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Superhero Challenge – Day 8: One Week Down, Two to Go

30 Sep

One week down and I would like to say I can feel a difference. Today my energy level was great, even though I got under 8 hours of sleep, which is one thing I’ve been working on doing (getting 8 hours that is). Today’s workout even felt ok, despite feeling like my legs were a bit weak and tight. I hadn’t done dead lifts since I learned how to do them at the Elements class though, and my lower back is sure feeling it now. I definitely need to work on technique so I don’t do some serious damage with that move. On the bright side, I tried a post workout vanilla whey pumpkin smoothie that I’ve been meaning to try for a week or so now.

Something about blogging makes me want to take selfies, so I apologize... but it was so good I finished every last drop!

Something about blogging makes me want to take selfies, so I apologize… but it was so good I finished every last drop!

The picture makes it look more yellow than it was but it was a fun orange pumpkin color. I added tons of cinnamon (per the recipe's suggestion), which made me happy because I love me some cinnamon.

The picture makes it look more yellow than it was but it was a fun orange pumpkin color. I added tons of cinnamon (per the recipe’s suggestion), which made me happy because I love me some cinnamon.

I got the recipe from Emily Schromm’s blog and I am hooked! It was super easy and had just enough flavor for my taste. Tis the season for pumpkin delciousness! You can find the recipe here, but I cut it in half for my first batch since I wasn’t sure how I would like it (I did keep the full scoop of whey thought).

Oh and how could I forget to report back on the cauliflower lasagna I made last night… it was AMAZING! A few of the bites had more cauliflower flavor, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. The consistency of the cauliflower layer was noodley enough for me. I will absolutely be making this one again! Well, that’s all for tonight, I need to get back to watching Breaking Bad. I just started season 4 and am determined to finish this season and season 5 before I am exposed to any of the series finale spoilers. I haven’t seen any yet and it’s been glorious. I also haven’t been on Twitter since last night so that’s probably why.

Day 8 Workout:


Goblet Squats, Y/T/W

3 Rounds
10 Goblet Squats
5 Each Y/T/Ws
10 Glute Bridge per side


1a: Back Squat (5 @ 65%, 5 @ 70%, 5 @ 75%, 5 @ 80%) (Worked off of a 100# max so I ended at 85#. I felt like I could have done more but my form wasn’t the greatest today so I need to work on that.)

1b: Weighted Pull-ups (4 x 8) (Using a green band)


30 Double Under (Still struggle with the ol DUs so I did 60 regular jumps instead, which I still missed jump more than I’d like to admit… did I miss my childhood recess jump rope initiation or what?)
20 Pull Up (RX+ is C2B) (Started with green and red band but that was too much help, I felt like Peter Pan when I’d fling up the in air so I dropped to green and purple, a good decision for this many reps.)
10 Deadlift (225/155) (300/200) (This made for an interesting workout since I haven’t done dead lifts in 1.5-2 months. I went with 85# and that was plenty, as I was still working on my form, which is evident from my sore lower back today. Not a huge fan of these just because I’m nervous about tweaking my lower back but I’m sure I’ll get more comfortable the more I do them.)

Day 8 Meals:
Breakfast: Bowl of the granola cereal I made yesterday with a splash of vanilla almond milk

Lunch: Slice of cauliflower lasagna with a spinach salad on the side.

Post Workout: Pumpkin Vanilla Whey protein smoothie

Dinner: (I actually wasn’t that hungry after the smoothie but I actually am a bit hungry as I’m typing, so lesson learned, plan appropriately) Spinach artichoke dip with Trader Joe’s mild salsa mixed in and plantain chips and an apple for a evening snack.

Tomorrow’s goal — water intake… I’m going to be a stickler on 64+ oz of water (which I personally find exhausting but I know it’s the right thing to do).


Superhero Challenge – Day 7: Weekend Update

29 Sep
How can cooking not be a blast when you have a sidekick like this in the kitchen?

Keeping it classy in my parents’ kicthen. How can cooking not be a blast when you have a sidekick like this in the kitchen?

No, I didn’t perish from almond butter overdose. I just had an awesome weekend and am now sitting down to share it. I spent time with some of my best friends, caught up on rest, spent time enjoying the beautiful fall weather and got to hang out with my family today while I tried out some new recipes. It was fun to get my family involved so they can see that I truly haven’t lost it and that this whole paleo thing isn’t that crazy.

Even my 4 year old nephew lent a helping hand with making Honey Nut Granola Cereal (see the recipe link below). He discovered his love of Aunt Alyssa’s not so cheap dried blueberries, but look at that kid, how could I say no?

Tired pups

If only they were always this tired and innocent.

I will say the best part was checking out a nearby dog park with my roommate and her dog. I’ve been meaning to go for months but was always afraid to go by myself so we tag teamed it and it was awesome! Tired pups make for happy owners, that’s for sure.

The other highlight of my weekend was FINALLY getting a hanging 3 tier produce basket. I absolutely love it and can’t wait to fill it with things. Yep. That’s right. Things, not even limiting it to produce. I feel like a responsible adult when I buy things like this. I have my wonderful coworker to thank for that, as she was the one who actually found it whilst out on her own shopping trip. She actually has an AWESOME blog you should check out for some mouthwatering recipes… I would know since she often brings her creations in to the office for us (seriously, I get so jealous of her cooking skillz).

Workout wise, I just went on some long walks yesterday and today. My legs were pretty weak after Friday’s WOD. And by weak I mean it absolutely kicked my ass twice over. Oh… what’s that… you want to see what put me to shame? Well, since we’re all friends here…

KB Warm Up
Dynamic Warm Up/Stretch
3 Round
5 Thruster
5 Front Squat

1) Strict Press
4 @ 75% – 4 @ 80% – 4 @ 80% – 4 @ 85% (I maxed out at 55#, which I was pretty impressed with since earlier this week my 1 rep max was just under 60)
2) Front Squat (I hadn’t maxed out in awhile so just went off of what my partner was doing. I ended at 75# and was content with that for now.)
5 @ 65% – 4 @ 75% – 4 @ 80% – 4 @ 85%

“Air Force WOD”
20 Thruster (95/65) (This is where I wilted like a flower, after my first one I had to drop from 55# and tried doing 45#… and ended up having to switch to the training bar and go with 25# for the workout… eventually dropping to only 3 burpees per minute an only 15 reps of each. I looked like a flopping fish out of water doing those burpess by the end, but such is life (In this video, you can see me struggling and those are my fellow crossfitters trying to cheer me on). Sure it hurt my ego BUT I was able to finish the workout AND definitely pushed myself even with that weight. Hopefully my body has adjusted to this new diet and getting back in to the whole crossfit routine that next week I’ll feel stronger).
20 Push Jerk
20 OHS
20 Front Squat
*Perform 4 burpees at the start of each minute

Like I mentioned above, I did try out a few new recipes and of course I took photos (duh). Check them out below!

Paleo Spinach Artichoke Dip

As I’ve mentioned before, spinach artichoke dip is my weakness (especially Applebees). Well thanks to the magical powers of Google, I was able to find a paleo friendly recipe that actually didn’t taste half bad! I actually really liked it. I brought it to a birthday party Friday and served it with veggies… I discovered Trader Joe’s plaintain chips today and it took this tip to a whole new level! Click here for the delicious recipe.

Honey Nut Granola Cereal

I go back and forth between craving hot breakfasts and cold ones… last week I was all about the eggs. This week I thought I’d try out this cereal with almond milk to satisfy my cereal craving. Spoiler alert, this photo was not taken in my kitchen, but one day I hope to own such fine kitchen decorative pieces. Click here for the quick and easy recipe.

Cauliflower Lasagna

I have to give a shout out to my mom for helping me create this delicious Italian paleo alternative. It was fun to cook together, even though I took all of the food to feed myself over the next few days, I did promise to make my parents a batch if it’s a success. This recipe uses cauliflower instead of noodles. I haven’t tried it yet but am bringing it for lunch tomorrow so I’ll be sure to report back. It smelled like perfection though so I have a good feeling. Click here for this paleo friendly lasagna recipe.

Week 2 starts tomorrow… feeling recharged and ready to conquer it!! Goodnight all 🙂

Superhero Challenge – Day 1

23 Sep

I have to apologize in advance. I intended for this to be a lengthy post discussing in detail how my day went but I am wiped!!! To summarize, here is the summary of what I’m doing:

What: Superhero Blueprint 21 Day Challenge

Daily Points

Each day you will be able to enter your points for the day. You can get up to 6 points per day, 1 each for the following:

Daily Points

Each day you will be able to enter your points for the day. You can get up to 4 points per day, 1 each for the following:

Movement/Mobility – 1 Point
It is important to move and stretch every day. Movement can be lifting weights, running, skiing, racquetball, or just going for a walk. Mobility can be things like stretching or foam rolling. The important thing is to be moving or stretching for at least 10 minutes, even on rest days.
Fish Oil – 1 Point
Fish oil is high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. It has been shown to reduce inflammation, blood pressure, and even your risk of cancer. Take one teaspoon per day for this point. You can find my favorite at Stronger Faster Healthier.
No Sugar – 1 Point
Sugar is, at it’s very essence, almost pure energy. The problem is that we are very good at storing this energy as fat. That means no soda, no candy, no Gatorade, no delicious white mochas from Starbucks.
No Alcohol – 1 Point
Once digested, alcohol is essentially a sugar, causing the same problems that refined table sugar has. Additionally, it interferes with a number of your body’s processes, such as muscle recovery. It’ll be tough, but stick with it!
No Refined Carbs – 1 Point
Refined carbohydrates, like bread, pasta, and flour, act very similarly to sugar. Your body easily converts them into glucose, which gets stored as fat if you don’t use it right away. Complex carbs, especially from fruits and veggies, are much better.
Tip Watched & Executed – 1 Point
Each day you’ll receive a tip from me. Read the tip and watch the video. Some tips will contain an extra challenge that you need to complete for this point.

Why: I’ve been doing cross fit for a couple of months now and just want to step it up a notch and prove to myself that I CAN do this. Truth me told, I’ve done my fair share of shit talking the paleo diet, mostly stemming from my self doubt that I could go without carbs and cheese (hello – this is Wisconsin). Am I going for absolute perfection? No, especially because I’m too lazy to go buy fish oil. I am, however, taking the workout and diet part seriously and challenging myself to stick to it. That means attempting no alcohol for 21 days (say what?!). Not that I NEED to drink, but I am going to miss wine. Which brings me back to why, why am I chronicling my 21 days? Well, because I need to step up my blogging game for one. For two, I will hold myself more accountable if I put it out to the interwebz. 

Day 1 Workout: Cross Fit
I need to admit, it’s been almost a month since I’ve been to Cross Fit so I was terrified. I’m talking butterflies in my stomach absolutely DREADING walking in. The good news is, by now I’m not on a first name basis with a few people at the gym. The bad news is, the noticed by absence and when asked where I’ve been, I straight up admitted, “I’ve been lazy. I went on vacation and kind of just mentally stayed there.” Thankfully that was the respectable answer. No more excuses!!

Goblet Squats, Y/T/Ws
3 Round
5 (some sort of arm stretch thing)
5 Leg planks

1a) Back Squat (I hit a PR of 100… which was awesome because I took it light to see where I was at and know I could have done more for my 1 rep max… awesome feeling!!)
5 @ 70% – 5 @ 80% – 3 @ 85% – 2 @ 90% – 1 @ 100% (Rest 60 sec)
1b) Pull Up
5 x 6 – add weight as needed (Rest 60 sec)

Power Snatch (95/65) (Since I’m still not comfortable with this move I just used the bar, so my weight was 35 and hot damn was that enough… I need to get more practice with these)
C2B Pull Up
Ring Dip

Day 1 Meals:
Breakfast: Coffee with butter, coconut oil and vanilla… I was running late so I didn’t have anything to eat (I know, I know, bad  me)

Lunch: Spaghetti squash, tomatoes, basil and salad with Olive Oil & Vinegar dressing (hopefully that’s ok…)

Dinner: Paleo Tacos, Guacamole, a few Planta

in chips (they didn’t finish until I was already done) – This was my first time making everything and it was DELICIOUS!!!

Paleo Tacos    Plantain Crackers and Guac

Now… I finish my water and I sleep. I am wiped… resting up for day 2!