Archive for July, 2011

Cape Cod beach at sunset, Race Point Beach

Image via Wikipedia

OK, we’re counting down to the beach… 2 days left!

I had a nice hill run this morning which was a good warmup for an abdominal workout when I got home.

Here’s a list of a few of the exercises that make up my “crunch time” to the beach:

1. The Plank

2. Kettlebell sit ups

3. The Plow

4. Russian Twist  (some people do these standing, other sitting…)

5. Bicycle Sit-ups.  (If you’re not sure what those are, ehow will show you how:)

Here’s the routine:

Start with a good stretch into a forward bend.  Then step back into the plank pose and hold that position for 60 seconds.

Roll onto your back, grab the 8KG kettlebell and do 20 kettlebell situps.  Repeat these two exercises, alternating Plank and Sit-ups.

Then, from the sit up position, roll back into a shoulder stand inversion, legs straight up, and then throw back into the Plow position just for fun!  This should give you a good hamstring stretch.  Scoop belly and suck navel to spine as you go into the Plow to protect your diaphragm.

Then try a good oblique exercise with the kettlebell… The Russian Twist.  Do at least 50 of these.

Then knock out a set of 20-40 bicycle sit ups.

After this, start the routine all over again to really pop your abs!

Good Luck!


4 more days ’till the beach… time to step it up with the One-Legged Kettlebell Squat!

Check out Mike Mahler’s site for this exercise… this guy’s incredible… click here and scroll about 2/3 down the page to the “Kettlebell Pistol”:

If you’ve blown out your knees like I have, then don’t try the single leg version… a regular squat will work your hamstrings almost as well.  Be sure to squat all the way down as shown.



Kale and Eggs

Posted: July 21, 2011 in kale and eggs

I’ve had a few requests for the kale & eggs recipe. Here it is:

If you are rushing around in the morning like most of us, here’s the quick egg scramble version:

Saute kale, swiss chard and cilantro in olive oil until just wilted, whisk one egg and a few egg whites together, add to pan and scramble.  Add a bit of sea salt and pepper.  Done.

If you have more time, try this omelet version:

Saute sweet onion and garlic in olive oil.  Add kale and swiss chard until just wilted, then transfer to a side plate.  Whisk an egg and a few egg whites together, add to an omelet pan.  Once set, fill with kale mixture, add salt and pepper, cilantro, maybe some cheese if you want, a few mushrooms if you want… you get the idea, then flip in half and Voila!

Now you start your day with one of the healthiest vegetables around… Kale!  Containing powerful antioxidants, cholesterol lowering and cancer preventing properties, large amounts of vitamin K, C and A, fiber, omega 3’s… what could be better?!


(p.s.: use organic kale!  It’s on the top 10 list for pesticide residue, so make sure you’re buying organic.)

The kale in my garden.

Aside from the occasional post about my pre-workout snack or a post-workout dinner, I haven’t really tackled the issue of food or diet on this blog.  But I think it’s time to talk about the quality of the food we eat.

Everywhere I go it seems people are eliminating entire food groups from their diet.  The “no carb” diet, the “no meat” diet, the “no gluten” diet, the “no dairy” diet, the “no sugar” diet, the “no wheat” diet, and even the “no cooked food” diet.  On and on, I see people struggling to land on something that works.  It’s one thing if you have food allergies, but if your goal is to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle, then the equation is quite simple: eat less, exercise more.

OK, so we eat less.  Does that mean one trip a day through the drive-thru rather than two?  I want to talk about the food you do eat.

I’m sure the reason I haven’t discussed this yet is because I live in a little bubble called “Seattle” where it seems everyone eats fresh, wholesome, locally-sourced food.  It’s the norm around here, so I don’t really think about it.  Most of the people around me eat well, so I figured “doesn’t everybody eat kale for breakfast?”

But just the other day I realized that “natural” is perhaps… sadly… not the norm.  I had this realization when I was out for a run and decided to take a short-cut home.  (That will teach me.)  Here’s what happened in a nutshell… then I’ll get to the diet thing:  Instead of staying on the lovely Burke Gillman trail, I decided to cut up 25th Street.  I soon remembered that I would have to pass by a stinky old gas station and a McDonald’s (even more stinky!).  As I passed by the McDonald’s I started to feel sick.  Really… like double-over-nauseous sick.

Harlem watup
Image via Wikipedia

The smell, honestly, made it hard for me to breathe.  It was the dinner hour, and this place was slammed.  Incredibly I made it home without barfing… barely.

My little “detour” really made me stop and think.  Seeing so many people in there eating processed meats from factory farms, greasy fries from nasty oil vats, and even the pesticide-sprayed salads with hydrogenated palm oil dressings… oh my… it just threw me!  I wondered… how many people eat this way everyday?  Am I really living in a bubble here?

Let’s be clear… I’m not hatin’ on the cheeseburger.  I love them!  But my question is… are you buying your cheeseburger at a fast food joint, or preparing it yourself with quality ingredients?

For me, it’s a question of quality and content.  You have to know what’s in your food.  I hate to rant… but these days you really have to know what you’re eating and where your food is from!  If you don’t know, don’t eat it.  That’s Rule #1.  If you don’t know what you’re eating or where it came from… don’t eat it.  Period.  You won’t “starve to death” if you miss a meal.  Just wait until you get somewhere where you can recognize every ingredient.

That’s what I do and I have to say, I rarely compromise on this.  I don’t think you should either if you’re serious about kettlebells and fitness.

And now let’s talk about fat loss and diet… and kettlebells:  You all know that I’m a kettlebell fanatic… (Kettlebells will transform your physique and quite possibly get you in the greatest shape you’ve ever been in.)  I’m also a food fanatic!  There’s a good article you should read on the Dragon Door site (an awesome resource for kettlebell fanatics, by the way).  It’s about fat loss and kettlebells, saying basically what we already know to be true, but sometimes we need a reminder:

#1: We have to take in fewer calories than we burn if we are going to lose fat.
#2: We have to get control over the foods we put in our body. 

Dave Whitley, Master RKC, came up with a great quote from the article: “You can’t out-snatch a donut!”  Snatches burn a tremendous amount of calories, but your body needs pure whole foods to really excel.  Not donuts.

Here’s the link to the article:

Check out the article when you have a minute… but one of the best pieces of advice from his article is “to stick to foods found in nature – meat, poultry, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, legumes, and seeds and nuts. Stay away from processed (man-made) foods like breads, cereals (yes, what they feed cows), pasta, deli meats, etc.”

I always enjoy a good challenge… How about the next 7 days we eat only from the list above?!  Do it with me… and then I’m headed to the beach, so its perfect timing!

Let’s swing some kettlebells…

Peace Out and Good Eating!

Kettlebell 55

Image via Wikipedia

Here’s one that I haven’t done in a while… the SOTS press.  I don’t know how I let this slip out of my regular routine, but this is:  One… Fine… Exercise!

Try it tonight…but if you haven’t done this one lately, start light.  And don’t try this with injured or stressed shoulders.

It took me awhile to find the right music, but I finally landed on Incubus… starting with “If Not Now, When?”

Tonight’s post-workout snack… warm leeks, sautéed in butter, over cold salad greens with some raw sunflower seeds.  Nothing quite like it… mmmm

Here are the steps in the SOTS Press:

1. clean the kettlebell
2. squat down (as deep as possible)
3. press the bell (still squatting)
4. stand up and return to the clean position.
5. repeat, 10 reps per side.

It’s been over a year since I last blogged about this… , so I figured it was about time this resurfaced.



Here’s a taste of what’s to come in my new “Yoga meets Kettlebells” workout:

Try this tonight… it’s a great way to increase your strength and balance on the mat.

Get yourself into the dancer pose:  (from a standing position, bend your right knee, grab your right foot with your right hand and press back and up.  Press your foot into your hand, keep hips facing forward, and slowly bring your right thigh parallel to the floor as you raise your left arm forward to balance.  Stay in this position… or if you feel good, lift your thigh higher while staying true to your hips.

Now it’s time to bring in the kettlebell: Place the kettlebell by your standing foot.  Lean forward and pick up the bell, and bring it up to standing.  If you want to do a clean and a press while you’re here, do that, and then bring it back down to the floor pressing your lifted foot into your hand as before, stretching the quad.  That’s one rep.