Sometimes we need a little magic!

I sleep really well last night but I woke up a few times because my lower back was killing me, not in a bad way but from yesterdays sweet workout with Frank. Soreness from a workout will never stop me so with 2 Advil later and some tiger balm rubbed into my back and I was as good as new.

I knew what I had to do today because Megan told and I am sticking to the game plan. So with 5 miles to run today I started as planned but in the middle of the run the treadmill came to a stop and I had to start all over and some personal stuff came up that was completely out of my control and all the sudden it felt like I was running in a storm.storm

 

Everything was hurting and I had one mile to go and I was going to crank the speed up from 8.06 minute mile to 7.54 minute mile and with the darkness in my mind it felt…hmmm, not impossible but close.

So when Tarik, a fellow trainer walked through the doors I begged him to stand next to me and help me push and so he did. He made sure I did not give up and when I told him I was puking he just told me to keep running and stop making a mess. I came in on 24.14 at three miles and then I already had over two miles under my belt.

Sometime we just need to use some magic to turn the negative into something positive and the storm that might have been ahead is all of a sudden less threatening!

magicfeather

 

Thank you Tarik for pushing me to the end!

Practise what you preach

Today we had a guest appearance from the City. It was Laura’s friend and I’ve been told she is just like me “a gym junky” so the pressure was totally on. I knew the girls was going to be sore from the drop sets we did on Monday so arms was more or less off-limits. So coming in I had to try the workout to see if it was descent or not. As I did Frank, on of the trainers at Lifestyle Fitness decided to join in. It is so much more fun when you have a workout pal because if I every thought about giving up when working alone, having a partner it never even crosses my mind.

quitting

 

So there we were, Frank and I slightly rushed for time when we started to crank out the first set of wood chops, body weighted side bridge, burpee with push up and last but not least shoulder extensions from a medicine ball. Although this was a core circuit the shoulders had to stabilize a fair bit so coming into the last move me and my shoulders had a very private conversation 😉

plank shoulder

 

As we are having a bit of a drop-set week this week what would be more appropriate than carry it over to the legs as well. So with a barbell squats, dropping the weight twice followed by 20 walking lunges with at least 20 lbs weight did the trick…

squats

…but to every frontside there is also a backside. This time around we did the drop set last and started with 15 Barbell “good mornings” followed by Romanian deadlifts. I was coming into my third set and I was glad I was seeing the silver lining of the workout. We topped the day off combining the weight training into 6 minutes cardio blast. I could with an ease to my mind let the girls do the same because I knew I pushed myself and how could I ever give them a workout that would not be challenging enough?!!

woodchop

 

Thanks for coming Michelle!

I need some sanity in my life!!!

Ok, so we have finally had the schedules for the kids and in all honestly I think it is a full-time job just to keep up! So I am very glad that I am back with Rebecca for my Pilates sessions last Wednesday as I think this might bring some sanity to my life 😉

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It has been a while since I did Pilates and I could really feel it too because it is so very different compared to what I am doing myself over at the gym. At the moment I am focusing building strength and endurance with a lot of stable strength exercises combined with movements in a more unstable environment. So it is very nice to mix it up with the weights and the spinning as well as I really need to work on my flexibility because I am tight like crazy…

 

A hot Monday Morning

After another fun weekend it feels like a need another one just to recover from the one that just ended. Unfortunately this is not the case because today it was just a regular Monday and I have a ton of things that needs to be done this week. I got into the gym unusually late and I really had to hurry because the ladies was coming in at 10 am ready to kick some ass 😉

After a quick warm up on the treadmill I started out with some core strength exercises. I thought I would this week with a mix between upper and lower body just to get it going on this very hot day.

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When the core was over and done with we moved on to the upper body. I am trying to focus on strength and endurance so at the moment I am trying to put together exercise that will enhance the outcome. So with a superset that contained Dumbbell Bench Press and Cable Shoulder Press you start with the isolated movement first and then when hitting the cable you need recruit more muscles to perform the “same type of exercise”.

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When this two movements was done we went straight into Shoulder Presses, Shoulder Raises and T- push ups. The girls did really well but I have some trouble in my upper back and after seeing the Chiropractor today he told me to stay off these exercises as I have a pinched nerve… 😦

After finishing the three sets we moved on to the legs and they could still feel the aftermath from Fridays workout when they did really heavy lifting/pushing but this was a bit different. With only two exercises on the TRX we combined this with a fast run around the cul-de-sac (approx. 2-3 min) in the scorching sunshine but it was a nice build up to what it yet to come later on this week because I will ensure that Wednesday will be much more intense…

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5:2 Grilled Chicken with lentils and feta

So it’s been a while since I posted any recipes but I guess things has just been crazy lately. But tonight I made my 5:2 diet dinner with 500 calories and I was surprised how much food I actually ended up eating. This is my fifth week doing this and it supposedly it has a lot of health benefits (www.thefastdiet.co.uk). And with that being said I do feel great but I will admit that the first two weeks I was constantly thinking about food on my fasting days and could not wait until it was over but I don’t anymore…

chicken lentils

1 portion

Grilled chicken (479 calories)

250 gram Chicken breast 187.5 cal

salt

Pepper

cayenne pepper

Garlic powder

Tomato Lentil sauce

1/4 cup green lentils 140 cal

4 oz / 114 grams tomato sauce 12 cal

5 fresh chopped basil leaves 4 cal

salt

pepper

Chili flakes

Feta Salad 

30 grams arugula 12 cal

100 gram cucumber 12 cal

2 slices of red onion 12 cal

10 cocktail tomatoes 30 cal

28 grams Feta cheese 70 cal

1/2 tablespoon Champagne vinegar 2.5 cal

 How to: This is dead easy, season the chicken and grill it on the bbq. Boil the lentils for 5 minutes, rinse and add them into the tomato sauce. Season the sauce and let it heat up serve your dinner with the salad and feta cheese!

 

What is a leg day without barbell squats….

Wednesday leg day was no joke, it was not a lot of high intensity but we were lifting heavy weights and yesterday at spinning I could really feel it was paying off…lol

So we started out with some light warm up exercises and at this point neither me or MrsL knew what was coming our way. First out was warming up the hips by doing side walks in with a rubber band between our feet, 10 down and 10 back and I will admit I could still feel last Wednesdays leg day.

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Anyhow when the walks was completed we carried out two a set of dumbbells and did 10 single leg romanian dead-lifts before we finished out on slow single leg squats.

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We only did two sets of these before we started the real deal of the day…because it was very heavy weights and we kept on challenging it every at set with a rep count of 12-15 we had to take longer breaks in order to before the next set. I believe that every one have their least favorite machine to workout and mine is leg extensions but there is nothing to do about than to push through the pain and get it over and done with!

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The following exercise followed in the same foot steps as the leg extensions but this time around it was the leg press and at every set Jonathan added another plate.

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Although the workout started though we still had the “worst” to come and I guess a leg day without the barbell squats will leave you painless but that is not what we are paying for 😉 When we were only doing 8 reps per set we ended up doing for 4 rounds of it but when the last set was finished we took off some weight and kept on squatting until the legs could take no more. At that point we shredded some more weight and was back on it again until exhaustion and when we were finally done the legs were trembling!

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It had been a lot of single exercises and I think this was the first real circuit except the warm up. we kept on working with the barbell and did back wards lunges from a box combined with hamstrings curls.

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It’s funny how the sweat was dripping like I was running intervals and my heartbeat was way up high but I guess sometimes you will work the cardio in a different kind of way. We finished out this crazy leg day the same way as we started it…Romanian dead-lifts from a box taking them deep down low…

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Midsummer celebrations…you have to love it!

There was no workout yesterday as it was one of the most celebrated holidays by the swedes as well as one of the oldest traditions, Midsummer!!! So we started the day not as early as we had intended as me and my sister had a late night the evening before, a very good one 😉  We skipped the traditional herring lunch and the “snaps” as we focused on the strawberry cake and coffee at the venue where the local Maypole was decorated and later raised as we sang and danced.

midsommar

When we got back home the sun finally made it through the clouds and we played some garden Yatzy before the kids stared digging for worms so they could go fishing…

yatxydigging

 

With no luck we had to stick to our original dinner plans and we finished the evening very quietly for being midsummer. The kids in the neighborhood  ran around playing hide and seek and plenty of other games as the sun slowly sat on the longest day of the year so what  is there not to love about Swedish Midsummer…

hiden seek

 

I’m surprised and angry

So I live in Glenview Illinois, on a quiet street that leads up to one of the many communal parks the village care for. Our street does not have any sidewalks but it used by pedestrians everyday walking their dogs or taking their children to the park. The problem is that the street was under construction a few years ago and is just so perfectly straight and smooth so you easily can hit 40-50 mph even though you only allowed to drive 20!

My husband and I try to set a good example for out children as we always talk about what is healthy for you and what is not healthy. We tell them it is ok to have a soda or candy but not everyday, we tell them it is important with exercise. Both our children are very active in sports and we encourage them to ride their bike, Rollerblade or have fun on their scooters. So in order to make it a little bit more enjoyable we put out our hockey goals on the street and the kids loves it. It also serves the purpose of alerting drivers that there is children on the street playing and it actually works. The cars are slowing down, the kids have a chance to get out of their way… and in my mind everyone should be happy about it.

So today I receive an anonymous letter in the mail from one of my neighbors saying that they are trying to be “good neighbors” but we can’t have the goals on the street as it is not allowed. They will not call the police but if we do not stop doing this the police will notice!!!

(The goals are only on the street while the kids are playing)

So my dear “Good Neighbor” I am confused. Does it bother you that I’m letting you know that the kids are out playing so you don’t hurt my children or does it bother you that you can’t get fast enough down the street to the stop sign where you have to wait for traffic to pass before you can make your turn?

What bothers me is that if you can’t pass the hockey nets doing “20” you are going to fast, also it surprises me that you value your precious time more than all the children and everyone else who doesn’t see the street as the new I-94.

So if this is where we heading I am not surprised that childhood obesity has doubled in the past 30 years* as we no longer can let them be active on their on terms. All their activities has to be organized, carefully planed and paid for before it can be executed. What about the spontaneous games for an example when Knut brings out his rollerblades, his stick and pretends he is Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Andrew Shaw all at the same time when he is bringing down the Boston Bruins ;). If kids have fun they will automatically be move around and do what they are best at…and that is being kids and the health will follow!

rollerblades goal

 

So my Good Neighbor maybe you should step out of the car, walk around the block and meet all the people who is out and about trying to live a healthier life and maybe you will learn a thing or two…

*http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm

 

 

 

 

 

Low Carb Pasta Bolognese with Cinnamon!!!

Ever since we got a new grill I have hardly been cooking at all on the stove but yesterday I did a Pasta Bolognese that was just heavenly, heavenly, heavenly….

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1 pound/ 500 grams minced beef

1 Onion

3 or more chopped garlic clove

Mushrooms

1 small can of tomato paste

splash of Bong Kalv fond or Better than bullion

Paprika powder

salt and pepper

Cinnamon

Water

Splash of cream

How to: Fry the minced beef  together with the onion, garlic and the mushroom add the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer for 10-20 minutes (depending of how mush time you have). I did not use to many different spices as the cinnamon was so dominated in the dish. I served my Bolognese with Shirataki fettuccine and an arugula salad.

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I normally don’t eat too much dairy and if I do I prefer to use goat milk products but I have not found goat cream. Does anyone know what store would sell it in the Chicago area, I would love to get my hands on it 🙂

 

If you don’t work it hard it’s a waste of money…

At 6.30 this morning I enter through the doors of Lifestyle Fitness, that is normally when my alarm goes off in the morning. But if you are scheduled to see the most important music show of the year (the kindergarten show) you do what you have to do and you drag your ass to the gym and work hard for every single nickel. But I did not expect what Jonathan had in mind for us…legs!!!

We went outside and started out with lunges with a curl to press, sprints, another set of curl to press, squat jumps and a fast run around the cul-de-sac. I could not believe it, this was going to be my 4th day of legs including the fast run I did yesterday but I figured if I wasn’t going to work it hard it was going to be a waste of money and time (in bed) lol.

6.45

Back inside Jonathan had a change of heart and decided to focus on upper body, this to my relief and we carried on pushing the shoulders. With only three of us the first circuit was only two exercises, after every set I bumped the weight up but kept the amount of reps the same. 15 shoulder press in an inclined bench and 15 single arm rows.

push row

When the third set was over we carried on working the next circuit with two exercises but this time I kept the 15 pounds for the 15 chest flies followed by pull ups till exhaustion. Jonathan alway says not to have a number in your head but it is very hard not to and if I have a number I always try to finish with an extra couple of reps (if I have it left in me).

chestflypullup

The next exercise we split into 3 movements, we started by doing 10 “Clean” of a clean and jerk and while the person I was working with was doing her set  I rested out. The second movement was 10 “jerk” also done three times through and the last move was to complete the “clean and Jerk” in one motion.

cleanjerk

This amazing workout was coming to an end but before I had to rush home to send the kids off to school we finished out on 15 shoulder raises from a wall sit. And let me tell you if you are fed up with doing crunches this is a fantastic compliment of working the abs. Especially after all the stabilizing the core had to do during the heavy clean and jerks.  This was followed by shoulder raises to the sides and with a twist using the dumbbell from a push up position.

shouldercore

 twist

When I stepped outside I was completely drenched and that in it self is a token of a kick ass workout!