Woohooo! Its Friday finally! I cannot believe it is 60 degrees and rainy here today! This time last year, our windows were covered in snow.
This week has been a doozie between the crazy work week and the emotional roller coaster of the loss of Joe Paterno. Although I was unable to attend the processional and memorial service, my heart was in State College this week, my home away from home.
Part of keeping up with the pace of this week was making sure I kept up with my Paleo eating and exercise/running routine. Both have been tough with a grueling schedule and temptation abound, however this week was one of my more successful attempts.
Tuesday I was back at the CrossFit box at 6am for an awesome workout. I find I am pushing myself a little harder each time when we have a AMRAP workout (as many rounds as possible). The WOD (workout of the day) looked like this:
I was able to complete 3 complete rounds, and was 15 push presses away from 4. What a workout! Speaking of workouts, remember how I’m training for the Sun trust Rock n’ Roll half in March? I am hoping the combo of running and CrossFit will help my performance.
Exercise wasn’t my only focus since my eating habits need a little more attention when eating Paleo. Talking with my coach and other CrossFit attendees, I realized much of my diet revolved around diary (ahem cheese) and that needed to change. I was eating so much cheese in fact that it could be stunting my weight loss/ toning process. So now I am trying to trim cheese to a once a day treat.
I have some yummy Paleo recipes coming up for the weekend. Enjoy your Friday everyone!
Penn State is a University, a family, a culture, that is embedded in tradition. A living part of that tradition was the one and only Coach Joe Paterno. For those who are not Penn Staters, or college football fans, you may not understand the ‘hype’ around the legend; allow me this opportunity to enlighten you.
Joe Paterno was more than a football coach and an athletic legend. Joe was a great philanthropist, he and his wife Sue (often referred to as SuePa) valued Penn State University as a fine academic institution and raised more than $13 million dollars to expand the library now known as Patee and Paterno library. (Patee was the writer of Penn State’s alma mater). Joe also led his football players into academic excellence graduating 80% of his players in 4 years (the highest graduation record among college football programs). Joe supported Penn State’s Dance Marathon quoting “I wish the whole world could see and feel what is in this room right now…I’ve been here for 58 years at Penn State and I’ve never been more proud, than I am right now.”
Joe instilled a sense of tradition for students and alumni. His “old school” appearance became a way of life on Saturdays during the fall: cuffed pants, black shoes, big glasses and his tie. For the players, embracing tradition meant “Straight blues, black shoes. No names on the back of the Jerseys.”
I had the great pleasure of meeting Coach Paterno my senior year at a dinner honoring money donors to the University. As Joe made his ‘rounds’ to the tables to thank everyone, he approached my table. I stood and said how excited I was to meet him. He smiled, put his hand on my shoulder and said “Thank you sweetheart”, but my favorite part was what followed. An older gentleman (he was in his 70’s) stood up next to me and said “Hey Joe, how about you put me on your defensive line!” Joe laughed and responded, “Sit the hell down! You’re too damn old!” And they laughed together as he continued to move through the crowd.
As with many Penn Staters, Joe and his family are apart of not just one memory, but thousands. He helped the young to respect tradition (when so many at that age only want to rebel against it), he taught his fans and players “Success with Honor” that I can only hope will be continued on and off the field at Penn State.
Being a part of Penn State is being a part of a family, and the passing of Joe Paterno, is like the loss of the university’s father/grandfather. It feels personal and heartbreaking, but as a community, Penn Staters will rise again. Joe would stand for nothing less.
Rest in Peace Joe Paterno, you were more than a football coach, you made Penn State a better place.
There is really nothing better than a cleaned-up apartment. Well maybe one thing, what about a cleaned-up diet? I feel the need to preface what I am about to tell you is not a ‘New Year’s Resolution’ and for me it is certainly not a ‘diet’. For me diet = restrictions= disappointment and failure.
Towards the end of 2011 the BF had been talking about losing a few lbs and getting back to his ‘fighting weight’ (my words not his). After doing some extensive reading and research he began to contemplate the idea of going primal with his diet, I’m not talking full on caveman eating (lets be real, cave men didn’t have bacon and that would be a travesty to let that food group go). For him going primal has meant eating foods that don’t cause a spike in glucose (i.e. breads, pasta, rice, grains) and instead focusing his meals on all natural, organic and non-processed foods (i.e. nuts, fruits, veggies, meat and occasionally cheese).
Lucky for him, he has dropped about 15 pounds and feels great. His energy levels have sky-rocketed and his determination for healthy living is in overdrive. After talking with him about this new lifestyle in great length (I wasn’t about to give up cheese or the idea I’ll never eat a bagel again) I decided to give these style of eating a try, in moderation, allowing myself grains in infrequent small doses.
I will admit the change has not been one I have adapted to easily and with open arms. I love bread and butter, bagels and my favorite snack was pretzels and diet coke, but after reading The Primal Blueprint and giving the adaptation a few weeks, I’m happy to say I’m making the migration to natural eating and feel better. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy grains from time to time (I had a handful or two of chips at my girls night last night- I can’t say no to chips and salsa) but I’m not revolving my meals around grains and processed foods like I was before.
Here’s an example of my daily eats:
Breakfast can include an omelet with veggies and cheese (I use 2 egg whites and 1 full egg):
Or if I’m on the go, a green monster smoothie (a frozen banana, 2 handfuls of spinach, almond milk, almond butter and chocolate protein powder)
Lunch consists of more meat (chili with chicken sausage, peppers, onions and carrots)
And dinner ranges (I get home between 8-9 pm) from a salad, to roasted chicken sausage with sweet potatoes etc.
You’re probably thinking : “That is crazy”, “It’s unrealistic”, “Sounds like atkins”. I received all of that feedback and more. And I understand your concern. I had the same until I read Primal Blueprint and its really more about cutting out the additives and eating naturally. As I mentioned, I don’t plan to cut out everything fun. I still enjoy birthday cake for my family, or a special treat for girls night once a month. I simply choose to moderate the intake of ‘avoided foods’ and limit the frequency.
This lifestyle has also changed my workout routines, but that’s another post for tomorrow.
To learn more about the Primal Blueprint eating visit: www.marksdailyapple.com
. You’ll be surprised about what you see. And get excited because the recipes on A Pinch of Ginger are about to get ‘real’.
Feel free to send me questions about this eating and lifestyle at firstname.lastname@example.org
Today’s post isn’t about food, or exercise or my ongoing balancing act, but about slowing the wheels for some quality time with my childhood memories.
My brother, sisters and I were fortunate to have very active grandparents in our lives. My mom’s parents lived but 200 yards from our house and were an active part of our everyday lives. Today marks 4 years since the passing of my grandfather and there is not a day that I don’t think about them both. Often times, the loss of Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop feels fresh, always causing tears to flood my eyes, simply because there are so many life moments I wish they were still here to experience and share with my family and me.
Because they lived so close to us, our lives intertwined in a beautiful, everyday kind of way. One that I watch today with the BF’s family and it makes my heart swell to see his parents share the same love with his nephews I once did with my grandparents. Some of my fondest memories occurred in their home and they were little moments, that would probably mean nothing to anyone else. School project help (my grandmother was very crafty), summer night chats as my friends and I cut through their backyard on our bikes, and when I moved away to college, Sunday afternoon phone chats to catch up on the week and share the news from Happy Valley.
I feel fortunate to carry their memories with me everyday. My family adopted their sweet and feisty Westie after they passed, and her unconditional love is like an extension of them with our family every day.
I know my cousins feel the same way. We each carry a small piece of them with us, whether its in our physical features, personality traits or simply shared life experiences (my one cousin Bob is a marine, as was my grandfather).
So what’s the message? Enjoy your grandparents while they are with you. Sit and listen to their stories (even if you’ve heard it 85 times before), ask them for their recipes so you can continue to enjoy them and pass them on. Grandparents are the windows to our past.
“What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies.” ~ Rudolph Giuliani
For me, keeping up with a workout means keeping it fresh, if its trying a new class time (different instructors make a huge difference!) trying a new route to run or sometimes it means trying something new entirely.
After reading many blog posts on Carrots N’ Cake
, and talking to a friend who is very fit, both ladies raved about the new fitness craze CrossFit. I have heard it described as the ‘the hardest workout of my life’. I like to sweat and feel sore after a workout so naturally I was intrigued.
For residents of the Doylestown area, I urge you to visit CrossFit Sine Pari
. Located about 10 minutes north of Doylestown in an industrial park, this ‘gym’ was more welcoming than I have ever experienced and the workout was doubly hard. At this location, the owner offers 2 free weeks trial and I encourage you to take her up on the offer. CrossFit is definitely a different way to work your body and may not be for everyone.
CrossFit can best be described as a circuit training style workout combined with boot-camp exercises. Saturday we began with a 400 meter run, followed by deep stretching, squat presses (3-3-3-3-3) and the weight is added every time, and our WOD (Workout of the Day) was 6 thrusts (deep squats with a push of a body bar above our heads), 6 kettle ball swings, and 6 box jumps (jumping up on a box about 1-3 feet off the ground.
When I was finished the workout I was huffing and puffing. I felt like I was going through pre-season for high school volleyball again (I mean that in the best way possible). But the one thing I noticed was, for how physically worn out I was, I was doubly energized. I was excited about coming back to learn a new workout, excited about the encouragement I received from others there and excited to get friends and family to join me next time.
I plan for CrossFit to be worked into my regular workout routine. And am excited to share the new journey with you! Question of the Day: Have you tried Cross Fit? What are your thoughts?
Cheers to a New Year!
Happy New Year friends! I hope you had a safe and happy NYE. For this NYE I went back to my roots to enjoy the evening with family and the bf. It’s tradition in our family that our parents would dress us up and take us out for dinner on NYE to ring in the New Year in style and this year we did just that!
We enjoyed the night at Triumph Brewing Company, a wonderful craft brewery not far from where we live.
Not only was the atmosphere electric with live bands, and a party below us, but the food was also terrific and the drinks were flowing. (Please note that there were DD's last night. It's always important to designate a driver before the night begins)
I started off my meal with a goat cheese, fig , arugula and pear salad. Paired with Riesling and it was amazing!
And my main course (as was much of the table’s) was organic rib eye with mashed butternut squash in a dry stout demi-glaze. It was amazing and I was sure to have the rest saved in a doggie bag for later.
As the band strummed on, we enjoyed a few drinks and each other’s company. Not to mention the outfits worn- and makeup applied were fierce! I love my heels thanks to my fashionista sister Megan!
It was the perfect New Year’s Eve spent with some of the people I love.
Cheers to you and to a new start in 2012! May your year be filled of enough triumph to bring you joy, enough struggles to keep you grounded and enough laughter to keep you light.
Happy New Year!