Archives for August 2010
The kids love playing "Hoop Hop" a new game we started playing thanks
to CrossFit Agoge.
spent eight years clean and sober. That means eight years without
touching a drop of alcohol. Five years ago, after a long period of
careful consideration, I decided to drink again. While I am not in ANY
way suggesting that a sober person attempt this**, taking that sip of beer did
not lead me down a path of destruction. Quite the contrary, I found that
where before I lacked a natural mechanism that called STOP!, my body now
clearly and boldly laid down the law at two.
Beers. The third was not appealing, not wanted, and if for some reason I drank
it, would give me a searing hangover like an entire bottle of tequila.
forward five years. I love beer. Beer is a integral part of life. I adore the
smell, the anticipation, the awakening of my mouth and tongue as the cold
liquid yummy slides down my throat. I am a beer snob. I like
Belgians, Weizens, Micros. I do not consider the cheap Americans real
beer. I drink beer like others drink wine. As a matter of fact, I don’t
drink wine. I love beer so much that the thought of giving up my bottles of
cold yummy fills me with bone chilling horror.
a sign of alcoholism, perhaps a genuine love of beer, my love of/dependence on
my one or two coldies every few nights…. Every night? becomes a
glaring, unavoidable realty when I start down the road to Paleo.
not that CrossFitters don’t drink beer. Some do. It’s
not that all CrossFitters are Paleo. Many are not. But in my writings
over the past year, I’ve talked about my journey to healthy eating, the
“drag my claws screeching across the pavement” crawl to going Paleo
and eating like an athlete, a path that has been singularly inspired by my
CrossFit Cult. Uh, Community. Once a carboholic, sugar-o-holic
binge eating vegetarian now Paleo Chick, I’ve learned, for real, that
there are no true gains in performance or looks without rock solid nutrition.
step of the way towards cleaning up and eating like an athlete, I’ve made
two jokes: “ I’ve given up all bad carbs (except beer)” and;
“ after careful study of the Paleolithic hieroglyphics, I can confidently
state that beer bottles littered the caves, so I’m good. Ha.”
right knee lacked an ACL for twenty years. After weathering the storms of
CrossFit I unleashed on that poor, un-stabilized knee for a year and a half,
she finally called uncle. Totally euphoric from competing at
Sectionals – a life-changing experience – and while
prepping to compete at Regionals on the CrossFit Scottsdale Affiliate
Team, she got hurt and never stopped hurting. I was out. Down.
Incapacitated. The prognosis – surgery and six long months of
rehab. The fall and rise of KneeZilla.
who CrossFits or is addicted to their workouts knows how difficult one rest day
can be – physically, emotionally, psychologically. Injury is
devastating. Endless, torturous, withdrawal-filled unwanted rest days. In
one instant life is intolerably and painfully altered. The reliance on the Wod
for stress release, for producing those cool chemicals that make you stoned
everyday? Gone. Your identity as someone who performs physically on
a daily basis and shares that performance with a community? Gone. Your
connection to your people through showing up and doing it, and talking about it
incessantly? Gone. You are physically impaired, wounded, a hobbled outsider,
immobilized on the periphery, looking longingly at your wodding, performing,
things happened. After getting through the worst of the depression, I stood up
on my one good leg and decided that being injured and fat would be far worse
than just being injured. If I wasn’t able to burn my food like before, I
better focus on quality nutrition to avoid that “sitting on my ass
second thing that happened is that I drank more. Perhaps as a way to
replace getting stoned off my WODs, perhaps as comfort, my two beers a night
became a religious experience. Every night. Looked forward to it.
Had to do it. Two coldies. Weekends or celebrations? Sometimes three.
everything that has happened to me within the context of CrossFit, I
don’t know the one thing that clicked the switch. It’s always
been like this: I wake up one day and realize I need to change. I
woke up and realized it was time to stop drinking beer. A dependence on
beer was simply not OK. It hadn’t been for at least a year.
I had never been able to rid myself of my belly flab. Beer was
always considered the culprit, the sugary carb filled source that spread itself
as a coating of fat across my entire midsection.
Not able to perform in the box, it was time to perform in the most personal of
ways: by changing something as fundamental and adored as my daily
drinking habit. Stop the dependence. Get rid of the flab.
Just do it.
Self Imposed Challenge was 30 days . For the next thirty days, drink no beer
and cut out all sugared coffee creamers in the morning, another favorite
addiction of mine. As someone who is great at flashy starts and horrible
at consistent follow through for things I don’t like, I knew the only way
to keep going was to go public. Facebook. Unless I had an
entire community of people to whom I was accountable, I’d be good until
about day four. So I announced the goals, promised to publish my
progress, including a daily picture in a bikini, and began.
days later I had kept my promise: not one drop of beer or sweet coffee creamer
had passed my lips. This was monumental. Truly miraculous. It
had been years since I had gone thirty days without at least one yummy coldy.
the first few days were hard, it was astounding how easy not drinking became
almost immediately. By the end of week one, I felt clearer, cleaner, fresher,
lighter, and just plain happier. Maybe the happiness came from achieving
a goal more than chemical changes, but my feelings were real and palpable. I
simply felt happier. During week two I felt pure relief.. relief at not feeling
the urge, desire or need for the taste of that beer at the end of the day.
Elation that something I had clung to so tightly was not important. I
felt similarly about giving up my sugared creamers in the morning – so
happy to get rid of the guilt of starting my day with a walloping dose of
sugar, but freedom from beer was different.
the end of thirty days, I was honestly disappointed and hugely depressed that
my layer of belly flab had not melted from my body. That was a difficult,
two thumbs down, bummer.
internally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally, I felt better than
I had in years. Crisp. Clean. Alert. CLEAR. I had changed yet
ANOTHER fundamental aspect of my life, simply by being a part of an intensely
focused and supportive CrossFit Community that made me aware of who I wanted to
be. I wanted to be at the top of my game, a performer a 100%er, an
achiever, an athlete. And I did not want to be dependent on anything but
my dedication to physical excellence to achieve that.
as a way to really drive the point home, on Day 31, just because I could, I sat
at my favorite beer bar and ordered. Three. Three strong Belgians.
I knew better. The horrible, disgusting sickness, bloatedness, headache,
fog, and general overall fershitness I felt the next day made me happy.
It really sucked. Nope, I don’t have to do this anymore. I am truly
love you CrossFit community. You inspire me and help me be the true me.
If you are sober and reading this feels like you are being given advice or
permission to drink, please call your sponsor immediately. This is not
advice or permission to drink!
Making a lifestyle change, whether it’s
quitting a bad habit, or starting a new one, sometimes requires baby
steps. For a lot people, the shock of the ‘ripping the band aid off’
approach just isn’t sustainable. It’s common to see people make a
radical lifestyle change, then accidentally have a relapse, feel guilty
about it, and then head straight back to the back place from which they
If you’ve tried this approach to fitness, nutrition ( cabbage soup diet,
anyone?), or life in general in the past, and you’re still struggling
with the same problem years later, perhaps you need to find a new
approach. Let’s take your leaps and bounds and scale them down to baby
steps and see what happens…
Baby Step #1: Change Your Breakfast.
Whether you typically eat a bowl of Kashi, a cup of coffee, an egg
white omelet, or nothing at all, there’s probably some room for
improvement in your breakfast.
Remember that food is fuel. And breakfast is the most important fuel
of the day. If your first meal is full of nutrient dense calories, it
gives your brain and body the what it needs to have a productive morning
and will positively effect your energy levels, mental clarity, and
ability to make other good food choices throughout the rest of your day.
And if the meal is processed, has sugar, is too high in carbohydrates,
or is non-existent, your body and brain are being shortchanged before
your day has even begun!
To review the types of food you should and shouldn’t be eating, read this first. Then, go out and buy a carton of eggs. Next, sit down and read this post.
Breakfast is just like any other meal. Most of us
grew up thinking that breakfast was a wondrous kind of meal with
special foods that you wouldn’t eat at any other meal. If you ever got
the rare chance to eat ‘breakfast for dinner’, you knew you had done
something right that day. That’s because you were actually being fed
dessert for breakfast ( I know I was!). Sugar floating in a bowl of
sugar ( aka cereal in milk) or sugar topped with sticky sugar ( waffles
with syrup) don’t count as a meal.
A ‘real foods’ meal, as you now know, should consist of three basic
things – a protein (usually meat or fish), a vegetable, and a good fat
source. Nothing about that changes for breakfast. What needs to change,
however, is your perception of what breakfast actually is. Starting
today, shake that notion that certain foods aren’t ‘breakfast foods’. Chicken for breakfast? Sure. Ground beef and eggs? Yes, please. Turkey and avocado? Fill er up. Food is food, and should be eaten throughout the day, as you get hungry. It’s as simple as that!
The Magic Formula. A super simple way to transition
yourself from cereal, a breakfast sandwich, croissant, or whatever you
normally eat, to a ‘real foods approved’ breakfast is to learn a simple
formula. (Don’t panic -its not like real math -this formula is easy…and
Eggs + Leftovers = Breakfast
(allow me to repeat myself)
Eggs + Leftovers = Breakfast
Eggs are a great way to
start off the day with a big helping of good protein. For best results
here, use eggs from free range chickens. The yolks are a nice, deep
orange-yellow and they taste, well, more like eggs.
Leftovers is pretty
explanatory. It’s what you ate last night. If you’re eating right, then
it should be some type meat and vegetable. If you’re not eating well,
please refrain from putting pizza in your omelet.
Step 1: Butter a small saute or
omelet pan with Kerrygold butter (GrassFed, Free-range Irish butter,
available for cheap at Trader Joe’s)
Step 2: Chop up some of last night’s meat, fish, chicken, or veggies into small pieces and add to the pan.
Step 3: Crack 2 or 3 eggs ( or 4 or 5
if your body needs that many) right into the pan and scramble them
around a bit with a spatula, just enough to break up the yolks and mix
them into the leftovers.
Step 4: After a few minutes, once the
bottom of the omelet has set, flip the omelet and cook for an additional
minute on the other side. Remove from the heat and eat!
As simple as it is to eat eggs and
leftovers for breakfast, we hear a TON of excuses as to why people don’t
do it. Here are some of the most common, and our responses:
I don’t have time to cook in the morning
– While cooking an omelet does take more time than pouring a bowl of
cereal it doesn’t take THAT much more time, especially if you break the
eggs right into the pan just after you add the meat. You can continue
your morning routine as the egg cooks, flip it once, and eat. TIP: Set
out your plate, fork and saute pan the night before, and set your alarm
a whole 3 minutes earlier than normal. You can’t go wrong.
I don’t have time to eat at home / I’m not hungry when I first wake up Thank
god for Tupperware! Just plop you omelet into a re-sealable container,
and bring it to work/school/wherever. Eat it when you’re ready. I bring
my omelet to work every day and eat it 2 hours after I wake up. I love
to see my co-workers salivate…
I don’t know how to cook Now
you do! I just showed you how. Its really that simple. The omelet is
one of the first things that people learn to cook, so you’re starting
with the basics. It’s okay if it looks ugly or if you overcook it. It’ll
still taste the same, and you will learn as you go. It took me 2 full
years of sloshing eggy goop over the side of the pan onto the stovetop
before I learned how to flip a huge 6 egg omelet without using a
spatula! ( Those 6 eggs feed two people, by the way).
I don’t like eggs
Luckily, much like all of our food suggestions, there are substitutions
available! First, try the recipe above once. Just to make sure it’s
eggs you don’t like, and not the fake stuff that they microwave and slap
on bread at Dunkin Donuts. If you really don’t like, or can’t stomach
eggs, then you can just eat leftovers as is, or try some turkey with
avocado, sausage with peppers, or any combo of meat & veggies that
you feel like eating in the morning.
Now that we got the excuses out of the way, here are some leftovers that make for great omelets:
Ground beef and onions
Spinach and mushrooms
Chicken and peppers
Pork and hot sauce
Bacon and anything at all
Shrimp and avocado
Steak and sweet potatoes
Shrimp and peppers
You get the point….basically everything can be paired with eggs for the ultimate breakfast !
Why are we asking you to change your breakfast?
Because you’re here to make a big life
change. You want to look better, feel better and become more physically
capable, and making this tiny change will help you do just that.
Because breakfast is the natural ‘first
step’ to take. It sets the tone for the day. It’s not easy to ruin a
satisfying breakfast with a lunch that will make you sleepy and feeling
Because omelets are easy to make. They are
the kindergarten of cooking, and these are baby steps that we’re
taking. If you haven’t made any of our recipes thus far, make this the
first one you try.
Tell us what you think!
Try and omelet today and POST YOUR THOUGHTS
TO COMMENTS. What did/didn’t you like? Are you unsure about whether
your breakfast is ‘real foods’ -approved? Got any suggestions for newbies?
This is the first in a series of posts
about slowly transitioning yourself over to eating only foods that are
good for you. While the concepts may sound simple, this change can be
really hard for most people, so show your support – we’re in this
It was another one of those nights: I really wanted to eat something
yummy, but after a long day at work, I was less-than-excited about the
prospect of firing up the stove. On the bus ride home, I did a mental
inventory of the fridge: defrosted salad shrimp… chopped cabbage…
Perfect! Paleo Egg Foo Yung. It's not really Chinese food – it was invented by American Chinese cooks in the 1930s and is at least based on a real Chinese dish.
A cross between a pancake and an omelet, egg foo yung is usually
drowning in sesame oil and served with brown gravy. I cleaned it up!
This is another one of those "purge the fridge" dishes in which you can
toss just about any protein and vegetable. To be "authentic" in this
completely unauthentic dish, I recommend cabbage and scallions – but
feel free to add broccoli, squash, shredded carrots. It would also be
totally kickass with mushrooms, and I would have included them if I had
them. The recipe below uses salad shrimp, but I've also enjoyed this
with leftover pork and chicken.
Paleo Egg Foo Yung
This makes enough for one person around my size, but it's easily doubled/tripled for company or bigger/hungrier people.
2 oz. cooked protein: shrimp, crab, chicken, and pork all work great
1 cup chopped cabbage
4 scallions, green and white parts sliced thin
1 teaspoon coconut aminos (or soy sauce or Bragg's aminos)
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
coconut oil (or sesame oil or both)
1. Put about 1 teaspoon coconut oil in a skillet and heat over
medium-high heat. Add cabbage and saute until wilted and slightly brown.
2. Remove cabbage from heat and let cool to the touch. (It gets mixed
into the eggs and you don't want the hot cabbage to cook the eggs too
3. Place protein and vegetables in a large bowl. Scramble the eggs, pour
them over the stuff in the bowl, and mix well. Add 1 teaspoon coconut
aminos and the Chinese five-spice powder; blend well.
4. Put another 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil in the skillet and heat over
high heat. Get the pan nice and hot, then pour in the egg mixture,
spreading it evenly into a flat pancake shape with a spatula. I like my
eggs very well done, so I put a lid on the pan and let it cook for about
5 minutes. As you can see from my photo, mine got a tiny bit
over-browned, but I like all my food burnt, so I was happy. For normal
people, give it 3-4 minutes and lift an edge to check the brownness.
5. When you're happy with the bottom, flip it! This takes a leap of faith and confidence. You can do it!
6. Let it get brown on the other side, slide it onto a plate, and serve
alongside another veggie (in the photo above, you can see I had jicama)
and maybe some fruit for dessert. For added flavor, drizzle a teaspoon
of sesame oil or melted coconut oil over the top. YUM!
shared from The Clothes Make the Girl