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!