July 30, 2011

Paleo breakfast & watching CrossFit Games

Eating breakfast while watching the CrossFit games 2011... Not a bad morning!

Watching some ladies competition right now. The strength that these women bring both physically and mentally is inspiring. Hats off to those at the games and to those at home or in the gym pushing their limits.

July 21, 2011


Over the last couple of weeks I've been trying to spice up my CrippleFit WODs. As the the weeks pass and I creep further and further down the recovery road, I attempt to gain a little bit of normalcy in my workouts each day. It's been good lately, exciting really, but I still get nervous sometimes. At times I still battle with whether I'm pushing too much too soon, is it good pain or bad, am I just being lazy or should I push it harder... But like I said, over the last couple of weeks I've added skipping, turkish getups (love these!), and even attempted a little forefoot running on the treadmill (very slow and on a major incline. For whatever reason this doesn't cause my S1 nerve to hurt). I'm testing a lot and really trying to pay attention to how I feel versus just being hard headed and pushing myself a little too far. I'm still in the critical phase of healing so I need to be extra kind to my body and mind. For instance, yesterday I put together a WOD that involved wall balls and on my last round I felt a little nagging pain in my glut. This is a moment where I ask myself whether it's "good pain" or "bad pain". I decided bad so I stopped wall balls and finished the rest of the WOD and called it good. I didn't feel guilty about not finishing the reps, I actually felt a little proud of myself for realizing that I needed to stop a certain exercise and then actually did stop. Yay me! It can be difficult sometimes because any given day a different exercise might bother me. I've noticed it's all related to how much sleep I've been getting, the amount of stress I'm under, my mood, how much I've been sitting, and I'm sure my nutrition and hydration. It's amazing out interrelated these things are when you really start paying attention to your body and it's signals.

Today I was feeling a little uninspired when it came to nailing down a workout. Earlier in the day I perused the CrossFit main site ideas without much luck. I got somewhat discouraged because it seemed like every WOD involved a lot of things that I still can't do yet -weighted over head squats, double-unders, sprinting, weighted... well, anything. Then later as I was warming up on the stair machine, my workout partner looked at my phone and said, "What about 800m speed walking, 100 pushups, 100 situps, 800 speed walking?" I thought to myself, "Dang! I could SO do that!" In fact, it was like the WOD was made for me. Done deal, I had a WOD for the day. He mentioned it was from CrossFit Sparta and realized I totally forgot about checking their site. They typically have great WODs, so THANK YOU CrossFit Sparta for posting a WOD that even I can do in my slightly less than awesome state!

Another thing to note is the "for time" piece. Ever since surgery, I haven't done much of anything for time. There have been little to no AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) or "for time" WODs in my recent past. It's just not practical or a good idea at this point for most exercises. I'm focusing on just doing right now, I'm not worried about nailing 20 rounds of Annie (for now ;). You must perfect form before you add speed. This is an especially critical time for me to live by these words. However, I must say although I've put down the watch, lately I have been trying to go through exercises as quickly as I can. It's generally a far cry from what I was doing, but none the less I'm working on adding speed and pushing through the "good pain". Just when I think that I'll never run again because jogging down that hall hurt, I jump on the treadmill, modify my posture and the ramp, FOCUS and my hope is restored. I have to say that I really do miss thrusters, snatches, burbees (I think) and back squats, but speed walking is going to join my rotation for sure!







I dare you to try this. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how hard it is to seriously speed walk this far. My shins were in a bit of pain during this WOD. It would have been easier to run.

I Love Meat! A note from a reformed vegan.

These days you would never (thank goodness) know that I was once a card-carrying strict vegetarian or vegan. I mean, "What about the animals?"... Don't get me wrong, I love the little, tasty furry animals and appreciate every little bit of nutrition they provide me. I try my hardest to buy responsibly, to make sure my protein comes from happy cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, bison, etc. that are free to roam and be healthy. It's not only that I want to buy grass fed beef because the omega-6 to -3 ratio is drastically better than grain fed, feed-lot cows, but I also truly want my protein choice to reflect my ethics. So basically, I want happy, healthy animals served up on my plate so I can grow stronger, build muscle, not be vitamin and mineral deficient, have healthy digestion, and enjoy a stable mental state. Seems simple...
Enough of that hippie love for animals... The other night after dinner as I was cleaning dishes and it dawned on me how freakin hilarious and strange it must be to those who have known me for more than a few years that I eat meat, let alone the amount of meat I eat. My dad is simple ecstatic at this fact. I mean I wasn't completely militant vegan in the sense that I was a "Vegan Nazi", but I was definitely strict and let you know my opinions about it if given the opportunity.

The evening meal I'm referring to above consisted of two sausages, one mild Italian turkey and one mild Italian pork. I'm generally a fan of the leaner meats, so I tend to ask for advice when looking to try something new or in the mood for fattier cut. Staring at the meat case at Whole Foods being indecisive as usual, I decided to venture out of my norm and buy some fresh sausage. The gentlemen behind the counter said the spices were the same between the different styles and it was merely a difference in meat. I had my eye on the Italian style because it seems to be the one that never has nightshades or has a small amount. I was informed that the turkey was a bit dry and the pork was awesome. What's a girl to do? Well, get one of each of course! I told the guy that I wanted to do a side by side comparison and he seemed to get a chuckle out of it. While I was eating dinner I was also baking meatloaf to take to work for the week. By the time I got to dishes it was cooling on the stove and I was still craving protein. So I snacked on some meatloaf while I did the dishes. It was a meat fest for sure and it was fantastic. Thinking of all the legume-based "healthy" meals of my vegan passed, I chuckled to myself as I became satiated from my delicious meat protein.
Survive or thrive???
Vegans are wrong... I know because I used to be one.

Paleo info-graphic timeline

Found this nifty infographic while trolling the web while, you guessed it, looking for more paleo nutrition and exercise information. Shocking!  Thought this was pretty cool and worth sharing.

Paleolithic Diet Explained
Learn more about the Paleo Diet.

July 16, 2011

Robb Wolf turns the dial up to 11

So first let me say that I think Robb Wolf is worth his weight (and I'm referring to his normal weight) in bacon plus a pork chop or two! Wolf is a bit lighter these days from an experiment that he still can't quite legally talk about. If you read his post on being off the grid for a while, you already know that he's 16 pounds lighter than normal. He didn't say much, but did confess to taking part in an 8 day fast and that we'll all learn about his adventures soon enough and it will be epic. How exciting!

Seriously though, the man has passion and energy that is both inspiring and infectious. As you may have read on his website, the Vancouver, BC seminar was Robb's second to last and Boston, MA being his last. I'm glad I was able to attend this seminar and didn't miss out on meeting him and seeing him speak. He and his paleo army are a force to be reckoned with. I'm not one for idolizing people, it's just not my nature. I don't collect autographs or paraphernalia because I'm just to damn practical and logical, things must have a functional purpose for me to own. I mean what would I use an autograph for? Yes, it may sound extreme, but I'm the type that if a joke isn't logical/plausible it just couldn't possibly be funny except in the case of irony. Anyway,  for those of you who collect things or acquire autographs, more power to you, it's just not my thing. With that being said, I do hold the utmost respect and admiration for certain people and value their influence on me and others. I put Robb Wolf in this category. I'm very grateful for the work he and other paleo superheros are doing. They are my equivalent to rockstars and I was a little star struck (which seems pretty ridiculous I know) when I met him. I mean "OMG it's Robb Wolf!"

In the beginning of his seminar Robb admitted that although he loves doing these events, it's time to move on. He explained that his paleo powers (my words, not his) are needed elsewhere. I agree with Robb that it's time for him to take it to the next level, to turn the dial to 11. It's just that time. There needs to be legitimate nutrition curriculum for pre-med, nursing, naturopathy, diatetic, etc. students, as well as continuing education curriculum for our current medical professionals. We all need to be enlightened, but it's absolutely critical that our medical professionals are well educated in this arena. We rely on them (a little too much) to have the answers or at the very least, the right suggestions for our health and wellness. If there is anyone who can truly make a dent in this arena it's him. He has the ability to explain the science behind paleo without being overly academic, pretentious, annoying, or with too much jargon. He seems to know how to target his audience and get them motivated. Although there are other great paleo leaders such as Devany and  Cordain who conduct amazing research and others like Sissan and Fragoso who make the paleo lifestyle accessible and realistic, Robb has the ability to connect with people, tell their story, and persuade the medical community to listen to our biological needs. There is a reason that Robb's book, The Paleo Solution, became a New York Times best seller. If you haven't read this book already, you NEED to. It's funny, informative, and great guide to getting started with paleo.

For a detail summary of Robb's seminar see the blog post The Paleo Solution Seminar: A Day with Robb Wolf by Dai Manuel. I had the pleasure of meeting this guy at the seminar. Dai is an obvious CrossFiter and has a passion for fitness and health. His post provides a great recap of the presentation with all sorts of links to Robb's handy paleo tools. His blog is a new favorite of mine so check him out!

July 13, 2011

Vancouver and back

All smiles outside of Stanley Park
Well, I made to and from Vancouver, BC on my motorcycle in one piece! This was the first long ride I've taken since last September due to my herniated disc and then from recovering from back surgery. Yes, I love my motor and it's been a while since I've been able to put some miles on it, so I'm definitely stoked that I made it to and from BC with relatively little difficulty.

The mighty VFR in the hostel parking lot, ready to head home.
The ride was beautiful even though it rained on me nearly the entire way to Canada. Really, since I have the gear, a little rain is nothing to stop me from taking a nice ride. Also, now I fully trust my motor skills again despite the lack in riding I've done in the last 10 months. I took the long, scenic route north (as you always should on a motor) on Highway 9 through Arlington, Sedro-Woolley, crossed the U.S./Canadian border in Sumas, on to North Vancouver and then dropped down into Vancouver via Stanley Park and ended at the HI Jericho Hostel. Check out my route below

View Vancouver Ride in a larger map

Riding always gives me time to think. It's a time I don't read, check my phone, talk to anyone, or listen to music. It is a time for clarity, peacefulness, unwinding, and problem solving, which is exactly what I get from trail running. Since I still can't trail run (which I know will be a matter of time dammit!), at least I can now ride my motor and for that I am grateful. Even though it's easy to get frustrated with the things I still can't do, every time I am able to reintroduce the things I love back into my life, I'm left with HUGE grin and a sense of accomplishment. It's been a rough road these past several months, but I grow stronger mentally and physically as time moves on. I appreciate of those of you who have been a source of encouragement.

Don't worry, I didn't forget my promise to divulge my in person Robb Wolf/Paleo Solution experience. My recap and a few hilarious quotes will be in my next post. Believe me, he's as nerdy and awesome as you think he would be!

Also, quick note... Since the hostel was a few hundred feet from the beach, I managed to squeeze in a little beach CrippleFit work out!

5 rounds of:
42 lunges (this is how many lunges it takes me to go back in forth in the Fire House Bay that I normally workout in)
10 full push ups (back allows full now :)
25 squats
10 on each side A-frame plank pass throughs (no idea what to really call these, but it's a part of my PT)

This got my energy up for the ride home!

July 7, 2011

Paleo Solution: Is Robb Wolf everything you expected and more?

It's been a while and I apologize. I promise to be better about posting. Just think of the break in posting as a mini-hiatus, a break to ponder some of my oh-so-insightful and inspiring words. Enough about me (well, for now) and on to the exciting news... I'm heading to Vancouver BC tomorrow to put Robb Wolf to the test. Yes, I am seizing the opportunity of having the paleo poster boy up north and heading out to get my paleo learn-on. Robb is conducting a seminar in downtown Vancouver and I'm stoked! I like to think I'm a geek about nutrition and food, but RW has me beat by a long shot. I totally nerd out on his podcasts and absolutely adore his rants, so I can't wait to listen to him in person and be in a room of like-minded folk. And, it's a great excuse to visit Vancouver!

The seminar is sponsored by:
Level 4: CrossFit Seattle 
CrossFit Vancouver
CrossFit Optimum Performance

Check out more info about the seminar here!

I'll let you know what I think of the seminar and share any awesome information I gather. Most importantly, I'll report back whether I think Robb Wolf is really worth his weight in bacon! Mmmm... bacon....