aspect of loving my body is challenging it; this is HUGE for me to maintain positive thoughts about my body.  Rather than avoiding difficult exercises, embrace the challenge & revel in how our bodies strengthen from them.  Pull ups are a perfect challenge.  I do not want to be the crazy pull up lady, so of course you do not have to choose pull ups.  I have realized a lot of women neglect upper body though, so again, pull ups are perfect. 😉  Plus, they are difficult — for women especially; so it feels that much better when you start to master them.  Even some of the strongest woman can only do 5 – 6 at a time.

Set a small goal to be able to do 1 – 2 within a couple weeks & build from there.  If you cannot do a single pull up yet, do not be discouraged.  If your bar is low enough, use your feet to push off the ground for a little boost.  You can also use a chair to create an assisted pull up; better yet, grab your yoga ball to really work your core stabilizers.  If you are doing assisted, just don’t hold back & make it about your lower body by using too much of your leg power.  Give it everything you have using your upper body before engaging your legs to push the rest of the way up.  Honestly, it has taken me a long time to really train my  body to do a good pull up; you have to really engage all the muscles through your back [not just your arms] & PULL.

We are off to the climbing gym for a quick, evening session — I scored a buy-one-get-one-free day pass!  We climbed during lunch; but that was short, & we need to get our money’s worth & earn that day pass!

Enjoy your evening!

~

How are you challenging your body?

Reduction & Commitments

12 Wed, 2011 § 8 Comments

I love mornings.

I love cuddling with my pup in the morning [& my man].  I love having me time in the morning.  I love working out in the morning.

In college I realized — but not quickly enough — I am not a night owl who can function cramming until all hours of the night.  My brain functions much better in the morning — alert, focused, receptive.

But 4:30 is e..a..r..l..y..

If I want to get a workout in before my shift & catch the bus, this is when Kenna sings me from my slumber [current iPod/alarm setting].

foggy, remiss, sluggish

& I haven’t even mentioned how my body feels.

It took some gentle coaxing to talk myself out of bed — especially after Eisley crawled on top of me to snuggle! 😦

It takes me nearly 30 minutes to really wake up & be ready to hit it hard.  But hit it I did.

CherryCherryBoomBoom workout from BodyRock

If this doesn’t wake you up, I don’t know what will.  Mountain Climbers galore!  12 sets & 10 minutes total — that’s just the Mt. Climbers; there is more to be had.  I did not watch this video of Zuzana, but often her butt bounces more than I would recommend for these.  I like to keep a tight core & really pull my knees to my chest.  I opted to skip out on the added weight for squats today & also switched out the tricep knee raises for tricep press with alternating leg/hip raise [think crab-walk position].

I think you should try this workout.

Even though waking up that early is so hard, it feels so good to tear it up before starting my day.

Ending my day with something equally nourishing & satisfying is just as nice.

This is actually how we finished off Tuesday, but I wanted to share it with you because I like the reflection of the reduction Jessica is right about gnocchi with balsamic reduction: “mind blowing”.

We needed a creative way to serve Dave’s “stocking”-stuffer-spinach-gnocchi — yes, I put gnocchi in his shoe — this was too easy for how pleasing it was to the taste buds.

to make Balsamic Reduction:

Heat a small saucepan over high heat & add 3/4 C balsamic vinegar.  Allow vinegar to come to a boil them immediately reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until vinegar reduces by half,  ~8 – 12 minutes.  Set aside & let cool to thicken.

For my version, I sauteed onions & carrots in earth balance & fresh thyme until they started to soften.  Threw in couple cloves of sliced [not minced] garlic & cooked until fragrant.  Added quartered mushrooms & artichoke hearts & cooked until onions were slightly caramelized, carrots were soft [but not mushy] & mushrooms were browned.  I tossed this all with cooked gnocchi & drizzled with the prepared balsamic reduction.

Wow.  Check out Jessica’s recipe here.

I have learned the trick to a reduction is letting it cool — this is when it thickens — seems obvious, but I have reduced my fair share of liquids to zilch.

In all the excitement of balsamic reduction, I nearly forgot to share my our recent commitment.

Know what this is?

Very good, it is our pull up bar.  We love this thing & have had it for a couple years now.  It jams right in the doorway & is perfect for our “home gym”.

Every time we walk past it:

I must do 2 pull ups & 2 chin ups…I think Dave does 5 each??

I am going to be a woman who can do 10 pull ups [I was halfway there at one point]; I just need to do them more often again.  I am really excited about implementing this training commitment.  It should help with some motivation/body image paradigm & discouragements I have come across recently,  but I will save the rest of that explanation for later this week.  Oh, & I get to go to the climbing gym tomorrow during my lunch break which will also help! YAY.  It has been far.too.long since I climbed.

Did I mention the pull up bar is in front of the bathroom?

~

Do you ever do daily challenge/commitments like this?

Are you a morning person or a night person?

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