Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 3 billion 63 sans coffee

look at how nice it looks.... how good it could be!!
It's official. My attachment to coffee is just an emotional nostalgia... like the way I've been treating food lately.  Trying to some how fill in my sadness with something that makes me feel good for a few minutes.  This is a very good awareness that I am still vulnerable to this fault.  I am grateful for this.

This morning I decided I would have a cup of coffee.  I dug out the french press, steeped and poured a cuppa.  Blah!  It didn't even taste good!! I took two sips... and a third just to be sure, before proceeding to pour it down the drain and fix myself a cuppa mate' herbal tea.
Good bye, coffee.  I will be able to move on with less lamentation for a whiile.

It's like an exboyfriend.  Every now and then when you are lonely you think of him again.  You wonder, "what if" and "maybe we are different".  You contact him, and inevitably within a conversation or two you are perfectly renewed and satisfied in why things are the way they are and that he is NOT the person for you.  You let him go again and even though you are still alone, it is a little more bearable knowing that your life is not a mess.  God has something great for you, and the road you have been on is not aimless. It's part of the journey.

So coffee, thanks for the good times we had.  I am happy now to let you go.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Week's workouts & accountability

Monday: don't remember and apparently didn't write it down.
Tuesday:4 rounds: 400m weighted run (14lb), 12 Push Press (75lb), 12 lateral jumps (12-15 in?), 12 SDLHP + KBswing (35lb) = 20:26  Thank God for buddies to push me through this one.  My shoulders were j-e-l-l-o
Wednesday:  4 rounds of:  100 foot Walking lunge w/35lb DB held overhead, 30 double unders, 30 pushups, 10 Handstand push-ups = 25:05
Thursday: "Jackie" 1000m row, 50 thrusters (45lb), 30 pullups = 10:28 PR for Rx...
Friday: run 4.5 mi, warmup stuff in the park: pullups, pushups, handstand walk
Saturday: Rest, Relaxation, and Football!
Sunday:  Run 2 mi, Muscle up practice, Tabata Pullups (6), Ringdips (2... jumping. ha!), Squats (17)  Finish up with Lsits: 10 sec on/off 3 rounds on rings, 3 rounds on bar

Burnout, Stress, then adding Turkey Day, Friends and Fun - excuses to test out how "cheats" affect me.  I felt GREAT about them at the time. let me remind you! but Check this out - Measurements:

November 10th:  Chest =36.25", Waist = 27.5", Abdomen = 30.5, Hips = 37.5, Thigh = 22.5
November 29th: Chest =36.5", Waist = 29.5", Abdomen = 31.8, Hips = 38.25, Thigh = 23

Three weeks, friends... three weeks of exerting my independence from the whole 30 prescription and a 5" gain.  I'm telling you it's annoying that I can think about breathing out of line and gain weight. (ok that's dramatic.  Truth I did WAY more than just think about it... heeheehee).  Oh well.  Here we go again.

need a new solution

Note it has also been 3 weeks that I have been without my precious laxative... I mean COFFEE.  Can I have it back now please... my skin is no where near clearer either.  

I'll come up with my plan of action and resolutions next time.  Now it is definitely time for bed. 

Get off the couch... or out of bed in my case

"Exercise gives you endorphins.  Endorphins make you happy.  Happy people don't kill their husbands.  They just don't." - Legally blond.

There you have it my married friends... go get your sweat on :)

It's hard to know what exercise is appropriate when you are sick... it's the rest - effort continuum that baffles me.  If you have advice on this one, please feel free to weigh in!!
Today, I declined the most heartwarming workout invitation I may have every received - "you, me, and whoever, we're working muscle up technique.  you're going to get one before Friday!"
A trainer after my own heart, and alas in a 'morally responsible' awareness I opted not to potentially infect the whole gym with conjunctivitis (dramatic... it's probably just a reaction to sleeping with my contacts in, nonetheless... my eye balls are neither functional nor pretty). 

So what do I do?  Guess I put aside my dramatic 'death by mini bar' thing I've got going on here (added sickness of my own making) and get my rear down to the garage to work my muscle ups any way.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Post Turkey Update

There are four drafts of gratitude/thanksgiving things sitting in the line up... but they never came out quite right.  While I am sincerely thankful for so many things, the litany and musings seemed shallow and empty.  So I'll leave the thanks for prayer.

Even now I am foggy and lacking direction for this blog... I could post about fitness and food... but there are so many other things weighing on my heart that those just seem like vanity and a distraction to me right now. Sorry.
I have been feeling lost, insufficient, hopeless, rebellious.

Update on the bloated pancita - 2 full inches above 'normal'
This has been the longest, weirdest, hormonal, crampy, bloating, gassy, constipated, moody month. I'm considering drugs... or just therapy.

Update on the Six Pack Experiment -  demolished.  will have to reset soon.  I am thinking about hitting strict whole 30 again after new years. I think it will take several months if not a year of eating that way as a life style to get the abs. Mark Sisson in the Primal Blueprint says that a six pack is a 'natural side effect' to going primal in your diet... hmmmm... I'll read the book next month and we'll see about that mr. sisson.

Meanwhile, Food and friends have been great consolation.  Honestly, if you compared my diet to other "paleo" followers I am finding that I comply far more than the average.  I've gotten the most heckling, if you can call it that... maybe oggling is a better word... about my diet from fellow crossfitters... they are baffled at how strict I have been.  I consider paleofied baked goods a little bit of a guilty pleasure and cheats.   At their encouragement I've lightened up at little.  I had a beer last week... Oh my it was the best beer ever! And I had minor cheats on Thanksgiving day, and major cheats at the Notre Dame/USC game Saturday - woohoo!  Victory Notre Dame.  It was great to eat a hot dog and churro and have hot chocolate in the cold and rain.  I rounded out my rebellious spell with a green tea frappaccino this morning... It. was. great!
Honestly the frap was the first thing that hit my stomach in any immediately noticeable way - yay dairy.  yay for poops!

I know I posted rave reviews about the whole 30 plan last month, but I have been a little confused and lost with it to be honest.
I don't notice dramatic changes... I still feel fat sometimes. I'm not a super hero.  Nor have I noticed dramatic negative effects when I deviate from the program.  It's all very subtle.  Some times it is hard to choose to live dramatically different from the average American and see such miniscule advances for it. It's not really all that hard to live that way; I haven't lacked discipline, but I was just so SAD. really. I live and work virtually alone and my world was revolving around my food and cooking.  All my fitness goals began to look like just new opportunities for failure, and as injuries and chiropractic/massage bills are piling up I began to question whether my goals are really even very healthy.

A little background:  I returned to Southern California this summer - I was terrified that crossfit was really something more for the season of my life in new mexico.  I was terrified to let it go and wouldn't even think of it.  I got certified to train myself and others, hoping that would be my niche in the world... and then I bought the dream that maybe I could be a really good crossfit athlete, and thought maybe after this year I could move back with my family in alabama and open a crossfit there.  Well, needless to say that dream was very short lived, like so many other bright ideas I've had...

Now, I have been here 6 months and I'm not doing all the things that made SoCal wonderful to me in the past - everything that made me think it could be my dream life to be back here again... sun and sand and waves...
first because the ocean was cold, and training became all consuming, added to the fact that I have few friends that are avid beach bums like me, and I was dating someone who didn't like to put his feet in the sand.

Well, the relationship ended. I eventually pulled back on training formally to 3 days a week.  And for a month I've been kind of floundering emotionally.

I've been pretty depressed and wondering why I'm even here at all? and if not here where should I be? I continue in this thinking, and before I know it my whole world and purpose for existing is all crumbling and I am lost.

Well, to hell with it. Let it fall apart, so I can build something new, so I can come back renewed and blessed. My life has been a series of heartbreaks, disappointments, confusion, and searching... and I've had so many great adventures with the agonies.  I'd rather not live a half life, so go ahead, shit, and hit the fan. God is great with mess.

In the meantime, I am back to diet loosely as prescribed. Crossfit as prescribed 3x per week.  More time for friends and family coming up on the schedule - YAY! And piece by piece getting back to things I've loved before and new things I've been longing to try. 

I guess all this babble is just to get me writing and posting again, and for what it's worth... down times are just part of life.  There is no prescription for perfect happiness all the time, whoever says there is is usually selling something. (Although I think joy can be cultivated through gratitude and the realization of our belovedness... yeah I'll keep working on it.)  Even if I were the best I could be, I'd find something wrong with it and that is a real shame.  Step 1 ... isn't that acknowledgement?

"I am trying to understand how to walk this weary land, make straight the paths that crooked lie, Oh Lord, before these feet of mine.... When my world is shaking, Heaven stands.  When my heart is breaking, I never leave your hands."  JJ Heller

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Grateful Day 2 - Being Outdoors

What a beautiful world we have - being outside, just breathing in the fresh air, feeling the gentle breezes, lying in the grass or just walking and watching the clouds. Oh! and the wind in the trees... my absolute favorite sound.  I would imagine they were carrying on quite a conversation - the wind and the leaves. 

Today at lunch, I had no one for garage gym class, so I took a walk, prayed a rosary, and soaked in the beauty of the blessing.  I sit at a computer for at least 8 hours a day (death by desk job, might be the title of my life if I were not such a fighter)... sigh, what a release to be outside!

Reminds me of the Camino...  Once upon the most beautiful time of my life, I walked across Spain.  33 days. Just walking. All I needed on my back (or purchasable en route).  It does the heart good to close my eyes and go back there to the simplicity, the freedom, and the glory of it.

Thank you, Lord, for time to just be outside today.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Grateful Day 1 - Curry

I didn't think I would post about food this week, because I decided that I should only post about things from a positive, grateful place.  I have had nothing nice to say about my cooking or food in general lately, so I thought I would skip it... however, tonight my curry was tasty.  I am grateful my curry was tasty.  Tip for next time - spinach was  good choice, use more spinach and skip the bell pepper.

3/4 can coconut milk
1 c water
1 sweet potato (skinned and microwaved 3 min)
1/4 chopped onion
1 chicken breast (pre cooked and chopped)
2 big hand fulls of spinach
1/2 jar of green curry paste
few shakes of yellow curry powder
1 slice bell pepper (DON'T do it!)
cook over medium heat, stirring until veggies are your choice consistency... mmmm!

Thank you, Lord, that I have fresh food to eat and water to drink.  Thank you that I have a warm place to sleep, and a kitchen to cook in.  Thank you that I have been met with warmth and love by so many beautiful people along my way.
As I pilgrim I have to say... Thank you Lord for clean clothes, a shower, and rest for my feet!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I feel like I have a balloon in my belly...  It may not look as bad as it feels - and smells.  (We're talking hellacious gas, I'm sorry to say.) But there is a difference: 1 whole extra inch across my belly button and it's crampy and uncomfortable.

 I really am at a loss for what is causing the reaction.  I ate out 3x this weekend, which was a break through for me in not making myself a recluse for the sake of 'paleo', but I honestly can't find much suspect in the choices.  Help!

1) I baked this last week... but there was about another pound of this mix that I have eaten.  Maybe too much brussell sprouts is the culprit. I mean, the gas thing has been present since I started eating on this. 
There are also snap peas in there, which maybe are a legume and so really not a desirable choice?

2) the Yerba Mate'  - I know that it is supposed to be very healthy for digestion, but I am still suspicious of it.  I like it though, and don't want to be prejudiced toward it, so while I don't drink it every day, I've still been drinking it, including today.

3) Dining out #1 Friday, Souplantation - I stuck to the raw veggies with oil and vinegar.  I ate two big salads, but didn't put anything unusual in it. I did have a bite of lemon mousse though; it was not worth the bite.  It was probably cream based with artificial sweetener.

4) Dining out #2 Saturday, Barbeque:  I went for salad again with Italian dressing and Brisket, no sauce....

5) Dining out #3 This afternoon, Chipotle:  Chicken 'Salad' (it was more like a burrito without the tortilla)- lettuce, peppers and onions, chicken, salsa, and guacamole.  I eat all of that at home.

6)  Paleo "Cookie Dough" - so good. This is actually just extra crust from my paleo cheesecake the other day.  I thought I would make it into a snack bar or cookies, but before I could figure out what to make with it I ate the whole tupperware raw. It was delicious, but maybe not a good choice.  Ingredients: almonds, dates, coconut oil, almond milk, baking soda, vanilla, and an egg.  It's been in my fridge since Thursday. Maybe raw eggs don't keep that long.  (Not to mention I should know better than to eat raw eggs, but I like it, and I figure if it was ok for Gaston, why shouldn't it be okay for me).
Well, if raw eggs don't keep, then I should throw out my homemade mayo from last week too.

I have no idea where the problem is, but I would like A LOT to avoid it in the future. Ideas?  Where do you think the problem is?

Perfectionism & Week's Workouts

Monday  4 rounds: 3 DL 135lb , run 200m, 7 65lb OHS, run 200m = 11:37
This was supposed to be an AMRAP wod, however, my ever so sensitive lower back was not responding very well to it. For the sake of making an injury that much worse it was capped at 4 rounds.  Thanks, Brian, for helping me pull the plug on my ego.
Victory of Monday was the 1st jumping muscle up - woohoo! 
Tuesday  5 rounds: 35 double unders, 50 mountain climbers, 200m run = 23:30
This was torture of my own creation... I ran through it with a friend on my lunch break.  Double unders are my nemesis.  But the only way to get better at double unders is to do more double unders. 
Wednesday   Hang Power Snatch Practice: 45, 65, 75, 85, 90 lbs(fail!) rounds: static hold 30 sec each: handstand (assisted by a wall), squat, Lsit, chin over bar =  we didn't keep total running time, but stopped time every time the hold was lost.  One of Wed's victories was 10 jumping muscle ups!
Thursday 100 burpees for time = 8:50 
Friday  Helen (3 rounds: 400m run, 21 KBswings 35lb, 12 pullups) = 9:31
I hate Helen.  Last time I did this wod I had an asthmatic break down afterward and was sick for a week. (Amanda did too so I think it was something in the air.)
Despite whatever was in the air that day, I hit a PR of 9:43 with 53lb.
I really didn't dare try 53lb this week with my back as jacked as it's been. 
Saturday  Feeling a bit alone and lacking any motivation to do anything. I took advantage of the fact that I really didn't have to do anything and stayed in my PJ's until 5pm, at which time I ventured down to the rings for some muscle up practice, dips, Lsits, and roll throughs.   It's hard stuff. I can't do it for long so it's good to get ring work in warm ups as often as possible.  
Sunday Rest Day 2  brief handstand pushup practice (REALLY need help here) and some stretching

Perfectionism can be a strength... it can keep me pushing and striving and doing noteworthy, or at least some what inspiring, things.  However, I have the sense that it is not true balance, health, life, freedom - the things I want. I know my own perfectionism is one of my worst enemies - covering up the shame of just not being enough. I HAVE to get over that, and this is part of the journey.

I was really annoyed that on the 2 workouts this week that I have records for, I didn't set a new personal record - it was silly, I know.  I've been at this for over a year and a half; my improvements are going to be subtle and my records harder for me to break.
Not to mention that there are a lot of factors that go into performance at any given time: diet, fatigue, injury, immune strength, wardrobe, distractions, more competition, hormones, the mental game...  Some days I don't bring my 'A' game, because I'm just tired.

I remember reading an article in the crossfit journal that listed the top 10 mistakes of crossfit athletes. One of them (and it may have been #1) is not resting. I rest, but maybe not as effectively as I could. The article seemed to promote taking a week every now and then where you take it easy... not do nothing, but lighten the load for a full week, scale back... as a proactive movement towards long term improvement (AVOID BURNOUT).
I don't get this message very well.  It's really hard for me to put my ego aside. So I stay set back longer than maybe I would have to, if I would pull back BEFORE i get injured.

In my pride and vanity, the awareness of my limitations frustrates and defeats me. I see all too easily the times I didn't, couldn't, shouldn't have, and I dismiss the things I could and did!

I hope that my performance curve looks something like this (and I just hope that I'm on one of the peaks when it counts).

Yes, there are set backs and down times, but I come back stronger and I'm always moving in a positive direction because I won't be defeated and I won't give up.  I may call a retreat from a battle, but the war is far from over.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

More Food

Leftover Chicken veggie bake with salad

Snack: Almond butter with Veggies
I try to keep a big tupperware of washed and cut veggies in the fridge for quick grabs or quick cooking: celery, carrots, bell peppers, zucchini. Otherwise I will reach for nuts and raisins or dates when I'm feeling munchy- this snack is a better choice.

Also a couple times a week I'll make a dish to serve 4+ people - then I get to eat off left overs for a few days.  This way I won't make a poor choice if I am too tired or busy to cook. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

aches, pains, and personal records

My body kind of hurts.... my hip flexors have been so tender that I've been avoiding the foam roller in denial of the pain. My right arch has been aching. Shoulder/rotator cuffs ok presently, but muscle up practice irritates them and as soon as we start hitting more shoulders' WOD's they are likely to flair up again.
Back... oh dear. My never ending injury. I have an arthritic/degenerating disc at my 5th lumber - my back muscles spasm and freak out when they think I might be pressing the vulnerability too much.
Okay Okay body... I'll rest a bit. Ice and biofreeze, here we come. Tomorrow only furpees, I mean burpees.

Good news is today I practiced hang power snatches... 85 lbs! Not a bad start. I didn't have a record and I am very happy with that one.

And ten jumping muscle ups... Yes! Power up!  ... I want a real muscle up by next Thursday!
very pretty OHS compliments of Crossfit Black Diamond

It's a fine line between disciplining the body and abusing it.  With the way I have been eating I feel like I am working with, not fighting against, my body.  I'm not trying to manipulate it, or manipulate my food and exercises for yoyo results, abusing it with binge-ing, then lashing out at it  for not being different than it is... Finally I am working with it,  trying to give it what it needs for fuel to be it's best.  I need to take that to the fitness realm as well - knowing when to pour cold water on my pride and ease up or take a break.
Today that meant being satisfied with the 85lbs when I failed 3 times on 90lbs, and being satisfied with the 10 jumping muscle ups when I failed 3 times on the hanging ones.  Monday it meant turning an amrap WOD into a 4 round WOD (4 min. short of the intended time.)
It's all a journey... listening to my body I "live to play another day" in the words of a great trainer.  Less injury, less frustration, fewer set backs.  Always moving forward, at a healthy pace.  That's the goal anyway :)

"Many of the benefits of a strict and disciplined "healthy" lifestyle
can be compromised by a perfectionist mentality."
 -Mark Sisson . The Primal Blueprint.

Hungry in the Morning

I generally eat breakfast just before or as I'm starting work in the morning... about 7:30. but the last few days I feel like I am insatiable and within 45 minutes need a second breakfast.

Physically, no problem. Really I can eat as much as my body asks for of Paleo/Primal/Real foods without any fear of 'getting fat' or blowing my goals.
However this is problematic because I need to work, not be eating all the time because I'm hungry all the time - hmm...

I think I will try a little test for the rest of the week. I need to fast for some intentions anyway. So I will stick with the Zone rule of only eating every 2.5-5 hours. If I am hungry an hour after eating - oh well. I'll drink more water (I certainly need that) and hold off just another 1.5 hr.

Really, I think this little extra discipline will serve body (which thrives on being a little hungry sometimes), mind (so I can get my mind off of food and onto work), and soul (Matthew 17:21).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Muscle up Monday

For the last few months it has been a goal to get a muscle up by Christmas... no, by Thanksgiving... no, Christmas... the date waivers depending on my confidence of the moment.

What's a muscle up? Observe. The man with the flairy shirt & killa moustache is in honor of Movember.

Muscle ups are not something I can work on for hours - It's really taxing on my shoulder/bicep/tricep region.  I make a few attempts and then walk away.  Yesterday I got my first jumping muscle up!!!  -
With rings about 1 foot overhead and me jumping into the transition.
Yay! Hooray! Mazel Tov!  It's not even the real thing but it's a step, and I am excited!

I could only get about 3 or 4 mixed in with my warm up, and I was wasted on them. Once I get a little more solid at that, the next step is to raise the rings a bit... trying jumping into it from the greater distance & try kipping into it from hanging.

Why muscle ups? Because with the strength & conditioning gained through muscle ups - pretty much if you can get a hand up on a surface, you can climb onto it... the amount of obstacles in life diminish.
and I pretty much want to be a ninja.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 8 sans coffee

This is a fun observation... for 3 days in succession I have awoken before my alarm. I was able to get out of bed renewed and tranquilly... not with loud chiming or noise making music from my alarm.  I've even had time to lie there and take my time getting up before I actually need to be up.  PRICELESS!

The week's activity

Monday Tabata sets at home:  Double unders, stitups, pushups, squats, V-ups (record the lowest count set)= 8, 12, 8, 15, 12
Tuesday  AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) in 12 min: 9 reps 35lbs DB thrusters + 1 ascent 15ft. Rope Climb = inches short of 7 rounds
Wednesday  goof off day... double unders at lunch, jog in the park, few pull ups, dips, knees to elbows on the playground
Thursday  AMRAP in 8 min: 4 HSPU's (hand stand pushups), 8 KB swings @ 53lbs, 12 GHD situps = 4 complete rounds + 8 KB swings
Friday  P90x Yoga
Saturday 100 OHS (overhead squats) with pvc pipe, shuttle run, 200 double unders: 17:28 (stinkin' double unders! they took me like 10 min.)
Sunday  failed attempt at a beach volley organization = REST DAY working on my tan in the sweet southern california sun

Whoever said P90x was like Crossfit at home... I have to disagree.  Sorry it's nothing like, in my opinion. It's an ok fill in, a fair stand by, and maybe for some super motivated and creative athletes it could be, maybe, as effective as crossfit, but I doubt it.  In itself I find it not very fun, and ergo not really my style any way.   The yoga wasn't relaxing and rejuvenating the way yoga tends to be either.  If you're not going to be fun at least be peaceful.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A few weekend meals

Turkey Breast on Coconut Milk Rhubarb, Parsnip, Rutabega Bake

Turkey Burger on a Portabella Bun
Carob coated Almonds
Home made Mayo for Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad in a bell pepper cup :)

Weekend Break.

Feeling stressed, burned out, just plain desolate... I decided that I should relax a bit, starting with some wine, a massage, and a cheat meal with a friend.

Friday night Cheats:  chips, tacos, CHEESE, margarita, and popcorn.
Chips and Salsa was deliciousness!

1) I awoke Saturday surprisingly feeling ok.  Feeling good even.  Refreshed a bit.  No rebellion from my body.
2) WOD saturday was less than great...stomach was in knots, burning in my chest, would like to puke please
3) Six pack experiment set back...
oh pancita, there you are.  Definition decimated.  What a difference a bottle of wine and a night of junk food can make.  compare.

There is some truth to the statement: "fat and happy".  I am happy to have relaxed a bit. I am happy to be able to believe I am beautiful just because I am, and I am happy to take that peace and get my #$% served to me working out hard tomorrow :)

I am taking victory from this... there's a time and a season for all, for feasting and for fasting.  Taking this break doesn't define me and doesn't cancel all my hard work.  It doesn't mean that I need to continue on a series of binders.  It doesn't mean that food will be an emotional crutch or outlet that rules me.  It just means I am free to choose the path I want, and free to enjoy life, without living in fear of blowing it.

Thanks for the fun, weekend!  We'll do it again in a few more weeks.  In the meantime, I'm ready to get back to work.

Day 7 sans Coffee

oh coffee, you smooth aromatic delight to my mornings, I lament our separation.
the countdown continues...

heachaches:  today is the first without headaches
energy: too soon to tell, it's the weekend
digestion: getting back to normal
skin:  no difference

Days 5/6 I opted for mint and pomegranite teas (I LOVE mint tea) - however today I went back to the Yerba Mate'.  It feels more like coffee than lemon or orange would, and those are my only other options today.

As a treat I've been adding a spoon of carob powder to my morning tea some days... it sweetens it a little and makes it more treat like. It helps keep the Starbucks cravings at bay - oooh before I gave up coffee I had come up with a pretty acceptable home made knock off for frappeccino's - coconut or almond milk, ice, cooled coffee, cinnamon, and chopped dates, blended together for cool delight... ahhh... I digress.

7 weeks ago, I was content with my switch from flavored creamer and syrups to just coconut milk in my coffee.  The emotional/mental attachment is harder now to make this switch from coffee (ie caffeine) to herbal teas ... it's a bigger problem I think. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kale Chips

These are one of my absolute favorite healthy treats!  The only problem with them is that they take 10x as long to prepare as they do to consume ;)  Compliments of KD

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day Treats

In honor of veteran's day I wanted to bring treats to the box today. Since many of the fellowship there are serving or have served in our military, it seemed a fitting occasion to do so.  Nevermind that I ended up 20 minutes late, and earned a 20 burpee penalty after fogetting the yummies and backtracking for them.  They were worth it.

I totally stole and ever so slightly modified this from my wicked CFRR buddy.  She uses mini cups for them, which would be great for a bitesize treat, but I only had the regular size muffin cups to work with.

3/4 c coconut oil, divided
3/4 c carob powder, divided
1/3 c almond butter
10 dates, food processed until crumbs
1/4 c coconut milk

Melt 1/2 c coconut oil in microwave. Mix 1/2 c carob powder with melted oil. Pour equal amounts into muffin cups (about 12 regular sized). Put in the refrigerator to set up, at least 2 hours.
Mix almond butter, coconut milk, and processed dates together and divide equally on top of chocolate, about 1 tbs or so. Melt 1/4c oil in microwave. Add remaining amount (1/4c) carob powder to melted oil and pour  on top of layers. Place back in refrigerator to set 1-2 hrs. 

Addendum: This is great great great in mini cups, which I found Von's carries.  They make the recipe go a lot further.
2nd. They are great with cocoa powder as well.
3rd.  The quantities are just a go by... the trick is just equal parts oil and powder.  plus a bit of honey if you are feeling like more sweet is in order.  I almost always use more than the recipe calls for - just reheating and mixing in a pyrex measuring cup as I go.

Pad Thai Stir Fry Breakfast

Sometimes, I drag my feet to the kitchen in the morning and the last thing I feel like eating is eggs.  A fruit smoothie first thing in the morning may sound nice, but if I start my day that way it sets me up to want sugar all day long.  So the last two days I've gone for dinner at breakfast time.

Broccoli slaw
Cauliflower 'rice' - finely chopped
Zucchini slivered (use a peeler to slice off long strips
red onion
1 chicken breast
1 egg
Coconut aminos
Cracked pepper

  1. Heat EVOO in pan
  2. Add veggies stirring
  3. add just a tsp or so aminos and vinegar
  4. Stir and cook for about 3min.
  5. Add precooked diced chicken breast to warm
  6. Crack in an egg and stir.
  7. garnish with cilantro, lime and cracked pepper

Day 4 sans Coffee

Countdown without coffee/caffeine

heachaches: mild
energy: ever so slightly improving
digestion: questionable.

Sorry to get graphic but I'm an advocate of the daily, or twice daily, big easy poo.  This change from coffee to Mate' may be throwing off my digestive tract...  I haven't made any other changes to my diet, so it's isolated in the analysis.

I was not thrilled with the way my digestion reacted at first to this anti-grain, legume, dairy lifestyle, but it took about a week, I think, to adjust and regulate.  hmm... (narrowing my eyes at the herbal tea)... we'll see about you.

Today, I am very tempted to return to coffee.  sigh... but I won't.  It's worth giving it at least two weeks to give my body a reset before making that call. 
However, I will be switching teas tomorrow.  tba.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

More about 'Icecream'

Two requests for the Purple Yam Icecream :)
You've got it... however, it comes with a disclaimer that it wasn't that icecream like.
So I'll give a second, truly fantastic icecreamy option.

Purple Yam "Icecream"

1/3 pkg of frozen pureed purple yams
(I purchased them from the local asian market because who doesn't need more color in their diet)

Cover with canned coconut milk in sauce pan

Add lots of cinnamon and some coconut flakes.

Warm over low heat stirring until yams are fully broken down and coated. 
Pour or spoon into freezer safe serving sizes.

I don't have an icecream maker so I just pull it out and stir it up every 10-15 min. until it's the consistency I want.  I had a few servings that were in the freezer for a night or a day and they were eaten more patiently- I spooned away at the edges while they defrosted :)

Almost chunky monkey delight
It took extra grace last night not to pull in at Dairy Queen - after a brief inner battle I made it home safely and created own version of indulgence.

In a blender add:
  • about 5 honey dates
  • handful of walnuts
  • three ice cubes
  • cover about 3/4 with almond or coconut milk.
pulse. pulse. pulse.  try to get those icecubes sufficiently blended.
  • add 1/2 banana sliced.
Give a quick blend.
Pour the frothy cool deliciousness into a bowl.  It will be the consistency and taste of melted icecream.

Stick it in the freezer, stirring at 10, 20 and 30 min. and you have a right tasty soft serve...
oh. my. goodness.   I was completely rewarded for not paying DQ a visit.

Actually I made two servings.  The 1st time I added the 1/2 banana and some frozen blueberries after the blend, just stirring them in. 
Blueberries are my staple fruit... I put them in almost everything. perhaps you haven't noticed yet.

Heroes & Musings

So here's a crossfit super machine- Heather Bergeron.  Humbly, I set myself beside her in a comparison. But if I have to be measured against someone, she represents the elite - the high bar. She ranked 17th in the games this year.  If I ever match even 1 of her records I would be beyond myself with astonishment and joy.  I picked her from the other female athletes, because she is phenomenal, but also because she is roughly my size and age-ish so it's more of an apples to apples in structure perhaps.

Here's Heather      & here's me
Elite Athlete            goof off
Height: 5'5"                5'4"
Weight: 131              135
Fran: 2:57                 6:48
Grace: 2:26           3:22 (78lbs)
Fight Gone Bad: 351  251
Clean & Jerk: 170      115
Snatch: 130         Never tested
Deadlift: 285              200
Back Squat: 230        181 
Pull-ups: 41                28

Lining it up gives a goal - I know my baseline and how far I have to go to be as good as she was this year.  Could I do it?  Holy Crap a 2:57 Fran... I don't think so.  And how much would it take to get there if I could?  What does it require, and is it worth it?   But most importantly is elite athleticism what I was created for?... Those are the questions I've been asking these days.

I wish I could ask what fuels her, if she just loves the competition, Or if it was finding something that she was made to do.  I love the fun, banterous competition around the box.  I love crossfit.  I love pushing limits and getting better.  I love PLAYING!  But I'm certainly no where near the best.  I don't have a God given elite gift. But when I focus on what I'm NOT, it stops being fun, I don't want it any more.   When I am faced with failure a little much, when it becomes more work and pain than fun and fellowship with the work and pain.  When I am discouraged at how much I just don't measure up, i.e. when my heart just isnt' in it,... well that ruins it for me and instead of being fueled for growth - I am crushed and defeated.

This is where we need others. I love the community aspect of crossfit.  I love the camaraderie.  We sweat, suffer, bleed and even cry together, (or at least want to cry) but we also triumph together.  There is a big part of the day-to-day crossfit that is not about the numbers, not about measuring up, but about breaking down walls and pushing when you want to quit.  Redefining Limits. I love this!

Am I created for elite athleticism?  Hmm, my sources say no, but I'll keep giving my best. Meanwhile I can say with certainty that I was created for holiness.  Every one of us is created for union with God, really. (And He has EVERYTHING to give us!) So I'm going to present another high bar - another elite who rocked it and showed the world how it's done.  St Theresa of Avila, what a woman! 

I love St. Theresa, because she’s just so real. 
1) She admits to growing up always afraid that no matter what she did she was going to do everything wrong.  – I can relate to that!

2) As a teenager, she only cared about boys and clothes and flirting and rebelling -- oh yes, that is all too familiar… the only reason I went to church was for boys.

3) She prayed for 20 years never feeling like she was getting anywhere.  She said she was too attached to God to take pleasure in the world, but too attached to the world to really take full pleasure in God.  – I’ve had about 13 of those years, if it takes me another 7 then at least I am in good company.

4)  She was a charmer.  People liked her, and she liked being liked.  It was a big trial for her to let go of flattery, vanity, gossip, and not to slip into a worldly life ignoring God.  – I love to be liked and I have a habit of getting caught up and ignoring God.

All of this is true, yet in her life she became a spiritual giant. Now, 400 yrs later no one questions her greatness, but at the time she caught all sorts of trouble for just trying to lead her order to a life of true devotion.  Many of the convents at the time were fueled by wealth and worldliness – she was denounced to the Inquisition more than once for shaking things up.  She was a woman undaunted by trials and unafraid!  Love it.  I want to be that brave.

Let nothing trouble you, let nothing frighten you.  All things are passing; God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who possesses God lacks nothing:   God alone suffices.
Thanks Mama T.

She has the best quotes! more to come...


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 2 sans Coffee

It's official.  I have cleaned and stowed the French Press and the Coffee Pot.  I bought an herbal tea replacement.  (Thanks to the suggestion of a dear friend.)
There have been times in my life that I appreciated hot tea (with cream and sugar)!  Days in Ireland and Australia - sigh... at least we have a history with happy times.  Perhaps this warmth will coax me through my break up with my beloved coffee.
This Mate' does have some barley in it, which is not "paleo"  but I have no other grains in my diet so we'll see if a tea form bothers me.  Maybe after a week of detoxing caffeine headaches I can practice taking this tea in and out of my diet to see if it has any negative effect on me.
Sleep!  Sleep is my immediate consolation for giving up coffee/caffeine.  I slept so well last night! (Granted it's 9am and I'm ready to go back to sleep, but I trust that will pass ;)  I am grateful for good sleep.  I hope in another month I can be grateful for clearer skin and increased energy levels too!

Breakfast, Dessert, Coffee Shop Treat?

A few weekends ago I stayed with a friend after a party. The following morning she was making breakfast for us: eggs for me and scones for the others. SCONES! So I checked out the recipe to see if I might be able to adjust it... this first attempt came out more like shortbread.  The berry sauce brought a nice moist sweetness.

1/2c Coconut oil melted
2 eggs
1/2 c. almond or coconut milk
1/2 c. apple sauce*
1/4 c. blended dates
Mix together, then add
1 1/2 c. coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Pack into a 9x9 dish
Bake 18-20 min. at 375.

Add some 1/2c blueberries and strawberries each to a sauce pan. Squeeze the juice of one small orange or nectarine into the pan also.  simmer and stir until saucy...
* the original recipe called for 1/4 c of honey. Applesauce and dates were my substitute.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Play Time!

I didn't know what shape exercise/training would take this week, here it is:

Monday: 5 rounds muscle 1/2's with roll through on the rings, 12 assisted Handstand pushups, 10 burpee pullups. (seriously the most fun I've had in ages!)
Tuesday: run 4 miles (just under 40 mins, pretty comfortable pace)
Wednesday:  P90x's plyometrics
Thursday: Sets of 3,6,9,12,15,12,9,6,3 Ring Pullups & Chair dips, Each set followed by 70ft walking lunges. 13:35min
Friday:  Crossfit's Lumberjack 20 (scaled 125lb Deadlifts, 65lbs Overhead Squats, 25lb dumbbell squat cleans) 27:43
Saturday:  Much needed and delightful rest day! Including a wonderful glass of wine, which was worth the 42 day wait!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The SixPack Experiment

For 18 mos. I've trained hard, and for at least 6 weeks I've been conscious in my food choices as an athlete.  Just staying the course, doing what I do, waiting for my sixpack to show up.
I've been saying that for months like I'm joking, but I'm really not.  I find super shredded abs to be remarkably fascinating and I want them.

I've not been systematic and single minded in pursuing this goal. Maybe if I focused on it I might have better results.... but nah, not really my style.  My style is to just do what I do, striving to be constantly varied and give my best - crossfit style - focused more on the results of performance on each workout rather than trying to sculpt my body in any particular way.  It will adapt.

I don't know if I'll arrive at the elusive 6 pack one day - maybe not, but in this light I'd say I'm definitely making progress!

Friday, November 5, 2010


1 sliced pepper
1/4 sliced onion
3 oz. shrimp
Fajita seasoning

Lettuce cups for tortillas
1/2 avocado
3 tbs  Almond "Cheese"

Fiesta en mi plato!


What an interesting time this is in my life.  I am excited and hopeful, encouraged and renewed, except of course when I am scared and frustrated, discouraged and exhausted.  ha.
I am confident  in the victory of the Light and Good, but it IS a battle... everyday.  I have to pray against the lies, and the fear, and the tired, and the blah blah blah, inviting the Truth to renew and refill me.

At this moment there are two inklings I have (I can't call them discoveries yet)  that I am not thrilled about ... to say the least.

1) Almonds might not be my friends
2) Caffieine probably needs to leave my diet

UGHHHH!  I hate these ideas.  I do not like them one bit.  ONLY because I want to be at the end.  I want to have my diet all in a nice little package that is 'easy' to live with, if only in the sense that I have it figured out, and now I have to go back to the beginning by changing more things. 
I DON'T want to give up coffee :( and every treat I get these days is almond based, but I'm suspecting that it's not treating my body.

Isn't life just like that though?
I want to have it all figured out.  I want it to come in a nice little neat package.  I get coaxed into submission to a world of things that are not good for me because they are more appealing than the true good.   And as much as I hate the idea of making changes because I have stumbled onto a potential truth - I hate living with lies even more. 
I am so sick of lies - doctors who sell you the drugs they are supposed to sell rather than tell you what would really cure you, marketing that makes you feel like whatever they are selling is good for you or will improve your life, the list goes on...   I'm sick of commercialism in general because it rewards lies.

And here I am - faced with something SO small:  "Your beloved coffee might be the reason your acne hasn't cleared up in 15 yrs."  and I want to hate it

but I can't.  If this is the truth then I will fight for it. 

You remember this dialogue from A Few Good Men (I think). 
"I want the truth."  
"You can't handle the truth."

We think we want the truth, but almost always the truth forces us to change something, makes us a little uncomfortable, opens our eyes to things we were happy to be ignorant of (even if our ignorance is killing us).  I understand, in this moment, why so many people reject the truth.  While the truth will most definitely set you free, freedom always comes at a cost.  Too often we'd don't want to pay the price, we don't want to work for it, we don't want to fight for it... so we just ignore it.

God help me - I want the truth!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Did you know?


huh... wow. Well there it is!  "In sum: corn is not a vegetable, and it’s a worthless grain." - Mark Sisson

Lunch, Snack, and Dinner

Grilled Chicken, Cucumber, Tomato, Broccoli Slaw, Sundried Tomato Olive Oil
Purple Yam "Icecream"
Turkey burger in a Lettuce bun with Sauteed Squash

Sweet Dumpling Squash Breakfast

I'm short on enery for fun recipes & short on groceries...  I had a cute little (sweet dumpling?) squash in my fridge that needed to get eaten.  Here's how it happened.

Preheat oven to 350.
Cut Squash in half...this may take some warrior samarai skill.
lightly coat the inside with coconut oil
Place flat sides down on baking sheet with layer of water.
Bake for 20 min.

Peel an apple.  Chop it into small chunks.
Put it in a small bowl.
Add cinnamon and a handful of chopped walnuts.
(I just grab a palmful and crunch them in my hands...I'm about time saving!)
Add a small drizzle of coconut oil
Cover and shake.

After the squash has baked 20 min.
Take it out.  Flip it over so it is like two little cups.
Add the apple walnut mixture.

If you just baked it another 30 min like this that would be delicious.
But I wanted protein... short on time and groceries.  Grabbed egg whites.
(because I have a carton of them yes.)
Fill the squash apple walnut cups with egg whites.

Bake uncovered for 30min.
I like my eggs not at all runny so I had to cover with tin foil and add more time.
Flavor = good. 
Not having to think or search for recipes or go to the store = priceless.

*Idea was inspired as a variation from recipes read weeks ago, probably on a friend's Wicked Appetite blog and/or tasty paleo.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sugar. Crack. Whatever you want to call it.

"Our body has this defect that, the more it is provided care and comforts, the more needs and desires it finds. " St. Theresa of Avila.

This is going to be a little tiny bit of a rant.

Last week I tested one little 'cheat'.  A diet coke. It's was ok, nothing phenomenal.  I didn't finish it, but after a month of avoiding sicknesses I caught a cold within 24hrs.  Coincidence or not, I blame the chemical infused coke.  Poison.... Of course I would have to test it a few more times to be scientifc, but I am not offering my body as a guinea pig for that. Just resting assured that I'm fine without diet drinks in my life again.

Enter cold & flu symptoms:
Not feeling well ignited my cravings for junk food for some reason - oh yes, comfort... Anything to make me feel better (even if it really would make me worse).  I resisted wine, milk shakes, chocolate, etc ... but I did indulge in a lot of fruit concoctions smoothies, blueberry banana walnut 'cereal' (see icecream entry) apples with almond butter, more smoothies, a homemade 'frapaccino' sweetened with dates, etc etc etc.  I could tell right away that "something" I was eating wasn't helping... but why examine it?  "I'm sick afterall... shouldn't be too hard on myself, and I've already given up so much." right...

Meanwhile a friend suggested a homeopathic remedy for cold/flu symptoms, I took her advice along with others (and a few of my own) without pause.... I brought the remedy home, took a dose..."wow this is like candy"... read the label... "inactive ingredients: lactose, sucrose"  SUGAR! They even add sugar to cold medicine!? "homeopathic" ones too!?
Now, I should know better than not to read labels before purchasing... let this be ANOTHER lesson. 
But.... I bought it so why not just take it?? So I did. about 6 doses in 2 days.  I do feel better I'll admit, but that 'medicine' is calling to me.  I want to keep taking it... like a lot want to.  "and why shouldn't I?" a voice calls from within, "Why shouldn't I finish off the remaining bit... I'm not 100% and it will only make me feel even better"  hmmm....Why?  It's still counterproductive to what I'm trying to do with my body. aka give it real food, and real nutrients, hence cutting out ALL of the non nutritive kinds of sugar.
Yesterday, my chiropractor went one better than to affirm the nutrition path I'm on... He said some really smart stuff including that glucose (sugar) actually blocks the cells receptors from absorbing vitamin c .... loosely translated that means sugar = extra bad when you have a cold.

Again we all know this, right?  Our mom's told us that. Or maybe it's like natural law or something.  We just know.  But it's buried deep somewhere and I have always been a stubborn and rebellious child. I chose to ignore this little echo because I wanted to feed my cold whatever would feed my emotions and make me 'feel better', sigh...

I think I got the lesson. I made a note to self  "Eat more veggies,  and lay off the fruits and homeopathic remedies for a few days."   Today I have tried consciously not to eat any fruit except to squeeze some citrus into my water. I was surprised at how hard it's was.  I had to be really deliberate not to just reach for the fruit fixes I make so easily.  Such a little thing. 

I am proud to be able to share, though, that I did it... one entire day with sugar  Only veggies, meats, eggs, and fats. baby steps.

The journey to a balanced life while fueling my body for performance and its best continues. Onward march...

Green Eggs

The short of the story is I need mas veggies!! (the longer rant against sugar I will save for next time).
1st breakfast = celery sticks with almond butter and coffee with coconut milk.
2nd breakfast = THIS!

 doesn't look so green, but it looked very green in my bowl with the Avo

1/2 bag of broccoli slaw
1 tbs EVOO
1/2 left over pork chop (diced)
1 egg
~2 eggwhites
1 green chili
few leaves cilantro
Fajita seasoning, garlic powder,
fresh cracked pepper
1 avocado

In a skillet, heat EVOO.  Add broccoli slaw, seasonings, and meat source (this time pork chops). Saute a few minutes.
Add green chili and eggs/eggwhites.  Scramble.  Lower heat and cover for about 3-5 min. Stir in some cilantro.  Once cooked to satisfaction top with Avocado and more pepper.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Balancing Act

The title of this blog is "life in the balance" - the image brings me back to my old school science days with the little balance and weight system...  you have something you need to weigh on the left or right and on the other side you have a plate that you have to add weights to, when it's perfectly level you've found the mass of the substance you are weighing.  If only I could bring my life to balance so easily.

It is constantly teetering to one side or another. As soon as I even think I might  have leveled it out, life changes and new variables are introduced. Back to work I go.  I'm not complaining!  Not at all!
I want life to keep changing, because I know God has more for me and changes are channels for Him to give it.  Besides I might get bored to be always the same.
It is a challenge to embrace the adventure at times rather than just feeling lost, BUT here's to adventure any way! ... just one day at a time.

I know that my life needs some tweaking.  It's not something I can just think the answer to, it's something I have to experiment to find.  Trial and error.

Diet is just one thing: I posted my latest nutrition plan - no alcohol, no sugar, no legumes, no grains, no dairy, as much as possible nothing processed.  It may seem extreme, but I needed extreme!  I felt a little out of control.  I felt like I needed to be stripped.  I needed "lent in the Fall"  - sacrifice that would empty me and refocus me.  I really felt the effects of the way I was eating/drinking before, and that my will power was weak.  Inside some thing just screamed - "Stop! I can't keep abusing my body like this." 

Now the hard part is over, my body has mostly adjusted to eating this way.  I don't feel that out of control-ness anymore.

Check out this Freedom Moment:  I served cake and icecream at a friend's birthday party.  I joyfully declined having some myself, but in serving I got frosting on my fingers and when it was all done I didn't even lick it off ... that sweet sweet frosting...  to you the idea of licking your fingers may be gross, but to me friends, it was a habit and a temptation, and to just let it go, that was beautiful!  To say "no thank you" to things and really mean it! To be able to let others enjoy it and I don't need it ... it's not even really a sacrifice.  This is a freedom!

So while there are so many good things with this new lifestyle, there is a part of me that is warned - BALANCE.  I don't want food to control my life. I don't want training to control my life.  I don't want work to control my life.  (Oh and the big one: I don't want fear of others' opinion or disappointment to control my life.)  How do I strive for greatness, how do I continue to sincerely work to be my best without losing the balance?

That, my friends, is the adventure.  This month has had some excruciating moments, particularly in taking the step to say "no" to things.  No, to competing in an event I had been excited about for months.  No, my pastor's invitation to more involvement at church. No, to my current training regimen.  Saying no at the time (and still in some cases) was uncomfortable and very sad.  It was painful to let go of opportunities.  But my heart just wouldn't let me be happy otherwise - not really happy.  So I've taken some steps of faith in letting go and trusting my heart more.  Already, I've gotten some blessings for the steps - I didn't compete, but I got to judge.  I didn't get shunned or chastised for not helping at church (I'm sure I will be plenty involved enough).  I am risking a bit with changing my training regimen, but today I got to roll around on rings like I was 6 yrs old at the playground... and they call it a work out?!  How fun!  My heart is glad :) and I am so so so excited to see where the journey will lead. one. day. at. a. time...

My Version of ... Tacos?

Well, they're not really tacos, but they were a great lunch :)
~3 oz. ground turkey (pre-cooked) 
1/2 bag of Broccoli Slaw
1/4 onion chopped
1/4c salsa
small handful of cilantro chopped
1 tbs of EVOO
1 bell pepper

Saute turkey together with broccoli slaw and onions in EVOO until warmed throughout and onions are cooked to your liking.
mix in some fresh chopped cilantro and 1/4 c. of salsa
Cut bell pepper in half pull out the seeds and top... the pepper halves make a nice crunchy "taco" shell.  Fill them up with the turkey/slaw mix and enjoy
(with napkins!)