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Friday, March 30, 2012

Nuts for Coconuts

Holy shit.  I'm not sure why I have been trying to doctor up the most perfect food for the past two years, but I have seriously done myself a disservice. 

I am talking about young coconuts.  Here is a good youtube video about them if you have never heard of them or seen them:


One day I was having a serious snack attack.  The only thing I had in my house that remotely resembled dessert was a young coconut.  Normally I make complex smoothies with these bad boys, but that day I decided to just blend the coconut meat and coconut water and sprinkle it with some raw cacao nibs.

Utter freaking perfection. 

It was so delicious and I cannot believe I had never done that before!  I do have the Bentley of blenders- the Vitamix- and I'm not sure if a regular blender can blend the meat into a smooth, creamy drink like mine did, but it is worth a try.  If you can't find a young coconut, you can get a can of full fat coconut milk, blend the solids with the liquids, pop it in the fridge and a few hours later you have an almost pudding like coconutty treat.  I will sometimes add a couple of drops of Chocolate Stevia to it, but I am trying to slowly wean myself off of Stevia.  I get young coconuts at Kimberton Whole Foods in the produce section and they have them at Wegmans too (when I don't buy them all). 

This whole experience speaks to my most recent thoughts about food- trying to cook, uncook, and eat simply. 

Sometimes the raw/paleo recipes out there are so freaking complicated.  It takes a lot of time, a lot of money, and a lot of kitchen know how to make a lot of these recipes work.  As my pallet becomes more finely tuned and is more appreciative of the true flavors of food, I am finding I don't want all the salt and spices and I don't want all of the drama of the crazy concoctions.  They are fun once or twice a week to curb a craving, but it can be mentally and physically exhausting to try to do this at every single meal.  I am no Giada and I do not have hours and hours to spend in the kitchen.

Another thing I am contemplating is protein powder.  I am wondering how useful this really is for me.  I get plenty of protein.  Whether I am eating vegan or eating meat, getting enough protein is not an issue.  So why do I supplement with something, that even at its purest, is a processed food?  Just something I am tossing around in my brain.  It is really fun to have protein powder in a smoothie for some variety, which is why I am really resistant to giving it up.  Plus the protein I use is raw and plant based so I feel like it is really good for me.  On the flip side, it is an expensive ass way to get variety.  Weigh in with your thoughts on that.  I would love to hear what you guys think.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012


For those of you who know me personally, you may not believe that I spend most of my day quiet.  I am usually listening to my kids boss me around, reading, and writing.  When I am around other adults, I get so excited that my brain goes into overdrive and I tend to not be able to control my excitement.  That comes out in the form of massive amounts of talking.  The more I like you or know you, the more uncontrollable the talking. 

I have found myself being a little conversation dominant because of this and have been working this week on really trying to shut up and listen.  There is still a lot of work to do, but the reinforcers of my new "listening to others" behavior are strong.  I am really getting to know the people in my life who I care about on a much more personal level. 

Sometimes it is easy to keep things on the surface.  It is not easy to get "deep" with people and really listen to their needs, their fears, and what is really happening in their lives.  It can be scary to go there and sometimes we feel like our own stresses are overwhelming enough, let alone taking on the stress of others. But by being more attentive to the people I care about, I find that their problems and issues are not added stress.  I am genuinely grateful to get to experience them and their emotions.  I find it helpful and reassuring that other people experience the same emotional things that I do and that we can relate to each other.  This ability to relate creates even more love in the relationship. 

As much as I love a fun, light conversation, it is the complicated stuff that helps me grow and bond with those I love and begin to really understand those I am coming to love. 


Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Open

This summer, the Crossfit Open will be aired on ESPN.  This will be an opportunity for many of the people in my life to see first hand what I do at the gym.  I am so excited.  I'm going to be honest and tell you the real reason why:

Bragging rights.

Okay.  Seriously.  I am tingling at the thought of watching those games with people.  When somebody turns on the television and sees Annie Thoristotor and Chris Spealer, they are going to see what my box buddies and I do every single day.  We may not be quite as fast as the most elite, but we are doing the exact same freaking things.  Some people that I work out with, are pretty damn close to hanging with those elite athletes.  This is amazing to me.  Oh yeah, and back to bragging-I totally hang with elite athletes.  They are apart of my posse now. 

As far as my own athletic performance goes, the braggs are about to happen so put on your obnoxious caps- we are going in.

I am not the top athlete at my gym, but I am performing at a level I never thought possible.  I scale walls, I swing kettle bells, I could dead lift my husband- a skill that could come in very handy someday. I am no fucking joke.  I am so unbelievably proud of all the things I can do that I would have NEVER tried before.  Not because of laziness, but just from lack of knowledge and a lack of understanding that I could do these things. I had never done a chest to bar pull up off a band until Thursday.  Today I knocked out 24 of those babies in 7 minutes in between 65 pound thrusters. At first, I felt really proud of myself, but now I am in the ecstatic zone.

I think sometimes we have to take our desensitized hats off and realize what we are doing as athletes.  We are doing crazy, amazing, unbelievable things.  Because we are doing them five days a week, we forget exactly how hard, how intense, and at what level we are working.  Some of us are really hard on ourselves.  The Open brought tears, anxiety attacks, vomit, temper tantrums, and disappointment.  Yes, we should all strive to do our best and sometimes we do feel like, "I had one more rep in me!"  But HOLY SHIT!  SERIOUSLY GUYS!!!!  LOOK AT WHAT WE JUST DID!!!

I am walking away from my Open experience with a serious amount of pride.  Pride in myself, and pride in my elite athlete friends.  I cannot WAIT to see those games on ESPN and say to whoever is near me, "Guess what?  I can do that."

Pretty freaking bad ass if you ask me and I CANNOT WAIT for next year.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Crossfit- Not for the Weak or Easily Offended

I was posed a very interesting thought/idea/question/dissertation idea from Eileen P. yesterday.  She asked me if I could write my dissertation on what makes crossfitters do crossfit and why are we all so similar?  I'm not sure if the scientific community is interested in this research quite yet, but maybe after the Crossfit Open is on ESPN, there will be funding. 

This was an interesting thought and really provided me with something to chew on.  I could probably blog for days on this, but I will try to keep it as concise as possible. 

There are so many different people at Crossfit Inspire and Crossfit Exton.  All ages, all races, all socioeconomic statuses, all different occupations, sexual orientations, and lifestyles.  So what exactly is the common ground that brings us all together and we suddenly feel like we have found people who "get IT" and "get US?"

1.  We are crazy  
Anyone who does the things we do could be considered certifiable.

2.  We are in tune to our inner beasts
When people refer to Paleo as Primal, I think that is a good assessment of Crossfit in general.  It is a primal experience.  We cuss, we make sexual innuendo, we throw temper tantrums (some more frequently and more loudly than others), we grunt, we sweat.  There are hot, in shape people all over that place sweating.  Of course it is going to bring out some lewd fun, a random sexual fantasy, and an occasional erection. 

Aside from that, the work outs put you in a place of complete and total discomfort and make you do thing you would never do- unless you were in the wild.    If I were in the wild, you bet your sweet ass I would scale a wall to get away from a bear.  Instead of being chased by a bear, you are being chased by a crazy ass trainer and a group of psycho crossfitters.  And guess what, you do it.  You do all of the things you are afraid of doing and you have the biggest group of cheerleaders behind you when you do accomplish these feats.  And from doing it comes an insane amount of confidence, pride, and determination. 

3.  We are determined. 
 There is a sense of determination that binds us all together.  Even when we get down, we know that we are going to get back up on that bar with that ripped hand and make shit happen.  And there is no one in the room doubting that you can do it.  You are usually the only one selling yourself short and that usually doesn't last long.  I have never heard someone say, "hmmm...I don't think you will ever get a pull up."  There are only yeses and people telling you to do it. 

4.  We are perfectionistic
I have never said to anyone, "Man, I really need to clean up my diet, or get a better front squat" and have them look at me sideways like I do in my non-crossfit personal life. Crossfitters understand the constant striving to be better and to beat your next goal.  They get that average is not good enough and they encourage you to do your personal best. 

5.  We understand that we are not perfect
When we fuck up, we are all there for each other with a pat on the back or reassurance that it can and will be done. 

6. We are competitive
This helps us strive against and with each other to do things we never thought we would do.  I am so thankful that people keep upping the bar, because when they up their bar, I up mine and I have NO excuse not to. 

7.  We are team mates
You guys are my team.  Just like my tennis team in college, there is a special bond that you feel with your team mates that you don't feel with anybody else.  It is a unique experience.  This is what crossfit feels like- at least for me. 

What are your thoughts, my loves???

Friday, March 23, 2012

I Lied

Okay, so I lied.  My last post was not my last.  I thought my new project with the beautiful and talented Tara D. would be up and running by now but school, the Crossfit Open, and her upcoming nuptials have gotten in the way.  That's okay, we go with the flow.  That is how we roll.

School has been insanely busy.  I have only had one major adult temper tantrum.  It came with the brilliant idea of quitting school and moving to Greece or Australia so I ccould evade the collectors who would come calling trying to obtain my hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans.  But I got over it and I am still here.  

I moved back into the realm of Carnivorousness.  That happened after a major set back for me with my Candida- I am pretty sure I have explained this shit in a previous blog, but if you have questions, ask and I shall answer.  I am finally feeling back to my old self again.  No more random anxiety attacks, weakness, or migraines. 

I have been thoroughly enjoying indulging in everyone's blogs.  I am just loving all of the honesty, hilarity, and positivity coming from all of you beautiful, wonderful friends.  It is like getting to look straight into your heads and getting to know you on a very personal level.  It is kind of voyeuristic, but that can be fun, right?  I am a psychology nerd, so this might thrill me in a way only the truly nerdy can understand.  Thanks again for letting me be a peeping Tom in your world.

In having this experience, it made me think about how personal I get on here and how connected this makes me to all of you.  Sometimes this connectedness can make me feel bogged down when I have so many other responsibilities and I feel like I have to write an earth shattering, mind blowing blogs (which I have yet to do).  And I think I tried to drop this blog because the experience was getting a little intense for me and a little scary.  I think I was really scared to tell my readers I had started eating meat again.  I felt like a hypocrite and like a complete and total waffler, so I bitched out.  Bottom line.

But what I am coming to realize through the stepping away process has been that it is not about amazing writing or how many fun facts I can tell you about the foods you are eating or if I am eating meat or not.  It is the honesty and the connection that comes from just putting myself out there and being real.  It is about expressing my struggles, not repressing them to protect you or myself from them.   

So thanks bitches for keepin' it real and thanks for inspiring me.  I am going to continue to try to do the same for you.