Work Outs: March 14 – 20, 2021 (Vegan Parmesan Cheese Recipe, Goldilocks the Steel Mace, and Gas Station Spider)

This week I made some vegan parmesan cheese following a recipe from, which think is an excellent website. The recipe is called (appropriately enough) “Homemade Vegan Parmesan.”

This is another offering that is extremely easy to make. All that was required was measuring out a few ingredients and blending them in my food processor/blender. The recipe calls for walnuts, which is what I used, but you can substitute any kind of nuts you have on hand, according to the recipe. I wonder how this would taste with the ubiquitous peanut?

We really enjoyed the cheese and according to the recipe it keeps in the refrigerator for about three weeks. So far we’ve had it on pasta, soup, salad, several vegetable dishes, and in omelets.*

It is 55 calories and provides 2 grams of protein per tablespoon. Given that the recipe includes a decent amount of nutritional yeast, it also confers some B vitamins.**

(Photo by Gus of Used with permission.)

Sun, March 14th

Morning Walk: 3.25 miles. Calories: 2885, Protein: 150 g.

Mon, March 15th

  • I helped my husband with his early morning workout with some medicine ball tosses and rotational passes.
  • Captains of Crush Gripper (Trainer, 100 lbs.):
    • (Set 1): Left = 8 mm x 6 + 1 reps, Right = Closed x 3 reps + 2mm x 4 reps
    • (Set 2): Left = 6 mm x 4 + 1 reps, Right = Closed x 2 reps + 2mm x 4 reps
    • (Set 3): Left = 6 mm x 3 + 2 reps, Right = Closed x 2 reps + 2mm x 3 reps
    • (Set 4): Left = 8 mm x 3 + 2 reps, Right = Closed x 1 rep + 2mm x 4 reps
    • (Set 5): Dynamic Training with the Sport (80 lbs.) gripper. I did 20 reps with each hand. I closed the gripper all 20 times with my right (barely!) but couldn’t close it completely with my left after 11 reps. I ended with some finger extension work and some thumb training using the gripping egg.
  • I some dynamic stretching and worked with the indian clubs a little, concluding my warm-up by doing the MV-2 Workout with my 5 lb. mace.
  • I did the Wyatt with incline push-ups. For each set, I used the 3rd step on my basement stairs until it got too hard and then I went to the 4th step. My time was 44:53. I concluded the session with some static stretching and also did some Cobras, Cat-Cow Pose and Hindu Push Up Stretches.

Calories: 2297, Protein: 157 g.

I’ve been using my trusty 5 lb. thrift store steel mace now for awhile and I think that I’ve outgrown it somewhat. So I bought the pictured 10 lb. mace, which is produced by Retrospec.

I like the Retrospec mace quite a lot so far. It is a bit longer (40″ versus 30″) which is nice because using the mace gets harder the further one grips near the end of the handle. Conversely, gripping closer to the business end makes things easier. So there is a bit more versatility in having the longer handle.

Also, the 5 lb. mace feels better balanced. The Retrospec mace, with its larger head feels a bit more unbalanced for its weight, which makes it harder to use. That is a good thing. Thus far I’m finding the new mace satisfactory. Five pounds is too light, fifteen pounds would be too much but this mace is just right.***

The only thing so far I’m finding that I don’t like about the Retrospec mace is the finish. Even though I haven’t dropped it or scrapped it yet there are a few tiny bits of paint that have flaked off exposing the bare metal. This isn’t a big deal because I can always touch it up with a bit of spray paint but that is a small drawback.

Still, the price of the mace was right and otherwise I’m very happy with it. I’d certainly buy from Retrospec again albeit with the expectation of having to maintain the paint job if I was doing something like beating on tires with one of their maces.

My smaller, first mace will always have a home though. It is very useful for warming up and also for when I want to learn something new. Once I build up my mace collection more, it’ll probably also be useful for things like drop sets.

Tues, March 16th

  • Morning Walk: 2.37 miles. Calories: 2085, Protein: 152 g.

Wed, March 17th

  • Morning Walk: 3.26 miles. Calories: 2121, Protein: 162 g.

Thur, March 18th

  • I helped my husband with his early morning workout with some medicine ball tosses and rotational passes.
  • Later in the day, I warmed up with some mace and club work and a little dynamic stretching.
  • Arnold Press: 30 lbs. x 12 reps, 35 lbs. x 6 reps, 30 lbs. x 2 sets x 8 reps
  • (Super Set) DB Lateral Raises: 15 lbs. x 4 sets x 15 reps +
    • (Set One) Swing & Catch (10 lb. mace, ea. side): 10 reps.
    • (Set Two) Rebel Press (10 lb. mace, ea. side): 10 reps
    • (Set Three) Incline Plank using 10 lb. mace: One Minute. I was going to try and “walk” down the handle like this guy is doing in the video with a barbell but I ended up almost face planting when I tried it, which was good for a laugh. So I stayed in a static hold at the end of the mace for one minute.
  • Board Hand Holds: 4 sets x 30 seconds. Alternating sets of hands pronated holding a short board with 1.5 lbs. at the end and supinated grip a holding long board. The pronated grip worked the thumb and I felt it strongly in my fingers doing the supinated hold. The sensation was different than using the hand grippers. We have some weight plates coming in the mail soon; I think I’ll try the same exercise with them once we get them.
  • Alternating Cross Body Hammer Curls: 20 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps; DB Hammer Curls: 25 lbs. x 2 sets x 8 reps
  • Finished off the workout with 20 Grave Diggers using the new mace and then did some Cobras, Cat-Cow Poses and Hindu Push Up Stretches to end the workout.

Calories: 2177, Protein: 155 g.

I’m always on the look out, when I’m out in Nature, for little beasties and fun things to take pictures of. I am convinced that the gas station (in its way) is as much Nature as the hiking trail and I found this little sprite hanging out on one of the blue concrete and steel posts stores put up to protect their pumps from people running into them.

Our little friend kept running around the post, once it saw I was trying to photograph it. (I guess gas station sprites can be shy.) I got a couple of shots though and although not the best pictures I’m pleased that you can see the little hairs on its legs, which I think are especially nice. If you click on the images you’ll be able to get a slightly better look at that pretty leg hair!

Fri, March 19th

In the afternoon I warmed up with some dynamic stretching and indian clubs, then did the Bad Karma workout, which amounts to a whole lot of barbell curls and kettlebell swings. I kept it light and used 10 lb. dumbbells and a 15 lb. kettlebell. (The standard calls for a 35 lb. barbell and a kettlebell that weighs a “pood,” which is a hair over 36 lbs. Don’t have a bar yet.) One is supposed to keep track of time to completion and mine was 11:12. The weights were light but my biceps felt it strongly all the same and I was breathing quite hard by the end. My brachioradiales were pretty sore for a few days afterwards as well.

Calories: 2168, Protein: 156 g.

Sat, March 20th

Calories: 2895, Protein: 150 g. (I lost 1.4 lbs. this week. My total loss thus far is 29.6 lbs.)

* My husband enjoys a plant-based egg substitute called Just Egg, while I cling to good, old-fashioned ones that still come in shells. I’ve gotten pretty good at making two omelets simultaneously in different pans — his on the right and mine on the left. I’ve done this so often now I’m even able to time them so they are done at the same time. (I find Just Egg takes a little longer to cook than Eggs in Shells.

** I’ve noticed that many commercial vegan cheese preparations taste pretty good but are often a source of empty calories, typically having no protein at all and not many vitamins. I like this parmesan cheese because it delivers on taste but also packs in a lot of nutrition.

*** I never gave the thrift store mace a proper name but I am compelled to name my new one “Goldilocks.”

17 responses to “Work Outs: March 14 – 20, 2021 (Vegan Parmesan Cheese Recipe, Goldilocks the Steel Mace, and Gas Station Spider)”

  1. I’m not really partial to spiders. I have a rule. If a spider is inside the house, it dies. If it’s outside, it’s fine.
    Exceptions being Hunstmen, Daddy-Long-Legs and those little jumping spiders, all of which I will catch and release outside.
    And Redbacks, who are required to die if I see them, wherever they happen to be.
    It seems like everyone here is getting fatter because of the Pandemic. I’ve put 10kg or so back on in the last 15 months, though I have maintained a lot of my strength, I’m not eating as strictly as I should be, so too many calories and carbs, even though I mostly avoid bread products still.
    I haven’t been back to the Gym, though – and walking (even to work, and regular farmer’s walks) doesn’t cut it for cardio the same way that 20mins on the Rower did. (I have a messed up knee, so I avoid running) I’ve been on a waiting list to purchase Concept2 Rower for over a year now….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just seeing your comment (and some others) now…. A lot of people aren’t too partial to them; my love of invertebrates is probably another one of my eccentricities. 🙂

      Hope you’ve been having success, since April, with your fitness goals/maintenance. I’m also glad to read that you’ve been able to hold onto your strength. I’ve been on mostly a maintenance diet myself while I’ve been working on the book. I’ll probably work on dropping another 10 or 15 lbs. once October rolls around.

      So far as cardio goes, I’ve had good luck simply doing circuit training with weights and calisthenics sometimes. Back when I was wrestling, I used to do that as my preferred form of cardio. These days I mostly use a stationary recumbent bike we’ve had for a long time and when I’m out on the trails by myself, which isn’t very often, I run-walk.


    • Like many things in life the fearsomeness is in the details. It is amazing how different spiders look really close up versus, say, four feet away. The former looks like something that ought to be climbing the Empire State Building and battling it out with King Kong while the latter is simply cute as an eight legged button. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, indeed. I’m not sure why but a lot of people seem to feel that way. I guess my love of bugs, snakes, and such comes from my mother, who was a farm girl, and introduced me to the world of such creatures, when I was a child, by letting them crawl on her arms and such and then passing them to me while she explained which ones were dangerous and which ones weren’t. Being in Maine, there weren’t too many dangerous ones, though we did have a species of snake that liked to pretend it was a rattlesnake, which I found amusing the first time I ran into one lurking on the stone fence in my grandparents’ pasture. I ended up grabbing it, while it was doing its fake rattle thing, and running back into the kitchen to show it to my grandmother, who told me to go put it back where I found it so the barn cats wouldn’t kill it. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Jessa, I agree, it was adorable. I would have tried for more pictures but I didn’t want to scare it too much or disrupt its life unduly since I don’t think it favored me sticking my cell phone in its face. Actually, I don’t think it liked me noticing it at all — I probably wouldn’t want to be noticed by some giant either trying to get pictures of humans for its blog so I can empathize.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Poor spider. I hope it was able to get back to sleep. 😦

          Yes, I’ve disturbed some spiders (and other critters) before in my time and felt bad about it. Consequently, I’ve become a lot more careful about how I do things when I’m taking pictures of animals and such now.

          One time I was taking a close up picture of a jumping spider and it did that thing where they raise up their front legs in a threat/warning display. I thought, “Oh, how cute,” (I didn’t know what that meant then) and suddenly the thing said to itself, “Screw it, I’m going hand-to-hand,” and then it launched itself at me running around all over the front of my blouse apparently trying to bite me. I managed to get the spider off me without hurting it, but it took some doing. I don’t think its mouth parts were robust enough to break my skin but it wasn’t for lack of trying.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Great progress with the workouts Ann, and the new mace looks a bit of a beast, and great pictures of a unusual looking spider, the abdomen shape is most unusual

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Dave. I’m keeping at it and so far I’m happy with the results. I went to the doctor today for some routine stuff and she asked me what I was doing because, “You are literally my only regular patient who is getting healthier since the pandemic started.” That was good to hear on a personal level but I felt a little bad for her other patients.

      Yes, I thought the abdomen was kind of odd too. I think it might be a relative (or who knows, maybe the same species, I don’t know) of the one I took a picture of in our basement in December. (Link in the post to John above.)


The Immaterium craves your comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: