CrossFit Review + Easy Healthy Meals

Hi guys!  Another week down.  Can you believe we are almost halfway through February?  I certainly can’t.  That means it’s another week closer to the Kentucky Derby Marathon.  We’ve had some snow here that has definitely made training challenging, but that hasn’t stopped me.  I was able to get a nice and easy shakeout run in on Monday morning before the snow / rain started.  Tuesday, I skipped my run due to a combination of a bad headache and the ridiculous weather.  It was snowing / raining and 20 degrees out.  I’m crazy, but not that crazy.  Wednesday and Thursday were treadmill runs, which I absolutely despise, so it’s safe to say I’m getting a little stir crazy.  I’m running 13 miles with the Queen City Running Club tomorrow morning, and I’m crossing my fingers the snow, ice and cold won’t be too awful.

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On the cross training front, 2 weeks ago, a friend from work decided to give CrossFit a try, and I tagged along!  For those unfamiliar with CrossFit, it’s designed to be a total body workout approachable for every level of fitness.  Every workout is done for time and you are competing with yourself which I love.  It’s you vs. the clock.  Each day is a new, “Workout of the Day,” designed to target as many muscle groups as possible.  I’ve signed up for the month of February and am loving it.  I’ve tried CrossFit before and was never impressed.  Mostly due to the lack of personal attention I was getting.  These weights are heavy and form is key; I felt like instructors should have been correcting me and making sure I was optimizing my movements to get the best possible workout without injury.  At CrossFit Cincinnati, this is not the case.  For starters, they make you take an “Elements” class.  This is where the instructors work with newbies to make sure we are learning all the lifts using the best form possible.  Love this because I’m always afraid of injuring myself.  I’m a huge fan of the intense atmosphere, but also the sense of community in this gym.  As I get deeper into marathon training, I may have to take a break from CrossFit, but I’m definitely enjoying the environment, and the benefits adding some strength workouts into my routine is having on running.

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Last night, I tried my first non-Elements class.  The workout of the day didn’t seem challenging on paper, but after getting into it, the 12 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) seemed like it was never ending.  The AMRAP included 10 situps, 1 bearcrawl across the room, 10 kettlebell swings, 1 bearcrawl across the room.  At the start of the 12 minutes we had to do 50 walking lunges.  I got through 8.5 rounds.  Before the workout of the day, we did deadlifts.  As the instructor increased our individual weight on our bars, class participants were rooting for everyone to succeed as the lifts got harder.  Can’t wait for the next workout!  I’ve included some sweaty action shots from the gym’s facebook page for your viewing pleasure :).

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On the healthy meal front, I’ve taken a move from FannetasticFood‘s playbook and I’ve been obsessing over the grain salad this week.  Like Anne, I’m in full agreement that a meal is not satisfying without some carbs.  A super healthy salad with tons of lean protein and produce just doesn’t satisfy my mental hunger unless I integrate some grains into the meal.  Plus, adding a healthy grain into each meal provides a more balanced plate.  This week I boiled up a bunch of farro, one of my favorite ancient grains.  It’s got a soft, yet slightly chewy texture which I love.  I’ve been using it in a variety of meals, including some grain salads!  The other day, I made a great salad bowl that included farro, spinach, feta, white beans, red onion, kalamata olives and cherry tomatoes.  I dressed it with lemon juice, red wine vinegar and olive oil.  Delish!  It was filling and satisfying.

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Yesterday, I made a salad of spinach, canned tuna, farro, tomatoes, white beans and dressed it with lemon juice.  This was filling and delicious as well.  I’ve also been enjoying fried eggs with salsa and avocado on top of a bed of farro + spinach for a quick healthy breakfast idea!!  On the dinner front, I’ve been enjoying this pesto chicken recipe I found on Pinterest.  I didn’t measure when I made the recipe and I used canned tomatoes.  It’s been really great to have this chicken ready to go in my fridge and tastes great on a salad or with some farro.

And in the spirit of it being Valentines weekend, here’s a flashback recipe from my Quick Healthy Delicious days….   Chocolate Avocado Pudding!  Heart healthy for heart health month and for you and your loved ones.

Happy eating everyone.  Any fun valentines day menus on deck for this weekend?  Tell me!

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