Monthly Archives: October 2012

Let’s Get Hearty

I cannot wait until November 17 when this Lurong challenge is over. Seriously. I want chocolate so bad. And gatorade and greek frozen yogurt occasionally. And all of these other things that mean my stomach doesn’t go haywire whenever I cheat and have a little bit of gluten or dairy or sugar. I get so sick whenever I eat these things lately and it shouldn’t be like that. On Paleo I should still be able to cheat and not be in pain.

I’m still losing weight so Paleo and CrossFit together are still working for me, and I’m sure after this challenge is over and I’m still decently strict and can be more myself it’ll be working just the same, but the fact that I can’t even made banana bread and Paleo cookies is killing me. Baking powder and soda are naturally occurring items, let me bake, dammit!

OK now I know the coffee has kicked in…

I’ve been doing pretty good with Paleo cooking though– this challenge has forced me to get more creative more often when it comes to mixing up the dinners I made for me and Boyfriend, and I am always trying to push the Paleo on other people. When Boyfriend and I went up north with his friends and family, I planned dinner for Friday night and wanted to make something hearty and warming as it was rather cold for the whole weekend. I  made up some sweet potato and chorizo soup from Jamie Oliver as it was one of like, three recipes in an entire book that I could make Paleo. That’s not true, almost all of them could be made Paleo, I just don’t have the time or care to make them that way so if they’re already written, I’m happy to cook.

What I love about Paleo soups is that they’re not like your average broth soups (though there’s plenty of those!) but it’s about the hearty stuff– it’s a meal in and of itself and, if you’re a bread or dairy eater, it works perfectly with a french baguette or a dollop of sour cream.

To be clear, I did a double batch for this soup as I knew there were going to be a ton of people and I wanted everyone to be able to go back for more if they wanted.

The soup is rife with veg of celery, carrot, garlic, onion and 1.5 pounds of sweet potatoes for a single batch, but I prefer the double which calls for 3.5 pounds. I did a mixture of vegetable and chicken broth (on accident, but happily) and there was a pound of chorizo links that I removed the skin and broke up for cooking. The chorizo lets go of some of its heat and spices so you get that delicious red oil on the top of the stock but that’s where all the deliciousness is.

The recipe calls for chile pepper, which I omitted as there was a question of ‘spice’ but I did add a little bit extra curry powder to make it a little of a warm, almost Indian-tasting recipe. My apartment smelled like Indian Buffet while I was cooking and I loved it.

I steamed the sweet potatoes until fork tender while the stock was heating to a boil, the chorizo was cooking in the stock and the veggies were sautéing in olive oil. The recipe calls to cook the sweet potatoes in the stock but that would have taken FOREVER so I cheated and it was a lot faster. The soup was done in a total of about 20 minutes.

Once everything is all put together and it’s cooked for about 10 minutes, we put it in the blender in batches (I don’t have an immersion blender…yet) and it got smooth and creamy and thick and delicious and I couldn’t help putting my spoon in it and eating already. It’s blended to the point where you don’t get big chunks of the chorizo but if you wanted to have chunks, remove the chorizo before adding the veg to the stock and then add them back before serving. I think this soup is perfect smooth, though so it’s not necessary to take the pieces out.

We packed up the pot itself and put it in the cooler and headed out for Crivitz and the pot was still warm by the time we got there four hours later, just in time for dinner. I dove in hungrily and it was warm and inviting and lovely. Bread eaters eagerly added bread to their plates and someone grabbed salt and pepper (I added very little to the veg) but it was absolutely perfect as it was. Boyfriend went back for seconds and my bowl was scraped clean. There was a single serving at the end of the night and everyone liked it, I think.

Tonight I’m making more for myself to feed…well…me for the next week or so. It’s getting really cold outside and I don’t like to turn on my heat so I think some soup will warm me up perfectly. Sorry I have no pictures. One day, I’ll be better at the whole picture thing.

Gumption

Sometimes it’s hard for me to push myself to be motivated even though it’s so easy for me to motivate and push other people through a workout. I’m great at telling people ‘it’s 90 seconds of your life, pick up the bar and bust out those reps!’ when it’s like lifting the damn Earth to pick up the 55 pound bar.

Today I figured out my pace for running. And it’s snail speed. Seriously. SNAIL.

Admittedly I have a lot to move around, and my body isn’t yet used to the massive amount of sheer bounce, so I run a lot slower than the rest of the group. Like 400 meters behind the rest of the group slow. I honestly don’t care about this, until it starts to affect me in the end of the WOD. Today’s WOD was no exception.

Strength: it was originally some gobbledegook of reps of back squats, but if we didn’t have a 1RM, Tyler told us to find it, so I paired up with Megan and got a bar.

35lbs, no problem. 65lbs, a little harder… not much. 85lbs. It was a little harder, not by much though. Megan did the rep with a spot from Tyler and bowed out. 95lbs. A little harder. 105, harder still. 125. I made it down and got to half-squat level and got stuck and SCREAMED it up. My high-weight reps usually include a growl or yell at the wall but this literally became a scream in order to get out of the half-squat I was stuck in. One of the girls said it was like someone was having a baby. The guy next to me called it badass. It was a 20 pound PR over my 3RM of a backsquat. I was extremely happy with myself.

Right away we had to go into the WOD because it had a 25 minute time cap.

WOD:
3 Rounds for time
800m run
10 Power clean and jerks (55lbs)
10 Knee to Elbows

I hate running because I’m so slow. It doesn’t bother me that everyone else passes me, but it really bothers me when I run up to the time cap and I’m determined to finish and I can’t find the strength to get to the time cap. My first run was unbroken, if slow. There was a group of people coming out for their second run when I was coming in from the first. I made up time on my favorite movement– the Clean and Jerk (“My move” as Tyler called it) and the Knees to Elbow– I made my knees a lot closer to my elbows this time too but my grip needs a lot of work. Before I knew it, I had to go back out for the run. I ran half of it, walked for about 100 meters and then came back for more running.

I was on the third run when the 25 minute time cap lapsed, so the rest of the class cleaned up my bar. I came in from the run and really wanted to finish so a girl grabbed a bar and her phone and I grabbed plates and I cranked out the 10 C&J and KTE in 1:54. Added to the time lapsed after the time cap and I had about a 29.54 time. I, and coach were extremely proud in my gumption to finish. I wasn’t about to finish on a crappy run, after all!

It wasn’t about ego, it was about feeling the need to finish on a high note: I needed to know I was doing something right– not taking forever to get an 800 meter run in. I needed to have a time: not a post-time-cap-time. I came into the box after the run with a scowl because I was out of breath and upset I wasn’t able to finish. Two minutes later I was dropping from the bar with an official time, a bit of skin removed from my hand and a grin on my face.

Segue time:

Can I just blather on about how much I love the Clean and Jerk? It’s seriously a beautiful movement, and not because I feel I do it pretty perfectly all the time and I know it’s one of the Olympic movements that proves and improves my overall strength, because I haven’t broken 100 pounds yet on it (well, I haven’t broken 100 on a lot of things, 50 on many things too now that I think about it), but it’s all about brute force in the hips and snapping the hips and using the legs to get that bar up into the rack, then one dip for momentum and it’s overhead with your feet planted or with a split jerk. The masochistic in me loves the bruises on my thighs the next morning and the soreness on my chest and clavicle where the bar rests. I love that zen moment right before taking a deep breath to fill my chest, dropping then exploding up to put a bar overhead. Let’s not forget the sound of the plates hitting the mat as I drop the bar from overhead. So exhilarating. I love seeing Cleans or C&J on the whiteboard.

Bring. On. Grace.

Relaxation WOD

There are two types of rest days: The days where you are still decently active but you don’t WOD: You clean the apartment, grocery shop, hang out or play with kids if you have any, etc. But nowhere on your day is there a barbell to be lifted. The other kind of rest day… I’m a pro at these ones. You do NOTHING: You sleep in, you lay down on the couch with a Nalgene of water and You’ve Got Mail and Devil Wears Prada and you make every effort to not do anything all day.

The latter, though I’m awesome at them, I don’t get to do them enough. I’ve suddenly come down with ‘clean-your-apartment-syndrome’ and I can’t seem to shake it regardless of the fact that my abs, quads, arms and calves want to fall off my body. I have to clean the counters and do dishes.

Then there’s the occasional night where I feel motivated enough to really relax. Tomorrow morning I’m getting a massage and, rather than being in pain for a majority of deep-tissue hour, I decided to take a bubble bath.

Yes. A bubble bath.

I’d had a really crappy day… though slightly less crappy than it could have been. I fought with the health insurance, then fought with Walgreens so I could get a medication I’d been missing for four days, then couldn’t manage to get rid of the smell in my kitchen, realizing the disposal must be grossing out. Then at the box I failed… epically.

You know… they say to leave your ego at the door of the box but I can’t help but feel like such a failure when the rest of the box is done and I still have one round to go so the coach says to scale it down to finish the round I’m on. We all have weak days, so I guess forcing myself to go to the box tonight was the reason for my weak day.

I don’t like weak days… they make me feel like all the work I’ve done over the last few months is for naught. I’m not a fan. So rather than getting a pint of ice cream at Walgreens while getting the drugs, I went home and fixed up dinner, poured a 6 oz. glass of red wine and got into the hottest bubble bath I’d ever been in an hour later while watching You’ve Got Mail on the iPad.

The final piece to my relaxation puzzle tonight is sleep. Your body needs plenty of sleep to function properly, especially while CrossFitting. It’s 11 p.m. and I have to be up for my 11 a.m. massage. Here’s hoping I can convince boyfriend to WOD with me tomorrow afternoon so I can start to feel like a good athlete again.

Tomorrow will also more than likely be my first cheat meal in… oh… two weeks? Let’s see how that goes, shall we?