Batch Cooking Week 3!

Posting it a little late but hey, here you go!  Week 3 Batch Cooking happy fun fun go!


YouTube Link.

OK, Joel is getting better at this video thing, and is working on making the clips shorter. We realize you probably don’t want to watch a 20 minute video of us being dorky in the kitchen. So week 4 video will show off the food more and less of us just talking! This week 3 video on the other hand isn’t the best. We were grumpy by the end of it and we felt like we had cooked forever!


Overall, we were pretty happy with the food this week but might not make everything again.  Details below.

Indian Dishes (Chicken Tikka Masala and Peas and Cheese):

Joel: From my perspective the Indian was fantastic but maybe not worth the effort to make all the sauces from scratch. It is easy and just about as healthy to me to go buy a jar of pre made sauce.  It was fun to learn how to make them though.

Leah: I disagree.  We have had some pretty terrible jarred indian sauces and this was one of the best non-restaurant versions I’ve had of either dish (to get that good we need practice :D).  I do admit though – this took SO much longer than any other dish.  Also, I probably don’t want Indian food this frequently, so if we do this again, I would just make the chicken, and throw veggies in like we did (and maybe some paneer), and call it a day.

For the record: we used these recipes pretty closely minus using half and half instead of heavy cream to lighten it up a bit, and adding cauliflower and green beans to the chicken dish.  Would do both again.


Tuna Sandwiches and Kale and Potato Chips (no recipe for the tuna, check the video for the awesome dueling tuna segment…):

Joel: The tuna worked well, but I ended up with some left over, I didn’t need 2 cans of my own, I think I would have done great with just 1 can and 2 sandwiches.  Also, we ran out of bread mid week, so we went out one day we were supposed to have tuna.

Leah: While I enjoyed having it done for me, I really don’t mind and have plenty of time over lunch to put together a tuna sandwich.  It got a little skunky by Friday but was edible.  The kale and potato chips were AMAZING the day of and then worthless after being stored in a bag.  I would totally do both again, but only for day-of consumption (but let me tell you people – if you want to consume a whole head of kale in one sitting, do this…trust me…)  It was super easy, but took a lot of stove attention for about 10 mins per batch.

Beef Stew (made it sans Spicy this week and with extra beef to extend from 4 to 6 servings):

Joel: The Beef stew was amazing as usual, I can eat that every week.

Leah: I dunno about every week, but it’s always a good meal!  Tip: do NOT skip the steps preparing the beef.  It comes out so much better seared with just a dusting of flour.  I’m all for the easy route but don’t do it here!!!


Beef and Bean Burritos Verde:

Joel: The burritos were good that we made them again for week 4.

Leah:  I wholeheartedly concur.  I looked forward to burrito days all week and I was sad we only had two each.  I could eat these every week.

That’s it!  Next week, we’re doing a little less because DANG that was a long day in the kitchen!  Whew!

Question of the day: What is your favorite “easy” meal that we could batch cook and try out?  Let us know!



Training Week 2 : January 14 – 20

Rinse & Repeat, then add a little extra!

YouTube Link

Training for the week:



  • Weights 30 – 50 minutes
  1. leg extensions (weighted squat, weighted step up, or weighted leg press)
  2. Standing bent arm lat pull down (at the big corner machine at the gym)
  3. Hip extension exercise you didn’t pick in #1
  4. Chest press or pushups
  5. Seated row
  6. Personal weakness (hamstring curl, knee raise – quads- or calf raise)
  7. Slanted abs with a twist holding a weight
  • Swim 30 – 40 minutes


  • Morning Trainer Ride (Zone 1) 30 minutes
  • Lunch run (Zone 1) 3 miles (Leah substituted for the elliptical)


  • Repeat Monday


  • Repeat Tuesday


  • Day off


  • Brick
  1. 30 min HR zone run test (10 min warmup, 30 mins hard, cooldown)
  2. Recovery Swim…. 20-30 minutes
  3. Easy trainer ride – 45 mins


  • Day off
  • Batch Cooking day

Joel notes:


Well week 2 went well for me, 2 solid lunch runs, 2 great morning bike rides, and the weights started to feel less like “I hate this so much” and more like “I really can see how this will make me stronger.”  Tuesday morning ride was our 30 minute threshold test on the bike so that was good to get new zones for the bike, then Saturday we went to the track, well 2 tracks 3 times to get our run threshold test in. That was fun! I thankfully realized I left my running gloves on top of the car when we left track 1 and drove back to pick them up off the ground a few blocks back and then Leah forgot her HR monitor and we had to go back and get it but we got it done. Later on Saturday we went to the pool up at sun city and did our laps there. I swear the pool was a good bit longer than the one at the gym. I will measure the gym one again this weekend to check.

While on the bike this week we watched the new “A-Team” movie and it ended up being perfect for 2 30 minute bike rides and a 45 minute bike ride. The movie itself was a good summer action movie with lots of explosions, and impossible stunts. Fun to watch and it was good enough that I could pedal fast and not think about it.

In the pool for music this week I listened to Moby Hotel, the second cd in the set, that is just the ambient versions of the songs. Not the “best” to listen to but it worked. I think I need ambient with a beat more than just ambient in the pool. Next week I am trying some music with lyrics.

The run test showed that I had my zones all too low. I was able to raise my zone 1 hr max by 5bpm, and my overall threshold up to 171. I ran almost 4 miles in the total 45 minute test and was good with that since it included warm up.

I will copy in all my stats later in the week. It seems that site is not providing good links now.

Leah notes:


It was the best of weeks, it was the worst of weeks.

On my nice list are weights.  While I still can’t bring myself to add that third day, I’m making some great progress lifting heavy twice per week with everything else.  I have raised the weight on most of the exercises and stuck with 20 reps.  My weights are thus: squats 105lbs, pulldowns 40 lbs, leg press 180 lbs, chest press 17.5 lb dumbells, rows 60 lbs, calf raises 70 lbs/hamstring machine 50 lbs, and I’ll be working on the reps on the situps and perhaps progressing to the incline instead of flat before increasing weight.

Also on my nice list are the trainer rides.  I’m totally enjoying speeding through an action movie with lots of explosions.  My threshold test netted me bike lactate threshold of 165, and I was able to maintain an average 28.9 mph pace with effort, but never close to dying (14.45 miles in 30 mins).  That means I can jam up to about 145 on zone 1/2 rides, which is actually fairly challenging for me to max.  I’m sure once I start riding outside this could go back to my naughty list but I’m looking forward to taking my bike to the Veloway (closed 3 mile circuit with minor hills) and seeing how fast I can fly for a few miles.

On my “undecided” list is swimming.  I have had some great moments where parts of the stroke just clicks, some efficient fish moments.  However, some parts of my body don’t want to get with the program and I am still struggling with some parts of my stroke.  I know I can go faster.  Faster isn’t going to get me more efficient.  So I’ll continue to do my 1050-1200m of waking up each part of my stroke 10 laps at a time with drills, and not worry that I feel like I’m going to get lapped by everyone three waves behind me at that pace.  I did improve from topping out at 1050 to 1200m in 30 mins, so there is that.

On my naughty list is my heel.  It prevented me from doing 2 out of 3 runs this week (I spent the 30 mins on Tuesday and Thursday on the elliptical with my HR solidly in zone 2).  It is what it is, and I want too deal with it NOW.  I can justify missing zone 1 short runs, I want it to be healed by the time that’s an hour of speedwork or a long run that I’m missing or slogging through in pain.

Back to the undecided list: I did the 30 min track test on Saturday (10 mins warmup, 30 mins at the top pace you could maintain for 30 mins, cooldown – take average HR for the last 20 mins of the hard pace and that’s your lactate threshold HR).  That’s also on my undecided list.  It was simply AWESOME to see my body go to 175 HR instinctively, anything below that and I could speed up, anything above that, it was the pain zone and I had to slow down quickly to maintain.  The bad news is that 175 BPM was at just under 10 min/mile pace.  That should not be the case.  But, it’s a starting point.  Also, the track did not abuse my heel so YAY!

Also on the undecided list is nutrition.  Feeling fully fueled for workouts? Check.  Lots of high quality food?  Yep.  I did better on this than I may have ever done before.  My diet quality score was 17 average out of 32 (and last week it was 11).   Body fat dropped 4%?  Affirmative.  Measurements going down or staying the same? Indeed.  However, the two things I can’t deny: my weight went up this week, and I ate more calories (an average of 125 more per day).  I’m going to stay the course with this – there is so much going right that I can’t deny this plan is doing SOMETHING GOOD – it’s just disheartening to see a gain two weeks into a new program that you are rocking.

Next week, it’s more of the same.  I’ll do my 1000m swim test for time Saturday, I’ll be back to lunch runs if my heel holds up, I’ll keep rocking the trainer, upping the weight and the reps this week on strength sessions, and continue to eat as much good quality food as possible while eating as little low quality food as possible.  Two more weeks of this schedule and then it’s onto Base #1 phase, which could mostly be subtitled with “if some zone 1/2 work is good now, a LOT of zone 1/2 work is great!”