Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Kettlebell Influence.

An edible Kettlebell. Courtesy: My wife.

When I first got interested in Kettlebells (thanks largely to YouTube videos), I had no idea how much involved I would actually get into these type of workouts.

My blog post on Kettlebells got the attention of Suleiman - a certified Kettlebell expert, who is currently settled in Kuwait. Suleiman wrote to me and offered to show me the correct way to do Kettlebell workouts. I jumped at the opportunity of getting expert advice - even though the suggested time was 6 AM.

For the past 1 month, I have religiously woken up at 5:30 in the morning every Saturday - and headed off to our workout place. Under the expert guidance of Suleiman, I have learned the proper technique of executing a Swing, a Turkish Get-up, and a Clean. It was an eye-opening experience to me, because I was made to realize how little I knew of  handling Kettlebells. YouTube videos may be fine to demonstrate basic exercises, but when it comes to complex (and potentially dangerous) exercises such as Kettlebells, it is always a good idea to learn the basic form under expert guidance.

Kettlebell workouts now form a major component of my weekly exercises - while my running has reduced greatly due to my obsession with Kettlebells. I still try to put in a few miles on the treadmill at least once or twice a week, but it is no where near what I used to do few months back.

The influence of Kettlebells in my life can be best described by what happened to me yesterday (which also happened to be my 46th birthday):
   - I got up at 5:00 AM and headed off to our workout place.
   - 90 minutes of solid Kettlebell workout.
   - Returned home to find a birthday cake prepared by my wife and daugher, shaped like a Kettlebell.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Protein Bars on the Cheap.

Home-made protein bars.
I've been looking at protein bars as a snack for in-between meals, but the price is simply outrageous. A single bar retails for anything between KD 1.500 to KD 2.000, depending on the brand.

Last week, I received an email from Lee Haywards, one of the body-builders that I subscribe to on YouTube. The email was a link to his video showing how to make cheap protein bars at home. The video and the recipe is here.

I've previously seen home made protein bars from another one of my favorite body-builder Scooby. However, his bars looked like dog poo, and he even proudly calls them Scooby Poo Bars. You can see the recipe for that here. I was not really that keen on eating bars that resembled poo, so never gave that a second thought.

Lee's recipe looked reasonably edible, so I decided to give it a shot. I picked up all the required ingredients, which are:

  • 8 scoops Whey Protein powder
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup skimmed milk
  • 3 table spoons honey
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • Crushed peanuts (I purchased normal peanuts and crushed them myself)

These are the actual ingredients that I picked up.

Ingredients for Protein Bars
My wife helped me to mix the stuff up and roll them into nice rectangles. Each bar packs a solid 27 grams of protein, and taste good too.

What is interesting, of course, is the cost break-down. Each bar costs approximately 300 fils (1 dollar), which is 5 times cheaper than the cost if purchased in the shop. Lee claims that his bar comes to 49 cents - which makes sense, since protein powder costs half as much in U.S, compared to the price here in Kuwait.

The nutritional values will be the same - and in fact, the home-made bars have an added benefit of not having any additives or preservatives. Now I can comfortably keep my protein intake at the required level thanks to these cheap protein bars.