Baby I’m Back…

I totally have been slacking on the blog thing. I know you all haven’t heard from me in a few months, and are probably super curious and waiting on the edge of your seats to find out what is going on in my Crossfit-ing, Whole 30-ing, Traveling, life. So…I’ll tell you!

First of all…I’m doing pretty good at this whole Crossfit thing! I’m still the slowest…and so to those of you who think you will be embarrassed or not good enough to try it out (or any exercise for that matter) please remember that half of the journey is mental! In fact…I would even go so far to say that more like 80% of it is mental! Just last week we had a workout that included running. I don’t run for the record. Or I should say, I don’t run well. I just so happened to be in the same class as two other women who are runners by choice, and so they are also pretty fast and make it look easy! And the WOD just so happened to include three rounds of running 300 meters (among a few other hellish things that made me want to pass out and die but I won’t go there!). The time starts, and off the two chicks go sprinting down the alley for our 300 meters, and here I am chugging along. Long story short I was super last. The girls were relaxing, wiping sweat from their brow and catching their breath as I was struggling through the last rounds. But…my coach told me to stay positive. And he was right! It’s not about the other people! It’s about YOU! And some people are better at one thing than another! For me…I’m strong!! I have PR’d 5 times in 2 weeks! And I’m good at the 1 rep max lifting! and I got my toes to the bar for the first time ever! and I got 35 double under in a row! These are my milestones- and focusing on the successes is what keeps me going back. I’m also awesome at horizontal running.

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Second of all…I’m sucking at the Whole 30 right now. I started working with a wonderful nutritionist, Karen, whose blog can be found here! But…I’ve also been craving candy ever since Easter, and probably drinking far too much alcohol. So…this is my public proclamation of attempting to revert back to a more Whole 30 influenced life style! Wish me LUCK! I will say I have made major milestones with adding breakfast to my daily routine. In the past I would literally go workout, and not eat until like noon! For the record that is not a good thing to do. Again- you gotta focus on the positives right?

Lastly- what is on the travel agenda?! Soon you will hear from me about Texas (my bff’s bridal shower is coming up!), Washington DC (only one of my favorite spots), Nashville (I would totally opt to live here for the record), Vegas (bff’s bachelorette party!! details to come!), and finally Spain & Portugal! This is a super exciting summer already for me! And I got the sweetest backpack to accompany me on my travels from Winter Session. Gotta have the accessories to be stylin’ and profilin’ while on the road!

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Don’t Hate the Clean Plate

I am grateful for a tight knit fitness community. I think this is something I have only been able to find at CrossFit and therefore a huge part of my addiction. We’re all in “the suck” together…especially today when we did a bunch of burpees which can be classified as definitely not my favorite.  And as a local CrossFit community, we are also currently in the “suck” of cleaning up our eating and making a major lifestyle change with 30 days of clean plates. Right now, we are probably all in that hangover stage…and not feeling quite as strong as you might think you should when you clean up your eating. But part of that is just the detox phase, the part where your body is like woah this is a change! I’m hoping that I’m not the only one in this group of Vantage champs making a lifestyle change that feels this way. Raise of hands please?

Anyway so part of this process includes learning my way around the kitchen. Those who know me know that I am really not the best with the whole cooking concept. A couple weeks ago I tried to make a recipe that required chopped onions, and ended up with about 3 bandaids on my fingers. But, practice makes perfect. So…I just wanted to share some of the things I have been eating!!

A few notes- I have found that my staples are hard boiled eggs, tomato and avocado salad, Flavor God seasoning,  and any and all roasted veggies!

Whole 30 Reset button

So I started my Whole 30 off with a  bang. Super prepared. Meals planned, groceries bought, friend meal success. Then I had a stressful day and travel on my agenda and I tripped and stumbled a little. I had a cocktail or two (grapefruit, vodka, etc.), and I may or may not have had some delicious chicken pot pie that my adorable dear friend Katie made. From there the snowball effect occurred…and I fell far far off that wagon. I basically ejected from the wagon. But, as I mentioned in previous posts, I can’t be too hard on myself. This is a choice I am making to improve my overall well-being and my eating choices. Now, it is important for me to recognize that certain situations are a trigger to me, and evaluate what it is that I can do to improve that in the future! Since I have this current challenge, and then I am participating in the Clean Plate challenge with CrossFit Vantage, I feel like I will really dive into the choices I make, why they happen, and what I can do to improve that!

Now with that confession out of the way, I did stay very dedicated to my exercising and made some super successful yummy meals! Did you catch that picture up above? Those are my new custom nanos…I am only slightly obsessed and love putting them on for my morning workout everyday! It definitely helps to have fresh gear to keep me dedicated to the gym!

As far as food though, which I am sure you care more about, the quiche from last post was a huge hit. Not only did my dog Soco love it, but my husband and my Uncle loved it too! So much so that I made it again this week, but with arugula instead of spinach. I have found that nuts are super helpful, and the roasted plantains from Trader Joes are a real life saver. See, even other bloggers about the Whole 30 rave about them! I also am LOVING the Yogi Green Tea- muscle recovery. It has turmeric in it which has anti-inflammatory effects! God knows my muscles are sore every 5 minutes because of CrossFit so let’s hope this tea actually makes a difference!

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I have to say our friend meal was one of the best by far! Thanks to my girl Juli for hosting us for this one! We made almond crusted chicken breast, with asparagus and purple sweet potatoes. The picture does not do it justice at all, and I apologize for the yucky quality. If you want to recreate it just simply:

1)Preheat the oven to 350

2) Dip the chicken breast into 2/3 eggs (I break the eggs into a bowl and scramble them up a little bit first)

3) Then coat the chicken in almond flour (I usually put the flour on a plate, and then put the egg soaked chicken right on that plate to get a good covering!)

4) Put in a greased pan and bake for about 20 minutes (time will vary based on the size of the chicken- we had thin cutlets so our chicken baked very quickly!)

For the asparagus- we simply sautéed them in a pan with coconut oil, garlic, and lemon juice. As for the purple sweet potatoes- how fun is that?! We boiled them, and then mashed them kind of like mashed potatoes. They were very vibrant purple, and totally put a new spin on “make your plate colorful.”  Yum!!

Now I am reinspired as we go into a new week so…here we go again!

Philly or Bust…

So this past week I was sent to Philadelphia for work, and got to experience this great city for my very first time. I am blessed with a job that affords me the opportunity to see some different parts of the US. So when I found out that a presentation was needed in Philly, I was quick to jump on that opportunity. From then on  I could not stop singing Fresh Prince of Bel-air’s theme song. Over and over again my brain would say…”in west Philadelphia born and raised…” I was told not to see West Philadelphia though, as the song is quite accurate in that it is not a very safe place to be. So, I stuck to the “Center City” and all of the amazing food and sites there are to see!

Disclaimer: I did not stick to my Whole 30 at all while on this trip. I’m basically going to just press a restart button on MLK day and attempt this again. I’m hoping this is something that is relatable for you as a reader. Sometimes we just aren’t perfect! Sometimes a Philly cheese steak sounds a lot better than a salad. It happens!

Basically the trip went like this: land in Philly, meet up with my fun coworker Michelle, and eat. We did some work as well (presenting to the Department of the Navy there, which was a great experience!), and then ate some more. We stayed at the Sonesta Philadelphia Hotel which was a very pleasant stay! Beautiful spacious rooms, modern decor, and great customer service! I will admit though that on our walking tour of downtown Philly we saw the Monaco and I will just go ahead and say I had super hotel envy. Next time I go to Philly, I’m definitely staying there!

Back to the important part…food. On night one we went to a restaurant called El Vez. This is a Mexican style restaurant and they had the best best best corn. They also have a super old school photo booth so obviously we took advantage of that! Then we walked over to the Graffiti Bar where the bartender was awesome and gave us the low down on everything to eat and drink in the city. They also had a delicious cider-esque whiskey drink that I highly recommend! (See how I incorporated the whole whiskey thing here) We then took a quite fascinating cab ride, with complimentary trumpet music, to Franklin Fountain for some ice cream. I had a chocolate milk shake that totally rocked my world, but all the other treats (check out those pies) looked amazing as well!

On day two, our awesome Navy friends brought us to Jim’s for some real Philly cheesesteaks. They taught us the right way to order. “Wiz with” means cheese wiz and caramelized onions. I went all in for the Wiz. Others got American…but I was looking for the real deal. To recover from the food coma…we then had to have an afternoon coffee to survive! So we found an amazing little coffee shop called Elixir. Word to the wise, they have amazing espresso and lattes. I’m not a fancy coffee drinker. I am a regular drip coffee drinker with a touch of heavy whipping cream. Elixir only does pour overs…so my coffee was not as delightful as Michelle’s. But, she loved it so much we went back again the next day. Moral of the story is if you are a fancy coffee lover, definitely check it out. The vibe was super cool too with wood paneled walls, beautiful wall paper, and a lot of terrariums. Did you know that you can hire an indoor plant designer? This is something I learned from Elixir.

For dinner, and yes we ate dinner even though we had a huge lunch, we found an amazing British restaurant called The Dandelion. HEAVEN! The cheese plate- yes! The fish and chips- yes! The environment- double yes! I stuffed my face so much that I wanted to go to bed afterwards…see I told you I did not stick to the Whole 30.

Day 3 was our last day. That morning I dropped in at CrossFit Center City for a WOD before I ate some more. This was a great spot! The coaches were wonderful and attentive, and everyone was super friendly as is common in the CrossFit world. Word to the wise, if you plan to drop in here you need to prepare in advance. They do require that your coaches from your “home gym” email them to let them know you are familiar with the lifting moves, and have been doing CrossFit for at least 3 months.  One thing I learned here…is that when you get used to your own jump rope, other jump ropes really suck. I also learned about banded pull-ups! Our gym does not do banded pull-ups so this was new for me, and quite fun I might add!

Afterwards we walked all over the city. Obviously I had to see the Liberty Bell and get a little touch of American spirit in me! God Bless the USA! We also had to do a little shopping because I had learned that the “Old City District” was the place to find some boutiques and unique Philly fare. Vagabond was definitely my favorite shop that totally fit my style. I found two cute sweaters and was so pleased with my shopping success. We also had a great lunch at Farmicia complete with yummy cheese plate and a classic BLT to end the trip!

That’s basically my experience of Philly in 2 nights. I think I will have to do an East Coast city tour with my hubby. He has not been to Washington DC, Philadelphia, or New York City yet but he is like the biggest history lover ever. He would totally go crazy for these cities. East coasters- do not take for granted the fact that you are just a hop skip and a step away from some these awe-inspiring historically rich cities! Take advantage of it!

New Plan for the New Year

Is it too early to start thinking about a resolution for the New Year? Perhaps…but perhaps not. Statistics say only 8% of resolutions are kept. That means 92% of our resolutions, our goals that we set for ourselves to begin our new year, are forgotten.

Sadly enough, I am part of that majority, that 92%. Not only that, but I am part of the countless people who set goals such as “lose weight,” “eat healthier” or “cut out soda.” So this year I have come to think, perhaps if I consider my resolution early and actually plan for it, I may find myself in that rare 8%.

For 2015 I have a few resolutions. However, this year I am approaching these with a plan. Instead of just making a blanketed statement of what I hope will happen, I am considering what it will take to reach my resolution, and what tools I need in order to make it happen. I challenge you to do the same! And share with me what your goals for 2015 are!

A few of my Resolutions:

1) Learn more about the scripture. I want to take the time in my day and in my life to read God’s word, and start making applications to my life. I was raised a believer, and continue to attend Church on occasion, yet I find myself often times unaware of what the Bible says I should do in my life. My goal is to learn and start making a positive change!

2) Get out of my comfort zone. This kind of goes along with number one. I think as I start to apply some concepts to my life, I may feel challenged or even uncomfortable at times. I also want to challenge myself in my “fitness” world. I have found that as I attempt new things in CrossFit, and achieve them, my sense of pride in myself soars! I never want that feeling to end, and so I want to keep trying and improving.

3) Get organized! Generally, I am a pretty organized person. My house is not cluttered, and I can always find the things I am looking for (at home at least!). However, as I start thinking about my long term goals and how to achieve them, I do not feel organized. I feel like I am juggling a lot of ideas that I never see come to fruition. So this year, I am getting a planner! And I am making my life as a whole more organized.

Look Good & Feel Good

I’ve been on a quest to lose weight, be fit, eat better, and feel good for a while now. It’s been a roller coaster ride for me, as I go through phases of amazing focus and making good choices only to take a few steps back by picking up old habits like french fries and coca cola. Although, what I have learned is not to be too hard on myself. The most important thing is to re-focus, and ultimately try my best!

One thing I know to be true for me is that I can always re-motivate myself with a new outfit or new “goodie” to use while in the gym. That said, I wanted to share a few things that are on my wish-list for a fit 2015.

2015 Fitness

In order from right to left:

First Row:

Second Row:

  • It Starts with Food– an amazing book about eliminating the yucky stuff from our diet! I recently tried the Whole 30, and plan to do it again! Blog posts on that to come.
  • Lululemon Rest Less Pullover – I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’m really into Lulu’s athletic wear right now. I just love that their pieces look good in and out of the gym.

Third Row:

  • Scoop Back Long Sleeve– no words needed- just so cute!
  • Hydro Flask– this thing helps me drink water like crazy! And we all know water is important!
  • WODNation Double Under Rope–  a jump rope is a great investment for anyone, CrossFitter or not. It’s one of those exercise tools that is small enough to bring anywhere with you. Plus, jumping rope burns a ton of calories, and it’s fun!