Cauliflower Rice and a Workout View of ‘Smarter Not Harder’

Lately, I’ve had a few people ask me what I do for arm workouts. I don’t usually tell people too much about my own workouts because, well, I’m not super organized about it. I just make sure to do several minutes of strength training a few times a week. If I’m being dedicated, I work out on most days and try to include cardio if I’m doing regular strength training (as opposed to days when I’m doing interval timer training–I count that as cardio too). I got a nudge to work out more today when I saw this — pictures of a 74 year-old triathlete’s leg composition and a 74 year-old sedentary man’s leg composition. (Please click on it if you need motivation to exercise more often!)

My exercise mottos:

  • Do something on most days of the week (consistency of the habit is key)
  • Food choices determine how you look in clothes, workout choices determine how you look naked
  • Work out smarter, not harder
  • What you eat is more important for your health/weight in the moment, but what you do for workouts is more important for long-term metabolism

My workout today (with a friend at the gym):

  • warm-up—walk the track and chat (10 min)
  • free weight arm workout – 6 exercises, 3 sets, 12 reps (I always use free weights) (12 min)
  • medicine ball arm/core work (3 min)
  • push-ups (2 min)
  • 5 minutes abs
  • 20 min cardio

My workout yesterday: Interval timer workout: 60 sec (work) and 10 sec (rest) intervals

  • Ugi Swing (like kettlebell swing, but with an Ugi Ball or medicine ball)
  • Burpees with Ugi (overhead press at the top) for 2 work intervals
  • Plank hold
  • Plank w/ elbows on Ugi, alt knee thrusts to opposite elbow
  • Swing Lunges (right)
  • Swing Lunges (left)
  • Squats/Overhead Press (with sandbag—tap floor, biceps curl, overhead press)
  • Incline push-up w/ hands on sandbag, frog legs burpee up, stand up and press sandbag overhead
  • Ugi Swing
  • Push-Up w/ right hand on Ugi, walk hands across, Push-Up w/ left hand on Ugi

10 minutes (11.5 with the rests counted). I was sweaty. I made it up as I went along, but it was just as difficult and satisfying as when I spend time being strategic! (Note: when I work each day, I take into account what I did the day before so I can emphasize something different)

Next Topic: Cauliflower Rice

I’ve made this a few times, and it always works really well. It’s pretty easy–just grate raw cauliflower with a cheese grater (or food processor). Then steam it, or saute it with a little bit of water (1/2 head of cauli uses about 1/2 cup water). Make sure it’s cooked pretty thoroughly or it will be slightly crunchy. Once cooked, add whatever you’d add to rice—today I added coconut oil, purple onion, a little himalayan crystal salt, turmeric, and garlic.


Grated cauli, raw



Cooked "rice" with roasted broccoli/artichoke hearts and swiss chard/red oinion/portobello...that's a lot of veggies! I mixed everything together, and it really "felt like" I was eating rice.


Elimination Diet Update: It’s going very well. I attribute that to being prepared, and having a lot of veggies in my fridge (and no cheese or yogurt). I think the cauli rice helped too—it didn’t taste or feel like I was eating a vegetable. I’ve had two eggs with coconut oil for breakfast everyday, and a protein shake for a morning snack. Lunch has been veggies and seafood (just veggies today). I’ve had avocado pudding for a snack one day, and coconut cream pudding the next two (recipe coming soon–that stuff is awesome. It’s more of a fruit dip, but I’m eating it like pudding and staying full for hours and hours). Dinner has been the leftovers from lunch. I’m going to track my intake in Sparkpeople for a day or so and see what that tells me about macro- and micronutrients.

Do you ever make your workouts up as you go, or are you more strategic about it? 

Are you a fan of cauliflower? (the rice doesn’t taste cauli-like once you doctor it up!)

What’s on tap for the weekend (literally and figuratively—it is almost time to celebrate #WineFriday!!)?


17 thoughts on “Cauliflower Rice and a Workout View of ‘Smarter Not Harder’”

  1. I agree with your work out strategy! I just go with the flow….I’m not a structured person when it comes to exercise – I feel like as long as you get moving you’re doing something right! 🙂

  2. Love those workouts and those pictures are definitely motivation! I kind of go with the flow on my workouts. I have more fun that way. I have an idea, but then I just have fun. I need to do the cauliflower rice thing for the boys. They aren’t huge fans of cauliflower, but I feel like this technique may work for them. 

  3. I love those leg composition pictures..amazing how staying active can benefit you SO much!! I almost always make up my workouts as I go unless I am in a workout class. This “rice” looks delicious, I have heard of cauliflower rice I need to try it! 

  4. THIS IS SO WEIRD! I was JUST on Alexis’s blog and she was asking if people ever use “hidden foods” (like protein powder in a pancake) and I literally mentioned cauliflower in rice! WEIRD! I do like it as a rice substitute or a mashed potato substitute!

  5. …and now it IS friday – although maybe a bit early for the wine part, seeing it’s 5;55 a.m. – haha!
    thanks for sharing the elimination diet update and your two sample workouts – glad the elim diet is going so well. and i enjoyed your workout tips, too.
    never tried cauliflower rice although i am a fan of cauliflower, raw or steamed.
    i make up my own workouts which are more cardio than weight focussed because i do not enjoy doing strength training. but i do a bit so that i don’t feel guilty about avoiding it! i do enjoy core work! i worked out with a personal trainer for a few months, a couple years ago, but i don’t enjoy being told what to do – haha!

  6. I love your workout mottos. They are some truly great ones!
    As for my workouts, I used to never have a plan and just do whatever, but then i realized I was wasting time thinking of what to do. Now I make a plan and it works for me!

    I haven’t tried cauliflower rice yet, but I did make the cauliflower crust pizza and I didn’t like it. I think i did something wrong though and want to give it another shot!
    Nothing planned this weekend really! Just relax, tidy up the house and do whatever!

  7. What are you talking about my workout harder than yours? You crazy, girl 😉

    Michael loves cauliflower. I like it too…never thought to make a rice out of it! You’re so smart!! I will def try this!

    If we do Italian tonight I will def get me some cabernet! Happy wine Friday!

  8. I pretty much always make up my work outs as I go. I’m all over the place and I never follow any sort of plan – but it works for me. As long as I’m moving, then it’s all good. Also – love this: “Food choices determine how you look in clothes, workout choices determine how you look naked.” True. 🙂

  9. SOOOO agree with you – work smarter, not harder!! Way more effective – the difference I’ve seen personally since taking on the working smarter mentality have been ginormous. Love this post!

    PS. the cauli rice looks SO GOOD!! I must try this asap!

  10. Wow, your workout mottos SO resonate with me today, especially after venting about taking rest days this morning. I spend a whole lot of time worrying about what I’ll look like naked when I eat pretty well enough to be confident that I’ll look OK in my clothes…and I tend to think about my workout habits as a day-by-day thing instead of in the long-run over time, so that applies to your motto about consistency over time mattering more. Thank you!

  11. Carrie (Carrie on Vegan)

    I love cauliflower rice! Are you avoiding grains in your elimination diet? I’ve cut way, way back on my intake because I think I was having some reactions. I’ve heard that grain intolerances are more common than we realize. Have a great weekend!

  12. I always plan my cardio ahead of time, right down to time/distance and speed goals, but on the rare occasion I do strength training, it’s pretty random. I LOVE cauliflower and cauliflower rice… I don’t have it often enough!

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