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Monday, November 19, 2012

How a 7 year old motivates me

Over the summer, our coach hung climbing ropes at the gym.  When he hung them, I'm pretty sure I said, "No fucking way, dude.  It's never going to happen.  I'm not doing it.  EVER."  I don't do well with heights or activities where I could fall on my ass.  They are not my favorite.  I was scared and I had it in my head that there was no way I would ever be able to do it.

I didn't touch the ropes for a month or so.  During that month, my seven-year-old daughter would climb them before and after I finished up my work outs.  She had no fears, no expectations of failure, she just got on the rope and did it. It was so inspiring to see this little girl do something so bad ass.  My daughter is also very, very competitive.  She was immediately challenging me- "Why aren't you doing it, mom?  You're strong.  What are you so afraid of?"  As time when on, her challenges became shit talking. 

Now mama wasn't havin' that. 

So I got on that rope and learned to climb.  Now it is one of my favorite things. My daughter reminded me that my own fears and insecurities were holding me back from doing something pretty freaking cool.  Everyday my kids make me better and inspire me.  They motivate me to be my best, not only for them, but for myself.

What is motivating you to be your best?


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Last Season's Clothes

I'm a graduate student and a stay-at-home mom.  Neither of these life stations give me the luxury of a new wardrobe every season.  So last year's clothes better freaking fit.  I was nervous this year as I brought out my fall and winter clothes.  Since May I have gained about 15 pounds.  I  made a lot of shifts since May:  eating meat, really going heavy on the weights, and training really hard. 

At first, the weight gain was a bit of a struggle for me.  I was really upset by it and felt enormously insecure.  I'm not sure when things started to shift for me, but wham, all of a sudden I realized that the gain wasn't hurting me.  In fact, I made a lot of strength gains from it and my cardio didn't suffer too much either.  I found it to be a little unreal.  I also started craving healthier foods, having more energy, and having fewer snack attacks. I have been eating like a horse, don't get me wrong, but eating healthfully. 

I kept asking the people in my life- "Do I look huge????"  I mean, I've freaking gained 15 pounds!  I must look like a beast compared to what I looked like before.  I kept being annoyed at the lack of negative feedback- "Yeah, your shoulders look bigger; Your arms aren't as freaking gross and veiny, Your thighs are more muscular, Your boobs look bigger, etc." 

Now, the people in my life are very kind.  I attributed it to that.  They didn't want to hurt my feelings and my husband wants to get laid.  But last season's clothes cannot lie and I've been shocked to find that most of them fit.  Yeah, a few of my pants were a little tight in the thighs and God forbid I had to upgrade my 4's to 6's, but other than that, I did not have to go buy a whole new wardrobe.

I never thought that old saying "muscle weighs more than fat" applied to me.  Not sure why, but I guess getting wrapped up in all of that girl bullshit for years and years and years had taken its toll on my intelligence.   After spending two years with some of the most body positive male and female athletes EVER, I think I am finally starting to get my brains back.

Lesson learned.  When you lift heavy weights, you are going to gain muscle.  Muscle weighs more than fat, but is smaller than fat.  Putting on 10 pounds of muscle and 5 pounds of fat is going to look WAY different than 15 pounds of nachos.  It might also make you a better athlete, produce a beautiful baby, or fill out those nasty, veiny arms your sister was so grossed out about ;0)  Weight isn't always the enemy, sometimes, it can be a very good friend. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I'm so sick of salads!

One of the best ways to get your beautiful body detoxified and feeling amazing is to eat lots of leafy greens.  These babies are not always at the top of our favorites list, but they should be.  Greens are nutritious, muscle building power houses.  As it gets cold on out here on the East Coast, many of us are not nearly as motivated to eat salads like we were during the warm summer months.  Here are a couple of quick ways to help you get motivated to get more greens:

- Add them to your protein shakes/fruit smoothies- Blend them into your protein shakes before you hit the gym then put it in your shaker bottle.

- After you take your eggs out of the pan in the morning, quickly sautee some greens and then throw them on top of your eggs.  My favorite thing to do is put a little hot sauce on top.  Yum

- If you are warming up soup, throw in some greens- easy.

- Use greens as a side dish at dinner- maybe with chopped onion and garlic

Here is my favorite green filled breakfast recipe:

1 banana
3 handfuls of baby spinach
1 Scoop of vanilla egg white protein powder (or whatever you have)
1 tsp raw cacao
10 oz water

Blend it up into a delicious, protein packed, green smoothie
Mine has less than 300 calories and 25 g of protein- Not a bad way to start the day ;0)


Monday, November 5, 2012

Boobs or Abs?

Why can't I have both!!!???!!!

The body fat percentage game is so unfair to us ladies.  The second those abs start popping through and looking all washboard, then the boobs start to go.  And go.  And go some more.  It is by far, the rudest thing I have ever experienced. This got me thinking about the fine balance we female athletes are forced to contend with:  our physical appearance and our physical accomplishments.

Fortunately for us, we are tough and we do not have to get boxed into one definition of sexy.  I am so thankful that when I go into the gym I have an instant network of bad ass women who are confident, strong, beautiful, and feminine- whether they are rockin' D cups or mosquito bites, 6 packs or baby bumps.  These women are my constant reminder that strong and fit is sexy.  There is no one definition of sexy and just as our physical strengths are all different, so are the things that make us light up the room with serious sex appeal.  

To all of my Crossfit ladies, I love you and thank you for being a constant source of support, inspiration, and eye candy. 


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Bad to the Bone Broth

So after talking with some friends, reading some blogs, and consulting various sources, I decided to start adding bone broth into my diet. Bone broth not only provides the body with some awesomely awesome minerals, but it also helps aid in the healing of the digestive system.  This is the main reason I wanted to learn more about it.  A couple of friends of mine who have gluten sensitivities and other food allergies similar to my own started making it, using it, and experiencing the benefits. 

It is fairly easy to make, too.  After looking at a gagillion recipes, this is what I did:

Got out my trusty 1970's crock pot
Put a whole, organic chicken in it- giblets, too
Put in two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (this helps draw the minerals out of the bones)
Added some salt and chopped onions
Filled the crock pot with water
Turned it on high for the first four hours and then switched it to low

After 8 hours or so, I took the chicken meat out and set it aside.  I let the bones keep going in the crock pot for another 16 hours.  Then I cooled the broth, strained out the bones with a slotted spoon, and stored the broth in mason jars in the fridge.  It will last in the fridge for about 7 days.  You can also freeze it.  If it is in your budget, it is best to use organic meat/bones for your broth. 

You can drink the broth like a warm tea or drink.  I also added some of the chicken back into it when I reheated it along with some veggies for a quick chicken noodle soup.  It is so yummy on a cold morning!

It is really easy and so nourishing!  Just another delicious way to add variety to your Paleo eating regime.  There are about 6 million ways to make different bone broths, too!  You can use fish, beef bones, whatever.