Monday, February 24, 2014

I'm still here... promise!

I haven't forgotten you, my little blogger bugs! I've just been a ridiculous combo of tired and busy, both of which go hand in hand, I suppose.  Also, re-introducing foods I stayed away from on the Paleo challenge, and really trying to pay attention to the way my body felt as they came back...

First up: FOOD

Things haven't been bad, things haven't been great, but they've been right in the middle. I've had more than a handful of "cheat" days, with the "it's only a few bites", "it's only 1 meal", "I'll do better tomorrow", excusing myself out of accountability when it comes to my food, and just being lazy about prepping.

This is 100% on me. But it's not all wasted time.

I've learned a few things. The most important one: I have to plan and prep if I am to be successful.  And it means planning my cheat meals, too. I have to allow those things.

Other things learned -
 * I went and got myself a cupcake after talking about it for 2 weeks. I craved it. It wasn't anything spectacular.   I would have been just fine without it.
 * I loved peanut butter. I switched to Almond Butter during the challenge.  Peanut butter doesn't taste the same anymore. I keep thinking it's b/c of the amount of sugar I cut during the challenge. I'm just not digging or craving as much of the "sweet" but more of the "savory".
 * I love bacon.  This isn't a shock, but the amount of bacon I've cooked in the past month an a half is already more than I cooked all of last year. Maybe a lb every other week? I should have enough bacon grease to make my own batch of "Stuff-N-Clutter" this coming Christmas.
* My tastes have been refined and seriously, even the smell of "Grass-Fed" beef is better than anything I've used before.
* I like cooking new things - Here's a few I ventured out with during the challenge:
..... Spaghetti Squash
..... Sweet Potatoes
..... Uncured bacon (why would ANYONE go back to "cured"??? It needs no help being fabulous!)
..... Ground Italian Sausage

I know there will be more moments of "Ah-Ha!" as I continue to adjust and modify the diet that works best for me, my time, my body, my schedule. It's all pretty exciting to feel a certain level of confidence and pride about my food.  It used to be SO overwhelming, thinking I was doing something right, following the rules as I understood them, from a million different resources.  And in this, something clicked. I see and FEEL the benefits of staying away from "man-made" as far as food goes.  That being said, I will stand firm by the results and energy I get from Advocare.  Can I do it without?  Absolutely. But I want to maximize my efforts in all facets. So I am adjusting my diet and intake to represent "Advo-Paleo".  This is what I know works best for me.

Second Up: CROSSFIT Update:

So finally getting past the "I had the flu so my time and efforts really will suck for a month" feeling.  And true to form, it really did take me good month before I could feel confident, like I was making progress instead of getting kicked backwards twenty steps.

I bettered my Paleo baseline by 5 minutes.
Friday afternoon, I PR'd "Helen" by 2:20.

There's a mild amount of running in ol' "Helen", so this is a big deal for me.  But HOLY cow, it seems like it took forEVER for my heart rate to come back down, and for me to catch my breathing. I was completely spent. And I slept for crap Fri. night, too... but that's been happening for a few days. Prob. more to do with my to-do list & my poor food choices than my heart rate...

The good news, I ran all 3 400m runs. I didn't take one step of a pause / walk. I ran it all.  My pull ups, I've been using the blue band assist, and next WOD I'm moving that up to the Green / Purple assist.  This is one step closer to one of my goals for this year - Doing Green Band Assist pull ups.

Upper body strength is getting better. My push-ups are getting better, but I still lose a ton of time on those and Burpees.  I'm starting a push-up challenge w/ some ladies at the gym, so I'm hopeful that I will continue to see improvement there.

The end of April, I think, will mark the completion of my first 6 months with Crossfit. I've already spoken to my coach on upping my attendance to 4-5 times a week, so adding a day.  This would give me a M-T-W on, rest Thurs, F-Sa on, rest Sun. schedule. I find that I feel a little more "lost" on the days I don't go, but know I need to let my body recover, too.  I would essentially have an "unlimited" membership, so I could work on more foundations and goals (Double Unders, Muscle Ups, Pull-Ups), a little more "training", etc...

I'm actually excited to see how things progress.  I'm not excited about how hot it's going to be in the box, but sweating my ass off, you bet! I've got some ass that needs sweating away! ;-)

Oh, and baseball season is creeping up on us! So THAT will be fun, too!

Let's Go Rangers!

Friday, February 14, 2014

It's Not so Much About Being Happy

In all of this, there are good days, there are great days, there are days when existing is exhausting and there are days that you close yourself off because you don't want anyone asking questions, and days you make a list of things to talk about that are "safe", and hope that people don't see past THE face.

I'm doing all of this stuff right now (Crossfit, Paleo, Advocare) because honestly I needed something to do. I needed to do just enough to keep my mind and my body occupied and think less.  The bonus has been the people that have crossed my path and the small victories I've achieved.

That being said, here's a 2 yr comparison, so that I can see changes on the outside that other people see, and try to get my inside to match it.

I'm not happy. I'm not unhappy. I am merely doing what I can to stay occupied, and make a few changes along the way. Happy for me is helping others. And in that, I'm helping myself along the way, too, and it's not a bad thing.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

2 Days Post Paleo... Challenge

So I did it! I liked it. But you knew that already.

My head was spinning with thoughts of all the stuff I could add back in once it was over. Bread, Queso, Chips, Hummus, Beans, Advocare (Spark, Slam, Catalyst, Shakes...), Alcohol...

I was honestly a bit nervous about the whole thing b/c it was SO much freedom to eat how I was used to eating before jumping in on this challenge with both feet.  Okay, I'm still uneasy / nervous.

I woke up Wednesday and had my SLAM, drank my Spark, and was just EXCITED all day long! I felt re-energized. And it honestly felt really amazing. I felt like I got to see a long lost friend and picked up right where I was the day before I started.

But I'm nervous to eat a meal that isn't "Paleo". I'm still losing lbs, and I don't want that to stop. I want to keep maximizing on my efforts at the gym and with my diet.

I'm going to Chicago at the beginning of March. I'll try to allow myself a few cheats, and I know there will be alcohol, plenty / lots of it. I feel like I need to "pre-game" so I don't make a fool of myself without any tolerance when we are there. I don't want to be the lightweight, but I don't want to over-do it either.

I want a cupcake, but I don't want the calories.

I'm learning how to adapt to this mind game, but it's seriously throwing me for a loop.  It's not a bad thing, just need to figure out how to get the adjustment done b/c I could seriously stick to the Paleo and be fine. It's like you've dedicated yourself to a lifestyle, only to not be locked in and held accountable, given the chance to add things back in, and see how your body reacts to it all.

I thrive on structure and security.

Add that to the list of things I've learned for 2014... Thus far.

I know I felt the absence of my Advocare. I'd just gotten used to feeling great, and I didn't feel bad without it, but I felt different. I didn't feel like my performance at the gym was as good as it had been, but also keeping in mind that the first week of Paleo was immediately following the flupocalyspe that knocked me on my ass for 5 days, and then some.

***Sidenote about Advocare - it's not a miracle program, but it's all about MAXimizing my effort. I want to get the best results possible from the work I'm putting in to this.***

Oh and that whole Paleo baseline workout thing... here's what it was...
500m rows
50 wall balls (6 / 8)
40 hand release pushups
30 situps
20 pull ups (assisted blue band)
10 burpee box jumps (12 in / 15 in.)

(parentheses are what I used / did at the beginning vs. what I did yesterday, post challenge)
Time:  1st time: 17:42  2nd time: 12:49

That's a good near 5 minute improvement. Amazing. That feeling is insane. I had the hardest time sleeping last night, I was so excited.

And I know I lost inches, too.  I don't have all my measurements to go back to reference, I do know that I lost 2 inches in my waist alone, and 2 in my hips, hence the need for the size 10 jeans.

I know I'll improve more as I keep going. It's exciting!!!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hopeful Realist

It's not a secret that this "get fit, get healthy" journey hasn't been a quick one, or some spur of the moment "good idea".  At least for me.  It's taken a long ass time for me to get where I am right now, and I know I am NOWHERE near close to achieving my goals, but I'm closer than I was yesterday, a week ago, a month ago, a year ago, etc...

I've not watched the Biggest Loser in years. I got tired of feeling guilty b/c I didn't see the results they saw, I felt so sad for the contestants, the ones that needed more but got kicked off the show... What a way to screw with the minds of those who need help. Being there for a week won't change those people. It leaves them feeling dejected and rejected.  I don't see how this is a good thing. Too much emotion for me, all generated by the guise of "reality". Blah.

But I guess it's not really about losing weight, getting fit, getting healthy... it's about ratings.  It's a game show with a few less flashing lights and ringing bells.

All of this to say, look, if you want to change, do it for you.  Find what works best for YOU.

There's nothing magical about making a change that will stick with you for the remainder of a lifetime. There are tools to help you, people who will go to the end of the earth to get you there, and hi-five you on the road. But ultimately it's a choice that you have to make for yourself.

I love helping people.  I love that Advocare has given me the opportunity to do that.  I trust Advocare because I trust the Sci-Med board with over 200+ years of experience. I trust the products that are approved by the Olympic committee and the top athletes in most sports / fields.  I cannot promise you the moon, but I can certainly tell you that Advocare, along with modifying my diet and adding Crossfit has finally given me the peace and security in finding the structure and elements that work for me.

I can't tell you enough how overwhelming and HEAVY it felt to continue to fail at fitness. I sucked at going to the gym. I sucked at motivating myself at home to do a workout every day. I sucked at sticking with bootcamp at 5:30 every morning.  I sucked at the C25K challenge (I plain suck at running).

I don't suck at getting to Crossfit.   I might suck at more than a few elements, but I still find the joy in getting it done.

If some of what I've learned for myself can help you, honestly, nothing makes me happier than sharing and helping others.

Please don't buy in to fads and quick fixes. There's nothing quick about making serious and dedicated changes.  Prepping your week with food, supplements (if you choose), and your gym schedule are the 3 things you HAVE to do. There is no way to be successful just winging it and hoping for the best.

If I can help you with recipes, share ways Advocare can help you (it's not just the 24 Day Challenge and Spark), invite you to join me in a Saturday morning Crossfit sesh, or give you some encouragement along your way, I would love to.

email me at or leave a comment below.

*I am in no way a pro or certified in anything, I am just a girl who finally found the recipe for my own success

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Paleo - Taco Pie Recipe

Ingredients Taco Seasoning
1 tbs chili powder 
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp ground pepper 
1 tsp oregano 
1 tsp thyme 
1 1/2 tsp cumin 
1/2 tsp paprika 
1/4 tsp garlic powder 
1/4 tsp onion powder 
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Ingredients Crust
2 cups of almond flour 
2 eggs - whisked 
1 tbs coconut oil 
1-2 tbs of the taco seasoning (see above)

Ingredients Filling
1 to 1 1/2 lbs of ground beef – browned (grass-fed beef recommended) 
1 small onion diced 
1/2 red pepper diced 
1/2 green pepper diced 
2 tbs taco seasoning (see above) 
1/2 cup tomato sauce
 1 can (14 oz) of diced tomatoes with green chilies – liquid drained 
2 avocados - diced


1. First combine ingredients for the taco seasoning in a small bowl - set aside 
2. In a frying pan add 2 tbs of a fat of your choice 
3. Add ground beef and brown, along with the onions and peppers over medium heat until meat is cooked and the veggies tender 
4. Drain fat from pan 
5. Add 2 tbs of the taco seasoning mix 
6. Next add 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce, and stir 
7. Simmer awhile to let flavors combine 
8. Time to make the crust... 
9. In a medium bowl combine almond flour, whisked eggs and coconut oil into a dough (I used a wooden spoon, then my hands) 
10. This will make a 9-inch pie crust, or enough for about 4 ramekins 
11. Grease pie pan or ramekins 
12. Mix dough and form for which ever vessel you will be using for pie 
13. Press into pie pan or ramekins to form a crust 
14. Bake at 350-degrees F unfilled for about 8-10 min 
15. Remove from oven and add the taco filling from the pan 
16. Top with some diced tomatoes 
17. Return to oven and bake at 350-degrees F for another 20 mins 
18. Top with slices of avocado or whatever garnish you would like 
19. Break up the crust from the bottom to combine with taco filling 
20. Eat up!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sober Superbowl & a Size 10

We are down to the home stretch... just 7 more days to go on this strictly Paleo plan. I've had one little blip, but unintentional at best.

Saturday night I exercised the greatest amount of will power to date.  Went to dinner for a friend's birthday at one of my "treat" restaurants where the food is Latin and the black bean dip is laced with everything I have ever wanted to devour! It really is divine!  I didn't even feel tempted, but had I looked at it any longer, I might have been ;)  I did great, looking at the menu beforehand, decided on a salmon tropical salad w/ fresh fruits & a balsamic dressing. Perfecto!

Then I came home w/ a raging headache and slept for 12 hours.  Good grief!

Superbowl Sunday came around, and I, like the rest of the idiots, trotted to HEB so I could do my grocery shopping. For the number of cars in the parking lot, I was actually able to hop in and out in 45 minutes. Perk was 1. I didn't have to go to the bread aisle. 2. The produce section wasn't heavily populated and 3. The checker in my line was super speedy!

My Sunday shopping just feels right. I know it's crowded, I know I will have to be patient, I know I will have to pause and wait for the mom to get all the bananas and then make sure her 3 kids are not darting across the aisle.   I like coming home and putting away the groceries, setting things aside for what I'm going to cook that afternoon / evening.   This is a part of Paleo I was honestly dreading, but find remarkably easy.   It feels like I've been doing this for ages and ages.  So this is good.  I can definitely see myself keeping up with this part of Paleo.

I had a friend coming over while the big game was on, so we could do some crafty project (FUN!) and have dinner.  She just started her 24 day challenge w/ Advocare, so wanted to cook something paleo and challenge  friendly.  I decided I would do Meatloaf.  I chose the Italian Meatloaf from PaleOMG.  And OMG it was AWESOME!!!  It was my first meatloaf, and my first butternut squash. Both were super successful! The other side was roasted broccoli.  It was the tastiest and most colorful plate!

As we are now just a week out, there are things I cannot WAIT to dive back in to, moderately, of course. My Advocare supplements are number one. I know I get a lot of great and much needed nutrients from the food I've been eating on Paleo (YAY!), but I can feel small nuances that I haven't felt in a while, since being on product, creeping back in.  Knee pain is paramount. Recovery time is longer from my workouts, Sleep has been ok, but I feel myself yawning in fits every afternoon, when I should and would be having my afternoon Spark.

I have decided that I'm going to modify my Paleo to accommodate my Advocare, and still pay closer attention to going non-processed foods as much as possible, cooking a big meal I can eat through the week, while having a protein shake here and there, most likely the mornings, unless I have the egg bites handy ;)

I've learned a lot thus far, cooked more, stayed focused and had one little blip. I'm this close to the end and I will resist the urge to gorge on a cupcake, but man that does sound SO good!  I'm not really a big "sweets" person, as I usually go for savory, but knowing it's NOT on the list, well it just makes it all the more tempting!

Oh yeah, and that Size 10 thing... well I sure enough did.  THAT felt good! It was maybe 2008 and I was buying a size 18.  It wasn't for a long period, as I think I only had 1 or 2 pair, but that was humbling. So proud? You bet.  And if I can get down to a 6 and maintain.... a girl can dream. 35 more lbs to go.