Work Outs: April 11 – 17, 2021 (Quick & Easy, Vegan Curry using Patak’s Rogan Josh simmer sauce)

We have a number of meals, that I make during the week, that we often cycle through because we like them, they are reasonably healthful, and most importantly — they are quick and easy to make. A winning combination! One of those weekly meals is a curry of some sort. This week I used Patak’s Rogan Josh Curry sauce.*

One has a lot of flexibility making these curries. The ingredients I used this time around was based on what I had available. You can easily change the quantities or use different ingredients altogether. Much like with the Hoover Stew and the Chickpea Tangine, this is a very flexible meal.

Yogurt is a nice addition if diary is on the menu.

Ingredient List

  • One 15 oz. (420 grams) jar of Patak’s “Rogan Josh Curry” simmer sauce.
  • One cup of dried TVP. I used “Just Like Chicken brand” by Whole Provisions, but any type will do.
  • One 15.5 oz. (434 gram) can of green peas. (Fresh or frozen are nice too.)
  • 3 oz. (84 grams) of Chickpeas
  • Four ounces (112 grams) of Sliced Bella or White Mushrooms
  • One ounce (28 grams) of Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • One medium or large Onion, chopped.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.
  • (Optional) One to two ounces (28 – 56 grams) of Sliced Almonds
  • (Optional) Harissa sauce to taste.

The list above is what I added based on what I had in the refrigerator. What you use and the amounts can vary depending upon what you have on hand and what you enjoy eating. For example, if you like meat I think chicken, pork or lamb would go very nicely with this meal instead of TVP. I am also thinking vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli would be nice additions as would a green onion garnish.

How to Cook

  • Reconstitute TVP according to package directions. In general this involves mixing together equal amounts of dried TVP and hot water and then microwaving for about 5 minutes. Then check the consistency and allow for more time until the product has reached the desired softness.
  • Sautee onion and mushrooms using your oil of choice or even just a little water in a non-stick pan if you are trying to avoid the added calories. (I used olive oil spray.)
  • Add in all other ingredients except the sauce and mix them together. (I included half of the almonds and then sprinkled the other half on top as a garnish.) Add the sauce and mix again.
  • Cover and simmer until heated through.
  • Serve with rice or naan. We had some garlic naan on hand, so I used that.

I discovered Harissa a few months ago courtesy of Shinta Simon of Caramel Tinted Life. It adds a decent amount of spiciness and a deep, red color to whatever you add it to.

I find it particularly useful because my husband likes extremely spicy food and I like food mild to medium. This recipe today I would characterize as medium to my palate, which to my husband would be hopelessly mild. So I mixed two tablespoons of Harissa into his portion, which jazzed the meal up considerably and made both of us happy.

I add a side of yogurt when I want to to ameliorate the heat between bites and add some tang and character to a meal.

Mon, April 12th

  • Morning Walk: 3 miles, after which we did a little balance work.
  • Captains of Crush Gripper (Trainer, 100 lbs.):
    • (Set 1): Left = 4 mm x 5 reps, Right = Closed x 3 + 2 reps
    • (Set 2): Left = 4 mm x 3 + 2 reps, Right = 2 mm x 5 reps
    • (Set 3): Left = 4 mm x 3 + 2 reps, Right = Closed 3 + 2 reps
    • (Set 4): Left = 4 mm x 4 + 1 reps, Right = Closed 3 + 2 reps
  • Pinch Grip Lift (Hub): 15 lbs. x 10 sec, 15.25 lbs. x 2 sets x 10 sec, 15.5 lbs x (left 3 sec, right 10 sec)
  • Arnold Presses: 35 lbs. x 6 reps, 30 lbs. x 3 sets x 8 reps
  • (Super Set) DB Lateral Raises: 10 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +

Calories: 2113, Protein: 139 g.

Tues, April 13th

I went down to the court at the bottom of the hill near where I live and shot some hoops for about 30 minutes with an almost new-looking basketball I found at the thrift store. I made a point to run around to keep my heart rate up. I worked on some drills and concluded by playing Horse against myself. (I won.)**

Calories: 2127, Protein: 140 g.

Wed, April 14th

  • Morning Walk: 2.26 miles.
  • I did one set of the MV Workout with my 10 lb. mace. I had to hike my hands up the handle of the mace a bit on the barbarian squats. My eventual goal there is to do those with my hands gripping the bottom of the handle. I didn’t have to with the 360’s but I really felt them in my hands and forearms.
  • After this I did: Swing & Catch and Alternating Swing & Catch, Mace Bicep Curls, Mace Reverse Curls, Taekwondo Leg Extension/Snap Kick Exercise. Did 10 reps (each side) for each exercise except for the kicks, where I did 20. Also worked in some dynamic stretching.

Calories: 2413, Protein: 154 g.

Thur, April 15th

  • Afternoon Walk: 4.58 miles.
  • I did some work with both my 1 and 2 lb. indian clubs.
  • BB Bench Press (full stop): 75 lbs. x 4 sets x 8 reps
    • It has been over a year since I have bench pressed with a barbell because of the gyms closing down for the pandemic, so I was very conservative with this exercise.
  • Incline Overhead Tricep Extension: 15 lbs. x 15 reps, 20 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Captains of Crush Gripper (Trainer, 100 lbs.):
    • (Set 1): Left = 4 mm x 5 reps, Right = Closed x 4 + 1 reps
    • (Set 2): Left = 4 mm x 3 + 2 reps, Right = Closed 2 + 3 reps
    • (Set 3): Left = 4 mm x 3 + 2 reps, Right = 2mm 6 + 1reps
    • (Set 4): Left = 4 mm x 3 + 2 reps, Right = Closed 1 + 4 reps
    • (Set 5): Left/Right (Guide Gripper, 50 lbs.) = kept fully closed for 30 seconds
  • Board Hand Holds (each hand): 1.75 lbs.
    • Pronated: 2 sets x 30 seconds
    • Supinated: 90 seconds

Calories: 2113, Protein: 124 g.

Fri, April 16th

  • Morning Walk: 2.19 miles. Afterwards, we did some balance work. Calories: 2321, Protein: 132 g.
  • Full Squats: One set of 30 reps, then 70 reps (rest-pause as needed) = 100 reps
  • Dead Bugs (2-ct): One set of 37 reps, then 63 reps (rest-pause as needed) = 100 reps
  • (Super Set):
    • Standing Cable Leg Curls (ea. leg): 20 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Standing Calf Raises: 4 sets x 20 reps
  • I followed along with the “30-Minute Recumbent Bike Workout” video on the Vive Health channel, which I’ve done a few times now over the past couple of months. During the workout the presenter has one get off the bike three times and do some squats. For my three sets I did 10 Cossack Squats for the first, 10 Leg Extension Exercise (each leg) for the second, and finally 20 Taekwondo Front Snap Kicks.
  • I worked a little on foot dorsiflexion with the cable machine and then did the Muay Thai “Front Teep” lesson on the globalmartialarts.university site.
  • I concluded the workout with some stretching and Yoga poses, including the Cat-Cow and Cobra poses, which both seem to do good things for my spine.

Sat, April 17th

  • 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: 2250, Protein: 106 g. (My weight didn’t change from last week. My total loss thus far remains 32.0 lbs.)


* If eating plant-based is important to you, then I recommend carefully reading the labels with these products. Some of them have milk products and some don’t. Many of the labels on these sorts of products list them as “vegetarian,” which includes lacto-ovo vegetarian eating, which can be problematic if like my husband you are trying to avoid dairy.

My husband started laughing when I showed him Patak’s simmer sauce. I wondered what could possibly be funny about a jar of curry sauce when he said, “I wonder what Worf would think of eating this brand?” “Very droll,” I replied. “Perhaps you should ask him the next time you talk to him?” “I’ll do that,” he said with a nod and wandered off.

** I didn’t cheat. Not badly anyway.

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.

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 ourplantbasedworld.com, 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 ourplantbasedworld.com. 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.”

Work Outs: Oct 18 – 24, 2020 (Time of the Orange Sky)

As some of you might know, our general region was subject to a bunch of lightning strikes in late August, which resulted in a bunch of fires that were collectively named the CZU Lightning Complex Fires. I found this picture on my phone, which I took back on September 9th of the orange skies caused by the fires in our neck of the woods and other areas.

Sun, October 18th

Morning Walk: 3.15 miles. Calories: 2051, Protein: 106 g.

Mon, October 19th

  • Morning Walk: 3.10 miles.
  • Afternoon Training
    • Captains of Crush Gripper (T): X + N reps means I close the gripper successfully to the target measure X times and then do N more reps where I don’t fully close to the target measure.
      • (Set 1): Right = 8mm x 5 reps, Left = 19mm x 5 reps
      • (Set 2): Right = 8mm x 5 reps, Left = 19mm x 5 reps
      • (Set 3): Right = 8mm x 5 reps, Left = 16mm x 3 + 2 reps
      • (Set 4): Right = 8mm x 3 +2 reps, Left = 16mm x 4 + 1 reps
    • Super Set: [Twist Yo’ Wrist (up and down twice): 8 lbs. x 4 sets, 10 lbs. x 1 set] +
      • (Set 1) Dead Bugs (2-ct): 25 reps
      • (Sets 2-3) Cable Wood Chops (one side): 15 lbs. x 20 reps
      • (Set 4) Crunches: 35 reps
      • (Set 5) Cat Litter Fitness Bag Dead Lifts: 30 reps
    • Worked on my Side-Lunge Stretch, which is one of my current goals.

This little gubbin is the latest acquisition for our home gym. It is called a Captains of Crush Key and I obtained it from Ironmind, which is the same company we bought the grippers from. This is what allows me to introduce millimeter measurements on how far I am from closing the Trainer gripper in today’s and future grip work.

The idea of the key is to provide (hopefully) encouraging or at least more precise feedback metrics for closing a gripper when you can’t close it all the way. The little protuberances vary from 2mm to 16mm, going up in 2mm increments with a final 3mm gap from 16mm to 19mm. If you use the key length-wise it is 54mm.

Based on today’s workout I can introduce a micro goal of being able to close the Trainer gripper to 14mm for 4 sets of 5 repetitions with my left hand. I will put this on my goal page.

Calories: 2039, Protein: 124 g.

Tues, October 20th

Morning Walk: 3.27 miles. Calories: 2081, Protein: 109 g.

Wed, October 21st

September 9th was not only quite orange at my house but also pretty dark for around 3:30 pm. So dark in fact the crickets started singing and the bats came out from their box on my neighbor’s tree and started flying around! I think the little anomalous-looking white bit in the picture is light from the neighbor’s window.

I went outside with my phone and made a very short video. I uploaded it to Youtube. I’ve provided a link below for anyone who might be interested.

  • Morning Walk: 3.10 miles.
  • Afternoon Workout
    • Shoulder Complex: THREE SETS { [Twenty-One’s: 10 lb. DB’s for lateral, front raises, and rear delt rows] + [Arnold Presses: 20 lbs. x 12 reps] }
      • I’m thinking it is time to go up to 12 lbs. on the laterals and rear delt rows.
    • Standing Push-ups using cellar stairs: 4 sets x 10 reps
    • Super Set: Did each set as detailed:
      • (Sets #1-2) Wood Chops: 17.5 lbs. x 15 reps (one side each set)
      • (Sets #3-4) Face Pulls: 10 lbs. x 15 reps
      • and then an accompanying set of Tricep Cable Pushdowns (tri-bar): 35 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Super Set: Did each set as detailed:
      • (Sets #1-2) Wrist Rolling: 10 lbs. x up and down twice from 16″ platform
      • (Set #3) Dead Bugs (2-ct): 25 reps
      • (Set 4) Body Weight Dead Lifts: 15 reps
      • and then an accompanying set of One-Handed Reverse Grip Tricep Pushdowns (d-handle): 10 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Super Set: Did each set as detailed below:
      • (Set #1) Crunches: 30 reps
      • (Set #2) Body Weight Dead Lifts: 12 reps
      • (Set #3) Jumping Jacks (4-ct): 12 reps
      • (Set #4) Sumo Dead Lifts (cat litter fitness bag): 15 reps
      • and then an accompanying set of Standing Cable Flies: 10 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Walked my hands, using a pinch grip, up and down the handle (twice) of a 8″ x 8″ dirt tamper.
    • Hand Opening: 8 lb. band x 2 sets x 12 reps
    • Worked on the side-lunge stretch and did a little general stretching to end the workout.

Calories: 2046, Protein: 116 g.

Thurs, October 22nd

  • Morning Walk: 3.24 miles, and afternoon walk: 3.32 miles. Total mileage for the day is 6.56 miles. Calories: 1902, Protein: 113 g.

We went for a hike in the woods right around the Time of the Orange Skies and as these pictures show there was little bits of ash everywhere, even though the area we hiked in hadn’t burnt. Even the hitching bar on the horse trail, that I use sometimes for rows and such, had ash on it.

Fri, October 22nd

  • Morning Walk: 3.17 miles.
  • Afternoon Workout
    • Standing Cable Rows (d-handles): 40 lbs. x 12 reps, 45 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps, 50 lbs. x 12 reps
    • Cable Pull Downs (d-handles): 50 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Standing Bicep Curls (cat litter fitness bag as barbell) : 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Exercise Complex: Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps, Two-Handed American KB Swings: 15 lbs. x 15 reps, Face Pulls: 12.5 lbs. x 15 reps, Cable Wood Chops (ea. side): 25 lbs. x 12 reps, Full Squats: 20 reps
      • Thought I was doing 20 lbs. on the wood chops and thought, “Wow these are kind of hard. I only noticed my oversight when I was done.
    • Spring Bar [alternated sets of hands supinated and pronated]: Light Bar: 2 sets x 8 reps, Heavy Bar: 2 sets x 5 reps
    • Over Head Press with Workout Rock: 20 reps
  • Late Afternoon Walk: 3.28 miles. Total mileage for the day was 6.45 miles.

Calories: 2188, Protein: 122 g.

This is my Cat Litter Fitness Bag. I’ve had it for some time now. Usually they are filled with sand, but I didn’t have any clean, dry sand on hand but I did have plenty of unscented clay cat litter so I used that.

You can do a lot with a fitness bag and I was able to get a pretty full workout, once the lockdown began, between this and my Workout Rock. My husband enjoys the gym we’ve built up so far though and wouldn’t be content with a bag and a rock, and I must confess after years of having memberships at commercial gyms I probably wouldn’t be either for the long term.

One thing I’ve learned about the bags is if you are going to buy one, get a good, sturdy one and not a cheaply made one because if you can’t be rough with your bag then it is no good. You should be able to drag, heft, toss, slam and otherwise abuse the thing to your heart’s content!

Sat, October 23rd

Morning Walk: 3.26 miles. We had some pretty nice take-away for dinner, so I’m not sure what my intake was for the day though I think it was reasonable. (I was up 3.2 pound for the week so my total is 13 lbs. so far.)