Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Competition Time- What to Bring!

It's competition time folks! I've already posted extensively regarding competitions but one thing I haven't touched on in a while is how to prepare for the actual day of competition i.e. what the heck do I bring to this thing? How do I eat? What am I going to need?

Now I'm a pretty seasoned competitor so I've definitely got my go-tos and getting ready for a competition for me really isn't that big of a deal anymore. But as the popularity of CrossFit and CrossFit Competitions continues to grow, more and more people get the desire to compete. Every year in College Station, BoomFit hosts a great competition called the BCS Games. It is one that we always encourage our new gym members to do if they want to compete. It's a great competition and great first competition and it's happening this Saturday (which happens to be my birthday...double awesome!) Since we are bringing a fair amount of Newbies from CrossFit Katy with us to try test themselves in their first competition this weekend, I thought I'd do a little post of things that I bring with me anytime that I compete.

List of Must-Haves:

Multiple pairs of shoes depending on the WOD (lifters, runners, nano's)
Atlas Power Wraps
Jump Rope (good for warm up even if it's not in a WOD)
Change of Socks
Change of shorts (believe me, if you plan on going out to eat after, you will want extra shorts!)
Bug Spray
Tylenol (I don't use Advil or any NSAID's but I do use Tylenol if I get headaches)

List of Must Haves in my cooler:

Protein Powder
Shaker Bottles
Coconut Water
Baked Sweet Potato
Deli Turkey Meat
Fruit- Usually Banana and Grapes or Strawberries
Nuts or Trail Mix
Applesauce in the easy squeeze packs

Ok so that's about it. Good luck to all our newbies this weekend! It's going to be tons of fun!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Stop and Listen to the Music

I came across this video from a post that a friend put on Facebook. Usually I don't really pay attention to those "chain" posts. You know the ones that have been posted and reposted and shared and what not and then you wonder if they're even real. Where do some of those come from anyway? But for some reason I actually read this one, and then I looked it up. Turns out that this story was true.

Back in 2007, the Washington Post did a was really more like a social experiment. They wanted to know if we would still recognize beauty if it was inconvenient. At 7:51am on a Friday, a young man set up post at the L'Enfant Plaza Station of the Washington Metro. This was of course, rush hour, and most people were busy heading to their respective jobs. The young man pulled out a violin and began playing, with an open case, like many street musicians have probably done before him. But this young man wasn't your ordinary street musician. His name is Joshua Bell and he is one of the greatest concert violinist in the world. Just three days before this little experiment, Bell had played to a sold out audience at Boston's Symphony Hall where seats were going for a minimum of $100 a piece! Of the 1,097 people that passed him by that morning only seven people stopped for over a minute to listen!

I don't know why this story stuck with me today but it really did. I couldn't stop thinking about it. I think I have watched the video about ten times and every time I do I can't help but wonder, would I have stopped to listen to the music? Would you?

I think we could all stand to take more time to stop and listen to the music.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Competition Season

Oktoberfest Obliteration is over but the only thing that really means is that competition season has finally begun for the 2012-2013 year. I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew this season but it will be a good test to see how well I can manage a high volume of competition without letting my actual training suffer. It's easy to get caught up in competitions, but if you allow yourself to do that, you may end up sacrificing your training. What I mean is, you end up putting too much into the actual competition so the week before and the week of, you may end up slacking a bit on your actual training to be "fresh" for the competition that weekend. This is all well and good but when you're signed up for as many comps as I am, you have to really prioritize. So far, my competition season looks like this:

October 20th- Oktoberfest Obliteration IV
November 3rd- BCS Games in College Station
November 10th- Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon
December 8th- ACO in Dallas
December 15th- Get Fit or Die Mayan Team Comp.
January 5th- H-Town Throwdown Partner Comp.
January 19th & 20th- Fittest Games in Austin (as long as I get in)

Then the 2013 CrossFit Open should start sometime in February! Whew that is crazy! It looks much crazier when you put them all down on paper like that. So like I was saying, if I don't prioritize then I may end up slacking off in my actual training when most of these competitions are just for fun! I mean all competitions are for fun but there are some that I know I want to be totally fresh for and there's some that I am going to treat like just another day of training.

For anybody that intends to tackle this many competitions along with preparing for the Open, Regionals and beyond, there are definitely a few things that are going to be essential to stay ready and to not become over-trained.

The first one is obviously nutrition. Right now I am about 85% Paleo. I am not perfect nor do I really intend to be for the long run. I am feeling like I am running with about 5-8 extra lbs on me right now and will need to really buckle down if I'm going to get them off but I still believe the majority of my diet is right on. I get plenty of protein (probably too much) mostly from grass-fed or pastured meats that I buy from Yonder Way Farms. I eat veggies regularly and get enough fat. My non-Paleo treats include starbucks drinks, lara bars (paleo but mostly sugar still), and even an occasional cupcake or pancake (I know, there's my extra 5lbs right there). The core of my nutrition is where it needs to be and I am doing well with nutrient timing so I have been recovering from my workouts and competitions well so far.

The second important factor to prevent over-training is sleep. You have to get enough sleep if you intend to stay lean, build muscle, recover from your workouts and most importantly manage stress. Exercise is a physical stress. Your job, family duties, finances, relationships....those are all mental stressors. Here's the catch though, your body can't tell the difference between the two. So if you have a shit ton of mental stress right now, and you are trying to work out 5 days a week and you are running on no sleep, you are going to get overtrained and your performance will suffer. You also probably will be no fun to be around. Make it a priority to get enough sleep. There are definitely nights when that is not going to happen. The trick is taking advantage of the nights when you can get enough sleep. Part of sleep is actually training and routine. Meaning you have to train yourself to go to bed earlier. When you first start to do this, you will end up just laying in bed at first wondering why you are there. But eventually, after many, many nights of laying there,  your body will begin to adjust and you will fall asleep. So start tonight. Go to bed 30 minutes earlier.

The third is taking care of your body physically. Whether that means mobility, getting massages, acupuncture or visiting your favorite Airrosti provider, you need to give your body some love (hey nobody said being competitive was cheap).

Lastly I think the key to keeping it all together is proper supplementation. If we want to be high performance athletes, then there's no way around this. You absolutely can't get everything you need from food alone.

So hopefully, with this combination, I'll make it through this competition season ready to take on the Open! Happy WODing!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Oktoberfest Obliteration IV

Well, I have definitely not been successful with this little experiment of blogging everyday and doing a month-long nutrition challenge. And I guess it's time to stop apologizing for it and just accept it and strive to do the best I can right now. But that's not what this post is about. This post is about Oktoberfest Obliteration IV!
Yesterday was OOIV. This competition, run by the Munson's over at CrossFit Champions, has quickly become one of the biggest competitions in the area, and of course a lot of big names and awesome athletes come out to compete. It's always a ton of fun and this year was no different. For whatever reason, Matt Munson decided it was a good idea to put me in the last heat of Elite Women which was of course STACKED with amazing ladies. Games competitors Candice Ruiz, Jessica Estrada, Regionals athletes Chelsea Lewis and Chely Galvan and many, many more! Not to mention all the amazing athletes in the heats before me like CrossFit Katy's own Brittani has she become a serious competitor over this last year! Anway, I was excited to be in such a great heat but I was also pretty apprehensive about it. At least this year some of the WOD's totally played to my strengths.
The first WOD was a short, intense 8 min WOD with 125# push jerks and burpees in it. I had a pretty steep goal for that one and fell short a little but was overall pretty happy with my performance. I pretty much think on the second WOD, Munson thought "what WOD would Leah Goldstein really like to see?" Haha! I mean obviously not but I don't think I could have asked for something better. The WOD was 90 seconds of max Front Squats at 115# That's right, 90 seconds. I know, I know that's really short for a CrossFit WOD but it was awesome and tough. A real gut check to see if you could talk yourself out of wanting to put the bar down. The 3rd WOD had a bit of the unknown and unknowable with a 400m run with a slosh ball. A slosh ball is basically a Bosu ball half filled with water. Man that thing was awkward! After those first 3 WOD's I was sitting in 7th place which was AMAZING! I don't think I've ranked that high in such a tough competition ever. I was really feeling good!...But then WOD 4 happened! Ugg! WOD 4 consisted of three different AMRAP's. Each AMRAP counted as its own workout and you were, therefore, ranked for how you did in each of the different WOD's. I think that actually worked towards my favor because I really don't do well in long AMRAP's. I'm a power athlete. I need short, heavy reps and WOD's. So the first AMRAP which was 3 minutes of 215# deadlifts and burpees was pretty good for me. The other two AMRAP's which were 6 and 9 minutes respectively tore me apart! I ended up falling from 7th to 13th place after it was all said and done. I have to admit, I was pretty bummed about it. But, like all competitions, the point is to make you a better athlete. I know there are some movements that I still need to work on and it's really easy to push those movements aside...until they come up in competitions and bite you in the ass! (I'm talking to you Chest to Bar Pull Ups!) Anway, the next stop for me is All-Cities Open. I've got 7 weeks to prep for it! Watch out's time for a rematch!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I read an interesting article today from the NPR blog about sleep and its affects on body composition, particularly adipose tissue's response to insulin. You can read the full article, you can go here.
The point of the article is that if you don't sleep enough, you're going to gain weight or at the best you're not going to lose weight. I think when people make decisions to lose weight or get in shape, they spend a lot of time worrying about their diet and fitness. They painstakingly count calories, cut out favorite foods, carve out time to work out (sometimes even getting up super early to do that) but they never think about going to bed earlier. At the clinic where I work, we see a lot of patients who want to lose weight. They've tried every diet and they work out religiously, but when you ask them about their daily lives, you find that they sometimes are getting a measly 5-6 hours of sleep a night! Yikes. Considering the study that was done in the aforementioned article says a mere 8 days of consistently getting too little sleep can have massive impacts on your fat cells, think about how much damage we are doing to ourselves by routinely getting this little sleep! I hear a lot of people say, "but I can't go to bed early, I have too much to do!" I know that we all have busy lives, but when you ask the average person how many hours of television they watch a night, or how much time they spend on the computer, you realize that there are extra hours in the day and many of us should spend that time in bed!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Test Results!

I may or may not have posted this earlier but I have been experimenting a lot with my nutrition and supplementation routine lately and after attending the American Academy of Anti-Aging Sports Medicine Conference in Chicago, I ran some additional bloodwork on myself. Well, those results have finally come back and it is surprising to say the least! For anybody that believes that you can be a competitive CrossFitter and get all of your nutrients just from food, you are wrong! I know for myself at least that there were many nutrients that I readily consume via food like B-Vitamins that were not at optimal levels when tested. That's because we ask so much of our bodies when we CrossFit or really compete at any high level sport. Obviously every individual is unique and it really takes some in-depth clinical testing to find out what your body needs but there are some universal generalizations that can apply to most athletes. Now, that I have my specific micronutrient levels, I am really excited to adjust my supplementation and see if I can continue to improve on my performance, body composition, inflammation and overall health.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Oktoberfest WOD's Are Up!!

This is the first year that I have done Oktoberfest as an individual and I'm pretty excited and just a little nervous! I mean even with as many competitions as I have done, I still get a little anxious before them. Oktoberfest is one of the biggest competitions of the season. Matt and Pam Munson over at CrossFit Champions have been putting it on for the last 4 years and it seems like it just keeps getting bigger! As of last year, Oktoberfest became the first competition in the Annual Triple Crown of the South Series. It consists of three competitions (Oktoberfest, All Cities Open, and Fittest Games) and if anyone wins all of them, they go home with some serious cash. If nobody wins all of them, then the person who finishes highest in all three wins a little piece of the pot. This year, I hope to compete at all three Triple Crown Events.
The WOD's for Oktoberfest were announced today. For complete info and video demo's of the WOD's click here. I am pretty excited about two of the WOD's and not so excited about the other two. I love the WOD with the heavy push jerks. Push Jerk's aren't my best movement but I'm pretty strong so I'm happy to see a WOD that could play to my strengths. The other short WOD has a sprint and moderately heavy front squats! YES!!! I love front squats. That WOD should have been named Leah! Now unfortunately I think Matt Munson must have known exactly what kind of WOD I also would HATE to see! The Run Forrest Run WOD is going to be my nemesis. It consists of three 400m runs with different weighted implements. I suck at running and three 400's is a lot for me. At least some of them are weighted. I feel like that may even the playing fields just a bit for us bigger girls. We'll see. I think it's still going to kill me!
Anyway, go to the link and check 'em out and be sure to come out to Oktoberfest and yell your hearts out for CrossFit Katy!!!

Nutrition Fail

Ok, it's time to stop pretending that this little "nutrition challenge" is working for me right now. I started off with very good intentions but just haven't been able to see this thing through. Don't get me wrong, my breakfasts, lunches and dinners have been great lately. But my snacks are killing this nutrition challenge. I can't seem to lay off the dairy and sugars. Maybe I am an all or nothing kind of person. It could be time for a 21-Day Sugar Detox or a true Whole 30. Here's the thing. If I was totally and completely happy with my body composition right now, I wouldn't change anything. I think it's perfectly healthy to eat a 90% Paleo diet with a few weekly cheats in there (like coffee drinks from starbucks or gluten free treats) But the fact of the matter is that I am not entirely happy with my body comp and if I really want to change things, I'll have to buckle down. Programs like the Whole 30 or 21 Day Sugar Detox are great for that because they have very clear cut "rules" if you will. So now I guess the big question is, how bad do I want it? That's the question that I think everybody has to ask themselves before they start any kind of nutrition or fitness program. What are your goals and how bad do you want to attain them?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I Love Saturdays

Saturdays are one of my favorite days. I guess that sounds kind of dumb because most people love Saturdays. Usually because they don't have to work. Well, I have to work on Saturdays but I love it. Saturdays at CrossFit Katy are so much fun. At 8am we have Open Gym/Squat Class. I usually spend that hour though coaching one of my fave little CrossFitters. (She's 10 and thinks CrossFit is the coolest sport ever!) At nine o'clock we have our Saturday morning Team/Partner WOD. I love the Team WOD's because people get so into it! I mean there's competition every day in every class at CrossFit Katy but Saturdays things just get kicked up a bit because there's so many people. The atmosphere is great and it's a fun class to coach. Next we have our beginner class which usually finishes up around 11:30am then it's time for Lunch. I guess I love Saturdays so much because there's kind of some ritual behind it. Neal and I always go out for lunch on Saturdays and usually we get to get together with some good friends. The rest of the weekend is really up in the air for us. This weekend I drove to Austin to visit my mom and step-dad. One of my best friends from high school is moving to Seattle this week so we all got together tonight at my mom's for a good bye dinner if you will. Change is hard for me I think. As much as I would love to say that I love spontaneity and adventure, I think I'm really just comfortable being settled. So as fun as it is I know for my friends to embark on this new journey, I think I'll just keep my Saturdays. Here's to being happy where you are...

Friday, October 12, 2012


Well it's friday! Made it through another week. I'm happy to report that this little experiment really seems to be working in a lot of aspects. I feel so much better during my workouts. I have motivation and persistence again. I know that seems kind of strange because those are all things that I think people really look at as mental issues. They simply berate themselves for not trying harder at least that's what I used to say. I pretty much thought the reason my workouts and performance were suffering was because I just wasn't trying hard enough, that I just didn't care enough about it anymore and that made me kind of sad. But now I realize just how important nutrient and micronutrient status an be as far as CrossFit is concerned. We tell our bodies to do so much for us and if we don't give it what it needs, how can we expect it to do well. The brain I think has this kind of protection system. It knows that you are not at your peak nutrient-wise so instead of allowing you to barrel through, it tells you to slow down. Anyway, that's the good news. The bad news is I am still a bit heavy. Haven't really budged in the weight department and that's because I am still not being as strict as I need to be I think to see results. I am having to toughest time giving up sugars. Today I had a larabar and an apple and some chocolate milk in my coffee at work and this was all before noon. Those sugars are going to be the death of me. I thought I could really do this whole nutrition challenge thing without having to do a strict Whole 30 but that may not work. It's too late to cut back too much now since Oktoberfest is around the corner. You never want to mess with things too much right before a big competition. We'll see! I'm pretty excited to see what Munson throws at us this year. The WODs come out Monday! I'll be sure and keep y'all posted! Goodnight for now.

Shoulder Post Rope Climbs

Sorry guys, forgot to get this up last night....

After having probably the most awesome day possible as far as my shoulder pain is concerned (on weds), I was really anxious to see how it would hold up after all those rope climbs we did last night. Good news is that it really is not that sore! No aching in the morning when I woke up and I hardly noticed it all day. I did test it out by trying to hold the top of a ring dip and that still hurts :( but it's progress! Today is definitely a rest day for me! I love Thursdays because I get up early and knock out coaching the 4 morning classes at CrossFit Katy and then I come home, walk the dogs and eat lunch, then I head out to my other job up at Specialty Healthcare and Wellness for the afternoon. After work, I have the night off! I love it because I get to come home, usually walk my dogs again (I know, they're spoiled but it's good for me too) then I have the whole evening to relax and make dinner. Thursday nights are usually the nights that I get to be a little more creative with dinner because I've actually got the time. Tonight the menu was Paleo chicken fried steak and okra. I know, I know, how do you make Paleo chicken fried steak??? It's actually really easy. I buy the tenderized round steak from Yonder Way Farms. It's actually one of the cheaper cuts of meat that they sell which is a bonus cause Neal loves this dish. So you heat up some coconut oil in a pan. You really have to use coconut oil because you're frying and it has the highest smoke point. Anyway, so you heat it up in pan then you cut your steak into personal sized pieces (it comes in a long strip) dip them in egg and then almond flour. If you want to get fancy, you can season the almond flour however you like. I just do it plain. You fry the now-breaded steaks in the coconut oil for about 4-5 minutes a side. I don't really use a timer. They cook up pretty fast. Ta da! Paleo Chicken Fried Steak! Like I said, Neal loves this dish which is good because there's nothing that will kill your motivation to stay Paleo like boredom! Got to keep mixing it up or you'll be tempted to cheat.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day Ten

Holy cow, I think I'm having a breakthrough! So it's day ten of this little experiment of mine. I really can't say that my nutrition has been perfect because it hasn't. I mean I am being really conscious of what I'm eating but I still have dairy and I still have small amounts of sugar. Probably why I have had no weight loss since I started. That and I may have to reevaluate my portions. Anyway, on to the breakthrough. Today is the first day that I have woken up, gone all day, done a tough WOD and have had NO shoulder pain at all!! I mean none. It wasn't even sore to the touch this morning. That is a breakthrough. Honestly, the only thing that I have been religious about in these past ten days has been my supplementation routine. I am not ready to post about it yet because I am still figuring out the perfect combination for myself but things are looking really good. Today in class we had another nasty WOD concocted by Mike that went something like this:

10 minute cap:


Rope Climbs
Squat Snatch (increasing weight each round)

Now, we only have 3 ropes in the gym so we did it in 3 heats (hence the time cap or we'd be there all night) I was in heat two and I got through the first two rounds no problem. Ran out of time during the third round but I really wasn't upset at all. I didn't think I'd get past the round of 4 rope climbs without being wrecked and I did fine. If I had had 5 more minutes, I think I actually could have finished that WOD. That's pretty big for me oh and did I mention my shoulder didn't hurt! :)

My nutrition today was a little off. I had a bowl of paleo chili for breakfast because I was too lazy to cook and some coffee. The coffee had a little dairy in it and by the middle of the morning classes, I had some serious indigestion/burps. Something definitely didn't agree with me and that kind of set up my whole day to feel bloated. Anyway, lunch was light. Steamed crab and shrimp from Fish City Grill (yummy!) topped it off with a cappuchino which is again more dairy. I really think I need to cut it out for a while looking back at my bloated feeling throughout the day. I had a little hot tea and almond butter for a snack and a pre-workout concoction of some supplements in a little coconut water. After the WOD, I had a post-workout protein shake and then came home and had a few scrambled eggs and an apple with almond butter because I just wasn't that hungry. Tomorrow I am aiming to do no dairy and see if that helps this heavy/bloated feeling. I also think I need to check my portion sizes so a little food journaling might be happening over here. Anyway, it's off to bed before starting another early morning at CF Katy. Hopefully this shoulder continues to behave. I'll be anxious to see how it feels tomorrow after all those rope climbs.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My favorite Paleo Pick Ups

Confession, I am not as good as you may think I am. I think people are always amazed at how consistently Paleo I am and they read my posts about grass-fed beef and pastured and wild meats and while I really do have my fridge stocked with these items, I definitely get help to stay on track. I think we all try to do it all. We have jobs or raise kids, take care of the house, grocery shop, workout and we're expected to have perfectly healthy, organic, Paleo meals ready for us and our family 24/7. Well, that's just not reality. So a lot of us decide that its just easier to get "convenience food" and give up on our healthy eating habits because we can't be perfect. I think that's just an excuse. That's taking the easy way out. I mean you can't eat out breakfast, lunch and dinner and really expect to be healthy. You are going to have to do some cooking and you are going to have to put in some effort BUT there are definitely some "go-to" for quick Paleo pick ups for those nights or days when you just can't do it all. These are my favorites:

Rotisserie Chicken from Super Pollo Rico on Mason. Neal and I like to pick up a whole chicken with four sides to eat after class sometimes when we're too tired to cook and don't have any steak thawed. We always get salad and plantains for our sides. That way we're getting some veggies, protein and a starchy carb in the Paleo-friendly plantains. Plus they're delicious.

Fajitas from El Jarrito or Las Mananitas. We tend to get the big order where you get some shrimp and stuff too. Just tell them that you don't want the chips, tortillas, beans and rice and ask for extra guac.

War Wonton Soup from Orient Cafe. This is not perfectly Paleo but it's one of the freshest and lightest soups around. We always get two orders even though one is supposed to be enough for two people. It is a clear brothed soup with tons of fresh veggies in it and chicken, beef, pork and shrimp. They usually put 2 or 3 wontons in it which really isn't that much considering the size. I usually finish about 3/4 of mine and save the rest for a snack.

Barbecue from Rudy's or Red River BBQ. We get the brisket and sausage. Sometimes we get ribs but you're going to want to stay away from them if you're doing a nutrition challenge or are aiming for weight loss because they tend to have a lot of sugars in the rub. At Red River BBQ you can even get a plain, dry baked sweet potato to go with your meat. Sides at BBQ joints are tricky so we tend to stick with green beans and maybe a little coleslaw.

Lamb and Chicken Gyro Meat from Shishkebob Cafe on Fry. We order it by the pound and it is soooo amazingly delicious. We also get sides of shirazi salad which is chopped cucumber, tomato, and onion with parsley and spices. It is so good and different.

Those are really our "go-tos". If I'm not cooking up grilled steak or some kind of crock-pot concoction, this is generally what we're eating.

Side Note: I made a big pot of Paleo chili today with grassfed beef and venison. This is another tip. Make big batches of stuff so you can eat off of it for days.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Suck It Fran!

Well it's day eight of this little nutrition challenge/experiment. I may not have really gone into much detail before, but the real reason I am doing this is because I think my performance in the gym (and really in life) has been lacking. I have low energy, I am heavier, more body fat, have felt very little motivation or drive in most of my workouts. My nutrition was poor by my standards, sleep was less and stress was/is higher. And my dang AC joint that I injured at Regionals is STILL bugging me! Ugg, that was 5 months ago!
Along with my job at CrossFit Katy, I work part-time at a Wellness clinic in Bellaire (and Sienna Plantation) doing Paleo Nutrition, Athletic Performance, Hormone Balancing, etc. We're a pretty cutting edge facility really. One of the coolest things we do for our Athletes (and people in general) is Micronutrient Testing and Inflammation Assessments. Then we recommend appropriate nutrition and supplementation protocols. Back when I started in February, I had my blood work tested and got on a concoction of supplements. After about 7 weeks, I was feeling amazing! I was lean, had tons of energy and was kicking ass in my workouts (mostly) Regionals was coming up and I was pumped! But after Regionals was over and my "season" ended, I really slipped into some pretty lax eating habits, stopped working out as much and ran out of my supplements and stopped taking them. I know, I am a bad patient. And while I definitely feel that there is a serious need for "seasons" and periodization (I'll cover that in another post) I let myself slip pretty far. Well, a few weeks ago I went to a Sports Medicine Conference in Chicago and wow my head literally exploded with information. That's when it really hit me. How was I supposed to properly treat athletes to make them the best that they can be if I was so off-base with my own performance?? That's when I really decided to do this thing. I have so far had my blood re-tested (the results are pending) and I have started a new supplement protocol. I have only been doing this for 8 days now, but I am already feeling better.
Today at the gym we did Fran! Infamous Fran! I haven't done Fran in literally months...maybe even a year and I wasn't very optimistic about it because I still haven't had that pop back in my workouts yet and I am still heavier than I want to be. But I sucked it up and pushed through and guess what....I got a HUGE PR! 3:42! That's the fastest Fran time of any girl in our gym so far! So right now, I am feeling pretty optimistic about my new routine. I am still hoping to drop a few pounds and lean out and I am still hoping for some more energy and go in my workouts, but if this is any indication of where I could be out South Central!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Back to normalcy

Well, that whirlwind of a vacation is over. And yes, if you are counting, I did not post last night. We got back to our hotel room late from the last of the wedding festivities and I got lost in packing and getting ready for my 8am flight this morning and forgot to blog! Fail number one. Believe me folks, it won't happen again and I am even going to extend my blog to all of October (that's 31 days!) to make up for it. Anyway, if there's one thing this trip has taught me is that it is possible to have self-restraint even at wedding festivities. Pick your most important meals throughout the festivities and don't get caught up in the "but its a wedding" feeling around you. I made my choices, indulged in the not-to-be missed events (like the hand selected winery reception) and turned down the not as special (like the fancy beers at the Irish pub....that was hard!) You'll feel better about yourself for not going over the edge and it makes coming back home that much easier. Tonight Neal cooked me a delicious sirloin and I made some broiled zucchini with grass-fed butter. I am still dealing with some sugar cravings so I've got myself some different hot teas and decaf coffees to get me through those tough times. A good tip for night time cravings is to make yourself a cup of hot tea and dissolve a tsp or two of coconut oil into it. The added fat gives you some satiety and keeps you from mindlessly munching. Tomorrow I plan on making some paleo chili in the crockpot! yummo! It's finally getting cool enough that hot soups and stews are going to be coming back on the menu. I think my crock pot is going to be my new best friend since it makes prepping food soooo easy! I do have to admit that my pantry is still pretty pathetic. Since we've moved, I have not really stocked up on anything. When you keep a Paleo kitchen, your pantry generally gets neglected in favor of the fresh stuff but there are some staples that every Paleo cook should have on-hand including:
Canned Coconut Milk
Canned Tomatoes
Chicken and Beef Stock
Tomoto Paste
Spices, Spices, Spices!

A quick trip to Costco should take care of that though and they have a great selection of organic and even some grass-fed and wild caught items. I missed the Yonder Way Farms delivery this week as I was out of town. The next delivery, it will be time to stock up on some stew meats, roasts and chickens for soup.
The next few months are shaping up to be pretty ridiculously busy! My first big competition since Regionals is coming up in less than two weeks and I'm really pumped and a little nervous. I also have a half marathon coming up in November. Suffice to say, it's going to be a busy fall. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Now off to bed for a good night's sleep before the crazy week begins again.

Friday, October 5, 2012

When to say yes

Today I got to witness the legal marriage of my amazing aunt Janine to the love of her life Trish at Niagara Falls! Trish and Janine have been together for fifteen years. The first time I met Trish was when my aunt brought her to my 13th birthday dinner. I can't believe it's been that long! In that fifteen years, they have celebrated so much including the birth of my triplet cousins (who are now eleven!) and have been a family in every sense of the word but now they truly get to celebrate their marriage! Obviously weddings present their own challenges as far as nutrition is concerned. Up until this point I have been amazing at sticking to my guns. I did not partake I the casual rehearsal dinner meal of pasta and bread opting instead to have an extra large serving of salad and veggies. I drank no wine and had no dessert. But today after the beautiful wedding on the brink of the falls, we all headed into Canada to a local winery for the reception. The menu was per selected by the brides and included such delicious dishes as tomato bisque, beet salad, salmon with lobster risotto and pumpkin cheesecake. This is one of the reasons why I decided not to do a whole thirty this month opting instead for a personalized nutrition challenge. Weddings are a time for celebration especially when it's family. Because of this I celebrated with my family and indulged in delicious food and two glasses of champagne. Does this mean I have officially failed my nutrition challenge? Of course not! This is just an example of knowing when to say yes. I will never again be at my aunts wedding at a beautiful winery in Niagara Falls. Today I said yes and tomorrow I will again know when to say no. And just for your knowledge, dinner was a steak and salad. :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Paleo on a plane

Well I made it to Niagara. I am currently blogging from my dad's iPad so forgive me if this post is short. I just wanted to talk a little about staying on track while traveling. It's easy to get caught unprepared when traveling. We spend so much time figuring out what we're bringing to wear that we forget about the actual journey. Airports are generally not very Paleo friendly so it can be really hard and really expensive to get the right kind of food. On this trip, I knew I didn't want to be caught unprepared so I made sure to include in my carry on larabars, oloves brand olives ( I talked about those in a previous post) easy squeeze applesauce and macadamia nuts. I can safely say that I made it through the trip without resorting to eating those little crackers they hand you on board. In my book, that's success!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sugar Cravings....nobody is immune!

Oh man! It's day three of my nutrition challenge and I am having full on sugar cravings! You see, I've been doing great so far. This morning I had two scrambled eggs and some coffee. Lunch was sauteed zucchini and elk sausage with some homemade Kombucha that my dad made! Wow was that delicious!  I was pretty busy this afternoon though, and didn't make it home until 6pm. Since my lunch was at noon, I came through the door starving! That's when the sugar cravings hit. I was so hungry, that all my body was telling me to eat was sugar. You're body will frequently lead you towards the sugary stuff at times like this for two reasons. The first is that sugar is the fastest source of energy for your body. It takes much longer for proteins and fats to digest. Also sugars affect the dopamine receptors in your brain releasing "feel good" hormones when you eat them. So when you're stressed or overly hungry, your body will crave sugar!
One of the beauties of the Paleo diet is that when you remove sugars from your diet, your body craves them less and less. One of the reasons is that you become an efficient fat burner meaning your body will oxidize stored body fat when you don't have any food around and your body needs energy. Unfortunately for me, I have allowed far too many sugars into my diet lately. Now that I am back on track, I will have to fight these sugar cravings off for the next week or so until my body gets regulated again.
Needless to say, I did not give in completely to my sugar cravings. I grabbed a larabar and had some hot tea to tide me over. Ordinarily, I would have just made dinner but Wednesday nights at 7:30pm are Advanced class nights! I love advanced class because I get to get together with my other trainers and advanced athletes and work on some really fun skills and throw down on some great WOD's. Tonight's little number looked like this:

3 Rounds
18 Pistols
9 Deficit Handstand Push Ups
3 Burpee Muscle Ups
Teams of two complete 3000m row switching every 300 meters.

That row was a serious lung burner!

Tomorrow I am off to Niagara Falls, NY to see my lovely Aunt get married to the love of her life, Trish. I am bringing my computer with me so I can keep up the blogging. I am hoping to get in a WOD at CrossFit Niagara but we'll see how the wedding weekend festivities go. Stay tuned with tips on how to stay on track while traveling! Goodnight for now!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Staying on Track on a busy day!

Whew! What a day! Tuesdays are usually my toughest days of the week. Right now I am working two jobs. The first one being my full time coaching job. I usually coach or co-coach 23 classes a week at CrossFit Katy. My second job is as a nurse and Paleo Nutrition specialist at Specialty Healthcare and Wellness in Bellaire, TX. We are one of the only clinics on the Paleo Physicians Network in the Houston area. We specialize in wellness, women's health, hormone balancing and athletic performance.  Now, don't get me wrong, I love both of my jobs, but Tuesdays are rough!
On Tuesdays I get up at 4:50am and get ready to coach the early morning classes at CrossFit Katy. I coach 5:30am, 6:30am, 8:30am and 9:30am. Then I have two hours to come home, make and eat lunch, walk my dogs and relax for a bit until I have to get in my car and drive up to Bellaire to my second job. I usually see three or four patients (working until about 4:30pm) and then I drive back to CrossFit Katy to co-coach the 5:30pm, 6:30pm, and 7:30pm classes. Most of the time when I come home I just want to collapse but a girls gotta eat! So I usually make dinner, watch tv or surf the net and then hit the sack at around 9:30 or 10:00pm. This Tuesday has been particularly tiring but I made a commitment to blog everyday for 30 days so here I am!
The point of this post is that there really are no excuses for eating poorly just because you're tired or stressed or busy. If I can do it on this crazy schedule, then so can you! My secret to success is making sure I'm prepared. Last night, I cooked one pound of ground beef and one pound of ground elk in a pan with some spices and greens. From this two pounds, I had dinner last night, breakfast this morning and lunch today. I had a tub of pre-made guacamole in the fridge from HEB and I just topped my meat with some guac and voila! Meat, Veggies, Fat! Perfect combination. For dinner tonight, I came home and grilled some lamb shoulder chops and sauteed some zucchini. This whole dinner took me 10 minutes to cook and probably 5 minutes to prep. That's pretty good so don't tell me you don't have 15 minutes to cook cause I know you do! Priorities people, get them straight.
Anyway, my go-to's for making sure that I'm prepared and can have a decent breakfast, lunch or dinner cooked in no time flat are:

Thawed Ribeye Steaks
Thawed Ground Beef, Bison or Elk
Some kind of Greens like Swiss Chard
Canned Salmon or Tuna
Frozen Broccoli

With this combo, I can pretty much make anything. Obviously, the more goodies and the more stocked your fridge and pantry are, the better off you'll be because you will have lots of choices and won't get bored. So that's my story for today. Now it's time for some sleep!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Day One!

Today is October 1st, 2012 and It's the first day of my personal nutrition challenge. I've been studying nutrition and experimenting with different ways of eating for about 3 1/2 years now. I have to date completed 3 Whole 30's and they've really taught me a lot about food and myself for that matter. I can safely say after all this time, I still don't have it all down! I think nutrition is an ongoing challenge for most of us. I'd say my diet is about 90% better than many people's but there's always room for improvement. So today I am embarking on another nutrition challenge. Just to clarify, I am not doing a Whole 30. I know that for me getting caught up in the little things (like whether or not my organic, nitrate-free lunch meat has less than 2% sugar) is not the path to success. But 30 days of shunning Starbucks Peppermint Mocha's and corn tortilla chips IS the path to success. I am carrying a few extra pounds these days and have some big competitions coming up. More importantly, I do not have as much energy and drive in my workouts as I would like to have and I think my nutrition and supplementation is a big part of that.
I was inspired recently by my friend and fellow CrossFitter, Matt Munson who has made it a goal to blog everyday for 365 days! While I don't think I can accomplish that goal right now, I am going to try and blog everyday for the next 30 days documenting my nutrition challenge and any changes that occur with it. Today started at 5am. When I coach on these early mornings, it's challenging getting a good breakfast because I am usually not hungry until about 8am. When I am "on", I will scramble some eggs and bring them with me, but this morning I decided to go the easy route and had some deli ham and olives and coffee of course with a splash of raw milk. I found these great olive snacks at HEB. They're called Oloves-the healthy olive snack. They're pre-pitted green olives in 3 different flavors ready to eat in a little package and they're only $1 per package! Olives are a great source of fat, which we all need for satiety, to produce cholesterol, to produce all our hormones. Basically fat= life! Lunch today will probably consist of grilled lamb shoulder and I think dinner will be Elk burgers sans the bun. Sounds like a pretty well rounded day if I can just get enough veggies in!