CrossFit, Family and Making People Better

To all the haters out there here is your warning…don’t read any further if you don’t want to hear something good about CrossFit.

There are tons of articles talking about people getting injured and how bad and cultish CrossFit is but let me tell you about a different Imageside that the haters don’t focus on because it doesn’t create the drama they are looking for. Let me tell you about all of the truly amazing things that CrossFit does. 

The community that is spontaneously created when people do these workouts together is nothing short of amazing. No matter what our backgrounds are, where we come from, what our religious beliefs are, we are family because we are CrossFitters. CrossFitters take care of their own. Do you have a sense of belonging at your gym, do you walk out filled with pride not only for the workout you completed but because of the community that you interacted with. Do you walk out of your gym feeling like you belong to something larger? Well if not, come give CrossFit a try. Image

The box may consist of 4 walls but they are not the containment of this community. It is farther reaching than we can imagine. From holding fundraiser for those in need, who we may not know but because we are connected by a bond so deep it is indescribable, because we CrossFit. Doing good for a larger population because we care and because we can. 

The support and encouragement gained from being a member of this community is like no other. No matter what your goals are, loose weight, be an athlete, get stronger, improve your life..you are welcomed and accepted for who you are. I have not found a single community like this anywhere. 

The community that is created runs deeper than friendship, it is a family. A family held together by common bonds and a desire to be part of something greater.

The self assurance, the confidence, the empowerment that it brings to people is magical.

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So those who want to degrade CrossFit, criticize it and bash it I say bring it on. Your words fall on my deaf ears because I know that there is so much more to CrossFit than exercise. There is a community that is growing by the thousands on a daily basis and we aren’t going anywhere. You would be better served to come on into any box where you will be welcomed with open arms and give it a try. You might find that you just like it!

http://www.BigMountainCrossFit.com

 

Asian Inspired Meatballs

Ok I am going to preface this by saying I am not a cook. Most of the time when I try to make things I get easily distracted and throw in other ingredients or I find I don’t have something so I sub something else in. Luckily for me most of the time things turn out ok. 

When I cook I like to cook in volume for a few reasons. When my husband-type is home I HAVE to cook in volume because he can eat more food in one sitting than most entire families…not sure how he can’t gain weight doing this!?! He works overseas so I am cooking for 1 a lot of the time. I still continue to cook in volume because during the week I don’t have time every night when I get home to cook so I am the leftover queen!

This recipe is for meatballs. I love meatballs…they are awesome leftovers. You can dip them in sauces, eat them plain, throw them in a salad, put them in cauliflower rice…etc. There are so many uses for meatballs! I love asian food, one of the things I have had the hardest time adjusting to with eating paleo/primal is that I don’t get Chinese food like I used to. So many of my recipes tend to have an asian flair to them.

 

Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato

1 yellow onion

1 red pepper

4 eggs

3 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

4 tablespoons pineapple juice

4 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons coconut aminos

3 tsp ginger

2 tsp garlic salt

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 cup coconut flour

3 lbs ground turkey (or beef or meat of choice)

 

Chop the onion into small pieces and put in bowl. Chop the sweet potato and red pepper and add to onion in the bowl. 

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Whisk the eggs, sesame oil, rice vinegar, pineapple juice, tomato paste in a bowl until well combined. Add the ginger, garlic salt and ground cloves and whisk well. 

Place meat in a large bowl and add wet ingredient to it and mix well with hands. Add coconut flour and mix well. Mix in the onion, sweet potato and red pepper and mix until well combined. 

Using a cookie dough baller form meat into balls approximately 1 1/2″ in diameter. Place onto cookie sheet greased with coconut oil.

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Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes until brown. 

 

 

Preparation Tips for the Nutrition Challenge

So as many of you know, I hate to cook. I actually don’t think it is that I hate to cook, its that I hate to cook when I’m hungry because I want food NOW not later after it takes the time to make it. Also, as many of your know, most of my days begin before the crack of dawn and end well after sunset meaning I don’t have a ton of time to be spending in the kitchen creating world class paleo meals. One of my hard/fast rules when I look at a recipe is “can I made it in one pan?” Because in addition to not liking to take time to cook, I don’t like to do dishes 🙂 I am QUEEN of the 1 pan meal.

So here are some tips that are life saving for me and my busy schedule. We all know that generally when we slip up with eating well it is because we open the refrigerator and say “there’s nothing to eat in here.” Here’s a picture of my refrigerator.

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Planning makes cooking 150% easier! I try to spend Sundays chopping and cutting up vegetables. And by cutting up I generally mean mostly opening bags of pre cut ones from costco and putting them in tupperware 🙂 My usuals are peppers (yes, I have to cut these), broccoli (already cut, SCORE!), cauliflower (also already cut), cucumbers (again I have to chop). I also have on hand french beans which can quickly be steamed. In terms of protein my favorite go to is meatballs. There are tons of them out there that you can make. One of my favorites is the Bora Bora fireballs from The Clothes Make the Girl (recipe here: http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/2013/03/05/bora-bora-fireballs/). When I made them I use the 2 ish lbs of ground pork (or whatever increments they are in the packaging at the store (usually closer to 1.5 lbs each for a total of 3) and I add 2 lbs of ground turkey. THIS MAKES A LOT OF MEATBALLS! I refrigerate them and eat them all week! For lunches I do chicken breasts or hamburgers or whatever I can make quickly. I will usually grill up 5-6 chicken breasts on the weekend so I have them ready to go in the fridge.

So, eating well can take some additional prep work but if you do it on the weekend then the week meals consist of re heating leftovers!

Nutrition Challenge

As we head into this nutrition challenge I want to share with you some tips and some things I always have in my refrigerator that help speed things up and make eating healthy on the run easier. 

Kitchen Equipment I can’t live without

Ninja – I freaking LOVE this thing. It may look like some horrible torture device but it is a HUGE time saver in the kitchen. Anytime a recipe states something needs chopped, minced, finely shredded, throw it in the ninja and voila…it is done!

Tupperware – get a good set. Lots of different sizes and shapes. This is what my refrigerator is stocked with during the week so I can grab and go easily!

Crock Pot – because who wouldn’t love to throw a bunch of stuff into a pot and then come back 6 hours later to a meal AND a delicious smelling house!

 

My MUST HAVES in the Pantry

Canned coconut milk

Ginger

Coconut Oil

Sesame Oil (I love asian food)

Coconut Flour

Ginger

Johnny’s seasoning salt

Peanut butter (yes, I know its not paleo) – I usually keep the single serve packets handy to grab and go

Sweet Potatoes (I buy them in bulk at Costco)

Onions (Get these in bulk at Costco too)

Balsamic vinegar

Steel cut oats

 

Refrigerator MUSTS – I basically always have this stuff in my fridge

Eggs (my go to quick protein source)

Cauliflower (cauliflower rice is one of my all time favorites) – I buy it pre-cut at costco

Pre-cooked chicken

Sun dried tomatoes in olive oil (these are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G thrown into cauliflower rice)

Coconut aminos (great for cooking and subbing for soy sauce)

Mustard

Broccoli – cook this by throwing a bunch of florets into a tupperware with some water in the bottom into the microwave for about 1 min

Lemons – throw these in your water jug in the am and they help you drink the water faster and have tons of other health benefits

Apples – easy to grab on the go and 1/2 = 1 block

French beans – like green beans, come in a large bag at Costco. Easy to steam and flavor with balsamic vinegar

Butter

Ketchup – yes, I know it is not paleo but you try to take my ketchup away and we are going to have problems

 

Hope this helps to get you planning for starting this challenge on Wednesday!

 

 

 

 

Eating Right is a choice

We are approaching the end of our 30 day nutrition challenge at my box and I was thinking about all of it the other day. Eating right is a choice. When I say that I mean that every since day I have to choose to eat right. It is always an easy choice? Hell no but it is a choice I have to make and every time I choose to go the right route I gain a little strength. For me, eating has always been an emotional thing so it is hard for me to separate food and feelings. I think this past challenge has helped me do that. Instead of using food as a reward for myself…which how ridiculous is that….we aren’t dogs why would we reward ourselves with food, or a comfort for when I am feeling down I have been able to mentally switch my brain to seeing food as fuel for my body. There are a million excuses out there of why people don’t eat right…..not enough time, don’t like to cook, too busy, not enough availability…etc, etc, etc but in reality it all comes back to a choice. If I can do it anyone can. I am up at 0430 every morning to teach class at the box and am generally running busy until 7:30 or 8:00 pm at night. I HATE to cook. It takes planning for sure but again, that’s a choice. I use my Sunday afternoons to cook for the week. I chop veggies, I cook a bunch of meat that I can easily take with me, I hardboil eggs and get everything ready for the week. 

 

So, what choice do you make???

Costco Nightmare

When you start eating right I don’t know if it is some subconscious phenomena or maybe its just me but I become more and more attuned to what other people are putting in their basket.  My weekly trips to Costco have managed to become a scientific experiment as I walk around the store. Mind you, I still dislike going to Costco because 1) it’s grocery shopping and I dislike it 2) I am always in a hurry and it seems no one else in the store has anywhere to be that day 3) There is always one thing I need that they don’t have then I have to go to the grocery store…back to #1.

I don’t know about you but I have my Costco routine. I go through the store in the same order every time. In the front door up the north side looking at the kitchen stuff every now and then if I need something. Then back to the meat aisles. This is where the trouble starts…the sample ladies….these ladies somehow upset the balance of life whereby people completely forget their manners and recklessly abandon their carts in a mad dash to get whatever they are passing out that day. I navigate my way through the abandoned carts to get to the vegetable section and get my weekly supply of spinach, broccoli, apples and blackberries. Then to the egg aisle. Today as I am making my way down an aisle there is a lone cart in the middle of the only path through the aisle while a rather large lady is waiting for the sample person to finish make pot stickers to sample…I waited patiently for a while (so, it probably wasn’t very long as I was in a hurry) and then I cleared my throat once…no response. She went on talking about pot stickers. So I said “excuse me”…still no response. So I walked around my cart and moved hers out of the way. I received a DEATH glare for this action. Now, mind you she is eating pot stickers and in her cart lies the following: bagels, costco muffins, breaded frozen chicken and diet coke. Maybe food has something to do with mental acuity????

The checkout is my favorite. I watch as bagels, bread, cereal, milk, cheese, processed foods go by. I can’t help but to compare people’s carts with their body types. Ding, ding, ding…there is a DIRECT correlation I have discovered over many many sample times.

I know it isn’t always easy to eat well and I have my own “fall off the wagon” times but I don’t think I could ever go back to eating the way I used to because I’m pretty sure I would feel like crap. I am 3 weeks into my nutrition challenge and am feeling AWESOME! It’s enough incentive to keep it up!

Nutrition Challenge

ImageToday marks the start of our nutrition challenge at the box. I started mine last Wednesdaywhen Russ left because I didn’t want to allow myself to slip into my normal routine of letting myself eat crap for two days because I was sad. I have a way of justifying bad eating habits most of the time. My focus for this challenge is to break the emotional tie I have with food. I need to learn that I don’t “have to have” sweets or that I don’t need to “reward myself with food”

Its interesting when you think about society and food. I know that maybe I am just much more aware because of my previous issues with food but it seems everything revolves around food. Think back about birthdays…cake, graduation…cake and BBQ, weddings….cake and food, celebrations…going out to eat, anniversaries….dining out, Christmas, Thanksgiving….food, Easter…candy, New Years…appetizers and food, football games…wings and food…it seems to be never ending for me. Where did this obsession come from? Why is it that every time we go to celebrate something or do something social it revolves around food? For me most of these events used to raise fears and anxiety for me because I was always concerned about being able to control myself around all of the food.

So this challenge is taking a step in the right direction for me. I am determined to once and for all break my mental obsession with food. Food is fuel for my body, I need to it train hard, coach hard and play hard. If I don’t do what I need to do now in my life my body won’t be what I want it to be years from now. I have every intention of training well into my 70s and to allow my body to do that I have to take care of it now. THat means proper nutrition and being aware of choices.

So here we go!