Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pregnant Paleo Panda


It has been about 3 months since my last blog, but I have a good reason!!! I'm preggers! We're having a baby. A real baby.  Most people, aka friends and family, already know this, but I thought I would use this as my excuse for not blogging in a while.  One of the many benefits of being pregnant...blaming things on the bun in the oven! I can't do the dishes...the soap makes me feel sick. I didn't want to eat a whole medium pizza, but the baby was hungry!

We are really happy and excited. I am 17 weeks. But before getting into the last few weeks, I need to go back in time...

May 2012, I started this blog to talk about my diagnosis with polycystic ovary syndrome (diagnosed March 13, 2012) which lots of women have (often undiagnosed for many women) and this makes it hard to get pregnant. Check out my first post for more explanation.  I decided to share, not just my efforts to get pregnant, but my focus on getting healthy through a paleo diet and crossfit.

Fast forward to July 13, 2012 the day I found out we were going to have our baby! It was my husband's birthday, so telling him the good news was extra fun. He didn't believe it at first because we really expected it to take a lot longer.

I really credit crossfit and paleo for the speedy results! Jeremy and I started eating strict paleo in March 2012 and 4 months later I had dropped 15 pounds and put on some muscle. I was feeling great. Add to the situation that my crossfitting beast of man was looking awesome... it was a recipe for baby making.

Since starting this blog, I have talked to several other women who also credit paleo with getting pregnant.  There is something about eating real food and cutting out the processed crap that just gets your body functioning at its best.  Your hormones get on track and things start to work like clockwork. Its really incredible, but makes perfect sense.

I have kept up with crossfit since finding out I was pregnant. Luckily a friend in my gym was only weeks from giving birth at the time I found out, so she was and still is a major resource for me on navigating crossfit and being preggo. Also, one of our coaches is a doula and is a phenomenal support. At about 7 or 8 weeks, I told all of the coaches at crossfit because I wanted them to know if I ran into the bathroom during a workout or was scaling back from my usual lifting - that I was just fine! This proved to be important because weeks 7-11 were probably the hardest in terms of nausea and fatigue. I stuck with it, but slept more and went 4 instead of 5 days a week to crossfit. I didn't scale too much, but took time to catch my breath and just be sure I was taking care of myself.

After 11 weeks, the nausea and fatigue were completely gone and I have felt great. I recently set a pull-ups PR (15 unbroken) and I am just listening to my body and adjusting as I go. At 9.5 weeks pregnant, I decided not to do the crossfit competition I had signed up for before I knew I was pregnant - this decision was mostly based on how nauseated I was feeling. I have not done any weightlifting PR's, but I have been able to do most workouts at RX.  There are not a ton of resources out there for crossfit and pregnancy, but two of the best I have found are and

Fran: 21-15-9 Thrusters and Pull-ups.

Today, at 17.5 weeks I decided to do Fran. My pull-ups have never been better so I thought it would be fun! It was awesome. I beat my prior Fran time by 34 seconds with a time of 8:08 and I even took more breaks than usual to catch my breath. My general guide is that if I can breathe, baby can breathe.  My advice to anybody pregnant and crossfitting is to stick with it and make adjustments as you go! For example, sit-ups are done for me and I have switched to knees to elbows.  Crossfit Mission Gorge has been crazy supportive and I couldn't imagine going though this experience without my CFMG family!  I plan to post more regularly now, including some of my workouts/adjustments and efforts to keep eating paleo.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Barbacoa - Stolen Like a Thief in the Night

I steal most my recipes like a thief in the night. Well, not really, I just google and then find something I think I could do with what's in my fridge/cupboard. So most of the time the recipes I share are not mine, but if I come up with anything good of my own, you will be the first to know!

Recipe: Barbacoa from PaleOMG, which stands for Paleo Oh My Goodness, just so you know! Not only is this Juli Baur hilarious, but her food is good and here recipes are easy to follow. Her recipes include directions like,  Chop that sh*t up, or mash it with your hands.  No crazy chef talk here, but the food is fabulous. Her bloggy blog is so good I bought the headband! She has lots of cool gear! Nerd alert!

  PaleOMG Barbacoa Recipe

Check out this post for pics! Barbacoa Pics!

There are many great things about this recipe. First of all, I am Mexican and have high barbacoa standards! This recipe exceeds my expectations. I think its because of the chipotles in adobo sauce.  Also, you can throw it in the crock pot and then when you get home, spend 10 more minutes mixing in some additional ingredients and then wait 1 more hour while it cooks in the crock pot and makes your house smell amazing. Boom. Spectacular dinner. Also, you can eat barbacoa so many ways as leftovers. Not to sound like Bubba from Forest Gump, but there  is barbacoa lettuce tacos, for breakfast with a fried egg on top, make a hash with sweet potatoes...the list goes on.  My only advice is that this is really spicy. I love spicy, but if you have kids or don't do spicy, cut the red pepper in half at least.

Most importantly of all, have fun. Cooking is an adventure.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

No DRUGS and Food for Friends!

It’s been a big week for me! I went to the doctor last Thursday to determine if I will need to go on metformin, a diabetes drug to deal with insulin resistance. Check out Robb Wolf's article on metformin here.  Wahhh! The thought of that really freaked my out.  I’m only 30. And by the way, its true, your body stops functioning properly, healing, recovering after a night out, like the day you turn 30. I digress. So Dr. Chu, my super awesome doctor gave me some awesome news. NO DRUGS for me! I am “normal.”  Others might disagree, but when it comes to my blood glucose and insulin levels - normal baby! I did this in just less than four months with diet and exercise.  Since March 15, when I started to eat paleo (90/10), I have lost 13lbs and put on some muscle too. I have more energy, sleep better and just feel great!
First phase of barbacoa

I was nervous to tell Dr. Chu about my diet because there are many doctors who have not picked up on the no grains, no dairy, no legumes kick, but she was so supportive. She gave me a huge hug and said - YOU did it! It felt great.

Friday, the next day at Crossfit, my fellow cf ladies asked me about my diet and asked about me cooking them some paleo meals! haha! First of all, a huge compliment and as I write this, they do not know about the amazing news I got on Thursday. Their timing could not have been better.

I do post some pics online when I cook, mostly because I have just learned to really cook these past few months and I can’t believe I have not burned down my house. (Although I do like to leave the oven on for hours...oops, sorry Jerbear).  So apparently, some peeps have taken notice of my kitchen skills. So cool.  
Barbacoa butter leaf lettuce wraps with guacamole and sauteed zucchini!

Well, I toyed with the idea of cooking for my friends and came up with this plan.  If people really want to get their diet in check, I will definitely help them. Maybe even make them something on a Sunday that can help get them through the week.  But seriously,as much as I love cooking, you have to learn to do it yourself for long term success. It is hard to break old habits, but it can be done and when you realize how amazing you feel eating whole healthy natural foods, you will never turn back. 

Paleo fried chicken! (almond flour and spices!)
I also can’t cook them weekly means because I have a gigantic bottomless-pit all consuming husband to feed.  So if you are reading this ladies, I will cook you some food, but what is going to help more is a grocery list, with pre-planned meal options. I will make it as easy as possible! You can do it! I will even come to your house and show you how to cook some stuff or help you get your kitchen and spices set up. Spices are key!

If you make it fun, it’s not so painful. What a week of healthy good news and a huge compliment from my cf friends. Can't wait to help them on their paleo journey!

Monday, June 11, 2012

NPR Paleo Follow-up - The Debate

NPR's follow up on Paleo Article

The link above is a follow up to the earlier NPR article I shared regarding the paleo diet and controversies around it within the medical field. These comments reflect some of the exact conversations I have had. In my blog post, Paleo Hokey-Pokey - I describe paleo for me as eating whole natural real foods because when you get into what our ancestors ate, blah blah blah, it just gets too complicated. In Japan people ate differently than India and so the argument goes on and on. But what you can't argue with is that processed chemical foods are not natural and are hurting us.  Eating unprocessed real food is so simple and much easier to "digest." Pun intended!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

For the Love of Crossfit...the Countdown.

I have been working on this list for a few weeks. Ten reasons I love crossfit - holla at me in the comments if you love crossfit too!

10.  HUGS: You weren't expecting that on the list, were you!?! I go to 5:30 am class on Tuesday and Thursday and sometimes I am just pissed off that I am awake so early, but when you walk in at 5:30 and Coach Tami gives you a hug and then kicks your ass for an hour only to follow it up with a good job hug, its kind of hard to be pissed off.  Now, I am really not a hugger at the gym, I just feel kinda weird, but not a 5:30am and not when its Coach Tami! I have singled Tami out because of her hugs, but all the CrossFit Mission Gorge  coaches are ridiculously dedicated to making us better athletes all while having a great time!
Coach Tami getting after it at the beach WOD!
9.  Lifting heavy things - Lifting heavy weight over your head is just fun. It's a total adrenaline rush. In college, lifting was a means to an end...better softball skills. I wanted to hit the ball harder and throw the ball farther.  Now, lifting is really just about lifting.  How much can I lift, how fast can I do it and how many times? Over the past 6 months I have totally shocked myself and can’t wait to see where I am in one year. Lifting is just fun.

8. Competition - My softball coach, Sue Enquist often quoted her friend and mentor John Wooden. In his Pyramid of Success , one element is competitive greatness. Wooden explained competitive greatness: "Perform at your best when your best is required. Your best is required everyday." Even among fellow athletes at crossfit we compete and push each other and then cheer each other on. Crossfit has a culture of competitive greatness.  And everybody has strengths and weaknesses. It’s about competing with yourself and the person next to you. It’s healthy competition and I love it.

7. My Ass... Looks Good. Well it's not yet back to its glory days (see #5)…but it is getting closer.  Squats, squats and more squats. Front squats, back squats and goblet squats = a firmer tighter behind.  Who doesn’t want that!

6.  Accessories:  This one is dangerous.  There are so many cool accessories.  Some are for actual safety and strength like wrist wraps and weight belts. But most are just to look good at the gym.  Some people work hard to not wear "crossfit" stuff. Some people love lululemon and some are super anti-lululemon. Some people like wild crazy socks and some prefer low socks. Its fun to find my crossfit style - I don’t think I have a style yet because I love everything.  Accessories are one of the reasons I liked triathlon...swim cap goggles, bike, shorts, shoes, wetsuit...the list goes on and on! I have a few items on my wish list: Reebok crossfit olys  and a weight belt.  What's on your list?

5. Glory Days:  I played college softball at UCLA . We were AWESOME! . I was a part of something really great and I will always be a part of the Bruin family or as we like to call it the bubble. But when you leave college and you spend most of your time at a desk rather that in the outfield practicing catching fly balls or getting a better jump off first base, you start to remember the “glory days.”  Now, as a working stiff, I cherish that one hour a day where I get to train and compete.  We lifted and trained in college, but when you are young you can take that for granted. God I sound like an old lady! Anyhow,  I don’t take a single day of crossfit for granted.

4. Silliness:  So many shennanigans at crossfit. I love to cause trouble and talk shit! (In a good way).   It’s fun to make snatch jokes, wear silly shirts, use acronyms like HAM, dance before and after the wod and sometimes I like to crump…when the beat hits hard, I hit hard. Yep. My first team wod on the day of our gym’s expansion celebration we all wore stick on mustaches. Who knew that doing a whole wod with a mustache could be so fun!!! And soon, we will have a unitard showdown…it is on.

New friends and good times.
3. New Friends: I have made a ton of new friends at crossfit. It's perfect because you automatically have something in common. We have happy hours and when the shower at the gym broke, we had shower parties at my house. Its awesome!  If the old saying “You are who your friends are” is accurate, then I have gotten better since joining crossfit. Also, its important to get together regularly so you can stop annoying your family and coworkers with non-stop crossfit talk. Not that I would ever do that! :)

2. Marriage - Sarah Fragoso at Everyday Paleo really hit the nail on the head in her list of reasons why she loves to lift. Crossfit is something I get to do with my husband. I see him an hour more a day. We see each other sweat, struggle and succeed. I didn’t know we could get closer since he is my very best friend, but it appears after over 12 years together we are closer than ever. It's fun having someone to talk with about the next day's wod or my frustration with kipping pull-ups. We do manage to talk about other things, but crossfit is definitely a focus of discussion these days. I love it.  

Team Allen at the beach wod!
1. Health- Being healthy is the most important thing in my life. I am a better wife, daughter and friend if I am healthy.  And since I plan on being a mom, I have to get and stay healthy.  I am highly susceptible to type 2 diabetes because I have insulin resistance and with crossfit I hope to never even consider diabetes an option.  Crossfit provides nutritional support for living your healthiest life.  I want to hike to the tops of more mountains, do triathlons and swim in the ocean when I am 75! I believe that health is one of the keys to long term happiness and crossfit is now a major part that! As you can see from this list that could go on forever, crossfit is about getting healthy and having fun. A winning combination!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

NPR - Doctors Talk Paleo

Its been way too long, but I have some cool posts coming down the pipe, but first, my friend emailed me a link to an article NPR did on the paleo diet. Can we just stop and acknowledg that my friend is the coolest nerdiest NPR lover I know and she rocks! I love NPR too, but nobody likes NPR as much as her! So, back to the article. It seems more and more doctors are recognizing the benefits of paleo. I like to hear that. My endocrinologist did not even mention diet and exercise. She immediately wanted to put me on drugs and I was like - oh hello no...I'm paleo! Well, I didn't exactly say that out loud, that is what this blog is for! Here is the link to the PALEO ARTICLE.  One criticism of this article... the word paleo is a very strict term that most people do not follow. I think if you start with paleo as a model and figure out what works for you from there you can't go wrong. That's why the Whole 30 Program is so great.  Check it out!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fancy Website Coming Soon!

So, any of you who know my husband know that he would not let his wife have a blog spot for long.  If you are going to do a it right!!! So I am working on my official site coming soon! Can't wait.

Until then, enjoy my blog here!