US Wellness

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

31 Days of Paleo

In celebration of this being the last day of January I've written a little song called "31 Days of Paleo"  which is sung to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas."  Ready?  Okay here we go!

On the first day of Paleo Mark Diffley made for me a pot roast with coconut curry....

.....Just kidding.  Seriously, I give you all permission to give up reading the blog when I write a song about how the cavemen ate.  :P

Looking back these past few weeks I must say that sticking with this diet has definitely been easier than imagined.  I would have struggled more with it if I was on my own to cook all of the time, but fortunately Mark is an awesome cook.  (We'll see how I do when he goes to China for work!!)  As I blogged about a few times my cravings waxed and waned.  They were particularly strong the first couple of days and here the last couple of days.  However, I never caved in to any of them!!  I've been 31 days without soda, sugar (except the natural stuff in fruit), and processed carbohydrates.

I thought it might be particularly difficult to stay strict at work or when we were with lots of people who aren't doing this with us. I had to turn down several things at work - treats for people's birthdays, ice cream, and other snacks - several times.  Mike thought about us when he picked a restaurant for his birthday dinner and Tango Sur turned out to be a great option.  Mark's parents adjusted their meals for us when we visited and only mildly wanted us to cheat.  All in all, this turned out to be very manageable.

By far, the hardest thing is planning.  We had to make time to cook on the weekends and make frequent shopping trips.  Mark also ordered us grass fed beef a couple of times so we always had stuff to thaw out.  To add to that, snacks were much harder to plan for than meals.  I know that I ate too much fruit, but it was the easier go-to snack when I was in a pinch.  I'm going to try to dial back on that in February.  (I say as I stuff my face with a mango strawberry mix from Whole Foods.)

I guess the thing that I hadn't planned for were the reactions we would get from people - both negative and positive.  Overall, publicly talking about our month of paleo connected me to some people that I'd hadn't talked to in a while and the same thing for Mark.  It was interesting to get messages from people that I hadn't spoken to since high school or had lost touch with as our paths didn't cross anymore.  As you can imagine, I enjoyed the comments from people who encouraged us and even the people who just asked questions to be more informed.  What was bothersome were the people who didn't take the time to listen after asking us.  To them we were doing some crazy starvation thing...cleanse...or etc.  We dealt with a little bit of ridicule from others.  That's tough when it comes from people that you care about.

Mark posted earlier that he wasn't sure of the effect that paleo has on him, other than weight loss.  I, on the other hand, feel a thousand times better eating this way.  I feel fuller.  When I eat I don't experience the "food baby."  My skin seems clearer (not perfect, though).  I've been sleeping better and I'm overall less tired during the day.  I think I'll stick with it.

We're going to do our measurements tomorrow morning.  I was looking back at our original post last night and I'm so excited to see what's happened.

Almost finished our month!

Before I get started, you may have noticed the new ad sitting there above our posts... I signed us up as an affiliate with US Wellness. So If you decide you want to try grassfed beef, please order it through that link and help us out a little bit. Their prices are really good for everything but the ground beef I've found. Whole Foods is cheaper on that item only.

Now on to the post for the day:

I'm proud to say Erica got through her first month on Paleo with very minimal misses. If I wanted to be super strict about it, I think the only things I could really give her a hard time for would be the dairy with her coffee (she mostly used heavy whipping cream), some butter, alcohol (wine), and chewing gum. I can't recall any other instances of "non-compliance" but if I did, I would be the pot calling the kettle black. I def had a whopper from BK last sunday night (which I did admit to) and I am sure I slipped a few other times this month. I had potatoes this weekend with breakfast as well... So my point was that as intimidating as paleo can be... One month of it really wasn't too terrible. And I am proud of her for getting through it.

I am looking forward to seeing our results from it. Our training this month consisted of almost solely Olympic weightlifting. I don't think we did too many regular CrossFit WODs and the only other thing I did would have been a few days of BJJ in there.

I don't feel super different from it. I know I lost weight, but I don't feel all these great things that a lot of people seem to feel when they get through the challenge. Maybe it's because I wasn't 100% strict... Or maybe I'm just not aware enough of the fine details. Was I just not that "sick" before? Am I pretty gluten and dairy tolerant? As I said, I know I leaned out, but was the cause simply running a caloric deficit for the last month or was it the low carbs or the clean eating?

These are questions I still have about the whole paleo thing. From a logical perspective, the diet makes sense. The science behind it seems mostly reasonable. But I just haven't had this eye opening experience with it. So I'm conflicted...

But that wasn't supposed to be the point of this post. The point is I am excited that we were able to set a goal and stick to it. It's not an easy thing for me to do (Insert self-diagnosed ADD/laziness etc here). I know Erica doesn't think she quite did enough, or could have done more, but she really has. In just a month she's made phenomenal progress at the gym. Again, all of that without doing much "cardio" or metabolic conditioning. Just picking up heavy weights and eating healthy. I don't think we ever really felt like we wrecked ourselves at the gym nor do I think we ever felt like we were starving.

I think the next step will be to continue in this paleo adventure for a bit. Maybe tinker with the formula. I want to start programming a linear progression program (Starting Strength from the seminar a couple weeks ago) so I am planning to reintroduce dairy and start drinking a LOT of whole milk... Google GOMAD and you'll see what I mean.  Now this may be a bit of overkill in the reverse direction from where I was and what I was preaching about in a previous post... but its my conscious decision to try this. If it makes me feel like crap or I don't like the results, I can easily stop and revert back to my normal paleo ways.

I know the one thing I don't want is to put on another useless 10 lbs like I did this past summer. This time, it's at least going to come from training my ass off.

I'm hoping that tomorrow Erica will let me post the before and after pictures... I can't wait to see the comparisons!

Monday, January 30, 2012

True Lies

Okay, I admit it.  I lied yesterday.  I posted that crap about "I'm okay with my progress...blah blah blah blah" and really that's not 100% true.  I ALWAYS want to do better than I'm doing.  So why post that?  1) I don't want anyone to think I'm crazy and 2) maybe I'll start to believe it?  Truth is - I'm impatient and results obsessed.  An example:  Yesterday I bought 2 pair of booty shorts and I put them on.  Mark told me I looked great.  I knew in the mirror I looked pretty good and what came out of my mouth?  "I still need to lose weight in my upper thighs."  

But people, this is how I operate and its been going on this way for pretty much my entire life.  I am truly a product of my environment because at my house you are never allowed to make a mistake.  If you do (or maybe if its perceived that you do) you will hear about it for the rest of your life.  How to avoid that?  You're perfect 24/7.  My life's always been about being smarter, more diligent, more cautious and all around just being "better" than most people at most things because that's the only way to escape someone telling me that I wasn't good enough or just ignoring me completely.  Also, if there's something that I'm just not as good at I don't do it.  Enter CF ....which I am not the best at and here I am disappointed in myself because I didn't do better this month?  So sad, right?

In an attempt to be realistic about how things have been I'm going to force myself now to make a list of the things I CAN do after this month:
1) Even though they are still scaled push-ups, I CAN do many of them in a row before getting tired.  
2) I can do multiple pull-ups with a 1" band.
3) I can snatch at least 50 lbs.
4) I can overhead squat at least 57 lbs.
5) I can clean at least 70 lbs.
6) I can hurdle hop at least 29
7) I can go 30 days without eating fast food.
8) I can go 30 days without drinking soda.
9) I can go 30 days without cheating on paleo.
10) I can complete Fran in 5:58 
11) I can go to OLY class without Mark and be fine
12) I can lose at least 7 lbs in one month
13) I can quit being such a brat about how things are going and have fun....maybe?? :P

Switching gears a little I'll talk about my food today:
- Breakfast was an egg and sausage scramble thing
- Morning snack was some blueberries and raspberries
- Lunch was 2 pc of left over roast and an avocado
- Afternoon snack was a handful (and maybe a few extra) almonds
- PreCF snack was a banana
- PostCF snack was a pickle
- Dinner is TBA (Mark isn't home yet)

The OLY WOD was light tonight, but it went really, really well.

  • Hang Snatch:  50%, 60%, 65%, 70% (all x 3)
    • I usually start 3 with the 15lb bar, not the 35, but it was taken so all of my sets were with that bar.  Interestingly enough 35 lbs is the 75% of my 1RM so I did that for 3 sets and then moved up to 44lbs for my final set.  Clearly, 35lbs is not my 75% if I can do that many reps that easily.
  • Hang Clean: 50%, 60%, 65%, 70% (all x 3)
    • 50% = 20 kg, 60% = 25kg, 65% = 30 kg, 70% = 32kg
    • So, tonight I successfully cleaned about 10 kgs more than I've been doing and it was pretty easy.  
  • Front Squat: 50%, 60%, 65%, 70% (all x 3)
    • 50% = 30 kg, 60% = 32 kg, 65% = 35 kg, 70% = 40kg (88lbs) 
    • That consistent with what I did a couple of weeks ago when 40kg/88lbs was easy.
    • What's my 1RM?  I don't know!!
  • Hurdle Hops = 29"  
  • Sit ups = 80 (no prob)
Tomorrow is the last day of strict paleo for us.  I'm going to continue pretty strictly with things into February and see what else happens.  

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lululemon Warehouse Sale

Shopping in the Halstead/Armitage area of the city has always been a favorite thing of mine to do.  I've spent several afternoons trying to cool off my smoking debit card after a trip to Lush, 1154 Lill, Fox's, and etc.  I'd seen the Lulu store in that area plenty of times, but never ventured in.  After I started crossfitting, I noticed that a ton of girls at the gym were wearing the gear from there.  I researched it a little, but - omfg it's expensive! After Christmas, I talked Mark into going down there with me one day just to "check things out"....which when I say it means - buy something.  I tried on a few things and then settled on a black pair of capris and another pair of capris with the slits at the calf.  Well folks, I was hooked.  They are the most comfortable pants I've ever owned and they make my butt look great! ;)  Even though they're sooooo worth it I know that I can't be filling up my closet with their stuff all the time.  So imagine my surprise when I found out they were having a warehouse sale this weekend in Rosemont. 

Mark - who is by far the awesomest boyfriend ever - agreed to go with me as company and to help me hold things.  Thank god he did because it would have been really hard to shop, try things on, and get through the checkout without him.  We headed out there early at the recommendation of a girlfriend who went yesterday and I was glad that we did.  There were a lot of people, but it was totally managable.  There was quite a big selection of items and tons of things in my size, which right now is an 8.  I picked out a scuba hoodie, 2 pairs of capris, 2 pairs of booty shorts (for hot yoga), and a pair of lounge pants.  There were also guys things there so we went over to look for Mark.  The pricing there was simple for the guys - 4 things for $100.  My stuff was varied, but all in all we spent $288.  Are you kidding me?!  This weekend = shopping success!!!!

After shopping we went to Gail's Carriage Inn, a favorite breakfast spot of mine.  I had a sausage and tomato frittata without cheese and fruit.  Mark had an omelet with a bunch of different stuff inside, potatoes, and fruit.  I love that place because everything I've ever eaten there has been incredible.  Before heading back to the city we went to Sam's to spend more money.  :)  Finally, we popped into Marshall's  to get a yoga mat for Mark, then home to nap because we were exhausted!  All in all, a pretty great day though. :)

If you're keeping up on posts you'll know that I said we were going to do yoga today.  The nap pretty much knocked that out of the equation.  I'm feeling guilty that we had a really light week this week, but nothing I can do now but get back into the groove this week.  On Wednesday, Feb 1, we'll take measurements and weigh ourselves.  Mark took pictures of us on Jan 1 and I have hesitated on allowing them to be posted.  We'll see how I feel about the after pictures. :P  

Switching gears to food again, I must say that Mark's mom's meatloaf last night was excellent.  She also made mashed sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli.  I always love eating out there, even when they try to make us cheat from paleo.  Tonight we're having a tri-tip roast, grilled spinach, and avocado.  This week's meals look like left-over roast, steak, and spaghetti squash and meatballs. 

As far as tweaks I think I'm going to have to make going forward.....less fruit and wine.  :(  All in all though, this has been a pretty exciting month and I'm happy with all of the progress that I made. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lazy Saturday

 Mike's birthday party last night was fun.  At Tango Sur (ah-maz-ing) I ordered a filet mignon and potatoes came on the side.  I didn't eat them, but Mark gave me one of his sweet potatoes.  I definitely had more wine than I intended, but that's allowed so oh well.  This morning we opted to go out for breakfast and the Golden Nugget seemed like a good choice.  I ordered the smoked sausage omelet without cheese and a side of fruit.

A quick run down of yesterday's food: sausage and egg scramble, 2 burgers + avocado, blueberries and a banana

I napped at Mark's parent's house this afternoon because I slept so poorly last night.  Tonight we're having meatloaf, which Mark's mom is making.  She agreed to make a part of it without breadcrumbs to accommodate us. 

We didn't Crossfit today because I wasn't feeling up to it.  On tomorrow's workout agenda is yoga!  I think we'll hold off on Fran for another few days.  Also, tomorrow I'm going to hit up the Lululemon sale tomorrow so that'll pretty much be like exercise. :)  Oh, last night we also danced so I'll count that too!

This morning's weight was 144.8.  I was a little disappointed, but I guess I really shouldn't be.  That could be muscle?  I'm going to tell myself that to feel ok about it. 

We ran onto this link last night, pretty cute. :)
Shit Crossfitters Say

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Crazy Cravings

will power

control of one's impulses and actions; self-control

Today's work "retreat" at the library tested every ounce of willpower that I have to stay as strict as I can with the diet.  First, it was my job to pick up the morning goodies so that meant a stop at Panera for a bagel box and a danish for Jen.  I stood in line waiting for them to bag up my things...unfortunately right in front of all of the bad stuff.  Okay, fine, whatever.  Then, once I got to work I had to watch everyone smother their bagels in cream cheese and slowly and seductively eat them.  (Seriously, its like food porn.)  At this point in time I'm enjoying the ridiculous over priced fruit tray that I bought for myself, knowing that breakfast would not tide me over until lunch.  

Lunch arrived pretty quickly and the group decided on Italian.  I KNEW it was going to be hard to make good choices.  The online menu had salads listed so I opted for the grilled veggie salad with v/o dressing.  I also ordered an appetizer of 2 meatballs.  Kelly and I went to pick up the food and realized upon returning that a few things were missing, namely my meatballs.  As I was passing out the food to everyone I ran onto what seemed like a "normal" salad and I thought well that's not mine there are no grilled veggies.  Wrong.  It was mine and yes, no grilled veggies.  After a call to complain, one meatball showed up, but it was pathetic in size.  I picked at my salad and then finally I had to resort to eating a bit of mashed potatoes because I was starving.  (My first real"cheat" since starting the diet almost 27 days ago.)  

The afternoon sucked.  Everyone started snacking on the Valentine's cookies and the chocolate chip cookies that were provided.  This was by FAR the worst part of the day.  The potatoes really weren't holding me over.  I finished off the best parts of the fruit tray and prayed for 5 o'clock.  After a relatively light commute home I made 2 sausage sliders (seriously, they are that freakin' good) and went to Crossfit.  

For dinner we're having some steak and I'm also eating part of an avocado.

We did the CF OLY class again today.  The workout was different, which was really nice. 

Strict Press: 70%, 80%, 85%, 85%, 75% (all x 3)
  • I wasn't sure what my 1RM was so I guessed about 60 lbs. and I think I was pretty spot on.  It might be a tiny bit more, but not much.  My notebook is out in the car so I can post exact numbers tomorrow, but these felt pretty good.  No shoulder pain at all.
Hang Clean: Cori said a few sets, very light.
  • I did 1 set at 44 lbs and 4 other sets at 49 lbs.  They felt fine weight-wise, but my form is not the best yet.  When I open my hips I jump forward a bit instead of straight up.  Mark and Cori both tried to help me with it, but even my "better" ones weren't great.  Much work to do here.
Overhead Squat: 70%, 80%, 85%, 85%, 75% (all x 5)
  • These were good!  I'm really excited to be able to do as much weight as I can with this.  I knew from a couple of weeks ago that I could do 50 lbs relatively easily.  So, I worked up to that and then eventually on to 57 lbs.  Mathematically, I've estimated that my 1RM is about 68 lbs.  
Strict Chin-Ups:  5 sets x 4
So, I did 2 of my sets with the 1" blue band.  (Whootie!) The last 3 I had to add a 1/4" purple band to supplement.  (Still pretty good.)  Then, Mark came over to make me do some difficult singles.  I did 7 singles after that with about a min or 2 of rest afterwards.

Tomorrow is an off day for CF, but we're going out to dinner for Mike's birthday.  Hopefully food choices are relatively easy.  I am so close to finishing this month with very few cheats.  Also, I'm determined to be 143 before Feb 1!!! :)


Well I didn't pass the platform portion of the Seminar this weekend. :(

On the plus side, I don't have an 8 hour exam to take!

But I am kinda bummed about it. I thought I did ok coaching. I was definitely nervous up there and I guess it showed. I was called out for overcoaching and giving too many instructions. I guess I've been out of coaching CF a lil too long. Oh well. It was still a good (albeit expensive) learning experience.

Back to to lifting on Wednesday though. I hit all my lifts and felt good on all but the squats. I tried incorporating some of the new techniques I learned this weekend and got into a few discussions with Cori over them. I think I'll keep trying them for now and we'll see if it affects anything.  I also seem to have fixed at least one issue on my snatch technique... I happened to notice that I was not jamming my arms straight during the second pull. I must have had a slight bend in them but it was enough to sap some of the power out. I say this because last night I made sure to absolutely lock my arms out and the bar just seemed to fly overhead! I mean it felt ridiculously light. Now I'm going to have to work this into snatching from the floor and probably have to work on my catch timing but hopefully its a fix to get heavier!

Anyhow, my lifts for the day were:

Clean & Jerk:
63x3, 72x3, 77x3, 77x3, 68x3
Hang Snatch:
40x3, 45x3, 48x3, 48x3, 43x3
Back Squat:
95x3, 108x3, 115x3, 115x3, 102x3

The squats were rough but I completed all of them.

Food yesterday was alright. I missed breakfast.  I need to STOP doing this. I think I"m going to just hard-boil a bunch of eggs for a go to meal if I oversleep.

Lunch was a pork taco dish that Erica made. It was good. Had some beef stix from US wellness and some almonds for a snack.  Dinner was a piece of grass fed "minute steaks" with half a big sweet potato and some greenbeans. I topped that off with a few of the avocado & bacon deviled eggs that erica made.

This morning's breack fast, Erica and I split a grass-fed polish sausage, mushroom and 5 egg scramble. I ate more of it that she did obviously, but it held me over quite well. I am just now getting hungry and going to go eat.

Will post more from today later...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Updates from Tuesday

So I made it 25 days into the blog before I hit a day where I just felt completely uninspired to post.  I'm noticing these feelings of frustration with myself, like this is a "wasted" week in terms of making progress.  I think this probably has a lot to do with how I felt things went with Fran the other night, too.  (Yes, I am still caught up on that.)  I also skipped CF last night because I worked late and then went to dinner with a friend.  I'll go back tonight, and hopefully I'm feeling more enthusiastic by then. 

For a quick update on my food yesterday:
Breakfast - eggs + 2 pc of bacon
Lunch - pork with onions, peppers, and mushrooms
Snack - banana
Dinner - Tiger Cry beef and gaeng gari curry with chicken and sweet potatoes (from Opart Thai)

Dinner yesteraday with Dave was good.  I've recently learned to like thai food - at first because I discovered it was one of the easier eating out options. Now, I'm realizing that I actually really like it.  I've definitely come a long way from the picky eater who would only eat pizza, mac-n-cheese, and chicken nuggets. 

As I mentioned above, I didn't crossfit yesterday so no updates there.

As for other resoultions, we have managed to get some more sleep the past couple of days and that's been really nice.  Its been much easier to get up after 7.5 hours than 6. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Starting Strength Seminar and other fun stuff!

So the Starting Strength seminar in Atlanta this weekend was pretty awesome. It LONG weekend though. The seminar ran from 5-8:30 on Friday, 8-8:30 on Saturday, and 8-6:30 (I left at 6:15, I"m not sure how much later it actually ran) on Sunday.

It seemed to follow along with the book almost exactly. It had a thorough discussion of the physics and anatomy of the lifts on Friday night and prior to each lift throughout the weekend. My engineering side totally geeked out on that.  Rippetoe has his own perspective on a lot of the lifts. It's probably accurate to call it "Old School."  He doesn't have a very high opinion of current Olympic or Power lifting training (and needless to say CrossFit either). He made a good case for his reasoning that I found myself agreeing with a lot of it.

In short, being stronger makes you better at almost every physical endeavor. To do that efficiently and effectively, a movement should use as many muscles as possible to move the heaviest weight possible. Based on this, Rippetoe uses the Squat, Deadlift, Press, Power Clean and Bench Press. All of these are movements I've down before in CrossFit but his set up and style of these are slightly different. I found it challenging and frustrating to adjust my muscle memory movement patterns to these new methods. I think it was made more difficult because the movements are similar instead of brand new.

The seminar consisted of classroom lecture over the physics and anatomy involved and used this info to derive the methods for the lift.  The recurring theme to all of these lifts was the vertical bar path. Any time you are lifting a barbell, it moves because you are applying more force than gravity. In order to be efficient with this, the Force you apply should be in the same vertical line as gravity. Any variation from this introduced moments or horizontal movement that must be account for at some point in the lift (which can then cause fail reps or even injury).  During the practical portion, we were graded on our ability to perform the technique as well as coach another member in our group. The coaching was frustrating for the same reasons the movements were. I knew them the way I knew them, but not as Rippetoe wanted them taught. So my confidence was a little shaken during this portion, but I think I did ok.  Having someone watching me coach and judging didn't help my nerves either...

Since I was being graded and I was having some issues with adjusting to new techniques, I ended up erring on the conservative side of things for my weights

On Saturday, I worked up to 3 sets across of 245 (if I remember right) on Squat and a set of 5 of 275 Deadlift. For Press, I did 110 for 5 I think.

On Sunday, I did a triple power clean at 165 and a set of 5 at Bench press at 175.

I was slightly sore each day, but probably had more to do with sitting in a folding chair when we weren't on the platform.  Overall, it was the best seminar I've been to yet. I felt that it had way more depth and information than either the CrossFit Level 1 or the USA Weightlifting Level 1. I wish it counted as a more official certification than it is (I still have to pass an exam which I will talk about shortly...), but it was definitely worth the money and the trip.

The last part I have to do is a written exam in order to be certified as a Starting Strength Coach. Now, this cert won't add any special letters after my name like a CPT or CSCS will, but it will provide a sort of seal of approval to associate with my trainer resume. If I did sufficiently well enough on the Platform portion of the seminar, I will get an e-mail at 6pm tonight with the exam. It's 7 questions in essay format that I have to complete by Sunday at midnight. Rip told us the exam should take around 7 hours!!! He said they should be graduate level responses to the questions. For a comparison, the CF and USAW certs had multiple choice tests with like 50 questions on them.  I finished each of those in like <20 minutes. So I am a little intimidated by this one. Again... I wish this were a more officially recognized certification for the effort I'm about to put into it, but at least I will know that I have a thorough understanding of the movements and can teach them appropriately.

As for the weekends food, I did good except for my dinner Sunday night. Friday morning was an omelette from American Roadhouse in Atlanta. Lunch was some brisket and green chile soup at Taqueria del Sol. I also snacked on some of Yeah Burger's sweet potato fries before heading to the cert. Dinner was at my favorite Thai restaurant in Atlanta, Panita Thai Kitchen. I had a basil beef dish that was really spicy. I had it with rice (sorry!), deal with it.  Saturday, I had some egg and sausage from a chick-fil-a breakfast sandwich. I tossed the biscuit. It barely held me over but I was able to snack on some bison jerky I got from the Dekalb Farmer's Market. Lunch was FarmBurger for a lettuce wrapped grass fed beef burger w tomatoes, sauteed onions and mushrooms, and bacon with a side of some delicious sweet potato fries (I love these things...). For dinner everyone at the cert went to Gordon Biersch, a micro-brew restaurant in Atlanta.  It sucked... I got a burger, no bun,  with a side of veggies. The burger was TINY and the veggies were squash and zucchini in a small bowl. Not filling at all! When I got back to my buddy, Maurice's, I had and apple and some almond butter to snack on (I missed almond butter from the farmers market dearly). Sunday I had two egg mcmuffin eggs for breakfast.  I snacked on another apple and almond butter and some more bison jerky. Lunch was another trip to FarmBurger with the owners of CF John's Creek. They were really cool people and even picked up my lunch! I had another burger and sweet potato fries but this time with a fried egg instead of the bacon.  I was running late to the airport and had to run through security to catch my flight. The only thing in the T gates near United is a Burger King.  I was exhausted from the weekend and didn't want to mess with it so I just got a TRIPLE whopper and ate the whole thing, bun, mayo, ketchup and all... I didn't feel any adverse effects from the bread, I didn't feel sick. nothing. I don't even suddenly have cravings all over again. I was back on the wagon Monday morning.  Bacon and eggs for breakfast, some of Erica's pork tenderloin dish for lunch with a salad and her deviled eggs... It was all really good. After jiu jitsu I had some of the pork taco recipe she made. That was delicious too... I like when she cooks.

On a completely different topic, my old gym BTB posted an article about why grains are bad stuff.  Here is some more info on why we try to eliminate grains:

Why no grains?

Monday, January 23, 2012


I was so excited when Fran came up as part of the workout tonight.  For those of you who don't know, while Crossfit is constantly varied, some wods are repeated to test your progress.  Most noteably, the "girls", who are named after hurricanes.  Fran is a benchmark workout that is so popular within the Crossfit community that it has its own tshirts.  ex - "For a good time, call Fran.  21 - 15 - 9"  Fran is notoriously hard, even though it might not seem that bad - 21 thrusters + 21 pull ups, 15 thrusters + 15 pull ups, 9 thrusters + 9 pull ups.  To do the workout Rx'd I'd have be to able to thrust 65 lbs - which I cannot.  My max push press is around the Rx weight, so I'll have to scale.  I'm guessing that I'll have to do it at around 30 lbs or so to keep my times in check.  Also, I'll have to scale my pull-ups as they recommend - probably ring rows.  I'll write more after CF.

Time lapse an hour....

All I have to say about tonight's CF performance is that I am so disappointed in myself.  I finished Fran in 5:58 but scaled.  ....and I was too conservative because I just didn't know what I could do.  My thrusters were at 40 lbs - which was better than expected.  The 21 were pretty easy, but I struggled through the 15 and I had to stop a couple of times and re-compose myself.  My nerves must have gotten the best of me for a while b/c I felt like I needed to puke while I was doing this part. However, my pull-ups were the part that I'm most disappointed with.  With me being in between 2 bands I had to go with the fatter one, which made them too easy.  I was so disappointed in myself because after I finished I wasn't even sweating.  :(  I did have the "Fram Flu" but it quickly subsided.  I will do this workout again....maybe on Sunday with Mark.  I hate to say this but I need him to give me some tough love and  I've got to force myself to do it harder.  I still am not sure what my limits are so that's making it tough to pick weights and bands. I'm going to have to have an "a-ha" moment where I learn that I can push through the workout harder than I think I can.  It feels horrible to think that I wasted a workout.  I will say that the squat part of the thrusters was easy! (Thanks, Cori)

Bottom line...I can do this better and harder.

One good thing about tonight is that I was partnered with a girl I'd never met before, Gina.  I really liked her and I hope I see her in class again.  She was a great cheering section.  I invited her to the Lulu thing this weekend, too. (Lululemon warehouse sale in Rosemont - be there or be square!) 

So food....

Breakfast: eggs and 2 pc of bacon
Lunch: bison burger with avocado + pineapple chunks
Snack: 2 "deviled eggs" + some strawberries and almond butter
Dinner: 2 sausage patties

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Zumba, Links, and Another Weigh In

I drove over to Ballroom Dance Chicago this morning - ready to shake what my momma gave me.  (Judging by the size of my butt...I have more than one mother.)  ;)  However, when I got there it was just me and the instructor AND there was a leak from the ceiling that had splattered water all over the floor.  The instructor said that she'd get a hold of me for next week and apologized.  I was bummed.  Zumba was something that I had fallen in love with when I was living in the suburbs.  I loved it because I would dance my little heart out and never think twice that it was exercise. Now with Crossfitting so much, I was just looking to mix things up.  I think a travel WOD will have to happen today because I've had a few days off now.

Interesting Link: Why Girls Should Crossfit

I cooked like crazy this morning after coming back to the house.  First, I cut a pork tenderloin into little medallions.  I cooked them in some coconut oil on the stove top, and then added in some sauteed peppers, onions, mushrooms, and garlic.  I didn't taste it at the time, but it smelled really good.  Three meals for the week down.  Next, I cut some pork chops into strips and cooked them.  I also cooked some red cabbage, peppers, and onions - seasoned with chili powder and taco seasoning.  I added some lime juiced and put everything together.  The mix will be served with big lettuce leaves as pork tacos.  I'm working on some avocado bacon deviled eggs right now. (I tasted....not impressed.)  There's also a salad that I made with lots of veggies.  That should take us to about Wednesday before we have to cook again.  I must say that I actually had fun today cooking.  The recipes that I used were from  I know that a couple of people were wondering where the ideas come from.  So far, that's been my favorite website for recipes - minus the scallop one from  Links:  Paleo Plan   Everyday Paleo

In the middle of all that, I made myself breakfast.  Sometimes I get stuck on making certain things if I think they're tasty.  Which means that I had a sausage slider and 2 eggs again.  :)  I sampled a deviled egg after I finished those earlier (disappointing!) and for dinner I made myself a bison hamburger with avocado.  (Which was really good!)

I weighed myself again this morning, just for fun, and I was 144.0!!  Needless to say, that made me really happy.  Progress makes me really happy.  I feel like I've been on that weight rollercoaster for such a long time and it seems like I've got a good handle on this now.  The last time I lost a lot of weight (as I blogged previously) it took me 3 months or more to lose 15 lbs.  That was actually relatively fast, but nothing like this.  This has done wonders for my continued motivation.

Okay, so...ready, set, travel WOD.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Its January 21...let's try on a swimsuit?

That's right.  I did it.  I walked past the mirror this morning on the way to the bathroom and I thought, "Wow, you look really skinny today!"  After a couple of other trips back and forth across the apartment, I caught the mirror again and this time the idea hit me.  Let's put on your swimsuit and see how you feel.  Not only did I put one on, but one that I haven't worn in a couple of years because I felt uncomfortable in it.  Looking past my super pale winter skin, I was pretty happy.  I still have areas (read: hips) that bother me, but other ones that did (read: abs) have definitely changed.

I decided not to Crossfit today.  I slept through OLY class and then when I woke up I checked the WOD and I wasn't really excited about it.  I probably should have gone, but I felt like today might be a good opportunity to rest my shoulder again before next week. There are some travel WODs on the website and I will try one of those out later so its not a totally wasted day.  Also, I will have shoveling to do later so there's some activity for me.  I think I am going to check out Zumba tomorrow as I've really been missing it lately.

Maybe you're wondering if I weighed myself this morning?  Of course I did!  I was 145.2 and I wasn't disappointed by that at all.  I was only about a .5 lb heavier than I was earlier in the week and still down a lb from last weekend.  143 seems like a good goal to work for at this point.  I think that it might be just a little out of reach for the end of the month, but how can I complain?  I think in our first post I was 151 or 152?  You do the math.  :)

For breakfast this morning I made 2 scrambled eggs with a sausage patty.  I'll be making a trip to Whole Foods today to pick up some things and a bunch of stuff for the week dinners.  I found paleo recipes for sloppy joes and pork tacos.  I'm also going to do the deviled eggs.  I'll be sure to post how they turn out.

Friday, January 20, 2012

No gym thanks to the snow...

A few things kept me away from Crossfit tonight.  First, my extremely long commute home that started at 3:45 and ended at around 6:30 pm, my headache that didn't respond to any meds today, and the wod that I thought was boring.  Hopefully tomorrow's workout is more exciting.  If not, I guess I'll do the OLY wod, but I usually skip that one on Saturday's because there's so many people.  I know that I'm probably the only one that worries about holding my group up, but its always on my mind.  Being the newest OLY lifter and probably Crossfitter on that side, I'm not nearly as strong as the other girls yet.

I didn't have a chance to eat breakfast this morning, but I did eat a banana when I got to work.  For lunch, I had some turkey lunch meat and I snacked on some strawberries before I went home.  Today's food plans got majorly derailed with the snow and my unwillingness to venture out at lunchtime.  I was definitely hungry on the drive and luckily I still had some strawberries left.  The first thing I did when I got home was make myself 2 polish sausage sliders with some sauteed onions.

An after dinner nap seemed to help my headache....and probably the food did, too.  Like today, there were a few days this week when lunch didn't happen as I would like.  I'm going to make sure that doesn't happen next week.  I have to do some shopping this weekend for snacks and also for what I'm going to make on Sunday for us for the week. I wasn't motivated to look at recipes tonight, so I'll do that tomorrow after the gym.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A quickie... Sort of...

Where did I leave off....

Ok, so my hydrostatic weighing BF% was 13.1%. I weighed in at 161 lbs for it. I wish I could remember what I weighed in at the last time I did this test. Last time I was told I was 9.2%. I'm guessing I weighed something around 155 at the time. Not sure what I'll do with this info but at least it's good to know for future reference.  I'm guessing if I would have weighed in 2 weeks ago when I was 171, that percentage would have been worse.

The test is always interesting... It's almost literally a controlled drowning. You have to exhale every bit of oxygen from your lungs then hold it for 4-5 seconds while the guy takes the reading. You have to fight every panic instinct in your body to pop out of the water (or to just gasp for breath underwater!).

I came back from UIC and went to chipotle for a carnitas salad w pico de gallo and guacamole.

As Erica said, we had the Bryan Adams concert that night so we went to flat top grill for dinner. I had a stir fry w filipino sausage, chicken, and shrimp. It was pretty good. I was craving a lil sweet so I added a bunch of pineapple to it.

Yesterday I missed breakfast but went to Mixed Greens for lunch. It was a salad shop with all sorts of options and very paleo friendly. I will def keep this one as a go to if I forget lunch again. DInner was an awesome grass fed flank steak with sauteed onions mushrooms and peppers and some avocado and broccoli.

Training went ok last night. I felt like I hadn't gotten enough sleep all week. And I probably haven't... So I wasn't really into the lifts nor was I very focused. So much so that I Clean and jerked the bar straight into my jaw!! I chipped a very small bit of tooth too! This is prob the 3rd time I've done this. I don't know how it happens, I just stop paying attention to my timing I guess.

Today I missed breakfast again but quickly cooked a couple grass fed polish sausage sliders for lunch. I had them with some guacamole, carrots, broccoli, and a hard boiled egg (i was making lunch from what I could!).

I taught jiu jitsu tonight. I went thru 3 different self defense positions in the beginner class and one guard pass in the regular class.  I noticed I am way more nervous in the beginner class. Perhaps it's because I have to break things down even smaller and I'm nervous I'll miss something... Either way I'm glad to get this experience teaching. It's tough to train at the level I want to right now, especially with teaching, but it's also a good experience to have for later.

Off to Atlanta tomorrow for the Starting Strength Certification. I'll blog about it in full when I get back.

Wearing high heels = workout of the day?

I had to attend the Des Plaines, IL Mayor's Address today, so breakfast consisted of eggs and sausage patties.  I know they weren't grass fed, but the best I could do.  I will say that I didn't even bat an eye when I couldn't have french toast or a bagel.  I washed it down with some water and a little bit of coffee with cream.  For lunch I had a piece of left over steak from last night and an orange, but later on in the day snacked on a bunch of rainbow peppers.  I haven't made myself anything for dinner yet (I'm home alone tonight), but I did have banana while I was checking my emails and Facebook.

I was going to make deviled eggs, but add avocado to the yolk part, but now that Mark is leaving for the weekend I will probably wait so he can have some, too.  We'll see though, I might be really bored and just make them anyways.  (Sorry babe, I promise to think of you while I'm doing it!)

As I mentioned above, seeing certain foods aren't bothering me anymore.  There has been lots of candy at the office lately and I haven't even thought about taking any.  Its funny to me that the hardest things to give up have been milk and orange juice.  Having the Keurig has been nice to keep me from wanting OJ in the mornings and I've just had to push milk out of my mind when we're places where its an option.  Sushi has sounded good, especially I've we've driven by my favorite places.  I guess my point is that this really hasn't been that hard to eat better and while there are a few things I will look forward to being able to have - in moderation - I am not missing too much.

I took a night off from Crossfit, but I wore high heels today, so I'm going to consider that my WOD.  ;)  I never wear heels anymore so its an awkward "workout" when I do.  Sometimes I can't believe that a few years ago I wasn't happy unless I was wearing 3" or more.  Now its like....where the hell are my Uggs?!  Even though I worked late, I needed a rest day today.  I'll probably go to CF tomorrow and Saturday.  I'll have to see the workouts before I decide if I'll do the OLY wod or the regular one.  I've been to OLY a lot lately so doing some cardio stuff might be a nice change.  We'll see.

Before I sign off, I gotta say that I'm very excited to weigh myself on Saturday.  I'm not sure what to expect because I have been lifting a lot, and a little more on the heavy side, but anything below or around 144 would be fantastic.  Fingers crossed!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Not a lot of gas in the tank tonight...

Because I didn't post last night, I'll give you the run down on my food from yesterday first and activity.  I pretty much snacked on some fruit at my desk and in the car on the way to meet Mark after work.  We went to FlatTop Grill before the concert.  I made some stirfry with fillipino sausage, squash, onions, pineapple, mushrooms, tomatos, green pepper, and etc.  I used the garlic water sauce.  It actually turned out really well and I was very happy with my meal - even without noodles or fun sauces.  After that we went to the Bryan Adams' acoustic set at the Chicago Theater - which was pretty awesome.  He sounds amazing live.  We, again, went to bed late.  So far, I suck horribly at that resolution.  I am sleeping, on average, about 6 hours a night. 

On a related note, I saw an Eric and Kathy (101.9 The Mix) facebook post where they asked people how many hours, on average, they sleep per night.  Most people were around 4 - 6 hrs.  That scares the shit out of me that I'm probably only going to sleep less as I get older, not more.  I feel like I struggle to get all of the things that I need to get done now, let alone with kids, pets, and a house of my own in the mix. 

So, on to today.  I had a coffee from Dunkin' Donuts this morning on the way from location to location at work.  I didn't even finish it.  I didn't snack in the morning.  Around 12:30 pm I ran to Chipotle to get a salad.  I ordered it with the fajita veggies, pork, mild salsa, and guacamole.  I must say that this is growing on me.  Mark made me order it a year ago when he was on paleo and I gave him the death stare the entire time I was suffering through eating it.  Before Crossfit I had a few raspberries and a piece of turkey jerky.  I hate eating dinner so late, but Mark's making us a steak right now with some veggies and avocado.

I did the OLY wod again today because the other WOD had some movements that I thought I should stay away from until my shoulder feels better.  Our workout was:

Clean & Jerk (except I didn't do the jerk):  50% x 3, 60% x 3, 70% x 3, 75% x 3, 70% x 3
  • I did all of my sets, but even though I didn't go overhead with anything my shoulder started hurting.  Luckily by the time it was getting in the way of my movements, I was nearly done.  I felt that after Cori gave me some adjustments, things went better with this tonight.  I started from the hang and as I mentioned didn't jerk, so I was able to concentrate harder on the part that trips me up.  By the end, I think I looked pretty good, in spite of a bit of pain.
Hang Snatch: 50% x 3, 60% x 3, 70% x 3, 75% x 3, 70% x 3
  • I worked up to about 44 lbs today for my 75% which is great for me.  I liked going from the hang today and I just like this lift in general.  Its so fun to do and to watch other people do.  I'm going to link to it again in case you're unfamiliar.
Backsquat:  50% x 5, 60% x 5, 70% x 5, 75% x 5, 70% x 5
  • By the time I got here, I was exhausted physically.  I was stressed, too, so also mentally.  This didn't make for a great combo.  My 1RM is around 100 lbs, so the percentages are easy.  I made it through 3 sets and the a couple reps on my 75% ones before I just knew I needed to throw in the towel for the day.  I jumped back down to my 60% weight and did 5 more reps.
RDL: 70% x 5, 80% x 5, 85% x 5
  • Not really sure what to say about these - they were okay. 
I did a few pullups with the green band - easy stuff. Then I switched to the blue one and I can pull myself about 3/4 of the way up and then I've got nothin'.  I did 5 more pull ups with a combo of the blue band and a really skinny white/clear one.  They were do-able but challenging. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ok, Ok, I fell behind posting.

So I really suck at keeping up with these posts apparently... At least by comparison to Erica. To make up for that, this one is a lil longer and more rambling!

Food has been good so far this week. I cooked up some eggs and a grass-fed polish sausage slider from us wellness yesterday. Lunch I made some pulled pork tacos using leftover pulled pork, lettuce as a shell, and tomatos and avocado. It was pretty damn good.

I have a hydrostatic body fat test today at noon so per their instructions, I was only allowed to eat meat for the 24 hr prior (fibrous foods like veggies can throw off the accuracy of the test  i guess??). So dinner last night before and after jiu jitsu was a baked seasoned chicken breast and some turkey jerky.

Breakfast today was a piece of chicken sausage and another polish sausage slider. They're actually quite tasty. I thought I would have preferred the italian sausage style but its pretty good too. So from 8 am til noon I am on water only for this test.

I kind of wish I could have taken this test in those first couple days of this paleo experiment. I stepped on the scale this morning at 159.8!! I haven't been that light in quite a while, possibly since 2010. I feel great, but I wonder if I've lost too much too fast?  I know that early morning weight is a combination of dehydration from sleep and probably still being dehydrated from jiu jitsu the night before. But even fully hydrated, I've lost probably 8+ lbs already. I didn't think it was that noticeable, but my mom called me out over the weekend (she knew we were going paleo) and Bill, the owner at Threshold made a comment last night too.

I remember when I used to cut weight for Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu, back when I would fight at 147 lbs in MT and 150 lbs for jiu jitsu, that i could shed some initial weight pretty fast by cleaning up my diet.  I usually felt like I was cutting too fast and had to re-tweak my diet so I didn't lose too much.  I am glad to see I can still do that, but it makes me curious what my ideal weight actually is. I feel like I am eating well enough for my activity level, at least currently, but am I really? I'm not sure how to tell. I feel like I"m recovering from workouts just fine so that seems to point towards yes, but if I want to progress in addition to recover, do I need to start adding additional calories via protein, fats, and some starchy carbs (i.e. sweet potatoes and squashes)? I don't have enough experience with this part to determine if the results I am currently seeing are normal, desired, or what?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Love 3-day Weekends :)

Well, I'll start with the cool new first.  I weighed myself again - I have no idea why - and I was 144.6 today.  With my perma-smile plastered on my face, I went shopping.  I had a ton of errands to run and gift cards to spend that I got for Christmas/Bday.  I started at Anthropologie on Southport and ended up at Woodfield.  For shopping fuel, I had a coffee and a little bit of fruit in the morning.  (Mark had to work and I was lazy, so no eggs for me.)  Before I went home I ran by Whole Foods to get some things for the week.  I'm starting to feel like we live there!  When I got home I snacked on a little bit more fruit - mango and strawberry and some of the pulled pork from the MeatLuck. (So much for cutting back on fruit today!)   For dinner I had a chicken breast with some seasoning that Mark made before he left for jiu jitsu.  It was really pretty good for what it was. 

So back to the scale....I'm sure it goes without saying that my motivation is back up!! Whooo hooo!!  I have to try to let this just be a one time thing and not check it daily.  When I was shopping I was looking for new jeans and some work pants, but I only ended up with a pair of skinny black pants (a la Audrey Hepburn).  For jeans, I couldn't decide what size to get because I seem to be between a 10 and an 8, therefore I think I'll wait until I'm plateauing.  Also, I need to do some research for pants that are hip conscious.  No complaints from me, though, I am soooo happy to be able to shop for smaller clothes!!

I am going to Crossfit tonight, with some mods for the overhead work.  My shoulder isn't terribly sore today, but I know I'll just re-aggravate it, even if I lift light.  I'm thinking I should take this week off and then try to strengthen my shoulder like Mark has been suggesting. (Note:  No shoulder pain when I lifted tonight.)

Tonight's OLY WOD:
Snatch: 50% x 3, 60% x 3, 70% x 3, 75% x 3, 70% x 3
Hang Clean, but I subbed OHS instead:  same percentage scheme
Front Squat : same percentage scheme but x 5's, not 3's
5 x 5 hurdle hops @ 28"
3 x :30 s planks

Tonight, I felt great lifting.  This might have been one of my favorite nights, minus the night I PR'd with my front squat.  For snatch, I was still right around 38 lbs for my 75% reps.  I felt pretty good doing them, even when Cori tweaked my movements a bit.  I didn't get into my head and forget everything.  Overhead squats went awesome.  Cori guestimated that my 1RM might be around 60 lbs, so I started doing that and low and behold, its probably much more.  My 75% reps were at 57 lbs and they were easy.  Front squat also went really well.  My 75% reps were about 88 lbs.  (Before Christmas my 1RM was 92 lbs)  So, I'm sure I can squat much more than that now if I can do 5 reps without too much trouble.  :)  I am very happy with how things went tonight with the heavy lifting.  Hurdle hops were no problem and neither were the planks.  I also did 10 pull-ups with the light green band before I left.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Just clearing things up!

Yesterday, my aunt and uncle took us to a murder mystery dinner to celebrate my birthday a little late. When we were ordering drinks and appetizers, Geri asked me what we wanted to share.  As though it were no big deal to us...and it wasn't...our only option on the menu was sweet potato fries and we said that.  By no means are we trying to make others eat the same thing we do, unless they want to, but she looked less than thrilled with our choice.  Eventually, we settled on 2 things - nachos for them and the fries for us.  (They weren't EXACTLY paleo anyways...covered with brown sugar and dipped in a little ketchup.  Don't judge me!)  While we were eating the appetizers we were talking about the Meatluck we'd had that morning at WCCF.  She said, "I thought you guys couldn't eat meat?" Confused, we both answered that yes we could - just not carbs and crap.  Moving on to my recent cooking, we were talking about the scallop recipe and when I showed her the ingredients on my phone, she was puzzled over coconut cooking oil.  "It has a lot of fat in it, right?," she said.  Mark jumped in to try to explain how, yes, that was true, but different fats. She didn't seem to buy his explanation.   So finally, to make things even more awkward, dinner is served during the murder mystery and its all pasta.  I probably would have been ok with cheating or maybe not eating, but Mark wasn't.  He asked for a gluten-free plate for the both of us and this giant chicken, broccoli, and mixed veggies thing came out.  It actually wasn't bad at all, but I didn't make a huge dent in it because I was still pretty full....and on glass of wine #4 - aka spifflicated?  (Roaring 20's lingo for tipsy).  Shortly after I put my fork down came the..."well, aren't you going to eat?" comment.  I can tell at this point, even though she tries to act neutral about it, she thinks we're on some crazy diet where we starve ourselves or we only eat eggs and cayenne pepper while standing on our heads at Crossfit.  (If that's next week's WOD, I'll skip it! Don't worry!)

Since yesterday wasn't the only resistance and skepticism to Paleo that we've had, I feel like I should just clear a few things up.  First and foremost, Paleo is not a CRAZY diet.  Its a lifestyle where we just choose to refrain from certain things because they're bad for us.  Don't get me wrong....I love carbs.  I love the way they taste and they love me.  Carbs are addictive.  Whenever I eat McDonalds I CRAVE it for the next few days....often times giving in and having it again...perpetuating the cycle.  Its hard to give them up - trust me.  I'm Italian and I LOVE pasta.  Its not to say that I won't have pasta ever again...I will.  But without carbs, I get less of the "food baby"  that used to happen after I ate carb-filled meals.  (The food baby is that post meal bloat that you get that makes you resemble someone who is maybe 3 or 4 months pregnant.  It is not attractive.)  I also like sugar.  I like soda.  I like orange juice.  But, they are bad for me and there's a history of diabetes in my family.  Dairy is something that I might eat in moderation when we are done with our strict month.  I will need the calcium.  

Secondly, we are not starving.  Just because we've given up a few things does not mean we're not eating.  If you've followed this blog at all, we log about food EVERY day.  I'm eating breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  I am not hungry.  I am not only eating meat.  I am eating protein, veggies, fruits, nuts and drinking water.   We can still eat out.  I just have to be more careful about choices.  We can make modifications at almost any place.  I've eaten Tac Quick's squid curry twice in one week!  

Okay, and finally, we are not torturing ourselves at Crossfit.  Crossfit is supposed to be tough and it is.  Its supposed to make you work hard and it does.  How else are you going to see change?  No one at WCCF looks like they're going to fall over from exhaustion.  Everyone looks fit and strong and guess what?  A lot of them eat paleo, too.  

So, I hope that if there was a question about what we're doing.  Maybe that clears it up?  Maybe that will make you google it?  or maybe that just makes you feel better because its happened to you, too?  

Food for Saturday:
Breakfast/Lunch = left over stuffed pepper
Snack = 1 pc of turkey jerky, coffee w/ heavy cream
Dinner = salmon and mixed veggies (awesome dinner made by Kelly and Brian!)
.....a few glasses of wine.....I lost count.  
Snack = cucumbers and 1 pc of turkey jerky

We didn't go to Crossfit today.  Actually, this week may be lighter than usual due to a strained muscle I have.    I didn't have pain on Saturday too much during the workout, but I woke up today with my shoulder very irritated.  I will workout this week, but no overhead lifts.  :(  

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Somewhat discouraged lately....

I went to bed last night feeling a little discouraged about the whole paleo thing and Crossfit.  I get in this mood now and again that I don't make gains quickly enough and I get down on myself about it.  Last night was one of those nights and it continued into this morning.  As soon as I opened my eyes and knew it was Saturday, I thought, "ugh, I don't want to go,"  "what's the point?," and "I don't want to have to do clean and jerk today."  I knew it really wouldn't do me any good to complain because we were going no matter what, so I didn't.  I debated between doing the OLY wod or the regular wod, but eventually settled on the OLY one.  I worked with 2 girls today, who I've seen, but never met before.  They were really nice.  I think its probably good for me to do that for a number of reasons, but the "good jobs" after each lift are the best.  

The workout was similar to other things I've posted recently:

Snatch:  50% x 3, 60% x 3, 70% x 3, 80%x 3 (2 times), 70% x 3
Clean and Jerk: 50% x 3, 60% x 3, 70% x 3, 80%x 3 (2 times), 70% x 3
Front Squat: 50% x 3, 60% x 3, 70% x 3, 80%x 3 (2 times), 70% x 3
5 strict pull-ups

The snatch went well today.  For some reason, even though I think its a more complicated move than C and J, I have the timing down on it.  (80% was about 35 lbs) Clean and jerks were shoulder started to hurt, even with better technique, when I got to 80%. (I think around 45 lbs) I didn't finish my last set.  Front squats were good.  I felt good doing my 80% and 3 reps was easy. (80% was 80 lbs) My 5 pull-ups were done with the light green band, and they were no problem.  

** I attempted a boy push-up today after the wod, and I've pretty much got it.  I did 2 in a row. I am so excited about this!**  

We didn't eat before the wod because there was a Meatluck today at the gym.  There was so much food and we brought pulled pork.  After class I had some of that, so I'm still paleo friendly.  I think I'll have to start tweaking my food more this week...last week wasn't my best efforts.  I may have to cut back on fruit...which will be hard.  We'll see.  In spite of that, I weighed myself first thing when I got up this morning......146.4!  So, not as great as last week, but still in the right direction.  I'll take it.  

I woke up to the scent of that pork shoulder just cooking away in its juices! I shredded it with a couple forks and threw it back in the crock pot on the warmer setting.  

I had half of a stuffed pepper before CF because I was already starving. It held me over just enough to get through the workout. I have a hard time eating before working out. I'm nervous to eat anything more than a very light snack within an hour or and hour and a half of working out or training.

Todays lifts went pretty well. I was working with this guy Joel (I think that was his name) who had been out since late September. So he was working at my weight which I'm assuming by the look of it wasn't near his previous maxes at all... Anyhow, he had been around WCCF since it opened and seemed to be pretty adept at the Oly lifts.  He was helpful in pointing out small flaws I was making and offering corrections.  I have this weird thing with being coached... 

I think I am very coachable, however I have to be able to see that person as a coach. If I label them in my head as a peer, it's tough for me to take the advice. It's not that I don't, it's just that I'm more skeptical or resistant or something... if that makes sense. My coaches in high school, my thai boxing instructor, my jiu jitsu coaches... they all are my coach I can make that distinction and usually don't question it in my head. At BTB or Alliance, I could see some of the people as a "coach" others as peers that had good advice, while others maybe just as peers. When I moved here, I guess I brought with me a bit of an ego I guess. I thought oh I'm a purple belt from Alliance, in the case of jiu jitsu, or I've been CFing for a couple years and have my Lev 1 and my Lev 1 USAW cert for CF.  I have tried really hard to be humble about it and check my ego at the door. I struggle sometimes but think I do a pretty good job at it with the trainers at wccf. But still, when someone I don't know is giving me advice, I guess it's hard to not be skeptic/resistant for me. But I also know he was right and was offering good tips and I listened. So I guess today was progress in that regard.  

My lifts (in kg) were as follows:

Snatch: 32, 40, 45, 51, 51, 45
C&J: 45, 54, 63, 72, 72, 63
F.S.: 52, 62, 73, 83, 83, 73
Strict 5x5 pullups. I did all but that last 6 Chest-to-Bar. 3 in the last set were with a 50lb DB (obvi not chest to bar)

So apparently my right foot likes to turn out on its own just before the catch on both oly lifts. I had been loosely aware of that but didn't think anything of it til today. I got called out by both Joel (during the snatch) and Cori during my C&J.  I also am pulling the bar away from me during the snatch. I got to see some video of me today and have to work on pulling the bar back in before the 2nd pull then violently explode upwards (without jumping persay). So I have some things to work on...

The Meat-Luck was awesome! Our pulled pork got a lot of compliments and I thought it turned out very good.  My favorite was Cori and Doogie's brisket. It had this awesome zip to it (probably from a ton of salt haha) but I thought it was great. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Stuffed Green Peppers

In a few minutes we'll know how my stuffed green peppers turned out....hopefully just as good as the dish I made the other night!!  Since we moved in together, Mark has done 99.9% of the cooking and maybe that's because he's afraid I suck at it? I think there are several dishes that I do well, but when I was living alone I was just never motivated to make anything complicated.  Making paleo recipes has been pretty fun, so hopefully I can expand my skills.

Today's food was okay.  We didn't get up in time to have breakfast like we usually do, so I had some coffee.  I had a banana when I was driving and a few strawberries in the morning before lunch.  Lunch was a cobb salad from Elephant and Castle.  When I started cooking around 7 tonight I had a beef jerky stick as a snack.  .....and now we wait for the peppers. 

I didn't get home from work tonight in time to go to Crossfit, but that's okay.  I'll still have been at least 4 times this week by Sunday.  We bought yoga groupons today - 20 classes for $40 bucks.  We will definitely try to do yoga most Sundays or maybe on nights during the week that we take off from Crossfit.  I'm kind of excited about the classes!  I took a few random yoga classes earlier this fall and I liked it.  (Also, this gives me an excuse to buy more cute stuff from Lululemon!)

I'll probably weigh myself tomorrow morning.  I'm not exactly sure what to expect, but I'm going to stay optimistic.  A lower number would definitely help me keep up my motivation!

I do not think Erica sucks at cooking at all. She's actually pretty damn good and I should let her cook more. But I guess it just works out the way it does. I don't mind. I enjoy cooking. Especially in the crock pot. 

The peppers turned out well. I think grass fed beef was probably a poor choice for the meat, I would probably try to use like an italian sausage next time. We used the recipe from Paleo Comfort Foods (written by my friends Jules and Charles down in ATL) but subbed in grass fed beef.  All in all it was a good meal. We have two left over still too!

Lunch today for me was probably not really paleo at all unfortunately. I went to Ronny's Steakhouse in the loop and got a grilled salmon Caesar salad. I forgot to hold the cheese and dressing and the salmon came with a bit of teriyaki on it. Oh well. Throughout the day I snacked on some beef sticks from US Wellness and some almonds.  I like the sticks... They were sorta like a slim jim except they actually tasted like meat and were fresh... Not stuffed full of preservatives. For breakfast I got an omelette from one of the places in the food court next to my office. It was eggs, tomato, pepper, onion, mushroom and sausage.  I don't know what they cooked the omelette in (prob some sort of veg/soy oil) and the sausage prob didn't qualify as paleo but I made do with what I could.

Didn't get to go to CF in time tonight cuz I had to make a whole foods run and prep a 4.5lb pork shoulder for the Meat-Luck at CF tomorrow morning... I used this recipe. I didn't have all the spices so I improvised with some crushed red pepper, extra cumin, black pepper and cilantro. I also used a leftover pepper from erica's recipe and just diced it and added it in. We'll see how it turns out tomorrow!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Looking Back

I was wondering to myself on the snowy drive home what I was going to post about today besides my food or how incredibly tired I am, but I started thinking about my motivations for doing this in the first place as inspiration.  For those of you who've known me for a long time, it would probably come as no surprise to you that there was a time in my life when I was gauntly thin.  I grew very quickly once that started happening and before I knew it I was 5'10" and I weighed maybe 120 lbs.  It was always nice to not have to worry about what I ate or if I would fit into something.  As is common with most people, my college lifestyle filled me out and I struggled with those changes.  I wanted to be "skinny" again but I wasn't really very motivated to work out.  I started running a bit, which pretty much kept my weight stable at about 135.  My grad school lifestyle was even worse on my body - at least at first.  Every day was filled with working, studying, eating, studying, studying, studying, reading, studying, and eventually sleeping for a couple of hours.  I ate quick meals and often ate out in order to be social with my friends and escape school work for dinner on the weekends.  Time to exercise seemed completely unavailable and besides that, if there was time I was too friggin' tired to move.  I knew I was gaining weight, but things really hit home when I weighed myself right before Christmas break my second year.  When 150 lbs was staring back at me I think I was a bit sick to my stomach.  Fortunately with the new year and resolution time approaching, I decided I had to make some changes.  I was not going to let that happen to me.  Being my last semester of school, my workload was lighter and I took advantage of that.  I worked out often and Jesse and I changed our diet.  We weren't perfect at either thing, but over the course of January - April I lost all 15 of those lbs. 

While this is not and will never be the place to talk about some of my experiences in Chicago, suffice it to say that when you're close to someone who's struggling with many of their own personal issues and has very bad habits - you can be influenced, too, no matter how hard you try not to.  In the summer of 2010, I made some big changes and I like to think that I've been on the right track since then.  Decreased stress, my own schedule, Zumba, dancing all weekend long, and other things helped me to reach 145 lbs again.  I've hovered within a few pounds of that ever since.  Its not where I'd like to be, but its better than where I was.  Enter Mark and all of the things I like about him, especially the fact that he's active and enjoys being in shape.  Mark's had my best interest in mind, too, and pushes me to keep up with the new things (Crossfit and paleo) even when I am impatient.  Since my body composition is changing, I'm not exactly sure what I should be looking for on the scale.  I know there is fat to be lost from certain areas, but when I first started Crossfitting my weight went up from muscle.  I think I belong somewhere around 140 (or maybe 145?).  Crossfit is changing my body.  My legs are solid, my arms have definition, and it won't be long before all of my abs are back again!!  :)

Food Log for the Day:
2 cups of cinnamon coffee with a splash of cream
1 box of blackberries
Chicken/Bacon thigh lunch (Thanks, Jenny!)
1 small banana
Carrots and guacamole
1 box of blueberries (I wasn't intending on eating these, but it just happened while I was typing.)
Squid curry...again!

Mark ate the same things and is also taking a rest day.  He might update later.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fish & Frustrations

*Disclaimer...I am crabby today, so I apologize now if the tone of this post reflects that.

Mark is awesome and he's making me a different dinner from him because I didn't like the salmon.  I feel bad, but he insisted.  :(  While I'm waiting, I'm snacking on some broccoli and guacamole.  I found that I was very hungry today between meals.  Breakfast every morning has been tiding me over pretty well, but not today.....I was out of the office (away from my snacks) and starving by 10.  I stopped and got a coffee at Speedway to help take my mind off of it - just plain 'ol coffee with a little bit of cream and cinnamon.  For lunch I ate the rest of my scallop dinner from last night (still really good) and a few pieces of chicken lunchmeat.  I didn't snack in the afternoon, so by the time I got home I was starving.   Before we went to the gym I had an orange.

Dinner has ended up being 1/2 a sweet potato with Irish butter and cinnamon + some chicken.

Tonight we did to the Olympic WOD. 

Clean and Jerk:  50% x 3, 60% x 3, 70% x 3, 80% x 3, 80% x 3, 70% x 3 shoulder pain started IMMEDIATELY once I put weight on the bar.  I struggled through a couple of sets and kept stretching after each one, but finally I mentioned the pain to Cori.  She watched me and discovered that when I was doing the jerk part of the movement (blah blah..that's what she said...blah blah blah)  my shoulders were rotating forward - causing the pain.  She reminded me to stand tall when I do that and drive from the hips.  The next 2 sets were much less painful.  As far as weight...I was pissy about it, but if I'm pain free going forward - that's ok. 

Hanging Snatch:  50% x 3, 60% x 3, 70% x 3, 80% x 3, 80% x 3, 70% x 3...these felt pretty good...I'm just working up in weight now.  My 80% reps were about 40 lbs. 

At some point Mark came over to ask how I was doing and I got all sassy with him out of frustration.  I'm not sure how he puts up with me when I do things like that.  Clearly, its not personal, but I am such a pain in the ass sometimes.  Almost in tears, I tell him that I'm so sick of not moving up in weight and stuff ....its the same thing EVERY week for me.  What the hell am I doing wrong?!  Because he knows that he cannot talk me out of this mood right now, he wisely walks away and let's me do my thing.  :P 

Backsquat:  50% x 5, 60% x 5, 70% x 5, 80% x 5, 80% x 5, 70% x 5.... My 80% weights were about 82 lbs, which is pretty much on target with my 1RM being 100 lbs or so.  My legs were pretty spent at this point, but my last set of 70% felt really easy. 

Tomorrow is a needed off day for me.  Two things I've noticed are probably holding me back from making gains on the OLY side: 1) I do not want to fail and bail on the bar in front of if a weight seems very challenging...there a good chance that I will psych myself out and then not try it.  I *have* to get over this if I'm ever going to improve.  2) I haven't learned what it feels like to know a weight is challenging and how much I can do to push through it.  To explain that better I mean that I see people who squat down with a weight that is crazy heavy and then they fight it the WHOLE way up...grunting..making faces...really pushing themselves to get it.  That is not me so far.  I am as quiet as a mouse in there.  I haven't turned on "the fight" yet.  Somehow that has to happen, too.  Improvements will not come if I'm not willing to really push it.  I don't know what's going to turn these 2 things around yet, but I hope I can figure it out soon.

I did a few band pull-ups while I was weighting for Mark to finish and also some negatives.  I was tired and I probably did about 10 of each before I was done for the night.

Erica is a HUGE pain in the ass!!! Ok not really... but I feel bad when she gets frustrated. I have some idea what it's like cuz I didn't start that long ago with CrossFit, but it's hard to verbalize that sometimes and like today I have to let her work herself out of it. We'll just have to keep practicing techniques. As slow as we need to. I know she'll probably get impatient with it and, by association, me, but I think it will be worth it in the long run. 

I didn't have an on ramp program when I started CF. I had a rough idea was the clean and the snatch were and just sorta made them work for me. Over time at BTB I refined them bit by bit with some help from trainers and friends there. But I didn't get a good appreciation for the intricacies and the technique until I took an Oly seminar one weekend with CJ Stockel in Atlanta.We spent all day with a PVC pipe drilling movements and positions. I was more sore from that than most WODs! But it also taught me some valuable lessons as a trainer and a trainee. Those "simple" repetitions created some important muscle memory, corrected some flaws, and improved my timing on the lifts.  Not to say I was suddenly proficient at them, I'm still not, but I truly think I was an order of magnitude or two better than before.

Since then I've taken my Level 1 CF cert (which didn't have as much specificity in the movements) and my USA Weightlifting cert. The latter provided additional coaching points and movements to drill. And yet again the emphasis was on technique. PVC was used then the empty bar. All reinforcing movement patterns that helped improve my lifts.  I still have a long long way to go, but I do appreciate having the little background I do have.  My goal is to share some of that knowledge with Erica. I know she may not be as into CF and Oly lifting as I am, but I know it will help her reach her own personal goals in the end if she spends some extra time drilling the hell out of these movement!

Meals today were delicious. Breakfast was bacon and eggs. Like Erica, it didn't really hold me over. I had the same amount of eggs (3) as yesterday and 2 pieces of bacon instead of roughly half a chicken sausage. I even added some blackberries to my meal but still I was starting to get hungry at like 10 or 1030ish this morning. I had packed a lunch today but one of my coworkers wanted to go out. I found a Flat Top Grill in the loop and convinced him to try that. I made my dishes 99% paleo... The first dish had a bunch of veggies and chicken with just a single scoop of the spicy lime basil sauce. It was gluten free and soy free but it did have sugar according to the website.  My other dish was more veggies and this time pork but with only "garlic water" as the sauce. I didn't finish this dish cuz I was plenty full.

It is simply ridiculous how many things on the buffet contained soy or gluten (and probably high fructose corn syrup too!).  These additives/chemicals/whatever have infected (for lack of a better word) so many things in the supermarket. Even some of the meat choices at Flat Top and Chiplotle may be gluten free but because of some marinade or another contains soy! It's kinda frustrating to eat out when you get more than what you think you're ordering.

Ok off my second soapbox for the evening.

Dinner for me was salmon (now two pieces... see above), some broccoli, and half a sweet potato.  I'm trying to limit fats and up carbs post workout to try and some of that glycogen replacement. I think by the time I've eaten I'm probably outside of that window (20-45 min post workout), but thats ok for tonight. In the future I hope to have more meals prepped to be able to hit that window.
My lifts today all felt pretty strong, relatively speaking.  My C&J numbers were solid and I felt good there. I'm still having technical issues on the snatch and I was initially thinking that today being a hang snatch day would be helpful.  I still felt pretty frustrated with the movement. I'm missing that explosive hip opening that fires the bar overhead. Cori was telling me i need to start "jumping" even though it's not technically correct. I'm fast enough to beat the bar to the bottom, but I'm not powerful at all and I know it will stunt my progression on the lift. After talking with her I tried my heaviest set of the night. my first attempt I missed. The next two however things must have just clicked because the bar shot overhead so fast that I wasn't ready to catch it. My timing in the hole was way off but I was able to recover and complete each rep.  I couldn't repeat that "pop" the rest of the time though. I know what it feels like though now and can at least aim for that.  Back Squats were difficult at the 80% mark tonight. I hit my limit on the 5th rep of the 2nd set. I know I lifted heavier on Monday night so that may have affected tonights lift. I believe I am doing the low bar back squat correctly but hopefully any little flaws will be corrected next weekend.

Here were my numbers (in kg) for the night. Percentages were given in Erica's portion above.:
C&J: 45, 54, 63,72,72,63
Hang Snatch: 26*, 34*, 40, 45, 45, 40
Back Squat: 70, 82, 95, 110*, 110*, 95

*These were a kg or two above or below the % based weight.

I didn't get to the RDL's in time tonight.