Saturday, March 28, 2015

Avocado Mug Cake... The Open 15.5

Well this is it.. the open is over for me. I have repeated every workout, but I think I can safely say 15.5 is not one I will redo. It does not have any of my strong suits in it and, aside from wall balls, rowing is my least favorite CrossFit activity. Thrusters are hit or miss for me... I have done Fran unbroken, but for whatever reason this workout combination killed me on the thrusters. My arms were shaking and my triceps hated me. I am just honestly ready to train without fear of what's coming again and begin my strength training for next year. It is blatantly obvious strength is my down fall and the open has a way of showcasing your weaknesses. I also really like how you can compare from year to year... two years ago in my first open the weights in this year's open would have been impossible. I have to remember to be proud of my improvements. I actually contributed to our team this year!! :)

 The number on the left is my place in the region, my number in the parenthesis is my score... 15.1 (you can't see it) I was #236, the rest you can see are also in the low 200s aside from the 15.1a... the 1RM Clean and Jerk. Ugh. I need to get stronger... until next year CrossFit Open! 

I know what you are going to say... that sounds weird. Well avocados were on sale, I have a lot of ripe ones, they are a good fat, and I eat them all the time. Although it has a bit of an avocado flavor, it just adds healthy fat and density to the cake. The coconut flakes and chocolate chips definitely come through and I ate mine with Breyer's ice cream. Num Num Num. Getting those calories in! Mass moves mass... operation gain weight and get stronger has started. :)

Avocado Mug Cake

(Printable Version)

- 1/2 Small Avocado (about 3 Tblsp)
- 1 Heaping Tbsp Coconut Flour
- 2 Tbsp Raw Honey
- 2 Tbsp Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- Pinch of Salt
- 1/4 Cup Milk (any kind- if it looks way too dry add 1 more tablespoon)
- As many Enjoy Life! Non-dairy Mini Chocolate Chips as you want

1. Mash the avocado in a large mug.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix really well. (as it sits the coconut flour thickens the batter)

3. Microwave 2-3 minutes until the cake starts to pull away from the sides. Enjoy- but be careful- these come out HOT! 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Caramelized Onion and Spinach Frittata with Sweet Potato Crust.. The Open 15.4

Sorry I have been slacking on the posts lately! I have still been sick...blah!...The workout this week went as well as could be expected considering I can't breathe. I am redoing it tomorrow- I have to do them all twice.... you can always get one more rep, right?! I also haven't been cooking a lot. I know that with everything in life we can get into a funk where we need to take a step back and motivate again- that's kind of where I am at with a few things. I have been putting my phone down a lot more, staying off social media a little more, and trying to actually enjoy what's going on around me instead of trying to take a picture of it or share it with people I am not actually with. It was, however, Henry's 5th birthday this week so we had to take a picture with him... he loves us! 

My mom reminded me the other day that I won't get these years back with my daughter and I would hate for her to think anything on my phone or in my personal life is more important than her. Speaking of Charlie-girl, I took her to get her first hair cut this weekend... she thought she was quite hot stuff sitting in that chair! I hope her curls stay!

For this recipe you could use any variety of vegetables or even add crumbled sausage or bacon. I am just trying to eat more vegetables in general and sometimes my vegetarian side comes back and it's nice to eat a meal that saves a little money because of that too! 

I ate this with a half of an avocado all last week for breakfast and it was so good I made it again this week. I can eat a quarter of it at a time though so maybe I should make two....

Caramelized Onion and Spinach Frittata with Sweet Potato Crust

(Printable Version)

- 1 Large Sweet Potato, peeled and grated
- 1 10-oz Package Chopped Frozen Spinach, thawed and squeezed
- 1 Small Vidalia (sweet onion), cut in half and sliced thinly
- 1 Garlic Clove* (*if this is too much for you in the morning for breakfast just omit it*)
- 1 tsp Salt + more for sprinkling 
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper + more for sprinkling
- 1 Tbsp Grassfed Butter
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 10 Eggs
- 1/4 Cup Milk (optional- reduce the eggs to 8 if you add this)
- Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

1. After grating the potato, sprinkle it lightly with salt and pepper. Press it into a greased, glass pie dish. It won't stick together well at this point, but will after baking. Bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes. When it comes out of the oven, press it lightly with a spatula so it sticks together a little better and goes up the sides, if it looks okay then don't do this. :)

2. While the crust is baking, carmelized the onion- heat the oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until it is softened, turn the heat down to medium-low if they start to brown rather than caramelize, and let it cook, stirring occasionally, until light brown and very soft. 

3. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and seasoning, add the chopped spinach and onions. 

4. When the crust has cooled slightly, pour the egg mixture in. Sprinkle with Parmesan if you want! Cover with foil (so the crust doesn't burn!) and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 15-20 min until the the center is firm (not liquid at all) and a knife inserted comes out clean.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 218
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13 g20 %
Saturated Fat 5 g23 %
Monounsaturated Fat 5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 318 mg106 %
Sodium 200 mg8 %
Potassium 394 mg11 %
Total Carbohydrate 12 g4 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g12 %
Sugars 5 g
Protein 13 g26 %
Vitamin A163 %
Vitamin C7 %
Calcium14 %
Iron15 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sweet Potato Crockpot Lasagna...The Open 15.3

I have been hoping this entire open that muscle ups would be put in the middle of a workout... anything but the end because I REALLY wanted to do one. When 15.3 was announced I was watching it with my friend Rudy and we were discussing what we thought it might be... I was simultaneously on about three group texts doing the same thing... such an exciting time :) I think I about cried when it was announced that it started with 7 muscle ups... STARTED with! 15.3 is a 14 min AMRAP of 7 Muscle Ups, 50 Wall Balls and 100 Double Unders. My first year of the open I couldn't do any even if I could get there, last year I tried three times, even quitting a workout for the first time in my life, trying to get to them but couldn't. This year, after hours and hours of working on them, I was finally going to get to do one in The Open. Thrilled doesn't being to describe how I felt... I have never been so excited to workout. 

A lot of people were mad they were put at the beginning, forcing everyone who couldn't do one to scale the workout. My thoughts on that is that first of all let's not be deceived that the point of the CrossFit Open is to figure out who is fittest to compete at Regionals and ultimately the Games... making workouts so that everyone can do them easily doesn't showcase the skills of the top athletes. Secondly, they put in a scaled division this year so that everyone can still have fun and participate. I scale workouts still, sometimes the weight is too heavy, all that tells me is I need to work to get stronger. If this open was two years ago I would have had to scale multiple times because I wouldn't have been able to do the first snatch weight. It doesn't mean that you can't participate and push yourself. Those scaling argued it was "too easy" compared to the other prescribed version... well I would then argue that every event thus far has been "too easy" for the best in the world. You aren't going to make everyone happy, learn from your weaknesses and focus on that for next year. I cannot say how inspiring it was to see at least 3 people get their first muscle ups and several more do more than they ever have.... amazing! 

I did this workout twice. The first time it was after work on Friday, I didn't know how I would feel and it just didn't go as well as I wanted it to- wall balls are my kryptonite. Since I laid on the floor afterwards saying, "I will never do that again" I honestly thought that might be it.

Saturday I did some Olympic lifting and then went to swim laps with my Coach and another CrossFitter. I have said before that I do not do well when Charlie is gone for the weekend so although I was physically tired I didn't want to go home and be alone- it was actually really fun even though I am not the best swimmer! In-between laps it was discussed whether or not 15.3 would be worth re-doing, especially after I had done it Friday and was doing a 40 minute swim currently. I wasn't necessarily needed to the team score, but then again you never know, would it just be for personal satisfaction? Maybe. Either way I thought it was worth redoing- it usually is even if it just means a few more reps. Sunday (today) my shoulders were tired from swimming and my legs were tired from Friday, but I really did give it my all. I am congested and didn't feel well but my coach was my judge and he was encouraging and helping me stay on pace. I also had my childhood best friend, Shannon, there with her sister and my usual favorite people to workout with Kelly, Mara, Marisa, the boys, etc. Thanks everyone for the push, I did 38 reps better! I can now say I did muscle ups in The Open! Next up... get stronger. 

For this dish I read a bunch of recipes for ideas and I have tried Paleo lasagna with zucchini and butternut squash before. First of all a lot of the recipes use cashew cheese- it just isn't the same as ricotta, sorry, and it also doesn't match my usual nut-free cooking. Zucchini "noodles" were just watery and butternut squash is ridiculous to cut. I thought sweet potatoes were a nice, cheap alternative. You could easily bake this instead of a crockpot, but I was already using the oven for something else and I like my crockpot :)

Sweet Potato Crockpot Lasagna

(Printable Version)

- 2 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/4-1/2 inch circles (I used a mandolin, aim for thin)
- 1 lb Grass-Fed Ground Beef
- 1 Sweet Onion, finely chopped,
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 6-oz Can Tomato Paste
- 1 29-oz Can Tomato Puree (or crushed tomatoes)
- 1 15-oz Tub Part-skim Ricotta Cheese
- 1 10-oz Package Chopped Frozen Spinach
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Raw Parmesan Cheese* optional 

1. Make the sauce- heat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper and saute until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the ground beef. Break it up while it is cooking and cook until browned. Add the tomato puree, Italian seasoning, a bit more salt and tomato paste. Reduce the heat and stir. Let it sit while you prepare the sweet potatoes and cheese.

2. Combine the ricotta and spinach together in a bowl- add a little salt and pepper.

3. In a crockpot, add 1/3 of the sauce to the bottom. Cover with 1/2 of the sweet potato circles, top with 1/2 the cheese mixture. Add another 1/3 of the sauce, the rest of the sweet potatoes on top of that, followed by the cheese again. End with the rest of the sauce on top, and add some Parmesan shavings if you want!

4. Let it cook in the crockpot 6-7 hours on Low or 3-4 hours on High. Check to see in the potatoes are fork tender and the sauce is bubbly. Enjoy! 

Servings 5.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 541
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20 g30 %
Saturated Fat 9 g43 %
Monounsaturated Fat 4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 87 mg29 %
Sodium 681 mg28 %
Potassium 928 mg27 %
Total Carbohydrate 53 g18 %
Dietary Fiber 9 g36 %
Sugars 35 g
Protein 41 g81 %
Vitamin A329 %
Vitamin C35 %
Calcium38 %
Iron29 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Spiced Scotch Eggs... The Open 15.2

Open working 15.2 was a repeat of 14.2.... chest to bar pull-ups and overhead squats. As defeating as this workout is, I chose to do it twice because I only scored 10 reps higher than last year and I really thought I could do better. Apparently not. Go #2 I only did 1 more rep, and I get it, more is more, but it's still a moment what motivates me to train harder because missing the next round by 4 reps, twice, is not a good feeling. I had also gone out the night before for my birthday, had some adult beverages, and that  probably was not a good idea- but I am not going to lie and say it wasn't worth it. My friends at the box are some of my favorite people and I am so grateful I got to have a night out with them.
For a moment of cuteness... My mom is competing at the master's level and Charlie helped her warm-up. I love how many strong female she is growing up with. This picture captures my role model and motivation all in one.

Scotch eggs are usually sausage wrapped around an egg, breaded and then fried. I tried to lighten my version up by baking them, and omitted the breading on the outside. Protein wrapped protein... what's not to love?!? Because I am not using sausage I read a bunch of recipes and noticed another option uses warm spices like nutmeg and cloves. I don't care of either of those, but thought garam masala (Usually cumin, coriander, cardamon, pepper, cloves, nutmeg) would be a flavorful substitute. If you haven't tried it before you might want to before you make a batch. You also could use Italian seasoning or just salt and pepper. I didn't eat mine with any sauces since I used a powerful spice mix, but hot sauce or ranch-type sauces seemed to be a common theme. 

Spiced Scotch Eggs

(Printable Version)

- 1 lb Grass-Fed Ground Beef
- 6 Hard-boiled Eggs, peeled
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon (optional)

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

1. Mix spices in with the beef- careful not to over-mix.

2. Form 1/6 of the meat (about 1/3 cup) into a patty- place an egg in the middle and carefully wrap the meat around it, forming a smooth ball. Place the ball on a parchment lined cookie sheet and do the same with the remaining 5 eggs.

3. Bake 18-20 minutes. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Vegetable Bake

You know what I am grateful for right now? My friends. They are taking me out for my birthday this weekend, they talk to me when I am having a bad day/night, and they reserve their judgement even if I am making bad decisions. I am not a person to have low self-esteem, but when you have been through a divorce, are raising a child by yourself and your only relationship since has been complicated it wears on you- they have been my clarity for my personal life and my constant reminder of what I deserve and should expect. I am so lucky to have them. 

I used to be vegetarian... well vegan for a while actually... and as crazy as it is to think about now, I still have some aversions to meat when I cook it. Weird pieces of chicken, parts of the egg yolk I don't like to look at, etc. Not to mention meat is so expensive sometimes a veggie dish is needed. I ate this plain once, added taco meat the next time, and Charlie ate it too. even though there is hardly any cheese, well none if you want, it almost has a cheesy texture. Nutritional yeast gives almost a buttery taste which is really great, but if you don't have any the dish will still be good. (See more on nutritional yeast here)

Vegetable Bake

(Printable Version)

- 1 Small Spaghetti Squash
- 2 Zucchini, diced
- 2 Carrots, diced
- 1 14-oz Can Tomato Sauce (watch for sugar)
- 1 Egg
- 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast (if you don't have any just omit)
- Salt and Pepper
- Raw Parmesan Cheese (Optional)

Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees
1. Cut and spaghetti squash in half length-wise, scoop out the seeds. Place cut-side down on a cookie sheet and bake about 45min, until it is soft to the touch and can be pierced easily with a knife.

2. While the squash is cooking, heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini and carrots and a sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, 5-7 minutes.

3. When the spaghetti squash is cooled enough to handle, scrape out the insides into a bowl. Add the sauteed vegetables, egg and tomato sauce. Mix until combined. 

4. Pour mixture into a greased dish, sprinkle with cheese if you want, and bake for 30 minutes until bubbly. Let cool a few minutes before serving. 

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 170
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3 g4 %
Saturated Fat 1 g4 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 47 mg16 %
Sodium 1382 mg58 %
Potassium 1194 mg34 %
Total Carbohydrate 34 g11 %
Dietary Fiber 9 g35 %
Sugars 17 g
Protein 8 g16 %
Vitamin A125 %
Vitamin C81 %
Calcium12 %
Iron17 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.