Tag Archives: motivation

Getting Started 2nd edition

19 Jan


My local gym is about to embark on a 6 week paleo challenge so I thought it would be an appropriate time to re-visit some how- to-get-started tips and tricks. The process does not always have to be “cold turkey,” but I’m going to focus on that strategy this time. Plus, I’m a very all or nothing type of person. If I have a purpose (a WHY!), clear instructions, and a plan, I am all over it. Hopefully this will help you wherever you are on your journey. No one’s perfect, I know I could use a little re-set to knock out the little things I’ve let creep back into my life.

1. Read, read, and read some more. For those of you know me well, I’m not a big read for pleasure kind of gal but the minute I opened Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint, I couldn’t put it down. The same thing happened when I started reading the Hartwig’s It Starts With Food. The key for me is knowing the science behind WHY eating a primal/paleo diet is beneficial and HOW it’s going to help me build lean muscle, burn fat, and fight silent but deadly inflammation throughout my body.

2. Understand it, share it with your loved ones, and OWN it. Be able to explain to your loved ones and co-workers (in an excited, yet not overpowering or demeaning way!) why eating real foods will heal you from the inside out. Don’t pass it off as a trend or only do it because “CrossFit people are into it.” Own it for yourself and know how it will change your life.

3. Purge the pantry, fridge and freezer. Don’t let yourself be tempted by past vices. Start fresh and don’t give yourself the option to fail.

  • processed, packaged, or preserved foods
  • grains and grain products (pasta, rice, breads, frozen pancakes, flour)
  • sugar and all artificial sweeteners
  • chemically altered fats and certain oils (vegetable oil, margarine, anything that says hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated)

4. Donate non-perishables. A couple of years ago my local Salvation Army was readily accepting of my Costco stock pile of whole wheat pasta and Goldfish crackers.

5. Immediately (if not sooner!) stock up on staples. We updated and organized our shopping list staples just for you!

6. Develop meal plans to ease transition. Pick 6-7 meal ideas and make shopping lists for the week. Or, make ahead meals for busy nights and easy access.

7. Have no/minimal prep snacks readily available. Arm yourself so you don’t have the option to make bad choices.

  • hardboiled eggs
  • fresh fruit
  • trail mix with unsweetened dried fruit
  • nitrate free beef jerky
  • nitrate free deli meat rolled up with some mustard inside
  • cut up veggies/fruit-our dear friend Suzanne always has a big Tupperware type tray of pre-sliced veggies and fruits stocked in the fridge when the snack bug hits–brilliant!
  • larabars
  • canned tuna and salmon
  • egg cupcakes

8. Keep it simple. Stay away from the baked goods and desserts tab for now. Don’t immediately try to re-invent old favorites, start new habits first.

  • Eat lots of meat and veggies first. Then, add some fruit, nuts, and seeds.
  • It doesn’t always have to be fancy. Sauté a couple of pounds of ground meat, throw in some spices, and steam a huge bag of frozen veggies. Or, pick up a rotisserie chicken and serve it on a huge bed of spinach. Done.
  • “Paleo” desserts and baked goods have their place for special occasions, but a muffin is always a muffin unless it’s made out of meat. While the almond flour and honey may not spike your insulin quite as much or cause inflammation from gluten, they are still calorically dense and will not help you if you have any weight loss or body composition goals.
  • Pack your lunch, even if you’re not going anywhere. Make a big salad with lots of veggies and protein in a Tupperware and eat it at lunch time. Fuel your body when it’s not crying out for food, and you will always make better choices. It’s kind of like never going grocery shopping on an empty stomach!
  • Think of food as fuel. Don’t get emotional with it. Let go of the need to use food to satisfy cravings, calm your stress, or fill some sort of void. 


OK, enough information overload. Bookmark this post and refer back to it as you continue on your journey. I’ll leave you with a statement from It Starts with Food that I repeat to myself many times throughout the day…

“The food you eat either makes you more healthy or less healthy.
Those are your options.”

Happy weekend,



Start with the WHY

31 Dec

simon-sinek-the-golden-circleI watched this video clip the other day that inspired/spiraled into a long conversation with my husband about goals for the New Year, habits, and getting on the same page as a couple and as parents. New Years Eve is stressful for me and probably a lot of other people. Yes, it’s a perfect time to set goals, dream dreams and start fresh on the things in your life that you wish you could change or you don’t like the direction that they are headed. At the same time though, it leaves me reminded of past goals and resolutions that were abandoned, which in turn makes me want to weep. Every year we say, “this year is going to be different,” but is it usually?

This year I challenge you to set  your goals from the inside out like Simon Sinek from the video challenges leaders to do in business. Start with the WHY. Start with a purpose. Start with a belief. The very things that keep us from sticking to the goals we so desperately want to keep, like trust, loyalty, heart and soul are on the inside, and completely responsible for decision-making in our limbic brain. Once you truly believe in the WHY, then you can move on the how and what.

Why is not a result. Why is not, “I am going to eat 100% paleo this year” or “I am going to lose ten pounds.” Why is a purpose. Why is, “I believe that my diet is directly related to my fitness and wellbeing,” “I know that eating clean is the best way to balance my hormones and achieve optimal health for me and my family” and “I know that (fill in the blank) causes stress in my life that I don’t need.”

For diet, I’m going to re-visit the root of the WHY behind clean eating: the science. For fitness, I’m re-evaluating my WHY.  I’ve realized my inspiration to pursue fitness doesn’t stem from linear progression towards new numbers-based goals, personal records, winning competitions, or comparing myself to others.  Those are all worthy reasons to exercise, and they work for a lot of people.  However, I am motivated to pursue fitness because being strong and fast brings me to my happy place, and makes me feel like a good role-model for my kids. I also truly believe in general physical preparedness, whether that is hiking with my family, stepping onto a 5.8 climb on the rock wall, knocking out whatever CrossFit WOD comes my way, or going along with whatever hare-brained adventures my husband comes up with for fun.

Happy New Year,


a telling sweat-angel

25 Jan

I tweaked my back today.

On my 5th set of ten deadlifts I felt a pull…so, I dropped the bar 2/3 of the way through the round.  (Maybe I should have pushed through…?!)   I went on to complete the last of the kettlebell swings in some pain, then I fell to my back on the floor in the obligatory “thank-goodness-its-over-I-think-I-might-blackout” position.

I kept thinking:  Crap!  What am I going to do now if I can’t workout!!?  I love this stuff, this is what I do!  I need it!!  I muddled there for a minute.  Then, a thought gripped me– I would feel horrible if it all ended just like that, with some flukey injury.  Am I this dependent on my circumstances?  Ouch.

This barbell has demanded a lot of time, blood, sweat & tears.  And it’s been an awesome journey.  It matters; but, nothing should unravel me if it all came to a screeching halt.  I have been given great health and capacity and opportunity.  But I need to see it that way, and then move on.

When I got off the floor of the garage, I left behind a rather timely image:

Awesome.  So, during the pity party, I was actually wearing the T-shirt that should give me accurate perspective on all this!  A lot of people would love to be where I am right now, sore back or not.  Any workout may be my last; moreover, any workout is a good one.

Enjoy YOUR journey,

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