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Friday, January 27, 2012

Keeping things Clean and Chemical Free

This wonderfully educational photo came from : 

The Glamorganic Goddess

Hi friends!  I know we all want to keep it so fresh and so clean clean, but we do not need many of the chemicals our bath products fill our bodies with.  After many years of experimentation, I've gotten my beauty routine down and pretty much chemical free.   I am still working on finding good, chemical free make up, but I promise, when I do, it will be on this blog immediately.  If any readers have some suggestions for me to review and try, I'm so in!!!!

Step 1
Replace your face and body lotion with Almond or Coconut Oil

Step 2
Instead of wearing perfume, dab your favorite essential oils behind those pretty little ears of yours or find a natural perfume at your local health food store

Step 3 
Ditch shampoo. Sounds gross, but I don't use shampoo- I use 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 8oz of water, fill up an old shampoo bottle with it and put the rinse on your hair.

Step 4
Ditch conditioner- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 8oz of water- yes, this smells, but it rinses out of your hair without leaving the smell.  Coconut water also makes an insanely good conditioner.  You can even leave it on overnight for extra luxuriousness. 

Step 5
Hit up the health food store for an organic, natural soap.  If you cannot recognize or pronounce the ingredients, don't buy it.

For the seriously brave
Ditch deodorant, use natural, or make your own.  I use this recipe from The Raw Divas website:

Hope this helps you guys keep it pretty while ditching the chemicals going into those gorgeous, sexy bodies of yours!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Resolutioners and New Members

I know everyone who works out consistently curses January.  It is the time when your classes are filled with unfamiliar faces, there is a waiting list for treadmills, and the parking lots are packed.

I have to be honest.  I love it when new people come to crossfit.  Not only because I love to see people connect with it and get hooked, but it allows me to see how far I have come.

Yesterday we had some new faces in our class and a tough work out ahead of us.  At the end of the work out, some of the "veterans" and I were talking about how fun the workout was and how we totally rocked it.  One of the newbies said, "You think that was FUN???!!!???"  The collective reply was, "YES!" 

Then I quickly remembered the first time I did a wall ball and how I wanted to blow my brains out.  I remember the first time I had to do a bunch of burpees and wanted to run to my car.  I remember the first class, seeing all of these amazingly fit women and men doing things I NEVER thought I could do. 

Now I call this fun and I have to force myself to take rest days.  Interesting.  I never had to force myself to take rest days from trail running or the Y.  Call it a cult, an addiction, whatever.  I'm fucking hooked and I have never looked or felt better in my life.  I have never had so much fun exercising before. 

So after a little shit talkin from Christina (my favorite shit talker on earth), the newbies decided to do extra hand release push ups and sit ups with us. I can already tell a couple of them will be back.  It's time to hand out the red kool aid and get some more people kicking ass and taking names!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What does grain free raw vegan look like?

Here is what grain free, high raw looks like for me today:

Breakfast- preworkout smoothie
1 Scoop Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Vanilla
2 bananas
8oz coconut water
1.5 c spinach
1 tsp Maca powder

4 tbsp peanut butter (not raw but you can always do raw almond butter.   I am really loving peanut butter right now)
1 apple
4 7inch carrot sticks cut into slices

Dinner Smoothie
2 scoops warrior blend chocolate
1 young coconut (meat and water)
1 c. cherries or a banana (depends on my mood when I get there)
1 tsp raw cacao

So that's the day.  I might throw in a Larabar for good measure, but right now I feel STUFFED from lunch.  Not really thinking the snack will be necessary.  If you aren't into smoothies, you can always eat a big ass salad.  My favorite one from dinner last night was a 1/2 bag of salad, a shredded raw beet, 1/2 a cooked sweet potato, an avocado and YUM. 

Have a fierce and fab day!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tomorrow is a Scary Day

Tomorrow is going to be a little scary for me. 

I am officially going grain free.

A month ago, I embarked on a raw challenge with a friend and honestly, although I eat very high raw, a lot of those little cooked demons deviled their way back into my diet:  tortilla chips here, some Tings there, a non-raw vegan chocolate bar... 

I would be okay with all of this other than the fact that I have issues controlling my cravings when it comes to these foods.  Moderation is not my strong suit.  I am not one of those people who can eat 10 chips and call it a serving.  I am more like a half the bag kinda girl. 

So the first two weeks of raw, I was going strong and feeling AMAZING.  As I started to backlash into my comfort foods (coinciding with the start of school), I noticed I over eat those foods, bloat up, and feel like hell.  I can eat a lot of raw foods and not feel poorly, but the second those processed babies hit the mouth and the belly, I feel like helly.  And if I take the first bite, it's all over (I repeat- I am unable to control myself with salty deliciousness).  So now the time has come to stop taking that damn first bite. 

I have been thinking about knocking out grains (corn is considered a grain FYI) for awhile.  I guess the real push came for me when I went to order my brown rice protein powder and I was having trouble ordering it.  I'm not sure if it was a website glitch or if they are discontinuing the product, but I took it as a sign.  I needed to bite the bullet and buy the other, grain free protein powder they offer.  So I did. 

Hopefully the non-raw foods I am eating are going to be more veggie oriented- roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, delicious veggie soups- and less shit oriented.  I am very, very interested to see how going completely grain free affects me. 

Wish me luck!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mono Meals

Today when I finished my brutally awesome work out, I came home, started on some school work, and then realized I forgot to eat lunch .  It takes me awhile to get my appetite back after a WOD.  As I hit the kitchen to contemplate my lunch decision, I snacked on a banana.  I love bananas.  I don't know if it is the taste, texture, or their phallic nature that make them so appealing, but they are my absolute favorite fruit.  When I finished, I plopped the peel in the compost and had another, and then one more for good measure.  Lunch- done and done.  That is called a mono meal.

Mono meals are what raw foodists claim to be one of the ways to eat closest to nature.  If I was out swinging from vines (insert Tarzan/Jane jokes here) I would hit up one of the trees (and a hot native) and grab a bunch of bananas and eat.  I wouldn't be searching around the forest for some brown rice protein powder to add in or some nuts and seeds and my food processor to blend it into a gourmet concoction.  It would be a quick way for me to get calories and energy so I could hunt for more hot natives.   

That being said, listen to your body.  Today, I just wanted to eat the shit out of some bananas and I just wanted a simple, quick meal.  If the spirit moves you to try it, go with it!  It is a great way to give your digestive system a break from trying to digest 40 different things at once and allows your body to truly absorb the nutrients.  Give yourself an hour or two to get hungry again and then go for your other foods (proteins, fats, veggies).

For those of you who do not digest fats well, mono meals are a great way to start a work out.  This is a way to get calories and carbs quickly with minimal digestive effort that won't weigh you down or make you feel like you want to vomit during exercise.


Saturday, January 21, 2012


I do not rest very well.  It is difficult for me to take time off from things I love, especially Crossfit and sexually harassing my gym buddies (no one is safe). 

When I was off school for Christmas break, I was crossfitting 6 days a week.  Weeks of doing this during prime cold and flu season was a recipe for disaster.  On Monday afternoon, my hectic pace caught up with me.  I had a stomach bug that lasted for a full 48 hours and then caught a cold during the bug.

Okay body.  Message received.  Slow down. 

After a couple of days in bed with some down time for contemplation, I thought about how hard I have been pushing myself.  Sometimes I get so obsessed with progress that I forget sometimes less is more.  Rest is vitally important to recovery and muscle repair.  When I am trying to hit goals, that knowledge goes right out the window.  I look at the WOD in the morning and think, "Shit!  I can't take a rest day, I really need to work on _________!"  

In the midst of feeling this urgency, I have to remind myself that I am not helping my cause by missing rest days.  When I am overworking myself I am not only half assing my workouts due to fatigue, but making myself more prone to injury and illness.  I am preventing progress.  Not cool. 

So I am going to knock off being a crazed lunatic and do 2-3 days on, 1 day off.  Let's see how this works. 

Wish me luck!!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

"I'm sorry I was such a hobeast"

Lifting is NOT my strong suit.  It seems like anything that does not involve a kettlebell, running, or body weight exercises causes me major mental strife.  Olympic lifts are enough of a struggle for me on a normal day, but when I have PMS- it is not a good scene. 

Today we were working on a move called a power snatch (I love the name of this lift on so many levels).  The trainer was working with me on correcting some flaws in my form.  I was overwhelmed, feeling completely disconnected from the lift, and very inadequate. I totally snapped at him.  I usually only reserve my hobeast for my husband, but today, I let it wail on my poor trainer.  To be honest, I was mortified.  I will lose my cool, but I don't like to lose it on other people (except Nate. I take sick pleasure in that). 

I had to apologize- hence the title, "I'm sorry I was such a hobeast." 

I know this happens to trainers all the time.  God love all of you and thank you.  When we are pushed to do things that are out of our comfort zone, sometimes hobeasts come out.  Emotions, tears, anger, frustration, inadequacy.  It is all a part of becoming your beast best.  In order to get to the places we want to go, there are struggles along the way.  So embrace that inner hobeast, take on challenges and emotions that are hard to face, and make sure to acknowledge the patience and acceptance our trainers give us that allow us to be vulnerable so that we can improve. 


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Always Pack a Snack

My children have taught me the most important lesson:  ALWAYS PACK A SNACK. 

This life lesson really boils down to being prepared.  If you are following a raw vegan lifestyle or Paleo, like many of my readers, you probably have already experienced a moment where you indulged in a food you did not intend on eating because you starving and you were not prepared.  Very few people are familiar with all of the ins and outs that these diets require.  So going to a barbeque, birthday party, or even out to dinner, can be a challenge. 

I am going to share my favorite tricks that I have found so far to maintaining an uncommon dietary lifestyle:

1. Pack that snack: 

Next to the smelly gym gloves in my purse, there is always a larabar, an apple, a banana (is that a banana in your purse, or are you just happy to see me), a bag of nuts (is that a bag of nuts in your purse or are you just happy to see me) or some sort of dehydrated raw packaged snack.  For my Paleo Peeps, a Steve's Club Paleo bar would work.


2.  Bring Something

When you go to a party, bring your favorite dish to share.  I usually bring something simple, like a delicious fruit salad or a regular salad with decadent ingredients like dried cranberries, walnuts, and apples or avocados that make people forget the health factor and go straight to the YUM factor.

3.  Eat Before You Go

I do NOT always feel like spending my whole party in front of or obsessing about food.  One of my favorite strategies is to eat before I go to the party and then enjoy the company of others without worrying about shit stuck in my teeth or if I just accidentally ingested something I did not want to eat. 

4.  Find a Restaurant

With both Paleo and Raw, there is a sucky I can't go out to eat anymore element.  So not true.  My husband and kids are not vegan or Paleo, but we all love Iron Hill Brewery.  They have a gluten free menu.  There are two dishes that I have tweaked to remove the dairy and VOILA, they are vegan and high raw.  The Paleo options on the gluten free menu are abundant.  Burgers without rolls- just hold the cheese- and served with side salads, salads, fish.  My other two favorites are Raw Can Roll Cafe in Douglasville, PA and Oasis Living Cuisine in Frasier, PA. 

I hope that helps!  With any lifestyle, it is important to be balanced and maintain a relaxed attitude.  It is going to happen- a vegetarian accidentally eats a soup made with chicken broth, you may have to scrape breading off a chicken breast, or eat a non-raw hummus in order to enjoy dinner out with your family.  Just go with it.  Life is about having fun.  Our lifestyles should enhance our lives, not make them miserable. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

A chance to turn it all off

One of my favorite fellow crossfit ladies posted this wonderful article today:


It brought me back to a conversation I had with Tara D. awhile ago.  We talked about how the middle of a WOD was the only time our brains ever turns off. 

As a wife, mother of two, and full time doctoral student, there is not a whole lot of mental down time in my world.  My brain is constantly flooded with insanity- my schedule, my husband's schedule, the girls' schedules, what's for dinner, writing a brilliant research paper, cleaning the house, calling that friend I haven't talked to in a million years, getting enough spiritual time, healthy eating, writing those thank you notes that I should have sent out last January.  The list goes on and on and on and on.  I wouldn't say I am typically an anxious person, but with the hectic schedule I have, it feels like if I miss one beat, the whole thing is going to fall apart. 

That is where crossfit helps.  Even though I am surrounded by people, my WOD (workout of the day) is the only time in my day where I get mental privacy.  It is just me and the task in front of me and if I am pushing myself to my physical limit, there are no other thoughts that get to creep into braintown. When I do notice outside thoughts, I know I'm not working hard enough.  I really connected to what the author said in the article:  I have no idea what song is playing, what the trainer just yelled at me, or what is for dinner.  I just go.

The more stressful my life is, the more I find myself at crossfit.  Other than sleep, it is the only time I get to experience the joy of going into shut down mode.  Plus it helps keep this old, stressed out, tired woman lookin' fly. 


Friday, January 6, 2012

Juice it up

The first time I tried green juice I thought I was going to puke or cry.  I wasn't sure which.  Now I can guzzle that shit with the best of them.  For those of you who are new to juicing, it is much like that first shot of vodka or that first cig.  You try it, it tastes nasty, but it makes you feel great so you continue to do it.   But with green juice there is no hangover, it hydrates you with powerful chlorophyll, and makes you gorgeous instead of haggard.  Green juice does not drunk dial. 

Here is what I juiced this morning:

1 beet
2 c. beet greens
1 lemon
1/2 inch piece of ginger
2 celery stalks
1 carrrot
1 cucumber

Green juice like this is best on an empty stomach, so try to drink it on its own.  Set a goal for yourself to try it.  Then work up to having it once a week.  Right now, my goal is 3x a week. 

If you don't have a juicer, Oasis Living Cuisine in Frasier, PA has wonderful juices and their owner, Tiffany, is one of the nicest people EVER.  She is knowledgeable and a genius in the kitchen.  Go in for a delicious, healthy meal, juice, or raw chocolate feast! 


Have a great day!!!!!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

emotional detox

I am officially in detox mode.

I am moody, nasty, cranky, and sarcastic.  Not my best self.  Luckily Nate bailed on me tonight and headed to see our friend's band so my shit mood does not permeate his being. Hopefully it doesn't affect you, my lovely blog readers. 

Detox can happen in many ways.  Emotional release as part of detox is something people (including myself) often forget about or do not associate with dietary changes.  As resolutions are underway and we shift away from the Christmas cookies and onto salads, we need to remember that physical discomfort often manifests itself in our emotions.

For me, emotional detox feels like pent up rage.  It is not pretty.  I feel yucky and depressed.  I feel fat.  I feel ugly.  And that stupid ass zit forming on the tip of my nose is not helping (a rude reminder of all of those tortilla chips and peanut butter snack attacks that my body is purging).  I doubt everything I am doing, from the clothes I am wearing to the life path I have chosen.  It feels like everything is wrong.

Sometimes this discomfort is fear- fear of our own greatness, fear of failure, fear of being out of your comfort zone, fear of change.  I am experiencing all of the above. 

I think emotional symptoms are WAY worse than physical symptoms.  Feeling emotionally unbalanced sucks and I certainly don't like to ooze my misery onto other people. So a word of advice, when you begin a new diet or lifestyle, give your friends/families/partners a heads up.  Use my favorite break up line, "It's not you, it's me" and get your detox on.  In a couple of weeks the emotional fog will clear (and so will that fucking zit) and you will be feeling like yourself, only 1,000x better.   It is worth it, you are worth it, and remember, NO LIMITS.  That's our 2012 mantra bitches!!!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I'm so excited and I just can't hide it

I am having such an amazing, positive energy filled day!  Must be all of that raw food hahahaha ;0)

My good friend (my fellow crossfitters know her as Tara D.) and I had a the most amazing brainstorm this morning during one of our twelve phone calls that occur throughout the day.
Tara and I are throwing around the idea of co-writing a blog that explores crossfit, diet (paleo v.s raw), body image, our personal journeys, emotional things that come up, and accomplishments.  I feel like she and I are on the perfect page to do this together.  I will continue to incorporate a lot of the things I have been talking about this blog, but onto another, more beautifully formatted blog (with the help of Tara's tech savy fiance who does not realize he is being roped into this project).  Plus, when I go back to school, there will be two people churning out blogs so I won't bitch out on you guys for weeks at a time.

For those of you who don't know Tara, you will LOVE her just as much as I do.  She is funny, real, and one of the most positive people I know.  Tara is how I have stayed married so long.  My husband doesn't have to hear all of my neurotic bits, crossfit talks, or body image breakdowns nearly as much with Tara around.  It makes for a much happier marriage. Every married woman needs a Tara. 

My brain is flying away with ideas today on how we are going to make this leap. Can't wait to hear your thoughts/ideas/what you would like to get from this potential blog.  All feedback is welcome, either on this page or on facebook. 


Monday, January 2, 2012

One month down, a lifetime to go

Well, I'm still chugging along on the vegan train.  Eating mostly raw, feeling fabulous, and have made it through month 1 of my 12 month vegan challenge without any hassles.  I made it through Christmas, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day without meat, dairy, wheat/gluten, refined sugars (I do eat agave), or animal products. 

Today I started a 30 day 100% raw challenge with a new friend who is looking to make some lifestyle changes.  I am going to be her support buddy and I know I will also make gains in this process.  I've been eating high raw but a few fun, yummy vegan foods have been creeping into my diet.  My sacrifices in this 30 day challenge are going include putting down peanut butter in exchange for raw almond butter and not eating 600 bags of tortilla chips a day.  Shouldn't be too rough, but God only knows what is going to happen when PMS shit comes up.  I'm also going to make an effort to drink more green juice and have more green smoothies. 

There are very few raw, vegan Crossfitters out there, so I only have myself to measure against.  I have been feeling really well for the past month and have been making some performance gains.  I am really proud of the work I have been doing.  I have been taking more active rest and sometimes in blocks of two days.  I am balancing my workouts with more running and yoga.  It's a little sad because I miss my homies at the box, but I feel completely recovered and ready to rock and roll again when I take more time away.  The alone time on the trail and the spiritual element of yoga have done me some good, especially during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. 

Here's what I'm eating today:

Breakfast- Green smoothie (1 grapefruit, 2 clementines, 1 lime, 1 piece of ginger, 2 c. dandelion greens, water, a little squirt of vanilla stevia)

Snack- banana, 1 cup of mixed brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, and flax seeds

Lunch- protein smoothie- 1 young coconut, 2 scoops sun warrior, 2 tsp raw cacao, 1 tsp maca, 2 tbsp cacao nibs

Dinner- 2 apples, 2 tbsp raw almond butter

I eat the bulk of my food before noon.  That's just what I do.  I'm not sure why, but I think after my morning work outs, I just want to eat the hell out of everything.  I spend most of the afternoon drinking water mixed with greens powder. 

Work out- a.m. Crossfit WOD; rebounding 15 min 2-3x per day (usually when I'm watching t.v.)  I don't sit still well. 

Have a great day loves!