Busy being badass wonderwomen at our day jobs this week, Tricia and I haven't been keeping up with as much scintillation here as we'd like. We'll be back next week.


Day 36

Lbs. lost: 6
Inches lost: No idea because we didn't measure. Doh!
PRs: 8 (if memory serves)
Clothing size: Same, but fitting differently. Hips are obscenely large, or maybe they just look that way because of the insane hour glass I'm getting in my waist.

"Do you feel better?" People keep asking this, and my answer, honestly, is no. I don't feel worse, certainly, but I'm still tired a lot, and my body is tired from one workout to the next, more so I'd say than before I started the challenge. My mood is pretty even, and there is the very big upside that I haven't mentally berated myself for food choices in 36 whole days (undoubtedly a PR for me)!

"Have your workouts improved?" I don't know for sure, but I think so. I keep underestimating my abilities, and then coming in with a better time or result than I thought I had in me.

I do know for sure that my ATTITUDE has improved. I'm super excited to get to the gym. I no longer "hate" any given exercise. Yes, there are certain things I'm not great at (ring dips, push ups, box jumps), but there's nothing I dread anymore as a single event.

The total commitment to eat right seems pointless if I'm not pushing super hard at the gym every day, so I don't skip workouts. I feel much more like a committed crossfitter now--not an outsider, not the fat girl who can't get it done, but someone who is making it happen. This attitude shift, I think, is the greatest gift the challenge has given me thus far.


I cannot recommend this recipe enough

Paleo Pot Pie.

Notes: I didn't have enough almond flour for the crust, so I added in flax seed. Was delicious. I would have made more crust-maybe multiply crust recipe by 1.5?


On food logs and fine tuning

We've been going at this for over 3 weeks now. (Seriously? How did that happen?) Getting to the gym and eating the right foods is all second nature now, which means it's time to start getting down to the nitty gritty. I checked in on my scale this morning and was sort of amused, yet not surprised by the results. According to it's readings, I've gained 3 lbs, yet lost 3% in body fat. This makes sense. I'm getting stronger. The thing is, though, I know I could be doing better. I haven't been cooking as much as I'd like (work has been busy), and so have been eating paleo, but perhaps not the best paleo I could be. Because I'm so pressed for time, I've been eating too many nuts and pears (for portability.)

In that vein, I'm starting a food journal today. I'm still going to eat as much as I want, but I'm going to include all the portion sizes of what I eat. My goal is to cut out all the fruit (after I finish the 2 apples I have), and really restrict the nuts/nutbutters. I'll post my logs at the end of the day with my daily wrap up.

**Update** I've been listening to the Robb Wolf podcasts and have settled upon the following goal ratio for my food. 125g protein/40g carbs/115g fat, which equals roughly 1700 cals a day.



This morning, while I made the morning pot of office coffee, a supervisor commented on how she just can't seem to wake up lately. Another coworker told her that she should develop an unhealthy addiction and everything would be fine. Because she's addicted to coffee, my coworker explained, every morning is like Christmas.

This is pretty much exactly how I feel about Crossfit. Everyday it's easy to come to work because I want the day to hurry up so I can get to CFG already. Maybe I should just move my office there. There's room enough up front, right?

Tasty snack

I cooked this up for breakfast this morning:
-2 strips of bacon
-lots and lots of spinach
-2 dates, chopped

I fried up the bacon (in its own grease), cut it up, threw it in a bowl. Then I cooked the spinach in the bacon grease, adding more and more spinach until I had enough to satisfy. (It cooks down to nothing!) Once it was all nice and cooked (didn't take long at all), I added in the dates. Mixed everything around, and whala! (Some may want to add salt/pepper to taste) Very tasty. And it helped me get my greens in.


You know you're eating right

when your dog always wants in on it.

(Yes, this is a gratuitous puppy pic)

I'm a paleo girl, in a paleo world...

This was the image greeting me at a local health food store today. (Tricia, I've replaced your almond flour, you can bake paleo goodness again!) This both tickled and annoyed me. Tickled because one of the guys who runs the store is very buff (and often over-tanned), and it is validation somehow if he is following paleo. Annoyed because it suggests that this is a fad diet. And that's one of my big fears about this challenge, that I'll treat this as I have other endeavors, as a fad.

But sticking to the positive side of things: they finally had hazelnuts! I am now going to scour the web looking for a delicious recipe in which to use said hazelnuts. Um, after work, of course.

Pretty sure this is how it works

The title to today's Dinosaur Comic pretty much summed it up:

"in writing this comic I looked up what flavours fruit roll-ups currently come in, and among them is 'Crazy Pix Cool Chix Berry Wave'. friends, I call that poetry."

from Dinosaur Comics

T-Rex is so wise.

Well, I'll be darned

In speaking to numerous people recently, they've all asked me, "but how is life down south?" (I come from a California-born-and-bred family, and my pre-here friends are all dyed-in-the-blue Yankees.)

My answer? "Everything's OK. Well, I mean, I love my gym. My gym is awesome!" And then I prattle on about Crossfit Genius - how absolutely amazing Tony and Karen are, and all the new people who have started coming who are so much fun and just how FUN it is.

I suppose in my line of work, it might be natural to not find my day job the uplifting part of the day most days. But it's more than that--I feel at home in the gym, and that hasn't been the case for me in quite some time.



Good News and Bad News

Good News: Tomorrow begins week four of the GBOGH roomie challenge! We're still going strong.

Bad News: I did one burpee this weekend. And since I was on day 18, 19 and today 20 of the 100 day burpee challenge, that is a LOT of burpees (56 to be exact) to do when today's workout already includes 84 pushups.

Fun times, oh yes.


The Produce Bible

Today as a present to myself, I went to Williams-Sonoma. I was originally looking for spice mixes that do not have sugar in them. Are you surprised to hear that the only one I found without sugar was this one? Read labels, people, read labels. Oh, OK, there was also this, which smells divine and is packaged so as to appeal people like me, but it was$18 for a little pot! And contains items I already have in my spice cabinet, minus the lavender.

OK, where was I going with this post? The place puts me in a reverie of weird food associations--I go in for spices to rub on meat, but before I get there I have to check out the fancy tea, and then the sesame oil is right next to the rubs, and then there's the infused olive oils... and then maybe I should see if there's anything for a little care package for my sister in the baking isle? Hmmm, I have to check out the cookbooks to see what they're trying to push. Oh! Cookbooks. That's what I was blogging about. This one, in particular:

Let me tell you why I like this cookbook already (I've only begun to browse it.)
  1. It tells you when different vegetables are in season (key to sustainable agriculture, yada yada yada);
  2. It tells you how to store each item, and for how long it will last--apparently my turnips are way done;
  3. It tells you how you cook the item;
  4. It has nifty little history/cool information about each produce item;
  5. It has several different recipes for each item. So if you're a member of a CSA and there's lots of cabbage in your bag and you're not particularly fond of the way your parents made it for you as a kid, you would go to the book (and if you are me get distracted by the fact that brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower are all in the same brassica family--who knew?) and you would find a recipe for porkchops with braised red cabbage, and suggestions that cabbage goes "admirably" with anchovies, apples, bacon, caraway seeds, chestnuts, chicken, cider vinegar, corned beef, duck, nutmeg, pancetta, pork, salmon, smoked meat, veal, and walnuts. (I've omitted the things that it suggests that are not paleo-friendly--sorry, you'll have to buy the book to find out.)
Please excuse me while I indulge in utter nerdiness and read more about celeriac and Jerusalem artichokes...



Summer, over at Cosmopolitan Primal Girl (be still my heart, there is more than two of us out there!) posted her goals yesterday. So I'm going to post some goals that have been rolling around in my head since the challenge started. I've used my birthday as a convenient goal end-date, because it's in the middle of the summer, giving me a good few months to get there.

1) Pull ups. Right now I can, on a good night, do 7 pull ups in a row on a red band, which is two bands away from not having any assistance. I will get my chin over that bar without help by my birthday. And if I really really really push myself, I'll get my chest to the bar. But that's just icing and not the real goal.
2) Push ups. I will do 20 pushups in a row by my birthday.
3) Box jumps. I will practice box jumps 3 times a week to get better at them.
4) Double-unders. I will string double unders together in sets of at least 5.

Whew! That's a lot to chew on for now. What are your goals?


Difficult orderers

So, we're a few weeks in, and I'm starting to reach that point where people are noticing my unique eating habits. (I refuse to call said habits weird or strange. Personally, I think eating food with no actual food in it is weird, but whatever.)

Last night, I went to Baumhauers to watch my beloved tarheels play. Surprisingly, they had a fabulous menu of things I could eat, but when I asked about them, I was told they only serve them for lunch. I offered to pay a dinner price for the $5 lunch special of a grilled hamburger patty, broccoli and sliced tomatoes, but no dice. Instead, I ordered a burger, with no bun, substitute broccoli instead of fries (making sure to ask for no butter.) Annoying, but not too hard right? EPIC FAIL.

About 20 minutes later, all that arrived was a hamburger patty (no trimmings) and 2 sad pieces of broccoli, which as soon as I took a bite, I had to spit out. It was obvious there was butter on it. I waited for the server to return, apologized again for being difficult, and requested both the trimmings for my burger and some broccoli without butter. I finally got it in the end, and it was surprisingly filling, if not a little sad looking:

The whole time I was ordering though, I felt super embarrassed in front of my easy ordering friends. Tyler over at Paleochix offered this post on the subject:

Another etiquette ”issue” I have found in becoming a cavegirl are my complicated restaurant orders. I am NOT a picky eater (never have been) and have always gotten a kick out of those people whose orders are 3 pages long. Trouble is, I’ve become one of those people! I order the meet dish, verify the cooking method, NO cheese, swap all sides for veggies, NOT cooked in butter, ice water only…blah blah. As long as you smile and tip well, this seems to not cause too much trouble. Although I get questioned from my eating buddies nearly EVERY time, “What do you mean no cheese??”

This is one part of paleo that is really hard for me. I don't eat out much generally, but when I do, I hate giving difficult orders. In fact, I can't actually think of a time I've sent food back before last night. My family owns a Mexican restaurant, and having worked in the kitchens back there, I know how annoying it can be during a rush to have to decipher the order, especially if written in bad handwriting. In that regard, I also know that even if I ask for it not to be cooked in butter, I really don't have much of a way of knowing, especially if it's a protein of some sort. I know I need to just get over this, especially since I'm traveling this weekend. We'll see how 4 days of eating out treat me. Will report back on Tuesday.


A colleague brought in many, many krispy cream donut boxes this morning for Valentines Day. And I thought to myself, "thank God for this challenge!" If I wasn't doing this challenge, I would hem and haw and agonize and probably eat two or three donuts, even though I don't really like them: such is my relationship with sugar.

Now, clearly this doesn't solve my problems for after the seven weeks are up, but for right now, I am so, so grateful to have an excuse not to agonize over eating donuts.


That explains it...

I was just complaining to Tricia that I'm really bored with my food lately. So let's take a look at what I've eaten so far today:

Breakfast: (2) Aidells sausages, couple of bites of brussels sprouts sauteed with onions, olive oil, sweet onions.

Snack: (~1.5) cups brussels sprouts from breakfast.

Lunch: (1) Aidells sausage.

And Yesterday's Meals:

Breakfast: (3) eggs, (1/4) avocado, (1) apple
Lunch: Jason's Deli salad (greens, (4) measly cherry tomatoes) with grilled chicken
Snack: (2) cups green beans w/ garlic & olive oil
Dinner: Salmon w/ coconut milk sauce, roasted cauliflower.

Today's eating is a big fail. First of all, 3 Aidells sausages is just nuts. But to only eat sausages and brussels sprouts for two meals straight is inherently boring and of course I'm going to bemoan the course of my life eating this way.

Yesterday's eating was not a big failure. Tricia's salmon was delicious, breakfast was out of the ordinary (for me), and while lunch was a failure, it was lunch on the go, whatcha going to do?

The answer to a lot of this is preparedness. Because SMF was here this weekend, I didn't cook for the week, and so I'm grazing off of what I have in the fridge, not looking forward to anything. Take it from me--Sunday night cooking saves Wednesday lunch blahs.


The competition is heating up in CFG's Show Us What You're Made Of Challenge. Not to call anyone out **coughWillcough** **coughDancough**, but folks better be ready to bring it. Last night Tom took it to a new level. Realizing he had forgotten his gym clothes, he still showed up and rocked the WOD street-clothes style, even moving up to the 24" box! Serious rockstar status.

Also, as clarification for those who asked -- No, we don't get extra points for blogging. Of course, that's just a rudimentary lesson in bad assery. You don't do awesome things for credit. You do them because you're bad ass.

Dear Self,

It was cute the first few times you did this. Got some yukka yukka yukkas from the gym after they made sure everything was alright. But now, it's time to stop. No more missing the box once per box jump session. The inflamed, puffy, tender bruise that makes it hard to sit down comfortably is the last straw. No more. It stops today.

-xoxo Meagan

P.S. Also, if you could stop falling onto other things when you miss the box, that would be great, and really cut down on the bruises.


Motivational Quote Tuesday

Or, if you prefer

I quite enjoy these, and might even purchase the first one for myself. From Logophilia.

Never quit, never complain

A big congratulations to Christina Van der Hulst, who dominated at the 2010 Garage Games!

We can think of no one who deserves it more. Always encouraging, always with a smile, Christina is all-around awesome and a total inspiration. One day, we hope to be this bad ass.

Notice that Christina finished 21 deadlifts -- the judge called 4 when she had clearly completed 5. Never one to shirk from what's hard, Christina noticed the error, but just kept pushing through.

Congratulations Christina!!!

Week 2 Recap

Whoa. Somehow our 2 week mark came and went without me really noticing. Right now sort of feels a little murky. Things are happening, but it's not clear what.

We've stayed paleo for 2 weeks, and have rocked CFG 5x a week. The numbers on the board make it clear that we're getting stronger. (4 PRs in a week? Yes please!) I definitely feel like I have more energy. I'm sleeping better at night (when I finally fall asleep.) I don't want coffee, don't crave sugary foods, and am generally feeling pretty good. So I guess that's a lot.

Physically, I don't see any changes, though I can feel them. It's not just that I feel stronger and what not, but that for some weird reason, I am now very aware of each and every extra pound on my body and I want them off immediately. They've been creeping on since law school (hello, lawyer layer!), but they never really bothered me till now. Now, they feel like some sort of suit that I'm wearing and omg wouldn't life (and pullups) be easier if I could just take it off.

Luckily, the CFG challenge has started, so things are ramping up a bit. I've got a good feeling about things ahead.



Over at Mark's Daily Apple, Mark has been doing some posts about how to get your parents or your kids into the paleo/primal lifestyle. But how about when your partner doesn't buy in?

SMF, my lovely partner of almost five years, is an amazingly supportive human being. He fully encouraged my moving to Alabama, even though it meant a) moving far(ther) away from him and b) not earning enough money to see him very often, because he knew that being here was important to me. But when it comes to crossfit/paleo, he's out. He won't sabotage, but he won't join. And as Tricia pointed out, it is SO much easier to do this when you're living in an environment where everyone is in on the plan.

In certain respects, this should be fine. Take the eating: we have started making base meals that are paleo-friendly and then he'll add rice or another verboten item to satisfy himself, and I just don't eat it. When we go out to eat here, I have someone to eat my fries if they refuse to not put them on the side. (Ahh, Alabama.) He loves to cook, and feels restrained by not being able to use butter/certain kinds of oil/corn, but I think that's something he can get used to.

Here's my issue: he's never going to get excited about the paleo cooking. And he's totally uninterested in giving me high fives when I figure out I can really box jump on a 24" or watching me PR on my deadlift. To be clear, this isn't an issue of needing to share every interest--goodness knows that's never been close to the case with us. But crossfit certainly has, and hopefully paleo will become very important in my life, and it's just weird to think about doing it "on my own."


Paleo Cookbook Recipe Roundup

In case you missed it, we've been putting together a "paleo cookbook" over on the Crossfit Genius website. You can access it here. We'll round up our recipes each week for your consumption.

This week we posted:

Three Easy Things to do With Cauliflower

Sage's Braised Lambshank

Common Substitutions

Cocoa Bites

Bratwurst and Apples

1-Ingredient Ice Cream

Paleo Indian Fried Eggplant

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Bacon


Science Friday

Fun fact of the day from @foodimentary:
Did you know falling coconuts kill 150 people every year? That's 10 times the number of people killed by sharks.
All the more reason to eat more coconut -- get them, before they get you.

Oh, Sh*t

Last night, SMF (the boy toy) came into town. As were were cooking a deliciously paleo meal--soon to be linked to here--I told him "hey, I've gotten a lot stronger since the last time you saw me!" (As background info, I'm always claiming that I've gotten some combination of stronger/leaner/flabbier/bigger boobed since I last saw him, so he's well used to the routine of "um, how do I affirm my girlfriend's self worth while cluing her into the fact that she looks just the same?" Ah, the joys of a long distance relationship...)

Well, this time, I flexed my arm, and even through the sweater I was wearing, his eyes got big, and then when he felt my arm, the sweetest utterance I've heard in ages escaped his mouth. "Oh, shit! You've got guns!"


One of the things I love about crossfit is how each of our fellow crossfitters can motivate us in different ways, even if they don't mean to. I don't count myself as one of the most competitive people in the world. (Actually, I'm competitive only in that I don't want to be "the worst.") Nonetheless, I compulsively check the board at the end of the day to see if I can catch up to certain people (who strangely, may not even know I'm comparing my numbers to theirs.)

Contrastingly, Meagan pushes me in a distinctly non-competitive way. She just tells me I can do it. The only reason I made a new Deadlift PR* on Wednesday was because she kept telling me that what I had done looked easy, so add 10#. How about 5?, I'd meekly ask. You can do 10, she'd reply firmly. 30# later, she tells me I still have more.

On Monday, I pushed my self non-stop on the running/burpee metcon because of the encouragement of both Meagan and Tom. Everytime I'd go back out to run, Meagan's smiling face would be there to cheer me on. And everytime I headed back inside for burpees, Tom's presence got me to crank them out non-stop.

So in that vein, I was really bummed to head to CFG yesterday without Meagan (who had gone in the morning.) I was in a distinctly "do-not-want-to-work-out" mood. I was no less surly when Ryan started giving me flack for taking my sweet time. I was even more displeased when he started making the "wrap it up" motion while I was mid warm-up. At that point, I agreed to start the WOD simply because I was annoyed and just wanted to get it over with. But strangely enough, that's exactly the type of motivation I needed. If someone else hadn't just made me do it, I would have languished. It's times like these, when Meagan is upping my max by 30# and Ryan is forcing me to do the WOD when I'd rather be procrastinating, that I can't imagine how people go to regular ole gyms. I mean seriously, there is no way they are having this much fun.

*N.B. Meagan conveniently failed to mention in her post that not only did I make a new PR at 185#, she reached 220#. Modesty much?


Allow me to brag about my roommate, Tricia

Who went up an impressive 30 (!!!) pounds in her deadlift PR tonight. Not only that, but she lifted it twice! Badass indeed.


Our "office manager" sought me out after she couldn't find any men on the hall to help her lifts something heavy because I am "STRONG!" (Emphasis hers.)

Mwahahaha. She hasn't seen anything yet--just wait another six weeks!

Overheard in our kitchen

"Cauliflower is basically nature's way of telling you she's awesome."


Making New Friends

Reader, this is cauliflower. Do you two know each other? No? You should.

Until recently, I did not know cauliflower. Sure, I'd seen it sitting forlornly on the crudite platter at parties. Being the social snob that I am, I'd pass it by, opting for the popular baby carrot or celery stick instead. On the few occasions when I was brave enough to try that raw cauliflower out, I'd internally curse myself. This is like the dude at the party you smile and nod to and then try to get as far away from as possible, maybe even washing your hands after the interaction... I felt that strongly about raw cauliflower.

But now, after exploring the culinary possibilities within the confines of paleo-world, I've finally discovered that you know, beneath its raw exterior, cauliflower is a really really worth it. A diamond in the rough, if you will.

So next time you're craving rice with your Thai curry, stick a head of cauliflower in the cuisinart, then sautee it in olive oil, black pepper, and a wee bit of salt. SO FRICKIN' GOOD.

Or, if you want to impress non-paleo eaters (and not scare them with the "try this cauliflower! It's just like rice!"--because let's be honest, it's not, and thank goodness), try this amazing recipe for caramelized cauliflower. It's possibly one of the easiest things to make in its class of deliciousness.

On a related note, I will say that I've been longing for sugar yesterday and today. I saw this recipe for dark chocolate almond butter cups that sounded really good earlier in the day, and was feeling mopey about them. Not so much because I "couldn't have" the sugary badness, but because I still want it. But then tonight, I was geeking out while eating my riced cauliflower sauteed in olive oil and salt and pepper. It was really really really nice to have a moment of truly enjoying a dish, and reminding myself that loving food is still going to happen eating this way.
For the record- pan fried turnips with onions, mushrooms and bacon are way better than hashbrowns.

Get Pumped for Week Two!

This is my anthem for many a challenge--enjoy!


Overheard at CFG:

"I just want to sit at home and eat a donut and be skinny."

1 Week Down

Tonight marks the end of day 7, which means tomorrow is officially the start of week 2. I had a moment today where everything felt so normal I had to mentally check to make sure everything I had eaten was paleo. This is seriously not hard folks. I've already forgotten what I normally used to eat.

For those of you still on the fence...

Still think that this is too hard? That it's too much of a commitment? Well, before you give us one more reason why it's just too hard, meet Sarah. She just might be what gets me through the 5 rounds of 200m sprints/10 burpees for time tonight.

*Ed. Note: I didn't think of Sarah once while running or squat thrusting. It was TRICIA who kept me going. Thanks, roomie!