‘Challenging’ Times Ahead

Happenings this Week:

Hey ladies and gents! First, it is time to announce the CrossFit Bako nutrition and wellness challenge will be starting VERY soon. It will run parallel to the CrossFit Games’ open from February 20th– March 25th so be sure to look for the sign-up sheet at the box. We will be holding an optional meeting for people wanting to get in on the action on Saturday, February 18th at 11:30 am following the WOD where I will discuss details, take measurements, answer questions and pass out materials.  If you are unable to attend the meeting please let me, Mallaurie Vermillion, know in some way and I will be sure you get the materials in a timely fashion. There is a $25 buy in that is due to me by the 25th of February, and there will be a Paleo potluck and BBQ to follow the challenge in order to celebrate all of the success I know you will be achieving (details to come later)! I am going to TRY and commit to a daily recipe share during the challenge dates, and I will be available for lots of encouraging words and help during this difficult time in your life (hehe). All joking aside, DO NOT make any excuses as to why you will not be joining us on this journey! How amazing would it be to have all of our CrossFit Bako family as a part of this? I do not care if your sister is getting married (skip the cake), you have a trip planned (get a room with a kitchen), or are just too dang lazy to make the change (suck it up sucker). JUST DO IT so you can have the pleasure of saying you at least TRIED! Your efforts will be rewarded I promise; even if it is with some paleo chocolate chip cookies after it is all said and done. GOOD LUCK and make sure to keep your eyes peeled on this blog, the WOD blog, and the box’s white board for more information! Oh, and did I mention there are lots of cool prizes involved?


Crying is for Babies: A few words from yours truly

Instead of talking about a resource this post, I would like to give a little bit of advice to help you through your challenge. I REALLY hope you all will take this challenge as just that, a CHALLENGE. This is not supposed to be something that is easy, and it also shouldn’t be made out to be something life shattering either. Sure, it takes TONS of effort to be successful, but it is not beyond anyone’s capability. Please excuse the aggressive undertone of this section; I do not mean to offend anyone.

  • The first piece of advice I would like to give is to step away from the scale, tape measure, or any other type of measuring device for that matter ( I am more than guilty of weighing myself daily). DO NOT weigh yourself at all; if you go to the doctor stand facing the other direction. Weighing or measuring yourself and not seeing automatic results is just going to put you one step closer to Dewar’s after dinner. This is just another reason for your brain to assume you cannot handle the stress of not eating a bagel for breakfast when I know damn well you can. Keep your mind focused on how amazing you will look and feel at end of the challenge and kick that scale to the curb! I will even go as far as to PROMISE that you will see a difference in the end as long as you are holding up your end of the bargain by NOT cheating! Cheating is for losers.
  • Stay away from those that are harmful to your success. Yeah, I said it… ditch those so called friends that are constantly trying to jeopardize your “diets” by ordering dessert at lunch time. Think of this not only as a change, but also as a sort of spiritual awakening of some kind. Focus on YOU and only YOU (OK maybe your family as well) and take time to relax and reflect on your day, catch some quiet time, make sure you are getting a good eight hours of sleep, and even do some meditation if you dare!  TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF PEOPLE. Lots of deep breathing, lots of FOCUS, and lots of determination.
  • Do not drink. I know many of us young strapping adults love to consume our adult beverages on a regular basis. If you consume more than one drink per week (I know that’s a stretch) than this should be your primary focus; DO NOT DRINK. Avoid going to your regular places, hanging out with your regular peeps, and replace you urge to drink with something much more productive (insert boring, yet relaxing example here). It is only for one month, so suck it up. If you fall victim to peer pressure, let me bluntly say, you are weak… peer pressure is for Justin Bieber fans, NOT strapping CrossFitters like yourself. So show those A holes you are stronger than them by just saying “no”.
  • Do drink lots and lots of water. Take the time to actually pay attention to the amount of water you are drinking. There have been studies that link sugar and carb cravings to a lack of hydration. So anytime you feel a sugar or carb craving coming on, go chug a glass of good ol’ fashion ice cold agua. I know it is easier said than done, but spare me the excuses and just do it. Pretend it’s a fricken milk shake.

Your goal during this challenge should be to NOT cheat and NOT treat. Not one bite of candy bar, not one bread roll at dinner time, no yogurt for breakfast, no creamer in your coffee, not one small glass of wine, no artificial sweetener (or anything else) in your tea, not one spoon full of peanut butter, NOT EVEN PALEO COOKIES! NONE! You shouldn’t spend your weeks just waiting for the next cheat meal. You should be focusing on the big picture and ridding your body of all the bad. It will be hard, and for the first week people will probably be pointing out how cranky you are, your numbers in the gym may slip a little at first (before getting better), and you yourself will be wondering what the hell is wrong with you. You would think that we were getting ready to head off into some sort of post-apocalyptic war or what not… but we aren’t… IT IS JUST 30ish DAYS of clean, good for you, eating!!! Go fourth my young warriors, and thrive.


Cooking Tip for the Week: Prepping

Last time we talked about spices and oils, and now I would like to quickly talk about prepping. To make things a lot easier on yourself you should really put a lot of effort into prepping your meals ahead of time. Prepping is the key to staying on track for you weekly meal planning. I always try to keep veggies, garlic, and even protein chopped up ahead of time and stored separately. Invest in a good set of Tupperware and make sure to have all different types of storage baggies on hand. I always have small storage, large storage, small snack, large freezer, small freezer, and cling wrap. One great go-to meal that is really simple (when prepped ahead of time) and is good for those nights when you have protein and veggies and can’t think of anything good to make, is a stir-fry. You can combine 2-3 types of veggies (broccoli, mushrooms, red peppers, etc) and some chicken (or steak) in a skillet with some fresh chopped garlic, onion, maybe a little fresh grated ginger, and oil and voila! Do your prepping at night after you finish a meal, or maybe even wake up 30 mins earlier than usual (permitted you got your 8 hours).  Chop up all veggies and store separately since some have longer cooking times than others, and marinate or chop up protein sources (also cuts down on cooking time). I will even measure out all my spices I will be using and put them in a tiny airtight container or bowl. Not only will you save tons of time while cooking your meal, you will also have time to do the dishes and clean while you cook, and be able to pay attention to what you are doing.


Recipe for the Week: Salad x 3 (dedicated to Mike)

Here are a few salad options I make on a regular basis. I am really easy to please when it comes to food so eating the same thing over and over doesn’t really bother me.

                                                                                         Who doesn’t love a good “Taco” salad right?

  • Ground beef browned in a skillet with chili powder, cumin, a couple shakes of dried oregano, and garlic powder (or chopped fresh garlic). I did not put the measurements for the spices because I usually just eye ball it. A little bit of cumin goes a long way, and add a little chili powder at a time until you start to see the meat take on that nice red color of the chili powder.
  • Lettuce (the green kind not the yellow crap)
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocados or guacamole
  • Jalapenos
  • Red onion
  • Cilantro
  • Olives

You can layer this salad how ever you would like but I like to toss the lettuce and cilantro with a little olive oil and lime juice then top with meat first then everything else!  You can also request something similar as an option at a Mexican restaurant just be sure to say hold the chips, cheese, and sour cream.   


                                                                                  A salad I make frequently as a side dish at dinner is:

  • Spinach
  • Feta (I do eat a limited amount of feta which I find to be ok for my body, but it is definitely not challenge approved)
  • Sliced almonds

I add all ingredients to a plastic baggie with some olive oil and a splash of either balsamic or lemon juice, add a little air, seal, shake, and serve with lots of fresh ground pepper on top. Sometimes I top with some grilled chicken for a quick lunch.


                                                                                                           Easy Peasy Greek Salad

  • Use mixed greens, or romaine as your base for this one.
  • Grilled chicken (optional if eating as a side to chicken)
  • Sliced Cucumber
  • Sliced Red onion
  • Green or Kalamata Olives (make sure there is no sugar in the ingredients list when buying these… sugar in the form of wine is also not OK)
  • Feta (optional)
  • Tomatoes cut into wedges
  • Dressing is just olive oil, lemon juice, a tiny bit of the juice from the olive jar, ground black pepper, and a few shakes of dried dill. Add your oil last a little at a time and taste it along the way. I tend to like a little more acid in my dressings. Top with tons of fresh ground pepper. Sequoia has a great greek salad for an out to eat meal.


 I apologize for the lack of details in the recipes as I just wanted to throw a few out there. Put your twist on whatever you want and don’t be afraid to just wing it. Measuring and such is only important when you’re baking and after a few test runs you should have it mastered. Cooking is only as hard as you make it out to be! Enjoy and I look forward to seeing you all suceed in the challange. Oh, and I am also sorry if I offended any Justin Bieber fans out there.


Happy Eating, Mal