Tag Archives: Paleo

The Beast…

You know what is way harder than you would think it would be?  Pushing a double stroller with two kids in it…up-freaking-hill!  My first competitive event (not all that competitive, but the perfect starting point) is this weekend: the Mother’s Day 5K.  I have been running two to three days a week in preparation, and last week thought I better take the kiddos in the double jogger, because that is how I will be running in the race.  Wow is it challenging!  The jogger weighs 49 pounds.  Stella weighs 26.  Augustus weighs about 10, and is in his 8 pound carseat.  That is a   total of 93 pounds to push.  I live in a very hilly neighborhood, so no matter what way I decide to go, I am going to have some serious hills to push that bad boy up.  What a great training tool complete with two training buddies who love to be outside.  Just don’t run with it up hill with a full stomach- you may run in to trouble!
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Along with the stroller issue, I have another issue.  It is more of a problem, really.  It is a Target problem.  Like most females age 3 days to 93 years, Target is like the Bermuda Triangle for your checking account.  I try to limit myself to visiting this beautiful place once a week.  However, we live about a mile and a half from one, so you can see where this problem is going.  This week I created a new rule: the only way I am allowed to go to Target is if I push the kids in the double jogger there.  I see two solutions with this rule: one: I will get better at pushing that suburban sized beast  up hill (and not letting it drag me down hill).  Two: you can only put so many items in the basket under the jogger, fixing the spending problem!  Boom!  How creative is that?

Now on to the nutrition and exercise update.  I have been working really hard to stay on track with Zoning, and am feeling great.  However, last week was not only my birthday, but my sister visited as well.  Having guests (and super fun ones at that!) definitely make things challenging with the whole “diet” thing. You don’t want to be the lame hostess who prepares a fun meal but then sits down with her grilled chicken and steamed broccoli in the corner, but you don’t want to loose track either! Lucky for me, my sis is a healthy eater, and was totally up for eating lean meats and a ton of vegis for every meal.  It also reminded me of how great the Zone Diet is because you can Zone anything!  For example, we went out for lunch a couple times, and I was able to Zone meals (the best I could).  I had hamburgers with  no bun, a side salad, and sweet potato fries (tho I only got to eat about four!).  I will not lie to you though, since it was my birthday last week, I went out on a hot date with the husband and enjoyed a steak with bread and dessert and it was INCREDIBLE (but gave me major stomach issues!).  Long story short, you CAN stay with the Zone when eating out, having visitors, and going to parties, just please don’t be the nerd in the corner weighing and measuring their 7 layer dip!  When there is a special event, like turning 30 (wow I am getting up there!), embrace it and eat a piece of cake, and make it a big one.

My workouts continue to feel better and better.  I do feel like a bowl of Rice Krispies when I squat though- I feel like every joint in my body is “snap-crackle-popping” back in to place as I descend hamstrings to calves and back up again.  I am still keeping my weights incredibly light and focusing on maintaining technique at all times.  It is crazy how revived I feel after spending some time in the garage gym, throwing around a little weight, getting my hands back in shape for gymnastics, listening to the hum of the rower as I jam out to “80’s Rock Radio” on Pandora.  Though I feel incredibly weak still, and am no where near where I know I am capable of being performance-wise, each day I am feeling my body slowly find it’s tempo again.  Each day I feel that fire deep inside of me slowly get brighter and brighter.  And you know what the coolest part is?  Watching both of my babies  nap on the video monitor as I work to be the best I can be again, and I am doing it for them, for my family.

This Sunday is the first test of my return to health and fitness.  Tanner and I are running the Mother’s Day 5K in downtown Denver Sunday morning at 9 AM.  Looking for some cheap entertainment?  Come watch me push the beastly double jogger for five kilometers! Any bets on my time?  My PR 5K (given it was in high school!) is 20:11.  I will give a big ol’ cyber high five to whoever can guess my time!  Have a great night everyone, KJ OUT!
runHere I am running!  Any fellow CrossFitters might be able to identify some of the amazing women in this photo!

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Weigh and Measure Day 2!

It has been two weeks in already!  Besides one BBQ and going out to two dinners, resulting in having to estimate my blocks without a scale, I have stayed true to my Zone plan.  Also, Tan was gone most of last week for work, and I was able to make sure I got my daily workout in while the kids were sleeping.  It was rough, I won’t lie- I wanted to use that time to nap, vacuum, read, or just lay and stare at the ceiling, taking in a few minutes of silence…but instead, I drug myself out to the garage and made myself work, and felt better after I did it!

auggs smile bean smilig                                        Here is the first Auggie smile I caught on camera, and one of Stella rocking her stellar hair do!

My main motivator for working hard and getting back to the things I love is to be a better mom and wife.  I know by spending one hour a day doing something for me, I will feel re-set and ready to rock at being a mom, and it couldn’t be more true!  I already feel re-energized, like my body is starting to reset and gain strength, and have noticed I am more patient with my toddler- willing to try to do more things with both kids on my own, like going to the park (this may seem like an easy event, but when you have a new born and an almost two year old, at least to me, it feels like you are going to freaking Disneyland!).  Another way I am feeling really good about what I have been doing is my milk supply.  Auggie is gaining weight like a rockstar, and, even though I have been weighing and measuring every ounce of food I put in my body, I have a ton of milk to provide him with!  I have been eating 14 blocks per day (I normally do 12 when not nursing), so if my weight loss starts to plateau, and my milk is still doing great, I plan on cutting back to 13 blocks to stay on track. I feel like I am getting plenty of food each day, and though I get a little hungry here and there (mainly for chocolate…), it is doable for me, and I am a total sissy when it comes to dieting.  That leads me to  one other thing I wanted to discuss: Zone Diet vs. Paleo.  I had a friend on facebook ask my why I don’t just do Paleo.  Answer: I am a total fat kid and would eat so much meat on Paleo, I would loose my ability to do pull ups! Really, when you say Paleo vs. Zone, I hear “quality vs. quantity”, and what do I want? Both.  I want to provide my body with the highest quality, most nutrient dense foods I can, but I also want to balance them and consume the best quantity for my body and my goals.  When I Zone, I am not eating cookies, beer, and jerky- I am still eating whole food- not Paleo, because I didn’t raise my own chickens for their eggs or go shoot a buffalo to grill burgers for dinner, but 95% of what I consume is meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar.  Sound familiar, Glassman fans? I completely agree with his theory, as it makes me feel like Wonder Woman!  I just need the extra discipline from the Zone Diet to make sure I am getting the appropriate balance of macronutrients (carbs, proteins, and healthy fats) to regulate my hormones and support my lean body mass and milk supply.  I know myself, and if I ate strictly Paleo foods, I would be living off of meat and dates (they are amazing) and not getting leaner or meaner.  I hope this answers your question!

As for workouts, I have felt pretty good most of the time.  Running, biking, and rowing feel great, and I love the feeling of getting my sweat on.  However, gymnastics and weights are definitely a challenge still!  I feel like the spaghetti noodle someone threw at the wall to see if it was done yet.  I did some handstand push up skill work last week, and it took all of my core strength just to keep my body up on the wall!  Same thing with barbell work, 65 pounds definitely feels like 95 pounds, and the further it gets from my center, it gets exponentially heavier.  Each day that goes by I feel like I gain a little more strength though- my spaghetti self on the wall is starting to slowly dry out and re-harden (what an odd analogy?).  I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to racking a heavy back squat alternating with some muscle ups (and they better be linked together!).

So I had a great surprise last week.  Two wonderful friends of mine from Casper, WY swung down for a surprise weekend of fun.  Though I hadn’t showered, had no make up on, and my house was a tiny bit of a disaster, I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when they showed up!  These ladies are truly like family to me, so having them all to myself for two days was such a treat!  There are two points to this story- A: They came for an early surprise birthday treat.  I turn 30 next week.  Holy crap, I am going to be 30.  I honestly haven’t even thought about it, but what a cool thing!  I feel like I am officially a “grown up” or something- but I still watch cartoons.  Is it ok to watch cartoons when you are a grown up, or do I officially have to switch over to the news all the time?  B: We went and had a kick ass workout together!  I have made friends with a gym near our house, F.I.T., home to Park Meadows CrossFit.  I met the owners while working at a Level One Seminar, and thought I would swing in to say hi.  They told me to try out one of their “F.I.T.” classes sometime, promising me I would enjoy it.  It was described as being kind of like CrossFit, but 55-60 minutes long, so much  lighter weights, and less intensity due to it’s length, but a  total ass kicker.  So my girls and I packed up our Lulu head bands, strapped on our Nikes, and headed on over.  What a fun class!  Our instructor was one of the gym owners, Nathan, and he was absolutely fantastic!  From the second the hour long class started, to the very last minute, we were doing something, and hit just about every muscle in my body.  The class was full of fun loving women (and one very brave man- it was an estrogen festival!), who were absolutely thrilled we were there to join them. We ran, rowed, burpeed, threw kettlebells, wall balls, and slam balls, jumped on boxes, and went through one of the toughest core/plank routines I have ever done.  If you are ever in the Denver area, you have got to swing in and check out this gym.  It is clean and their community is kind and welcoming, plus they have some super cool t-shirts.  Who doesn’t want a super cool t-shirt with a story to go with it?  I will definitely be returning for more F.I.T. from these guys!  Check out their website: http://www.fitincolorado.com

On to the fun part!  Here are my measurements for the week. I am absolutely thrilled, because I haven’t been able to get under 160 since 2008!  It is barely under, but I will take it- what a motivator!

Weight: 159  (two weeks ago: 165)
Waist: 32.5 (two weeks ago: 34)
Hips: 38 (two weeks ago: 39)
Right/Left Thigh: 22/22 (two weeks ago: 23/23)
Right/Left Arm: 12/11.5 (two weeks ago:  12.25, 12.5)

4 weeks side4 weeks front

No make up and scary hair at 5 AM…talk about dedication.

To finish off, I want to share with you something I used to eat all the time and kind of forgot about that is light and wonderful! Mashed cauliflower.  I honestly enjoy it more than mashed potatoes.  Simply steam cauliflower, then toss in to your blender, food processor, or Kitchenaid and whip the heck out of it.  I add a tablespoon of butter and some garlic powder (this is to an entire head of cauliflower).  You can dress it up any way you like though!  My friend, Darla, puts horseradish in it and says it is amazing! One cup of this goodness feels like a total cheat day, and is equal to only one half of a block.  Challenge of the week?  Try this, but put your own fun twist on it (has to be a healthy twist, not gravy and bacon bits- that makes everything taste good!) and share in the comments what you discovered!

cauliflower

Here is a link to a recipe I am going to try this evening for my hot wing loving husband!  http://paleomg.com/buffalo-chicken-pasta/  I will let you know how it goes in my next post.  I know it is going to be a good one because it is a Julie Bauer invention. I discovered her website, www.paleomg.com a few years ago and fell in love with her.  She adds a hilarious introduction to each of her posts that will provide you with a great ab workout from your laughter.  I definitely recommend regularly visiting her site! Have a great week everyone!

Ready, Set, Go!

Random thought of the week: why is it that when you are pregnant, everyone runs to help you with doors, groceries, you name it, but when you have had the baby and are struggling carrying a car seat filled with said beautiful munchkin as well as a two year old beautiful munchkin, no one bats an eye? Pregnancy is the best fitting weight vest one can find, while post-partum, you are awkwardly carrying a variety of plates and kettlebells. I will always run to aid a mom now! (and a super pregger too) Just a random thought!

I can’t believe it has already been almost two weeks since Auggie was born. Even though chasing our daughter, Stella, around while carrying him is a workout in itself, I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to getting back in my garage gym during nap time! With my body slowly morphing back to its normal self (with a few new and improved “snap-crackle-pops”), I know the best way to start giving it a tune up is through movement. I have completed my first few weeks of programming my workouts, with full intentions of editing as necessary. My first week includes a beautiful symphony of light running, pull ups, push-ups, light kettlebell and barbell work, short box jumps, modified air squats (to a safe depth for my current ability), the ever-feared burpee, and my beloved, the rower. As promised in my first blog post, I plan on posting my measurements along with photos as I progress back to fitness. I plan on sharing this information (scary!) every other Monday, starting this coming Monday, April 14.

Here is my schedule of monthly athletic events I plan on participating in over the next six months:

May 11, 2014: Mother’s Day 5K, Denver, CO

June 15, 2014: CrossFit Cherry Creek Triple Threat Competition, Denver, CO (any takers on who would want to be on my team? This one is still up in the air!)

July 13, 2014: Missoula Half Marathon, Missoula, MT (I ran this race when I was 23, before I was a CrossFitter and weighed 30 pounds less than my CrossFit Competition weight. I am hoping to set a PR on this course!)

August 16, 2014: Scottish Festival and Rocky Mountain Highland Games, Denver, CO (because who wouldn’t want to attempt throwing a caber in a kilt?)

September, 2014: Fall Frenzy Sprint Triathlon, Parker, CO (I am absolutely TERRIFIED to swim 500 meters- I definitely need to wipe this one off the list!)

October, 2014: CrossFit 307 Throwdown, Casper, WY (I did this last year when I was 17 weeks pregnant and it was a blast! CF307 did an outstanding job programming and running this event- I can’t wait to do it again with my super team)

highland games throwdown t shirt

That should certainly be six months of motivation and trying new things! If anyone knows of any fun events you think I would like to challenge myself with, please list them in the comments below and I will try to throw them on the schedule if they are doable and not too pricy. Also, if anyone would like to join me in a competition or for just a WOD, please comment or e-mail as well!

One more thing- I have failed you all in posting recipes regularly! Here is a copy of my favorite “Paleo Banana Bread” recipe. It is from the Mark’s Daily Apple website and has never failed me! I have switched out the bananas for an equal amount of applesauce before for a fun change and it is delish. You can also crunch the numbers and fit it easily in to a Zone friendly meal as it is mostly fat and carbs! Let me know what you think!

banana muffins

Paleo Banana Bread: Gluten, Grain, and Dairy Free!

2 cups Almond Flour (I like to just toss raw almonds in the food processor for a grainier texture)

¼ cup Flaxseed Meal

2 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Baking Powder

2/3 cup Chopped Nuts (pecans or walnuts are delish)

4 Ripe Bananas

2 tbsp Honey

4 Eggs

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions:

1-      Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2-      Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

3-      In a separate bowl, add the mashed bananas, eggs, honey, and vanilla and mix well.

4-      Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir until combined. Normally with breads or muffin recipes, you don’t want to over-mix, but since there’s no gluten here, mix to your heart’s content. The muffins won’t get gummy or icky.

5-      Fill greased muffin tins, baking cups, mini loaf pans, or big loaf pans about ¾ full. Bake muffins for 23-25 minutes and loaves for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

6-      Let cool slightly and enjoy with a pat of almond butter, coconut oil, or butter. Yum!

Chicken Pad Thai

Pad Thai Recipe

A very special friend of mine, Christal, shared this recipe with me back in 2011.  It is the first “Paleo” recipe Tanner truly loved and requested over and over.  It is from the Sweet Cheeks HQ website, which also contains some other golden recipes, so I am adding a link at the bottom to their site.  Instead of using traditional noodles, it uses noodles you make out of zucchini.  I have tried making them with both the food processor (grating attachment) and mandolin and found the food processor is a better option for me, as I am not graceful enough to execute the use of a mandolin without slicing a limb off!  I loved the zucchini noodles so much, I find myself replacing regular noodles with them all the time.  Less calories, carbs, guilt, and stomach aches!  They are totally worth your time.

Pad Thai

Ingredients
  • 1 lb chicken thighs (or whatever meat you like, chicken breast or shrimp would work)
  • 1/4 c coconut oil
  • 2-4 zucchinis
  • 1 onion-chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic-minced
  • 1 T White balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 T almond butter
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 limes, juiced (1 more for garnish)
  • sliced green onions
  • 1/4 c-1/2 c chicken broth
  • Julienned carrots
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chili powder

What to do:

Heat a large sauce pan on medium/high heat. Add coconut oil and let melt. Season your chicken with salt, pepper and chili powder. Add chicken to pan and brown one side, flip and brown the other until meat is fully cooked. (this will depend on your meat choice and thickness. Remove chicken and let it rest. Your pan will have some oil in there, keep it because we are using the same pan for the sauce.

While your chicken is cooking:

Using a mandolin, start slicing the zucchinis lengthwise, think noodles, use the julienne blade. You can also chop them or use a knife to make thin strips or rings. The thin strips make it fun and more like noodles. But chopping will work just fine too.

In the same pan (with grease and drippings), saute the onion, garlic and ginger until soft. Add the vinegar, lime juice and almond butter and red chili flakes. Stir to combine. Depending on thickness you might want to add some broth at this point.

Add the zucchini noodles to the saute pan. Stir them around to get the sauce Incorporated onto the “zoodles”. The point here is get the “zoodles” hot and very slightly cooked through (just like an al dente noodle!), about 10 minutes.

Serve hot and topped with a squeeze of lime juice and some chopped green onions, carrots, and black sesame seeds.

http://sweetcheekshq.com/

***Tanner’s twist on things:  top with chopped macadamia nuts and either Frank’s Red Hot or Sriracha Sauce.  Boom!