I'm trying to get back into the groove of things, which can be tough when you've lost a lot of strength (and the bruised ego that comes along with it). Yesterday was a bench press day, which I hate because it's my worst lift and I have to adapt to lower weights until it picks up. Lately I've been going by feel because I'm unsure of where I'm at. Benching especially sucks because you have to start at the bar, which is 45lbs, and I don't have a lot of room to add weight at this point until I regain strength.
- Bench: Warmup sets of 5 with the bar (3 sets), increase by 5lbs until sets of 5 become difficult
- Dumbbell Rows: 3x15
- Tricep Pulldowns: 3x15
- Clean&Jerk: 3x5, done with little rest in between sets to build endurance
- Elliptical HIIT
Somewhere between unpacking more so I'm not living out of boxes for six months (which, given the opportunity, I will do), I made a batch of easy chicken minestrone soup in the slow cooker, which I put straight in the freezer so I have four meals ready whenever I need! I meant to snap a pic but it slipped my mind, but trust me...it looked (and smelled) delicious. Adapt this recipe to as little or as much as you want. Hate beans? No beans. Lots of celery? Go crazy. Need three times more noodles than normal people? I feel you, let's do it.
Simple Crockpot Chicken Minestrone
- 1lb boneless chicken breasts
- 4c chicken stock/broth
- 1 28oz can of undrained diced tomatoes (I get mine "Italian", already seasoned with basil/garlic/etc.)
- Veggies of your choice - onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, whatever works for you!
- Beans if desired; cannellini or even red kidney beans work well
- Noodles if desired: I use mini shells (1 cup or more, however noodly you like it!)
Stir the chicken (leave whole or cut in chunks, it doesn't matter), broth, tomatoes, and veggies into the crockpot. If you use something like zucchini or beans of any sort, don't put that in quite yet...save it until after. Throw some salt, pepper, or Italian seasoning in if you'd like, and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low from 7-9 hours. If you left the chicken whole, it will be tender enough to pull apart.
Stir in beans/zucchini and, if you plan to eat the whole thing immediately, noodles, and cook for another 10-15 minutes. If you plan on freezing it, let it cool to room temperature, add the noodles, and immediately freeze. This way, the noodles don't end up mushy blobs when reheated. I'd assume you could do the same with the beans as well so they don't get overly soggy!