Saturday, January 6, 2018

Reflecting on 2017

I can say that 2017 was one of the most challenging years I've faced in my adult life.

It was our first year of marriage - the hardest year, supposedly? I don't think it was any harder, no, I think it was made easier having him by my side. 2017 did its best to test us. 

I think that's what 2017 was for us - a testament to our relationship and our strength. We sure had some challenges thrown at us.

We made it to Regionals. This was a HUGE time commitment to train with CrossFit Ephrata regularly, over an hour of commuting. Long days, late nights. 100% one of the best experiences I've ever had though, with some of the best people I know. Fundraising, traveling, and then competing - wow. A little stressful but amazingly fun, given the circumstances.
My husband was in a major motorcycle accident. Just a few weeks before Regionals, my husband totaled his Harley, he was "ejected" from it, after colliding head on with a car in front of him. As a trauma patient, he had the best care possible and incredible team of doctors, surgeons, nurses, etc. 

Coming home from this, healing from this, that was the hard part. I was trying to gear up for the hardest competition of my life, while my husband was trying to manage going to the bathroom while using a walker. The head trauma he sustained was maybe the most serious. He wasn't himself for quite some time. Care taking is heartbreaking, exhausting, and it was impossible for me to not feel guilty about being healthy myself.

The week before Regionals, I came down with the worst flu known to man. I lost almost 7lbs in 7 days. The day before we were supposed to fly to Atlanta to compete, my husband was taken by ambulance back to the ER after experiencing stroke-like symptoms. He couldn't talk, form sentences, and lost the use of half of his body for several minutes. He stayed overnight while they ran him through every test possible to ensure he was alright. The doctor cleared him the next day to fly ...

I have no idea how we managed it, but we did! We arrived the day prior to competition. This was the first time in over a week I was able to eat solid food. I could feel my energy coming back. I was excited. But, at this point, I was having a hard time mentally checking-in. I was ready for the weekend and the stress to be over. I was turning my focus on my husband and helping him heal. It felt selfish to be out there on the floor essentially "working out", but this was something that we'd committed to, and I knew he'd be even more disappointed if I wasn't out there. I'm so grateful for the opportunity, even if it wasn't quite the weekend I'd imagined it would be. 

Thankfully, he's made a full recovery, and now - 7 months later - I enjoy every second I am able to spend with him, inside and out of the gym - happy and healthy. I'll never take that for granted.

I turned 30. Do I need to elaborate on that? Aging like a fine wine. I LOVE having my 20's behind me and am looking forward to this new time in my life and everything that my 30's will bring.

I tore my labrum. For as long as I have been doing CrossFit, and for as long as I have been training the way I do - I am surprised I lasted this long without a major injury. But, an MRI shed light on the pain I was having in my shoulder. A tear in my labrum. My orthopedic doctor suggested surgery, but I wanted to take the more conservative route with rest, anti-inflammatory and PT. I can tell that it is not quite healing on it's own, and that it will continue to hold me back in this sport if it isn't fixed - alas, we are beginning to discuss the reality of surgery here in the future. Ugh. 

Our German Shepherd Dallas was diagnosed with bone cancer this summer, and passed away the week before Christmas. This is still very raw and hard for me to process. One day he was here, and the next he was not. Dallas was my husband's dog, initially. We came into the relationship with our own animals. But, given my work from home - Dallas and I were thick as thieves and spent a lot of time together. Elliott, Dallas and I were a trio. The three musketeers. I was lucky to know and spend the time with Dallas that I did. He was an incredible dog. What I would give to just have another healthy day with him. I try to remember Dallas as he was before cancer - full of energy, running on four legs, swimming, hiking, playing ball, my gentle giant. I miss him every day.

Other things to note: I hit a huge Milestone in my business - over 150 clients coached to date! I sold my trusty Subaru and bought a 2017 Ford Edge. I visited my sister in San Diego and attended the CrossFit Invictus Camp. I gave up my FitBit and joined Team Whoop. We even adopted a new dog ... Juno. <3

Hats off to you, 2017. It was a year of challenges and growth, a year of heartbreak and lessons. 

Here's to hoping 2018 is equally as full, if not just a tad bit more ... upbeat.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Crock Pot Venison Pumpkin Chili

It's that time of year - FALL! Also known as #pumpkineverything!

The weather is finally dropping to normal fall temperatures, and I am craving warm, hearty foods that fill me up and warm my bones. I've also been sick with the flu, and eating hot foods help me feel a little better. Being sick, I also don't want to spend a lot of time on my feet. Enter: the trusty crock-pot.

Thankfully, we have a freezer of ground venison, and nothing compliments this gamey meat like a good chili. 



2 lbs ground meat (use anything extra lean, I used venison)
1lb sweet potato, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can Libby's Pure Pumpkin Puree
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 can of Reduced Sodium Great Northern Beans
2 tsp chopped garlic

Seasonings! I used smoked red pepper, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper, a little sweet curry powder, onion and garlic salt.

Are you ready for the instructions? Hah, it's too easy. Brown the meat, and then throw everything into the crock pot. Add enough water until it's a nice creamy consistency - this is up to you. If you like thicker chili, less water. 

Cook on high for 6 hours. Divide into 8 tupperware containers. 

Good for a week in the fridge, and can be frozen for up to 6 months!

I also just discovered Kodiak Cakes Protein Corn Bread Mix, I can't wait to whip up a batch and pair these together!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Three Things Thursday

Thing 1: Being sick is gross. Oh, the blight of being bedridden, coughing so hard I can't breathe, and slowly burying myself alive under a mountain of snot-filled tissues (that my dog loves to eat, by the way).

I'm adding these two supplements (Turkey Tail and Lysene) to my already over-flowing cupboard of bottles in the hopes that the rest of this fall and winter will be a sick-free one. Do you have any supplements or remedies you swear by to avoid getting caught with a cold or the flu? Or how to get over them sooner?

Thing 2: You just need to re-watch your favorite kids movies. Take a lazy Sunday afternoon and dive back into Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, The Sound of Music, and The Labyrinth. You'll have a new respect and even deeper love for them as an adult (and be slightly amazed at the amount of sexual innuendos that no one seemed to care about back then). If you don't have lazy Sunday afternoons, don't worry. You might get sick soon enough and be forced to have a marathon.

Thing 3: Disconnect more. This week I took my work email ( off of my iPhone. CRAZY idea, right? But listen, here's why.

More and more, this idea of being connected 24/7 appeals to us. But, I think when you run your own business, you risk burn out if you don't learn to define and abide by work hours. Work never stops. It never turns off, you're always "on". It seeps into your home life, your private life, your personal life - and I don't care how committed to your business or profession you are - there have to be boundaries. Balance is something I teach all of my clients about food, about macros. It's why I love flexible dieting - I can have the Oreo cookies, if I make them fit into my macros. It maybe means I can't have jelly AND peanut butter with my morning toast, but I make the compromise. With life, too often we stay SO connected through social media through our phones, that we miss a lot of what's happening right now, in the present. Our devices literally follows us everywhere. I wonder how many people are reading this post from their phones while sitting on the toilet?

This change has made the hours that I dedicate to working incredibly more productive! And it makes time I'm not working so much more enjoyable - I'm "off" completely. Drawing this line has made my stress decrease exponentially, and it makes me excited to get back to work, back to my clients, back to what I love doing - helping people, changing lives, talking about food and fitness - how awesome!

Here's a crazy idea - how about un-plugging completely on Sundays from social media. Even going as far as deleting the Instagram and Facebook app.

How many mindless hours do you spend swiping through Facebook feeds and Instagram stories? Do you feel any better after it? Was that time productive? If it wasn't, replace that time with something that will uplift you, change you, grow you, inspire you, etc. Spend an hour reading. Spend an hour whipping up a new recipe with your husband, best friend, mom, sister. Let's focus on creating quality relationships in real life. Then plug back in on Monday and let us hear all about it. <3

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Real Tired

Sometimes a girl just has to get some stuff off of her chest, you know? Here's a list of a few things I'm real tired of. You might be, too.

1. Real tired of this freakishly warm weather. First day of Fall, and you're killing me with 90+ degree temperatures and a humidity index of 9,000, Pennsylvania. But don't worry, as soon as it's cold, I'm going to be real tired of that, too. 

2. Real tired of people coming into CrossFit when they know they're sick, have a bug, are contagious, and aren't really doing anything to keep their communicable germs to themselves. I feel like I need to walk around with Lysol wipes on my hands instead of gymnastics grips. 

3. Real tired of having a bloated, water belly. You know what I'm talking about, because it's SO hot, you're so thirsty, you're chugging water as fast as it's coming out of your pores. By the time the workout is finished, you're writhing around in pain but have to stop because the sloshing in your belly makes you want to vomit a little (but maybe you already did from the WOD).

4. Real tired of fat macros being in everything. I mean, everything has fat in it, and when a girl is trying to count her macros, and they're camouflaged better than a solider in Vietnam, it makes fitting my precious peanut butter into my day near impossible. Can I get an Amen for peanut butter?

5. That brings me Number 5. Real tired of peanut butter having so much fat in it. 

It's Thursday, which means a REST DAY and a re-feed day. ALL THE CARBS. Not real tired of those, that's for sure! 

What are you real tired of?

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.