Let’s Talk

Week in and week out, you’re guaranteed to hear about something going on with me.  For example, Finn is passed out on the couch next to me after an hour playing at the dog park this morning and an hour fetching in my neighbor’s backyard this afternoon:

I have diced sweet potatoes cooking in the oven to go with my breakfast eggs this week.

Boyfriend D and I made the most delicious dinner ever.  The best part?  It’s all paleo!  There are balsamic short ribs, spaghetti squash with avocado-pesto, and cauliflower tater tots.  For dessert, we had zucchini chocolate chip muffins.

My newest music obsession is The Maccabeats.  If you don’t know them, listen to them on YouTube (my favorite is Lecha Dodi).  I’m playing through their videos in the background and I added them to my shuffle mix on Pandora.

I always hears the expression “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”  I’ve been attempting to do this but can’t find clothes that fit.  Fitters, help me!  Where do you buy business casual clothes for an athletic CrossFitters body?

It’s that time of the year when I need to start getting the invitations out to my Annual Holiday Shindig.  I picked these cards up at Target the other day:

And now I’m going to wrap this up because I need to start writing these invitations and you don’t need to hear any more of my rambling.

Let’s talk about you.  What’s going on with you?  What would you like to talk about?  Most importantly, what do you want to see here?

Book Club: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

I don’t remember who exactly told me to read The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (I think it was my aunt), but I will be forever grateful to that person because of how powerful this book is.  I read this book on my own, outside of book club, which was probably for the better.  I’m crying just writing this post and thinking about the book.

The Art of Racing in the Rain is written from Enzo, the dog’s, perspective.  The book begins at the end of his life and tells the tale of his life.  Enzo’s owner is a race car driver who picks him out from a litter on a farm.  The chapters alternate between Enzo’s life (life with his owner, the introduction of first a wife and then a daughter, disagreeable in-laws, family illness, and a number of other unfortunate incidences) and racing metaphors.  The title is the underlying metaphor of the entire book – how you handle the lemons life throws at you.  Do you turn those lemons into lemonade or throw them away because they are too bitter?  Enzo’s father teaches him how to navigate the curves on the wet and slippery roadway, wonderful lessons for us, the readers, as well.

One of my favorite lines from the book, which was repeated frequently throughout, is “The car goes where your eyes go.”  Where do you want your life to go?

This book is a must-read.  No matter what I write here, I cannot do the book justice.  It is a quick read; I read the first 12 chapters on a flight from New York to Dallas and finished it on the flight home.  Well, almost finished it.  I was 10 pages from the end when I had to put the book away as I was bawling instead of sniffling and I didn’t want the woman sitting next to me thinking there was something wrong.  I finished the book the next morning on the couch snuggling with Finn so she could lick my tears away.  Don’t you just love that dogs can sense when you’re upset and put a smile on your face?

My overall review: READ IT!!!!  And be sure to keep a box of tissues handy.

Tell me, dear readers, have you read The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein?  What did you think of it?  Were you sobbing like I was from page one?

The End

Dear Fitters,

Thank you for putting up with my delay.  Since yesterday marked the end of the 2014 2014 Lurong Living Paleo Challenge, let’s talk about that.

The good:

  • I have made progress like never before.  I was hitting PRs left and right throughout the month of October: 13 double-unders in a row; first unassisted pull-up WOD; 125-lb 1 rep max hang clean.
  • My body measurements have changed in a ways I didn’t think they would: lost 1 ¼ inches in both my waist and chest, gained 1 inch in my hips, lost ¼ inch in one thigh and ½ an inch in the other (they’re even now), and lost ½ an inch in both arms.  Trainer J attributed the loss of arm size to burning off whatever fat is (was) left.  And my abs?  I took a selfie (that you won’t be seeing).
  • Keeping paleo is EASY!  You need to be creative and willing to experiment in the kitchen and constantly mix up what you’re eating.  The way CrossFit is defined as constantly varied functional movement, what we eat should be constantly varied as well.

The bad:

  • Will I continue PRing or will I plateau?

The ugly:

  • I want to keep paleo pretty strictly now that the challenge has ended.  What is the easiest way of doing this without falling down the steep slippery vertical slope that is a cheat or non-paleo dish?

This year’s challenge was by far easier than last year’s challenge.  I set a schedule of cooking on Sunday evenings so I would have a refrigerator full of meals for lunch and snacks.  I kept bags of pre-torn kale (you can find it at Trader Joe’s) on hand to make kale chips for snack every morning. 

I enjoyed this year’s WODs a lot more than last year’s.  This year’s WODs just made sense.  They didn’t try to do too much but were just enough.  My favorite was the infinity ladder of squat cleans and pull-ups.  This was the very first time I did a WOD with unassisted pull-ups.  Trainer J gave me a goal of 5 rounds…I got 6.

During the challenge, I had no problems keeping strictly paleo.  My one craving, randomly, was for cheese.  I made a spaghetti squash baked ziti to satisfy that craving.  The addition of small amounts of cheese is probably the only thing I will add back to my diet.

Did you take part in the Lurong Living Paleo Challenge?  What did you think of it?  Did you see enormous results?  How will you be keeping paleo now that the challenge is over?

See You Tomorrow

Dear Fitters,

As you may remember from the vacation prep post about keeping paleo while away, I travel for work this time of the year. I flew home from Cleveland, Ohio, this morning and won’t be able to get my normal Sunday post up in time. I will see you tomorrow.

Thanks for understanding!

-S.

Writer’s Block: NYC with J and A

It’s 9:45 pm here in New York and I’m lying in bed with my laptop.  Finn is curled up in her favorite spot, watching a Hallmark Channel movie on DVR and I cannot figure out what to write about.  I spent the afternoon/evening in New York City today with my friends J and A, whom I have known since high school.  We get together at least once per season to eat (usually brunch or dinner) and do something semi-cultural.  Today we went to the Hispanic Society of Museum (great if you’re uptown and have 45 minutes to kill) and ate at Le Monde (delicious and reasonably priced).  We drank tea and paleo chocolate chip orange scones Boyfriend D made following the recipe from Elana’s Pantry (we subbed clementine zest for orange zest).  I’m thinking of adding a few clementine wedges to the batter next time.  The recipe will probably also work really well with lemon zest or lime zest, depending on your citrus preference.  J took the extra scones home with her and A commented she would never have known they were gluten free if I didn’t say so.

How was your Sunday?  I will have a more substantial post next week.  After finally finding a groove, I didn’t want to miss a post.  Until next time, Fitters.