It’s summertime, and sun’s out, buns out. Swim suits, short shorts, and mini skirts, walking around next to what is likely to be a beach, a grill, or preferably a beach AND a grill. Here are a few tips on making sure your buns, of both varieties, are the best.
If there was one thing I can always be proud of, it is being a white girl with some junk in the trunk. Sure buying pants is really difficult, but if my top half is destined to be mediocre and I am completely unwilling to give up pints of ice cream (the sacrifice necessary for abs), at least I can take steps to perfect a different asset. It is impossible to diet your way to a good butt. A good butt demands actually eating, and a little sweat equity. Heavy weights are the key, as light weights will only tone you up, not add on some bulk. The best exercises for your buns are the squat and the Romanian deadlift.
Both squats and deadlifts activate your glutes, the muscles in your butt that make it look nice and grow bigger. The type of squat you should do depends on your athletic ability, flexibility, and your knee and back health. People with knee and back issues should perform a classic back squat or front squat, training up to perform a 90 degree angle without butt wink. There are a few other variations too you can try, if you are feeling adventurous. However, for those with knee or back issues, do not go below 90 degrees, keep the weight in your heels (your toes should be able to curl up) feet forward, and your knees should not go past your toes. Bodybuilding.com is a great resource for anyone looking to perfect their squat form.
For those of you who want more, may I present the Ass to Grass squat, or ATG. The more range of motion you have, the more muscles you work, and the better the exercise is for your buns (link). May I also point out that this is how you pick up things in the real world? Training your ATG will help you assist your friends with moving anything, even if it starts out on the ground.
Beware. An ATG takes work. It also takes monitoring of your form. As you progress in getting lower and lower to the ground, you may develop the dreaded butt wink. This puts your back at risk for injury. Note that there is a difference between butt wink and neutral spine. For a while, I was terrified that I had developed a butt wink. However, watch my back. It never rounds. Rounding of the back, more so than butt position, is indication of bad form. The butt wink is such a hot button issue, because often times as soon as people start to tuck their pelvis, their back also rounds into an undesirable position.
The Romanian deadlift is also an exercise where you need to watch your back. This is a very good article/video about this variation of deadlift. If this doesn’t make your glutes burn like Sacramento pavement in June, you’re inhuman.
Finally, vegetarian or non-vegetarian, store bought buns are disgusting and nutritionally useless. I made homemade buns once and was completely hooked. Not only are they incredibly thrifty (as any homemade bread is), but homemade buns also have a lightly sweet, nutty flavor. After a few recipes tried, I settled on this one. Quick, easy, and delicious, these are the perfect addition to any summer party. AND, did you see the title? They only take 40 minutes to make. I use half high gluten flour, half whole wheat. Watch the size, if they are too big you will have problems baking them all the way through, and don’t forget the egg wash and sesame seeds! I don’t know why, but it just makes the buns looks better, and isn’t that what this post is all about?
This Week in Updates: Alameda and Happy Memorial Day Weekend
Super excited for a weekend full of baking! I made lemony tofu for burgers, some more burger buns, and a delicious pesto pizza because the most beautiful bunches of basil were at the co-op this weekend. (I had actually seen them last week but alas! I was traveling!) Yes, I was traveling, and yes, I really missed cooking and baking. I was going to CISM training (critical incident stress management), which is how to help other coasties and yourself deal with the stress of being a first responder, and I got to spend four lovely days out in Alameda. It was my first long motorcycle trip, and boy is packing that thing for four days difficult! The country out there is gorgeous though. Minus the traffic on the way back, I couldn’t have asked for a better ride. I also got some delicious food (the vegan soulfood was awesome!!!) but within 24 hours I missed the practice of cooking for myself. I am hopeless.
The Recipe: Lemony Tofu
This goes absolutely wonderfully on a bun with some chard and mayo. Easy and delicious, I am now a baking tofu addict!
2-4 cuts of extra firm tofu
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tbs rosemary, ground
Juice of 1 lemon
Mix together olive oil, lemon, and rosemary. Let tofu soak in it for at least an hour, though more is better. Flip tofu halfway through. Poor tofu and marinade into small baking pan, and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes, flipping (again) halfway through. That’s it! Enjoy!