back to work

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In more ways than one — my business, the gym, and eating well!!!

Sometimes eating according to our goals is just so-so difficult. Take last night’s turkey-bacon-guac burgers for example!

dinner

Okay, maybe the sweet potato fries were partly according to my be-lazy-this-weekend goal, but they’re pretty close.

fruit and nuts

Practically like a deconstructed Larabar!! I love dried unsweetened cherries from the bulk bins at Sprouts. They’re one of the few dried fruits without sugar or oils added.

cardio fix

Went into the rec center today for a little cardio fix. I saw a lot of people out running in the snow. Brrrrrr… I did a 5k ok the treadmill, a few minutes on the rower, and a few minutes trying out some of the new cardio machines they bought at the end of the year. The place was PACKED today. More people than I’ve ever seen. Partly because of the weather and partly because of January, I’m sure!

spicy chili

Spicy chili was good for a cold day. We stocked up on a lot of fresh fruits & vegetables after church today. Hopefully I won’t have to leave my house all week. Just kidding. It’s supposed to warm up. It’s Colorado after all.

razzle dazzle art

Kevin was super handy all week, taking down Christmas stuff, and rearranging stuff on all my walls. This isn’t really how I want things, but I like to have something up. What’s the 17? I started a countdown to the recital last year… I guess that’s how far I got with it! :) The running shoes print I got as a gift for Kevin before we were married!! It says “You Make My Heart Race.” More on his handiwork on my upcoming January Cure post!

steak dinner

And some grass fed steak, sweet potatoes, and salad with Tessemae’s Southwest Ranch for dinner.

So here’s an interesting post on quitting Paleo (by a paleo cookbook author).

Also this:

crossfit games paleo

My excuse to have a few lattes? Especially with my Christmas gift cards?

I’ve been experimenting ever since our super strict paleo challenge didn’t do a whole lot for me (especially in regards to workout energy!!!). The reason Kevin and I try for mostly paleo most of the time is because for US, that mainly means cutting out cookies, candy, Diet Coke, and chips. Haha. For the most part, we don’t really miss grains. Unless they’re in the form of apple crisp. Or cheetos? Sooo….  I always say I miss dairy the most… so I’ve been eating it some. It bothers Kevin a little bit, but not me. I grew up eating ice cream every day (seriously). So I’m kind of a paleo believer. Kind of not. I do love fat now though… yum… fat…. still need to eat more vegetables. And I go back and forth on all the meat consumption. I’m not eating as much now as I did on the challenge (which made me a little sick). But honestly, eating paleo has taught us to eat better quality meat, and I’m thankful for that!!! (Except when I go to remote areas in Minnesota, and It’s super hard to find….) I guess that’s why we call it a spectrum. :)

 

 

princess pipper

Princess Pippa says good night. I’m back to work tomorrow. Kevin has zero sympathy for me since I work from home and have a job I love. But still!! Actually, realistically, I did a ton of work today. Sent out a million emails, schedules, bills, and edited my website. There’s a reason I don’t charge for piano lessons by the hour…

What are you working on? 

P.S. Great pic of the Boykin coming soon….

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Sub-22 + You Can’t Train Everything At Once

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Got it.

I didn’t waste any time. I woke up this morning feeling gooooooooood. Maybe it’s because it’s day #1 of vacation? My awesome boss  gave me the whole week off. Plus yesterday was a rest day, although technically I did run a 5k. But only because Pippa was being super annoying.

city 5k runkeeper

Full disclosure: this was a city 5k so I stopped at stoplights. I like my legs intact. Lucky for Pippa, there was a water bowl near one.

pippa slows me down

Baby Pippa looooooves fall weather. I have to admit that today’s temp was PERFECT for a run. I may have had a moment’s rest at stoplights, but Pippa definitely slowed me down. That little slacker. I’m not taking her on any more timed runs because I felt a little bit guilty that I was almost dragging her near the end. Seriously, I was cheerleading her,”You can do it, girl!!!!” Kevin is a big fan of when I do that too. Not.

Proof:

5 mile run runkeeper

I ran the 5 miles at 2 sec per mile faster pace than the 5k after I dropped Pipperdoodle off at home. Haha. Whatever.

Next up: 20:45 5k and 42:30 10k. I’m gonna have to do those alone, unfortunately.

I guess my muscles aren’t hurting my running too much. :)

Lisa recently started using RunKeeper, and she was teasing me that all my times were so slow (mostly because I was awalking — haha). But I am a firm believer that you can’t train everything at once. Maybe Rich Froning can, but he has all the CrossFit prize money to keep home going. I have to work on occasion. So since I’ve been so crazy about CrossFit, that means if I want to actually be able to work on my 2 rep max on deadlifts in class — I can’t go out and run 10 miles at an 8 min pace the night before. Not that I’ve tried that before. :) I know this is going to sound crazy, but I also haven’t been registering for races because they’re usually on Saturdays, and I love going to the Sat AM CrossFit class with Kevin. It’s like our thing. 8 or 9AM CrossFit, then Starbucks, then big paleo brunch. We heart it.

I don’t really have a long term plan for my training at this point, but I am working on a spreadsheet. It will be beautiful. And I will share it with you. I might have to get my hot financial analyst husband to help me with the format since he is an excel wizard.

paleo power bowl

Giant paleo power bowl. The Original Brat Hans Apple Chicken Sausage, sweet potato, onions & peppers, spinach, and a little coconut oil. You don’t realize how large that bowl is. It’s huge. I needed it.

After my run, I hustled into open gym to work on my pull-ups for a few minutes (our box is super close to our house and they have chalk, and their bar doesn’t hurt my hands as much). I can’t say I made loads of progress, but I did some deliberate practice. The head coach was there and he gave me some pointers. He called me,”Hey Muscles!” Isn’t that nice? Haha. I guess I know I’m a CrossFitter since I took that as such a compliment.

I also want to say that even at open gym, all three coaches that were there (doing other things) stopped to give me advice or encouragement on something. Isn’t that nice? The head coach even asked me how many more skills I was going to work on because he didn’t want me to overtrain. I assured him that I wouldn’t. Our coaches take care of us. Just sayin’. My coach is better than your coach. Haha. Okay. That was a joke. Don’t beat me up. But they really are.

Have you ever tried to train more that one sport at a time? I know the triathlon people do, and it looks crazy hard. Especially since they have to swim. And bike. Running to the fridge and eating ice cream for time doesn’t count. :)

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Bacon Mac & Razzle Dazzle Room Progress!!!

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The dogs know how to take it easy on a Sunday afternoon.

pippa and boyd in bed

Just napping away. Do you like our plaid blanket? It’s from L.L.Bean. Haha. We had a nice West Elm duvet cover, but the dogs are just ruining it. We can’t keep their wet paws out of bed, and when Pippacita gets really riled, she uses the bed as sort of springboard to bounce around the room (which resulted in a tear). So at least for fall/winter, we’re going for the rustic, rub-in-the-dirt look. That works in Colorado, right?

boykin butt

Boykin bonus… he’s so hilarious when he stretches his full body out.

boyd and i are bffs

Just so you know, Boyd and I are still BFFS!!!!!!!!! Look at us playing. Lol. Don’t look too long. There are a lot of bright colors in that pic. Haha.

Oh. MORE GOOD NEWS FOR BOYD. I found a replacement pair of shoes for the ones he massacred this spring. 

tory burch mustard shoes nordstrom rack

The bad news is that they cost about $150 more than my original pair even at Nordstrom Rack. But you do get that cute Tory Burch logo. Kevin doesn’t think it’s worth it. In fact, once he told me he liked a pair of tory burch flats except that little design (the logo). Okay…

west elm tripod table

In other news, my West Elm tripod table was on sale for about the same price I’ve seen it on Craigslist, so I went ahead and bought it new. It’s currently in the razzle dazzle room AKA the waiting room for my piano studio. (I need coasters, know of any cute ones?)

Okay, it’s amazing what that room used to look like:

razzle dazzle before

Another current view: (those blinds must die)

ikea light

Kevin is pretty amazing, right? Even if he doesn’t know how to choose a pet. I told him today that we are never getting a Spaniel again and he tried to argue that Boyd is just special. Okay. Not taking that chance again. Lol. Unless you really want to buy those Tory Burch shoes!!!!!

The smart & pretty dog in the house was getting a little antsy so I took her out to run a 5k:

5k run runkeeper

I’d say we managed some negative splits:

negative splits runkeeper

I wasn’t planning to run for speed in the first mile (obviously), but I want to go out and run a sub-22 sometime soon, just to make sure I can do it. Unfortunately, I will probably have to do that without my goose & squirrel chaser. The blog says my most recent proof of sub-22 was Feb 2012.

bacon mac cooking light

I was “practicing” making this bacon mac from Cooking Light. I wanted to see how it would turn out (fabulous). And it’s great comfort food. It’s getting cold!

bacon mac cooking light green onions

I forced Kevin to eat it from appetizer bowls to create some illusion of portion control. Yeah, we had some seconds, but they were smaller than they would have been from our giant Fiestaware bowls!!!!!! :)

What home improvement or diy have you done that you are most proud of? I haven’t actually done anything, but I chose everything for our house and Craigslist it all. That counts, right? I love my piano the most, although, for the record, I’m not the one who painted it green!!!

P.S. This sweet potato mac was actually my fave! And Kevin didn’t even know it had sweet potatoes in it. Now he doesn’t trust me. Lol.

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Friday Fran-Day

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Last night Kevin and I went to a seminar for our nutrition challenge (starts on Monday!!!), and then promptly out to NY Pizza Pub for Date Night. Haha. Kevin likes to take Friday as a rest day so he can thoroughly enjoy Date Night. But during the summer, I’m home during the day so I was hemming and hawing this morning about whether or not I should go.

I ended up lacing up the nanos and jogging over for the 11:45AM class.

And what did I see on the board?

fran

The classic CrossFit wod… my first time. I was nervous!!! Fran is a benchmark wod for CrossFit — one of the ways CrossFitters measure their progress in the sport. I’d compare it to a 5k in running because you have to go so stinking fast!!! Murph would probably be the comparable half marathon benchmark.

I always feel extra shy when I go at an unusual time because I don’t know that particular coach as well, and the people who come to Friday 11:45AM workouts are pretty random. Nobody I really even recognized. I’m just shy and get scared that I won’t be able to do the workout. Rationally, I know that’s not really very realistic since I consistently have scores that are pretty competitive with the girls on the board.

But I had a little confidence builder during the warm-up — I got my first kipping pull-up. The coach spent a little extra time on a demonstration, and I said to myself,”Self, if you can do a strict pull-up, you should be able to get this.” And I did it!!! Really, even if you have a lousy kip you should be able to get it if you can do a strict pull-up. I did another one, but I haven’t had a chance to practice stringing them yet (and now I’m sore).

Here’s what a thruster looks like:

Guy-Thruster

Yeah, it’s no joke. The prescribed weight for women is 65lbs. I decided to go with 55lbs for my first try. I’ve been to CrossFit every day this week, and my shoulders are sore from cranking out my new party trick — pull-ups. I’ve been learning about having different goals for different wods, so I thought it was a wise decision.

Although I can do a strict pull-up and a kipping pull-up, I’m obviously not ready to do 45 in a workout so I had to scale that with a jumping pull-up. My coach recommended using only one foot on the box to make it more difficult.

I finished in 4:50. The first round of 21 thrusters was admittedly hard — just a long round. But I only really rested on the round of 15, just for a breath with the bar on my shoulders. The final round of 9, I totally cranked through.

After I finished, I kept looking around like — did I cheat??? I drank some water. Everyone was still working, even the girls with similar  scales. Woops. That was too easy. Yeah, I think I need to definitely do the prescribed 65lbs next time. It’s only ten pounds more… I definitely could have done it. Oh well. I don’t regret my decision after the week I’ve had. I’m not one to slack, and I know I’ll get it next time. 

I’d love to be able to do the entire workout as prescribed by the end of the year — which means I’d have to learn to string probably at least 10 kipping pull-ups together to make it through that round of 21. I’m super inspired by Tina from CNC who recently met her goal of rxing it.

running crossfit hat camouflage

I hung out for a bit afterwards, chatting with one of the athletes from our box who is in a competition tomorrow. I’m totally going out to support her!!! After walking home, I decided to take Pippa C out for a run. I have a theory that running on tired legs after a CrossFit wod is really good for my endurance in both sports!!

slow 5k

I didn’t say fast running!! ;) It was 1PM in July in Colorado!! Pippa made me stop at every water bowl we saw!!

almond butter and jam

Came home and had an almond butter & jam sandwich. I bought a loaf of Rudi’s bread the other day knowing that I won’t be able to have bread for 5 weeks starting on Monday!!!!! I also had like an entire breakfast because I was starving after Fran + 5k! Plus 2 miles back and forth to my gym!

iced americano with coconut creamer

Dessert!!! Fun fact: iced Americanos store well in the fridge. I got this one in between CrossFit and running. Love it with the coconut creamer. Also not allowed during our nutrition challenge. I’ll tell you more about it later, but it’s similar to Whole 30. But stricter. And longer — 5 weeks!! I didn’t quite realize what I was getting myself into until last night, and now I’m a little nervous!! We’ll discuss later.

What food would you eat before going on a nutrition challenge? Pizza. Sandwiches. Lattes. I’m planning to have pancakes this weekend and probably ice cream.  I do almost every weekend – haha – so it’s really not that crazy!!!

What benchmarks do you use to measure your fitness progress? 5k  (sub-21… at times) and half marathon times (I don’t like to time a mile, but I should sometime). Pull-ups. 100 double unders for time. Fran. And more!!

P.S. Here’s a fun video of Bob from Biggest Loser doing Fran!!!! A past participant is also in there doing a scaled version.

Cookie Friday: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Sandwich Cookies

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Happy first Cookie Friday of my favorite month! Do you know we’ve almost come full circle?? At the end of June will be my 52nd Cookie Friday. I kid you not. I haven’t missed one. I even planned ahead when I went to the DR. I’m not sure there’s a recipe for every single one because I did doubles once in a great while. I’m not positive I’m going to continue blogging them. I’m mulling it over. I’m a little bored with it. Probably because I’m not a cookie lover myself. But for some reason people are more interested in them than in every single mile split I ever run… I have no idea why. On the other hand, Kevin really loves cookies. And I really love Kevin. And he puts up with all my blogging and iPhone photography so he deserves at least one perk, right?

This one is from my favorite baking blog Two Peas & Their Pod.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Sandwich Cookies

Ingredients:

For Cookies:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips

For Cookie Dough:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugars until no lumps remain, 1-2 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract, scraping the sides of the bowl to make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and mix until smooth. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll chilled dough into smooth, tablespoon-size balls, about 1 inch in diameter. Flatten balls slightly into 3/4-inch disks. Place disks about 2 inches apart on parchment or Silpat lined baking sheets. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until cookie edges are slightly golden brown. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

3. To prepare the cookie dough filling, beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in flour, powdered sugar, and salt on low speed until incorporated. Slowly add heavy cream and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in mini chocolate chips.

4. To assemble, sandwich 1 heaping tablespoon of filling between two cookies. Press cookies lightly until filling spreads to the edges. Repeat with remaining cookies.

Note: Sandwiches can be stored refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 3 days. Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Recipe from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook

I wasn’t pleased with the way the cookie part turned out. They were too thin & flat. And I swear I chilled them. Almost double the time it called for. I wish I would have used a recipe I trusted for that part. But it worked out. The ones that are broken just be dipped in chocolate chip cookie dough. It’s win-win!

They are really good frozen! Almost like the those giant ice cream cookie sandwich things you can buy at gas stations!

Friday fun –

We picked up some ravioli at the store last night for a quick lunch today. It was pretty good. But we were both disturbed by the portion size! It felt sooo tiny. I wish a serving size of ravioli filled up my plate!

But it was a good light lunch since I was on my way to the gym anyhow.

Today’s workout:

I started things out with 1 mile jog to shake things out, and then completed ZWOW #20 in a tidy 10:24. All along I was thinking I should try a 5k for time like Tina did today. Well, it was a nice thought.

I totally crashed after 10 minutes but I made it to 1.44 @ 6:56 pace. Probably a little ambitious since I haven’t tried one in a while. My overall 5k treadmill PR was 20:38 at VIP Fitness in the DR. They thought I was a little crazy there. I’m hoping to beat 20 someday… I need to get cracking. 5ks are kinda my least favorite distance because it’s just 20-22 minutes of sheer exertion. Ayiyi. Anyways, when all was said and done I ran 5.29 miles today. I did some intervals after my little burn to punish myself for quitting. Lol. I mean that in a nice way. I was so surprised at myself for quitting, but the ZWOW was pretty lower body focused so maybe my legs weren’t ready? But hey, no excuses. I’ll try again soon. I need to keep myself honest.

What was the last PR you attempted? Today. Fail.

Are there are any portion sizes in food that suprise you? Pasta is always extra disappointing. I recently read an interesting article on Glamour about healthy portion sizes.

Later!! Kevin’s home and we’re off to a Rockies game!! :)

 

Peanut Soba Noodle Bowls + 5k/5 rounds Workout

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Two new ingredients for me!

I felt healthier just holding these babies. Organic buckwheat soba noodles.

And Bok Choy! Another kind of “fear vegetable.” But like kale, I just threw it in with a bunch of stuff and nobody was the wiser!

I followed a recipe from ELR to make Peanut Soba Noodle Bowls. I just totallly skipped the tofu. Just have not ventured there yet! And I about tripled the red pepper flakes. We like it spicy! Love the spicy/peanut butter combo on noodles.

Our favorite thing about this dish? Kevin and I were both shocked that we weren’t hungry at 3PM. Usually I’m starving just an hour or two after lunch, but this meal really tided me over to our late dinnertime.

Okay. You can stop reading now if you don’t like to push it in your workouts. :)

On days when I don’t feel like doing a long run and I really don’t feel like doing weights, I try to trick myself with crazy circuit workouts where I don’t have to do the same thing for too long. I wanted to get at least a FEW miles in today so I decided to divide it up into kilometers.

1 kilometer = .62 miles

That’s a nice happy amount to run. More than a half mile, but considerably less daunting than a full mile. Trust me. I ran for a year on treadmills that only displayed kilometers. They ticked off so much more quickly! It was so gratifying.

So here’s the workout.

  • Run 1 kilometer (could sub jump rope or other cardio)
  • 90 seconds of lateral burpees AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
  • 90 seconds of kettlebell swings AMRAP (can sub dumbbell)
  • 90 seconds of hopscotch curls AMRAP (could sub squats)
  • Repeat 4 times

Lateral Burpees: These were introduced to me by a blog reader Dana @ My Little Celebration. When I blogged about doing 7 minutes of burpees, she suggested this alternative form of fun torture.

The lateral jump was actually really hard for me. Haha. I couldn’t get my feet to stay together, and I’m a huge pansy about jumping over things. But I did at least 10 reps in each round for a total of 53!!

Kettlebell Swings: Classic & awesome.

Hopscotch Curl: Fun.

My scores:
(for the sake of future competition with myself!)

Round 1: Kilometer (5:14) Lateral Burpees (10) Kettlebell Swings (51) Hopscotch Curl (16)

Round 2: Kilometer (5:02) Lateral Burpees (11) Kettlebell Swings (55) Hopscotch Curl (18)

Round 3: Kilometer (4:50) Lateral Burpees (10) Kettlebell Swings (55) Hopscotch Curl (18)

Round 4: Kilometer (5:29 <—- breather!) Lateral Burpees (10) Kettlebell Swings (63) Hopscotch Curl (22)

Round 5: Kilometer (4:39) Lateral Burpees (12) Kettlebell Swings (63) Hopscotch Curl (25)

Check that sprint in! I guess I was holding back a little. But trust me, by that point I was coaching myself aloud,”Just one more round!!!”

In case you’re wondering how I keep track, I snap a quick photo of the treadmill after each run, and I use the 4 Time tabata app. I set it for rounds of 90 seconds work and 30 seconds of rest. Just barely enough to tap in my reps.

Here’s what that last round looked like:

At the end of each round I took a screenshot of the results and tabulated them just now when I uploaded my photos. It sounds complicated, but if you are as attached to your baby iPhone as I am – it’s NBD! That thing is a great workout tool.

I’d definitely do this workout again because it’s easy to remember and you’re never doing the same thing for too long. Although I’m nervous about my arms feeling those burpees tomorrow!

Ever tried bok choy? It’s an excellent source of Vitamin C! Orange juice is for the birds, people!

Any more burpee variations for me to try? I was seriously waiting like 5 days to try that one since my arms were too sore for me to even plank it out the last few days!

What are you doing this weekend?! We finally slept in today. So nice. We had our Saturday Sbux, I got some housework done, did that killer workout, and went to Marriage + Class. Tomorrow we’re teaching Sunday School, but then we have a free afternoon (minus Kevin’s homework – boo!).