Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sweet Potato Fries

I've had a few people ask me how to make the oh-so-tasty sweet potato fries that I made last week so here it is!

I use these "Ready, Fresh, Go" veggies from HEB because they are pre-cut and I am very busy/a bit lazy so these make life a bit easier. *They also have peppers, onions, carrots, and them!     

Anyway, the first thing to do is put the package of pre-cut fries in the microwave to steam for about 8 minutes (make sure you pierce the bag). While this is going on, pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. 

After the fries are done steaming put all of the fries into a zip lock bag with EVOO or vegetable oil and cinnamon.  Make sure to coat all of the fries with the oil/cinnamon.  

Now place all of the fries on a baking pan (make sure to grease it so they won't stick) then place them in the oven.  They will bake in the oven for 8 minutes total, half way through take them out and flip them so they don't burn.  

These are so easy to make and great as a snack or part of a meal.  Enjoy :) 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

~The Fittest Games~

On February 13th Crossfit Central hosted The Fittest Games which was a competition between a ton of Crossfit Affiliates from all of Texas (I was very excited to see some Houston groups there).     

Crossfit Athletes during the Opening Ceremonies.

There were 2 main groups, Intermediate and Elite (within these groups there were 40+ competitors), there were also a few teams in the mix.  The Intermediate competitors (Tim and Randy) completed 3 WOD's and the Elite group (Karen) completed 4 WOD's. Oh and the Central athletes dominated. Since I don't work out in the gym, I wasn't able to compete but I really wanted to get involved so I decided to volunteer. The volunteers showed up at 6am (in the freezing/windy weather) to help set up.  I've never volunteered at an event like this so it was really cool to see all of it come together. I also have a new appreciation for the volunteers at the races, I always knew they were important but they do so much that most of us don't even think about (like trash can setup/placement).   
My Job: the time board for the Track and Field WOD's
  My job (other than drawing the awesome grid you see above) was running the field/track scores over to Central, I met some cool people and got to cheer on some friends.

Coach Karen was one of the Elite athletes along with Lisa Thiel, Chardonnay Poole, and Cary Kepler (I'm not even gonna lie, these women are rock stars to me).

I was able to watch the Elite and Intermediate teams during the Field WOD (KP got 1st in her heat)                

  • Field WOD - Gas Mask@ Lamar Field: 10 Min Cap
For Time:30 burpee buy in (jumping over paralette)Run width of field down & back
30 Dumbbell Single Arm Power Snatches
Run width of field down & back
30 Dumbbell Single Arm Shoulder To Overhead
Run width of field down & back

KP pre Field WOD

Burpee Buy In

35# Shoulder to Overhead

1st place in Heat 3...go KP!!!    

Go Tim
 Fellow "Team D" member Tim competing in the Intermediate Men's Field WOD

I was able to watch a few Heats of the Intermediate Track WOD.
 Track WOD - Big Mac @ Lamar Track: 15 Min Cap

For Time:
200m Run
15 Snatches (must pass through the squat)
400m Run
15-12-9 of SumoDLHighPull & Shoulder to Overhead
200m Run


I wish I had been able to stay and watch the Elites do this WOD becuase I heard it was amazing but I was excited to get to cheer on Randy who was competeing as part of the Intermediate Men's 40+ (yet another Team D badass)   
Go Randy!

Next up was the Strength WOD at Central (called the Grizzly Bear) .
 10mins to Find Your 3RM Bear Complex:
-must be touch and go on the ground between reps
*I have to admit that I have no idea what a "3RM Bear Complex" is but it looked tough.

Black top set up

My rock star coach :)

The 4th Elite WOD was 
  • Gymnastike WOD (Elite & 40+ Elite Only)@ CrossFit Central Gym: 12 Min Cap
For Time:
4 Muscle Ups/ 20 Toes to Bar/ 40 Double Unders
4 Muscle Ups/ 15 Toes to Bar/ 30 Double Unders
4 Muscle Ups/ 10 Toes to Bar/ 20 Double Unders
4 Muscle Ups/ 5 Toes to Bar/ 10 Double Unders

*women will perform 2 Muscle Ups per round

I wish I was able to get more pics of this but it was in the gym so the lighting was bad. But here is a Muscle I said...Crossfit Women are rockstars! 

I had so much fun volunteering at this event but the best part of the day was watching the athletes together. So many people talk about Relentless and Crossfit being life changing and it really is. After spending the day helping out at the Fittest Games, I feel even more determined to get in to the Central year I WILL  be at this event competing. Next on my list: Elements.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Workout With Team D

    This morning a few Team D athletes and coaches met up at the Austin High School track for a group workout. This was a great way to hang out with some people from the team and get some tips from the coaches. Thanks Coach Chris for all of your help on kettle bell snatches! I never realized how much strength (and confidence) I have gained over the past few months. It's exciting to see how much progress I've made, I've not only met my challenge goals but went above them. For example: 1) Move up to an 18 pound kettle bell (done + 2 pounds), 2) Be able to do chest-to-the-ground push ups on my knees (done) **As a side note, don't brag to Coach Karen about reaching that goal then try to bust out some knee push ups at bootcamp the next day...she WILL call you out**  3) loose at least 3 inches (I haven't done body comps yet but I'm down a pants size so I feel like that's a step in the right direction). 4) Loose 8-10 pounds (lost 5 so far and I plan on really stepping up the next few weeks. ie: no more wine).

Today we did some basic kettle bell movements along with some new stuff that I have never tried before.  If you've been to a Relentless or Crossfit Central Session, then you know that these Coaches will push you and never let you back down, the fact that I was able to do these movements shocked me but I know thats due to the help/support of my awesome coaches and team mates. Here are some pics taken my fellow Team D member Tim :)

 Kettle Bell Snatches: This movement has been difficult for me, but with a little help (ok a lot of help) from Chris and Karen I'm starting to get the hang out it...with a 20 pound bell by the way!


Rope Pulls: This was fun because it was something new....hard and tiring but fun. Don't be fooled by the pics, 3 minutes of this WILL turn your arms into jello.

Dips/Walks: Ok this was the one that shocked me. Up until recently I have never had upper body strength so when I saw Chris jump up on the bars and start "walking" I figured there was no way I'd be able to even push myself up. This is where Karen comes in; what makes her an awesome Coach is she is a cheerleader but kicks your butt at the same time.  She has a very supportive way of saying "you better not stop".  I alternated the workout with dips and walks and finished stronger than I thought I would.  While I was doing this Karen and I were joking around and I had fun while working my a*s off :) 


This is a perfect example of KP's "Finish strong, you can do it" face.

Windmills: I love these, I get to stretch and lift weight...def one of my fav movements.


Post WOD pic with some of Team Domination!!! 

Just want to post this pic since I mentioned some of my goals:       
~Start of Relentless (September-ish): 10 pound bell which I thought was heavy
~Start of Trojan Challenge (1.8.11): 15 pound bell
~Current: 20 pound bell which I began using about 1 1/2 weeks into the challenge

"A daily hit of athletic-induced endorphins gives you the power to make better decisions, helps you be at peace with yourself, and offsets stress"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Superbowl done the Paleo way.

So the Superbowl was this past Sunday, Jeff and I went to hang out with our friends Maja, Joe and Tierney to watch the game.  Now at this time last year I can guarantee that I was eating tons of wings and queso but I know that my Team D coaches would not be ok with that so I had to prepare.  I decided to make my almond crackers in order to avoid the chips (and because Joe makes the most amazing guacamole in the world) and Shrimp Cakes  from the Primal Blueprint cookbook which KP has made before.

 Soooooooo I start cooking and here is what happens...   

Now clearly the are NOT cakes...this has started off as a big crumbly mess.  So now I'm experimenting with different sizes and pan temps, texting Karen for advice, and I even have poor Jeff in the kitchen trying to help.  After reading the ingredients, Jeff suggests adding some almond flour into the shrimp mix to see if it helps stick.  After a few more tries I toss the shrimp mix back into the food processor to see if that helps and then throw in about a cup of almond flour for good measure. BINGO!!! My yummy smelling shrimp cakes are finally sticking and looking cake-like. So then what happens to the shrimp crumbles? I make a coleslaw salad with the coconut almond dressing and toss in the crumbles...I now have an extra/super easy meal or snack for the rest of the week and I didn't waste any food!  

                                     Here is what my Superbowl meal looked like this year: 
                                    Almond crackers, guac, shrimp cakes, and veggies!   Yummy and it didn't destroy my food log :)  

I will admit, I had a few light beers and one of Maja's amazing cupcakes, but all in all I did pretty well sticking to my food goals. Oh and the Packers won, which means I won my bet against my husband (I love winning bets against him). My prize? A trip to Lulu (or maybe a new kettle bell, which I really need)!!! :) 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Over halfway done!

We are starting week 5 of the Trojan Challenge which is very exciting. Week 4 was pretty tough, TONS of non-paleo food cravings and I was exhausted so the workouts didn't go as well as I would've liked. I am ready to step up my game and really rock the rest of this challenge. 

~Changes so far:
     ~Lost 5 pounds (I would like to loose more but that's not my actual focus)
     ~Clothes are fitting looser! I really need new jeans, who doesn't love when their clothes fit loose?!
     ~I'm a lot more toned...I have triceps and my abs are starting to show up again (hello abs, I have missed you)
     ~I can see a definite change in my strength. Not only am I lifting a 15lb kettle bell for all workouts but I can    use a 20lb for some also. I know that a lot of people are using much heavier weight than I am but I have never had upper body strength and a few months ago my 10lb "Barbie Kettle Bell" was too heavy so 20lbs is a big deal.
      ~I feel healthier in general. I'm drinking tons of water and eating healthy and working out almost daily, I'm getting tons of compliments from people which is always exciting. I love getting the "Your stronger than you look" comment.

On to the food. Not gonna lie, I am having some trouble with the paleo (I'm Italian, we LOVE our grains). I have found some paleo dishes that I really like and make often but I also need to add some variety; I'm pretty tired of chicken and veggies. At work, we have a bunch of magazines with recipes in them so I've been getting a lot of meals from those and turning them paleo :) 

~Paleo things I love: 
   ~Almond Crackers! I am addicted!!! They take like 10 minutes to make and taste delicious. I found the recipe here

   ~Spaghetti squash with turkey meatballs in any form. But here is my favorite, thank you Martha!
   ~My food processor is pretty much my favorite thing I own right now. I just toss in a ton of veggies (usually carrots, broccoli, cauliflower,  spinach and tomatoes). Instant side!

 ~Non Paleo things I miss:
    ~Potato and egg tacos
    ~Pizza (this is mainly an issue because my patients order pizza a lot)
    ~Trudys (any Mexican restaurant really) I've decided just to avoid this all together due to my love of chips & queso, tortillas, rice & beans.

Time to step it up, very excited to see what the next few weeks will hold (as a side note, I will start updating this a lot more)

Check out this blog post from Coach Lisa who has a team in the I AM CROSSFIT Challenge. This all applies to the Trojan Challenge also.

"Here's my unofficial theory:
Weeks 1-3: These weeks fly by! They are 'cake' (not literally, SS!) or at least you are carried through with the excitement of a new challenge!

Weeks 7 & 8: Also, 'cake' because week 7 you're almost done, you can see the light, and you're enjoying the progress you've already made - Week 8, EASY - it's the last week!

Weeks 4, 5, & 6: These weeks are the proving ground. This is the time to use your life lines - phone a friend (do you have a support system in place?)- ask the audience (your team is here to support) - consult an expert (call your coach)! By now you are aware of when and where you get tripped up. You also know what to do to stay on track. Plan - commit - make it happen!
This is also a good time to reassess your goals.
Are they realistic? Are you taking the steps you committed to in order to reach them? Do they need to be adjusted with your coach?"

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Trojan Challenge Group Workouts

Due to work/school/work outs/attempting to sleep, I have neglected my blog soooooo here is a very long update.

First off, we are starting off our third week of the Trojan Challenge! So far, I have lost 4 pounds, started toning up, and increased my kettle bell weight! Here are my starting stats (might as well post them):
      Weight: 148
       Body Fat %: 29 % 
I will admit, I was pretty disappointed with my body comps because my weight and body fat increased (thank you holidays) BUT I lost some inches and gained some lean body mass so all in all not too shabby.

 The Trojan Challenge Benchmark took place at Westlake High School on January 8th where we had a group workout and got to meet our team and coaches.

 My challenge team is "Team Domination" aka "Team D" our coaches are Karen and Chris and we pretty much rock. 
                                                                  "Team D" post WOD

                Our benchmark work out: (3 rounds, each for time)
                 20 American Swing    
                 40 yard Gasser
                 20 Kettlebell Snatches
                 40 yard Gasser
                 20 Lunge Pass Throughs
                  40 yard Gasser
                  20 Burpees (ugh)
                 * I would like to mention that this is all being done AFTER the 400m run 
                  (while holding our kettle bells)
                 Times: (I used a 15 pound bell)
                 Round 1: 4:57
                 Round 2: 5:08
                 Round 3: 5:44
                *This will be repeated at the end of the challenge using the same weight.

Team D finished strong and were supporting each other the whole time, so excited to be on such as awesome team!

                      The whole Relentless Bootcamp Trojan Challenge group.          

On January 15th we had a Kettle Bell skills workshop at the Crossfit Central Gym where we broke up into small groups so we could work on movements and technique. I was able to use the 20lb bell for some movements (weight increase after just one week!!!)

I had some fellow "Team D" members in my group. Amy rocks the kettle bell so it was great having her in the group with me since she was able to give me some tips.

                                                 Post workshop, CC loves group pics!!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My 2011 BHAG(s)

BHAG=Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals. As the Crossfit Central coaches say..."if it doesn't make you squirm, it isn't a goal"  So here are my 2 squirm-worthy goals of 2011!

~Run a full marathon by December 31, 2011! 26.2!

~Be one of the Relentless Crossfit Success Stories! I want to be able to do "real" push ups (not my girly knee push ups) and I want an awesome, in-shape pic on the Relentless website :)

As a side note: Dear Luluemon (developer of the BHAG), thank you for making awesome running/yoga gear that ALWAYS makes me look skinny. <3 Ash