Wednesday, December 26, 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 improvement, both in appearance and in gym performance, as well as psychological improvements, constantly challenging ourselves to do more than we ever thought possible, gaining confidence along the way.

But our reasoning for making these changes in our lives isn't purely selfish. Like Gandhi, we recognize that change starts with us, but it doesn't end with us.

Okay. I'm not trying to compare myself to Gandhi. Those shoes are way too huge for my tiny, feminine feet to fill. "Peace on earth and fitness for all mankind" wasn't exactly Gandhi's credo, but it's a worthy one, nonetheless.

While we make these changes in our own lives and learn about the benefits of an alternative lifestyle, we try our best to educate and encourage those around us, without infringing on their own free will, obviously. How exactly do we do this? By dragging everyone we know into the box (CrossFit to English translation: the gym), buying several copies of The Paleo Solution and sharing them with friends and family, sharing recipes to encourage others to give them a try, and talking about CrossFit non stop.

So far, we've made a few converts of friends and family members, but why stop there? Lately, I've been working on a few co-workers and random people I pass on the street or in stores. True story. It helps to wear CrossFit Lakás gear when out and about, and approach anyone who tries to read your shirt.

It's a family thang.
Today, we convinced my brother-in-law to complete a travel WOD with us, called 20 Pieces of Angie:
20 Rounds for Time of:
5 pull-ups
5 push-ups
5 sit-ups
5 squats

We did jumping pull-ups, as I'm fairly certain I'm not quite capable of completing 100 strict pull-ups just yet. Results follow in order of performance:
Me: 14:43
Bro: 27:34
Hubster: 13:45

Not too shabby for his second CrossFit WOD in the history of ever, second only to an AMRAP 7:00 of Burpees that we talked him into back in July. He felt much more encouraged by completing this workout than he did after burpees. Best of all, he told me he couldn't have made it through the workout without me coaching him and cheering him on. Best. Feeling. Ever.

In keeping with my commitment to accountability, I am again making my New Year's resolutions declarations publicly. Hey, it worked for 2012, so let's give it a go.

In 2013, I will continue to try to improve upon myself and effect positive change in those around me. I will do my best to educate myself and those I care about in health and fitness. I will continue to nurture my relationship with God by spending more time in Church and worship. I will continue to cherish the time I spend with my family members, especially the elderly ones who have been through so much in the last year. And lastly, I will continue to challenge myself in adventures and endeavors that I previously thought unfathomable, starting this spring with another CrossFit related challenge. More on that to come!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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
The Colonel's got nothing on this recipe!
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)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 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 amount based on the pan size.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. I never measure the herbs and spices when I make this recipe; I just kind of wing it and season it to taste. The mixture should be slightly reddish if you like it with a little kick.
  4. Whisk the egg in a separate bowl.
  5. Dip a chicken breast in the egg.
  6. Toss the chicken with the dry ingredients, taking care to completely coat with flour and spices.
  7. Place the chicken in the hot oil, and cook for 2 minutes per side, until browning.
  8. Remove the breasts (ooh la la) from the hot pan and place them on a cooling rack on a baking sheet.
  9. Bake the chicken in the oven for 10 minutes to cook through.
  10. Eat hot and crispy!
I served the fried chicken with some sugar snap peas, which I boiled on the stovetop, and some organic cinnamon apple sauce (with no sugar added, the apple is plenty sweet on its own!).



Maryland Crab Cakes
Ingredients:
1 lb Wild-Caught Crab Meat (I prefer lump)
1/3 cup Almond or Coconut Flour
2 tbsp dried Parsley
1 boat load of Old Bay Seasoning (to taste)
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 Egg
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup of Spicy Brown Mustard
Juice of 1 Lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Whisk the egg in the bowl.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl, excluding the crab meat.
  4. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Add the crab meat to the bowl, and use your hands to mix, careful not to break up the lumps!
  6. Form cakes with your hands and place on a prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake the cakes for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. When they begin to set, I like to turn on the broiler for a few minutes to brown the tops.
  8. Sprinkle the tops with dried Parsley and Old Bay and serve!
I served the crab cakes with a side of sugar snap peas, boiled on the stovetop again, and some stovetop Butternut Squash. I put 1 tbsp of organic butter in a pan with some olive oil, tossed in the squash, and sprinkled with parsley and Old Bay Seasoning. I swear to promise you, it tasted like I was eating grilled cheese. Not sure what that was about, but it was delicious.