Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Caveman Pops and Workouts

Thank GOODNESS for library memberships. If I had to pay for every book I read I would never be able to earn enough money to cover that bill.

I am like a dog with a bone sometimes.   When I like something, I cannot let go.  When a particular subject interests me, I cannot read ENOUGH about it. I have to search out and read every book that has EVER been published about my area of interest.

Right now this broad subject includes healthy eats and effective exercise… for me that translates into a primal diet and muscle-building, fat-burning workouts.

Call it what you like… Paleo, Primal, Evolution, Caveman, Perfect Health, Protein Power…  they are all pretty much the same.  The more I read about healthy immune systems, and insulin resistance/ metabolic syndrome and their health consequences, the more convinced I am that I am on the right path.  For me.  

And I am getting more and more interested in strength training and loving it more and more… and I have also been reading about high intensity short bursts of cardio.  I have been reading about sprinting and how it may enhance my strength training…. and the fact that it is a form of running makes it that much more appealing.

The book of the day is called The  Protein Power Plan, by doctors Michael R. Eades, and Mary Dan Eades.  It was published in 2000.  Now I know that so much of the nutrition information that is a few years old even, is no longer valid, but this book backs up what I have already read in other, newer books about insulin resistance and overcoming it. 

And it has a couple of things in it that I can not help but sharing with you today.

The first is an idea for a burst of antioxidants that the authors call Paleo Punch and Pops.  They suggest you can either drink it like a slushy, or put it into freezer pop molds… hey that sounds good!  Very timely with Summer upon us. 

The freezer molds I used hold a total of 3 cups so you will need to change the amounts to suit your own molds.  Here is how I made them:

Paleo  Pops
  • 2 cups frozen berry mixture (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries)
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • bit of Stevia (this is optional of course)
  1. Place water and berries into a heavy-duty blender and process until smooth and thick.
  2. Pour into freezer pop molds and freeze overnight. 

June 11 Paleo Pops 001

June 11 Paleo Pops 002

June 11 Paleo Pops 003

And the workout?  Well this just sounded so fun that I had to go outside and give it a try.  It was even more fun doing it, and a great workout too - although I admit I did not do the last exercise... I just don't have an appropriate 'rock'...    Definitely worked my whole body over.

It is 5 simple exercises… and the authors describe it by way of a game.  All you need is a pair of supportive shoes, some comfy clothing, a timer or a watch with a second hand and your IMAGINATION.   I know you do have all of those things.

1. Sprint from the Lion

You can do this on foot, on a bike, rowing, or even on cross country skis in the Winter.  If you are in the gym try it on a stepping machine, a stationary bike or a rowing machine, or just jog in place.

You will want to warm up for a few minutes and then once you feel warm, imagine that you are walking across a plain, when suddenly you spot a lion, who also sees you too.  SPRINT.  Go as fast as you can for 10 to 30 seconds.    Then rest and catch your breath for 30 seconds before sprinting again.  Repeat the cycle 5 or 6 times.

The authors say that research has shown that you will get a calorie-burning metabolic boost from this session that will last for hours.  Try it a couple of times a week.

2. Leap to the Tree

Imaging you are standing under a tree, when all at once an angry rhinoceros spots you, and starts snorting and then charges.  There’s no time to run.  All you can do is jump for the strong, low limb on the tree above you.

This is a series of 3 to 5 jump squats with arms swinging to overhead, with rest intervals of about 30 seconds.  Repeat 4 or 5 times and then stretch.

3. Crossing the River

Imagine that  you and your tribe have decided to move your encampment to a better location across the river.  Of course this means packing all your belongings and as you walk you come to a wide stream that is dotted with 5 or 6 large boulders.  You must hop from boulder to boulder to cross the water.
Jump from side to side, making the biggest hop you can, pushing off with your foot as you go from right to left and back, knees flexed.  Balance briefly on the landing leg before the next leap.  Rest for 30 seconds and then cross back over the river, to get more of your possessions.  Repeat the crossing for a total of 6 times and then stretch.

4. Bringing Home the Buffalo

This exercise is to mimic the work that our ancestors would have done in carrying heavy loads, pushing and pulling the carcasses of large animals and involves a few moves.

Do  5 full body pushups… or do them on your knees. 

Then stand up and with about 3 feet between your feet, toes pointing slightly outward.  You can use dumbells on your shoulders for added weight if you like.  Squat as low as you are able and hold there for a count of 10 .  Return slowly to the standing position, and immediately squat again and hold.  Try to do 4 or 5 squats.

Imagine you are standing on the edge of a ravine, helping to haul 2 tons of buffalo to the top.  Start by laying down with your knees bent and your chin tucked into your chest.  Stretch your arms out in front as you tighten your abs against the great buffalo body you are trying to lift and slowly curl yourself around a point just under your rib cage.  Hold for a count of 5 and then slowly lower back down…. repeat for a total of 5 curls.

Lay on your tummy with you palms under your chest, thumb to thumb, making a small triangle at the level of your breastbone.  Do 5 pushups in rapid succession with your weight falling on your triceps.  Rest 15 or 20 seconds and then repeat…. for 4 or 5 cycles with rest intervals between.

Flip on your back and then repeat the ab curls 5 more times.  By now you should have gotten that buffalo up the hill.

5. Defending the Camp

Imagine your encampment has been attacked by a rampaging mammoth. You need to use the large rocks that are laying on the ground everywhere to hurl at your adversary.  But use a medicine ball, a soccer ball, or even a basketball for this exercise.

Hoist your ‘rock’ high over  your head and with arms extended, throw it with all your might at the ground, or in the direction of your partner if you have one.  Have your partner participate by throwing it back at you.  If  you are working alone, a ball will tend to bounce away on you.  Retrieve your ‘rock’ and repeat 5 times in  a row.  Rest 30 seconds and repeat.  After 4 or 5 cycles you will have saved the day!

So much fun and a great little full body workout… sometimes play (or running from lions) is the best exercise.

What do you think?  Is this something you would try?

Do you PLAY when you workout?


  1. I need a popsicle maker! And I love the new banner!

  2. I always love reading your blog!

    The pops sounds yummy! Do you think they would be okay even without the added stevia? I tend to be anti-sugar as much as possible but don't get me wrong, I still eat treats! I would just like the pops to not have anymore...if they turn out okay. Would be a great afters for darling daughter too!

    The workout sounds fun and I love how it mimics real life...at least at one point. I am in the middle of reading a book and am intrigued how one of the main characters is feeling more alive and in connection with himself now that he finds himself in a time centuries ago where people moved more and had less technology in life. Yes, I find fitness in everything as I pondered how exercising and moving my body does make me feel more connected to myself and humankind.

    Have a great day!

  3. I love the names of those workouts, especially bringing home the buffalo. I would try those for sure.

  4. I am for sure making those pops for the summer - I actually just found my popsicle molds yesterday when I was looking for something else LOL.

    Wonder if I can get my kids to "play" that workout with me...

  5. LOVE ME ALL THINGS PALEO!!! I will make my "smoothie" into a "Paleo Pop" too!!

  6. I got homemade popsicle molds, too!! Haven't created anything yet -- but you've totally inspired me! YUM:)

  7. Love all this! I agree with all the research backing this lifestyle...truly I do! Gotta try these pops :-)

  8. The pops sound amazing AND that workout is a blast! Fun! :)

  9. Those pops look divine, especially cuz it's a billion degrees here finally. WHo wouldn't love running from lions?

  10. Love the popsicles! I always see popsicle molds and never grab them!...I think I need to pick some up during my next shopping trip!

  11. Those workouts look fun but kind of intense! Have you tried them yet? I will have to try them soon!

  12. Elle, these workouts are great and are really getting my behind (and my creativity!) motivated! Thanks for always being an inspiration to me - on and off "the field." ;) I meant to tell you - I love your new header. You look so beautiful! Love the new pictures.


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