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Hyrox Workout: How to Train for the Hottest New Fitness Race

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Curious about the global fitness race that’s exploded in popularity? The Hyrox workout has been incorporated into boutique and big box gym regimens and no doubt infiltrated your Instagram feed. 

Hyrox is a smorgasbord of cardio and functional fitness that marries running with exercises like wall balls, sled pushes, and rowing. The event hosts competitions across North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania, with the 2024 season including over 60 races in 11 countries and 30 cities, often selling out in popular locales in a matter of minutes.

We’re giving you the low down on the Hyrox workout: where it started, what it entails, and, most importantly, how to maximize your training.

What Is Hyrox?

Hyrox started in Germany in 2017 by Christian Toetzke, a longtime organizer of endurance events like triathlons, marathons and cycling races, and Moritz Furste, a German field hockey player and three-time Olympic medalist. 

In the 2022/2023 season, over 90,000 athletes competed. A single event can include as many as 8,000 participants and 10,000 spectators, which is why the company calls itself the “world’s largest mass participation fitness race.”

While Hyrox hosts a highly competitive World Championships, the company says it “welcomes every participant with open arms.” To help alleviate concerns about being the last person to cross the finish line, a new wave of athletes starts every 10 minutes throughout the entire race day. According to the company, over 98 percent of athletes complete the race.

Additionally, the competition offers four divisions: 

  • Open, best for individuals who are just starting out
  • Pro, for experienced racers
  • Doubles, where you and a partner partition the workout stations 
  • Relay, where the work is split among four people. 

What Is the Hyrox Workout?

Unlike a CrossFit competition, where the workouts are typically new and sometimes remain unknown until just before the athletes step on the floor, the format of a Hyrox workout is always the same: eight rounds of a 1-kilometer run followed by a station. 

The exercises are always the same: 

  • SkiErg
  • Sled push
  • Sled pull
  • Burpee broad jumps
  • Rowing
  • Farmer’s carry
  • Sandbag lunges
  • Wall balls

The average time for a Hyrox workout is around 80 to 90 minutes, and the benefits are that it tests your strength, power, core stability, stamina, and coordination, says James Kelly, Hyrox coach and winner of the most recent Australian Hyrox race. However, what’s most importance is your endurance: “By far the biggest thing I’ve learned is that this is a running race before anything else.”

In addition to increasing your VO2 max, you’ll want to prioritize glute exercises, leg exercises, abs exercises, back exercises, and arm exercises. 

Here’s how to do each movement in the Hyrox workout—plus a snapshot of the reps, distance, and weight by group. 

Women Women Pro Men Men Pro

SkiErg

1,000m

1,000m

1,000m

1,000m

Sled Push 

4 x 12.5m at 75kg (plus sled)

4 x 12.5m at 125kg (plus sled)

4 x 12.5m at 125kg (plus sled)

4 x 12.5m at 175kg (plus sled)

Sled Pull 

4 x 12.5m at 50kg (plus sled)

4 x 12.5m at 75kg (plus sled)

4 x 12.5m at 75kg (plus sled)

4 x 12.5m at 125kg (plus sled)

Burpee Broad Jump

80m

80m

80m

80m

Rowing

1,000m

1,000m

1,000m

1,000m

Farmer’s Carry x 200m

2 x 16kg

2 x 24kg

2 x 24kg

2 x 32kg

Lunges 

100m at 10kg

100m at 20kg

100m at 20kg

100m at 30kg

Wall Balls

75 x 4kg

100 x 6kg

100 x 6kg

100 x 9kg

SkiErg

The movement mimics squatting and pulling mechanics, recruiting every part of your body for maximum efficiency.

Courtesy Image

How to Do It

  1. Grip the handles with a slight bend in your elbows and stand about an arm’s length away from the machine, to start. 
  2. Rise to the balls of your feet, reach arms up, then pull down hard, sending hips back and fists toward the ground, dropping into a slight crouch. 
  3. Immediately push through heels to reverse, then pull again.
  4. Your upper body supplies the force for the first part of the pull, then your lower body (glutes especially) power the tail end.

Pro Tip

Resist the urge to go all-out. Remember, this is the first station and burning out too soon spells disaster for the rest of the race. The SkiErg has a flywheel with a lever to control resistance and a digital display to track splits. For sprint training, keep the tension at 5 to 8, and use distance traveled for each interval to ensure consistency throughout reps. If you’re training for endurance, bump it down to a 4 or 5 and set a distance to cover. The damper in competition is set to the following resistance, according to division:

  • Women: 5
  • Women Pro/Men: 6
  • Men Pro: 7

You can adjust the damper to whatever resistance you like, just note you’re not allowed to change it once you start.

Sled Push

Hugging your arms around the sled’s bars takes the strain off your shoulders.

Courtesy Image

How to Do It

  1. Set the sled with the weight you’ll be using in competition, to start.
  2. Determine which stance you’ll use or play with a combination: arms straight out with hands on high poles, hands on high poles with elbows tucked in, arms wrapped around the high poles, or arms wrapped down the poles. 
  3. Hinge hips forward slightly and lean into the sled with your back straight and core engaged.
  4. Drive through the balls of your feet and push the sled with small, quick steps.
  5. You must stay within the designated lines of the Athlete’s Box and push the sled over the line on each rep.
  6. Penalty: If you complete less than four reps (lanes), you’ll get a penalty of 3 minutes per missing lane.

Note: In competition, you must cover 50m and Hyrox sleds weigh approximately 30 kg so overall weight is as follows:

  • Women: 102kg  
  • Women Pro: 152kg 
  • Men: 152kg incl. sled
  • Men Pro: 202kg incl. sled
  • Mixed Doubles: 152kg incl. sled
  • Women Doubles: 102kg incl. sled

Pro Tip

Taller participants might find the close-grip stance easier to gain momentum (arms bent, elbows tucked, hands on high bars), while shorter athletes might find arms extended better as they’re at a level height with the bars. If you’re too high over the sled and push down, you’ll cause it to tip and dig into the turf. Think about keeping a proud chest as you push the sled and stay as low and level as you can.

Sled Pull

Pulling the rope to one side of your body keeps it from bunching at your feet. 

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How to Do It

  1. Assume an athletic stance, feet just wider than shoulder-width apart, to start. 
  2. One technique will spare your legs and put the emphasis on your upper body: Grasp the rope with both hands and engage your lats to pull the rope toward one side of your body (shown), alternating which hand reaches forward, letting the rope coil behind you and to the side.
  3. The second technique engages the lower body to even the strain: Come into a quarter-squat position, then drive through your legs and extend through your hips as you simultaneously pull the rope toward you with both hands to gain more momentum.
  4. You must pull from a standing position at all times (no kneeling) and must stay within the designated lines of the Athlete’s Box. 
  5. Penalty: Taking any steps forward between repetitions is not allowed. If you violate any of these rules, the rep is void and needs to be repeated; moreover, a second warning warrants a 5m penalty. 

Pro Tip

Don’t let the rope pool and coil at your feet. You increase your odds of tripping over it. 

Burpee Broad Jumps

Step your feet together, rather than jumping to save energy.

Beth Bischoff

How to Do It

  1. From a standing position, bend down and touch your hands to the ground, behind the designated line, to start. Your hands can only be one foot-length away to meet Hyrox rules and once on the ground, they can’t move forward.
  2. Drop your chest to the ground (it must touch) and shoot your legs out behind you so you’re in the bottom position of a pushup.
  3.  Step or jump your feet to stand, then jump forward, landing with both feet simultaneously. 
  4. Penalty: Taking any steps forward between the repetitions is not allowed. If you violate any of these rules, the rep is void and needs to be repeated; moreover, a second warning warrants a 5m penalty. 

Pro Tip

Step your feet together to stand, then jump forward to preserve energy. If you want to jump throughout the duration of the station, stay low and keep your body tipped forward to jump like a frog and maintain momentum.

Rowing

Remember rowing is largely a lower body movement, so power it with your posterior chain, not your upper body.

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How to Do It

  1. Adjust the foot stretcher according to your shoe size so the straps are aligned with your midfoot, to start.
  2. Hold the handle at both ends, starting at the catch, where the handle is closest to the monitor. Angle your body forward so your shoulders are in front of your hips and arms are straight in front of you.
  3. Initiate the drive with your legs (think of a power clean). When your legs are almost straight, swing your body open while still keeping your arms straight. 
  4. When your body is just past perpendicular, pull your arms into your body to finish the stroke (handle should be near sternum). 
  5. Let your arms and body reset before you start the slide and bend your knees.

The damper in competition is set to the following resistance, according to division:

  • Women: 5
  • Women Pro/Men: 6
  • Men Pro: 7

You can adjust the damper to whatever resistance you like, just note you’re not allowed to change it once you start.

Pro Tip

A common mistake is relying on the upper body and arms to power the movement. Rowing is more about the connection between your hips and core. Maintain a steady pace so you don’t burn out.

Farmers’ Carry

Grab the kettlebell horn at the front to tilt the bells back and ease the strain on your grip strength.

James Michelfelder

How to Do It

  1. Stand tall with a kettlebell in each hand, to start. 
  2. Maintain a tall chest, retract shoulder blades, and keep weights from resting on thighs. 
  3. Walk forward, using choppy, heel-to-toe steps. 
  4. Ensure that your head is facing forward and your posture is rigid. You may rest the kettlebells on the ground if you need to reset. 

Pro Tip

The Centr x HYROX Octo Kettlebell designed for competition has a flattened, eight-sided design for even weight distribution and to better carry the bells by your sides; they stay flush rather than bouncing around. Hold the horns at the front of the bell rather than the center so they tip back. This will lessen the strain on your grip strength, as the weights naturally hang back so you don’t need to hold them so tightly. Try to move quickly through this station to minimize time under tension.

Sandbag Lunges 

Don’t let the sandbag touch the ground, whether competing solo or with a partner.

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How to Do It

  1. Start with feet hip-width apart and the sandbag in front of you, to start.
  2. Grab the handles and clean the bag to your chest, press it overhead, then rest it on your shoulders behind your neck. 
  3. Keeping your torso upright, lunge forward with left foot until right knee grazes the floor. 
  4. Press through left foot to stand; then lunge forward with your right foot until left knee kisses the ground. Continue alternating on each rep.
  5. Penalty: You must not take any steps in between lunges, nor can you drop the sandbag. If you’re competing with a partner, you must transfer the sandbag back-to-back without lowering it. Failure to do so with incur a 5m penalty. If competing in Doubles, the non-working partner walks behind the working partner, however if they obstruct other participants, a 10m penalty is issued.

Wall Balls

A box or bucket may be used to ensure athletes lower more than 90 degrees at the bottom of the squat. 

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How to Do It

  1. Stand facing a sturdy wall or wall ball target, with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, elbows bent at rib cage, ball under chin, to start. 
  2. Drop hips into a low squat (hips must descend below 90 degrees), then drive up with legs, extending arms overhead to toss the medicine ball to the target. 
  3. Women must hit the 9-foot target in the center and men must hit the 10-foot target in the center.
  4. Catch and use the ball’s momentum to return to a squat and repeat.

Pro Tip

Make a strategy. Since this is the last event, you’ll likely need to break the reps into sets to shake your arms out and take a breather in between. 

Expert Tips for Hyrox Workouts

1. Treat Running Like a Skill

Because running is so fundamental to the Hyrox workout, Kelly recommends first-timers treat it as a skill they need to work on. 

“You have to look at your running technique, volume, and training program,” he says. The key, he adds, is to get enough volume under your legs by doing this: Estimate how long the entire race will take, including the 8km (nearly 5 miles) of running and the eight workout stations. If that’s 90 minutes, you should work up to being able to run for 90 minutes straight. “Take it nice and slow,” he says, “no intensity whatsoever.”

Along those lines, Kelly says the biggest mistake he sees is people focusing too much on speed. 

“They think the way to get faster is to go as hard as possible in their workouts,” he says, which is counterintuitive. “If you try to run 400 meters as fast as possible, your technique will break down, and you’re teaching yourself to run poorly.”

2. Train the Sled Pull and Push in Isolation

As for the workout stations, in Kelly’s experience as a coach and an athlete, the two most difficult movements are the sled pull and push. He recommends training these movements in isolation. Then, about a month out from the race, you can incorporate them into a larger workout with running and the other stations. “It blends in all together all by itself,” he says.

3. Practice Pacing

On race day, pacing is everything. Because the Hyrox workout will likely be at least an hour of non-stop movement, “there’s no point in going out too hot,” Kelly says. And because running is so essential, he suggests you pull back on a station so you can jump straight into the run when you finish. As you get more experience, you’ll naturally start to understand where you can push the tempo and where to hold back.

4. Get the Right Equipment

To simulate a Hyrox workout, you don’t necessarily need a specialized gym, but it’s best to have certain equipment that’s difficult to replicate, like the SkiErg and the rowing machine. If you don’t have a sled to push, Kelly points out that this is a unilateral movement (e.g. one leg a time), so you can sub in any comparable exercise, like heavy walking lunges, heavy box stepups, or heavy Bulgarian split squats. Similarly, for the sled pull, you just need to work your posterior chain through deadlifts (or deficit deadlifts), rope pulls, lat pulldowns, and bentover rows.

5. Practice the Race

Apart from that accessory work, and focusing on each of the stations in isolation, Kelly says the best way to prepare is to do some version of the race—especially if you’re just beginning your Hyrox workout journey. You don’t need to go full-send beforehand, but try these routines to familiarize yourself with the Hyrox workout.

Simulation Hyrox Workout #1: The Half-Race

  • 500-meter run
  • 500-meter SkiErg
  • 500-meter run
  • 25-meter sled push (152kg for men, 102kg for women)
  • 500-meter run
  • 25-meter sled pull (103kg for men, 78kg for women)
  • 500-meter run
  • 40-meter burpee broad jump
  • 500-meter run
  • 500-meter row
  • 500-meter run
  • 100-meter farmers carry (2 x 24 kg for men, 2 x 16kg for women)
  • 500-meter run
  • 50-meter sandbag lunges (20kg for men, 10kg for women)
  • 500-meter run
  • 50 wall balls (6kg for men, 4kg for women)

Simulation #2: The Two-a-Day

In the morning:

  • 1-kilometer run
  • 1-kilometer SkiErg
  • 1-kilometer run
  • 50-meter sled push (152kg for men, 102kg for women)
  • 1-kilometer run
  • 50-meter sled pull (103kg for men, 78kg for women)
  • 1-kilometer run
  • 80-meter burpee broad jump

In the afternoon:

  • 1-kilometer run
  • 1-kilomter row
  • 1-kilometer run
  • 200-meter farmers carry
  • 1-kilometer run
  • 100-meter sandbag carry (20kg for men, 10kg for women)
  • 1-kilometer run
  • 100 wall balls (6kg for men, 4kg for women)

Simulation #3: The Partner Workout

You and your partner must complete all the running together, but you can partition the work stations however you like.

  • 1-kilometer run
  • 1-kilometer SkiErg
  • 1-kilometer run
  • 50-meter sled push (152kg for men, 102kg for women)
  • 1-kilometer run
  • 50-meter sled pull (103kg for men, 78kg for women)
  • 1-kilometer run
  • 80-meter burpee broad jump
  • 1-kilometer run
  • 1-kilometer row
  • 1-kilometer run
  • 200-meter farmers carry
  • 1-kilometer run
  • 100-meter sandbag carry (20kg for men, 10kg for women)
  • 1-kilometer run
  • 100 wall balls (6kg for men, 4kg for women)





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Health

Researchers May Have Found the Best Type of Protein for Weight Loss, New Study Shows

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Whether you’re just beginning your fitness journey or have years under your belt, you’ve probably heard the back and forth on the positives and negatives of high-protein diets. While some claim it’s the key to weight loss, others say diets with too much protein can negatively affect your overall health, especially your kidneys. 

According to a new study from the American Society for Microbiology, not only can a diet rich in protein alter your gut microbiome for the better like gut health supplements can, but one type of protein, in particular, may be particularly effective for promoting weight loss. 

Over a month-long period, a research team at the University of Illinois Chicago conducted a series of experiments on 16 mice to determine the effects of amino acids in protein-rich diets on gut bacteria, weight loss, and body fat percentage. 

For the first two weeks, the mice were fed a diet of standard chow made up mostly of carbohydrates. At the third-week mark, the mice were broken up into four different groups where the diets were enriched with varying levels of either branched-chain or aromatic amino acids. The first group kept a standard protein diet, while the second had a diet with a 10 percent increase in aromatic amino acids, the third had a 10 percent bump in branched-chain amino acids, and the fourth had a 5 percent increase in aromatic amino acids and a 5 percent jump in branched-chain amino acids.

At the end of the four weeks, they found that the mice consuming aromatic amino-acid-rich proteins (phenylalanine, tyrosine, tryptophan, and histidine) experienced the greatest weight and fat mass loss compared to those on standard protein and branched-chain-amino-acid-rich protein diets. They also found that higher protein diets, regardless of the kind, significantly improved the overall gut health as compared to the diet higher in carbohydrates. 

Related: How Much Protein You Need to Eat Every Day

While the fact that protein was a key factor in the mice’s weight and fat loss is no surprise, the question still remains: What is the correlation between a healthier gut and positive changes in one’s body composition? 

“We know that diets high in aromatic amino acids may affect the host’s immune response. This could potentially alter gut permeability and trigger inflammatory responses, which in turn could influence the composition of the gut microbiome and favor certain microbes over others,” says graduate student Samson Adejumo, the study’s lead researcher.

“These results imply that beyond the type of diet, the type of gut microbiome that metabolizes the diet is much more important,” Adejumo told Medical News Today. “The gut microbiome metabolism of the diet has the biggest impact on the host body composition.”

While more research is needed to conclusively state that high-protein diets are the sole cause of positive changes in the gut microbiome, the findings in this study are in line with past research that outlines the beneficial impacts of protein-rich diets on body recomposition. A study published in 2020, for example, found that a high-protein diet not only appears to increase muscle growth and fat loss but may also have beneficial effects on bone when combined with exercise.

“These findings provide a crucial foundation for understanding how protein diets influence the gut microbiome and open doors for further investigations into the role of diet in promoting a healthy gut and overall health,” Adejumo said. 

If you want to add more aromatic amino acids to your diet, fish, nuts, eggs, and meat are excellent sources. 



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Easy Crock Pot Dal (Slow Cooker Yellow Dal)

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This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure.

My crock pot dal recipe is an absolute staple in our house! Made with protein rich split chickpeas and a combination of rich, warm spices like turmeric, cumin, and coriander, this slow cooker yellow dal is pure and simple Indian comfort food. Ideal for anyone looking to make a flavor-packed one-pot dinner, or a make-ahead meal!

Crock pot yellow dal served in a white bowl, garnished with cilantro, with naan on the side.Crock pot yellow dal served in a white bowl, garnished with cilantro, with naan on the side.

My husband and kids love it when I make my crockpot dal recipe. Rich, warm spices like turmeric, cumin, and coriander fill my kitchen with the most amazing aroma when I’m cooking dal.

Essentially, dal is a spiced lentil stew made with just about any type of lentil. I like using split chickpeas – or “chana dal” because of their flavor and texture. But I’ve made my crock pot dal with red lentils, small black lentils, even black eyed peas. You can use the same spice combo and switch out your legume and it still works great.

When I make chana dal in the slow cooker, I usually serve it with some sort of “sabji” or stir-fried veggies with Indian spices. But oftentimes I’ll throw veggies like kale or sweet potato straight into the dal and eat it as a one-pot dish like in this sweet potato dahl.

My slow cooker dal recipe is totally delicious! With layers of flavor from the fragrant Indian spices and a creamy, comforting texture, it’s a satisfying and hearty dish that my whole family loves, including my kids.

It tastes like Indian comfort food, but also happens to be pretty good for you too. Split chickpeas are packed with protein and fiber, making it a wholesome meal that keeps you full and energized. Plus, slow cooker chana dal is naturally vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free.

Crock pot dal is simple and affordable to make. You can cook the lentils in the slow cooker and just add the spice mixture at the end, so your “active” time is only 15 minutes! If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can also simmer the lentils on the stovetop until they’re cooked through, but then you’ll have to watch it and stir it occasionally. Which is why I love the slow cooker – so I can “set and forget” it and come back to it when I’m ready to serve!

I also really enjoy customizing this recipe based on my mood or preferences that day. It’s so easy to mix things up. I have used different types of lentils, spices, and sometimes I add in my favorite veggies. Whether you are looking for a one-pot meal or want to serve it with sides, it’s easy to make my crockpot dahl recipe your own.

To top it all off, it stores well in the fridge and freezer. You can make a big batch of slow cooker yellow dal and enjoy it throughout the week, or freeze portions for a quick and easy meal on busy days.

Latest Recipe Video!

🥘 Ingredients

My slow cooker chana dal recipe doesn’t require any fancy ingredients. You can find all of them at most grocery stores or online. Scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the exact amounts and nutritional information. 

Ingredients for a crock pot dal recipe all on a marble background.Ingredients for a crock pot dal recipe all on a marble background.

Split Chickpeas (Chana Dal): These legumes form the hearty base of my slow cooker daal. Chana dal has a rich, nutty taste and a firm texture that holds up well during the slow cooking process. Yellow split peas are a good substitute.

Water: Essential for cooking the lentils to the perfect tender consistency.

Tomatoes: Diced fresh tomatoes add a vibrant, tangy flavor that balances the earthy spices. Canned diced tomatoes can be used in a pinch.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: Used for sautéing the spices and vegetables. I love the subtle flavor and richness that coconut oil adds to the dish, and it has a high smoke point which works well for toasting the cumin and mustard seeds until they pop. You can use ghee if not vegan.

Red Onion & Garlic: Finely chopped red onions and thinly sliced garlic add depth of flavor. I like the subtle sweetness of red onions, but yellow or white onions can also be used.

Spices: I use a mix of ground turmeric, ground coriander seeds, and cayenne pepper to give the dal its warm, earthy, and slightly spicy flavor. I toast the whole cumin seeds and black mustard seeds in the oil at the beginning, which releases their amazing aromas and adds a lot of depth and complexity to the dish.

Fresh Cilantro & Salt: Freshly minced cilantro leaves add a burst of freshness and a herbal finish to the dal. I add it at the end to preserve its bright flavor and vibrant green color. Salt is so important to the flavor profile of this dish! It helps to bring out the natural flavors of the ingredients, making my slow cooker yellow dal that much more savory and delicious.

🔪 How To Make Crock Pot Dal

Learning how to make dal in the slow cooker is so easy it’s sure to become your new favorite dish! Just follow my simple 3 step process, and you’ll have a meal on the table with very little effort.

Cook The Lentils: To begin, I add the lentils, salt, and 3 cups of water to my slow cooker. Then I let them cook on high for 4-6 hours.

Chana dal and water added to a crock pot.Chana dal and water added to a crock pot.

Saute The Spices: When the lentils are about done, I heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. I add a couple of cumin seeds to see if it’s hot. If they pop, the oil is ready to go!

Cumin seeds toasting in a pot on the stove.Cumin seeds toasting in a pot on the stove.

Add Cumin & Mustard Seeds: Now, I add all of the cumin seeds and mustard seeds to the pot and let them cook for 10-15 seconds until they pop).

Cumin and mustard seeds sauteed in a pot on the stove.Cumin and mustard seeds sauteed in a pot on the stove.

Add The Rest Of The Aromatics: Next, I add the coriander, turmeric, cayenne, onion, tomato, and garlic, and stir for 30 seconds.

Onions, garlic, tomatoes and spices sauteeing in a pot on the stove.Onions, garlic, tomatoes and spices sauteeing in a pot on the stove.

Saute: Finally, I turn the heat down to medium-low and let the mixture cook until the onions become translucent and the tomatoes break down.

Onions, garlic, tomatoes and spices sauteeing in a pot on the stove.Onions, garlic, tomatoes and spices sauteeing in a pot on the stove.

Finish: When ready, I add the tomato spice mixture to the slow cooker and stir to combine. I’ll thin it out with water to achieve the consistency I want.

Slow cooker chana dal in a crockpot.Slow cooker chana dal in a crockpot.

Serve: Then I top with fresh cilantro and serve my homemade slow cooker yellow dal.

Crock pot dal served in a white bowl, garnished with cilantro, with naan on the side.Crock pot dal served in a white bowl, garnished with cilantro, with naan on the side.

My #1 Secret Tip or making my slow cooker dahl is to toast the spices, but don’t burn them! Waiting until the cumin and black mustard seeds start to pop before adding them to the dish releases the essential oils that make this dal so delicious. You want to make sure you’re toasting them on medium-high heat only for a few seconds, stirring so that they don’t burn. Burnt spices will add a bitterness to this dish that we want to avoid!

Other Tips To Keep In Mind:

  • Soak The Lentils: Soak split chickpeas (chana dal) in cold water for at least an hour. This softens the lentils, reduces cooking time, and ensures they cook evenly and become tender.
  • Adjust The Heat: For a milder dal, reduce the cayenne pepper or substitute with paprika for a smoky flavor without the heat. For a spicier dish, add more cayenne or a chopped green chili.
  • Control Consistency: For a thicker dal, cook with the lid off for the last 15 minutes to allow some liquid to evaporate. For a thinner consistency, add a bit more water.
  • Stir Occasionally: If you’re home while the crockpot daal is cooking, give it a stir every now and then. This helps to ensure even cooking and prevents any sticking.

📖 Variations

Moong Dal: For a lighter and slightly sweeter version, make moong dal in the slow cooker. It has a delicate flavor that pairs well with a variety of spices. To make slow cooker moong dal, use mung beans and follow the same recipe but reduce the cooking time to about 3-4 hours on high.

Toor Dal: Also known as split pigeon peas, toor dal is another excellent option that will give you a dish with a creamy texture and mildly nutty flavor. To make slow cooker toor dal, you don’t need to make any changes to my recipe other than the legume.

Dal Tadka: This is a popular Indian dish where cooked dal is tempered with ghee or oil, spices, and aromatics. To make slow cooker dal tadka, follow the base recipe for the dal and, once cooked, prepare the tadka separately. Heat ghee or oil in a small pan, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, garlic, and dried red chilies until they sizzle and become aromatic. Pour the sizzling tadka over the cooked dal just before serving for an extra burst of flavor.

Red Lentil Dal: Red lentils (masoor dal) cook quickly and have a smooth, creamy texture. They don’t require soaking. Simply add them to the slow cooker with the same spices and cook on high for 3-4 hours.

Black Lentil Dal: Also known as urad dal, black lentils have a rich, earthy flavor and a thicker texture. They take longer to cook, so soak them overnight and then cook on high for 6-8 hours.

Mixed Lentil Dal: Combine different types of lentils for a unique texture and flavor. Try mixing chana dal, toor dal, and red lentils. Adjust the cooking time based on the lentil that takes the longest to cook, usually 4-6 hours on high.

Vegetable Dal: Try adding carrots, spinach, zucchini, or bell peppers. Chop them into small pieces and add them to the slow cooker with the lentils.

Curry Coconut Dal: For a creamier, richer crock pot dal, add some curry powder and stir in a can of coconut milk during the last hour of cooking.

🍽 Serving Suggestions

My yellow dal in the slow cooker is a versatile dish that can be paired with a variety of breads, sides, and sauces. These are just a few of my favorites:

With Sides: Serve the dal over a bed of fluffy basmati rice or my instant pot quinoa. It’s also wonderful with my Indian asparagus stir fry or Indian spiced bok choy.

With Breads: I’ll often serve dal with my warm, soft vegan naan bread or flaky Guyanese roti. It’s perfect for soaking up the delicious, spiced lentil stew. For a gluten-free option, I also like it with my homemade gluten free bread.

With Sauces: Mint chutney or tamarind chutney pairs perfectly with the dal, adding a sweet and tangy contrast. A side of yogurt raita is also a refreshing complement to the warm, spiced dal. 

With Indian Dishes: Pair it with other classic Indian dishes like my vegan palak paneer or cauliflower sabji. For a larger spread, feel free to add classic Indian appetizers like my samosas or tandoori cauliflower.

🧊 Storage Directions

Fridge: Once the dal in crock pot has cooled, I put it in an airtight container. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days, making it perfect for meal prepping. 

Freezer: For longer storage, I always freeze the dal. Let it cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag, leaving a bit of space at the top for expansion. Dal will stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Reheating: For the best results, I warm it up on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it’s heated through. If it has thickened too much, just add a splash of water or vegetable broth to get it back to the right consistency.

For a quick reheat, I will also use the microwave. I’ll place an individual portion of dal in a microwave-safe bowl, cover it with a damp paper towel to keep it moist, and heat on high for 2-3 minutes. If you choose this method, make sure to give it a stir halfway through to make sure it heats evenly.

❓Recipe FAQs

CAN I MAKE THIS DAL RECIPE IN AN INSTANT POT?

Yes, use the sauté function to toast the cumin and mustard seeds, then add the onions, garlic, tomatoes, and other spices. Once fragrant, add the soaked split chickpeas and water. Seal the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow for a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure. Add the cilantro before serving.

CAN I MAKE THE DAL ON THE STOVETOP?

Yes, just simmer the soaked lentils on the stove for until they’re cooked through. If you’ve soaked them long enough, they should take about 1-2 hours to cook. Then saute the spices, make the tomato mixture, and complete the recipe as stated in the instructions.

WHY DID MY DAL BURN?

Crock pot dal can burn if there isn’t enough liquid in the slow cooker, or if the appliance was set to too high a temperature. Ensure you use at least the recommended amount of water. Also, avoid adding dairy products like yogurt or cream during the initial cooking process as they can thicken and cause burning; add them at the end instead.

WHY AREN’T MY LENTILS COOKED?

If your lentils aren’t cooked, it could be due to insufficient soaking time or incorrect cooking time and temperature. Make sure to soak the split chickpeas for at least one hour before cooking. If using a slow cooker, ensure it is set to high and the cooking time is sufficient (4-6 hours). How long to cook dal in slow cookers can vary, but it will always take at least 4 hours for chana dal.

Slow cooker yellow dal served in a white bowl, garnished with cilantro, with naan on the side.Slow cooker yellow dal served in a white bowl, garnished with cilantro, with naan on the side.

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📋 Recipe Card

Easy Crock Pot Dal (Slow Cooker Yellow Dal)

My crock pot dal recipe is an absolute staple in our house! Made with protein rich split chickpeas and a combination of rich, warm spices like turmeric, cumin, and coriander, this slow cooker yellow dal is pure and simple Indian comfort food. Ideal for anyone looking to make a flavor-packed one-pot dinner, or a make-ahead meal!

Prep Time15 minutes

Cook Time6 hours

Total Time6 hours 15 minutes

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Indian, Vegan, vegetarian

Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Servings: 4 servings

Calories: 210kcal

Shop Ingredients on Jupiter
  • Add the lentils, salt, and 3 cups of water to a slow cooker. Cook on high for 4-6 hours.

  • When your lentils are close to done, heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add a couple cumin seeds to test out the heat of the oil. If they pop, the oil is ready to go!

  • Add all of your cumin seeds and mustard seeds and let cook for 10-15 seconds (until the seeds pop).

  • Then add your coriander, turmeric, cayenne, onion, tomato, and garlic, stir for 30 seconds, and turn the heat down to medium low. Let it cook until the onions become translucent and the tomatoes break down.

  • Add the onion/tomato/spice mixture to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Top with cilantro and serve!

  • Soak The Lentils: Soak split chickpeas (chana dal) in cold water for at least an hour. This softens the lentils, reduces cooking time, and ensures they cook evenly and become tender.
  • Adjust The Heat: For a milder dal, reduce the cayenne pepper or substitute with paprika for a smoky flavor without the heat. For a spicier dish, add more cayenne or a chopped green chili.
  • Control Consistency: For a thicker dal, cook with the lid off for the last 15 minutes to allow some liquid to evaporate. For a thinner consistency, add a bit more water.
  • Stir Occasionally: If you’re home while the crockpot daal is cooking, give it a stir every now and then. This helps to ensure even cooking and prevents any sticking.

Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 3.4g | Saturated Fat: 2.9g | Sodium: 581mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 4g

simple slow cooker yellow dal. quick easy healthy recipes, healthy food for picky eaters kids, healthy delicious food recipes, healthy meal ideas for kids, healthy food recipes for weightsimple slow cooker yellow dal. quick easy healthy recipes, healthy food for picky eaters kids, healthy delicious food recipes, healthy meal ideas for kids, healthy food recipes for weight


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Sensitive Men Rising: Why the World Needs Us Now More Than Ever

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A new documentary film, Sensitive Men Rising (SMR), is turning its lens to the billion men who have largely been hidden in the shadows. Thanks to the breakthrough that we now know as “sensory processing sensitivity” (SPS) —popularly known as “high sensitivity“— we know men can play a pivotal role in changing the face and times of masculinity as a force for good in the world.

            According to the film’s director, Will Harper,

“Sensitive Men Rising, is a long overdue socially significant film that invites all of us on an emotional, educational, and life-enlightening passage. It asks us ALL to deepen our understanding of sensory processing sensitivity in men, and how it intersects with traditional and modern-day masculinity.”

            The film’s producer, Dr. Tracy Cooper, author of the book, Empowering the Sensitive Male Soul, says,

“Highly Sensitive People (HSP) seem to ignore the cultural programming we are all exposed to and, instead prefer to work out original solutions.”

Prior to the release of the film, June 16, 2024 (Father’s Day), Dr. Cooper interviewed me about my own work with Highly Sensitive Men.

            I also had the good fortune to meet, William Allen, author of the book, On Being a Sensitive Man, and host of an HSP Men’s Monthly Zoom Meeting. My own men’s group has been meeting for 44 years now. I was excited to learn that Bill is gathering men together from all over the world. You can learn more at TheSensitiveMan.com.

            I’ve always known I was a highly sensitive boy growing up, but I never had a name for it until I read Dr. Elaine Aron’s book, The Highly Sensitive Person, originally published in 1996, with the revised and updated 25th Anniversary Edition, in 2020.Based on the research that she and her husband, Dr. Arthur Aron, had conducted, Dr. Aron says,

“Over twenty percent of people have this amazing, innate trait. A similar percentage is found in over 100 animal species, because high sensitivity is a survival strategy.”

            In a recent article, “How Are Highly Sensitive Men Different?” Dr. Aron says,

“As some of you know, I have a special place in my heart for highly sensitive men. I really do like them. That is part of why I want to see this movie made about them. But what makes them different from other HSPs or other men?”

            Just as her research findings demonstrated that “high sensitivity” is a biologically-based trait present not only in human beings but other species as well, she recognizes that “male sensitivity” also has biological roots.

“First, Highly Sensitive Males (HSMs) develop under the influence of male genes, the main factor being testosterone. Gender spectrum aside, almost all HSMs (and men in general) are clearly biologically male.”

            Dr. Aron goes on to say that these issues are complex and we will learn more over time, yet there are things that we can say now.

“Of course, male and female behavior is such that many men do some things women normally do and vice versa, but hormones have to make HSMs and HSWs different in some ways. How do hormones interact with sensitivity?  We do not know yet, but they surely do, and we need to learn about it. Maybe that’s phase two of the research.”

            Dr. Aron also recognizes the importance of understanding evolutionary realities as we seek to work with this important, biologically, based trait.

“Looking back at the evolution of male behavior we know sensitivity works enough to be present in 20 or even 30% of the population and in equal numbers in men and women. That means HSMs have been successful at reproducing themselves, but how?”

            She goes on to say,

“When you know that you are highly sensitive, it reframes your life. Knowing that you have this trait will enable you to make better decisions.”

Early in my life, I always felt my sensitivity made me different from most of my male peers. Now, as a father of five, grandfather of seventeen, and great grandfather of two, I realize I’m part of a select group of males who have a larger calling in life.

            Based on her own research and that of others, she suggests that we look to the unique ways in which men are engaged with their children.

“We know human males evolved into a strategy found in some birds and in some other mammals, which is staying around after mating to help raise their own young. This method of seeing their DNA go on to the next generation contrasts sharply with simply mating as often as possible with as many females as possible and not staying around after.”

            If we weren’t highly sensitive before we had children, being an involved father will definitely bring out the best in us.

Bottom Line: Highly Sensitive Men Have S.T.Y.L.E.

            Dr. Aron gives us a simple acronym to summarize how this unique trait of High Sensitivity manifests itself in men.

  • S for strategic, or depth of processing in action, since males must act and keep an eye on other males, especially those who are more aggressive.
  • T for testosterone—you cannot explain an HSM by thinking he is more “feminine.”
  • Y  for wise yielding—to live to fight (better) another day and in another way, and yielding as in “high yield” investments.  (Yielding can be misperceived as weakness, but it isn’t at all—as when in the martial arts, especially judo [or Aikido], you use the other’s attack to defeat them almost effortlessly while preserving your own mental and physical energy.)
  • L  for leadership—either among people or becoming leaders in their fields, in the arts, science, business, athletics, or any field they endeavor, using their unique STYLE.
  • E for Empathy, which can be used in close relationships and leadership, but also in knowing, for strategic purposes, what others are up to, sometimes even before they know.

Examples of Highly Sensitive Males

            As Dr. Aron notes, there are a lot of examples we could refer to among the more than 1 billion Highly Sensitive Men in the world today. She offers one example from a Netflix series. Here’s what she has to say:

            “It’s no secret that I like Star Trek, all iterations except the sexist first one, but it’s not so much the science fiction. I like that all the main characters are good people–heroic, kind, etc. I only watch TV while doing my floor exercises every other day, but after watching Star Trek for so many years that I know what happens in every episode, I needed an alternative. 

            “Netflix kindly showed me other things I might like, given my liking for Star Trek, so I tried Designated Survivor.  I was instantly hooked.  It is a relentless thriller, which I would never normally watch and do not recommend for other HSPs. So why was I watching?

            “The show is about U.S. politics–this quiet guy, never interested in power or fame, becomes President after EVERYBODY in the government (even the Supreme Court) is killed in a huge bombing during the State of the Union address. 

            “It turns out this “designated survivor,” played by the actor, Kiefer Sutherland, and many of those around him, inspired by him, are unfailingly good and wise, in every situation, just like the crews of Enterprise. I was hooked, even though I am overstimulated by every episode. It was great to see Highly Sensitive Men in positions of power, even if only in a T.V. drama.”

            I had watched the series and found engaging from the first episode where the Kiefer Sutherland character stands up to a hot-headed general who wants to take immediate action before he knows all the facts, a great example of healthy male leadership. After having watched Sensitive Men Rising, I had a new appreciation for the importance of sensitive male leadership. We definitely need a U.S. President who displays the quality of high sensitivity.

 Sensitive Men Rising: The Peaceful Warriors We Need in the World Today

            A few of the real-life Highly Sensitive Men I have admired in my life include:

  • The Dalai Lama
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Psychologists Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Psychiatrist John Bowlby.

            These are all highly sensitive men who also have had to stand up against oppression with the strength of peaceful warriors. A man who also fits that description is meditation master Chögyam Trungpa. In my book, The Warrior’s Journey Home: Healing Men, Healing the Planet, I quote Trungpa who says,

“Warriorship does not refer to making war on others. Aggression is the source of our problems, not the solution. Here the word ‘warrior’ is taken from the Tibetan, pawo, which literally means ‘one who is brave.’ Warriorship in this context is the tradition of human bravery, or the tradition of fearlessness. Warriorship is not being afraid of who you are.”

Where Do We Go From Here?

            We are at a time in human history where Highly Sensitive Men are needed now more than ever. Mark Jamison, Head of Global Clients, VISA, Inc., one of the experts featured in the film Sensitive Men Rising,  says, “The world is falling apart, political divisiveness is pulling us under, the environment is being destroyed. We need a different model. When people see options that bring hope and sensitivity and a much more integrative approach to problem solving, I see them embracing it with their arms wide open.”

            At the end of the film, Dr. Elaine Aron concluds,

“Most of the world’s suffering is due to a certain kind of masculinity. A different kind can change that. Sensitive men are rising. It’s a whole new ball game.”

You can learn more about the film at sensitivemenrising.org.

            Actor and Director, Peter Coyote, who hosted the film asked us at the end, “What will you do to change the paradigm?” My answer is to join with like-minded and sensitive-souled men and women to make change for good.

            Come visit me on my website, https://menalive.com/ and check out our new non-profit, www.MoonshotForMankind.com.



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