Friday, August 31, 2012

Camping on Paleo

Hello there!

Things have been a little quiet here at TheMeghaMix, which, as usual, means things have been busy and stressful out in the real world.

One major non-busy, stress-free highlight of the last two weeks?

Camping with my momma.

Hanging up dish towel and washcloth after meals.
Happy camper in my Nike therma-fit!
My mom's been a camper long before I came into the picture.  Our family tent-camped for years when I was a kid, and at one point, we owned a 27-foot RV that we pulled around the country behind my dad's truck for a whole school year studying US History where it happened.  (Yes, I frequently geek out about Newschool Nomads - "oh my gosh it's like us except with kettlebells!")

Even when I was in college and my mom and I were both working, we would often take little trips camping just the two of us, sometimes at the very last minute.  For anyone who knows my mom or me...we are excel fanatics and calendar fiends, so an unplanned moment of life is crazy weird for us!

We realized earlier this year that the last time we went camping together was before I got four years ago!  So we coordinated the time with work schedules and Jared's road trip with a friend and went last week.

Let me tell you...if you want a great camping buddy, my mom is your go-to gal.  She is super low maintenance, highly prepared, and a great sport.  (Although I'm not sure how hard it is for her to be a good sport when she always seems to win at cards.)  We got up to our favorite campground, Lake Easton, on Thursday evening, and got our tent and all the gear setup in well under an hour.

My mom was super supportive of me sticking to my Paleo challenge, and the only "treat" she brought up for herself was her diet soda...and I'm not a soda girl at all, so it was perfect!

Mom womanning the grill
The first night, I had planned on making burgers, but the burger meat was too frozen, so we had chicken sausage instead.  We sliced up bell peppers and dipped them into the pico de gallo, since the plaintain chips just didn't seem to cut it.

We had one sausage apiece, and cut up the other two for breakfast the next morning.

We spent the evening talking and playing Phase 10.  It made me miss my Grandpa Floyd, who went to be with Jesus for Christmas about a year and a half ago.  He loved Phase 10 and was SO competitive...when we were kids, we just called it the "Skip Buppa" game.

It got pretty chilly in the tent that night...and of course there's always the fun of getting OUT of the tent to walk to the bathroom in the dark.  Good thing I had a buddy with me!

The next morning, we scrambled up some eggs and some of the leftover sausage.  You will note we are big fans of salsa...

I added baby carrots, since I'm always trying to get at least three servings of veggies per day, and I like to get one over with at breakfast when possible.  We also had some tea, and played more cards, and took a walk around the gorgeous campground.

I was still pretty cold and so we packed up so Paleo snacks (almond butter, bananas, etc) and drove to Ellensburg to get some more groceries.  It worked out perfectly...we warmed up and got to visit a local produce stand!  Health nerd freakout!!!

Among other things, we bought some incredible pluots and a purple bell pepper - I had no idea there WAS a purple bell pepper!

For lunch, we had Sopa Verde, which my mom made earlier in the week and froze.  It has chicken and spinach and tomatillos and all kinds of amazing stuff. Seriously, I could eat this every day!  And if you don't add Greek yogurt (which we usually would), it's totally Paleo!

After lunch we headed down to the beach to read.  I was surprised at the number of folks actually swimming in the wasn't very warm out.  I was glad to have long sleeves on!

When we came back, I intended to WOD it up.  I'd brought my new medicine ball along and was stoked to plan something we could do at our campsite!  My mom wasn't planning to join me, but when she heard my plan, she said, "Oh, that doesn't sound too bad." 

Our gear:

Here's what we did:

  1. Run campsite loop (approx. 800m)
  2. 2 rounds of tricep dips and air squats (10-15 each)
  • 3 rounds for time of:
    • 7 pushups
    • 14 lunges (7 each side) with the 14# med ball
    • 200m farmer carry with water jugs
  • Followed by 800m run, not for time
The final run was actually my mom's idea!

My mom totally killed this one!  She's not up to regular pushups yet, so I had her scale to full-range of motion pushups with hands on the picnic table.  She RXed everything else...and actually beat me by four seconds.  And I was hustling.

Because we only had one wall ball and one set of water jugs, my mom started with the farmer carry and I started with the pushups.  I think it made us work harder because neither of us wanted the other person stuck waiting for "equipment."

I followed the WOD with a protein shake and we went for another walk before dinner: taco salad!

Can you tell we originally hail from the southwest?  My mom brought lime for our water, and the salads were super simple with lime juice, avocado, ground beef, romaine, and more pico de gallo.  We had some bell peppers to dip in the salsa, and I drank coconut water in addition to my lime water (double-fisted Paleo).

More cards and talking...with me complaining about the inebriated college kids who showed up.  They were about three campsites down, but boy they had some good lungs between them.  Thankfully they piped down in time for us to get some sleep.

Morning found us much warmer, and chowing down on more eggs and sausage!

We also enjoyed more of the Paleo Morning Glory Muffins that Jared thoughtfully baked us before he left on his road trip! 

After another round of Phase 10, we decided to pack up camp early and spend the rest of the day down at the beach.  We cut up the bell peppers ahead of time so as to get all the dishes washed and packed.

Campsite teardown was easy and swift - seriously, don't mess with us in the Camping Olympics.

Lunch at the beach was simple...bell peppers, deli turkey, and more water!

It got warm enough that we were able to throw our swim suits on and read for hours.  I am embarrassed to say that this Queen of Sunscreen missed a few spots and got totally fried in places as a result.  Actually peeling a week later.  Eep.

All in all, it was an amazing time!  It's incredible to not have to worry about what time it is, and to get to do pretty much whatever you want, with someone you love hanging out with. 

Thanks, Mom!

In other news, Sunday night marks the end of the Paleo challenge.  Currently fighting the hubby for the lead and dreaming about donuts.

You tell me: How are you?  Had a good week?  Busy?  Stressful?  Relaxing?  A little of everything?  Do you find it fun or frustrating to stick with health and fitness regimens on vacation?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Reebok CrossFit Games Chipper WOD

Good morning!

I wish I could say that after yesterday's whine fest, a good nine hours of sleep have awakened me to the glorious joy that is Paleo and I anticipate the final 13 days of the challenge with enthusiasm and all possible vim and verve.

But I would be lying.

Well, except about the nine hours of sleep.  Dang, I needed it.

Here's my little update on the challenge and last night's WOD.


My abs are looking more like abs. 


The rest of me is looking more like I competed in this weekend's karate tournament.  With no trophy to show for it.

Allow me to elaborate...

Last night's WOD was a modification of the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games Chipper.

(To be amazed, here's a look at the pros taking this one on.)

I had watched this piece of the Games via streaming and was excited to take on even an amateur version!

We started out with our warmup of the week:

After feeling so burned out last week, I planned to take this whole week as a "deloading" week - going easy and light on basically everything.  I had taken a spill on box jumps last Monday, so I decided to stick with my regular 20" instead of going to a "challenging height" as prescribed. 

Well, apparently 20" was challenging enough.

I caught my left big toe on the box partway through the second round of the warmup and bit it.  The "good" news is that rather than most of the impact going to my already bruised left shin, I instead graciously spread it around between my left and right elbows, my right forearm, my right shin, and part of my rib cage.


Coach told me to "take a break from the box jumps."  He also checked out my arm and made sure there was no injury beyond the serious bruising about to ensue.  My left forearm felt extra tight so I decided to scale the workout WAY back and even was willing to quit if necessary.

We did a little shoulder mobility which helped stretch my arm out a little.

Then we reviewed all the movements in the workout and started loading up our bars.

RX for women was #70...and I scaled to #45.  I subbed in V-Ups for the toes to bar, and did pullups with a purple band followed by burpees, instead of doing burpee pullups.  Made me sad, cause on a good day, I think I could do them (albeit very slowly).  But this week is about taking care of myself and recovering so that I can continue getting stronger and better...not about killing myself to do one particular movement or workout RX.

Thankfully, I made it through the WOD without further injury, and also without feeling overwhelmed and weepy (I almost cried after my box jump spill...ugh).  It was a hard one, and I was really glad in the end that I hadn't pushed myself too much.

My mom is a total champ...she was cracking me up before class:

"I can't do this one!"

"I need to go home...I have to wash my hair."

"Oh!  I think I hear my phone ringing!"

"Isn't there like an age limit?  You know, 'You have to be this tall to ride this ride,' 'You have to be this young to do this workout'?"

But she stuck with it and did a really good job!  What matters is not how macho you feel...what matters is showing up and doing work!!!

Joel left a sweat-angel at the box after finishing the WOD:

You can see his head, the sweat from his hair, and where he flung his left arm up.  The gross things we find funny...

Summing up, I am really starting to wonder if this Paleo stuff is going to be a good fit for me long term.  I know I've been whiny about it...but I've never had trouble with box jumps in the past and wonder if how I've been eating is affecting my accuracy.  I did think it could just be burnout...but the hubby has seen his workouts take a hit, and unlike me, he didn't recently jump from 3x CF per week to 4-5x per week.  Who knows?  Last night we were fantasizing about doughnuts as we ate more eggs and bacon.

We're sticking with it to the end, though!  We are each going out of town this weekend, so that will be an even bigger challenge!  I'll keep you posted on how we do.

In the meantime, I am taking today completely off.  And showing off my fancy bruises.

How's your week going?  Any cool injuries?  Have you tried any modifications of the Games WODs?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hey, Mr. Grumpy Pants

Well, I guess that's MRS. Grumpy Pants to you!

I am now halfway done with our Paleo challenge (which ends the night of 9/2).

I've been very consistent - no cheats so far...and also very whiny.  Maybe it's because I don't have any dairy or gluten intolerances or maybe it's because I rarely eat sugar or processed foods anyhow...but I haven't had the life-altering "wow I have so much energy and my workouts are great" feeling. 

On the contrary, I have been getting 8 or more hours of sleep every night but one, but I still feel more tired than I usually did before the challenge.  I've been very emotional and hormonal and my workouts at least the second week were worse instead of better.

But...the winner gets a I know it's easier for Jared if we're both eating Paleo, so I'm not giving up just yet.  Only two weeks left!!!

Here's a recap of some bad and good from last week:

Monday (The Bad):

I fell during box jumps and seriously bruised my leg.  Today (a week later) it is less red and more green and purple.

Monday (The Good):

My walk to the bus from the box was gorgeous!

My medicine ball arrived!  I was like a little kid at Christmas, running around the office to tell/show everyone.  I'm gonna take this guy camping this weekend and make up a WOD to do!  (If you've got ideas, let me know!  No jumprope stuff, though.  I have one but it's made of actual rope and basically sucks.)

Tuesday (The Bad):

I felt like puking after the evening WOD...sometimes it helps if I have something to eat I guzzled my protein shake and felt worse.  Oops.

Tuesday (The Good):

I RX'ed Helen!  They let me do "real" Helen (running instead of rowing) since I knew I had it in me to do the pullups.  The last time I tried an RX, it took me 20 minutes to get through 2 rounds.  And when I scaled Helen about a month ago, it took me 14:47 - so I'm now faster RXing than scaling. WOOHOO!!!

Wednesday (The Bad):

Work kinda sucked.  I spent the majority of the day fixing mistakes (mine and others'), and the system would not process my jobs for me.  I was in a MAJOR hurry to leave because I had a date with a really cute boy!

Wednesday (The UBER AMAZING GOOD):

This boy, in fact!

My best friend gave birth to her first, an absolutely perfect little guy!!!!

His name is Charlie.  Well, Charles, but I'm a sucker for nicknames and I refuse to call this dude Chuck.

Charlie with my mom
Charlie with his mom
And yes, she wore pearls in labor.  So classy!  Oh, and did I mention she had pre-made birthday cupcakes in honor of Charlie's real birth day?

Seriously, that was the hardest Paleo moment so far...I may just have to celebrate Charlie with some killer doughnuts or something in two weeks.  And sing to him.  Boy, this kid is a cutie!

Thursday (The Bad):

My major meltdown.  I don't know why, but these so often happen on Thursdays.  Apparently Thursday is my Monday.  I went out to lunch with my momma and even got Paleo approved food! 

But I forgot that club soda counts as a carbonated beverage for the challenge.  I was miffed that what is to me an excellent healthy alternative to soda was not acceptable to the Paleo gods.  Poop.

I had another long day at work, and then I went to play racquetball which shoulda made me feel better, but I felt all out of sorts and wiped out.  My game was just not "on" at all, and while usually I can play at least an hour hard core, I made it through three games (about 30 minutes) and could barely do a fourth!

Thursday (The Good):

My sweet dad prayed for me when he dropped me off after our match, but I still felt defeated and sick of feeling like crap while I'm supposedly doing something healthy.

I went inside the apartment and sat against the wall and blubbered away while I texted a dear friend for wisdom and support.  She's a is my husband, who came home, made me some food, and suggested we spend the evening watching Batman and Wonder Woman cartoons.

What?  It's not like I'm a total sucker for superheroes.  At all.

Thursday was a great reminder of how blessed I am to have so many people in my life to encourage me and point me to Christ when I am feeling overwhelmed, stupid, and helpless.

Friday (The Bad):

I was feeling stressed (what's new) about "missing" a workout.  I'd planned to tackle "Karen" on Thursday but my schedule didn't work I was so tired just playing racquetball that I thought it wouldn't be wise to have 150 wall balls as dessert.

I was hopeful that Friday evening's WOD would be a good one since I'd had two days off from CrossFit...but it was not to be.  I felt tired even during parts of the warmup (although Coach Jared had some good tips for me on my rope climbs - by which I mean rope-holds-for-dear-life-about-3-feet-off-the-ground).

I did pretty well on the strength - keeping my knees wide and really making sure to get low on the front squats.  But the WOD was something else.

From the first pull on the rower, I felt exhausted.  And of course, my mental trash talker leapt into action, telling me how much the five rounds would suck and how I'd probably have to give up.  I'd already scaled the power cleans to #75, and usually I'm pretty decent with power cleans.

But even in the first round, I could hardly link two or three at a time!!!

I even ended up using the purple band for pullups, which kinda crushed my spirit even more.  The high point of the WOD was the third round, when "Fake ID" came on and my mom and I started singing.  They never play my kind of music at the box (possibly because I'm into Sinatra, Elvis, and musical theatre?) so it was super energizing to have something I loved to workout to.  But after the song was over, I kinda plodded my way slowly to the end. 

Friday (The Good):

My order finally came!

I had ordered egg protein so we could be even more Paleo.

I was surprised at how little the container was...but apparently 1 scoop equals a serving, and our other protein powder needs 2 scoops to get the same amount of protein, so maybe it evens out.

I will warn you - we tried this stuff on Saturday and we both found it almost undrinkable (I mixed with water and Jared with almond milk).  I honestly almost gagged.  Sunday we put it into a smoothie with fruit and it was a lot more bearable.

And of course my favorite bars:

Weekend (one long piece of delightful):

I got a massage - the best I've had in my life.

I watched my dear friend Meghan (the blonde above) win trophies in her karate tournament (incidentally, she's the one who talked me off the ledge on Thursday).

I got to have some unexpected time in the gym with the hubby, who gave me pointers on my deadlift form.

We had date night and finally went to see The Dark Knight Rises.  I cried.

Jared did a buttload of chores and we got our fridge stocked and our apartment inhabitable.

We went to bed at 7pm last night.  Glory.

And now:

I am hanging in there with Paleo for yet another week...we will see how this goes. 

I am going to "deload" this week, which may help a lot.  For me, this means same number of workouts, but scaling everything.  The timing will be nice since the upcoming strenth session this Saturday is a deload as well.  It seems like that's what my body really needs right now - maybe it's not Paleo...maybe I'm just whupped and need to chill a little.

Well, thanks for hanging in there with me and all my happenings.  How was your week?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Question: How Much Should I Eat on the Paleo Diet?

Answer: More Than You Think.

The first four days of the Paleo challenge went fine for me...packing food was not too difficult, especially with a lot of help from the hubby (not sure how it would go with only one spouse doing this alone).

I didn't feel a big performance at the box didn't seem to have a big improvement, and while most people claim they have a lot more energy on Paleo...I have found that even though I'm getting MORE sleep then I usually do (eight hours a night so far!), I am actually tired a lot more than usual.

It wasn't until yesterday afternoon, however, that I started to feel really crappy.  I was really tired, my productivity at work was way down, and I was even getting that brain fog where you do something and then five seconds later can't remember what you just did.  Ugh.  I could tell I was hungry, but I had zero appetite.  If someone had walked up and offered me a Top Pot doughnut, I think I would have turned them down.

I felt really frustrated and discouraged - this was how I'd felt the last time I tried Paleo (although it only took about 8 hours to kick in rather than four days), plus the headache, which I got towards the evening as well.

I went home torn between wanting to quit because my normal diet seems to work so well for me and not wanting to quit because I'd be embarrassed.  After talking to my mom in the afternoon and Jared once I left work, I decided I'd stick it out at least until the end of day Saturday.  I feel like it's only fair to give it one week and not chalk up one rough day entirely to Paleo.

But I made sure to eat food I loved for dinner - I knew if I saw another piece of meat I might hurl it across the room.  And I made sure to eat a lot!

I went with scrambled eggs with sausage, a clementine, and almond milk to start:

I had a square of 88% dark chocolate...

...and two little artichokes (my favorite veggie since I was a peewee).

Dip them in olive oil and lemon juice.  Mmmm.
I woke up feeling much better and more awake and energized than I felt Wednesday or Thursday.  I packed some extra food with me and really tried to make sure it was stuff I like.  I feel it may have been my steak and arugula salad on Thursday that did me in...I'm so not a big fan of steak and sometimes it kills my appetite and I don't eat enough as a result.

I will keep you posted...I did notice this morning that my jeans fit looser and my arms look a little more toned...which would be a definite win.

Tonight  - CrossFit with my momma and Coach Jared 

Since my workouts are a little off this week from Monday's power clean debaucle, Jared advised me to skip my "Girl" WOD this week.  Just as well, since I was hoping to do Karen (150 wall balls for time) and my 14lb wall ball won't arrive until next week.  Plus it's a team WOD tonight!  I love those, and I haven't gotten to do one in a while.

I did one of my PT exercises this morning while brushing my teeth (multi-task your health whenever possible!) and will finish that up later.  I also intend to do my shoulder stability work since I keep my pilates bands with me at the office!

Tomorrow - Deadlift Week 2

I'll get in at least five minutes of core work, followed by a good warmup, and then focus the majority of my time on my deadlift!  I'm looking forward to having some time to myself at the's nice to move at your own pace.  I'll also be doing a lot of mobility work and yoga - my left hip and IT band feel tight this week, so I'm sure I could use it.

Well, have a great weekend!  We expect to get some gorgeous weather around here, and I intend to sit at the pool and finish my latest Agatha Christie novel.  And make the Morning Glory Muffins from the Paleo Comfort Foods cookbook.  I think those will save my butt...getting sick of salad and eggs for breakfast.

You tell me: What are your plans for the weekend?  Have you tried anything out of the Paleo Comfort Foods cookbook?  It's amazing, right?