Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A week in review and Southwestern style eggs

As I get back into CrossFit, I'm trying to decide what direction I'd like to take with my blog.  This blog has always (mostly) been about my adventures with CrossFit.  But as I'm getting back into CrossFit, my life is also going in a lot of other directions.  So, I'm not sure if I'll be making daily workout posts, but at the very least, I'll be doing weekly recaps.  So that way, if you'd like to steal any of the workouts I'd done and punish yourself or others with them, you can feel free.  :)


WOD #1
Every minute on the minute for 10 minutes
3 challenging handstand push-ups

WOD #2
Amrap in 15 minutes
15 KB swings
15 Hand release push-ups
15 GHD
200 Meter run


WOD #1
AMRAP in 1 minute
Back squats 60% of 1 RM (145)

WOD #2
Ladder Up/Down Unbroken DU's
5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40
You must stop after each set


Rest because the back squats destroyed my legs and I could not walk correctly....


Active recovery run (see above).  Should have had my run sponsored by Crock Pot.  It was low and slow....


WOD #1
Sumo Deadlift
Every minute do 3 sumo deadlifts with a comfortable but challenging weight (180)

WOD #2
Amrap in 15 minutes
15 KB swings
15 Hand release push-ups
15 GHD
200 Meter run

Partner WOD
80 Pull-ups
100 Hand-release push-ups
600 Meter farmers walk (53lb in each hand)
1200 Meter run
600 Meter farmers walk (53 in each hand)
100 Hand-release push-ups
80 Pull-ups


Attempted to go for a run. After 8 minutes had to call it for the day. Low back was incredibly tight after the Sumo deadlifts and heavy KB swings on Friday.

Now, for my southwest style eggs.... this has become my favorite breakfast to date, so eat and enjoy!

Garlic, onions, green (or red) peppers, corn, eggs, salsa, guacamole

*Dice garlic, onions, and green peppers. Sautee them in a pan until cooked.
*While tasty ingredients are cooking, scramble two (or three) eggs.
*After the tasty ingredients look ready, throw in a little corn. (Don't worry, sauteed corn is actually good)
*Mix ingredients together. Then throw in the eggs... well don't really throw them... place them in the pan.
*Mix everything together until eggs are cooked.
*Remove from heat and plate.
*Top eggs with salsa and guacomole
*Enjoy!!!! :) (They're tasty! I promises! :) )

Friday, June 24, 2011

My baby steps: Staying positive and Katie's Stuffed Green Peppers

After going through this incredibly topsy turvy insane year, I finally have some time to sit and be a normal human for a bit.  I've decided that since I now have more time, that I'm going to begin to get back to healthy eating.  I like the idea of the Zone vs. Paleo for a few reasons.  One, I CANNOT be that strict with my eating.  I enjoy cooking, I enjoy food, and for me, Paleo is just too much.  I don't think this makes me a weak person, and I don't think it means there is anything wrong with me.  I think it's just not for me.  I don't have anything against it, I'm sure it is the healthiest option, but again, not my cup of tea.  Two, I like the structure of the Zone.  Yes it is weighing and measuring, but after you do it long enough, you can pretty much eyeball things and hit it on the nose.  So for me right now I'm just aiming to eat a balance of fats, carbs, and proteins with each meal. 

As I go through this obvious lifestyle change, I'm trying to keep perspective on what's prompting me to do this.  I want to feel better, I want to LOOK better, and more importantly, I just want to be healthy.  If my meals are not 100% spot on, I'm not going to ridicule myself and beat myself down.  I'm just going to make a conscious decision to try harder for the next meal.  I'm taking steps to eliminate as much pre-processed crap as possible, and honestly, I think I'm doing really well.  The end goal is to be healthier.... it's not to wind up at a shrink because I've given myself food anxiety.  In the past, I've gotten so caught up on, "Am I doing this right?" that I freak about food and forget that the idea is just to make better choices.  For me right now, I really just need to get there first.  There is always room for tweaking after the fact, but getting to the place where I make better choices is where i need to be.  I've stopped drinking my Starbucks lattes in the mornings and haven't had a regular soda in almost a week.  I've had some minor chocolate slips due to emotional eating, but aside from that, I think I've made a good start.  I've started brewing coffee at home and have saved myself a buttload of money doing that, and have found that some of the flavored creamers are a great substitute for my lattes.  Now, I know some of you will say that the creamer throws of my block count for breakfast and still has sugar... yes, yes it does.  But do the math, 56g carbs from sugar in a latte, or the 12 from the cream? Yeah, see, I call that a win. 

Anyway, this post wasn't originally supposed to be to rant about my eating... I actually was really excited about something I concocted the other night and wanted to share it.  I don't think that as a block count it is 100% on point, but it's a great meal (in my opinion anyway).  :)

To avoid the boredom that very often comes with a lifestyle change, I was trying to come up with new recipes that I could create that would taste good, but still be good for me.  I thought about stuffed green peppers because I used to LOVE these as a kid, but originally nixed it because of the rice.  Then I remembered a little substitute that I read about in Mark Sisson's book of Primal eating.  Cauliflower rice! Ingenius! So I took the rice out of the recipe and subbed in the cauliflower rice for a totally healthy alternative.  I'm still tweaking the seasoning in this recipe because the ground beef tasted a little bland to me, but other than that it was great! :)

Katie's Stuffed Green Peppers


6 large green Bell peppers
1 lb lean ground beef (Trader Jose makes a 96/4)
1 onion
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomotoes
1 jar spaghetti sauce
Garlic specified for your taste (I used 7 cloves... what?!?! I like, scratch that, LOVE garlic!)
1/3 head of cauliflower (enough to make roughly 1-1 1/2 cups cauliflower rice)
Cheddar or Mozarella cheese (optional)

1.  Cut the cauliflower into small pieces and place in food processor.  Chop until only small rice looking pieces of cauliflower remain.  (This only takes about 1 minute in a food processor) Set aside.

2.  Dice onion and garlic and place in sautee pan. Lightly sautee onions and garlic.  Then add ground beef. 

3.  Slightly brown ground beef with onions and garlic.  Then add tomatoes and roughly 1/2-3/4 cup spaghetti sauce.  (add more sauce if you prefer)

4.  Heat whole mixture on stove for about 1 minute.  Allow flavors to combine then add reserved cauliflower. 

5.  Lightly fold all ingredients together.    Remove from heat. 

6.  Cut tops off of green peppers and remove all membranes.  Place peppers upright in glass baking dish. 

7.  Preheat oven to 350.

8.  While oven is heating, use a spoon to stuff mixture into each green pepper.  If you would like, place additional spaghetti sauce in bottom of pepper prior to stuffing.  This may help keep the ground beef from drying out during baking. 

9.  Place in oven and cook for 45 minutes or until peppers become tender.  ***Optional- At 15 minutes remaining in the cooking time, spinkle cheddar or mozzarella cheese on top of each pepper. 

10.  Remove and serve hot.  ***Optional- When serving, spoon additional sauce on top of peppers. 

I thought that the ground beef was good, but lacked that UMPF! I might recommend playing with this recipe and adding some oregano or perhaps basil to give it a little extra added something.... I'm going to try this again and may make some modifications since this was only the first test run! Hope you enjoy! :)

If you make these, please let me know if they were good, and let me know if you make any modifications that I can try! :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Passion of the.... Katie?

Over the course of the past year, I've had a lot of time to think and reflect on what is important to me.  Stepping away from teaching at the end of last year was perhaps one of the best things I ever did for myself because it's given me time to evaluate what's important.  It's given me time to decide what I really want, what I really need, and who I really am.  What do I care about? What motivates me? What moves me? What am I truly passionate about?  Don't get me wrong... the circumstances that surrounded my resignation last year sucked (IE the whole prejudice for leaving after June 1 thing).  But the circumstances that unfolded as a result of stepping away, although difficult, are the best things to have ever happened to me.  While in the midst of everything, I was not able to see how those things were shaping me, molding me, CHANGING me.  But now, sitting a year removed from my decision, and a few days removed from my temporary position, I can honestly say that this decision was amazing. I can see how that one choice set in motion a chain of events that have pushed me to become a better person.  A more honest and genuine person.  This decision made me push myself as an educator.  It forced me to leave my comfort zone and go beyond what I had done before.  It made me evaluate who I was, what I wanted, and what truly motivated me.  It made me realize what I was passionate about. 

The story of the last year of my life is much like a Telenovella.  For those of you who no hablo espanol (el nino is Spanish for... the nino! <---- Chris Farley, google it!) a telenovella is a Spanish soap opera.  And let me tell you, those things are full of drama.  If you think you've got baby mama/daddy drama, think again.  Those things will put you to shame.  Anyway... my life has basically been like a telenovella.  But if there is one piece of advice I can offer, one thing I would love readers of my blog to take away... it's to step back. If you're not certain of your path in life, stop and figure it out.  Don't keep taking turn after turn because before you know it, you'll be hopelessly lost with no chance of finding your way back.  Take time away from things and figure out what makes you tick but do the things that you are PASSIONATE about. 

Last year, I stepped away from teaching because the passion had died.  The same thing started to happen to CrossFit.  But I took time away.  I evaluated, I played with things, I came, I went.  I reflected.  I figured out what made me tick, and what motived me to be who I was.  And at the end of the day, you know what I discovered?  I am truly passionate about only a handful of things.  And that handful of things are the only things I've continued to do. Don't be afraid to step back and evaluate you or your life.  If you're doubting your passion or desire to do something, then a break may be just what you need to sort it all out. 

For a very long time, CrossFit was one of my passions.  I was focused, I was driven, and wow did I really want to change myself and get to the top of the CF pyramid.  I was hungry.  But as time drug on, that passion started to die.  It was dimmed beneath mounds of other stress and mounds of other things going on.  I lost sight of my original reason for doing CrossFit.  But, after stepping away at the end of last summer, and taking time away during this tumultuous year, I can honestly say, that passion is still there. I still have a hunger.  I still have a desire to be healthy and be fit.  I may not be able to attain the same level that I had previously, or get to a much higher level than where I am now, but I know that by slowly getting back into things at the gym, and slowly regaining my eating patterns, I will be able to continue to do CrossFit because it's my passion. 

Someone told me that other day that they were forced to hide my Facebook feeds because I post too many things about the military.  They said it bothered them that I seemed to always be posting something related to Operation Ward 57 or amputees or wounded soldiers.  My question to that person wasn't why do you find that offensive?  My reaction to that person wasn't, why can't you be supportive?  My question to that person was, do you have something that you feel strongly about and support wholeheartedly?  If you did, then you would understand.  I'm passionate about the work I do with Operation Ward 57, and I STRONGLY feel that the wounded warriors coming back from overseas need our love and support.  It saddened me that my friend couldn't support my organization and the work that we do, but it saddened me even more that my friend didn't feel that passionate enough about anything to understand my motivation.  To understand WHY I make those posts, and why I'm constantly trying to get people involved.  If there is one thing I have learned in the last year, it's that doing what you are passionate about will only improve the quality of your life.  It will only give you a sense of fullfillment.  If you do what you love, and if you do what you are passionate about, the rest will fall into place.  It may take time, but it will. 

So, if you find yourself at a crossroads in your life, pause and reflect.  Take the time to figure out where your passion lies.  You will only be happier in the end.  Your passion may mirror mine, and it may not.  But that's ok because this is the passion of the Katie.  What is your passion?

Monday, June 20, 2011

A seat at the table...

Over the past few weeks, I've been trying really hard to make sure that I get to the box, but that I'm also running as well to train for the half marathon that I'm slated to do in October.  I've been doing runs for time, as opposed to distance, and for the first time yesterday worked up to a 40+ minute run.  I went out way to fast, but aside from that, the run felt pretty fluid, even aside from the humidity.  Let me tell you... scratch that reverse.  I have TWO things to tell you.  One is there is nothing so crappy as running (hence why I'm running a half marathon right?!?!).  Two is, that the only way to make running WORSE is to do it in DC anytime after the temperature creeps above 60 degrees.  It's like DC just KNOWS.  "Oh, oh, wait a sec.  Is it over 60 outside? Ok, well then, let's crank the humidity dial up to 100%! Woooo hoo!" Seriously... I swear some days I can HEAR mother nature laughing as she makes us all miserable and shower thrice daily.  Dear Lord, did I really just use the word thrice in a post? Wow.... I'm impressed with myself... even moreso than usual, cause, well, I am pretty impressive.... ;)

After I made my last post I really thought that things were going to slow down enough for me to be able to get to the box three-four days a week plus get my runs in.  Well, needless to say, like a lot of my masterfull plans, that didn't really happen.  The end of my school year was very hectic, and with all the extra curricular stuff I had going on AFTER school, my plans again were thwarted.  In some ways I'm angry at myself for not forcing it more, but in the same token, I also know that forcing it will put me right back where I was a year ago when I was hating just about everything about CrossFit.  So, now school is officially DONE and now it's really time to get my life back on track and start to TRAIN.  For the first time in what feels like months, I've been able to go through my house and clean and organize it, and in general, be a NORMAL human being and do what NORMAL people do every weekend.  Things like laundry and grocery shopping... seriously, don't ask me when the last time I went grocery shopping was before this weekend because I really and honestly can't tell you. But if I was a betting woman, I would be willing to bet it was at least two months ago.  Seriously, no joke.  So, really, it's feeling good to be human for a bit. 

Amongst all the good feelings though and the happiness to be getting back to the box again, I have to admit to feeling sort of like I just have a seat at the table.  I'm sure you're wondering what that means, but don't fret.  I'm going to explain it.  (How could I possibly be so rude as to not explain?!?)

I'm sure you have someone in your family (because we all do) who you continually invite to family functions and dinners.  sometimes they come, a lot of the time they don't, but regardless, You always set a place for them.  Despite the fact that they haven't rsvp'd, you set one just in case they decide to come.  Sometimes you wish they would because it would be great to see them, and other times you wish they wouldn't because, if they do come, you don't know what you'd talk to them about since you haven't seen them in ages.  But regardless of whichever way you're feeling, you always set the place at the table. 

With as crazy as my life has been these past few months, I feel like I've become that relative.  CFOT has always been like a family to me.  I have laughed, cried, celebrated, planned, sweat, and bled with the members of that family.  But because of my schedule and what I've been going through, I feel like I now have missed a lot.  I feel like because I've missed so much, I have a lot of distance from my family.  I feel like I've always been invited to dinner, but just never been able to come.  And now that I have the time, and I'm able to show up for dinner, people have a hard time interacting with me because they don't really know what to say. 

Being away so much, I feel like I've missed out on a lot, and I feel like if I do come around, I'm sort of like that crazy relative. I may not have 8 cats and wear sweaters all the time, but I think you know what I mean.  I don't think anyone really knows what to talk to me about, besides work, and I've missed so much of THEIR lives, I don't really know what to talk to them about either.  I've watched them all from afar (IE Facebook) get stronger and have amazing successes.  I have wished many a time that I could have been there to see it, or been there to have drinks to celebrate promotions and well wishes as people leave for new adventures, but the bottom line is that I just couldn't do it.  Now that so much time has passed, when I do come to the box, I sort of feel like that relative that you just sort of look at and smile.  I feel deep down that I have something to offer the family, but I'm not quite sure how to get it out.  It may be my very own special brand of love, but that's what's great about a family.  Everyone is unique, and everyone has their own special gifts to offer to others.  I would love to continue to offer up my gifts.  My problem is though that I don't know how to bridge the gap that has developed between my family and I. 

Perhaps the fix is simply showing up for more family dinners, and participating in a few more family outtings.  I don't know.  I don't know if it's possible just to jump back into a family that's so tight knit.  Perhaps it's time to really work on ditching the shy side of me that is to terrified to speak up around people.  (True story believe it or not.  I'm actually one of the most shy people you will ever meet.  People think I'm a bitch all the time, but it's really just that I'm too scared to talk to them.) Again, I don't know.  What I do know is that I enjoy my seat at the table when I have the opportunity to sit down to dinner.  It's always full of fun and usually good wine.  ;) So, in addition to the other things I'm working on about myself right now, it seems like this is just one more.  Learning to grow is never easy, but without growth and change, my chair at the table would still just be an oak tree. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

When life turns you on your head....

.....Learn to do some handstand push-ups! :) I kid, I kid.... but wow! Looking at my blog I can't believe that it's been THIS long since I've put up a post! If you've been a long time follower, then you've probably figured out by now that I'm NOT like most people.  First of all, most people do not have quite the fascination that I do with glitter.  Second of all, most people don't randomly just invent their own words all the time, and lastly most normal people do not work NEARLY the number of jobs/hours that I do. 

After jumping back into teaching in January, I really fell off the grid.  Life really turned me on my head. I am not afraid to admit that I certainly was not prepared for the situation I was in, and it really affected me.  My blog went by the wayside (quickly) and it wasn't long after that CrossFit also fell by the wayside.  There were many weeks where I barely made it to the box, and I really was struggling to keep my head above water. 

While the past several months of my life have sucked for several reasons, I will admit that I have learned a lot and am FINALLY starting to look at these past few months in a positive light as opposed to a totally negative one.  While I'm not happy that this job basically destroyed my will to CrossFit, I've grown as an educator and I'm proud of myself for not giving up.  Believe me, there were several times when I wanted to throw in the towel, walk out of the room, and throw up some serious dueces.  But, I didn't, and I'm very proud of myself for that. 

As an educator, I've always felt like I did a good job, until this year.  This year I've had to learn a lot.  They always say that children learn differently, but never was that so obvious as this year.  I struggled to find things to keep my kids engaged, and I struggled to maintain momentum and learning in a classroom that had seen 3 teachers by mid-year.  When I first took over, getting my students to sit in a seat and stop arguing with each other was next to impossible.  Silence in the classroom to read or do work? What was that?  And SOL's? Oh Lord... the thought of the standardized tests was enough to send me into a coma.  But you know... here's the thing, I finally realized as a teacher.  While tests are important, there are other lessons that are more so.  Learning things like respect and responsibility are life skills.  Yes, geography of the US is important, and yes, so is understanding light waves.  But at the end of the day, my kids can now sit still and read and do work quietly.  They can (usually) manage to get through a day without screaming at each other.  They can now do a lot of things that 4 months ago they could not.  That's progress.  Now, that type of progress can't be measured by any standardized test.  It will not show up on a report card. But this year, my kids learned lessons that are far more valuable than something they will ever learn in textbooks. 

My only regret from this year is that to get these results from my kids took so much away from my own personal needs.  I was simply too exhausted most days to get to CF.  I was away from home too much to even think about eating well.  But now, now as things are winding down, I've got a new set of goals, and a new outlook on CF.  I've always been a very competitive person, but I've sort of learned to let that go.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still comparing myself to everyone, but I'm keeping things in a much firmer perspective these days, and I have a goal just to stay in the box so that I can be healthy.  If I'm the strongest girl on a given day, great.  If not, meh... ok.  I'm still there doing work.  I've got a goal to keep myself in the box, but to keep those workouts positive and remember the reason I'm there. 

I've also decided that it's time to set some firm goals, and I've decided to tackle one of my biggest weakenesses... RUNNING.  Crazy me has signed up to run the Baltimore Half Marathon again.  To help keep me motivated, I joined a free running group that meets up and runs outside of DC.  It's been a great motivator, as I really do enjoy going and running with other people (even if they are way ahead of me).  Knowing that I'm going to get to meet new people and still get to run keeps me motivated to go.  It's also encouraged me to keep running on my own so that when they do 50 minute runs (we run for time not distance) I'll be able to stay out the full 50 minutes.  Right now, I'm running for 30 minutes continuous.  Roughly 1/5 of my half marathon time....

So, although life seems to have turned me on my head for much of the past sevearl months, things are again turning around.  Summer will be here soon, and there will be time to adjust my eating, hit the box more, and focus a little more on me and not so much on kids.  Not to mention, I'm not coaching this summer, which means I'll be down to only 1 job! :) Woooot! :)

If you're like me and it seems like life is just a really big roller coaster ride, hang in there.  I know it can feel like life has just flipped you on your head, but seriously, learn to do some handstand push-ups.  I don't mean that in a literal way, but more of a metaphorical one.  Handstand push-ups are hard.... but spending all that time upside down trying to learn them only makes you stronger.  When life hands you a ton of crap at one time and says "deal with it"... once you do, you will only come out stronger.  If there is any advice I can give to people going through the things that I've been dealing with in the past year, I would just like to say, hang in there! It seems shitty a lot of the time, but there are lots of lessons to be learned from being in the trenches.  Embrace the suck and let it make you stronger.  In the end, it'll actually be a good thing, because you know what, in the next handstand wod that life throws at you, you will be kicking ass!