WritersButt Wednesday – Kill Your Excuses!

Whew, it’s WritersButt Wednesday again! Where do the days go? They seem to fly by so fast it’s often hard to fit everything in. In fact, one of the most common excuses I get from people for why they do not exercise is because ‘they do not have time’.

I’m not buying it.


Nothing will convince me that someone is literally so busy every moment of their day that they can’t squeeze in some sort of workout. Remember, I’m a fan of workouts that last around 10-20 minutes or less! Yes, those workouts will be relatively intense, harder than say taking a brisk walk, but with added intensity your workouts get to be shorter. Also remember that intensity is a tailor-fit sort of thing. My intensity might be different from yours. The key is to push yourself to YOUR higher level of intensity.

You know how I suggest you do 10 ‘potty squats’ every time you use the restroom. That is a way to incorporate a good strong functional movement throughout your entire day. If you are a writer or work a desk job, this will do wonders for your creativity and productivity, your posture, your flexibility … your MOOD!

But I’d also like to suggest you squeeze in a mini-workout somewhere in your day that will get your heart rate up, leave you panting a bit, give you a great shot of endorphins.

An example of one mini-workout that you could try is one I recently gave to a friend. She finished this in 4 minutes and 32 seconds. Don’t even try to convince me you don’t have 4 ½ minutes for your health.


3 Rounds of:

5 Burpees

10 Squats (like potty squats)

15 jumping jacks


You will do 5 burpees, 10 squats and 15 jumping jacks and then you’ll repeat that same sequence 2 more times. In the end, you will have completed 15 total burpees, 30 squats and 45 jumping jacks in around 5-ish minutes.

How about I give you a few more to try, to vary it up a bit.


5 Rounds of:

10 walking lunge steps

35 jump rope (or 15 jump squats if you don’t have a jump rope)


3 Rounds of:

10 squats

10 push-ups


For Time: (this just means see how long to complete workout as written)

25 squats, 5 push up

20 squats, 10 push ups

15 squats, 15 push ups

10 squats, 20 push ups

5 squats, 25 push ups


These are all quick mini-workouts that you can do for sure in less than 10-15 minutes. First thing in the morning, right after you get home from work, just before lunch break while at home, even in a break room at work!

What will you get out of it? Energy, strength, mental clarity, creativity, flexibility, better sleep, higher sex drive …. shall I go on?

Don’t talk yourself out of working out. It’s doable, for everyone. I’m convinced of it. If you are in the habit of finding reasons you can’t do something, I challenge you to find solutions to all those excuses. Spend as much energy figuring out how you can do something than why you can’t.

And now, since I know you all love eating healthy after you treat your body to a fun little workout, here’s a recipe for a delicious soup I made last week when I hosted Book Club at my house. It was a huge hit and I barely had any leftovers, which clearly means I’ll have to make a bigger pot next time! I paired the soup with a salad of baby greens, fresh blackberries and avocado and crumbled goat cheese. Dressing was olive oil, vinegar, kosher salt, pepper and dried minced garlic crunchies.

Double Chicken Soup

Double Chicken Soup


Double Chicken Soup



Couple tbls of coconut oil (or extra virgin olive oil)

Onion (finely chopped)


Package of chicken sausage w/ green chilies (~ 6 links, other varieties ok as well)

Celery (about 4-5 stalks)

Parsnips (about 4-5)

Annaheim peppers (3-4) *You can use poblano as well or mix it up

Baby portabella mushrooms

Seasoning – I just used kosher salt and cracked black pepper

Appx 2 quarts of chicken stock

Chicken breasts (I used the meat from 3 whole cooked rotisserie split breasts)



Add the finely chopped onion to coconut oil and sauté until translucent. Add garlic, making sure it doesn’t get scorched. Add your sausage by squeezing the meat out from the casings. (I find this gross, but it was worth it.) Once the sausage is cooked, add in the chopped celery and parsnips. Alternate stirring and letting it sit covered to soften the veggies. After a few minutes when hardy veggies are softening, add in your peppers and mushrooms. (Note: do not add salt until after the mushrooms are browned.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add your chicken stock. (Note: Chicken stock is not the same as chicken broth. It has a deeper flavor, more like homemade stock.) Pull all the chicken meat off of the bones, tearing it up into bite sized pieces. Once stock is warm, add in chicken. Adjust your liquids. I always have cans of broth and/or stock on hand to add a bit more if I used more veggies than planned. Heat up and serve!

This makes a pretty big pot of soup. I don’t really measure things and for this sort of soup, you don’t need to. Just get all the veggies you want in there and add stock according to your preference.  These veggies not to your liking? Experiment! You can use fresh or frozen broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus … almost anything!

I hope some of you will try one or two of the mini-workouts. If you do, I’d be over the moon if you put which workout you did and your time in the comments so we can all cheer you on and congratulate you!

Now, treat yourself to a large bowl of this delicious hearty double chicken soup!



About Ginger Calem

I never met a notebook I didn't want to buy. Pens speak to me. Sticky notes are dear to my heart. Some of my best friends are those clambering in my head trying to get onto the page. And when they have their stories told, and I release them to the world, I hope they'll be your friends too.

Posted on January 16, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. The soup sounds delish, and I love that you used parsnips.

    I’m going to try one of the workouts. The high-pitched sound you hear will be my cats laughing.

    • I did promise you a yummy soup recipe yesterday! I use parsnips in a lot of my soups. We all love them and I’m not a huge fan of cooked carrots so these fit the bill.

      I literally laughed out loud your cats/laughing comment. Seriously cracking up! Don’t let them bully you into stopping. Can’t wait to see how you do.

  2. Well my excuse, yes excuse, with the mini workouts at work is that I’m almost always wearing a skirt (or dress) and heels, which makes lunge walking awkward and jumping jacks downright dangerous. I do try the potty squats and I sometimes use my desk for an anchor to do some push-ups, but the office work-out is not easy for me to accomplish.

    Good thing I go to the gym occasionally and to zumba regularly, huh?

    I just made me a yummy pot of spicy sausage and lentil soup with spinach. It was awesome! Love the homemade soups!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • You are totally correct that your work-attire would inhibit doing many of the mini-workouts. That said, I’m pretty sure you don’t roll out of bed in heels and a pencil skirt. And if you do, well, that’s cause for another blog topic now isn’t it. (huge wink)

      I love that you do the potty squats when you can and LOVE that you do desk-push-ups. And yes, I know you do Zumba so you’re getting your fitness there too. Sounds like you’re totally on target.

      Ok, that soup sounds super yummy! I adore homemade soups too. There’s just something comforting and awesome about them.

      See you NEXT WEEK!!

  3. 4 minutes and 32 second, huh? Well okay. I’ll try it. I’ll include it into the time that I walk. Hope I don’t kill myself Ginger. Oh, and the soup looks great. Are you developing a recipe ebook girl? Because you could, you know. 🙂

    • You will not kill yourself! Doing this with your walk is awesome because the walking is good ‘active rest’ time built in. I had not thought of a recipe ebook. Hhmm… maybe I’ll cull through my old posts and compile them. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. You are so right about the excuses! Lucky for me, now that I found a CrossFit gym here I don’t have to worry about excuses. I just go. I’ve also been trying to figure out ways to make my diet healthier. I defintely have a serious sweet tooth. But I realized something this week. If I eat something naturally sweet, like sweet potatoes, with my dinner, then I don’t crave anything sweet afterwards. I’m very excited about this discovery! It’s so easy to bake or broil a bunch of chopped sweet potates one day and have them to eat all week. 🙂

    • Having a class where people and a trainer waiting for you does wonders for those excuses, right? 🙂 I’m so excited that you’re back with CrossFit. You’re going to feel so fit and healthy this summer!

      Ah, you made a great discovery. Yes, there are some veggies (and fruits) that have more natural sugars in them that will indeed satisfy that sweet-tooth-craving. Also, sweet potatoes are a GREAT post workout meal. Another trick I tell people who are battling a sweet tooth is to having a small spoonful of almond butter or sunbutter. There are some natural sugars in there and the healthy fat is very satisfying!

  5. Okay! So!

    Squats? Check. Jumping jacks? Check. Lunges? Check (and I’ll use my weights). Push-ups? ERK! But, I can work up using the wall to build upper body.

    I could pretend I know what a Burpee is. I could Google it. But, I choose instead to take the lazy informed path and ask The Pro. What in the cluck is a Burpee, Ginger?

    • Hi Gloria! I always love having you swing by my little ol’ blog.

      YES – you can totally work up to regular pushups by using the wall, a counter, edge of tub, chair, coffee table (even on your knees with coffee table) until you can finally get to the floor (on knees) and then eventually on your toes.

      I’ve found a link that shows a burpee and some of the variations for scaling. Same thing applies, you can modify the burpee-push-ups just like regular push ups. Instead of ‘jumping’ back into a plank, just step back, etc. Fun fun fun!! 🙂

      • Hope this doesn’t violate your comments rules, Ginger. You won’t hurt my feelings if you delete it, but my double entendre brain jumped into gear.

        What did it think?

        Never, ever give a steamy romance writer a lead-in like…”on your knees with a coffee table…”

        That is all.

        • Hahahaha!!! Your point very well taken! And see, I don’t write romance per se … even though there is some kissy, heart-thudding bits … I write YA Ninja. So, outside of what I meant literally, my mind would go to some action move where my darling little hero would cause a bit of a stir she didn’t want or need. 😉

      • On a serious note. Thanks for the link. Yes. I’ll have to modify the Burpee until I build upper body strength.

        Q for U:

        What are your thoughts on the TRX workout? Is it one of those exercise devices that you have to be in shape to appreciate so you’ll stick with it? I can handle pain and pushing myself. I can’t handle spending money to decorate my closet shelves with what-was-I-thinking exercise equipment.

        I’m still kicking my own rear for letting all those months of ab and core training morph into fluff.

        • Everything can be modified! I do it every single day in my gym. There’s not a single person who ‘can’t’ do the exercise in some form. 🙂

          TRX — I’ve heard of it and checked it out (briefly) one time because someone else asked me. Here’s my theory on things of this nature and all exercise equipment/machines/programs. If you enjoy it so that you will do it, it’s great! The best exercise program or equipment is one that you will do. I’m a firm believer that our bodies are our machines and we don’t need a house-full of ‘stuff’ to workout. I do like free weights, kettlebells, medicine balls, boxes …. things you can lift, push, throw, pull, run with, step onto, jump over — you get the idea.

          That’s not to say that using TRX, or a pilates machine, will not have good benefits. I’m sure they will. But I draw the line at lightweight dumbbell curls and ab-‘crunches’. Don’t get me started!!!! 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: