Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Food Prep!

I've been getting more and more into the idea of doing most of my weekly cooking and food prep on Sunday afternoons so that I have less to do when I get up in the mornings and when I get home from the gym at night. 

The photo below shows everything I made two Sunday's ago. I'm just now coming to the end of this supply, as I ended up having clients around for three days of lunches and dinners and found myself eating out (on the company's dime, of course) way more than usual. I can't say I stuck to my nutritional goals during these restaurant meals, but at least it didn't set me back financially, which is another huge reason I try to cook at home as much as I can.

  • One Dozen Hard Boiled Farm Fresh Organic Eggs: I eat 3-4 eggs a day, on average.
  • Roasted Spaghetti Squash: To be eaten with leftover sauce w/ ground turkey that I'd had frozen
  • Garlic Roasted Cauliflower
  • Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Cereal
  • One LB of Chicken Breasts: I marinated 1/2 in Chipotle Pepper marinade and the other 1/2 in Mediterranean herbs for variety throughout the week
  • One LB of Chicken Strips for Salads: Also divided these between the two marinate flavors
  • Four Salads
Overall, the process didn't take all that long. It's all about how you time things! For example, the Apple Cinnamon Quinoa and Roasted Squash both needed about 45 minutes of cook time, so I prepped those first. While they cooked, I mixed up the two marinades for the chicken and let them soak up the flavor for about 30 minutes. 

Next, I got the cauliflower roasting in the oven. There was about a 25 degree discrepancy between oven temps for the two veggies, so I went with the lower temp and gave the squash extra time to roast. As the Quinoa and Roasted Veggies were finishing cooking, I heated up the George Foreman for my chicken. I started off with a batch, both breasts and strips, of the Mediterranean herb flavor, since it wasn't as strong. When those were cooked, I quickly wiped down the grill with a wet paper towel and repeated the process for my Chipotle Pepper chicken. 

Since the chicken cooks so quickly, it require my full attention. No multi-tasking whilst George Foreman-ing, or else your food will likely end up tough and overcooked. While the chicken cooled, I got my salads ready. I used a dark greens blend with kalamata olives, tomatoes, cukes, and bell peppers for the salads that would get Mediterranean chicken and a blend of iceberg and baby spinach with black beans, tomatoes, cukes, and bell peppers for the ones that would get Chipotle Pepper chicken.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Strawberry Oatmeal Flax Muffins

A while back, I was experimenting with some gluten-free baking. One of my better endeavors turned out to be these strawberry oat muffins. They are less than 150 calories each and full of good stuff!

I should note, I found this recipe online and adapted it, but I can't remember where I found it. So, please, if it's yours, let me know and I will gladly link back to your site. It was a great blog and I'm actually pretty sad to not be able to find it.

Strawberry Oatmeal Flax Muffins
12 Muffins

1 1/4 C Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix (use a little less for more moist muffins)
1 1/4 Old Fashioned Oats (NOT Quick Cook)
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
6 TBSP Milled Flax Seed
1/2 C Unsweetened Applesauce
1/2 C Strawberry Puree (Remove stems from a few large berries and toss in a personal sized blender for an easy puree)
1/2 C Unsweetened Original Flavor Almond Milk 
1/4 C Raw Agave Nectar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
1 C hulled and diced strawberries (measure after dicing)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Coat a 12 cup muffin pan with non-stick spray or use muffin liners for easier clean up.
  3. Combine first 7 ingredients (dry) in a medium bowl. 
  4. Whisk the next 6 (wet) ingredients in a separate bowl.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until moistened.
  6. Fold in diced strawberries.
  7. Spoon batter into muffin tins.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. 
  9. Cool and enjoy!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Down in the Doldrums

This weather is killing me! I know I'm not the first to say it and I won't be the last, but it's really starting to get to my head. My brain is on the outs. I almost backed into my garage door yesterday, have been misspelling things left and right, and I actually wrote a letter upside down this morning.

In a somewhat illogical attempt to force Spring upon the world, I have been shopping for Spring workout clothes in earnest. It's gotten pretty bad and I may need to freeze my credit card (irony?) to avoid doing any more damage. I realize that owning a bunch of new shorts and tanks won't make the weather warm enough to wear them, but mentally, it's helping me get through.

I have ordered from a couple of new brands lately, and I'm excited to see how they work out.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Burpees & Boobies

Anyone who's ever done more than one burpee will tell you that they are the worst. The. Worst. Try doing them quickly in a workout with other moves and you quickly start questioning your sanity.

It's worse for girls. Repeatedly slamming a soft, sensitive part of your body onto gym mats makes for some sore girls. For a while, I'd dread the days following burpees more than the actual burpees themselves. I blamed my pain entirely on the floor...until this last weekend.

We did the Games 2010 WOD 7: 3 Cleans followed by 4 HSPU for 7 rounds. I wanted to see how my form was looking, especially on the heavy cleans, so I had Nick video tape the first three rounds. I was certainly not prepared for what I saw when I replayed the video later on. I'd post it here, but it's almost NSFW.

Now, I've never considered myself to be particularly busty, average maybe. While my opinion of their size hasn't changed, I have a whole new appreciation for their range of motion. Those girls were everywhere (and not in a good way)! I can see how a spectator would be worried that they were going to break lose, especially after seeing myself do HSPU. I'd known that some of my sports bras were more supportive than other ones, but I had NO IDEA how inefficient some of them actually were.

I can see how the pain started with burpees. The burpee is explained as the move that contains the fullest range of motion for your whole body. You literally go from standing, to laying down, to jumping...and that's just one. Think of it from your boob's perspective, they're squished onto the ground and then bounced around on your way back up. Full range of motion = Ouch! While I have no plans to inhibit the range of motion for most of my body, the girls have got to be controlled.

What's the solution to my problem? Shopping, of course! And throwing away my old bras. I'm trying out a site called Fabletics, which is almost like a monthly subscription service for workout clothes. They claim to be the less expensive Lululemon, which is enticing. The clothes are cute and I've got some coming my way. I'm sure I'll do a full reveiw. 5 stars if the bras rock and the tights aren't see through!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Progress Report: February

We had a week of retesting this week at the gym. I'm disappointed to say that I didn't hit nearly as many PR's as I would've liked to. I didn't regress, which is to my favor, but didn't experience the level of improvement that I have with some past testing cycles. It doesn't help that I was on a business trip recently that lasted over a week and only left time for one workout in the midst of it.

The thing that really disappoints me though is that I slid so easily back into a pattern of feeling bad about myself and verbalizing those feelings. I won't list all of the things I felt bad about, because that would be counterproductive, but their was quite a list.

In the interest of focusing on the positives, here are some things that have been going well for me recently:

  • Pull ups! I strung three kipping pull ups together this week, proof that my upper body strength has improved

  • PR on Open 13.4. Love me some clean and jerks, not so much on the toes-to-bar, but I can do them in this WOD.  Multiple people commented (positively) on my form and tone, which made me feel really good. I'm still going to need photo proof to believe them, but it's a step!
  • PR on my 3 rep max push press. Go figure, the one weight lifting PR I hit this week was putting weight overhead! I added a full 10# to my max.
  • Volunteering. By pure chance (or was it?) I saw that Girls on the Run is looking for coaches. This was exactly where I wanted to volunteer, so I'm signed up for a training session next week. A girl I CrossFit with also coaches and loves it, which is encouraging. I just hope that the hours they need volunteers can work with my crazy work schedule. Fingers crossed! 
I leave this post with a few articles I've been digging this week: Dear New Girl at the Gym & CrossFit Chicks - The Paradox

Monday, January 27, 2014

What A Difference A Year Can Make

One week ago today, I turned 26. Just a few days before that, I'd found the photo that was taken at my 25th birthday party. I hate the photo. Seeing myself when the server handed it over was truly embarrassing. It was one of those moments when you realize how much weight you've gained. I remember how I felt getting ready for that dinner, not even knowing that all of my friends were planning on surprising me. I'd practically been in tears. I felt like I had nothing nice to wear that fit my body. My confidence was close to an all time low.
Left: January 20, 2013
Right: January 20, 2014
Circle back, 365 days later and I am 100% healthier. I've been CrossFitting for almost 7 months and eat a much more clean and whole diet than any other time in my life. I've repaired friendships that I'd been damaging due to my own insecurity. I'm on the road to being financially free and my relationship with my significant other is built on love, trust, and respect. 

While I'm not looking forward to being another year closer to 30, I am excited for the progress I know I can make between now and my next birthday. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Great Purge of 2014

And so it begins, the year in which I will simplify my life, spend time on the things I care about, and stop letting things and characteristics that I don't have bring me down.

I've already said I want to get out of debt. This is HUGE. Being debt free would be so...freeing. Right now, roughly a quarter of my monthly income goes (or should go) towards past experiences like college, shopping, travel, etc. None of these are bad things on their own, but in the interest of living in the moment and being present in my own life, I want to shut the door on all of it. I'd rather have that quarter of my income to spend on things in the present than some shirt or pair of jeans that I wanted years ago. Or, maybe I wouldn't spend it, maybe I would take that quarter of my income in a payout in the form of free time to do what I love. I wouldn't have to make as much money so I wouldn't have to spend as much time in the office. I'd be free to follow a different path, even if that path weren't as financially prosperous as the one I'm currently on.

I'm digressing, getting way to philosophical for what I'm about to cover, so here it goes. It won't shock you, based on my previous talk of shopping and debt, but I can be a bit of a shopaholic. I like fashion and I like the feeling of putting together a totally rocking outfit. Over the past few years, I've accumulated quite a collection of clothes, shoes, accessories, and jewelry. I don't wear a lot of it, if I'm honest. I have a whole drawer of jeans, but really only rotate between 3 or 4 pairs of favorites.

I've decided that the excess must go. I cannot remember where I saw it, but someone recommended switching all of the hangers in your closet the opposite way, so that the hooks are facing out towards the door.

Once an article of clothing has been taken out to wear, the hanger gets flipped back around so its "normal". At the end of every season, you can easily tell which pieces haven't been worn. If they haven't been worn, you get rid of them.

The above photo is part of my closet. Can you tell the bar is bending? Haha. I'm excited for this purge, although I know certain items will be hard to part with. I need this method to force me to come to terms with the fact that I don't need this many clothes because I'm obviously not wearing them. It will point a finger at the excess so that I can clear it out. 

Non-closet items like jeans and tanks will be trickier, since they're kept in drawers, but I'm off to a strong start!