Monday, July 30, 2012

Workout : Powerlifting Starting Strength B

Today's workout:  Click on the video links!  It's better to do one repetition with impeccable form, than a whole bunch with bad form :)

Coach T                                         mama
overhead squats (just the bar)       Tupler technique crunches,
neck harness (90 lbs)                     splinting the diastasis
ab work

actual workout -

4 sets of 5                                      3 sets of 5 repetitions
225 x 5                                           just using the bar
275 x 5
315 x 5
315 x 5

135 x 5                                          15 lb dumbbells x 5
185 x 3                                          20 lb dumbbells x 5
185 x 3                                           20 lb dumbbells x 5

power cleans

185 x 5                                           3 sets of 5 repetitions 
225 x 5                                            just using the bar
185 x 5

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fuel : The Church Potluck

Writing about food for a family who is trying to eat paleo could get pretty repetitive if we never ate anyplace but our own house.  Today i thought i'd share about eating paleo at potlucks...

First of all - yay for my church!  I love the church we are at so much!  Great people, great preaching, singing, community - a potluck every month, and birthdays to sing for every week...  And big boys like this who try to make my baby smile (and succeed!  That's where being the oldest of a very big family comes in handy, i think!)

The problem with potlucks is that you don't have so much control over what is there, so first off, you need to make sure that your contribution is paleo.  I think that's actually kind of hard, bcz most moms of many have a few potluck recipes that are their go tos - things that are tried and true crowd pleasers.  And then paleo seems kind of pricey compared to that, and also, kind of... boring.

For our church potlucks, we have to bring a main dish, a side dish, and a salad.  So today we brought a ham (no sugary glaze), a bag of buns (for everyone else!  And our carb hungry sons...), and a romaine, blueberry and feta salad with greek dressing - it's my favourite this summer :)

And when i moved through the line, i saw so many delicious things that i could eat!  Actually, i cheated a bit, because i had corn, which is a grain, but apart from that i scored all kinds of delicious things.

The salad and ham i brought, another salad with pecans, wild greens, and a balsamic vinegar dressing, chicken with a cheese topping, brazilian lime chicken thighs (yummy!), raw carrots, and goat cheese rolled in cinnamon (what a tasty idea! Usually cinnamon is found in sweet things, but it really worked just rolled on its own around the goat cheese.  (We do eat dairy with our paleo - i know not all paleo eaters do, but we've found it a quick source of protein and yummy, too...)

And for dessert, watermelon!

Once you steel yourself to avoid the big bread basket and pasta dishes, no  matter how tempting, the church potluck can be a fun place for some paleo variety!  

I know i'm going to make that goat cheese log again here at home :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Workout : 21 Jump Street

Today's workout sounded fun!  Like Sesame  Street, but for moms in home gyms...

"Pick a spot 12 inches above where you can reach," he said.
"It will be fun," he said.

And it kinda was.

After he stopped laughing hysterically at my lack of "vert".

I tried to defend myself saying i had gained and lost 40 pounds eight times in the past seventeen years, but he has me beat there, too - he's been one hundred pounds of difference from his lightest to his heaviest.  

Anyway, here is the workout:

Four Sets of:

30 jumps to reach your spot 
(mine was a little red thingy hanging from the garage door opener)
Also, my spot was maybe 5 inches above my reach - Coach T's was a full foot...
20 pushups (Coach T did pull ups)
10 ring rows (Coach T did handstand pushups)

The pushups i think i need to graduate from girly ones to boy ones - the ring rows were made possible by two huge carabiners bought at Princess Auto yesterday :)

And, as usual, we had not only one tiny somnolent  cheerleader, but two more little girls, one who added an appropriately Olympic touch with her gigantic vuvuzela...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Workout : Powerlifting Workout

For this workout, you do need some equipment.  The good news is that if you are a busy mom who isn't too big and strong, young boys buy workout gear, then quickly grow up, leave home and rarely take it with them. So, if you want to try these exercises, you can probably get a bench and bar just for the asking on :). For bench press you'll also  need supports to hold the barbell and to rack it after each set.

If you're worried about getting bulky from weight lifting, maybe take a long look at the squats video i link below.  These girls are not bulky, and look downright pretty :)  Check out this website, too!  These are the female champions of the Crossfit 2012 games!

Here are some videos on form:

Coach T's tips:

When deadlifting, keep the bar as close to the body as possible, pull the shoulders back (make the chest big), keep your head up.

When doing squats, head up, big chest - let knees follow feet (i.e. point your feet a  little out to the sides, and your knees follow that invisible line your foot makes as you go down).  Squat to parallel at least (your butt gets as low as your knees - ideally!)

When doing bench press, align the bar to your chest at the bottom of the move, and press up over your face (to your eyes). It's not a straight line, it's an arc movement!  Don't let your elbows flare out, keep them tucked in close to your sides.


Coach T                                      mama
135lbX10 reps                            3 sets of 10 reps with the bar!
225X10 reps
315X10 reps
365X5 reps
ran out of weight!

Coach T                                      mama
225X12 reps                              1 set of 15 reps with the bar

Bench Press
Coach T                                      mama
225X18 reps                              3 sets of 10 reps with the bar
275X10 reps
315X5 reps

Don't worry if you look  like this as you lift!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fuel : Affordable Fuel for a Big Family

I've talked to a few other moms (of bigger families) who've been to the blog and wonder how it works, feeding everyone paleo.

First of all, we don't.  We figure we'll go bit by bit, and i'm still baking (!) for the little ones.  (it helps if you think of it as making kid chow :) - not meant for adult consumption)

So, the children still eat homemade whole grain (and sometimes white!) bread, biscuits, potatoes, corn...  But gradually we are converting our pantry and buying habits to include them.  It helps that paleo seems to be "all the good bits" anyway...

Except to our one extreme carboholic child :)

Anyway, one thing that's made a difference in our food budget was an offer from friends.  We don't hunt (yet) but friends are outfitters, and had a moose where the hunter didn't want all the meat.  So she called me out to her place, i brought the children, and we cut that moose up :)

Haven and the incomparable Mrs. Davis
It was seriously a lot of fun, for all the children - where else do you get to see a giant carcass suspended from a hook in the roof, or get to chop up huge sides of meat, or grind your own burger meat, and then wrap and stamp it?

Now, many months later, we are still eating that moose!  And tonight we had probably the best steak we've had in many months...

Costco has great prices and great quality, and we're able to buy sizes commensurate with our family, but a little wild meat thrown in there gives variety, and  is just as delicious as store bought!  Try it!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Workout : Coach T's Crossfit WOD

This workout has no real name, since Coach T made it up.  But, it got me 600 points on Fitocracy :) so it must be good! (my username is mamazee - if you wanna join me there, I'd love to hear from other moms or paleo friends :)...)

This is what we did:

Three rounds: as fast as you can!

Row 1000m 
(we have a C2 rower - but a rower is a great thing to have - it really is a whole body exercise!)

50 pushups

50 crunches 
(i did the Tupler variation, where you splint the diastasis recti)

Coach T and I took turns on the rower, and our little minions held baby O's hands and cooed at her so she would be happy...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fuel : Snack time

If you've tried to  lose weight before, the idea of a bedtime snack may not seem like a good idea.  But if you've been in the Zone, you'll know where we're coming from.  Three meals, two snacks, all balanced carbs/protein/good fat.

This is what Coach T made me for my bedtime snack.  Mmmm....

Being paleo doesn't mean following all the Zone rules, but we do find they mesh pretty well, and following the Zone may be better if you are the type of person who likes to count calories, or measure portions, or who is apt to cheat :)  just a tiny little bit!

Right now, we're loosely following Zone/Paleo/ketogenic diet rules - low carbs (and good carbs over refined, no white sugar/flour), adequate protein, and high(er) fat.  It's so delicious!  And, i lost another pound this week :)....

Monday, July 23, 2012

Workout : With Teens

We just finished a "weightlifting session" with Wy, our almost 17 year old.  He is not near as passionate as his dad about fitness!  But he has to complete 80 hours of various activities as part of his PE 10 course - so here we are!

Things that went well - kept the lessons short, lots of demonstration, posters on the wall with good information, and a fitness partner (mom) who is less in shape than he is, so he isn't too scared to try in front of dad.

Things that were challenging: a reluctance to look foolish or fail in front of dad, a reluctance to try new things.  A lack of flexibility.

This is weight training with our teen :) - with our next one, who is 14, it would be different issues.  But physical exercise is such a great benefit to your children, and i think we're more likely to stay faithful in working out if we *can* include them.  Not feeling obligated to do it every time, but so far everyone down to our four year old is able to do *something* with us out in the home gym, and has :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fuel : Paleo Pizza

I smelled dinner cooking and it smelled like.... Pizza Hut!

What on earth?  So delicious... so forbidden...

But when T called us upstairs to eat, there was something decidedly unpizzalike on the table.

The bacon definitely made up for the lack of crust - it was crunchy, and salty and delicious.  The chicken was seasoned using a bottled cilantro/lime marinade (we also love Tyler Florence's Ultimate chimichurri sauce if you prefer making from scratch).

And over all, melted cheese.  Everyone ate it and loved it :)

Coach T's Paleo Pizza

Cut up ten chicken breasts into bite sized pieces.  Throw them into a casserole dish (9X13 pyrex baking dish, ungreased).  Slather them in chimichurri sauce, or italian salad dressing, or whatever marinade you like.

Bake until almost cooked through.  Cut up half a pack of bacon.  Shake over top the chicken.  Cook again till bacon is crispy.  Drain liquid.  Cover in shredded feta and grated cheddar.  Bake until cheese is bubbly and golden.

Even the littles ones loved it!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Workout : Fran

This is a Crossfit staple - named for a woman again (poor thing).
T did the regular version, which is:


sets of 21, 15, and 9
for time (this means, time how long it takes you to complete the whole thing with no rests)

thrusters with 95 lbs on the bar
chinups  (His time: 4 min 39 seconds)


I did the mama version, which was 

thrusters with 15 lb dumbbells
followed by
bodyweight rows (My time: 4 min 37 seconds)

We're tucking the littles into bed, making sure our babysitter is aware, and stealing away to ease our muscles (or where muscles shall one day be, in my case) in the hot tub!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fuel: Breakfasts and Lunches

Breakfast is probably the easiest time to be paleo/primal.  Really, all it means is that you get to have delicious first thing in the morning.

I love toast and muffins as much as anyone, but it's not really a great way to start the day.  I know i feel logy and then ravenous an hour later when i eat bread for breakfast, but paleo breakfasts fill you up and give you energy for the morning.

I've been cruising paleo blogs  this  morning, looking for ideas, and there are some super creative people out there!  For instance,

Nomnompaleo's  sweet potato hash (she has an ipad app,  too!)

MultiplyDelicious' Paleo Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Mark Sisson's Mini Crustless Quiche
These delicious bacon wrapped muffin tin eggs from (Coach T loves these with a little extra chili chopped up and mixed in)
these labour intensive but yummy sounding 
breakfast salmon burgers from The Paleo Network

We are a little more boring - but doable!  Coach T does intermittent fasting, so he never eats breakfast, and frequently not lunch either, so i'm kind of on my own with the children for those meals.

I usually have eggs for breakfast - fried.  I don't require a lot of variety :) first thing in the morning - and eggs are easy and quick to do, and easily dressed up with cheese, avocado slices or guacamole, sides of salsa and/or sour cream, and if i have any leftover meat, pretty much anything can get fried up and then eggs poured over it.

I especially love when we have leftover pork roast - carnitas (crispy fried bits of pork) are so delicious on the side, or scrambled up with eggs!

The other awesome thing is bacon - it feels a little decadent, but bacon doesn't take too long to fry up in the pan - i add it in a few minutes before i start my eggs and end up with one dirty pan.  Of course, if i'm making paleo for all the children, too - i bake the bacon on a cookie sheet in the oven under the broiler.  It's finished super quick and i can do a pound at a time.

Coach T's lunch - leftover taco moose, with spices, mixed into scrambled eggs, with salsa on the side.

Lunches are easy, too - i make big amounts of dinner, and usually use the leftover protein for lunch,  something like the above!  This is all about quick and easy.  We are taking time over the summer to assemble more paleo recipes for variety over the winter months (and even through the summer!  I love these roast beef tacos by nomnompaleo!), but often with eight children, just getting something on the table and into our bellies is an accomplishment.  So we're going for fuel,  which occasionally is beautiful, rather than food porn every day :).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Workout: Barbara

Thus begins the girl named workouts.  Sigh.  She kicks my butt.  Actually, baby Octavia kind of kicked our butts this time.  She slept through most of the workout, even with the loud,  pumping music, but eventually woke up and we ended up taking turns the last set - he did a set, then i did mine.  We still only did four sets instead of five.
But even four sets was a good workout!

Coach T                               mama

5 sets of:

20 chinups......................body rows
30 pushups
40 situps...................Tupler recovery
50 squats
3 min rest between each set

friendly little bunny who just needed hugs
my little cheering section (and a serious looking Coach T)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fuel: The Simpler the Better

Because i'm feeding ten people most of the time, I'm usually making huge amounts of food.  I love making a big roast, or ham, or a few chickens at a time, and having leftover meat - it's always good to have an emergency protein ready to go.

I have a little crate of hardboiled eggs in the fridge right now, cheese, and no leftover meat!

Even though we made a huge ham, it went fast.

So, here is a fast and easy dinner.  Just meat, and watermelon.  Easy, "allowed", and simple.  You don't need a ton of starchy sides!  Try it!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Workout: JT

our cheerleaders, ready to either workout, skip rope, or cheer!

Out in the garage, and ready for another workout.  This is only three sets - in the first set, you do 21 repetitions of the exercises (reps), in the second set, you do 15 reps, and the last set is only nine.

Now, i am just getting back into this, and nursing along a diastasis recti (that i think i wrecked by doing too much too soon - argh), so if any of these are putting too much stress on my abdomen, i will sub another exercise, and if i'm too weak, i will break down the reps into little chunks to get it finished.  I don't take a big break, but i will put the weights down and take a few big breaths, stretch out, and take it back up...

sets of 21, 15 and 9
Coach version                        Mama version
Handstand pushups                    Shoulder press with 
                                                           20 lb dumbbells (switched to                                                                                                                                                                      15 lb dumbbells partway through the second set!)

Dips                             Body rows
L-sits 30 seconds                     Kettlebell swings 15 lbs

baby O helps by sleeping through the workout...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fuel: Son of Grok!

We first came across this recipe at Mark's Daily Apple - another paleo eater called son of Grok invented this, and it's surprisingly satisfying.

We DO eat meat other than ground beef!  And we'll get there soon.  This is just what Coach T wanted to make today, and i'm willing, as usual...

Son of Grok

mmmm.....  primal!
Brown 2 lbs meat (we used ground moose, but whatever kind of ground meat you have will work)

Season with chili powder, seasoning salt, onion powder, whatever you like to make it mexican - if he had taco seasoning, he would have used that.


OKAY, It's a little fancier than that.  Serve, with green salsa, sour cream, and homemade guacamole on the side.  Delicious!

We had burritos for the children, but most of them chose to have Son of Grok with us instead...  yay!

Homemade guacamole
based loosely on the Moosewood Cookbook by Molly Katzen

We also eat meals other than dinner... more on that coming up :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Workout - Magnificent Seven! (or three...)

Today we started out with high hopes...
Here we go!

Coach T named our workout "The Magnificent Seven", but once we got started (immediately after supper, which was weird), we realized that three sets would be more doable...

This workout is a little more complicated, so i will link to explanations for each exercise.  I would post video of me doing the exercises, but i don't think that would be very pretty ;)...  Especially the burpees.  Painful!!!  Funny how i hate them just as much as i did in elementary school - the awkwardly undignified name titters at an involuntary bodily function, and the exercise itself is probably the least graceful and flowing of all exercises (except when Coach does them...)

And..... here's the workout!

The Magnificent Seven

Coach version  :                              Mama version:
Seven sets of....

Handstand  pushups                        Shoulder presses with 20 lb db
Push Press                                       Push Presses with 20lb db
Knees to Elbows                             TTapp "putting organs in place"                                                      
                                                        & half frogs
Deadlift 225                                   deadlift 15lb kettlebell
burpees                                           burpees
kettlebell high pull 50 lb               kettlebell high pull 15 lbs
chinups                                          bodyweight rows

We've got passes to our local pool, so i told Coach we should add a little incentive - once we are done our workout, we'll go swimming!  He's on summer vacation right now, and we're missing three children (birthday party, and two at Oma's house), so we took the five that remained to the Multiplex.  Not a good workout, as one of those is only six weeks old, but so relaxing on a hot summer day, after a sweaty workout!  If you can find something that will be an incentive, it sure helps motivate you to get out there, get the exercises out of the way.  All the better if it's something that doesn't cost any money :)  Because hopefully you'll be working out a few times a week!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fuel: Greek Meatballs!

I'm going to try to alternate food and exercise posts - hopefully something is helpful, and if not, at least it pleases my OCD mind to have some sort of balance here!

Tonight's dinner was a winner, at least with me and Coach T.  The littles were a little indifferent - i think because of the olives.  Next time, maybe i'll make a batch of plainies for them..

I used ground pork because it's delish :) but you can use lamb, beef, deer, moose, whatever you have on hand (can you tell we are Canadian?)

This recipe makes enough to feed a family of ten - so, half it if you are a normal sized family or scale down to suit your household...

Paleo Greek Meatballs

2 lbs ground pork
1 c. flaked feta cheese
4 eggs
4 tsp dried parsley (i didn't have any fresh)
3 tsp dried onion (again, no fresh)
1/2 c. olives, cut up into little bits
3 tsp greek salad dressing

Turn the broiler on in your oven.  Mush all ingredients in a big bowl till well mixed.  Using olive oil, grease a few baking dishes - cookie sheet, cake pan, pyrex baking dish (i used all three!) and form the mix into balls, placing on the pan.  Broil on one side until bubbly and just browning.  Flip and brown the other side, and then move each batch to a cookie sheet at the bottom of the oven.  Once all meatballs are cooked, move cookie sheet up to the top rack of the oven to get nicely golden and sizzling with melted feta.

Serve with greek yogurt tzatziki (we just discovered a new favourite from Costco!)

and a side salad.

This side salad is just a small head of romaine, chopped up small, 1/3 of an English cucumber, 1/2 a tomato, chopped up small, a few handfuls of feta cheese, and greek salad dressing.  You can adjust proportions and ingredients according to what you like - i would have added olives if i'd had any more pitted olives!

           As a mom, this way of eating sometimes seems more expensive - after all, where's the filler?  It's just meat and veggies (and a dip!) - but what i've found is that while the ingredients can be more expensive, you don't need to eat a ton to feel full (because there is plenty of fat to satisfy, and plenty of protein to give you energy).  The carbs from vegetables give energy without a sugar high and collapse later on, and although it seems strange to have a meal on purpose without a starch on the side (!), you really don't miss it at all.  Now, if i have guests, i might still serve a starchy side, just because some smaller guests may be picky and only want carbs (my sixteen year old!), but as a family we don't miss the rolls, rice, noodles etc... and i tend not to even have a lot of those carbs in the house, as the littles will want them and they're pretty tempting when we're running low on time.  Fresh veggies or fruit is just as quick as grabbing a bun or toast, and better for you in so many ways!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

First Workout!

This was my first workout postpartum #8...  Besides using TTapp and the Tupler "Mummy Tummy" Technique, both of which are great, especially if you have trouble with diastasis recti during pregnancy...

Here is our home gym...  as you can see, we're using our garage...

We've kind of put it together a piece at a time over the years, and have probably gotten rid of more than we currently have, but this is what we're using this time...

The C2 rower and the wrestling mat for floor exercises (pushups, sit ups, and wrasslin')

the cage with bench (the surgical tubing is for me, so i can do "chin ups" with a little help) and weighted vest and neck strap (again, for T)

barbells and kettlebells and dumbbells, oh my!

and rings for Travis' L-sits, chins and dips

but the most important thing is just showing up (and wearing shoes?  We found the little boys out in the garage "making jewels" by smashing glass bottles the recycling bin...)

So, here is the first workout: (definitions for any of these exercises can be found in the Crossfit FAQ)

"Nasty Girls"

Coach T's version:
3 sets:
50 squats
20 dips
20 chinups
30 neck raises with 90 lbs
10 hang cleans with 135lb barbell

Mama's version:
3 sets of these four exercises:

50 squats
20 pushups
20 seated rows (with 15 lb dumbbells)
10 dumbbell cleans (with 20 lb dumbbells)

If you don't have dumbbells, you can probably borrow some from someone in your neighbourhood/a friend.  OR, you can buy these cheap at Walmart or someplace like that for less than a dollar a pound in the States, and in Canada around a dollar a pound.  They are so versatile, and worth having!

Back in the saddle again...

A friend on Facebook wants to get back in shape, and is feeling uncomfortable with her looks right now.

you're right - this is more than five!
Read on to find out more...
I can so relate!  Even before i got pregnant with my sixth child, I was avoiding social situations, not getting out of the car to say hi, and tugging at waist lines and shirt lengths, wishing i could lose those extra pounds that had piled on following each child's birth.

It had only been three or so pounds each time, but five children times three pounds equals fifteen pounds, and when i found out i was expecting baby number six, i asked my husband to help me.

He's always been very strong and athletic, playing rugby, hockey, football in college, wrestling, and he had been investigating something called Crossfit.

While T's been interested in a ton of fitness and nutrition fads, this is one that's stuck.  Because it's functional, and it doesn't require a ton of time.  A lot of workouts can be done in only fifteen minutes, and when you are a busy mom to a houseful of littles, fifteen minutes is *almost* doable :) -

Coach T
While Crossfit was one component, running was another.  I've heard that running will help tighten loose skin, and man, i know from loose skin.  Babies do that!  And maybe more to me than to anyone else i know...  So, we took off, with T running slowly behind me, cheering me on and correcting my form.

Then, diet.  Actually, diet started the day i had baby.  Portions were not restricted, but we were in the Zone as much as possible.  As the years went on, and we fell off the wagon, we came back with a vengeance, to the Paleo way of eating, and now we're Paleo/ketogenic.  We are not measuring food, but just eating the things that are "allowed".

I'm nursing our eighth child :) and while i don't think ketosis should be bad for baby (I've read that babies are actually in ketosis naturally, as breastmilk is high fat, high protein and low carb), i do tend to avoid being in ketosis, eating a fruit if i cross the line...

this is maybe the only "before" shot i have right now.... me and baby 8!  Nine days after her birth...

So... here we go - for Jennifer, for me, and for anyone else who has a busy family, but a desire for more energy and less to love  in the waistline!  There are posts here already, and a few websites to get started are:
(delicious food ideas!)
 (miscellaneous keto stuff)
(fitness and diet recommendations - linked above!  Also, really impressive before/afters!)
(exercise workouts - don't panic!  Coach T will scale workouts for moms like me :))
(workout of the day (WOD) - also workouts scaled for kids - i know i had three little workout partners the day before yesterday - they make me work HARD!  You feel embarrassed to let a four year old best you in squats :)...)