September 19, 2012

I talked to my mom the other night who has been eating paleo for just more than two months now. She started out her first thirty days with the Whole30 plan and has largely continued to follow it with a few treats carefully planned here and there. Overall, she has been very happy with the change in lifestyle, most especially with the not being hungry all the time! Physically she has had some very positive effects as well including enough weight loss to bring her back to the weight she was in the 1970s before she had SIX kids. How many 65-year-old women can say that? I am so proud of her for adopting a healthier lifestyle and am anxious to see how her body will continue to change.

Mine has continued to change since I started eating paleo on June 1. September 15 marked the start of the Whole Life Challenge and so my gym, CrossFit Hyperformance, hosted the initial measurements & preliminary (baseline) workout at Forsyth Park after the Tunnel to Towers 5K Saturday morning. At the event I was told my arms (mid-point between elbow and shoulder) are 12″ around. OK. Cool. 21.5″ thighs (I am very symmetrical!) a 30.5″ waist and 40″ hips.

With no frame of reference these measurements didn’t seem like much of anything to me. That was, until I mentioned them to the boy. Turns out, my arms are almost as big as his (he has 12.5″ and 13″ arms) and my thighs ARE bigger by a full 1.5″. I have been telling him for weeks that I feel like since I started eating paleo I have put on muscle in my upper body, (pretty obvious when your shirts start getting tighter and tighter in the arms!) and there is no doubt in my mind that I have grown physically stronger. Need me to do 55x105lb. thrusters? No problem. 60x185lb deadlifts? Piece of cake. I have been (excitedly) cognizant that I am having an easier time moving heavier loads, which is SO exciting to me since I love picking up heavy things and putting them down. 🙂 (In all honesty those are heavy thrusters and a lot of moderately heavy deadlifts, but they are so much easier to me now than they were a few months ago. Perspective, people!)

So how am I getting bigger? I think the answer is obvious. I now eat animal protein 3x/day where I used to maybe eat it (at most) 1x/day. The combination of extra protein and the awesome coaches at CrossFit Hyperformance programming heavier loads for us to work at has undoubtedly made me stronger. You may wonder why am I so obsessed with being stronger? Well, I grew up with a lot of boys. I have four brothers (and a sister!) and liked playing hockey with the boys (I grew up *just* before little girls’ hockey programs took off in Minnesota), and I was in the Army. So, I have always been looking to get stronger so I could compete better AGAINST the boys. I have always wanted to be *that girl* that can do more than Johnny Q. Is it annoying for the boy to live and workout with a girl like me? Probably, but I know deep down secretly he likes having such a strong wife. I mean, who wouldn’t except a dude that’s got a complex! 😉

Anyways, in eight weeks we will find out what another two months of clean, paleo eating will do to my body (along with some good training!). I think it will be fun to see whether my arms get bigger or smaller. I was excited to find out my arms are the exact same size of an online pal of mine, Katie, who is a PHENOMENAL athlete (she swam Division 1 at Cornell!) so knowing that makes me feel a lot better as we can commiserate about the lack of shirts that fit in the shoulders and arms! Nevertheless, it is just a little weird for me to look at the boy and see his arm and know mine is (almost) the same size. But whatevs. It was also the *exact* same size as David, my scorekeeper for the initial workout which was a 9-minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible) of 7 kettlebell swings, 7 burpees and a 50 meter shuttle run. Let’s just say that it felt like I was doing burpees for 9 minutes straight since the kettlebells and run went so fast by comparison!

Before I forget, I want to give a proper thank you to the amazing folks at CrossFit Hyperformance who set up a week of “hero” WODs last week to honor several members of 1/75th Ranger Battalion who have been killed in action in OIF and OEF over the past few years. They programmed some really fun – and hard – workouts to honor the ultimate sacrifice these men – and their families and friends – have paid. It was really a great experience and I am proud to be a member of the Hyperformance community!

Blueberries make everything yummy!

OK, here is everyone’s favorite part – the recipes!

– Blueberries are super cheap right now, so I found two recipes that use these healthy little buggers. The first was posted just last week from PaleOMG and – as with EVERYTHING she posts – it was a total win: Blueberry Breakfast Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. We made it with some bison sausage from the farmer’s market – delicious!

– For those who say the “hate” brussel sprouts I DARE you to say that after trying this recipe for Blueberry Brussel Sprouts – soooo good!

– My ongoing need to eat something with yellow curry powder in it at least 5x/week continued with the help of these Chicken Pumpkin Curry Sliders

I think that is all the brand new recipes I tried this week – we have been happy to return to some of our favorites (like pork chops & peaches as well as the plantain/mango/chicken curry or the sweet potato enchiladas I am making tonight!).

I have to practice portion control on this mango/plantain/chicken curry otherwise I just may eat it until I explode, it is *that* good!

One other thing I tried was an adaptation of this recipe for a homemade pumpkin latte. Since I only recently started drinking coffee, I have never tried the “real” Starbucks version of this drink so I have no idea if my adaptation is even good in the hands of pumpkin spiced latte conniseurs. But, I do know that I think it is yummy. Here is the original “recipe” – I use about 2.5 oz. of coconut milk with a heaping tablespoon of pureed pumpkin. Mix it up with a little pumpkin pie spice, splash of vanilla and extra shake of cinnamon and heat it up in the microwave (WATCH IT though or it may get a crazy mess everywhere, not that I know anything about that). Then pour it into your coffee. It sure tastes good to me!

OK, finally (I know I keep trying to end this blog!) but I just have to say as a person who has HATED tea her whole life I actually found a tea that I LOVE. It is this Tazo Wild Sweet Orange tea. So ridiculously tasty and I can’t wait to have it steaming in my thermos during the ice climbing season! Until then, it is a wonderful post-lunch and dinner “treat”!

This tea is sooooo tasty!



  1. First of all, oh my munchies, a mango/plantain/chicken curry sounds DIVINE (and so do the sweet potato enchiladas). Also, thanks for linking to my pumpkin spice latte recipe! I am dying to go get some coconut milk so I can try your version – I’m always looking for ways to make my favorite guilty pleasures less guilty.

    Cheers, and good luck with all your training efforts!

    • Thanks, Katie! I am so glad you published the recipe – the coconut milk with the pumpkin and vanilla and spices is so good I could almost just have that as a little treat. And it smells so heavenly when I warm it up! I totally didn’t take your advice the first time and keep an eye on it in the microwave, which is why my microwave is so nice and clean inside now 😉

  2. thank you SO much for the mention in this! it was so great to commiserate about shirt-finding issues. (more commiseration? I can’t buy a suit off the rack because of my arms and shoulders. bleh.)

    and man, I’ve never tried 105# thrusters, much less that many of them. you are AMAZING.

    I’m going to try that blueberry brussels sprout recipe as soon as I can get my hands on the ingredients. wow.

    • Katie, you have no idea how much I look up to your badass CrossFit stats. I hope someday we will get a chance to workout (or heck, even climb!) together. I am glad my gym (and coaches) are always nudging me to try things, especially heavier loads lately. Our coaches are very good at knowing just what you CAN do and then pushing you to do it. And those blueberry brussel sprouts are soooo good. The boy hogged all the leftovers though, so keep an eye on yours!

  3. M- you have become so lean it is amazing. But my biceps are 15 and thighs 22 ( unfortunately waist is 41) I am very glad you are at 6:30am so I can have a goal. Although I rarely beat you. Keep up the great work you are an inspiration.

    • Hahaha, Bill you ALWAYS make me laugh. Give me a few months and maybe I can get closer to your bicep size!

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