Monday, March 26, 2012

RKC Training round up week of March 19th

I earmarked Monday March 19th as the kick off for my RKC training.....I had a substantial break from my program last month when having to deal with my son. I kept my fitness up, but wasn't able to follow my training plan w.any regularity.
RKC is 6 months away. It's now or never....

Here is what I did for the week:


3 TGU on each side before switching, holding 5(s) in each position - 12kg
2x5 Chin-ups - I can (barely) do 2 consecutive unassisted chin-ups...I put a little step stool down under the bar to help finish my sets
4X5 KB Deadlifts - 32kg.....can go heavier, but my 32kg is the heaviest bell I have.
Press ladder - 2,3,5 R/L X2 - 12kg
One arm swings - 6R/6L X 10 sets - 16kg


4 TGU on each side before switching -12kg
4X5 KB Single arm Deadlifts - 24kg
Clean, Squat, Press complex - 2,3,4 R/L X 4(!!!)- not putting bell down until both sides are done - did 3 sets w.12kg, 1 set w.10kg
Alternating Swings 8R/8L X 6 sets - 16kg
GTG Chin-ups throughout the day


5 TGUs R/L, switching sides after each one - 12kg
KB Deadlift - 2x5 - 32kg
Press - 2x5 R/L - 12kg
Goblet Squat 2X5 - 24kg
5/5/5 2 hand swing ladder X 8 w.16lg, 20kg, 24 kg

Had a session w.Mike Perry of Skill of Strength, in their new spot. What a beautiful room to train in! The session went great - went over TGU, Press and swing....just barely had time to get into snatch....I've been working on it on my own. It's coming along, slowly, but surely.

Things I need to work on:
In my TGU, slowing down my roll up to my elbow and engaging my lats.
In my single arm swing, keeping my lats engaged and my shoulders square...also, keeping my arm/elbow in tight against my body until my hips pop.
In my swing, making sure I hinge when the bell hits my crotch and not before.

On my in between days, I did KB fusion classes (Tues/Thurs) as well as taught spin (Wed/Fri).....cardio endurance can only help me during the snatch test :)........
6 months to go!!!! Feeling good :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

RKC update, and a Paelo/Primal treat, Chocolate Chip Cookie

Russian Kettlebell Challenge (RKC) update! It's official...I'm headed to the RKC, in Philly, September 28-30th. When the dates were announced, I screamed with excitement and groaned with nausea from getting that sick to my stomach feeling.
For those who might not understand why I would have these feelings, to make RKC would fulfill a HUGE personal goal that I've set for myself. I will be just shy of 43 yrs old when I go for the certification and I've made it a personal goal to see if I can make it through the weekend and become certified. Not everyone who goes to the certification passes; there is a 25-30% failure rate.
From what I understand, it's a weekend of learning and intense exercise. There are a number of physical tests that one has to pass in order to make RKC, and your performance the entire weekend is also taken into consideration.

I've met some super RKCs on line (Facebook and Twitter), as well as in person when I did my entry level kettlebell certification, called Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification (HKC), this past September, 2011. There is a camaraderie that is felt amongst the RKCs/HKCs, and it's been great to get their support.

I've enlisted an RKC II to help me train, Michael Perry of Skill of Strength ( I met Mike at my HKC certification, where his wife Amanda, was doing the cert as well. Amanda is going for her RKC in 1 month's time in St Paul, Minnesota. You can read about her training at

I've already had a number of setbacks to my training that make me wonder if I'll be able to do it; More often than not, I'm left with a feeling of self doubt. Mike wrote me a great program to do for 4-6 weeks. I was feeling very strong doing the program for about 2 weeks. Then I woke up with a pain under my collar bone, which radiated into my shoulder and arm. I'm not sure what happened. The pain persisted for a number of days and eased up enough for me to pick up the kettlebells again, but still hasn't totally gone away.

Shortly after that, my son, whom many of you know has Asperger's Syndrome/ADHD, was having many problems at school and home, and eventually ended up needing a 2+ week hospitalization. I can't put into words what it feels like to leave your 9yr old child at a pediatric psych unit. I just can't. The past month was exhausting, both emotionally and physically, and following a kettlebell program just wasn't in my cards.

Most recently another injury kicked in: my facet joint arthoprathy of the lumbar spine presented itself as I was working out last Thursday. It's basically arthritis of the joints of my lumbar spine. The area where my lumbar spine meets the sacrum seized up on me and I've been in agony since. Today is the first day that it's felt better. I actually picked the bell up today and tried a few swings. Felt ok, some pain upon hinging back, but gave me hope that I can start swinging fairly soon.

I feel terrible about not being able to work out and my diet has suffered since I was basically going back and forth to the hospital, every day for 15+ days, and got totally off of my diet and food routine. I just need to feel strong and grounded again......
So, I hope to be back on track with the program that Mike wrote for me a few days. I will keep you posted. Until then, please enjoy these treats, Paleo/Primal friendly Chocolate Chip Cookies. I adapted the recipe from the folks at Primal Palate. Their website is fantastic - check it here: The Food Lover's Kitchen. I made a couple changes to the recipe, one which was to omit some of the almond flour for some coconut flour, and the second, reducing the amount of salt by half. The cookies came out great! SOOOO delicious!

Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe adapted from The Food Lover's Kitchen)
2.5 cups almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pure vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup Grade B Maple Syrup
2 eggs
1.5 cups chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life brand which are gluten and dairy free)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees; mix your dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside.
2. In a separate, large bowl, beat the eggs, maple syrup and vanilla together until well combined. Add the dry ingredients into the wet, and beat until combined.
3. Pour the melted coconut oil over the mix and beat until combined.
4. Stir in the chocolate chips.

5. On parchment paper lined baking sheets, drop tablespoon sized balls of dough, then press them down slightly prior to baking.
6. Bake for 10-14 minutes; check at 10 minutes and let them go another couple minutes if the cookies are not firm enough, or are not brown enough.

7. Remove from oven and transfer to rack to cool.
The cookies have a great texture and flavor and I seriously have been ODing on them the past few days (which is unfortunate given that I haven't been able to workout....can you see why I'm itching to get back on the wagon??)....


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Is it Sauce or Is it Gravy?

Either way, sauce or gravy, it' OK with me, because I just call it yummy!!! This sauce I made with onions, garlic and carrots with both diced tomatoes and strained tomatoes. I seasoned it with fresh basil close to the end of the cooking time. For meat, I added PORK in various formats....pork sausage, pork chops and pork meatballs....the meat all came from Stillman's Farm, a farm approximately 40 minutes down the road from me. They are a local, sustainable farm, with animal friendly farming techniques, that pastures their animals, feeds them food they were meant to eat, never using antibiotics etc. I feel good supporting them and eat their meat with a clear conscience.

For the sauce, I started by cooking the onions, garlic and carrots, then added in the sausage, cut into 1-1.5 inch pieces.
After the sausage browned, I nestled in 2 nice bone in pork chops and started them cooking up.

To the mix, I added in Bionature brand strained tomatoes (organic, in glass), and a couple boxes of Pomi brand diced tomatoes. I've been staying away from canned tomatoes after reading about BPA dangers. It's worth seeking out the boxed brands or brands that are in glass.
I added in some dried herbs at this point as well: oregano, thyme, marjoram, basil - any herbs really would work. It's important to add the dried herbs at the beginning of the cooking time so that they can release their oils into the sauce.
I made some pork meatballs with some grated garlic and onion as well as S+P and an egg. I dropped them into the simmering sauce and let the whole thing cook for a couple hours.
At the last minute, I added in fresh, chopped basil.
The chops were falling off the bone, and both the sausage and the meatballs were so tender. The flavors melded together so nicely. Truly a delicious meal.
Whatever you call it, sauce or gravy, try making a big pot of it! Freeze some down for another day! It's worth it!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Something out of Nothing: A quick Paleo friendly lunch

I was hungry for lunch just about 30 minutes ago, poking around the fridge, grumbling about not having anything to eat.
Then I looked a little closer and found a number of things that could make up a delicious lunch:

some leftover wild coho salmon from dinner, leftover cooked bacon, raw kale, sweet peppers (already cut up), avocado, and a golden beet.

I washed up the raw kale, then massaged it a bit w.some lemon juice. That is the trick to getting kale prepped for a raw salad. The massaging w.the acid of the juice actually breaks the kale down a bit, softening it up, so when it's eaten, it's got a nice texture and flavor.
I put the kale on a plate and added all my other goodies; I flaked the salmon over the top, cut up some avocado and piled that on, peeled and chopped the golden beet, dumped on the already cut sweet peppers and crumbled on some bacon. Last, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice....
It took 5 minutes.
5 minutes vs 30 minutes and loss of control of adding just those ingredients I wanted to eat if I had gone the route of going to pick something up to eat.

It was delicious and healthy as well. So next time, take a closer look in the fridge. You just might be able to make something from nothing :)