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Showing posts from 2012

Be the Change You Wish to See...

In the age of lightning-fast internet, social media, and 24-hour news networks, it's easy to get the story wrong. The infamous quote, "Be the change you wish to see in the world," has been attributed to Gandhi, time and again. But a New York Time's article tells us his words have been slightly tampered with. The closest quote follows:  

If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ... We need not wait to see what others do.
It is no secret that my husband and I have gone through substantial personal change and growth within the last year. I completed a half-marathon before kicking the running habit in favor of a new CrossFit bandwagon, which hubby gladly jumped on board, and we completely changed our diets in favor of a Paleolithic lifestyle for a 30-day challenge which has managed to stick around for the last six months. We've seen physical im…

Crab Cakes and Paleo - That's What Maryland Does?

Alright. I've come out of hiding. By request. And by force.

Lately, I've been hearing a lot of the question, "so what CAN you eat?!" Um... seriously?

ANYTHING I WANT! ...but prepared differently.

I said it. My hubby and I eat all the same foods those "regular" people eat, only we eat it grass-fed, free of antibiotics and growth hormones, and gluten/dairy free. Simple enough, right?

Here are a couple simple recipes to prove how easy it is to create a comfort meal that won't cause you to feel completely guilty after you eat it.

Fried Chicken - Paleo Style Ingredients:
1 cup Almond Flour
Iodized Sea Salt
Dried Parsley
Garlic Powder
Paprika
Cayenne Pepper
Ground Mustard
Salt and Black Pepper
Coconut Oil (For Pan Frying)
1 Egg
2 lbs of Cage-free, Grass-fed Chicken Breasts (sliced thin)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Put a dollop of coconut oil in a frying pan on the stove at medium-high heat. It should be enough to coat the bottom of the pan, so adjust your amo…

Curried Scallop Kebabs

Oh the deliciousness!

I have an obsession with scallops. They're kind of my go-to seafood. They're super simple to cook, and quick too. You really cannot go wrong ordering them at a seafood restaurant because, really, how can you mess them up?! (Provided they're wild caught, of course)

I don't have a picture of this recipe because it was way too delicious to let stand on the plate for a photo, but I guarantee you they look as delicious as they taste.

Curried Scallop Kebabs
2 lbs Sea Scallops (Wild Caught)
1 Zucchini (sliced in 1/4-1/2 inch thick rounds)
1 Yellow Squash (sliced in 1/4-1/2 inch thick rounds)
Dozen Grape Tomatoes (or more)
2 tsp Curry Powder
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
2 tbsp Olive Oil

Skewer all the ingredients and brush with olive oil.Mix all the spices in a small bowl and sprinkle over the skewers.Grill those beauties until cooked (about 5 minutes per scallop side)! I let my scallops char up a little bit for some extra flavor. To tell the …

My First Marathon (WOD)

So remember last week when I was waxing poetic about the year so far and I said that I had changed my goals and that I no longer had interest in completing a full marathon? Well, that changed the same day the post went live.

I completed my very first marathon last Monday... a marathon WOD, that is.

Ok whatever it isn't the same thing. Except I'm pretty sure this 40 minute workout, 60 minutes for some people, was more intense than running a full marathon. I can certainly say it was more intense than the half marathon I ran in just over 2 hours.

So what all did this mammoth of a WOD (workout of the day to those of you who are unfamiliar with CrossFit) entail? I'm glad you ask, because I'm about to tell you!

2 Rounds for Time of:
26 Toes to Bar
200m Run
26 Box Jumps (24 in. for men, 20 in. for women)
200m Run
26 Kettlebell Swings (1.5 poods for men, 1 pood for women)
200m Run
26 Walking Lunges
200m Run
26 Push-ups
200m Run
26 Sit-ups (with ab mat)
200m Run
26 Air Squats
20…

Happy Independence Day!

On Independence day, we celebrate the birth of our nation and our Independence from the motherland.
I celebrated our independence by baking this beautiful trifle recipe from The Urban Poser.
Enjoy!

Mid-Year Monday

Congratulations, folks! We have made it half way through 2012. Now, I don't want to get you too excited, but that means that there are only 175 days until Christmas! Be still my heart!

With that exciting news out of the way, I thought it might be nice to do a mid-year reflections post to see how closely I have followed my New Year's declarations that I made back in January.For those of you less inclined to click sketchy links in blog posts, here's a quote from my New Year's Reflections post:

In 2012, I will run my first half-marathon and my first marathon if all goes according to plan. I intend to run more, read more, and stress less. I am determined to spend more time with family and less time stressing over work. Much less time stressing over work. I will nurture my relationship with God and spend more time in Church and worship. I will be a better version of myself. The best version I can be.

Let's see how I've fared:

In 2012, I will run my first half-mar…

Quick Recipe Roundup

I think the reason I enjoy cooking on the weekends so much more than during the week is twofold:
On the weekends, I have the focus and assistance of my favorite sous-chef, the hubster. He makes cooking complex meals a breeze, if he can keep up.I have so much more time on the weekends to focus on every aspect of the meal and I don't feel rushed to get it done. All in all, weekend cooking is just more enjoyable and less stressful. I get to experiment and discover new recipes. I find it therapeutic to have an involved baking or cooking session after a hard week at work, or in the gym. Hopefully that will all change since I started my new job this week. More on that later...

It all starts with breakfast...

Saturday's breakfast before heading to the gym needs to be filling, full of fiber, but nothing that will sit heavy in our stomachs while we motivate our butts to get in gear. Enter my new favorite item on our breakfast menu, my super special smoothie.

Nom Nom Smoothie
Ingredients:
1…

If You Can't Stand the Heat...

Everyone has heard the saying, "If you can't stand the heat, try, try again!" What?! Did I mess that up? Well I'm going with it.

Unless you live under a rock somewhere other than the East Coast, then you know the entire eastern seaboard has been under severe heat advisories and, in some cases, heat warnings during these first two days of summer. A reasonable person would heed these warnings and stay in their plush, air conditioned home.

However, nobody has ever accused me of being terribly reasonable, and, as a CrossFitter, I find it my duty to push my limits.

Well I found out what my limits were yesterday regarding the 100+ degree heat indices and I was a little disappointed in myself. But disappointment does not come without its lessons learned. And what kind of a blogger would I be if I did not share this wealth of knowledge in disappointment with my readers so you don't have to share the same disappointment.

Despite the extreme heat and my history of heat exha…

Simple Summer Supper -- Paleo Style

Happy Summer Solstice! Today the sun will be at the highest point in the sky, we will experience the longest sunshine-filled day of the year, and we enter into the summer season. When it comes to cooking, there's no better way to represent summer than by grilling.


Grilling is one of the easiest ways to create a simple, summer supper -- Paleo style! So grab your skewers, any number of (organic) vegetables, and your cage-free chicken, and let's get grilling.


These particular chicken kebabs feature onion, green and red bell peppers, squash, mushrooms and pineapple. Once the veggies are on the skewers, brush them with olive oil and sprinkle your spices. I use a blend of cumin, pepper and sea salt.


We marinate our meats in homemade marinades to avoid any preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, or any other additives we find not delightful. These chicken breasts were marinated in freshly squeezed lime juice, garlic, and cilantro.


Leave the skewers on the grill with the flames just…

Not Dead Fred, and other fun tales!

And like a phoenix, I rise from the ashes... or something like that. This blog is more similarly aligned with "Not Dead Fred" from Monty Python's Spamalot. If you're still around, thank you for not removing me from your blog roll during my extended absence from writing.

It has been a busy month for me, and there are a lot of changes in my life. Mostly for the better, as far as I can see.

I told you mid-May about my husband and I embarking on a paleolithic adventure. The 30-Day Paleo Challenge has ended at our gym, and proven to be much easier than we originally thought it would be. I did not win the challenge officially among the contestants in the gym (I got a little crazy at a wedding towards the end of the challenge and gave up my running for third), but both my husband and I consider ourselves winners in that we have discovered this new, amazing and healthy lifestyle of living.

Never before have we had as much energy, confidence, and zest for life as we have th…

My Week in Food Photos

So I am obsessed with food. No surprise there.

It nourishes the body. It comforts you when you feel low. It gives you the fuel you need to get through a long run or a tough workout.

Food. Is. Awesome.

As such, I figured I would show you a little of what I have been eating this week, the second week of the Paleo challenge, with a few recipes sprinkled in.

Please remember, I am not a photographer. But I hope these photos make your mouth water anyway.

I started my week with these beauties: Dairy Free Almond Flour Pancakes (with blueberries)


These pancakes freeze and reheat later in the week marvelously, so prepare generous portions!

Sunday evening's dinner left me with leftovers to reheat for lunch. Hubby prepared the stuffed peppers from the book Paleo Comfort Foods.



I also sampled a crust-less quiche from the same book.



It, too, freezes and reheats nicely throughout the week. Pair it with a few strips of Sunday Bacon or some sliced ham.

While I was preparing the quiche, I had some s…

I Run for Trophies!

Every year since we moved down to our little corner of the earth, Hubby and I have run the Leatherneck 5K to benefit the Semper Fi Fund to support injured Marines. If you have the time to click that link, you will learn that the Semper Fi Fund is an amazing foundation and you will see why we run each year.

This year, I made it a goal to set a new personal record on the course. I also privately set the goal of placing in this race; Not necessarily this year, but at some point in my lifetime. Going into this weekend, I had no idea, and even doubted, that this year I would achieve both goals.

The Leatherneck 5K is a smaller race; nothing compared to the tens of thousands of people I ran with at the Rock 'n' Roll USA Marathon series back in March. The draw for the race is the cause and the beautiful scenery.

The 3.1 mile course begins at one of the finest Naval golf courses in the nation and wraps down and back along the Chesapeake Bay. Many of the runners are active duty or retir…

Slow Cooker Wednesday is Back!

So for a while, when I was planning our weekly meals, Wednesday became known as "Slow Cooker Wednesday" in our house. Since living a Paleo lifestyle is kind of a full time job and takes oober amounts of food prep (at least for me anyhow), I decided to bring Slow Cooker Wednesday back, Paleo style!



Holy delicious pork loin!

I don't have a picture because, well, I ate it already. My plate anyway. (The food that was on it, not the plate itself) And it's not amazingly attractive in the slow cooker itself.

So, just, I don't know... use your imagination!

I found the original recipe here. Sounds yummy, right?

Too bad I really, really, really, was not in the mood for more tomato based foods.

The meatballs we had earlier this week were delicious, but I did not want that acidity three days in a row. P.S. Those meatballs have some heat to them! Hubby made them earlier this week and I questioned his ability to follow the recipe, but apparently it really called for all that s…

Kickin' It Old School

Monday starts the new challenge of kickin' it old school. 2 million years-ish old school to be more exact descriptive.

I'm talking about the 30 day Paleo Challenge that just began at my CrossFitgym.

"What is paleo," you might be wondering. The word Paleo is short for Paleolithic, as in the paleolithic era.Think cavemen.

The Paleo diet is more than just a fad diet (it has to be, it's been around for more than 2 million years). It's a way of living.

Man, as he has evolved today, has survived for millions of years (I know, I know, I'm repeating myself, but seriously if it's been around this long it can't be bad) on a diet of food items that can be hunted or gathered. Basically, if you can kill it, pick it off a tree or pick it up out of the ground, you can eat it.

The video below does a pretty good job of describing what foods are Paleo friendly.



Another part of the Paleo diet is exercise. Cavemen didn't run 26.2 miles a day to get their exercise…

Your Body is Your Temple

It takes a lot of energy and hard work to follow a healthy diet and exercise routine. Aside from making decisions that impact your daily routine, sometimes your diet affects those around you.

Sometimes it means offering up a new healthy dinner item that a family member or friend had never previously tasted and rocking their world at the possibilities of healthier food. Or sometimes it means putting off spending time with the puppy to put in more time at the gym. Or it can even mean asking your family to change their choice of restaurant for dinner so you have healthier options.

It is not hard to imagine that spending all this time and energy on yourself can make you feel a little selfish, and even a burden on others, but it is important to remember why you expend these efforts.

My reason? Aside from wanting to be healthy and stick around to love on my hubby for a long, long time and produce beautiful babies to love and care for...

"Do you not know that you are a temple of God 

TOS - Thoracic Outlet Syndrome or The Only Snag?

When I was about 14 years old, I was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS), a condition wherein excessive pressure is placed on a bundle of nerves that pass into the arm from the neck causing pain and weakness in the arm.

I was a fast pitch softball pitcher and first noticed symptoms of TOS after pitching at an all day tournament. My arm swelled to the point that I could not bend my wrist, and although it's my favorite color, it turned a very unpleasant shade of purple.

My parents took me to a specialist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, but little was known about TOS or its treatment at the time. They simply told me to remedy the situation by quitting sports. I played softball for another year after that, relinquishing the position of pitcher and taking on second base so I wouldn't have as much strain on my arm, but eventually I gave up softball all together.

Three years ago, my younger sister found she had the same problem while playing softball in high school. Unfortunatel…

What I Love About Sundays

There are so many things I love about Sundays.

Starting with Church. What better way to start the day than by spreading the word of God.


Followed by groceries and flowers. I love keeping fresh flowers in the house! Hubby is a huge fan of protea (pictured above). I've made it a new habit to pick up fresh flowers every Sunday to brighten the entryway throughout the week.

Photo and recipe courtesy A Couple Cooks.
Another thing I love about Sundays is having time to try new recipes. I saw this Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese featured on Sacramento Street earlier this week and pinned it right away for Sunday lunch. It was subsequently re-pinned about 100 times.


I love having a little extra time on Sundays to spend on crafts. This artwork featured above is a gift for a very special little baby girl named Blair. A tutorial for this craft and others like it can be found here.



Adoption Day.
And last, but certainly not least, I love spending Sundays with my itty bitty family.

What do you lo…

Nothing Says BAMF like Neon Pink Chalk

So I wanted to write a quick post to talk about tonight's workout because I felt like a bad@$$ superstar!

See those numbers written in HOT pink chalk on the gym floor? Those are my reps. There is something completely primal about etching your workout on the gym floor in pink chalk. Ok, so cavemen may not have had pink chalk, but there was red pigment around more than 15,000 years ago, so it's kind of the same thing.

Cavemen probably also never did overhead squats. They were missing out.

Remember my first CrossFit workout post? My first official workout involved overhead squats. I can lift weight over my head, but when I have to squat too, it adds a new degree of difficulty. My technique was awful. My max weight was 40 lbs for a single rep.

Today's workout was as many reps as possible in a single minute, rather than as much weight as possible in a single rep. So naturally, my trainer thought my best form was with an 18 lb bar. I realize that isn't much weight, but I ca…

Death by Feather Duster!

Yesterday was a long day. A very long day.

I was ultra productive this weekend, getting in a 5.5 mile run, a lunch with friends, lots of Outlet shopping, Sunday morning Church, grocery shopping, car cleaning, laundry, and some arts and crafts... what I didn't get was ample amounts of sleep.

Monday afternoon included a nice trip to the salon after work. It was a quiet trip, as there were only three stylists working at the time. I enjoyed a nice glass of wine and some good conversation with my stylist (the one who introduced me to CrossFit).

Because we have a 10K race this weekend, this week is a fairly timid week as far as training goes. My intentions were to run an easy two miles when I got home from the salon. At least, those were my intentions pre- drinking a glass of wine at the salon.

When I returned home, I was ready to hit the hay. But as I pulled up to the house, my hubby was sitting on the front porch. Straight away I could tell something was off. We will call this sign nu…

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!

I decided to bring back the Wednesday weigh in this week to check my progress since starting my CrossFit regimen. As always, I give the disclaimer that you should not restrict your fitness goals to a number on the scale. In fact, I am including my measurements (**gasp**) with this post because I have seen a drastic change in just a little over a week!

For best results, always measure yourself at the same time of day as your body may fluctuate as many as five pounds throughout the day based on dieting and exercise habits. I choose to take my measurements first thing in the morning as a good baseline.

Along with our CrossFit gym membership, we get access to the website, BeyondTheWhiteboard.com. Here, you can become affiliated with your gym, post Workout of the Day (WOD) results, track your dieting habits and sleep patterns, and keep tabs on your overall health. If you are obsessed with counting calories and keeping a journal of your progress like I am, this is a great new tool to becom…

A New Adventure

Confession: I started writing this post nearly two weeks ago and it's just getting posted. It is not easy to find the time to commute, work, workout, cook, clean house, and write a blog. Oh and let's not forget sleep! It's all about making priorities. And like I posted earlier this year, I plan to spend more time with family (especially in light of recent family illnesses), spend more time focusing on myself and my health, and more time nurturing my relationship with God. So far so good. I'm sorry that my blog has been neglected in the process.

The hubster and I recently started a new chapter in our lives. Chapter one of our married life began with a commitment to getting in better shape. I took that idea and ran with it. I ran 13.1 miles with it. He took that idea and cheered me on from the starting line, to mile 7, to the finish line where he greeted me with flowers. I kid, I kid.

The fact of the matter is, hubby would join me on most of my long runs and would run as…

Clarity in Clearwater

For the better part of the last week, I have been in the sunshine state, praying for a miracle; and God has answered those prayers.

My 80-year-old grandfather discovered a Meningioma tumor in his brain in November. At the time it was considered benign, as are most meningiomas, and the diagnosis was to observe the tumor's growth over the next year and see how it was progressing.

Unfortunately, my grandfather started showing symptoms of the tumor shortly thereafter, having seizures that were taking a toll on his fragile body. After more MRIs in mid-March, the tumor appeared to have grown in size by about 20 percent. Surgery was now a necessary reality.

So how did I take this news? That my grandfather, whom I very rarely get to see because he lives in Florida half the year and two hours away the rest of it, was going to be having life-saving surgery? I packed my bags and booked the last flight out on Friday evening after work.

It's not really as heroic as I make it sound. I didn&…