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Ask GiryaGirl: 10,000 Swing Challenge Help! What do you eat for breakfast? Healthy Hot Cocoa?

This morning was a flurry of activity as you slackers finally came back to work from long holiday weekends and all decided to call, email, text, facebook, twitter, etc. Joking about the slackers part, I just wanted to poke fun at you all - since it was hard to get a few tasks going while carrying on about 6 different trains of thought/conversations.   But I'm pretty ok at that for some reason. WHATEVER.   Here are some highlights from this morning's mad dash of Q&A:

Q: How's your 2012 going? I started mine with 500 swings for a friend's b-day.... Now I'm doing the double KB version of System Six.. Going to try it for 16 weeks. We'll see how that goes.

A: Josh Hillis's System Six should do well for you - and since you're an advanced kettlebell maniac, the double version should work quick.  Be sure that you're eating enough, and always remember, Josh is extremely accessable on twitter, facebook, for support.  Likewise he's been known to stop in on this website to answer questions as well.   There's even a spot on the forum for System Six questions.   FYI everyone, there is a forum here - I haven't promoted it much yet - wasn't sure if it was redundant with all the other social media.   Main difference, I consider it a "safe haven" and we can even set it for registered users only if you'd prefer.  LET ME KNOW! :)

Q: I'm working through getting all "paleo'd" up around the house (at least mostly) and I was wondering how you typically do breakfast? I know you eat a lot of bacon (as do I) and that also leads me to wonder how you prepare it? Pan? Oven? Sun cooked? :)

At any rate, I don't mind bacon and eggs but I would like to offer a tad more variety if possible.

A: This morning was a fairly typical breakfast for me: 2 strips of bacon in the cast iron skillet, browned then kept the oil in there (this skillet is slick as all get out - its practically a housepet, I'm weird about 'Grandma's skillet' it gets very special treatment)  Tossed in some chopped Swiss chard (5 large leaves/stems), sauteed down.  Today I added some crumbled ground Greenfed beef from Beyond Organic (I'd cooked it the night before and had it in a pyrex container in the fridge) - after that was heated through, I spread everything evenly in the pan and added 3 beaten eggs.   Usually I top that with crumbled goat cheese or whatnot.   Brown on the bottom and if I've added cheese, I broil the top for about a minute or less (don't walk away... seriously).  If I haven't added cheese, it all just gets flipped it in the pan.

In the skillet is usually how bacon is cooked here, but sometimes I'll bake bacon in the oven.  Use a little rack on top of a cookie sheet - put the bacon out in a single layer on the rack.  Oven at 250, check at 30 minutes, flip if necessary.  Depending on if you like bacon chewy or crunchy, or what you'll be using precooked bacon for, cook from 45mins-1hr in the oven.  If you've used good quality, organic bacon from happily pastured pigs, carefully pour off the grease into another little pyrex container and use that to season your skillets, for cooking, etc. as it is high quality lard and is your buddy if you're doing Paleo or Primal. A word of warning: having access to precooked bacon can be a test of your will.  If you ever thought potato chips were a temptation, this is sooo far beyond that. SO FAR BEYOND THAT.

For variety, I switch up the cheese (Purple Haze from Cypress Grove, Raw Milk Cheddar or Havarti from Beyond Organic, some form of chèvre, heck... pepperjack is good too).  Also switch up the veggies - broccoli, spinach, chard, zucchini, dandilion greens, find what you like.  On my site there are a few recipes for things like using sweet potatoes or butternut squash as "homefries" or "hashbrowns"

My upcoming cookbook will actually feature a full explanation of my obscure omelet theories and how to apply them with a handy-man-cooking-friendly chart!  Cuz guys like charts and arrows and stuff, right?  I sure hope so.

Q: What's the healthiest possible way to make hot chocolate?!

 

A: A good friend and fellow RKC Level 2 instructor texted me from the grocery store this morning needing a healthy low carb version of hot chocolate.   Glad she asked, because this one is a lot of fun - and there's plenty of room for variation too!

OK!  Depending on how you feel about dairy, allergies etc - you can either do this with organic grassfed full fat milk (they carry it at my local butcher shop, The Meat House, much love for those guys actually).  OR if you want to go non-dairy*, and/or want to take this camping (no refrigeration required) go with coconut milk.   My current fave is the organic 365 Whole Foods store brand in terms of value and no-scary-ingredients.  OK!!!

This is super easy - I choose to make it by the cup on demand - you'll want to adjust the recipe to your taste - and once you find that sweet spot - write it down - then you can scale it up to make a dry mix for travel etc.  Store it in a jar and shake it up before using of course.

  • 1 Cup milk of your choosing
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa** (chocoholic freak girl here likes a lot)
  • Stevia or tupelo honey to taste - I sometimes forget to add any, but I'd say 1 teaspoon max on the honey
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 optional pinch of cayenne pepper

Mix dry ingredients first, heat the milk of your choosing gently. then add it all together.  If using honey, add it last to the hot mixture so it will melt into it easily.

 

*When I was vegan I'd skip a further step and go with sweetened (ugghh) vanilla flavored almond milk.  At that point all you have to do is gently heat the almond milk, stir in 1-2 teaspoons cocoa powder and a couple grains of salt, and the optional pinch of cayenne pepper.

**Can't find unsweetened cocoa?  Get out of the Swiss Miss zone - try the baking aisle - guarantee it's there.   Want to get snobby with your cocoa?  I like the Italian kind they sell at Williams Sonoma - :)

Q: I'm somewhat of a beginner (woman) and am doing the 10,000 Swing challenge this month, and I have a 12kg and 16kg kettlebell- the 12kg feels "too light" but the 16kg gets heavy quick - I'm doing sets of 25 swings...

 

A: Well... it's a good idea to start mixing things up - we're still VERY early in the month of January and you're going to get bored otherwise.   Also make sure to vary the intensity - some days just use the 12kg, especially if you have other activities planned for that day.  Remember "too light" can also be in your head - use a light day to focus even more on your form - make those the best swings ever.   Also - feel free to do one arm swings - 10 right, 10 left instead of just 20 2 hand swings if you're getting bored.    With the 16kg kettlebell be sure not to burn out early by doing shorter sets, but more sets - 10 sets of 10 is an easy 100 - and space it out throughout the day if you need to - it doesn't matter with the 10,000 Swing challenge WHEN the swings are done during the day - learn to manage your fatigue - that's another great skill to practice along with your Swing.   A challenge like this will teach you a lot if you let it :)  Congratuations on picking this challenge and best of luck! 

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