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Revisting Friday's Post, Hiking, Getting Chores Done

Friday Revisited 
So I want to make sure you're seated before you continue reading. Yes, I know you're likely on your computer and are already sitting, but play along for dramatics please. Ok, here it goes, there was no Pizza Friday. Gasp. Don't worry, I'm not ill. I just wanted a change. Our pantry is still low (yes, very lazy and not going to the grocery store), so the pizza was going to be a bit skimpy. Also, I was recently inspired by Dawn @ Florida Coastal Cooking when she made Eggplant with Caramelized Balsamic Reduction and White Wine. So, last night we had Red Bean & Lentil Burgers with Balsamic Eggplant and Onions with baked sweet potato fries.

Balsamic Eggplant & Onions
Ingredients:
1/4-1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (white would have been preferable)
1/2 Japanese eggplant, thinly sliced (or 1 small)
Balsamic vinegar
To taste: salt, black pepper, parsley

Directions:
In skillet, lightly saute onions then add in eggplant and enough balsamic vinegar to cover (approximately 1/2 a cup, maybe a bit less). Let cook and begin to reduce then add in seasonings. As a caution, this will reduce and intesify in flavor, so go very light on the salt. Allow to cook until balsamic vinegar thickens and veggies caramelize (approximately 25-30 mins).

I topped the "burgers" with baby spinach, the onion/eggplant and Soy Kaas Monterey Jack (love how it melts).
One word: YUM

Weights and Cardio Clarification
Still on Friday's post...

I wanted to address my comment about cardio before weights/weights before cardio. I had several comments asking why weights first. From what I have read and from personal experience (trial and error) if your focus is weights, then do the weights first. You expend your most energy with the workout you do first. So if you do a pretty vigorous cardio workout before weights, you're going to have less energy reserves for the weights.

Personally, I can tell a huge difference when I do cardio before my weights. I feel weaker with my weights. Now, that's not to say that is a hard and fast rule (no rules really are, are they?). For example, first thing in the morning, I am not awake enough to safely lift. So, I might do a moderate cardio workout, no more than 30 minutes as well. Another thing to think about is how heavy you're lifting or maybe you're doing more endurance rather than strength. I don't know if that helps clear up any confusion at all. Again, I'm not expert and don't claim to be. I know what I've read, and I know what seems to work best for me. I'm just sharing is all.


Hiking & Chest
Last night we actually had a cool front move through. I woke up to temps just below 70 degrees. It's been ages since that's happened. It actually felt like fall. Jason and I are going to visit some friends in Seattle at the end of October and are planning a hike. Hiking there is going to be different than our hikes here. Instead of running this morning, we decided to go to Pinnacle Mountain and hike up twice to see how our endurance for hiking was.

We made it up in 20 minutes the first trip and 18 on the second. I can power up the mountain fairly easily, it's the decent that gets me. I have a serious fear of going down that almost paralyzes me. I did good today on the second trip down though - meaning I wasn't sitting on my butt scooting down the rocks half the time ;-)

When we got home, I went ahead and did my chest workout that was on tap. I plan on legs tomorrow and didn't want to miss chest this week. I did a similar chest workout as last week in that I included more push ups and few weighted work.

Wide-arm push ups - 24

SS#1
Chest flye - 3x8
Chest press - 3x8

SS#2
Decline push ups with feet on step - 2-16
Staggered press - 2x10 (start at top, pause 1/2 down, pause all the way down, pause 1/2 up, then all the way up equals 1 rep)

Push ups with a 2:2 count - 2x8

Success with Chores
I am proud to report that we finally made it to the grocery store! No more excuses or grumbling about not having anything to make. Not sure what we'll be doing for dinner. If it cools down again this evening, we may do chili. Though, pizza sounds pretty good too ;-) Jason is watching the Razorbacks play Alabama. I am about to get off my rear and get some chores done for a change on a Saturday.

One last thing before I leave you today, I am so excited to be able to share the link to my first guest post. The ever sweet Candice @ ChiaSeedMe asked me to do a post for her on the basics of lifting weights. I really was so honored that she thought of me and asked me to do this post for her. If you have time, please check out her site. She really is inspiring to me. She is living her life, following her dreams and passions, and her recipes are drool-worthy!

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I think part of my reluctance stems from a bit of boredom. I've gotten into a rut again with workouts. That and sometimes I just am flat out tired of seeing the inside of that place. But, that part aside, boredom all the way. So, I decided to try to do something a little different for my biceps/triceps workout. It's nothing earth-shattering. But it's a switch up from my typical 3 different supersets done as 3 sets of 8 reps....yawn.

So, today I did 4 sets of 8 reps for two supersets then I did dropsets at the end starting with heaviest weight for 6 reps, then increasing the number of reps by 2 as I decreased the weights. I did this 4 times (6, 8, 10, 12).

SS#1
Alternating bicep curls
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