Nutrition Challenge

My box closed at the end of May.  Two friends and I shopped around and found another box and I started up with the new box last week after returning from vacation.  It’s a mixed bag… I really felt like I was a part of the community at my original box and at this new one I feel decidedly out of place.  I think it will improve but I realize that I have to make it so.  I’m attempting to do that by getting involved in the many activities they have.  On Saturday I participated in their Barbells for Boobs fundraiser.  The competing was so-so,but it was a wonderful way to meet people, not just in my box but in the nearby boxes.  And I realized that I already do know lots of people.  It’s just a matter of time until I’m BFFs with the new place.  It’s been a week for god’s sake!

The next thing I’m partaking in is the Nutritional Challenge.  My diet has slipped into dangerously SAD (standard american diet) territory.  There is a reason that acronym is SAD.  It makes me sad.  paleo diet

But I digress.  I’m partaking in the Nutritional Challenge at the box.  You can earn up to 7 points in a day for following these 7 rules:

  1. Eat real food
  2. Do not eat processed dairy
  3. Do not eat grains
  4. Do not eat legumes
  5. No sugar
  6. Do not drink alcohol in any form
  7. Do not eat processed food

So basically it’s a Whole30.  Well I can do that!  I’m actually really excited to get back on track. I went shopping over the weekend so I would be relatively prepared.  Of course, then I got lazy and didn’t do any of the weekend prep that I had planned.  Oh well, there’s always tonight.

We also get an extra point if we track our food on one of those apps.  So far, I’m not loving that part.  I hate recording my food – it’s one of the reasons I love eating paleo because I never feel like I’m on a diet.  Also, what I’m finding is that because I’m not eating processed foods, it’s insanely tedious to enter every component of my food.  For example, today for lunch I have a salad that has more than half a dozen toppings, mostly little bits of this and that to clean out the fridge, but in theory, I’m supposed to in input each and everyone.  Blech!  Too much work for something I hate doing to begin with.

My plan is to lightly track what I eat here, with pictures.  That worked well last time.  Let’s see how it goes.  So 100% honesty, here I come.

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Spice Blends that Make Me Smile

Heellloooo there!

Happy Friday!  I am so ready for this week to end.  Tomorrow starts an amazing 3 day weekend.  Amazing might be too strong of a word.  Pretty good? Yes. Super fun? Yes to that too.  Amazing?  We’ll see.  Last weekend I had zero days to do nothing and since doing nothing is my favorite activity, it was especially troubling.  I have purposefully made no plans for Sunday or Monday so Doing Nothing is going to happen.

Saturday should actually be filled with somethings.  My mom is finally cashing in on her Christmas gift.  I got her tickets to a dance performance at the Kennedy Center.  It’s some type of modern Brazilian dance troupe.  I don’t really know that much about it.  She asked for tickets to a modern dance performance and this was the best I could find.  Actually what she asked for was tickets to see “krumping, popping or something like that.”  Somebody’s been watching too much So You Think You Can Dance.  I jest.  I thought it was adorable and was happy to oblige.  Except that I have no idea where to go see things like that.  So the Kennedy Center will have to do.

In other random news, I got out of work early yesterday so I made a quick detour to Penzey’s.  Oh my golly!  That store is freaking amazing.  Dried spices may not sound all that exciting but I completely nerded out in there.  They have some really great spice blends that keep the cooking interesting.  They aren’t paying me to say this (although if they want to pay me in spices, I’d be ok with it), I just really love it!  Here’s what I bought. Penzey's Spices

The Sunny Paris and Aleppo (great alternative to crushed red pepper) are staples in my kitchen and I was really just restocking.  The other two were new to me.  I love that you can smell all of them in the store.  The Trinidad is a blend of salt, lemon zest, garlic, cloves and ginger.  Holy heck!  I was so excited by the smell that I actually busted open the bottle in the car just to try it.  And… delicious.  As Rob put it, it would be so good anywhere you put garlic.  Garlic bread?  Why not , lemon garlic bread? I almost could eat it straight out of the bottle.  Actually, that’s exactly what I did do, so I guess there’s no almost about it.

I also loved the Tsardust Memories.  It is a unique blend of salt, garlic, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, and marjoram.  Sounds a little strange, tastes great.  I made it into meatballs last night for dinner and I cannot tell you how excited I am about the leftovers I brought with me for lunch.  <<Happy sigh>>

I ate about 6 of these lettuce wraps.  No shame!

I ate about 6 of these lettuce wraps. No shame!

Last but not least, here’s an adorable picture of my favorite basenji.  What a cutie!  Dingo

I just found out a coworker had a basenji growing up.  Makes me like him even more.  Like we now have a special bond!

I just need to talk about Crossfit a little bit.  I love to talk about Crossfit and for some reason I never do it on the blog.  I don’t know why that is but it needs to change.  Crossfit is actually a pretty substantial part of my life right now.  I go 4 days a week!

It’s actually the only exercise that I’ve been able to stick to lately.  I usually kind of fade out, but so far I’ve been sticking to it.  The last few weeks have been a little tough, not for any particular reason, just because for some reason I’ve had other obligations that made it tough to go four times a week.  This week I’m back at it.  I went four days and honestly if my schedule had allowed it, I would have gone 5 days.  I just can’t get enough!

So maybe stupidly, I signed up for a sprint triathlon on June 1.  It’s not stupid because I think I can’t do it.  It’s stupid because I have no real way of swimming between now and then.  Enter Crossfit.  I’m hoping that my gained strength is going to carry me through the swimming portion with exactly 0 meters in beforehand.  When I say it out loud, it does seem like sort of a dumb idea.  Luckily, it’s only a sprint.  I just need to get my running and biking back in gear.  This weekend is when it begins.  My goal is 2 runs per week, 1 bike per week and keeping up with my 4 days of Crossfit.  I’ll let you know next week how realistic this is….

Sugar & Champagne

I love my job sometimes!  I probably complain as much about it as the next person, but nights like last night have a way of reminding me that I have it really good.  On a whim, I decided to help out at the Sugar & Champagne Affair, hosted by the Washington Humane Society.  I actually agreed to help out a couple of weeks ago and to be honest, yesterday morning I was feeling tired and a little annoyed that it was a Wednesday night, but I had made a commitment to go, so I told myself to suck it up, buttercup.  So glad I did!

The school I work for participates in events like this several times a year.  Essentially these are DC area food events that help get the local foodie population interested in our school.  We have a table and our professional students make little treats to give away, usually gerbet macarons and various chocolate truffles.  I (or one or two of my coworkers) go and talk up the school, hand out coupons and mingle with the people.  Then the best part is there is always an opportunity to walk the room, sample other restaurant’s eats and talk to the area chefs.  Last night just had the added bonus of having tons of adorable dogs roaming around too.  What could be better?

Here’s your chance to drool over the pictures.  I think I ate about 100 of these.

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These are the professional pastry students hard at work, setting up.

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They had a cake decorating contest that one of our professional students entered.  Here’s her cake.

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And here she is with the woman that won it in the auction.

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Look at this adorable dog.  Not sure how I feel about the wild dye job, although it certainly brought him lots of attention.  How do you think Hudson would look with a little pink in the mix?

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These are other cakes from the contest.  The one with the pug ended up winning the competition.

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And lest you think I have totally abandoned my Crossfit ways, this was how I started my morning.  Life’s a balance…

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January Whole 30 – 1/3 Down

I’ve been so neglectful of my blog!  Work has been crazy.  And truth be told, I’ve just been lazy about it.  I had hoped that I would blog all about my Whole30 again like I did last time, and as you can see, that hasn’t happened.  I’m almost 1/3 of the way through and this is only my second post.  I haven’t even remembered to take pictures of most of my food.  And really what’s the point of blogging about food I there aren’t any pictures?

So here is a random sampling of some of my dinner’s lately.

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I almost forgot to take a picture of this one.  I was almost done at this point.  I love lettuce wraps!

I almost forgot to take a picture of this one. I was almost done at this point. I love lettuce wraps!

It’s been so much easier this time around.  I don’t have to think much about my food choices like I did last time.  The problem is, if I’m not thinking about my food choices as much,  I’m more likely to almost eat the wrong thing.  Here’s an example.  I was talking to one of my coworkers about some candied ginger that he made over the holidays and he offered to have me try it.  He was literally getting it out for me and I went, “Oh wait! I can’t eat that!  Shoot!”  That about sums up my annoyance with Whole30/Paleo in general.  I hate restricting myself in that way.  My flippin’ career is based around food!

I need to continue to work on the balance side of things.  I summed it up really well for Rob last night (if I do say so myself).  Physically, I love eating this way.  My body responds very well to this.  Mentally and emotionally, not so much.  It can just be a drag sometimes.  Not all the time, but enough to make me think I have a ways to go with incorporating this 100%.

As for Crossfit, things have been weird lately.  I feel like I have no power, and then I find myself doing amazing workouts.  Today we did McGhee:

30 min AMRAP

  • 5 deadlifts, 185#
  • 13 pushups
  • 9 box jumps

I completed 12 rounds of that!  On one side, I felt dog slow and like I was huffing and puffing.  Then on the other side, I Rx’d it, and that’s 12 rounds of things I could not do one round of 3 months ago.  So there’s that.  I probably need to not be so hard on myself.  Not every workout is going to have me springing in my steps and that’s ok.  I’m getting stronger every day.  (<—-like my pep talk to myself there?)

so the question is, how do you stay motivated?  I love getting huge PRs but that can’t last forever.  What keeps you coming back, day in day out, even when each workout isn’t life altering?