Sunday, June 30, 2013

Paleo Challenge: Day FAIL

As you may have noticed... I stopped posting my daily Paleo challenge updates after Day 5. I knew that would happen... but was trying to be optimistic that I'd actually have time on my hands to post daily. June was a whirlwind month. It was Josh's first month coaching on a regular basis, we bought a truck, Carter seemed to have 5,000 PT appts (in reality it was like 3)... It. Was. Chaos. But I loved it. My eating went off track after my first unintentional cheat (OJ in Tropical Smoothie Cafe's smoothies is NOT Paleo). The rest of the month was a nutritional blur. I barely made it to the gym (literally 2 days a week some weeks...) and I'm getting rather fluffy. One of my very best friends got engaged last weekend and is getting married in three short months. I'm using that as motivation to get back on track. I'm due for another 24 Day Challenge mid-July, so I plan to kick-start my fat loss there. I'll indulge on the 4th, but after that - I mean business! Our family is gearing up for the furlough... restaurants will not see our faces often. Meal planning, budgeting, and penny pinching are about to take the Piatt's by storm. While it's not an ideal situation, it will be good for my diet to have to cook at home and take my lunch. Wish me luck and I'll keep y'all updated on my progress!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Girls: Back to Basics

Event: The Girls - Back to Basics

Series: Garage Games

Hosted By: CrossFit Garage

Location: Woodstock, GA - The Garage Gym

Date: 6.29.13

Category: Rx Male

Ranking: 5/26

CFI showed out today. Christian podiumed at 3rd place for Rx Males while Josh took 5th. He had a first place finish in Elizabeth and PR'd his previous time by almost a minute. Emerson took 5th for Scaled Male. You can see the final results here. Just like at X's & Y's, this event was organized and moved QUICK. WODs started at 0900, and we were finished and on the road by 1400. Lisa, Carter, and I drove over the morning of the competition. We missed the first two events, but were able to watch all of the competitors complete the final WOD.

WOD #1 - Elizabeth – 21-15-9
RX – Power Cleans 135 and Ring Dips
Scaled – 95 and Box Dips

WOD #2 - Little Eva – 3 rounds, 400M Row, 20 Pull-ups, 20 KB Swings
RX – 2pood (70#)
Scaled – 3 rounds, 300M Row, 10 Pull-ups 10 KBs (1.5pood)
WOD #3 - Nasty Girls AMRAP – 10 Minutes:
RX – 50 Squats, 7 Muscle Ups, 10 Hang Power Cleans 135
Scaled – 8 minutes – 50 Squats, 7 pull-ups, 10 HPC 95



Friday, June 28, 2013

Weak Women of the World

This week I went to a grocery store to pick up some sandwich trays for a baby shower. I opted to skip a cart because I was in a hurry and didn’t want to bother with walking it to a designated area to return it. I carried the trays up to the front from the deli to checkout. The lines were not long, but were not moving quickly. When I got to the front, the cashier realized that they had not put prices on the trays in the deli. She walked them back to have them priced. When she returned, she told me that I needed a buggy “These trays are too heavy for you to be carrying.” I told her I didn’t want one. She replied, “They’re too heavy.” I ignored her as she finished ringing my three items. Before I could hand her my cash, she left the register and proceeded to bring me a cart…. I told her firmly “I said I didn’t want a cart. I’m in a hurry. Can I please pay?” Her reply, “I’m just trying to help you out. Those are too heavy to be carrying around.”
Women of the world - Pick up a dang barbell. I challenge you to find a gym (not limited to CrossFit!) and strength train with free weights. NOT rubber coated 2 pound dumbbells that people can literally prance around with. Real weights. I don’t care if it’s a 15 pound trainer bar. Feel that iron in your hands, and know that it can make you strong. It hurts my heart that this woman thought 10 pounds of food was heavy. How are we as women supposed to carry our babies if we are weak? How are we to clean our houses if we can’t lift a bucket of water? How can we do laundry if the large bottle of All seems to exhaust our arm strength? Those statements are extremely sarcastic… but seriously… I’m SICK of weak women. Don’t wait for a man to move your furniture for you, or pick up the big bag of dog food – know that you are strong enough to do it yourself!
That lady better be glad I was in a hurry, or she would have probably received part of this message. With all that said… I’m thankful that Josh found CrossFit, and that I finally came around to it. It has changed my life in more ways than one. I will NEVER be weak. I will always surround myself with strong women who won’t say “that’s too heavy, get a cart,” but would rather say, “let’s see if you can add a few more!” Commit today to being strong. See where it takes you. I promise you’ll feel better in everything you do. If you think lifting weights will make you bulky… read this post – I can’t put it any better than they did. If you’re worried men will be intimidated by you, DON’T BE. If they are, they’re not worth your time. Most men will respect that you’re taking care of your body, and think muscles are HOT. If you’re scared to start on your own – find a personal trainer or join a CrossFit box. Moving weight can be dangerous if you’re not doing it right, so do research and learn the basics if you’re just starting out. Everyone starts somewhere, and I urge you to start today!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

These guys...

In honor of Father's Day I'm going to list 5 things I have in common with my dear ol' Dad:

1. We love beer. Much to my mother's dismay, I have inherited his love for the brew.

2. We love the Florida Gators. Growing up in Alabama, I could have easily ended up an Auburn or Alabama fan. Dad made sure he took me to Gator games often, and instilled an overall love for the SEC in me. He's even cool with the fact that I married an Alabama fan.

3. We research, but are impulsive buyers. As soon as our mind is set on a certain product - why wait?! My sweet husband will plan for months to save and buy an item, whereas I have the mindset "if I'm gonna buy it eventually let's just do it now!"

4. We're people-people. Is that the plural of people-persons? I'm not sure, but roll with it! I haven't met a person I can't talk to. I may not want to continue to talk to them, but I can at least initiate a conversation. I'm thankful for receiving my dad's social persona. It's gonna get me places.

5. We love this country. Yep - the US of A. Obama, Bush, Clinton. No matter who is running this great nation, my dad has supported and defended it. Sniffles during the National Anthem or a flyover can be heard from both of us. I think the first time I ever saw my dad tear up was while watching a war movie. I'm thankful that he pushed me into the career I'm in today, because if I reap nothing else from it, it's given me a much deeper sense of patriotism to have supported the warfighter myself.

Josh is by far the best dad I know. Here are 5 things I love about him as a dad (and husband):

1. He's been involved in Carter's care since before he was born. He went to every appointment at UAB. He was there to take care of me while I recovered after delivery, and wanted to know everything the nurses could teach us in the NICU. From the time we came home, we learned Ostomy 101 together, and conquered feeding issues hand-in-hand. He kept C for a week by himself when he was only 9 months old! It wouldn't be a stretch to say he's changed more bags/diapers than I have in the past 2 1/2 years. He does PT with him basically every day he's home, and I'm convinced C would not be as advanced in his motor skills if it weren't for his efforts.

2. There aren't many men that are rushing to get their kids from daycare on their off-day so they can play with them. Josh is that dad. He wants every last minute with that kid. He looks forward to "firsts" and wants to be there for moments like C's first dip in the pool... his first zoo trip.... and that makes my heart swell.

3. We're on the same page. Raising kids is complicated. Raising Carter is more complicated. We could very easily baby and pamper him because of his medical issues, but we choose instead to treat him like any other kid. We have very little problem when it comes to being on the same page for discipline and limits for Carter.

4. He's a great example of many things. Fitness. Work ethic. Determination. Fitness may not be important to a lot of people, but for our situation with C it is. We want Carter to know that despite his medical complications, he can find ways to adapt and still care for his body. Josh is a hard worker, and isn't scared of physical labor. He's always willing to lend his skills to a friend if he can help them out, whether it's welding, concrete, or just lifting something heavy.

5. He's becoming a spiritual leader for our family. Everyone goes through hard times in marriage, and there are many difficult dynamics in ours. I can say that from the day we were made aware of the complications with Carter, Josh and I became a different couple. We had no choice but to rely on the Healer. We witnessed a miracle on an ultrasound screen during the shunt procedure, and we're determined that Carter will know the God that gave him to us. Every day Josh is growing in the Word, and every Sunday Church of the Highlands speaks blessings into our life.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Paleo Challenge: Day 5

I don't remember if I mentioned on Day 3... but that night I made my marinade and got the Jalapeno Dijon Chicken thighs soaking (that I cooked last night), and also rubbed a butt down to put in the crockpot for lunches. I threw it in before we went to bed last night, and woke up this morning to the smell of delicious, smoky meat. Planning ahead is essential. You can do Paleo on the fly, but it's much easier if you have a game plan and stick to it!

I'm in a class at work this week, so I don't have a lot of opportunity to eat like I normally would. I hate to be hungry... and I was hungry a lot yesterday during class. So I planned to eat a lot more than I normally would to get through the day without being "hangry."
I ate a couple of egg muffins before I left the house, and took my iced coffee with me to drink on the way. It's pretty delicious, even without the super-sweet creamers I typically enjoy!

I was hungry by lunch time, so I hit a Mexican restaurant and orderd a steak fajita salad with extra guac. It was delicious and satisfying.

I wanted something "sweet" and still had some time to kill, so I stopped by Tropical Smoothie Cafe and got a Caribbean Carrot without any sweeteners. It was yummy, and gave me something to keep me awake during that little period after lunch when I tend to zone.

When I got home with C I got straight to work making some Beasty BBQ Sauce to go with our Crockpot Pulled Pork. I've made this meat a few times now, but never took the time to make the sauce. It made a giant batch, and it has a really nice spicy/sweet flavor. C played pirate while I cooked! I was kinda hungry waiting on the sauce to simmer, so I made a bowl of avocado and tomato covered in salt and pepper and scarfed it.

I knew I had a little mayo left over from the chicken salad, so I picked up a bag of pre-shredded slaw mix and made an easy Paleo Coleslaw Dressing. It was a nice, simple meal, and C even ate a plateful of the meat!

After dinner Josh cut up a watermelon for me and I snacked on some. I'm a little knife-shy since my incident yesterday with the avocado. I swear I could eat half a watermelon by myself. I have to remove myself from the area when they're around!

Tomorrow that guy goes to work, and it's my last day of class... which also means I have a test. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Paleo Challenge: Day 4

Sadly, the days that I'm at work I'll be unable to take photos of my meals. Cravings are getting fewer and farther between, and I'm down two pounds. Belly is noticeably less bloated, even though it still feels like I have fiery arrows embedded in my ovaries. Yay! Anyway, Day 4 looked something like this....
A couple of egg muffins and iced coffee with almond milk and stevia.
Some of my curry chicken salad and fruit salad.
While I cooked dinner I snacked on some avocado and tomato. I nearly lost my finger in the process of slicing the avocado. It was worth it though.... those babies are YUM.

This Jalapeno Dijon Chicken is the best grilled chicken EVER. It probably helped that I used a ton of super-fresh ingredients - like the jalapenos from my mom's garden, and the rosemary from my yard. I even grilled them myself... which was terrifying as always. I used boneless chicken thighs, and marinated mine for a full 24 hours. The flavor is ridiculous. You should try it.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Paleo Challenge: Day 3

Day 3 was hard. I stayed home from work because I overall feel like crap and that strain is uncomfortable. Tomorrow I start a class, so I wanted to rest before I HAD to be present. I'm starting to have some serious sweet cravings.

The good thing about being home was I had time to make breakfast. I ate late. REALLY late. Like 11:00. That's normally when I eat lunch on a work day. Anyway, I enjoyed a quiet breakfast of fried eggs, bacon, and watermelon.

Shortly after, daycare called because C's bag was leaking. I picked him up and we experimented with some old samples. Fingers crossed that these work. It's getting old to have him leak unexpectedly every other day!

Since I ate breakfast so late, I skipped a real lunch. It helped that my shipment came in with my Nikki's Coconut Butter! I tried the chocolate hazelnut brownie on my banana. It's different... especially the texture, but is definitely good! I can't wait to try some of the recipes I've seen that call for this in the ingredients.

For dinner I had two of the tenderloins my dad grilled for me, some leftover squash, peppers, and cabbage.

I was prepping for tomorrow's dinner when Carter started yelling at me from the living room. He had pulled out a catheter and his diapers and was "cathing" Paws. This kid is so smart. I love days like today where I unexpectedly get to spend more time with him at home than normal :)

After dinner I started having some pretty hardcore cravings. I had a couple of squares of dark chocolate and an orange. Hopefully tomorrow, since I'll be busy in that class, I won't crave so much.
P.S. - I actually finished my book! It took me a day longer than I wanted, but I finished a decently-lengthed book in a tiny bit over a week! I still haven't decided what I'm going to start next..... I'm way behind on James Patterson's long list of titles... so probably something of his.

Paleo Challenge: Day 2

I was pleasantly surprised to wake up to the smell of BACON! Josh had gone to the gym early, and cleaned the kitchen and cooked breakfast while C and I were still snoozing. I had brewed a cup of coffee the night before, mixed in a packet of stevia, and stuck it in the fridge. I had iced coffee with some almond milk mixed in for my breakfast. Next time I'll only use half the packet of stevia - that stuff is super sweet!

The bacon was super crispy... some of it was close to pork rinds! Ha! We ate it all, though... so it must not have been too bad!

After breakfast I got in the kitchen and started food prep for the week. While I was cooking these two were playing and watching the final heats of the CrossFit Regional events that were going on this weekend.

Fruit Salad
This fruit salad is so easy and delicious. Our friend Savanna makes it for our family get-togethers and I figured it would keep well through the first part of the week - if it lasts that long! Pick berries and fruits you like, mix them in a large bowl with the juice of one lime and a couple tablespoons of honey! Easy!
I cut up some veggies to have for snacks throughout the week. Celery, cucumbers, and baby carrots are ready to go in the fridge to top salads or snack on!

Fudge Babies
Fudge Babies are like Larabar balls. They're really easy in terms of low ingredients, but be ready to get your hands dirty!

Chicken Salad & Paleo Mayo
I got tired of the chicken salad I normally make with balsamic, honey, grapes, and walnuts, and opted for this Curry Chicken Salad instead. I modified mine - recipe below!

Curry Chicken Salad
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets (boiled, drained, and torn into small pieces)
Paleo mayo (I used the majority of the recipe below, but had a little leftover, depends on how creamy you like it! Recipe I used below)
Raw cashews (chopped, I used about half a cup)
Raisins (small handful)
Celery (diced, about half a cup)
2 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 Tsp ground ginger
1/4 Tsp garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste
Mix it all together and enjoy!

Paleo Mayo
1 large egg (bring to room temperature)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/4 cup light tasting olive oil
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt

Bring egg to room temperature. In blender or food processor blend egg, 1/4 cup of oil, lemon juice, mustard, and salt until combined. Then, very slowly drizzle the remaining cup of oil in. Should take 2-3 minutes. If you go too fast it won't combine properly. Mayo expires when your eggs expire - so make a note!

Egg Muffins
These go quickly in my house... that guy I live with likes them a lot. I made 20 muffins this time, and they are just plain - egg, sausage, salt, pepper, and a little cayenne. No frills!

After I finshed my food prep, we went to the gym. Josh was doing this workout and I decided to join him:

1 mile run
60 pull-ups
1 mile run

I ran my mile in 9:15. At about my 20th pull-up (on the red band) I felt a really weird pull in my lower abdomen. Really awkward area to strain when doing an upper body intensive movement... so I can't figure out if it's muscle or something else. Mandy said it could have been from holding my breath.... which I tend to do on pull-ups. I finished 30 pull-ups so I'd have completed at least half of the workout, and by then it was so bad that I couldn't stand up straight and it was making me dizzy. We shall see how I feel tomorrow.

Mom cooked us dinner, like she normally does on Sundays. I had thrown a pack of chicken tenderloins in some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and oregano before we headed over there so my dad could put them on the grill with the other chicken.We had grilled chicken breasts, and a ton of grilled veggies: cabbage, banana peppers, squash, and scallion. Everything but the cabbage was fresh from their garden and it was delicious! I snagged some jalapenos she'd picked for a recipe I'm making Tuesday. BONUS - she sent me home with some watermelon and leftovers from dinner!!!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Paleo Challenge: Day 1

Day 1... already feeling the withdrawals. Weighed (168) and took pictures this morning to get a baseline. I really have no specific goal in mind with this challenge, but will document the results for those curious. I have no "magic" number of pounds I'm trying to drop. I'd love to see some belly fat go, and increased performance would be awesome. So, with that said... here was my food for the day.
Breakfast: 2 eggs fried in coconut oil, unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon
Snack: after I worked out, I stopped by my mom's to get C, and scarfed some watermelon she had in the fridge.
"Lunch": I had not been grocery shopping yet, and paleo options were limited to say the least. Lunch was a banana, a spoonful of almond butter, and a spoonful of honey.
Snack: I had a few dates here and there because I was STARVING.
Dinner: we went to Cracker Barrel and I had the grilled chicken tenders with turnip greens and a plain sweet potato. Nom nom nom. Those biscuits sure are hard to resist :(
Snack: I had a really bad headache because I had not had any caffeine all day, so after we got home from grocery shopping I made an iced coffee with almond milk and half a pack of stevia.
"Lunch" was pathetic
 Before & After

Now my fridge, freezers, and pantry are filled with delicious paleo options. My heart is happy and I'll sleep well (especially with the storm rolling in!). Tomorrow after church and our workout I'll do some food prep for the week. Stay tuned!