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I don’t think it is a secret that I love CrossFit. I did the traditional gym route ever since I started college. If you consider showing cows and shoveling poop a workout, then I worked out in high school too. I went to ABAC my freshmen year of college and then hightailed it to Athens. During that time, I ventured into the world of physical fitness.

When I was at ABAC, I used the school’s gym on campus. I had no idea what I was doing. I just copied whatever the guys were doing, with much lighter weight. When I got to Athens, I joined a gym close to my apartment. I would briskly walk past all the free weights, where the majority of the men were always found. I opted for the machines. They had pictures and you could keep to yourself when you were on them. Looking back I probably should have used the UGA’s gym, (I was already paying for it) but the gym I joined was just a quick walk from my apartment at the time.

I was so naive. I was so intimidated.

When you first walked in, to the right there were treadmills and machines. Then off to the left was a separate room facing the treadmills, where all the guys could be found surrounding the free weights. I dared not enter. There was a section just for the women to be in. We had our own machines, our own set of light weight dumb bells, and even a few treadmills just for us in a completely separate part of the gym. A different room folks, for the women. Come on now. Separating the men and women, really amped up the “fear factor” for me.

I heard of this all body workout, kettlebell swings. (gasp!) I did those on repeat for a while. Man, if I could talk to myself then, doing 5 sets of 20 kettlebell swings, thinking I had gotten in a great workout…I would more than likely, laugh in my own face. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great workout, but that is not the only thing I should have been doing. I did the dreaded run on the treadmill & some abs, but that doesn’t even come close to cutting it. I can say with confidence, that I was not consistently going to the gym and was not consistent with my nutrition.

Back then, I never thought two things about it. I had no clue what I was doing. I googled workouts and tried to mimic those the best I knew how. I would have never gone into the “male” section and started dead lifting with the guys. The way the gym was set up made it very intimidating for a girl (me) to walk into the “male” section and start lifting. Once I moved to Moultrie, I joined a 24 hour gym and there were no designated areas. It was just one open area with machines and free weights. I still felt like an idiot bench pressing the bar and maybe two tens, with all the guys, but I did it.

Then I joined CrossFit. No mirrors for guys to creepily stare at you in. Everyone is so worried about their form and time, that they don’t even notice what you are doing. No sectioned rooms for the guys and girls. Everyone is there together. Suffering together. You aren’t there working out alone and there’s no feeling of anxiety that you can’t do something, because everyone is scaling and learning.

This year I signed up for The Open. For those of you that are not familiar with CrossFit, The Open is an event comprised of 5 workouts. Anyone can sign-up. There is just a small fee to compare yourself to everyone, if you wish. You are given the workout on Thursday night and have until Monday to complete it and submit your score. You are judged during the workout to ensure that your movements are to standard; i.e. your squat breaks parallel, you fully stand up on box jumps, etc. there is a whole rulebook for this. It is serious stuff. This event is not just for the best of the best, however; the best of the best do participate to win a spot to compete for the title Fittest On Earth.

I am obviously not competing for any kind of title. I have been doing CrossFit for 4-ish years and have never bothered to sign up. I have never felt good enough to sign up and honestly still don’t. I have no where near the capacity and skill set, that these elite athletes have. I don’t feel as though I should even have my name on the same board or category as they do. My name is on the list now though.

It is waaaay down the list, like 10,000-something (for now), but it is on the list. I reluctantly signed up, because I felt the need to feel more apart of the community aspect in our gym. Not to compete with other athletes or see how far down the list I am. I go to the first class of the day and rarely see any other members of the gym. That is the extent of my interaction at the gym now, which leaves me lacking that connection with other members.

When I went to the afternoon class, pre-kids, I saw a lots of people, from the previous class, my class, and the class coming in after mine. The afternoon classes are much larger than 5 a.m. class, shocking I know. Now I am rushing to make it home and start getting ready for work before both kids wake-up wanting breakfast.

Pre-kids, Josh and I would go to the Saturday morning barbell class together. We attempted to keep going with Anderson when he was little, but slamming barbells and crawling babies aren’t exactly the safest combination. So I stopped going to the Saturday class and now it is just me and my few tried and true 5 a.m. go-ers. I love my 5 a.m. class and usually opt to go it, even when I have the day off. I wouldn’t trade it for anything…well maybe for the 6 a.m. class, but Josh has claimed that one. One more hour of sleep sure would be nice, but that just doesn’t work with my schedule.

Now that I am educated on different movements and don’t have to YouTube a workout video, I could throw together an AMRAP, EMOM, or WOD on my own pretty easily. I don’t want to though. I would miss the atmosphere. I would miss the comradery. The community aspect of CrossFit, is probably one of the greatest attractions to the sport for me. I love my gym family, even if I don’t get to see all of them very often. In CrossFit, we are all given the same task and asked to suffer through it together. We are all collapsed on the floor proud of what we just accomplished (scaled and Rx alike), analyzing what was the best/worst part, and congratulating each other. It is what bonds us together, without us even knowing it. Here is to hoping I don’t fall too far down on the list by the end of the 5 weeks, I gain a little more confidence and community, and maybe surprise myself with a new skill.

I try lots of different recipes, but also have my go-to meals when I can’t seem to think of anything new I want or need to meal prep quickly.

I am going to start doing a review of the new recipes I test out. Not all of them are great, some of them I could have tweaked differently, and others make it into my go-to meals. I will be completely honest if a recipe I try is a total flop.

Review of last week:

  • Lemony Thyme Grilled Salmon with Cauliflower Rice and Grilled Zucchini I made a few changes to the original recipe and it still turned out really well. Look at last weeks post to see the changes I made. I would love to try it how it was intended though! I will be adding this to my go-to meals. It was super easy and I was able to make it as a sheet pan dinner. Very little clean up and prep time required! Win-win!


Chicken Salad Wrap


One Sheet Pan Herb Crusted Salmon with Garlicky Green Beans & Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes

Oven Fried Korean Popcorn Chicken + Stir Fry Vegetables and Rice

Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken and Rice Pilaf

Chicken Salad Wrap

Soccer is in full swing starting Monday and like I said last week I am going to need some easy meals, especially for the nights that we come home from soccer. I am sure other people just grab dinner on the way home, but I need something for lunch the next day, so I might as well cook. Plus, meal prepping makes eating dinner at home every night a breeze.

I make this chicken salad pretty often and it never gets old to me. This is completely different than the chicken salad I grew up on. There is no mayonnaise. It is incredibly healthy and you can customize it to your liking. I keep it pretty simple, but really amp-up the seasoning. This chicken is very bland if you don’t really season it. I heavily season the mayonnaise as well.

Make sure you get a low carb/high fiber tortilla, so you don’t rack up on any unnecessary carbs. The last time I made this I had 6 servings. Each serving was 113 calories (without the wrap), 21.3 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of carbohydrates, and 2.3 grams of fat. Make sure you add your favorite hot sauce to the chicken salad once you get it in the tortilla!

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Chicken Salad
1 whole roasted chicken or 2 pounds of chicken
* chicken breast
½ cup finely chopped celery
Juice from 1 lemon (about 2-3 Tablespoons)
⅓ - ½ cup Paleo mayonnaise (see recipe below)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning
* LOTS of seasoning
1 large egg, at room temperature (very important to be at room temperature)
2 teaspoons lemon juice, at room temperature
* 1-2 Lemons
1 cup light olive oil (or 1/2 cup olive oil + 1/2 cup avocado oil)
* Omit olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard, optional
* 1-2 Tablespoons Dijon


With the cold weather coming, we need something warm to eat this week. It is an added bonus that Scarlett loves chili too. The last time that I cooked this I skipped one of the cans of kidney beans, to lower the amount of carbs. I double this recipe so Josh and I have enough for supper and lunch, and Scarlett has enough for lunches too. This chili is more like a vegetable soup with lots of meat. You can leave out the meat, if you are into that. 😉

The last time I cooked this I made 7 servings. Each serving was 354 calories, 31.4 grams of protein, 24.7 grams of carbohydrates, and 14.5 grams of fat.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

1 lb. extra lean ground turkey
* 34-40 ounces of ground venison or 80/20
1 bell pepper -red, green, yellow or orange
* red
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
28 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
* 4 cans fire roasted tomatoes
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
* 2 cans black beans
1 can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

One Sheet Pan Herb Crusted Salmon with Garlicky Green Beans & Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes

This is a new recipe for me, so I will be doing a review on it next week to let you know how it turned out.

I have a good bit of chicken based meals planned and had to buy two large packs of chicken. Instead of freezing half of a pack for next week, I will likely use that extra chicken in this sheet pan. I am sure that it is delicious with salmon, but I might as well use the meat that I have. I used pork loins in a sheet pan last week and it turned out great.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

* Chicken breast
* Spray with olive oil


Oven Fried Korean Popcorn Chicken + Stir Fry Vegetables and Rice

I might be pushing my luck with this dish, but I just have to give it a try. I have no clue what the macros are going to look like, but I am hoping to be able to cut down on the amount of buttermilk and corn flakes. This is one I am really excited and nervous to try. Excited because I know it will taste great, Half Baked Harvest doesn’t make anything bad, but man those ingredients are scary when it comes to counting macros.

I am going to add jasmine rice, bell peppers, and onion to this dish to make it more complete. I will probably have to go very light on the rice, since the sauce and chicken have a lot of sauces and extras that contain carbohydrates too.

*Changes I made to meet my macros

2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch cubes
1 cup buttermilk
* 1/2 cup non fat milk + 2 Tablespoons vinegar
3 cups finely crushed corn flakes
* Used 186 grams
3 tablespoons whole wheat or all-purpose flour
* Almond flour 76 grams
black pepper
extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
* Spray olive oil
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
* 21 grams
1-2 tablespoons Gochujang (Korean chili paste)
* 119 grams Chili Paste
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
* Omit
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
* Omit sesame seeds
green onions, chopped, for serving

Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken and Rice Pilaf

This is a great easy recipe. I love anything I can throw into the crockpot and just let it cook on it’s own. Bonus, if it is delicious. When I cook this I don’t shred the chicken into the dish after it has cooked. I take the chicken out and keep it separate from the rest of the dish. This makes it much easier to count my macros. I weigh out the rest of the food from the crockpot and divide it into 4 containers equally.

Without the chicken accounted for, the macros for 4 servings the last time I cooked it was 174 calories, 5.8 grams of protein, 31.7 grams of carbohydrates, and 2.5 grams of fat.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

1 1/2 cups wild rice
* 1 cup rice
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 carrot, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup wild mushrooms, torn
* 226 grams
2 pounds bone-in chicken breast and or thighs
* Chicken breast
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* 0.5 Tablespoons
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
kosher salt and pepper
4 shallots, halved
1 sprig fresh rosemary

E N J O Y !

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