Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I know I've been lame about posting

It seems like every day I just run out of time. I'm getting a lot accomplished, but it never seems to end. Spring time means tons of yard work of course. This year we planted some new shrubs, moved ornamental grass and plants and planted a new Dogwood tree. Today the 500 tons of mulch was delivered. Ok, not 500 tons but enough so I can't pull my car up all the way in the driveway. Tomorrow will be back breaking shoveling and hauling heavy loads around the house. Good thing I do Crossfit otherwise I would never be able to handle the damn wheelbarrow (wheelbarrel?) all day.

Wods have been good. Took a Crossfit mental health day yesterday. Body felt good, brain wanted no parts of a workout though. It doesn't happen very often but over the years I've learned to go with my gut and not force it. I did get the ceiling in the hallway painted so it wasn't a wasted day off thats for sure. Today was heavy back squats in which I was able to partially get 205. The first time I got stuck but the next 2 were a little better. I'm not sure if I got all the way down. I guess if I'm not sure, then I probably didn't so I'm not counting it as a new PR today. They did feel pretty good so maybe next time I'll hit it full on. The metcon was sucky today. Three rounds 400m, ttb and heavy push jerks. Yikers they were heavy at 105# but I slogged thru them. Time was slower than I would have liked but didn't really feel the need to scale. Sucking it up!

Training with A is going well. Back squats were the focus today. She actually had her best squatting form today. Weight on the back will do that and that's what I was hoping for. I had her in the cage too so I guess for her the fear of falling with the bar was gone. Slowly but surely we are making progress. Only a few more basics to get thru, wall balls, cleans, push jerks... then I'll start her on buttercup wods on BrandX. Going to jump into it head on. She has a goal in mind which is good. In 5 weeks she needs to be in a bathing suit for a carnival dunk tank. Good motivation for both of us.

Gotta a few new recipes in the bank... just a matter of tweaking and photographing.

Kids are doing well in baseball. My daughter made the first and only fly ball catch so far. So proud of her. Sure, it was probably more luck than anything but she was excited about it and it can only make her more confident in the future.

Recipe: Babaganosh

If you know anything about me you'll know I love hummus so I decided to make my own. I personally don't think there is any harm in the chic pea but the paleo police would disagree. This is my recipe for Babaganosh, traditional hummus made with eggplant.

I've made it a few times, with and without roasting the eggplant and garlic. Trust me, it's worth the extra time and effort to roast. Raw eggplant tastes like dirt. Dirt with seeds. Tahini already tastes like dirt so you need something sweet to balance it out. Maybe I should call this Babagadirt since I'm not making it sound very appetizing right now even though it really is.

makes about 2 cups

1 egglplant - halved
1 whole head garlic
1/3 cup tahini
1-2 tsp cumin
2-3 tbsp lemon juice (approx)
olive oil
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 375. While oven is preheating wrap whole head of garlic in foil, making sure to seal completely. Cut the eggplant lengthwise, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place face down on baking sheet along with wrapped garlic head and roast for about 20-25 minutes. Once the egglplant is soft and browned remove from the oven and let cool. At this point, turn the oven off but leave the garlic in there.

Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle scoop out flesh into the food processor. Add tahini, salt and pepper, cumin and lemon juice. Blend until smooth.

Remove garlic from oven and unwrap foil. The best way to get the garlic out is to cut the tips off the top with scissors then flip it over and squeeze it out from the bottom. Add the garlic to the blended eggplant and blend all until smooth.

Taste and adjust seasonings. Done.

I served mine with gluten free organic blue chips since I didn't have any homemade crackers.

Friday, April 19, 2013

No Mr Heavy Back Squat, I do not like you

today. Don't you hate it when your back squats feel like your trying to lift a car... or a house? Ok, mobile home. Thats how mine felt today. As soon as I got under the 165 I thought, ut oh. Normally I'm able to squash those thoughts pretty quickly. Not today for some reason. After the third set of 3 I moved the bar into the cage, juuuust incase. At that point I think just having the safety pin as backup, I was able to get the rest (175, 185) with no real issues. Other than it just sucking. Past 2 wods have beat me up for sure but overall, happy with the progress and the ability to finally do most of Outlaw's wods as rx'd (over 2 months now) and recover relatively well from them. That only solidifies my decision to move on to The Way's programming this summer. I'm pretty sure May/June will be a year with Outlaw and I've seen some pretty terrific progress with them so I'm hoping with the increase in workload with The Way, I'll hit some new pr's this summer.

My mom friend is coming along pretty well with her workouts. Still with me after 5 wods so that's a plus. Today was intro to the deadlift and burpee. No real issues so far other than full rom on squats, which we are working on. And surprisingly I'm finding that I'm a pretty decent coach, at least with the easy stuff so far. We'll see what happens when I really have to motivate later when wods get harder and heavier. I'm pretty good at telling people what to do so I should be able to handle it effectively. I may have one less friend, but it's a chance I'll take. Kidding of course. Actually I may have 2 more moms by next week. A is the guinea pig. If she survives I'm sure the other 2 moms will give in. Fear of the unknown I guess. And I noticed today that she noticed those ring rows today were a tiny bit easier. That makes me happy. She even pointed it out, 'hey did you notice I leaned back farther?' Yes I did.

Nothing new on the recipe front. Grilling up some grassfed rib eyes tonight with some grilled raddichio, blue cheese and balsamic (if it comes out as yummy as I hope I'll post it), and some sweet pots. Tomorrow or Sunday will probably be Bob's bison chili. Other than that, baseball and yardwork on the menu again this weekend. Fun fun.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Not really a recipe per se

It's not rocket science when it comes to making good bacon and eggs. Or is it? Want a little twist, stir fry some chopped green beans (they are cheap and plentiful in the summer months) and kale in the bacon grease you get from the pan and add a little fresh or dried thyme to your fried eggies. Phoning it in today friends.

Been super busy lately between training my friend, getting the yard in order, planting the veggie garden, kids practices and games, getting my own wods and the normal household stuff done. The days are flying by with what seems like nothing to show. How does that happen?

The training sessions are going well with A. Still in basics mode. Later today will be introduction to the kettlebell, jump rope and more work on squatting form and push ups.

I was able to get my full wod in today so that is a plus. Clean and jerks which I love and am making some great progress on, 7 sets of 2 @ 95# and hspu and pull ups. Pull ups still slow me down but I'm still seeing slow progress each time on them too. I also practiced something new today. Behind the neck snatch grip squat press. Yeah. It's as challenging as it sounds. I'm sure I'm not labeling it right but that's what it was. Man, they are tough. I only used the stick then the 16# bar. That was enough. Funny just when you think your form is improving, theres always another humbling movement. It was in a journal article the other day. Thought it sounded interesting and that it would help my squat snatch since I suck at them.

Anyway, off to get some stuff done and take care of my daughter who is home with a cold today.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Housewife army!

So. My neighbor mommy friend has decided to join me in the garage for the daily beatings. And next week she is brining another mutual mom friend. Muhahaha, and so it begins. My own mini army. Seriously though. I'm really excited to share my experience and knowledge with the ladies. No I'm no certified trainer but after almost 3 years, I know enough to teach a beginner the basics and to get them started on the right path. I'm hoping they stick with me for at least a month.

This morning I had mom #1 or "A" in for a basic run thru on why and how to warmup and stretch then the baseline test. Squats, sit ups, push ups and pull ups. She did ok and I think was surprised she could do pull ups even with the band. Thinking I'll go thru 2 new movements each session if I can before moving on to scaled mainsite wods. Maybe something like shoulder presses and step ups on the box. Should be interesting and am looking forward to seeing the results. Getting my wods in may be a challenge but, I'll figure it out.

That being said I did get to do some strength today after A was finished. Semi heavy back squats with 30 and 45 second 'rest' holds in between reps. No racking. That was no fun and had to bail out on the last set @ 150#. Wasn't sure I would get out of the hole if I went down and my back was rounding a bit so I had re rack and try again. Haven't done heavy back squats in about 3 weeks so I'm sure my legs will be nice and sore tomorrow. Just in time for the long day at the baseball field.

Opening day is tomorrow for the kids baseball season. Parade starts at 8:30, games at 10 and 12. Long day but exciting for them. Later on Bob and I are going to see Evil Dead. No, I don't really want to see it. I'm a chicken sh*t when it comes to overly freaky horror movies and this one seems to meet that criteria. My only hope is that everyone else around me will drown out my shrieks of terror.

Not to end with a sad note but I have to say goodbye to my mom and dad's dog Zoe who passed this morning. She was a sweet little soul and will be missed terribly.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Recipe: Veggie salad gluten free wrap

I love love love the tortilla wrap sandwich and recently I found a great gluten free wrap made of brown rice. So, needless to say I'll be wrapping everything and anything this summer. This was one I made on a whim just because I wasn't in the mood for meat. You can basically use any veggie you have on hand, it's all good. Yeah, it's hard to take a good picture of a wrap sandwich but you get the idea.

Veggie Salad wrap
makes 2 large sandwiches

handful of bean sprouts (optional)
1 cucumber - julienned
2 medium carrots - julienned
2-3 handfuls arugula (or other green you like)
12 sliced grape tomatoes (or chop/slice whatever tomato you have on hand)
1 avocado (smashed)
tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper
olive oil
white or red wine vinegar

2 gluten free wraps (I use Food for Life)

The how to:
I'm in love with my julien peeler and if you had one, you would be too. I just think julienned slices are more manageable for a wrap but if you don't have one, use your skills and slice the cucs pretty thin. I would suggest matchstick style for the carrot. Once your cuc is sliced put it in a colander with some kosher salt and let it drain while you chop and gather the rest of the ingredients.

Mix cucumber, carrots, arugula, tomatoes, bean sprouts in a large bowl with some olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper.

Smash the avocado in a small bowl, add a dash of salt and pepper and chopped cilantro.

Cover the wraps with a moist paper towel and warm them in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

Spread the avocado on the wrap like sauce on a pizza. Edge to edge. Then place your veggie salad in the middle. Use a good 2-3 handfuls, roll half way, tuck one end, roll over. The end tuck may be a bit tricky since the tort is a little less plyable than traditional flour torts. Don't stress it's all good.

There, quick summer salad warp. Enjoy.

Monday, April 8, 2013

13.4 and 13.5 done and ehh

Well the open wods are finally finished and I must say even though I sucked at 75% of them, it was enjoyable and I actually found out I am a little stronger than I thought. Although, I do always look to the negative so when, or, if I do surpass expectations, it feels much more satisfying. Take for example the last wod 13.5. Everyone that reads this blog knows I despise thrusters immensely let alone the Fran combo. No I do not 'heart' Fran. She's a bitch and we don't get along. And my chance of stringing any pull ups together is only second to getting struck by lightning. Needless to say my expectations were very low. I thought ok, 4 minutes, I can-at-least-should-be-able-may-be-close-not-sure-I-will-get-more-than-possibly-30 reps. Way to be positive. But alas, I came in with 46 reps. Then because I was feeling like 4 minutes wasn't really enough, I did a scaled Diane and went for a slow family bike ride. If only I could have put that extra energy into the wod and pushed harder.

13.4 was another disaster for me. Not that I didn't enjoy the movements and reps, but multiple 95lb clean and jerks are heavy for me. It's only been in the past month or so that I could even get a handful of them off the ground. Maybe it was because it was the first wod I did after vacation and my body was ready to go, unsure but I managed about 26 reps. Oh well, there's always next year. Got a nice 3 mile walk/run in today at the park. Totally spur of the moment but decided I needed to be outside in the great weather rather than in the garage. Practiced the non heel strike motion since I was wearing my minimus sneakers. I have a feeling my calves are not going to be happy later.

On to food. This weekend I made another great recipe from The Domestic Man. Chicken Pad Thai. It was really good and holy hell it was spicy! I even cut back on the peppers and it was still a bit much. My advice is if you like a little spice 1/4 the peppers, if you like spice that makes your nose run do about 3/4 and if you are a hardcore spice fanatic use what the recipe calls for. Seriously. It was HOT. Yeah I know it's supposed to be but damnit, there's a limit. I will definitely try this again with shrimp and zoodles thats for sure. Bob found the Tamarind in Whole Foods. Actually we had to use Tamarind chutney and I believe it was in the Indian Foods section. I didn't even know what it was but I'll tell you it's pretty good and I'm planning on using the rest of it in a BBQ mixture for pork or maybe a burger dip or topper. If I get a recipe together using it I'll post it.

Speaking of recipes, still nothing on the iphoto thing. Not only have I just not had the time, I also seemed to have lost the handful of recipes I had typed up. Damn Pages app won't open. I did however make a pretty delicious, fast and light veggie wrap last night using gluten free wraps. Bob and I are big on salads in the warmer months and am looking forward to trying some new combinations. Because really, who can eat the same ole chef salad over and over.

Need to wrap up and get some more gardening done. Got a great start the past few days and planted tons of veggie seeds, trimmed, weeded, seeded, fertilized and air rated the lawn and still a ton left to do.

On the family front lets see.... kids are playing baseball and softball, 2 nights a week with opening day starting this Saturday. Bob is coaching Bud's team again and I have to fulfill like 4 hours of volunteer duty at some point this season. Should be interesting working around the schedules between both kids games and have a feeling Saturday wods and any other non baseball activities are going to be non existant for the next 8 weeks. At least they are getting outside and playing and having fun. Better than sitting around the house fighting over the ipad.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Road tripping

and the things I learned. Other people's kids are annoying, Disney is grossly overpriced, my kids are pretty damn good travelers and it's not impossible to stay on track and eat clean.

Lets start off by saying my kids can be annoying, I know this and I'll be the first admit it. But after spending 11 hours in Disney, you realize two things. One, your own children are less annoying than most and two, you don't want to have any more children. That being said, we did have a pretty good time in the park. And it was exactly what I expected, overwhelming, overpriced and overcrowded. You really have to know the system to get things done there. We did not, but, we did manage to hit a majority of the big rides and see the light parade and fireworks which were stunning even from a distance. The kids were super excited, over stimulated and exhausted by the end of the night. It was definitely worth it. Ok, maybe not definitely, but it was a good day.

Eating clean in Disney was tough and even I had succumb to a little gluten filled indulgence. I wasn't about to let Bud's $9 chicken and fries go to waste. It was only a few bites and I peeled off most of the breading. Sooo high maintenance. And I also had ketchup, milk chocolate, fries and potato chips. Call the paleo police! Hey, it was one day. Most of the week though I'm happy to say Bob and I did really well keeping to a good healthy Crossfitter/paleo routine. I made a ton of great food for us on the way down so we didn't have to stop and eat crap. Once we were at my mom's we had a great dinner of crock pot pork ribs and sauerkraut. Then about 3 meals out at restaurants, including this greek place Hellas in Tarpon Springs. Yep, it was tacky looking and filled with tons of retirees but the food was delicious and sitting on the open air patio in the warm weather couldn't be beat. I got a Gyro platter (so it wasn't wrapped). Bob got a sampler with stuffed grape leaves, gyro and pastitsio. And as a sidenote, leftover lamb was awesome in our eggs the next morning. No, even I could not finish the whole thing.

We also managed to get some wods done a few days. Day 1 in the hotel was a 10, 9, 8 burpee ladder. Day 2 was a 1.5 mile walk with the kb held in various positions. Day 3 was...800 meters, 10, 9, 8... push up, kbs, 800 meters. I wanna say we did another one but I can't remember. Then that was about it for me. Time was not on our side and we had a few long days and late nights. All in all it was a good trip. The weather was beautiful, palm trees and turquoise water were picturesque, the kids were great in the car and even Easter in the beach side bar with my daughter throwing up wasn't bad. Yes, little princess got a stomach bug Sunday while we were visiting my grandmother in Vero Beach for Easter Sunday. That continued to Monday's travel day home which was fun. Word to the wise, when your 7 year old says 'I'm going to throw up', that means right that second. Yeah, in the car all over her seat. Gah. There is nothing worse than throwing up in the car and trying to pull over to the side of the road while on a bridge doing 75 miles an hour in traffic. Total chaos. At least for Bud, Bob and I, the bug waited until we got home. We're all almost a 100% now, but it wasn't a very good homecoming.

Hoping to bang out last weeks open wod of clean and jerks tomorrow then get on to last nights thruster pull up wod on Sunday. Two of my favorites. Not. I expect that will be a 4 minute wod for me. Oh well. It will feel good to get back on the bar though. Having a week off was probably good for my body but I'm starting to feel the urge to get my ass kicked again. How sick is that?