Friday, May 23, 2014

Sweet Potato Bacon Soup

Last post I mentioned I had made some sweet potato and bacon soup for lunch today and said I would report back with my final thoughts.
My final thoughts go something like this: OMG it's sweet liquid gold made with unicorn tears and fairy dust. Ok so it's not THAT amazing but wow, I am loving it. I was worried at first thinking it would be too sweet or the spices (and there are a TON of them) would ruin it for me but I was wrong, wrong and more wrong on that one.

I was a little put off by the baby food puree look at first but it's really thinner than it looks when you eat it, more of a slightly thicker than usual tomato soup. The spices pair so perfectly with the smokey bacon it's like a magical wedding in your mouth. The sweet from the potato is balanced by all of the spice and while I was worried it would be too much it was just the right amount to give it a nice kick.

I highly reccommend this dish for a main course or pair it with a delicious steak. Two thumbs up from me and I will for sure be making more in the future.

In case you missed it here is the recipe: Sweet Potato Bacon Soup

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Cavewoman with a Sweet Tooth

I am addicted to sugar. Seriously. I had NO idea how addicted I was until I started evaluating what I ate all the time. A certain better half of mine likes to poke fun at me because if there is chocolate in our house it will not last more than a few days, if it's lucky. I may also be known for eating an entire container of Ben & Jerry's from time to time.

I've been seeking out ways to get my sweet tooth fix without resorting to my good buddies Ben and Jerry all the time. So I've found a few recipes that have really helped satisfy my sweet cravings without derailing my diet changes. Of course these are still treats, in that just because they are paleo does not mean I get to stuff my face with sweet stuff all the time. These are just ways to make my treats at least a little better for me.

So far I've found a wonderful recipe for blueberry muffins and I just tried this great one for key lime bars! I got a whole bunch of blueberries and limes from my bountiful baskets this last order so I've been looking for inventive ways to use them.

The muffins were awesome, nice and crumbly with a nice texture despite the dense almond flour base. I would only change one thing next time: less cinnamon. The recipe calls for quite a bit and I would probably backed off a little. Click HERE for the recipe!

The key lime bars were something I have never made before, paleo or not. I wasn't sure how I would like them but they are really tasty. I think maybe next time I will add a little spice to the crust just for a bit more flavor. I used fresh squeezed lime juice and it really comes through in the flavor. These I will for sure be making again. Click HERE for the recipe!

Tonight I also made a nice sweet potato and bacon soup for lunch tomorrow, so I will have to let you know how that turned out. It smelled lovely and the few tastes I had of it as it was cooking were great.

I know some might say sweet potatoes are not paleo but really I don't consider my food choices to be strict paleo by any means. I call it paleo-esque. I try to just stick to the real, whole foods that don't need a label to be identified. Well except when the store has like 8 different types of sweet potatoes and yams, those I need labels for.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Love Your Body on the Outside but Nourish Your Body Inside

So. I was scrolling through my Facebook timeline and I went past 6, count 'em SIX, posts or links or whatever about "loving your body the way it is after kids". I can't go on any mommy related website without seeing at least one of these types of posts either. This whole love your body no matter what it looks like is an issue that I see from both sides. Yes we should love our body and no we shouldn't feel shame that we don't wear jeans with a single digit size, but does that give us the right to live so unhealthy? What I worry about is many women use this reasoning as a justification for being unhealthy and not attempting to change those choices which do their body no favors at all.

This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion and could potentially piss some people off. So, before you get your panties in a twist...chill out. It's just an opinion. My opinion does not waltz itself into your home and smack the oreo out of your hand. It sits here on the internet. Doing it's thing while you do yours. So CHILL. Ok disclaimer out of the way.

I do agree moms should accept their bodies after a baby as beautiful. Absolutely 100% on board there. Those stretchmarks aren't going to go away, I don't care what that stupid baby stuff book said. They stay so get used to it and learn to love them. Your body just made a human being. Take five minutes to just revel in that right now. Your body took two cells...and made a human. It's probably not going to look the same ever again. Things were stretched, things were moved, unholy things happened in places you didn't know could be affected by pregnancy. Love it all. Well, I don't love my new weaker bladder muscles but that's not the point. Love those stretchmarks, love the way you jiggle kind of, love the sag around your belly. Embrace it as beautiful because it is.


Moving on.

I don't agree that just because you had a kid (or kids) you should accept that your body is beautiful no matter what and that means there are no consequences for poor food choices or lack of exercise because hey...that body made a baby (or a few) and it is beautiful no matter what! Wrong-O! Of course the effects of pregnancy are beautiful (deja vu anyone?) BUT the effects of poor eating habits and virtually no exercise? Not so pretty. If you are happy in your skin then more power to you and by no means must you try to change it if you don't want to. However, don't use it as an excuse! For the longest time I used to say I didn't mind how I looked because it meant I got to eat buckets of cake (yeah, that was a thing in this house) or eat as many pieces of pizza as I wanted. I stayed pretty much the same shape and size. I was completely content with how I looked. Still am. I am pudgy in some spots, stretched out in many others and yes I jiggle when I walk but I am still happy with my body. Sure I wish I could snap my fingers and have a 6pack...I mean really now who wouldn't?

I was and still am happy with how my body looks on the outside but you know what? I finally had enough of using that as my excuse to not be healthier. It was a lame excuse. My goals in doing crossfit and eating a somewhat paleo-esque diet (don't you dare take away my cheese!) is to be HEALTHY not PRETTY. I want to be healthy for my kids so they learn good habits and grow up strong and wise. I want to be healthy for my husband so I can grow old with him on the front porch and not in a hospital bed. I want to be healthy for my community so I can be there for your sick family member and provide exceptional care. I want to be healthy for me so I can run around with my grandkids when I am 80, so I can enjoy life to the fullest, so I can see the world and not the inside of a doctor office.

Have no shame in a body bent and mangled by the creation of life, have no shame in what you see looking back at you from the mirror. Have confidence that you made healthy choices. Have confidence you are being the best human you can be. Have confidence you are the best you that you can be.

Stop focusing on what the outside looks like and start choosing to change the inside. Make your heart and vessels look like a cardiologists dream, don't worry about your fluffy love handles. Make your pancreas take a rest and stop working it to death (diabetes anyone?) with a glucose roller coaster. Soothe your inflamed guts and start absorbing nutrients. Power your brain with the good fats it craves, nothing is sexier than a healthy brain. Take the stairs every day not because you want an arbitrary number on a scale, but because weight bearing exercise helps build strong bones. Strong bones are sexy, trust me.

You don't have to jump in and do crossfit, or eat a strict paleo diet. Sure, those things are wonderful and will help immensely but aren't absolutely necessary. Just dedicate yourself to doing some kind of exercise each day and ditch the processed junk in your diet. I guarantee you will feel amazing just with that little change and when you feel amazing, look stunning!


First and foremost: I PASSED THIRD SEMESTER!! Yes, I yelled that at you. I do that.

Hallelujah, I'm done with third semester and I am on to my fourth and final semester of nursing school before taking the biggest test of my life: the NCLEX. Then I will have two little letters after my name that represent blood, sweat, tears, more tears, and plenty of hard and exhausting work. Registered Nurse. 16 weeks and one test stand between me and those two little letters.

So, now I am done with school for three months. That means it's time to get my butt back in gear and head to the box! My first day back was yesterday. It was tough. Oh good grief it was TOUGH. The WOD was Helen. Pardon my French but Helen is a mean, mean, sneaky bitch. For those of you unfamiliar with Helen the workout for me (it was modified of course) was three rounds for time of: 200m run, 21 8kg kettle bell swings and then 12 ring rows. I felt like dying, throwing up and then dying again, but I made it. I finished my first WOD in three months! It. Was. AWESOME. I forgot how energized and well...high...a good kick your butt kind of WOD can make you feel. Gotta love endorphins.

I am planning on doing at least 3 days a week. I am working as an extern at the hospital but thankfully it is only two 12hr shifts a week and I set my own schedule. I'm going to attempt to do the 5:00am WOD since it would work great with Kenny's work schedule. I can get up, work out and then be back home and showered before the kids are up and Kenny leaves for work. I'm hoping anyways.

I'm sad to say my eating habits have slipped in my three month hiatus. I've still stayed away from the boxed junk in the grocery store BUT I'm sad to admit fast food has become a pretty big part of my diet. Hey, when you just endured a clinical day after a lecture day after working a day you just don't feel like cooking! I am taking part in the Crossfit Moms "Real Food Challenge" and it's been so exciting getting back to eating better. This morning we kicked it off with deeeeeeee-licious paleo pancakes and fresh, organic, boysenberries from my own garden! They were so easy and quick to make. Can't wait to make even more amazing and good for you dishes.

We are planning a trip to Colorado in the middle of June and I am SO excited to have found not just one but TWO crossfit gyms to hopefully drop in on and get a WOD in. I have always wanted to be able to experience different styles from different gyms. I'm hoping to stop in at a box in New Mexico and one in Colorado. Should be a ton of fun!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sometimes Life Just Gets In The Way

Oh boy. It's been crazy around here. I'm quite sad to say that I still haven't been back in the box. I want to get back but it always seems as if one thing or another is getting in my way, and sometimes it's myself.

School is pretty intense. Right now I am on spring break and trying to get some kind of rest, but that's just not going to happen. Next week I have 5 straight days of school stuff going on, with 4 of those being clinical days. It also happens to be my birthday next week. As I have gotten older I have really begun to dislike my birthday. I thought I would be much older than 24 before that happened but truthfully I just wish my birthday could pass like any other day. I just don't like it. Maybe it's a defense mechanism of sorts since I figure if I don't get excited about something then it won't be such a let down when there is nothing to be excited about.

Anyways, I still haven't been into the box but I have at least been keeping to eating better by avoiding boxed and pre-packaged stuff as much as I can. I do try to do some kind of exercising during the day. Sometimes that is doing a couple extra squats when I get something off of the floor (which is frequent) or perhaps I do some thrusters with Roxas as a weight. I make an effort to at least do SOMETHING before the day is done and I would say at least 90% of the time I succeed at it. I finally got on the scale (BAD!) just to see how much of a cow I've become since my last weight and I was pleasantly surprised to find I am only 10lbs short of what is my "ideal weight" in my head. I know I've lost inches for sure. I can tell in the way my clothes fit, but it's not nearly as much as I know I could be doing if I was getting 3 WODs in a week.

That being said, sometimes life just gets in the way. Sometimes I am so exhausted after working a 12 hour shift and then having school to study for that I have zero energy or motivation to get the kids together, find a grandparent willing to babysit, and get to the box. It's just so much. Once summer is here I hope to return to a full 3 day a week WOD schedule but until then I am giving myself a bit of a pass. School and family and my sanity are what is important right this moment.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Trying to Get Back on The Wagon

I haven't made a post on this blog for awhile...and that's mostly because I have just fallen off my wagon. Don't get me wrong here...I still LOVE my crossfit. It's actually driving me insane that I haven't gone to work out in what seems like an eternity. In reality though it has been far too long, and I have copped out on far too many excuses.

If I'm honest with myself I have been coming up with excuses as to why I haven't shown my face at the box in the past...well...let's not be that honest. It's been a long time, too long in fact. I've coped out saying my school schedule is insane (which is is) but I could honestly put forth a bit more of an effort to get my WOD on. I find myself just so exhausted that on my rare days off I just want to sit around and do nothing. Now that my parents are crossfitters too (and doing AWESOME by the way) I always hate dumping the kiddos on them before or after their own WOD just so I can go work out. If Lucy were more inclined to play happily in an exersaucer I would seriously consider bringing her and Roxas to just play in the "unsupervised child care room" at the box. Have I mentioned how good at excuse making I can be?

I know all of my reasons I haven't been to the box lately have some substance but if I am being truthful, brutally honest, with myself it's because I got lazy. I fell back into my old patterns. My eating has slipped (although not too much!), I've grown content in my sedentary ways again. I praise crossfit for how easy it is to make time for and I have managed to completely fail at walking my walk on that one. So I promise to jump back on my band wagon, knock it off with the excuses and get my (now) chubby butt back in that box.

Something another crossfiter told me just sticks out in my mind. I have given myself a really hard time on our WOD blog and she told me to never talk about myself like that again and all that matters is I showed up. Just showing up is winning, even if you end up with a DNF you still won. She told me look at everybody who is here, now think of every body who isn't here. Just being here is something.

I need to be there. Even if I'm cursing through doing 10 burpees or trying to catch my breath on a 400m run. I just need to put on the big girl pants and get my butt in there or else my butt is not going to get any smaller or less cottage cheese like. Sorry. Bad visual. I am pretty darn happy being pudgy but I want to stop being pudgy and happy and start striving for healthy and happy. Being obese is NOT healthy for me, and I am not going to change that by saying I'm just too tired today and skipping my WOD because I know darn well if I skip one day that week...I won't go at all.

So a note to myself: Put away your excuses. Suck it up. Get you butt in gear and GO! Also, those cookie dough oreos? Yeah...don't eat those.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Our Family WOD

     We had a great time at our family WOD this morning. Although we really didn't get much of a work out in we still had some fun. Roxas was pretty cranky and wasn't too happy about doing any of the workout moves. So, we just had fun goofing around with medicine balls, hanging on the bars and jumping on stuff. I think Roxas might have just been a bit overwhelmed with everything going on but by the end of it he was having a fun time. It was so cool seeing all of the parents having fun getting active with their kids. The kiddos were having a blast doing burpees, squats and bear crawls. It's awesome to see little ones so hyped up and excited to be doing physical activity.
     That's the awesome thing about crossfit, it makes working out pretty fun. It's a game to the kids, let's see who can do the most burpees or lets see who can run the fastest. Those are the kind of games kids should be playing, rather than sitting inside all the time and staring at a tv. Once Roxas gets a bit older I would like to try and get him to crossfit kids. Perhaps over the summer we will have enough time and energy, and Roxas won't be quite so overwhelmed with it all.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Almost Done!

So the paleo challenge is almost done. Do I think I'm going to win the competition? Not a chance. I've completely gone rogue now. Sure I've still be relatively "healthy" but let's just say there have been some very non-paleo things on my plate as of late.
     I'm a little disappointed I couldn't stick to strict paleo for the full 30 days but I'm going to try and not beat myself up about it. I still tried to make better choices and limit my junk which is all I really set out to do in the first place.
     I've also been a total slacker on getting my WOD on. Between the insanity that is school and Kenny's unbelievably annoying long work days niether of us has been particuarly stellar at getting our three days a week in at the box. We are hoping to really recommit for the month of February. I do miss working out, which is something I never thought I would say! It's a ton of fun and truthfully it is driving a little insane that I haven't worked out in so long. We have the family WOD tomorrow so I'm hoping we can use that as a little bit of a springboard to get back in there and really attack February with unparalleled fierceness.
     So the paleo challege really didn't go so well for me and truthfully I wasn't expecting anything less. I knew I would cave. I have terrible self control (have you seen the way I bite my nails?) and I love soda just a little too much. Like I said though, I limit the amount of junk quite a bit. I try to allow only one "cheat" for the day. So maybe that's a latte from Starbucks, a soda or a piece of candy. I've actually been really good about keeping to that rule. I think allowing myself to have that one free pass to have a treat each day makes keeping healthy the rest of the time much easier. I also value my cheat much more and I'm very picky about it. Sure I might really want that cookie but would I rather have the cookie now or maybe a bowl of ice cream after dinner. I only pick one when before I would probably choose both and probably a lot of other junk in between there too.
     A pretty big theme of paleo is doing what works for you. There are all kinds of ideas and opinions on what it truly paleo and what isn't but the thing I found the most was people saying: if it works for you then it's paelo. So I'm going to adopt that slogan and go with it. If eating the occasional bowl of pasta, some rice, cereal or having a sugary treat seems to work alright with my body then I'm going for it. The best I can do is try and so far so good. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The End Is Near: A close to my paleo challege

It's almost the end of the month and that means it is almost the end of my paleo challenge. It's been really, really, REALLY hard to stick  to this diet but I have to say I'm pretty proud of how closely I did stick to it.

To tell the truth I did cheat, more than once, but for about 95% of the time I kept to the diet. I've noticed little changes in my appearance and I'm hoping it's enough to have won our box's little challenge (we all put in $10 and whoever wins gets the pot!)

I don't really plan on keeping to the strict paleo diet after the challenge is over. However we will still be eating as clean as we can and improving our food choices. Really I think that's what the whole idea is. Rather than a specific diet I try to eat real foods and just leave it at that. The occasional junk will be a part of our diet but hopefully the good choices made the rest of the time will outweigh the not so good choices. My favorite cheat by far has been In'n'out which really isn't a cheat per say. If I was dying for some kind of junk I would go to In'n'Out and order a double-double protein style with no sauce and no cheese. Technically, according to some, it is still paleo since it's just lettuce, beef, and tomato. Granted I'm bending the rules quite a bit to make a double double fit into the term paleo but was better than McDonalds right?! I've also cheated a bit with the soda, it's a horribly difficult addiction to kick. BUT! I don't get diet soda anymore, I stick to the real stuff without asparatame. There is a plus to this, since it has sugar in it I cannot drink a lot of it since it will wreak havoc with my blood sugar (I'm hypoglycemic). When I did cheat it was usually only one soda for the whole day as opposed to the 5-7 diet sodas I would have before since they didn't spike my sugar.

Of course we will still continue our crossfit journey and keep up with our WODs. My school schedule is pretty much insane. Some days I'm doing back to back 12 hour clinical with an 8 hour lecture after that. It's exhausting to say the least. Not to mention the homework and reading I'm supposed to be doing. Actually that's what I am supposed to be doing right now. You can tell how well that is going. Getting my three weekly WODs in will be tough, and some weeks I may not be able to pull it off but it is just for another 15 weeks. If I can just live through school, that's an achievement right there!

We have a family WOD coming up on the 1st and I'm pretty excited to have fun with my ENTIRE family working out, kiddos included! I'm so proud to say that my whole family is a part of the extended HXF family now. It should be a great time and hopefully I can snap a few fun pictures while we are there.

I'm excited for the measurements to be revealed in just a little more than 2 weeks! Fingers crossed!

Friday, January 17, 2014


So tonight I got the opportunity to do a benchmark WOD called Elizabeth. I first did this WOD back in November and I was able to complete it in 4:27 using a 15# bar and doing ring dips with my toes on the ground. (The work out was cleans & ring dips doing sets of 21, then 15, then 9 if you're not familiar with it)

Tonight I finished it in 5:39. Now you might think that's not progress but I was lifting 35lbs and was doing ring dips with a green band! So for doubling my weight and making the ring dips way harder I only added about a minute to my time! The standard for being allowed to do banded ring dips is being able to hold your own weight up with arms locked and feet off the floor. A few weeks ago that was impossible for me. Tonight I held myself up for 10 whole seconds!!!

It may seem like a small thing to achieve but to me it's tangible progress. I can see the changes in my body and I like them! My belly is quickly losing its squish factor and my arms are looking more toned. I can't wait to see what I can do in another few months.

I am also very proud to say my parents are officially part of the crossfit family too! They finished the technique class and I couldn't be more proud. I would love to do a family WOD sometime. I think it would be fun!

Paleo challenge update: well I DID fall off the wagon a few times. However I have been really quite good at staying on track. I would say 90 to 95% of what I'm eating is paleo. I do feel a difference in my guts when I do cave and eat some grain or junk like soda. It just doesn't feel right. I'm also pleasantly surprised that paleo has actually boosted my milk supply! I now eat a lot of good fats as well as protein and carbs, those things contribute to making me less hungry ALL THE TIME which is greatly since I don't want to be cooking every hour. Oy.

So I'm excited for the start of nursing 3 but I'm also stressed over it. The schedule is flat out CRAZY. I am going to be super super super busy. I am super blessed to have amazing family who watches the rug rats while I'm gone learning. Fun things to come this year!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Paleo Challenge- Day 2

So, yesterday I started my 30 day paleo challenge. It is going pretty well for the most part. I drool over the sandwiches I make for Roxas, and longingly stare at the rice I make for Kenny of course.

One of the hardest things for me is finding things to eat at all and then keep me full. I want to eat like ALL. THE. TIME. I can eat what seems like forever and never be really full. Snacking is my main form of eating. Trying to sit down for an actual meal is about as likely as me winning the lottery around here. Sure I love all kinds of paleo snacks like almonds, or fruit, or eggs but I can eat a good $15 worth of almonds in one sitting and still be starving to death. I love fruit but all the sugar from snacking on fruit all the time isn't great. So, I'm trying to just get used to being hungry for now, and I'm hoping my body gets the message that it's not getting more and growling at me will not help. We really don't have the money to support my stomach's demands either. We receive WIC but unfortunately everything they give us, except eggs, is not paleo. I just spent $160 on food that I could go through in a few days really. So I am having to learn how to ration and control when I eat. I guess it's a good exercise in willpower.

Giving up the grains, sugar and (some) dairy has been easier than I thought though. Its only day two so we will see what kind of tune I'm singing in another week or so. I really don't miss my soda...yet. The grains like rice and pasta ate what I'm really missing the most because they are fast and convenient. I'm exhausted right now and there is a huge pile of dishes in my sink from making dinner last night. I really don't feel like making anything to eat because of that. Getting something delivered or popping a pot of pasta on the stove isn't an option anymore. So, one good thing about this is I'm being forced to eat healthy or don't eat at all. Unfortunately I'm just lazy enough that staying hungry is easier than cleaning and cooking. I have just enough energy to fix a grilled cheese for Roxas and Kenny but that's about it. I'm hoping I can get some new energy without grains bogging me down anymore.

I will check in later with another update.

Friday, January 3, 2014

WOD #20!!

Woot Woot! Tonight, for my 20th WOD I lifted 45 pounds from the ground and over my head 30 times in 3 minutes and 4 seconds. Grace was rough but I'm very proud of myself.

Over the past few months I have seen a huge change in me. Physically I am stronger, I was able to deadlift 150 pounds! I have better endurance, 2 minutes of jump rope doesn't leave me feeling like I can't breathe. Mentally I'm evolving, I've been able to test the limits of my mind and find I'm capable of more than I thought. Healthwise I'm improving, my body fat percentage has gone from 33% to 29%. In just 20 workouts. Change is happening and I like it!!

I've decided to participate in our box's paleo challenge. It's 30 days of eating paleo and of course doing crossfit. I'm both excited and scared to try it. We eat about halfway paleo I'd say but there will be a few things I'm going to miss. Top of that list is soda, and refined sugar, aaaaand rice. Oh, and beer! Ypu can pretty much do anything for 30 days so I'm going to try my hardest to stick to the plan. I know there will be some huge challenges to my plan, mainly a party this month and the start of nursing school. It will be tough to resist the allure of the vending machines on campus. I know, great example for our patients!

So, I'm not going to be too strict this weekend but come is ON! I enjoy challenges so this should be pretty fun.

In other news my parents are going to be joining the HXF family too! I'm very proud of them and can't wait for them to get addicted just like I did.

I will keep updating a little better now that the holidays are done and I will be sharing all the fun recipes I can find!