Friday, May 29, 2009

Halfway to Spartandom

Here we are- the halfway mark. It's been 3 weeks of Spartan workouts, Spartan eating, and general Spartan badass-ness.

How are things going?

Are you hitting your goals?

Are you doing absolutely everything you can to reach your goals?

It's time to hit it. Hard. 3 weeks left. Need some motivation? Make sure you read the latest success stories here . Reading those stories literally brought tears to my eyes. But you know what? Every single person has a success story of some kind. Big or small. Be proud of yourself and celebrate your accomplishments.

Bodies are changing.

Moods are changing.

Lives are changing.

Every day.

Come get an extra workout this weekend at Lululemon- Sunday 10am- Women's only Kettlebell workout. Bring a friend!

Have a wonderful amazing fabulous Friday :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Art Show!

Come support our very own Catherine Hart  tomorrow evening at the Austin Art Garage. Catherine will be showcased as one of the winners of the 2009 culinART juried artshow.  Here is a sneak peek of her beautiful work:

Austin Art Garage
2200 S. Lamar (behind Strut)

See you there!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Eating Organic on a Budget

Eating well can be costly. Mike blogged about this on Friday, and it echoed what I have been trying to convey to friends and family over the past few years.


The reality is that most of us can't eat all organic all the time. So what are the worst offenders? If I can only spend x amount of money, what should I buy? For today, let's focus on produce since that's what is overflowing on our Zone/Paleo plates.

First of all, what does Organic mean? (my mom recently asked me if organic was really any different than regular produce.... I think many people think the same thing- that it's just a label with a high price tag)

Here is a comparison chart to show the different farming techniques used:

Conventional farmersOrganic farmers
Apply chemical fertilizers to promote plant growth.Apply natural fertilizers, such as manure or compost, to feed soil and plants.
Spray insecticides to reduce pests and disease.Use beneficial insects and birds, mating disruption or traps to reduce pests and disease.
Use chemical herbicides to manage weeds.Rotate crops, till, hand weed or mulch to manage weeds.

"But the FDA says it's safe..." Hmmm... should I even go there? My aunt was recently lamenting about when she used to run behind those trucks every summer that rolled through the neighborhood spraying DEET. Oops...

According to the Environmental Working Group, the following is a list of the 12 most contaminated fruits and veggies. So if you are strapped for cash, definitely buy organic with these guys:

1. Peaches

2. Apples

3. Sweet Bell Peppers

4. Celery

5. Nectarines

6. Strawberries

7. Cherries

8. Lettuce

9. Grapes (imported)

10. Pears

11. Spinach

12. Potatoes

Saturday, May 23, 2009


I keep hearing about this Paula Deen chick but had no idea who she was.  Today I heard her on KUT radio talking about this.  Sorry for the bad quality, oh and try not to barf...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tomorrow night. 7pm. Be there!

Be unrealistic.

Be outrageous.

Go way, way out on a limb.

Remember how you thought you could never do a pullup/box jump/ (insert your hurdle here)?

You are stronger and more capable than you realize.

The only way to achieve seemingly insurmountable goals is to decide you're gonna do it. 


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Accomplishments Big and Small

I love lists.  Goals, to-do lists, shopping lists, ideas, you name it. I especially love checking things off of my lists.

Back in December I attended a goal setting workshop with Carrie Contey .  I was ready. I had my brand new notebook and favorite gel pen.  The first thing she asked us to do was to spend 5 minutes writing down all of our accomplishments from the past year.  Accomplishments??!!

Now I have to admit that I have the memory of a goldfish so I could barely remember what I accomplished that very day.  I sat there staring blankly at my notebook, desperately trying to remember things I had done while simultaneously thinking "did I even do anything?!"  I vowed then and there that in 2009 I would write down 3 accomplishments at the end of each month.

Not only is my memory terrible, but I am a huge procrastinator.

At the end of April I finally wrote down my 3 accomplishments:

  1. Sat in a steam room for 7 minutes.
  2. Started and finished a book.
  3. Gave up dairy and gluten (mostly)
There are a few things about that list.  First of all, my accomplishments weren't life-changing (except #3).  And what may seem trivial or small to some is a huge deal to others.  Sitting in a steam room was a big deal for me because usually I feel so overwhelmed and claustrophobic I have to run out.  Not this time! 

Back in December I realized how important it is to look back and evaluate- not only what you've done/accomplished, but what is working for you.  I was so busy looking ahead and planning my lists I hadn't taken the time to appreciate what was working and all of the things I had accomplished.  Writing them down on paper solidifies it even more.

So..... as we near the end of the month, begin to look back and evaluate the month of May.  Start to compile your list.  You may find that you start looking at the coming months in a whole new way.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Calling all Bloggers

"I think we should have them do 50 burpees in between each event. What do you think, Carey?" " I don't know, Crystal. I'm partial to thrusters..."

What do these girls talk about looking so serious?!

I'm trying to compile a list of blogs and as you can see, I have just a few.  I know there are more out there, so if you have a blog or follow one that you think would be a good addition, please post it to comments or email me at  .

Don't forget about 2 events this week:

Goal setting on Thursday at 7
BBQ and something called Hoover Ball on Friday night
See you there!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Looking Back to Move Forward

How was your weekend?  

Weekends can be hard.  With a break in the weekday routine, it can be difficult to stay on track with eating and exercise.  For me, weekends have been an area I want to focus my attention on.  Big Mike wrote a great piece about this here

On the one hand I look forward to our family's Saturday night ritual of eating out at any one of Austin's fine Mexican establishments.  But on the other hand, I feel like I've undone a lot of hard work from during the week.  Two steps forward, one step back...

This weekend I decided to eat really clean all day Saturday and splurge on Saturday night.  A funny thing happened.  After my overindulgence in cheese enchiladas, I actually felt ill- so much so that I'm gonna have to re-think this splurging stuff.

How do you balance this?  Let's open this up.  Post your comments below and how it is working for you.

Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Going Green

I wanted to focus this post on Greens.  I see the plethora of leafy wonders piled in neat rows at Whole Foods and think, "What in the heck am I supposed to do with that?!"  Then I discovered this book, Greens Glorious Greens.  It is filled with some super tasty, yet quick and easy recipes.  Here are a few that I like:

Super Simple Savory Chard

1.5 lbs. Swiss or Red Chard
1 TBSP EVOO (Extra virgin Olive oil)
2 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 TBSP water
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 Lemon, cut into wedges

  1. Wash the Chard leaves and strip the leaves from the stalks.  Save the stalks for another use.
  2. Coarsely chop the greens.  In a large skillet or stockpot with a lid, heat oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes until golden.
  3. Turn heat to medium high.  Add greens and stir to coat with oil. Add 2 tbsp water, cover, and cook until greens are wilted and soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Taste the greens to make sure there is no raw edge to the flavor. Turn off heat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot with lemon wedges for squeezing.
Swiss Chard is easy to grow and a hearty plant that will survive the Summer heat and still produce into the Fall. 

Quick Southern- Style Collards and Bacon

3 Bacon Strips
3/4 lb. Collard greens (6 or 7 cups chopped)
2 cups water
1 TBSP Bacon drippings
1 cup thinly sliced leeks or onions
pinch of salt to taste

  1. Heat a 10-in. cast iron skillet (or just a fry pan).  Fry bacon until golden and fat is rendered. Remove bacon from fat to paper towel to drain. Pour off rendered fat to a metal container to reserve. Wipe out pan.
  2. Wash collards, remove stalks, and stack 4 to 5 leaves. Roll like a cigar and slice into thin strips, about 1/4 in. wide. In a large skillet with a lid, bring water to a boil. Add the greens and cook on high heat, covered, for 8 to 10 min. Cooked greens should be tender but still bright green. Remove greens from cooking liquid to a bowl, using a slotted spoon.  Save the "pot likker" to drink.  (I tried it, and... gross.)
  3. In large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the bacon drippings over medium heat. Add leeks and saute for 5 to 8 min., until softened. Stir in collards to coat with leeks and drippings.
  4. Season with salt, if desired. crumble cooked bacon over the hot greens for extra decadence.
The book calls collards a "goldmine" that outrank spinach, broccoli, and mustard greens in nutritional value.  Collards are high in fiber, rich in beta-carotene, and loaded with vitamin c, calcium, and B vitamins.
---Taken from Greens Glorious Greens by Johnna Albi & Catherine Walthers

Zone info:
1 1/4c = 1 block carbs (for both Swiss Chard and Collards)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What's Up With Those Videos?!

That's what my husband asked me after he caught me watching yet another CrossFit video. I love the videos. They are inspiring and make me want to go out there and work on my pullups!
Speaking of goals, there will be a Goal Setting workshop next Thursday evening at 7pm. Start thinking about where you're headed- in all areas of your life, not just physiscally.
What do you want to accomplish next month? In 3 months? A year from now?
And now a WOrD from Fran...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Showing up is Sometimes Half the Battle

We All Have Bad Days

Written by Ali Incredible 

I was chatting in the locker room after the WOD and the woman I was talking to was dissappointed in her performance. Relatively new to CrossFit, she persisted that she had performed terribly. What I would like to say is this: you showed up. After two years of CrossFit I have had peaks and valleys, been discouraged and elated, but when it comes down to it, crappy performance or PR, I showed up. Usually, I am the last to finish a workout, but sure as shit, when I get in my car after, there is always a little smile. Best or worst, congratulate yourself on coming. You’re among a small group of people that show up knowing you will get your ass kicked. If you’re new, please know that people who have been doing this for years, studs in the gym, do not PR everyday, they don’t set record times every day they come. It’s about effort, and half the battle is showing up. Next time you feel bad about your performance, tell yourself you’ll do better next time, look around you at the amazing folks that show up to sweat next to you, and smile. 

I came across this today on an affiliate site.  I wanted to share it because there are a lot of new CrossFitters out there who probably can relate to her post.  I remember how hard it was to get up at 5am that first cold day in January.  As luck would have it, we did Angie: 

100 situps, 

100 pullups 

100 pushups

 100 squats 

It was my very first Crossfit workout- EVER!!!  I thought I was going to die and had no idea why I signed myself up for such torture.  Like the posting above, I always felt like I was last. I felt weak and I looked around at everyone else making it look so easy.

But I kept showing up. 

It really is half the battle.  So don't give up.....Keep showing up....And celebrate all the PRs you hit- even if they seem small.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Nutrition Workshop

Have you been wondering what all this "Zoning" and "Paleo-ing" is about?  Have you been wanting to fine-tune your eating to maximize your performance?

Tomorrow there will be a Nurtition workshop at  Crossfit Central at 7pm.  Bring your food log if you have started logging.  If you don't have a food log, it is something that can really get you on track to achieving major results.  

I started logging back in January with the I am Crossfit Challenge.  It was a real eye opener to see- on paper- what I was/wasn't eating.  Even after the Challenge was over I continued to log. It keeps me (somewhat) honest, and I really think twice about eating that cupcake. 

I'm sure Carey will talk about the infamous Paleo Pancakes tomorrow night, so I found a link to the recipe along with the following picture

They do look pretty yummy.  Here is the recipe:

Time: 10 minutes

• 2 eggs
• 1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
• 1/2 C nut butter (not peanut butter! - cashew/macadamia nut butter works well)
• 1/4 tsp cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
• coconut oil

Mix all of the ingredients except the coconut oil in a bowl. Stir well, until you have a uniform batter. Next, use a bit of coconut oil to grease a non stick skillet. Spread some of the batter into the skillet to form a pancake, then cook over low/medium heat. Flip after 1 to 2 minutes, being careful not to burn them! 

Once you've cooked all of your pancakes, you can serve them with a variety of toppings. A few that I like: chopped apples and cinnamon; heated blueberries; real maple syrup; and unsweetened applesauce.

Zone info: 3 servings at 1/2 carb block, ~1/2 protein block, 15 fat blocks

See you tomorrow night!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thoughts on Motherhood

Today was a great day. I enjoyed being pampered and celebrated and all that.  But since I've been a Mom (4 years now), Mother's Day has meant something a little bit different to me.  It has, oddly enough, been more about them- Them meaning my kids.  Mother's Day has me thinking about what it means to be me... how I appear to my kids... how I want to appear to them.

When I was pregnant with Lily, I was really nervous about how my life was going to change.  Would I be a good mom?  What if she and I don't really hit it off? How can I raise a confident, smart, compassionate, self-aware human being?

When the Doctor placed Lily on my chest for the first time I thought my heart was going to explode out of my chest. It felt as though this trap door opened up that I never knew existed.  I had no idea I could love someone so much.  Yeah, I guess we hit it off...

As the overly- used- but- true saying goes:  Be the change you wish to see in the world.  
I have learned that, in order to raise my children to be all of those things, I must be those things:  confident, smart, compassionate, self-aware, kind, honest, hard-working, brave, sensitive, loving, giving, and on and on. I work on this every day.  Some days I don't do so well but like I tell my daughter "Tomorrow is a new day".   We need to remember that in every single thing we do: Tomorrow is a new day. 

I have posted a video of one of my faves, John Butler Trio, singing a song about his newborn daughter.  I have listened to this song a million times and it gets me every single time... I hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

What a day!

This morning was the kickoff of the Spartan Challenge.  Participants got their "before" pic snapped, body fat pinched (ugh), and then did a pretty grueling workout.  It was

25 Pullups
50 Deadlifts
50 Pushups--- (there was some great form out there!  Must be the 100 Pushup Challenge!)
50 Box Jumps
50 Floor Wipers
50 KB Clean and Press
25 Pullups


I was a volunteer this morning, so I counted reps and cheered people on.  It was so much fun to watch everyone give it their all.  The Floor Wipers seemed to be the hardest.  Here is a pic of Mel rockin' the Floor Wipers:

I was really inspired by all the sweat, grunts, and smiles.  For the next 6 weeks, participants will be food logging, checking in with their coach, and doing extra workouts on their "off" days.  In 6 weeks there will be a Spartan Finale and everyone will do the workout again- smoking their previous times I'm sure.  I can't wait to be there cheering you all on!!!  

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Building a Fit Community

That's the tag line on the Crossfit Central website. It's also what keeps me coming back. Like many of you, I've been going to various exercise classes for years- kickboxing, aerobics, yoga- but when class was over, that was it. I didn't know anyone's name and the instructor surely didn't know mine.

Fast forward to 2009.

A Fit Community. Whoever came up with that tagline is a genius.... Let's break it down:

Fit: complete health and wellness, nutrition, and of course, killer workouts

Who wouldn't want to be a part of that?! I think we, collectively speaking, lack community in our lives. Technology has made it very easy to hide out in our homes behind our computers, only communicating by email, text, or Facebook. (I'm guilty of this I admit) A feeling of connectedness is vital to our mental and social well-being and must be nurtured often. Ok, stepping down off the soapbox now...

My hope for this blog is to be a place of inspiration, information, and a little nonsense thrown in for good measure. I am very open to ideas, suggestions, and especially comments. PLEASE comment! This isn't just for CrossFitters either. We will be posting workouts you can do at home or on the Trail to spice up your routine. There will also be some recipes/menu planning ideas, Zone and Paleo info, goal setting, and lots and lots of just getting connected. I hope you'll join me.