What Motivates You?

As usual, there’s just not enough time in a day to get all the things I want to get “out there”…”out there”. But his past several days has been unusually inspiring…motivating…and all around jacking me up so I wanted to put it “out there” to perhaps motivate and inspire others.

Two weekends ago, I accompanied my husband to a Level 1 Crossfit Certification at Eglin Air Force Base. It was a two-day seminar with a specific intent, although much more came from it than just obtaining the certification and gaining the education. Maybe it’s because we’re older now, or that we just look at things differently, but what we both saw was a cause (true health and fitness), over 50 people gathering together simply out of the love of the cause and with similar values and priorities, our health being a top priority…and certainly the anticipation of contributing the betterment of the health of others through a good diet and effective exercise. I was inspired by how many people attended at a substantial fee. I was motivated by the dreams and plans of so many of them to continue the path with their certification and open “boxes” (aka Crossfit gyms) so that they can help others achieve optimal health. So, that was two weeks ago, on the weekend.

Last weekend, we rode with friends to support two friends and fellow Crossfitters at the Florida Sectionals in West Palm, where Crossfit…ok, I’ll say “fanatics” because I’m proud to be one… compete to earn an opportunity to advance to the Regional Qualifiers for the Crossfit Games – sort of like an Olympics, but for the “sport of fitness”. Very cool! At any rate, we spent two days at BGI Fitness, camped out around a field where much of the competition occurred (and we don’t “camp”). Over 200 athletes competed in grueling workouts to earn one of the 15 top spots to advance. Once again, we were surrounded by strangers who had common goals and similar lifestyles. These are people who you don’t see eating out of boxes and drive thru’s, nor do you see them putting their general health and fitness anywhere other than at top priority, because they know if they’re not well, they can’t take care of anyone else. It was so inspiring to see these people take their lifestyles and excel to a such a level…the sport of fitness…generalized, good at everything (think: jack of all trades, master of none…well, I wouldn’t say “master of none”, but definitely a very good jack of all trades!). And being 40-something, I was even further inspired by other 40-somethings in the competition. It’s not about age people!! Wow! And our friends really kicked butt, too, by the way!

Moving on to this week, I was re-invigorated to engage back at my gym with a new vigor, and sometimes it takes inspiration. Maybe it was a little time with my trainer watching these athletes take it to a level I’d yet to achieve. Maybe it was finding other women I aspired to be as fit as (and yes, near my age). Or maybe it was just he community of Crossfit – which has powers so far beyond an organized aerobics class, a globo-gym, or one-on-one personal training – it’s the community, and I don’t know how else to say it. You have to live it.

And finally, today is Wednesday and I took a group of my favorite clients to a park to train versus in their office building…to sort of “blow out the engine” and stretch our legs. Here are six ladies – three veterans with me and three newbies – who laid it all out for my partner and I in a pretty intense 10 minute workout. Each of them working just as hard as I’d hoped. And ironically, after the workout, they were all up to hit the pull up bars for some pull up practice among other things. AND THEN.. one of the cute, younger girls suggested we “run around the lake” (little 1/4 mile trail) which further inspired us give them another treat (50 burpees for time), which they took on with enthusiasm! (well, most of them…OK, not much enthusiasm to start with, but certainly when it was over, yes, some enthusiasm!). AND THEN!!!!…yes, we played around in wet grass with handstands, frog stands, etc. What fun and inspiring women. It’s St. Patrick’s Day and they’re in the park, in the rain, with me, killing themselves to be fitter and healthier. Now THAT’S inspiring! I do hope they all went out and indulged in the St. Patrick’s Day festivities, because they certainly deserved it.

I honestly can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

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RebelHealth…on canned tuna & frozen veggies

…in other words, I’m so overextended and wiped out this week, I’m unable to complete the menu and this RebelChick is living on canned tuna and frozen veggies this week –

My apologies for anyone following the menu – head backward and find a RebelHealth Menu or a “Set Me Up Sunday” from the past and immerse yourself in that. Hopefully by next week I’ll be back up and running, although I’m sensing a two week hiatus due to some weekend travel. Also, I have a new software program I’m hoping will make this menu creation process a bit easier and more streamlined.

Stay tuned!!

RebelHealth Weekly Menu

MENU OF THE WEEK

Holy Cannoli it’s March! Well, Monday it’s March.  If we get through March, the first quarter is GONE!  And I know I’m always quantifying things, but since I passed 40, time’s moving a little too quickly for me…too many things I want to do and definitely (DEFINITELY) not enough time left in my life to accomplish all of them.  So, therein lies to focus on making every day count (or in Crossfit terms, making every second count).

The weekly menu for week 10 is here:  WEEK 10 MAR 1 2010 MENU . Nothing fancy-schmany here – a good mix of fish, chicken and beef.  In fact, it’s sort of set up for very little left over into next week, as next week will be the sequel to “Fill the Freezer” week about 3-4 weeks back.  Next week, we’ll be pulling from all of those freezer foods we made in Week 6.  If you didn’t get a chance to check out  WEEK 06 FEB 08 2010 MENU.  It might ba good idea to try it this week so next week is effortless for you.

If you follow this week, you’ll notice that as I vascillate carbohydrates and choices up and down to try to suit the needs of the masses, my focus waned again this week in favor of more fat and less carbohydrate in general – which is probably due to more Robb Wolf podcasts to entertained in my car.  His research is compelling, and unlike other “diet” claims, his research makes sense if you logically and critically think through it. And once again, no, I’m not an RD or other licensed-type nutritional expert – I just know that the US Food Pyramid is not working for …well, for anyone, and that every “body” is different.  Playing around personally and with friends and clients, I’ve found these strategies work. It just takes a strong soul who wants to both change their life and who is confident enough to fight off the social demons when their efforts are mocked and criticized.  I happen to be both.

PLAN, PLAN, PLAN

And so, as with Crossfit where the “magic is in the movement”, with RebelHealth, “the success is in the planning“. I say that so arrogantly because in order to plan you have to think. And if you think about what you’re doing, you might question it, and then try to understand it better…and ultimately embrace it – own it. Once you own it, no one can take it away from you.

Hmmm, one last thought…

NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH
I'm Blogging National Nutrition Month

March – If I’m correct, March begins Spring Break season.  For women, especially, spring break means…well, baring a little more flesh than you’ve been accustomed to over the past 4-6 months!  March also begins National Nutrition Month.  Boy oh boy I wrestled with this one. It’s sponsored by the American Dietetic Association, and this years slogan is “from the ground up”.  While I LOVE the concept of a whole month of trying to focus Americans on eating better, I find it hard to do so from an organization who will tell a diabetic it’s OK to have those chocolate chip cookies from a box, from a shelf which has collected dust from the 12 months it’s sat there (because it’s expiration date has yet to pass)…just as long as they don’t have “too many” cookies. I say this with both parents having Type 2 diabetes and ….well, thanks to mainstream diabetic education, they’ll do just that. But once again, I digress.  If we can take anything from a month where nutrition is highlighted – a month that precedes the warm, active months for us here in Florida, let’s just think about what we eat this month.  And let’s use their slogan: from the ground up…are you eating food in it’s original form (or as close to it as possible – yes, I peel my carrots and that may be considered “processing”!!), are you yielding to boxed/packaged foods with added “anything”? Just try. That’s all I’m asking. Trying never made anyone sick, starve or a lesser person.

I’ll try to do a better job throwing topics and option up in the month of March related to a full-on focus on nutrition.

RebelHealth Weekly Menu

Here we go -the 9th week of the year, almost through with the last week in February.  How are we doing? Still eating healthy? Still trying to remove artificial, chemical, non-food sources from our diets? Good!  It’s an uphill battle…reading labels (ingredient lists specifically), scrunching foreheads trying to figure out how “that” could be considered food….but keep it up. The more you do it, the easier it will continue to get.

Week 9 Feb 22 2010 Menu

Take a shot at being adventurous this week. As always, anything on this menu template can and should be changed – “should be” especially if you find a good sale on seasonal fruit, or dislike one of the foods or dishes listed.  And in say that, I’ll again tout how it’s really, really good to be adventurous.  As usual, I”m a week ahead of the menu, and was at the grocery today after having been out of town for the weekend leaving my husband to fend for himself (of course with a fridge full of labeled storage containers and pre-made dishes so he could stay Paleo in my absence (yay me!)).  Sorry, I digressed. I’m a bit of a creature of habit when busy, so I grab the usual fruits, veggies and as I was leaving the produce dept, my husband crept up behind me and pointed to this pile a absolutely beautiful artichokes and said: “I remember when we had those in Miami…remember sucking on the leaves after dipping them in that flavored oil?”  Ahh, the glory of memories!  Problem is, I’ve never cooked an artichoke and have no clue how to.  But, trying to foster my adventurous side, I grabbed a couple of unblemished ‘chokes and committed to making them part of dinner in the latter part of the week after an extensive Google and cookbook search on the cute little green, layered bundles of health!  So surely they’ll turn up in a future menu!

Have a great week!

Cauliflower Fritters

This recipe can be Paleo-friendly if you substitute a non-grain flour or meal for the whole wheat. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and chopped
  • ½ cup whole wheat white flour or other flour/meal of your choice (flax meal, almond meal, etc.)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp EVOO or canola oil

Prepare:

  1. Steam cauliflower until tender.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl, mash and let cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the flour and egg, season with salt and pepper and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  4. Roll ¼ cupfuls into balls then flatten into patties, to make a total of 12 to 14.
  5. In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Working in batches, fry the patties until golden-brown, about 4 minutes on each side.
  6. Serve immediately.

Tri Tip Steak with Tomato Romesco

From: NY Times, January 8, 2010

In case you don’t know (and I didn’t), the tri-tip steak is cut from the tri-tip roast. The tri-tip roast is a triangular section of the sirloin primal and comes from the point where the sirloin meets the round and flank primals.  I’m fairly lost when it comes to the various cuts of steak outside of the filet – not because I’m a snob that way or anything, I  just know it’s the leanest so I don’t veer from that general area!  Plus, if I learn the beef cuts, then I’ll have to learn the pork cuts, and then…”if I change my tie I have to change my shirt; if I change my shirt I have to change my pants; if I change my pants I have to change my socks…” (crack me up line from Beethoven)

  • 1 tri-tip steak, about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds, or other 2-inch-thick steak
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons almonds, shelled
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped, optional
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pimentón or other chili powder, optional.

Prepare:

  1. Heat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Generously season both sides of steak with salt and pepper.
  3. Put a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. When it is very hot, add steak to one side of pan and tomatoes, almonds, garlic cloves and jalapeños, if you are using them, to the other. Sear steak for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring tomato mixture once or twice.
  4. Once a nice crust has formed on one side of steak, turn it over, carefully transfer the now-charred tomato mixture to a food processor, and put pan in oven. (If tomatoes are not a bit blackened, leave them in pan and check again after a minute or two in oven.)
  5. Cook until steak is rare to medium-rare, about 6 to 12 minutes longer depending on its thickness (an instant-read thermometer will register 125 degrees when steak is medium-rare). Transfer steak to a plate and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. While steak is cooking or resting, add vinegar and olive oil to tomato mixture in food processor, and season with salt, pepper and pimentón or chili powder if using.
  7. Process, adding more olive oil or vinegar as you like, until mixture reaches desired consistency. Sauce should still be a little crunchy from almonds.
  8. Slice steak thinly, against grain. Serve with sauce.

Yield: 6 servings.

Coconut Curry Chicken Fingers

This recipe could be “Paleo’ed” with a few tweaks, but it might take some creativity to get a solid replacement for the whole wheat panko.  When I found this recipe the author actually used Corn Flakes for the crunch, which I quickly refused and replaced…there’s no place in my house for Tony the Tiger, even if he did make an appearance at the American Dietetics Association conference…Good Grief!

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ¼ cups light coconut milk (or regular coconut milk diluted with water)
  • 1 cup skim milk (or light coconut milk or almond milk)
  • 3 ½ Tbsp red curry paste
  • ¾ cup roasted, salted cashews
  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ¾ cup whole wheat panko
  • 1 – 10 ounce bag baby spinach

Prepare:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Lightly grease a large baking sheet
  3. Cut the chicken into 3 by ½ inch strips and season with salt and pepper
  4. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together one cup of the coconut milk, the skim milk and 1 ½ Tbsp curry paste.
  5. In a food processor, pulse together the cashews and coconut until finely chopped. 
  6. Add the panko and pulse until coarse.
  7.  Transfer the mixture to a wide, shallow bowl.
  8. One by one, dip the chicken strips in the coconut milk mixture, letting the excess drip back into the bowl.
  9.  Place the chicken in the cashew mixture and turn to coat evenly. 
  10. Transfer each chicken finger to the prepared baking sheet
  11. Bake the chicken fingers, turning once halfway through, until they are golden all over, about 8-10 minutes.
  12. While the chicken cooks, whisk together the remaining ¼ cup coconut milk and remaining 2 Tbsp curry paste.
  13. Divide the spinach on plates and top with the chicken fingers.
  14. Drizzle the chicken fingers and spinach with the sauce and serve.