Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Excuses. Excuses.

Lets talk about excuses.  

We all have them.  

There will always be a reason as to why you can't start making better choices when it comes to your health.  There is never a good time to do an elimination diet, there is never enough money to buy healthier foods, and of course there is never enough time.

So how can we overcome some of these excuses and move forward on our journey to being the healthiest we can be?

1.  Not Enough Time

            How much TV do you watch each week?  Maybe cut out 1 hour of TV 1 night a week and cook food to have for the next few days.
            Are you planning?  Find 1 day a week that is best for you (maybe Saturday or Sunday) and plan your meals for the week/pack up a few lunches/cut up veggies/cook a tray of chicken thighs/hard boil a few eggs.
            Get a crock pot.  Meat/liquid/veggies/seasoning, cook on low overnight = lunch/dinner is ready by the morning.
            Cook in bulk.  Leftover dinner = lunch

2.  It Costs Too Much

            If it is a priority you will find a way.  We find money to pay for  iphones, cable, netflix, going out to eat on weekends, the fast food drive-through, going to the movies, getting manicures, and buying music for itunes.  None of these things are bad, but maybe cutting back on one of these non-essentials will give you a little extra to put towards healthy food.
           If your car was broke you would put money into fixing it.  If your body is ‘broke’ you may need to put some money into what you are feeding it.
           Pay now, don’t pay later.  Is that extra $10 - $20/week in groceries worth it for your health?  Think about medications you won’t have to pay for, Tylenol you can stop taking on a regular basis, not having to call out of work sick, having a little more energy, living free of chronic sickness/disease.  Is it worth it?

3.  I Don’t Want To Give Up Foods I Love

            You are the only one responsible for your health.  Is it really that hard?  No.  Quitting smoking is hard.  Getting chemo treatments is hard.  Taking medications for the rest of your life is hard.  Not eating cereal for breakfast or sugar in your coffee…that’s not hard.

4.  I Don’t Want To Offend People When I Am Out To Eat/Too Much Pressure From Friends

           No one is forcing food down your throat.  You are an adult, start taking responsibility for your  own health.  Stop trying to blame other people for your current health status.  Everything you eat is your choice.  And everything you eat is either  making you healthier or less healthy.  No middle ground.
           Sometimes it’s okay to offend people when it comes to your own body.  You are the only one responsible for your health.  So, saying no to dessert or pizza is OKAY!  I promise you will still have friends.
           If you are going to a dinner party/bbq bring something to share that you know you can eat and maybe eat a little something before hand so you are not starving when you arrive.  No excuses.

I understand, these are legitimate concerns and rightfully so.  But the more we come up with excuses instead of doing what we can, the longer our health will suffer.  So instead of coming up with excuses, start thinking of what you can do to make a difference.  Even if it is one change a month.  Make a healthier breakfast.  Get rid of fast food for a week.  Add one more serving of fruits and veggies to your day.  Don't buy that bag of chips or candy bar.  JUST DO SOMETHING!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Two Of My Fav's Mixed Together

Sweet Potatoes and Almond Butter are two of my favorite things, combine them together and whoa delicious.

Here is a little mixture you can try if you are like me and love these two food items. 

1/2 baked sweet potato
1 Tbsp. Almond Butter or other nut butter you prefer. (just remember peanuts are not a nut)
Dash of cinnamon
sprinkle with Coco Nibs and unsweetened coconut flakes

Basically heat the sweet potato and mash it in a bowl with a fork.  Stir in the almond butter and cinnamon until blended.  Sprinkle with coco nibs and unsweetened coconut flakes. Then eat up!

This would be something good to eat post workout (preferably within an hour of workout) or on a day with multiple workouts, just make sure you have about 30-60 minutes to digest before the next workout. 

You can find coco nibs in the bulk section at Whole Foods, they are sun dried coco and are unsweetened.  They can have a slightly bitter taste but they are crunchy and are a fun topping for things like almond butter and fruit, if you eat yogurt they are good mixed in that or on top of fruit with coconut milk. 

I am trying to cook up what meat is left in my freezer to prepare for the cow share delivery next week (more on that later).  I cooked up a pack of chicken thighs, they are always convenient to have in the fridge. 

I also threw a beef brisket in the crock-pot with carrots and celery.  I let it cook over night on low, and it came out perfect.  I added about 1.5 cups of water to it as well.

What are some of your favorite real foods?  Can you combine them to make it even more awesome?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mental Prep & Competition

One of my favorite performance coach blogs to follow is Fletcher Fitness.  She is all about the mental prep for competition as well as a day to day healthy lifestyle.  She is a strong believer that "the same way you cannot out train a bad diet, you cannot out train a bad mindset."

We all have had those days in a workout when we just mentally were not there and it makes a huge difference.  Whether you are going for a big lift, or a slow strong yoga practice focus is key.  If your mind is wandering, or you go into your training/practice/competition already defeated then you probably are.

Here are her 5 Powerful Mindset Tips:

1. Be a constant optimist full of possibility
*rid complaints, negative words/thoughts/actions

2. Focus only on what you can control
*don’t spend energy on factors out of control

3. Meditate
*simply spend quiet, alone time sorting through your thoughts & emotions or being still in prayer

4. Surround yourself with people who really encourage you towards your goals.

5. Have fun, be fun, implement fun… very often.

Much easier said than done, but trying to implement these on a daily basis.

In other news... hard to believe that its been over a week since my team crossfit competition.  Test your metal was a great event.  My team placed 3rd after 3 WOD's.  The top 5 teams went on to compete in the final championship round where we finished 4th.  Not too bad for our first team competition.  Everyone from crossfit aspire did amazing, it was a great community atmosphere, everyone cheering each other on, and seeing so many people do things that they didn't think they were capable of.
 Go Team BEE SPIRE!  This was right before the start of our 4th WOD (Championship Round)

Prepping for another competition this weekend, Crossfit Summer Classic in Philly.  Looking to go have a fun time hanging out with other crossfitters/friends why we exercise and watch other amazing exercisers :)  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Don't Fear FAT!

Here is just a quick list of fats that you can reference...

Okay first lets talk HEALTHY FATS

Which to heat (saturated fats): 
These are non-animal sources of fat, go for organic and unrefined forms when possible
Coconut Oil
Palm Oil

These are animal fats.  Try to go for pasture-raised/grass-fed & Organic sources when possible.
Schmaltz (chicken fat)
Lamb Fat
Duck Fat
Full Fat Dairy
Eggs, Meat & Seafood

Which to use cold (unsaturated fats):
try to go for organic, extra virgin, cold-pressed forms

Olive Oil - best choice
Sesame oil
Nut oils (walnut, pecan, macadamia, almond)
Whole Nuts & seeds (including nut butters & seed butters)
Flaxseed Oil (try to keep this limited)

these are man-made aka not real food

Saturated (unhealthy) Fats:

Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils
Man made trans-fats (things like "buttery spreads" example: Earth Balances, Benecol and I Can't Believe Its Not Butter)

Unsaturated (unhealthy) Fats:
highly processed and oxidized by either light, air or heat.  It is never healthy to consume oxidized oils

Canola Oil (also known as Rapeseed oil)
Corn Oil
Vegetable Oil
Soybean Oil
Grapeseed Oil
Sunflower Oil
Safflower Oil
Rice Bran Oil

For a really cool chart on Fats that you can print out and keep handy check out Balanced Bites Useful Guides




Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Paleo Pantry (Part 1)

When I switched to a real food diet (paleo) I noticed that my fridge and freezer were packed and my pantry was almost bare.  Previously my pantry was filled with oatmeal, flax seed, chia seeds, organic canned soups, cans of beans, rice, olive oil, sesame oil, brown rice vinegar, grain or rice based cereals, amaranth, brown rice pasta, whole grain pasta, nutritional yeast and I am sure other weird "healthy" things.  After cleaning out my pantry of grains and processed foods and replacing it with things that I would use on my real food diet the shelves looked empty. 

This is actually a good sign.  We should be eating foods that do not have long shelf lives because of added preservatives or a refining process.  Real foods usually need to be refrigerated or frozen and need to be eaten much sooner than "fake food" like things I mentioned above.

However, there are a few things that you should keep on hand in your Paleo Pantry, here are a few that I usually keep stocked up on...

Coconut Oil: (obviously) good for sauteing/roasting veggies, topping on sweet potatoes or even adding to coffee :)

Coconut milk (this is the whole foods brand): add to coffee, use for baking (takes the place of milk), topping for fruit (paleo ice cream), or throw in the crock pot with any kind of meat you choose and mix it with Curry paste (pictured below)

 like i was saying mix this little jar with a can of coconut milk add meat and put in crock pot, cook on low for about 6 hours = amazing! (check ingredient labels, stick with Thai Kitchen brand)

 Canned salmon and sardines from Trader Joes.  Wild caught, add to salads, use to make salmon cakes, or eat for breakfast with sauteed spinach.  Try to aim to eat some type of seafood at least 2 times a week!  Omega 3!  

 I sprinkle this on eggs or veggies usually at least once a day, great source of iodine!  

 Some great seasonings: No-Salt Seasoning from Costco, 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joes and Everyday Seasoning from Trader Joes.  They are all a great mix of seasonings that can be added quickly to any meal for flavor.  Add to chicken before grilling, throw on top of veggies before or after cooking.  Mix in with Olive oil and vinegar for a great salad dressing.

What are some staple items in your Paleo Pantry?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Demystify Paleo

There are some myths out there about what exactly a Paleo Diet is (if you want to call it a diet, because we all know diets don’t work)  So lets get a few things straight when it comes to this idea of “Eating Paleo”

1.  No one is trying to make you into a caveman.  You can still drive a car and use your iPhone!  Okay so maybe cavemen did not have a long lifespan but that is not because of their food choices it is because of their lack of antibiotics, harsh living conditions, and abundance of predators.

2.  This is not a carnivorous diet.  Yes you will be eating high-quality sources of meat, but you also will be eating a TON of plant matter both veggies and fruit.

3.  Paleo diet is high in fat!  The fat you eat will NOT clog your arteries because fat all by itself is not the culprit of clogged arteries.

4.  You don’t have to be carb-phobic.  You will have adequate sources of carb’s needed for a healthy lifestyle. 

Paleo is not that radical.  UNLESS you consider eating nutrient-dense, unprocessed food radical? Which might just be the case in today’s packaged, processed, microwave dinner, drive-through, low fat, chemical enhanced, fake food era.  (now that sounds more radical to me)

(reference It Starts With Food by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Garage Games 2012

Last weekend I participated in my first Crossfit Competition.  Whew was I nervous.  But I think my nerves actually helped me out, adrenaline kicked in and somehow I made it through.

It was a long day, woke up at 5am and didn't get home till almost 11pm.  But really glad I did it. There were 4 of us from Crossfit Aspire who went to compete and our buddy Eric came to cheer us on!

The Whole Gang...

The day consisted of 3 workouts:

Workout 1:
7 min AMRAP
1000m row
with time left 95lb squat cleans

Workout 2:
5 min AMRAP
75lb Overhead Squat
25lb Weighted Sit up
75lb Sumo Deadlift High Pull

Workout 3:
10 min AMRAP
10 Bar Hop Burpees
25 Double Unders
10 Thrusters (65lb)

I was not as prepared with food and water as I should have been for the actual day.  I did't realize how long the event would be, I should have eaten more.  By workout 3 I was drained.  Lesson learned for next time.

Time to train for the next event: Team Competition July 22nd!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Prep is Key!

I knew going into this week that things were going to be busy. I took Sunday afternoon and did a bunch of food prep for the week.  Its never good to be left searching for food while on the run, (although it is possible to still make healthy choices on the go) it is always better to be prepared ahead of time so there are no excuses.

When all else fails these are some of my go-to recipes and foods to stock up on:

Breakfast - its always easy to throw together an egg type casserole, this is one of my favorites and will last me almost a whole week!  Savory Breakfast Casserole  (I have even substituted the chorizo for ground beef when that was all I had)

For lunch dinner (or both) this is another fav of mine and I also tend to add a little extra of everything (not exactly doubling but making some extra) Balsamic Winter Throw Together Bake I know its not winter but you HAVE to make this.  Also, if you cannot find butternut squash at certain times of the year you can use sweet potatoes or any other root veggies you like.

What else is in my fridge/pantry for this week:
Coconut Milk
Canned Salmon
Canned Tuna
Carrot Sticks
and of course Coffee :)

When is your food prep day?  If you don't take time to prep you should try it, makes life much easier when things get busy.

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Few Updates!!

This is going to be a random mixture of a post.

#1  Crossfit Regionals - Boston!  Whoa, was that fun?!?!  Lots of amazing athletes, intense workouts, great friends from crossfit aspire, and the Wodify booth!
       Saturday - A few of us did Fran at the spectator workout area (21, 15, 9 = Thrusters and Pull Ups) (tore my hand open on pull ups, awesome.
       Sunday  - We did Grace (30 Clean and jerks for time)  Got a PR, which was crazy considering I hadn't slept much.

It was so much fun to be in "crossfit world" for 4 days, it felt totally normal to wear leggings, sports bra & cut-off T's (which happen to be my outfit almost ever day anyway) Fun workouts, fit people, paleo food = good times!

This is Rachele, Alycia and I just hangin around at regionals!  

#2 I won these cool socks from Nom Nom Paleo!!!  Have you read her blog?  Her recipes are Ahhhhmazing!  She is so creative, whenever you are feeling bored with your food, just shoot over to her blog and you are bound to find something new and delicious to try.
The actual socks are from Gumball Poodle go like their facebook page!  I am thinking mixing the socks up, and as one friend suggested BACON-NERD is going to have to happen!

#3 and FINALLY... tomorrow I am participating in the Crossfit for HOPE WOD.  Crossfit gyms all over the world will be participating in the exact same workout (obviously can always be scaled) the workout is being done to raise money for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.

The workout will be very similar to a Fight Gone Bad
1 minute of each of the following movements:
Box Jumps
Chest to Bar Pull Ups
Power Snatch (75lb/55lb)
Thruster (75lb/55lb)
Rest 1 Minute... and repeat 2 more times
Total of 15minutes of work with 2 minutes of rest.  You are scored by total # of rep's completed.

Guess what I ate for breakfast today?  
A hamburger (no bun) and a sweet potato w/ coconut oil.  
It's True.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Yoga for Kids with Autism

This is just a quick happy story about helping kids with autism learn to become relaxed, calmed and focused using yoga postures.

There is a great video on the page as well.

Happy Friday. Enjoy.

Thursday, May 31, 2012


I love all things about coconut.  First of all it tastes amazing.  It’s filled with minerals, great source of potassium, and it’s a healthy fat!

Here are a few great coconut ‘products’

Coconut Oil:  great for cooking, frying, roasting, even pretty tasty in coffee.  Coconut oil is a very stable fat and it does not become toxic when heated.  It is high in saturated fat which offers many health benefits some include:
            Giving out cells firmness and integrity
Vital for bone health.  For example, at least 50% of our dietary fats need to be saturated for calcium to be effectively incorporated into the skeletal structure.
            They protect the live from the toxic effects of alcohol and certain drugs
            The enhance the immune system
They are needed for proper utilization of essential fatty acids. Elongated Omega-3 fatty acids are better retained in the tissues when the diet if rich in saturated fats.
The fat around the heart muscle is highly saturated, the heart draws on this reserve of fat in times of stress.
They protect us against harmful microorganisms in the digestive tract because of their important antimicrobial properties.           

Mark Sisson has a bunch of great articles on coconut… here is a good one on Coconut Oil.

Coconut Water:  This may seem like a trendy drink.  But it is great for rehydrating after a good sweat.  (Which for me happens on a regular basis, I drip sweat when I workout…gross)  It’s a good source of potassium, it is not meant to be a replacement for water.  It does have sugar in it, but as long as you check the ingredients it should only be coming from the coconut.  No added sugar.  My favorite brand is Blue Monkey which I have mentioned before, and unfortunately (or luckily, otherwise I may be drinking it everyday) I have only ever found it at Whole Foods.   

Shredded Unsweetened Coconut:  This is a great source of healthy fat.  I love adding it to a bowl of fruit to give it a little crunch and flavor.  I have also used it mixed in with almond flour and spices as a great “breading” for pork chops and fish.  So delish!

Coconut Crème Concentrate:  I made some of this today, simply by buying shredded coconut from the bulk section of Whole Foods and throwing it in the food processor.  AND….. Pressing ON!  Sooooo simple.  It probably took about 10 minutes or so of processing, stopping every minute or so to scrape the sides of the food processor to be sure it was all getting mixed in.  It eventually creates a thick paste substance.  I stored it in a left over Coconut Oil jar.  It can be used for baking, usually in paleo treats.  Here is a  great recipe that uses the crème… Chocolate Almond Butter Cups (balanced bites)

Coconut Flour:  is the fiber from the coconut meat after most of the oil has been extracted to make the oil.  It is high in dietary fiber and protein and is also gluten-free!  It can be used for baking, great in breads, muffins, pancakes, and treats.  Some recipes may call for a mixture of almond meal and coconut flour.   When baking with coconut flour your recipes may require less sweetener because the flour contains some sugar from the coconut meat. There is a great coconut flour pancake recipe here!  Do they not look AMAZING? 

Try some coconut!

Work Out Today:

Strength: Bench Press for sets of 8 reps (today got up to 95lbs for 8reps) 
finished with only 2 reps at 100lbs.

Metabolic Conditioning:
4 Rounds of 
400 Meter Run
15 Goblet Squats with 44lb. Kettle Bell 
15 Push Ups
this metcon took me 14:45
Cash Out: 1000meter row

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Blue Monkey!

Have you tried Blue Monkey Coconut Water??????  You NEED to!  It is soooo good!

The only place I have found it at isWhole Foods, which may be a good thing because if it was at every other grocery store I would probably drink way too much of it.

This is not something you need to drink everyday, but its pure coconut water, nothing else.  Its great for electrolytes, so if you have ever seen me sweat during a workout (gross I know) you would know that i need to replenish my electrolytes!  I also use to have some major issues with leg cramps due to sweating so much and not replenishing my body with proper nutrients (to the point that I was taking electrolyte pills).   Now thanks to a more nutrient dense diet and the occasional coconut water leg cramps are gone!!!

Anyone else out there tried Blue Monkey Coconut Water or have a another favorite?

P.S. Going to the Crossfit Regional Competition this weekend in Boston.  I am super siked!  I will be working with Wodify at their booth.  Wodify is an awesome software program that tracks scores/#'s for your Wod's!  If you crossfit you definitely will want to pass this along to your gym owners to check out.  Watch the videos on their homepage... see if you can spot me? 

I will post more on the crossfit regionals when I return.  I just can't wait to be surrounded by crossfitters for 4 whole days and watch some amazing competitions, lifts, and strong men and women! Woopwoop!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

30 days are over...Re-Test!

Today is the final day of our 30 Day Real Food Challenge with Crossfit Aspire.  This 30 days went by really quick.  I am thinking it went by much faster than the first 30 day challenge I did because I didn't really change too much from my normal eating habits because I have been eating a pretty strict paleo diet on a regular basis.  The only change this time was I gave up all nuts/seeds for the 30 days as well as any baked "paleo treats" using almond flour/cocout flour etc.

It was good to see that I made it through 30 days with no almond butter, lara bars, or handfuls of walnuts.  I could eat an entire jar of almond butter in a few days, so it was time for a little de-tox from that.

I really focused on loading up on protein and veggies for this challenge.  I tried to limit my fruit intake as well.  During the week I would do pretty well with that, 1 serving a day or sometimes none.  But when the weekends came around I felt like I would eat my weight in fruit, don't know what that was all about.

Another goal I tried to work on for this 30 days was not "eating on the run" or while staring at the computer or TV.  Most of the time I tried to sit down at the kitchen table with no TV distracting me while I ate my meal.  And there were only a few times that i ate while driving :(  If I had to pack my lunch to eat in between gym, work and yoga classes I would try to make time to pull over in a park to eat and not attempt to spoon food into my mouth while driving.  I wanted to start appreciating my food more, take time to actually chew to help digestion, and mentally be aware of real hunger and not just eating out of board-em.

And now for the workout...
Re-Test today at Crossfit!

My workout from April 23rd:
10 rep Back Squat - 155lb
Pull-ups - 5
Burpees in 1 minute - 22
800m. Run - 3:20

Today after the 30 days:
10 rep Back Squat - 160lb
Pull-ups - 10
Burpees in 1 minute - 23
800m Run - 3:10

Improved in everything.  I was pretty excited about doubling my pull-ups.  I have really been working on them, so any progress makes me happy!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Who Doesn't Love Chocolate Pudding?!

Looking for an easy paleo friendly treat?  How about some chocolate pudding?

The great thing about this is that it has very little sugar, and the majority of the pudding is made from healthy fats, like coconut milk and avocado.  So after you eat it, you have a more satisfied feeling instead of that sugar rush which just leads to more sugar cravings.  But it also tastes wonderful, great texture and you can play around with toppings...say sliced strawberries, blueberries, banana, shredded coconut, homemade whip cream w/organic whipping cream, almond butter, fresh mint.  Whatever your little heart desires (well almost whatever)

Here are a few great recipes you can try, they each are just a little different...

Banana-cado Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Avocado Pudding from Dessert Stalker 

Paleo Chocolate Pudding from There She Goes

And here is the recipe for the one that I usually make:

2 Ripe Avocados
5 Tablespoons of Coco Powder
6 Pitted Dates
1/2 Teaspoon of Almond Extract
1 Teaspoon of orange zest
2-3 Tablespoons of Full Fat Coconut Milk (the kind in a can!)

Place all ingredients in a food processor or powerful blender.  Blend together.


Serve with a sprinkle of sea salt on top and any other toppings you want :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cholesterol is not your enemy!

It never ceases to amaze me when I tell people how many eggs I eat in a day or how much bacon, grass-fed butter, coconut oil I consume the response I get is "that's a lot of fat and cholesterol!"

"Saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet are not the cause of coronary heart disease.  That myth is the greatest 'scientific' deception of the century and perhaps any century."
-George V. Mann, M.D. professor of Biochemistry and Medicine

The truth that the government, "Scientist," and drug companies will never tell you is that cholesterol does not cause heart disease, and low cholesterol does not prevent heart disease.  Cholesterol is not the cause to arterial damage but is actually there to repair and protect the arteries from further damage.  The question should not be if your cholesterol is "high" or "low" but "what has caused the tear in the artery that caused the body to send cholesterol to repair it?"  We have been asking the wrong question and just masking the real problem AND actually fighting our natural response/healer (cholesterol). 

Here are 13 Very Important Facts to know about Cholesterol:
1.  Cholesterol is produced by the body in larger quantities relative to other substances.
2.  All cells contain it and tissues make it.
3.  Cholesterol is so important that every cell regulates its own level internally.
4.  Cholesterol gives cell membranes their integrity and strength: without cholesterol we would be soft, flabby, and worm-like.
5.  Cholesterol enhances the permeability-barrier properties of the lipid by-layer.  This means that nutrients get in and impurities are kept out.
6.  Bone would be hollow and brittle if it were not for cholesterol and protein.
7.  Cholesterol had a major structural role in the brain, where it is found in high concentrations.
8.  Cholesterol enables nerve impulses.
9.  Vitamin D is made from the interaction between cholesterol and sunlight hitting your skin, so that calcium can be utilized.  A defective cholesterol structure is at the heart of sun-cancer issues. 
10.  Bile, manufactured by the liver and essential for proper fat digestion is produced from cholesterol.  A major portion of the body's cholesterol is used by the liver to produce bile salts.  These salts are crucial in digestion to make sure fats get broken down and that oil-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) get utilized
11.  Cholesterol is essential for the liver and intestines to function properly.
12.  Cholesterol protects the skin again absorption of water-soluble toxins.
13.  Cholesterol holds moisture in so that we do not dehydrate.  Cholesterol will give your skin a nice, naturally moisturized feel.

"The more natural, real cholesterol-rich foods you eat, the lower your serum (blood) cholesterol levels will be.  The less cholesterol in your diet, the higher your serum cholesterol.  Why?  Because if you don't give your body the right foods, it will ATTEMPT TO over-compensate for what it's lacking, thereby producing more cholesterol."

Sooo bottom line, Cholesterol is not your enemy but Cholesterol lowering drugs are. 

For more detailed info read this article!  The Cholesterol Myth

Monday, May 7, 2012


Here is a great article to help answer the question "What About Calcium?" when eating a dairy free diet.  (although I am not totally apposed to some Grass-fed Heavy Cream or Raw Milk when possible)  But I do think its good for everyone to go dairy free for at least 30 days and only add back in the GOOD stuff if your body can handle it.

So if you want to know more about what calcium really is, how it is absorbed, how much do we really need and the lies we have been fed by marketing companies check out this article!

What About Calcium?

Friday, May 4, 2012

A yogi going to the gym and lifting weight? NO WAY!?

I was super siked when I got this months Yoga Journal magazine and saw an entire article talking about the importance that strength training can have in your yoga practice.  They had some great info from yoga instructor Amy Ippoliti who talked about how adding cross-training into her life and even hiring a personal trainer (gasp.) helped heal her of some injuries and aided in her yoga practice.  She always thought that yoga was the cure-all for everything she now is a firm believer in being open to other modalities when it serves her.

I have come to really see the benefits of both strength training and yoga together in balance.  To quote Amy "I'm always looking for integrated flexibility.  I think that flexibility without strength is out of balance, and strength without flexibility is, too."

I have seen many people who are naturally flexible with very little muscular strength, and we tend to look at these people as "naturals" in the yoga world, however they are the ones who are more prone to injury because they are at the point of being hypermobile.  They need to find strength and awareness of their body.  They are the ones who tend to sink into their joints and over time can cause injury and pain.  I have known people personally who were hypermobile and pushed their limits and actually needed to take a break from yoga and were forced to get cortisone shots in their hips to deal with the pain of over stretching.  I have also known women who were too afraid of lifting weights and only wanted to do yoga and when forced to lift anything over maybe 10 pounds they would injure themselves.  Now this is not very helpful in everyday life.  We need to have strength to prevent injury and not be incapable of everyday tasks that may require lifting, pulling, pushing, carrying etc.

On the other hand, you can be too focused on strength training and become immobile.  I have seen this too.  No hip mobility will limit your depth in a squat.  Tight hamstrings may throw off your posture for a deadlift.  Tight shoulders will limit your overhead mobility in a press.  You can also be prone to injury if you are constantly strength training and never letting your muscles stretch.  Things get tight, start to pull and can cause pain :(

If you are a hardcore yogi who is scared to death of the gym or lifting weights focus on brining the body awareness you have from your yoga practice into your strength training.  Use you breath, inhales and exhales as you lift.  As you gain strength notice you become more powerful in your chaturangas, find more stamina in your standing poses, gain strength in your core and legs to help maintain intelligent alignment, become stronger in your lift off and enjoy those arm balances.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Day in the Life of FOOD!!!!

Here is the food I ate for one day...if anyone cares to know :)

2 Fried Eggs, Steamed Spinach & mushrooms, bacon!

Lettuce topped with a grass-fed beef burger topped with Apple, onion, bacon, balsamic chutney! A side of roasted cauliflower w/ coconut oil and turmeric!

Salmon topped w/ grass-fed butter, roasted Brussels sprouts, steamed spinach w/ mushrooms (again)

AND DONE!  Never thought I could live without snacking.  But when you eat real food, good fats, its possible.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hello again!

Its been a while since I have updated the blog, so lets see what has been going on lately...

GOT A COOL LOGO Design from my friend Emily Tornquist!  She rocks and is awesome at what she does.  Thanks Emily :)

Attended a Balanced Bites seminar at Crossfit Aspire on April 21st - great stuff!

Started a 30 Day Real Food Challenge on Monday April 23rd with Crossfit Aspire. 

Been getting PR's in almost all of my lifts lately...pretty exciting (however I feel like my thighs are HUGE)

Enjoyed my cousins wedding this past weekend (even kept it Paleo while there) bonus points!

Trying some new recipes lately, I tend to get stuck in a routine when it comes to cooking. Trying to mix it up some.

Today for lunch I made some hamburgers with this awesome apple, onion, bacon, balsamic chutney from PaleOMG!  It was sooo good and simple.  I love simple. Check out the recipe.

I will have to post a picture of this amazing stuff.

Excited for a Paleo Potluck this Friday at Crossfit aspire.  Cool People.  Good Food. Friday Night.  Can it get much better?  I think not.  Still trying to decide what I am going to make to bring.  I have a few ideas... maybe meatloaf, meatballs with mango chipotle mustard, or possibly shredded enchilada chicken in the crockpot.  Decisions.  Decisions. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

CHOCOLATE EVERYWHERE!  So far I have made it through the easter season without eating any of the chocolate/sugary goodies that are all around me.

As soon as you walk into any grocery store it seems to be the first thing to smack you in the face.  I have always been a sucker for those awful Cadbury eggs too.  And I use to eat so many of them this time of the year telling myself "you only get them at easter"  Thankfully by filling up on real, healthy foods that fuel my body it has been much easier to fight off any urge to splurge on those gooey filled chocolates.  I usually can talk myself out of eating the sugar and junk by just remembering how awful I feel afterwards and remembering how great I feel when I give my body good food.

This is not to say I may enjoy a few paleo treats this weekend or enjoy some dark chocolate, but I am also not going to eat that stuff just because that is what everyone is doing.  If I feel like I really want a piece of chocolate then I will if not I will load up on my meat, veggies some fruit and enjoy the time with family and friends.  (you really don't need chocolate to be happy, but it sure does taste yummy)

I made a paleo friendly easter basket for my nephew who is 5.  I know he will be getting tons of candy so he will survive if one basket is filled with healthier treats.  And it is all stuff that he actually does like.

I filled this basket with...
2 oranges
1 apple
blueberry lara bar
baby carrots
3 ZFruit Ropes from Cliff Bar Kids
Sidewalk Chalk
Glow Sticks
It looks pretty fun to me :)


Thursday, April 5, 2012

10.5 pounds of grassfed beef

I was super excited when I got my delivery on Friday of 10.5 pounds of Grass Fed Beef from Tropical Traditions. Came home from the office and there it was.  My freezer is stocked for a while.

So Sunday Night I put a Chuck Roast in the crock pot along with:
Baby Carrots
Garlic Cloves (peeled)
Bay Leaves Garlic Powder
let it cook overnight.

When my alarm went off at 5:30am I was slightly delirious and was wondering what I was smelling that was sooo amazing.  Then I remembered the crock pot was on and that would be my lunch and dinner for the next 4 days :)  Totally fine with me!

My elbow has been bothering me this week.  boo.  No clean's for me till it feels better :(  Been taking the bar off the rack for all my WOD's

Its COLD.  Got my car washed today, so of course that means it will probably rain tomorrow. duh.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Giving This A Whirl

Going to try this blogging thing.  I am slightly obsessed with food (paleo eating to be exact), lifting heavy things and Hot Yoga.  So feel free to read my rants about all of these things. 

Took a break from lifting today, usually by Thursday my body is needing a little break.  Spent the morning at the Hot Yoga studio. I love the times that I can practice as a student.  I think continued practice makes me a better teacher.

 Now just hanging out at Cosi, taking advantage of some free Wifi. woop.  I did buy a peppermint tea.  Feel bad not buying anything and just sitting in here.

I am officially starving.  Craving some eggs, I think I will go home make some sort of omelet or soft boiled eggs with LOADS of veggies (spinach, peppers, onions and anything else I pull out of the fridge) I may even eat some bacon with that.  

Bullet Proof Coffee = YUMMY!

I have been adding some Intermittent Fasting (IF) lately, especially before a workout.  So last night I finished dinner by 8pm.  And ate nothing else after that.  I drank some Bulletproof coffee this morning before yoga and will go ahead and eat something now.  SO that was a fast of about 17 hours.  Trying to teach this body how to burn FAT for FUEL!

Here is the link for the coffee. Its soooo delish.
Bulletproof Coffee