Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. My CrossFit box teams up with an organization called Sweat Angels and this month all the donations go towards Barbells for Boobs. I know that with each workout I do I am giving to this wonderful organization but I wanted to go a bit further and do a little bit more. 

So in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I am going to donate $1 towards Breast Cancer Research for every pink headband purchased in October! At the end of the month I am hoping to write a big check to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. 

There are so many runs and walks throughout the month dedicated towards breast cancer survivors and fighters, making any of the pink headbands perfect for the events! Personally, I think that the Breast Cancer Pink Headband would make a sweet gift for the fighter or survivor in your life.

CLICK HERE to see all of the headbands available and details on how to place an order.

Thank you!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

5 At-Home CrossFit Workouts

Being a college student and working makes it difficult to get to my CrossFit box every day to do a workout but I try to get in there at least 4 days a week. The days that I can't make it to any classes I still try to accomplish something at home. While I can't mimic every WOD that they do at the box at home due to a lack of equipment, I can still make up some of my own to get my blood flowing.

I have come up with a few workouts that the only equipment you need is yourself and they are sure to get your blood flowing! These are perfect for the days you can't make it to the gym or are traveling on the road. (Be sure to do some type of warm-up before doing a workout to reduce the risk of injury!)

15 Minute Tabata

Each exercise is 6 rounds of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest. Take a one minute rest between exercises.

1. Air squats
     - rest 1 minute
2. Push-ups
     - rest 1 minute
3. Lunges
     - rest 1 minute
4. Sit-ups

15 Minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible)

In 15 minutes, complete as many rounds of the following workout as possible.

10 sit-ups
15 push-ups
20 air squats

Jump n' Run

5 minute run, 250 jumping jacks, 5 minute run

15 Minute Burpee AMRAP

25 burpees
25 sit-ups

200 Air Squats

Complete 200 air squats for time.

* As always, I am not a personal trainer. These are workouts I have made up myself and may not be right for you. Consult a medical professional before making any changes to your current routine.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Rockin' Ribbons Giveaway Winner

Thank you so much to all who entered the Rockin' Ribbons Headband Giveaway! The winner is Tessa B! (Please check your inbox to claim your prize!)

If you didn't win but still want to try these amazing non-slip headbands out, remember that there is FREE shipping on all Halloween headbands until September 30th. Also, there are a few other bloggers who will be hosting reviews and giveaways shortly. Follow my blog and Rockin' Ribbons on Twitter and Facebook to find out when they are!

Hanging Out Upside Down

Ever find that hanging out right side up is a tad bit boring?

Megan and I prefer hanging out upside down!

After tackling a parade with 8 kids and taking them all to a community park event all day, we decided to catch the afternoon 4:00 WOD held every Saturday at our local box. The WOD was an AMRAP of deadlifts and handstand pushups! Are we crazy or what? And after the workout we still had enough energy to take the kids out to dinner...

Question of the Day

What's your favorite exercise to incorporate into a workout?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Free Fall Fair

Wednesday night one of the small country towns near our city had their annual Free Fall Fair. My mom and step-dad asked Jon and I if we wanted to drive up from school and go to it with them. Naturally we said yes as country music is our favorite. And who passes up a free concert?

A smaller band performed first and then Cole Swindell performed. He was a songwriter before he became a singer so he sang a lot of songs that he wrote for other big name artists. It was neat to hear him sing the songs he wrote for others and the songs he wrote for himself.

Being a free concert in a small town you couldn't expect too much from it. We sat on some old wooden bleachers surrounded by a lot of locals. There were a few verbal fights going on between some crazies and we couldn't see much due to all of the people who felt it was appropriate to stand right in front of us! But overall, it was definitely a fun time with some of my favorite people!

Question of the Day

Country music - love it or hate it? 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Paleo Pumpkin Pie Bars

Things have been pretty hectic around here. I am watching 4 kid this week (along with a few other helpers) while their parents are on vacation in Mexico! The past two days I had the evenings off so I was able to get some important things accomplished. One of those important things being baking.

I found a Paleo Pumpkin Pie Bar recipe online but I didn't have all of the ingredients on hand so I had to tweak it a bit. I was pretty nervous as tweaking baking recipes is very different from tweaking cooking recipes but it turned out pretty good!

I probably should have taken a picture of the individual piece I ate to show you how pretty the layers were but I ate a few pieces too many and it's gone now... The crust was definitely my favorite part! The pumpkin pie filling wasn't very thick and the texture reminded me of cool whip. If I make this again I will try and make the filling a bit thicker so it's more like pumpkin pie.


Pumpkin Pie Crust
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
4 tbs raw honey
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

Pumpkin Pie Filling
(1) 15 oz can of pure pumpkin
1/3 cup pitted dates, pureed in a food processor
1/3 cup raw honey
1/2 cup almond milk
2 eggs, whisked
2 tbs coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Grease an 8x8 pan
3. Combine crust ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well by hand
4. Tightly press the crust dough into the bottom of the pan
5. Bake the crust 15-20 minutes. Then let cool (put in the fridge to help quicken the process)
6. In a medium saucepan, whisk all of the pie filling ingredients together
7. Cook the pie filling over medium heat. When the mixture starts to bubble, cook for 2 more minutes.
8. Remove the pie filling from heat and pour over the cooled pie crust.
9. Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon over the top of the pie filling.
10. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving. Keep extras refrigerated.

Baker's Note

Your pumpkin pie bars will come out much better if you have a really fluffy kitten laying at your feet while you are baking!

 If you haven't entered my giveaway yet, make sure you do so! It ends Sunday 9/28 at midnight!

Question of the Day

What is your favorite pumpkin dessert?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

First Day of Fall (Plus A Giveaway)

* This giveaway has ended *

I feel like it was just yesterday that it was the first day of summer. How it is already fall? I'm not upset though. I absolutely love fall. Sweaters, boots, coffee, bonfires, football games, pumpkin desserts topped with lots of whip cream, the colors changing, leaves crunching on the ground... the list goes on and on.

The way I'm celebrating the first day of fall is by lighting a pumpkin cupcake candle, giving myself a fresh manicure, and by eating a handful of pumpkin spice M&Ms. Oh, and I'm also offering a giveaway to all of you!

(Side note: There is also a giveaway going on on Twitter currently - that one is through Rockin' Ribbons!)


One lucky reader will win a Rockin' Ribbons headband of their choice! All you have to do is check out all of the headbands available by clicking here and then comment below with your favorite one! You can earn extra entries too!

The giveaway closes Sunday, September 28th at midnight and a winner will be announced on Monday!

Happy Fall!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Easy Crock-Pot Tacos

Dinner last night was about as easy and delicious as it gets, mainly because my Crock-Pot was involved.

I have yet to have had a bad Crock-Pot meal. I'm pretty sure you can put any combination of things in there and it will come out tasting heavenly.

Here's the recipe:

Easy Crock-Pot Tacos

2 chicken breasts seasoned with taco seasoning
1 can (15.25 oz) Mexican style corn (or regular corn)
1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
dashes of hot sauce (optional)

1. Dump all of the canned ingredients, onion, and mushrooms in the crock-pot and mix. Place the chicken breasts on top of everything.
2. Cook on high for 4 hours.
3. Before serving take the chicken breasts out and shred them with a fork. Place them back in the crockpot and mix them with everything.
4. Serve on warmed tortillas. This is also delicious without the tortilla.

Question of the Day

What's your favorite crock-pot meal?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Rowing for the Fur Babies

Ever have one of those days where you have no motivation to work out, you're running late, and you forgot your gym shoes? No? Well that was me today. 

It's okay though, I just worked out in my socks (which I am now regretting - so many blisters!)

The WOD today was a partner workout which was my favorite and consisted entirely of rowing. I loved this workout and I hated it at the same time.

I loved it because my partner was one of my best friends. We've been really good friends, neighbors, and roommates throughout our college years. I actually introduced her to CrossFit a few months ago so I always love when we get a chance to workout together! 

I hated the workout because the straps you put your shoes into when you row were rubbing against the heels of my feet. Kind of like when you wear high heels or new shoes for too long. Ouch.

Curious as to what the title of this blog post is about? Each month my CrossFit box teams up with an organization called Sweat Angels. For every Facebook check-in the box receives during that month, money is donated to the charity of choice for that month. This month all the money raised goes to help the animals! In the past few months Sweat Angels has donated food to feed veterans and bricks to build schools in Haiti. Pretty cool if you ask me!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Paleo Nachos

I began the Whole30 challenge today, which means 100% Paleo, 100% of the time, for 30 days.
I've done this challenge before but then I fell off the face of the blogging world and never finished blogging about it! Sorry to leave you all hanging like that.

For dinner tonight, I really wanted tacos. Well, taco shells aren't paleo so I had to compromise and eat nachos instead! For these nachos I didn't use tortilla chips, instead I used sweet potato chips.

These were amazing. Seriously, I could eat this version of nachos forever and be satisfied.


For the sweet potato chips:
Cut one sweet potato into thin slices, approx 1/4" thick. Soak the chips in a bowl of water for 10 minutes (this helps to remove excess starch and will help your chips crisp up.) Dry off the chips with paper towels. Toss in olive oil and taco seasoning. Put on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes in a 425 degree oven.

Once your chips are done in the oven, top with your meat of choice that has been seasoned with taco seasoning and lots of veggies, salsa, hot sauce, and guac!

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with my daily eats!

Question of the Day

Do you have a favorite meal that is Paleo and Whole30 approved?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Rockin' Ribbons

Guys! The headbands are up and running again!

Please take a few minutes to go check out all of the awesome patterns by clicking on the tab at the top of the page. I would love to know what your favorite prints are!

Also be sure to follow Rockin' Ribbons on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook! Lots of deals and giveaways will be coming up shortly that you won't want to miss.

Well, Hello There!

I've been gone awhile. I can't believe my last post was almost 6 months ago!

I plan on blogging much more often, especially because I have a lot more free time now than I used to. A little bit about what I've been up to...

I'm still doing CrossFit and love it. I've been doing it for almost a year now! I haven't been running much on my own and normally only run if it is part of the workout that day.

I'm eating a mostly Paleo diet and have found that it works wonders for me. I did the Whole30 challenge a few months ago and the results were amazing. I will definitely be posting my eats and recipes on here!

I'm a nanny now (I have been for 6 months), which I absolutely love. The baby girl is such a sweetheart and is always happy, which makes my job much easier.

I graduate from college in 3 months! I am so ready to be done - but not for long. I will begin graduate school next summer.

I'm bringing my headband business, Rockin' Ribbons, back to life! I can't wait until it's back in full swing. More details to come and links will be up on the blog soon.

I am now a mom to two little fur babies. I have two kittens, Hazel and George, and I love them to death. If you want to keep up with their cuteness you can follow them on Instagram! Yes, my cats have their own Instagram.. Don't judge me!

Well, that about sums it all up. CrossFit, nannying, school, headbands, and kittens.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Whole 30 Challenge (Week 2)

I can't believe that I am already half way done with the Whole 30 Challenge!

The second week was definitely much easier than the first. This week I haven't had any cravings for the unhealthy, processed foods I used to consume and I have much more energy and don't feel like I need to take cat naps anymore. Also, several people have told me that I am looking much leaner this week! A few people at my CrossFit box have asked me about the challenge and I really hope that I inspire them to try it out as well. It's hard but it's definitely worth it.

Previous Posts
Whole 30 Challenge Into
Whole 30 Challenge Week 1

Meals Day 10-14 

Days 8 & 9 are listed on Week 1's blog post

Day 10
breakfast: orange; banana
lunch: crockpot chicken with veggies
dinner: baked chicken; roasted asparagus

Day 11
breakfast: banana
lunch: turkey burger topped with guacamole, salsa, and 1 diced hard boiled egg
dinner: Panera Chicken Cobb with Avocado Salad without dressing and cheese

(I forgot to tell them no cheese so I had to pick around it. Jon happily enjoyed eating an extra baguette since I can't eat bread)

Jon and I went to Columbus this day. Traveling while on the Whole 30 is definitely tricky but if you plan where you are going to eat before hand and look at the menu before you go you can be successful!

I only had one fail this day - at Panera I also ordered a green tea, thinking it would be unsweetened. The first sip was absolutely disgusting and tasted like pure sugar. I dumped my cup and ended up getting unsweetened iced tea instead.

Day 12
breakfast: banana; avocado
post-workout: protein shake
lunch: chicken topped with hot sauce; sweet potato fries; brussel sprouts
dinner: chicken veggie soup; cucumbers

Day 13 - This was the day of the CrossFit Open 14.3 Workout
breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg; banana
post-workout: protein shake
lunch: 2 turkey burgers topped with salsa; green olives; carrots; cucumbers; sweet peppers
dinner: garlic lemon chicken; roasted asparagus; mashed cauliflower
dessert: lemon LARABAR

Day 14
breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, banana
post-workout: protein shake
lunch: scrambled eggs with mushrooms, tomatoes & guac; 3 strips of paleo bacon
dinner: chicken & veggie soup; salad with mushrooms, tomatoes, and paleo avocado ranch dressing
dessert: apple pie LARABAR


I absolutely love that some flavors of LARABARs are paleo-friendly! (Be sure to check the ingredients to make sure as some contain peanuts) These are the perfect fix for a sweet tooth, sugar craving, or if you just want to top the day off with a tasty dessert.

The Best & The Worst

The Worst Parts
Saying "NO" - The worst part of the challenge so far is definitely saying "no" to my friends when they ask if I want to go out with them. Today is St. Patrick's day, many people have returned from spring break, and I am just relaxing with the pups! Don't get me wrong, I really need to relax my body today after some tough workouts earlier this week and prepare for the second round of 14.3 tomorrow!

The Best Parts
No cravings - I have not craved anything all week. I can't believe it. I have also noticed a huge change in my taste buds. The green tea tasted like liquid sugar and I immediately spit it out it was so gross. The sugary, creamy, flavored coffee I used to drink has changed to straight black coffee, and I enjoy it.

It all feels natural - When I first began the challenge I always thought that I was eating healthy because I had to. Now I want to eat a bowl of fresh fruit or snack on veggies just like I used to want to snack on a bowl of pretzels. Now I don't have to think about eating this way, it just happens.

Now go check out Carling's post of the challenge and see how she's doing!

Question of the Day

Have you ever tried the Whole 30 Challenge? How did you feel while on the challenge?

Avocado Ranch Dip & Dressing Recipe

Avocado Ranch Dip & Dressing

This recipe is absolutely delicious and paleo-friendly. It's the perfect dip for veggies and sweet potato fries and is amazing on salads. The following recipe makes the dip version so if you want to make it more of a salad dressing consistency add an extra 1/4 cup of water.


1 egg yolk
1/4 cup olive oil
1 avocado
1/2 c. water
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried dill
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 1/4 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. lemon or lime juice
salt & pepper to taste


1. In a blender, beat the egg yolk and olive oil on low speed.
2. Add in all other ingredients and mix until well blended.
3. Enjoy! Keep any leftovers in the fridge for your future dipping pleasure.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Whole 30 Challenge (Week 1)

I have officially been on the Whole 30 Challenge for over a week - 9 days to be exact!

Carling and I began this challenge "just because" and I'm so thankful for the experience so far. It's been such an eye opener reading nutrition labels (focusing on the ingredients), learning more about where food comes from, how to prepare it, and how it can properly fuel your body.

Meals Day 1 - 9 

Day 1 - rest day (I slept in late so breakfast and lunch were combined)
brunch: buffalo chicken lettuce boats topped with avocado; cherry tomatoes
dinner: steak; broccoli; sweet potato

Day 2 - rest day (slept in again, it was the weekend!)
brunch: 2 hard boiled eggs
dinner: steak; asparagus

Day 3
breakfast: 2 hard boiled eggs
post workout: protein shake; handful of strawberries
lunch: sweet potato nachos (sweet potato chips topped with ground beef, guac & salsa); olives
dinner: chicken & veggie crockpot soup

During my workout this day I was really light headed and decided I needed to add more carbs to my breakfast.

Day 4
breakfast: banana
post workout: protein shake - click to see what protein I'm using during the challenge
lunch: turkey burger topped with guac; salad topped with tomatoes, mushrooms & olive oil
dinner: sweet potato topped with chicken & veggie crockpot soup

Day 5
breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, banana
post workout: protein shake, 1/2 avocado
lunch: ground beef flavored with taco seasonings, guac & tomatoes; strawberries on the side
dinner: same as lunch but hot sauce was added; cauliflower, carrots, & cucumbers on the side

I found that day 4 or 5's breakfasts are key for feeling good and having enough energy throughout my entire workout.

Day 6 - Day of the CrossFit Open 14.2 Workout

breakfast: banana
late lunch: turkey burger topped with guac & tomato; sweet potato fries; sautéed mushrooms & peppers; berries
post workout: protein shake
dinner: chicken fajitas topped with guac & salsa

Day 7 - rest day
breakfast: banana
lunch: ground beef mixed with avocado, tomato and baby spinach
dinner: turkey burger topped with guac & tomato; spicy sweet potato fries; caulirice with mushrooms

This is when I started craving pretty much anything sugary, fatty, or greasy

Day 8
breakfast: banana
post workout: protein shake
lunch: ground beef stir fry (asparagus, onion, tomato, mushrooms, carrots); berries; avocado
dinner: kofta (a middle eastern meatball); tabouleh; chicken; olives & pickles; strawberries

This day was when the real challenge set in. I went to my cousin's birthday party and had to turn away some of my favorite foods. Shopping and cooking for myself at home allows me to control what kinds of food are available so it was a challenge having to pass up some of the delicious dips and desserts at the party.

Day 9
breakfast: banana
lunch: salad loaded with veggies topped with olive oil & vinegar; cafe americano coffee
snack: 1 square Ghirardelli 100% dark cocoa (disgusting!); spoonful of cashew butter
dinner: crockpot chicken & veggies; green beans

This was my first day ordering something from a coffee shop. I told the cashier about the Paleo diet and that I couldn't have anything with dairy or sugar in it. She was really cooperative, wasn't annoyed by my requests, and gave me a few different suggestions.

Today we also hit up some of the local health food stores. I was so shocked by the size of the organic sweet potatoes! They were huge! I bought 3 and they each weighed almost 2 pounds.

The Best & the Worst

The Worst Parts:
Cravings - At my cousin's party I really wanted to give in and have one bite of cake but I knew I would feel guilty afterwards and the satisfaction of finishing this challenge without cheating is going to feel so much more rewarding. But doesn't this cake look so good?

Explaining myself - (This can also be considered one of the best parts when people are actually interested and want to learn more about the challenge) While I love talking about healthy living, eating, and this challenge, I absolutely hate having to explain why I"m doing it. Some people think that the only reason you should change your eating habits are to either lose weight or because of allergies and don't understand why anyone would want to eat this way. It's hard convincing people this is a good change when they don't believe in giving up things like pasta and sweets.

Reading labels in the grocery store - Shopping takes so much longer when you actually stop and look at the ingredients in different products. However, it's easier when sugar is the first ingredient listed and you can just set the product back down on the shelf! Soon I will be able to just know what is paleo and what isn't and won't have to study the ingredients so much. (I was so shocked when I saw that the precooked frozen chicken I have been buying for awhile has sugar in it!)

The Best Parts:
All of the support I have - between Carling, Jon, family, and friends I have a ton of support. I am so grateful that the people I nanny for eat a paleo diet and always make sure that there are several meal options available for me.

How I feel - I ate healthy most of the time before the challenge but I definitely would have my days where I would scarf anything down without thinking. I can tell a difference in my sleep, my energy levels, and my performance during CrossFit.

Cooking - I have found a new love for cooking and creating new recipes. I purchased two paleo cookbooks today and am loving all of the recipes in them. The ones I have are Paleo Happy Hour and Make It Paleo.

On A Different Note

I have to share this picture of Ethel with you all. I was laying on the ground playing with her and as soon as I whipped out my phone to snap a picture of her, she turned her head. She absolutely hates the camera! She's such a precious girl though :)

Question of the Day

What's your favorite paleo meal?

Be sure to follow me on Instagram to stay up to date with all of my eats!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Delicious Dips (Pretzel Crisps® Review)

A few weeks ago Pretzel Crisps® sent me a huge package stuffed with 9 different flavors including: Original, Sesame, Garlic Parmesan  Buffalo Wing, Everything, Chipotle Cheddar, Jalapeño Jack, Honey Mustard & Onion, and Sea Salt & Black Pepper.  

I have been a fan of Pretzel Crisps® for a long time but until recently had only ever tried a handful of flavors as some are not available in stores near me. I can now say that every single flavor is delicious, making it very hard for me to choose my favorite.

I can also say that I have found a way to make them even better with a few delicious recipes I have whipped up.

Tuna Avocado Dip

This may sound and look weird but it was actually quite tasty. I came up with this recipe because I needed a quick way to pack in healthy fats and lots of protein.

1 5oz can tuna
1 Wholly Guacamole individual serving cup

1. Drain tuna
2. Mix in guacamole
3. Spread on your favorite Pretzel Crisps® flavor. I tried it on Original, Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper, and the Everything flavors.

Avocado Hummus Dip

Carling shared this recipe with me and it is absolutely delicious. I added lemon juice and salt and pepper for an extra kick.

3 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 15.5 oz can Garbanzo Beans or Chickpeas
1 avocado
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste

1. In a food processor pulse the olive oil, garlic cloves, and beans until mixed well.
2. Peel and pit the avocado. Add to the food processor and pulse with the bean mixture until mixed well.
3. Pour in lemon juice and add salt & pepper.
4. Once the ingredients form a hummus-like consistency, you are ready to spread it on your favorite Pretzel Crisps® flavor. I tried it on Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper, Garlic Parmesan, Original, and Sesame.

Chocolate Dipped Crisps

I made these for Valentine's Day treats but you can dress them up for any holiday or occasion

1 bag of Original Pretzel Crisps®
1 11oz bag of Milk Chocolate Chips

1. Melt chocolate chips using your preferred method - either on the stove or in the microwave. (I did it in the microwave in 30 second increments and stirred between each one)
2. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper
3. Dip half of the Pretzel Crisp® in the chocolate and set on the cookie sheet.
4. Sprinkle the dipped crisps. You can do 4-5 at a time and then add sprinkles. Just make sure to do it before the chocolate sets up.

Cheese & Tomato Appetizer Bites

These Pretzel Crisps® bites are super simple, delicious, and dressed to impress. 

Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper Pretzel Crisps®
Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese
Cherry tomatoes, halved

1. Cut cheese into small slivers and top on your crisps.
2. Top with tomato halves
3. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I was sent this product free of charge however all opinions are my own.

Question of the Day

What's your favorite Pretzel Crisp® flavor? Do you have any favorite dips?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Whole 30 Challenge

I can't believe it's already March, can you? 

My good friend Carling and I have been looking into healthy eating a little bit more and I recently started nannying for a family that eats Paleo a majority of the time. I was telling her about it, we began researching, and we came across the Whole 30 Challenge.

Basically the Whole 30 Challenge is 30 days of eating super clean - how we are supposed to eat. 

The challenge is strictly meats, vegetables, some fruit, nuts and seeds. No sugars, grains, dairy, processed foods, or beans. We have found that some people who eat Paleo tend to paleo-fy their desserts and we both decided against that. If we think that after 30 days the Paleo lifestyle is for us, then maybe we will use some of the dessert recipes to satisfy our sweet tooth. Until then, we are strictly, 100% Paleo, even if our bread-loving, dessert-eating, boyfriends are not. 

Once a week we are both going to blog about some of our eats from the previous week. You can also follow us on Instagram if you want to see our food on a daily basis. 

My Instagram handle: danielle_abou
Carling's Instagram handle: carlingbarrett

Here's a look at yesterday's eats!

If you have any advice about how to cure our sweet tooth while on the challenge, want to share any delicious Paleo recipes, or have done the challenge before, please comment below and share with us!

You can also read Carling's post about the challenge here.

Question of the Day

Have you ever done the Whole 30 Challenge? What did you think? 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Top 10 Things No One Tells You Before Starting CrossFit

I have been doing CrossFit for almost 4 months now. The first 3 months I loved going but I wasn't consistent. I would look at the WOD online and decide it was too hard or that something else was more important. I wasn't eating clean like I should have been. The past month I have been going 5-6 days a week and eating cleaner than ever before. I can tell a huge difference in my performance, my energy and the numbers I am putting up on the board.

For those of you who are not familiar with CrossFit, here are a few terms you may need to know:

WOD - Workout of the Day. This is the combination of exercises, prescibed weights, and time or reps allowed for each exercise. This will control the entire workout each and every single day.

RX - Doing the WOD exactly as prescribed. If one RX's the workout then they have done the weight, reps, and exercises exactly how they were prescribed.

Box - CrossFit centers are not called gyms, they are called "boxes." They literally resemble a box made of cement walls that contain bars, weights, and ropes. No TVs, no mirrors, and no cute posters.

Before starting CrossFit I did a ton of research and asked other CrossFitters what to expect. Throughout all of my research and questions there were things nobody ever told me. The following are the top 10 things I think people should know before starting.

1. You will find out how out of shape you really are.

Having been an athlete for 13 years, a runner for 8 years, and a consistent YMCA-fitness-class-goer, I always thought of myself as someone who was in shape. The first WOD I ever completed led me to think differently.

I didn't come close to RXing the WOD nor did I come close to getting the same number of rounds as the other members. As I was leaning over the bar, out of breath, thinking "I don't want to do another deadlift," I saw other members knock out their deadlifts and then sprint out the front door around the building and then come back in and do it all again. It was then that I thought to myself, "Wow, I am really out of shape and tomorrow morning I need to get up and come straight back."

Well, the next morning I did get up and come back but it wasn't easy. Every single muscle in my body ached, even muscles I didn't know I had. Every step hurt but the best step I took that day was the one back inside that box. After a few months of CrossFit, it is safe to say that I am in the best shape of my life.

2. Your friends and family will begin doing research on "Crossfit" and tell you how bad it is for you.

Before starting CrossFit, I consulted with people who have done CrossFit before and others who only knew of it. Those who had done CrossFit gave me great advice and those who had only heard of it gave me the opposite. At first people who had only heard of it told me that the coaches weren't properly trained, they made you lift more than you were capable of and injuries will happen all the time due to improper lifting skills. What I came across my first day was the opposite. The coaches tell you to only lift what you can and they teach you the basics. Our box actually has classes for beginners to teach them the lifts before they are allowed to do the WODs in an effort to avoid injuries.

In the few months that I have been doing CrossFit I have found that it is insanely good for you. It is good for your aerobic and anaerobic respiration, your muscles, your heart, your mental toughness...the list goes on.

3. You will be good at little.

Every single CrossFitter wishes they were good at everything and could RX every single workout but in reality you are worse at more things than you are good at. CrossFit includes a variety of workouts from gymnastics to weightlifting and running to bodyweight exercises so it is almost impossible for one person to be good at them all. Some people can deadlift 500 pounds but they can't run a mile to save their life, while others can do rope climbs all day long but can't do a handstand pushup (aka me).

4. It is OK to ask for clarification.

Don't waste your time and money doing the workout wrong and getting hurt. If you don't understand how you are supposed to do a specific workout or lift, then ask. That's what the coaches are there for. Don't feel like you are being annoying or holding up the WOD. Everyone was new at one point so they all know how you feel.

5. Don't be afraid to scale down.

If you need assistance or lighter weights so you are able to get through the entire WOD then use it. If you can't do a pull-up without the assistance of a resistance band, that is OK. Eventually you won't need the band and will be able to do them on your own. If you can't lift the RX weight then don't. Don't be too proud to scale down.

6. What you eat is more important than what you lift.

Nutrition is key. Nutrition affects your energy levels, recovery, and performance. And let's be honest, it affects the way you look. You can do CrossFit for months but if you are eating junk then your results will be junk. For the first couple of months I would have a granola bar for breakfast before the WODs but after doing some research I heard that oatmeal was better for you. Once I began eating oatmeal for breakfast I saw a huge difference in my performance and energy levels throughout the workouts.

When you are doing CrossFit the quality of your food is more important than anything else. Research different eating plans such as Zone and Paleo and eat like that. Eat like a caveman. All you really need to consume is lean meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds so cut out the fast food, sugar, and starches.

(Image Source)

7. You will have more bruises, blisters, and scrapes than you can count.

I am almost positive that my shins will constantly be bruised from some of the Olympic lifts, I will always have a scar from rope burns, and each day the blisters on my hands will get worse. If you are worried about scrapes, bruises, blisters, and blood then CrossFit isn't for you. I have seen people miss the box when they do a box jump and they end up cutting their shins and I have seen the palms of people's hands tear off from too many muscle ups, so if you are afraid of a little blood or getting bruises then CrossFit is not for you.

8. You will form lasting friendships.

When I began CrossFit I only knew one person at my box and now I know almost everyone. You will form friendships and make so many different connections. If you aren't there for a few days, people will notice and they will ask you why you haven't been coming. If you get hurt during a workout, coaches will call and check up on you.

9. No two days are the same.

I can guarantee you that no two days will ever be the same. From the warm up to the WOD, each day will be different. Yes, the exercises and lifts are the same, but the order you do them in or the amount of reps or time allowed for the WOD is always different. That's what makes people come back. When people go to a gym they often start off with 30 minutes cardio and then go do a few bicep curls and lunges and then leave. They then do this every single day. CrossFit is completely different, its always changing, and the change is what people love. The change is what keeps people from getting bored.

10. You are only competing against yourself.

While some people like to have fun and see if they can beat their friend's time, in the end the competition you have inside the box is only against yourself. I have let out so many different emotions inside the box including happiness, frustration, anger, tears, joy, and the feeling of accomplishment. When you do your first pull-up or rope climb, the feeling you have is like no other. But that also goes for saying when you drop the bar for the first time because it is too heavy and you can't get out of a squat, you will be beyond frustrated with yourself. CrossFit really pushes your mental strengths and weaknesses. You can't blame someone else because you couldn't lift as much as you wanted, you have to blame yourself, and that is the hardest part.

Question of the Day

If you are a current CrossFitter, what are some of the things you learned after starting that nobody ever told you?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...