It looks like it’s a current “these are a few of my favourite things” Friday! It would not be ‘favourite’ without some chocolate, but let’s get the order right and start off with some fitness tales for Friday.
Firstly, today involved tending the delicate embers of my small resurgence of delight in doing some strength training. Secondly, it involved teaching Cycle and not croaking – that is nurturing the return of my voice – or carking it right at the end of class due to being already fatigued from the strength training.
Thus I decided to try my latest not-so-secret weapon in my pursuit of fitness this morning and settled on ten sets of strength training, which I divided up between deadlifts and chin ups. Ten sets seems like a perfect number for me – I can achieve a decent workout without worrying about being in the gym for hours on end. Of course, when you’re only deadlifting in the vicinity of 4-6 reps at a time, you do need to ensure an adequate rest period in between sets. I used my rest period to contemplate my lack of motivation towards strength training and wondered if it was due to my overall negativity and apathy towards the bodybuilding community in general. I realize that some of you beautiful readers are into bodybuilding and my negativity isn’t generated in your direction – rather it’s been all about being personally burnt by a few bad bodybuilding eggs – or should I maybe say ‘egg whites’? . It seems to be a “sport” (and I coin that phrase loosely) where the winners often are not chosen by hard work and discipline, but rather by who you know.
In my moments of rest, something akin to a five cent piece (not as heavy as the proverbial penny here) dropped. I realized that it is time to separate my personal paradigm of strength training and wellness from the time I spent in the bodybuilding industry and the associated wack jobs that were part of it. The funny thing is, that I haven’t been outwardly thinking of strength training like this at all but wonder if part of it is me acknowledging my subconscious mind.
Then it was time to move onto chins and I was able to rope in Miss Super Em to participate in the fun with me – then finally onto Cycle class.
Now I have a great Friday crew and today’s class was a tough one – pleased to say I didn’t keel over and die and I didn’t re-lose my voice either, so all good.
One of my favourite participants, Max, keeps bees and brought in some freshly harvested honey. I have had a quick taste and it is sensational. I could taste varying ‘layers’ of flavour in the honey and each batch tastes a little bit different each time, depending on where the bees have been.
In the food discovery realm, I’ve also discovered a few new favourites….
The Lindt dark coconut chocolate you see above (with thanks to Kari for the suggestion) and Melrose Almond and Chia Spread. I’m always amazed at how your earliest dietary choices affect you years later as the health trend when I was much younger was the “no fat, eat nuts at your peril” scenario and the “you should avoid nuts because they’re so high in calories” advice.
Thus it’s taken me several years to become comfortable with the idea of eating more fat, especially those calorie dense nuts. However, I find a bit of nut spread goes a long way and today’s snack was half a large banana smeared with a teaspoon of this nutty and crunchy paste. The chia seeds add an amazing crunch factor and I’m quite satisfied with a small amount.
The coconut chocolate – it’s dark and beautifully bitter and offset nicely by caramelized coconut. I’ve been enjoying a square (10g) on a few evenings this week – it’s tamed the PMS quite nicely.
Finally, I’m giving these a shot tonight – purple carrots! I’m pairing them with my unbelievably good Thai Baked Salmon and can’t wait to see what the kids think!