Thursday, May 20, 2010

Time! --> 30 Days Give-or-Take the Last 10

For the past month (from April 19th through May 19th), we have been participating in a 30-day Paleo Challenge with our CrossFit box people.  And while I usually would not participate in an all-or-nothing challenge, this time I did.  Well, we did.  Garrett and I decided to attempt it.  We started one day late and gave it our best effort.  We broke about the time Mothers Day came around when I decided to order a chocolate ganash soufflĂ© for dessert.  I'll call this a gateway dessert because other things clearly followed.  While we do not view this as a total failure in nutrition, we did technically fail the all-or-nothing challenge because either you did it or you didn't.  Either you got an A+ or an F.  There was nothing in between.  And, that is ok.

What the Paleo challenge did for us was to reveal a way of nutrition that we would like to follow closely but not, at this particular moment in time, strictly.  This is not to say that we will go all nutty and drown ourselves in grain, sugar and dairy products (isn't that a lovely bathtub style vision?).  But, we are not going to beat ourselves up if we decide that maybe today we will go ahead and have a smidgen of raw sugar in our espresso.  We will not feel worthless if a bit of blue cheese would just really make this salad perfect today.  And, in the world of Paleo nutrition, we will not fret over choosing the lesser of two evils when deciding to use either cow's milk or soy milk in our espresso as well.  

We have, in fact, changed our dietary intake drastically this year by no longer buying cereals or potatoes or rice. We've brought home a hell of a lot less cheese and milk and butter.  No more are the days of buttered toast and sugar drenched espresso for breakfast followed by a dinner that included either a potato or a rice each and every time.  We have made a tremendous start and that is good enough for us for now.  We will continue to strive for better as we always do.  Right now, right here, this is good enough.  

Aside from just knowing that this is a better way to eat, how do we feel?  We feel lighter, faster and more agile.  We feel less lethargic when we CrossFit.  There is more gumption and less panting.  My asthma, while still a pain in the ol' gluteous maximus, feels less threatening.  I can tell a difference in my total energy between when I eat Paleo and when I don't.  And, I'm talking about the next day or two from when I ate.  It carries over and carries on for a period of a couple days.  

Here is a sampling of various meals that have happened for us over the latter half of our challenge (please note that ketchup, cheese, creamy dressings and added sodium are are not Paleo):

But, clarity came for me during this challenge when I began to receive comments about my appearance and how good or different my appearance was from the past.  Things like, "I can see it in your face." or "I see a change in your shoulders, your posture and across your back." and "I just have to tell you how good you look, Dione."  I'd say it is the Paleo but I would also say it is the CrossFit and the hiking.  There is a happiness that all of this brings to both me and Garrett.  And, lastly, I would say that it's the folks at my particular box, Paradiso CrossFit, that bring us smiles.  I love this group.  I appreciate how they challenge us and how they inspire us.  They live the example that we are now living and through this example we rise to the challenge.  There is a lot of laughing that goes on with this group and I look forward to spending many many years with them.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Ignorant Hiker

I am not a hiking expert.  I am training for a six-day hike in the Austrian Alps.  To prepare, I have had many conversations with experienced hikers who have offered useful information for my local hikes.  I hope that this information will translate to what I need to know for the Alps.

As it turns out, some of you out there are actually reading my blog and watching me on Facebook.  I like this.  Thank you.  You are telling me that you want to hike or you want to CrossFit or you want to know more about this Paleo thing.  You don't really understand everything that I am doing but you want to know more and want to know how.  Again, I am not an expert.  What I will offer you here is a compilation of basics that I follow for myself.

A Quick List of Hiking Basics for Dione

Don't be ignorant.  Our first hike was actually the Na Pali Coast in Kauai, Hawaii.  We were not prepared in the least.  That, my friends, will be an entirely different blog entry.  Let's just say that we didn't do anything on this list.  Not one thing. You are already one step ahead of us because you are here reading this.  Don't be afraid to ask questions.  Question asking is good.

Know your hike.  Research your hike and know your trail.  Know your elevation.  Go to your local hiking store (like Adventure 16 or R.E.I.) and pick up a map that details the route and the elevation of your intended hike.  Bring this map with you on the hike.  While the map will be general, it will help you to be familiar with the layout and distance of the trail as well as how quickly the elevation changes.  Sometimes the trail head will have a kiosk where you can pick-up a more detailed map for you specific hike.  

Eat before you even think about stepping on the trail.  You will need the energy.  Then eat again while you are on the trail.  Eat goods things that give you good energy like meats, veggies, fruits, hard boiled eggs, nuts.  We usually eat something on the way then plan a lunch destination as part of the hike.  This spot is usually the highest point on the trail.

Hydrate.  Hydrate.  Hydrate!  I personally bring 100 oz of water on my hike (thanks, CamelBak!) and have found that I tend to run out at about 4 1/2 hours.  You will find your own personal level of hydration.  But, if you wait until you are thirsty to drink your water then you are already too late.  Keep drinking it down.  Your hydration is key in cooling your body so that you don't overheat.  It runs through you and it cleanses your pours.  It also help flush out toxins that would impede your joints.  Non-impeded joints are a good thing when hiking.

Stretch.  Stretch your hamstrings and whatever ails you before you hit the trail.  I don't do this part very well.  

Be aware.  Take it upon yourself to become familiar with what you should be aware of while you are hiking.  These things could be rattle snakes, mountain lions, ticks and poison ivy/oak.  Be able to identify these things when you see them.  This is important and is your responsibility to yourself.  Do not rely on others to convey this information to you.  

Don't go off the trail.  Since you are new to hiking, you will want to stay on the trail.  Do not venture off of it.  People get lost and/or hurt this way.  It's real simple.  Don't be that person.

Leave no trace.  You come out to nature to get away from the city.  If you didn't want to enjoy the beauty of it then you would hike Figueroa through downtown Los Angeles.  So, please, leave no trace of yourself out here.  Any litter that you create should be tucked away into your backpack to go home with you for disposal at a later time.  There should not be a trace of your plastic bottles, energy bar wrappers or broken shoe laces anywhere on the trail.

Let go and Enjoy.  Afford yourself the opportunity to breath deeply and enjoy your organic environment while you are out here.  Fully immerse yourself in your senses.  Let go of all those daily things that grind you down.  Practice letting go by sucking up what nature has to offer.  Love it.  Respect it.  And it will be there for you the next time you need it.

    I average about two hikes per week.  At least one of those is with my loving husband, Garrett.  The others are usually with a good friend like Heather or Lizzie.  Sometime soon I hope to get my beagle out there on the trails on which she would be allowed.  I also look forward to including many other persons on our hikes who are open to the challenge.  I have included everything that I can think of for me at this point in my training.  If you think of anything else please post it here.  Your comments are welcome!

    Monday, May 3, 2010

    Who are these Super Humans?

    Todays W.O.D.

    New England Sectional Event 1

    Run 800 meters

    30 Snatches (115/75)

    Run 800 meters

    I guess it is my turn to suck.  I ran the first 800m, kind of.  I'm not running four days per week like I used to so my running stamina (i.e., lung endurance) is down.  So yeah, that took me way too long.  Then, I snatched 45# for 30 reps.  Well, I don't know how many actually were a snatch but I think I'm beginning to feel the form.  That's the thing with me and forms...I have to feel them instead of over think them.  My lungs were f-ing with me, as usual, so I rowed the second 800m.  I started at like a 2:06 pace and ended somewhere between 2:25 and 2:30.  This felt good but I beat myself up so immediately embraced the guilt of not running the second 800m.  However, when I stopped by the grocery store on the way home and noticed my still beat red face and ears, I was thankful that I didn't hurt myself with the run.  I have this fear of experiencing an asthma attack when I'm not near my trainer or others that I am working out with.  I guess I need to work on that.

    The results:  16 minutes and 13 seconds at 45# snatches and running the first 800m while rowing the last 800m.  

    I feel really slow and inadequate right now.

    Saturday, May 1, 2010

    Paradiso CrossFit 101

    Saturday, May 1st, 2010

    Todays W.O.D.
    Run 5k.
    But we didn't do that because we worked out in CrossFit 101.  

    CrossFit 101 W.O.D.
    Run 200m
    Run 200m

    Results:  Deadlifting 95# and doing girl push-ups improperly, I finished this in 11:06.

    Garrett joined me in this group setting.  We came because it is a new thing Paradiso is doing so we wanted to support it.  Also, my girl Jamie Kwak came to the class, so we wanted to support her as well.  David says (there I go again) that she is good. 

    I say that Zeb and David rocked the class.  Excellent idea, guys!