Experiments + Challenges

July 3, 2009

Mornin’ all! I woke up today not feeling that hungry, so I decided it was a smoothie kinda day. But I was also feeling a little adventurous after last night’s culinary experiments so I decided to do another –

IMG_8623 (1024x768)

The secret ingredient: carrot! I pureed (as best I could) a carrot in my food processor and then moved that into the blender to make the smoothie (for some reason the FP wasn’t blending as well as the blender does..lol)

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I made a mess of both appliances but it was fun :)

The second secret ingredient was this packet from Vega. If you look behind my thumb in very small print it says “Vanilla Chai” – that was the secret!! I’ve had this packet for a while and since I’m not a huge fan of powders, I hadn’t remembered to use it up. But when finally realized it was flavored, I thought it would go well with the carrot. I used about 60% of the packet and saved more for later (All the info on the packet + brand can be found here.)

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And this was one of the most delicious smoothies I’ve ever made!! Mostly because of the intense vanilla chai flavor and extra sweetening from stevia in the packet

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  • 1 carrot, pureed
  • 1 small banana
  • ~1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1/2 packet vanilla chai
  • 1/4 cup rolled old fashioned oats, dry
  • Handful ice

IMG_8622 (1024x768)

10 Minute C+K Challenge

In other excitement, Caitlin and I are teaming up to bring you a new challenge. As you may know, I hate weight lifting. I have to force myself to do it about 3x a week – just simple free weights of the major upper body and perhaps some lunges thrown in – but 10 minutes is about all I can handle. I know strength training is super important though, so I am always looking for new ways to get it in that are fun (yoga, for instance :) ) I’ve noticed that Caitlin will just drop and do 10 minutes when she gets up – no need to make a whole workout out of it. So when I sent her an email about how I thought that was cool, she challenged me to join in. We put our heads together and came up with the following 30-day challenge –

And I promise you this is KERF tested behind the scenes and it is for even the laziest lifters!


  • Do this routine ANYTIME when you have 10 minutes to spare, ideally every other day
  • Move quickly between the exercises so you don’t have time to get bored
  • The exercises are grouped into 3 sets of 2 for optimal memorization and swift movement – don’t stop!
  • If you have knee troubles, follow Caitlin’s modifications. Knee Strength Moves can be found on Healthy Tipping Point if you kneed them, and here is a link to Caitlin’s instructional video: Caitlin’s Knee Moves (Plus an Appearance by Maggie and James)

Here We Go!

Circuit One

  • Push-ups (as many as you can do)
  • Squats (about 20) OR Knee Strength Move #1
  • push up (1024x687) IMG_8548 (1024x768)

Circuit Two

  • Bicycle Crunches (about 26!)
  • Reverse Crunches (about 26!)
  • Lunges with optional bicep curl (about 20) OR Knee Strength Move #2
  • (We forgot to photograph the lunges!) (Reverse crunch: Lie on the floor and place hands on the floor or behind the head.  Bring legs up so they are 90 degrees from the floor.  Make a small contraction with your abs to lift your feet straight up to the ceiling and lower.  This movement is very small!)

IMG_8565 (1024x768) reverse crunch (1024x778)

Circuit Three

  • Chair Tricep Dips (about 15)
  • Wall Squat (hold as long as you can – about 60 seconds)
  • IMG_8546 (1024x768) wall squat (725x1024)


  • Hold a plank as long as you can
  • IMG_8561 (1024x768)

I’m going to do these RIGHT NOW!!


(That would be Larbs’ Matt in Boston :) )

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shannon (The Daily Balance) July 3, 2009 at 9:17 am

I love love LOVE Chai, so that smoothie looks amazing! Love the challenge! Perfect for when you don’t have a lot of time (and who doesn’t have 10 minutes?!)

Have a great day! 😉


2 lara July 3, 2009 at 9:20 am

That powder sounds yummy.

As for the strength training you are missing a lot of major muscle groups. Also, bodyweight moves are great for beginners but you really need to keep challenging the body with weights, getting heavier and heavier over time. I am a broken record with this one but I highly recommend the book New Rules of Lifting for Women as an excellent, highly credible info source on weight lifting as well as a fantastic 6 month program.


3 sue July 3, 2009 at 9:27 am

wow that smoothie sounds great! i love chai! i’ve tried just grating a carrot before throwing it into my blender, and it’s worked fine.


4 ellie July 3, 2009 at 9:31 am

that sounds like an amazing smoothie!


5 Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope July 3, 2009 at 9:33 am

Wow, now that’s a creative smoothie!!! LOVE IT!

Thanks for sharing that workout with us. Sounds like a GREAT idea! :)


6 MarathonVal July 3, 2009 at 9:43 am

I love the workout – I know I (and a lot of other readers, I’m sure) will be out of town this weekend and away from the comfort of our gym, so this will be a great subtitute.

When I post later I’ll be sure to put a link to your page since I love this idea! :)


7 Allyson July 3, 2009 at 9:50 am

I always have trouble remembering my circuits when I decide to work out. I start off strong and then totally brainfreeze. Squat? Plank? Bicycle? Gah!

I don’t know if that is TOO much concentration or a serious lack of it… but this will help!


8 Jenn (www. j3nn.net ) July 3, 2009 at 9:50 am

That workout looks fun!



9 K July 3, 2009 at 9:52 am

Great challenge!! That smoothie sounds really good – vanilla chai? Nice!

Happy Birthday to Larb’s Matt :)


10 Chocolate Covered Katie July 3, 2009 at 9:54 am

I love oats in smoothies! It really ups the chew/creamy factor :)


11 Bec July 3, 2009 at 9:56 am

I am so excited about this strength workout!


12 Mel @ She Runs Brooklyn July 3, 2009 at 10:00 am

I love the routine– thanks for putting this together!

Your smoothie sounds ROCKIN. I love chai tea, but it is usually so full of sugar if you order it at a coffee or tea shop so I rarely indulge.

Perhaps you could try brewing chai tea (just regular spiced chai teabags) at night, and then using the iced tea in your smoothie in the morning? It would have a little caffeine in it too! ….hmm maybe I should try this.. haha


13 Priyanka July 3, 2009 at 10:04 am

That smoothie rocks! Thanks for posting that strength routine challenge, I am definitely making it a part of my daily schedule! Who doesn’t have 10 minutes!?

Happy birthday to Larb’s Matt!


14 Katharina July 3, 2009 at 10:09 am

I’ve been using carrots so much lately! Thanks to all my dad’s juicing I’m left with mass amounts of pulp! I think I’m going to turn orange.

The other day I made a bowl of oatmeal with carrots, and it was soooo yummy!


15 Fancy July 3, 2009 at 10:22 am

Lol that you wrote “kneed” when discussing Caitlin’s modifications….you must have food on your mind! Have a great day, Kath :)


16 Carolyn July 3, 2009 at 10:27 am

i’m a strength hater too! sometimes in the middle of a workout at the gym, i just stop and leave! love these circuits, will definitely give them a try! probably while my frozen banana is in the blender.


17 Jill Maysmith July 3, 2009 at 10:27 am

After going to my first basic training class at the gym last night, I woke up to read this great post. We did a lot of those routines there. Very inspirational.
Big shout out to the Canadian Brendan Brazier that is behind the Vega products. Woohoo!


18 lara July 3, 2009 at 10:30 am

Forgot to add that is a good routine for when you are away from the gym! No excuse not t workout :)


19 Casey @ Double Scooped July 3, 2009 at 10:45 am

I’m in!! I’ve been looking for an awesome morning routine!!


20 Mara @ What's for Dinner? July 3, 2009 at 10:59 am

Hmm… is the orange monster the next big thing?! :)


21 Susan July 3, 2009 at 11:16 am

I just commented on Caitlin’s blog that I’m totally in!! Now that it’s summertime, I’m outside doing a lot of cardio stuff and not inside in the weight room like I was over the winter. So I’m not only losing my muscle mass – but my strength!! This is a perfect routine to do quickly in the a.m. or before a bike ride :)

Carrots + vanilla chai = dreamy!!! I gotta try a similar combo!


22 Mrs. Myers (Eat Move Write) July 3, 2009 at 11:16 am

The chai sounds really good. I LOVE chai. Does it have caffeine though?


23 leslie July 3, 2009 at 11:20 am

i’m loving this idea. it’s so wonderful how everyone in the blog world motivates each other!

carrot in a smoothie? why have i never thought of this!? i think i’ll try it out with some coconut added in.


24 rebecca July 3, 2009 at 11:28 am

As a yoga teacher I just HAVE to comment or I couldn’t sleep at night (lol)…make sure when you are doing squats to point your toes forward, not out, and let the feet be hip distance apart…your hips are not as big as you think!

Possibly people know of a different kind, but I’m just always concerned about students knees in those kind of moves!



25 JessicaR July 3, 2009 at 11:33 am

I would love to see a KERF experiment with heavy weights, low reps sometime! :) I have lifted like that the past several years and it completely changed my body. I know some women are afraid of lifting heavy because they are afraid of “bulking up,” but women just don’t have enough testosterone in their bodies to do that. Heavy weights have made me lean and tight, not at all bulky!


26 melissa (fitnessnyc) July 3, 2009 at 11:39 am

a ten minute challenge is just what I need for my busy schedule today! thanks kath


27 Deva July 3, 2009 at 11:39 am

It took me a few months of lifting to really like it, but I’ve been doing it in conjunction with steady state and interval cardio work for over a year now and have really seen changes in my body that I hadn’t seen after years of running/elliptical/biking.I love the circuits you have and will be incorporating them into my days :)


28 lara July 3, 2009 at 11:45 am

@JessicaR AMEN!! My experience exactly.

Heavy lifting helps not only build muscle mass (which we lose as we age) but also helps improve bone density (which we also lose!)


29 Rachel (Rachel's Work Bites) July 3, 2009 at 11:49 am

I am totally opposite from you! I agree with Lara’s post above to try NRLW for your strength training. I hate doing cardio but have found since my stamina is better I can do cardio a bit longer and have actually come to enjoy running. One thing I reeeeaaallly hate doing is ab exercises ugh! You look very solid and muscular, congrats on such a nice physique without having to do all the lifting!


30 polly July 3, 2009 at 12:09 pm

I say you GO Kath! I say anytype of bone building strength movement is AWESOME. Doesn’t matter if it’s a

squat/chair pose
push-up/plank to down dog
lunge/crescent lunge
tricep dip/wheel pose

Girl… it’s allll GOOD. Love ya bunches, like bananas!!! You are so cute doing that tricep dip… nice legs, K. XOXO


31 Hangry Pants July 3, 2009 at 12:23 pm

I was just writing about how I am strength lazy and am definitely joining!!!!


32 Tay July 3, 2009 at 12:31 pm

yay how exciting!!! I’m so up for this challenge!


33 Jessica July 3, 2009 at 12:31 pm

I’m totally doing this challenge – thanks!!


34 Kath July 3, 2009 at 12:54 pm

I wrote that on purpose for all the knees!

Mrs. Meyers,
I’m not sure if this one did – it was chai flavor.

rebecca ,
Thanks for the tip. I usually do squats properly, but holding them like that for the photograph was a bit tough so I widened my stance.



35 Simone July 3, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Thank you for sharing this workout. I absolutely love it and can’t wait to add it to my routine!



36 kati ste July 3, 2009 at 2:32 pm

LOVE the 10 minute challenge- i’m so in. PS have you seen the latest “South Charlotte Weekly” newspaper? There is an article about GH and a picture of your hubby on page 12!


37 Diana July 3, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Oh I’m going to try all of these exercises! Thanks! Diana


38 Alyce July 3, 2009 at 3:46 pm

I’m sure you’ve heard of this one before, but The New Rules of Lifting for Women by Lou Schuler is a great strength training program! I highly highly recommend it. The workouts aren’t too long (between 30 minutes at the beginning and 40 minutes to an hour in the later stages) and it really hits everything. I didn’t like weights that much before NROLFW, but now I love them.

Also that smoothie looks really yummy!


39 Stacey July 3, 2009 at 4:19 pm

I love doing strength training! I have a hard time making myself doing other cardio than biking or running…like I hate getting on the elliptical and stairs…UGH…

Those are great moves to do, good thinking putting the pics with them :)


40 [email protected] July 3, 2009 at 6:50 pm

I love throwing grated carrot in my smoothies. Adds such a nice sweetness!
And I love your 10 minute workout.


41 Susan July 3, 2009 at 10:27 pm

I love circuit training and I do it 3x a week ! It is so much more fun and interesting than just lifting ! I believe that doing circuits and HIIT has completely changed my body ! What a great challenge idea ! More people should try it. It is time efficient and effective, can’t get better than that !


42 Katie July 3, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Too fun! I love this post!!


43 Alison July 4, 2009 at 7:56 am

I love the circuit training . But it did take me more like 20 minutes to do. Lots of fun tho.


44 Beth @ CrossBorderCravings July 4, 2009 at 10:26 am

Oh goodness, just gave that challenge a try – tougher than it looks! It was a great work-out, so thanks for sharing ladies! Definitely going to try to do that as much as possible!


45 Andrea July 4, 2009 at 10:39 am

I love that you have the challenge! I hate weights too and just prefer to run but most of the time it’s just that I’m not sure what to do!


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