One Girl, Two Bells

Tami Collins

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Inspired by the recent articles about essential movements, I started thinking about what essential equipment would be. I am, without a doubt, a fitness gear hoarder. I pretty much have it all, but I came to the conclusion that if I had to limit myself to one piece of equipment, it would be a kettlebell. So, for the next three months I'm going to challenge myself to eat Whole30 style and use only the following equipment:

2 - 12kg kettlebells

1 - red fitness band

Also fair game: anything that's free (any bodyweight movement, like push-ups, lunges, etc; walking, running, using objects like logs, rocks, old tires, etc.)

I'm doing this mostly for fun, but partly because I hear people complain a lot that they can't get in shape because they can't afford it or it's too expensive. Also, I want to eat Whole30 style because of all the talk out there about fasting, low carb being the only way to lose weight. I have a hard time believing in or sticking to a diet that views a kiwi or clementine as a "cheat meal."

So mostly, I just want to do a little experiment on myself to see what will happen.

The One Girl, Two Bells mission starts on Monday!


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Oh no, I don't think it's carb-phobic at all. I've just that I've been given advice recently from a few different sources that the only way to lose weight is low carb or low carb with IF -- and I mean so low carb that having a strawberry or a kiwi or sweet potato is considered a cheat meal. I've done the Whole30 before and didn't pay a bit of attention to carbs and felt one million times better than I did on low carb (and still lost weight.) So I guess maybe I'm just kind of feeling an "oh yeah?" attitude to the low carb/IF peeps. (Not that I don't think those things work, they do, and I've done them both, but it's not the only way.) Plus, I'm contrary by nature, so if someone tells me I can't eat a strawberry and lose weight... well, you know.

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Day 1

Breakfast -- 3 scrambled eggs, salsa verde

Lunch -- chicken, guacamole, salsa verde

Snack -- 1 beef stick, a few strawberries

Supper -- sausage, mashed cauliflower


I had more planned, but the day got away from me. I ended up doing a simple one:

20 kb swings, every minute on the minute for 10 minutes (25#)

Farmer's carry, 45 yards, 25# kb each hand x 3

That mashed cauliflower (from Well Fed) is divine. Yum.

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10:30-ish A.M.

Hill sprints -- 75 yards x 6

then I ate (br)unch -- leftover sausage and mashed cauliflower

I let it digest a bit and took the dogs for a 2 mile walk.

snack -- 1 beef stick and some strawberries

supper -- beef stew (awesome and easy, will post the recipe soon.)

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Hmmm, interesting day. Kind of up and down.

Down: I re-read the label on the sausage I've been eating for the last three days, and it had dextrose added. Duh. I had the chance to spend the day with my mom today, and the town we went to has a great old-fashioned drive-inn so I decided "What the heck, I have to start over anyway" and had some ice cream. It was yummy, but I felt like a bloated walrus the rest of the day.

Also down: my mom apparently started driving like a granny all of the sudden. Wandering through lanes, pulling into intersections and freezing, taking up three parking spaces at once. Stress level on red alert.

Up: I had a great day with my momma (other than the driving, ha!) Came home tonight and thought about skipping my workout. At 7:30 I just went down to the basement and started in. Afterwards I felt like a million bucks!


Bodyweight warmup: jumping jacks, lunges, push ups, band pull-aparts, air squats, inch worms, mountain climbers.

Turkish get-up: 2 per side @ 12kg

Halos: 10 per side, 25#

Press: 5 x 2 per side, 12kg

Floor press: 5 x 2 per side, 12kg

25# One arm swings: 30 seconds right / 30 seconds left / rest 30 seconds x 4 rounds

rest 1:00

25# One arm clean: 30 seconds right / 30 seconds left / rest 30 seconds x 4 rounds

rest 1:00

25# Push press: 30 seconds right / 30 seconds left / rest 30 seconds x 4 rounds

Cool down: two hand swings 5 x 10

I'm not bummed about starting over. In fact, I'm pretty chipper. I feel like I took some happy pills or something -- must have been that great workout :-)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Life got a little crazy the last week. I was pretty good, but not 100% Whole30 compliant, so I started over on Monday.


BF: eggs, salsa, 1 piece summer sausage

L: chicken, guac, salsa

SN: 1 tbsp each almond butter & coconut butter

S: Pork chop, asparagus


BF: pork chop, mashed cauliflower

L: chicken, guac, salsa

SN: 1 tbsp each almond & coconut butter

S: Hamburger patty, homemade pickles, sweet potatoes, few small pieces of pineapple


BF: eggs, salsa

L: chicken, mashed cauliflower

SN: 2 tbsp almond butter

S: hamburger patty, homemade pickles, mixed veggies (squash, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli)

I've been keeping up with my kettlebell/bodyweight workouts. Yesterday I did some hill sprints, swings, sit-ups, push-ups, snatches and planks. I'm glad I went with the 12kg bells, which was right on the edge of being hard/easy for various movements when I started. Yesterday when I did the swings, I thought "Boy, this feels light." Then when I did the snatches I did 30 seconds work/20 seconds rest for three rounds and got 10 reps each time. That's the most I've ever been able to snatch the 12kg. Progress!

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Had to unexpectedly help someone move cows this morning, so I had literally like one minute to eat breakfast. I gulped a glass of water and two tablespoons of almond butter and booked out the door.

L: chicken, cauliflower mash

SN: few pieces summer sausage (made by our butcher with our own beef), 1/2 mango

S: cod fillet, asparagus, 1/2 mango

I seared the cod fillet in ghee and it got the most wonderful crispy, crunchy outside. I'm totally crushing on asparagus right now, too. So easy to make and yummy.


Kettlebell high pulls, 30 seconds each arm

30 seconds rest x 3 rounds

Windmills, 30 seconds each arm

30 seconds rest x 3 rounds

3 rounds:

10 goblet squats

20 single arm swings, alternating arms

One arm press, 12 kg

5 x 4/arm

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brunch: chicken breast, mashed cauliflower, 2 tbsp almond butter

snack: egg salad (chopped hardboiled eggs, mayo, mustard), 1 big slice summer sausage, homemade pickles

supper: t-bone steak, big salad (red leaf lettuce, iceberg lettuce, sweet peppers, radishes)

I also snacked on some bell peppers. I cleaned and sliced some to keep in the fridge for snacks and I munched a few slices while I was working. Quality control, of course.

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I'm going to try the mashed cauliflower.. sounds delish!.. I'm also enjoying your KB workouts.. need to get mine out but a bit worried about a bulging disc that came on in January... but if I can keep my mechanics correct it should help...

You are doing fantastic!

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I missed breakfast this morning and then had a late lunch and it totally screwed me all day. It feels like I can't get enough food in my tummy or something. Also, I was tuckered out all day, and probably because I didn't eat enough.

B: nothing, fail

L: egg salad, summer sausage

S: Pork chops, the most awesome green beans ever

I was a snacking maniac all day: I polished off the almond butter (glad that's gone), bell peppers, blackberries, an apricot (yuk, don't like those), coconut butter

I bought a bunch of stuff from Bountiful Baskets today and it's awesome. My neighbor is starting a pickup site close to our town, so that's how I ended up with it. For $40 I got a 15 lb. box of organic green beans, four bell peppers, a ton of onions, an eggplant, a bunch of herbs, mushrooms, a melon, tomatoes, mangoes, cauliflower, corn (giving that away), apricots (ditto), garlic, the most delicious blackberries I've ever had, a ton of lemons, bananas, and a little squash.

I figured up the street value (aka, the grocery store value) and it comes out at over $100. So I got all that stuff for over half price. The beans alone are probably worth over $60. Ah, I love a bargain. I was worried it wouldn't be good quality, but so far, so good.

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I'm going to try the mashed cauliflower.. sounds delish!.. I'm also enjoying your KB workouts.. need to get mine out but a bit worried about a bulging disc that came on in January... but if I can keep my mechanics correct it should help...

You are doing fantastic!

Thanks! Be sure to use Melissa Joulwan's mashed cauliflower recipe. I've made mashed cauliflower from other recipes and her's is FAR and away the best. I could eat that every day.

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Early lunch today (10-ish) so I ate more and called it both breakfast and lunch

L: two hamburger patties, salad (lettuce, tomatoes, carrots)

Supper: chicken breast, asparagus, coconut butter

Got a little hungry at about 9 pm, so I had a little bit of sausage and a few blackberries.

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BF: egg casserole

SN: 1 tbsp coconut butter, bell pepper slices

L: chicken breast, mashed cauliflower

S: potatoes, fruit/blackberry salad thingy, pickles

I had to go a surprise birthday party at my aunt's house tonight. I ate lunch really late (like 3:30) because I knew there wouldn't be much to eat there. Usually she serves a lot of fruit, raw veggies and a big salad, but tonight the pickings were slim. The only meat was fried chicken. The pickles were really good, but I was starving so I had a few potoates and some of the blackberry salad. I must have successfully avoided gluten, because I did not destroy anyone's bathroom.

This is usually my big stumbling block when it comes to my diet: my family. My mother in particular seems to get very angry in these situations and tells me I'm "holier than thou" because I don't want to eat what everyone else is. That just tears me apart, because I do not want to seem selfish or like my aunt's (or whoever's) food isn't good enough for me. I just am so sick of feeling awful. I guess I am kind of shifting towards putting up with the emotional pain of ticking off my family over the physical pain of eating crap that makes me sick.

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BF: egg casserole

L: chicken taco salad

S: banana

Ate out for lunch at one of my favorite burger joints. I was going to have a bunless burger and side salad, but their special for today was a chicken or beef taco salad. I got the chicken version and it was awesome, and ginormous. I swear, there was at least a half a head of lettuce in that thing, plus a whole chicken breast, tons of peppers, tomatoes, fresh onions and salsa. I ate the chicken first then I ate, and ate, and ate, and ate veggies until I couldn't eat any more. I couldn't finish the thing, and I was still full at supper so I just had a banana and called it a night.

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I love your no excuses, workout anywhere with anything attitude. I'm the same way... I love bodyweight training and DIY, low-cost or no-cost workout gear.

Keep at it... sounds like you're doing great!

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Geez, what a week. I hurt my hip last Saturday, so I haven't been doing any workouts. Of course, I decided to self-diagnose myself on the internet, and after a few clicks I read that I either had spinal stenosis or cancer. Aaaahhh! Close web browser immediately.

Then I decided to go to, because K-Star probably wouldn't tell me I had cancer. Sure enough, it looks like I have a problem with my psoas. That I can handle. It actually hurts the most when I sit, so I've been stretching it and walking a lot. Feels better.

I also found a kettlebell trainer in my town, which I am SUPER excited about. She's a HKC, and best of all, she's a Whole9 partner. I have my first meeting with her Tuesday evening, and I can't wait.

Food the last week has been more of the same, except I'm severely overeating on the almond butter. No more almond butter allowed. It's also branding season here on the ranch, so I've been doing tons of manual labor. Building fences, branding calves, etc. My pants were about falling off yesterday, so I think I've lost weight despite not working out and the almond butter fiasco. Yay for good old manual labor.

It was raining today and I was going kinda stir crazy, so I did a little workout:

1A. 10 power swings

1B. 5 jerks per arm

rest until heart rate comes down a little, repeat for 10 rounds

2A. 10 haning leg raises

2B. 30 yard farmers walk (25# per hand)

2 rounds (planned more but that was a grip killer!)

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