A family affair

July 10, 2012

Already the second week in July is here, and the weather definitely reflects it. Hot & humid is the name of the game here in the dirty south. I don’t know how anyone can CrossFit during the middle of the day as during the 6:30 a.m. class I sweat buckets and almost get nauseous from the hot & humid climate. Kudos to those whose bodies can adjust better to this (dreadful) weather.

It’s funny how my reaction to the weather is such a matter of perspective. Since my ‘favorite’ outdoor sports take place in cold (or at least cool-ish) weather, the winter and early spring/late fall are the seasons I most look forward to and really seem to peak (physically) in. Pre-paleo diet my weight regularly fluctuated with  my lowest weight always happening throughout the winter, whereas in the summer I’d tend to slowly gain it back thanks to the lethargy the heat induces in me. However, here in the south those that grew up in these conditions tend to be just the opposite – flourishing with the heat and performing at their best while the winter makes their muscles tired and achy.

I’ve been rock climbing a few times this summer, including last weekend where I got some sweet bruises pulling a roof with a full-on body mantle!

However, on the paleo diet I can’t say the same is true since I’ve leaned out quite a bit since June 1 and am at a lower weight than even my winter ice climbing weight right now. (It’s really interesting to see what happens to a body that goes from burning sugar for energy to one that burns fat!) I’ve also been cross training approximately three times a week on my Concept2 lately not only because it keeps me inside with fans and A/C but because thanks to the Whole30 paleo-fied diet my problematic inflammatory muscles and joints have been performing much better. My normal summer routine – well for the past two years – was lots and lots of bike riding, but I’m just not that into it right now and the weather isn’t helping. So I am just going with the flow. I’m riding sporadically, but definitely am out of biking ‘shape’ especially compared to past years. Ah well, my rowing is going quite well 🙂

Speaking of the paleo diet a few of you may be wondering how I’m doing with the eating since the “official” challenge hosted by CrossFit Hyperformance is now over. I am happy to report that I’ve continued to stay clean – there has not yet been a food item that has been tempting enough for me to decide to indulge. And yes, after reading “It Starts With Food” I know that these occasions will arise. But, when you eat 95% of your meals at home, and on your own, it isn’t that hard to stay clean for now!

75 pull-ups? No problem. Even if I shred every. single. time.

I’m excited to report that both my mom and sister are going for the Whole30 challenge on their own! After reading “It Starts With Food” by Whole30 creators Melissa & Dallas Hartwig as well as “The Paleo Solution” by Robb Wolf I was convinced that eating grains (or one of the other inflammatory food groups like legumes) was really hindering my sister who has been battling stomach and G.I. issues of the type Robb Wolf describes for YEARS (she was a vegetarian for at least 10 years). So, I’m pretty optimistic that she will find relief when removing those sorts of foods from her diet. She had started tapering down a couple of weeks ago as she got rid of the last of her milk, etc. and had reported feeling significantly better pretty quickly, so now that she’s “all in” I am anxious to see the results!

I’m also surprised by my mom taking this big step. She grew up in the 50s and 60s where processed food was the big thing and definitely the norm in her large family, so it’s a big step for her to go from eating out of boxes and cans to eating unprocessed food, which naturally requires more time spent in the kitchen. She too has been reading “It Starts With Food” as she cleans out her pantry of the “staples” she was going to be taking out of her diet, and really noticed the affects of the insulin spikes and drops while reading the book. Science in action! A very effective way to learn I think!

In other news, I’m excited to be getting in on a cow purchase! I should have approximately 100 lbs. of grass-fed beef exploding from my freezer in the next few weeks. Although the local grocer has started to *usually* have grass-fed meat available, the cost per pound with splitting a locally raised cow is only $5.49/lb (and I am a big proponent of supporting local businesses)! I’ve been buying my meat from Hunter Cattle Co. for several weeks now and the taste is exceptional. The friend organizing the purchase has been out to visit the farm with his family and really stressed how seriously they take the humane care and treatment of the cows, so I’m really excited to be getting in on the deal. But yet nervous that it won’t all fit in the freezer!

What I’ve been chowing down on: cherry tomatoes with balsamic, olive oil & fresh basil. Can’t get enough of these!

OK, so let’s get to the good stuff. What’s been cooking lately? Here are some total wins:

  • Sweet potato poblano salad – I have not made the dressing as prescribed. What I do is juice 1 lemon into a bowl with olive oil & balsamic vinegar with some onion powder, garlic powder, pepper and cayenne. Yum. This is seriously so delicious!
  • Cherry & sunbutter pancakes – these are soooo tasty. They are very difficult to flip and cook though, but even if it doesn’t cook all the way in the middle, that almost makes it better. I’ve not made the coconut sunbutter frosting because the pancakes on their own are so decadent. I eat them so slowly savoring every bite!
  • Chicken, cucumber, avocado & grape wrap – I won’t even bother to link to the recipe since I basically didn’t follow it at all (and involves peanut butter) but really find the combination of these elements tasty – along with other leftovers available (sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, etc.) all wrapped up in a lettuce leaf. Lunch = done!
  • Nutty cookies – these were great to take along for fuel on my climbing trip last weekend. I was especially glad to have them with me at my friend’s house while they had their special treat (brownies) for the Fourth of July. They are really easy to make and taste really similar to banana bread. The only change I’ll likely make is to leave the walnuts a bit chunkier for texture.

On-deck for “making soon”:

  • Paleo Sweet Potato Pizza – I’m excited to try this, I have an awesome marinara sauce (from Giada DeLaurentis actually) which is totally paleo that I make in large batches and keep in the fridge. So it will be a great topper with some meat (and more meat!).
  • Carrot cake balls (dipped in chocolate) – OK, so these are a total treat so I need to wait until I have a party to go to that I can make & bring them to since I’d not want the whole batch hanging around in my house! They look so yummy (and I absolutely LOVE carrot cake)!
  • Rabbit & apricot kabobs – I’ve had this rabbit in the freezer for a while (actually, the boy is responsible for that one) and I think this looks like a perfect way to cook it up for someone like me who isn’t uber-keen on eating rabbit. However, I likely won’t make this until he gets home in August.
  • Spinach & artichoke dip – again, I need a party to make this for 🙂

Have you made any winning recipes lately? Let me know! I’m a fanatic for trying new things.



  1. Nice work, lady! Big dietary changes can be hard to stick to. Sounds like it’s helping a lot that you’re noticing difference in function. It’s fun to hear that your sis and mom are going to test it out, too. Good luck to them!

    • Thank you, Elizabeth! I’ve been so surprised at how much i didn’t struggle with such BIG changes. I think so much has to do with cutting out sugar and artificial sweeteners, which has made “real” food taste so much better. I mean to actually go back for seconds (and thirds) of brussel sprouts? Something indeed has changed 🙂

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