Thursday, April 18, 2013

Paleo Salmon Patties plus Homemade Mayo

Well, it has been forever since I've updated and written a blog post.

Not a whole lot has been going on. Life has been pretty slow, CrossFit has been fun, photography has been bumping along, and we've enjoying some special company now and then. It's been rather enjoyable. :)

Tonight, I found myself alone for supper, was hungry for seafood (which, in itself, is weird), and wanted something I could douse in my homemade mayo.

Um. Yum.

Salmon Patties


1-5oz package of skinless, boneless salmon
2-teaspoons coconut flour
salt, garlic, onion powder

I heated my awesome cast iron pan (I'm still working on the muscles to lift that sucker. I swear it adds 10 pounds when it gets hot!), and fried them up in butter, probably about 3-4 minutes each side.

I served it on a bed of romaine and spinach.. topped with homemade mayo, of course.

Homemade Mayo

Add to immersion blender bottle:

2-teaspoons apple cider or white wine vinegar
2-teaspoons dijon or yellow mustard
Juice of half a lemon (this is the tastiest part!)

Then, hold your immersion blender in there at the very bottom and let 'er go.

This is a pretty detailed video, if you want more instructions:

I can't believe I lived nearly two years without ever having mayo. Never again. :)

In other news, I have been struggling a little bit with digestion and my stomach. I lost my appetite the last two weeks and would finally get hungry in the afternoon a little. If I did eat in the morning, I would get sick to my stomach, bloated, and not able to eat for hours. I would get a little anxious about eating as I was always worried if it would be okay. It was rough. One night I couldn't even finish a 6-oz steak, and I lost like 6 pounds total. Yikes.

From what I can summarize, it seems like it was set off with my gallbladder after an overdose of coconut milk and avocado (learn to put the spoon down!), and settled in my stomach.

Also, my workouts were not affected until I simply ran out of fuel in the second week... but it's quite possible the workouts affected my stomach. Looking back through my detailed food/workout/sleep/"symptom" log, there's a strong correlation between a lot of core work (mainly pushups) and worse symptoms on that day. However, my appetite and the upset stomach didn't seem to matter if I worked out or not... so I kept working out in order to get a little appetite going. ;)

I explored some different therapies and techniques, adjusted the supplements I'm taking, and called in the big guns: Enzymes, probiotics, and fermented foods.

I'm feeling much better now... and it's been good for me to reign in my portion size. I can honestly say that I think a lot of CrossFitters (and people in general!) don't eat enough (see Crossfitters Eat to Perform), but I think I was far exceeding my 2500-2600ish daily caloric needs. The idea that maybe my body decided to just shut me down to use up all its stored energy has crossed my mind too. Who knows.

And all you medical people, don't worry, I had promised the hubby that if my final appointment yesterday still yielded no results, I was going to go for "tests." Who knows what that all would entail... maybe multiple doctor visits, stomach scopes, thousands of dollars in our deductible. I'm pretty confidant that I got this figured out for about $350-400.. which is a huge cost savings, not to mention not having to take any meds.

That's about it for news... take care until we meet again. :)

PS. I have a couple links you should check out:
Why Women Should Not Run  This guy is a genius anyway, but this article is awesome. Sprints and HIIT are great, but "chronic cardio" and endurance training is extremely harmful to your thyroid. Read it. And do some intervals instead of 5 miles. Then go lift some heavy weights. Your thyroid will thank you.

Why News is Bad For You  I'm usually out of the loop, but I never feel left out. I have always believed that a person is happier without news.

PPS. It's April. And rain is expected. But I'm ready for summer. Like now. Anyone else? Sigh.

PPPS. I got 2 double unders in a row today. Woo hooo! I got so excited I threw the rope. Hah!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Life, CF, growth... and a cooking class!

Not a whole lot has been going on lately.... other than life. You know how it goes. :)

CrossFit has been going well. The Open WOD's are done, which is a bit disappointing. The best part about those is everyone in CrossFit does them... and it's fun to see how you stack up and compare.

I didn't do one of them, as pushing motions are still on the back burner for me. 150 wall balls? Ain't nobody got time for dat!

However, the rest of them have gone great.

This was 13.4:

95-lb Clean and Jerk's with Toes-to-Bar

Two of my favorite moves! What a blast.

I read this awesome article about what the Open teaches us. It's a sense of accomplishment, a measure of how we compare to ourselves, and what we can prove to ourselves. We can be proud of the accomplishments we have, no matter how humble they seem. Read the article here.

In general, I have multiple goals for CrossFitting, but I keep coming back to these main ones:

1. Have fun
2. Get strong
3. Prove myself by giving it my all and never quitting
4. Encourage others

I've had a lot of victories lately, physically. My injuries from the past have been healing.

Aside from burpees and a few light reps here and there, I hadn't done any pushups or bench-press type motions since last November. They would ignite my upper traps and neck and send me straight to migraine city. But I (weakly) did 84 of them on a 24" elevated box (along with 84 push presses and 84 situps in 15:32). Success! No migraines! Is this any more reason to head over to Valley Spine and Sport? Seriously. Dr. Alex is a genius. I was, however, sore for nearly a week with good ol' DOMS. :) I'm excited to cross off pushing and pressing motions from my list of can't-do's!

My deadlifts are back up where they're supposed to be plus my shoulders are holding up for toes-to-bar, kipping pullups, split jerks, and overhead squats. Hamstrings aren't complaining lately either! *knock on wood*

I've been photographing some different things lately too. I helped Dr. Alex update some images for his website and social media, as well as my good friends at CrossFit Appleton. It's been fun to photograph these Open WOD's and the incredible athletes getting it done. Check out some of the photos here.

Other than that, I've been enjoying time with family and friends.

We hosted supper the other evening and then played some games. I love my in-laws. :)

We also had a couple's weekend a few weeks ago where a bunch of us younger, married, child-less couples got together for games, food, and fun. That was a blast too!

In other news, winter is still. dragging. on. It's still cold, wet, and there's a chance of snow for later this week. Oh well. Summer has to come eventually, right?

Here's one of my Paleo fails from recently.. these are always fun! I saw several times online about mixing avocado with cocoa. Some people added a banana and blended it, which would have helped drastically. I'll admit that this required a LOT more chocolate chips to make it palatable. ;)

Oh, and how could I forget?!

I have been invited to teach a cooking class, for which I am super excited!

It's called "Civilized Cavemen: Gluten Free and Paleo Cooking"

Click here for more details, but this is the description:

"We might not grunt and live in caves, but we can learn a lot from our ancestor's diet of unprocessed whole foods and sustainable meats. Join us and learn how to create gluten-free, Paleo meals that incorporate fresh, local foods. We'll share an overview of the Paleo template, strategies on how to stock your kitchen, time saving tips, tricks and resources for preparing meals. Mariah will demonstrate tasty recipes that even your gluten-eating friends will love - no caves or fires required! Come learn (and taste) how great eating like civilized cavemen can be!"

I will be demonstrating a few recipes, plus doing a little educating and offering plenty of resources to make things easier. This will be fun! :)

Also, tonight I watched the documentary "Forks over Knives" about a whole-foods, plant-based diet, or veganism. I have quite a few reactions to that, and I even took notes during, so expect a post coming soon.

Anyway, I'm off to bed... Can't wait to CrossFit tomorrow morning. :)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pumpkin and Chocolate Muffins

The other day, I made muffins for a post-WOD snack. Yay for the Open workouts!

They were amazing and everyone asked for the recipes.. so here are the links!

Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

Double chocolate chip muffins Okay, it's actually cake, but I added chocolate chips and made muffins. :)

And maybe one of these days, I'll have a real update for you all. Until then, enjoy. :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Another Whole 30 Wrap Up

I had someone ask me for a little bit more advice on the Whole 30 today.. so I thought I'd create a little blog post so everyone could benefit from my nuggets of wisdom. ;)

Seriously though. I love getting emails and messages about eating Paleo, the Whole 30, and everything else.. but I think I'm going to create a little references pages here on the blog so I have all the information ready at my fingertips!

Anyway.. the question: "I was just kind of wondering how your Whole30 went for you and if you might have some feedback, pointers and/or recipes you might care to share with me."

And my response:

Here was my "official done with the Whole 30 blog post:"

Really, though, I would say do it. It does take a lot more planning but there are ways to get around that.

A few things I definitely recommend:

Read the It Starts With Food book. That really makes everything clear. Super clear. It's hard to follow something if you don't know the why behind it... at least for me!

Do a once-a-week meal prep day. In the beginning of the cookbook Well Fed from, Melissa talks about her meal prep.. she cuts up and partially steams a variety of veggies. She bakes sweet potatoes and squash, boils eggs, and cooks up a few pounds each of ground meat like turkey, pork, beef. Then when you're hungry and in a hurry, you can whip out some veggies, add them to a pan with coconut oil or ghee, throw in some ground meat, add any kind of seasoning, and you have lunch in 10 minutes. She calls them "hot plates."

I have at least one hot plate a day, and I still do the cook-up weekly.

Also, it IS do-able. But not sustainable. Once I got through it, I was scared to go back to the regular eating. I had a couple of dreams where I accidentally licked my finger that had some organic ketchup (but it still has sugar!!) on it. Ack! I woke up in a sweat. Not cool. So, do it, commit to it, but realize that it's only for a certain period of time. Serious stress about eating is harmful in it's own right.

And really commit to it.. follow the instructions to a T! Joining their email newsletter is definitely worth the small price... and it's super important to get on their forums and read and connect with others. Plus, many times if you're wondering something, you only have to search through and someone else has asked the same question or went through the same struggle.

Now I eat mostly Whole 30 standards, with a bit of stevia here and there... and a lot of Paleo pancakes. Ahh. I eat a bit of butter now and then, but I've found I hardly even miss cheese! Pretty crazy considering I wanted to fall face first into a fresh batch of squeaky cheese curds for most of January.

That's one thing about the Whole 30.. it's more emotionally and mentally changing than physically. At least for me. So a lot of the "rules" they have are just as important for your mental health (like saying no to pancakes and other Paleo-ified comfort foods) as it is for your physical health.

Today I created a little WOD for myself after doing some split jerks (woot! another shout out to my sports med guy. These are my favorite lift and I'm FINALLY able to do them again!)

So, for time:
800m run
30 pistol squats (15/each leg alternating)
100 single unders
800m run
30 pistol squats (15/each leg alternating)
100 single unders
800m run
Took me 26:00... and I was toasted by the end!

I'm still working on double-unders too.. I can usually get one every fourth or fifth single under. Fun, fun! :)

Tomorrow I see our WOD has a 25:00 time cap... yikes. I better head out and get some sleep!

And because I simply cannot have a blog post without a pic, this is why I blog:

And another favorite from today:

Good night all! :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Squash Egg Bake and the end of 1RM week

So, I never got around to posting the results of 1-rep max week at CFA.

For your normal people out there that don't speak in PR's, 1RM, WOD's, AMRAP's, RX'd, and other CrossFit lingo, a 1-rep max is just your heaviest lift, or how heavy you can go for one rep.

I had set a new PR (personal record, or personal best) in my squat clean earlier in the week for 120-lbs.

Mid week, I came close to some old numbers with my squats. We're talking old. Like over a year ago when I was still kicking butt and taking names. Fearless. Heh.

My front squat: 145 (old pre-injury PR 155)
Back squat: 165 (old pre-injury PR 185)

I’m pretty sure the old PR’s were a bit shallow though.. probably met parallel, but not below, so I’m pretty happy with the numbers.

And, ding ding! Another HUGE PR for me. I overhead squatted 100 pounds. I think the most I've ever done before is 85. And you guessed it! I did go back through allll my workout logs and search out these numbers.

Unfortunately, then on Friday (deadlifting day.. yay!), I was toast. Ironic, seeing how I don't eat bread.

I couldn't even pull up 215 after two failed attempts at 225. So much for 235! Sigh. A little part of me really disliked CrossFit right then. Deadlifting is my thing! And I sucked it up, coming in with my number of 205. Lame.

Oh well, the WOD we had some fun things like rowing, deadlifts, and toes-to-bar. I am really working on my kipping, which is the hip swing that allows you to complete them fast and efficiently. Very gymnastic. Very not me. And for one of the first times in my life, I did the WOD at the prescribed weight. Woot!

I had to take a picture because even though I was NOT proud of the 205, I was super proud of the little "RX," which means as prescribed, behind my time. :)

One more bit of CrossFit related news...

Today this happened:

Please pardon my lovely "I want to die" face. I had a slight migraine this morning plus still dealing with my hip flexor issue. Yes, it's back. I'm pretty sure it was the squats. I hadn't noticed anything until Saturday's workout set it off, when I made a very abrupt switch and modified the rest of the workout.

Anyway, then this happened...

First time for everything. I didn't notice until I was done! Oh well. I still have a layer of skin there so it could be much worse. It just made washing dishes tonight super fun.

A while ago, I was going to blog my squash egg bake that I make all. the. time.

So here we go! It's a perfect mix of carbs, protein and fat. The goodness of eggs. The yumminess of squash, which in this case tastes just like pumpkin pie. Ready??

Squash Egg Bake

4-5 TB of butter
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened obviously)
1/3 cup almond/hazelnut/other nut flour

Melt butter. 
Add almonds, coconut flakes, nut flour and cinnamon.
Put another little plop of butter in your 8x8 glass pan and throw it in the oven for a bit while it's preheating. Don't forget about this. ;) Take it back out and make sure the sides are well covered.
Mix and spread in the 8x8 pan.
Put in 350* preheated oven for 10-12 minutes

While that's baking, add to a blender:
1-cup squash
1-tsp+ sea salt (**Do NOT skip this!)
Cinnamon, Pumpkin Pie Spice, and Nutmeg (I just dump and pour, but it's probably close to 1-tsp each.)
2 rounded TB coconut flour
Stevia, to taste (optional. I used liquid vanilla stevia, probably 5-6 drops)

Mix until well blended, add to the pan, and bake for about 30 minutes.

Top with berries, coconut milk, or even pure maple syrup or honey.


My hubby likes this even.. and he's about as non-Paleo as a person can get. His only caveat is that he gets to put as much syrup as possible on it. ;)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chocolate pancakes, the weekend, and why I CrossFit

What a great day today!

It's 1-rep max week at CrossFit this week... score! :) This means I should be in bed right now and not blogging. Oops. It has been an interesting few days, though, so I wanted to tell you all!

Today we tested cleans (squat cleans) and power cleans. I managed 120-lbs for both, which was awesome. There's nothing like everyone cheering you on as you're struggling to stand up. :) Coincidentally, that was a 5-lb PR, so that was awesome. Then I got my butt handed to me by the WOD, which was squat cleans and pullups.

Honestly, today was the first time I ever got close to losing my breakfast. I think I ate too close to working out. And it was one of those exhausting, on-the-brink-of-tears finales. I'm far too stubborn to quit though.

On that thought, over the weekend, it was brought up at the photographer's lunch table that I was a powerlifter. An older lady turned to me, wrinkled her nose in disgust, and asked why.

Oh, all the reasons I could have said, but I gave her my megawatt-endorphin-smile (see photo below), and simply said "Because I love it!"

Then the heavy-set, vegetarian older lady next to her proceeded to carry on about her life, husband, circumstances, how she was the strong one in the marriage and he was dragging her down, blah, blah, blah, for the rest of the meal. So I got to thinking about why I work out. Why I lift. Why I Cross Fit.


That first moment I bent over at home to get something out of a cupboard, and I felt my glutes fire as I stood back up.
I can help my husband move furniture.
I can move furniture myself.
I can kindly thank the gentlemen that offer to help me with groceries... and then decline while chuckling inside.
I can stand at a wedding show all day long without my feet hurting.
I can open sealed jars easily.

...and the big things:

There is no greater feeling than discovering my mind and body are powerful.
Pushing myself to the limits always yields results.
Each success brings more self confidence.
Every new measure of strength helps me walk with my head held higher.
Nothing can bring me down when I am assured in myself and my abilities.
If I am determined enough to get through a workout that nearly has me puking and crying all in a span of 15 minutes, I can get through anything in life.

I don't know what image the word "powerlifter" brought up in her mind, but I'm imagining it was fat, hairy balding men grunting, snorting, listening to heavy metal, and bench pressing.

In short, the reason why I do what I do is for the quality of LIFE.

Moving on. Mini heart-to-heart done.

Here's my official new member picture from awhile ago:

They insisted on taking it post-WOD. Lovely. And me being the photographer: "Can I see it? Ew, it's blurry! .... oh, wait. That's perfect." ;)

After the WOD today, there were free 10-minute massages by area students. It was awesome. I was trying out the the panorama feature on my phone finally. And I love it. Except for poor Inna here in the first one...

On a slightly related note, we got news a bit ago that we're moving to a new, huge space in June this year. I'm super pumped!

After that, it was the usual groceries, then back home. And then the dog ran away from me (again). Sigh. I wanted to strangle her. Yesterday she was mad at me for leaving her all day while I was at the photo convention. I didn't think she held grudges...

As I was rushing around to eat lunch and get ready for my chiro appointment, the doorbell rang in the middle of my shower. The dog was barking, the doorbell was ringing, there was pounding on the door, and I managed to throw a few towels on to go kill whomever was at the door.

Turns out, it was the Fed Ex guy with my newly repaired camera body and lens. Okay, I guess that was worth the hasty shower. 

Welcome home, my lovelies. I can't wait to use my new and improved lens!

The rest of the afternoon was pretty normal.

Speaking of normal. Or the absence of normal. This was a crazy weekend! Friday night started the WPPA (Wisconsin Professional Photographer's Association) spring convention which continued each day until Monday. The speakers were great, and it was fun to reconnect with some past friends and meet some new peers!

This was the view from the skywalk looking farther into downtown Friday evening.

And this was the speaker on Monday.. he talked about weddings, sales, marketing, and we had great fun learning from his posing and photographing demonstration. He's incredibly talented.

He started out with a bang... I loved this thought: Do you live to work? Or work to live?

Going back a day, Sunday offered another lovely wedding show.

These really sap the energy out of me... but I love it. I was told by two different future brides that I was their favorite photographer they had talked to that day. Another couple came back and asked if they could look through my albums some more because they liked my work so much. Talk about heart-warming!! I could hardly fit through the door to leave from my big head and inflated ego. ;)

And I haven't changed the teal and green at all.. because I get so many positive comments and feedback. "Oh, you're the teal and green lady!" Yes! My branding is working! ;)

Monday evening, I also had a wedding professionals networking meeting where I got to see a lot of my friends/other vendors from the wedding show and catch up with them. It was great.

The bummer part was, Joel was working out of town all week, and only home for the weekend. Thankfully I was still able to see him in the evenings, and he even helped me set up at the wedding show. I love that. :)

Okay, so back to today.

I was hungry for pancakes this evening. Again. It seems like an every other day thing since being off the Whole 30. Weird.
I'm keeping them clean though.

So, I loosely followed this "recipe."


1-ripe plantain or banana
1/4-cup nut flour (I used hazelnut this time, as the store was out of almond. Don't get me started on that.)

1/2-tsp of baking soda
1/4-cup cocoa powder
2-3 drops of vanilla stevia (optional)


They're pancakes, not rocket science. ;)

1. Blend. I used my awesome immersion blender. Buy one. Make this. And squash soup.
2. Cook them. I heated my pan, put coconut oil in, and poured the batter in.

3. Flip and top them with any variety of berries, fried apples or bananas, coconut milk, coconut cream, pure maple syrup, nut butters, etc.

I worked hard for those frozen raspberries. They were on sale at the store, so there were only a few bags left. I had to step up and nearly crawl into the freezer to grab some! I can't let a great deal on my favorite organic frozen berries go to waste.

Now.. off to bed finally. Tomorrow's lift is the snatch and power snatch! Woo hoo! :)

PS. I turned off anonymous comments. I hope you can still comment if you like, but I was getting sick of the spam. Let me know if you have issues.

PPS. I stumbled across some pictures the other day from New Years' Eve. Those will have to get on here soon. Along with our ugly sweater/men-cook-the-food-potluck from Valentine's Day. Fun times.

PPPS. And this was a great article. But I can't pin it due to lack of images. Boo! So it's linked here for me to remember. Food Logging, What I Learned

PPPPS. Kidding. ;)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Thanksgiving... 2012!

I'm only 4 months late.. ;)

We rented a house in Galena, Illinois, and all met there for Thanksgiving. What a fun time!

I don't care that this is blurry. :)

We all took a walk. It was a bit chilly...

... and windy!

Ticket to Ride... interesting game. :)

Biding their time until Thanksgiving dinner...

... and the women were hard at work. Except me. I was taking pictures.

Downtown Galena was so stinkin' cool.

I should have just bought these... I haven't found any I like as well since!

This Paleo pecan pie was my downfall. Completely legal ingredients, sweetened with maple syrup, and an almond meal crust. Wow. It was amazing.

It was a great weekend! One of my aunts and her family plus a cousin couldn't make it, but the rest of the family was there. Fun times!

Ps. I'm tired of the 3-4 spam comments per day that I've been getting.... so I'm going to restrict the comments again and see if that helps. Let me know if it doesn't work for you! :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Keep calm and play music.

When you've already done this ...

Source: via Mariah on Pinterest

... sometimes you still have to do this...

... and then record it. ;) Because what is life, really, if it's not recorded and uploaded via instagram, facebook, youtube, etc., etc.

I don't know if it's just because Joel's gone. Or I'm tired. But I've been in a funk the last few days. So I spent some time this evening doing what I used to do to ease my frustrations.

Enjoy, but don't judge too harshly, please. Yes, I know the piano desperately needs tuning. And I made a few mistakes. I seem to crack under pressure. ;)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Best "Shake My Head In Amazement" moment: 4:08

Or the incredible box jump at 2:14.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Day of Love

Here's some visual chocolate...

just a few things I thought were funny that popped up in my news feed today!

My Valentine's Day went pretty well...

I treated myself with chocolate and sugar for the first time since doing the Whole 30 back in January. Yum!!

This chocolate is amazing. And so is the macademia/brazil nut butter. And so was the cocoa cashew butter. :)

The hubby sucked it up and took me to Serious Burger. He doesn't really like it that much, but between the whole birthday thing and Valentine's Day thing, he obliged. :)

It was delicious! :)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietician, I do not have any type of medical training, and my workouts and training are only intended for my personal recollection and your curiosity. Anything documented on this blog is my personal opinion or a learned experience. All images are subject to a personal copyright unless otherwise noted and cannot be used without permission. If you read to the end of this, congratulations.