Friday, January 29, 2016

My Recovery Rx

Getting ready to head to the gym for the 4th and final Lanco Open WOD. It's a 5 minute AMRAP of calories on the rower (gross) and 5 minutes to work up to a 1RM clean and jerk. Considering the state of my upper body and elbow this week ... if I even get up to 175lb I'm going to call it a win!

I somehow managed to PR my snatch balance by 20 pounds on Wednesday though. That's kind of a big deal ... considering 3 or so months ago I was definitely maxing out at 155. Here's 175lbs.

Speaking of my bum elbow .... I'm asked pretty often what I do for recovery, so here goes:

Epsom salt baths on the regular. 2-5 times a week, I soak in one for at least 20 minutes, but I've gone for an hour. I try to finish with a few contrasts blasts in the shower to flush some lactic acid out of my muscles; 30-60 seconds of as hot as I can handle and 30-60 seconds of as cold as I can handle.

Muscle Stim: I don't use my Compex as often as I should, maybe once a week. When I do use it though, I put it through 2 or 3 iterations of the active recovery session on whatever body part I have it on.

Soft Tissue Work: I always warm up and cool down with a lacrosse ball or my Nova. My shoulders and t-spine are always pretty upset with me, they require a lot of TLC.

Flossing: I don't do this as often as I should either. :( I have some bad tendinitis in my elbow, and I've lost the appropriate range needed to even lock it out, so it's always in a kind of tensed-up "on" position ... Flossing should help it a lot. I'm sure if I did it more, it would. Shit just hurts. A lot.

Mobility and Yoga: I am making it my February goal to ROMWOD first thing in the morning 3x a week (I train in the afternoons/evenings) and wake up feeling pretty junky. I do a lot of mobility though after class, where I work on hanging out in static positions for upwards of 2 or 3 minutes (pancake splits, middle splits, downward dog, twisted Lizard, etc.)

Supplements: I take Nordic Naturals Arctic Cod Liver Oil in the evening, sometimes an extra dose if I'm feeling pretty junky, along with Glucosamine + Chondroitin. Again, I have unhappy joints, I do whatever I can do help them out and ensure I'm not using a walker in the next 20 years. Before I sleep, I take two ZMA. Magnesium helps hard-training athletes with recovery. During the day I take Vitamin D, B-12, biotin (for my hair and nails) and on occasion an iron supplement if I'm feeling sluggish or it's that time of the month. 

Massage and Chiro: I used to do this regularly when I lived in Connecticut. I had a monthly membership to a massage clinic and used to get in there every 2-3 weeks for a 60 minute deep tissue focusing on whatever area my body most needed - most of the time it was my upper back and shoulders. I'm still on the fence about how I feel in regards to the chiro. I've been maybe a handful of times my whole life and can't say I feel one way or the other about it.

Food: I eat enough protein to support my lean body mass and strength goals in the gym and enough fruits, vegetables, and carbohydrates to fuel my training. I track everything I eat in a food journal.

Sleep: I love my sleep! I get at least 8 hours. When my body is feeling particularly spent, I've been known to sleep up to 10. I sleep in a cold (we set the thermostat to 55 degrees at night), very dark (black out curtains and zero lights, ZERO, nothing) my phone automatically goes into Do Not Disturb mode from 9pm to 9am. I am blessed to wake up naturally without an alarm - as I work from home and my kids have four legs and fur (and Dad let's them out when he gets up for work).

What about you guys? What's on your regular agenda for recovery?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Waffles are Pancakes with Abs

How funny. To escape one of the most record-breaking snowstorms to hit Pennsylvania, we drove north to Boston. I remember Boston this time last year; there was so much snow we were building snow tunnels and researching igloo blueprints. 

I think Boston got an inch over the weekend? Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania ...

I didn't take too many photos at the East Coast Championships, but if you follow me on SnapChat, there was a sh*t ton of activity on my story. So basic. I know.

The weekend was fast-paced and amazing. How else can I describe working shoulder to shoulder with my fiancé and a team of incredible volunteers (and fellow CrossFitters) on some sweet technology with the Media team? I think amazing aptly describes casually chatting with CJ Cummings on his PR power clean and jerk or giving Cody Anderson props on his epic mustache when he checked in for athlete registration.

The athletes are so normal and down to Earth and Ben Bergeron puts on a great show for us over here on the East Coast. I was stoked to be a part of it for my second year in a row. If you have the opportunity to attend or volunteer next year, do it! On top of rubbing shoulders with the athletes, you're treated really well. Paleo Naturals fed us all day, and we were hooked up with sweet gear from Red Line Apparel and a pair of No Bull Basic Trainers. 

In other news, it's the second week of the Lurong Living Resolution Challenge! And ... I'm already over it. HAH! Paleo is just is not a sustainable or healthy route of eating ... for me. It works for some folks, and I dig that. I feel it's too restrictive, can easily wind up being too high-fat, too high protein, and it leads to bloating, lethargy, and poor sleep. I threw in the towel when I started having really bad thoughts about binging, "Oh no, I think there was a little gluten in that. Might as well eat a doughnut, ice cream and this entire jar of peanut butter now." 

Like I said, it just does't work for me. I'm going to write a more in-depth blog post on how I feel restrictive diets are unhealthy and lead to binging and disordered eating, but that's for another day. 

As for me, I'm back to counting my macros and enjoying my flexible diet! I made the most amazeball protein waffles yesterday using Flap Jacked Protein Pancake Mix. Did you see the post I wrote over on Carrots N Cake? Go check it out!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Mini Paleo Bagels

I'm such a liar! I said I would get this recipe up on the blog last night. But, after getting home from the gym, soaking in an Epsom salt bath and drinking my perfectly portioned 6 ounces of wine, moving from my super soft spot on the couch seemed like such a sin.

Alas, here is the inspiration for these glorious little bagels! Travis tried them last night and said they reminded him more of a doughnut. This is because I used a hand mixer and not a food processor to blend the ingredients. This whipped a lot more air into them and changed the consistency to more muffin-like as opposed to a dense, bagel-like texture we so adore when we're not allowed to eat actual bagels. If you have a food processor, use it! If you don't, use your hand blender, just blend sparingly.

I prefer everything to be miniature for portion control reasons; plus, I always feel better when I can have two of anything. Even if it's a child-sized Paleo bagel. What a splurge. 

Paleo Mini-Bagels

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 24

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour (this is different than almond meal)
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 tbsp flax seed meal
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot flour
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
How To:

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your mini-muffin pan. I highly recommend using a silicone baking mold!
2. Place your almond flour, coconut flour, flax meal, arrowroot, baking soda and salt in the food processor. Process for 1 minute. Next add the eggs, honey, apple cider and process for two minutes until total blended.
3. Using a small spoon, pour into each doughnut mold. It's ok to over-fill these a little. Just make sure you can see the center post (you want the hole in the middle for that bagel-look). Tap the baking mold to help settle the mix. Bake for 15 minutes.
4. Let them cool in the baking pan for 5 minutes before popping them out of the mold. Make sure you re-grease if re-using the baking pan for the rest of the mix.
5. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information per one bagel:
103 calories
7g carbs
7g fat
3g protein

I am on Day 4 of the Lurong Living Resolution Challenge, and so far, so good. I am staying 'Elite' with most of my meals, but I have allowed myself to drop down to 'Pro' on a few, I had plain Greek yogurt and a bowl of steel-cut oats this morning. I'm training five days straight this week because I'll be busy this weekend in Boston drooling over CrossFitter's doing some elite exercising. I'm hoping the oats keep me moving through tomorrow.

I added 1 tbsp of chia seeds and 2 scoops of my favorite collagen peptides from Vital Proteins. 

I'm still performing well, even if I'm feeling a little sluggish. I hit a new 5RM on my back squat last night, 220lbs, and managed to string some muscles ups together during an AMRAP of pistols and handstand walks. 

I'm off to get my trusty old Subaru weatherized before our road trip to Boston tomorrow. Hoping we don't get stuck in too much snow! 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Porn, Yolk Porn

Happy FriYay!

Time is just flying. We're already halfway through the month. Can you believe it?

I celebrated my morning with an epic breakfast. I'm about to go repeat it right now for lunch. I'm getting as much bread in as I can before I start the Resolution Challenge on Monday. Someone remind me why I signed up for this again?

No but really, I signed up for the Resolution Challenge because I'm on a mission to get some abs. 

Plus, it's always fun to sign up for friendly competition with your favorite people at your favorite place! P.S. I'm on the hunt for a good egg white protein powder. Any suggestions?

I plan on flexible dieting WHILE staying within the parameters of the food rules of Lurong. So, IIFYM with much cleaner food options. Less alcohol, less bread, less sugar. More whole foods, more real foods. Still sticking to my macros. I'll be logging it all on MyFitnessPal, feel free to follow along: PetiteAthleat.

While we are talking about Flexible Dieting, let's shout out to one of my clients who's eating to fit her macros and KILLING IT. She's in school full time to become a nurse, owns and operates a CrossFit gym, and is a competitive CrossFitter with minimal time to train. So, she's pretty much my hero.

In other exciting new this week: I started the BarbellWOD and I'm loving it! It's spicy! And every week gets progressively harder as we add more weight when we're successful in attempts. Love, love, love.

And to round off an excellent week, I partnered with Christian's Fitness Factory, a local company that makes and supplies exercise equipment. They'll be following me around through the Open, documenting the slow, brutal, crushing of my soul.

And to round off an excellent week, I partnered with Christian's Fitness Factory, a local company that makes and supplies exercise equipment. They'll be following me around through the Open, documenting the slow, brutal, crushing of my soul.
Check out the video we worked on earlier this week. 

This evening we're hitting Lanco Open WOD #2! Have a great weekend, ya'll!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Holy Wallballs, Batman

Happy January! This is my first post of 2016! That might actually make me the worst blogger, officially. Considering it's the 9th.

Exciting things happening around here this month!

The Lanco Open started this week. It's a local competition similar to the CrossFit Open, only folks who live in neighboring counties can sign up to compete. The WODs are announced on Thursday evenings, and we have until Monday night to complete them. The Top 15 athletes at the end of the 4 weeks compete at the Lanco Games at CrossFit Ephrata.

I'm excited because these workouts are very reminiscent of the Open workouts in that they're not very heavy and they're complete burners. This is a fun, local competition, and I'm excited to familiarize myself with some of the local CrossFitters. Generally the more technical movements (muscle ups) are saved until the end, so everyone can input some type of score for the leaderboard (there's only one division). Perfect prep for the actual CrossFit Open.

The first workout was announced Thursday and we did it last night.

50 wallballs, 20/14, 10/9ft
25 shoulder to overhead, 95/65lb
40 wallballs
20 shoulder to overhead
30 wallballs
15 shoulder to overhead
20 wallballs
10 shoulder to overhead

Wth the remaining time, perform as many double unders as possible.

I finished the workout with about 2:00 minutes left, it was the longest 2:00 minutes of my life. Let me tell you, I generally enjoy double unders. But when you have nothing ahead of you to look forward to except more double unders - ugh! I finished with 406 total reps (196 dubs).

After, I set a running clock. Every 90 seconds, I added 5 pounds to the bar and hit a hang snatch + 1 snatch. I worked up to 150 pounds, for a PR on my hang snatch. I think 5 pounds? Could have been 10 ... I was excited nonetheless. My legs were jello after those wall balls. The hang is generally not the strongest position for me, so hitting this was a confidence booster.

It is pretty neat, considering at this time two years ago, that was my 1RM hang clean. Baby progress, but progress. I don't think two years ago I ever thought I'd be able to snatch what I do today.

Today's class was another burner and a little bit of barbell cycling practice.

10 minutes to work up to 90% of your 1RM power clean, which is 175lbs for me, then, drop the bar to 60% (115b) and perform 10 reps unbroken, rest a few minutes, and then perform 20 unbroken (spicy!)

The conditioning today were four different movements, each performed tabata-style. 20 seconds of work, 10 second of rest for 8 rounds. 1 minute rest between movements. They were Russian twists (14 pound wall ball), burpees to a plate, row cals and double unders. I know, more double unders!

My new year is off to a great start, I hope yours is, too!