If I haven't mentioned it before, my husband and I are preparing to hike for a mere six days straight in the Austrian Alps. This hike is to occur in July of this year. On July 10th-ish we will join our friends Rob and Petra on the 21st day of their hike in the Alps which will have covered points in Germany, Austria and Italy. As a group, we will finish up the hike in six days as we head northwesterly back toward Germany.
To say the least, Garret and I are greatly concerned that we will hold the group back. In order to minimize the amount of backholding that may occur, he and I have been training. We have been CrossFitting and we have been hiking. I am fully immersed (though I always feel as though I could be participating more) in CrossFit while he has dabbled in the on-ramp program at our box. We have developed a habit of hiking together on Saturday mornings while I have also developed a habit of hiking at least one other time through the week (thank you, Lizzie and Heather!). For me personally, this makes four to five days per week where I am kicking my ass in some sort of physical challenge.
Combine all this physicality together with our participation in our box's 30-day paleo diet challenge and these three things seem to make for a fulltime job in themselves. Every day is consumed with thoughts of "How am I going to challenge myself physically today? What am I going to eat today? What am I not going to eat today? How often am I going to eat today?" We are ever referencing the Paradiso CrossFit website and Nutrition Blog and those blogs and Facebook pages of our PCF cohort. In fact, I feel like a food-ophile carefully scanning images of everyones breakfast, dinner and snacks - having food envy and moaning in delight over things like sauteed cauliflower in place of rice.
Garrett and I have faced obstacles because neither one of us considers ourselves very good cooks really. He can throw down on some fish or stirfry and I get requests for fried chicken or banana bread, but to say we feel competitive as chefs in this Paleo challenge is not going to happen. So, as I've said before, we do the best we can.
Things that I have discovered about myself this week:
1) I can't sautee asparagus to save my life. There is a fine line between delightfully tasty and just damn soggy.
2) I have attempted twice to hard boil a dozen eggs and both times, though hugely varied in approach, I managed to pop, clank, explode and otherwise abuse the shells of my unsuspecting protien delights.
3) Salt is just damn necessary in some recipes.
4) Espresso requires either a smidge of milk (soy or the moo kind) or a smattering of raw sugar. We have both declared that we will give up one or the other but not both.
5) No matter how hard I work or how disciplined I consume, Garrett (who is doing far less than me physically) has already reached his high school weight and is concerned that he may lose too much.
And, on a more positive note:
6) Meat rocks!
7) Avocados are a welcome flavor (this one is for you, Rob) in most dishes.
8) Tuesday morning Farm Fresh To You produce deliveries are one of the highlights of my week.
9) I surprisingly don't really miss my breads, rices or potatoes. I certainly don't miss the way they make me feel. And, when I think I want them, I simply remind myself how they bog me down and interfere with my CrossFit performance well into the next day (Funny, I used this same psychological trick on myself to stop smoking nine years ago).
10) Breathing is awesome! Achieving proper breathe is what plagues me the most in my workouts. I have increased my lung capacity greatly in the last year and am still way behind the curve. I am excited to ultimately work my asthma away. When that day comes, trust me, you will know of it!
The days and days of Paleo menus have begun to blur for me. There have been moments where Paleo was near impossible but, more so, Paleo is more accessible than you might believe.
Friday night Truxton's Gilly Burger of sin. Notice the dark looming atmosphere. Dione was a bad bad girl.
I'm not sure when this happened but it came compliments of Garrett (as do most of our Paleo creations) and it was dreamy! That's apples, avocado, walnuts, butter lettuce, baby romaine, grilled chicken, etc. in that there bowl. Mmmm...
Garrett's plate of wild atlantic salmon on a bed of fresh spinach with grilled zucchini.
Breakfast for two days in a row of leftover browned turkey with onions and bellpeppers cooked in an omelet.
My plate of salmon and zucchini minus the bed of fresh spinach because I simply could not fathom another mouthful of spinach goodness yesterday.
So, we eat, we drink, we crossfit and we hike. Most importantly, we live. We are not idle and we are not complacent. Certainly, we are no longer ignorant of the possibilities out there for us. And, sometimes, we rest.