Now that it’s officially swimsuit, sundress, and tanktop season, it’s about time we checked out our triceps.
As I slowly approach 30, I notice my metabolism isn’t quite what it used to be. My firm muscles aren’t quite what they used to be either.
I fondly remember the days when I lifted once or twice a week, a few crunches here and there, and everything was fine and tight. Jeans not fitting right? I’d skip dessert for a week and add an extra run. Done and done. Sigh, I miss my 22 year old self.
While all is not completely lost, it now takes a lot more to get my body where I would like it. These days, I exercise more to de-stress and feel better, but I don’t kid myself that vanity doesn’t play a role as well.
The following are my favorite, quick exercises to re-firm and ready up. Do them to fatigue- that’s important. Our bodies change when they are challenged. Most of my clients stop when they get tired- then they complain that they aren’t seeing ‘results’. Yes! You have to go to the point of fatigue, that moment when you say ‘oh my goodness, I truly can’t do anything more without compromising form.’ That’s the secret.
You can do this on a step, on your coffee table, or on a bench. Place arms next to your side, finger tips facing out. Elbows go straight back and you lower yourself down. Make sure you are using your triceps to lower you, not your hips.
Ready for a challenge? Walk your legs out and/or alternate raising your legs. Do until fatigued, 2-3 sets.
Alternate L Extension
Let’s get fancy with the traditional deltoid raise, shall we? Start either way, one arm facing the side, the other facing front. Use your deltoids (shoulders) and raise to shoulder height. Take your time, don’t use your back and swing your ams. Really engage your delts and slowly raise and lower.
When you return to start, switch arms- the arm facing the side arm now faces front, the arm facing the front now faces the side. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Start in a pushup position- I do a tricep pushup here since those need more work for me than my biceps/pecs. Use your triceps and lower yourself until your elbow is in line with your shoulder. Press up into a plank pose and pull your belly button into your spine. Keep your core engaged and slowly walk your arms back to your feet. Stand up and repeat, walking your arms back out to a plank post; pushup; repeat.
Bicep Curl with overhead extension
The pictures say it all. Bicep curl with an underhand grip, rotate your palms and press up to the ceiling. Lower your arms to your shoulders, rotate and uncurl. Repeat.
Alright, let’s hear it- what are your favorite arm exercises?
It’s almost Memorial Day! One of my favorite weekends of the year as it means summer is OFFICIALLY here. While summer has been here for a while for me, it’s the time of year when everyone gets outside & fires up the grill.
I’ve never been abroad for an American holiday before, not sure if it will feel any different or if I will miss celebrating. I do know that I will miss a good cookout. Besides a pool or beach day, there are few things in life that are more summery to me than a BBQ.
Whatever your plans are this weekend, make sure there is good food involved, k?
Recipe & Photo: 86 lemons
Recipe & Photo: The Dirty Vegan
Grilled Peaches with Balsamic and Rosemary
Recipe & Photo: The framed table
Wishing you an enjoyable and delicious Memorial day!
I love coleslaw. Love it.
Come May 1st, our weekly dinners contain lots of vegetable burgers, grilled vegetables, and coleslaw.
It’s one of the foods that BL won’t let me compromise on. There are certain things that I have to make correct, and can’t experiment much with. He let’s me add curry to our ketchup, cumin to our hummus, but I have very little leeway with traditional coleslaw.
While I might not change up his favorite side dish, it doesn’t mean I won’t take a few shortcuts now and then.
A few weeks ago I made these awesome BBQ tempeh sandwiches and right before we sat down, decided that we needed some coleslaw and baked beans to go with it.
Trust me when I say this is the easiest coleslaw you will ever make. If you’ve got 5 minutes, you’ve got coleslaw. I let this sit for 20 minutes and it was great, go longer and it will taste even better.
1/3 cup vegan egg-free mayonnaise thinned with 1 tbsp. milk
3 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 head green cabbage, sliced
3 carrots, grated
Whisk together the mayo, vinegar, sugar, and pinch salt/pepper. Toss with carrots and cabbage and gently toss to combine. Let sit for at least 20 minutes.
Ta-da! Easy-peasy coleslaw!
There are some thing that the Veg community tries to keep secret. Well, I’m about to let the cat out of the bag: most vegan burgers suck.
I know, because I’ve tried about 10,000 of them. While most are OK and can pass for a decent patty filled with vegetables and beans, none are convincing anyone to give up their favorite hamburger.
At least not in my experience. It’s funny, before giving it up, I was never a big meat person. Chicken was whatever, I never liked pork, and fish was delicious but rare. Beef though, yum, I used to love steaks and burgers.
I went back and forth between being vegetarian and not for a few years before I finally gave it up for good… it was always the burgers that pulled me back. And so my quest was born- a delicious, meaty vegan burger that rivals any un-kind one.
While this isn’t going to fool anyone into thinking it’s beef, it’s pretty damn good. Hearty, full of savory, umami flavors thanks to the addition of roasted eggplant, mushrooms, and caramelized onions. Yes, this will take a bit longer to make than your usual black bean patties but they are worth it. Just make a bunch and freeze.
You’ll then be ready for cookouts all summer long.
Meaty Vegan Burgers
Adapted from Serious Eats
1 lb. button mushrooms, halved
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 small japanese eggplant, chopped into 2″ pieces.
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup arborio rice
3 cups vegetable broth
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 cup toasted cashews
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, toss the mushrooms and eggplant with 1/4 cup oil, oregano, chili powder, cumin, and pinch salt and pepper. Wrap the mushrooms and eggplant in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, until mushrooms are browned and eggplant softened. Remove from oven and let cool.
Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook another minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
Bring 3 cups vegetable broth to a boil. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the Arborio rice and stir until lightly toasted. Add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and stir until all liquid is absorbed. Continue to add liquid, 1/2 cup at a time until risotto is al-dente. You may not need all the liquid. Let cool and place into a large bowl.
In a food processor, combine 1/2 cup white beans, flour, baking powder, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, and eggplant. Process until a paste forms. Add mixture to bowl with risotto.
Add the remaining white beans to the food processor along with the cashews and mushrooms. Pulse into a mixture forms, finely chopped but still course in texture. Add to the risotto mix.
Lastly, add the cooled onion and celery mixture to the food processor and pulse 10 times. Add to the risotto bowl and mix together until completely mixed.
Since you’ve done so much work- you can refrigerate the mixture for up to 5 days or freeze up to 3 months in a sealed air-tight bag.
Season to taste.
Add breadcrumbs and mix in with your hands. Once you add the breadcrumbs, start to form the patties. You don’t want the breadcrumbs to become soggy.
Bring a skillet or grill to medium-high heat. Lightly spray and add the patties. Flip burgers after 4-5 minutes, until bottom is lightly-browned. Cook another 4-5 minutes. Serve!
For an awesome treat, top with caramelized onions.