Wednesday, July 12, 2017

So Much Protein Apple Doughnuts

Flapjacked protein pancake mix might be my favorite of all the protein baking mixes. They do well as waffles, as baked goods, and as pancakes - they are so extremely fluffy.

I saw a recipe on the back on the Cinnamon Apple bag for doughnuts. I recently purchased a doughnut baking pan at Target (along with $129 worth of other things that threw themselves into my cart), and had to give it a whirl.

When I calculated the macros, they were too good to be true! The recipe makes 9 doughnuts. Each doughnut yields 2g fat, 3g sugar, 8g protein and 9g carbs. Amazeballs. This includes the frosting I added and the cereal sprinkles.

You could double this recipe easily to make 18, or use a mini-doughnut pan to make twice as many, but more fun-size!

I created a cream cheese protein frosting and sprinkled them with my favorite cereal: cinnamon Honey Bunches of Oats. They are divine! Store them in the fridge for up to a week. They're delicious cold, or pop them into the toaster oven or microwave to bring that fresh-baked smell back into the kitchen.

1-1/4 c. cinnamon apple mix
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup plain greek non-fat yogurt
1/4 cup applesauce
Dash of vanilla
Sprinkle of nutmeg

2 tbsp whipped cream cheese
2 tbsp vanilla protein powder
Enough almond milk to create a thick but spreadable frosting

1/4 cup Honey Bunches of Oats with Cinnamon 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix ingredients together until blended. The more you mix them, the more cake-like your doughnuts all become. 

Dollop batter into grease doughnut pan. Fill pan to the center but don't cover. 

Bake 13-15 minutes. Let cool completely.

Mix frosting ingredients together vigorously, you want no lumps. Spread evenly over each cooled doughnut. Sprinkle with crushed cereal. 


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Why I Wear A FitBit

I should have a name for her. In my mind, she's definitely a her. Even though, she's all murdered out and kinda thuggish looking (black frame, black band).

I'm talking about my FitBit Blaze.

Blanca. I will call her Blanca. (You can see her on my left arm below).

Blanca is my reminder to not be a slug outside of the gym. When I am not wearing Blanca, honestly, I am a lazy bum. I avoid excess trips up the stairs, I spend less time outside with the pups, I spend less time cleaning the house, less time cooking, and generally, less time running errands and completing important tasks. I tell people I am the laziest CrossFitter ever, I am not kidding when I say that.

Blanca keeps me honest. I was sedentary before I started wearing a FitBit. And I really didn't know it.  I thought I was always on the go, go, go. But feeling stressed and actual activity are not the same thing. Go figure.

The first thing I did was purchase a treadmill desk. No more sitting for a few hours here and a few hours there catching up on emails. When I am working these days, I'm walking. She made me realize that my morning activity of sitting and drinking my coffee while browsing Facebook was a lame way to start the day. Now I don't open Facebook until at least lunchtime (it's hard when you run a business via social media) & I take my coffee outside and enjoy the morning on our property with our dogs.

Sitting is no bueno. Have you even read Deskbound, bro?

Not only does Blanca remind me to move more (park farther away from the grocery store entrance, park farther away from the restaurant), she keeps track of my nightly sleeping habits. I am a dork for data, I didn't know it before though. Before Blanca, I went to bed when I wanted and woke up when I wanted. Some nights I'd stay up way too late and then wake up 2 hours later and suffer through terrible insomnia. My sleep was all over, and I never got what I needed. It's crazy, because I know how important sleep is. But, it wasn't until I saw my pattern and saw my sleep graph from FitBit, that I knew I needed a change. Less TV, less blue light, less caffeine, a properly timed nighttime snack, more magnesium, and a routine sleep schedule - I sleep like a baby and it's very consistent. 10am bedtime, 7-8a wakeup and an uninterrupted night of sleep.

I use Blanca in the gym when I'm training. This isn't the reason I bought her though, it's just an added feature. I love the Blaze because it comes with different exercise modes, which in turn provides more accuracy. When I start warming up, I put it in Circuit Training mode, and keep it there until I'm done for the day and cooling down. (I move it higher on my arm, about 2 inches above my wrist, for the most accurate heart rate monitoring). I don't need exact tracking with training though - I know I'm working hard. I more love her more for the 22 hours I'm not in the gym - the bulk of my life. I know I'm active and working hard when I'm fitnessing, I don't need an activity tracker for that. What I do need to know is what I'm doing with the other hours of my day. How am I recovering? How am I sleeping? What's my average heart rate at rest, etc.

On Monday, my husband and I took our nephews to Hersheypark for the day. It might have gotten a little damp at the water park ... When I woke up Tuesday morning, it wasn't working. Oopsies. I contemplated purchasing a new one. Blanca wasn't cheap. Did I want to drop another $200 on a new one? (By the way, they new make waterproof versions).

It turns out, YES. A huge, resounding yes. After the last few days of not wearing Blanca, I have noticed my laziness sinking to new depths. It even affected me in the gym! I was way more motivated to get home and shower than I was to do any extra work or an optional conditioning session. Blanca ALWAYS motivated me to do more.

She's like that friend that reminds you without being all in your face: YOU CAN DO BETTER.

Yeah, it might just be a watch to some people, but to me, Blanca effectively changed me for the better. She made me more aware, and allowed me to change a few things in my day to day that really added up to big change.

"Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed."

If you're looking for a FitBit of your own, this is the one I recommend. If you already have one, add me as a friend on the app ( I do Workweek Hustle's regularly, and I'm always looking for new friends to keep me moving.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Atlantic Regionals - We Made It!

This post is a little over-due. My bad!

It's been nice to have the last two weeks to decompress though and reflect. It's still pretty surreal.

I remember the conversation exactly. Travis and I were in the car on our way to Assateague Island to celebrate my 29th birthday almost a year ago. I think both of us had gotten to this point in our CrossFit training where we wanted something more. I'd been to Regionals in 2014 as an Individual - I chalked it up to my once in a lifetime opportunity, being in the right place at the right time, and probably not something I'd ever be able to achieve again. I was happy with that.

But Travis was not so content. In 2014 he had come really close to qualifying for Regionals on a team - a feeling I think that left him even more hungry to make this dream a reality. Almost succeeding haunts people.

Anyone knows though, to send a team, you need talented females. They're not easy to come by. Boys, sorry, you're a dime a dozen.

Travis and I absolutely LOVE CrossFit Gamma, the gym where we were exclusively training and coaching at the time. The community is incredible, the coaches are savvy, the equipment is state of the art and the space is located right in the heart of Hershey, PA. What is not to love! Like most affiliates, most of the members do CrossFit for the exact reason they should be doing CrossFit - recreationally, for fun, to stay fit, to keep their weight manageable, and to keep up with their kids. CrossFit as a sport is a different story, and most folks just don't have an interest in spending hours in the gym to train competitively. I cannot blame them!

But Travis was motivated. And he had a dream. To send a team to Regionals. He knew that joining forces was going to be the key. So, we made the hard decision to start training at both CrossFit Gamma and CrossFit Ephrata. Once December rolled around, we were training at CrossFit Ephrata almost exclusively, ramping up for the Open.

And let me tell you, CFE is a pearl. I think their must be something in the water, because the girls that train there are so talented (the boys aren't too shabby either). With Travis and I, we had a well-rounded team of 8+ individuals with heaps of athletic talent, determination, and a promise to each other to give our best effort for the team.

It's so absolutely amazing what happens when a group of individuals comes together with one common goal. Magic, that's what happens. It was a lot of late nights, tough training sessions, long weekends, sore bodies, and hours of commuting, but it was so worth it. We couldn't have done it without the support of CrossFit Gamma, of CrossFit Ephrata, of the community, of our friends and family.

We finished 10th in the Open, we finished 16th at Regionals, but more importantly - we have this bond, this shared experience, that is really special between us.

There are some people who believe that loyalty to a box is more important than anything. More important than growth. Perhaps they fear change. Perhaps they've become too comfortable in their bubble. Like dead fish, they'd rather go with the flow, than fight upstream for the riches that only rewarded after a hard trial. CrossFit is one community; we shouldn't draw lines that separate us, but we should open doors that unite us. We should challenge ourselves constantly -  by experiencing new coaches, training in different (therefore uncomfortable) environments, and sweating alongside people that are better than you. 

It was Greg Glassman himself who said, “We fail at the margins of our experience."

People have asked if we plan to do it again, next year. You bet your ass we do. And we hope that even more people want to join in on our debauchery, want to commit to the training, want to be on the team, and want to fight for a spot to throw down in Atlanta! 

Where does Travis fit in all of this? Well, based on his broken pelvis and his concussion, he won't be able to deploy with his unit in July. That means he will be able to finish his second year apprenticeship this fall, and it means (recovery depending), he'll be able to compete in the Open with us (and fight for his dream), one more time. 

For everyone that supported us near and far, thank you! 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Protein Cinnamon Roll Doughnuts

I've been waiting to update the blog until I had the time to sit down to write a re-cap of Regionals and the mayhem leading up to it - illness, motorcycle accidents, hospital stays ...

But for now, I will share this delicious recipe! I'll be adding this to my weekly meal-prep. You could easily change it up with chocolate chips, various protein powders for different flavor frostings, adding peanut butter, sprinkles, dipping them in cereal, shredded coconut, etc. Whatever your macros allow, this is an awesome base recipe to build upon.

I don't know what to call these actually. If a doughnut and a cinnamon roll had a baby, a healthy baby, filled with protein, this would be it! They're easy to make, take no time to bake, and keep well in the fridge. I eat them cold, right out of the fridge.


  • 2 cups Kodiak Cakes mix 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk 
  • 1/3 c water 
  • 1 egg 
  • 3 tbsp Truvia or sweetener of choice 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • Dash of cinnamon

Frosting Glaze

  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • Enough almond milk to make a thick glaze 
  • Maple extract (optional)

How To
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, then spoon the mixture into a large plastic bag. Cut one corner of the bag so that you can pipe it into a doughnut pan, mini-muffin tray, cupcake tin, etc. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden on top.

Macros for the entire recipe: 15g fat, 120g carbs, 90g protein

Divide this by however many servings you decide to make, depending on what kind of baking vessel you use.

*I used a casein protein for the frosting, which I think lended well to a thicker frosting, but play around with all kinds and flavors!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

I'd Double Tap That

True story, I never look at Instagram anytime around 9:30am. I try not to look it until at least 10:30am. Why?

It has nothing to do with me trying to live a more productive life (which is why I leave my phone to charge in the living room, and not at my bedside at night), but it has everything to do with my self-esteem.

9:30 is the Instagram power hour. I have no idea how every single elite, strong, fit female posts at this exact-ish time, but they do. My feed overflows with PR's, novel movements, and more fitness than I feel like we see at the CrossFit Games.

I follow a lot of really amazing elite athletes, and a lot of really normal people -- who happen to CrossFit. The "normal" ones are some of my favorite. The girls with day jobs, kids, life stress, bills to pay, but still manage to hit Diane unbroken and string together muscle ups. But you have to be careful. Because this is all you see. Literally, post after post of each individuals highlight reel. You don't see the long nights. The baby throwing up on them. The rest days they took between those PR's. You didn't know that they were an elite gymnast as a kid and a collegiate soccer player that has been lifting weights since high school. No, all you know is that you're not doing what they're doing. You're comparing your Chapter 12 to their Chapter 47.

But it's so easy to get lost in the never-ending swiping; seriously, did everyone PR their squat clean this morning? WTF. Am I the only girl that can't clean 220lbs right now? Oh, now look at this one, she's eating a doughnut. How does she have abs like that? I haven't eaten a doughnut in 2 years. I'm still thicker than a snicker.

A few days ago, I posted a video of our team practicing with a make-shift Worm. It was a COMPLETE disaster. Literally sandbags almost breaking necks, crushing heads, athletes farting, couples yelling. It was REAL LIFE. It was actually just a normal day of training. It's not sunshine and rainbows and "WOW, WE FEEL SO GOOD!" every day. Nope, most of the time it's a mental battle to get through a training session, to keep moving, and honestly just try not to die. But you don't see that anywhere. You see the PR's. You see the flashy new shoes. The podium finish. You see the one lift that they hit perfectly, and not the four they failed just before it. You see the high fives and hear the fun music. You don't see the girl working out alone with the music off.

So please, do yourself a favor, and remember, that behind every PR, are a million failed reps. Behind every fancy movement is hours and hours and hours of practice. And then ask yourself; are you doing your best every day? Then that's all that matters. Your best. You doing what you can with what you have! And that should be WAY cool enough and fancy enough to post up on the interwebs. I'd double tap that.

If you'd like to support the Ephrata Chu Crew on their road to Regionals, you can purchase a t-shirt or a tank top at the link HERE! All items can be shipped to your home address. The campaign closes May 8th. Thanks for your support!