I do hope all on the east coast are safe and sound after Sandy blew in and wreaked havoc. While many of you were preparing and battening down for Hurricane Sandy I was enjoying my cross fit session on Monday morning. Our WOD was “The Carol” a series of cardio explosive exercises done in 30 minutes as many rounds as you can do. About 5 rounds in the session I realize that I have done this WOD before; therefore, during the jumping jacks portion I start looking at the white wall with all our workout sessions and realize we did this WOD on Oct 1st. Four weeks earlier I noticed that I did 6 rounds. This day I was on 5 and determined to do 8 rounds.
30 minutes and 8 rounds later I had finished my WOD and realized that four weeks later I had increased by 2 rounds which means I’m getting faster and stronger every week and seeing it up on the wall just gives me more motivation to push harder and push through even if I might feel like calling it quits.
Tomorrow will be a trick or treat of a cross fit session but no matter what she brings our way I’ll be ready to try and tackle it. This type of workout session is becoming just as addictive as my Bikram in terms of how I feel during and afterward. I’m tired and some days I’m sore but I love the feeling of knowing that I’m getting stronger, faster and better with each session. We have yet to work on the pull-ups as she indicated last week but I’ll be patient because I know that she is moving us as a level that she feels we can handle and I’m going along and enjoying the ride.
The end of October brings crisp chilly dark mornings covered in fog which leads me to bring out long sleeves, long pants, and running jackets to keep the chill out and the warmth in. I use Bikram to take the chill off but with the changing of the weather and seasons also brings the temperature change in the Bikram studio as well. I have 4 mornings a week that I start my day in the Bikram studio and this whole week I felt the room temperature change. There were moments when my body temperature actually stabilized enough to stop sweating during a 90 minute Bikram practice.
There is a time and we are in the time when I end up wearing many layers of clothes to keep my body temperature up and really feel the warmth in my bones in order to persuade my body to get into the postures that it remembers but needs a little extra help from the heat to really get the full benefits. The heat really helps my body feel good and makes the postures easier to manipulate. Yes, I’m manipulating my body to get into some of these postures even 4 years later.
I use the heat to reduce fluid on my joints from inflammation and although I think my diet is helping to elevate some of the inflammation and fluid this time of year brings on a certain amount of inflammation that I’m not sure I have control over. In the summer time I’m naturally sweating more and reducing inflammation and fluid and in the winter it seems that my body wants to stiffen up and cause me some soreness. I have dealt with this soreness for 9 years but I believe I can continue to lessen it. My hope is that I can lessen it. Just a month ago I was climbing out of bed without any stiffness or soreness and now there are mornings that I wake up needing to take it a bit easier.
So far I haven’t woken up stiff on Cross fit mornings but if I do I will need to deal with it. There will be mornings when I gingerly walk into Cross Fit mentally ready to take on any task she asks but physically it might be harder said than done. The days I get the heat from Bikram help with the days that I don’t but still need to perform my best. I have started attending some evening Bikram classes since the heaters have been on all day and it seems to be hotter at night than during the morning. If I can keep the heat hot and my body limber than this winter I can continue to do what I want. I’m 170 days without a flare and going strong. My exercise routine is not too intense but just intense enough and although I got on the elliptical machine this morning for a half hour before my Bikram class I realized how actually boring being on that machine really is. I am much happier working out on BOSU balls, weight training, sprinting, walking outside and doing vinyasa flow with lots of Bikram sprinkled in between. The days of grinding it out on elliptical machines and stair climbers really are a thing of the past for me. Heat will never be a thing of the past.
This is an incredible recipe for this time of year. It was easy and although I made the dessert tasting one I’m going to make the savory side dish one next. This is one of my dishes that I’m taking to Thanksgiving this year and I know it will be a hit. Everyone will think I slaved over it and no one would even ask if it is a Paleo friendly or not. The year I was gluten-free for Thanksgiving it was a big deal but this year I’m hoping to just bring the things that Matthew and I will eat and bring up Paleo, gluten-free, dairy free or anything else we might be free from this year.
The foods we are making and trying will be a success and whenever anything tastes great no one asks what isn’t in it just what is the recipe. I won’t give my family this link I would certainly write out the recipe for anyone who might want it. Pumpkin, warmth, sweet tasting and yummy has autumn and Thanksgiving written all over it. This is a perfect individual side or dessert to take anywhere. They are the perfect size with just a cup of yumminess in each ramekin. I’m very pleased with these delightful treats.
Do you see a theme here? My “news” will stop after this one, well maybe. Honestly today is my 40th birthday and I don’t feel any different today than I did yesterday. I don’t feel 40 but then again what is 40 supposed to feel like? Many people say I don’t look like I belong in the 40 club and I take that as a compliment. I certainly don’t want to look older than 40 but I really don’t think I’m a good judge of how old people are based on how they look. I usually always get it wrong when I try to guess someone’s age.
Some days I feel old and tired but most days I just feel normal and grateful I can do what I want most of the time. Soon I’ll be expressing that 50 is the new 30 but not for another decade. I wonder how I will feel a decade from now? Last decade I was planning my wedding and my life with my new husband. This decade I’m working hard so I don’t have to the next decade and I’m enjoying being an Auntie to my favorite little nephew. I’m also enjoying being a wife, sister, daughter and friend to my best support group in the entire world. The people with me today are the same people that were with me a decade ago and I’m hoping these same people will be standing next to me all through this decade and many more to come. I have surrounded myself with an incredible support system and the love they have for me is overwhelming. I in turn would do anything for them and I say my Namaste for each and everyone of them.
I spent the morning of my birthday at a 6am Bikram class and honestly there was no where else I wanted to be at 6am. As the day went on I spent it with my husband, another place and person I wouldn’t want to be anywhere without and later I’ll see the rest of my family. I’m an extremely lucky person and honored to be loved so deeply.
This season my motto is “strong is the new skinny” and living it. The other day I had someone say to me that I was looking thin and although not too long ago that would have been a compliment to me. It still could be and I’m not saying that I was offended by the comment but I would have felt even better had she said I was looking strong or muscular. My goal is to continue to work for my strength and actually have it show in definition in my arms, back, chest and abs. My legs already look really strong and honestly they are about the only thing that is actually getting bigger on my body. I’m not looking for a body builder type body but I do want people in my life and outside it to notice some real definition.
Unless I tell people that in June I couldn’t do 1 single push-up but 4 months later I’m doing 100 push-ups they get that I’m strong and getting stronger all the time but I want them to see it. I want to be noticed for great arms and back. With that said I’m going to start learning how to do a pull-up and today I cannot complete 1. Truly not 1 but that doesn’t mean in 4-6 months from now I won’t be able to do several. This may be more wear and tear on my upper body than I’ ready for but I still want to try.
I have found Cross Fit Radio and to hear the stories on this station it is amazing to me. I do think that the culture of Cross Fit is intimidating and as I have mentioned before I’m doing Cross Fit for the masses or the average. The people in our fitness center are as average as I am but little by little we are all getting stronger and stronger. We don’t compete but instead cheer each other on and I’m sure that is what happens in the real Cross Fit gym setting but I do envision a lot of people competing with each other and themselves. Friendly competition is fine but I’m not competitive by nature, instead I’m the cheerleader of the group making sure everyone is doing well and enjoying themselves. This persona is also how I live my life outside the gym and in my career. In some cases a career like mine would be competitive for me I don’t have the will or need to be competitive but I do have the need and will to help those around me.
How did I get so far off topic? It is clearly time to wrap this up and get back to learning how to do a proper pull-up.
Cooking is fun for me again since I’m able to try so many different recipes and although I’m getting the recipes from other sites, blogs and especially my new favorite book Practical Paleo I’m enjoying getting my hands into my food and putting my energy into the food that my husband and I are eating and creating. Making something as simple as eggs is way more fun when there are different oils and fats to work with as well as all the flavors and ingredients that go so well with eggs. I know that eggs are not part of the AIP – autoimmune protocol but I’m about 80% there now by getting rid of all night shades and seeds. I’m not eating any nut butters but will use actual nuts if I’m in a pinch and can’t grab something else to eat. I’m limiting my egg intake to 3 times a week which still might seem high to some people but this is really cutting back for me. This is a lifestyle change and although I won’t forever be on the AIP I need to ease into it and make sure that I don’t burn out.
This lifestyle is more about living and not about living without. There are certain things that I choose to keep in my diet because in the grand scheme of my life they are important. Are eggs important? No, but they certainly allow me to maintain a good level of calories and fat while also having the luxury of making 3 quick meals a week. I spend most of my day on Sunday in the kitchen preparing foods for the week and I really enjoy this process quite a bit. I know once I’m done my husband and I will have enough to eat and everything in our fridge will be Paleo friendly and delicious.
The weather is changing and we are tucked inside a bit more, snuggling up and watching movies so even the most disciplined need treats. We are dabbling with grain-free, dairy free, sugar free treats and having some success. I think it is important to know that average people with full time jobs and family lives can still create delicious foods with their own 2 hands in the their own kitchen that are healthy. A little time, a little prep, and a lot of love creates the best meals. This has become a new joy for me again and my options are endless.
I will blog and take pictures of some of my creations along with where I found them so if anyone is interested in trying some Paleo friendly recipes I’ll let you know the good ones. There is a perception with people in my life that I just eat bacon and yes I have become very fond of bacon which was a surprise but there are so many foods that I have found I really enjoy. Kelp noodles are fabulous and sardines are delightful, never mind sauerkraut that I didn’t realize I liked so much. I’m learning about different oils and fats and not afraid to eat fat and lots of it. Some I cook with and others I drizzle on already prepared foods since they are meant for high temps. Learning about Omega 3 vs Omega 6 and what to eat when has been educational. I’m learning and creating every day and really enjoying this new part of my new lifestyle.
Everyone needs a treat from time and time and I’m not talking about tricks or treats but instead the type of treat that reminds you of a childhood moment or warms your insides with love as you eat it. Even when eating no gluten or sugar or yes even dairy you can still find treats. Granted they sometimes don’t taste great and therefore aren’t worth it but I have found a treat well worth the effort.
I got it from a great website full of gluten-free paleo friendly recipes. Click here for all the details and truly enjoy. http://beta.primal-palate.com/recipe/chocolate-chip-cookies/
Just from the link you can already tell they are chocolate-chip-cookies and they are dynamite. Yesterday afternoon my husband and I wanted a really homey type treat so I started researching and found theses. We have tried many dessert type recipes that were complete failures so we don’t get to excited nor do we expect much when tinkering around with gluten-free, sugar free, dairy free recipes but this was different.
As I am making the batter it looks like real cookie dough batter and that is the first step. The cooking time was right on and when I took the cookie sheet out of the oven my husband actually said I was smiling at my own cookies. Looking like cookies is a good sign but they still have to taste like cookies and I would rather it not be bland and taste-less. These little morsels were marvelous and although I would recommend letting them cool because they fall apart when they are too warm we didn’t wait. We dug right in.
A little coconut milk for dunking and you have one incredible sweet treat. This is not an indulgent we do often but even the most disciplined need to splurge and enjoy treats every once in a while. I no longer get cravings when I see the donuts at work or the cupcakes and candy waiting to be eaten by anyone who wants them but I still miss my ice-cream and if I make a good treat I enjoy it. I knew we needed a treat when my husband said a box of donuts at his work looked good. He never ate donuts before therefore I realized that he was too deprived since he loves ice-cream and pie and has had none in over 2 months. He had cookies yesterday and I found an almond crust for pies so I can make him a gluten-free, sugar free, dairy free apple pie which will make him very happy and keep him from thinking about a stale box of donuts. Note to self, do not deprive to the point of seeing goodness in crap!!!