Thursday, August 7, 2014

Back to the Gym and Some Savory Soup

When I get overstressed, things tend to fall to the wayside. Over the past year or so, my gym time has definitely suffered. On the contrary, my "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood' skills have grown remarkably strong as of late.

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 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 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!


  1. I had to delete that game! I got way too sucked in.

    And I'm gong to use you as my inspiration and start working out. I airways used to be so active and have been incredibly lazy since i got back to the mainland. I always feel so tired, so i will think of you lifting and being a bamf when I'm not in the mood to work out.

    Also, I'm cooking for one all week, so i may make this soup and eat nothing else for 5 days. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I feel you with the tired; I was absolutely dragging today. I wanted to go today and I SHOULD have gone today but I got home from orientation and took a nap, so I'm certainly not perfect. I swear I'll go tomorrow, though.

      I usually have a bunch of pre-made stuff for when I'm lazy, so I have soup and also I got a pound of ground turkey for less than $2 so i split that up into 4 turkey burgers and froze them. If I'm feeling adventurous I bust out the breakfast sandwich maker and do ham/egg/cheese because obviously I'm Gordon Ramsay. My meals are sad and I have no place to give out advice for them, to be honest.