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Post number 57, for any of y’all keeping track.

I have been working on this blog for over a year now & I can’t believe it. I can’t remember the last time I started something for myself and maintained it for over a year. Think of all the New Year’s resolutions you started and didn’t maintain for even a month…

This was not a New Year’s resolution, but something I started on maternity leave with Scarlett. This blog is my therapy, hobby, outlet, passion…all of the things someone needs to stay sane. It is also time consuming, but so worth it. Thank you for those that take the time to read my rants and try some of the food that I post. I hope you learn something about yourself along the way and are able to apply some of the things I ramble about to your life.

Still hanging on by the skin of my teeth to 92nd percentile. Still so proud and surprising myself that I am even ranked near the top. (After the muscle-ups next week there is no telling how far I will drop.) There are things that I wish I had done differently this past workout, but I am a “one and done” kind of gal. I go in at my normal time, no practicing movements over the weekend, I just go in and do me. I mean, I am not even in the slightest bit ever going to The Games (as an athlete), so there’s no need for me to stress about getting it perfect.

The great thing about CrossFit is that everyone, E V E R Y O N E can do it. There isn’t anything special about me, that makes me capable of doing CrossFit, other than I had the courage to walk through the door and sign up.

I heard a comment this week that a certain group of people “weren’t ready to do The Open workouts.” I was floored. Literally every movement in CrossFit can be scaled/modified. There is even a scaled category, for those not capable of doing the Rx version of the workout! Not only was this comment wrong, it was demeaning. How can you expect your group to ever feel like they are worthy and good enough, if you don’t believe in them? How will they ever feel like they are capable of doing what you say is out of their reach, if you are not encouraging them to push past their limits? ALL of them. Not just the few that are “ready”.

People have it built up in their heads, that only the best of the best can do CrossFit. I hate to tell you, and I mean this in the nicest way possible, but there are lots of people that are members of a CrossFit gym, that are not in the best shape of their life. Some (most) people are over eating, some under eat, and others are not pushing themselves hard enough in the gym. Not every guy in CrossFit looks like Rich Froning or Alex Anderson. (There would probably be a lot more female members if they all did though.)

Honestly, I hope this isn’t the best shape of my life. I hope I get much better from here.

There isn’t one single attribute that makes someone “ready” to do CrossFit or even The Open. You just do it. (Hello, Nike.) You learn as you go and build on the skill set that you have, even if you think you have no skills. This past workout had a scaled option, but even the scaled was difficult. These tests are not meant to be easy and not test your limits. They are supposed to be hard, they are supposed to test your limits. As a CrossFitter, you are working everyday on technique, skill, strength, mental toughness, etc. All of these things, are what prepares you for this all encompassing “test”. This is our final exam.

Working out is for everyone. Not just the elite get to compete and push themselves.

If you are leading a group that you don’t see as ready, maybe you shouldn’t be leading that group.

Too much? Maybe.

I just really hate this pedestal that everyone puts CrossFit on. Maybe they put it on this pedestal, to use as their excuse not to do it. I am 100% for all ages, shapes, and sizes joining CrossFit. There’s no prerequisite. No age limit. I obviously think CrossFit is the best exercise regimen out there or I would not be doing it. I didn’t join CrossFit because it’s an exclusive members only club. CrossFit works for everyone that is willing to try and put in the effort! It’s not just for the best of the best. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone and try new movements. I know they can be intimidating and you probably don’t feel like you are fit enough to be in a gym, but that is what the gym is for! No one goes to a gym because they are in shape, they join to get in shape! Stop making excuses and letting someone tell you that you aren’t ready yet, go do it!

New Food Review

Not sure what I was thinking making so many new recipes this past week, but we made it through.

  • Steak Kabobs + Jasmine Rice: Steak kabobs are nothing fancy, but man they are good. Usually we do our own seasoning, but this time I let the meat marinate for a day and it was a great idea! The recipe says to let it sit for a few hours but I let sit for 24 hours. I omitted the oil and used a little less honey than it called for so the sauce was still healthy and didn’t ruin the macros.
  • Spicy Root Vegetable Bowl So I completely messed up this recipe. I made the dressing, but for some reason it went MIA. When I went to actually put it on the salad, it was gone. My only guess was I tossed it out when I was cleaning the fridge out. I didn’t have another lemon or lime, so I had to make up something. I wasn’t in the least disappointed with my creation! This salad was sooooo good. Josh nor I expected for it to be as good as it turned out. The dressing I ended up using was honey, apple cider vinegar, and whole grain mustard. Win! The macros on this salad were awesome and it tasted great! I have never had raw beets spiralized, but they were great. Took some muscle to spiralize all the veggies, but it was well worth it.
  • Slow Cooker Chipotle Orange Street Tacos This was a pretty good taco, not my favorite though. I aired on the side of caution with the spices and peppers, and I wish I wouldn’t have. Scarlett loves to try our food, so I didn’t want to make it too spicy and my first attempt with adobo peppers left me chugging milk, so I was extra careful this time. The salsa was great and I wish I would have doubled it, to give the meat a little more flavor.
  • Sheet Pan Zucchini Chicken Meatballs + Coconut Curry Sauce I must have had way too much going on this past weekend, because I pretty much botched every recipe I tried. When I was making the grocery list, I did not specify to get ground chicken. I ended up boiling my chicken, shredding it, then mixing it for meatballs. Despite my total mess up, this dish is a complete do-over! I loved the sauce and the macros for this. If you leave out the rice, the meatballs are extra healthy! Next time I will add more vegetables to the dish and might leave out the rice to make it a complete meal.


Salmon + Asparagus + Cauliflower Mash

Spicy Tomato Parmesan Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Skillet Lemon Pepper Chicken and Garden Veggies

20 Minute Caribbean Shrimp Tacos

Grilled Chicken Blueberry Feta Salad

Salmon + Asparagus + Cauliflower Mash

I love, love, love when Josh cooks salmon for me. Salmon is by far my favorite fish and he knows exactly how to cook it. I prefer to grill our salmon, but if it is cold, the oven works just fine. We use lemon zest, lemon slices, garlic powder, onion powder, and Tony Chachere’s seasoning. Rub or spray the fish down with olive oil, season, and wrap in tin foil.

The last time I made the cauliflower mash, it had balsamic mushrooms to go with it. Don’t make those, total flop; however, asparagus is a safe bet and the cauliflower is amazing on it’s own. The macros on the cauliflower mash were, per serving, 71 calories, 3.1 grams protein, 10.9 grams carbohydrates, and 0.2 grams fat.

*Changes I make to fit my macros.

1 lemon (zest and slices)
Tony Chachere’s seasoning
Garlic powder
Onion powder

Spray olive oil
Salt and pepper

Cauliflower Mash:
2 small heads cauliflower cored and leaves removed and cut into small florets
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Spicy Tomato Parmesan Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

So I have made plenty of spaghetti dishes, using spaghetti squash, but I have never stuffed a spaghetti squash. The recipe is very simple and I trust that it will be great. I am used to have a laundry list of food, for my spaghetti, but Half Baked Harvest is a food genius, so I trust her.

I am going to have to double this recipe to accommodate for 2 lunches, 2 suppers, and for Scarlett. Lately I have only found small squashes, so 3 or 4 might be adequate. I am going to add ground deer meat or chicken to this dish, to make it a complete meal for us. We can’t do without the protein of meat in any meal. Heck, our snacks are mostly protein too, ha.

*Changes I make to fit my macros.

2 medium spaghetti squash, halved and seeds removed
*3-4 depending on size
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*Spray with olive oil
4 cloves garlic, smashed
kosher salt and black pepper
1 can (14 ounce) san marzano tomatoes
*2-3 cans Fire roasted tomatoes
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/2 cup basil pesto, homemade or store bought
8 ounces mozzarella, torn
*Shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs (optional)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
*Add cooked chicken or cooked and drained beef

Skillet Lemon Pepper Chicken and Garden Veggies

This is one of my go-to meals to cook! I think it is on an every-other-week cycle right now. All the low-carb vegetables make this a great dish to add jasmine rice to or keep it plain for the ideal cut-food! I love that everything stays in one pan on the stove and simmers, while I cook the rest of my food. It doesn’t require me standing over it the entire time, to be a great dish.

The first time I cooked this, I spiced it up way too much and had to add some rice to calm it down. Per serving, without the rice and chicken factored in, there were 126 calories, 2.5 grams protein, 16.6 grams carbohydrates, 3.5 grams fat.

*Changes I make to fit my macros.

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
*Omit oil, spray olive oil if necessary
4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
zest and juice of 1 lemon
kosher salt and pepper
2 red bell peppers, sliced
*1 green, 1 red
1 zucchini or yellow summer squash, chopped
*2 large
1 cup cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup white wine, Such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
*4 ounces
4 ounces feta cheese, cubed
*Non-fat feta or Omit

20 Minute Caribbean Shrimp Tacos

This is a new recipe for me, but very similar to other tacos I have made. All the Caribbean tacos seems to be very similar but tastes so different, depending on how heavy handed you are with spices and the salsa. I love that this dish is mainly created on one pan. The less I have to wash while I meal prep, the faster it will go. I hate having to wait to cook one recipe because my oven is full or I have to wash a pan.

Make sure you get the right kind of chili powder. We aren’t making chili, so you want to get the right stuff! I would definitely opt for a low carbohydrate tortilla with this dish. The salsa has a lot of fruit and juices, so the carbohydrate count will be higher depending on the amount of fruit you are using.

I might have to do a mixture of shrimp and chicken in my taco. I love shrimp, but per pound (compared to chicken) it does not provide enough protein for me.

*Changes I make to fit my macros.

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*Spray with olive oil
2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon all-spice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
kosher salt and pepper
corn or flour tortillas
*Low carb/high fiber tortilla
sliced avocado, lettuce, or cabbage, for serving
*Cabbage and 1/2 avocado per salad

4 tomatillos, husked and halved
1 jalapeño
2 cloves garlic, skin on
juice of 1 lime
juice from half an orange
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 cup diced pineapple
1/4 cup diced mango

Grilled Chicken Blueberry Feta Salad

This salad, is so deceivingly wonderful and easy. The dressing is the most laboring task of the whole dish. I love how few ingredients it requires, how low the macro counts are, how full I stay after eating it, and how fresh it tastes!

THIS is great cut food if you are trying to cut back on your carbohydrates and fat, but still need to maintain your protein amounts. You should always keep your protein high, even during a cut. If your protein starts to dip down as well, you will certainly start losing your strength in the gym as well. We can’t have that happening!

M A K E . T H E . D R E S S I N G.

This dressing is everything for this salad. Do not skip it and certainly don’t go for any of that store bought mess. I don’t know the last time I ever bought salad dressing. It is so much easier to make your own and you know exactly what is it in!

*Changes I make to fit my macros.

Lemon poppy seed dressing:
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
*2 lemons
2 tablespoons honey
*0.5 ounces per salad
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
*1-2 Tablespoons depending on taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

The salad:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 cups mixed salad greens
1 cup blueberries
*1 cup per salad
1 large avocado, sliced
*Omit avocado or almonds
1 cup almonds
*Omit almonds or avocado
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
*Non-fat feta
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced

E N J O Y !

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