Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lurong Living Paleo Challenge (aka our Whole56): Week 2 Meal Plan

Better late than never right?

Breakfast this week is a mix of Lara Bars and some mini egg muffins that Dave was inspired to make from a recipe on the challenge forum (similar to these).  I just recently started doing a new task at work that has me out in the field all day, so that threw a wrench in my usual lunch plans of just eating whatever I made for dinner the night before!  On Sunday we made a big batch of baked chicken (cooked in olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne, and chipotle powder) to have with a salad, an avocado, sliced cucumbers, some fruit, etc.

  • Dinner: Steak with grilled zucchini, peppers, onions, and mushrooms and a sweet potato
  • Dinner: Leftovers or last Friday we headed over to Wegmans after CrossFit, we sat outside and put our meal plan together, while enjoying a snack, some live entertainment, and the sunset, before we went grocery shopping for the week, and then came home and made a delicious meal.  This Friday could be a repeat!  You know you're getting old when...
Saturday we're headed to a beer fest in Philly so that will definitely be a cheat and the rest of the weekend will fall under next week's meal plan!  Happy Hump Day!

How's your week going?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

One Week Down, Seven to Go!

Well, day 9 of the challenge and I'm feeling great!  We were kind of all over the place with our meal plan (I bought some bone-in chicken because I couldn't pass up the deal, had to throw out a ton of beef due to freezer burn, etc.) but we made due and ate compliant all week.  I did do some cheating on Saturday with some cheese in a shared restaurant meal and a comfort food feast at a friend's house and I may or may not have had some mimosas since champagne is pretty much mandatory at all my bridal party events ;)  But I got back on track Sunday and did a ton of meal prep to start the week strong!

Eating Paleo was easy compared to the three grueling CrossFit workouts that kicked off the challenge!  Monday's workout was wall balls (throw a medicine ball up a wall, catch it and squat), deadlifts, and box jumps/step ups.  We did 21 of each, then 18, 15, 12, 9, 6, 3.  We had 18 minutes to complete the workout.  I did this workout at Level III, which is the highest level(!) so for women it was a 14 lbs medicine ball, a 75 lbs deadlift, and a 20 inch box.  Lurong (100 burpees & 100 kettlebell swings) used to be my most hated CrossFit workout...  but now this workout earned the title!  I am proud to say I finished in 17:08 (many people didn't finish) and then I promptly tossed my cookies, which is a first!  I completely lost my technique on the deadlifts as the workout went on and I paid for it!  My back was in a world of pain.  Thankfully a trip to the chiropractor combined with lots of foam rolling and stretching made it feel better, but I was hurting for an entire week.

Wednesday's workout was fine.
  • 10 hang power cleans, 20 meter sprint
  • 8 hang power cleans, 40 meter sprint
  • 6 hang power cleans, 60 meter sprint
  • 4 hang power cleans, 80 meter sprint
  • 2 hang power cleans, 100 meter sprint
It had a 5 minute cut off, I finished in 4:18.  I did Level II, which had me cleaning 65 lbs.  It was a sprint, it left me winded, but nothing like Monday!

Friday was Lurong and I was dreading it.  Last time I completed the workout in 15:18, so I didn't expect to finish within the 12 minute cutoff time.  I was swinging a 26 lbs kettlebell (Level II).  I ended up completing 183 reps, so close!  I felt beat afterwards, but nothing like last time.  Yay for getting stronger!

We will do these three workouts again at the end of the challenge to see if we improved.  I am NOT looking forward to doing that first workout again!  I guess if I don't hurl afterwards, I'll know that I've improved.

This week kicked off with some snatching. 

I'd recommend turning your volume down for the video.

It was only my second time snatching and we were trying to max out.  I lifted 65 lbs, skipped 70 since I ran out of time, and went for 75 twice without success.  I was so close but I just couldn't get it up!  So frustrating.  The WOD was 7 rounds of 5 snatch, 10 sit ups, 200 meter run.  I snatched 45 lbs and it was pretty tough, but I focused on my form and finished in 19:15.  My shins are super bruised, but I guess that means I kept the bar close to my body, like I'm supposed to!

I did make a meal plan for the week... perhaps I'll get a chance to post it before the week is over.

What's the most intense workout you've ever done?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lurong Living Paleo Challenge (aka our Whole56): Week 1 Meal Plan

Today is officially day one of the Lurong Living Paleo Challenge (aka our Whole56)! I literally ate myself sick last week, stuffing my face with a ton of things that I wouldn't even normally touch, so I'm really excited about eating healthy and feeling better! I don't plan on posting every day this time around, but I think I'll check in every week to let you know how things are going.

If there's one thing I've learned from my Whole21 and Whole30, it's that planning ahead is key! So here's my meal plan for Week 1:

Same as my April Whole30, my breakfasts will consist of a mix of hard boiled eggs, Lara Bars (check the ingredients, some are compliant, some aren't), fruit, tea, and coffee (only when I'm dragging, not every day). I'm not a huge breakfast eater, so I will only be eating when I'm hungry. Hard boiled eggs and fruit may turn into snacks later in the day or sides with lunch. Additional snacks will be dried fruit, nuts, pickles, garlic stuffed olives, raw carrots, or sometimes a whole avocado to the face :)

  • Lunch: Salad from the grocery store salad bar containing lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, and a hard boiled egg, 90 calorie pack of guacamole and Franks Red Hot as the dressing, with 3 small pieces of baked chicken
  • Dinner: Salmon (baked in olive oil, salt, pepper, and old bay), with a sweet potato and roasted eggplant

  • Lunch: Avocado chicken salad (using chicken I'm cooking tonight) with some raw carrots
  • Dinner: Burgers (that I'll make from scratch and probably throw some minced onions, peppers, and mushrooms in) topped with tomato, lettuce, pickles and served with whatever veggies come in our CSA pick up that night

  • Lunch: Leftover burgers
  • Dinner: Buffalo chicken boats (cook some chicken in the crockpot all day, shred and combine with some Franks Red Hot, serve in romaine lettuce boats, top with avocado and tomato) with random veggies

  • Lunch: Leftover buffalo chicken
  • Dinner: Thai Curry Chicken with carrots, mushrooms, and purple cabbage (I was supposed to make this Sunday night for lunches, but laziness got the best of me)

  • Lunch: Leftover Thai curry chicken
  • Dinner: Meatballs (combine ground beef with 1 egg, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, minced garlic, finely chopped onions, maybe some spinach, form into meatballs, bake in oven at 375 for 20-30 minutes, check inside of one for no pink, so easy!) served with mom's sauce (won't be adding sugar!) and CSA veggies, possibly a side salad

  • Lunch: Most likely grab something out with my bridesmaids after we shop for their dresses
  • Dinner: Leftover meatballs

  • Lunch: Leftovers?
  • Dinner: Something in the crockpot!

Anybody else in the process of cleaning up their eating habits?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

End of Summer Photos

Well, we're almost halfway through September and I guess I'm starting to except that it's not summer anymore. I love fall with it's cool temps, pumpkin coffee, and weekends filled with football, but it's always hard to say goodbye to Cape May and days spent in my bathing suit.  I think I'll ease the pain with some pina coladas this weekend ;)

Are you ready for autumn?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lurong Living Paleo Challenge 2013!

Knowing that in 249 days, I will be captured in hundreds of pictures wearing the most gorgeous dress (next to the most handsome groom!) it was only natural that I would do some type of clean eating program in the near future. I figured I would do a Whole30 at some point, but when my CrossFit gym announced that they were participating in a nationwide Paleo challenge, it seemed like fate!

The Lurong Living Paleo Challenge starts on Monday 9/16 and lasts for 8 weeks (that's 56 days people)! The diet requirements are pretty close to the Whole30 rules with just a few tweaks. The challenge also includes 10 required workouts, 3 of which will be done at the beginning and then repeated at the end to measure performance improvement. Surprisingly enough, the challenge includes Lurong, my most hated benchmark workout! I'm interested to see if I can beat my time from May, but I'm sure it's still going to suck.

Participating in this challenge will be so much better than doing a solo Whole30. The support from my gym and taking body measurements there will definitely help keep me accountable! It's also perfect timing since I was told to start setting up appointments for my dress alterations in November. I figure once my dress has been fitted, I will be forced to maintain my healthy eating habits before the big day! And it won't be the end of the world if I have to do another Whole30 in the spring, especially with the extra energy and clear skin as welcomed side effects.

Dave's pretty bummed that this challenge is falling during football (and pumpkin beer) season, but as with most things, there's never going to be a perfect time to eat healthy. There will always be a dinner out, a free lunch, a party, a sporting event, a happy hour, a special dessert. Unlike the Whole30, cheats are acknowledged in this challenge, but you have to document them. We are planning on attending a beer festival at the end of the month, oh well! Whether you have one beer or ten, the cheat is documented the same, but as the challenge website says "your waistline at the end of the challenge won't lie." I'm going to try and stay as strict as possible, but at the same time 8 weeks is a long time and sometimes it's just worth it.

I was considering trying to eat super healthy beforehand so I don't feel as miserable when I start. We had our engagement photos on Sunday, so last week I was trying to keep things super clean. And now I've deemed this fat kid week! I've decided to enjoy some pizza, mozzarella sticks, and cocktails. I know it seems kind of stupid to pig out on stuff that I know is unhealthy and against everything I write about but damnit I really want one last hurrah with cheese and pina coladas... and quite honestly, it will just make my challenge results even more dramatic.

Did you go on a diet before your big day? Have you ever done a challenge through your gym?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Link Love

While I definitely owe you a photo dump of my amazing August, here are a few things that caught my eye on the internet this week:

Avocado and Chicken Caprese Salad - I love caprese anything as I adore mozzarella and a good balsamic reduction, but I never thought about adding avocado to take it to the next level. Nom nom!

Pumpkin Pie Blizzard - I'm dreading the end of summer, but a pumpkin pie blizzard seems like a perfect transition!

Cocky Runner Nearly Loses Race In The Most Embarrassing Way Possible - An Ironman triathlete risks the glory of a win with some awful showboating. Ridiculous video!

Paleo Success Story: I Don't Ever Have To Live Like That Again - "I kept thinking – could it be this simple? Could something as “easy” as changing my food choices change my life? Yes. It was that easy. No, it wasn’t “easy” making it happen, but it was definitely that simple."

Is Gluten-Free a Fad Diet? - "My favorite thing is when “concerned health experts” caution against starting a gluten-free diet without talking to your doctor, paying for a test to determine a gluten allergy, and consulting with a registered dietitian. As if giving up bread, pasta, and cake for more animals and plants is a dangerous undertaking that requires professional assistance. As if removing gluten and feeling loads better only to feel terrible upon a chance reintroduction is an unreliable way to determine if you should go gluten-free."

Close of Service - A friend and Peace Corps volunteer blogs about the life changing experience of living in Botswana, Africa for 2 years and her plans to stay another year. Her writing opens my eyes to things I would've never known about. Sometimes it makes me feel like I am completely clueless and sheltered from the world, but it never fails to inspire me!

Have you read anything interesting lately? Link away!
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