Well, yes – we had no dead animal on a plate but we did have fun constructing our own turkey masterpiece which doubled as an appetizer.
Our second vegetarian/semi-vegan Thanksgiving was a hit. The menu featured:
Massaged kale salad with dried cranberries, cashews and balsamic vinaigrette.
Black rice with corn, cranberries and pumpkin seeds (picture self destructed).
“Crunchy” baked mac ‘n’ cheese (full dairy)
Mushroom and lentil shephard’s pie
Pumpkin cheesecake pie with a hint of chocolate.
We even had a centerpiece, courtesy of my daughter.
Recipes to come in the next few posts! These dishes are good enough for all winter long.
Filed under - Veganism
Last week I told you not to stop exercising, but when you face time crunches — do a quickie. What does a quickie look like? How about a routine that hits most major groups in just 20 minutes? I call that quick.
Warm up with body weight squats, walking lunges and pushups for about 3 minutes.
- Perform 10 to 15 kettlebell plank rows. These train your back directly and hone your core strength by targeting all of your major abdominal muscles, your hips and your extensors.
- Move immediately to the vertical chest press machine. While the barbell bench press and cable flyes outperform this move in terms of activating the chest, you need a more stable option after the rigors of the plank rows. Do 10 to 12.
- Immediately head back and repeat the kettlebell plank rows. Do the circuit three times through – no rest.
- Go for 10 to 12 single-arm straight arm pull-downs to hit the latissimus dorsi. Do just like this tutorial, but use one arm with a single grip handle.
- Immediately sit in the seated hamstring press and do 12 to 15 repetitions.
- Repeat the circuit, no rest, two more times.
- Stand and grasp a dumbbell to do 12 triceps overhead extensions.
- Head to a bench and do 15 to 20 dips.
- Do a rear leg-elevated lunge on each leg for 12 repetitions. Hold a weight plate or kettlebell while doing this move, also called a Bulgarian Split Squat or Single Leg Split Squat.
- And, you guessed it, repeat two more times without rest.
One of the keys to this workout is skipping any semblance of rest between exercises. You are not working the same muscle groups in back-to-back exercises, so you don’t have to worry about over-fatigue of a particular group. Plus, when done quickly you are done in 20 minutes. Suck it up.
Don’t do this workout everyday. Remember, a good training plan leaves 48 to 72 hours between weight workouts to allow for recovery and repair. Plus, it saves you even more time. Don’t forget to slide in some cardio during your holiday madness too — even 20 minutes does you a world of good.
Filed under - Workouts (Treadmill, Weights and Cardio)
The biggest mistake you can make this time of year is giving up on your workouts until January 1. You heard me. You know who you are. You think “I just don’t have time to exercise now with all the festivities and obligations.” “I’m going to gain weight anyway.” “I’ll just start again fresh.” No, you’ll start at ground zero losing all that you’ve worked for thus far. In just 4 weeks time you lose muscle and strength. The muscle you lose won’t show up on the scale because holiday goodies will replace it with fat – up to 5 pounds – so you’ll start again, fatter and frustrated. You’ll also lose cardio capacity. Significant declines in VO2 max (your ability to use oxygen while exercising – higher VO2max means you can go harder for longer) happen in just 2 to 4 weeks. When you start again, you’ll huff and puff and suffer – and the frustration may make you give up…again.
Now for the good news. You can back off your training and minimize your losses. A paper published in the scientific journal Sports Medicine back in 1989 notes that you can maintain your aerobic training for several months even when you work at a reduced level. If you work out at one-thirds to two-thirds in terms of frequency (how often) and/or duration (how long during each session), you will not significantly affect your endurance or VO2max. You just have to work at a high intensity.
What this looks like is if you regularly train five days per week, you could cut back to three and see minimal loss in your fitness gains over the next six weeks. You could also prevent yourself from packing on the pounds as readily as you otherwise would. If you already have a minimal workout schedule (just two or three days per week), you might simply cut back the amount of time you spend exercising – go from an hour to 45 minutes – on those days.
The important message is not to stop completely.
Filed under - Fitness, Life, Motivation