Monday, December 8, 2014

Make Wise Choices

Holy moly! It has been a long stinkin time since I have tried to organize all of these crazy ideas and thoughts and actually put them down in some type of format. For the last few months my life has been a myriad of sticky notes. Little scribbles of thought or a reminder that eventually turns into the canvass Addie uses to practice doodling heart people on. But this feels ramble and realize it can all be deleted or left to hopefully lead you to believe that all of this randomness is quirky and cute. Anyhow I'm happy to be here, in front of my laptop not crunching numbers but writing, releasing, breathing.

So to catch up quickly, we are three months into running our new CrossFit box and opening our health food store in a new location. These two businesses are largely the reason I have not had one millisecond to write. And that is a really great thing! We have been blessed with the most incredible group of members who are now more like family and our membership is triple what we had projected for the end of 2014. So yeah...a really wonderful thing but also really crazy scary because we are still just trying to get our bearings, figure out what light switches work for which lights, how to use our Wodify software, remembering the security alarm code and trash pick up schedule. I feel like we have just been running nonstop. And that is okay. We knew much would be required of us. We were and are committed to the highest quality of coaching, health and hospitality and it feels amazing to work hard for something that is affecting and changing our community.

But now I see things finding their groove. We are figuring out a routine. Our team of coaches has grown and everyone is pulling way more than his or her weight. Our members take responsibility and ownership for this CrossFit box we all love so much and offer to wash the towels, clean the dishes, stock the Sunshine Shoppe shelves, and contribute in a thousand different ways. And that is really incredible because now I possibly will have some time to get back to my love and passion for nutrition.

Don't get me wrong, I have never stopped doing consultations, creating nutrition plans, reading and critiquing food journals. But I want more. I want to do more. If I have learned anything from meeting with my clients about their health it is that fitness is easy...eating for health is hard....really really hard. My members workout for 1 hour a day, two if they are Chris Mobley, but then they have 23 more hours in the day where they have to make choices about what foods or chemicals posing as foods go into their bodies. We have a little phrase we say regularly at The Core, "make wise choices." It applies in a lot of much weight you lift depending on the health of your body, whether to scale or RX Plus a WOD, how you interact with those around you, and what you eat.

We make gazillions of decisions a day. You choose eggs and spinach over the Eggo waffle. When your coworker brings donuts to the office you pass them up. When you go out to lunch you choose the fajita skillet without tortillas. When there are cupcakes at the birthday party you politely decline while salivating hoping that your kid has some leftover icing on his cute cheeks that you might 'accidentally' kiss off. At the church potluck you stick to the fruit tray and bucket of KFC chicken that you removed the skin from. When grocery shopping you choose the pricier raw almond butter that is somehow more expensive although has less ingredients and the top half is more oil than nut butter. You pass up all of those frozen meals that would make life so much simpler and give you at least 8 more hours to your week. You make the wise choice over and over all day long and then at the end of the day when you are exhausted from all of your wise choice making you get this little craving. You need just a little something sweet. So you mention it to your spouse. He then says, "I was just thinking about how long it has been since we had ice cream." Your child who is on the other end of the house and can't seem to hear you tell him to clean his bathroom when he is two feet in front of you, perks his little head in the room and says, "Ice cream? WE ARE GETTING ICE CREAM!!" And in your head you think, "I've said no to at least two thousand unwise decisions today. I deserve some ice cream by golly!"

But the problem is not the ice cream. The problem is what happens the next day. You get up and feel yuck because you didn't sleep well from all the sugar you had before bed and lets face it, that dairy did not make for a happy tummy. Because you are tired, making eggs this morning is just too much work so out comes the Eggo waffles (because breakfast is the most important meal of the day so you have to eat something.) This Eggo is soooo gross without syrup and you think you read that maple syrup is actually long as it is the crazy expensive Grade B kind but all you have is Grade A so it may not be the best option but hey, it is from the Sunshine Shoppe so it must be kinda healthy.  Then the energy is back! It is awesome! Piles of sticky notes and bills here I come!!!!!!! Except by the time the kids are dropped of at school you need another cup of coffee. Starbucks line is short and you are going to just get a black coffee. That is the wise choice. But when you drive by the menu you would swear that those fancy sounding lattes are not only 3D but have smellavision too! So yes, you have to try the new Caramel Gingerbread Mocha Butter Toffee Latte. And yes, you would like extra caramel drizzle. But skim milk please...making wise decisions here. The day has barely begun and you have already had more sugar than your body needs for the entire day including the glycogen you will burn from your crossfitty workout.

But you see, that is where I come in and this is why I love my job. I hold you accountable to your choices. When things start to get out of hand I make sweet little comments such as, "that was a lot of sugar today...let's focus on good protein and carbs from fruits and veggies tomorrow." Most of the time my clients know when their diet is poor. Rarely do I ever mention the ice cream. Food should be enjoyed. The key is finding a way to enjoy treats moderately and that takes time. Lots of time. But it does happen. Remembering to eat for health is really difficult but being submerged in a community that is making an effort to do the same thing really makes things easier or at least you know you don't struggle alone.

When we initially dreamed of a CrossFit box that truly relied on nutrition as its foundation I wondered if eating REAL food was going to be enough to help my athletes meet their goals. Sports nutrition is a bit controversial and everyone has their own opinion, own experience. But now that we are three months in of nutritional programming that focuses on eating for health I can honestly say I have absolutely no doubts. And really if you think about it why should I? Our bodies were created to do amazing things for incredible purposes and that very same Creator made the energy giving foods that we would need to accomplish them. It's that simple. Eat the food we were created for.

I'm really excited about what is to come in our little CrossFit Box/Health Food Store. I already have members that have dropped 6 dress sizes, lost 20 pounds of fat without losing any strength, increased their metabolic endurance, stopped having migraines, reduced medications, and discovered what true energy really feels like. One of my members who began with me as a nutrition client before we opened The Core told me the other day that she had been ready to give up. That at her age she figured she would never lose the weight or feel good. And she has not only continued to steadily lose fat and gain lean muscle mass but she does it by eating these incredible filling meals. She doesn't diet, she doesn't count calories, she didn't start taking hormones. She just ate the food God created for her body. I don't really know how anyone could argue with that. The proof is in the chia seed pudding.

This year is coming to a close. We are smack dab in the middle of the holidays and we are having to make food decision more than ever. Don't let all of your hard work, all of your progress, all those burpee box jumps go to waste. Find someone to hold you accountable. Get into a community that shares your goals. Remember your purpose and who created you for that purpose. Make wise choices.

Bake these lovely Lemon Glazed Sugar Cookies for that fun Christmas Cookie exchange this year.

Ingredients for the Cookies:

2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
2 tsp grassfed butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp coconut four for dusting

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the dough ingredients in a food processor and process until a smooth ball of dough forms, about 30 seconds. Alternatively, mix all of the ingredients in a stand mixer or by hand. The food processed dough will be ultra smooth and the most like a conventional sugar cookie.
  3. Flatten the ball of dough into a ½” thick disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 20 minutes.
  4. Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper, keeping it to a ¼” thickness. Remove the top sheet and sprinkle the top of the dough with 1 teaspoon coconut flour, rubbing it in slightly with your fingers. Dip a cookie cutter in a little flour then cut your shapes, peeling away excess dough as you work. Gather the excess dough into a ball and re-roll it. If it starts to dry out or crack as you work with it the second or third time, lightly wet your hands before kneading the scraps to add a little moisture back into the dough.
  5. Bake the cookies on a tray lined with parchment paper for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Ingredients for the Icing:

2 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
zest of half a lemon
pinch of sea salt

  1. Combine all the ingredients, then mix until smooth and creamy.
  2. Spread onto your favorite cookies or cupcakes, then chill for an hour, allowing the frosting to set. 
  3. Serve chilled or at room temperature, and enjoy!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Pledge to a Protein Bar

Four of my coaches went last weekend to an Olympic lifting training course and came back with tons of excitement and knowledge. But the thing that has made a much deeper impression on me are the snacks they brought back. I know it sounds dumb that I'm even writing about a snack bar but I can't get it out of my head...therefore I write. 

The snack bars I'm referring to are the new Strong & Kind bars. They are super yummy, have more protein than normal Kind bars and come in lots of really cool flavors like Honey Mustard, Hickory Smoked BBQ, Thai Sweet Chili, and Roasted JalapeƱo.

I ordered a box of each for the Sunshine Shoppe and while I was unpacking them I read this on the packaging:

The STRONG & KIND Pledge:
Have the courage to be kind when others may not.
Look out for those who can’t look out for themselves.
Stand up when others would rather stand out.
Leave their world a kinder place than they found it.

That really hit home with me. I have felt so weak a lot of ways. Trying to get The Core, our new CrossFit box open while getting ready to expand our Sunshine Shoppe, keeping our sweet babies happy and healthy and trying to stay on top of book keeping for two busineses, laundry, nutrition consultations, and living off of coffee and bacon has not left a lot of time to actually do CrossFit. I just started back this last week actually lifting with something other than a PVC pipe. Although I feel so much more confident in my technique and form, I have realized I have lost a lot of the strength I had this time last year. 

And to be honest I really like starting over in my training. I am not concerned with being able to lift heavy. More importantly I want to do it correctly but I do want to be strong as well. 

I think strength means different things to different people. Yes, I want to be confident in my ability to open jars, move furniture, and enjoy fun activities like rock climbing with my family but I also want a strong character. 

I have really struggled with what a strong character looks like these last months. My family and I have been hurt in a lot of ways in the process of starting this new business but we know what we are doing is good and right, the truth will always be true, and God will fight our battles. 

But I struggle. I want to scream my frustrations from the roof top sometimes. I want to defend myself and those I love. I want to confront and force the truth out. And because I don't do these things I feel like it makes me look weak although it honestly takes more strength than I actually posses. Thank goodness I have a husband who is stronger than I am and is continuously reminding me of who we are and more importantly who we represent. 

I have found that I struggle the most when I am not engaged in God's word, when I am not reading his promises, and reinforcing that he wants me to demonstrate gentleness, show love, have peace, be filled with his joy, and to be kind. Those things make me strong. He makes me strong. Even when I feel weak. 

And I am so incredibly grateful to be surrounded by people that continue to point us in the right direction, toward our goal, away from distractions. I am strengthened by their love, their support, their own strong character.

So though this experience has crushed me in ways that has taken me to my knees I realize that is exactly where I need to be. 

I am getting stronger. Don't mistake my lack of bulging muscles for weakness. I don't have to be The Hulk to change the world. I don't have to be loud to influence others. I don't have to be forceful to make an impact. Kindness is strength.

Friday, July 25, 2014

This girl as a coach

When I was a child, if you would have asked me what I want to be when I grow up I would have listed out all kinds of careers. My dreams started with being a mommy of twelve, then a teacher, later a journalist, even later an accountant, a small business owner and finally a doctor of nutritional sciences. Never in my life would I have ever answered, “I want to be a CrossFit coach.”

I have said this before in my older blog posts but I have never really been athletic. It is a running joke in my family that I abhorred being sweaty. It was gross and uncomfortable and made my hair look messy. But obviously all that has changed. I feel like now that I am coaching five classes a day I am living in sweat and I am utterly amazed at how I got here.

I’ll admit that I never gave being a coach a whole lot of merit. It just didn’t seem that difficult to me. But I am completely humbled by all the work that it requires. I am obviously lacking hours under my belt in coaching but everyone has to start somewhere, right? And I think because I lack arrogance in my experience it makes me a better coach because I am constantly reading and learning and diving into more information on how the body moves and functions. I take this job sooooo incredibly seriously because this isn’t just about giving people a list of actions to accomplish to make them sweaty but about knowing how someone with fibromyalgia should scale the workout differently or what mobility workouts someone with a shoulder injury should do, or how someone with adrenal fatigue would need to tweak their nutrition. I feel like I cannot soak up enough information right now and until time ticks by and I finally have a lot of coaching hours logged I am going to take every opportunity to learn all that I can and that means not only doing my own research but taking additional classes.

Our entire coaching staff is actually really crazy stinkin’ excited about all of the CrossFit Certification courses we are signed up for in the next few months. We have Olympic Lifting, Mobility, CrossFit Defense and CrossFit Kids (which is the one I am most excited about and makes me want to do a happy dance.) And on top of the CrossFit cert classes I am still pushing on with school so that hopefully someday I’ll have those pretty letters behind my name. Whew! That made me feel a bit tired all of a sudden! Goodness!

To be honest I may be a little insecure about how I am as a coach. I am really good at book knowledge. I can take tests all day long but putting something into practice is a whole new ball game and for a girl who never even played ball this is unchartered territory. Fortunately for me I have an ABSOLUTLEY INCREDIBLE team. We have several coaches who have experience coaching in other boxes and I am so grateful to be able to rely on their experience when I need some guidance. 

In fact none of this would be possible if it wasn’t for the wonderful people God has surrounded us with. I am in absolute awe that our Core family has not only believed in our purpose and dream for the Hunt County community but they have ripped up carpet, hammered in nails, begrudgingly put in insulation, helped carry our burdens of worry and stress, and covered us in prayer through this whole experience. Levi and I are so humbled by their love and will treasure it always.  The Core and my dream of being able to participate in leading Hunt County in a healthy lifestyle would not have been possible if I was doing this by myself so I want to take just a quick minute and thank my sweet Core team:

To Levi: Sharing this dream with you has been such an incredible adventure already. I love building and creating with you. You make me feel like I could do anything and everything I put my mind to. I feel strong, brave and powerful because of you. I am absolutely in awe of your determination to see the dream come to fruition and it doesn’t go unnoticed that you are the first one up and out the door to your real job and then you put in countless hours at The Core until you crash late at night. You are amazing. Plus you look really incredible in a tool belt…so all of this construction has been totally worth it just for that. J

To Jack and Addie: You two have been amazing in all of this. You have handled all the disappointments of canceling vacations, living on a budget, and spending hours and hours at The Core all in stride. I am in awe of how both of you have embraced Mommy and Daddy’s dream and have made it your own.

To Jim: You were there to guide and challenge me when I needed it the most. Your friendship and loyalty are priceless and Levi and I both appreciate how precious of a gift you are to our family. We have said from the very beginning we did not want to do this without you. Your incredible knowledge, experience, energy for life, true integrity and pure desire to educate people on health and fitness all add up to an incredible man and amazing coach. It gives me such confidence to know you have my six.

To Mom: I cannot thank you enough for helping out with Jack and Addie this summer. At times I am riddled with guilt for not providing the kids a more exciting summer but I am so grateful that they have been able to enjoy being with you and your fun vacation adventure. It also means the world to me that you believe in what we are doing at The Core so much that you have begun to attend our On-Ramp classes. I never thought you would do CrossFit and it gives me assurance in what we are doing at The Core.

To Steve and Karen: You guys have always been there for our family when we needed it the most. You are a rock for Levi and me. Being able to walk across our fields and into your backyard for a chat and some guidance has been such a source of security in our lives. Having your support in our endeavors has given us conviction to continue on and to push forward. You will never know how truly treasured you are in our hearts. We love you.

To Zoe: Thank you for coming up to The Core to watch all of our kiddos. You are such a blessing to all of our lives and I am so grateful you are ours! 

To Haley, CJ, Curtis, Ashley, Christie, Benny, Dustin, Amber, Cleve, Hillery: You guys are our family and I am overwhelmed at the amount of time and effort you have put into our new group project. I truly feel like The Core is yours just as much as it is ours. I have enjoyed our get-togethers, cramming into my kitchen and cooking amazing meals, working out in our teeny Lawson Barn box, hammering nails at The Core, playing with all of our kiddos, and sharing in the excitement. We could not have asked God to surround us with more amazing people.

To our On-Ramp classes: It means the world to me that you took a chance on this new fitness center that hasn’t even opened up yet!!! You all have given me confidence that what we are doing at The Core is special and effective. I cannot express how much pure joy comes from seeing you all walk in looking scared and nervous and then seeing that transformation take place as you realize ‘I can do this!’ You inspire me to be a better coach and to constantly be learning more. I adore you all and are just so stinkin’ proud of the steps you are taking with your fitness and nutrition to be a healthier you so that you can do amazing things with the body God gave you!

Monday, June 30, 2014

I refuse to be responsible for the next nuclear accident

Exhaustion has taken on a new meaning. Drained, depleted, weary, expended. None of those words truly encompass this feeling. You know when you blow up a balloon and let go of it before you tie it off and it deflates in that loud wet airy pluergal noise or whatever it’s phonetic equivalent would be…anyways that’s how I feel..completely pluergaled.

We knew opening up a new business was going to take its toll. We new the construction for the new building was going to require a lot of hours, sweat, energy, perseverance and blood...literally. We knew that while we began this new adventure we were still going to have to keep all of our old adventures rolling too. We can’t exactly stop working on the jobs that actually pay our bills. Or stop tending the needs of our little munchkins. Or stop those daily things that just kinda suck time such as errands, cooking, eating, laundry, oh the laundry! dishes, 12 trips to Lowes in one day, bandaging of booboos, breaking up arguments, and dishing out wise and insightful lectures, showering, attempting to look presentable (which has resorted to a side braid and one coat of mascara), playing chauffeur to swim lessons, VBS and various kid summer activities. And then there are those things that just kinda pop up that you can’t ignore such as my incredible baby sister having her beautiful baby girl and us packing up for a quick two day trip consisting of 10 hours on the road just to see those perfect long lashes, sweet wittle cheeks and hear those angelic baby coos. (Maybe I need another baby…Ha! Now that is terrifying.)

We don’t usually fall into bed until early the next day and awaken more zombie like than we did the day before. I am certain that our Core team is existing purely from the copious amounts of coffee we consume throughout the day. I actually calculated that I have purchased 12 POUNDS of coffee since April! I tell you what, my Keurig gets more attention than the dog does. This addiction and reliance upon caffeine didn’t just happen at once. It was a slow process. It started as a simple two cups in the morning to a cup after lunch and then to one or two after dinner to keep me awake for our late night Core meetings. So yeah…that is a bit embarrassing. To be honest I hadn’t realized how bad my lack of energy had gotten until I was stuck in the car for 5 hours and my mood was less than lovely and despite my inability to focus my energy on exhibiting patience I focused it all on my new and irritating ability to be hypersensitive to every breath my kids take and wear on my psyche like sandpaper. I’ve realized that something has to give because a mean mommy with a drip line of caffeine doesn’t exactly say, “I’m healthy. Come get you some of this.”

I have gotten so caught up with eating right and staying toned and fit through working out that I had completely ignored my body’s need for sleep. I think all of us kinda get stuck on the idea of health just being food and exercise but the more research I do the more I realize that sleep is just as important as its two more popular counterparts. In fact, the effects of lack of sleep on our bodies is quite fascinating and I am amazed at it’s connection to the dreaded WEIGHT GAIN.

Initially studies showed a simple link between lack of sleep and an increase of calories consumed. It was originally assumed that it was the body responding to the additional hours of metabolic activity which led to the increased caloric intake but more recent studies have given us a better understanding of what actually happens in our brains when we do not allowed enough time for our brains to “reboot.” First you have the amygdala. It helps regulate our emotions and desires. When we have not gotten enough zzzzs, brain scans show that our amygdala reacts much more strongly to calorie dense foods. So if you like donuts when well rested you are going to LOVE donuts when tired.

Then you have your prefrontal cortex. It is responsible for decision making. I would say that is kinda stinkin important. But when we are tired it shuts down for business and lets the emotional and desire driven amygdala take charge, which leads to poor choices. This is why we have a tendency to binge on junk when we are fatigued. See, there is a real scientific reason for why you do bad things!!! Blame that villainous amygdala!

But lack of sleep doesn’t just lead to weight gain. It can also be responsible for decreased immune function, decreased memory retention and problem solving skills, increase risk of depression, mood swings, and increase in that evil systemic inflammation. And if you think those things aren’t important enough to force your little but ever growing tush into bed consider this little tidbit: The Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska, the Challenger space shuttle disaster and the Chernobyl nuclear accident have all been attributed to human errors in which fatigue and lack of sleep played a role.

I know I don’t have to convince you how good sleep is. Not only does it feel amazing and wonderful but it also aids in healing, recovery, gives us a more positive outlook, increases our athletic performance (maybe that is why I’m such a klutz), decreases stress levels, aids in successful aging (beauty sleep) and promotes cellular regeneration.

So basically here is the problem: I need more sleep. I have no issues actually falling to sleep or staying asleep so I need to do some schedule adjustments and rip out this IV drip of coffee I’ve got going on. But I know that a lot of people suffer from lack of sleep because your body has a difficult time actually shutting down and staying there. There are several things you can do to help you get to snoozing.

1.    Force yourself to get into bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every day.
2.    Turn off the TV, iPad, laptop, etc. NO FACEBOOK BEFORE BED! I can’t tell you how hard it was to go to sleep after seeing that lotus flower photoshopped onto that person’s shoulder with the caption “Why you should never use Head & Shoulders shampoo.” It was disturbing.
3.    Pray. Get rid of those worries and to-do lists by telling God about them. Or better yet count your blessings. Thank him for those beautiful things in your world. I have found that when I am troubled the most effective treatment is to”…fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Phil. 4:8…just in case you want to check that one out.)
4.    Drink a warm drink (not coffee) or take a warm relaxing bath before bed.
5.    Take a magnesium supplement. CALM is powdered magnesium that is highly absorbable. You can mix it in warm water and it makes a delightful raspberry lemon drink before bed.
6.    Try melatonin. Some of us just don’t produce enough melatonin naturally and supplementing is helpful. You can also do things such as sleeping in the darkest environment possible and getting plenty of light during the waking hours. Some people have side effects such as nightmares from melatonin so it isn’t for everyone.
7.    Limit caffeine and sugar. Duh. But we don’t always think about this when we are snacking on that bowl of strawberries or dipping that banana into almond butter before bed.
8.    Set an alarm clock for the morning. Set several. Whatever you have to do to have peace of mind that you will wake up on time. I hate that panicked fitful sleep that leads to constantly waking and looking at the time. Just choose your favorite bouncy good morning song to wakeup to so you aren’t dreading the blaring of a bullhorn.
9.    Splurge on expensive sheets and pillows. Your bed should be hallowed ground. A place of refuge. Not a torture chamber. If you wake up all bent out of shape it may be time to invest in a better mattress or pillow top.
10.Do not bring work to bed. This is totally hypocritical for me to say. I am notorious for working until the wee hours of the morning because the house is finally quiet and my mind can focus. But no more. Officially for this chick, sleep comes first.

I’m sure you wonderful people read my posts and think, “this girl is all kinds of messed up.
Practically every one of her posts is about how she is struggling in one area or another.” And
well, dear reader, you would be correct. I am hoping that my honesty about my
imperfections and struggles with being healthy and still maintaining normalish human status
makes those who could possibly have the same struggles feel not so alone or at least make
you feel better about yourself if this is an area you excel in. I’m really excited to have a
better understanding of the importance of sleep and I won’t feel so guilty for going to bed
early. I mean I think it is in everyone’s best interest for this girl to get her beauty sleep.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Where are MY pretty maids all in a row?

I posted awhile back about my little “Come What May Garden” and I wanted to give a bit of an update on how my garden grows. The first couple of weeks of gardening were fine. We received enough scattered showers to keep me from having to actually make the five yard trek from back door to garden to water it so I was cool. Easy peasy. Then it got hot and the rain bailed. But that was okay because cute little green plants started popping up all over the place and I’m not gonna lie, it was EXCITING. (That’s right, my life is that dull.) But due to the nature of our “Come What May Garden” and because we just pretty much scattered seeds at our whimsy, I had absolutely no idea if these adorable little green signs of life were actual plants or weeds. Which that was cool too because then I had an excuse to not pull them and therefore kept my responsibilities to the garden to a minimum of watering once a day.

But then last week happened and all of a sudden my sweet little garden looked like the jungle from Avatar. It was officially obvious what plants were weeds and which were actual produce. And let me tell you, the weeds were winning. By a lot. So it was time to be a responsible gardener and tend my garden.  I understand why Mary was quite contrary now. I found out real quick that weeding is dirty work. I had bought adorable gardening gloves already so I was definitely well dressed for the occasion but I was not at all prepared for the fact that it wasn’t just my hands that were going to be in the dirt, it was going to be my whole body. These weeds had the biggest stinkin roots so that I had to shake the snot out of them just to keep some of the dirt in the garden, but I’m pretty sure I ended up wearing the majority of it, including a couple earthworms. Which, by the way totally reminded me of when you throw pasta on the wall to make sure it is done from cooking and it just sticks there…worms do that too. Just so you know.

So while I’m pulling up these weeds I’m honestly expecting woodland creatures to come up and start helping me but they must have all been busy helping Cinderella get dressed or something so I was on my own. The lack of distracting woodland creatures led to drifting off toward the worry spiral that is always waiting to suck me in. I started to think about how I was having to put forth hours worth of work toward a garden that had yet to produce ANY edible food (worms excluded) which then led to how am I going to have time for this garden once our summer coma wears off and we are putting in 18 hours a day trying to get this new business started? And what about swim lessons? How am I supposed get that done when I’m needed at The Core? Or how are we to continue to eat healthy when I have absolutely zero time to spend on cooking? Jack and Addie need a fun summer too. They don’t want to be painting and pulling up carpet all summer long. And Jack needs a haircut. And so does the dog. I’m pretty sure I need to start taking more B-vitamins because my eye is twitching again. I need to write down B-Vitamins to the list I have yet to start along with the sunblock and that other thing I was supposed to remember. Can we even afford to get both Jack and Tysen’s hair cut? I mean starting a new business is scary and expensive and being on a budget SUCKS. What if no one shows up and we are floating this thing out of our income for months? Maybe I could learn how to cut hair. At least the dogs hair. And Jack can go back to his shaggy beach look.  I totally forgot to thaw any meat for dinner tonight…again. I’m kinda hungry now. But we are supposed to work out in an hour and I have to be at my best right? I have to represent an ideal. Meet Jessica, paleo and crossfitty. I am soooooo not a coach. This is crazy. What the heck am I doing? OMG this is really happening and there is no stopping it now. What if I fail?

(That was scary, right?)

Fortunately I have a God who listens and loves and delights in me. So you know what? I totally may fail. But I’m gonna give it my all and I’m gonna do it to glorify Him and to love on those He loves. I am so fortunate that my work doesn’t have to be about making money but about loving others through providing real ways to be healthy so that they too can do what God has called them to. So that all kinda makes me pretty stinking happy and super excited to have this opportunity at failure or incredible, impacting, life-changing success. And I’m going to start showing myself and others a bit more grace. We all have our worry spirals. If the dog’s hair doesn’t get cut then I’m okay with that. And if you order a pizza because you are too tired to cook or you would rather have that time to snuggle with your family, then I’m okay with that too. I think if we would let go of our ridiculous expectations for ourselves and for others we may all be able to do some pretty amazing things. So I’m gonna keep trucking on. Come what may.

I made just the loveliest little fritatta the other day and I was so surprised with just how easy it was. You could use any ingredients of your choosing but these are just what I had in my kitchen.

4 eggs, beaten
1 lb free-range chicken sausage, ground
handful of fresh spinach
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 green onions, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Brown sausage in skillet that can also go in the oven. Add spinach and cook down. Add salt and pepper. Pour beaten eggs in and sprinkle tomatoes and onions on top. Let cook for just one minute at a medium heat.

Set oven to broil and stick pan into oven and watch closely. Pull out when egg mixture is slightly browning.

Slice and serve.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Don't sweat for someone else's goals

Well its JUNE! I have been looking forward to this month for awhile now and here it is in all its Juney glory. Back in March I posted that I was going to focus on some weight loss and that June would be my target end date. I've had LOTS of inquiries about my progress and so I guess it is time to tell my weight loss story.

Things did not go as planned. I had planned to keep a food journal this entire time. I had planned to limit my fat intake. I had planned to limit starches. I was going to work out twice a day. I started off good. I managed to keep it up for about a month. But then I lost focus. I got rid of the scale so I couldn't weigh myself because I had become obsessed with a number and not how I felt. I apparently do not do well with a super strict diet. I lack the focus. I enjoy fat and sweet potatoes too stinkin much! But despite my lack of determination I lost weight. Well, I actually don't know what my weight is. But I like the way I feel in my clothes again. And I think I know what made the difference.

I stopped lifting heavy. Last year I was constantly working to increase the weight on the barbell. I wanted to RX. For those unfamiliar with the CrossFit term it is the prescribed weight for the workout otherwise you "scale." And scaling felt like being less than, like my workout wasn't as tough because my weight was less. And so that was my goal and it was very much encouraged and stressed to increase your weight, lift heavier for the sake of new PRs (personal record) even once the RX weight was achieved. It was fun. I would be so proud of myself every time I added weight and could accomplish the lift. I was getting stronger. But I was not happy with my body.

Don't get me wrong. I was fit. Very fit. But my clothes didn't feel right. Everything was tight. I put on a cute shirt that buttoned on the sleeve right at my bicep that had always loose around my arm and one day I couldn't even button it. I cried. I don't want little wimpy arms but I do want them to be feminine, graceful, lean and I no longer felt like they were. I did not care for the way my trapezius muscles (you know, those neck wings) were bulging and had to only wear sports bras with straps that I could adjust larger to go over the mountain of muscle (they were probably not nearly as huge as I felt that they were but nevertheless, it was not what I wanted.)  I feel awkward even writing this because I know there are a lot of women and men that struggle to have any muscle definition and here I am complaining about having too much. And I'm actually not complaining...I realized I just didn't like my body that muscley and so I did something about it. I see these CrossFit memes all the time about how ridiculous it is that women fear weights because of some imaginary risk of getting bulky and I almost feel like I'm betraying CrossFit by saying that yes, in my experience lifting heavy weights made me more bulky than I was comfortable with.

Everyone has different body goals. Nobody ever asked me what goals I wanted for my body. God made us all so incredible and I am NOT saying that having big muscles and being bulky is bad or unattractive. If you want to lift heavy then by all means, lift heavy. It just isn't what this chick wants. And well, I'm the only one that gets to live in this body so I guess I should probably be the one who decides what I want it to look and feel like. This feeling of discontentment with my body led to realizing that this is something we could do differently at our new fitness center, The Core. We could create workout programming and nutrition that is specific to the individual's goals. And so we did.

We have developed three categories of Core members: Core, Solid Core, and Hard Core. One is not better than the other. They are all different with original goals. You pick the category that best fits your personal goal and work up to it. But as always in order to move to heavier weights or more complex movements you must first prove that your technique is on par. Let me break it down...

CORE: These are our members who are new to CrossFit and still have form and skills to learn. Or they are not really concerned with having muscle definition or losing weight but just want to be active and healthy. These workouts will rarely require barbells. Most movements will be body weight exercises only. This group will consist of younger teens all the way to great grandparents.

SOLID CORE: This is me. This category is for members who want to be lean, have muscle tone, increase endurance and energy, feel healthy. These workouts will kick your butt but will be done at a smaller weight but more reps with increased metabolic conditioning. I really think this is the majority of people. For those wanting to lose weight this will be the category of choice.

HARD CORE: This is for members who want to put on mass, who always want to lift more, be stronger. These members will lift heavier and at less reps. If someone is competition minded this would be a good fit.

All three categories workout together doing the same modalities just at different scales. For instance, if the structure of the WOD is Thrusters, pullups, and lunges then each category may look something like this:

CORE: Airsquats or Thruster with PVC pipes-9 reps, ring-ups-15 reps, lunges-25 meters 3 rounds

SOLID CORE: Thrusters at comfortable weight-15 reps, Kipping Pull-ups or pull-ups with bands-21 reps, Light weighted lunges (10/15 lbs)-25 meters for 3 rounds

HARD CORE: Thrusters at 80% max-9 reps, strict medball pullups-15, heavy weighted lunges (45lb)-25 meters for 3 rounds

So everyone does the same funtionalities but each with a different purpose. I just don't see the point in working out for someone else's goals for your body. This same concept applies to the nutrition portion of health at The Core. We aren't going to tell you to do Paleo, or the Mediterranean Diet, or become a vegetarian. We are going to find what works best for you and your body. If you abhor the idea of using any animal products then we will work with that and create a plan that allows for your beliefs and still be on target for your health goals. If you can't stand the smell of any type of seafood then don't eat it. Sure it is a really lean protein full of essential fatty acids and minerals but we will find another way to get those in. If you despise the idea of keeping a food journal then you wont. Your schedule doesn't allow for you to eat dinners at home? Let's come up with a menu of foods you can pack or healthy items you can get on the go. Did your doctor tell you that you need to lower your blood pressure? Then we will focus on foods with higher amounts of potassium and lower sodium. Can't fathom the idea of giving up grains then lets find a way to work around that or lets try it for just 30 days and see what happens. After 30 days you think grains are needed in your body then add them back...see what happens then. My point is that EVERY BODY IS DIFFERENT. Why would every body need the same workout and have the same diet?

Getting healthy is not a one size fits all situation and I think recognizing that and planning accordingly is what will make this ultimate goal an achievable reality for EVERY BODY.

Levi made this recipe for THE BEST PALEO CINNAMON ROLLS last weekend and they were soooo good! The only problem was they were NOT pretty...hence the much more beautiful picture off the website. One really huge tip...make these the night before. We actually doubled this recipe bc we were having breakfast for dinner and the cinnamon rolls were dessert. We then left the second roll in the fridge until morning and then sliced and baked the next day.