Monday, February 29, 2016

My February Whole30: Days 17 - 20

Here's a quick update since I couldn't wait to post about 16.1!

Day 17 - Friday 2/26/16
  • Breakfast: Bacon Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust from the Against All Grain cookbook, coffee, and 2 clementines
  • Lunch: Leftover Korean Noodle Bowl from the Against All Grain cookbook and a peach 
  • Dinner: Ended up getting Chipotle for dinner because I really did not feel like cooking after the Open workout.  I will be planning better for next week.
  • Sleep: 7 hours
  • Workout: CrossFit Open 16.1
    • 20 Minute AMRAP
    • 25 ft Overhead Walking Lunges (95/65)
    • 8 Bar Facing Burpees
    • 25 ft Overhead Walking Lunges
    • 8 Chest to Bar Pull Ups
I'm not sure how I went an entire year completely not considering that the standard pull up in the Open would be chest to bar.  I'm still trying to connect my regular kipping pull ups and that has been my focus.  I spent a few minutes attempting C2B on Monday night without much success, but didn't really think much of it until the workout was announced Thursday night with, you guessed it, chest to bar pull ups!  Since 1 Rx rep is ranked higher than any amount of scaled reps, I knew I was going to complete the beginning of the workout and then spend the remaining time trying to get my dang chest to touch that bar.  I watched a bunch of videos online on Friday but I didn't really have any expectations for myself.
Until I tried one during my warm up and I did it!!!!  At that point I started to feel less anxious and more excited.  But I still thought I wasn't going to be able to maintain the Rx standards through the 20 minutes.  I insisted on stacking my bar in a way that I could pull some weight off once I could no longer hit the C2B pull ups.
But that never happened.  My pull ups were super strong the entire work out.  Whenever I came back to the pull up bar I was so worried about getting no repped that I would end up doing this crazy high pull up and slamming my chest off the bar.  The lunges were hard, especially the section directly after the burpees.  Since it was such a long WOD, I knew I wanted to pace myself and I felt like I did a good job not burning out too early.  The worst part was my butt started to seriously hurt half way through, my cheeks were cramping up!  My friend Jeff counted for me and was a great coach throughout the workout.  It was so helpful.  So many people were cheering and when I finished I was just in disbelief.  I still can't believe I completed 4 rounds + 18 reps Rx!  I love the Open and I love my gym!
  • Thoughts: My back felt great, huzzah!

Day 18 - Saturday 2/27/16
  • Breakfast: Coffee and a banana
  • Lunch: Whole30 Potluck!  I had been planning this event for a few weeks and even though we had some last minute cancellations, it ended up being a wonderful get together.  We started with chorizo stuffed dates wrapped in bacon (OMG I'm obsessed & hoping to share the recipe with you soon!) and avocados topped with bacon and a balsamic reduction, both of which I totally forgot to take pics of.  For our main course we had sun dried tomato meatballs, Asian lettuce wraps, and a chopped salad with tomato, cucumber, onion, bell peppers, and avocado.  We also sampled a bunch of different kombucha flavors with the sweetest strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.  Everything was so delicious and it was great having a bunch of my best girl friends come together for a lovely ladies lunch :) 

  • Dinner: Fish taco lettuce wraps with pineapple guacamole and cabbage slaw, inspired by a recipe in Juli Bauer's Paleo Cookbook
  • Sleep: 8.5 hours
  • Workout: 1.1 miles with the dogs
  • Thoughts: My butt is SO sore!  But my legs actually don't feel too terrible otherwise, I'm shocked.

Day 19 - Sunday 2/28/16
  • Breakfast: Coffee and the last piece of the Bacon Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust from the Against All Grain cookbook
  • Lunch: I made a salad and topped it with some of the Asian lettuce wrap leftovers and ate it outside in the sunshine :)
  • Snacks: A clementine, a kombucha, some almond stuffed olives, and 2 leftover chorizo stuffed dates
  • Dinner: Steaks seared in the cast iron pan and cucumber tomato salad
  • Sleep: 8.5 hours
  • Workout: 0.9 mile walk with the dogs and my dad
  • Thoughts: My mom cooked a big batch of stuffed peppers while I was hanging out there and they smelled insane (but included rice and cheese).  I pretty much hung out until right when they came out of the oven and then I had to go.

Day 20 - Monday 2/29/16
  • Breakfast: Leftover avocado with bacon and a balsamic reduction and coffee
  • Lunch: Grandma Barbara's Stuffed Mushrooms from Practical Paleo that I made Sunday night
  • Appetizer: Basically a taste of the leftover Asian lettuce wraps and the sun dried tomato meatballs from the potluck and another avocado with bacon and balsamic reduction
  • Dinner: Pan fried chicken with an almond meal crust (I didn't really follow a recipe, but similar to this) served with zucchini noodles tossed in a pesto sauce
  • Sleep: 7.5 hours
  • Workout: 3.0 miles running and walking with the dogs at the park
  • Thoughts: I actually didn't feel horrible getting out of bed on a Monday morning!  I'm considering quitting coffee for the rest of my Whole30 just to see how I feel without it.  The amount I've been drinking is so minimal and I feel great.  I cooked up a storm and made dinner for tonight, breakfast for the week, and prepped a crockpot meal for tomorrow.  Boom!

So I guess calling it my February Whole30 was kind of short sighted, since 1/3 of it will be happening in March haha.  Whoops!

How was your weekend?

Saturday, February 27, 2016

My February Whole30: Days 11 - 16

This week was pretty easy.  I made so much food over the weekend that I didn't have to do much cooking all week.  I think I'm going to try and repeat that for this coming week!

Day 11 - Saturday 2/20/16
  • Breakfast: Wasn't really hungry when I woke up, enjoyed a cup of green chai tea
  • Lunch: Leftover Paleo Pad Thai
  • Snack: I ate a pretty small portion for lunch and I was feeling pretty hungry around 3:30 pm.  The sun was shining and it was almost 60 degrees, so I whipped up a smoothie with some frozen blueberries, fresh strawberries, coconut milk, and spinach.
  • Appetizer: Guacamole with plantain chips and carrots
  • Dinner: We had our bffs Megan and Stephen over for dinner and I made the Korean Noodle Bowl from the Against All Grain cookbook.  It came out amazing!  I also enjoyed a Trilogy kombucha in lieu of drinking with everyone.
  • Sleep: 8 hours + a 30 minute nap
  • Workout: I met up with Leah for a 3.77 mile walk/hike with the dogs.  We went to the Black Rock Sanctuary, a new to us spot, and the weather was perfect.  All the water was still frozen and beautiful, but it was in the high 50s and it felt great.
  • Thoughts: My forearms are SO sore from bouldering!

Day 12 - Sunday 2/21/16
  • Breakfast: Cup of coffee
  • Lunch: BLT lettuce wraps with half an avocado and a coconut La Croix
  • Snack: A salad, since I was headed to Dave's aunt's house for dinner I wasn't exactly sure how much of the meal was going to be compliant and I didn't want to show up starving, so I figured eating a nice salad before I went wasn't a bad plan.
  • Dinner: I brought along some Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus as a side to share but dinner ended up being compliant anyway.  We had a delicious roast, green beans, and a potato salad (that was mustard based... and I actually liked it!), I had to skip the salad because of the blue cheese and dressing, but I was all set anyway since I had one before I came.  The hardest part was staying strong when Kay forgot and waved a piece of cake in my face lol.  I enjoyed a gingerberry kombucha as my dessert.
  • Sleep: 8.5 glorious hours
  • Workout: 1 mile walk with the pups
  • Thoughts: I typically do a Whole30 in January and this dinner is always a huge fail for me.  Every time I would go in with the intentions of not overdoing it and then after appetizers, wine, and cake, I'd always go home with a belly ache.  Not this time!  I wish I took a picture of the beef, it was so amazing.

Day 13 - Monday 2/22/16
  • Breakfast:  Coffee, bacon Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust from the Against All Grain cookbook that I made on Sunday and 2 clementines
  • Lunch: Burrito bowl from Chipotle with carnitas, pico and green salsa, lettuce, and guac
  • Dinner: Leftover Paleo Pad Thai
  • Sleep: 7 hours
  • Workout: CrossFit
    • Strength: 5 x 3 Back Squats - I got up to 145 lbs, heaviest weight in a while!
    • WOD:
      • 30 Squat Cleans (135/95) - I used 85#
      • 3 Burpees EMOM (every minute on the minute)
      • 10 Minute Cap
I really should've done a lighter weight.  When I got half way, it started hurting my back but unfortunately I didn't stack the bar in a way that I could've taken any weight off mid WOD.  I thought about quitting, but I just couldn't.  I pushed really hard the last 2 minutes because I refused to do any more burpees.  My back felt awful all evening.
    • After party: I did 15 strict pull ups with a red band for assistance.  I also worked on my kipping pull up a little bit, trying to see if I could get one chest to bar pull up since that will most likely be the Rx movement in the Open WODs.  It seemed like I was high enough, but I could not get my chest to the bar.
  • Thoughts: Getting out of bed this morning was rough.  I'm still hoping for more energy first thing in the morning.  I got double meat in my burrito bowl at Chipotle since I had a free coupon and I couldn't even finish the whole thing.  I was SO full all afternoon.

 Day 14 - Tuesday 2/23/16

Day 15 - Wednesday 2/24/16
  • Breakfast:  Coffee and bacon Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust from the Against All Grain cookbook
  • Lunch: Leftover Paleo Pad Thai and strawberries
  • Dinner: Leftover Sun Dried Tomato Meatballs with Creamy Pesto and a salad
  • Sleep: 8 hours
  • Workout: Does scrubbing the inside of my microwave count?
  • Thoughts: Today was the day!  I finally woke up well rested and didn't snooze a million times.  My back still doesn't feel 100%, but it's so much better than yesterday.  I was supposed to go see Sue since she was doing appointments at my gym, but a got a flat tire on my way home from work so I cancelled all my evening plans.  FB memories reminded me that this day a year ago was when I completely blew out a tire on 476 on one of the coldest days of the year.  This was a much better scenario since I realized something was wrong when I was in my neighborhood and was able to make it home.
Day 16 - Thursday 2/25/16
  • Breakfast:  Bacon Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust from the Against All Grain cookbook
  • Snack: Coffee & 2 clementines
  • Lunch: Leftover Paleo Pad Thai and an apple
  • Dinner: Chef Jeff's famous fajitas & a passionberry kombucha
  • Sleep: 7 hours
  • Workout: 0.3 mile dog walk (set out to do more but the wind was brutal!)
  • Thoughts: Today I'm wearing pants that I bought online that really did not fit when I got them at the beginning of the month :D

I seriously miss chocolate and cheese but otherwise I'm not longing for anything off plan.  I can't believe I'm already over half way finished, it's honestly flying by.  This weekend is a great mix of relaxing and fun. Last night was the first workout of the CrossFit Open (and I killed it!) and I hosted a delicious Whole30 potluck with some girlfriends this afternoon.  The weekend will be capped off with enjoying some time with my family and the 60 degree weather tomorrow.  And some steaks :)

Can you eat the same thing all week?  Or do you get sick of it?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

My February Whole30: Days 5 - 10

I can't believe I'm already on Day 11 of this Whole30.  So far things have been pretty smooth and my pants are already starting to fit better!

Day 5 - Sunday 2/14/16
  • Brunch: Pizza Frittata (added onions & peppers, skipped the nutritional yeast) topped with tomato sauce, a clementine, some almond stuffed olives, and basically a sip of coffee
  • Snack: Salad
  • Dinner: Steak, scallops fried in ghee, and asparagus and cherry tomatoes roasted in EVOO and garlic
  • Sleep: 7.5 hours + 1 hour nap
  • Workout: Laziest Sunday ever!
  • Thoughts: I was so hungry between brunch and dinner.  I really wanted to munch on something, but I settled for salad leftovers from the night before.  Dinner was delicious.  I did not feel sad about not going out for Vday at all.  We used our brand new cast iron pan for the steak and the scallops and they both came out great.  I REALLY wanted some chocolate before bed, but I just ignored the craving.

Day 6 - Monday 2/15/16
  • Breakfast: 2 hard boiled eggs, some grapes
  • Lunch: Leftover Crockpot Beef with carrots and Mashed Cauliflower
  • Dinner: Leftover Paleo Shepherd's Pie and two almond stuffed olives
  • Snack: A clementine
  • Sleep: 8 hours
  • Workout: Wanted to go to the gym but I decided not driving in the snow was a better option.
  • Thoughts: I felt pretty great all day energy wise.  I am definitely craving sugar like crazy!
Day 7 - Tuesday 2/16/16
  • Breakfast: 2 hard boiled eggs, grapes
  • Lunch: Leftover Paleo Shepherd's Pie
  • Snack: Since I knew it was "Treat Tuesday" in my office I brought myself a nice spread of pepperoni, prosciutto, pickles, and plantain chips and salsa.
  • Dinner: Leftover Crockpot Beef with carrots and Mashed Cauliflower
  • Sleep: 7.5 hours
  • Workout: 0.8 mi dog walk + CrossFit
    • Skill: 4 rounds, :20 max wall balls , :10 rest - I got 43 wall balls, which I was very proud of.
    • Strength: 5x3 Back Squats w/3 second descent and 3 second pause at the bottom - I started at 95 lbs and worked up to 135 lbs!
    • WOD:
      • 21 Back Squats (115/75)
      • 21 Burpee Box Jumps (24"/20")
      • 15 Front Squats
      • 15 Burpee Box Jumps
      • 9 Overhead Squats
      • 9 Burpee Box Jumps
I used 55# and finished in 9:40.  I probably should've gone heavier because the squats didn't feel too bad.  Actually the 9 OH squats at the end were supposed to be the worst part of the workout and they ended up being a piece of cake for me.  The burpee box jumps took forever.  I still feel like my lack of endurance is holding me back in my workouts.
    • Barbell Club:
      • Snatch deadlifts 5x2
      • Squat snatch from high hang 5x3
      • Snatch deadlift, snatch high pull, power snatch 8x1
I kept these all pretty light and only worked up to 65# for each movement.  The deadlifts can be pretty taxing on my back and I was feeling some pain in my left shoulder at the top of the snatch.  Desperately trying to listen to my body.
  • Thoughts: Considering day 7 is "I just want a nap..." on the Whole30 timeline, I feel like I have so much energy.  I'm loving that I have all these leftovers and I'm getting a break from cooking.
Day 8 - Wednesday 2/17/16
  • Breakfast: Leftover Pizza Frittata and 2 clementines
  • Lunch: Coconut cashew chicken with sweet potatoes and cauliflower rice from Kettlebell Kitchen
  • Dinner: Apple chicken sausage with brussel sprouts, sweet potato, and onion with a little balsamic vinegar and half an avocado
  • Sleep: 7.5 hours
  • Workout: 0.8 mi dog walk
  • Thoughts: My skin was going haywire the first few days and it's finally starting to calm down.

Day 9 Thursday 2/18/16
  • Breakfast: Leftover Pizza Frittata
  • Lunch: Leftover chicken sausage with brussel sprouts, sweet potato, and onion with a little balsamic vinegar and a small avocado
  • Dinner: I intended on grabbing a salad from Wegmans between CrossFit and choir rehearsal but I was in a rush and wasn't very hungry anyway.  When I got home at 9:30 pm I was over it and just went to bed.
  • Sleep: 7.5 hours
  • Workout: CrossFit
    • Skill: 4 rounds, :20 max box jumps, :10 rest - I got 39 box jumps, the most of all the girls for the day!
    • Strength: 8 minute EMOM of Power Snatch + Hang Snatch - I got up to 75 lbs.
    • WOD: 
      • 15-12-9 Deadlifts (225/155)
      • 9-6-3 Deadlifts (275/185)
      • 8 Hand Release Push Ups + 15 Sit Ups after each round
Ugh, my back wasn't feeling great before we even started.  I knew deadlifts were not going to be a good idea for me and I started to get really upset.  My coach set me up with a 35 lbs kettlebell to deadlift, which was obviously a lot lighter, but also put me in a different position, with my legs a little wider, which was better for my back.  Lifting 35 lbs when 155 is prescribed was a bit of a blow to my ego, but it is what it is.  I finished in 9:01.
  • Thoughts: I can't believe I wasn't dying of hunger by the time I got home.  I feel like I'm really starting to sleep like a rock. 

Day 10 - Friday 2/19/16
  • Breakfast: Leftover Pizza Frittata, 2 clementines, and then my work had a free breakfast spread so I stuck to the fruit including strawberries, kiwi, raspberries, blueberries, and pineapple.
  • Lunch: Leftover Paleo Shepherd's Pie 
  • Dinner: Paleo Pad Thai
  • Sleep: 7.5 hours
  • Workout: About an hour of boulder climbing, which was so difficult!  The walls were all slightly inverted and it took so much upper body and grip strength.
  • Thoughts: We went out to the bar after rock climbing and I had absolutely no problem not drinking.

1/3 of the way there!

Did you cook anything special for Valentines Day?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Our Trip to Italy Part 2: A Full Day of Florence Adventures

If you missed the beginning:
- Part 1: Arriving in Florence

Our first full day in Italy started nice and early.  We woke up to grab some breakfast at Hotel Alessandra before heading out for a full day tour of the city.  We were greeted in the dining room with the cutest cappuccinos.  Breakfast consisted of a typical Italian spread including some delightful baked goods, cheese, prosciutto, hard boiled eggs, cereal, and yogurt.  Dave loved the apple pastry of the day and I adored my croissant.

After breakfast, we left our hotel to discover lots of hustle and bustle in town.  There was a 5K running through all the main attractions of the city, which put an excitement in the air and tons of people on the streets.  We met our tour guide in the beautiful Piazza San Marco.

We booked our tour through a company called Dark Rome and I would highly recommend them!  They were easy to book and very organized on the day of.

The first stop on our tour was the Accademia Gallery, home of Michelangelo's famous David sculpture.  We waited a little while to go in our tour's VIP entrance, but when we left and the line was wrapped around the building, I was feeling very grateful that I had booked a skip the line tour.  Most of the art in the museum did not really appeal to me, but when we turned the corner and the David came into sight, it was breathtaking!

I wasn't sure if we really needed to go to the see the David.  There's a replica in the Piazza della Signoria, I'd read that the rest of the gallery wasn't really anything that exciting, and we had limited time in the city.  But Dave was positive he wanted to see it, so I said sure.  But I am really glad we went!  Pictures truly don't do this sculpture any justice.  It is way better in person!

After we left the gallery, we started a tour around the town.  A lot of the sights were things we already checked out briefly the day before, but it was great to hear all the history and interesting facts.  The streets were so full of people so it was a little tricky to stay with our tour guide, but it also brought an energy to the tour.

I was pretty bummed because our tour was supposed to include a trip inside the Duomo, but since they had a service going on, we weren't able to go inside at all.  The church is just marvelous and I could've sat and stared up at it for hours.  It is truly epic.

The first half of the tour came to an end around lunch time and we had an hour before the second half began to go grab something to eat.  We had planned to check out a highly recommended panini shop, but when we got there the line was wrapped around the block with 5K participants.  I was pretty bummed and we settled on another place on the same block.  The small shop was sorta crowded and I felt intimidated trying to order because the menu was completely in Italian.  I settled on a panini with prosciutto, mozzarella, and a balsamic glaze drizzle and it didn't really wow me.  Dave got eggplant parm that was pretty funny to watch him eat sitting on the curb outside using his crusty bread as silverware.  We drank wine out of plastic cups and watched as pedestrians were almost hit by cars over and over.  People in Italy truly must not be afraid of being hit by a car.

The line got crazy as we were sitting there.  After our bellies were full, we realized we still had plenty of time before we had to meet our tour group.  We headed towards the river and stopped in a bar for a quick drink.  Every place in Italy wants to feed you, because without any prompting they brought out a little spread of snacks with our drinks.  It felt wasteful, but we were so full from lunch that we didn't even touch it.  I tried a sparkling white wine and it came in the strangest little glass.

Soon enough it was time to meet our group.  We found them easily.  After avoiding multiple men selling selfie sticks and other random crap, we were headed into the Uffizi Gallery.

Our tour guide was extremely passionate and very knowledgeable, but also kind of pushy.  The gallery was crowded in certain spots around famous works of art and she was very insistent that we get our time in front of each piece.

The art was beautiful but as the tour went along my feet started to ache and I just started to be over the whole thing.  The museum did have some awesome views though!

When the tour was ending, our guide told us we should stick around and enjoy the museum for a few hours until it closed... and that's when Dave and I practically sprinted out the building!  I was pretty close to smacking the selfie stick right out of this one Asian girl's hand (but seriously do you really need a picture of you doing the duck face in front of every single piece of art?!) and I really just wanted to be off my feet.  We headed back to our hotel room to regroup and spent a little time just decompressing.

After our feet felt enough relief, we headed out the door to go grab a drink and do some people watching.  We ended up back in Piazza della Signoria and picked a random place with great views of the square.

We enjoyed some wine and a pizza as we watched people pass by.  The pizza was good but sort of tasted like something we'd get at home.  We knew the place wasn't going to be anything mind blowing since the sign with pictures of the food and English descriptions gave it away as a tourist trap, but we didn't really care.  We knew we were sitting there for the location and the sunshine that most of the square was no longer getting.  A guy started smoking a cigarette near us, the sun was gone, and we didn't want to eat anything else there, so we decided to relocate.

We ventured across the Ponte Vecchio and found a bottle shop with a super cute balcony over the river.  We asked if they had any tables available and told us only for an hour or so, which was good enough for us, so we sat down.  The views were perfect and there was quite a breeze coming off the river.  We were so happy we decided to check this place out, even just for a little while.

After we enjoyed some drinks, we picked out some bottles of wine to enjoy back at our hotel.  We were told there was a small terrace, but we couldn't seem to find it when we went to look ourselves.  When we got back, Monti was happy to escort us to the terrace and made some hilarious comments informing us that there's a camera up there, so we should keep that in mind before we do anything scandalous!  We sat on the terrace enjoying the sunset, our wine and a small dose of hotel wifi.

Our plan for dinner was to hit a restaurant that was pretty much clear across town.  It was highly recommended by a friend and 1.3 miles wasn't that far to walk.  We started reconsidering it after the Uffizi when our feet were on fire and Monti recommended us a place much closer, but after relaxing and drinking some wine we decided to stick to our original plan.  We walked to Edi House, with Dave growing more and more impatient as I kept insisting we were almost there!  Finally we found the place and found a table in their cute detached outdoor section.  The place was fairly empty, but we did find ourselves chatting with the duo next to us about their travels and how good their food was.

We started with a liter of what Dave deemed the best house wine of our trip!  I guess I liked it too because I got pretty silly as the night went on.


We started with an appetizer of squid with bacon, walnuts, greens, scallions and lemon.  The squid was so tender.  Our next course was spaghetti carbonara, which was so simple yet so good.  For our secondi we went with a mix fried seafood including calamari and shrimp.  We requested a side of marinara sauce to dip it in and it was actually the highlight of the dish with a slight spiciness.  Dessert was a caramel pudding, which was unique and yummy.

Our bill was only 60 euros!  By the time we finished, it was pretty late.  We thought about trying to take a bus home, but we didn't feel super confident about the schedule and decided just to walk.  Dave really wanted to go out and grab a night cap, but the town seemed kind of dead since it was a Sunday night and I was ready to be in bed.

To be continued... Part 3
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