Sunday, May 31, 2015

Two steps forward

All ready for Monday morning. Quest bar to fuel me through my surprise coaching at the 615am and then a Progenex for post workout that will follow. Setting up for success to just grab and go and ensure enough time to stop for Starbucks!

I had somehow not remembered HOW GREAT Trader Joe's is until today. Yes, 5 bags of groceries that included tons of organic produce, meats, eggs, the works...all for $152???? It was amazing.

I'm kicking off week 3 from when I jumped into this challenge and I am happy to report that I feel that I am making progress. Often the weekends come and while we might have taken two steps forward the week prior, we end up going 2 steps back in the 2 short days that make up the weekend. However, tonight at the close of a weekend, I feel like I took the two steps forward and did not retreat back.

I feel like around 2 weeks something happens - both in the chemistry of our bodies as well as in our minds. The severe attachment and reliance on food lessens. Tonight I took a moment to appreciate that I was indifferent about having a 'treat' after dinner. It didn't phase me to walk away from it. A month ago it would be a battle...and likely one I would lose.

I hope all of you reading this blog are realizing that my food and 'diet' is not perfection everyday. But it's generally very good quality food and balanced. Getting that balance back has enabled me to not feel the highs and lows and severe cravings followed by over indulging. 

Today was an emotional day and I didn't associate my feelings or being sad with wanting to eat. So that is a great success. I definitely attribute a fair amount of that to my training this week as well. I had consistency and a schedule set forth. Knowing I have a workout to do tomorrow am or on any given day helps me to want to feel good during it. To have the fueling set so that I can focus on the work.

For those of you who follow the CrossFit Games and Regionals, this weekend was the Central Region where Julie Foucher was competing. Julie has been 100% committed this year to her training. She has been an animal bc this year was her last year of attempting to win the CF Games as she has recently finished med school and won't have time to commit to training. She will be closing that chapter of her life after this year. 

However...she partially tore her achilles on the box jump workout on day 2. Devastation. She continued to compete, in a smart way, through the remainder of the weekend and still finished 8th in her region. This, however, was not what was most impressive. It was her attitude. It was her ability to not completely come unraveled. 

That determination and spirit makes me realize what we are truly capable of as humans. So, this week, try to put things in perspective and know you are capable of greatness and achieving so much more than you may give yourself credit for. From the little things of resisting a cookie to the big life changing challenges that come your way.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

What's good for us.

Huntley Tavern dinner last night was the "Spring Garden Salad" with their amazing Grilled Chicken on top

Also shared the asparagus, carrots and zucchini for the table of 4. Turned away the bread when the server attempted to put it down :-) Had one of their bourbon drinks + one glass of wine. For dessert it was coffee with cream and we shared a little blue cheese for 3 people. Felt very satisfied leaving but not over indulgent and not deprived.

Been trying to get down one of these bad boys everyday - it's the enormous one. Helps with staying adequately hydrated and avoiding the confusion of thirst for hunger.

Today felt good to wake up and not feel terrible after a Friday night when I headed to the gym. Felt ready to train and not held back by poor eating, sugar highs or hangovers. I had a nice night and felt very satisfied but without going overboard.

As I was standing at the gym today thinking just that, it made me wonder why it's sometimes so hard for us to take care of ourselves. Sometimes we just don't do what we KNOW is best for us. Now...this extends far beyond the reaches of just food...not to get too deep on a Nutrition blog,'s all connected. It's interesting that at times the resistance and excuses we go through to avoid things end up being more work and end up being more problematic that if we just did the right thing.

Eating right and making a stand to not drink as much or eat as much crap is a big culprit for this. We hate waking up feeling awful, we feel guilty after making poor choices, we pine over how our clothes used to fit...but we continue to lie about the decisions we make that perpetuate this.

As I said, this can apply to many many things in our lives - workouts, relationships, arguments...the list goes on. In any given day I may falter in some of these areas with regard to doing what is best and 'healthiest' for me. It's important to acknowledge and learn from those 'misses' but equally important to recognize when you make a choice that IS good for you and overcome the temptation to make a destructive one.

Today my win is choosing to play tennis over going to a late lunch and having drinks. Both are with friends, both are fun. However, one is not good for me right now and the other has nothing to lose. 

I challenge you all to pose that question to yourselves for the remainder of the weekend - to dig a little and encourage a pause before choosing things you have a nagging feeling are not right or what you truly want for yourself and ultimately, for how you want to feel.

Enjoy the weekend!!!! 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Here comes the weekend...

This protein pack is a saving grace...the hardboiled egg plus a small pb and some fruit. Skip the bread and cheese! Works great in a pinch.
Going out to dinner tonight and won't likely eat until after 7. Had a snack at 345pm to make sure I wasn't starving later - 3 egg whites with 1 oz goat cheese. 

Been a great few days that have been on track with food and training. Part of me is looking forward to relaxing and having a few drinks while part of me has some anxiety about regressing and having to start from zero on Monday. 

I'm caught between overthinking it and being aware so I don't go into a state of denial. One of the most important things to realize and carry into the weekend is that I didn't "need" wine or chocolate etc during the week - I did fine without. I'm not less happy or less content. Those thigs don't "matter".

That's not to say you should only have the neccessary foods and nothing for enjoyment. But knowing that you don't rely on them is helpful in countering over consumption.

So tonight I will document what I choose to enjoy - food and drink alike. Looking forward to a cocktail and a glass of wine with a great salad. Good compromise I think!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The morning after

Got back to some balanced training. Did this one today as part of the endurance portion of 'training' that is 2x a week - Aerobic Capacity training is what we are following for Endurance classes too. It's always a challenge but very purposeful. Today was 3x600m/ 3x200m/ 3x500m/ 3x200m. 
This is my good friend and colleague Jason Ackerman. Jay (or Baby Jesus as we call him) and I go way back to the early years of working seminars together, and Regionals being held in the parking lot of his old gym in Albany. He has recently been helping people with the Flexible Dieting concept or "Macros" and having tremendous success after years of struggling with the traditional way of eating. There's more than one way to skin a cat. You all received the packet on this in the initial email - maybe worth taking a second look!

This week has been challenging to say the least. On Tuesday Bill left to go back south to TN where he is stationed. It's always hard to see him go, but especially after spending the best month of our lives together and getting to have a partner in life every day. It was also a very 'fun' month and very relaxed with training/ nutrition/ drinking etc. Like an extended vacation. 

Getting smacked in the face with reality has been hard. 

Last night the temptation to have some wine was very present...fortunately, my best friend and supporter reminded me that I would feel bad about that the next morning. That it wasn't the right time for it or a 'fix'. Although this am was still a tough one, having had wine last night would have made it FAR worse. I ended up putting one foot in front of the other and reverted back to the 'because I said so' mantra and hit the track today. Felt so good and therapeutic after. 

It's a big takeaway to battle the temptations of eating/ drinking food that you will regret by simply considering: "how will I feel the morning after". Waking up with regret or disappointment is not a great way to kick off the day.

Today I feel fueled and able to perform. How do you feel?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Don't just talk about doing it...DO IT!

Dinner last night was this salad with grilled asparagus, beets, peaches, tomatoes, avocado and then some wild caught trout on the side.
This website is great: the kitchn - a week of recipes plus grocery list. Need some new recipes and this is perfect!

Today I was reminded at yoga that life happens in the actual doing of things. It does not happen in the standing around talking about doing them.

I would rather be battling it out in this challenge but still doing something than standing on the sidelines talking about "after things calm down, THEN I'll try to donsomethin about my eating." Participation is part of life.

Understood that we don't always want to start things until we think it's "the best time" or until things calm down. However, realistically, when is that?!! Don't be afraid to just try.

Similar to CF, showing up and starting is sometimes the hardest part. So today I'm glad I am showing up and im DOINGS the challenge and not watching it pass me by.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Back at it

Dinner with some of the best in CF - amazing mentors, coaches and friends. Great food and lots of laughs. 
Behind the scenes before final heat of teams took the floor. What's amazing is seeing these folks and their dedication to not only working out - but to the stuff that is arguably more challenging: staying on point with their diets and supporting each other NO MATTER WHAT as teammates. I have so much respect for that.
In the car leaving Hartford post dinner at 1115pm with a 2.5 hour drive ahead and Murph at 8am the next day. No problem!
Everyone standing around to cheer each person on as they came through the finish yeaterday. 60 people came out for this workout to honor those who have given their lives for each of us. 

This weekend was somewhat of a "come to Jesus" for me in terms of eating habits. We got home Sunday night at 145am and woke up to do Murph at 730am Monday. I realized that morning moving through the workout how crappy I felt physically. A few drinks at dinner, a few bites of sweet potato fries, a few bites of adds up.

This challenge is interesting because it is forcing me to continue to work towards a goal and healthier choices - even if it feels like I am getting back on the horse every day and starting over. I wonder how many of you are struggling or if you are smooth sailing and feel on track.

Part of this challenge is the support of each other - be that through ideas for recipes/ advice or simply sharing. To date, everyone seems to be in their own corners and there is little to no communication. I would love to get some conversation going on how folks are doing - and not just those who are doing well - I want to know who is struggling and what we can do to help.

Personally, I want to feel good when I wake up, energized and balanced physically. Today I woke up in a not great place due to a few things going on in my life personally. Feeling less than optimal physically doesn't help my state. My hormones being balanced and my body being fueled properly would have me able to be stronger in overcoming the emotional stuff. So that reminder for me today was a good one.

To take it a step further, food is a drug. So just like coming off of a drug makes you feel down and depressed, the same is true of poor diet/ sugar etc. It may feel like it is helping take the edge off having a few drinks, or eating comfort food, but as soon as that comes to an end, what awaits you is a 'down' feeling.

Today I will make progress to fuel myself, to HELP me feel good and motivated and battling the shit that life throws my way, not let it drown me. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Slow and steady wins the race

Dinner last night was a success! Made this and it was awesome. Plenty of leftover farro / veg for the next few days!

Markus has been pleading to go to the Committed Pig and order the Burgernut...yes, it's a burger sandwiched between a after he did 100cals on the Assault bike he won the battle.

Yesterday I pondered the notion of being "off track" and how I was struggling with my infractions. I realized that it's truly a slow and steady race to finding balance in the diet. There is never a time I plan to go crazy and "off the rails" or that I would think to eat truly horrible food and a lot of it. Instead, it's a glass of wine, a few pieces of chocolate, a pump of sweetener in my americano. 

There was a time when a operated with huge pendulum swings. Not even a sip of alcohol for weeks and nothing that veered from the perfect meal plan. But, then the "cheat time" would come...and it was ugly.

There were definitely a few instances where I act made myself sick, but worse than that was the constant effort to reset my food and relationship to it after one of these episodes.

It was like speeding up to 100mph only to slam on the brakes at a red light, then continue to repeat that. 

In terms of health, it may all come out in the wash and be six of one half a dozen of the other. But for my relationship with food and how I perceive it to be "good or bad" etx, it was not a healthy approach. I much prefer the steady state where I will allow myself relatively innocent imperfections like dark chocolate or wine, and not feel like I am binging. 

To each their own and I always encourage folks to do their OWN experimenting with what works for them. But slow and steady is not to be underestimated...

Friday, May 22, 2015


A Quad grande Americano with half and half was just what I needed today.

Well...3 solid days and then the slip factor hit. Wednesday night started slight digression from the "because I said so" plan with a cocktail...then last night there was a chocolate infraction. Although it wasn't indecent and obnoxious, it wasn't part of the plan. And that is frustrating.

Part of this challenge is learning and facing acceptance. It is so easy to accept myself when things are going "perfectly". Similarly, in life, it is easy to be happy when things are clicking and going my way and according to plan. 

It's when the wheels start to come off that it is tough. Still remaining accepting, still keeping a smile on your face, still being a source of positivity for yourself and others...not so simple.

Today I am reminding myself that imperfect is ok. That perfection is an illusion. we kick off a weekend where we remember those who fought and died, I will not disrespect them by obsessing over my silly imperfections.

I can be certain that the families of those men and women are reminiscing about their loved ones quirks and imperfections as they remember them...not about how perfect they were.

See you all Monday.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

"Because I said so"

This was an airport salad in Phoenix...traveling doesn't have to be an obstacle. Check the airport website prior to trip to see what options are there. If it looks dismal, pack some bars, fruit, nuts!

Paleo Chow Mein - This was a delicious substitute! It satisfied the craving for Chinese hands down!!!

Last week a Coach reminded me that if you 'bet on yourself, you'll never lose'. Initially, one might think that seems corny or cliche. However, when you truly think on it, it can be powerful at the least and liberating at best. 

Often during challenges or attempts to make changes in our lives there is outside influence and questioning. The 'peer pressure' of heading to dinner and everyone at the table ordering pasta probing you to have a little cheat and 'enjoy life a little'. However, in those moments, realize that you are betting on yourself and are in full control of winning.

A mantra that has worked for me and helped me stay focused on a goal and seeing it through it "because I said so". The deliberation of whether you feel like doing something or not becomes irrelevant. It's a black and white, simple solution - there is no decision making process. 

I invite you to give this tool a try. Based on your reflection of the challenge to date that I asked of you yesterday, now set forth on a few 'because I said so' bets. Maybe just for today. See what happens. 

In full disclosure, everything has it's saturation point and where it becomes 'too much'. For me, this mantra has served me well, but also been something I need to be aware of in terms of balance. I will continue to remind you to not let the challenge, goals or 'bets' you've made become your enemy. Digressing from what you 'bet on' or 'said so' about does not mean you need to beat yourself up endlessly. Think about the 80% solution. There will be times when things don't go according to plan - it's ok. 

For the 80% solution, focus on what you want, what you say you are going to do, and then bet on yourself. You can win. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Progenex shake today for breakfast... last night we took the kids to ice cream and since then I've been craving a shake! This hit the spot! 1 scoop PB Smash Progenex + 1/3 banana + 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk + ice. Voila - delicous!!!!

Made my lunch to bring to work today. I'm obsessed with the Coconut Rice recipe (thanks to Heather Bergeron!). 1 egg cooked over easy + 1 egg white thrown on top of a generous (2/3 cup?) coconut rice...amazing. Coconut rice is 1 TB grassfed butter + 1 cup coconut milk + 1 cup water + 1 cup white rice...goes with EVERYTHING!

Recently we've started watching Lost, the old TV show, from the very beginning. Bill had never seen it and I was a huge fan. In the episode we watched last night, one of the characters is battling withdrawal from an addiction. One of the more shrewd and wise characters shows him a cocoon on a tree and says, "You see this little hole? This moth's just about to emerge. It's in there right now, struggling. It's digging it's way through the thick hide of the cocoon. Now, I could help it - take my knife, gently widen the opening, and the moth would be free - but it would be too weak to survive. Struggle is nature's way of strengthening it. Now this is the second time you've asked me for your drugs back... ask me again, and it's yours."

This resonated on many levels with me, but I thought about how this applies to this nutrition challenge in particular. The struggle is on many levels - fighting addiction, habit, peer pressure,'s not just about the food.

To never struggle with a workout or with nutrition, to never face the discomfort, is to never adapt. It is a strange sense of comfort and relief to think of that when you ARE faced with the temptation, frustration or struggle. To know that those moments are what make you more capable, more able and are aiding in your progress. 

One specific reminder that is crucial for me in the notion of food and making good decisions is to remind myself that anything worth something in life doesn't come easy. But the reward is always tremendous. I invite each of you to take some time today to reflect on where you are in the challenge compared to where you set out to be. 

If you are not 'on track', don't beat yourself up! Just acknowledge what shifts you need to make and where you may have succumb to the 'struggle'. What plan can you take to get back to where you want to be? 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Things are not always what they seem...

Dark chocolate pieces and almonds... from last night (well, Round 1 of them.)

This stuff is great to have on hand, no chemicals and makes a mean protein pancake...
Didn't have blueberries or almond butter which are my favorite addition to this protein pancake, but still yummy (1 scoop mix plus 1 egg plus 1/8 cup unsweetened almond milk plus 2 TB oats)
MyFitnessPal app...slightly addictive

Facebook, blogs, Instagram are all funny places...we all log on and look at others' lives through a microscope and a very small lens. When it comes to our food and how we eat, it is easy to only make assessments on what you are seeing. You might see others crushing healthy food, cooking etc. and think how 'perfect' their food is. I know I've thought to myself (as I'm eating my dark chocolate and almonds...) "they probably don't eat chocolate EVER!"

The reminder is that things are not always what they seem. My photo of that tiny little grouping of dark chocolate and almonds....yeah....I think that was the FIRST serving! I am sure I had 3x that amount. The notion of taking a picture was a good one to hold myself accountable. I thought about taking another shot with the total amount but realized in that process how what is posted might mislead people and thought I would point that out as an example. Food is tough and as per my post yesterday, the notion isn't to feel like you are 'winning' or 'losing' some battle. For me, that needs to be a constant reminder.  My goal here is to be honest and open - not to mislead or make it look like it's so easy to flip a switch and eat 'perfectly'.

On a more resourceful note, I do love using My Fitness Pal to track food. It doesn't have to be exact, but it's a great 80% solution to seeing how you are doing hitting your macros and total fuel intake. We aren't suggesting calorie counting necessarily, but as per our kick-off...QUANTITY MATTERS!

I like that the app tracks your macros (as per pic above) but also breaks down all of the nutrition content as you go through the day. For those of you struggling to adhere to a plan, I would suggest planning out the day in advance and putting it all in prior to starting the day.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Monday kick off...

Breakfast today: 2 egg whites + 1 egg with left over roasted red peppers and fresh basil/ threw in a little mozzerella too!

Well, the "honeymoon is over"...literally! After an amazing wedding and trip to St. Thomas, I am kicking off this challenge a couple of weeks in and joining you all on the path to discovery - ha! For me, this challenge is about eating good fresh food, taking the time to cook for my family and focusing on health/ feeling good. We all know that ideal body compositions come as a result of workouts and balanced quantity/ quality fueling, but for me, allowing that to be the focus can be a very slippery slope.

One of the reasons we did not simply lay out the Whole30 challenge and make the strict rules for 'no cheating' is that it's unrealistic and sets people up to feel like a light switch - 'on/off'. At some point if you flip it enough it will break. I fully support those of you who truly felt like you needed a 'cleanse' from anything processed and eliminate food that you may have sensitivity toward. I applaud you and am behind you!

Having balance or allowing yourself bread, a piece of chocolate, dairy, or even a glass of wine is not equating to failure. However, having the awareness of when you eat this and why is the more crucial piece. We are not suggesting you have a 'back door' that you can use as an excuse for not taking the challenge serious, but rather a buffer to keep you from this being a non sustainable diet.

I have focused on what I put in my mouth for over 15 years - journals of every piece of food I ingested, spreadsheets of the times and quantities of meals...I have A LOT of experience with the elusive notion of balance. What is amazing is that we are all different - how we operate with a 'challenge' or change of habit, as well as how our bodies process fuel. So...on that note, I invite you to kick this Monday off, regardless of where you are to date in the challenge, and truly 'know thyself'.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Blog or no blog?

So...once the forum went up I stopped the blog,'s still pretty quiet over there.

Here your you want to keep the blog? Does me posting pics, thoughts etc help you? I will absolutely continue if so! If not, no prob!


Remember that support and adherance is huge in this challenge. ❤️

Monday, May 4, 2015

What went well/ What was challenging...

Day 1 is (almost) in the books....

So, what went well and where did you struggle. A lot of the areas I struggle with when focusing on my diet is breaking habits. It's also doing what might be more simple. Spending some time every night to plan the next day and remind yourself why you are choosing this challenge is very helpful!

What's your goal!?

As you kick off the next 60 days to improve your health...what is your goal!? Be brave and post it here!