Get yourself a slow cooker

Well, the title says it all. You can probably tell what I just had for lunch. A few weeks ago, I made this amazing beef and veggie stew and had so much of it, that I gave a bunch to 2 other people and had enough for me to freeze for leftovers. I go visit the boyfriend pretty often and one thing I learned while staying down there is that he can come up with the most random concoctions to throw in the slow cooker to make the most amazing meals. The same with his brothers girlfriend too… use your imagination! I just used browned beef and had a TON of different veggies that needed to be used before they went bad. I threw in some green peppers, onions, diced tomatoes, green beans, a few carrots, tomato paste and sauce, beef broth, veggie broth, water… I mean the list pretty much just goes on. Go to your grocery store pick out your meat (chicken, beef, pork…) and walk through the canned veggies section and grab a bunch of canned veggies (be sure to check the label to make sure there’s not a bunch of added crap). After that, get your broth, go home, and throw everything in the slow cooker for 6ish hours and BOOM! You have the most amazing thing in front of you. One of the things that Nicole made while I was visiting the dude was pulled pork. Now I can’t remember what she put in there but she said she just threw in a bunch of stuff and hoped for the best, it was so dang amazing! Slow cookers are definitely not just for stews or soups. If you’re nervous about using your imagination to throw stuff together, there’s a ton of different healthy low carb recipes you can find and throw together in a matter of minutes for a meal big enough to feed an army! Maybe not the whole army but 10+ people. I’m just amazed at myself. I’ve had a slow cooker forever and never knew its full potential 🙂 Get to cookin!!

Just a side note..

So I’m at the gym warming up and walking on the treadmill. I’m watching this chick go mass speed at a large incline, and she’s grabbing the front of the treadmill. What’s the point of the speed and incline if you’re just going to drag yourself along by holding onto the treadmill? If you want a better and more effective work out, don’t hold onto the machine (except if the arms move as they do on some ellipticals). Also there’s a guy on the rotating stair stepper machine and holding the majority of his weight up with his arms. Once again, hardly a work out for your legs. Try it. You’ll see and feel the difference. Don’t be a half-asser! If you’re going to do the exercise, do it right 🙂 Well, time for me to get my sweat on!

Attack method

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This is my plan of attack for training for the Spartan Race. It has many different cardio and strength training exercises. Along with planning your meals ahead of time to help make healthier choices, planning your week of exercises is also a must. Write down what you’re going to do daily as well as the time of day you’re going to do it. And DON’T back out. If you write down that you’re going to run a mile at whatever incline, you run the whole mile at that incline. Don’t change your mind half way through the work out because it’s hard. You don’t quit when you’re tired or when you don’t think you can do anymore. You quit when the work out is done. Period.

Let the training begin!

Alright, so the training has been going on since a week ago but being a dumb dumb, I completely forgot to tell all of my blog followers about it 🙂

February 9th is the Spartan Race here in Arizona. It sounded like a blast and fun to train for when a friend said we should get a team entered. After the new year struck, I started thinking….

I don’t think I’ve been in an obstacle course since my elementary school field days. So being 100% clueless on what to expect, I checked out the Spartan Race website to see what was all going to be included (and yes, I even Googled how to train for an obstacle race). I found a very helpful post from a guy who has done numerous obstacle courses and he suggested running at intervals with other different strength training exercises in between. I still did my usual slow resistance strength training 2 days last week and I threw in a killer treadmill workout, the kind where you shouldn’t eat anytime soon before attempting. It went a little something like this:

  • run 0.25 miles (5.8 MPH, 5% incline)
  • 10 push ups
  • 30 Russian twists (15 each side)
  • 10 tricep dips

I ended on 2 miles total (that list 8x) and was so dead and feeling awesome by the end (aside from wishing I didn’t eat supper so close to gym time)

I have no idea how long the treadmill will pause for without restarting after you push the pause button, so that was my motivation to kick it in gear when I was doing my other exercises. Let me tell ya, you get some crazy looks from the little snots on their ellipticals and treadmills with no incline. It gives you the best feeling in the world when they’re thinking they’re so awesome doing the easy way out while you’re busting your tail because you know that the work and sweat is worth it. Now, I have nothing against a simple treadmill or elliptical work out, I’ve done them before many times. But please hear me out, CHALLENGE YOURSELF. Aside from having something to train for, I needed a “kick your ass” cardio work out that I enjoyed doing. It’s a little goofy feeling when you start out, but by the end of mile 1, you feel like you own the place. Please give it a try!

Another thing that was suggested was to learn to love burpees. I like feeling pain when I work out, don’t get me wrong. But burpees signify everything that is soulless and wrong. They’re my least favorite thing to do for a work out, period. They’re so incredibly awesome for you though! So many different muscle groups are targeted and they’ll shape you up in an instant. I just did 10 of them randomly because I felt lazy (took what, 20 seconds?) and my heart rate sky rocketed instantly. I heard that if you do an obstacle wrong or you can’t complete it, then you do burpees. Learn to love ’em i guess!

I’m going to challenge you to find some kind of event to do. I’ve wanted to do the Color Run for a while and I know there’s got to be a ton of different runs and obstacle courses around. Check it out 🙂