Monday, June 27, 2011

Waco, Texas

My good friend and fave blogger Lauren Cowling just posted the lyrics to a song she was challenged to write about Waco. While I found it hilarious, it also made me a little sad because it's so true, I never go to Waco anymore. I'm getting old and I no longer have friends in undergrad or an apartment floor to sleep on when I go down for a game. I'm also petitioning her to add the line "I married an Aggie and it seemed to lengthen the road, I never go to Waco anymore."

For your enjoyment, the original song by Lauren N. Cowling,
"I Never Go to Waco Anymore"

I never go to Waco anymore.
So hard to make my way south,
All the good times I’ve ever known happened in the 254.
I never go to Waco anymore.

Just past Hillsboro, way before Austin
Waco sits on 35 like a jewel in the desert.
It’s so much more than just Baylor,
The tales of the Brazos soothe a man’s soul.

I never go to Waco anymore.
So hard to make my way south,
All the good times I’ve ever known happened in the 254.
I never go to Waco anymore.

Dr. Pepper, David Koresh, Waco is love.
Waco is looooooooooooove.
Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Cameron Park Zoo, Waco is love.
Waco is loooooooooooooooove.

Sitting on 35 like a star in the night,
She’s not big, but she’s bright.

I never go to Waco anymore.
So hard to make my way south,
All the good times I’ve ever known happened in the 254.
I never go to Waco anymore.

(check out more of LC's comedy as well as the best Bachelorette recaps of all time at www.lcblogs.com)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Trying New Things

I can’t decide if I’m one of those people who loves trying new things or who enjoys the comforts of the tried and true. There are instances where I find myself lying on both sides of this line but I’d say for the most part, I fall somewhere in the middle. I like just enough variety to keep things interesting, but also some familiar routines that keep things comfortable. As you know from my previous few posts, lately I’ve been changing up my diet and exercise routine but I don’t want my blog to become only about that, so I thought I’d share a few random facts before explaining my new found love of spaghetti squash and how I kicked some booty in my workout today.

New venture number one- I joined a book club. At this point, I only know one of the girls who is in the book club and we haven’t actually met to discuss a book yet, but I have read and finished the first assigned book and we are meeting next week to discuss. I’ve always wanted to be in a book club (yes, I’m a huge nerd who used to get grounded for sneaking a flashlight to bed so I read under the covers after hours) so I’m pretty pumped that there a few girls my age out there who share this interest. Maybe I’ll start adding book reviews to my blogging genre. (To satisfy your curiosity, we read Best Enemies as our first book. It was a little cheesy but held my interest and is an appropriate summer beach read, but I wouldn’t call it a “good book.”)

New venture number 2- I’m officially a non-organic herb farmer. I’ve had my little herb garden for about a year and in the past month, my parsley has been ATTACKED by these crazy, colorful caterpillar worm things (I found out they are called Black Swallowtail Caterpillars). They are kind of cool looking


but they are eating all my parsley and, who would want to eat something that had been climbed around on by THAT! I’m trying to decide if I should off them with some pesticides, or let them have at my parsley crop since they will eventually turn into these beauties

New venture 3- Paleo cooking/eating. I’ve already elaborated on this a lot so I’ll just share some new found knowledge and appreciation for spaghetti squash. Pasta is probably in my top 2 favorite foods and the idea of never having it again isn’t really something that sits well with me. I’d heard about the amazing spaghetti squash and how it simulates the strands of spaghetti but I have to admit I was skeptical. Last night I tried it out with my 8.6 lb mega-squash I found at sprouts and I have to say it was pretty tasty. See below for inspirations and instructions on how to create your own “healthy/paleo/spaghetti” below.

This is an 8lb Spaghetti Squash

Cut it in half using the BIGGEST knife available and scoop out all the seeds/center
(this stuff)

Half or quarter it (depending on the size) and place it rind up on a baking sheet


Cook at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes (again, mine was huge so I went about 45-50 minutes). Pull it out and use a fork to scoop out the "noodles" from inside the squash. Your squash noodles will look like this

Top with your favorite sauce and you've got a great veggie sub for traditional noodles.


New outlooks on an old venture- I’ve been doing crossfit for almost a year now, but I’m just starting to really get into and see the benefit in motivating myself to continue to get better and push harder in the workouts. I’m trying to push myself to use heavier weights instead of staying with what’s comfortable, try and finish faster instead of being ok with being in the back of the pack and really go as hard as I can go in each workout. Today, I felt pretty cruddy going into the workout, but I actually pushed myself hard and felt good about the results. I finished the workout in 8:48, a very respectable time among the females. In case you want to do it yourself and see how you measure up against me, here’s what we did. (Feel free to post a comment about how it took you 10-12 minutes to complete this same workout. If you did it faster, keep it to yourself as I don’t need that kind of negativity for all the internet world to see).
3 rounds of the following:
10 Deadlift (105lbs)
15 Ring Dips
20 Box Jumps
30 meter suicide run (3 cones, run to each, touch the line and back each time)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Verdict Is In

After much debate (and a few days of postponement), the Spencers officially began a regimen involving a mix of Paleo/Advocare/Crossfit that we are calling our “24 Day Challenge.” Advocare actually has a weight loss challenge that is called the 24 day challenge where you stick to a diet similar to Paleo (for at least the first 10 days) and use products to achieve some increased weight loss results over that time period. We decided to use the products recommended for the traditional 24 Day Challenge and maintain a Paleo diet the whole time. I’m challenging myself to also attend Crossfit at least 5 days a week throughout the challenge.

We started this up last Wednesday which officially makes today Day 6. I have worked out 4 of the past 6 days and we’ve been pretty good about sticking with the diet. Last week, I didn’t really do a lot of meal planning so a lot of our food was kind of hodge-podge of whatever we had that sort of fit the diet thrown together into some semblance of a meal. This week, I sat down with my favorite recipe app (epicurious anyone?) and searched for some awesome meals to plan for the week. I went to Sprouts yesterday and stocked up on TONS of fresh produce as well as some snacks for William, who had gotten kind of cranky last week when deprived of his normal daily snacks of cheese and crackers and chips and salsa.

Last night, I made a meal that was so good I didn’t even notice I was “dieting.” I thought I’d share the recipe for other friends who browse the blog and might be looking for something yummy and either “Paleo” or just on the healthy side.

Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa

Ingredients:
1 Large Salmon filet
2 mango’s (peeled, pitted and diced)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (I used a little more)
¼ cup chopped red onion (used about half of a large red onion)
Juice of one fresh lime
1 serrano chili (seeded, and minced)
1 tsp grated lime peel
2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped or minced)
2 tablespoons olive oil

Prepare the grill and heat to medium-high. Meanwhile, combine the first 7 ingredients in a bowl. Mix in 1 ½ tablespoons of the olive oil. Season your salmon with salt and pepper or your favorite herb combo and brush with remaining ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Grill until done, ( I like to put salmon in a foil pouch to keep it from sticking to the grill and I grill about 10-12 minutes). Top with the salsa and serve!

I heated up a can of black beans mixed with a can of chopped green chiles to serve with this (Black beans are not technically paleo, but I was ok with that). It was a delicious meal and quick and easy to prepare.

Tonight, I’m trying a “Paleo Spaghetti” that uses spaghetti squash in place of the noodles. If it turns out well, I’ll post the recipe tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

To Paleo or not to Paleo?

About a year ago, William and I jumped off the deep end of the exercise pool and joined our local Crossfit gym (shout out Crossfit Richardson!) Although it’s been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, I’ve actually gotten to a place that I ENJOY working out and look forward to going to the gym almost every day. This is in large part to the amazing community that the gym offers. Regardless of my class time, I always have a work out buddy that helps motivate me through whatever insanity is the WOD AND I’ve even made friends that I spend time with socially!

I’m not sure exactly how Crossfit started but I know it began with a guy in California and has spread across the country like wildfire with franchise gyms everywhere (even a few overseas)! There are 11 locations in the Dallas area alone, but there’s definitely something special about Crossfit Richardson (www.crossfitrichardson.com). One of the funniest things I’ve noticed is that Crossfit has its own language and it takes some time to figure out what anyone is talking about. For example, a WOD (pronounced like “wad of paper”) stands for Workout Of the Day. Everyone does this workout, in some cases modified for different skill levels, and almost all WOD’s are timed and your name and time posted on a board in the gym.

Paleo is the nutrition philosophy most commonly endorsed by Crossfit. Basically, paleo is a form of eating where you “eat like a traditional hunter/gatherer would have eaten.” This means proteins, fruits, vegetables and anything that grows naturally. I’m not an expert on the diet by any means but I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not this is something that is realistic for me to implement in my life. I do love meat and fish, which are both part of the diet, and I love fruit and vegetables and discovering new ways to prepare them. The thing that would be the hardest for me would be to not eat dairy or bread/grain products. I LOVE cheese and I think most people would agree it makes everything better (including vegetables). I also love bread and think it would be hard to live without pizza and sandwiches (2 of my favorite foods).

To figure out if the Paleo diet really makes you feel and look as great as everyone claims it does, I’m going to implement my own little experiment starting next week (Monday, June 13). Monday-Friday, I will cook and eat Paleo. Saturday and Sunday, I’ll go back to no rules dining!! I’m mainly posting this to the internet to give myself a little accountability and to document the effects in the way I feel, my performance and energy during the day and my workouts, and if I lose any weight or see a difference in body composition. I may even post a few “Paleo friendly” recipes if I come across anything life changing.

So, here’s to a new challenge and one more week to indulge in chips and queso on a Wednesday and sandwiches for lunch!