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Pre and Post Workout Fuel

27 Feb

Here’s the deal.You can out eat any amount of exercise.

I know, I know. It makes me sad too! I’d love to be able to eat a whole jar of Almond butter after an intense day at the gym, but it’s not going to help you accomplish your goals.

out of almond butter

As someone who has worked out daily for the past 10 years, I can truly attest to two things that work

1. CrossFit

2. Eating whole, real foods…and using portion control

I can also tell you what did not work for me:

1. Running..marathon training/ standard gym experience

2. Avoiding lifting weights because I thought I’d get bulky…in the words of Dewight Schrute…


But that brings me to the question that I get so often… “What DO you eat?”In layman’s terms. Food. Based on the Paleo diet, if it had a face, or grew from the ground, you can eat it.

But what about around a workout? Good question. It’s taken me a long time, and a few set backs to figure this out. But once I did, I started feeling so much better, I had more stamina, my CrossFit performance improved, and I was overall less lethargic.

Pre-Workout Options:

-Banana and almond butter

– Hard boiled eggs

– Lara Bars

Home Made Lara Bars

Post Workout Options:

Whey isolate protein powder

-Hard boiled eggs

-Pre-cooked Lean meats

Sulfate/nitrate free jerky

-Pre-cooked sweet potatoes

Scotch Eggs

Sweet potato chips

Other sites I get paleo inspiration from are:

Stupid Easy Paleo

Nom Nom Paleo


I think it’s important to know that finding what works for you doesn’t happen overnight. Most people are not sensitive enough to their bodies to realize how nutrition affects them, so it might take  longer to winnow out what they can tolerate and what they can’t.

Make sure you fuel your body. And back off on the Paleo “treats”…they’re sneaky! Eat real food, mostly veggies, then meat, and a little fruit.


Body Image

4 Dec

Whenever there is talk about health and fitness, there is always an elephant in the room…Body image.

And Body Image tends to lead to thoughts of self worth…

I get it, talking about insecurities is not fun. But we’ve all been there, and continue to go there from time to time.

The question is, what do you do when those thoughts of self doubt start to invade your mind?In today’s culture, we are bombarded with thousands of images a day. Images of airbrushed, hungry (or as I like to say hangry: hungry + angry) models, which lead to unrealistic and unhealthy expectations.

The Truth is, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14.

Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, all ethnicities, genders, cultures, etc. The definition if beauty is open ended.

You’ve heard the cliche, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” But it’s true. Everyone has their own perception of what beauty is. My definition of beauty would be, “The intangible aspects of your character : confidence, integrity,  strength, and compassion.”

When you look outward for your body image and self worth, you are sure to find disappointment and self loathing. I know, I’ve been there. Not going to lie…sometimes I find my thoughts gravitating that way from time to time.  However, the older I become, the more I realize that I really don’t like feeling bad/sorry for myself.

So what do I do? I’ve really learned that when I feel insecure, it’s usually a lie I’ve let myself believe. First off, if it’s from comparing myself to others, I know, deep down, that I should be happy for them, and count my own blessings. God laid it out for us in the 10 commandments “Don’t Covet”…that means our bodies too. We can look up to someone and admire them, but the moment it crosses the line to comparing and you start feeling sorry for yourself, then it’s coveting and unhealthy.

1.I’ve learned to thank God for the blessings He’s given me. And if there is something I don’t like about myself, I’ve learned to give it to God, and focus on things I can control – like diet and exercise. Andrea Ager said “Focus on nourishing your Body, and exercising, and the results will take care of themselves.” Paul Burkert from CrossFit Lake Effect gave me wise advice once (I’ll give it to you this ONCE) “Control what you can, and don’t worry about what you can’t. No point getting upset over things that are out of your control.”

2.Also, God tells us to treat our bodies as a living sacrifice to Him…. so take care of your body, it is a blessing. BUT, don’t idolize your body. We are not merely physical beings. We are souls. And in the end, our bodies will return to dust, but our souls will remain. Don’t obsess more about your body than you do about how you treat people.

3. Focus on others. Avoiding a party because you feel sorry for yourself is just silly! (I know, I’ve been there). You will not remember the days you spend sitting on the couch in years to come and say…”Oh yea, I remember sitting all alone, feeling sorry for myself…good times.” NOPE! You’ll remember the relationships you’ve made and things you’ve gone out and done.  Keep things in perspective. Even if you are insecure about something…other people rarely ever see the same flaws you see. And if they do…they don’t matter. To quote Dr. Seuss…”Those who matter don’t care, and those who care, don’t matter.”

4. Move your body. Exercise is the BEST antidepressant…and it’s FREE! For me, CrossFit has totally revolutionized the way I see my body. I no longer look at my dress size or the scale — I actually don’t weigh myself or own a scale at all. I view my body as a blessing – I am capable of so much more than I ever could have imagined, and CrossFit has really opened my eyes to my full potential. I have a lot of progress to make, but I have come a long way already. It carries over to all aspects of life…Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right. It’s all about having faith. Faith that life will work out for you. Faith in God, that He loves you and will provide for you, and Faith in success. Even if you get knocked down…Get back up, and have faith that you can move mountains.

Truth is: You are Beautiful…All women, all shapes, all sizes, are beautiful.

Here is a website that I LOVE that really promotes awareness of all body types.


In Closing, I want to share with you a video of Female CrossFit Athletes…You’d think they’d never be insecure, but even the people we think are “perfect” have insecurities. It’s how they’ve learned to understand body image that is interesting to me.

Sorry if this seemed like  a huge tangent. I just have a LOT of thoughts on this subject. What ABOUT YOU?? What do you do when the doubt monster starts to seep in? Where do you find your strength?

A Hiatus and Lessons Learned

4 Dec

Hello there. My blog is W.A.Y overdue! I have been on a hiatus with school being so busy and it’s past time for an update!

Since my last post, I have been regularly attending CrossFit Lake Effect.

I have learned SO much over the past 6 months since joining. Here are a few things I have come to appreciate:

1. You are not in competition with others. We are all in competition with ourselves.

2. Progress is slow at times. Trust the process.

3. Focus on the positives, not the negatives. For example, I can’t do a pull up YET, but I have been working to Rx my weights on many workouts.

4. Beauty is integrity and commitment — It’s not in a dress size or on a scale.

5. Focus on encouraging and loving others, and encouragement and love will find its way back to you.

More to come…But it’s time to get to the gym! ❤

Faith, Fitness, and Humble Pie

19 Jul

Priority Check

Here’s a Confession: My priorities have been completely out-of-wack lately.

It’s been hot, and sleep has been fleeting, so I’ve been reading THIS book until the wee hours.



I was hoping to gain insight on how to get better at CrossFit…maybe Froning had some crazy diet plan or advice that would make everything click for me. To my surprise, what I gleaned most from Froning’s book, is that I need a priority check.

This has been my first summer as a teacher, and I am not use to having so much free time. I’ve worked hard my whole life. Missing Prom to wait tables, always working on birthdays and holidays, and really long hours. It’s almost a culture shock to have so much time to myself. But with much time, comes much responsibility {something like that, right?}. I really love CrossFit, and the CrossFit community. I plan to go 5-6 times a week and work on improving my skills. But I do need to recognize that there are other priorities that I have neglected in light of my new found passion.

Froning explains his priorities as the “Three F’s: faith, family, and fitness.” I’d say mine have been Fitness, fitness, and fitness lately. Although I know I need to step it up and work harder in the gym, I need to leave it there. When I come home I need to be home, when I go to work I need be at work. Men are typically better at compartmentalizing than women. Women tend to carry things around in their heads all day, and instead of leaving something alone, it will spill over into everything else, and build. Sometimes this can be an advantage, but most of the time, it adds unnecessary stress to our daily lives.


How to Get Refocused

I think it’s important to note that I’m not trying to say fitness is bad, or an obsession. It just needs balance. I’m not going to workout any less, or not try as much. In fact, I want to try harder! But it’s not my religion. I need to remember these steps to maintain my priorities:

1. Pray First

2. Think of others before myself

3. Give my best effort, everyday, to everything

4. Pray as if everything depends on the Lord, and work as if everything depends on me.

I don’t want to do anything half way. I want to be able to give my all in every aspect of my life, and that includes relationships and work too. We are all works in progress, and all have areas we need to strengthen.

mumford and sons

What about you?

Can you relate?

What do you do when you need a priority check?


Health Sense

16 Jul

Health is NOT a “Diet”


Photo Credit HERE

If I had a dime for every time someone said to me, “Oh, you’re eating that? Are you on a diet”, I’d be rich.

But healthy eating is not a fad diet that you do for a few weeks or months, lose weight, and then return to eating whatever you want. You wouldn’t mop your floors just to pour a bucket of dirt all over it, would you? Most research will show that people who go on restrictive diets, usually gain all their weight back…and then some. I use to think that eating foods that had the labels “Heart Healthy”, or “Reduces Cholesterol”, and even, “Whole Grains that Help you Lose Weight” meant that I was eating healthy. But I was miserable. I was eating all the right “diet foods”, granola, whole wheat, yogurt, lunch meat…and I felt awful…

Think you eat “healthy”? You might be surprised. Ask yourself the following:

1. How are my energy levels? {Do you drink more than 2 cups of Joe a day?}

2. Do I feel strong cravings for particular foods, and am grouchy if I don’t get it? {This could be a food addiction}.

3. How is my skin? Acne issues? Dry?

4. Are my hair and nails strong and health? or dry, cracked or split?

5. How’s my digestive health?

Answer these questions truthfully.

How do you feel about your current nutrition? Are you getting the most out of your food?

I am not a doctor, or nutritionist, but I have dealt with IBS for the past 10 years, and through my journey, I’ve discovered one fundamental truth. EAT REAL FOOD. Food in its closest form. Food not genetically modified, or over processed. Since I’ve been eating clean, and loosely following the Paleo Diet, I have literally not had one IBS flare up. My hair and nails are stronger, I have so much more energy, and my food cravings are gone. Sound too good to be true? Well, I’m not trying to sell you anything. I’m just telling you how it is. Stop. Eating. Junk. 

Foods I Avoid:

  • Processed Grains- Breads, Pastas, Crackers {The only bread I can eat is Ezekiel Bread}
  • Dairy – Milk, Cheese, Butter
  • Starchy Foods –  Potatoes
  • Sugar, fake sugar – splenda, agave, crystal stevia
  • Coffee {Causes inflammation}
  • Low Grade Meat/ Lunch Meat {too processed, too many hormones, too much sodium}
  • Oils such as: vegetable oil, hydrogenated oils, even olive oil I limit, any oil that is not coconut oil I avoid.

I know this list doesn’t seem too terribly long. But if you read ingredients when you grocery shop, you’ll realize that it limits how much processed food you really can buy.

Foods I Eat:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Lean, grassfed Meat {Beef, Chicken, Pork}
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Nut Butters
  • PB2 powdered peanut butter…NOT paleo, but it’s my favorite.
  • Whey Isolate Protein Powder
  • Flax and Chia
  • Almond meal, Coconut Flour
  • Coconut oil
  • Ezekiel Bread
  • Quest Bars
  • Powdered Organic Stevia

paleo pyramid

If you notice, there are actually more foods I can eat, then I can’t. You just have to get creative. I personally love experimenting with raw, whole, nutritious ingredients. But more than that, I love feeling great. Not being dependent on how I “feel” for my day to go well…because I always feel great when I workout and eat right.

So, here’s a good way to think about it; If a food label has ingredients you don’t understand, don’t eat it {or google it, but that can sometimes be scary}.

I eat more than I ever have, and am leaner than I ever have been. Why? because I don’t eat junk. Now, I would never judge someone based on their eating or dieting habits, it’s a personal choice. I’m not trying to force my lifestyle on you, but I just want you to know, that if you feel that you are missing something nutritionally, you probably are. The Standard American Diet is built on marketing principles, not health.

Faith in my Food?

The Bible is the Blueprint for our lives. So it makes sense that it covers nutrition too.

Genesis 1:29 “And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.”

Ezekiel 4:29 “And you, take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and emmer, and put them into a single vessel and make your bread from them. During the number of days that you lie on your side, 390 days, you shall eat it.”

Proverbs 30:8-9 “Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.”

Although I do follow the principles of Clean Eating and Paleo, I do not hold myself to the strict standards to the point to eliminated certain things that I really love. I do let myself eat some things every so often…like PEANUT BUTTER. {God Bless George Washington Carver for discovering Peanut Butter!}, My point is that food was created for you, you are not to be a slave to food, and it is not to become your religion.

I posted the 10 fitness commandments earlier in my blog, and one of the best rules was this:

“Do not give more thought to your food than your faith.”

I think that is so true. It’s easy to get consumed with diets and fads, so much so that we focus more on what we are putting into our mouths, and not how we are living and caring for others.

So my simple advice is to EAT REAL FOOD, and give thanks to God for the health and vitality it will bring you.

Here are some really easy Paleo inspired recipes for you to try:

crockpot steak

clean eating

2013-06-28 20.24.15

Clean Stir Fry: Feeds about 3

Cook Time: about 15 minutes

1 lb Grassfed Beef

2 Cups Broccoli {I did steam it before adding it, in a shallow bowl with a little water and a paper towel over the top for 3 minutes}

1/4 Cup Almonds

1 Cup Wild Rice

1 tbs Slap Ya Mama Seasoning {or other low salt, sodium, MSG free, organic Beef Seasoning}

Instructions: Brown meat, add the other ingredients, and sauté.

Your Turn

Do you “diet”or do you eat healthy?

How does your nutrition impact your daily life?

Lessons Learned

9 Jul



Sometimes I like to ask myself, If I met myself at age 17…would I like who I’ve become? When you’re young, you have everything before you, the future is vast and you feel like you have forever to grow up. Then you wake up and realize that you are 27, and “forever” was a blink of the eye. I still don’t really feel like an adult.

And if you answer that question honestly, would you say ‘Yes’? I wanted to be an actress {who doesn’t when you’re 17} or a doctor. hah. I became a teacher. Still becoming a teacher truthfully, because I don’t think we ever fully arrive at something. Part of why Doctors call their clinics “practices”, because research is always changing, always evolving. Same with any profession. There’s always something new to learn.

As I reflect on that question, one thing comes to mind, “Thank the Lord I am not 17 anymore!”. Oh my word. If you’re 17 and reading this, I apologize, but I swear that children are really geniuses, but then you hit puberty…and you become dumb. At least I did. Research actually shows that the amount of chemical change from hormones on your brain is comparable to the changes a brain goes through after brain damage. {Thanks for making me aware of that, Mom….}

So I made a list {because I really like making lists} of things I wish I knew when I was 17.

1. “It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you are not.”

2. “The only one who can satisfy the human heart is the one who made it.”

3. “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14)

4. “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”

5. “Don’t feel stupid if you don’t like what everyone else pretends to love.” 

6.” Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its strength.” {Mary Englebrett}

7. “Pay more attention to your creator than your critics.”

8. “Be kind to everyone, for you never know what battles someone else may be facing.”

9. “People are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” {Abe Lincoln} You can’t make everyone happy and keep your integrity at the same time. 

10. You’re only defeated if you let yourself give up.

picture life



What about you? 

What advice do you wish you could tell your 17 yr. old self?

What is your favorite motivational quote?



CrossFit Motivation

8 Jul

Chicken 2

I’ve always been a bit contrary. I like to run in the rain, I {claim to} like cold weather, When Ryan told me he liked long hair…I cut it all off…and when he said he liked blonde…I went dark. I’ve always been one to challenge my boundaries. Now that I’m an adult, I need to do this in a less passive aggressive form.


That’s why I workout. I like to push myself. CrossFit is my new favorite way to release stress while pushing my own limits. When I enter the CrossFit Lake Effect, I literally feel all my problems fall off my shoulders. I can focus on what I came to do. You have to pay attention too…something I’m not use to. Going to “bootcamp” style classes, I was still able to talk to classmates and joke around. Not to say CrossFit isn’t fun. It TOTALLY IS. And the CrossFit community is amazing {another reason I’m hooked} but when it’s time to listen, you better, and when it’s time for the WOD…you can’t talk. I don’t think it’s physically possible.

Before I started CrossFit I would watch the WOD’s {Workout of the day} on or my iWOD app.  I was intimidated by the athletes- they looked like they could eat me for breakfast…

Iceland Annie: Reebok Games Winner 2012


Photo Credit HERE

I’ve only been at it a few weeks now, but I can already tell this is going to be something I invest a lot of time and energy into. Here’s a list of my goals, or the top reasons I think YOU should try CrossFit {if you don’t already}.



Your Turn: 

What about you, do you workout to release stress?

Have you gone to a CrossFit gym? 

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