Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!


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Wow, it’s been a month since my last post! For those of you who know me, you know I’ve been a big busy over the last month. I got married, went on my honeymoon to the Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Resort in Cabo during finals week at UNR, graduated with a bachelor’s degree, and still somehow managed to keep working out and eating Paleo!


CrossFit is so much a part of our lives, we had to get a picture on our wedding day!

Consider this post my entry back into the blogosphere and a dedication to anyone who finds my blog that I will do my best to remain consistent with my recipe posts and other randomness that pops into my head. Okay, it isn’t really randomness in my head that I talk about, most of my non-Paleo posts are directed at a question that I was asked (Hint: if you have a Paleo, CrossFit, or healthy living question ask me and I will do my best to find an answer for you!).

I have quite a few new recipes that I am excited to share with you, and some exciting events happening in the coming months that I am looking forward to sharing with you. For example, i am running as part of a nine person team in the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey this weekend! I will definitely be writing about my experience!

So whether you’re new to CrossFit or Paleo, or you are experienced with both, let me know what I can help with. Have a craving for a certain meal, or maybe you had a dish recently at a restaurant, but you don’t have a recipe? Let me know and I will come up with something for you!


Where are the results?


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I think many of us automatically look to the scale when we start a new “diet.” It makes sense, we change our eating habits and assume that the pounds should start falling off our bodies and that we will see noticeable results within weeks. In a way, I think this is a flaw that has been brought on by society and the idea that the fitness is defined by your body shape.

I think we first need to think about what the main goal is with “dieting,” and especially with the Paleo. I have been living a Paleo lifestyle since July, 2012. I started in thinking it would be a good way for me to lose weight, but as time went by, I came to the realization that it isn’t so much about how I look as it is how I perform. Of course I am happy with the way I look, it’s admittedly the best I ever have looked in my opinion, but that’s not my main motivation to eat how I do. I have talked before, and continue to do so because it is really important to me, about how I consider food to be fuel for my body rather than a treat or something I need to have three times a day at seven, twelve, and five. I know now if I don’t eat 30-45 minutes before a workout I don’t perform as well. I also know that if I eat within 20 minutes of a workout, I will probably end up tasting it again. Heavy leg days result in me being hungry every couple of hours for the rest of the day.

The only weight I pay attention to is the weight on the bar. My performance is more important to me than how much I weigh. Over the past month, I haven’t lost any weight but my strength has gone up and my body fat has gone down. If I was only focused on what the scale says, I would surely have become frustrated. I think this is what a lot of people do, and no one should! The point I am trying to make is that even when the scale is the same, your body can be completely changed. Below are two pictures of me. On the left side, I weighed 195 pounds (taken last July) and the picture on the right was taken last weekend on ym wedding day. Same weight on the scale, but two different bodies.

195 pounds, two different ways

Left: me at 195 pounds in July 2012
Right: me at 195 pounts last weekend

Here’s what I ask of you, stop tracking your weight on the scale and start tracking your weights in the gym. Get a WODBook, one of the apps I talked about that tracks your workouts, or even a notebook and start keeping track of the workouts. Write down the weight you did and the time it took you. Another great idea is to jot down notes about how you felt. These are the important things to keep track of, not the number on the scale!

Diet or Lifestyle?


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So you’ve just finished a Paleo challenge. First of all, let me congratulate you sticking to a strict Paleo diet for three, or six, or, in the case of my gym, seven weeks. In talking with members of my gym, it seems like everyone experienced pretty much the same feelings as I did when I started Paleo. Eventually, the constant hunger passed and the cravings for bread or other snacks went away. I’m sure you probably also found some really good recipes and discovered you really enjoy eating some foods you didn’t think you liked before.

Paleo Flowchart

Paleo Flowchart – in case you haven’t figured it out yet….

But now you have a decision to make, and it’s kind of important. Do you decide to make Paleo a diet or a lifestyle?

There will inevitably be some who revert to their “normal” diet. They’ll decide that Paleo is too much work and revert back to eating what is fast and convenient. They’ll also most likely experience some gastrointestinal disturbances, for lack of a better term, as things like gluten and dairy are reintroduced into the body. And they will eventually gain back everything that they lost during their brief stint with Paleo and possibly even more.

Hopefully most everyone will choose the other route. Paleo can be a lifestyle. And it will continue to provide you benefits beyond weight loss. Whether its strength, body composition, reduction of allergies, or improvements in overall health, the Paleo lifestyle is definitely worth maintaining and shouldn’t be considered just a diet. There is a good possibility that you didn’t see the results you were hoping to see during the Paleo challenge, but just because the scale didn’t change doesn’t mean that your body didn’t change. Here is a great website that discusses the benefits of Paleo for your brain that provides even more reasons why Paleo should be taken as a lifestyle instead of a diet.

So before you decide to give up Paleo and go back to your old eating habits, stop and take a big-picture look at what Paleo has done for you. Just because the scale hasn’t changed, that doesn’t mean your life hasn’t either. Please take a moment to share your thoughts about the Paleo challenge and why you are or are not going to continue the Paleo lifestyle. And as always, ask questions if you have them!

What’s in your gym bag?


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The more time I spend CrossFitting, the more I realize that because no two workouts are the same, you pretty much have to come ready for anything. It never fails that the day you forget a long sleeve shirt in the winter, the WOD will contain at least a 400 meter run outside, in the snow. Forget your long socks, you’ll be doing rope climbs. Forget your wrist wraps, the workout will have thrusters in it. These are all things I have learned through experience, and pain. This is also why I have specific items in my gym bag that I don’t ever take out, except to wash because smelly gym bags are so cliche.

What I have in my gym bag

What I have in my gym bag

I think the once popular gym bag definitnely lost some of its popularity in the past couple of decades, but is now definintely making a comeback, especially in the CrossFit world. This is why I want to share what I keep in my gym bag. So here we go, and I promise that it is all clean and not smelly!

  • Rx Jump Rope – CrossFit workouts contain a fair amount of jump roping because it is a good MetCon (metabolic conditioning) movement that can be done in a relatively small space. Before I had my own rope, I struggled to maintain consistency because I was always using a different rope. I like the Rx rope because it is made with high quality ball bearings that spin easily, and you have the option to purchase five different weights. They cost $34.95, which might seem a bit expensive for you, but it will last for years and you will never have to struggle with building consistency or have to worry about racing to get that one rope haging on the wall that everyone knows is the best and will be trying to get their hands on.

    Rx Jump Rope

    Rx Jump Rope

  • Strength Wraps – Have you ever ended up with really sore wrists after thrusters, or jerks, or presses, or handstand push ups? Do you feel like that pain is the limiting factor in your ability to push weight overhead? My wrists would be sore for a couple of days after workouts that had thrusters in them, until the day I borrowed a pair of Strength Wraps from a friend. These simple three inch wide and roughly thirty inch long pieces of cloth are simple to put on and are adjustable on the fly, in the middle of a workout. Because they do not velcro, but instead hold themselves in place with a string, they can easily be loosened to do pull ups but then tightened with a couple twists to do thrusters. If you know anyone who has a pair, give them a try for four or five minutes while you knock out Fran really quickly and you’ll definitely be getting yourself a pair.

    Strength Wraps

    Strength Wraps

  • Long Socks or Shin Sleeves – Whether its rope climbs or box jumps, we CrossFitters sure do put our shins through some abuse. Having a pair of long socks or some shin sleeves to put on before these workouts will help keep a little more of the skin on your shins. I usually keep a pair of long tube socks, or a pair of soccer socks, in my bag. I also have a pair of compression shin sleeves that work really well too. You don’t necessarily need to go out and spend $50.00 on a pair of shin skins if you don’t want because a pair of long socks will do the trick!
  • A Lacrosse Ball – As I have talked about in previous posts, the lacrosse ball is a wonderfully painful torture device that hurts amazingly well. That little ball of joy can definitely help work out the kinks and by keeping it in my back, I have it accessible no matter where I am working out.
  • Extra Clothing – This is obviously dependent on the time of year and where you live, but having extra clothes can keep you warm, or cool, as well as help prevent you from getting sick. Personally, I would die if I wore long pants and long sleeve shirts during a WOD that was inside, even in the middle of winter. But at teh same time, my hands tend to get cold when running outside and when that happens, I feel like I cannot grip the bar as well. This is the main reason why I keep extra clothes in my gym bag. During the fall, winter, and spring months, I keep a pair of compression tights, a pair of running pants, extra socks, a skull cap, and a couple pair of insulated running gloves in my bag.
  • Shoes – Most people who have been doing CrossFit for a while will tell you that having more than one pair of shoes is probably a good idea. Flat shoes (or weightlifting specific shoes) for Oly Lifting and running shoes or something alike for running and other workouts. Right now I have a pair of Merrell barefoot running shoes that I use for oly lifting and workouts without running and I also have a pair of running shoes.
  • Miscellaneous – I also keep a roll of 1″ tape for taping up torn hands. I also try to keep some food in my bag, which I will talk about in an upcoming post.

There you have it, a full list of what I keep in my gym bag. What sort of things do you keep in your gym bag? I am sure my list is not all inclusive so if you know of anything I am missing, please let me know!

5 Things CrossFit Has Taught Me


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Some of my friends joking call CrossFit a cult, others call it an obsession. I consider it a way of life. To me, CrossFit is more than just a workout routine that I do on a daily basis. It encompasses so much more than an hour long workout. During the past fourteen months of doing CrossFit, I have learned so much, about myself and about others. Here are five of, what I consider, to be the most important things CrossFit has taught me.

  1. Your mind gives up much faster than your body. CrossFitters put ourselves through some interesting workouts. Whether it be one of the Ladies, a Hero WOD, or a long chipper, there are workouts that we voluntarily participate in that leave us lying on our backs, gasping for air, or vomitting. There are also those workouts where, for whatever reason, we can’t finish or we give up on because our muscles burn too much or we are too tired. Over the last year, I have learned that I can push through the desire to give up because my legs are burning or because I feel nauseous. Sure, I may need to slow down or take a breather, but I know I can finish, my body can handle it.
  2. Food is fuel. Paleo isn’t the only reason I think this, like I have talked about previously. I have learned that if I want to perform to my full potential, I need to eat 30-45 minutes prior to working out. I also know that if I eat something too spicy, or too “liquidy” (weird, I know), I am more apt to getting to taste my meal for a second time as it rapidly leaves my body during the workout. CrossFit has taught me the need to eat properly and think of food as a fuel source rather than just yummy food.
  3. Lacrosse balls hurt unbelievable good. If you have ever used a lacrosse ball to roll out during a mobility/stretching session, you know exactly what I am talking about. If you have no idea what I am talking about, please, do yourself a favor and get yourself a lacrosse ball and watch some instructional YouTube videos on how to use lacrosse balls.

    Friends, Partners, Motivators

    Friends, Partners, Motivators

  4. The atmosphere in the gym is so important. I think we have experienced this in one place or another. If the attitudes of the employees and other people in the room is negative, too competitive, or in any way poor, you aren’t going to want to be there. I have experienced both ends of this spectrum. It is amazing how everything from motivation to workouts improve as the attitudes of those around you improve as well. Thankfully, I moved from a location that, for me (I say this because I know others who enjoy that space), felt negative and as if it was lacking any positive vibes, to a location that is fun, positive, encouraging, and motivating.
  5. The effort you put in is equal to the results you receive. I think this one is a bit obvious but at the same time, not always. There are some people who think that they should be able to come into the gym, do the workout of the day, and see results, even when they don’t ever push themselves. It would be easy for anyone to go into the gym five days a week, do the workouts at a slow pace, or really light weight, and get frustrated because they don’t see the results. If you want to get results you have to push yourself hard, you have to want to work hard to see those results.

So there you have it. Five of the things I have learned from CrossFit, besides the fact that I don’t like Fran, and that oddly enough I like evil wheels (I call them “easy wheels”). What lessons have you learned from CrossFit? We can learn so much from each other, so please share your thoughts!

Breakfast Scramble


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Over-easy eggs on sautéed veggies and butternut squash

Over-easy eggs on sautéed veggies and butternut squash

Everyone has heard the adage “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Even though that’s the case there still seem to be quite a lot of people who choose not to eat breakfast regularly. Some say it’s because they’re too busy and others say it’s because they aren’t hungry. I was one of these people, up until I started eating Paleo. The more I looked into the Paleo diet, I realized that I needed to look at food as a fuel source for my body first, and that when and what I eat will make a difference. As I started in on the Paleo lifestyle, and as I have discussed in previous posts, for the first couple of weeks, I was hungry every couple of hours, so eating in the morning wasn’t really and issue for me. At the same time, because I work out in the mornings as well, I knew I needed to add some fuel to my tank so that while I was working out, I wasn’t running on an empty tank.

After experimenting with different breakfast meals, fruit smoothies, protein shakes, etc., I finally landed on egg scrambles and have made it my daily breakfast. The nice thing about egg scrambles is that you can completely change the breakfast by simply changing a few ingredients. This is a must when it comes to food because eating the same thing every day of the week for a year would get pretty old, don’t you think?

There are definitely days where I end up not eating breakfast, and my body suffers noticeably from it. I feel sluggish, slow, and even weaker on those days. That for me is enough proof that breakfast is an important part of my day. If you don’t eat breakfast, or are on the fence as to whether or not eating breakfast makes a difference, experiment with it. Eat breakfast for two weeks, every day. Then skip a breakfast and see how you feel. I have a feeling you’ll realize then that breakfast really does make a difference in how you feel and how you perform throughout the day. You should also do some more research. I am definitely not the only one who thinks Breakfast is important.

Your turn, share your experiences with breakfast! Do you eat breakfast regularly, or do you not eat it at all? What’s your favorite breakfast meal? Share your comments, ideas, and recipes!

Paleo for the Masses


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Most of my close friends and family know that I am getting married tomorrow! The whole experience up to this point has been super exciting and fun. My fiance made the whole process a breeze and it has been super fun for me to get to help her plan. While obviously not the most exciting thing happening tomorrow, I think it is great that, besides the cake, we are going to be able to maintain our Paleo diet tomorrow. The restaurant we are holding our reception at, Wild River Grille, has been super accommodating and allowed us to partake in the selection of food. We are going to be serving a four course meal, with wine pairing. Here is a quick rundown of what we will be enjoying tomorrow:

  • Course 1: Bacon Wrapped Scallop
  • Course 2: Beet Chip Salad
  • Course 3: Crispy Pork Belly
  • Course 4: Roasted Duck Breast

No bread, no pasta, no dairy. All Paleo.

What is funny, in a way, is the fact that most of the guests will not really realize they are eating a “Paleo meal.” It is important to keep that in mind when you’re having friends over for dinner, or lunch. You can create a meal that will be tasty and enjoyed by anyone, and have it still be Paleo and healthy. Just because you’re hosting non-Paleo friends for a meal, doesn’t mean you have to make non-Paleo food. If people are marveling over the amazing meal you have prepared, they won’t even realize there’s no bread, or dairy. Unfortunately, if you tell someone you’re going to cook them a Paleo meal, they may cringe at the sound of it. If however, you make a Paleo meal without telling them ahead of time, but then let them know after they have cleaned their plates, asked for recipes, and complimented the chef many many times, they will always be very impressed.

Walnut Crusted Rack of Lamb and Grilled Broccolini

Walnut Crusted Rack of Lamb and Grilled Broccolini. 100% Paleo and no one knew!

So the next time you’re having people over for a meal, keep it Paleo. They won’t even notice! For a whole list of Paleo meals, check out the Paleo Plan Website

Have you had any experiences with people not wanting to eat one of your meals because it was Paleo? Or have you maybe made a meal that people enjoyed that was Paleo? What did you cook? Share your experiences!

Three Great Paleo Diet iPhone Apps

These days there’s an app for everything. I’ve already shared with you my favorite apps for CrossFit, so I decided I should probably share with you my go-to apps for the Paleo side of me as well! As many of you know, I really enjoy creating my own dishes, like short ribs, or grilled rib-eyes, but every now and again I need a little motivation. The following three apps are my personal favorites and have some great features. So take a look and give them a try!

Only Paleo – Cost: $0.99

Whether you’re new to Paleo, or looking to widen your breadth of Paleo foods, this app is great for anyone. Only Paleo allows you to enter a food in question into the search box and it will provide you with a list of results and whether or not it’s Paleo friendly. This app is a great reference for those of you still trying to learn the Paleo ropes, or if you come across a random food that looks like it’s worth trying.

Only Paleo Examples

myKitchen – Cost: Free!

The myKitchen app is quite comprehensive and a great tool to be used all over the place. Whether you’re shopping for food, looking for recipes, or looking for a place to store your recipes, this app will work great wherever you are. According to the website, there are over 400 recipes, all of which have great instructions and conveniently add the recipe ingredients to your shopping list. This is a great app for Paleo newbies and veterans alike.

myKitchen App

Paleo Spinner – Cost: Free!

Admit it, every now and then you get stuck in a rut and find yourself eating the same meals on a daily basis. This app is perfect for those occasions and will help you snap out of it! Simply pick a starting ingredient and spin the slot machine like wheels and see what it comes up with. You’ll be out of that rut in no time and trying new recipes!

Spinner App

Well, there you go. Short and sweet, but to the point. As with all categories of apps, there are plenty to choose from. What are some of your personal favorite Paleo friendly apps? Let me know because I am always looking for new inspiration!

Weakness is a choice


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I don’t think I know a single person who enjoys every aspect of CrossFit. Everyone has one movement or another than they dread. Because our body types are different, some of our bodies are built to be better weight lifters, others are built to be gymnasts, and some are even built to be runners. The runner and the gymnast are probably going to dislike heavy weight lifting days just like the muscular weight lifter is going to dislike running or performing the body weight gymnastic movements like muscle ups, handstand push ups, or even pull ups.

It is human nature to gravitate toward those things we are good at and to shy away, or even outright avoid, those things we are not good at. If I despised long distance running, which I don’t, why would I want to go out for a 5k run? If we don’t find enjoyment from an activity, we aren’t going to want to do it. This is exactly the opposite of what we SHOULD do.

The amazing thing about CrossFit is that it does not produce athletes who are trained in one specific area like some other fitness routines. CrossFit is defined as: “constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity, across broad time and modal domains.” There is no focusing on just weightlifting. No emphasis on long distance running. CrossFit incorporates everything and produces an athlete who can lift more than a runner and run faster than a weight lifter.

If you walk into the gym and every day you are doing a different working, some longer than others, but all containing different movements, you are going to become much more well-rounded than someone who goes to the gym and does chest and tricep workouts on Mondays, back and biceps on Wednesdays, and legs and core on Fridays. But you’re still probably going to have weaknesses and things you avoid because you don’t like doing them. That’s where the mental work comes in. If you want to be better, if you want to be a more well-rounded athlete, you need to recognize your areas of weakness and take it upon yourself to improve in those areas.

I avoided rope climbs for the longest time because I have never been able to climb the rope comfortably. Finally a few months ago, in between a couple classes, I was speaking with another coach who explained a method that finally made sense to me. I tried it and it was easier and felt more comfortable than before, so I decided that I needed to work on it more. After a couple weeks of climbing the rope a couple times every day I was in the gym, I became comfortable with it. Would this have happened if I just wrote rope climbs off and never gave them a chance? No!

We all have weaknesses, whether they are due to body composition, injuries, fears, or lack of understanding, no one can say they are the best in all aspects of CrossFit. Even the 2012 CrossFit Games Winner, Rich Froning, admits he has weaknesses. So the next time you finish a workout and realize it kicked your butt because it contained something you aren’t good at, remember what it was and practice it! I know we all have weaknesses, currently mine is in the gymnastics area. I dread workouts with ring dips, muscle ups, and handstand push ups. What are your weaknesses?


Me after my first muscle up… Need more practice!


Short ribs, long time


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I like food! I mean, a lot! When I started Paleo, I was worried that I would end up always eating bland meals. I think I can honestly say my desire to create new, tasty meals has flourished. I think part of it is that food tastes different now – it tastes better now. I’ve found that keeping things simple allows the food’s natural flavors to stand out, rather than be hidden by lots of seasons. I can honestly say that most of my meals are made with less than a half dozen spices. Here’s what I came up with the other night.

When I think if short ribs, I think rich and savory. I also think about the time that goes into making them. It seems like the longer they cook, the better they turn out. Thank goodness for the crockpot! Being able to put your meal in the crock pot in the morning, and come home to a meal cooked to perfection can be such a good thing. From the time I took the short ribs out of the freezer to the time they were it the crockpot was about 12 minutes. This meal is definitely something you could make before heading out the door in the morning to work or school, and come home to an amazing meal at the end of the day. As I have talked about in previous posts, procrastinating Paleo meals can really make it difficult. The crockpot is a great tool that can allow you to have a delicious meal at the end of a long day.

Ingredients: (Makes 2 servings)

4 beef short ribs
1 onion, sliced
Fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup water
1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1 tablespoon minced garlic


  • Start by heating a heavy pan over medium high heat. Season the short ribs with the salt and peoper on all sides. Add the coconut oil and sear the short ribs, approximately one minute per side, making sure the ribs are browned before turning.


  • Place the onion slices on the bottom of the crockpot, creating a bed for the ribs to sit on.
  • Arrange the short ribs on the bed of onions.


  • Mix the remaining ingredients together and pour over short ribs.
  • Pace the lid on the crockpot and cook on high for 6 hours. Now go about your day, go workout, go get more groceries so you don’t find yourself procrastinating later in the week.


These ribs would go great with some mashed cauliflower. Here is a very tasty recipe I found last week for mashed cauliflower than will blow your mind.


So the next time you’re faced with a long day ahead of you, give this recipe a try. You can start it in the morning and it will be waiting for you when you get home! Let me know what you think and please share your favorite crockpot meals by leaving a comment.