31 August 2013

On the Water

I'm one of those annoyingly cheerful morning people...usually. Minus the 4am-get-up-for-crossfit sort of situations.

But when it comes to being outside, I like to hit the water/pavement/trail as soon as the sunrise starts to pink up the sky in the early morning.

We made plans last night to get up early this morning to take the kayaks out, and we planned a tentative 9am departure. Matt told me, "Whenever you want to go, that's fine."

Did he ever rue the day he spoke those words.

So obviously, I was up at 5:30 with the dogs, made some coffee, did my devotional, cleaned the kitchen, worked on our September menu and grocery list, took a shower, repainted my toenails...then bounced on the bed at 7:30 to wake the Sleeping Giant.

Actually, I shoved a dog in his face. Licks up the nose always get you out of bed quickly.

After Matt completely woke up and got ready, we had the kayaks strapped in and ready to go by 8:30.

Eeeekkk!! The official Christening of the Kayaks.

Location of choice: Round Island.

Why: It's pretty, it reminds me of the wooded, nature-y areas of the Lake of the Ozarks back in Missouri, and you are pretty much guaranteed to see manatees and dolphins.

No problem with the launch. It was a gorgeous morning with a fabulous light breeze coming off the water.


The jumping fish.

Jumping fish everywhere. Every. Where. Everywhere.

Have I ever mentioned a million times that I'm terrified of fish?

The fish this morning were out of control. It was ridiculous.

If they had even tried to jump in my kayak, you would have seen the Miracle of Addie running on the water to get the crap out of there.

So I just paddled faster to get away from that nonsense.

Gorgeous morning in the coves of the Intercoastal...

Showing off my mad kayaking skills.
No sore arms here, thanks to the insane amount of rowing we do at crossfit seventeen million times a week.

But then....
What the what??

Oh, hello, Mr. Manatee!
We were just gliding along, minding our own business, when we heard this big whooooshhh!!! right next to us.
Just a little ol' manatee coming up for a breather.
By Florida law, you are not allowed to touch the manatee, and you seriously try to avoid them at all cost. But according to the nice Fish and Wildlife Guy we talked to this morning, there's nothing you can do about it if the manatees - who are super-friendly and very curious by nature - come up to you on their own.
You just sit there and pray they don't knock your kayak over and let them do their thing.
He was so fun. This guy went back and forth between Matt and I for a good five minutes, like a puppy.
He would disappear into the water, then pop up right next to us when we least expected it, scaring the pee out of us in the process.
Me: It's just a manatee! A mammal. It won't hurt you.
Matt: Um, a bear is a mammal too, thank you very much.
The puppy/manatee eventually swam off after realizing we were not going to feed him (also illegal, but we've heard they love lettuce), and no kayaks were tipped in the process. Score.
Awesome morning. Now to wash off all the salt water...
Today I love: Kayaks. Water. Manatees. Gorgeous Florida mornings. Coffee. Always the coffee.

24 August 2013


After last week's unmotivational-only-went-to-crossfit-twice *shame* week, I feel like I more than made up for it this week.

My usual week, when I'm firing on all cylinders, looks like this:

Monday - Crossfit
Tuesday - Crossfit
Wednesday - Rest
Thursday - Crossfit
Friday - Crossfit
Saturday - Run, walk dogs with friends, swim, beach, kayak...basically do something outside that's fun and active. No schedule.
Sunday - Rest

Today is still wide open...we really want to take the kayaks out to the intercoastal, but sweet mother of puppies, it's just miserably hot outside lately. I'm thinking 50000000 squats with a medicine ball in my air-conditioned living room while HGTV is on sounds so much better.

Plus, construction has officially started up again in our subdivision, and the first thing they're working on is rehabbing the clubhouse and pool. So...no pool this weekend.

Sad. You can't not have a pool in Florida in August! It's a necessity, people.

The weather guy actually used the phrase "so humid it will be hard to breathe" this morning.


Just one more reason for CF at insane hours of the morning - it's not blazing hot yet, and when we have to run, I can hide my jiggly bits in the darkness of the pre-dawn.

Yesterday was slightly ridiculous...I had pre-planned to go into work late because of a doctor's appointment, so I was going to try to sleep in and go to CF around 7am instead of 5. So what happens? I wake up at 4:03, wide-eyed and ready to go. I hadn't even had coffee yet, and I was bouncing out of bed. I decided to just go ahead and go to CF at 5...those are my people anyway.

Thursday was kettlebell day.

Despite the fact that I look dead, it was awesome. We started the workout with a 1500 meter row, which meant that after setting my arms on fire with the kettlebell, it was difficult to reach up and wash my hair thirty minutes later.

But still. Awesome.

Adding in some running on my off days has brought back the ever-popular shin splints. It's not as bad as when I was marathon training, but it's just enough of an annoyance that I can feel it when I walk up and down stairs. I found some shin/calf compression sleeves I want to try...and they come in purple. Bonus.

You know that doctor's appointment I mentioned I had yesterday? It was for these headaches I've been having for 3+ weeks now. My arms and legs have been tingling at odd times throughout the day too, so I decided to get it checked out.

Result - tension from stress. Really? Me? Stressed? You've got to be kidding.

Sarcasm is in full force here, by the way.

Good news:
  • Crossfit has brought my BP down. It's never been bad, usually 120ish/70. Yesterday I was 110/60. Nice.
  • I'm down 10 lbs since my last appointment.
  • When I told my doctor my paleo/primal eating plan, he loved it. I thought he might freak when I told him no grains and very, very minimal dairy, but he said that was perfect. He told me he's a huge advocate of shopping the perimeter of the store - stay away from the processed junk in the middle. All that stuff labeled "low fat" or "low calorie" just has chemicals for fillers anyway.  So yay!
Bad news:
  • Despite all the workouts and good eating, I'm still stressed - emotionally and physically. I'm not allowing my muscles to fully relax, and I'm staying tensed up throughout the day. Since my muscles aren't getting the chance to chill out, they're firing off triggers which is causing the tingling and headaches.
Also bad news: no real treatment, except learning how to relax and take time for me.

I don't know how to describe it, other than this frantic feeling I have all the time. I need to do this, that, this, that, this...Doc told me to chill on my color-coded calendars and my lists that have lists (that have lists). My day/week/month is planned down to the hour...my days broken down in boxes that just have to be done.

I feel like I have to rush all the time. I have to get through this to get to that. I have a hard time slowing down to just enjoy the moment I'm in.

OCD/perfectionist much?

My mom mentioned the word "neurotic."

That's me!

I'm going to try to relax today and not make any plans. But uuuggghhhh, how's this? I already have plans to look for new paleo recipes, go through my paleo cookbooks and make a list of new recipes to try. I want to get a jump-start on our monthly menu and grocery list.

It's the lists again!!

But I love my notebooks - I have so many notebooks and journals and colored pens and sticky tabs that mom said she and my sister are about ready to stage an intervention - and the organization that goes into all of my lists and things to do. I'm so paranoid that if I don't write it down, I'll forget it.

This picture was from last year...the collection has definitely grown.

At this point Matt just turns a blind eye to all my sticky notes and lists on the fridge. Half the time I just take them down and re-write them anyway if I don't like my handwriting or if I have to cross something off.

Ugh. I need help. Short of using a high-powered tranquilizer, what do you all do to relax? Anyone else feel this way? Am I alone here?

15 August 2013

CrossFit Confession

I have a confession.

I almost quit crossfit this week.

I know. I KNOW!!!

Two reasons.

1. We had water dripping from our upstairs bathroom through our dining room ceiling.

2. My motivation was absolutely nowhere to be found.

Sometimes you just hit a wall, you know? You think to yourself, I'm never going to be able to do a rope climb. My arms look too flabby in my workout tanks. Who in the world do I think I am to be able to do more than a 70# clean?

Never mind the fact I could barely lift the 15# bar when I first started...the fact that I've come that far never entered my mind.

It was a grumpy. poopy, self-centered week.

Sorry, Matt.

I skipped workouts on Monday, because I was off work. I did run 3.12 miles, but that doesn't count. I didn't make it to the box.

I dragged myself in on Tuesday, and actually did pretty well. It was kettlebell day, and everyone knows what that means. No skipping, because I'm awesome at kettlebells. I rock the kettlebells. I love the kettlebells!! Then I ran another 3 miles with a friend after work, which helped get out the soreness from squats and kettlebell swings and toes-to-bar.

Wednesday, no workout. Cause Wednesday is a rest day, despite the fact I've only made it to crossfit once this week so far.

Once again, I know. I'm lame.


Today's WOD was posted last night. They always do a little blog post along with it, and it KICKED MY BUTT. I needed this blog post. How did they know? They must have sensed a dropped membership flashing through my mind.

There is a saying that “CrossFit is for everyone, but not everyone is cut out for CrossFit.”
Because we can modify and scale, you don’t have to necessarily be a great athlete to succeed at CrossFit. Yet, we’ve seen people, regardless of ability,  come and go.
Most of you reading this have made it. So, what is it that has made you stay? What does a person need to “have” to excel at CrossFit?

Uuuhhhhgggggg. Really? Break my heart, people!!

So after a good talk with Rob (trainer, stink-eye extraordinaire) this morning, I was back on track.

Forget about the waterfall coming through the ceiling, I cannot, cannot quit crossfit.

Actually, the water leak was easily fixed after patching some chipped grout in the shower. Problem solved for less than my crossfit membership. So yay.

Want to read some of the responses to the crossfit post? Click HERE for some ridiculous motivation.

So, to sum it up, I'm not quitting.

Matt likes me better when I'm all high on exercise endorphins anyway.

Exercise produces endorphins.
Endorphins make you happy.
And happy people just don't kill their husbands. ~ Legally Blond

I also found a new breakfast. It is paleo, delicious, and made everyone at work look at me like I was insane.

I love green smoothies. I found a paleo version on PaleOMG, and just tweaked it a bit.

Green apple, spinach, lemon juice, almond milk, water, flax and half an avocado. 

Knuke loves avocados.

Blend. Enjoy. Gross people out at your desk at work. 

It didn't keep me 100% full until lunch, but I felt clean and happy that I was getting a freaking ton of fruits and veggies in for breakfast.

Today I love: Vanilla Maple coffee from fresh market and a stormy evening for relaxing and reading.

11 August 2013

Well, Butter my Biscuit!

Today is a great day.

I've been woken up the past couple weeks by a husband who's first words have been "Guess won again???"

I'm so tired of that question, posed in such an annoying, sing-song sort of way. It makes me want to punch people.

That's why today is such a great day.

The Braves finally lost.

Haha! There's not much MLB love in our house. Cardinal fans and Braves fans are pretty much destined to drive each other crazy.

Speaking of crazy, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank south Florida for the overabundance of pollen and humidity that has given me a raging headache for the past week-and-a-half. I've felt so un-motivated to do anything crossfit/paleo related, because every time I stand up I see sparklies and my head starts pounding. Not cool.

However, despite last week's daily headache I still made it to CF three times, and went running two of the other days. Nothing major, just 2-milers here and there. The headache is still hanging around today, which is a little discouraging. Here's to hoping my Tylenol severe migraine decides to finally work.


This week starts half-marathon training for my run in December. I'm starting training a few weeks early just to get back in the habit of running since I haven't put in any serious mileage in about a bazillion years.

I'm doing the St. Jude Half Marathon to help raise money for the kids...if you want to check out my page and my story of why I think this is important, you can check it out HERE. I wouldn't say no to a few donations, either. 100% of the money raised goes back to St. Jude...wonderful cause, if you ask me.

My new running shoes are ready to go! Dog approved and everything.

I'm also branching out in my paleo creations. I love my Primal Cravings cookbook, and I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new cookbook called Against All Grain.

Primal Cravings is awesome. It's definitely not for the 100% pure paleo people...I've discovered there are hard-core paleoists out there who believe in just eating as natural as possible.

Meat. Vegetables. Healthy fats. Fruits and nuts and seeds. No paleo baking, paleo dressings, paleo casseroles. Because how would the cavemen have access to make things like that?

Also, we can take into consideration paleo vs. primal. The primal school of thought is that dairy is ok, as long as it's grass-fed and as pure as possible. You can't just go and throw a gallon of your skim in your cart...that milk has been over-processed with color and preservatives and sugar added. Do some research and buy as close to the farm as possible.

Pure, unadulterated paleo is amazing if you can do that and stick with it forever and ever. I will be the first person to admit that I get crazy-bored with things like that - I love to bake and create and cook.

Paleo cookies? I'm ok with that. I mean, sure, don't eat the whole pan at once, but allowing one after a five-mile training run isn't going to kill me. And if it does, well, I can think of worse things than death by dark chocolate.

So recipe number one I wanted to try from Primal Cravings was some good ol' simple biscuits. Growing up, I never had biscuits for breakfast. My parents were more of the pancakes, French toast and cereal people. It wasn't until I married my Southern husband that biscuits for breakfast were introduced into my life. I don't want them often, but it's a nice change from the monotony of eggs. Which I don't even like.

For the biscuits, I needed coconut flour and tapioca flour. Coconut flour I have, but I'd never heard of tapioca flour. Completely plant-related, it's a grain-free flour made from the cassava plant.

Luckily, our local Fresh Market had plenty in stock.

Along with several other things I needed, like Vanilla Maple whole coffee beans and fresh, dry-flaked coconut. 

Necessities, people.

So I made the biscuits this morning. Fairly easy (and messy - it's literally all by hand) to make, they baked fast in our gas oven in about 16 minutes.

So pretty.

When you're used to the usual American processed, white-flour diet, things made with new types of flours are going to take a little getting used to.

These biscuits are good, but it took me a couple bites to get used to it. The combo of the coconut and tapioca flours gives the biscuit a sweet, nutty flavor. The exterior of the biscuit resembled one of those pecan sandies - a little bit of crispness that kind of fell apart in your mouth. The inside was chewy, not too dense. Best served with a little grass-fed butter and a drizzle of honey.

I ate it with bacon.


The whole recipe made eight biscuits, so I have plenty left over for breakfast the rest of the week.

Matt did not try one. He was scared.

That's ok. We made tacos on Friday and he didn't know I used mostly ground turkey. Bahahahaha!! He'll find out only if he reads this post...I'm the best wife ever!!!

Today I love: Tylenol Severe Migraine with caffeine, with an extra side of caffeine from my vanilla maple coffee.

03 August 2013

St. Lucia Vacation Recap 2013

So most of you know by now, since I've only been talking about it for the past several months, that we went to St. Lucia to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. 

Yep. 10 years. Well, technically 9.5, but being married to a teacher means you can't take a week off in November since schools generally frown upon their educators jaunting off to other countries right before finals. 

I know, right? 

So during the hottest part of the summer, we leave one sweltering, humid mess for another sweltering, humid mess. St. Lucia is very similar to south Florida...the bugs, the heat, the palm trees, the crazy traffic. The big difference is that traffic drives on the left side of the road and life is just...slower. 

No pressure, no problems! That's the motto. 

I like it. 

So anyway, we stayed at Sandals Halcyon. It was gorgeous! So private and quiet, very different than the other Sandals resorts on the island that are bigger and geared more towards parties and nightlife. 

My nightlife revolves around pajamas and some HGTV at 9pm. I'm a party animal, people. 

We had a little walkout cottage that faced the water, and the one thing I loved about Halcyon was all of the gardens - you could hide behind all of the flowering trees and just drink your coffee and watch the sun come up. 

This was my favorite tree, and I'm determined to plant one in our backyard: 

There was a beach, but we didn't really spend much time on it. All of the beaches in St. Lucia are public, no matter what resort sits on it. So therefore, there are little beach hagglers - men that will come up to you and try to sell you their homemade souvenirs and give you island advice. They are incredibly hard to deter - we found that by telling them we had already bought something from the guy a couple steps down the beach they would then leave us alone. After being there for a week, they got to know our faces and stopped trying to sell us anything. Success!! 

I know they meant well. I know they probably have families to support. St. Lucia, for all it's beauty and all-inclusive resorts, is still a third-world country. Lots of poverty. No middle class - only the super-rich and the super-poor. Everyone is haggling for a handout. 

Next mission trip location? 

I know. I'm at a five-star resort, and all I can think about is going into the local villages to hand out medications and read bible stories to the kids. Sigh. Maybe someday. 

Ok. Sorry. Back to the vacation where we were supposed to be relaxing. It's hard, you know? Matt kept saying the hardest part was not having a watch or any way to know what time it was...we're so used to schedules and plans. The first several days we honestly had to force ourselves to take it easy and not schedule out the whole week. 

However, we did have several side trips planned. We went on a tour of the St. Lucia Distillery - rum aside, it was a fun, educational trip (I know, we're lame) that taught us the history of sugar cane trading in the West Indies. The island's sugarcane fields are now banana plantations, so they import molasses from Guyana to make the rum. Maybe it's because I love the behind-the-scenes shows on Food Network, but I really thought the entire process from molasses to barrel was pretty great. 

Banana plantations: 

We also got to tour Marigot Bay, where the original Dr. Doolittle was filmed. 

This is where part of Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed: 

Which immediately made us want to watch all the Pirates movies again. 

Side Trip #2 was my favorite - 4-wheeler rides through the rain forest and along the beach. 

I'm a midwestern girl...what's not to love about this? 

For a snack, our guides literally climbed the coconut trees to get us something to drink. That coconut water was seriously the most 100% paleo thing I had on vacation.

They also used their machetes to chop open some dried coconut to eat. I've never had it that fresh before, and it tasted so good. 

I don't know what Matt thought about the machetes, but I loved it. It reminded me of all of the people I met in Panama and Honduras...I'm so in love with other cultures!

Side Trip #3 scared the bejeezus out of me. 

We went snorkeling. 

Me: "I had two little panic attacks."
Matt: "No, you had one gigantic panic attack!"

You know how some people are scared of snakes and spiders? 

That's me with sea life. 

The long, scary fish will EAT MY LEGS OFF!!

I did get in the water, only out of complete love for my husband and his excitement to go snorkeling. 

Don't I look thrilled? 

While Matt was blissfully floating beside me, the only thoughts running through my head were "They'regonnagetme, they'regonnagetme, they'regonnagetme, gottagetoutofthewaterrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!"

It was terrifying. 

In the background are the famous Piton mountains. They were gorgeous!

I prefer to be on the water, not in the water. 

Or at a pool. 

The sunsets were amazing. 

And there were cats everywhere at the resort. I may or may not have shared my bacon with them.

Another  fun part was getting dressed up to go to dinner. There were four main restaurants on at Halcyon, and Mario's - Italian - was by far my favorite. We met another couple for dinner there after our day of snorkeling. 

Nothing calms your post-snorkel nerves like a nice glass of red wine and a bowl of pasta. 

I am my father's daughter. 

Kelly's Dockside is another fabulous place to eat that was literally on the water. 

Mario's Night #2: 

We had such a great, relaxing time, and completely got sucked into becoming Sandals Select Rewards members, which means Jamaica 2015 is planned and booked. 

Well played, Sandals. Well played. 

Today I love: Looking through vacation pictures and getting settled back into a routine. And American water pressure.