As you all know, the past few weeks have been studio-mania, with little time for anything that doesn’t relate to music. As such, my exercise regime has flown to some other hemisphere, and I am starting to feel a little less fit and strong that I would like. So yesterday, it all began again. I am starting a new program, with weight training 5 days a week and an optional cardio session on the 6th day (I know what you’re thinking – who would choose to do an OPTIONAL cardio session? Well, cardio helps with my moods and energy levels, and to be perfectly honest I actually enjoy it). I’ve still been eating healthily (with the occasional treat at weddings and birthdays, etc), though perhaps eating a little too much considering my lack of activity. I’ve picked up a little bit of weight, but that doesn’t worry me – more stored energy for my body to burn as muscle fuel!
Some of yesterdays more noteworthy meals:
My newest creation, which I will be repeating often:
• 1/3 cup cooked chickpeas
• ¼ cup soy milk
• 1 scoop chocolate flavoured protein powder
• 1 tbsp cocoa powder
• Pinch each of xantham and guar gum (or ¼ tsp of one or the other)
- Chuck the lot into a blender and blitz until smooth.
- Eat straight away or chill first.
I wasn’t sure how this would turn out, but it was such a pleasant surprise – smooth, thick and chocolaty!
Then I hit the gym for a long awaited session. It was a back day, and I’m pleased to say I can still dead-lift over 30kgs despite my inactivity over the past month. My workout was as follows:
Bench pull-ups* – Set 1: 8 reps; Set 2: 8 reps; Set 3: 8 reps
Straight-leg dead-lifts – Set 1: 6 x 30kgs; Set 2: 8 x 30kgs; Set 3: 8 x 30kgs
Bent-over rows – Set 1: 10 x 7.5kgs each side; Set 2: 10 x 7.5kgs; Set 3: 10 x 7.5kgs;
One-armed bent-over rows – Set 1: 10 x 7.5kgs; Set 2: 10 x 7.5kgs; Set 3: 10 x 7.5kgs
N.B. 6 x 30kgs means 6 reps with a weight of 30kgs. All weight figures do not include the weight of the bar itself.
*I do not have a pull-up bar, nor would I be able to do unassisted pull-ups even if I did, so I kneel on the floor behind the bench, grab the bar (wide-grip) that’s resting on the rack and pull myself up using as little of my leg strength as possible. This is a surprisingly effective exercise for those unable to do pull-ups or without access to a pull-up bar/machine.
I am pleased to report that today I am SUPER sore – in a good way! Not due to injury but due to the tears in muscle fibres that will prompt my body to regenerate bigger, stronger fibres (i.e. bigger muscles!)
My post-workout meal consisted of one of my new Mighty Muffins, along with a simple protein shake made with 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder, ½ cup soya milk, about ¾ cup water, 1 tsp instant coffee and a pinch each of xantham and guar gum.
Here’s the muffin recipe:
Mali’s Mighty Muffins
(Makes 15 muffins)
• ½ cup stone-ground whole wheat flour
• ¼ cup oat bran
• ¼ cup soya flour
• ¼ cup flaxseed powder
• ¼ cup wheat germ
• ¼ cup stone-ground sorghum meal
• 1/3 cup wheat bran
• 1 ½ tsp baking powder
• 1 ½ tsp baking soda (bicarb)
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• ½ tsp mixed spice
• Pinch salt
• ¼ cup stevia for baking (could use splenda or other sweetener to taste)
• 4 bananas
• 200ml applesauce
• 6 tbsp buttermilk, yogurt or sour milk (I used sour milk)
• 2 eggs • 2 tsp vanilla
• ¼ cup mixed seeds
• ¼ cup dried peaches, chopped
• 50g dried dates
• ¼ cup chopped peanuts
- Mix dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl (I like to mix with a balloon whisk to get rid of lumps – too lazy to sift!)
- Place wet ingredients in a food processor and blend till smooth.
- Mix wet and dry ingredients until well combined.
- Fold in your chosen add-ins (feel free to get creative – I just listed the ones that I used) and mix until evenly distributed.
- Bake in sprayed muffin tins 180/350 degrees (Gas 4) for about 15-20 minutes (or until skewer comes out clean).
Even Mr K, who doesn’t always enjoy my healthy reinventions, liked these.
For dinner I stir-fried a whole load of shredded cabbage, onion, carrot and green pepper in olive oil, along with some lean springbuck (venison) mince, a tin of tomatoes and some hot peri-peri sauce.
Dessert (pre-bed, to prevent muscle breakdown during sleep) was a Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pudding: ½ cup smooth fat-free cottage cheese with 1 tbsp peanut butter and a sachet of sweetener. Mmm…
Well, it’s time for me to work my abs and calves!