Thursday, February 28, 2013

Shin Plants

Let me just describe to you how my workout went yesterday:  

We finally got a chance to test our max box jump.  I have been waiting and WAITING to do this.  I played volleyball all through high school and college and used to have mad hops (yup -just said mad hops). Well.  I cleared 29.5 easily - plenty of room.  Went for 34 and ATE IT.  Didn't just eat it a little bit... straight up shins into the box, landed on my knees on top - with the look on my face of 'what the hell just happened?!'.  Observers said it was 'adorable' and 'graceful'.  Well... it hurt like a bitch.  I swore.  A LOT. 

I am miraculously not bruised to hell - but flexing my ankles at all makes me want to cry. 

So there's that.  

Then we did one of last year's open workouts.  I know that this year will only be harder and that freaks me out.  Last night was:

18 minute AMRAP
15 box jumps (20")
12 push press (80lbs)
9 toes to bar

At this point in the week - my hands are shredded and exhausted from the week.  All I want to do is NOT be hanging from the bar.  I did 4 rounds plus box jumps.  It was not impressive.  AND our coach made me do knees to elbows as my toes were literally NOT GOING ANYWHERE NEAR THE BAR.  

Not impressed. 

Monday was  our other competition course - rope climbs and wall balls.  Brutal.  But, we got to go out for pizza and beer afterwards.  I love my workout team -- they are amazing and I have a ridiculous amount of fun with them.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Funday: Food Edition

I'll admit, typically Sunday Funday involves pitchers of mimosas and not spending hours in the kitchen cooking.  But there is just something so satisfying about getting some cooking done in advance so that I don't have to stress about it later on this week.  I have about a million things going on this week and just having dinner in the fridge seems like it will eliminate a layer of stress. 

I've have had a SUPER productive day in the kitchen.   

First off:  I got out of bed and successfully made myself bacon and eggs.  BEFORE having coffee.  That's an accomplishment in and of itself.  

Then, I made my favorite Zucchini Apple Spice Muffins.  See post here. And they turned out better than they have ever been before.  That's probably because I read the recipe again and realized that I needed baking POWDER, not baking SODA.  If someone could explain the difference to me - that would be wonderful.  But... it turns out that there is a difference and it dramatically improves an already delicious thing. Total win-win.  

Then, I hard boiled eggs.  Okay... this isn't really cooking.  That's fair.  But I did it. In the kitchen.  So I'm going to write about it.  

Then, I made kale chips.  Kale chips are delicious and I don't even like kale.  But kale chips?  Sold.  I coat them with olive oil and cook them on super low (250 degrees) for like 25 minutes - or until they are all crispy.  Today took a little bit longer because I made an obscene amount of them.  Then I top them with just a sprinkle of truffle salt (which really makes everything taste better - I mean, absolutely EVERYTHING). 

Then, I took a break to get my hair done.  Hello brunette!!! 

THEN, I made what may be my new favorite dish and I have no idea what to call it. But it gave me a fantastic reason to use my dutch oven, which is my favorite pot (yes... I have a favorite pot.  I also have a favorite appliance - my KitchenAid - and a favorite tiny appliance - my immersion blender). 

1 large peeled sweet potato
3 small red potatoes
1 large yellow onion
2 carrots
3 stalks of celery
1 turkey kielbasa
8 oz chicken broth
3 cloves garlic
2 sprigs rosemary

I chopped the potatoes, onion, celery and carrots into large pieces.  I cut the kielbasa into four large pieces.  Chopped the garlic and rosemary into tiny bits - others may call this 'finely chop', but they would be fancy folks - I am not fancy.  I added all this to the dutch oven, poured the chicken broth over and topped with dried oregano, salt and pepper.  I put it in the oven at 380 degrees for 45 minutes or until the potatoes are soft when you stick a fork in them. So freaking easy.

Totally delicious and now I have dinner for the week.  So easy to heat up and enjoy between running around like a crazy person.  And it's healthy AND paleo (at least I think kielbasa is paleo - hmmm...). Huge thank you to Tara (and David) for sharing this delicious recipe with me.  

Before shot:  I love colorful food. 
After shot:  Total delicious.  Can you tell from the pic?
And my kitchen doesn't look like a disaster.  I'm just going to call today how it is - total freaking win. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Why I Love Saturday Workouts

There are many reasons why I love doing CrossFit - but Saturday workouts are something a little bit extra special.  Instead of the usual WODs - we do team or partner workouts that involve little or no heavy weights.  All of my favorite people usually work out on Saturday's and so that's fantastic.  

Today we mixed things up and ended up with competing teams:  Tara and Jess vs. Zach and me.  Whose brilliant idea was this?  You guessed it.  NOT ME.  But it was great.  We kicked our asses much more than we even normally do.  It ended in pools of sweat, ass slapping (thanks T.!), a chalk disaster, and much deserved breakfast.  

Thanks to Coach David for capturing these awesome images of today: 

Tara killing the push press

Rowing... blah...

Pretty sure you could see STRAIGHT UP our booty shorts
So... we are all a little bit closer now.

Push ups = the fucking worst

719 - 699???  Damnit.  Zach and I totally get bonus points because he did my initial in bubble letters.  Best partner EVER.
 And afterwards: 
Could I look more beefy?  Nope.  Probably not.  

Doing WODs like this with fantastic people are one of the reasons why I officially love CrossFit.  It's not just the workouts - it's the community.  True story.  

WOD recap:
3 rounds of 1 minute each (total WOD time of 30 minutes)
Row (for calories)
Box jumps
Push Press (75/45)
Sit Ups 

Zach and I?  699 total reps.  We rock.  Jess and Tara rocked slightly more at 719 reps.  

Fine.  You win this time, Team TJ. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Being Domestic

I love three day weekends.  I really, truly do.  There is just something about having that extra day off that is so utterly satisfying.  And then you get to have a short week - which is really a win/win.

This weekend I had all sorts of things that I was going to do: clean my house, vacuum, reorganize my closet, make muffins, change the sheets on my bed, go to Target, do laundry, etc.  All that domestic stuff that I just don't make time for during the regular week.  

Well... turns out that playing is A LOT more fun than being domestic and so I had exactly 0% of my list done when I woke up on Monday morning.  #totalfail  

I finally got around to doing some of this list after dragging myself out of bed and watching the last two episodes of Nashville in my pjs (for those of you who haven't seen it yet - add it to your DVR immediately.  It's amazing).  Let's not kid ourselves, most of my list remains undone and will continue to be that way until next weekend when I'll start the cycle of procrastination all over again.  

BUT... I did get around to making dinner yesterday afternoon (I say afternoon because I ate 'dinner' at 3:30.  I did not want to have a full stomach before going to competition class - so early dinner it is!).  And it was quite tasty.  Here we go: 

Gorgonzola, Date and Bacon Stuffed Chicken
2 chicken breasts
6 dates (pitted)
1 sprig rosemary
1/2 cup gorgonzola
3 strips of bacon
1 1/2 cups uncooked baby spinach

1)  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2)  Cook bacon over the stove (or just do what I do and always have cooked bacon in the fridge - it saves SO MUCH time)
3) Cut dates in half and then into smaller pieces (I usually get about 8 small pieces).  Finely chop rosemary.  Add to bowl.  
4)  Once bacon is cooked (to extra crispy) - remove from pan and set aside to cool.  Drain pan so just a little bit of bacon fat is left.  Add spinach to pan and saute until wilted and limp looking (I'm sure there is a technical term for this, but I don't know it)
5)  Add spinach to bowl with rosemary and dates.  Add gorgonzola. 
6)  Crumble cooled bacon into small pieces. Add to bowl.  Mix up.  
7)  Take your chicken and cut in half (like how you would cut a bagel - right down the middle).  We want to stuff it so you can *hopefully* imagine what this looks like.  Dont cut all the way through - you want it to still be attached on one side.
8)  Take your chicken and put it in plastic wrap.  I then rolled/beat it with a rolling pin to tenderize it a bit.  
9)  Take your mixture and stuff the chicken (duh!).  Fold the other half over and pin in place with a toothpick.  
10)  Cook for 20-23 minutes (this will vary depending on your chicken - mine were giant chickens from Costco - it took a bit longer)
11)  Let cool and enjoy!  

I realize now that I should have taken a picture or two of this to assist with explanations  Hmm.  Sorry about that. 

But I did take a picture of this: 

So delicious
This was the cinnamon roll that I ate this morning.  My bus drops me off outside of Specialty's Cafe and it's just plain cruel to have to walk past it every morning.  Today, I couldn't resist. Please note that this cinammon roll is neither paleo nor primal nor is it even considered healthy.  I had an instant sugar crash after inhaling it.  BUT... it was totally worth it.  Every single bite. 

Just an update on CrossFit.  Well... yesterday kicked my ass.  It was the first competition class that I actually got to participate in and Tara and I deemed it 'Booty Short Monday'.  Somehow, we managed to leave the gym without a picture of that either.  Fail on the picture front yesterday.  Well... I firmly believe that the booty shorts helped us in the WOD:

3 rounds: 
7 deadlifts (165lbs)
7 hand stand push ups
3 rounds: 
21 kettlebell swings (35lbs)
21 toes to bar
Farmer carry (35lbs)

All in all, it took me just over 16 minutes.  I thought it would take at least 30 so I'm quite pleased.  AND... the guy who I have a huge crush on was at the gym and got to experience Booty Short Monday firsthand (seriously, just ask me out already).  Overall, I'd call Monday a success!! 

We headed back to the gym this morning for: 

5 rounds of 3 min AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)
3 power cleans (65lbs)
6 pushups (I had to use a box as pushups are not my friend)
9 air squats

I did 18 rounds and only had to be corrected on my air squat form approximately 13 times.  SUCCESS!!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

My Favorite Things: Zucchini Apple Spice Muffins

I love to bake.  I have always loved to bake.  During my brief time of trying to eat strictly paleo, not having any sort of baked goods was one of the hardest parts.  At one point, I had a mad craving for cupcakes so I went on the search for a healthy substitute and I found Zucchini Apple Spice Muffins - courtesy of PaleOMG.  These are quite possibly my favorite paleo treats ever. 

They may not look delicious.  But they are.
Make them.  Right now.  You won't regret it.  I promise. 

An Ode to the Men of

I have recently been convinced to attempt online dating.  While it's not going particularly well, it's also not going terribly.  I've emailed with some nice guys, had a couple of dates and generally don't hate the experience.  

However, here are a few things that I would like to say to the men of
  • Dear Scorpio6969 -- You look cute in your picture, you sound totally normal and like someone who I may actually enjoy spending time with.  HOWEVER, use your brain when creating a profile name.  Scorpio6969?  Really?!  I get that picking a username is hard - but this was the best thing that came to your mind???  No. Just no.  
  •  When saying 'You love to cook?  What a coincidence - I love to eat.' - it could come across as quirky or even cute.  But when you follow it up with 'What's your favorite bad 80s song?  Mine is Let's Get Physical' - you've just catapulted yourself into the category of 'never going to happen'.
  • Don't lie about your height.  When we meet - I will notice that you are at least three inches shorter than you say you are.  It's not a secret and I'm not blind.  
  • Why must you insist on 'liking' my profile picture?  If you like my profile picture - send me an email.  Step up.  Say hi.  What's the worst that can happen??   I'll tell you what can happen - you'll send 12 emails and get zero responses (not that I know anything about that.  That has never happened to me.  NEVER.).  
  • Don't text me five days after our really fun first date to tell me that you are 'recycling' our date with another girl and feel terrible because it was my idea.  And then tell me that you don't actually want to go out with me again - you just wanted to let me know that you were swamped with other dates.  There are so many problems with this that I'm not even sure where to start.  #1)  You can't come up with your own dates?! #2) You are a huge jerk.  
That's all I've got for now.   

Friday, February 15, 2013

Buck Furpees

You know it is going to be one of those days when this is the text message you get at 7:45 am. 

I dreaded this WOD all damn day.  Huge shout out to Tara for putting a cloud over my perfectly sunny Seattle day by sharing this with me.  Nothing makes the day drag like knowing that you have seven minutes of burpees in your future.  Couple that with the fact that this work week has felt at least eight days long and I’m so ready for the weekend.  

PS - this is Tara:  

Post-StoneWay Resolution Revolution.  She had much more energy than me as she was the heat prior.  My legs were still shaking and I was deciding on throwing up or not.
We are the best partners possibly in the history of all of CrossFit.  And we agree on the cute boys at the gym - but not in the way that we like the same ones.  In the way that we like the exact opposite so there is no conflict.  It's like a match made in heaven.  

This week has been the worst CrossFit week in a while.  #1)  I've been getting over a cold that just won't quit.  Pretty sure I've got a modern day version of the black lung.  #2)  We have done two benchmark workouts and I had my first competition class.  I can literally barely move.  

First off, on Monday was our first competition WOD.  Well.. due to the black lung, I didn't actually do the workout.  But I watched my teammates do it, so it was practically almost the same thing.  AND I did practice the first steps of muscle ups with them.  Wednesday was Christine -- #totallyfuckingbrutal.  I finished in 14:27 with 160 lbs.  I was exactly six seconds faster than the last time.  Whatever -- I'll take it.  It sucked but as I've been told, a PR is a PR.  Then, Thursday was Valentine's Day.  I'd rather do Christine 5 times than deal with Valentine's Day (okay... that's probably a lie.  Please don't actually suggest that to our trainers) -- do not get me started on all the ways that I hate that stupid holiday.  Even when I've been in love - it's been atrocious.  And I did the special VDay workout. Today, seven minutes of burpees.  I did 81.  Not exactly impressive - but I didn't throw up, so there's what.  

Considering I will be rocking an awesome red wine hangover at tomorrow's workout - I am so looking forward to Sunday as my day off.  I never knew how important a recovery day was until I tied four WODs together - every muscle in my body is vehemently against me at this moment.  I have a three day weekend (cheers for banking holidays!!!) and am hoping to get some cooking in.  I've been crazy busy the last couple of weeks (or sick-- never forget sick) and haven't gotten to try the stockpile of recipes I've been hoarding.  Stay tuned for at least one awesome recipe.  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Crossfit Girls Guide to Life, Working Out, Food, Dating, and so much more...

This is me... 

At my best friend's wedding in December.
I love good wine, great food, my friends, my family, CrossFit, and so much more.  The last year, I've spent a lot of time figuring out who I am and what I want out of life... and I'm not going to lie, it's led to some pretty good stories.  I truly find myself going 'these things only happen to me' more often than I should.  

I've discovered recently that I'm a pretty damn good cook.  I tried to do a 30 day Paleo challenge at my gym - let's just say the challenge itself was an epic fail (I enjoy wine WAY too much to limit myself - telling me I can't have something is like a test.  A test that I will ALWAYS fail).  But the one thing that I have discovered is a great way to eat - a mix between a paleo diet, a primal diet (HELLO!  Who wants to say... 'Oh, I eat Primal'.  That sounds so bizarre), and just basically focusing on eating healthy, real food.  I have found some amazing blogs that have totally motivated me to start my own.  Although I rarely come up with recipes on my own - I like to take ones that some amazing cooks have already created and tweak it to be something that I (and whoever I can convince to come over for dinner) will enjoy.  Some of my favorite blogs that I couldn't cook a meal without are: 

PaleOMG (Juli is totally an inspiration.  Love her food and I strive to be just half as hysterical), The Civilized Caveman (his banana bread is literally to die for), and NomNom Paleo. I can rarely create a recipe from scratch so these are my go-to sites for delicious meals.  I'd love to share some of these amazing recipes (and my twists on them) with anyone who want to read it.  

So... the last picture was me being pretty... this is also me... (*spoiler alert*... this picture is not the most flattering...)
Ouch... just ouch...
This was my very first CrossFit competition.  It was amazing and terrifying all at the same time.  It was a 'lite' competition.  Okay... really?  Thirty 75lb squat clean and jerks followed by four hill runs, 100 burpees and 25 deadlifts is totally 'lite'.  FML. It was eye opening on all the things that I needed to work on and it was a blast doing it with my partner and another team from our gym.  I've fallen in love with CrossFit and am getting my ass handed to me several times a week. 

CrossFit has changed my life (wow... that sounds so corny).  But seriously... it has. There was a time when my life felt out of control.  But for one hour every day, I had control over everything.  I controlled how heavy I could lift, how many reps I could do, how fast I could run.  It was just what I needed. Now, I have a whole community of people who have my back and support and encourage me.  It's truly amazing.  

Since I have gotten into CrossFit and cooking... I have spent much too much time perusing blogs and decided - I can do this, I can blog.  So here I go.  

Welcome to my crazy life - filled with ass-kicking workouts, adventures in online dating, the occasional fantastic recipe, amazing friends and so much more.  All of those 'this only happens to me' stories are definitely ending up here.  Grab a good bottle of red and enjoy reading... cheers!