Death by Gymnastics and Clean 30 Day 2 – Kalua Pulled Pork, Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli.

I find gymnastics torturous. I was never one of the little kids on the playground swinging from rings or doing handstands and cartwheels. I liked the swings. Nice and simple and completed while sitting on my butt. Starting today, every wednesday’s strength class will be devoted to work on CrossFit Gymnastics movements. These include handstand walks, pull ups, muscle ups, dips, rope climbs and L-Sits. I was dreading going in today because I find those movements so incredibly hard. They require a lot of upper body strength and perfect movement patterns. I also have a ridiculously strong fear of kicking up into a handstand. So much so today that when it came to that part of the workout today I nearly burst into tears when my coach told me I had to do it. We worked slowly with him grabbing one of my feet and holding it in the handstand position for 15 seconds. After about 10 minutes I was able to kick up into one on my own. But the excitement from this was short lived, as we next started to work on “skin the cat“.

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This awkward movement requires a lot of core and shoulder strength as you start hanging from rings, bringing your legs up until you are straight up and down with your feet in the air and head towards the ground, then continue to bring your legs around so that your shoulders are twisted behind you… and then you flip back around. I had to do them with a little jump off the ground to get me going and I found it very difficult, once I had made it around once, to come back around again. Add it to the endless list of things to work on.

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Next it was on to muscle ups, which was kinda a joke as I can’t even do kipping pull ups yet. I practiced my kip glide as I watched the guys (I was the only girl today) land muscle up after muscle up. A part of me couldn’t help but feel really lame just sitting there swinging back and forth like an idiot. But, nothing comes without some practice so I just keep swinging along and practicing my kips.

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This evening I went back for the regular WOD, since it had the second benchmark workout for the Clean 30 Challenge. It was 3  * 2 min AMRAPs of Pull ups, Push ups and Sit ups back to back. Can’t wait to see how much I profess over the next 30 days!

For my Clean30 dinner today I made Kalua Pulled Pork, sweet potatoes with bacon and broccoli.  I cooked the sweet potatos by skinning them, cutting them into strips, placing some bacon on them and cooking them in the oven. It makes them have a hint of bacon deliciousness.

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Do you like gymnastics?

What is your favorite gymnastics move?

Clean30 Day 1 – Mustard Chicken Thighs RECIPE, Sautéed Spinach, Cooked Carrots and Mashed Cauliflower

Clean30 Starts….. NOW. Well, technically this morning but you get the point. In case you missed my post about the Clean 30, my box is doing round 3 of 30 days of strict paleo. It’s meant to show you how good eating clean can make you feel, look,  and how much it can improve your fitness… also…the most important part… it’s a competition. You get points for different achievements (attending CF WOD is 2 points, working out outside CF 1 point, totally clean meal 2 points, a day with no no alcohol 1 point, 7+ hours of sleep 1 point so on and so on) and you keep track of them on a nifty little scorecard they give you.

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You also do three benchmarks WODS on day one and then again on day 30 to see how much you progressed. You get points for your progression as well.  You are placed on a team, with a coach who sends you encouraging emails and helps you throughout the process.  In the end there is an individual winner and a team winner. But really, in the end,  aren’t we all winners?… awww……

ANYWAY, today’s dinner: Mustard Chicken Thighs, cooked spinach, cooked carrots and mashed cauliflower. The entire dinner for 2 and leftovers took me all of 15 minutes to prep and a total cook time of less than 30 min. So easy.

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Mustard Chicken Thighs

2lbs chicken thighs

1/4 cup melted butter/ghee

2 tablespoons mustard

pepper to taste

1. Melt butter in microwave, takes about 10 seconds.

2. Mix butter and dijon mustard and pepper.

3. Spread on chicken thighs

4. Cook in oven at 350 for about 20 minutes or until done.

5. Go spend the rest of your night relaxing because dinner took no time at all to make.

For the spinach – I placed raw spinach leaves in a saucepan with a bit of water, garlic powder, butter and salt. Cooked on medium for about 10 minutes.

Cauliflower – Steamed in a pot until soft, mixed in nutribullet with butter and salt.

Carrots – steamed for about 20 minutes and squeezed orange juice on top.

IF YOU DON’T LIKE COOKING and still want delicious gourmet paleo meals for $12.40 a meal – check out my last post on Caveman Cafeteria’s meal delivery. They are offering $50 off a month of delicious and nutritious meals if you use the promo code “BeAboutIt” after clicking here. 

Caveman Cafeteria Meal Delivery – 50$ Off PROMO CODE

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Imagine every city in the US having a vertical farm, so that all produce can be grown locally and organically, with a kitchen at the bottom to produce natural, wholesome food. That’s the vision that Caveman Cafeteria: Where the Hunters Gather, a Denver based gourmet Paleo company is aiming to achieve. They are hoping to become a household name over the next 25 years, creating delicious meals that can be delivered to your door for a simplified, healthy lifestyle.

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I had the pleasure of first discovering Caveman Cafeteria in May last year. I liked them so much that I wrote about them here, on the blog. Last Friday they were one of the vendors that came to the Chris Kresser talk that I attended. I chatted with the owner about their paleo meal delivery, which delivers 40 meals per month to people living in the Denver Metro Area. Some of their meals include: Curried Chicken Salad, Pepper Crusted Beef Steak with roasted red peppers and asparagus with garlic aioli,  Irish Lamb Stew, Slow Roasted Wild Boar and so much more.  The menu changes regularly, so you won’t get bored eating the same things over and over again.

The owner offered me a $50 off promo code, which reduces the cost of the meals to $12.40 per meal. No excuse to not eat healthy, wholesome foods if you can have it delivered to your door! Click here if you are interested and enter the promo code “BeAboutIt”. It’s time to start treating your body right so you can finally see just what you are capable of.

Yes, I’m Alive!

Does anyone else ever wonder if something horrible has happened to a blogger if they don’t write for a long time? Is that just me? Well, I can assure you that I am A-okay, if not a bit too full from Christmas cookies and a bit sore from this mornings WOD. After my finals were over I had 4 days before I took off to go home for the holidays. Although some of those days were in the negatives, I tried to take full advantage of my freedom by getting to the mountains for some snowboarding.  The first day was amazing, perfect blue skies, warm and I ended up sounding like a little kid just repeating “again, again, again” until  it was time to go home.

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The second time it was very cold, snowing and I wanted nothing more than to get off the mountain. In that hurry, we ended up heading down a black diamond.  I pretty much road the brakes the whole time while yelling at my boyfriend for leading me down here (sorry babe). I did get a nice cuddle buddy for the ride home, though, which gave it a happy ending.

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Then I came home to the east coast for the holidays. I spent three days at CrossFit City Line (box review here) and definitely enjoyed myself. They had a “12 Days of Crossmas” WOD, which kicked my ass. I was inspired, however, to write a “Twas the Night Before Crossmas” rendition, for all you CrossFit nerds out there (there have to be more like me…).  I plan on checking out the Reebok sponsored Reebok CrossFit Back Bay tomorrow to see how fancy schmancy that one is.

Christmas morning started with a very cold 4 mile run. My hands froze after the first 10 minutes and I had to run awkwardly with them balled up under my armpits.

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Santa was very nice with some cross fit themed shirts this year. Does anyone else LOVE the themed shirts? They just make me chuckle.

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I also got some help opening presents from my lovely pup. That present happened to be for him, which is why he was so excited for me to open it.

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How were your holidays? Were you able to get any workouts in or did you simply relax? What was your favorite present?

Box Review: CrossFit City Line

Hidden away alongside the Charles River on the border of Watertown and Newton, Massachusetts is CrossFit City Line.  They were gracious enough to host me for three days this past holiday season and, without a doubt, I say they are the best box I have been to besides my precious home box which I am incredibly spoiled with. I’m back home for the holiday week and I wanted to make sure that I didn’t just sit around eating christmas cookies and watching Love Actually for a full week straight. So before I came I looked up boxes in my parents’ area and emailed around asking if I could join. CrossFit City Line made it easiest for me to attend, so I started off there. The plan was to try a different one every day, but I enjoyed CF City Line so much I just came back three times. Why so good? Well, I’ll tell ya.

First, the facility was the nicest of the ones I have visited while traveling. It had high ceilings (a must for me) a big open floor plan, with a separate area for stretching, enough space to not feel crowded and a good sound system with a variety of music from rock, to dance to hip hop. They also had all the equipment, full range of wall balls, kettle bells, rowers, and even the spiky foam roller that I have a love hate relationship with.

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The facility included large separate changing rooms as well, with showers.

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Second, and most importantly, they had GOOD COACHING. CF St. Paul, the last box I reviewed, lacked on the coaching but CF City Line nailed it. My first day there the strength/skill portion of the WOD was back squats. Mat, who was my coach each time, pulled everyone aside who had not been cross fitting for more than 6 months to go over their movement pattern for the squat. If you look at his profile on their website you’ll see he has a million certifications and it shows in how attentive he is to form and how well he gives instructions on how to improve. For each WOD I went to, the people who hadn’t been there for 6 months or more got special instructions to ensure they were learning how to move properly. I think this is the most important part of a good box, and CF City Line has it.

Third, everyone there was very friendly and this is saying a lot for New Englanders (I grew up here, I can say that). In my personal experience of living here and moving to LA and then CO, Boston is not the most friendly of cities. But everyone at this Box was nice, several introduced themselves just because they hadn’t seen me before. Everyone was talking before-hand and I got the real sense that it was a community.

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Fourth, the coaches were encouraging. On Christmas Eve we had a “12 days of CrossMas” (done like the song, Day 1, then Day 2 and Day 1, then Day 3, Day 2 and Day 1 etc) workout, with kicked everyones butt. Throughout the whole workout the coaches were walking around, encouraging people by name and keeping them motivated. Also (back to the coaching), Mat came over and no repped me on my 7 wall balls during the countdown from day 10  and made me do them again because I wasn’t getting low enough. As annoying as that may be in the moment, it is what will help you get better.

Image Lastly, a small element that I liked – they had individual small white boards and markers so you could write down today’s WOD, or whatever your modified version is if you are new, and bring it over to your area. For people like myself who need contacts but often forget to put them in, it was nice having the workout right there in front of me. Especially for one as complicated as the 12 days one.

If you are ever in the greater Boston area near Watertown/Newton – stop by CrossFit City Line. If you live in the area, this should definitely be your box. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Thanksgiving Break Recap

I know. I realize it’s Wednesday and Thanksgiving break ended a couple days ago, but it’s finals season and as much as I would prefer to be blogging, any free time I have is devoted to CrossFit and even more studying. Life is so fun right now…. not. Luckily, I had a great week off last week to squeeze in some fun before the next two weeks of my second to last finals ever (thank god). I celebrated Thanksgiving with the new boy in my life (like how I snuck that in there?) at his sister’s house in  Denver.

We started the day off with a turkey trot of our own in an attempt to counter act all the food we would be cramming in our faces soon enough. It was a gorgeous day, so I was glad to spend some time outside

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I didn’t have to cook anything, which was kinda nice to be able to just sit back and have people bring me food. Though at the end I felt a little like Jabba the Hut.  The food was delicious and included a maple bacon wrapped turkey. It. Was. Amazing. And the gravy was even better.I could have eaten it plain. I took home a big tupperware of it and have been putting it on everything I eat.

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I’m usually not a big fan of black friday. I think it’s hilarious (in a bad way) that a day after we celebrate and be appreciative of everything we have to be thankful for, we go out and fight people over items we feel we need.  That being said, I did head out to buy something on Friday to take advantage of some deals. I got new snowboard boots and bindings! During the course of putting the new ones on, I was told that I had been set up improperly and had been riding the wrong way this whole time. At least I found it out at some point!

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So on Saturday I headed up to Copper Mountain and the day could not have been more perfect. I started the morning with a beer at 9:30, because that’s what you do when you snowboard.

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Then I tried out my new binding set up and boots. It made SUCH a difference and I was able to get off the beginner greens and onto the intermediates. Black Diamonds here I come! (Not really.. I’m still scared to go too fast). It was a great relaxed day, with a couple runs, then a beer, then a couple more runs and another beer. I like this whole snowboarding thing.

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On Sunday, me and the boy decided to go get some trail running in while the ground was still free of snow. We went out to Matthew Winters Trail in Morrison, CO. I highly recommend it. It’s a 5 mile loop that allows bikers and runners, with some challenging terrain to keep you entertained. It had a nice incline that made me feel like I was dying from breathing too hard and left my booty a little sore after, which is my favorite.

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But every time I started to want to stop, I would look ahead and realize my companion was wearing a 30lb weight vest like a crazy person and still trudging on, so I pumped my arms hard and pushed through.

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Going down was a lot more fun. We made it down just as the sun was setting on a beautiful weekend, with a lot to be thankful and appreciative for. Hope you all had a wonderful break 🙂

Olympic Lifting Competition – Review

I did it. I competed in my first ever Olympic Lifting Competition. I waited a couple days before writing about it so I had time to reflect on the experience. I know that I have a habit of being very hard on myself, especially if I don’t live up to my high expectations. To cut to the chase, I didn’t PR at the comp, nor did I hit weights I had previously hit. I was surprised by how incredibly nervous I was, how much I got in my head and just how much it affected my abilities. I was pretty upset at myself at first, but after spending some time thinking about how far I had come in the past couple months I decide beating myself up wasn’t productive and it was better to be proud I had taken the risk and just focus that energy on further gains instead of negative thoughts.

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I got to the box that the competition was being held at at 8:30 for registration check in and weigh in. We lined up as they weighed us, confirmed our starting lifts and wrote it all down on a card. Maybe it’s just because I have a history of distorted body image, but I loved the fact that all of the women weighed in and had their weights said out-loud without batting an eyelid. I remember a time where stepping on the scale could make or break not only the day, but the whole week. To be surrounded by women who didn’t care what the number was and finding myself to be one of them was empowering. 

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Next I hung around with the two girls from my box who were also competing. They were definitely in a class above me, really strong girls and very inspiring. We did a typical Oly stretching warm up followed by individualized barbell warm ups our Oly coach had written for us depending on our starting lifts. They consisted of: good mornings, front squats, press, overhead squat, jerk, rdl and cleans (all with just the barbell). Then we slowly added weight doing 1-3 reps until we reached 5 lbs below our starting weight. 

They organized us from lightest start weight to heaviest. For the snatch I was 4th from the top, for clean I was 8th from the top. For each lift you stand on a stage, in front of a room of people in dead silence. There are three judges in front of you who determine whether the lifts counts or doesn’t by flashing a red or white card. You get three total chances at both the clean and jerk and the snatch. I missed the first attempt (what should have been very light) at both the clean and jerk and the snatch because I was so incredibly nervous. Both of them I missed because I didn’t lock out my arms at the top, but instead got the weight up with a bend in my elbows and finished by pushing it overhead until my arms were straight.  I got stuck at 70lb snatch and 110lb clean and jerk, neither of which were what my current PRs are. That was frustrating, but once again I just have to keep reminding myself it was my first competition and, hopefully, the next one will mean less nerves and more PRs. 

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A lot of people came to watch, both from my box and my coworker and the girl I used to workout with prior to joining crossfit. It was really nice to have all that support and people to distract me in between lifts. It also felt really great that they could have been anywhere on a nice saturday morning and chose to come cheer us on. Gotta love the CF community.

Originally they said that I had gotten 8th place (out of 18), but they later sent out an email correcting themselves and bumping me down to 11th. Another little bummer moment, but moving on from that. Now it’s time to focus on new goals. I want to get my “engine” in better shape. I went trail running the other day and died and I’m determined to go back and run the same loop in a couple months and have it not be a problem. As of now there are no competitions on the horizon (running or lifting) for the first time in like 7 months. I’m sure that won’t last too long though. I love having those goals to push me in my training.

How was your weekend?

Do you like competitions?

What motivates you to work harder?

Powered by Bacon Meatloaf – Paleo Recipe

I eat a lot of bacon. Real bacon, not the stringy little packaged kind. The thick cut, meaty, smokey delicious kind. So much so that the guy at the meat counter recognizes  me as the bacon girl. On Monday night I order 2 lbs of it. I came back in on Wednesday to grab some chicken and he asked if I was back for more bacon. I jokingly told me I still had a 1/2 lb left and he believed me. I’ve probably eaten that much in 48 hours before.  I used to shun bacon like the evil fatty devil I thought it was, so I think I’m just making up for 26 years of deprivation. 

Last week I was growing PaleoOmg for now recipes and stumbled across a bacon meatloaf recipe. I started salivating like Pavlov’s dog and I knew I had to make it right away. I spent an hour I had between classes getting the ingredients and prepping it so all I had to do when I got home was pop it in the oven. I give to you Paleo Bacon Meatlof. I literally forgot to take a picture after it was cooked because I was too excited to try it, so you are stuck with the precooked version. Imagine that just crispier. If you’re a vegetarian/vegan (Hi Liz) I am not quite sure why you click on a link called Bacon Meatloaf, but you might want to stop here. 

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Precooked Heaven in a Pan

There is both a meatloaf and a delicious sauce to cover the meatloaf with. Here are both ingredients:
 
For the Meatloaf:
  • 2-2.5 lb grass fed ground beef
  • 1 cup almond meal/flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 11 sliced uncured bacon, 2 sliced cooked and diced
For the  Sauce:
  • 1 (6oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 onion, minced
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup water or broth
  • 2 tablespoons apple butter (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard (no sugar added)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • pinch or two of ground cloves
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • splash of hot sauce, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Dice up your 2 pieces of bacon and throw in a frying pan to cook up for about 5-7 minutes.
  3. While the bacon is cooking, mix together all other ingredients (except for your 9 slices of bacon) in a large bowl. Once your 2 pieces of bacon are done cooking, add them to the bowl and fully incorporate into the mix.
  4. If you are me, now layer the remaining bacon and meat mixture in a meatloaf/bread pan so that you have meat/bacon/meat/bacon. Or, just do it the way Paleoomg says and put the bacon on top. But that is less fun. 
  5. Cook for 45 minutes.

NOW, onto the sauce.

  1. Brown onions in frying pan with some form of fat (olive or coconut or bacon grease)
  2. Add the garlic and stir together to cook a bit more.
  3. Add all other ingredients and mix together, then let simmer for 10-15 minutes (or longer if you have time-I usually want to eat as quick as possible).
  4. Now sit around and wait hungrily for the meat loaf to be done so you can pour the sauce on top and get to nomming.

 

Do you like Bacon?

What are your favorite ways to eat bacon?

 

 

 

The Shoes Make the Woman – Reebok Lifters

My Oly shoes came just in time for my last practice! I ended up going with the pink simply because it turns out the black and white didn’t come in my size. I think they are pretty snazzy though.

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I spent the first half hour after I got them using them around my apartment, overhead squatting my dog and such. They make SUCH a huge difference. The have a good sized heel in them, so if you have tight calves/hammies like I do they make it easier to get into a deep squat when you are actually a bit elevated on your toes. Cheating? Maybe a little, but I’m hoping they help me get used to being in that position so I eventually won’t need them as much.

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This morning I was able to use them for my final Oly Training before the competition Saturday Morning. We did some light snatches, jerks, clean pulls and snatch deadliest.  They definitely helped and it made me wish I had gotten them a long time ago. SO, if you are considering getting some – DO IT. They are amazing. I can’t wait to train in them for my next Oly Comp, whenever that may be.

I am off to be productive in the less fun part of my life, aka school and work. But check back tonight for a delicious Bacon Meatloaf recipe. Layers of beef and bacon, what could be better?

Five Days Till Olympic Lifting Comp

Five Days. 5. That’s all I have until my Oly Comp. I can’t believe it’s finally this close. I am incredibly nervous and get knots in my stomach just thinking about it. Two and a half months ago when I decided that I wanted to make this a goal, I had snatched an empty bar twice, had never jerked and was cleaning 80lbs. I know I have come a long way, but it’s hard to focus on that instead of how much further I have to go. I’m hoping this competition just sparks more of an interest and isn’t discouraging.

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I have to submit my starting and attempt weights by Wednesday evening. You get three chances at each lift and I’m still not 100% sure what I want to go for. I was talking to my Oly Lifting Coach today, trying to figure out where to start/what to attempt. He’s gonna come up with a warm-up plan for me Saturday and he wants me to not go heavier than 60% of my max weight during practices this week. It’s really hard to stick to that weight, I’ve gotten slightly addicted to trying to go heavier and heavier. But I know it’s best to let my muscles rest a bit, and I’ll probably focus more on running/hill sprints to get my energy out while going light.

One thing I’ve gotten used to while prepping for this Oly Comp is being constantly bruised. If you follow me on Instagram then you may have seen the pic of my bruised and tattered legs. Every time after I jerk and I bring the bar down, I catch it slightly with my legs to absorb the weight. This means lots of little bruises above my knees from receiving the weight. Also, bruised pelvic/hip bones from thrusting during snatches.

Bruises on my collar bones/shoulders have also become the norm from receiving the weight during cleans. I’ve been promised these bruises will stop happening as much once the scar tissue forms and I have to admit I am looking forward to that day so I don’t look like I am getting beat up on the daily.

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The rest of this week I just need to focus on mobilizing, improving form with light weight and visualizing getting a new PR. And not vomittng from nerves when I step on the platform, thought that’s really out of my hands.

Do you like to compete?

How do you deal with the nerves?