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I wanted to start a Daily Battle Log for my future use, and to post stuff that is not really relevant (necessarily) to the Nov 11 Challenge.


So here it is - my battle log.


I don't really want to write a long introduction about myself... I'm 27. I'm an attorney. I eat food. I should move more. Paleo is good. Doctor Who. Stargate. Harry Potter. Ender's Game. Futurama. Sharkbait oo hah hah!


Yap... Okay, so I'm pretty new to NF, but I'm really digging it so far. My only problem is that I'm very "omgeez what if that person who is obvs super cool doesn't like me because I say something supes stupid?!@#%Rgfadgs."  And I'm trying not to be like that, because that attitude is the very thing that stops me from saying "hello" in the first place and prevents me from making friends and meeting people. Isn't that what the community here is about!? C'mon!


And also, this is how I feel about some of you: http://www.buzzfeed.com/katieheaney/what-its-like-having-an-internet-crush

Level: 2  Race: Elan  Class: None

STR 2 | DEX 2 | STA 3 | CON 2 | WIS 2 | CHA 2

Current Challenge | Challenge 1 1.5 2 | Battle Log 

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Big Ass Soup
I've been meaning to write down a little more about what I eat. I like the Primal lifestyle advocated by Mark Sisson, and I was really good about eating a Big Ass Salad everyday for a couple of months. But when the weather started to change, I just needed something different. I get cold easily, and a sald just isn't as appealing when you're already a bit chilly. So I decided I would make some soup and throw in tons of veggies. I've dubbed it the Big Ass Soup in honor of Mark's salad. Here's the "recipe" I follow...
- Bacon (5+ slices)
- Ham (.5-1lbs - cubed)
- 1 onion
- 1 small head of cauliflower
- 1 zucchini (or summer squash)
- 1 container of mushrooms (I think it's probably the volume of about 2 cups?)
- 1 bag of frozen green beans
- 2 16oz cans of crushed tomatoes
- 1 32oz container of chicken broth (or other)
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic (I buy the stuff in a jar)
- Salt & pepper to taste
Add ins:
- Spinach
- Butter or cream
Chop (or cut with scissors) the bacon into smallish pieces. Throw in a giant pot with the garlic. Cook on the stove on about medium heat. While that's cooking, chop your onion. Toss it in and stir up the pot. While those continue to cook, chop your mushrooms - toss 'em in andn stir. Chop the cauliflower - toss it in, stir. Chop the zucchini - toss it in, stir some more. Cut up your ham - add it to the pot, stir it up. Toss the whole bag of green beans on top of the pot. Dump your crushed tomatoes and chicken broth on top. Stir, stir, stir. I like to add salt & pepper at this point. I don't like a ton of either, so I do 10 twists of my salt grinder and 5 of the pepper grinder. Let your soup simmer and cook on the stove for 15-20 minutes. Check on it occassionally and see how the veggies are doing. Your bacon should be well cooked by the time you get all your ingredients in, and I used pre-cooked ham, so I'm just looking for things to get hot, and the veggies to get soft. The cauliflower is the big tester in this mix. Once it's hot and cooked, I usually have a bowl for myself and then save the rest for lunches, dinners, snacks, whatever. It makes a LOT of soup. The soup itself is not particularly calorically dense, so I add at least a tablespoon of butter to every two cup serving I eat. I also throw in fresh spinach to get more greens. The great thing about this soup is that you can put whatever you want in it. You could use sausage and chicken, and add in peppers and carrots. You could do bacon and beef and add in eggplant and replace the cauliflower with cabbage. It doesn't really matter. It's just my way of getting lots of veggies, a good serving of meat, and some healthy fats, in the cold winter months.

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Level: 2  Race: Elan  Class: None

STR 2 | DEX 2 | STA 3 | CON 2 | WIS 2 | CHA 2

Current Challenge | Challenge 1 1.5 2 | Battle Log 

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Swimmer's Circuit


This is the circuit my coach had us doing regularly when I swam in college. It's a great total body workout, in my opinion. It is definitely not meant to be just a weights workout though. It should get your heart pumping because the goal is to do it as fast as possible (while maintain good form and going through a full range of motion with each exercise). When I was in college, I could easily do it in 7 minutes. I never timed myself to the second, but I know I was right around there. This was an integral part of our drylands training, and we would frequently do two in a row, or one forward, one backward, or three in a row - which was kinda miserable. Women typically used a 25lb plate and men used a 45lb plate.


40 crunches (feet in the air, fast and tight)

40 bench press

20 around the worlds (in sit up position, place plate on feet, touch left elbow to floor, right elbow to left knee, left elbow to right knee, right elbow to floor. makes a circular motion. 10 each direction)

20 push ups

40 in-out-ups (lay flat on back, legs 1 inch off ground, lift them up so they are perpendicular to the floor, bring knees to chest, push legs out to starting position. 20 in this direction, 20 in the opposite direction)

20 pullovers (lay flat on back with arms extended perpendicular to floor straight over face, slowly drop the plate back and over your head, keeping arms straight, tap the floor, raise arms back to starting position)

20 inclined rows (standing, back at about 45 degree angle forward from straight, if you don't know how to do a row, look it up please)

15 left leg lunges (with or without the plate)

15 bicep curls

15 right leg lunges (with or without the plate)

15 military press

15 squats (with or without the plate)

10 tricep extensions


And that's it. Now you, too, can be a college swimmer! :) (If you do this and also swim 12,000 yards per day...)

Level: 2  Race: Elan  Class: None

STR 2 | DEX 2 | STA 3 | CON 2 | WIS 2 | CHA 2

Current Challenge | Challenge 1 1.5 2 | Battle Log 

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I don't want to get bulky.


You know, I hear a lot of people say this, and I hear a lot of people dismiss it on websites like NF, MDA, and other paleo-centric sites. Mostly, it's dismissed by men, or by women who really enjoy their strong bodies and their ability to lift heavy things. But is it dismissive to the real and legitimate desires of women (or men)? Everyone's fitness goals are different. Everyone's concept of "bulky" is different - it's largely a matter of relativity. And everyone's body is different from anyone else's.


As a college athlete who did copious amounts of swimming, strength training and various dryland exercises, I have a pretty good idea of the amount of muscle my body is naturally capable of putting on. I've also seen other women who were training the same as me (or similarly) and I've seen the amount of muscle they were able to put on. It's more than I wanted at the time, and more than I'd ever want in the future. I just don't want my body to look like that. I don't want my traps to be as big as they were when I was a butterflier. I don't want my thighs to be as big as some of my teammate's were when they were training breaststroke. I don't want my arms to be as big as some of the girls I saw at meets - or even as big as mine were when I was swimming. I've never wanted that body.


Is it so bad to say "I don't want to get bulky" when what I'm referring to is exactly what my body looked like when I was working out naturally? What's wrong with NOT wanting that? Is it so bad to not want to build any MORE lean muscle? Don't I have enough already? What if I still think I have too much? What help is there for that? If skinny dudes are allowed to want big muscles, and allowed to strive for that goal without being questioned, why can't I want smaller muscles? I'm not saying I want to be weak. I want to have strength. I just don't see why I have to put on 10 pounds of muscle to have that. I'm not exactly lacking in the muscle department. Trust me. I just don't want anymore.


So what do you do? I don't know, honestly. Pretty much everything you can find on the internet is about building muscle, or maintaining muscle while you lose fat (which I'm not even convinced I want to do). If you search "how to lose muscle" you're going to see a lot of results about how to NOT lose muscle while losing fat, and mistakes people make that cause them to lose muscle. I guess what I can glean from these types of articles is that I should do the things that cause us to lose muscle. I did find one decent article about losing muscle on purpose. It's a good starting point and decent advice I think.


So just think - what are things we do to build muscle? Lifting (in certain ways, depending on your goals), eat enough (especially protein), fuel up right after workouts, minimize cardio (especially chronic), sleep*, stretch.*


So what should we do to lose muscle? Here's what I've gleaned from a few different sources:


- lift heavy, but not a lot of reps, like very few, seriously (see Staci's article, specifically the section on hypertrophy)

- chronic cardio is going to be key if you want to lose muscle

- eating at a calorie deficit will help you lose

- not fueling up right after a workout will help you to not build muscle at least

- don't eat too much protein


*Note: I am not willing to compromise on sleep or stretching. Sleep is way too important for overall health to cut back for vanities. And flexibility is an important part of my overall fitness goals, so those are here to stay, no matter what.


Like many fitness goals, losing muscle or ensuring that you don't build anymore, is going to be greatly influenced by diet. I would guess though, that losing muscle has more to do with the types and amounts of exercise you are doing than simply losing weight. Lifting heavy will make sure you stay strong, but doing very few reps prevents your body from building bigger muscles. One to three reps is the sweet spot for inducing myofibril hypertrophy (see Staci's article again), making you strong, and maintaining bone density. Aren't those all the GOOD things about muscles and strength that pretty much everyone wants (I hope)? Strong muscles that aren't huge and are good for your bones? I think so anyway. Losing muscle is tough work though, so if I want to actually make that a focus, I have to look more closely at my calorie intake, my macros, and my cardio. I'm not really there yet. But I could be someday. And I just want to be able to remember all this stuff when I get there.


What does this mean for me today? I think I need to focus on lifting heavier and lifting less. Not that I lift currently, but it seems to me that doing body weight exercises (relatively light weight, and high reps) is probably not helping me achieve MY goals. I imagine doing a few weighted push ups, a few weighted squats, etc., would be a more effective use of my time while giving me the results I would prefer. Probably requires some experimentation.

Level: 2  Race: Elan  Class: None

STR 2 | DEX 2 | STA 3 | CON 2 | WIS 2 | CHA 2

Current Challenge | Challenge 1 1.5 2 | Battle Log 

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Coconut butter.


I'm probably eating too much of it these days, need to lay off for a bit, but I freaking love this stuff. Most people seem to prefer the Artisana brand, but personally, I prefer Nutiva's Coconut Manna. It is a little grainier, but I kind of like the extra texture, plus it has fewer carbs, especially from sugar, and more fat, which is how I like it.


Go forth and eat coconut butter.

Level: 2  Race: Elan  Class: None

STR 2 | DEX 2 | STA 3 | CON 2 | WIS 2 | CHA 2

Current Challenge | Challenge 1 1.5 2 | Battle Log 

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