fitness and nutrition

Baby Steps and Big Jumps for Chick 2

Is there such a thing as a “traditional” or stereotypical CrossFitter? Maybe there’s an image in your head of what a CrossFit athlete looks like.  Muscular, slender, radiant (or rugged), ripped, youthful. (Hobbling, maybe).  You can tell who they are because they are always Talking About CrossFit.

If there is a stereotypical CrossFitter, I am NOT that.  I am heavier, older, basically an uncoordinated mess on most days. I do talk about CrossFit a lot, but that’s where the resemblance to that image stops.

I have a long road. Everyone starts somewhere, but many of the people at my box have some sort of sport or physical activity in their background. Swimming, gymnastics, dance, and so on. Not me. So I’m not getting back on the horse or the bike or whatever, but riding it for the first time. I’ve described CrossFit as finally getting to know my body after living in it for 45 years.

Between my lack of athletic background and various injuries, my workouts look different than most of the people I am in class with. I have been doing CrossFit regularly for 15 months and still do many / most workouts with some kind of scale and / or adaptation.  Thankfully we have great coaches who know me and help me continue to improve.

Here are some recent milestones that might be unimpressive for some, but were big deals for me.

A couple of weeks ago we had 1000 jump ropes in a single WOD. Five rounds, 200 in each round. Jump ropes are a struggle for me, both in coordination and breath control.  Lifting 200+ pounds off the ground that many times is a lot of physical and mental lifting. I was already preparing myself for failure, asking my coach what to do if I just couldn’t get the rope to cooperate. I had to complete it in in sets of 30 or 40, sometimes even 20.  But, I made it through it. I’ve never done that many in a single workout before! Celebration!

The second big milestone was burpee jumpovers.  Sometimes the workout calls for jumping over a barbell (with plates) or a box.  I always either step over the box or jump over a bar on the flat ground.  But, this time the WOD had dumbbell jump overs.  I was working out by myself and just went over to the little side area of the gym and gave it a try.  Ok, so it’s only like 6 inches off the ground, but it was still another mental and physical challenge.  So tiring! But I did about 50 of them (without falling) which felt like an amazing accomplishment.  (See pic below. Too tired to smile.)

My steps forward may be smaller than most.  There are movements that may take me many years to attempt, much less achieve.  But, I keep showing up and trying to get better each day.  It has given me new confidence. I’m not even afraid of sled pulls anymore! Or embarrassed by doing them in front of people in the parking lot!

I don’t think there’s such a thing as a stereotypical CrossFitter. It can work for anyone, and it’s big for someone like me to say that.  As time goes on, I’ve come to see myself as an athlete after all.

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Thanks, Mason Woodruff!

This post is an open thank you note…a tribute to Mason Woodruff of masonfit Mugs for Muscles / Stronger U Recipe Guru fame.  If you don’t know him and you are interested in fueling your body for performance or weight loss or just healthy deliciousness, you are in for a treat. As I’ve gone week after week through my first session of Stronger U, I’ve become more and more of a Mason Woodruff fan.

At first, even before I signed on to Stronger U, I would look at the recipes on the Stronger U Instagram feed and think they sounded soooooo strange.  Make your own chicken nuggets?  Protein boats?  Proats?  Pumpkin in chili?  Protein powder everywhere you turn, even in cupcakes?   What is all this stuff?  And who would want to make it, never mind eat it?

As I got further into understanding and counting macros (and forever chasing my daily protein goals), I decided to give some of the recipes try.  Now, 10 weeks in, Mason Woodruff is my go-to for macro-friendly recipes.  Since many in the Stronger U community are serving up Mason Woodruff recipes today for #SUFamilyDinner, I thought I’d highlight some of my favorites.

Entrees

First, Mike Nuggets.  An SU classic and staple in my lunches lately.  Simple.  I order the pretzel coating from amazon.  Huge protein boost.

My new favorite is his pepperoni chicken parmesan meatballs.  I have to be careful with these because I am losing carbs each week and these are super poppable.  I can quickly get out of control.  My solution right now is to make a batch of each on Sundays and have a couple of each kind at lunch each day.

The bacon cheeseburger brussels sprouts were tasty.  I love brussels and adore a burger.  But, for the most part I am meal prepping in advance and want something I can reheat throughout the week.  This didn’t hold up very well.  Best when fresh.

Soups

I pretty much love soup in the cold weather months.  Here are a couple I’ve tried so far:

Southwest Chicken Corn Chowder

I made this one in the crock pot.  My husband didn’t even notice the cauliflower and he really liked the soup (he refused to call it a chowder.  He’s a chef.)  It went quickly.

I liked Jalapeno Popper Bean Bacon soup. One of the things that amazed me was the use of fat free cream cheese.  The soup still tasted rich and creamy.  Has a few too many carbs for my numbers right now, but I’d make it again.

Treats

No Bake Fall Balls

Love the chocolate chips and the pumpkin, and they filled me up.  My daughters didn’t care for them.  They said they could taste the protein powder but I couldn’t.

Double Chocolate Pancake Poppers.

I brought these to the recent competition as a snack for the ladies and myself.  10 grams of protein with the help of protein powder and Kodiak Cakes pancake mix.  I liked them but wouldn’t eat them every day.  I did like how they didn’t weigh me down.  I was afraid they would be heavy.  I also need to budget more time to cool them off before dipping.

The Toughest (and maybe Tastiest) One So Far

Finally, a request from my friend KT, the Cheesy High Protein Taco Boats.  (Obviously I am not a food stylist but the taste is amazing.)

I had my eye on these for a while when she sent me the recipe.  It was the nudge I needed to try it.  One of my favorite things about Mason Woodruff’s recipes is the way he uses unexpected ingredients to make things luscious and satisfying.  Who would have thought to use fat free Greek yogurt and cheese powder to add just the right richness to  such a meaty filling?  Or Kodiak Cakes buttermilk pancake mix with (again) fat free Greek yogurt to make the boat?  It’s not really much to look at but with 50 – yes 50 (!?!?!) – grams of protein, this was great.  And, I didn’t get hungry for like 7 hours.  Amazing.  And tacos are my fave so….

What’s Next

I want to try the proats but at this point it works to keep my breakfast very simple.  High protein yogurt, berries, a sprinkle of protein cereal. Mornings are crazy with commuting and work.  But, maybe as a dessert treat.  Speaking of dessert, I also REALLY want to try the healthy banana cake.  Just looks dee-lish.  And then there are the healthy cheeseburger bites…And more. I also need a food processor and an air fryer! Thanks, Mason, and SU, for crave-able, makeable, macro-able meals!

fitness and nutrition

KT’s Week 10 or Weak 10?

It’s been a 10-week roller coaster ride already? Where does the time go?

As I rolled into week 10, I was exhausted from travel yet pumped for my competition. Adreneline won out for sure on Saturday morning but weakness set in by Sunday. Thank goodness for rest days.

Week 10 was a hot mess for me. I ate well and worked out consistently Monday through Wednesday, then I hit the road for a trip and packed and planned for eating healthy when I had access to my hotel stash.

Enter conference food. Breakfast was meh but lunches were high on carbs as far as choices go…well, high for carbs based on my eating plan. Then, flip to dinner and that’s a dine-on-your-own type of deal, but then you have peer pressure to try the local spots in groups. Enter butter, desserts, extra fat, more fat, extra calories that serve no purpose, and so on.

Fast forward to the scale. It is just not my friend today. Well, is it the scale’s fault or my lack of will power? Whatever the reason, the scale is up by week’s end. I am not a happy camper!

So much reflecting to do. Would have, could have. Should have. But yup, that time has come and gone and just as night turns into day I need to reset and move on. New day. New challenges await. New outlook. Reset. Repeat.

I shopped for groceries and everything fell into the clean eating category. Threw down the “no eating out” message to the fam for the week. See, anything is possible if you adjust your mindset.

On the flip side of the scale debacle, we didn’t finish first nor last in the competition. We finished about middle of the road. We didn’t quit and we endured some hard workouts. We pushed through soreness and we ate lots of bacon which always makes me happy.

We appeared to be one of the more vintage looking teams and that made us smile. Our sparkle-N-snatch shirts were a hit. We met some cute puppies looking to get adopted and we met some amazing people in between heats. Overall, it was an amazing experience.

Boom, there it is! Thunder I tell ya. My buddy Jim inked me as part of his #inktober illustration series. What an honor and privilege and it was just what I needed to reset my mind. A vantage point of me from another that I don’t see daily. A portrait of a strong and healthy badass chick. Yup, that’s me folks. Welcome to my world. Enjoy the glimpse into my world that I share in this blog. It’s only one tiny piece of me but one that is important for me to share.

Some may knock my motivational ways but others embrace it. Whatever category you fall into it’s okay with me. It takes all types to make up the world and I know I am an acquired taste. You might not have had enough of a taste of me to see how I sparkle in this world. Thank you, Jimmy. You put a smile on my face and you are incredibly talented. People please check out his art on instagram @jimgleeson. Of course, I am a little biased since he illustrated my first three books!

Midweek moves on to Halloween and how a little fun can improve your mindset. Wednesday Wisdom is don’t forget to have fun. Check out my Halloween pic from the start of this post. I am wearing my 13-year-old’s uniform so big score for Mom right there and boom! my 5am makeup was on point. Hope you all had some fun this week but didn’t eat too much candy. I skipped the Kit Kats, the Rolos, the dark chocolate, etc. I didn’t miss it.

I’m back to the grind of macro management as we approach the holidays and my travel demands increase on the work front. Discipline, dedication and consistency are the name of the game for me.

More trials and tribulations of KT to come. Keep following along and see where I end up next.

Adios for now.

featured, fitness and nutrition

KT’s Week 9: Competition Time

If you have been keeping up with my blog posts, I journal about events, adventures and my fit life chronicles. Boring to some yet entertaining to others.

For those of you who find my entries entertaining, you should note I am super competitive. I am competitive in sports, in business, and just about everything in life. It’s okay for others to win, but I compete to win whatever I set out to do for me. I may play the same game, compete in the same workout, or bid the same job, but I compete for me and that is a differentiator.

My goals may be different than yours. You may win the tennis match but my goal might have been to improve my serve or win a volley. I am still competing and I am still a winner but at my own inner game. I will never tell my goals to most as they are what I battle for internally. The internal game fuels my soul, but others don’t partake in that.

This week I am competing in a partner CrossFit event. In the spotlight of some sort. Seeking attention as some would say. Mid-life crisis to others and those who can’t endure will cast hate. I don’t expect to win my division but I expect to compete and put up my best performance in the assigned movements while being a good partner for my teammate. I will cheer her on when she needs it and I will strategize with her on movements, transitions, and working towards our strengths. I will wipe sweat, fuel my body, and push my limits mentally and physically for the duration of the event.

I will feel the rush of adrenaline. I will smile from ear to ear. I will show others that I can conquer what I set my mind to. I will celebrate my friendship with a friend I met at our box 2 years ago. A friend who is competing with me for the third time. She thinks we are craZy but she will sign up for another soon. I just know it!

And what brings her back for more? It has to be the team name. We are Sparkle and Snatch, the dynamic duo for this event. Last competition, Team Hot Mess. The 40-something chicks with sass and smarts. Full-time day jobs but a hunger to live life full of fitness and fun.

The big obstacle this week for me is physical health. Can I compete? Can I push through mentally and physically? Why the change in tone in my writing? I suffered a random injury this week. A calf pull – not during my tennis match, but after. I celebrated too early or had too much fun and *boom* I pulled my muscle skipping off the court. Who does that? This girl. It was a significant pull. One that left me limping to my car and tapped out for the rest of the tennis tournament.

This injury means rest, ice, recovery, some muscle scraping, taping, and some patience to see if I can bounce back to perform the required movements in the competition. If you think about it, your calf is vital to functions such as walking, running, jumping and so on. And of course the competition calls for those type of movements. #realworldproblems

What a crappy Monday! My coach took away more carbs…sigh. And of course she keeps that protein number up there in the sky where I have difficulty reaching it.

New week new digits:

115 carbs
57 fat
130 protein

Ah, trying new things to get to that dreaded protein number. Bacon? Yes, more bacon please. A side of protein chips compliments of Quest. At least they crunch like a regular chip.

While I focus on stepping up my protein game this week I am also focusing on not being in my feelings about my injury. A minor setback, yet a humbling experience. I’m still working out, just scaling some movements. I particularly made friends with the Ski Erg this week. It allowed me to work my upper body without engaging my calf. And I actually liked it. One of my gym buddies pushed me to do some GHDs and of course there was no excuse not to put in core work.

Nutrition this week is preparing my body for the competition that I am hopeful to attend. That’s all folks. Next update is next week. Don’t eat too many bon bons waiting for the next post.

#Sparkle-N-Snatch October 2018. Praying for the ability to compete. This is my goal at this point: to compete. That is my inner challenge that I don’t normally share. Will I overcome my obstacles?

Next competition is set for December 2018. Squad competition: Team is named All Jacked Up. Can’t wait to share that jacked up story with you and hopefully I won’t be injured. #athleteprobs

fitness and nutrition

KT’s Week 8: I Sweat Hearts

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I love to workout out and it shows in my sweat! Does anyone out there sweat hearts like me?

Not only do I sweat hearts but but I love my Saturday workouts with people I don’t get to see during the week due to busy hectic work schedules. My Crossfit community makes the stress of the week fade like a bad 80s outfit. It’s that simple.

After a nice morning workout I hit the road for a quick weekend trip. I planned ahead and packed my macro-friendly breakfast and healthy snacks for a day at the ball field. I had baggies full of chicken meat, P3 protein packs, microwavable protein-packed meals, sparkling Ice water, gummies, and a few other on the go snacks. I managed to eat out with friends but stay within my macros. I squeezed in a soft serve ice cream cone on my drive through North Carolina for a pick-me-up.

I had a sliver of time to hit up a local mall and *viola* I found my winter bathing suit. Well, it’s one I will use this winter for progress pics that will hopefully not fit when boating season arrives next spring. Making smart choices isn’t that hard if you plan ahead. Working hard isn’t so far fetched if you are working towards a goal. #goalgetter On a side note sitting in the car for a road trip was extra boring!

New week, new numbers to conquer. Just kidding! I have the same numbers.

130 protein
63 fat
120 carbs

This is my second week with these numbers and my body is reacting. Down a few pounds this week who hoo but more importantly I feel great and my stamina and gym performance isn’t faltering even with a calorie deficit.

I may end up liking burpees now. Is that even possible, to like doing burpees?

Heading out for some more travel over the next couple weeks so the big test is if I can manage my healthy lifestyle while bouncing from hotel to hotel and spending extended time in the seat of a car or a plane. Not to mention messing with my daily workout routine.

Until next post, toodles.

author moments

Literacy Night with the 2 Chicks!

It was a dark and stormy night….really!

Seriously though, last week was amazing! 2 Chicks headlined a literacy night at a local elementary school. It was well attended despite the hurricane weather fast approaching. The set up was cozy; kids gathered with blankets and snacks on the floor. We couldn’t have been happier to meet these readers. Sharing our books and our story as authors is the heart of what we do!

We had a diverse audience, which we love, as we get to hear what our readers think about our work. What more honest critic (and fan) is there than a child?

Some of the kids were interested in the illustrations and why we chose what we did. Others were fascinated with the book-within-a-book concept from our third book. Still others wanted to know what it means to be an author and how we got our start. Many enjoyed hearing about the beginning, middle, and end of the process of making a book. Of course, the 2 CHX love the opportunity to share all of our ideas in hopes of inspiring future writers and illustrators. We encouraged them to carry notebooks with them and keep paper by their beds. You never know when ideas will strike!

Chick 1, KT, had a particularly moving experience where she met a young boy who likes to write comics with his friend. His friend likes to illustrate their ideas. WOW that is amazing! A partnership of creativity much like the the 2 Chicks have! A relationship to cherish. Their conversations expanded as the evening continued and his curiosity climbed. KT seized the opportunity to inspire and share artwork and works in progress, a true behind the scenes look for this aspiring writer. They then exchanged contact information at the child’s request to form a pen pal relationship and the young man offered future book reviews. What an amazing opportunity for both the child and the author. A connection made and more inspiration to follow….maybe even some pen pal updates. Our cup is overflowing with pure joy when we have events like this.

For Chick 2, Beth, it was an opportunity to connect with former students of her own. Chick 2 used to teach future teachers at the University of Georgia all about reading, writing, and children’s books. Three of her former college students are now teachers at this elementary school! Seeing these educators, now colleagues, encourage young people to enjoy reading, writing, and sharing their ideas was a full circle moment.

Thanks so much to our local friends for inviting us! We are looking forward to reaching more readers this way in the coming months and years. If you’d like us to visit, let us know!

Our message: Keep reading. Keep writing. Keep smiling. Keep doodling. Keep dreaming. You can be whatever you aspire to be.

fitness and nutrition

KT’s Week 7: Accountability Ass KicKeR week, of course!

Well, I ended the week with a strain to my lower back in the gym. Spent two days recovering but I overcame the obstacle which is a big sigh of relief.

Back at it Monday morning hitting the gym, but I took it easy as a precautionary step. At my age I need to listen to my body and rest when it says it needs a break.

New numbers out of the gate:

120 carbs
60 fat
130 protein

Check out my consistency screen shot of my food tracker app. I may not be perfect each day but my coach has me aim for within 5 grams of my numbers to stay on track. In the past few weeks I struggled with protein. One day I struggled with fat. Go figure, since I had to use olive just to get the fat I had that day! I guess the moral of the story is eat good protein and you limit your fat intake naturally. Chicken and shrimp are high protein with minimal impact on fat. #bigsecretIknow

Out with the old: there goes the rice, potatoes, and bagels. Sniff, sniff. I knew this was coming each week but it doesn’t make it any easier. I think it’s ok to say I am addicted to carbs.

In with the new: here comes the protein-packed food to hit that daunting protein number each day. Chicken and shrimp are my best friends for now.

New menu addition this week: out of necessity, to stay within my macros and still eat a bagel, I opted for a simple variation of my bagel but made with Greek yogurt. The yogurt definitely makes it fit better in my macros. Pretty tasty, but of course I didn’t make it! A pal made them for me. Remember it takes an army to feed me because my cooking skills suck! Check the recipe out:

//www.skinnytaste.com/easy-bagel-recipe/

Epic cooking failure: I attempted to make flapjack oatmeal protein cookies this week. It was a no go. I gifted them to others who may enjoy the chalk-like taste or they may just toss them in case they were just being nice to accept, knowing how bad of a cook I am!

And holy wow my coach kicked me in the rear this week.

“Share your journal” she said in a nice email. What? That’s my private entries that only I see…until now.

Enter the big sigh. If I want results I need to do the work. This is another reason why this blog is important. Others need to see this road isn’t easy and it’s full of obstacles. Dig deep and suck it up buttercup. Every ounce matters on the scale you weigh on as well as the scale you weigh your food on!

I will be electing not to write for a few days. One reason is I’m traveling for business and the other is I am going to be pouting about sharing my journal.

I may wait until the end of the week and just say yup it worked or no it just stressed me out (referring to the journal ass kicking).

Update: scale is going down finally. Many non-scale victories along the way but patience and consistency is now yielding results. More to come in future posts.

Until next time…