Whole 30 Convenience

WHOLE 30 | Thirty days done and not ready for it to be over! We’re both feeling really good, are making strides in losing weight and inches, and are seeing better performance at CrossFit and honestly, in life.

HOWEVER …

I love my convenience foods (mostly bars) for my on-the-go days. It’s really hard for me to sit down to a breakfast (I’m a bit better at lunch). Totally get this goes against the Whole 30 mindset, but can’t beat the grab-and-go for when I’m literally grabbing and going with the kids, work, CrossFit, etc.

I was asked by Reviews.com to share their protein bar reviews. I didn’t agree with the list at all. While I honestly haven’t tried any of the bars in the list, my first impression is it’s a list of options chock full of processed, nutty, sugary options; I didn’t see this as the best resource. Reviews.com did eliminate bars that didn’t have 10G or more of protein. So they took a stand in their reviews with an emphasis on protein, and some other factors they list. I respect the stand … just not the results.

We have some of our own favorites – a few of which are Whole 30 approved – but we base our selections on total ingredients (not just protein). *None of the following content is sponsored – just my personal opinion.*

LARBARS – Gluten free * Dairy free * Soy free * Non GMO * Vegan * Kosher. I don’t feel guilty sharing with the kids and I definitely sneak ’em so I can savor all the yumminess. My favorite is cherry pie – dates, almonds, and unsweetened cherries make up this little bad boy. Sooo tasty! And extra good right out of the refrigerator. Not a ton of protein (5G), but it’s definitely filling and hits the sweet tooth cravings. Best price has been from Sprouts at $1/each.

Rx Bars – Chad bought a sample box for us at the start of our Whole 30. Touted as “No B.S.” with the ingredients listed right on the front. We didn’t have the ones with peanuts (because duh, legumes), but the others were tasty. Again a great sweet tooth and on-the-go Whole 30 option. {If you want to try one – get the MINT one – like a Thin Mint but SO MUCH BETTER!} We bought the sample pack for $25 from the website.

Our entire family favors the San Diego-based, family business of Perfect Bars. These are NOT Whole 30 approved, but most bars are paleo (again, not the peanut butter ones!). The most cost-effective way to purchase is at Costco. $20/box for 12 bars and Costco seems to have them on sale about every quarter. Sometimes Sprouts will have them on sale, too. Perfect Bars have no preservatives, so you’ll find them in the refrigerated sections. The bars range in protein – 9 to 17 grams – and I’m definitely full and energized after having one.

What’s your favorite bar to grab and go with? Have you tried any on the Reviews.com list? Share your thoughts!

ACHOO!

grippewelle

We have been hit hard with the crud the last week. Noses like faucets + deep, painful coughs + low-grade fevers have meant sleepless nights for the entire team. Our Little Miss is on the mend (hopefully her cough won’t linger!), but I’ve been miserable all weekend. The coughing is the worst and I’ve gotten very little sleep.

I’ve been loading us up on fresh squeezed oj and lots of green smoothies to try to rid us of this monster as soon as possible!

I did make it to the final week of the CrossFit Full Strength challenge – for two of the three days. Killed the workouts, but am doubtful 16.1 is going to happen, which is a bummer because (despite the brutal 20 minutes), it is movements and weight I can handle for Rx. I know that’s not guaranteed in any of the next WODs. I just don’t think my lung capacity can handle anything more than walking right now.

Prayers for speedy recoveries appreciated!

Six-Week Challenge: Week 3

We are halfway through the CrossFit Full Strength six-week challenge. I’m loving every minute of it. The time of day, the women, the coaches, and the opportunity to get back to basics has been very rewarding for me.

As I mentioned previously, the challenge comes with a nutrition component. I haven’t really focused on this part. I’m definitely drinking a lot more water – especially on the days I workout and before I head into the workouts, I have been eating a Perfect Bar. Costco recently had a great sale on them, so we stocked up! It’s the perfect amount of protein to consume before lifting.

***

Week 3 WODs:

Seventh WOD

Seventh WOD

Seventh WOD: For time, 400m row, 30 lunges, 15 ring rows, 15 thrusters (65#), 15 k2e, 400m row – 9:19

Eighth WOD: 10-1 hang power cleans (65#) + weighted sit ups (10#) – 8:00rx

Ninth WOD: 5×5 back squat – last set 100#; 3rds 400m run + 15 push ups – 12:24

***

Post Partum: Weeks 12 and 13

Awesome week and finally made it to Back Alley in addition to yoga and walking. Feeling excellent! I’m attending the 101 classes twice a week. This is allowing me to ease back into it and minimize any scaling. I’m also still wearing my heart rate monitor to now gauge my capabilities without a baby.

Some things I’ve learned in my short three months as a momma:

1. CrossFit is the best way to start shedding that baby weight. Shouldn’t come as a surprise, I know, but after just two days, I can see and feel a difference.

2. The minute you don’t have clothing back-up, the baby will have a blow-out. Thanks little miss for christening my come back to the box with a blow-out mid-WOD. Glad you’re comfortable in just a diaper!

3. That being said, less really is more! All of the sudden my car is full of stuff – bags of returns, swimming gear, workout gear, library books, a stroller, dog gear – and our baby is only three months! We love the Skip Hop pronto changing station. We now have three because they are totally genius. I keep mine stocked with diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, Advil, first aid kit, extra outfit. When out and about, I can easily just grab it to change her – in the car, in a random bathroom, at the box, etc. We have three because we keep one in each car and one with the stroller.

4. Drive-throughs are a mom’s best friend (and I don’t mean the McDonalds!). Thanks Starbucks for keeping me caffeinated and hydrated while I keep my baby sleeping in the back seat.

I’m sure it’s old news by now, but love that CrossFit HQ is finally giving some attention to all the awesome women out there who CrossFit while pregnant. Be sure to watch the latest video, if you haven’t already.

For a quick snack pre- or post-WOD, I recently made these no bake protein bites from HeandSheEatClean. Super simple to make and who can beat the no bake part?! I also made mine lactation friendly by adding in a tablespooon of brewer’s yeast. You can easily sub the peanut butter for almond butter for a more paleo-friendly option. YUM!

And we have been meeting the newest CrossFit babies! Both Katie and Sara delivered healthy, precious babes. Aren’t they darling?

With Katie and Baby Rounds at Back Alley

With Katie and Baby Rounds at Back Alley

Meeting Baby Hillman at the hospital.

Meeting Baby Hillman at the hospital.

Postpartum Weeks 10 and 11

As I mentioned in my previous post, my number one goal is to preserve my ability to make milk. However, I am equally eager to shed some of these added pounds in the next few months. This balance is a huge mental challenge, especially because I don’t like what I see in the mirror. I read a blog post by Blonde Ponytail on “Body after Baby,” which provides great tips, number five being the most important for me: BE PATIENT.

In the spirit of CrossFit’s constantly varied mentality, I have been working out slowly and strategically OUTSIDE the box. Yoga. Barre. Running. At home weight training. Easing my body back into it before I hit the big weights. Week 10 I managed some running and yoga. This week, I worked in a Barre class and managed to do something Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Not too shabby. Here’s hoping I can keep up the momentum and work in some higher intensity.

In the meantime, I’ve received some great questions from readers about my experiences while pregnant.

Did you increase [weight] during your pregnancy? My doctor said to stop lifting at seven months. I see you did not do that. I am no where near the weight you lift but did you decrease your weight the last few months? Yes, but I understand I’m an anomaly. My coach and I worked closely together to monitor this. But my body craved and thrived with bigger weights. I hit a number of PRs on a number of Olympic lift in my third trimester. As always, work closely with your doctor and coach before attempting this and LISTEN to your body.

After having your baby have you lifted weights? While traveling recently, I visited two boxes and did some Olympic lifts, but I haven’t been to my home box yet. I have done some free weights at home. I’m trying to balance a lot and I hurt myself around weeks 5/6 postpartum with a kettlebell workout, so I’m hypersensitive because of that.

I want to try to keep my core as strong as possible so it isn’t as rough getting my mid-line back in shape after the baby. I do a lot of planks, but do you have any other suggestions? During my pregnancy, my core modification was v-sits on the box. It was amazing for my mid-line post-baby and something I plan to do daily next baby. Planks are also great, especially if you can vary with side planks and leg or arm raises.

What things did you stay away from in the second and third trimesters? Again, do what makes you feel good and work with your coaches to determine modifications. What worked for me, might not work for you. With that said, here are the modifications I used:

  • Once I started to put on weight, I couldn’t do pull-ups (that isn’t a strength of mine and something I was working on prior to my pregnancy). I subbed with ring rows.
  • I avoided inversions, but I know previously featured athletes Sara and Katie had no problems with handstand walks and push-ups. Coach & I subbed in something else entirely for me here.
  • Sit-ups became v-sits on the box (though I did sit-ups longer than some of the other athletes thought I should have. I probably could have gone longer, but I let them get in my head.
  • Push-ups became problematic third trimester because of my protruding belly, so I worked on push-ups on the wall.
  • I slam my body during burpees; in the first and second trimester, I subbed with push-ups and jumping jacks; third trimester it was wall push-ups and air squats.
  • Box jumps became step ups.
  • I didn’t do any bench press and in the second trimester stopped snatching. Usually, I just did another lift. I did a lot of shoulder work my entire pregnancy, which was to my advantage because it’s a weakness of mine.
  • Running was uncomfortable in the third trimester so I walked or rowed.
  • I stopped yoga at week 35 or 36 because the positions got too uncomfortable.

Any lessons learned? I wish I would have eaten cleaner/more paleo so I wouldn’t have gained as much weight. Ironic I know because I was poo-pooing the doctors for scolding me. Live and learn. But the reality is that losing these extra pounds is a tricky physical and mental challenge for me because I’m up against a low milk supply + a strong desire to nurse for 12 months.

I also wish I had known my heart rate prior to becoming pregnant. Any readers out there who are trying to get pregnant: I highly recommend investing in a heart rate monitor now and learn what your body is capable of before you get pregnant. That way you can better modify and understand your limits.

All-in-all, I was blessed with an easy pregnancy, delivery, and first two and a half months. I appreciate my support system and all my readers.

And nothing like getting major inspiration watching the CrossFit Games, which are live on ESPN 3 this weekend. Be sure to tune in and watch some of the best. Wish we were there again this year! Such an awesome weekend, celebrating the sport we love.

Any words of wisdom or modifications to add?

Pregnancy Week 37

I was a machine this week. It’s as though my body knows it’s preparing for a WOD of a lifetime. I’m in total training mode – mentally and physically.

I have gotten plenty of sleep. I am eating super healthy/paleo. I’m continuing to rock the whiteboard. It’s pretty freakish seeing some of the scores I posted this week. More on that in a bit … as for the week …

We had our weekly doctor check-in on Tuesday. Since I dropped dramatically in Week 36 and I had two friends deliver two weeks early, I was positive I would be well on my way to dilation. WRONG. I’m barely at one centimeter.

I got over it quickly, realizing this actually set my mind at ease and I wasn’t about to deliver any second. I still need to put my feet up mid-afternoon, but I could focus my energy on finishing my last full week of work and spending quality time with my boys and friends.

Afternoon snooze with pooch

Afternoon snooze with pooch

On Monday, I picked up the stroller from REI. How awesome is this? The bike department put it together for me! Saved us such a headache. Thanks REI! On Thursday, we took advantage of the Phoenix Fire Department‘s awesome car seat installation service. I highly recommend seeking out similar assistance from wherever you purchase and/or live. Friday, we drove to the hospital during rush hour to test a route and see how long it took. Just another way to put our minds at ease and do our best to prepare.

Stroller is ready!

Stroller is ready!

Big brother is ready!

Big brother is ready!

Pooch enjoying the dry run drive to the hospital

Pooch enjoying the dry run drive to the hospital

Saturday was devoted to my girlfriends and it was glorious. We met at a local trail for a moderate 3.5 mile hike. Sweating on the mountain was the perfect way to start the day. That afternoon, we ventured to a local, swanky resort for pool and lounging time. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It was such a nice, casual day focused on good friends and laughter. We all got plenty of sun and enjoyed poolside service all afternoon. The bump is now nice and brown!

IMG_7803 IMG_7806 IMG_7800 IMG_7798

Girls pool day!

Girls pool day!

I feel like I’m accomplishing all the pre-baby suggestions from everything have read. Chad and I had a day of pampering. We’ve splurged on a nice meal and many smaller ones. I read a book. We’ve gotten our financials and legal stuff in order. I’ve enjoyed a pedicure. We’ve spent quality time with friends. We purged and organized. We packed the overnight bag. We have slept. We updated our CPR certs. We have gone to mass often. I feel really good and will reflect on this time knowing we were well prepared physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Week 37 WODs:

April 7 warm up: 250m row

strength: overhead squats 20-15-10-5; ended on 90#

metcon: 12 min amrap: 6+18; heart rate got to 167

  • 6 hang cleans (135/95) I did 75#
  • 6 box jumps (30/24) I did 20″ step ups
  • 6 wall walks I did shoulder work with 5# plates 3 moves 6 times each

April 8 warm up

Wedding week front squat with Kel

Wedding week front squat with Kel – 115#

IMG_5069

37 week front squat 135#

37 week front squat 135#

37 week front squat - 135#

37 week front squat – 135#

strength: front squat, find 3 rep max. Sara and I got to 135#. Looking back in my journal, the last time I did front squat, 3 rep max was the week of my wedding with my bridesmaid Kelly. I lifted 115# on June 6. This week, I posted one of the highest scores on the whiteboard, despite having 30 extra pounds and a kiddo in the way. Like I said earlier, freakish!

Whiteboard freak!

Whiteboard freak!

metcon: 4 rounds for time (I did 2 rounds): 13:24

  • 200m run
  • 10 snatch balance (95/65) I did front rack lunges 45#
  • 200m run
  • 15 ring dips

That evening, I did a 2.5 mile walk with the hubs and pooch.

April 9 warm up

175# deadlift

175# deadlift

strength: deadlift x3. Worked to 175# with Sara

metcon: KAREN: 150 wall balls (20# ball) for time. Coach Melissa put a 10 minute time cap on it. I used a 14# ball and got 106 reps in 10 minutes. I really wanted to get to the 150 in 10 min., but had to keep breaking because my heart rate was going above 170.

April 10 warm up

strength: strict press/push press/push jerk 4×6 Got to 85#; strict became impossible around 75# because I was sacrificing form with my bump. Lifted with a visiting guest from CrossFit North Atlanta.

metcon: 21-15-9 completed in 13:10

  • chest to bar pull ups I did ring rows
  • power cleans (135/95) I lifted 65#
  • slam balls (25/15)

April 11 Girls hike. 3.5 miles in 40 minutes with Hadar, Sara and Frankie

At the top!

At the top!

Food: biggest craving continues to be ice. A woman at an ice/water shop (it’s a thing in the Valley) told me it’s common in pregnant women and typically due to anemia. Interesting!

Pregnancy: Week 35

35 weeks in the box

35 weeks in the box

Ahhhh…homeward stretch! This week, we made it to 30 days from our anticipated due date. Pretty darn crazy.

We’ve been working on the house; I guess in some circles this is considered nesting. We’ve been eliminating, organizing, consolidating – and it feels damn good. I’m definitely more on the organized minimalist side and a good dose of spring cleaning always puts me in good spirits.

All the elimination has also provided plenty of space to organize Baby L’s collection. Our friends and family have been so generous that there isn’t much left for us to buy. So, a huge public THANK YOU!

We did venture into the overwhelmingly large Buy Buy Baby this week to test “drive” strollers and car seats. Holy moly is that store full floor to ceiling! I am so thankful we didn’t start our registry there; I’m afraid I would have taken one look at all the stuff and turned to run. Registering for the baby was difficult to begin with; I can’t imagine dealing with the over abundance of options in Buy Buy Baby to put an actual registry together. For those curious, we registered on Amazon, which offers a super, user-friendly guide to walk new parents through the basics, and Target for ease in our daily lives.

My husband, being the savvy online shopper that he is, found our stroller (BOB Sport), car seat base and adapter through REI at $100 less than Buy Buy Baby with the same 20% discount + free shipping (score!). I have a feeling it’s going to feel much more real seeing those contraptions put together in our house.

While on the subject of registering, I had a revelation this week. So many people are surprised we haven’t found out Baby L’s sex. Going to baby prep classes, we’ve learned we’re in the minority because everyone wants to be able to “plan” and “have control.” However, what I’ve found is that it’s given us more control – we have received almost 80% of what we registered for in the colors we like (green, yellow, gray). I having a feeling many people who announce gender automatically get all pink or blue, but that’s just not our thing. And I love the way Baby L’s space has come together – focused on our colors and theme (dogs!). So, for those of you out there thinking you lose control and the ability to plan, think again!

The other fun project I tackled this week is a wreath for the front door. I wanted it to be spring-time/Easter focused, but the one I loved on good old Pinterest didn’t come with instructions and I was struggling to find coral colored felt in the local craft stores.

Spring rabbit wreath ... without Pinterest instruction

Spring rabbit wreath … without Pinterest instruction

So, I created one in Baby L’s colors (mustard and gray). The most difficult and time consuming part was wrapping the foam wreath with yarn. I loved making all the felt flowers (based on tips from Paper & Stitch) and took three nights to make them. Three nights because I just kept adding to it. I’d hang it on the door and mull over it; add more. I think it turned out pretty perfect!

Our front door is ready for Baby L!

Our front door is ready for Baby L!

Wreath close-up

Wreath close-up

Leslie was fired up last week about the way my nurse practitioner responded to my breast reduction. She reached out to a Facebook mommy group and was directed to a website dedicated to women who have had reductions – Breastfeeding After Reduction. I haven’t spent a lot of time on there yet, but love Leslie’s passion and appreciate her doing some legwork for me!

The other thing I’m strongly considering to help with milk production and overall postpartum recovery is placenta encapsulation. I’ve had a few friends reap the benefits of this and I figure that it can’t hurt! I’m now seeking someone in the Valley that’s reasonably priced and convenient. Recommendations welcome! And if you’ve had any experience with this, would love your input.

Week 35 WODs:

Wednesday, March 26:

warm up

Strength: Overhead squats 6×3 Sara and I got to 90#

35 weeks overhead (3) 35 weeks overhead (2)

35 weeks, overhead squats, 90#

35 weeks, overhead squats, 90#

Metcon: we did a modified Nancy – 5 rounds for time of

  • 15 over head squats at half of what we lifted in strength portion (45#)
  • 250m row

It was a chest burner! I finished in 18:22.

Saturday, March 29: I dedicated this pregnancy version of the CrossFit Games Open 14.5 to Doyle, who we lost a year ago today. It was a tragic loss for my entire family and a day doesn’t go by where I don’t think of him or one of his funny sayings/words of wisdom. Never in my life have I met someone more selfless or stoic.

With Mimi & Doyle - July 4th - 2012

With Mimi & Doyle – July 4th – 2012

During his funeral, the first reading was from the Book of Micah:

Micah 6:8

Micah 6:8

Since then, that verse has become the Team Leatherman family creed.

Even a modified version of 14.5 was a chest burner and exceptionally grueling. I powered through in honor, ending my rounds at 9:45, with Micah 6:8 on repeat.

CrossFit Open 14.5

CrossFit Open 14.5

I did 21-15-9-3 thrusters at 65# and step-ups instead of burpees (my belly is too big at this point and I tend to slam myself down during burpees anyway). My heart rate almost got to 170, so I had to take a few water breaks to trim it back, but felt good finishing!

35 weeks 14 (2)

Crossfitandpregnant version of 14.5

Crossfitandpregnant version of 14.5

Coach Melissa determined the modifications and got both Sara and me through it.

Meghan and Sara with Coach Melissa!

Meghan and Sara with Coach Melissa!

Food: I’m craving iced tea, which is unusual for me outside pregnancy. I’m still drinking coffee and I love a nightly ginger ale. Ice is also a weird craving. I love all my drinks to be overflowing with ice. Totally random. Food has been fairly paleo. We’ve been starting our day with a fruit & greens smoothie, ever since our San Diego trip. I’m at the point now that if I don’t have one, it effects the rest of my day’s energy and focus. I do eat Greek yogurt and still love ice cream (but that’s definitely always a craving, pregnancy or not!). I’m not trying to be strict paleo or beat myself up over anything. Just focused on 7-8 servings of fruits and veggies with good doses of protein.

Feeling: My hips are definitely expanding and are tight. The extra weight can be felt if I have to stand for any length of time. The weekly visits to the chiropractor is definitely relieving a lot of my discomfort. It gets to a point where I can tell I haven’t been in a week to see her. The heat ultrasound she gives me on my shoulder blades reduces a lot of inflammation and pain. Don’t know what I’d do without her!