Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lifting and Porridge

I bought a book called The New Rules of Lifting for Women* right before I left the States, as a friend of mine who had been using it highly recommended it. I only got around to starting up the program a week and a half ago (yay culture shock and depression and moving to a new house, oh my).

I'm really enjoying it so far. I have had to make a few adjustments (as I have no barbell or access to weight lifting machines at the moment), but thankfully they offer many variations on an exercise so that you can work with what you DO have**. It helps to be resourceful as well. I have no step and no stairs in my house so...

I've been using a couple of Harry Potter books as a step. It works pretty well! Plus I can add more volumes if I want to make it a bit taller. (I'm currently using Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix... and yes, I shipped my American copies over here, because I am INSANE.) In the past week and a half though, I've been able to progress from 60 degree pushups using the kitchen counter to 45 degree pushups using a window ledge. And the evil prone jackknife*** (though still VERY difficult), is finally starting to get a bit easier.

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In other news, I have porridge and cereal from Dorset Cereals! Shauna aka DietGirl had a giveaway bonanza last month in celebration of her blog turning 9. I was lucky enough to win one of the random draws and received these in the mail yesterday:

I haven't gotten a chance to try the cereal yet, but I pounced on the porridge this morning. Back in the States, I loved me some oatmeal. I'd started buying the big canisters of Quaker Oats and tossing in a bit of brown sugar and nuts, sometimes some dried fruit. I made it with water (as is the standard over there), and instead of cooking the oatmeal itself I heated the water up and poured it on the dry oats. This ensured that I would not end up with a goopy, sticky, paste-like consistency. I am a texture person. If a texture is wrong for me, I won't eat it.  

Since I'd moved to England, I had yet to eat porridge that didn't end up horrible and glue like, no matter how I made it: with water or milk, cooked in the liquid or hot liquid poured over. This made me sad. HOWEVER! Dorset Cereals Fruity Porridge with apples and raisins? Perfect. I'm loving oatmeal/porridge again! I even had it with milk (which still seems a bit weird to me). The only thing I would do differently is to add just a touch of muscovado sugar (for those in the States: think dark brown sugar's much darker and denser cousin) to give it a bit of sweetness.

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Michael and I are going to be doing our first online shop today. So we'll be loosely planning a menu for the week. Exciting! Plus, this way, I don't have to eye all the chocolate in our local shop (less than a week to go on the ban). I'll report back on how it went after we get our groceries.

*The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess by Lou Schuler with Cassandra Forsythe, M.S. with workout programs by Alwyn Cosgrove. It can be found on Amazon both in the US and the UK.
**The only one I've been having a hard time adapting are the lat pulldowns... I have been making sure to replace it with another pulling exercise and try to make sure it works the same muscle group, but it's been a bit difficult. 
***Don't know what a prone jackknife is? Check out this handy youtube video!

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