Back to School, Back to School…

It’s official: I am now a part-time student!

I took the math placement test (finally) and basically bombed it, to be honest. Most of the time I had been studying for college level math, thinking that is what would be on the test. Nope! There were two sections: Elementary Algebra and Arithmetic. Talk about trying to remember the basics! I felt really stupid not knowing some of those questions that should probably be easy. Needless to say, I tested in to Pre-Algebra. Not exactly what I wanted, but now that I think about it, if for some reason I had tested in to Intermediate Algebra I would have been SO lost! This way I can work my way up again, even if it means taking (and paying for) an extra class.

So! I will be taking pre-algebra and Intro to Psychology for the spring semester. The Psychology class will be online so I don’t have to drive out to the school more than once a week. Let me tell you, it feels so good to have something in place, a path to follow, and a goal to reach for.

Switching gears… It has been a month since I’ve been back in the gym full-time. During my lunch hour I get in a good, sweaty incline workout on the treadmill, then head to CrossFit after work (not all days are two-a-days). It has felt SO good to get back in the gym and get in a hard workout! Not to mention doing CrossFit workouts as they are written on the board – no modifying! (Unless there is running involved.)

I got semi-custom inserts for my shoes that I wear everyday to work (even though they make me look like a dork) and that I wear when I run on the treadmill. I have been wearing my Nikes (without the inserts) for CrossFit workouts because they seem to give me better range of motion. My foot has been feeling fine… but I’ve come to realize (with the help of the physical therapist I saw to get my inserts) that it’s my ankle that is now the problem. It is (or was at the point) so much weaker than my left. I just didn’t think of that at all while I was wearing the boot! I was given some exercises to do, which I’ve been forgetting, but I feel that all of the activity I do at the gym and CrossFit aides in strengthening my ankle. Squatting has been hard. I seem to be overcompensating for my weak angle and my form is just atrocious! Which tells you something because I used to have perfect form (if I do say so myself). But, it seems things are looking up because…

Last night we did “Fran.” AND found our 1RM for thrusters. I knew that would happen – he always seems to program thrusters as the strength whenever we do Fran. Ugh.

But! I worked up to 85lbs on my Thruster, which is definitely a PR (I’m not sure I’ve ever found my 1RM before). And I PR’ed on Fran, too! I used 50lbs for the Thrusters (the past two times I’ve done Fran, I’ve used 45lbs) and a blue and skinny red band for pull-ups. I finished in 8:40 which is over two minutes faster than my previous time with more weight! Woohoo! Something must be working…

I plan on hitting the gym today and tomorrow during lunch and hopefully CrossFit both nights too. I heard we are doing another benchmark workout today… I wonder “who” it will be…

Just Google It!

Google is an amazing tool.

Let me back up here.

I was at wit’s end with not being able to make a decision regarding school. I didn’t know who I could talk to about my dilemma — becoming an RD without fully subscribing to what the ADA preaches. Then it dawned on me: maybe I should just Google it.

Duh.

I Google everything. Perhaps this is why I am so indecisive to begin with. I’ll tell you that it certainly doesn’t help. Anyway, I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this before.

So I typed in “paleo RD” and found a bunch of different sources. I think just seeing the results page got me excited. There really are others out there who feel just as conflicted as I do! I read through some of the sites and became more and more encouraged.

This made my decision much easier, and finally gave me that push to say “just do it.”

I am going back to school to become a Registered Dietitian. (!!!)

Unfortunately, I still have that math hurdle standing in my way. I still need to take a placement test (in a little over a week!) and hope to God that I pass into something more advanced than elementary math (I’m not joking.) Three years out of college, and probably more than five or six without so much as looking at an algebraic equation will scare the shit out of you. (Or maybe just me.)

The plan is to take the test on Thursday, December 20. I need to study as best as I can beforehand, but it’s hard when all you have is a practice test. I wish they gave you a list of concepts or something to study instead. After round 1 (and not even completing all of the questions) I’m batting 50/50, at best. Not so good.

I think taking an oblivious approach to math is the best way to go about it. If I don’t, I would become extremely discouraged. RD is not all about math. It may be a lot about chemistry, but chemistry is not math. This should be my mantra for the next week (and the following six months…)

Wish me luck!

Better Late Than Never, Part Two

All right, where were we?

This was my view from my post as cashier for the week:

The giant tent was to my right, with the hot air return from the A/C blowing on my face all day… BUT, I was in Hawaii, so I didn’t care. :)

Anyway, we were able to get some time to check out one of the CrossFit gyms on the Island – Big Island CrossFit.

Couldn’t quite get the whole logo with my phone!

Emily took us through a great workout and even scaled it for me since I was still taking it easy post-boot. It was my first time working out at a different box. It was a great experience and I hope to visit more when I get the chance.

Post WOD

Moving along in this very dis-jointed recount of Hawaii…

Sunset the night before the race.

Sad photo of the age-group start. Only about half of the field was out in the water at that point!

Fireman Rob from Madison, WI (woot woot!) finishing just before midnight, decked out in full gear, to raise cancer awareness and as a tribute to those who lost their lives on 9/11.

Adriana and I at the after party.

And a few photos of our last hours on the Island…

This was at a very cool state park type area where there were dozens of turtles hanging out in the water. This guy was chilling on the beach. Very cool to be able to get so close!

Oh Hawaii…. It was sort of a bittersweet year. We were very busy with work and work-related commitments and our entire first day was consumed with traveling to the Island (in years past we’ve arrived mid-afternoon). But it’s Hawaii, and I really do love it there. Someday I hope to make it to the other islands and perhaps visit just to… visit.

Until next time, aloha.

Better Late Than Never, Part One

Hawaii has come and gone. I suppose it’s time to do a recap and perhaps start blogging on a more regular basis. (I apologize in advance the sparse and terrible photos. I really tried this time!)

Without further ado…

Our flight left out of Milwaukee around 10:30am on Saturday, October 6, so we had plenty of time to get to the airport. I had learned my lesson in years past and actually packed most of my things Thursday night instead of Friday night to avoid staying up until 2am. Needless to say, it was a relatively stress-free morning on Saturday. After a looong day of travel on Saturday, we arrived in Kona around 8pm local time (around 1am central!) After a quick dinner of fish tacos, we promptly passed out.

Everyday, we woke up to this stunning view:

This was taken from our lanai.

Eventually later in the week we saw our turtle friends again, but unfortunately I never got a photo!

A few mornings we grabbed an açai bowl from Basik just down the street from our condo. They are huge bowls (the small is massive!) of blended açai and fruit, severed with different toppings – granola, more fruit, nuts, seeds, honey… My bowl of choice was the Puna Bowl – “An eclectic blend of açai, hemp milk, & Keahole grown Spirulina.  Toppings include, granola,   strawberries, local banana, organic hemp seed, fresh blueberries & a drizzle of local honey.” So good, and so filling! Yet, all I have to show for it is this shot of the interior of Basik.

Yikes! Terrible iPhone photo…

Sunday we had to run a few errands before set-up on Monday, but we finally found ourselves on the beach that afternoon.

First day on the beach!

Typical beach-day lunch

Poke from Da Poke Shack on Ali’i Drive. So. Good. And so fresh! Now I wish I had taken a shot of the tuna sitting on the cutting board inside the shop! My go-to was the shoyu (soy sauce) poke with seaweed salad and brown rice.  Another very filling and satisfying meal!

I can assure you we feasted on sushi from Wasabi’s on more than one occasion. I am sushi-ed out for a few months now, but it was so worth it. It can’t get any more fresh than right out of the ocean, steps away.

Monday was spent setting up the beast of a tent. It’s a brand new thing for Timex, so it took all day. The finished product sure did make a statement.

Complete with two flat screen TVs streaming past World Championship races and two air conditioners! (Although the A/C didn’t really make a different in that heat with the door wide open!) My post for the week was outside of this tent in another 10×10 tent. I was the cashier and customers would bring their purchase out to me and I’d check them out using Square on an iPad. Very easy and efficient.
Alright, I suppose that is enough for one day. Stay tuned for part two!

My (Non-CrossFit) Goat

While I’m not entirely sure of the direction of this blog yet (and I may never be), I thought my plans for the next few years should be known.

I’ve finally realized what I want to do and have narrowed in where my passion is – food. And not necessarily cooking food (is it okay that I don’t have that passion?) but consuming food, and, especially, how it affects our bodies. So I’ve decided to go back to school to become a Registered Dietitian.

Unfortunately, there is one thing holding me back from completely diving in: math. F’ing math. I.HATE.MATH. Though I guess it’s just like CrossFit: I hate thrusters, but only because they’re my goat. Math is my goat. For some reason, it has always been hard to wrap my head around. This scares me a little because science is often closely related to math and RD = Chemistry.

Anyway, I don’t have the math that I need from my first undergrad, so I have to take a math placement test. In my dreams, I would love to completely test out of math. Like, not have to take a class at all. BUT, that is highly unlikely. And so, I hope to at least test in to the level I was at… 9 years ago (NINE YEARS?!). So instead of starting this semester, I will be studying my butt off to take one test. The goal: to start with at least one or two classes in the spring. One being math, and probably another pre-req that I need but didn’t get in undergrad, like Sociology or Psychology 101. (I chose to take more interesting classes that would satisfy more than just one pre-req, like Social Science and Diversity.)

There are so many things to think about. This degree, if I am able to go full-time, will take me four years to complete. I don’t even want to talk about how old I will be. I’d rather not work a normal job so that I can take as many classes as possible each semester, but right now, that’s just not possible. However, (and this is a subject for another post, but here’s a tease), it would be ideal if I could get my personal training certification AND CrossFit Level 1 Cert and work as both a trainer and CrossFit coach while I go to school. As I said, so much to think about!

 

T-minus Three Weeks

Although I went in to my appointment last week Wednesday without much hope, and when I asked how my foot was feeling I responded “not good,” I ended up with a surprising verdict: I could take off the boot!

We ended up doing another Xray just to make sure everything was okay because I was complaining that it hurt so much. But my doc saw nothing alarming at all and so figured that my foot was just getting sore from being strapped to a flat surface for six weeks. So with that said, she told me that I could wear a tennis shoe (preferably a hiking shoe with a harder bottom) and wear the boot if I felt that my foot wasn’t feeling right. She also gave me temporary inserts for my shoes that give my feet a little more support.

I wore tennis shoes on both feet for the rest of the day and all day Thursday. My foot was feeling a little sore Thursday night, so when we went to get the rental car (for our trip to Iowa this past weekend), I wore the boot. I also wore the boot to work Friday morning and brought it along on the trip.

So far it has felt very weird trying to walk normally. I still walk very slow because my shoes aren’t as supportive as I wish they were.  I guess my foot is feeling better than it was. It is still sore and I get a twinge of pain here and there, but I’m confident that if I continue to get a ride to work and wear the boot when I feel it’s necessary, I should be feeling a lot better by the time we leave for Hawaii. Three more weeks until I can do… stuff!

Iowa

Tristan was in a wedding this past weekend in Okoboji, Iowa. Where?! Right. So, 7 hours later (we actually made very good time) we arrived in Okoboji and picked up his tux. We relaxed for just a minute before getting ready for the rehearsal and dinner. It was a good night talking with new people and ended up at a bonfire, where Tristan and I reluctantly sported Iowa gear to stay warm.

…those sweats make me look chunky!

Since I wasn’t in the wedding party, I decided to get my hair done while I waited for the ceremony to begin. I should have snapped a picture because it was… interesting. I know I don’t give hair stylists much direction, but considering the locale, I should have been warned. Very hairspray-ey with lots of “texture” on top. Actually, I’m glad I don’t have any pictures or evidence of my hair because looking back, it was pretty horrible. I know I could have just taken it out, but it was $60 including tip and I just couldn’t do that. I did buy a few new makeup essentials and tried my best to make a pretty face. After the ceremony, I headed back to the hotel, changed into comfy clothes and spent the next two hours on the Internet and watching Friends. The reception was fun, but I was a little bummed that I couldn’t do much dancing at all, so that kind of killed the mood.

The next day we slept in a little, then went to a friend-of-the-bride’s house for breakfast and present opening. We didn’t stay very long, though, because we had to get on the road. It was a lovely day for a drive and a few “The Moth” podcasts later, we were home before we knew it. We ended the night dropping off the rental car (Tristan didn’t feel comfortable driving his Jeep that far with an iffy check engine light), hitting up Whole Foods, then grabbing dinner from Sobelman’s.

Oh, and I almost forgot! Friday it was actually my birthday, so I opened a few things that Tristan got for me on Sunday night. A gift card to Sunglass Hut (I’ve been wanting some better, more protective shades), a Patagonia pullover and a Patagonia backpack! So sweet… I’m a hard person to buy for because I expect him to know what I want, but he did very good this year. :)

We ate terrible over the weekend (the couple had interesting taste in food…) so this week is for detoxing! (Minus today because I didn’t get my s@#$ together to make a lunch.) I also plan on upping the exercise finally. Crossfit today and Friday, swimming on Tuesday and Thursday. And, to set things in stone, here is my meal plan for the week:

Monday: Chicken Fajitas with red & orange bell peppers

Tuesday: Baked Salmon with sweet potatoes & zucchini

Wednesday: I’m going to try a new paleoish recipe

Thursday: Some sort of stew (so we can freeze and re-heat while we’re camping this weekend)

Friday: Out or cooking with Kristin

Have a great week!

Update on The Boot

I know it has been quite awhile since I’ve posted. And I guess there really is no good reason for it, just laziness and lack of interest. But I thought I need to blog about what has been going on with my foot and how I’ve been coping.

First, a quick update…

Tristan is finally home after 28 days on the road. It was a long month and hard because while I missed him in general, I was left to fend for myself with a busted foot. This does nothing for recovery time! But he’s home now and we’re both happy :)

The last two weeks that he was gone I started to read Wheat Belly and decided that I need to kick the wheat habit and start eating healthier. I went sans-tortilla for breakfast (and haven’t had one going on three weeks now!) and started to cook my own meals, for once. They were and still are simple – meat (usually salmon or chicken), sautéed zucchini or spinach, and sweet potato. This meal fills me up, yet I did still indulge in my nut butter obsession… until Tristan came home. So much easier not to eat it when there is someone to talk to at night!

As for exercising? That has been mostly nonexistent except for doing abs and arms at home. After my last appointment for my foot, I stopped going to CrossFit. I was going to start back up again, but then my foot really started to hurt. I stopped swimming too for the same reason. It’s been hard. Also, this was the time last year when I really started to enjoy my long runs during marathon training. And as the temps drop a little, it has gotten so hard to see people out and about running. I miss it so much!

So, with that said… my foot. A couple of days after my last appointment on August 29, I went for a swim. I wanted to get in a good workout, so at the end, I did 400m of kicking with a board. I believe that in addition to this and driving around everywhere (for groceries and to work, mostly) really inflamed my foot because since then, it has hurt and hasn’t gotten better. This is why I have been avoiding exercise. I have another appointment on Wednesday and I am so nervous as to what I will hear. I think worse-case scenario would be to have to have surgery, but to be put in a hard cast with crutches to take all pressure off the foot. You see, if I am stuck in this boot for another three weeks (which I really have no doubt will happen) I plan on just not wearing it while I’m in Hawaii. The trip is too special to ruin it with “the boot” and I will have all the time in the world to heal when I get back. I don’t plan on doing anything crazy while there — no running or legs workouts — but I just want to be able to walk at a normal pace, work comfortably, and most importantly – be able to go on the beach! I realize this is not the smartest thing to do, but I’ll be damned if I’m stuck in a boot on the trip that I saved every ounce of vacation time that I have left to take.

Surprisingly, I haven’t gained any weight. I’ve stayed the same that I was before I got the boot. This probably has something to do with loosing muscle, unfortunately, and now, that I’m eating better, a healthier diet. The only thing that I have noticed is extra weight in my face (wtf?!) and a nice little ring around my stomach. I think this is directly a contribution of all the bread that I ate (aaannnnd maybe a little a lot to do with eating so much nut butter). So that is the unfortunate thing. I can’t do anything to work those extra calories off, so they stick around. Not happy with their placement either! But, what are you going to do other than change your ways? So that’s what I’m doing. I feel so much better when I eat better! If I stick with this, I don’t think I’ll be in too bad of shape by the time Kona rolls around.

I have a long week of extra hours at work in order to make up for leaving extra early on Friday to get to a wedding in central Iowa (Tristan is in the wedding party, so we need to be there by Friday afternoon). I will update when I hear more news about my foot on Wednesday!

It’s All About Nutrition

Breakfast was the usual this morning: 2 egg & 1 egg white burrito with cheese and three cups of green tea. Right now I’m snacking on one of those tortillas I told you about yesterday that I said was trying to not eat anymore. What can I say, I needed something comforting after last night.

I’ve started blogging my meals each day in order to feel more accountable for what I put in my body. It’s really hard to eat well when your options are sitting in front of the TV, or, sitting in front of the TV (because of the boot). But that is no excuse. I take that back. I have been eating pretty good during the week… it was just the indulgence of “paleo cookie dough” every night that I’m sure has been setting me back. So, just like I cut out “treats” cold turkey, I’m going to cut out nut butter and chocolate cold turkey. It’s the only way.

You see, I want to look and feel my best for my birthday (and subsequent wedding I have to attend) as well as for Hawaii. Actually, mostly for Hawaii — I won’t have to be in a swimsuit for the wedding! I could probably be working out more, but due to the boot, I think I’m already doing more than enough. I’m afraid I’ll be stuck in this thing for 3 more weeks because of all the moving around I’ve been doing. And so it comes down to one thing: nutrition. I just need to dial it in and everything should be good, right?

It’s not even about the number on the scale. If it goes down, great. But I’ve been consumed by the CrossFit community enough to know that numbers don’t mean anything. I don’t think the number of the scale is going to change all that much, but I do think that my body composition can change, juuust a little. I have a nice ring around my mid-section that needs to go and I think I’m carrying a bit more weight in my face that I should. The muscle is there (at least in my upper body now, hah) it could just be more defined by getting rid of the layer on top. So, diet it is. Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition.

An interesting article I found from CrossFit Rockwall: Eat More, Weigh Less

So-So Salad

It’s 6:15 as I write this and I’ve already finished dinner. What?

And yes. I’m craving nut butter.

I guess this salad just didn’t do it for me…

So, I’m new to this blogging this. Sorry for the upside down picture. Also sorry for the ugly green tupperware bowl. I don’t have a big enough “nice” bowl for big salads like this.

Anyway…

The salad included a baby kale and spinach base, with roasted broccoli, orange bell pepper, English cucumber, 1/2 of a grilled chicken breast, feta cheese, kalamata olives, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. It was good, but I just hardly ever make stuff (healthy stuff, anyway) that makes me go, “oh my gosh, that was so good.” And as for this satisfying me? I guess it did.

Update: No, it didn’t!
Or I just had a horrible bought of absolutely no self-control last night, cause, this happened:

So, I bought a jar of cashew butter on Friday and now it’s gone…. so what?

It’s gone and I won’t be back to a store that sells it until the weekend. At that point I hope to have overcome the craving and simply won’t buy any more.

So much for being so tired last night. Eating all of that fat and sugar really kept me up and sent my emotions on a roller coaster. I think I finally fell asleep around 11:30 (after getting in bed at 8:30).

Speaking of emotions, although I am sort of stuck inside with this boot on, eating all of this sugar (from the chocolate chips) probably hasn’t been helping the situation. I felt SO much better after I stopped eating “treats” every day (morning and night), so I really think that prolonged consumption of sugar just isn’t good for me (physically and mentally). Not that it’s good for anyone, but I notice that it affects my mood a great deal. So with that said, I’m glad that all the nut butter is gone, and I’m glad that I have a lot to do tonight and probably won’t get home until almost 8pm. Which leaves just enough time to eat dinner, shower, and get some sleeeeeep!

Breaking It Up

Friday’s CrossFit workout actually left me sore for almost the whole weekend!

Day 44 – Friday, August 24

Strength: 5RM Bench Press (95lbs)

WOD

12min AMRAP

30 Weighted Sit-ups (15lb plate)

20 Ground to Overhead (15lb plate)

10 Ring Rows

Rounds: 4 plus 11 Ground to Overhead

Thankfully this week is 1RM week. I’m so excited to find out my bench press! Although I won’t be able to participate in many others…

I hate to say this, but due to the quality and quantity of sleep I did not get last night, I think I’m going to stay home, eat a good dinner, and hit the hay early instead of going to CrossFit tonight. I think this will also help me to stave off any cravings I might get being the first night I don’t have nut butter in over a week.

Lunch

I usually eat lunch as late as possible. I used to feel that saving my healthy lunch until later in the day provided the best fuel for my evening workouts. But because I would wait so long to eat between breakfast and lunch, I ate a snack. In the mornings while I cooked my breakfast, I also put on another tortilla into a dry pan, crisped it up, then broke it up into pieces, sort of like tortilla chips. That was my oh-so-nutritional snack. I wanted to cut out that terrible habit, so I decided that I should just eat lunch earlier and bring something else to eat in the afternoon if I get hungry. (Enter: gluten-free zucchini muffins. I’ll tell you about those later.) Anyway, I still tend to break up my lunch – if I feel myself getting hungry, I’ll eat the cut-up veggies I bring and then an hour or so (or as long as I can wait) later, I’ll eat the protein part of my lunch, usually over a bed of spinach and baby kale. So it was today…

Again, terrible picture that was taken this morning in my kitchen. Today’s veggies included baby carrots, red and purple peppers, and cucumbers which I ate around 12. A little after 1 o’clock, I ate the chicken, cold, over the spinach and kale. I’m actually already feeling hungry again, but this is probably just boredom.

Note: I am *supposed* to take an hour-long lunch every day (unpaid) but during the summer, that makes the workday 10 hours long! (We have special summer hours May 1-October 31 that allow us to work an extra 2 hours Monday-Thursday and only 4 hours on Friday.) I would much rather just eat at my desk, so I’ve just simply stopped taking a lunch. Not to mention there really is no where for me to go and sit and eat a lunch I bring myself — we have no cafeteria or break room. So unless I wanted to sit outside (our building is in a wind corridor so it’s rarely nice enough to sit out there), I have to walk to the Grand Avenue Mall, which really isn’t a mall at all, just a failing shopping center with a food court, Boston Store, TJ Maxx, and a few other small shops. I hate that place — it is SO depressing! And I really don’t like spending my lunch break in a busy food court. Anyway, so I eat lunch at my desk which makes the day 9 hours long instead of 10. (I will take “lunch” on occasion if I want to go to Gold’s Gym which is conveniently located in my building)