Saturday, February 2, 2013

Feeling Good

I am 28 years old, and never before in my life have I ever wanted to wear a pair of short tight shorts to the gym. Sure, I've tried them on in store dressing rooms over the years, but after seeing my reflection in the mirror, I never thought of venturing outside that door.

Finally, my thoughts have changed.

Please excuse my dirty bathroom mirror.
Hello Windex, that is gross!

I just ordered these from Reebok the other day. 

I wasn't sure if I'd keep them or not, but since Reebok offers free shipping and free returns, I figured Why not? So I got some. And these kind of validated for me how much my body has changed. It showed me how I am finally doing it right. I am pretty proud of how far I've come since August. I'm not trying to brag or anything; I am trying to show that it's freaking nuts how much can change occur in less than 6 months. It's been hard work, but it's also been fun!

It is never too late (nor too early) to change your eating and exercising habits. I thought I was healthy before. Now I feel it and see it every day, and it makes me smile that I am helping my body become the best machine it can be.

Also, check out the tag that was attached to the shorts. I know Reebok makes CrossFit apparel, but seeing that this "Fitness in 100 words" goes out to everyone who orders these shorts is pretty cool. Plus, read it: It's true!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Quick meal: Egg muffins

I have to admit that I love oatmeal. And I also must admit that oatmeal isn't the best choice according to the paleo gods. A couple of weekends ago, I decided to make some egg muffins so that I could enjoy them immediately and also save them for a quick microwaveable breakfast (or lunch).

One egg muffin, read for eating

I used this recipe from River North Paleo Girl as a starting point, and it provided a pretty good framework.

My adapted recipe (and keep in mind, you can put anything you want in there):

- Half a package of bacon
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 - 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes, strained
- 8 eggs
- 1/4 package frozen spinach 
- 2 pre-cooked chicken sausage (I used Italian ones from Trader Joe's)
- Salt
- Oregano
- Basil
- Cracked black pepper to taste

- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Cook bacon, remove, and drain some of the fat. Add the onions and sauté. Add tomato paste, cook and stir into the onions. 
- Add tomatoes, spinach, and chicken sausage. Cook down for 5 minutes or so.
- Cut up bacon into bite-size pieces.
- In a separate bowl, crack and beat eggs until fluffy.
- Add oregano, basil, salt and pepper to the eggs.
- Grease muffin tin cups.
- Add bacon pieces to the tomato mixture and stir.
- Spoon the tomato mixture equally into the twelve muffin cups.

Tomato mixture and egg waiting to be poured
- Pour egg mixture into muffin cups. Mine filled almost to the brim, so be careful not to pour too fast.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

10 minute meal: Tuna and broccoli

Want to know my new favorite dinner on the cheap?

EVOO roasted Ahi tuna steak and garlic broccoli. It's healthy and paleo and also super inexpensive.

Ahi tuna steaks (frozen 2-pack from Trader Joe's = roughly $5.00 depending on weight)
Organic broccoli florets (frozen package from Trader Joe's = $2.49)
Garlic powder
Optional: Red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Place defrosted tuna steaks in a glass baking pan. Fill baking pan with EVOO until it goes halfway up the tuna steak. Scatter half a package of frozen broccoli over everything.  Shake some salt and grind some pepper, and then shake garlic powder (I use a lot) over everything.

Cook in oven about 5 minutes, then turn over steaks and cook for about another 5 minutes. (Alter cooking time depending on how rare you want your tuna.)

Makes (at least) 2 servings. Sometimes those tuna steaks are huge.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My favorite paleo meal (so far)

I want to share the best two paleo recipes I have for dinner and dessert:

Back in September or so, my brother's gf K and I had a date night together. We made these items for dinner and dessert, and they were oh so delicious. We prepped everything at once, so while we ate, the brownies baked.

I highly recommend trying this "pasta" dish, especially! It works well with ground beef, too.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Paleo Challenge Photos

Below, you will find my pictures before the Paleo Challenge followed by my after pictures (taken 9 weeks later). The quality isn't quite the same because my bf took them with my iPhone as opposed to our official CrossFit 919 photographer in the first set, but I think you can get the idea.

I did not weigh myself before or after the challenge because I am trying to get stronger, so I hope to gain muscle and lose fat. However, I did take measurements. While I have noticed toning in my arms, they stayed exactly the same, as did my chest and waist.  However, my hips lost 1 inch (the booty, I guarantee it) and EACH thigh lost 2 inches. Woah! That is the kind of improvement I am talking about.

Paleo reflections: My brother was the first to tell me that eating 100% paleo is not a sustainable diet. It's just ridiculously hard (and somewhat unnecessary). I have found, though, that eating paleo 80% of the time is a great goal. That means I'll eat cheese and yogurt again (of the highest quality, that's important!), but I still won't buy pasta and breads.  Those things I will enjoy when I go out to eat. I have noticed that when I do eat carbs and sugar now, they make me feel unbelievably tired in the morning. Super interesting.

In the following weeks, I will post some of my favorite paleo (or paleo-esque) recipes. I will also continue to track my CrossFit progress. I plan on measuring myself every 9 weeks since that's how I started, and we'll see how it goes.

CrossFit PRs I hit in these 9 weeks:
170# dead lift
103# back squat

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Paleo Challenge: Day 3

I am now a proud member of CrossFit 919. It has quickly become my favorite activity and being there means it's my favorite time of the day!

One reason why I (finally) chose to drink the CrossFit Kool-Aid (figuratively, because that's so not paleo... and neither is Gatorade) is because I want to be stronger.  I am at athlete at heart, having played either softball or soccer since my preschool years.  However, after college, I stopped playing team sports and became a runner.  I loved (and still love) running.  However, I missed the conditioning aspect of working out as a group... the stuff that really makes you push your body instead of just allowing yourself to slowly jog a 10 minute-per-mile pace, never making yourself work too hard outside from your comfort zone.

Well, it was time to push myself a little harder.  I didn't just stop with joining Xfit. I also decided to sign up for the Paleo Challenge.  It's a 9-week eating commitment with Benchmark WODs to be completed at Xfit. About 20 of us signed up as a team so we can encourage each other to eat "clean."

Anyways, I could go on about Xfit and the Challenge, but for the rest of this post, I just want to share my first attempt at making bison flank steak. I have never cooked a steak in my life (as I stopped eating steak in middle school), but the Whole Foods man told me to cook it on very low heat for an hour or so. And I did. It was a little overcooked for my taste (pun intended), but not bad for a first try. I had this with sautéed spinach, onion, garlic, and mushrooms.

Also, Sunday night before the challenge, bf and I were celebrating his younger brother's 18th birthday. We brought treats from Whole Foods for the occasion, so these were some of my last non-paleo foods for a while.  I'm not craving any sweets yet, but I'm not sure how long that will last... this weekend, I may try out my first paleo baking experiment.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Morning gospel

This morning, I awoke to find my talented cousin, Glenn, had posted a fabulous video of himself singing a Mavis Staples cover.  While I'm not sure whether he did this on purpose, he is wearing what reminded me of Joseph's technicolor dream coat.

Jacob blesses his son, Joseph, with the Coat of Many Colors
Source: Wikipedia
(I have now decided to look up more about the story of Joseph because I don't remember it as well as I'd like.  Thanks, Glenn, for the inspiration!)

I love Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat because my church put on this production when I was in fifth grade.  Because we were both in the choir, my brother and I participated.  Occasionally, those songs will still randomly pop up in my head.

So now this song put a smile of my face this morning, and I hope it makes you smile, too.  All voices are Glenn, and he mixes the music as well.  Such a talent he has, and I am blessed to have watched him grow up, as we are about 6 years apart.

Please enjoy!

Also, please keep Glenn in your thoughts and prayers, as he is studying abroad this semester in Cuba.