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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cry for your mama treadmill work out

If you want to try a treadmill work out that will leave you feeling like you got hit by a train at the end of 45 minutes, I have the plan for you!
Since the treadmills here are in kph instead of mph, I'm not going to give you exact speeds  - plus what is fast to me might be extremely slow to you or vice versa. So just follow along with whatever feels right for your ability. I know you can do it in your nice cushy air-conditioned gym with TVs and fun magazines to read, etc - cause I did it at my gym staring at a wall with no A/C! No excuses!

On the sprints you need to really push it or you won't get the full benefit of this work out. Your tempo pace should be on the quick side of your basic pace for long runs. Jog is slower for recovery, but you want to still be moving at a reasonable pace.

0-3 warm up - steady jog
3-5 tempo run - normal pace
5-5:45 - sprint
5:45-6:45 - tempo pace
6:45-7:30 - sprint
7:30-8:30 - tempo pace
8:30-9:15 - sprint
9:15 - 10:15  - tempo pace
10:15 - 11:00 - sprint
11 - 12 - Tempo pace
12-14 - jog to recover - just a bit slower than tempo pace, not too slow though
14-14:45 - tempo pace at 5% incline
14:45-15:45 - back to 0% incline, tempo pace
15:45 - 16:30 - incline 5% tempo pace
16:30-17:30  back to 0% incline, tempo pace
17:30-18:15 incline 5% tempo pace
18:15-19:15 back to 0% incline, tempo pace
19:15-20 incline 5% tempo pace
20-21 back to 0% incline, tempo pace

21-24 -recovery jog
Repeat the whole thing from minutes 5-24 and then you are done!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

DIY workout equipment

So they say necessity is the mother of invention - well for me necessity is losing a few lbs..per my usual! So I invented something.
For any of you that remember my post about bodyrock.tv, there are a lot of web resources that provide some good home workouts.  Many of those require having a medicine ball, or kettle ball, or even a sandbag special for working out like bodyrock routines often call for.  So, since all those things are really expensive out here and I already spend money on a gym membership - I thought I would just make my own! (and my gym doesn't even have a kettle ball and the medicine ball they have was leather bound and it is so old and nasty that when you touch it, your hand turns black and all this nasty dust and debris gets in your eyes and mouth..ugh)

So, to make my own sandbag/kettle ball/medicine ball - I went to the supermarket and looked at giant bags of grains.  The cheapest was the Maize - corn meal. They had 5kg bags ($2.50) and 10 kg bags ($3.50). That's like 10 and 20 pounds (little more).  So I bought one of each, and a roll of duct tape.  Total bill - $9.You use any grain or rice or if you are somewhere where you can get bags of sand, soil or salt for cheap, you could use that too.You could even fill your own bag with dirt/pebbles from the backyard and just weigh it.

Okay so here's what ensued:

What the bags of  maize meal look like before - this is the 5kg one - the smaller one - I made sure to choose brands that have handles

for the smaller one - i was a bit smarter - I first put a plastic bag around it and turned it upside down to make sure all the slack was at the bottom and could be taped up.  When the slack is at the top near the handle, when you go to use the handle it sort of rips up all that slack - which is no good.  .

I did the large one first, I left the real handle out and then made a couple more handles on the sides with the tape - so it can be used with two hands for doing rows or two handed  kettle ball swings..but then it has the one handle side of one-handed moves.
baby and mama

It could definitely also be used as a medicine ball to do push ups on or sit ups with additional weight - oh the options are just endless! You could sit on it - or even use it as a cup holder while you are watching tv and eating ice cream. That sounds better.
 So there you have it! I have another post I want to do about DIY workout equipment - i saw the coolest little gym at the beach that this kid made completely on his own. These people are resourceful - you wouldn't believe it.

okay, so now you have no excuse for not getting your arse in shape!

Our little Thanksgiving

I'm still trying to get caught up with the past here so that I can discuss the present! But I need to talk about Thanksgiving 2011!

My family was set to arrive at 9pm on Thanksgiving night so Scott, Sergio and I just pulled together a small little thanksgiving together earlier that day - We decided to not wait until the next day since my family had done a little celebration the weekend before in TX and since we had to hit the ground running with activities once they arrived.

Okay, I did most of the cooking - and what started as wanting to have a small Thanksgiving kind of exploded since I figured leftovers would be a good thing for my family on their way.
On the menu:
Grilled honey/soy glazed turkey breast
Florentine salad
Arabic meat pies
mashed potatos
Arabic Stuffing (hashwa)
This is the closest thing I have to a food processor - so I just load up this cup with the hummus ingredients and "blend it like beckham"

Florentine salad made of spinach, tomato, olives, sun dried tomato, orzo pasta

Turkey breast prepped for grilling - We went with turkey breast only since the full turkeys are way too expensive here and for just 3 of us - not really worth it. Plus we all like the breast best anyways. Marinade was soy sauce, honey, garlic, and lots of herbs
Making the dough for meat pies

hashwa in the making - rice+ground beef+nuts+cinnamon+salt and pepper

Meat pie filling - tomato+ground beef+garlic+salt+pepper+lemon juice

serg making the mashed potatos -

ok, they weren't the prettiest meat pies I have ever made and the dough was a bit too elastic but they ended up tasting great. I had trays and trays of these puppies - My family loved the leftovers - we ate on them all week.
Had a ton of dough so I made up some zaatar too

Cheers and beers!

Happy Thanksgiving! -aww but the main chef didn't even get a pic at the table ;-(
Our little spread..mmm..everything was delish - scott made pumpkin rolls that were so could - they might be the key to world peace..i swear
 Then we finished up and went to the airport to pick up my family!
we had this sign maker guy on the side of the road make a sign for us to hold up at the airport - Sergio went cowboy style to make the texans feel at home ;-)

Waiting at the airport and playing with the camera
Next post - I'll tell you all about their visit - I bet you can't wait!
Anyone need any recipes seen here? Just let me know.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sergio's final days in Nairobi :-(

So, my byu is gone (byu = Sergio).  He moved back to DC to work and start a masters program. I am going to miss that crazy byu. Me without my byu is  like snoopy without Charlie brown, like peanut butter without jelly, like the hamburglar without hamburgers; like kim kardashian without that kaboose - it just aint right! But life goes on - and we'll be fine. Our whole relationship has been all over the map, sometimes together, sometimes apart, but these things just make life more interesting and show you that you are stronger than you may have thought, as individuals and as a couple (one hopes ;-).
Here's a look into the going away party that we had at Mercury Lounge in Nairobi -

I wore the dress I had made in Senegal for the first time.  I figured I needed to be as African as possible for his Out of Kenya party.  I got a bajillion compliments on it so I guess I pulled it off.
The DJ was doing it right.

DJ UV, he kept pushing a button that said his name..like every 4 minutes you would hear the sound system say "DJ UV IN DA HOUSE"

Mercury Lounge - Kind of retro swank

Our Family

Sergio started doing the booty dance with strangers

Love my dancing byu

 Then, as we approached the final couple of days before byu's departure - things weren't so happy. I was definitely hurting and getting some serious separation anxiety - sad Sergio was leaving and I wont see him for a long time and nervous about living here on my own after having been here so long with him. Things will be different for me here without him. And this place is dangerous. I don't know that many people in the grand scheme of things but among those people I know here at least 75% (no joke) have been the victims of a robbery or kidnapping or worse. So, being alone here, driving around, coming in and out of places, night time noises, all that is much more scarey without a partner.  But, the days have gone on and I am feeling fine and my confidence is up - There's a quote I like "“Fear, uncertainty and discomfort are your compasses toward growth.”    So true - change can flip you upside down..but even upside down can feel normal if you give it a few days, right? (dang, i should patent that line)

Anyways, in our last couple of days we found the best best restaurant!!! I cannot believe we have been here about 2 years now and never tried this place. They have an entire page of mexican food on their menu!! among other amazing things.

River Cafe! I'd seen it since we first moved here and always wanted to go but we just never did..it's sort of hidden back away from the main road.

cool open air restaurant next to a little pond. A lot of restaurants in Nairobi are like this. Open air and very sort of afro/euro rustic

They have tons and tons of plants and herbs and other stuff for sale and this old car that was so cute and small.

They even roast their own coffee with this old school roaster
On Sergio's last day here, he wanted to show me the Kenya International Conference Center, one of the tallest buildings in Nairobi where you can see the whole city from the top. So, that's what we did.

Jomo Kenyatta - First president of Kenya and independence leader

Overlooking Nairobi

me and my byu

Then we went to a hotel called the Ole Sereni. They have a terrace area called The Water Hole that overlooks the Nairobi National Park. - Sometimes you can see animals but we didn't see anything except a an aluminum giraffe.

Full sun
Starting to set
And that was it. Byu's last night. We went home, finished his packing and reluctantly went to bed knowing the next day would be "good bye". 

(I miss you)