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Harriet

Harriet's Tiny Habits Continued

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1 minute ago, Harriet said:

Alright, I have renewed confidence and the beginnings of a plan. Thank you, valiant ones. Now I have to go chart my workouts to see where everything is going to fit in. Charts, yes, with boxes and rows and numbers. 

 

Spreadsheets can also be our friends... They can display graphs :)

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I have been summoned. 

 

I have a 100% never fail always succeed method for cooking chicken breasts.

 

Whenever a recipe calls for chicken breasts I use boneless skinless thighs instead.

 

As for pork chops, get some good bougie salt and some pepper in a grinder. Liberally salt and pepper both sides and let them sit on your counter for about 20 minutes (covered if you want). That lets the salt and pepper absorb. Then get some fat in a skillet and preheat it to medium high (if you have one of those fancy ones where the package says don't turn the burner up too high then only turn the heat to medium). I usually get thicker cuts, so I generally cook them about four minutes a side. You want the juices to run clear, but you want there to be juice. I used to think I didn't like pork chops. What I didn't like was that mom got super thin ones and overcooked them. Learn to feel the doneness by pressing on the chop with your turning implement. It will take some trial and error, but when you get one cooked right, press on it gently and get a feel for how much resistance there is. That's usually a good method for testing doneness that doesn't require cutting into them. Let them rest out of the skillet four about five minutes before doing anything to them.

 

Now if you really want to wow people, let me tell you about the magic that is the pan sauce.

Get a shallot and mince it. Add more fat to the skillet in which the chops were cooked (if it needs it) and cook the minced shallot for five minutes or until it starts to brown (at the same temp you  used to cook the chops). Then add some cherry or apricot preserves. Not jam, not jelly, get some high end preserves. Use a glob slightly larger than the size of the shallot was before you cut it and dump it in the skillet. Then add a generous amount of balsamic vinegar and some beef stock. Stir this all together and let it reduce down. Serve that over the chops for a religious experience.

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40 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I have a 100% never fail always succeed method for cooking chicken breasts.

 

Whenever a recipe calls for chicken breasts I use boneless skinless thighs instead.


This made me laugh out loud (well, snort out loud, anyway). Thank you.

 

41 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Stir this all together and let it reduce down. Serve that over the chops for a religious experience.


Thank you, oh saucy one! I'll try making chops your way and I shall definitely try the sauce. I'm totally ready for religio-culinary experiences. 
 

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2 minutes ago, Harriet said:


This made me laugh out loud (well, snort out loud, anyway). Thank you.

 


Thank you, oh saucy one! I'll try making chops your way and I shall definitely try the sauce. I'm totally ready for religio-culinary experiences. 
 

You're welcome. There was a typo in my post I have corrected. It's called Pan Sauce.

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Zero week went okay.

It was really only half a week since I only wrote up my challenge a few days ago. And we had our usual once-per-week restaurant on Saturday night, but then friends who we were seeing a play with said "let's get dinner" and so we had two restaurant dinners this week. This deprived me of the satisfaction of cleaning our already clean kitchen. And I was inconsistent about only having two snacks per day, damnit. I just can't seem to follow my own rules here, which is probably why I'm the same weight I was at the start of March. Well, at least I did the leg exercises, vitamins and daily writing. The story I'm working on will be finished soon.

Lifting progress is slow as usual. I did try to get all the scribbled entries out of my notebook and write them down so I have some overview of what's been happening. I actually have made some progress since December, (Oops, actually it's October) despite the sensation of going nowhere. Three  five months to add 10lb to maximum OHP, 25 to deadlift and 15 to squat (despite de-loading squat because form), and 10 to bench (also de-loaded for newly learned form). I can do fewer reps at these higher numbers, but the reps will come. At this rate I think I will hit the intermediate numbers I got off the symmetric strength website this year.  Damnit, that looked a lot more likely when I thought it was three months. Oh well. I was happy for a few minutes. Except the squat, maybe. And definitely not the pull-up and barbell row. Let's not even talk about those.

 

Taekwondo is going well, no knee pain for a week or two now. And I did something that made me nervous, namely volunteering to help set up for a Chinese martial arts tournament next weekend. I will get a t-shirt and feel like part of a community. Most importantly I overcame that automatic impulse to avoid new experiences and do fewer things. 
 

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57 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Lifting progress is slow as usual. I did try to get all the scribbled entries out of my notebook and write them down so I have some overview of what's been happening. I actually have made some progress since December, (Oops, actually it's October) despite the sensation of going nowhere. Three  five months to add 10lb to maximum OHP, 25 to deadlift and 15 to squat (despite de-loading squat because form), and 10 to bench (also de-loaded for newly learned form). I can do fewer reps at these higher numbers, but the reps will come. At this rate I think I will hit the intermediate numbers I got off the symmetric strength website this year.  Damnit, that looked a lot more likely when I thought it was three months. Oh well. I was happy for a few minutes.

 

I'm confused. I see lots of successes. What's not to be happy about? You got stronger, fixed your form, and still got stronger. I understand you have this image of being a superhero, (We all do, it's part of why we're here) but even batman had to train his whole life to be a badass. (Side note, you're lifting AND doing martial arts, sure you're not auditioning for the role?)

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24 minutes ago, Grumble said:

 

I'm confused. I see lots of successes. What's not to be happy about? You got stronger, fixed your form, and still got stronger. I understand you have this image of being a superhero, (We all do, it's part of why we're here) but even batman had to train his whole life to be a badass. (Side note, you're lifting AND doing martial arts, sure you're not auditioning for the role?)

^^this. All of this.

And also, at the end of the day, symmetrical strength is just looking at averages. Unless you ever plan on competing, what other folks lift has no bearing on what you're doing. You are doing your best to get strong and you ARE making progress. It might not be as fast as you like (and let's be real, this is probably true of every lifter at some point or another) but it is there and not to be discounted. Don't get wrapped up in how much you 'should' be lifting by this point. That way lies madness.

giphy.gif

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2 hours ago, Harriet said:

Lifting progress is slow as usual.

 

1 hour ago, Grumble said:

 

I'm confused. I see lots of successes. What's not to be happy about? You got stronger, fixed your form, and still got stronger. I understand you have this image of being a superhero, (We all do, it's part of why we're here) but even batman had to train his whole life to be a badass.

 

1 hour ago, JustCallMeAmber said:

^^this. All of this.

And also, at the end of the day, symmetrical strength is just looking at averages. Unless you ever plan on competing, what other folks lift has no bearing on what you're doing.

 

Grumble and Amber are wise.

 

One of the main reasons all women should be forced to weight lift is that it's one of the few things in life that finally, finally, finally forces the brainwashed female psyche to stop comparing the body it lives in to The-Perfect-Ideal-That-I-Must-Be-Before-Anyone-Will-Accept-Me-Let-Alone-Love-Me. Because not stopping the comparisons will cause genuine insanity. To be fair, the long and painful journey to get to the stopping point will also cause insanity now and then, but that's only temporary, and we come out of stronger in the end.

 

EDIT to add that I'm speaking from personal experience, after I realized my post looks like I'm criticizing Harriet, and that's not the case at all. :)

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You guys are all correct. I am not actually unhappy, I just edited my post hastily after realising my chart goes back to October, not December. I would say for a minute while I miscalculated how much I could lift by the end of my second year, I was fat-cheeked-golden-british-shorthair-cat-hyperventilating excited. Correctly calculating what I think I can lift by the end of my second year, I am now merely fat-cheeked-golden-british-shorthair-cat-heavy-breathing excited. 

 

 

oQ2yUwA.gif VERSUS giphy.gif 

P.S. Not batman, but yes, I am aiming to become my own super hero. Sort of an amalgam of all my favourite tolkien characters, plus the wolverine, maybe. But less vascular. 

Happily, I am not back at the highest squat I've ever done, 115lb, this time with more reps and better form. My form did break down a little in sets four and five, but I'm not too worried about that. 

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2 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

Because not stopping the comparisons will cause genuine insanity. To be fair, the long and painful journey to get to the stopping point will also cause insanity now and then, but that's only temporary, and we come out of stronger in the end.


So, both ways lies at least a little insanity :D 

That's good to know, it means I could still be on the right path even if I have moments of madness from time to time. 

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6 minutes ago, Harriet said:


That's good to know, it means I could still be on the right path even if I have moments of madness from time to time. 

 

Well, if the path is easy, that's how we know we're going in the wrong direction. ;)

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Re: Food

So many chicken breast haters. I honestly don't really enjoyed baked chicken breasts or even stir-fried/skillet cooked chicken breast slices, so I poach. I highly recommend everyone learn how to poach chicken breasts properly. It takes much less time than you'd think. I don't have a lot of time to cook and don't love doing a whole slew of same-meal prep, so instead I make poach a couple of pounds for the next few days. Then I have lovely chicken to put in salads, turn into chicken salad [and its infinite varieties such as buffalo chicken salad, curried chicken salad, waldorf chicken salad, avocado chicken salad], shred it and put into quesadillas, pasta, chili, soup, grain bowls, pita pockets, etc.

 

Also underrated pork cut -- country style pork ribs. Braise, oven bake or slow cook by whatever means you prefer. Eat with sauce of your choice and rice and veg. 

 

Re: Strength Training

You're doing great and I can tell you know you are doing great and I appreciate you keep fighting your naysayer self put-downs. 

 

Also I am team DB rows because I hate barbell rows. You are in charge of your own lat destiny. There is no one way to build beautiful lat wings and fly away to Lathalla. 

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6 minutes ago, raptron said:

Re: Food

So many chicken breast haters. I honestly don't really enjoyed baked chicken breasts or even stir-fried/skillet cooked chicken breast slices, so I poach. I highly recommend everyone learn how to poach chicken breasts properly. It takes much less time than you'd think. I don't have a lot of time to cook and don't love doing a whole slew of same-meal prep, so instead I make poach a couple of pounds for the next few days. Then I have lovely chicken to put in salads, turn into chicken salad [and its infinite varieties such as buffalo chicken salad, curried chicken salad, waldorf chicken salad, avocado chicken salad], shred it and put into quesadillas, pasta, chili, soup, grain bowls, pita pockets, etc.

Poaching is illegal in most countries. You monster.

 

6 minutes ago, raptron said:

Re: Strength Training

You're doing great and I can tell you know you are doing great and I appreciate you keep fighting your naysayer self put-downs. 

 

Also I am team DB rows because I hate barbell rows. You are in charge of your own lat destiny. There is no one way to build beautiful lat wings and fly away to Lathalla. 

DB rows are nice, you can switch angle, how far out the hands can go, you can work on your weaker side with extra reps. My only big "complaints" with DB rows is how much easier it is to use momentum to cheat without realizing it. With BB rows, you can't help but feel like a chicken at feeding time if you try to use too much momentum, with DB rows you can over-rotate and use that stretch reflex to "lift" the weight up, and I'm guilty of doing that without even realizing it. Which is why I still think it should be an accessory to BB rows and not a replacement.

 

Lathalla, You truly are a wordsmith.

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36 minutes ago, raptron said:

 

Also underrated pork cut -- country style pork ribs

 

With dry rub, wrapped in foil, and left alone in the oven for 4-5 hours... yum, yum, yummy! :wub:

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39 minutes ago, raptron said:

I highly recommend everyone learn how to poach chicken breasts properly.

 

Also underrated pork cut -- country style pork ribs. Braise, oven bake or slow cook by whatever means you prefer. Eat with sauce of your choice and rice and veg. 

 


I've never tried poaching chicken and tend to avoid cuts of meat with bone in. I don't know why. Actually I only started learning to cook about two years ago - before that I wouldn't even buy raw meat because it seemed too difficult. Well, it's time to learn something new. I'll look for ribs. And a poached chicken recipe.

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44 minutes ago, raptron said:

Re: Strength Training

You're doing great and I can tell you know you are doing great and I appreciate you keep fighting your naysayer self put-downs. 

 

Also I am team DB rows because I hate barbell rows. You are in charge of your own lat destiny. There is no one way to build beautiful lat wings and fly away to Lathalla. 

 

Lathalla :D  Thank you for the kind words. 

I think I'm going to do several kinds of movements: bb rows, db rows, pull-downs and assisted pull-ups, plus the rowing machine. DB rows are good because they take my back out of the equation, which is the main thing that I feel in BB rows. But they're annoying because they take twice as long, and like the other pulling exercises I never seem to improve at them. 

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If you're going to look for ribs, study this first. Especially the section on how to remove the membrane, since that makes a huge difference for the flavor and texture of the finished product. (It's much easier than it sounds. There are lots of YouTube videos on the subject too.)

 

I use the Oven Method in that recipe, except I let the ribs sit in the spices overnight. I also put a drop of liquid smoke in the water-vinegar mix.

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55 minutes ago, Harriet said:

DB rows are good because they take my back out of the equation, which is the main thing that I feel in BB rows.

Wut.

Image result for db row muscles worked

DB row muscles used.

 

Please clarify.

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21 minutes ago, Grumble said:

Wut.

Image result for db row muscles worked

DB row muscles used.

 

Please clarify.


I meant my lower back. During the barbell row, I feel a strain in my lower back. I strongly dislike this sensation. Deadlifts are better because there's stress on the same point, but only for a second or two. With the barbell row, I'm bent over for longer and I don't like it. I find a 65lb row more uncomfortable for my back than a 165lb deadlift.

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3 minutes ago, Harriet said:


I meant my lower back. During the barbell row, I feel a strain in my lower back. I strongly dislike this sensation. Deadlifts are better because there's stress on the same point, but only for a second or two. With the barbell row, I'm bent over for longer and I don't like it. I find a 65lb row more uncomfortable for my back than a 165lb deadlift.

 

Ah yea, you've mentioned that. And it's driving me nuts trying to figure out what needs to be adjusted on your form.

 

Are you engaging your core at the start? The only thing I can think of at this point is you're arching your back and not maintaining a good neutral position, which is usually indicative of a weak or underengaged/braced core.

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20 minutes ago, Grumble said:

 

Ah yea, you've mentioned that. And it's driving me nuts trying to figure out what needs to be adjusted on your form.

 

Are you engaging your core at the start? The only thing I can think of at this point is you're arching your back and not maintaining a good neutral position, which is usually indicative of a weak or underengaged/braced core.


Possibly! I usually just bend over and flap my wings. I haven't given much thought to form because, um, I don't love the rows. Ima go see if powerlifting jesus has any videos on the matter.

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10 minutes ago, Harriet said:


Possibly! I usually just bend over and flap my wings. I haven't given much thought to form because, um, I don't love the rows. Ima go see if powerlifting jesus has any videos on the matter.

Tsk Tsk. You know better than that by now. 

Also, if you don't love a lift, you should put more effort into it. Hence why I incorporated lunges into almost all my workouts.

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2 hours ago, Harriet said:


I've never tried poaching chicken and tend to avoid cuts of meat with bone in. I don't know why. Actually I only started learning to cook about two years ago - before that I wouldn't even buy raw meat because it seemed too difficult. Well, it's time to learn something new. I'll look for ribs. And a poached chicken recipe.

i actually always get boneless country style pork ribs! they are always a good price and i can usually get them on sale on top of the good price.

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