Thursday, October 7, 2010

Success!

I'm still learning my way around. I don't know where anything is if it is not within a one mile radius of my house, the gym or hospital. Awesome. Tonight I was on the prowl for something decent to eat. I had nothing prepared at home and felt far too lazy to actually come home and cook.

When I say I don't know where anything is I'm serious. I drove aimlessly singing Britney in my car hoping to come upon something that sparked my interest. There are a lot of restaurants here that we did not have in Oklahoma and a lot of favorites from home that are not here. I made it out to Hall Road and saw Salsarita's. I had heard it was pretty good and I am always up for Mexican. (Ted's I miss you!) I decided to go for it.

I'm pretty excited about my find. It is a great paleo spot! I ordered a taco salad sans the taco shell. Remember, don't be afraid to be particular when you order! They had a great variety of meats. Grilled chicken, grilled steak, pork, shrimp (Yes, shrimp! Hallelujah!) and a few others. Not only that, but they don't charge extra for guacamole AND I had about two scoops. I do love my guacamole. I topped it off with plenty of fresh pico and was good to go. No cheese, no sour cream ::insert strange look from girl behind counter here:: but I was happy and hungry.

I made it home just in time to watch Grey's Anatomy. All in all it was a very successful evening.

Tomorrow I will be grilling a pound and a half of pork chops. I'm pretty excited. This weekend I'm making a care package for my sister who is deployed in Kuwait. She requested baked goods with chocolate. I love chocolate about as much as a I love guacamole...which is a lot...this could be a problem...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I'm Back...For Real

After driving from Oklahoma to Michigan, moving into a temporary apartment, looking tirelessly for something permanent to move into, flying back to Oklahoma to move out and close on the house, flying back to Michigan, moving into a super, wonderful condo and moving out of a temporary apartment...I finally feel settled.

It only took one month.

I finally have all my stuff...and by stuff I mean, I have my kitchen back! I have all my pots and pans, my George, my coconut oil, my steamer bags, a big, beautiful fridge and lots and lots of storage. It is feels like heaven.

We have been in our new digs for six days. I cannot tell you how much living "in limbo" as I have called it will wear you down and let you talk yourself into eating things you don't normally even consider eating. I have sent far too many emails to friends "back home" admitting things like, "I just ate half a bag of Twizzlers" (movie night!) or "I just ate a meal from McDonald's." Welp, that is life for you. Thankfully, getting into a good routine is super easy.

I visited one of the natural markets, Randazzo's, that I live only .7 miles from (hooray!) last Friday. It is beautiful. Everything is fresh....nothing frozen! I purchased two pounds of flank steak which made me a little bit giddy. I love flank steak because I love red meat and it is super lean so I feel like I can eat it all the time. If you haven't made it before I highly recommend it. I prefer to broil mine. Here is what I did:
  • Marinate 2 lbs of meat in olive oil, worchestershire sauce, a little sea salt and pepper
  • Refrigerate for three to four hours
  • Broil on high for eight to ten minutes per side
  • Let meat "rest" and then cut into eight 4oz pieces

I steamed some asparagus (of course) to go with the steak. The Mr. was more than thrilled with dinner. I think I only cooked dinner for us twice during our one month stint in the apartment aka dorm room. Poor guy. I'm also making sure to kick the morning off right by boiling eggs. Having a nice, paleo friendly go to protein source for me is key to staying on track.

What do you do every day to make sure you stay the course?

I want to give a shout out to some of my Tulsa ladies who are embarking on a month long zone challange. Keep it up girls!

Michigan is treating us well. Our new gym is great. I'm looking forward to getting back into blogging and being in the kitchen. I will close with some famous words from little orphan Annie...I think I'm going to like it here.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I Made It!

I finally made it to Michigan after a long thirteen hour drive north with my dog. I went through multiple bottles of water, cans of diet coke, an entire bag of twizzlers, a small bag of gummy bears, lots of trail mix, turkey jerky and a stop at Jack in the Box. Don't give me grief. It is a car trip and I was moving. I did what I had to do to make the drive bearable! Really, it was all Paige's fault anyway. Her treat bag was loaded with the good and the bad, which I 100% appreciated! Thanks Paige!

First order of business when I got to Michigan was to go to the store. Our temporary apartment had three items that you could consume:
1. Diet Dr. Pepper
2. Sliced deli ham
3. Pickles

I found a Kroger not far from our humble abode. I felt like a kid in a candy store. I was starting from scratch. I needed everything. I got my good old favorites like asparagus, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, blueberries and strawberries. I bought some pork chops and lean ground turkey. Then, I found heaven. An organic isle. Huge jars of almond butter and ten plus flavors of larabars! Oh me oh my. I no longer have to trek all the way to Whole Foods to get my treats!

There are a few really neat looking natural food markets here. I have been to one on a prior trip when we were scoping the place out. I'm going to try to visit them next week and report back on them.

Weird thing about Michigan...they sell alcohol in grocery stores. I know everyone probably thinks Oklahoma is strange because we don't, but I'm still getting used to seeing it when I walk in.

I honestly have to say I'm having a hard time eating regualr, full meals. I'm working from home now so my schedule is very differet. It will be 3PM and I realize I haven't eaten lunch. I know once I get in a better routine I'll be eating every two hours like before. :) I jumped right into the gym here. I'm going to start running some classes next week which I am very excited about. No sense in waiting around, right?

Monday, August 23, 2010

What a Difference a Week Makes

A full week of strict paleo down. Feeling awesome. I am feeling so awesome in fact I am going to keep it up another week. I guess to say I was on "strict" paleo would be a bit of a lie. That was the goal, but I did have a few deviations. Nevertheless, I was eating clean about 98% of the time and my slight deviations were very slight.

I already feel leaner and lighter. Muscle ups and handstand push ups towards the end of the week are a true testament to that. Maybe I was having a good day, but moving through those movements felt like a breeze compared to how they had been feeling. I'm not a scale girl, but I think if I were to get on a scale I would be happy with what I saw.

The steamer bags have been phenomenal! Get them now. The best news is that last week we sold our house! YAY! This means I can start destroying my kitchen again. Of course, I will be packing up my car and making the move north this weekend...fingers crossed. I fully plan on demolishing that kitchen when I get there though.

I've been eating a lot of shrimp. A LOT. Tonight I'm cooking up a pound of beautiful, lean pork chops. I have some gorgeous blackberries and raspberries as well. Eating good food just makes me feel exactly that...good! I've needed to feel like this again and I'm so thrilled that after only a week I'm getting there. It doesn't take much to get back into a good routine. Make the decision and do it. I dare you.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Keep it Simple

I do what I can to keep my life simple. I have a tendency to stress and worry and if you know me then you probably know I plan and over analyze...a lot. The older I get the more I try to get away from this part of my personality and just relax, but I kind of love this part of me.

I say it over and over again, but the last few months have been stressful. Regionals, moving, selling our house, our house still not selling, being a thousand miles away from my spouse for two months and counting, etc, etc, etc.

Today I am starting a week of super strict paleo. Just a week! A kick start if you will. However, one of the reasons I haven't been as "on" as I like is because I'm trying to keep my house incredibly clean for showings. This means the George stays under the cabinet unless I am cooking a lot of protein at one time. My skillets haven't seen the light of day. I have all of them packed in boxes except for my mini that I use for my eggs! I know there are ways to get around these issues, but I just haven't been motivated enough to really try. I still eat pretty well most of the time, but I'm not cooking at home anymore so obviously there is more deviation than I like.

Today I am picking up these little guys at the store.













I used to use them a lot and then I used them all and they were gone. I kept forgetting to buy more. God created these just for me. He wants me to keep it simple. You can store your ready to go meal in the bag for up to two days before steaming and eating! This means tonight I can prep a couple bags for lunches at work this week and then heat them up at the office. It will be just like our great stir-fry that we kept in the freezer, but I don't need a stove top to cook them! I can have shrimp with fresh veggies almost everyday! Sure, my coworkers are going to hate me again, but whatever.

Here is what I am making tonight. I know, start drooling now! I'm going with the rosemary instead of the dill weed.

Go here for more great steam bag recipes or make up your own. All you have to do is add your meat, veggies, spices and heat. What could be easier?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Powerful Food Combinations

I get the "Eat This, Not That" e-newsletter from Men's Health. Sometimes they have some really great and interesting information. Today's e-newsletter talked about powerful food combination's. We all want to get the most out of what we eat, so I went through and grabbed the paleo friendly suggestions. Here is the article if you want to look for yourself. I paraphrased.

Combo #1
Tomatoes and Avocados
If you eat paleo I think it is a rule that you HAVE to like avocados. I wouldn't survive without them. The are my fat. Paired with one of my favorite fruit/veggies of all time (the tomato) you have got a powerful duo.

Tomatoes fight cancer and the fat in the avocado helps make the cancer fighting antioxidant in the tomato more viable. Can't beat that, right?

Combo #2
Broccoli and Tomatoes
Two great colors. Green and red! It is like Christmas on your plate. Basically, both of these help fight prostate cancer and when paired together they are even better. Experts don't really know why yet, but they say it does. I really don't think eating more broccoli or tomato is going to hurt you, so you might as well do it!

Combo #3
Blueberries and Grapes
Eating a variety of fruits gives you access to a variety of antioxidants. Blueberries and grapes are two of the best, so eat them together and you are doing great things for your body. If you are watching your sugar intake I would recommend to go heavier on the blueberry and lighter on the grape. Blueberries are a wonder food.

Combo #4
Lemon and Kale
I love lemon, but I have to admit I have only had kale one or two times thrown in a salad with numerous other things. Adding some vitamin C (from the lemon) to your plant based iron (kale) will help boost your immunity and muscle strength better (yay!) than if you were to eat these two things separately. Other good plant based sources of iron are leeks, beet greens, mustard greens and swiss chard. I haven't tried many of those so they are going on my list.

Combo #5
Red Meat and Rosemary
I feel smart because I do this one all the time. I throw rosemary on pretty much anything I cook protein wise. It is one of my favorite herbs. Many people are concerned about grilling because of the carcinogens that are produced on the charred meat. Rosemary contains two acids (rosmarinic and carnosic) that help lower the cancer causing stuff in charred meat.

Combo #6
Turmeric and Black Pepper
I do not like curry. I have not liked it since I was little and I do not like it to this day. Many people tell me I am missing out, but I just can't get into the flavor. However, if you are a curry fan you are in luck! Turmeric which is used in curry is known to fight cancer and help fight inflammation. Add black pepper to it and it helps make the spice more viable to your system. Curry lovers rejoice!

Combo #7
Garlic and Fish
Again, another staple of my diet...more the garlic than the fish, but I love both. Basically, eating your fish cooked with garlic helps lower cholesterol better than eating both alone. Does anyone actually eat garlic cloves alone? Hmmm...

Combo #8
Eggs and Cantaloupe
At first glace this combination does not sound too appealing, but if I think about it I pair these together at breakfast often. Cantaloupe was my favorite fruit growing up. I don't eat it as much now because I find it very time consuming to cut up, but when I visit my parents my mom always has a plate of cantaloupe cut up and ready to go! Basically, great proteins like eggs work better to when you pair them with good carbs like fruit, not other carbs like breads.

I hope you found this information interesting! Keep eating good food and you are bound to put together a great combination and not even know it!

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Few Things I Have Learned and a Challange

This time last year I was embarking on a new adventure....a paleolithic adventure! I was only six days into my paleo challenge. I remember it being tough, but I remember being determined. A year later, I have learned a lot about nutrition and how the body works. I have learned that calories in and calories out are still important, but the quality of your food is just as important if not more. I have learned that splurge days are a must, splurge months (like what I have been on lately) are not. I have learned that I too can be lean and mean. I learned I like a lot of foods that I thought I didn't. I learned that playing with new flavors and spices in the kitchen can be fun even if it doesn't always turn into a "hit". I have learned you can eat fish for breakfast even if other people think it is weird.

Learning is fun.

I plan on reading the Primal Blueprint this month. I still haven't gotten around to it. Life kind of got in they way, but hey, that's life!

A new challenge to myself: I will only speak positively about myself! I have gotten into a very bad habit in the last few weeks of saying things like, "I suck", "I'm slow", "I'm huge". None of these things are true. I'm just in a valley after a very high peak. It happens. I will feel like me again soon. As my college coach used to tell me, "Only good hitters go into slumps...bad hitters are always in a slump!" I wouldn't say I'm in a slump...I'm just not on a streak! As fitness and health enthusiasts I think it is easy for us to be hard on ourselves when we have a bad day or two in the gym or eat something less that optimal for a few meals. We need to give ourselves a break. We need to remember that the ultimate goal is to lead a full and healthy life...not always win.

I'm a work in progress.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Gooseberry

The other day I dropped into Reasor's after my workout. Pretty typical of me to walk in covered in chalk, sweat and other CrossFit goodness. I headed over to the produce because I was running seriously low on fruit. I typically go for berries and grapefruit. A man was stocking something I hadn't seen before. Gooseberries. Hmmmmm....

I have heard of gooseberry pie, but I really had no idea what you did with gooseberries. I decided to grab a small container. They weren't too expensive, less than the other berries. I was proud of myself for picking up something new.

The next day I headed to work with my little baggie of gooseberries. I was all excited to tell my co-workers what they were when they saw them. Then I ate them....

Sour. Not sweet. Not really good at all.

I did a little research on gooseberries. Here is what Wikipedia had to say about the very cute gooseberry and their culinary uses:

"Gooseberries are best known for their use in desserts such as Gooseberry Fool and Gooseberry Crumble. In some countries, like Portugal, gooseberries are very appreciated as a beverage, being mostly used mixed with soda, water or even milk."

Apparently most people don't eat the berry raw. Most people would cook it down. I read that helps bring out the sweetness. Well, I tried. I probably will not be making gooseberry pie. I'm just too lazy.

Have any of you ever had success with the gooseberry? It is just such a cute little berry...I imagined it tasting completely different!

In Skill of the Month News:
I got three pistols the other day AND I walked on my hands for about five feet. I have never done that before. Quite an accomplishment.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Starting the Week Off Right!

Today I made a trip to Whole Foods. I put together a very colorful, healthy salad. I recently started adding beets to my salad when I go to whole foods. They always have them right next to the radishes, which I love. They are really fun combination. The radish gives a little kick and the beet is just a little bit sweet.

Nutritional Benefits of the Beet:
  • The pigment that gives the beet it's rich color is also a powerful cancer fighting agent.
  • Helps lower cholesterol levels
  • Beets contain betaine which helps lower inflammation. Chronic inflammation can be linked to heart disease, osteoporosis, cognitive decline and Alzheimer's, and type 2 diabetes.
How to Prepare Beets:
  • Grate beets and serve in salad (that is how Whole Foods has them. Delicious!)
  • Cut beets into chunks and add them to when roasting veggies in the oven.
  • Marinate steamed beets with fresh lemon juice, olive oil and herbs.

I felt so great eating a big box full of colorful greens and veggies. Their roasted chicken is marvelous as well so it supplied some great protein. Of course a trip to Whole Foods isn't complete without stocking up on Larabars and almond butter. I think I'm good to go for at least a few days!

As most of you know from reading, I started giving myself a skill a month to work on leading up to regionals. I went through muscle ups, handstand push ups and double unders. All three things I improved on drastically by just concentrating on putting in a small amount of time most days of the week. Quality work pays off, even if it is a short amount of time! After watching the 2010 CrossFit Games this weekend I have decided on my next skill.

The Pistol.

What is a pistol you ask? A one legged squat. They are horrible and for some reason (aka lack of practice) I can't get the hang of them. I think my weekly yoga will help as my flexibility continues to increase. I'm committing to about 10 minutes of pistol practice at least five days a week for the next couple of weeks. I've already found some videos that go through some good progressions to help get the feel of it. I have to up my yoga to twice a week...

They threw pistols in at The Games. Watching the ladies bang those things out this weekend made me realize how far I really have to go in the next year if I want to make it in 2011. I knew I had a lot of work to do, but watching those ladies really impressed me. I have to kick it up about ten notches and then some.

What is your new goal for your nutrition or fitness?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Benefits of the Blueberry

I love summer for lots of reasons, but lately I'm loving it for all the wonderful fresh fruit! I've been on a blueberry kick the past month. I was also excited to find out that Michigan, my future home state, is one of the largest blueberry producing states. If you need other incentives other than great flavor to add the lushish blueberry into your diet, here are the top ten health benefits provided by the blueberry according to Women Fitness!

1. They have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit.
2. Neutralize free radicals, which can affect the disease and aging of the body.
3. Aid in reducing belly fat. (remember, belly fat is the worst kind of fat...it is hard on your internal organs!)
4. Helps promote urinary tract health. I would explain how the berries help, but it is pretty "science-y"
5. Been proved to preserve vision.
6. Brain health. The good stuff in the berry helps prevent degeneration and death of neurons.
7. Heart disease prevention. High fiber content helps dissolve bad cholesterol!
8. Constipation and digestion benefits.
9. Cancer prevention.
10. They keep you fresh, active, fit, sharp and close to nature!

Enjoy summer time and hit up your local farmer's market for some wonderful summer fruit!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Judgement

Yesterday during my lunch hour I was out running some errands. I decided to stop quickly at Qudoba and pick up some lunch. I was without food at work, which is always a mistake, but I can actually find some great paleo friendly meals at Qudoba. Right now they have a fabulous mango salad. It is basically greens topped with chicken and mango salsa. Instead of the dressing I get salsa verde and add a little guacamole. Oh my goodness it is so delicious and yes, very paleo and healthy!

Anyway, the line was moving at a very slow pace. This gave me the opportunity to observe the food choices made by those in front of me. I saw a guy about my age get a giant beef burrito filled with rice, beans, cheese and more cheese. I saw an overweight lady order a monstrous quesadilla and ships and salsa. I watched a teenage girl in front of me get nachos topped with ground beef, ladles of queso AND shredded cheese. The thoughts in my head were horrible. I kept thinking over and over what a horrible choices they were all making, how gross I would feel if I was eating that, etc. I wanted to run up to her and say, "No! Stop! Don't do it!" I wanted to smack myself in the face! Who am I to judge what other people eat? I started thinking about it and I do it all the time.

I have co-workers that talk to me about their "healthy" eating which includes loads of starchy carbs and dairy. I have to remind myself that at least they are trying to be conscious of their diet and make better choices. That is a very good thing. What works for me doesn't have to work for everyone else, but I do believe in the way I eat. I know people probably judge me all the time as I spoon sunflower seed butter from the jar into my mouth and follow it up with celery sticks. I am the "weird" girl.

Do others run into this problem as well? Do you think awful things about the choices others make? It makes me feel so guilty! I promise I'm actually a nice person.

I'm also having a serious craving from some trail mix today. I've been a little low on my fat lately so I am going to blame it on that. I need some macadamia nuts!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Finally...

I have finally had a decent week of nutrition. I've been a bit lackadaisical about it since regionals, but that is over now. The Mr. has left for Michigan so I am on my own. Thankfully, he had a about five servings of our homemade stir fry in the freezer! These make for a fantastic, fast lunch or dinner. I have posted about the stir fry before, but here is a quick reminder if you want to try it for yourself!

Here is all you need:
4 to 6 ounces pre cooked meat (we use chicken, shrimp and scallops)
1 cup of spinach
2 cups of other veggies (broccoli, peppers, asparagus, mushrooms, squash, etc)

Take all that good stuff and throw it in a quart size Ziploc freezer bag. Toss it in the freezer until you are ready to eat!

When you are ready to eat pre heat a skillet pan with the fat of your choosing. We use olive oil and coconut oil. I like to add some minced garlic (and by some I mean A LOT) and pepper. Unload your freezer bag into the skillet and cook until everything is ready to go! Since your meat is pre-cooked this make the process go fast. Super bonus!

Towards the end of the cooking process we add a shake or two of low sodium soy sauce. Pour contents into a bowl and enjoy. This is an extremely paleo/zone friendly meal that takes only minutes from the freezer to your plate. If you lead a busy life and have trouble eating healthily meals because you are just "too tired to cook" try this out! Plus, clean up is easy. Another fantastic plus.

Use a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to prepare your stir fry. We usually make about ten individual servings at a time. Get to work!

I'm going to try to be better about updating! I am about to hit the one year mark in my paleolithic journey. I hope your journey is going well too!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Give Your Skin a Boost

We all know eating paleo has a lot of wonderful benefits. Our bodies just work better when we eat what nature intended for us to eat. No big shock there. However, there are some added benefits that certain foods give your skin that you might no be aware of. I'm big about wearing sun screen and keeping my face in the shade so I was very happy to see that I'm doing some other things to help keep a youthful glow! I stumbled across some of these today and thought I would share.

Almonds
Yes, I'm in love with almonds. They are a wonderful fat, taste great and certainly satisfy when you need something crunchy. However, did you know they also are a natural sun blocker? The vitamin E that almonds are packed with help defend against sun damage! This doesn't mean you should stuff yourself with almonds and forget the sun block, but studies show that consuming 20 almonds a day can help reduce your risk of burning in UV rays. Take a bag with you to the beach, but still keep your SPF 30 on hand!

Flaxseed
These babies are packed with omega 3 fatty acid. Omega 3's actually erase and iron out fine lines. Yes ladies, wrinkles! Who knew?

Cooked Tomatoes
I love tomatoes. I like them raw, roasted, sun dried, in a sauce, however you want to give them to me I will eat them. Cooked tomatoes, like almonds, are a natural sun blocker. Tomatoes are packed with lycopene which helps eliminate skin-aging free radicals. Cooking helps concentrate the lycopene.

Spinach
This green gem is good for you for multiple reasons. A recent study published in the International Journal of Cancer shows that people who ate the most leafy greens had half as many skin tumors over an eleven year period. Get me a salad!

Canned Tuna
I love canned tuna when I am in a crunch and need some easy protein. Tuna has selenium which helps preserve the elastin in the skin. Elastin keeps your skin nice and tight. Enough said.

Carrots
Everyone had acne as a teenager and if you didn't then I hate you. Sadly, we still are prone to it as adults. Carrots are packed with vitamin A which helps reduce the overproduction of cells on the outer layer of the skin. In short, this helps reduce breakouts. Orange power!

I got this information from the Eat This, Not That blog from women's health magazine. Here is the link if you want to surf the site.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Reflection

The weekend is over. I honestly don't think I could have done a single thing different than what I did. Every single event I gave it 100%. I had nothing left. I have no regrets and no doubts in my performance.

In all honestly, going in the WODs terrified me. I'm not very confident in the snatch, muscle ups are brand new for me and handstand push ups come and go with fatigue. I knew WOD 2 (weighted Cindy) was going to be in my wheel house and I was right. WOD 3 I knew I could handle, but I wasn't sure how I would compare to the other competitors. Here is a quick breakdown of how the weekend went for me.

WOD 1: Max Snatch and OHS
My PR prior to the Regional was 105. I have tried and tired to get 110, but I had been having a complete mental block. I have not been able to make myself get under the bar. I hit 110 my very first attempt with a power snatch after making it to the bar and knocked out my three overhead squats. I think I had a huge smile on my face the whole time. This put me tied for 15th with about four or five other girls.

WOD 2: 10 minute Weighted Cindy (AMRAP 5 pull ups, 10 push ups and 15 air squats)
I love Cindy. She is my home girl. Add a ten pound weight vest though and anything can happen. The standard for this event was new. Chin had to break the vertical plane of the bar (no problems there) and your push ups you could "snake". Basically they let you flop to the ground and the push up however you wanted into a plank position. Kind of strange, but whatever, I went with what I know....strict push ups. I blazed through six or seven rounds and then the vest got me. I got eleven rounds total, good enough to tie me for 5th. Only about five to ten total reps separated me from first place in that event. This pushed me into 6th after day one.

WOD 3: 100 double unders THEN 3 rounds of 10 Deadlifts (185) & 100m sandbag run THEN 1000m row
Mercy. I have never hurt like I hurt during this WOD. As you know, I've been working on the doubles. Thank goodness! I hit 76 (a new PR) unbroken and got in into the rest of the WOD fast. The deadlifts felt awesome and the sandbag run was the most miserable thing I have ever done. I got onto the rower holding a 2:13 pace, I was shooting for 2:08 as anyone who was standing around The Mr. would know because all you could hear him yelling was "2:08! 2:08!" Well, 2:13 was as good as it was going to get. I finished in 10:13, good enough for 7th. 3rd place finished in 10:10. Yes, three seconds separated four places. I felt awesome. I truly surprised myself on that one. I stayed in 6th place going into the final WOD.

WOD 4: 10 muscle ups, 15 HSPU, 20 squat cleans (105) and a run.
Ok, here is where terror had been lurking all weekend. I knew this event was coming, but I couldn't really think about it until after the other three. At this point I knew if I finished this WOD in the time limit (15 minutes) I would have an amazing chance of finishing top 4. I got my turnout on the muscle up Wednesday before the Regional. I have never been able to do muscle ups AND HSPU in the same workout. I was exhausted and just praying to get through it. I hit my first muscle up and it had never felt so good. I got a bit excited and over shot the 2nd one, but that was my only miss. I kept knocking them out one at a time. I was feeling confident. I moved to the HSPU. The game plan was to knock out at least three with out breaking. Well, my very first one my feet came off the wall before I was locked out. No rep. I had to settle down and take it one at a time. I did not want to waste any reps. I didn't have much time. I ended up missing one more about half way through, but I stayed calm and got through all fifteen. I had about three minutes left going into the squat cleans. At this point, I knew finishing the WOD was a long shot, but I was going to give it my all. I knocked out fourteen squat cleans before time was called. I was elated and devastated all at the same time. I did something I had never done before, ten muscle ups with turnout followed by HSPU's! However, I knew because I didn't finish that every other girl that finished would automatically finish ahead of me overall.

Six girls finished the last WOD within time. Four other girls (myself included) made it to the squat cleans. The rest of the field, thirty three women, did not make it either past the muscle ups or HSPU's. I was one of ten ladies to make it through those horrible movements. They are huge weaknesses of mine and I DID IT. Knowing that if I had finished within the time limit I would have probably qualified breaks my heart, but I could not have done it differently or faster. I just needed to be faster on my HSPU's and I wasn't.

It is what it is. I'm proud of myself and our team and all the other individuals from CFJ! I have a lot of years left and I am just now really starting to see how good I could be and will be. This was my last time to compete in this region for a while since we'll be moving up north. I can't lie, I'm not too sad about losing the heat. The sun definitely came out to play this last weekend. However, I'm really sad that I won't be representing CrossFit Jenks next time I compete.

I met some amazing people, saw some incredible performances and had a great time. I'm taking the next month to really let my body heal and work on my flexibility and speed. I'm also giving myself a week to not worry about my diet. Twizzlers never tasted as good as they did after that last event on Sunday!

There was some incredible paleo food at the regional! Beef fajitas sans tortillas and kabobs! Lots of guacamole which always makes me happy. GSX in Fort Worth put on a stellar event, but I'm incredibly glad it is over. Now I can relax. Hallelujah!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Regionals...and some food stuff....

Tomorrow I make the journey to Fort Worth, Texas with ten other CrossFit Jenks athletes to compete in the 2010 South Central Regional. I am beyond excited. I'm nervous. I'm anxious. I'm ready to go. Last July when I started on this "weird" diet, I knew it was going to not only improve the way I felt, but also improve the way I performed. Boy was I right. I've seen benchmark times drop (I have sub 3:30 Fran now!) and my max lifts go up (200 back squat and 140 clean and jerk). I have a long way to go on my lifts, but I'm getting there. Nutrition has played a huge part in what I can do in the gym. I recover better. I can push harder. I feel stronger.

My goal this weekend is to place in the top four to qualify for the CrossFit Games in July. I have set a pretty lofty goal for myself. It is going to be difficult. Not all the WODs play to my strengths, but my ability to hurt and push through pain for a long time will be my biggest ally. I'm just downright stubborn sometimes. I've been drinking lots of water and getting lots of rest. I've also been coaching our affiliate team which has been so much fun. They are going to do amazing.

No matter what happens I know I have worked hard. I could not be anymore prepared than I am. This could be my last time to compete as a CrossFit Jenk's athlete so I'm going to savor every moment and keep a stellar attitude.

On a side note, my paleolithic attitude is spreading out to those I work with. Today, a vendor I work with brought me a big basked from Whole Foods! It is filled with larabars, walnuts, cherries (my favorite!!!), oranges, apples and bananas. She got online and looked up "paleo foods" and brought me the send off basket. It was the sweetest thing in the world. Spread the word! Eat clean!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Whew!

Last week is a total blur. The Mr. graduated and now instead of just Mr. he can put Dr. in front of his name. Pretty exciting stuff! We have been trying to regain some normalcy in our lives this week, but it isn't happening. Eating clean while trying to sell your house is HARD. Yes, I am saying that....it is hard. We have to be ready at a moments notice to evacuate so strangers can come judge us. I'm not much of a housekeeper. I would rather be at the gym, walking my dog with the Mr. or watching Glee. Because of this, my George Foreman has been packed away into the deep trenches of our cabinets. I usually leave it out because it is huge and big pain to put away because of the size. Ours has a griddle attached to it. I bought that for pancakes...which I never make anymore.

Last night I made my first home cooked meal in over a week. I'm so embarrassed. We have been eating out a lot. I've been keeping it pretty clean for the most part, but I miss my home cooked protein. Last night I grilled up some pork chops in a skillet in some olive oil, garlic and rosemary. Oh my it was delicious! We have been having some terrible weather around here. With about three minutes to go on the pork chops our tornado sirens started going off. I made the decision that my pork chops were far more important than taking cover. Luckily, we didn't get anything bad, just a lot of heavy rain and small hail. My pork chops finished grilling and all was right with the world.

Regionals are eight days away. Next Friday we'll leave for Hell's Half Acre in Fort Worth, Texas. I'm so excited, so nervous and so ready all at the same time. This year feels very different from last year. I know what to expect and I know what I expect of myself. We have all been training so hard, individuals and our affiliate team. It is going to be a really exciting weekend for everyone!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hard Work Pays Off!

This morning I hit a BIG milestone for me. I did "Annie" unbroken. For those of you not well versed with CrossFit lingo, Annie is a workout that has two elements, double unders with a jump rope (two rotations for every jump) and sit ups (unanchored). The rep scheme is 50-40-30-20-10. Double unders have never been a huge weakness. I could get 15 or 20, but when I got fatigued it would drop to 10 or less. They were also never a huge strength. I always admired those at our gym that could knock out 50+ every time like it was no big deal.

Two weeks ago the Mr. had me start doing 200 double unders a day. Of course I wasn't getting better at them if I only did them when they were in workouts! Well, I have been doing 200 a day for the past two weeks. Earlier this week I hit 40 double unders unbroken which was a PR. Today I did Annie and I got every single double under unbroken! It felt effortless and wonderful. Hard work pays off. Set a goal and work towards it. It doesn't always happen fast (like my muscle up!), but if you put in the time it will happen...eventually. I got nine consecutive handstand push ups on Wednesday! I couldn't get one two months ago. My goal is to turn my weaknesses into strengths and that is exactly what is happening.

Tonight is making me a little bit nervous. The Mr. is graduating from medical school and I'm throwing him an after party. I'm having it at a really fabulous pizza joint here in the area called Savastano's. They have amazing deep dish pizza. I know, I can't believe I'm doing this either! Hopefully I'll stay strong, but I do plan on having a little sliver and a tiny piece of graduation cake. How many times will my husband graduate from medical school? Just once! Tomorrow it is back on the straight and narrow just like I have been all week. Like I always say, a small indulgence is fine, just don't let it become common practice!

I also just can't seem to drink enough water lately. It has been tasting sooooooooo good. So clean and refreshing! I must appreciate it more as the weather gets warmer.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

And the Winner is...

Lisa! Congratulations to Lisa who won my 100th Post Giveaway! She will be receiving a copy of The Primal Blueprint Cookbook. Pretty exciting stuff. Thanks to everyone that entered and thanks for reading! It is nice to know I'm not just writing to myself everyday. A little information about our winner....

Lisa's favorite paleo snack is a "jar of almond butter and a large spoon". A girl after my own heart! I happen to have both of those sitting on my desk at all hours of the day. There is never a wrong time for almond butter! Lisa was also the very first person to enter, however, the drawing was completely random!

In other news, I have a funny/sad story to tell. A few girls from my gym all went in with me to purchase some Paleo Brand meals. They were running a free shipping special when you bought a full order which is fourteen meals. This saved us about $45! Great deal! We were all excited and looking forward to our meals.

I ordered the meals on a Wednesday evening and received nothing telling me my order had been shipped. I happened to go out of town that weekend, but figured it would be until at least Monday before the package would arrive. In my confirmation of purchase it never said "Order should arrive in X amount of days". Nothing. If it had, I would have arranged for someone to check my porch! Over the weekend we were out of town we had two open houses. Our realtor was at our house all afternoon both days. We arrived back Sunday evening and there was not box on our porch or waiting in our home. By Wednesday I started to wonder where my package was. I had finally received a tracking number, but still not package. I looked up my tracking number to see it had been delivered on FRIDAY. Yes, the Friday we went out of town. Where was the box though? It was not on my porch, not in my garage, not on the side of the house and not in my kitchen.

I proceed to email the Paleo Brands people through the only method of contact they have...an online contact form. I told them UPS said the box had been delivered, but that I never received the box. I then called my realtor to see if she ever saw anything. Here is where the story becomes very sad and funny. It turns out they did see a box and put it in my hall closet. However, after the Sunday open house her associate never put it out where we would see it. I had unfrozen frozen food in my hall closet for five days.

My husband was home and went looking for it and found it right away. We never use our hall closet so we never would have seen it. The dry ice was completely gone and the food was room temperature. It immediately went into the trash. I went back to the Paleo Brands website and submitted another contact form telling them my situation to see if we could do anything. I have not heard back from them on either contact request and it has been over a week. I'm very disappointed in the customer service I have NOT received from them. Even a simple email saying, "I'm sorry we can not do anything" would have been enough. At least I would know they were paying attention to their customers. There is no phone number and no direct email address. I am VERY annoyed. As much as I want to try their product, I'm so unsatisfied with their unresponsiveness that I don't think I will ever try them again. We spent a lot of money on a product we could not use. It wasn't their fault, but it was a crummy situation. It would have been nice to at least speak with SOMEONE. ANYONE!

I'm devastated. I ruined my friend's food and my own. I guess it could happen to anyone. If anyone from Paleo Brands is reading this (which I know they are not) I'm very disappointed in your service! I was planning on trying each of your meals and writing about them on my blog and telling all my fellow CrossFitters how great your product was...if it was great. Now I don't get to do that. I suggest changing the way customers can contact you. What you have no is simply not good enough!

Paleo Food News:
On Sunday I found some GREAT 1oz lean turkey patties at Target. They are Archer Farms brand. They are raw and there are ten patties in each package. Each has 60 calories, 1 g fat and 13 grams of protein! I cooked them on a skillet and they came out great. I have been eating them for lunch and as a little protein snack during the day. Try them out! I hate making my own patties from raw turkey meat, but I do it because I love the end product. This just makes it super easy! You can find them with other raw turkey products at Target.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Go Gators!

Yes, I was raised in Oklahoma, but I am really a Florida born, Gator girl. In honor of my southeastern heritage, last night The Mr. made us gator tail for dinner! It was a fun treat that we had something new and he did all the cooking!

I know, kind of crazy. I have had gator before, but it has always be fried. We all know fried anything is delicious. Don't deny it, you know you love the taste of little fried goodies. We just know better now than to eat them very often. Last night at Reasor's we stopped by the seafood section. He noticed a huge Alligator head and then fresh gator tail. I was kind of in shock when he asked for half a pound of it, but he was in an adventurous mood.

The cooking of the gator was left up to him. I have never even thought about cooking gator in my life so I had no idea how to approach it. The Mr. isn't scared in the kitchen. He went right to work. A little white wine, a little garlic and sea salt, some hazel nut butter in the bottom of the pan...(I know, he is way more creative than I am).

We had a bunch of grilled asparagus and green beans as sides. Yes, I eat green beans. Green = good. I honestly don't care if they are not "technically" paleo. They are healthy. End of story.

A few things that surprised me about gator:
1. It actually tasted really good. Whatever other stuff he used to cook it with was wonderful.
2. Gator is a bit tougher than I remember. Being a game meat I guess that makes sense. I really didn't know what to expect.
3. It was pretty fatty. I do not at all like the texture of fat. It is jelly. I don't mind it when it is marbled in with my meat, but if I can cut it off I always do. I had to remove quite a bit from my gator! He must have been in a well stocked swamp...
4. I would definitely eat it again! This is the great thing about finding a wonderful butcher...there will always be a good variety of meats. Mix it up!

I found this grilled Cajun gator recipe today. It sounds pretty good and insanely easy.

Don't forget you can still enter my 100th Post Giveaway!!! You have until Friday night.

On another note...I am seriously addicted to dried fruit. I might need an intervention.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Extending the Contest!

I'm extending my 100th Post Giveaway until Friday, May 7th at 11:59PM. Good luck! Go here for all the details!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

100th Post Giveaway!

Well, this is my 100th post. It seems kind of crazy. 100 paleo posts! In honor of this milestone I'm doing a giveaway! Apparently that is the cool thing to do in the blog world. As a thank you to everyone who reads, comments, does not comment or has supported me through my transition to a cave-girl lifestyle, I've got something for you!

I love Mark's Daily Apple. He is publishing The Primal Blueprint Cookbook in Mid-May. I've been pretty excited about this for quite a bit of time. Not only am I going to get one for me, but I am going to be sending one of these fabulous cookbooks to one of YOU!

The cookbook has over 100 recipes that are paleo friendly, gluten free, low carb....everything a paleo loving person could want!

Here is what you need to do:
  • Post a comment on this blog post
  • In your comment tell me what your favorite paleo snack or meal is OR something that you now love that you didn't know you loved before changing your diet!
  • Make sure to leave your first name and email address in the comment in case you are not registered on blogger and it comes up as "anonymous" when you post.
  • This is open to EVERYONE.
One entry per person. I don't care if you have never commented before, join in! You will have until 11:59PM on Sunday, May 2nd. The winner will be picked at random. If I know you or don't know you won't matter one bit. If you are the winner I will contact you by email and get your mailing information and your Primal Blueprint Cookbook will be shipped directly to you courtesy of me!

Thanks to everyone for joining in on my paleotlithic adventure!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Change in Attitude

I’m taking a bit of a deviation from my typical paleo post for today. My mind has been spinning the last few weeks. There are a lot of changes coming up for me in the next couple of months. We’re moving to a completely different and very cold part of the country. We’re leaving jobs, friends, family…pretty much life as I currently know it. I put on a happy face about it because I really am excited, but I’m also terrified. For some reason fear gets the best of me sometimes. I don’t like to fail. I don’t like to appear weak. I know I am a strong person, but I am human. I get insecure. I get scared.


This morning I got up and I checked the CFJ website as I do every morning to see today’s WOD. The first thing I read, 30 handstand push ups. My first thought, “Crap!” A big weakness and also something I really need to keep improving. The last few weeks my shoulder has been acting up again. It has made me fearful. Fearful of ripping into muscle ups, of pushing the heck out of the ground coming out of a handstand, of getting under heavy weight on a push jerk. I’m not normally like that. I normally have the attitude that nothing will beat me, but after being rendered useless for three months last year because of the injury that is all I can think about. I get really mad at myself for it too. I’m so much tougher mentally than that. I can do and have done all of those things before. There is absolutely no reason to be scared. It is time to snap out of this funk.


Later this morning I checked the main site and noticed our workout today was also a main site workout. Then I noticed a picture of a girl that I know I had seen before. I remember when her profile was posted on the 2009 Games site prior to the CrossFit Games last year. Her name is Amanda Miller. She died on Friday from Melanoma. She was three years younger than me. We have the same birthday. Last year she competed in the Games. There was a link to her blog on the main site so I started reading. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Here was a picture of an incredibly strong, vibrant woman sprinting up a hill with a sandbag around her neck and less than a year later she is gone. The battle she went through, how she kept pushing and pushing despite pain and also how incredibly positive and strong she sounded through the entire ordeal was amazing to read. I didn't know Amanda, but it still really got to me. Here is a link to her blog so you can read it for yourself.


I’m not trying to be dramatic or incredibly inspirational, but I wanted to share all of that because the mindset you choose makes all the difference. I know my fear and what she was facing cannot even be compared to each other, but I can take a good lesson from how she handled what she went through. I choose to be positive. I choose to not be scared. Amanda did the same thing. She lost her life in the end, but she lived. I’m sure she was terrified through the process, but from what I can tell she didn’t live like she was terrified. She continued to work and push to get stronger despite what she was going through with her disease. I'm blessed to be healthy. I should wake up everyday thanking God for giving me another day to do what I love. I can run, jump, laugh, dance when I get muscle up and live my life. Yes, I'm leaving everything I know, but I will still be me no matter where I am. Life continues. We should all be grateful for the gifts we have been given and never lose sight of what is truly important.


No matter what you are going through professionally, personally, in the gym, with friends, choose to be happy. Choose to be positive. Good things will come from it. The outcome might not always be what you want or expect, but at least you can say you gave it your all and you had a good attitude. You will inspire others in the process just like Amanda inspired me today.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Paleo Brands

There is a really cool thing going on right now on the Paleo Brands website. From now until April 28th they are offering free shipping when you place a full order. A full order is fourteen meals which is quite a bit. They run $8.95 a piece. I have been wanting to try some of these for a long time. I think what Robb Wolf and company have done for nutrition and the CrossFit community is just amazing.

I'm going in with a couple ladies from my gym on a full order. Gather a few friends and do the same. I don't know about you, but I don't have $140 bucks I can just drop at a moments notice. I'm going to try a couple meals and let you know what I think! It will be nice to have some paleo friendly meals on hand if I have missed a trip to the store or if I am feeling just plain lazy. Sadly, the latter will probably be the case most of the time.

Go here to check out all the options! They all look pretty delicious. I think I may become a food photographer....

Friday, April 23, 2010

Shopping List

How are you spending your Friday evening? I plan on spending mine in a grocery store. I'm actually very excited about this because my fridge is hauntingly empty. Not a good thing when you are trying to eat good food! Here is what is on the list for purchase this evening:
  • Lean ground beef (for my taco salads)
  • Lean turkey cutlets
  • Turkey bacon (for the Mr.)
  • Broccoli
  • Avocados
  • Cucumbers (I love these with salsa. Such a great snack!)
  • Spinach. Lots and lots of spinach!
  • Shredded carrots
  • String cheese (again for the Mr.)
  • Raw nuts; cashews, pistachios, almonds, walnuts...
  • Garlic
  • Grapefruit
  • Bananas
  • Lemons and limes
  • Salsa
  • Egg. I can never have too many eggs around!
Tomorrow is the CFJ affiliate team tryout. I'm so excited! Lots of good action will be going down tomorrow morning. It should be a fun time. Good luck to everyone trying out!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm Not Sure What Just Happened...

...but I totally fell of the wagon.

First mistake, I went to Merritt's for lunch with co-workers. Today is bring your daughter to work day so I tagged along with a group to celebrate the day. Merritt's, by the way, is an extermlely wonderful bakery in the Tulsa area. They have great little lunch deals. I got a turkey club wrap sans ranch dressing. I got the low carb wrap. There were no salads and I could have eaten everything minus the wrap, but I was in a wrapy kind of mood. At least they had a low carb option although still not a great choice on my end.

Here is where it gets bad....

Merritt's gives you free dessert with lunch. Yes, I should have just said, "I don't need the cake." I didn't. I let them give it to me. I didn't know what kind it was. I'm not a huge cake fan so I was fairly optimistic that I wouldn't eat it. To my displeasure they gave me the one and only kind of cake I can. not. turn. down. Lemon cake.

Let me tell you about me and the lovely lemon. We love each other. I L.O.V.E. citrus. Lemon is my favorite. Lemon bars, lemon cake, lemonade....extremely hard for me to turn down. Thankfully it was a small piece and I only took about four bites. I threw the rest away. I had a few nibbles and felt satisfied.

Once I got back to the office a media rep/friend of mine stopped by just to say hi and thanks for the business. I buy media for a living. It's fun. One "perk" is that reps bring me treats occasionally. Today this particular rep brought me a really cute bowl filled with Jelly Belly jelly beans. Seriously? Jelly Belly's are my favorite. Jelly beans in general give me goosebumps. That is all I ever wanted in my Easter basket. My dad has a Jelly Belly machine on his desk at home. It is a family affair. Anyway, that just did me in. I grabbed a couple and then removed it from my line of sight. Hopefully my co-workers will eat the rest of them before I see them again. There is no telling what might happen...

What do you do when you have these kind of days? I'm not going to beat myself up. I enjoyed everything I ate. Maybe I needed a little splurge. The next few days I'll keep it good and clean to get back on track. No Larabar for me today. The ironic thing is the flavor I have in my purse right now....lemon.

Happy Land Run day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's a Great Day to be Alive

And I mean that! Today is a wonderful day to be alive. Why? Well, there are a lot of reasons. I'm healthy, happy, employed, motivated and I get to watch GLEE tonight courtesy of my fabulous DVR. It's the Madonna episode!

OK, that is all fine and dandy, but let me get to the heart of why today is such a great day...

Today I went to Whole Foods....

I bought fourteen Larabars!

Wow! I know what you are thinking... "You're right Ginny! Today is a great day for you to be alive. You lucky, lucky, Larabar loving girl!"

I love Larabars. When I discovered them last year during my introduction to paleo it was like I discovered a hidden treasure. Not only are they gluten, dairy and soy free....but they are tasty. Scary tasty. The kind of tasty that makes you want another immediately after finishing one. I guess that also makes them kind of dangerous, but what girl doesn't like a little danger in her life?

In honor of my Larabar extravaganza at Whole Foods today, I have decided to rank my top five Larabar flavors.

5. Pistachio
4. Banana Bread
3. Key Lime Pie
2. Lemon Bar
1. Cocoa Mole

Cocoa Mole is like the goddess of all Larabars. She is sweet and spicy. Oh sweet goodness.

A quick note on Larabars...

Even though they are 100% paleo that doesn't mean you should eat them all the time. I try to save mine for post workout snack time when I need some carbs in my system. They are good to have around if you are in desperate need of something paleo friendly, but don't over eat them. They still have a lot of sugar in them from the dates. I really try to watch my sugar intake with fruit so just be aware.

What is your favorite Larabar flavor?

Monday, April 19, 2010

I Need to Make an Effort to....

...eat more fish!

I love seafood. It is a good thing I love it because it is a wonderfully healthy source of protein. Fish is also a great source of omega 3 essential fatty acids. Here is a good website about some of the benefits of fish. This probably goes without saying, but the healthiest way to prepare your fish is to either poach, bake or grill your protein.

I have a lot of wild caught salmon in my freezer. I'm hoping to not be too lazy to take time to defrost it and broil some up this week for dinner. I'm starting to get a bit burned out on some of my go to proteins so it is time to mix it up!

Do you feel a little hesitant about buying fresh fish? I was at first because I had never bought fresh fish. It can be kind of intimidating. Don't be afraid to ask you butcher questions. They are always nice and very knowledgeable. Here are a few things to keep in mind when buying your seafood. Thanks to Reasor's for the list! I love that place...

So here is your challenge for the week. If you never eat seafood...eat it! Shrimp, scallops, crab, tuna, grouper...take your pick and go for it. If you eat a lot of seafood, switch it up. If you always eat salmon and tilapia, go try some orange roughy or trout. Look for wild caught fish, not farmed raised if at all possible. Wild caught salmon is simply marvelous....

On a side note....
I have consumed more water today than I have in months. I will be on a bit of a different routine the next few weeks as I am covering a 6AM class at the gym. It is only a few days a week, but I'm making an effort to workout at 5AM prior to my 6AM class on those days. 4:30AM came early today...not like that is surprising to anyone. I keep thinking if I drink more water it will help my eyes feel more "awake". Hmmm....at least I'm staying hydrated. And yes, I went to bed early. 9Pm! I think tonight will be another early night was well.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sancky Snacky

I love to snack. I like crunchy, munchy things. I love trail mix, but I don't usually take time to make my own so I desperately miss it right now. A friend of mine who I did my Level 1 Certification with posted what looks like a really good, paleo friendly trail mix on her Facebook page today. If any of you try it before me, let me know how it goes.

Paleo Granola

  • 5 cups nuts and seeds (pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, pecans, and sunflower seeds; you can use whatever you want, but make sure you use at least 2 – 3 cups slivered almonds, as these take the place of what is normally oats)
  • 1/3 cup honey (or maple syrup or any other Paleo-approved sweetener)
  • 1/3 cup Paleo-friendly oil ( coconut works well)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Mix honey, oil, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small saucepan and bring to a boil on the stove. Let it cool. Spread the nuts and seeds out on a greased baking sheet and pour the cooled honey mixture over the top. Mix it around to get everything covered, and bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees. Allow the pan to cool slightly and then put the mixture into a bowl. Mix in raisins and coconut, and enjoy!

Tip from the creator: “Your biggest key to success with this (and really any) recipe is to go a little crazy. Add your own twist to it or branch off in another crazy direction. The granola you see in the picture, for example, was mixed with almond butter, pressed into a brownie pan, and is now chilling in the freezer to make granola bars.”

Thanks to Jennifer at CrossFit Fort Hood!

In other news, I finally knocked one of my pre-regional goals off the list. I got my muscle up! Not only did I get one muscle up, but I got two. You might remember at the end of March I set some goals for myself. I have improved in most of these areas so far. Here are the updates:

(muscle up used to be #1...but it is gone now!)
275lb deadlift - I hit 250 (5lb PR) last Friday. I'm maxing out next week. Going for at least 260.
40 consecutive pull ups - Did 36 in the first round of Nicole a couple weeks ago. Prior PR was 35.
Improve my 400 m run - I've been doing extra sprint work and hill runs. Getting there.
Improve my flexibility - I haven't made a good enough effort here. Shame on me.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Making Excuses for Myself

That is what I am doing today. I'm not one for making excuses, but I actually have a good one.

Yesterday afternoon I sat in the dentist chair for two hours. First, I think if anyone sits in a dentist chair for any amount of time you should get to do whatever you want. It can be completely traumatizing. Sorry to any of you that may be dental professionals, but it just isn't my favorite place to hang out. I have a great dentist. She is super nice and is really great at what she does. Her office also gives free pedicures while you are getting worked on....no lie. My toes look so cute today.

I'm in the process of getting some crowns replaced. I will be making a few more lengthy visits in the next few weeks. The bottom line is, I left the dentist after two hours of drilling at 6:30PM. My face was numb, my head was pounding and I was just in a flat out bad mood. Nothing sounded appetizing, but I was starving. Starving to the point of dizziness. The idea of chewing made me cringe. I needed something soft and easy.

Jamba juice popped into mind, but I had already had my fruit for the day.

What to do....

What to do....

Then it hit me. Tomato soup. I love tomato soup. The Mr. had been talking for days about the tomato soup he had been eating at the hospital. Apparently he makes it himself somehow. That is another story. I sat and pondered a little bit more... What place has the best tomato soup in the world?

Panera.

That was it. I was done. The minute the idea popped in my head I was a goner. I waited for the Mr. to get home, I looked at him with my "feel sorry for me my mouth hurts bad" face and we jumped in the car.

It was not paleo. I knew that. But I did know that all 370 calories and 23 grams of fat of that creamy tomato soup made my mouth feel so much better. Seriously, creamy tomato soup is not the worst you could do....right? This morning I thought I would take a gander at what exactly was in the soup I ate. Normally I never have to wonder what is in what I'm eating. Chicken is chicken, almonds are almonds and cucumbers are cucumbers.

Here is what was in my soup:

Creamy Tomato Soup (tomatoes [tomatoes, tomato puree, salt, citric acid], water, cream [cream, milk], onions, seasoning [sugar, modified corn starch, salt, spices], butter [cream, water], corn syrup [light corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, salt, vanilla], pure olive oil, garlic puree [fresh garlic, citric acid], Croutons (unbleached enriched flour [wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid], water, Asiago crouton mix [margarine {soybean oil, water, mono- and diglycerides, salt, whey, soy lecithin, sodium benzoate, natural and artificial flavor, vitamin A palmitate, beta carotene (color), asiago cheese [pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes], contains less than 2% dehydrated garlic and onion, spices and salt], enriched durum wheat flour [durum flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid], Asiago cheese [pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes], enriched semolina wheat flour [semolina, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid], Parmesan cheese [pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes], salt, Romano cheese [pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes], yeast, dough conditioners [ascorbic acid, microcrystalline cellulose, corn starch]).

Maybe I won't make any excuses anymore. That ingredient list straight up shocked me. Sheesh! I think I will just try to make my own from now on....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I Did Some Research

I found a couple websites that are going to teach me how to cook eggplant. Apparently I was doing it all wrong. In my defense, I'm an eggplant newbie. I will try again. I'm not giving up. Here are some websites with some good tips on how to prepare eggplant in different ways:

How to Cook Eggplant to Tender, Silky Perfection
Learning How to Cook Eggplant
Best Ways to Cook and Prepare Eggplant

There you go. Have some fun with the reading. Go buy some eggplant and try it this week. I will probably make another go at it after I use up the rest of my veggies.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I Had a Theory...

...that anything would taste good if it was roasted in olive oi and garlic. Seriously, garlic is a life saver. I don't want to say I would eat garlic by itself, but I actually might. I love it that much. Last night I had the last of my grilled turkey cutlets and roasted some eggplant. Instead of using olive oil I used avocado oil. The bottle said it was supposed to be good on salads and tomatoes so I assumed that meant it would be good on roasted eggplant as well. Hmmmm....

I'm not sure where I went wrong. I have had eggplant before, but I grilled it on my George. Maybe roasting eggplant isn't the way to go? It got very mushy, but it was a spongy mushy. Off the grill it had a firmer texture which I enjoyed more. Or maybe it was the avocado oil? Maybe I should have stuck with the EVOO. The garlic was wonderful...nothing went wrong there!

Needless to say, I had to force myself to choke down my veggies last night. That is the worst feeling. Maybe I just thought I liked eggplant last time I had it? Maybe I like the idea of eggplant more than the actual act of eating eggplant?

They are a gorgeous looking vegetable. Anyone have some suggestions on how to prepare this little wonder? I want to really branch out with my veggies and I'm very disappointed in my taste buds today!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Saturday Night...Oh No

I normally eat very clean. I'm usually spot on during the week. Saturday nights, however, have gradually become a different story. I don't go crazy, but I do splurge. I think this is completely healthy and many times necessary so you can stay pumped up about eating clean. If it becomes a tedious task and something you dread then why are you going to continue doing it?

This Saturday is different. This Saturday is the first Saturday during the challenge. This Saturday night I'm without the Mr. who is working. He would never know. I could totally go steal some of his oatmeal or string cheese right now. I could be sneaky...

Nope. Not going to happen. Why? Because I just grilled up 1.5 pounds of turkey cutlets. Yum. I really do love those things. Super lean and a nice change from a turkey burger. Plus, I have a fridge full of fresh veggies. I have a good variety so I can keep it different this week. On Friday I purchased eggplant, asparagus, squash, and some cucumbers. Cucumbers with salsa are a great treat if you are craving something crunchy. Treat them like your chips!

What is your Saturday night routine? What "treat" are you going to miss this most while keeping it clean? After almost a full week of the challenge, are you craving anything? Pay attention to how you feel. Find ways to fight the urge to splurge.

On a different note, I'm climbing 50 flights of stairs next Saturday with the CrossFit Jenks team in the American Lunch Association's 2010 Fight For Air Climb. I need to raise $100 in a week. Yikes! Here is the link to my donation page if you are interested in supporting me.

Keep up the good fight!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Don't Neglect....

...Your bed!

I preach about this a lot and I'm not always the best about keeping it in good practice. Get your sleep! I need to take my own advice this week. My life right now is in a bit of a whirlwind. We are gearing up for our move to Michigan. That means lots of free time is spent cleaning out closets, boxing up stuff, cleaning and trying to get our house ready to sell. Not to mention, the Mr. is working nights in the ICU which means even if I do get in bed a decent hour, I wake up when he gets home. On top of this, I'm working my full time job, training for regionals and trying to get in my eight plus hours of sleep a night.

This week it has not been happening.....

I've been lucky to get in six and a half hours. I'm not a girl that functions well on lack of sleep. I need my full eight or more. I am not writing this so you will feel sorry for me. I am writing this because I need to remind myself that the one thing I absolutely cannot neglect is my sleep!

You're eating clean, you are getting in your exercise, but are you ruining all of it by not getting your shut eye? The body is an amazing thing. The next few nights challenge yourself to get at least eight hours. I promise you will feel a difference.

Take the TV out of your bedroom and cut the caffeine out before bed. I hope you are cutting most caffeine out of your diet anyway! If you are not, don't have it with dinner. It will make a difference.

Here are few great articles on the importance of sleep. I promise it is just as important as your diet and workout routine. Maybe even more important. We put our bodies through a lot. Give it the rest it needs and deserves.

Six Reasons Not to Scrimp on Sleep
How Sleep Works - This one has some pretty interesting info!
How Fatigue Can Negatively Affect Your Athletic Performance
The Importance of Sleep for Athletic Performance - Good sleeping tips in this one!

Angie:
In response to your question about almond butter, I try to keep it to a serving (2 tablespoons) which is extremely difficult because I L.O.V.E. almond butter. Of course, I might eat my almond butter with three different meals as my fat. I like to spread it on cut up apples or just eat it with a spoon. Don't worry, I don't share my jar with anyone else! Complete sanitary, right?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Stir Fry Prep!

Like I said in my last post, the Mr. and I spent Monday getting prepped and ready for the paleo/zone challenge. Since I have been doing paleo since last August, I have a pretty easy time just cooking my protein and figuring out what carbs (veggies or fruit) I'm going to eat with my protein. The Mr., on the other hand, is the kind of person that needs it to be easy. Since he has a busy, unpredictable schedule sometimes he needs to be able to have snacks and meals ready to go. He is zoning, but trying to keep his carbs mainly veggies with little fruit. He is not giving up dairy.

To help him out we spent the day chopping veggies and cooking chicken to make ready to go stir fry that he can grab out of the freezer and just heat! It was his idea. So smart. Here is what we did:

He chopped and chopped veggies. We ended up with three huge Pyrex bowls full of squash, zucchini, red and green peppers, onion, mushrooms, carrots and spinach.















I was in charge of the protein. My specialty! I had a five pound package of chicken that only cost me $9.50! Ziploc bags are also a must when portioning out your snacks. We stocked up.















This is my George...my best friend. Look at all that fat it gets rid of. Marvelous! I love my lean, mean grilling machine.















The finished product! We made thirteen freezer bags full of six ounces of protein and three cups of veggies! We used the chicken I cooked and also some frozen mini shrimp and scallops.















If you are interested to know what meal that I eat looks like, here is today's breakfast. I have a four ounce chicken breast, a half cup of black berries, my glorious jar of almond butter and a full bottle of water. I have a bag of three cups of veggies including celery, carrots, tomatoes and cucumber that I will munch on during lunch and throughout the day. Prepared!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Let The Games Begin!

Yesterday was the official kick off for the CrossFit Jenks Paleo/Zone 12 Week Challenge. We all know I love a good challenge. I'm not in it to win the money, but I did get all my measurements taken so I can see the before and after. I was pleasantly surprised to know my weight has stayed steady since the end of my two month strict challenge last year. I hardly ever step on a scale. I despise scales. If my clothes fit and I feel strong then I am happy. Numbers mess with your head too much. The only numbers I care about are my PR's.

Yesterday, the Mr. and I ventured to the store to stock up for the next two weeks. Luckily, I had the day off on Monday so I was able to get prepared. Keep that word in your mind during this challenge everyone...preparation! If you are prepared you cannot be defeated! If you leave yourself open to go off course sooner or later it will happen.

Every other Sunday is now food prep day! The Mr. has two weeks worth of lunches prepped in the freezer. Individual servings of stir fry! Too cool. I have pictures to post later tonight. Very exciting stuff.

Since I had the day off, yesterday was a little bit odd. We slept in (I never get to do that) so breakfast happened about 10:30. By the time we got back from the store and done prepping it was almost 3PM. I had not had lunch and was going to be going to be doing "Fran" in about two hours! I was feeling week and needed food pronto. Honestly, yesterday I ate about half of what I should have quantity wise. I managed to hit a decent PR on Fran. Amazing what you can make your body do when you don't let it stop. I will admit, I was not expecting anything great after the weekend of Easter goodies and a Mexican meal of quesadills on Sunday evening. Sheesh. Can't wait to see what happens in 12 weeks.

Good luck everyone! Feel free to post questions, thoughts, random comments of joy or frustration on this blog! Give it a couple weeks to start feeling normal. Don't give up. You can do it! Your body will thank you!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Get Pumped!

I'm really excited.

I'm really pumped.

I'm utterly and completely fired up.

CFJ is starting a paleo/zone challenge! Twelve weeks. All out. Take no prisoners paleo. Yes, I have been trying to eat like a cave-women since August. However, I feel like I have become a bit lackadaisical about it. Now is a chance to reignite that flame for good, clean food. I'm not saying I was ever wavering from my culinary lifestyle choice, but it is always good to have something to hold you accountable. That is why I started this blog when I challenged myself to go strict paleo for a month.

It worked. I got hooked.

I'm so excited for all the CFJ members who are going to experience this for the first time.

Yes, it can be a difficult change, but the benefits....Oh the benefits! No more feeling disgusting after a starchy, (bad) fatty meal, more energy, better health and a lean, mean body. I find if very difficult to believe that anyone who takes this challenge for twelve weeks will be able to go back to not thinking about what they eat ever again. Sure, people will tailor their diet to fit their needs after the challenge. I know I did. There are things I let myself have every now and then that aren't paleo.

Honestly, I might go clinically insane if I ate 100% paleo 100% of the time.

90% I can handle. 90% is an awesomely clean diet.

We are also offering incentive to stick with it. Details will be announced soon. This is not my brain child. Nicole and Matt got the ball rolling and got everyone excited. Way to go guys! My husband is convinced he is going to win. Honestly, he probably has a pretty good shot. I have always admired and hated his ability to lean out so fast when he gets serious. I want a male metabolism.

Along with getting strict again with my diet, I have a few goals I am setting for myself before regionals come along at the end of May. I may not reach all of them, but if I don't set them I won't have anything to work towards. Goals are a must. Set some for yourself today. Write them down and tell someone else. That makes it real. Here are mine:
  • Get a muscle up
  • 275lb deadlift (My least favorite lift. I hate working heavy sets.)
  • 40 consecutive pull ups
  • Improve my 400 m run (no time goal, just get faster overall)
  • Improve my flexibility so I can do a legit L-sit with my legs fully extended. Currently, I'm not flexible enough to do this. So pathetic. Yoga once a week will help me out tremendously!
Don't be afraid of failure. You learn from failing.

What are your goals? Feel free to post them hear loud and proud for the world to see! 3-2-1- GO!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Enough!

My week of binge eating is over. OK, maybe it wasn't binge eating, but I assure you that I did not worry too much about what kind of food I put in my mouth last week.

Last night I kicked off the week on the right note. I grilled up some delicious, lean steaks for me and the Mr. I also roasted some asparagus and carrots in olive oil and garlic. Yum! Prior to cooking dinner I grilled up four pieces of chicken to have them ready for lunches for the next few days. Sadly, I think something went wrong. The chicken just has a very strange taste. No, the chicken had not gone bad. I did grill some kabobs the day before on my George. I don't think I cleaned it off well enough and some of the remains of the marinade soaked into my chicken breasts. They don't taste bad, they just taste...strange. I love the George, but I'm not the best at cleaning it extremely well every time I use it which is horrible, I know.

Water is my best friend this week. Water makes me feel better than anything else I put in my body. It is fresh and clean and just down right refreshing. I have just over two months until regionals and my diet is going to be clean as a whistle until then. Luckily, I already have my post regionals meal planned thanks to Nicole. Joe T's in Fort Worth...watch out!













A final thought today, take care of your body. You only get one. If it is hungry, feed it good things. If it is tired, give it good rest. If it is weak, make it stronger.

A few other side notes:
I have a sinus infection. Annoying.
I'm going to get a muscle up this week. Determined.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sectionals Update and More Confessions!

Sectionals was this weekend and it went great! I felt prepared, I felt rested and I felt healthy. I had goals for myself and I achieved most of them. I'm very happy with how it all played out. All of the competitors from CrossFit Jenks did outstanding! It was so awesome to see everyone out there giving it everything they had. No one gave up. Everyone rocked it.

I want to take a quick second to brag on these ladies:















This is a picture of myself (far right) and the three fabulous females from our gym (Jennifer, Christina and Paige) that also competed. We have all been training hard together for months. Any given day in the gym any one of us will beat the other. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. We all push each other. I know that none of us would be the well rounded athletes we are without the others. Way to go this weekend ladies! All four of us qualified to go onto regionals in May. What an accomplishment! Along with us, two other men from our gym qualified as well. Way to go guys! Over all, our gyms will have seven athletes at regionals. We already had one pre-qualified male. Seven athletes! That is amazing.

Confession Time:
I told myself after the competition was over I was going to give myself a treat and boy did I! The very first thing I ate after sectionals was a glorious cookies and cream ice cream shake. I could not tell yo the last time I had real ice cream. Oh. My. It never tasted so good. Since I went on my post sectional binge, it has a bit hard to get back on track. Granted, it is has only been three days and I had been spot on with my diet for months leading up to sectionals. I'm giving myself through St. Patrick's Day to enjoy the ride and then get back on the straight and narrow. I have regionals to prepare for!

One thing I do know, if you are going to enjoy something that is off your normal clean diet, make sure it is worth it. I had a real ice cream shake...not a fake one. My shake satisfied my sweet tooth and I didn't need more. I enjoyed every single bit of it. I enjoyed every bite of my chicken quesadilla that evening and every bite of my Chick-Fil-A sandwich last night! Who is this girl, right? There is never anything wrong with indulging, just make sure that is all it is...an indulgence and not a way of life.

Remember, when you eat clean you can do things like this...fast!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Healthy is Easy

I just have to rave a bit about my dinner last night. I love Mexican food and I love a good salad. Last night I made paleo taco salads. I guess there really isn't much "taco" about it, but still....yum.

I grilled up about 3/4 lb of 93% lean ground beef and split it equally between myself and my hubby. My meant went on top of a huge portion of beautiful, leafy greens.I diced up an avocado and split it equally as well. He got a nice portion of some shredded cheese on his and then I topped both off with lots-o-salsa. I did use some taco seasoning for the meat

It was extremely simple. I thought I would maybe miss the beans and cheese, but I didn't. I devoured that thing like I hadn't eaten in weeks. So good! Meals like that are a good reminder that it is extremely easy to eat healthy and still have yummy food. The whole dish took me fifteen minutes max...and that included cleaning my skillet.

Tonight I am grilling turkey breast chops and roasting some asparagus. I have become an asparagus lover lately. Very strange, but with a little garlic and sea salt it is delicious. I also have a sweet potato that might be calling my name.

Water and lots of sleep are going to be my two best friends over the next few days. Saturday will be here before we know it! I'm excited to see how the last seven months of paleo are going to help me this weekend. I think I'm going to be a big bundle of energy...which is exactly what I'll need!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sectionals Week!

The week is upon us. This Saturday and Sunday I will be competing in the South Central Sectional along with many other men and women from CFJ. What does that mean for my diet this week? Clean, clean, clean! I plan on keeping my carb portion a bit higher for some added energy...of course this will come in the form of fruits and veggies. I'm planning on having a beautiful taco salad for dinner tonight. Lean beef, greens, avocado, tomatoes and salsa. Yum yum. I'll be grilling up another few pounds of chicken to get me through lunches and snacks.

It is getting close to fruit season. I've been lucky to find some really great blueberries my past few trips to the store. I think blueberries are one of the most fantastic fruits out there. I try to have them on hand whenever they are good. Grapefruits are also a staple of my diet. I wish I mixed it up more sometimes, but hey, I like what I like. I can't help it!

Last night we had some great grilled chicken and zucchini noodles. My husband has become obsessed. I used four zucchinis for the two of us and it was barely enough to satisfy him! I'm so excited he loves them. Pistachios are still a new favorite of mine. I need to find some good raw pistachios in bulk. I can only find them in mixes right now, which of course is fine too. I'm planning on getting lots of rest this week and just taking care of my body in general. There are some nasty colds and stomach flu bugs going around. I'm keeping my hands washed, staying hydrated and running as fast as I can in the opposite direction of sick people!

So do I plan on splurging a bit after sectionals? This might surprise you, but YES! I've always loved ice cream. It is something I really miss when I'm being strict with my diet. I'm planning on treating myself a perfect ice cream treat Sunday evening. I'm looking forward to my sweet treat!

I'm so excited about competing and cheering on the rest of our crew. I think we're going to make a great showing. Everyone has put in a lot of hard work. It is about to pay off!