Recap of Last Week

I just wanted to do a quick recap of my eats from this past week. Monday started off with my first attempt at a frittata…loved it! I put onions, bell peppers, and spinach in it.
Frittata

To be honest I cannot remember what I ate for lunch, but I think it involved some plantain chips with guacamole. For dinner I roasted a whole chicken with butternut squash and zucchini. After we finished dinner I threw the leftover chicken carcass (hmm not the most pleasant word) into the slow cooker with some water and apple cider vinegar in my attempts to make my own bone-broth. I have heard it is amazingly healthy and great for you so I wanted to give it a shot.

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The bone broth turned out pretty good and worked out perfectly since I planned on making a soup on Wednesday.

Tuesdays breakfast involved scrambled eggs with fresh salsa and avocado.

Eggs with salsa and avocado

It was delicious. I really need to be better about spicing up my breakfasts with more produce and such. I also had this breakfast on Wednesday.

Tuesday’s dinner was Broccoli Rabe with Spicy Italian Sausage. The spices made this so delicious. I found the recipe on the primal palates iPhone app. It is currently free and has a lot of great recipes.

Broccoli and sausage

Breakfast for the rest of the week included some form of eggs with bacon. Lunch was mostly leftovers or a salad with flank steak on it.

Dinner was as follows….

Wednesday: white chicken chili
Thursday: Sirloins with asparagus and roasted vegetable soup (Ina Garten’s) recipe
Friday: Leftovers

As far as workouts I did crossfit on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Saturday. I went to Yoga on Monday and did a home practice on Thursday. Workouts went well this week. I really feel like I am improving on my cleans.

Enjoy what’s left of your Sunday!

30 Day Reset-Day 1

Your Personal Paleo Code

I have been reading this book the last week. I am still working my way through it, but I am really enjoying it so far. A while back I completed a “Paleo challenge” with some family/friends and while it was not perfect (cheating involved) it did get me started on learning more about nutrition. Paleo is a great place to start when it comes to nutrition and moving towards a more clean eating approach. However, for some people(including myself) it can feel pretty restrictive at times. Personally, I didn’t miss grains so much as dairy. I love my yogurt! This book is really great about addressing this issue and helping you figure out what will work best for you. I highly reccommend it even if you aren’t necessarily interested in the Paleo lifestyle. There is a lot of great information that might make you think twice about what you eat.

The first step Chris Kresser recommends you take is doing a 30- day reset. From what I gather it is very similar, if not the same requirements as the whole30. For 30 days you are strictly following Paleo guidelines to essentially heal your body and then from there you can start adding things back in and see how your body reacts. I have been putting off doing this for some time now. It seemed pretty hard, especially for me because I am not a huge meat eater. I also like my honey :) I always just assumed I was fine eating what I was eating because I didn’t notice any adverse reactions to certain foods. However, I have experienced my fair share of bloat and such. I just never associated it to any particular food. So I am finally biting the bullet and completing this 30 day reset to see how my body does and maybe learn a few things about what foods my body wishes I wouldn’t eat.

I am a bit nervous about it, but I am going to give it my best shot. Hopefully I will have some wonderful results to share. I know I am already happy with the changes I have made since learning about Paleo last year. I am all about finding what works best for you and I’m hoping this book will help me perfect what works best for me. I will keep you guys updated on how it is going.

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Today is day 1 and for breakfast I made my very first frittata. It had onions, spinach, and bell peppers. Yum! I also enjoyed a grapefruit after. So far so good! (Ha!)

Anyone else completing a 30 day rest? Feel free to join me! I can use all the support I can get :)

Workouts from the Week

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Mondays WOD involved my enemy…the clean.  This time it was in the form of a squat clean.  I struggled SO much.  Last time I did cleans I was starting to feel more comfortable with the movement, but on Monday I felt all sorts of awkward again.  I even managed to bust my boobs on the way up one time.   Ugh only me!  Please send any tips my way…

Before crossfit I had a wonderful power yoga session at Corepower.  I felt kind of awkward in my crow pose though.  Apparently it was the theme of my workouts on Monday.

20140226-133801.jpgI was really excited about Wednesday’s WOD as soon as I saw it the night before.  First of all….NO CLEANS!!! Also we were working on our push press, which I had done before.  Of course I was most excited because RUNNING was involved.  It has been a while since I have been able to go for a run.  On top of it being freezing, the sidewalks are still pretty icy around here. I managed to PR on my push-press by 15lbs! On top of that I finished first in my class, which absolutely NEVER happens. Running for the win! This makes me even more excited to start getting more runs in (fingers crossed spring arrives soon).

Thursday
This week was my husband and my first week attempting to get in a fourth crossfit day. In order to do this we have to go to the early morning class before my daughter wakes up and my husband goes to work. Thursday is my day and Friday is his (lucky for him he gets to complete the Open workouts the next couple of weeks). Thursdays workout involved our crossfit’s baseline workout. I was looking forward to seeing how I would do. I didn’t complete this when I first started because we didn’t do the traditional on-ramp intro sessions. Now it will be nice to look back at my time and see improvement when we do it again. The coach said they try to do it around every 6 months.
Baseline workout(For Time):
500m Row
40 Air Squats
30 Sit-ups
20 Push-ups
10 Pull-ups

I completed it in 6:03. I did modified push-ups and ring rows instead of pull-ups. I did however get to try pull-ups with a band assist before we started and was surprised that I could actually do a few. So from now on I will be incorporating those into my WODs.

Friday

On Friday I got in a nice foam rolling session followed by a little at-home yoga practice. It involved a lot of forward folds for my back and pigeon pose for my poor hips. My body loved every second of it.

Saturday

Saturday was a fun partner WOD and was also a Hero WOD called “Tommy Mac”. It involved lots of burpees, cleans, snatches, thrusters, and overhead squats….all the good stuff! It was my first time doing snatches and I felt pretty good with them. My cleans even felt a lot better today. Hopefully I was just having an off day on Monday.

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Today is all about resting and prepping for the week. My husband and I are starting a 30-day reset tomorrow, so we need to be prepared. I will talk more about this tomorrow.

Quick & Easy Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

Not the best picture, but I wanted to share what I put into the pasta salad for the party.  It was simple to put together and tasted great.

Ingredients:

1 Container of Cherry tomatoes cut in half

1 bag of Vegetable Pasta (I used one from Trader Joe’s) cooked according to package directions

1 container of Whole Milk Fresh Mozzarella ( Ciliegine style- AKA the little balls)

1/4 to 1/2 Cup of Tuscan Italian Dressing from Trader Joe’s (or your favorite Italian dressing with balsamic vinegar)

2 red or orange Bell Peppers chopped

5 large leaves of Fresh Basil torn up into pieces

Salt & Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and enjoy!

Let me know what you think if you try it.

Fishy 2nd Birthday Party

Last Saturday was my daughter’s 2nd birthday. She loves all things fishy…inspired of course by her love for Finding Nemo. So for her birthday party we had a fishy theme. I just wanted to share the details in case someone else has a toddler in love with fishes and is looking for some ideas.

Food

Nola Eating

I did my best to throw some healthy in there.  We ordered sandwiches from Jimmy Johns.  Then we had a greens salad, a pasta salad (I will share the quick recipe I put together for this tomorrow), chips, and a veggie tray.  I also made some PB & Js for the kids who don’t like sub style sandwiches.  I actually went to several stores looking for the Pepperidge Farm fish-shaped bread and couldn’t find it anywhere.

food table

Dessert

dessert table

Dessert required some backup and a bake-a-thon the night before.  We made cupcakes with blue frosting, fish sprinkles, and some swedish fish on top.  I actually got the idea off of the blue colored Pillsbury frosting I bought.  Originally I was going to do something far more complicated that I saw on Pinterest.  This worked out a million times better.

Cupcakes & Jello

We also made these jello cups with Swedish fish inside/on top of the jello.  This adventure was far more difficult than anticipated.  We couldn’t seem to get the fish in at the right moment.  Either they sunk to the bottom or the jello was already set and they stayed on top.  They looked cute, but they weren’t the most delicious treats.  The gummies made it way too sweet.  If you are looking to do something like this I would recommend making the jello in the cups and then put fish stickers around the cup.  It will save you a lot of hassle and still look good.

The last thing we made were frozen yogurt covered banana pops covered in fish sprinkles.  I got the idea from this site.  They were a big hit with the kids and the adults.

Along with those desserts we also had a fruit tray.

Decorations

 banner

I picked up a happy birthday banner from Target.  Above that are the goodie bags.  I cut out fish shapes and wrote each kids name on it.  I then added stickers.

goodie bags

 

Inside the bags were packs of goldfish crackers, bracelets for the girls and little dinosaurs for the boys, a box of crayons, and bubbles.

windows

I made little balloon fish by cutting out fins, tales, and mouths from construction paper.  I also added googly eyes.  In each of the windows I put crepe paper waves as well as seaweed plants in between the windows.

window 2

I also had bowls of goldfish crackers and Swedish fish on the tables.

Kids Activities

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I had 3 separate little stations set up with activities for the kids.  The first one was a simple coloring area.  It included crayons, fish stickers, construction paper, and copied fish coloring pages.

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The second activity I found on Pinterest.  It came from this site and involves using a paper plate to create your own fish.  I put the fish together before the party and set them out with some craft supplies.  There were pom poms, glue-sticks, googly eyes, and then those paint dot things (what is used for bingo). The kids created some adorable fish.

For the last activity I put a bunch (300 to be exact)  of Swedish fish in a jar and put out small papers for kids to guess how many were in there.  The winner won the jar filled with fish.

Most of the supplies for the party either came from Target or the Dollar Store.

Catch Up!

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I have been a little MIA this past week.  My little one turned two and then we had her birthday party over the weekend, so that is where my focus has been.  Today I am just going to do a quick catch up of what has been going on lately.

Workouts

Last weeks workouts were good.  I learned some new moves at crossfit.  On Monday the WOD involved overhead squats, which I had never done before.  They were a sneaky core workout because of how much you needed to stabilize with that bar overhead.  We also did a one rep max of deadlifts.  I am always excited to do one rep maxes because it helps give me a baseline that I can compare with months from now to see if I have improved.  I am doing my best to make sure I stop when I can no longer keep proper form and not just when I can’t lift it anymore.  Monday also involved a yoga class, which always does the body good.

WOD

Wednesday’s workout involved a one-rep max of floor press.  I maxed out at the same weight I had with a bench press weeks ago.  From what I understand this move is tougher, so hopefully that means my strength has improved.  We shall see when I get the opportunity to do a bench press 1-rep max again.

This week was the first time I did two crossfit days in a row.  I went Wednesday night and then again on Thursday for the 6:30 AM class.  This class involved a wonderful WOD of a 7 min. AMRAP of BURPEES!!! It was an open workout from a previous year. This week my husband and I weren’t going to be able to make the Saturday class since my daughter’s party was Saturday.  In order to still get in 3 days this week we split up and each went to an early morning class.  Starting this week we actually are going to start going 4 times per week doing the same thing but also going Saturday.

 

Birthday Girl

Breakfast

Friday was my daughters 2nd birthday ( I still can’t believe it).  My husband took off work so we had a fun day together. It started out with breakfast at Wildberry Cafe. Delicious!

goldfish

After breakfast we headed to the pet store to buy her a fish.  We were originally just going to get a beta fish and simple tank, but they all looked so sad.  They didn’t really move around much and so we changed our mind.  We got her 3 little colorful fish.  I truly have no idea what kind they are.  She loves feeding them every morning and watches them swim around.  They are named Nemo, Dory, and Flounder!

feedingfish tankme and nola fish

 

After that adventure we came home so she could take a nap.  When she woke up we had lunch and she enjoyed a birthday cupcake.  Then we watched Finding Nemo.  That night 2 of my friends came over and helped me bake all of the goods for the party.  We made cupcakes, banana-yogurt pops, and jello cups.

cupcakes

Saturday was the party.  Everything turned out great and she had a fun time running around with her cousins.  I will post more of the details of her “fishy” party later in the week.

Sorry no meals for the week this week.  I have yet to make a plan… Still recovering from party madness!  I have yoga & crossfit on the schedule today.

 

Highlights From the Weekend & Meals/Fitness for the Week

It was another busy, busy weekend around here.  On Saturday we finally got to meet our new little nephew and niece.  My sister in-law had twins last Tuesday.  They are healthy and adorable.  Nola was so excited to see them and her other cousin who is 6 months younger than her.  Nola is obsessed with babies so this was especially fun for her.  For a while she kept saying “babies, 1…2…2 babies”!

Nola rocking lennon Penelope

 

Nola rocked the baby and kept putting her finger to the babies nose and saying “shhh..babies sleeping”. My heart was melting all over the place!

On Sunday I had a ton of shopping I had to do.  My little girl is turning 2 on Friday and her party is on Saturday.  I wanted to try and shop for all the non-perishable items for her party while I had the opportunity to go shopping by myself.  Sunday afternoon was probably not my best idea since the stores were crazy, but I did manage to hit up 4 different stores and get a lot of what we needed.  I also grabbed our groceries for the week while I was out.

shoppping nolas party

 

This is the mess I have to sort through today and organize for the party.  It is a fishy themed party since she LOVES fishies! My husband and I are actually taking her Friday to buy a beta fish.  I can’t wait. Between Target, the Dollar Store, and Trader Joe’s I managed to get what we needed.  I am waiting until Thursday to grab all of the food items we need.  I will do a full re-cap of the party and details sometime next week.

After Nola’s nap we all went to the mall, because my husband and I were looking for some new workout wear.  We didn’t have too much time, but I did manage to get a new pair of workout pants.  I can’t wait to test them out at Yoga and Crossfit today.

Later we grabbed dinner at RA.  I am not a huge fish person, but I did enjoy a delicious teriyaki chicken.

Meals for the Week

M- Whole Roasted Chicken & Vegetables

T- Steaks with Sweet Potato and Asparagus

W-White Chicken Chili (using left-over chicken from Monday)

Th- Stuffed Bell Peppers ( with grass-fed ground beef and onions and garlic)

F- Pizza for Bakefest 2014—> Two of my friends are coming over Friday night to help me bake and prepare for the party so I am going to treat them to pizza. Fair trade right?!?

 

Workouts

M- Yoga & Crossfit

T- Rest

W-Crossfit

Th-Crossfit

F-Yoga

Sa- Rest

Su- 2/3 Mile run if weather allows

3-Ingredient German Chocolate Fudge

Happy Valentine’s Day! The day is off to a great start.  I got to cuddle up with my little valentine this morning.  She doesn’t spend too much time sitting still or letting me cuddle up with her these days, so I love that in the morning she wants to curl up with me and rock in the rocking chair.  I will savor it as long as she lets me.

Once we got up and ate breakfast, we started in on some treat baking. Nola took over all of the stirring duties as usual.

Nola dessert stir

First we made some Almond Fudge Brownies from Make It Paleo. You can find the recipe on their site, Primal Paleo. After that we made some delicious fudge using Nikki’s Coconut Butter.  I have had a jar of it for some time and haven’t put it to use.  Since we were in a treat making mood we whipped up some fudge with it.  The combination of chocolate and coconut always reminds me of my mom making German chocolate cake growing up.

Nikki's Coconut Butter cocoa powder

 

This recipe is easy to make and only requires 3 ingredients.  No baking required.

 

3-Ingredient fudge

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and don’t forget to treat yourself! 

Any plans tonight?

 

Commercial Break Workout

 

Yesterday I was on my own for dinner since my husband had a work meeting.  I don’t usually plan/cook a real meal when I am on my own and yesterday I think that was a mistake.  By the time I got home from tutoring and whipped up a quick dinner for Nola, I was starving.  I ended up with a mish-mosh dinner of some quinoa noodles, yogurt, and a nut bar.  Dinner was definitely sad and lacking in vegetables.  Next time I am on my own I will be sure to plan something.

After putting Nola to bed and eating dinner I did some much needed relaxing.  While I was watching TV I was thinking about ways to sneak in more fitness during each day. After a tough day it is so tempting to curl up on the couch with some shows before bed.  A trend with fitness lately has been the idea of getting in a more efficient workout in a shorter amount of time.  One example of this is the WOD part of crossfit.  Many of them are only around 10 minutes long, but are extremely effective.

Workouts

Combining the idea of an efficient workout and watching your favorite shows seems like a great way to sneak in a good workout.  So I came up with a couple of ideas for commercial break workouts.  If you have a DVR you will have to give the fast forward button a rest.

Workout 1: Once the commercial begins, you begin.  Complete as many rounds of the following until the commercial is over.  Note how many rounds you completed.  During the next commercial break do the same but try to beat your rounds from the previous break and so on until your show is over.  For example during the first commerical break you completed 3 rounds of (30 reps total) plus 2 additional push-ups. Your score for that break is 3+2.  During the next break try to complete at least 3 rounds plus 3 additional push-ups.  It becomes a little competition with yourself or you can even get your family involved.

10 push-ups (modified if needed)

10 squats

10 burpees

 **Disclaimer: I am not a certified trainer. I am simply sharing my ideas and experiences. Always consult a doctor before starting a new fitness program.

If you try the workout, let me know what you think! 

Some of My Favorite Things

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Yesterday’s WOD was tougher than anticipated. It was leg focused and I think my legs were already a little worn out from power yoga earlier in the day. Chair pose and the warrior poses definitely exhaust my muscles. At crossfit we performed a 1 rep max on front squat, which I was excited to do because we had done it before. I wanted to see if I had improved any. Sadly I did not but it has only been 2 weeks since the last time, so I need to give myself a break. On a positive note I did increase the weight I used for my deadlift in the WOD. I added an extra 10lbs to my bar. It was a challenge, but a great workout.

A Few Of My Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s Edition

I wanted to share a few of my favorite things from Trader Joe’s. I can’t say enough great things about Trader Joe’s. The prices are reasonable and they have a lot of great healthy items and treats :)

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First off we have my favorite chip alternative, the plantain chip.  These are relatively new at my Trader Joe’s and I love them. I usually eat them with hummus or guacamole.  Yum!

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Peanut butter and chocolate…need I say more?!

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Almond butter is a staple in my house. I stir it into my oatmeal, blend it up with a post-workout protein shake, use it in a spicy sauce for stir-fry, and much much more. Trader Joe’s makes some of the best almond butter I have had and it won’t break the bank.

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I buy this green juice for my daughter. I usually do a half green juice half water mixture for her.  It is delicious.  My husband and I usually enjoy a cold-pressed juice from whole foods, but they can get pretty expensive.  We have actually been thinking about getting our own juicer. In reality it would probably be cheaper for us in the long run.  Thoughts?Advice?

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Sriracha makes things taste wonderfully spicy.  I need to use this in my cooking more often. I usually use it as a stir-fry sauce.

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Once again I buy these for my daughter (although I enjoy them myself as well). They are a great alternative to traditional fruit snacks with all of that added sugars/sweeteners. These bars do not have any added sweetener and they are organic.

Any favorite Trader Joe’s products? Advice on buying a juicer? Or recipes that use sriracha?