Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Before I get into my culinary adventure of the week let’s recap the past few days shall we?

I started the weekend off with doing the infamous “Fran” WOD at CrossFit.

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It’s a no joke workout. I managed to finish in 7:52 with mostly using a 30 lb weight for the thrusters and a band for the pull ups. I actually started off with 40 lb, but had to scale it down after the first round.

I also made some CrossFit goals for the year 🙂

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I’m just starting to learn how to do kipping pull ups, which makes it easier to do a pull up. So far I’m not so successful, but everyone keeps telling me it’s a movement you just need to keep practicing and then one day it will “click”.

Saturday was a fun filled day. After CrossFit, Jon and I took Maddie with us to the Saturday Morning Market. After battling the crowds for an empanada and a smoked turkey leg we walked down to North Shore Dog Park so Maddie could play. This is the second time we’ve been to this dog park and will probably be the last. The whole park is pretty much dirt with pockets of mud (ew) and Maddie doesn’t seem to like it too much. She won’t try to play with any of the dogs and just runs to the gate like she wants to leave. Jon ended up taking her to our usual park later on in the day and she had a much better time. Maybe she just missed her doggie friends? 🙂

Later that night we met up with a group of friends at our fav bar, Ale and the Witch.

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It was a grand time. Good friends, good conversation, good band. And I discovered the awesomeness that is Zombie Killer cider.

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Now, on to my latest culinary adventure. The more time I spend in the kitchen and study recipes, the more I’m becoming more comfortable with adapting recipes and making them my own.

Case in point: Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Casserole.

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I’ve mentioned before about how much my inner housewife loves casseroles. Seriously, they’re so easy.

I’ve been in the mood for quinoa lately and we had some broccoli to use up so I looked through a few broccoli quinoa casserole recipes and decided to just go with the flow and adapt a few recipes to make my own.

ChickenBroccoliQuinoaCasserole

This came out soooo good. I loved the creaminess from the cheese, soup and yogurt, and the crunchiness of the broccoli. And adding the chicken made this meal a one dish dinner.

These kinds of recipes are very easy to adapt so feel free to experiment! Don’t like spice? Leave out the red pepper flakes and sirachi. Or you could use more greek yogurt in place of the soup. Or chicken stock instead of vegetable stock. So many variations!

What recipes have you created lately?

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Motivation

I thought this workout was hard, but I had no idea what was coming on Saturday.

Every now and then my CrossFit box does a hero workout that’s dedicated to a fallen solider or a certain person who is considered a hero. These workouts are usually pretty intense and longer than most WODs.

victoria

On Saturday our WOD was dedicated to Victoria Soto, a teacher of Sandy Hook Elementary who died while trying to save her students.

This workout was really tough. After the first round I was already ready to wave my white flag. I was really lacking motivation. But then I thought about Victoria and why we were dedicating this WOD today. We were doing this as our tribute to her. For being brave. For being strong. For being a hero. These thoughts gave me that extra push I needed to keep going. By the last round it was like I left my body. I was on autopilot, going through the movements until I was finished.

My results: 33:40 (40# 1st rd/35# 2nd rd/30# last 4 rds, step-ups, 20# KB)

When it comes to working out, it’s really hard for me to motivate myself. That’s why I love group classes so much. Everyone else around me is working their butts off so I need to as well! Anytime I start to slow down a coach calls out “Come on Katie, let’s go!” and that’s enough to give me a bolt of energy.

When it comes to life motivation comes easy to me. I’m a planner and organizer by nature. I live by to-do lists. If I have a goal in mind all I have to do is think of the end result and it’s enough for me to kick in gear whatever steps I need to take to get to that goal.

Motivation is different for everyone. Some people can motivate themselves, others need a little help from others. Sometimes motivation comes in the form of a song, a quote, a book, a photo or a good conversation.

As 2012 comes to a close I encourage you all to pinpoint what motivates you. Whether it be for working out or for life in general. This is the motivation that’s going to help us all achieve our New Year’s goals and resolutions so it’s important to know what gets you moving!

It was a nice, quiet weekend.

Saturday I had plans to see Lincoln with my friends Kyle and Lora. Seems like everyone else had the same idea as Lincoln was sold out when we got to the theater! The whole theater was bustling with people so we gave up and caught up at Starbucks instead.

Later that night we all met up again (with Jon, Kyle’s fiance Jesse, and friend Karen) for dinner at The Avenue. I’ve been to The Avenue a few times and have always enjoyed their food. But now that I’ve been to Engine No. 9 I have to say I don’t think their burgers cut it for me anymore 😦 After dinner Lora and Karen headed home while the rest of us had a drink at World of Beer and then another at Central Avenue Oyster Bar. We don’t see Kyle and Jesse a whole lot so it was great to spend time with them…lots of interesting and funny conversations!

Sunday was a day filled with deliciousness.

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Walnut and wheat germ pancakes topped with fried apples.

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Short rib sandwiches with carrot ginger soup.

Yum and yum!

We have no real plans for NYE tonight and I am perfectly content with that. I don’t want to go downtown and deal with craziness and no friends are throwing parties. I am actually looking forward to curling up in my pjs with a glass of champagne and watching a movie. That may sound boring, but it sounds like the perfect NYE to me!

Hope everyone has a safe and happy new year!

That Time I Threw Up At CrossFit

Ok, so I didn’t actually throw up. But I was VERYCLOSE.

Yesterday’s workout was a doozie.

Two rounds for time of:
Run 800 meters
30 Pull-ups
115 pound Front squat, 30 reps
30 Toes-to-bar
115 pound Power clean, 30 reps

Holy moly…this was the most difficult WOD to date. I’m sure it didn’t help that this was my first time back after 5 days. It’s crazy how much strength I lost in those few days. Plus I’d been sick for a few weeks before that so I was missing some WODs and taking it easy. I can usually bang out a pretty good string of pull ups, but I had to switch to the thickest band half way through the first round. And to toes-to-bar? Phishhh ya I’m not there yet at all.

I was really excited to be back…my body felt refreshed after a break and I was ready for a good butt kicking. But this almost killed me. Once I started the second round I started to feel nauseous and the last round of power cleans I really had to push through that urge of running outside and hurling. In-tense.

My results: 33:11 (40# 1 rd/30# 1 rd, black band pull ups, hanging crunches)

We had an out-of-town friend stay with us last night and Jon made an amazing dinner.

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Short ribs, celery root puree and sautéed broccoli rabe. Who needs a 5 star restaurant?

After dinner we went downtown to meet up with some other out-of-town friends that we hadn’t seen in a while. We started off at Ale and the Witch, but it was crazy busy so we decided to head over to Mandarin Hide.

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They had a HUGE beautiful Christmas tree that I was afraid was going to fall over on us.

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Nolet’s Nectar. Gin, grapefruit, grapefruit bitters and some other delicious sounding ingredients. The bitters threw me off upon first sip, but overall I really enjoyed this drink.

It was a great night and so nice to see old friends!

What’s the toughest workout you’ve done recently?

Holiday Giving

My sickness has returned 😦

Luckily, it’s not as bad as it was the first time around. But boy is it hard to get up after you take NyQuil the night before! I feel like a zombie until about 9 a.m.

I wasn’t about to miss our holiday work party though!

Some people roll their eyes at work parties, Secret Santa, silly Xmas office games…but I love it! I love team bonding and being able to have fun with co-workers in a non-work atmosphere.

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We had a casino game night, which has been a hit in years past. I learned how to play Blackjack! Thank goodness we weren’t playing for money though 😉

There was a fun photo booth that my friend Ashley and I partook in. And LOTS of food. They usually do a lot of hors d’oeuvre type of stuff, but they had more meal type food this time and I loved it. Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and vegetables filled my plate. There were also many yummy looking desserts, but I ended up having a few glasses of wine and forgetting about dessert. Actually still kind of kicking myself over that one, ha!

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Example of my “cloudy sick head” in action. I saw yesterday’s CrossFit workout and figured I was well enough to give it a go.

Back Squats

5-5-3-3-3-1-1-1-1-1

Each of the those numbers is reps.

Unfortunately, the warm up included two 400 meter runs, one with a weighted ball. I almost died.

Then during the workout I was supposed to add a total of 35# onto my bar…instead I put 35# on EACH side. I tell one of the coaches, “I don’t understand…this weight is well below my one rep max yet it feels SO heavy!” He just looks at me and says “You have 115# on there.” (I was going for 80#) Oops. Needless to say I had my first PR last night in CrossFit! 115# back squat…up 5# from my last! Might not sound like much but an additional 5# feels like a lot when lifting.

Crazy to think that Christmas is just a few days away! I really need to get some wrapping done…

In the midst of holiday craziness I’ve noticed that this time of year is when there’s a big push for charities asking for donations. Salvation Army bell ringers, Toys for Tots bins, various Facebook posts from various charities asking to help better the holiday’s for kids and families.

This time of year, it’s important to step back from your Christmas shopping list and remember what this season is all about. Family, togetherness, love and kindness. Not all families will be having a Merry Christmas. But there are ways that we can help. What better Christmas gift to give than knowing you helped make someone elses Christmas better?

It’s as simple as volunteering for a toy drive or a soup kitchen, donating money to a cause (every $1 counts!) or donating goods. I dropped off two toys in my local Publix’s Toys for Tots bin last weekend and was overjoyed to see it brimming at the top. Any bit helps.

Are you giving this year? What charities do you like to give to?

You Can Do It

Picking up from where I left off last…Sweeney Todd was a great show! It was put on by St. Pete Opera at The Palladium. Some of the acting was kind of “eh”, but the show is a musical, where they’re singing 90% of the time so any questionable acting was redeemed by wonderful singing voices. I’d never seen Sweeney Todd on stage and I’m glad I finally got a chance to see it!

Thursday was Beer with the Bard at The Ale and the Witch. Seems like people are coming out later now…the crowds seem slim until we’re about to leave. But we had some great performances and I love just going to hang out with my fellow St. Pete Shakesters and have a cider in the courtyard.

While I have been enjoying my recent cooking adventures, there have been days when I haven’t planned my dinner that night or don’t feel like cooking what I planned. So when I was at Publix on Friday I ended up picking out my dinner from a section I rarely ever visit: the frozen food section.

Luckily, my meal came out tastier than expected. I’ve always wanted to try the Alexia sweet potato fries and the spicy version was just calling my name. These are GOOD! Oh my goodness, they taste just like they would if you got them in a restaurant…nice and crispy…not soggy or weird at all. My brussel sprouts steamed in the bag and were easy peasy. The salmon burgers I was really hesitant about…frozen seafood kind of freaks me out. But the ingredients weren’t all that bad so I gave them a try. They were surprisingly pretty delicious. I hate some sodium bloat afterwards, but they’re definitely a keeper for a quick fix!

Saturday I was going to a friend’s Halloween get together, where we were asked to bring snacks, so I whipped up a few things.

I made this Bacon Ranch Cheeseball, which was awesome. And HUGE. I didn’t have parmesan so I used gorgonzola instead and it worked great. For a shortcut I also used pre-shredded cheese. Another shortcut would be to use bacon bits, but we already had bacon open so I decided to use it up.

I also made Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispees…a Pinterest find. These were a bit disappointing. They tasted great, but I didn’t have enough marshmallow to cereal ratio so they were crumbly 😦

The party was fun and laid back. Always good to see friends. And watch them carve pumpkins…it was quite the scene.

Someone didn’t like the fact that I went to the party without her…

That’s a brand new toy FYI. I still love you Maddie!

Yesterday, even though all I wanted to do was lay on the couch all day, my friend Ashley convinced me to go to the beach with her. We hung out at Toasted Monkey, had some yummy tropical drinks and an awesome plate of nachos.

By the time we got back, took our dogs to the dog park and I went to the grocery store it was nearing 8 p.m. and I was so tempted to make it another frozen meal night. But I had a pork tenderloin that needed to get made so I stuck it out and made myself dinner.

My first time cooking a pork tenderloin! It actually came out really well, nice and juicy, but boy was it an obstacle to get there. I found a recipe that was simple…salt, pepper, herbs de provence. Put in oven at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Well, I took it out after 15 minutes and the darn thing was still completely raw on the inside. Back in it goes. I checked it every 10 minutes until finally it was done. 50 minutes total! I told Jon when he got home.

“Did you sear it?”

“Of course I didn’t, the recipe didn’t say to.”

“I always sear it, then finish it in the oven for 8 minutes.”

“Oh.”

At least it came out good! Served alongside with a sweet potato and overdone roasted asparagus.

CrossFit has been kicking my butt. Have I said that already? I went on Monday, had a killer workout, then couldn’t move my arms for three days. Friday was another killer with 100 burpees thrown it at the end. I actually like burpees, but 100 was pushing it. I half-jokingly asked the coach if I could scale mine down to 50. He answered with an astounding “no”. I got to 50 and proclaimed that I was done. Again our coach wasn’t having it. I sighed, caught my breath and talked myself into continuing. I was doing them in sets of 10, which helped, but I still struggled. When I got to 70 I said to myself, “Wow, maybe I CAN do this.” I caught a second wind and the coach even did some burpees with me to encourage me. I kept going and finally reached 100. I did it! Holy crap. It felt so good and I was so thankful to have our coach push me to push myself.

I read a quote somewhere recently that said something like if you don’t push yourself as hard as you can, you’ll know what your breaking point is. So true. I’m glad I pushed myself. Because I realized that I could do this, I was just talking myself out of it. This goes for non-fitness related goals as well. Pushing yourself may be scary, but it pays off in the end.

How have you pushed yourself lately?

Penne Rosa with Chicken, Kale and Mushrooms

As much as I miss Jon while he works nights, his being away is making me become the homemaker I never thought I’d be. Since I’ve been fending for myself most nights and have been making my own dinners, I’ve realized that I’m becoming more comfortable in the kitchen. It also helps that I’ve been cooking up some very yummy dishes 🙂

Like last night’s creation.

I found this recipe for Penne Rosa via Pinterest and thought it looked like the perfect, easy weeknight meal. I did make some modifications though. I had kale to use up, so that went in instead of spinach, portabella mushrooms instead of button and chicken instead of shrimp. I also ended up doubling the sauce since it did not seem like nearly enough. At least not for me…I like my sauce!

Penne Rosa with Chicken, Kale and Mushrooms

Adapted from Back to Her Roots

Ingredients

  • 13 ounces whole wheat penne (one box)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes (about 1/2 lb.) chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups fresh kale
  • 1 lb chicken
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 3/4 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt (I love Fage)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook penne according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and set aside.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Once pan is hot add chicken and cook thoroughly on both sides, about 7  minutes each or until it’s no longer pink in the middle. Set aside.
  3. Clean off skillet, put heat down to medium-low and heat olive oil. Add in garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for 2 minutes or until garlic begins to soften.
  4. Add in mushrooms, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms begin to release their water.
  5. Remove from heat, add in spinach and cover skillet. Let spinach wilt for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove lid and place skillet back over low heat. Add the penne, chicken, Greek yogurt and pasta sauce. Stir until sauce is mixed well and all pasta and veggies are coated. Heat until just warmed through. Divide into pasta bowls and serve topped with parmesan cheese.

Serves 6

Calories: 424 per serving

Before I made this yumminess, I almost died at CrossFit.

For time:
100 ft Walking lunge
50 Push-ups
50 Double-unders
25 Knees to elbows
5 Rope climb, 15 ft
50 Box jump, 24 inch box
25 Overhead squats, 65 pounds
25 L-pull-ups
50 Sit-ups

I did A LOT of modifications on this one. Push-ups were on my knees, I subbed 3 to 1 singles for double-unders (which I meant I did 150), knees up instead of knees to elbows, rope climb was subbed 3 to 1 and was from the ground (laying down and pulling yourself up and bringing yourself down…gets you used to the rope), 10 regular box jumps and all the rest were step-ups, 35# for 6 overhead squats and 20# for the rest, regular pull-ups with band instead of L-pull-ups.

My time was 23:30, which didn’t seem bad next to everyone else’s times. I did feel like I was going to throw up at the end of this one. It was a doozy.

Looking forward to seeing Sweeney Todd tonight!

 

Upside Down

Yesterday when my 5:30 a.m. alarm went off I grabbed my phone and looked up what the CrossFit WOD was going to be.

“Nate”

Complete as many rounds in twenty minutes as you can of:
2 Muscle-ups
4 Handstand Push-ups
8 2-Pood Kettlebell swings

Muscle-ups? What are those? Oh boy…

I had the same “first day of school” feeling on my drive over. I liked the comfort of the Foundations course and being around all the other beginners. Luckily, I’m not afraid to ask questions…or ask for help. Also, everything is scalable in CrossFit.

An actual muscle-up.

Uh, yeah, that’s not happening anytime soon. There seemed to be a lot of ways to scale the muscle-up. I ended up bringing the rings down really low, starting in a low squat position and pulling myself up to a seated dip. So I was pretty much just practicing the motion.

Hand stand push ups…ok, I took gymnastics as a kid and I remember loving hanging upside down on monkey bars during recess. What is the big deal now? For some reason it kind of freaks me out to be upside down. I ended up enlisting the help of our coach and he taught me different ways of propelling my body up against the wall. It’s going to take a few times for me to get used to that. For the WOD I chose to do pike push ups instead, which are still very effective.

Kettlebell swings…something I’m familiar with! In case you’re wondering what a pood is…it’s a Russian measurement. 1 pood = 36 lbs. Again, I’m not there yet. I tried using a 1 pood kettlebell to practice, but I didn’t have enough control so I went down to the 20 lb kettlebell.

With all of these adjustments I ended up getting through 14 rounds.

Not that I like Jon being gone nights, but I have enjoyed stretching my culinary legs.

Monday I cooked up this Sausage and Quinoa One-Pot Supper. It was quite delicious!

I made a few changes. Here’s what was in the mix…

  • 1 lb hot italian chicken sausage
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sage
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 cups chopped kale, lightly packed

The original recipe calls for cider instead of chicken broth, which sounded awesome, but I didn’t feel like buying a whole pack of cider since Publix doesn’t sell them individually 😦 And we already had broth to use up at home. Also, it calls for 2 cups of kale (or spinach), which did not seem nearly enough to me, so I doubled it. It was a good call…could probably have even added another cup for even more greens.

This is also terribly easy to make…

In a large pot, cook sausage, onions and sage over medium-high heat until just browned, about 10 minutes. Add cider, quinoa, cranberries, salt and 3/4 cup water and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until liquid is just absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in kale, cover again and set aside off of the heat for 5 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork and serve.

(Directions straight from the site.)

I also made my “treat of the week”, Pumpkin Cookies with White Chocolate Chips and Walnuts. No substitutions. They came out pretty cakey, which I guess is expected when you use pumpkin in baking. Still, I was in the mood for a more crunchy cookie. These still came out great though. Bought some into work today and they’re getting rave reviews 🙂

Jon has off today (finally!) so looking forward to a low-key evening with him and Ms. Maddie 🙂

What have you been cooking up this week?

CrossFit and Vitamins

An update on CrossFit…it’s still awesome and I still love it.

The Foundations course has been SO helpful. We just finished our last class on Thursday and now we can attend regular classes. I’m sure I’ll still need reminders of how to do certain squats and such, but at least we’re not going in totally clueless.

We’ve gone through multiple squats and presses, thrusters, rowing, wall balls, pull ups, etc. I’m already amazed at the things my body can do when I put my mind to it. We did do the infamous “Fran” workout the other day.

21-15-9

Thrusters

Pull-Ups

Pretty much 21 thrusters, 21 pull-ups, 15 thrusters, 15 pull-ups, etc.

It doesn’t seem so bad at first, but after the 21 round I was struggling. I finished in about 8 minutes. I can’t believe there’s people out there that can speed through it in just a few minutes!

In one class the owners did touch on Paleo and I tried hard not to roll my eyes. Thankfully they aren’t really preachy about it. They understand that everyone is going to do what they feel is right for them. Thank goodness because no grains, no dairy?? No thanks. I understand the logic behind it and see how it would work, but I really believe grains and dairy need a place in your diet (unless your allergic to gluten or lactose intolerant of course) and that you can incorporate them in healthy ways.

Speaking of fueling your body…I ventured into the vitamins aisle at Publix yesterday to see if they had any stock of all natural multivitamins (they did!) I used to take Alive! liquid multivitamin. Just poured into my morning orange juice and I was set to go. It was becoming a bit costly though so I stopped buying it. But I’ve been thinking I really should start taking a multivitamin again. My problem is that I can’t swallow large pills. I just can’t. It’s like my throat instantly closes when I put one in my mouth. I’ve had many an issue when I’ve had to take large pills…breaking them into smaller pieces, crushing them and putting them into food. So I love that the new trend is gummy vitamins!

I picked these babies up after comparing a few brands. Ultimately I liked how this one had a higher dosage of Vitamin D, which as a woman, I felt I needed.

It still upsets me that all the gummy vitamins are made with corn syrup or glucose/sucrose. There seems to be no way around it, but I doubt this small of an amount will hurt me (?)

I tried two yesterday and oh my goodness they taste just like candy. Win!

Anyone have any suggestions on gummy/liquid multivitamins that they’re happy with?

Crossfit Day 1: Foundations

So I finally bit the bullet. The Crossfit bullet to be exact.

I’ve been wanting to try Crossfit for a long time. But I had the same fears that most people seem to have…it looked too hard, too intense, etc. etc.

But then Tina joined Crossfit and I eagerly read each post she wrote about her experience and how much she loves it. She made it seem not so scary at all.

Then Jon’s sisters, Tori and Alyson joined their local Crossfit. They both couldn’t stop talking about how awesome it is and I noticed their bodies looking stronger each time I saw them.

That sealed the deal. I wanted to be a Crossfitter. The only thing that has really held me back is the $$$ aspect, but I’m going to see how I fare for the first few months and see if it doesn’t affect my budget too much.

There’s two Crossfit boxes in St. Pete. I chose Crossfit9 since it was the closest to home and their prices seemed more wallet friendly. Crossfit9 requires you to take a 2 week Foundations class, where they go over the structure of the class as well as teach you all the different exercises they do. $150 covers this Foundations class (which is 3 classes per week) plus 2 weeks of unlimited membership. I’d say that’s a pretty fair price!

So yesterday I pulled up to the box, took a deep breath and walked in. Even though I had already tried a class before, I was still a bit nervous. It was that whole first day of school feeling…what will my classes be like? Will I like my teacher? Will the other kids like me?

Bryan, the coach of the box greeted me immediately. I signed a waiver and then our group was gathered together to start. First we watched a video that gave a nice overview on Crossfit. I loved how they showed a variety of people in the video…people were all different ages and sizes, which shows that this is really something that anybody can do. And I also loved how they all spoke about community. That’s one of Crossfit’s big selling points for me…it’s not just a gym. It’s a family. It’s a lifestyle.

After the video Bryan explained the main structure of the class. Each day there’s a warm up posted for when you arrive. Then there’s a certain skill that you work on for the day. After that is when everyone does the WOD (workout of the day).

Last night we worked on air squats, deadlifts and sumo lifts. I really like that they are so focused on form. I’ve heard a few negatives about Crossfit not worrying about proper form, but it seems like that varies from box to box. Bryan spent a lot of time on each of these exercises to make sure we had them down perfectly.

Next we were ready for our WOD:

AMRAP (As many reps as possible) in 10 minutes

20 Air Squats

20 Sumo lifts

I ended up getting through 4 and had to switch to a lighter bar after my first rep. That’s another thing I really liked…they were very encouraging on switching to a lighter weight if the one you had was too much.

It was a great first experience at my local Crossfit box! I can’t wait to continue…I think it will be an exciting change to my fitness routine.

Do you do Crossfit? If so, what made you join?

Labor Day Weekend

I have a love/hate relationship with holiday weekends. I obviously love them because I get an extra day tacked on to the too short weekend. I hate them because come Tuesday I seem to have forgotten my head. Like forgetting my rent and certain bills that are due at the beginning of the month. Oops.

I had quite the weekend…

Jon’s sisters are CrossFit-ers and I’ve been telling them that I’d like to try it out. So Saturday morning I woke up bright and early with them and off we went.

It wasn’t nearly as intimidating as most people think it is. Yes, people do badass things like climb ropes, do handstand push ups and lift twice their bodyweight. But the friendly family-like atmosphere you get right upon entering washes away any nerves you may have. Saturday was Open Gym day at their CrossFit so Tori and Alyson formed our workout along with the coach.

In honor of my visit…”The Katie” 🙂

Do as many rounds as you can in 20 minutes.

20 calories on the row machine

20 kettleballs

20 meters of pushing weights on this thing I can’t remember the name of

20 dead bugs (similar to V-pushups)

We ended up doing 4 rounds. It was really similar to a bootcamp workout, except with different equipment. I loved it! I’m really a fan of high intensity interval training workouts so I always felt that I’d be a CrossFit fan. Before I left I tried my hand at some pull ups. I also tried climbing the rope…I was doing great until I was almost to the top and I looked down. My fear of heights kicked in and I had to come down from fear of falling. I know, I’m a wuss!

Evidence of a job well done.

I’m planning on joining a local CrossFit box here in St. Pete. I can’t wait to get started!

After our workout we decided to head across the street to this European American bakery that Tori had been wanting to check out.

Holy moly. This is not a good place to come to after a workout. I wanted to stuff my face with a tray of cookies.

Everything looked delicious. It’s actually a cafe as well and they have an awesome sounding menu.

We ended up getting a raspberry danish to take home to the rest of the fam. It was heavenly, best danish I’ve ever tasted!

After some chores and pug cuddling…

It was time for dinner.

Grilled shrimp a la Jon for apps.

London broil, roasted broccoli and roasted potatoes for the main feature.

Later that night we put on our cowboy boots and headed out for a night at Dixie Roadhouse.

This place is insane. There’s very little nightlife in Cape Coral so once this place opened it instantly became one of the top hang out places. I’m not one for country music, but the vibe of this place is pretty cool and they do play some fun dance music that’s not country. It also makes for excellent people watching. This was our second time here and we all agreed last time we went was much better. They didn’t play a lot of good music this time and it was sooo smokey I could hardly stand it. But we still managed to have a good time and ended up running into some friends we hadn’t seen in a while!

The next morning we rose early again, put on our swimsuits and headed out to board Tori’s friend’s sailboat. This boat was nothing short of awesome. It’s been in the family for years and is very retro.

Meet Captain Diesel. What a cutie! I told Jon our next dog has to be a Boston Terrier.

It was a beautiful day. We rode out to Picnic Island and grilled burgers and hot dogs for lunch. And did some jumps off the roof of the boat. Again my fear of heights kicked in, but I went for it…ugh I hate that feeling of falling!

We ended the day with a dinner of ribs, Jon’s collared greens and corn on the cob. Mmm…perfect way to end such a fun filled weekend!

How did you spend your Labor Day weekend?