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The Lifehack Editors’ Fitness Challenge: Week 1

The Lifehack Editors’ Fitness Challenge: Week 1


    Well, we’ve finshed up the first week of the Lifehack Editors’ Fitness Challenge and there is one thing that both CM and I have in common as of right now: We are both very sore people.

    Let’s get into our own experiences with this challenge so far, shall we?

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    Mike’s Take

    I’m certainly glad we took on the Rookie level of the NerdFitness Rebel Fitness Guide because for me that was a challenge from the get-go. I haven’t done any real exercise in many months (almost a year) and the 2 routines that are part of the guide are tough. One of the things I’ve been concerned about is proper form, as I don’t want to injure myself and/or not get the true benefits of each exercise.

    I’m using resistance bands for my workouts, as I’ll be traveling several times during the course of this challenge. So I’ve had to watch videos on how to adapt certain exercises to be performed with resitstance bands rather than free weights. As a result, my workouts are taking longer to do than I’d initially thought – but once I’m in the groove I am pushing through. And that’s a good thing.

    The running hasn’t been as challenging, as I’ve only been away from that for a few months. Still, the first half of each Run 5K app routine seems way longer than it should. Luckily i’ve got my own custom iTunes playlist to keep me company, along with a solid set of earbuds that manage to stay in my ears throughout (Note: If you’re in the market for some new earbuds, Lifehack Deals is currently offering BodyGuardz Moxy Earbuds for 50% off). Next week the stakes get a little higher as the time spent running during the routine will increase. I expect that’s when I’ll start to really feel the burn.

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    Speaking of feeling, did I mention that I’m very sore?

    I’ve not altered my diet too much, but am definitely noticing that I really can’t eat as much pasta as I have. Same goes with breads in general. Maybe it’s time I start to look at going Paleo…

    As for my weight, it has actually gone up by 1.2 lbs since I started. Go figure.

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    So, where am I at after the first week? My starting weight and measurements are in parentheses below, preceded by my current ones in this shortened week of the Lifehack Editors’ Fitness Challenge

    Tale of the Tape: Mike Vardy

    • Weight: 178.6 lbs (177.4)
    • Waist: 36 inches (35.75)
    • Hips: 41.75 inches (41.75)
    • Biceps (flexed): 12.5 inches (12.5)
    • Legs (mid-thigh): 18.5 inches (21)
    • Total inches: 108.75 inches (111)

    CM’s Take

    I have to admit; I sorted of cheated a little on this fitness challenge as I started “working out the kinks” for the past couple of weeks. Because of that a lot of my soreness was worked out initially. To compesate for that I ended up doing higher amounts of reps this week in the Rookie level of NerdFitness. That made it challenging and kept me pretty sore. I realized after today’s NerdFitness workout that I need to add some weight to my squats and step ups at the beginning of next week. I will also add 5 pounds to all of my shoulder presses and rows.

    As for the running portion of our challenge, I feel like it’s the perfect balance of walking and running. The first half or so of the workout is pretty easy, but once I get above 20 minutes, I really start to feel the burn in my legs and the workout becomes hard.

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    My diet has been somewhat paleo for almost a year now. I haven’t touched any bread since Fall 2011. The biggest change in my diet this week was to cut out processed sugars completely as well as make sure to drink around 8 to 10 cups of water a day. I haven’t necessarily had too much trouble with process sugars since I’ve gone paleo, but I made sure to cut them all out, at least initially to really cut the fat.

    I have to say I am pretty happy with my first 5 days of results; I’ve lost weight and lost inches where it counts and am highly motivated to continue with the challenge. Also, as an indirect result of working out, I’ve found that my energy levels during the day are much more balanced.

    Tale of the Tape: CM Smith

    • Weight: 203.4 lbs (208)
    • Waist: 42 inches (43.5)
    • Hips: 43 inches (43)
    • Biceps (flexed): 14.25 inches (14)
    • Legs (mid-thigh): 23.5 inches (23.25)
    • Total inches: 122. inches (124)

    (Photo credit: Flexing via Shutterstock)

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    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

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    Last Updated on June 24, 2019

    15 Easy-to-Make Crockpot Freezer Meals for Busy Nights

    15 Easy-to-Make Crockpot Freezer Meals for Busy Nights

    You work all day, and you come home exhausted and hungry. Naturally, the last thing you want to do is to spend hours in the kitchen cooking dinner. If you love cooking, but your busy schedule doesn’t allow you to cook every night, you can simplify your life by making crockpot freezer meals. These meals will allow you to still eat homemade, healthy, filling dinners without the countless hours and enormous effort spent in the kitchen. You can store the simple ingredients in freezer bags and put them in the crockpot when it is time for dinner, or you can cook over the weekend and stock your freezer with delicious ready meals that will make your life easier. Here are 15 easy-to-make recipes to make delicious dinners for busy nights!

    1. Cheesy Tortellini With Ground Beef

    Cheesy tortellini with ground beef

      This is a perfect crockpot freezer meal that even your kids will love. The best thing of all is that it’s incredibly easy to prepare. All you have to do is crumble some ground beef and combine all the recipe’s ingredients in your crockpot. The other ingredients needed for this super delicious meal include tomatoes, herbs, and onions. Tortellini is one of the most commonly ordered meals when eating out, but this way you will get to eat a homemade, healthier version of the popular dish. Find the recipe here.

      2. Cranberry Pork Roast

      Cranberry pork roast

        Cranberry pork roast is a gluten-free meal that everyone can make, regardless of their culinary skills. The dish requires only these few ingredients: onion, cranberry sauce, bone-in pork shoulder, and honey. To prepare this mouthwatering dish, simply combine all the ingredients together in the crockpot and let them cook. If you don’t like pork or if you prefer not to eat it, you can easily use beef as a substitute without impacting the flavor. Click here to see the recipe.

        3. Greens and Beans

        Greens and beans

          Greens and beans are the ideal dishes if you want a dish that is both delicious and nutrient-dense. Combine vegetable broth with beans, garlic, kale, escalore, and Parmesan, and let cook. The result will be a dish with a soup-like consistency that will fill you up and provide you with a lot of vitamins and minerals.

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          As a bonus, if you or someone else in your family suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or some other common types of arthritis, greens and beans can reduce the inflammation. That’s because kale and other veggies rich in Vitamin K are anti-inflammatory and are known for relieving arthritis. Click here and start cooking!

          4. Chicken Curry

          Chicken curry

            That is yet another gluten-free recipe that you’ll love to make. Chicken curry requires basic ingredients such as tomato paste, coconut milk, honey, onions, and garlic, in addition to chicken and curry of course.The result is a sweet and spicy dish where different flavors are perfectly balanced. Find the recipe here.

            5. Honey Sesame Chicken

            Honey sesame chicken

              Honey sesame chicken is a simple and effortless dish that delivers an amazing taste. To make this wonderful recipe, you have to combine all the ingredients except for the sesame seeds and green onions and let them cook. Use the sesame seeds and green onions for garnish when serving. Click here for the full recipe.

              6. Mushroom Spinach Stroganoff

              Mushroom spinach stroganoff

                In this warm weather, many people opt to eat lighter food that is easy on the stomach. Mushroom spinach stroganoff fits the bill being a vegetable version of a famous comfort food that you and your family will love. The dish requires simple ingredients such as sour cream, onion, garlic, ketchup, vegetables, and mushrooms. This dish is very simple to make, and thanks to your crockpot, you won’t have much work to do. Find the recipe here.

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                7. Stuffed Peppers

                Stuffed peppers

                  If you’re looking for a healthy, simple, and delicious recipe, you’ll love this one! These crockpot stuffed peppers are easy to make, and they require only a few ingredients such as ground turkey or beef, onion, garlic, bell peppers, and pasta sauce. This meal will remind you of grandma’s kitchen. You can find the recipe here.

                  8. Cilantro and Lime Chicken

                  Cilantro and lime chicken

                    Summer is the perfect season to experiment with more exotic flavors, and this meal can help you do just that. To make cilantro and lime chicken, you will need to combine some simple ingredients such as lime, jalapeno peppers, fresh cilantro, and salsa. The result is chicken that is super tender and that you’ll want to make over and over again, so get the recipe here.

                    9. Beef Fajitas

                    Beef fajitas

                      This is an excellent meal for busy weeknights. The best thing about this recipe is that the required ingredients are probably already there in your kitchen. The recipe is also quite simple — combine all the items in a crockpot, cover, and let cook.

                      The result will be beef and peppers that melt in your mouth. You can easily pair this beef fajita with rice and tortillas and get a meal that the entire family will love. You can find the recipe for this delicious beef fajita here.

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                      10. Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

                      Asian chicken lettuce wraps

                        Asian chicken lettuce wraps are sweet, slightly salty and very easy to make. All you need to do is add the chicken, red bell pepper, carrots, soy sauce, honey, garlic and the other ingredients to your crockpot and let them cook. You can also replace the chicken with beef or turkey if you like. The presence of different flavors gives this meal a summer flavor you are sure to love. Learn how to make this meal here.

                        11. Hawaiian Chicken

                        Hawaiian chicken

                          This dish enjoys phenomenal exotic tones due to pineapple and lemon flavors. To make this yummy crockpot freezer meal, you need skinless chicken breasts, peppers, ginger and corn starch, in addition to the iconic pineapple and lemon. Learn how to make this perfect summer dinner here.

                          12. Beef and Barley Stew

                          Beef and barley stewd

                            Beef and barley stew is as healthy as it is delicious. Not to mention it’s incredibly easy to make. Besides the beef and barley, you’ll also need carrots, peppers, herbs and beef broth. The result will be a mouthwatering stew that you can serve alone or over white rice. Get the recipe here.

                            13. Meatball Soup

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                            Meatball soup

                              This soup is very delicious, easy to make and quite versatile. You will be able to swap ingredients and experiment to find your perfect combination. To make this meatball soup, you will need to combine meatballs with pasta sauce, chicken broth, carrots, beans, zucchini, and onion. You can view the recipe here.

                              14. Turkey Black Bean Chili

                              Turkey black bean chili

                                Everybody loves chili and for good reason — it’s very delicious, and it’s a perfect combination of different flavors that balance each other out. To make this chili, you’ll need ground turkey, tomato sauce, black beans, paprika, frozen corns, and a few other ingredients. You can get the full recipe here and have this delicious dish ready when you come back from work on those busy nights.

                                15. Ham and Pinto Bean Soup

                                Ham and pinto bean soup

                                  What makes soups special is the fact they’re tasty, healthy and filling at the same time. This soup is no exception. The best quality of this ham and pinto bean soup, however, is its simplicity; it requires only five ingredients: ham, beans, ketchup, salt, and water. Learn how to make this soup here.

                                  Conclusion

                                  With a demanding work week and a busy schedule, it’s normal to have a low energy level by the time you get home. If you don’t feel like standing in the kitchen and cooking dinner due to this, you don’t have to resort to junk food. These freezer crockpot meals offer you the perfect solution for healthy meals that require minimal preparation. You can either combine each recipe’s ingredients in a freezer bag to be thawed and cooked in a few minutes, or you can cook your meal and freeze it to be used later, it’s up to you.

                                  This article showed you 15 easy and simple recipes that you can make using your crockpot. All of these recipes contain anti-inflammatory foods whether it is in the form of vegetable, herbs or spices to improve your overall health and wellbeing.

                                  Featured photo credit: Google via bettycrocker.com

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