Reebok Nano 4

Working Out on the Road

This past week, I traveled to Chicago to visit family for Thanksgiving. With only one full “real” week of Crossfit under my belt (and 2 additional weeks ramping up), I was not happy to spend a week away from my gym. I’m still working on building healthy habits around Crossfit, and a break in the routine before it was even an established routine made me nervous.

I had several offers from Chicagoland friends to visit their Crossfit boxes. I’m not even fully comfortable working out at my own box yet due to the extreme scaling I have to do to (barely) keep up, so while I kept those options open, I never got the courage to go through with it. I didn’t want to take a week off, though, so I looked into some travel WODs. It turned out to be very easy to program an in-room workout that will hopefully keep me ready for Crossfit next week.

It is probably much easier to come up with a suitable bodyweight workout when you’re as low on the strength and fitness totem pole as I am. Since I’m still terrible at push ups and sit ups, those made for likely in-room workout components. Add in squats (which I’m not good at!) and there’s a nice little travel WOD.

I did 5 rounds for time of:
10 push ups
10 sit ups
10 air squats

10:30. I was sore the next day, so I’m calling it a good travel WOD – at least until I build up some strength. Here are some more travel WOD ideas:

I did a variation on that workout at home today, substituting a 20 second plank for the sit ups. I fear I’m coming down with the airplane plague, but if Zicam can help me out, I’ll repeat the workout tomorrow, and head back to Crossfit on Tuesday.

In the meantime, I’m awaiting the arrival of a couple new workout gadgets that will hopefully help get me up to speed a bit faster. Let me backtrack a bit… one thing that has showed up a few times in my brief Crossfit career is pull ups. I have never even been able to hang from a pull up bar, let alone do an actual pull up – ever. I don’t think the coach believed me when I said that, but wouldn’t you know – my mom dug up this gem over Thanksgiving. It’s a physical fitness report from gym class my senior year in high school, 1992.

Physical fitness report, senior year of high school, 1992

Physical fitness report, senior year of high school, 1992

I am not kidding! I couldn’t even hang from the bar.

Coach Lauren at Crossfit said that she suspected it was as much a lack of grip strength as anything else, which is probably right. I bought a pair of grip gloves and am awaiting the arrival of a home pull up bar. I went with the Perfect Multi Gym pull up bar after watching several reviews stating that it does less damage to the door frame than its more popular competitor, the Iron Gym pull up bar. Lastly, I ordered some pull up assistance bands, because – like I said – I can’t even hang from the bar, let alone do a pull up! I may need to add a pair of gymnastics rings and do ring pull ups from the bar until I can use the bar, but I’m hoping that with the assistance bands, I’ll be able to start there.

The plan is to work on building up some of my weaknesses at home so that I can bring those improvements to the gym. I also ordered the book Becoming a Supple Leopard. I may be too early in my Crossfit career to benefit from it, but I’m hoping that I can incorporate some of its advice now, and re-read it a year from now and absorb more.

On the shopping front, I also lucked out and scored a half price pair of Nano 4 shoes. I had bought a pair of Nano 3’s in my usual running shoe size (9), and they’re just a tiny bit too small. They’re wearable, but occasionally my right toes hit the front of the shoe. This Reebok Nano 4 sale was only on size 9.5, but that was perfect for me! So I’m good to go in the shoe department.

Here’s to a triumphant return to the gym next week – or at least a return without losing any ground!

Real Food Challenge, Week 2

We’ve wrapped up Week 2 in the Nourished Kitchen Real Food Challenge, and here’s how it went in my world!

First off, I’ve been caring for my sourdough starter this week. It arrived too late to do much Week 1, and it’s taking a little longer than I’d hoped to get happy this week. I suspect it’s because my kitchen isn’t very warm (68F or so). I tried a high cabinet; I tried in the oven – apparently my pilot light isn’t very warm, either. So tonight, I fed my little sourdough buddy and brought it upstairs with me. I put it next to the heat vent in the bathroom. Hopefully the cats will not get curious.

The starter is bubbling a little bit – just not a whole lot. And it keeps separating and forming liquid on the top. I’ve just been stirring the liquid back in, as the instructions that came from Cultures for Health don’t mention anything about pouring it off. I hope I’m not killing the poor thing! (Wow, it didn’t take long for me to humanize my sourdough starter!)

Week 2 kicked off with a discussion on fats for high-heat cooking. I switched to using coconut oil a couple months ago, after reading the book Skinny Bitch. So far, I have no complaints!

Then, we got into the issue of GMO’s – which is actually the topic that led me into this entire organic adventure (including the creation of this blog). I suspect that a certain M company is actually the devil. Some things are just wrong, and blasting living cells with viruses and the like in order to splice in the DNA of different species… that’s right up there on the list. My local government representatives know who I am (and, a tip I heard a long time ago – paper letters are more effective than email, so print out those letters, stick a stamp on ’em, and drop them in the ol’ snail mail!)

For Day #10, it was back to oils – I regularly dip bread in olive oil, but haven’t tried flaxseed oil. I’ve gotten into throwing flaxseed meal into my oatmeal and my smoothies, so why not try flaxseed oil? It’s on my grocery list.

Baking sourdough is on my list of things to do, once my starter is ready! (C’mon, lil buddy!)

Then came the Real Milk challenge. I was pretty stoked about this, as I love milk and dairy products. I drink organic milk. The article mentioned a brand of Vat-pasteurized milk from Farmers All Natural Creamery. I went to their web site to find the locations where it is sold, and was ecstatic to see two things – first, that Jewel grocery stores carry it (because there’s one down the street from me), and second, that Peapod carries it (because that’s where I get most of my groceries, delivered!) I won’t be ordering from Peapod for another couple weeks, so I decided to check out Jewel. (I had been meaning to go there to check out their selection of organic produce anyway). I was quite impressed with their organic produce selection, but pretty bummed out that I couldn’t find Farmers All Natural Creamery products. 🙁 Booo. The customer service clerk that I asked had never heard of it. I’ll have to try ordering it from Peapod next time.

Day #13 looked at fermented foods. I’m a yogurt fanatic (and have just gotten into Greek yogurt too). I used to make my own yogurt a few years ago, but stopped when I moved… it’s something I plan to try my hand at again soon. I’m also interested in trying to make cheese – but that’s a whole nother story. This kefir stuff looks intriguing (particularly the anti-cancer elements). I plan to look into it some more. I saw some at Trader Joe’s the other day, but hadn’t yet read the Challenge note about kefir!

That brings us to today – Singles Awareness Day. I’m not much into chocolate, so there’s no love lost there. The most exciting thing I added to my food repertoire this week was grape tomatoes in my workout smoothie. I’m looking forward to next week and hopefully baking some sourdough bread, or maybe pancakes!

Peapod Grocery Delivery

I just received my first grocery delivery from Peapod, a grocery delivery service serving parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, DC, and the Chicagoland area (including parts of Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana).

My mom used Peapod back in the mid-1990’s, when they operated out of our local Jewel grocery stores in the Chicago suburbs. I remember installing their software off of floppy disks onto the computer, and listening to the dial-up modem groan and wheeze as it connected to the internet. My, how far we’ve come!

In my quest to find organic products at grocery stores that are at least somewhat convenient to me, I stumbled upon Peapod. Why, yes! Peapod! I was shocked, quite honestly, at their selection of organics. I could order everything from organic meats to produce to prepared foods, all for home delivery.