Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Fish Fry

A Fish Fry is a meal which typically consists of a battered or breaded fish, french fries, coleslaw, hush puppies and dessert. Seeing as how I haven't tried any paleo hush puppy recipes yet (although now I'm determined to find one), my Sunday Fish Fry consisted of only the fish and fries with a side of sugar snap peas! Aw, snap!


The Fried Fish recipe is fairly similar to my fried chicken recipe, but with a few tweaks.

Fried Fish
Serves 4
Ingredients:
1 pound cold water, wild caught fish (In this instance, I used Flounder)
1.5 cups of Blanched Almond Flour
2 tbsp Ground Lemon Pepper
2 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Parsley Flakes
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Iodized Sea Salt
1 Egg
Coconut Oil for frying
  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk the egg in a separate bowl.
  3. Melt coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat (just enough to coat the bottom of the pan).
  4. Dip the fish fillet in the egg, coating the fish.
  5. Lay the fish in the dry ingredients and toss to coat, flipping to ensure both sides are coated.
  6. Place the fish in the frying pan. Cook on each side about 4 minutes until brown and the fish is cooked through.
  7. Remove from the pan and serve hot!
Sweet Potato Fries
Serves 4
Ingredients:
4 Sweet Potatoes, sliced in 1/4 inch thick strips
Pork Fat for coating
2 tbsp Cinnamon
4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
4 tsp Ground Pepper
2 tsp Iodized Sea Salt

  1. Toss potato strips in melted pork fat, just enough to coat.
  2. Sprinkle spices on potatoes and continue to toss to coat.
  3. Use pork fat to grease foil on a baking sheet.
  4. Spread the potatoes evenly on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 425 degrees, keeping an eye on them to retrieve them at the desired crispiness.
As far as the sugar snap peas, I just boil those for about 5 minutes. Voila! You've got yourself a paleo-friendly fish fry!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Holisticly Speaking...

A lot more goes into maintaining a healthy lifestyle than working out regularly and eating your fruits and veggies, although that certainly helps.

Heart disease is the number one killer of women. The Mayo Clinic presents five reasonably practical and predictable measures to prevent heart disease:
  1. Don't smoke or use tobacco. (check)
  2. Exercise for 30 minutes on most days of the week. (check)
  3. Eat a heart-healthy diet. (check)
  4. Maintain a healthy weight. (check)
  5. Get regular health screenings. (check)
I prefer to take a more holistic approach to the issue.

More progressive resources recommend reducing or managing stress to prevent heart disease. Gaiam lists managing stress levels as one of the top ten ways to prevent heart disease for both men and women, recommending meditation, breathing exercises and yoga as methods to achieve less stress.

Here's a few of my favorite ways to reduce stress:

  • First and foremost, identify your sources of stress and eliminate them. If there is a person in your life who is poisonous and causes you nothing but trouble, cut them out. If your job causes undue stress, talk to your boss openly about the subject; let them know they are expecting too much of you or that you need to change your hours to better fit your activities outside of work. If worse comes to worse, change careers. A lifetime full of stress at a job you dislike will only shorten the time you spend doing things you enjoy. Finally, reduce visual clutter. Clutter can cause unnecessary stress. Live simply.
  • Get enough rest. Aim for eight hours of sleep a night. I know this isn't easy. I rarely get that much sleep myself. But try to make it a priority. Make it a goal to be in bed an hour before you need to be to get your eight hours. Read until you start to fall asleep. Talk to your companions (husband or fury ones) about your day. If you aim to be in bed well before it's time, you'll almost certainly achieve that goal.
  • Spend time with your furry loved ones. Speaking of furry companions, they are great stress reducers on their own. Try being sad when a ball of fluff cuddles up in your lap on the couch or greets you at the front door after a long, hard day at the office. Pets also make great listeners and they don't judge you, so go ahead and vent about the woman at work who thinks Zumba is the equivalent of an intense workout and thinks diet Coke is part of a healthy lifestyle.
  • Be social and have fun. There's a certain truth to the old saying, "laughter is the best medicine." Laughter reduces stress. Having fun and being social with friends and family allows you to forget about the factors that cause stress. Live. Laugh. Love. A LOT.
  • Seek out alternative wellness options that focus on you. Taking time for yourself is important for achieving total health and wellness. Spending an hour a month on a massage table or with a reflexologist is a great way to focus on your qi. Detoxing your body, muscles and mind can do wonders to lift your mood and allow you to forget about stress.
I have always enjoyed a good massage and have talked to the hubster about making them regular occurrences. Thus far, massages have only happened regularly on my birthday or special occasions, including our honeymoon.

This weekend, however, I had my first ever reflexology appointment with essential oils. It was ah-maze-ing. As I laid on the table and rest my eyes, I could feel my entire being tingling. I felt radiant when I left, from my head to my peppermint and lavender-scented feet.

Some benefits of the practice of reflexology include enhanced sleep quality, greater energy, improved concentration,  and **ding ding ding** reduced stress!

Living a healthy lifestyle may require work, but you cannot forget about the end goal: a healthy, happy you. Remember to take time out for yourself and reduce stress.

You're too blessed to be stressed.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I've Seen Better Days

Very rarely do I ever leave the gym NOT smiling, laughing, teasing, looking forward to returning the next day, skipping holding hands and singing while birds fly out of my butt...

Unfortunately, today was one of those days...

You know, that day that you leave feeling like you didn't give it everything you've got? Where you feel like if you tried just a bit harder you might have achieved the goal you were aiming for?

No? Haven't ever felt that way? Good for you, you over achiever. Pat yourself on the back and sleep easy tonight knowing you have mastered the universe.

For the rest of us average Josephines, these things happen.

I'm pretty sure even Disney princesses have bad days... or they would, if they were real.
The important thing that I've learned is not to beat yourself up over it. Throw a Tinkerbell-tantrum, get it out of your system, and get back to work.

As a flawed people, we aren't judged by our failures, but by how we react to them.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. - 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Revealing our weaknesses teaches us to be humble, not prideful. It is an important part of our spiritual growth. Don't dwell on your weakness or your failure. Learn from it. Be humbled. And grow.

Today's WOD:
Push Press 3 rep max
3-3-3-3-3

Result:
65-75-85-95x1-90x2

Monday, January 14, 2013

Very Big Things

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.
Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking.
Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice.
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
They somehow already know what you truly want to become.
Everything else is secondary.”  - Steve Jobs

This weekend was a weekend of firsts. My first CrossFit competition. The gym's first year anniversary party. And my first step on a new journey.

CrossFit Lakas participated in the Garage Games' World Wide WOD - Gym Resolution -- a one day national event held in gyms world wide. Thousands of athletes all competing in the same three WODs. And wouldn't you know, CrossFit Lakas was holding down the event's Facebook page for a few hours, with two of our athletes holding down the fourth and fifth spot overall before the west coast started reporting results. Not half bad for a tiny garage gym!


The three WODs were Helena, Karena and Grace. There were three divisions: Rx'd (Prescribed), Scaled and Beginner. I competed in the Scaled division.

Helena
2 Rounds for Time: 21 KBS @ 1 pood; 12 pull-ups; 200 jump-ropes (singles)
Result: 5:12

Karena
5 min time cap:
60 situp buy-in
Wall Balls until the time runs out
Result: 67 @16lbs = 1072 pts

Grace
30 Clean and Jerks @ 65lbs for time
Result: 3:58 (23 sec PR)

I was proud of my performance, but look forward to destroying those scores next year and moving up the Leaderboard. One of my favorite things about CrossFit, besides the community aspect, is seeing measurable improvements, not only in myself but in others too.

Following the World Wide WOD, CrossFit Lakas had its one year anniversary party to celebrate the conclusion of its first year as an affiliate and the beginning of what the owners called "AMRAP forever."


With the cutting of the cake came more big announcements for the gym. Starting this spring, the gym is beginning its Instructor Training Program (ITP). The ITP will promote and train athletes from within to become the future coaches of the box. It will be a 12-15 month intensive program to prepare the trainees for their level 1 CrossFit certifications, but also prepare them for the level of training that is expected from a CrossFit Lakas Coach.

When I received the call for entries for the ITP, I didn't hesitate to submit my letter of intent. I would liken it to a moth to a flame. My hubby wrote three paragraphs for his letter of intent, while I wrote three pages. I was more anxious waiting to hear if I was accepted than I was to hear about my college applications.

So there they are, getting ready to cut the cake, and the owners announce their first class of inductees for the ITP, and wouldn't you know, the hubster and I have been accepted!

**Happy Dance**

And thus begins the newest chapter in our lives. Neither one of us is quitting our day job and there's no guarantee that we'll survive become coaches at the box, but I'm so excited to pursue something that excites me. Something I can look forward to every day. Something that I feel so passionately about. I am taking a step towards effecting positive change in others.

This is the first time in a long time I've taken a chance and followed my heart. I've had hair-brained ideas before about quitting my job and pursuing a baking career, about taking on printing and design as a side project, and even about running a full marathon. All of those ideas I was mildly-passionate about, but never took the steps to get there.

This is the first step in a new journey that I hope will be a continuing one. I'm following my heart and intuition. I've set my goal and I'm asking the Lord to show me the steps to get there. I've prayed to be able to do something to make a positive impact on the world, and I'm feeling positive about the path He has put me on and the CrossFit family he has surrounded me with. I am surrounded by strong and good people. I thank God every day for every one of them.

I'm looking forward to sharing this new journey with you.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Call Me the Wok Genius!

It can be difficult to prepare meals during the week. I get that. Working full time, going to the gym daily, and trying to eat cleanly is something you have to be dedicated to and make time for (yes, make time for; I'm sure you can find it somewhere), but it doesn't have to be a chore.

What follows is a recipe that I have modified to make an easy meal that can be quickly whipped together during the week (with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen) with enough leftovers to take to lunch the next day: cabbage "lo mein" prepared two ways.

Shrimp Lo Mein
Cabbage "Lo Mein" - 2 Ways
Ingredients:
4 Tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
1 Tbsp Minced Ginger
2 lbs Chicken, Cubed (Or Shrimp)
2 Cups Broccoli (Or Sugar Snap Peas)
1/4 Cup Celery, Chopped
1/2 Cup Mushrooms, Sliced
2 Cups Shredded Cabbage
1/3 Cup Green Onion, Chopped
1/4 Cup Coconut Aminos

Variations:
Chicken Lo Mein
This recipe has been adapted from 
Make it Paleo.
If you haven't been doing Paleo for long, you probably haven't heard of the coconut aminos. This is a healthy alternative to soy sauce. If you aren't strictly paleo, feel free to use a gluten free variation.

One way to make this meal easier is to buy the pre-shredded, bagged cabbage rather than chop cabbage yourself. I bought an organic, family size bag of the "coleslaw" mix from the grocery store. Half a bag worked perfectly, and had enough leftover to make the second variation later in the week.

Also, I have swapped out the chicken for shrimp and found it to be very enjoyable. No need to change the process.

And lastly, I am not the biggest fan of broccoli. I much preferred my variation with sugar snap peas to the broccoli. Yeck. If given my choice, I'd cover broccoli in Easy Cheese and eat it that way. Since that's no longer a viable option in my diet, broccoli is a rarity here.


  1. Heat wok or skillet over high heat.
  2. Add sesame oil, ginger and garlic to the wok and saute for 1 minute to infuse the oil with flavor.
  3. Add the protein (chicken or shrimp) to the wok and stir frequently until mostly cooked.
  4. Add in the greens (broccoli or sugar snap peas), celery, and mushrooms; saute for 2 minutes.
  5. Add in cabbage and green onion.
  6. Pour coconut aminos over the lo mein.
  7. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes for the cabbage to soften.
  8. Remove from heat and serve hot!
And now you have a delicious, HEALTHY comfort meal that is perfectly Paleo! Share with your family and brag to your friends. This dish is a winner.