Work Outs: March 28 – April 3, 2021 (Hoover Stew)

We saw this recipe for Hoover Stew from The Wolfe Pit and I thought it might be amusing to make a pot of it. As chance would have it I had all of the ingredients on hand, including some plant-based hot dogs, since my husband has been eating plant-based for quite some time now.

Apparently Hoover Stew was one of many pot luck type of recipes, popular in the United States during the 1930’s, where the idea was to feed a family very cheaply. It was named after the American president, Herbert Hoover, who was in office when the Great Depression kicked off in 1929, which was a worldwide phenomenon.

Kudos to hubby for repairing the handle on my favorite pot with J-B Weld!

I mentioned Hoover Stew to my mother and she said she had it and many variations like it under the common rubric of “Pot Luck Stew” where the ingredients were simply whatever was on hand. She said they called it “Mulligan Stew” if there was a lot of potatoes in it, which there commonly were since my grandparents grew potatoes commercially up until the mid-1980’s.

So it seems to me that this recipe for Hoover Stew is simply a base that can be varied greatly depending on what you have on hand. My mother said they most often had it with beef because hot dogs cost money while they had large quantities of beef because they raised cattle. I knew this because I ate much of this sort of thing growing up too, both because my mother had learned habits of frugality and because money was tight in our family, as it was for many, during the 1970’s.

I followed the recipe from The Wolfe Pit using the ingredients listed below, but you can add pretty much anything you think will work and omit anything you don’t like.

Ingredient List

  • 16 oz. box of Elbow Macaroni
  • Two 15 oz. cans of diced or stewed tomatoes (with juice, if any)
  • 15 oz. can of corn (with juice)
  • 15 oz. can of cannellini beans (with juice)
  • Eight hot dogs
  • Optional: Bouillon to taste. I used Better Than Bouillon brand “Roasted Garlic Base.”
  • Optional Wolfe Pit extra: Granulated garlic and onion to taste. Fresh would be good too, I bet.
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste. I also used Italian seasoning. (The video presenter instead used tomatoes that came with spices.)

How to Cook (more or less following Wolfe Pit directions)

  • Cook elbows for about half the time it says on the package. Drain but do not rinse.
  • Add tomatoes, beans, and corn to pot you cooked the pasta in as well as whatever spices you want to use.
  • Mix in pasta and hot dogs. The presenter just added them in cold, but I pan fried them first to give them some character.
  • Add some water if needed. The idea here is to have the finished product resemble something like a stew but not so much water that it is like a soup. Also, you’ll want to have some liquid to help finish cooking the pasta.
  • Simmer until heated throughout and pasta is done however you like it. (We like it al dente.)

We thought Hoover Stew wasn’t bad though I can see where it would be bland if one didn’t have some spices on hand. I might try making it again but instead of hot dogs using TVP. I think it would also be good with chicken, beef or pork and any kind of vegetables, such as say broccoli or cauliflower. Whatever you have sitting around, really. I’ve got the remains of a package of edamame that is just itching to go into a pot luck stew!

Sun, March 28th: Calories: 2596, Protein: 153 g.

Mon, March 29th

  • Morning Walk: 2.98 miles.
  • I spent much of the day doing yard work. I was tired enough that I decided to hold off on the weights until tomorrow. My hands were pretty warmed up though from all of the hacking, cutting, toting and hewing so I did some hand work.
  • Captains of Crush Gripper (Trainer, 100 lbs.):
    • (Set 1): Left = 6 mm x 2 + 3 reps, Right = Closed x 3 + 2 reps
    • (Set 2): Left = 6 mm x 3 + 2 reps, Right = Closed x 2 + 3 reps
    • (Set 3): Left = 6 mm x 2 + 3 reps, Right = Closed x 1 + 4 reps
    • (Set 4): Left = 6 mm x 1 + 4 reps, Right = Closed x 0 + 5 reps
  • Board Pronated Hand Holds (each hand): 1.75 lbs. x 4 sets x 30 seconds. The pronated grip works the thumb in an interesting way.
  • I worked the Muay Thai “Jab” lesson and also did a set of 100 left jabs. Then I did the “Cross” lesson, which touches on the right cross punch. Afterward I worked on Taekwondo White Belt Drill #1. All of this comes from the globalmartialarts.university site.

Calories: 2088, Protein: 150 g.

Tues, March 30th

  • I warmed up with some miscellaneous yard work and mowed the Lower Fifty. After that I did some more warm up work with the indian clubs and steel mace.
  • Arnold Presses: 35 lbs. x 8 reps, 30 lbs. x 3 sets x 8 reps
  • (Super Set) DB Lateral Raises: 15 lbs. x 4 sets x 8 reps + following exercises 10 lb. mace (ea. side):
    • (Set Three) Grave Diggers x 15 reps
    • (Set Four) Pike Push Ups x 10 reps
      • I’m not satisfied with my form on these. I’ll have to do some research.
  • Dead Bugs (2-ct): 36 reps + 64 reps (rest-pause as needed) = 100 reps
  • I worked on some Muay Thai footwork and the left jab. I did some upper body stretching to end the workout and a little more stretching in the evening.

Calories: 2208, Protein: 120 g.

Wed, March 31st

Morning Walk: 2.29 miles. Calories: 2257, Protein: 162 g.

Thur, April 1st

Morning Walk: 2.9 miles.

I took an hour archery lesson in the early afternoon to see what I needed to work on after over a year of not shooting (except for last week) what with the range being closed and all. I had a lot of things I needed to address but I think we did make some progress.

The instructor let me stay and shoot by myself afterwards for about a half hour. I shot a somewhat harder target (though still not a particularly difficult one) than last time. I had some nice rounds and some pretty ugly ones too but I did have this one round where I did very well indeed. It was as if I had been touched by the breath of Artemis and was pulling a +3 bow and letting fly with +2 arrows. Now if I could just bottle that moment!

  • Captains of Crush Gripper (Trainer, 100 lbs.):
    • (Set 1): Left = 6 mm x 4 + 1 reps, Right = Closed x 0 + 5 reps
    • (Set 2): Left = 6 mm x 4 + 1 reps, Right = 4 mm x 4 + 1 reps
    • (Set 3): Left = 6 mm x 4 + 1 reps, Right = 4 mm x 4 + 1 reps
    • (Set 4): Left = 6 mm x 4 + 1 reps, Right = 4 mm x 4 + 1 reps
    • (Set 5): Left = 6 mm x 3 + 2 reps, Right = 4 mm x 4 + 1 reps
    • (Set 6): Left = 4 mm x 2 + 3 reps, Right = 2 mm x 4 + 1 reps
    • I did better than usual with my left hand but worse with my right. Although I didn’t feel fatigued after my archery session, I suspect my right hand was a little tired from all that shooting.
  • Board Pronated Hand Holds (each hand): 1.75 lbs. x 4 sets x 30 seconds. (Thirty seconds rest between sets.)
  • Did a little stretching in the evening.

Calories: 2252, Protein: 124 g.

Fri, April 2nd

Afternoon Walk: 4.76 miles. Calories: 2254, Protein: 142 g

Sat, April 3rd

Afternoon Walk: 5.25 miles. Calories: 2986, Protein: 153 g.

(I gained 0.2 lbs. this week. My total loss thus far is 30 lbs.)

Work Outs: March 21 – 27, 2021 (Mountain Lion and Ring Necked Snake)

I thought this short video of a mountain lion out for an evening stroll was interesting, given that it was taken near my neighborhood. I see their tracks all over the area. In my yard, on the hiking trails, their signs are all over the place if you look for them. There are the more subtle signs like tracks and scat, but occasionally we come across carcasses and things like legs of deer sitting in the middle of hiking trails.

A few years ago I saw the yellow eyes of one gleaming from behind our propane tank one evening when I was coming back from a evening of gaming. I gave the cat the high beams and it got the hint and ran off. Not too long after that we installed some motion-sensitive lights in part to greet our friendly, feline nocturnal visitors.

Video used with permission. Videographer declined video credit.

The only time I’ve clearly seen a mountain lion in the wild during the day was many years ago when we were hiking up near Folsom Lake, which isn’t too far from Sacramento, California. (The capitol of the state.) He was sitting on a huge boulder on top of a rise along the trail we were hiking on. It was kind of funny because he was sitting there cleaning himself and took awhile to notice that we noticed his presence. Then all of a sudden it seemed to dawn on the lion that we were watching him watching us and he jumped up all frightened and offended before shimmered off into the wilderness. Funny how they have many of the same mannerisms as house cats, albeit giant ones. The memory reminds me a bit of one of our past cats, Nero, but many years would pass from this incident before Nero would be born.

Sun, March 21st: Calories: 2912, Protein: 172 g.

Mon, March 22nd

  • Morning Walk: 3.27 miles.
  • Captains of Crush Gripper (Trainer, 100 lbs.):
    • (Set 1): Left = 6 mm x 3 + 2 reps, Right = Closed x 2 + 3 reps
    • (Set 2): Left = 6 mm x 3 + 2 reps, Right = Closed x 2 + 3 reps
    • (Set 3): Left = 8 mm x 6 + 2 reps, Right = Closed x 1 + 4 reps
    • (Set 4): Left = 8 mm x 5 + 3 reps, Right = Closed x 1 + 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 10 reps.
  • I warmed up with some dynamic stretching, the 5 lb. mace, and did some work with indian clubs. Then I did the MV-2 Workout with my 10 lb. mace. I did standing 360’s instead of kneeling and I did the chest press from a horse stance, from the MV Workout, because I forgot that I was supposed to do overhead presses instead.
  • I concluded the session with some Cobras, Cat-Cow Pose, and Downward Facing Dog. I also added in some Triangle Pose after reading “8 Easy Yoga Poses for Everyone” by Health Tips Now.

Calories: 2015, Protein: 138 g.

Tues, March 23rd

  • I helped my husband with his early morning workout by doing some medicine ball passes and rotational work. I also followed along with his post-workout static stretching routine.
  • Later, I warmed up with some dynamic stretching then reviewed Taekwondo “White Belt – Class 1” (focus on front snap kick and low block) on the globalmartialarts.university site.
  • Cossack Squats: 10 reps. This was the first time I got 10 without having to use a hand for balance/assistance.
  • KB Goblet Full Squats: 35 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • BB Romanian Dead Lifts: 65 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Calf Raises (alternate seated and standing each set): Seated, One Leg 15 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps, Standing 2 sets x 20 reps

Calories: 2121, Protein: 151 g.

This cutie is a ring-necked snake (diadophis punctatus), which belongs to the Colubridae family. According to Wikipedia, this is the largest family of snakes and has representatives on every continent except Antarctica.

Someone in my area took this picture and was kind enough to give me permission to use it, though she didn’t want a photo credit.

I’m not surprised that ring-necked snakes are in our area once I read that they enjoy dining upon salamanders, earthworms and slugs, which we have aplenty in the redwood forest.

Wed, March 24th

  • For my warm up I did some dynamic stretching, worked with the indian clubs a little and then performed one set of the MV Workout with my 5 lb. mace.
  • I did one round from the Candy workout. The full workout is five rounds of 20 Pull Ups, 40 Push Ups, and 60 Squats. Regular pull ups and push ups aren’t happening for me in yet so I modified things where I used the 4th step on my cellar stairs to do incline push ups and for the pull ups did seated, leg assisted ones, which are an easier progression to eventually doing full pull ups. I did Hindu Squats instead of the easier (for me) regular squats.
    • A couple of useful pull up videos: One by Jeff Cavaliere about some of the technical aspects of pull ups, and another detailing progressions by Jessica Estrada.
  • (Super Set):
    • Alternating Sets of Seated, Leg-Assisted Pull Ups & Chins: 4 sets x 10 reps
    • Face Pulls: 12.5 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Sandbag (100 lbs.) and Fitness Rock:
    • (Set One) Picked up bag from 16″ platform and walked it outside (40 steps) to the tailgate of our Land Cruiser.
    • (Set Two) Picked up bag from tailgate (~31″) and held in bear hug hold for 45 seconds.
    • (Set Three) Picked fitness rock up from ground and threw it up and back, over my shoulder with the idea of building explosiveness. I did this for 8 repetitions.
    • (Set Four): Sandbag Bear Hug Hold: 45 seconds.
    • (Set Five): Threw fitness rock over shoulder x 8 reps
    • (Set Six): Picked up bag from tailgate and walked it 40 steps back to where it lives inside of our basement.
    • (Set Seven): I walked down the street with my fitness rock on my shoulder, to the yellow 5 mph speed limit sign and then jog-walked back uphill to my house. (I switched shoulders a couple of times.) The trip took 3:07 minutes.
  • Calories: 2266, Protein: 157 g.

I went to the local range and did some archery on the 24th. My poor, neglected recurve bow hasn’t seen any use in over a year now because all of the local venues have been closed and are just starting to open back up.

I was pretty rusty and mostly shot at one of the easier targets. I was kind of all over the place but I did have one round where everything seemed to come together and I shot ok. I think I might take a lesson next week and see about fine tuning things.

I thought about putting in some targets on our property last year. We have plenty of room but I know the neighbors wouldn’t appreciate it too much. We have good relations with everyone around us and that could all go away with one misplaced arrow shot into someone’s backyard. So I decided to take a break and I’m not sorry I did. Getting back to archery now is fun since I haven’t done it in so long.

Thur, March 25th

  • Morning Walk: 2.9 miles.
  • Captains of Crush Gripper (Trainer, 100 lbs.):
    • (Set 1): Left = 6 mm x 3 + 2 reps, Right = Closed x 2 reps + 3 reps
    • (Set 2): Left = 6 mm x 4 + 1 reps, Right = Closed x 2 reps + 3 reps
    • (Set 3): Left = 6 mm x 2 + 2 reps, Right = 2mm x 6 reps
    • (Set 4): Left = 6 mm x 3 + 2 reps, Right = 2mm x 5 + 1 reps
    • (Set 5): Dynamic Training with the Sport (80 lbs.) gripper. I did 30 reps with each hand. I closed the gripper 20 times with my right (barely) and then did 10 more reps with the Guide (60 lbs.) gripper. I reached failure with the Sport, with my left hand, at 12 reps and then did 18 more reps with the Guide.*
  • I followed along with the Muay Thai “Stance,” “Footwork,” and “Jab” introductory lessons on the globalmartialarts.university site.
  • Recumbent Bike: 35 Minutes, Interval Training. Level: 4 – 8, Speed (rpm’s): 70+ recovery intervals, 75+ higher resistance intervals, 100+ sprints. I did the “Intermediate Recumbent Bike Endurance Intervals Workout,” video put out by Sunny Health & Fitness. The presenter was Sydney Eaton. The workout was interval training with increasing resistance each set, ending with eight 20 second sprints with 10 seconds rest in-between each round.
  • I ended with some stretching and made sure I did some Cat-Cow, Cobra and other poses and stretches, which seem to help keep my back loose. I also made a point of working on maintaining my side-lunge stretch and worked on the arms portion of the Cow Face pose, which I do a little every day now. I also worked in some stretching while I was watching my pot of Hoover Stew simmer. (I’ll post a recipe about that in a week or two.) I finished off my stretching with a few minutes of Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani). I have done these with the legs apart in various ways to stretch out the inner thighs for kicking and such, on the advice of a massage therapist I went to years ago, but never this way. It felt pretty good.

Calories: 2254, Protein: 142 g.

I get the impression my neighbors think my dooryard sandbag and rock work is a little weird.

Fri, March 26th

  • Morning Walk: 1.96 miles.
  • Later in the morning, I warmed up with some dynamic stretching, indian clubs and a little mace work.
  • Dead Bugs (2-ct): 35 reps
  • DB Curls: 25 lbs. x 3 sets x 10 reps, 1 set x 8 reps
  • (Exercise Complex: FOUR ROUNDS)
    • Push Ups (2nd cellar stair using handles): 3 sets x 8 reps, 1 set x 4 (2nd stair) + 4 (3rd stair) reps
    • Bench Dips (straight legs): 2 sets x 8 reps; Reverse Tricep Pushdowns (str. bar): 30 lbs. x 2 sets x 12, 15 reps
    • Side Crunches (ea. side): 4 sets x 8 reps
    • DB Hammer Curls: 20 lbs. x 12 reps, 25 lbs. x 8 reps; Alternating Cross Body Hammer Curls: 25 lbs. x 2 sets x 8 reps
  • I worked on the Muay Thai “Jab” lesson on the globalmartialarts.university site.
  • Had a nice chiropractor visit and did some stretching in the evening.

Calories: 2370, Protein: 163 g.

Sat, March 27th

  • We did some medicine ball passes and such.
  • Exercise Complex: FOUR ROUNDS [Hindu Squats 20 reps, Standing Hamstring Curls (cable) 20 lbs. x 8 reps, Walking Lunges (light knee touch) 8 reps} +
    • (Set One) Muay Thai style jabs: 50 jabs
    • (Set Two) Box Pattern Footwork (Muay Thai): 15 boxes each way.
    • (Set Three) Taekwondo White Belt Drill #1: 20 times
    • (Set Four) Cossack Squats: 8 reps
  • Finished with a quick complex: Wrist Rolling (plates): 10 lbs. x 1 time up and down, Wrist Curls using wrist rolling set up (10 lbs. x 20 reps), Plate Hold (pronated for thumbs): 5 lbs. x 30 seconds, Static Finger Extension Hold (5 lb. plate): 30 seconds
  • I reviewed the Muay Thai “Stance,” “Footwork,” and “Jab” lessons on the globalmartialarts.university site.
  • Afternoon Walk: 5.35 miles

Calories: 2672, Protein: 150 g. (I lost 0.6 lbs. this week. My total loss thus far is 30.2 lbs.)


* The idea of performing a set to muscle failure and then brining the resistance down a little and immediately doing more reps until failure and so on is called a Drop Set.