Wednesday’s Eats and Squish Embarks on an Employment Adventure

Tons of updates today!

Wednesday was a super fun class. Depending on your definition of “fun”. It was box jump day!

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The Strength portion was 8×3 box jumps. For women it was suggested height of 30″. Which is literally half of my height. I did not jump 30″. I tried and failed spectacularly. So I did my reps at a respectable 27″.

Then the workout was four rounds for time with a (yay!) 3-minute rest in between each round:

  • 300m row
  • 200m run
  • 30 air squats

After my third round I realized that we were supposed to be tracking our time and posting the best round. Oh. I think maybe my best was 3:20-ish?

That night my legs were completely shot, and I noticed my hamstring pain was coming back and I was starting to develop shin splints. So I took Thursday and Friday off to sleep in and recover a bit. I was just able to put my shoes on without my hamstrings screaming at me, so I think that was a good decision and I’m ready to work out Saturday now!

Meanwhile, I’m half-seriously tracking my macros. Wednesday was a really good day eats-wise. I managed to get pretty close to my macro goals. Breakfast was a few scrambled eggs (some pretty pastured eggs I picked up at the farmer’s market, soooo pretty!), and an entire can of pureed sweet potatoes.

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Lunch at work was some leftover paleo “spaghetti” and a romaine salad with the last of my beloved salad dressing. This Tessamae’s Green Goddess dressing is so amazing. I put it on anything I’m not really excited about eating, like a bowl of romaine lettuce, and it makes it amazing. Sadly, it’s not one of the Whole30 compliant dressings, but when I’m not on a Whole30 I will drink it.

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Dinner was my first attempt at a Home Chef dinner, which is one of those delivery services where they send you ingredients and a recipe to make a whole dinner. Hulk heard about it from a friend and we decided to try it out. I tried out the Clementine and Hot Honey Chicken recipe.

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(Photo credit from the Home Chef site)

They did a fantastic job of measuring out the ingredients in little pre-packaged samples, and the instructions were simple to follow. I wasn’t super stoked about the portion size because I eat a remarkable volume for a human my size, but I added some extra veggies and it was all good.

In family news, It was Take Your Child to Work on Thursday, and Squish accompanied me to my place of gainful employment. My company did a fantastic job of setting up a “classroom” for all of the kids that day, and had organized sessions, games, and even a magic show to keep everyone engaged and entertained.

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So focused. A little developer in the making!

I was a little concerned that Squish was a bit young for the event, so I brought my home computer for him to play games on if he got bored. There is only so much you can explain to a four-year-old what it’s like to be an implementation consultant for a cloud ERP software provider. I mean, most adults glaze over when I tell them what I do for a living. So when it got a little too technical for him with the older kids, he came to my desk and “worked” along with me. The best part was at the end of the day when all the kids were asked what they learned about what their parents do, his response was, “Mommy plays games on the computer.” No, son, I reckon that would be the case if I worked at EA Games across the street. I almost failed college because of my “The Sims 2” obsession. Anyway, he had a blast and wants to come with me to work everyday now.

That’s it for now. Go make it a fabulous weekend!

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Is Butter a Carb?

Today I took a rest day. I decided a day spent being sore instead of becoming more sore was a good idea. Also, I slept horribly last night. It’s a bad idea to take Sudafed before bed, no matter how stuffed up you feel. I sort of laid there in a half-coma all night, tired but not actually falling asleep. It was weird. Anyway, Olive scored with a nice walk around the neighborhood this morning.

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I’ve also been experimenting with different food plans. One of the coaches put together sort of a macros-based performance eating group for anyone interested. I decided to play around with it. Why not? I’ll probably do a full post on what all it entails when I’m not so brain-dead tired, but basically you calculate out an estimated grams of protein, carbs, and fat to eat in a given day. Sort of like calorie counting, but the type of food matters more than just the calories. Anyway, I’m giving it a whirl for funsies. I’m logging my food in My Fitness Pal and it’s curious to see where I end up.

Breakfast was eggs, spaghetti squash, and broccoli.

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Lunch was a few corn dogs because I sort of got distracted while working and just ate what Hulk put in front of me. I was surprised; since going paleo I’ve sort of learned to “embrace the fat” and include dietary fat with abandon. Turns out that corn dogs really check in on the fat content. Now that my meal template is decidedly less fatty and more carb-heavy, I’m having to do some reassessing of my go-to staple foods. Which means corn dogs might now earn a place into “once in a while for a treat” rather than “emergency can’t-even food.” Tragedy.

Dinner was some “paleo spaghetti” with meat sauce and spaghetti squash. And a beer. Because carbs.

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Yeah, I know. They’re not buying it either.

That’s it for today. Go make it a great day!

Buddy Up

Yesterday both Hulk and I went to CrossFit! I went to the 6am class and he attended the 6:30pm, but it was sort of like we worked out together. At least we got to commiserate about wall balls when he got home. It’s nice to have a workout buddy again.

Skill: Pistols 5×10

WOD Part A:

8 minute AMRAP of:

  • 20 wall balls (men = 20lb, women = 14lb)
  • 10 pushups

My score: 3 rounds and 3 wall balls (Rx’ed the weight!)

WOD Part B:

3 rounds of:

  • 300m row
  • 15 pullups (bands/modify as needed)

My time: 11:57, with a bit of waiting for a rower

I had never done pistol squats before. I was terrible; so much for core flexibility. But they were really fun to try out. The only bummer to the two-part workout was that there were a ton of people in my class, and not enough rowers, so you ended up waiting for one at each round. The wait was maybe 30 seconds, but it was enough to catch your breath!

Then I patted myself on the back for packing my lunch for work. Look at my snazzy new lunch bag! I thought a new lunch bag would inspire me to bring lunch to work more often.

Sadly, I packed leftover spaghetti squash bake, and I forgot a fork. And the fact I didn’t have access to a microwave at the site I’m working at this week. Whomp. I really didn’t want to eat with my hands at my desk (so professional, I know!) so I was a bit hungry at the end of the day.

After dinner Squish and I did a mommy-and-me date to the playground and went out for ice cream afterwards. It’s been a while since we had some quality time, and I had been working so much and traveling so much lately we needed a bit of time to have fun together. Of course the first thing he said to me this morning was, “I want a chocolate ice cream cone on a ‘pointy cone’ with sprinkles!” That was his order at the ice cream place last night. I want ice cream for breakfast too, buddy.

That’s it for now, go make it a great day!

Back to the Food

Wednesday means it’s time for What I Ate Wednesday. Who’s ready for some crappy iPhone photos of half-eaten food with captions? I know I am!

I was so irritated this morning. The night before, I packed my bag, checked that my alarm was set, and told Hulk that I was going to CrossFit this morning. Then I woke up at 6:07, 7 minutes after class had started, to find that I must have slept through my alarm. I was super annoyed. I was feeling really pumped and ready to hit it. Instead, I hit some of those egg muffins I made on Sunday for breakfast.

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The picture doesn’t lie. They were terrible. Healthy, but terrible. I don’t like leftover egg bakes. I choked them down, but I seriously need to find something to pair them with. This is going to be a long week of breakfasts. However, I did remember my reusable mug at the coffee shops this morning. Yes, plural. No, don’t care.

I was in Oakland for work this week, onsite for a project launch. I have found my most favorite lunch place Uptown that does a really nice shawarma salad. Today was lamb and beef. It was terrible. Next time I’ll try to take a picture before I consume all of the salad.

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For dinner we finally dug into the pizza spaghetti pie I made Sunday. Everyone was super hungry and we made quick work of it. I was too busy loading Buttercup’s plate with more steamed carrots and telling Squish to keep his glass of milk away from the edge of the table to take pictures, but it pretty much looked like this:

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Photo source

Yes, just like that.

You know what’s messed up? Letting a four year old watch “The Land Before Time,” then telling him it’s bedtime literally right after Littlefoot’s mother died. That may have happened. I should know by now to simply take the remote and say, “Let’s watch Bob the Builder!” when Squish repeatedly asks me, “What’s happening?” over and over in a worried voice during any intense scene. My penance shall most likely be a few 3am wake-up calls from a preschooler terrified awake with nightmares.

And that’s it. Go make it a great day!

Only In Home Brew

You guys. I started my January Whole30 just five days ago. I had to clean out the fridge so I could, you know, fill it back up with food that I can eat. Then this happened.

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Where did all of that beer come from?? And I can’t have any of it until February, and now it’s sitting there, taunting me. Ugh. That’s what happens when you miss out on brew day during a Whole30 I suppose. Plus, it’ll be more bottle-conditioned by then, so, yay. Silver lining.

Anyway, I’m having my glorious salads again.

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Tuna on greens with avocado and this one has half a baked potato. This is just heaven in a mixing bowl. No joke.

I missed Crossfit this Sunday because I was really not feeling well, physically and emotionally. Which was probably a good thing, because I looked up the workout and it was basically “let’s have fun with double-unders then go run a bunch” so, sorry not sorry. There is a good chance that double-unders would have put me in a worse state.

We still have our Christmas decorations up. My excuse that I keep giving Hulk is that I grew up Catholic and we never took ours down until the Epiphany on January 6th because that was the “real” end of the Christmas season. In truth, I’m just too lazy to do it. And apparently so is he. 😉

Go make it a great day!

Hot Bar is Saving Lunch

I am now in love with the Nob Hill hot bar.

  
It’s saving my Whole30-ish lunch. Chicken, meatball, stuffed mushroom, mashed sweet tater, mashed cauliflower, steamed veggies was the menu for yesterday.

We had some glorious rain last night. I’m hoping to get my new hiking shoes muddy later today, then we have a potluck holiday party for Squish’s preschool. I’m in charge of salad, and I combed The Internets to find a festive winter salad that I can incorporate fresh lemons from our lemon tree. There are so many! Squish and I have been enjoying lemon tea together in the mornings (with a touch of honey in his).

  
Pro tip: if you go to pick a lemon right after it rains, don’t stand directly under the branch. Trust me on that one.

Do you have fruit trees or other edible vegetation where you live?

Favorite lazy lunch spot?

Go make it a great day!

The Swing! Book Review

Last week I checked out the local library for the first time!

 
Feel the literary lending power.

I sort of forgot that libraries are a thing, and I don’t need to push my Amazon and Kindle budget to the limit to get a few good reads. Plus, I was on a missions to find a training book on Olympic lifting or kettle bell, and though the selection at my branch left a little to be desired, I did find one book that was about beginning kettle bells for women. Score.
  
I devoured The Swing!: Lose the Fat and Get Fit with This Revolutionary Kettlebell Program by Tracy Reifkind in one quick evening and the next day got to work with the prescribed training program. All I really wanted in a training book was some basic technique recommendations and a beginner-level program that I could just open up and follow. Please tell me what to do, and don’t make me think too hard is my training style.

A lot of the book just explains over and over again how quick, simple, and fun kettle bell swinging is. I may have skimmed through most of the beginning where the author talks about her back story of losing 130 lbs with basic yet challenging kettle bell workouts and a clean diet. It’s great, but it’s not really what I am focused on. I picked up the book, you already have me convinced to try kettle bells! Then the book breaks down the swing technique and offers some simple exercises to get the motion down, and provides modifications if needed. Finally, a progressive 16-session workout series is introduced which I am now working through. The last part of the book is diet recommendations, which I wasn’t too interested in either. It’s your predictable clean eating, whole-food plan emphasizing plants and lean meats and staying away from processed food. All good things, but nothing revolutionary. 

This book was written for a woman who maybe has never exercised before, is perhaps just starting out on her health journey and doesn’t really know where to begin. I’m still looking for a book that has a little more technical and varied material, but this is a great place to start. This would be perfect for someone who has expressed interest in getting in shape, but is worried about cost, effort, and time constraints. All you need to do these workouts is a kettle bell, a clock, and 15 minutes.

And that’s how I’ve been following the program. I have a 25 lb kettlebell that I use, and so far have completed 3 of the exercises. The first time … Wow, I could hardly stand afterwords without my legs shaking! I was a bit sore the next day, but it wasn’t the worst DOMS by any means. And it really is quick: crank up some loud heavy metal, do some dynamic stretching to warm up, swing away for 15 minutes, and I’m done!

A word of caution: DO NOT swing a ‘bell where dogs or small children are unrestrained and running freely around you. They don’t understand physics or the conservation of energy, and I almost beaned Olive over the head when she ran in front of me mid-swing. This might be an activity best saved for nap time, or near a pack-and-play or similar child detainment device.

In other news, we’re still blazing forward in my loose “drunken caveman” paleo eating style. Breakfast was a quick Starbucks coffee and double smoked bacon breakfast sandwich, because mornings. Then lunch out with coworkers turned into taco Tuesday:

  
This lunch was 100% worth it, paired with tomato basil soup as a side. So good.

Hulk has been experimenting with chicken and rice dishes for dinner. We cooked some bone broth the other day, and he’s been using that to cook rice with chicken and veggies. It is so savory and good. I will never cook rice without broth again.

I guess my meals aren’t truly paleo, but I’m resisting the snacking and holiday goodies that are starting to surround me. I figure I’ll use my willpower on the obvious stuff and not worry too much at meal times. Last night I did skip my usual post-dinner beer, and when everyone else was enjoying leftover pumpkin pie (it just won’t die!) I had some lemon tea. No deprivation, I just wasn’t feeling it so why bother?

I decided I’m going to end posts with some questions, for fun. If you want to respond, feel free to leave a comment. Or comment on something unrelated. Or don’t comment. I’m fine with that; I’m a lurker too!

‘Merican readers, Do you still have Thanksgiving leftovers?

Do you visit the library, prefer to have your own books, or hate reading in general?

That’s it for now. Go make it a great day!

The Brew Day Weekend

So, I’m doing exactly what I hate to do, and that’s staying up late to blog. But I’m finding that sometimes you gotta find that time to squeeze into a day, and staying up a few minutes once in a while for a worth cause never hurt anyone. Let’s hope this post is a worthy cause!

Last weekend was brew day! And what a lovely day for a beer making session.

  It was really damp and foggy, but since we don’t know what I’m doing yet I have no idea how the weather will affect my beer. And as it turns out, we didn’t make every mistake in the book, but we certainly blew through a few chapters.

  
I think the one thing we did right was added hops. Yes, we remembered the hops. Oh well, nothing to do but wait for it to ferment (if we didn’t already kill the yeast).

  
Do not expect Farnham Ale Works to hit your store shelves any time soon.

At least I had a salad while waiting for the boil.

  
Hey, look, cute kids in pumpkins!

  

We took the kids to the local pumpkin patch, since that is what you do on October weekends in America when you have kids. Squish loved running through the hay maze and climbing the hay tower, though you wouldn’t think so the way he poses for pictures.

  
Later Hulk went to Home Depot and took Buttercup with him. Apparently she is really into driving.

  
Driving and climbing. The other night I was chopping some cauliflower for dinner, and as usual Squish pulled the stool up next to me so he could “help”. I guess I was so distracted with the chopping, I didn’t notice him leave and Buttercup climb up in his place. Then a pudgy baby hand kept sneaking cauliflower chunks from the bowl, and I realized that Buttercup now adeptly climbs things. And eats raw cauliflower, with both of her teeth. These are now things.

  
Stop growing up. Just stop.

That’s all for tonight, go make it (tomorrow) a great day!
 

A Bad Example Day

Yesterday was quite the “bad example” day. I started out by doing Week 1 Day 2 of the “Champion” Spitfire Athlete workout. I don’t remember the details, but there were a lot of squats.

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Of course I did it on an empty stomach, and only drank coffee with milk afterwords.

Once at work, I felt hungry so “Second Breakfast” was a side caesar salad that I found in the fridge, a granola bar, a handful of Cashew Clusters, and more coffee with milk.

Blogger trick: only photo the salad, not the Cashew Clusters. That way, it's healthy!
Blogger trick: only photo the salad, not the Cashew Clusters. That way, it’s healthy!

So of course that meant Lunch was a burger and fries. Grass-fed, of course. We’re all about health here.

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I had an appointment in the city, and afterwords felt really “ugh” about everything. So I picked up some cookies from Whole Foods as a snack for the ride home. Turns out that was dinner, because when I got home Hulk was getting a new beer batch ready and the stove was commandeered for mashing. That was fine, so I had a couple beers to wash down the cookies.

I’m starting to feel kind of foggy in the head and tight in the pants, so I think the “consume all the carbs” phase needs to move on now. I haven’t slept well this week, and I’m very certain that’s a huge part of it. It’s time to reclaim the bedtime and get back where I prefer to be.

That’s it for now, go make it a great day!

Ralph the Bear says, "Cheers to that!"
Ralph the Bear says, “Cheers to that!”

Some Days are Like That, Even in Australia

Yesterday was one of those terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad days for me. I can’t even explain it. Monday I went to bed feeling all the gratitude and warm fuzzies about the world. Tuesday I woke up and felt like Kill All the Things. And I’m not even on Day 5 of a Whole30!

Breakfast

Since I was all grumpy, I skipped out of the house as soon as I could after the usual kid-wrangling to avoid making the rest of the family miserable, and grabbed a sausage breakfast sandwich from the deli by my office. Their breakfast sandwiches are magical, being hand-made on a toasted croissant. It’s a nice food-treat to start the day. I also downed a couple of coffees with milk.

Lunch

I was still feeling sort of reclusive, so I went to a nearby cafeteria where I knew it was chicken tandoori day. Some chicken tandoori, curried veggies, and rice were some good soul food. I also walked to and from the office, so it was a good sunny mile walk each way.

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Snack

I wasn’t hungry in the afternoon, but I did indulge in some mood-eating. A KIND bar and a few Andes mints were a decent distraction, washed down with a couple Diet Cokes.

Workout

I came home to some good family news, so that perked me up. No public announcements yet since it’s not quite a done deal. True to my “no beer before barbells” rule, Hulk offered to put dinner together while I worked out in the garage. I started the Champion program on the Spitfire Athlete app. I didn’t have time to get through the whole workout, but I completed most of the weight lifting and skipped out on core work.

  • Assisted pull-ups, 3×12
  • Cable pulls (I modified with a band since I don’t have a cable to pull), 3×12
  • Bent over barbell rows, 3×12 @ 45 lbs
  • Reclined dumbbell arm extensions, 3×12 using a 10lb plate
  • Inclined reverse dumbbell flys, 1×12 @ 3 lbs (yes, 3. It was either that or 40)

Dinner

Hulk outdid himself for dinner: hamburger patties topped with cheese and fried eggs, with a side salad and peas. We ate on the patio again, and I showed Squish how to angle his fork through the patty to make a sort of meat-on-a-stick method of eating the hamburger, rather than cutting it into bites. Then we drank some beers on the porch while watching the sun set. Hulk took care of the domestic stuff while I went to bed early and read my book. I’m almost done with “The Art of Racing in the Rain” and I have only cried twice so far.

I know I’ve been succumbing to emotional eating lately, and I just have been allowing it. It’s hard not to have Whole30 rules to fall back on when things are difficult. I know what’s wrong – I want to do all the things and am frustrated that there are only 24 hours in a day –  but eating just seems easier than fixing it. There are also a couple other health-related things I’ve been meaning to explore, such as maybe giving myself a caffeine holiday.

I’m also really trying to figure out how to get more exercise in, and I’m caught in “mom guilt” whenever I take time out for myself, which was part of why I was so grumpy yesterday. I had planned on working out in the morning, but then children/life happened, and it didn’t get done. I’m so sick of falling victim to excuses, but I just can’t get myself together. I know I need to take care of myself in order to take care of everyone else, but it’s so much easier in theory than in practice. I think I’m going to get up at 6:00 for a run, but then at 5:58 I have a tearful preschooler climbing in my bed after a scary dream, and while I’m getting him settled I then have a baby that’s all “IT’S [6:17 in the] MORNING WHY AREN’T YOU ALL READY TO PARTY YET? And why are my pants so squishy?” and by the time I’m done with her diaper blowout the preschooler is now awake and asking for “milk and chocolate toast” and my window of opportunity to scrap together any time for myself this morning is firmly shut. Fortunately this phase of life is temporary and I’m doing my best to appreciate the little things involved with taking care of small children (stop growing up!) but it’s hard when I know I need to exercise and rest and keep myself sane above it all. But tomorrow is always another day.

And that’s it for this day. Go make it a great one!