Naoko P.

Naoko P.

Kenzai Member

Well I didn't earn the SkiBoot Badge. I ran and played tennis often but only did about 2-3 workouts a week and didn't read any of the lessons nor did I blog. Simply no time when I was trying to do a half vegetarian diet and was figuring it all out. I find that the training- mode vegetarian diet is hard (boring) when you're used to eating lean animal protein meals, ie, without cheese and much oil, you end up with steamed, baked or raw veggies and calorie dense protein. I was not satisfied and often hungry, which resulted in eating more carbs and sugary things when the hunger pangs kicked in around 3pm. There are plenty of tasty, simple rice or pasta vegetarian dishes that I thought of (curry pilaf with veggies, pic is pasta with veggies - sometimes with sardines) but again, I ended up taking in a lot of carbs. Beans and tofu were 'ok' but made me feel very bloaty and I just don't like nuts....and can not think of them as a 'meal' and only as a snack. Overall though, my lunches were usually vegetarian or a combo which was the most satisfying (pictured below is bison and beans). It was also too time consuming to cook for the family and also make satisfying vegetarian dishes for myself. A huge win is that my kids now LOVE oven baked cauliflower and finish a whole one by themselves. On the sheet of parchment paper on the baking pan, I pour avocado oil (olive oil is fine too, I just don't like the taste), salt, garlic powder, and sumac. Bake the cut up cauliflower at 425F for about 20-25min. I also do the same with sweet potatoes (cut in half, cut side down) and put them in at the same time. Chinese 5 spice is also another spice I have added on these veggies.

I look forward to the new things Kenzai has to offer in 2020! Fusion is next for me. Hopefully I won't eat my way through the next 2 weeks and sign up for a Blast instead 😆Happy holidays my Kenzai friends! 😘😘

Busy Cooking!

I'm here! Just always in the kitchen!!! Making multiple veggie dishes on top of cooking for the family has added about 2hrs to my already long cooking time and so I have not been able to stay on top of the blogs. There are not enough hours in the day! Workouts are going that we have ramped up to 3-5 cycles, I'm liking it more. I played tennis and walked/jogged 4.5km everyday the first 2 weeks in addition to the workouts and perhaps that is why I was so so SO hungry all day. By 4pm, I needed a second lunch.
I have to go pick up the kids now but I'll post a bunch of food pics. I'd say about a little more than half my meals have been vegetarian (minus cheese) so far but sweets have crept back in! This is unusual! I think I need to work extra hard on spacing out the fruits and veggies throughout the day to keep me going.


Since the summer, I have been on Beach Blast, Sculpt, KBells2 and wanted to finish the year off with something new. I haven't skied in over 10 years and have no plans to so I had avoided this program. BUT, I have recently started playing tennis and I heard ski boot was a 'cycle' workout, focusing on 'core' strength, short 4week 'lean out' program...and well, those are all music to my ears and great for tennis as well so that is why I am here!

I'm also going to do this program as a vegetarian. That is something new for me as well. Rereading Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma and watching The Gamechangers (Netflix) got my husband and I rethinking our food sources. We ate A LOT of meat thinking we needed to check off our protein for the day and that animal protein was the best. Now that we are better informed, we're more critical about our food sources and the marketing of products, and we are making changes to aim for that sustainable food system. I started a vegetarian diet last week with 2 meals that included beef and seafood. I will continue to do so for the next 4 weeks on the program and most likely forever. For starters, I feel GREAT and notice the difference. I still cook beef and chicken for the children but we have switched to grass-fed/grass finished beef, pasture raised chicken and eggs, and local raw milk and yogurt. We moved to the suburbs of South Florida where the housing developments were built around ranches and farm land and exploring farmer's markets also connect us to the community.

Here are some pics of my hummus sandwich and a platter with various veggie dishes, curry pilaf and beans. I don't like nuts so my main plant protein will be tofu and beans. This is quite an adventure for me and a wonderful learning experience. Lets share veggie dish ideas and add some color to the Ski Boot blogs!

Fit For Fall! 

This program was Part 3 of my "Fit for Fall" project. We moved over the summer and ate our way through a vacation as well so it's been a journey to get my fitness level to where I want it to be. The programs also helped me structure a new workout routine in our new house, new neighborhood, and different weather. I picked up tennis twice a week which has been a nice addition.
I know I said I would clean up the diet this week but I didn't till Saturday...yes, the day before the final day |0| So I didn't follow the diet plan about 2-3 weeks of the program but thanks to your encouraging words through my tough times in October, I kept my chin up and stuck to the workouts.
I am a huge Kettlebell program fan but my shoulders are telling me 'no more' on some of the movements. I've come to realize that "subbing" is also a skill here and knowing our limits on slowly but surely aging bodies is key.
My fitness journey shall continue! I'm thinking of a food blog perhaps on the next program so I don't go too crazy over the holiday season. See you soon!

Got Worse Then Better

The past 10 days was challenging as a parent! After our (previous blog) omg-is-this-puberty?! week, our 9yr old tells us "I'm being bullied at school"! Whaaaat!?!?! Uuuuugh!!! Stress level goes back up, I feel like crap because I didn't know all that she was dealing with at school, I get all the details on what's been going on and go back and forth on if we tell the teacher or not. I did the workouts and took walks with the big question "How do I help her but also empower her?!" going through my head in circles so I was very distracted. I pretty much gave up on the Kenzai eating. Since it seemed like it was a group of mean girls picking on the new kid, we ended up going to the assistant principal and a teacher so they were aware. A few days later, we get a call saying the girl(s) hit my daughter and so parents/teachers/principal were all involved now. Good thing my tennis girl didn't hit back or there would've been an injury |0| She yelled "Don't touch me!" and went to a teacher.
There were days I ate nachos and days I didn't eat at all being worried sick. Most importantly, I spent A LOT of time with my kids and my daughter told me not to worry. She still loves school and that she will "make it an awesome day, everyday". How about that! She's my hero!
We celebrated my husband's birthday with some ribs he smoked and a pie he made. Inspired by my daughter's strength, I will now clean up the food and finish this week strong!

Rough Week

This week started off with a sick kid at home that messed up my routine. I LOVE routine so no matter how many times we have been through this sick-kid path, I didn't cope with the change very well. Mon & Tuesday workouts were HARD too. School was off on Wednesday and that messed up my routine. Food was not on point! I skipped the workout that day and did the body integration today thinking the workout will help me with the parenting stress I am facing now. I'm sure the entire neighborhood and the Japanese clients on the other end of my husband's conference call all know how my 9yr old and I got into it last night!🤦🏻‍♀️ I was weirdly calm after a little bit as my daughter was screaming and yelling things at me because it was like looking at my little self. Seems as though we have hit puberty. 😓 Oh...I'm so sorry oka-san. I understand now!
I can usually shake these things off after a good sleep and a workout but I still feel crummy. More unexpected things happened today and so it's not been a usual day but I made myself a nice lunch (I skipped meat today and made a veggie pasta salad with a 1tsp of feta cheese, lemon/herbs and roasted cauliflower) and I am about to go pick up the kids now...with a smile!

So Far So Good!

Thank you for your encouraging and wise comments! I took them to heart and have been diligently taking one workout at a time and putting my best effort in. What a difference! I feel them now! Perhaps it's the mental shift but I also feel strong. For my active recovery day today, I played tennis for 1.5hrs and I played well with stamina! What a great feeling. Must keep this momentum going for the next 2 workouts left this week. I'm with my younger 7yr old for one of them while my husband takes our oldest, Emma to her tennis tournament. The workout will help me calm my nerves that day and live in the moment with my youngest. We'll be cheering Emma on from home as the 4th grader takes on junior high school players for the first time. Gulp!

Food wise was close to perfect till last night when I was reheating dinner for my husband. I was still so hungry (I usually am at night after my Kenzai meal) and fruit was just not appealing. I ended up eating a (big) portion... ok! Moving on ;-P I was proud of the night I made chicken katsu for the kids and pan-baked chicken (oregano/paprika/parsley/garlic powder/red chili flakes) for myself and didn't have any katsu. I cook separately so I have to fight the temptations everyday which is not easy. You are not alone if you are busy prepping all kinds of meals for your family and your kids want to taste your food in addition to theirs and they mess up your grams!

Aim for Perfect Week

Last week was a mixed bag. I expected it as my husband was away on a business trip. When it comes to taking care of the kids, we divide and conquer so when I'm single mom-ing it, I am quickly overwhelmed both emotionally and physically. We are a small family of four without any help and it's always been just us since day 1 so the kids get really sad when daddy leaves (sobbing!). One evening, I just caved and finished a bag of potato chips, my nemesis. That led to my will power spiraling downwards and workouts being fudged, meals not weighed till my husband came home.

Over the weekend, I realized I should probably have some goals this week. I have no muscle soreness which means I am not tearing and repairing anything, right?! I look and feel the same each week as well. I'd like to get more muscle! I am extremely cautious about injuries and using heavier bells due to some past experiences on this program (shoulder/rotator cuff injury) so I have not pushed it. I skip/modify certain exercises like the turkish getup. Should I keep the same weight but add more reps on ones I can??

I decided for this week, I will aim for a perfect week on the workout front. The kids are off school on Wednesday but they are so used to me working out, it should not be a problem. The pic is from the Sunday workout that the kids started doing so I joined in! Food wise, I have been inspired by others here and will quit the small cheats that I later regret and don't even feel satisfied from. You'd think I've learned by now!

Family Cardio Day

My oldest daughter plays tennis 6 days a week, 3-4 hours a day so Sunday is her 'day off'. Perfect day for me to spend my free-cardio day with the family. In the morning, my husband took the kids on a bike ride and I walked the dogs for 50min. In the afternoon, we used to swim (was too hot for anything else) but now that the weather has gotten pleasant, we packed fruit and went to a 140 acre nature preserve where there are hiking trails, wetlands, and paddle boat rentals. I may feel the paddle boat tomorrow!

#FitForFall with Bells 2

Since our move to Florida in the summer, I have been on a mission to regain my fitness routine! It's a lot of commitment but the results are there and I'm on a roll. I have been on Kenzai for over 5yrs but I think this is the fittest and strongest I have ever been. The Kettlebell program is my favorite program since it came out and I have done Bells1 & 2 several times. I wish we had a number next to our badges of how many times we've done the programs - someday I may or may not dig through the hundred blog pages to count!

This year, I finished KBells 1 in May before the big move and have done Beach Blast and Sculpt so far. After Sculpt, my upper body feels a bit neglected so that is why I'm here. I also want to raise my fitness level a tad bit more. I started taking tennis lessons twice a week and I was out of breath in the last class! Can't have that! ...which brings me to a scheduling challenge. I couldn't do the Bells workout on tennis day. No time, no energy. So today, I did Day 2 & 3 and it was fine...but I know we will ramp up soon and doubling down will not be an option. Will probably have to cut back a cycle or two on tennis days but the fall weather is here and it is just absolutely perfect (it's still hot but the humidity is so much lower!) I'll do what I can.

We rarely eat out (family is used to my Kenzai low sodium/oil cooking so very very picky!) I cook all meals for my family and am always in the kitchen. On my last 2 programs, I quickly ran out of veggies so the pics are my recent veggie dishes. I'm not going to go super strict zero oil/salt this round. I have a feeling I will burn out since this is my 3rd program in a row. I'll be using a little bit of oil (I use a spray of avocado oil) and a pinch of salt or soy sauce for the stir fries or cauliflower (really into pan grilling them these days).

This is a tough program but I'm looking forward to getting to know the new team and we have super trainer Matt - woohooo! Lets go Bells 2!


My post vacation project started mid-July. We moved in June then went on vacation in July so I was basically on AMAYW non-Kenzai food for 2 months without any structured exercise. I felt terrible and needed to get back into the Kenzai groove in our new home.

July: I did Beach Blast, one of the toughest programs and one I probably won't repeat! I stuck to it 100% and it delivered and I was happy with the results but the diet was so so lean and I was grumpy all the time, on top of bad sleep and mood swings! I think my body was in shock after the non-Kenzai summer to extreme Kenzai reboot. I don't think I will ever 'let loose' that much again on a was so hard to climb back out of it.

August: Then came Sculpt. Started off nice and easy (anything is after Blast!) and I stuck to the extra cardio that I had been doing in Blast (the message on that program was loud and clear about cardio and became a habit). By Week 4/5 or so, the diet got very generous. AMAYW EVERYTHING for lunch! That is like a Kenzai dream! I went from measly 50g of carb a day on Blast to carb & protein heaven. Yet, I was still hungry ALL THE TIME. I suspect it was the extra cardio I was doing so the night cravings were strong. I caved a few times... I also indulged in BBQ pork ribs one weekend but overall, I am very happy with my comeback. And look at my posture! I had to put in a lot of extra effort to prioritize Kenzai prep, cooking, and workouts.

Thank you as always my Kenzai friends! I love the various topics that come up and I too face challenges with metabolism, aches and pains, postpartum issues, new environments, family, mental health, etc. as I enter my 6th year in the Kenzai lifestyle. There is an abundance of knowledge and support here and I appreciate this wonderful community!

Final Weeks of Sculpt

I have been blogging in my head the past week (like 10 blog entries!) and commenting to your blogs too (all in my mind) but by the time I can get to the computer in the evening, I could barely keep my eyes open. Our days start at 6:30am and this full time Kenzai mom/wife goes non stop all day and there were several days I crashed after putting the kids to bed. Apart from the household chores, most of my day is spent cooking all the Kenzai and non-Kenzai meals and packing food (fruit & snacks for the kids for their school/after school/during their tennis). We rarely eat out (about once or twice a month) but there was one day I simply could not cook anymore. It was just me and my husband during his lunch break, out grocery shopping and we were near a Chinese restaurant. Chinese food is the first thing to give up on Kenzai right?!?!? Well, I was about to 'allow' myself an indulgence. I have been on back to back programs and my will power was wearing thin. BUT to our BIG surprise, look what I saw on the menu... "Health Conscious - No starch/oil/msg"!!! Amazing. Now I had to try! I had the Shrimp Delight and it sure was a delight :-) It was not salty, had only some ginger and possibly some salt. The veggies were steamed just right and I could tell they were not frozen and fresh. After the meal, I felt like how I always feel after eating my own Kenzai clean meals. A great find and a big win.

I used to do my long swift walk before the workouts but the past 2 weeks, I had to switch the order since the workouts were getting tough. My motivation was low and really didn't want to do another single heel lift... so thank you guys for your blogging and positive energy all around!

Grad post coming soon! Putting all the pictures together... the pics say it all!

Turned to Exercise

So, we are out of the hurricane threat but an absolutely devastating situation for the Bahamas. For us, it was a practice run and now we are properly prepared for the hurricane season in Florida. What a stressful week that was. I would usually stress eat more but I did pretty well this time and exercised instead. I missed about 2.5 workouts last week but waiting for the slow-as-a-sloth hurricane became simply annoying so even though it was unbearably humid, I worked out in the garage. We also kept getting breaks from the rain and since I thought we would lose power soon and didn't want to be in the dark house with the windows all boarded up, I walked every chance I had.

Kids have been cooped up in the house so my husband took them out to lunch today. I stayed home and made a massive tuna salad. Might as well start eating the many many cans of tuna we have stocked up now!

Oh...and can I say BURN!!!! OUCH! EeeeeK! 5 second break was not enough for me on the barre exercises!

Hurricane Interruption!

Things were going well until yesterday, we had to start preparing for Hurricane Dorian. It is said to be a Cat 4 and the strongest one in Florida since 1994. Eek! We just moved here this June so this is our first hurricane here!

I rushed through yesterday's workout but today, I could not get it done. There is too much to prep for this hurricane while we still have to go about our day with our 'normal' lives at the same time which has been hectic. The city is in a semi-panic mode with cars lined up for gas and everyone shopping around only to find that things are sold out and driving around again. The kids' tennis was cancelled today so I took them out on a 5km bike ride. That and the 50min dog walk is what I was able to do today besides being on my feet all day! I hope to do the same tomorrow since I'm trying to get the kids out as much as possible during this calm-before-the-storm. Our shutters are going up in the house tomorrow and it will be pitch dark inside and probably from Sunday, we will be hunkered down inside for a few days. Dorian is to make landfall Tuesday.

I organized the fridge today as well because from what our neighbors tell us, we will lose power. We have a small generator and enough gas to run a small AC and 1 fridge for 1 day... In the midst of all of this, I find cooking to be somewhat therapeutic so I cooked as many fresh meals as I could today and will do the same tomorrow. Lunch was an orzo salad with pan baked chicken and yes, I mixed the pasta in and so I didn't measure the veggie & carb separately but just have it all separately like a buffet to be 100% Kenzai compliant. Here is one I did a few years ago and still do when eating with the family.

I saw that we have an indulgence so I suppose the 2 olives and a little cheese I used in the salad plus the bowl of ice cream I just finished (stress eating!) will be considered that.

I hope to report back sometime next week after the hurricane has passed. Really really hoping for minimal damage!

Kenzai Eats

Had one day where the motivation was flat with very low energy but powered through it and got the workout done. That was the day we had 80 Arabesques then 80 Touchbacks. Not a fan. Was tedious! BUT there's a really good buzz here with so many active trainees on various programs so I told myself, "Someone out there is gritting their teeth right now and getting it done so just do it!" Also, since Beach Blast last month, I've been averaging 1 hour of cardio a day so hope to keep that up.

My best and favorite Kenzai meal this week was pan-baked salmon. I defrosted the salmon overnight in the fridge and simply cooked it in a non-stick pan. Put a pinch of seasoning on it and my pieces were naturally oily so I cooked it on high heat first, flipped it, lowered the temp to medium/low, and covered it with a glass lid. Sometimes I add water to help it from burning/sticking but today there was no need and I browned it in it's own oil at the end for a minute or two. Had pre-cut a piece into cubes to make it easier to weigh later. I also cook chicken this way if not on the grill. Oh, the yellow rice is jasmine rice cooked with turmeric.

I know weekends can be tougher for some of us with more temptations. Lets stay strong and keep it Kenzai clean!

Jun 7th, 2016





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Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready
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