Monday, June 25, 2012

Warrior Dash

I feel like I have SO much to catch up on… from finishing up my thoughts on Reach the Beach, the delicious food I ate on Martha’s Vineyard…even so far back as the rest of my trip to Wine Country back in the fall (yeah I just recently realized I never got around to that either…sorry).

So lets begin and maybe I can get a few posts up this week! 

A few weeks ago I participated in my very first obstacle race: Warrior Dash!


It was totally last minute, I really didn’t prepare much (aside from regular Crossfitting…which was actually fantastic training!), and I was REALLY nervous once we got there.

Luckily I had a partner in crime who was also talked into signing up.


There we are nice and clean before it began.  I wore old crappy clothes that I didn’t care if I had to toss out…which I did.  Those are thin cotton leggings from either Target or Old Navy, and it pays to keep old running sneakers!

I’m also really glad I wore the tall socks.  It was hot at first, but I didn’t have any scrapes or marks on my legs afterwards.

We were supposed to start in the 1:30pm heat but we managed to get in with the 1pm group with my cousin and his friend!  I was seriously NERVOUS! 

It was a 5k with 12 (?) obstacles.  I decided just to stick with my friend instead of go for any sort of time, so we did a lot of walking, and it was actually not nearly as bad as I had thought.  I kind of want to try it again and actually run the whole thing and see what I can get for a time!  I felt great the whole time.

Some photo’s from the race…






After you finish you can get hosed down with fire hoses and we were so ready for that we forgot to take a muddy picture afterwards!!  Damn!  Thankfully the race camera’s caught them!

I was nervous about the walls where I’d have to hoist myself up with a rope but turns out that wasn’t a problem (yay Crossfit!).  The scariest obstacle was the last wall which was completely vertical (the others before that had slight inclines), and it was also the tallest.

It’s actually the wall behind the fire here…


I went over the top of that one nice and slow, and then it was fine.  I’m actually surprised more people don’t get injured at these things…especially if you were trying to go fast…that was a tall wall and narrow…not much room for footing!  

Post hose down with my cousin Pat:



Shoes go here:


My only gripe with this race is that for the roughly $80 registration the least they could do is give you some food tickets…even a water ticket!  See you get 1 free beer…but only the Miller Lite, not the other better beers they had, then you can purchase tickets ($1 = 1 ticket) for food afterwards.

Honestly they can keep the t-shirt and novelty Viking hat…can I please have some water. 


Aside from the fun picture above, I’m sure the hat will end up in the trash.  It was hot, I was starving, and when you’re wet/dirty/hot its kind of annoying to have to deal with getting tickets in an area NOT near the food, come back, get food…etc.  It just would of been nice to get a water bottle and a snack.  So we left shortly after.    

Ok complaints aside, I still had a BLAST and want to do another one of these obstacle races!!

Have you ever done one of these??  This KIND of makes me want to do Tough Mudder…kind of.  I know it’s like 10x harder than this but this gave me the boost in confidence to know I could at least try it!  Ever get down and dirty crawling through mud??

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Martha’s Vineyard 2012: Lilly & Lobster

Greetings from Martha’s Vineyard!

I’m on my yearly trip over to the island with my best friend and her parents.  I’m a lucky girl, they keep adopting me year after year for this trip ;)

Our trip started off as usual with a drive down to Woods Hole to hop on the Steamship over to Vineyard Haven.


Think we packed enough??  This was my stuff and Jocy’s stuff…me for 4 days, her for a week.


We thought the pile was pretty entertaining. 

Yesterday morning I decided to hit up the local Crossfit Box here on island…


I’m glad I went!  It was a pretty small gym, but everyone was really nice and I had a great workout to kick off my little vacation.

After a good warm-up consisting of sit-ups, over-head squats with PVC pipes, push-ups, and burpees we did this WOD:

    • 800M run
    • 30 ground-to-overhead (I did clean and jerks with 65lb)
    • 30 burpees

It was a nice sweaty workout and I was back to the house less than 1 hour later!

Then after getting ready we decided it was lunch time.  We hit up one of our FAVORITE spots in Edgartown: The Atlantic.

I know I’ve said this before, but Jocy has got to be my favorite eating buddy because 99% of the time we love the same things and we both love sharing!

We split the tomato bisque

(they even pre-portioned it out into individual bowls for us)

and it comes with a mini grilled cheese with multiple types of cheese in there…including goat.

It’s just heaven


Somehow this grilled cheese and tomato soup has become probably become one of our Top 3 favorite meals on the island!


Then this happened….


I texted that picture to Brian…he said I wasn’t allowed in that store.

But he didn’t say anything about this store…


I only have 1 Lilly dress, from many years ago, and I wasn’t planning on it, but we decided to try stuff on :)     06-17-12

And I did buy one….any guesses???


If I could have purchased them all I would have…


Ok I’ll tell you…the Navy one in the middle!  I was deciding between the Navy one and the one with the Yellow top.  The yellow was more comfortable, but the Navy fit like a glove and I could probably get more use out of it!  I was worried about the low back (see bottom right corner) but the dress is actually tight enough that I could go sans bra!  Woo hoo!  The dress is actually an Emma Graham dress, I got it at In the Pink which usually sells all Lilly Pulitzer stuff but they had a few of these too…the pink one I tried on (also LOVED that one) was also Emma Graham!

The day concluded with purchasing some delightful cheese, olives, and salami from here:



And finally this beast for dinner…


Jumbo lobsters were on sale at the Edgartown Seafood Market.  Joc and I treated her parents (and us) to a nice 5 pounder!!  We had it cooked and then her and I took all the meat out.  We were going to have hot lobster rolls.


That would be the lobster next to a standard point and shoot. 


Mmmm Mr. Lobster you were delicious.  I was a little worried because I have heard larger lobsters can have tougher meat, but not this one!  Tender and flavorful!  We had a nice big salad and I had a pile of lobster meat.  We feasted :)


Time to head to the beach!  Have a lovely day!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Taste of Wine Country: Mushroom Risotto

Brian and I have been slowly working our way through the 10 bottles of wine we brought home from our trip to Wine Country back in November.

It’s hard because you want to drink it, but at the same time want a “special” occasion or event to break open some of these bottles.  But I also don’t want to “save” them forever!  I mean I still have the bottle of champagne my mom gave us for our engagement…yeah, you know, saving it for a special occasion!! 


We visited the Thomas George winery during our stay in Healdsburg.  We were out for the day, hiking/picnic, and the owners of our B&B gave us some recommendations for wineries to stop at on our way back.

One of these was the Thomas George Estates Winery in the Russian River Valley.  They had a very cool wine cave where they did tastings.



It was here that we bought our first bottle of the trip (and one of the more $$ ones we’ve ever bought…although at the same time I’d never tasted wine so good so it was ok ;)

Before we left, the guy who helped us that day said that this wine goes excellent with mushroom risotto!

We did not for get that piece of information, AND we were able to use one of our other purchases from that trip:


A bag of dried wild mushrooms we picked up in the Ferry Building in San Francisco.

Dried mushrooms are great because you can get a good variety and they keep for a long time!

You just need to remember that they need at least 30 min to re-hydrate


 Wild (Dried) Mushroom Risotto
(adapted from Ina Garten)

  • 1 oz dried wild mushrooms (or your favorite kind)
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3T butter
  • 2 oz pancetta, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Re-hydrate the mushrooms with the boiling water for 30 min or until soft.  Remove with a slotted spoon, then give mushrooms a rough chop.  Carefully pour the mushroom broth into a sauce pan, leaving just the last little bit in the pan with the debris from the mushrooms (or use a sieve).  Add the chicken broth to the mushroom broth and heat over med/low heat, just until steaming.


In a large heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven heat the butter over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and pancetta. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, then add mushrooms. Cook for another 5 minutes, then add rice. Cook for 2 more minutes, then add the wine and cook for 2 more minutes. Then add 2 ladles full of the hot broth mixture to the pan. Stir regularly until the broth has been mostly absorbed by the rice. Repeat this process of adding 2 ladles of broth, stirring until dissolved, until all the broth is used and rice is cooked but still has a little bite to it…al dente.


You have to keep regularly stirring but no need to go crazy.  This took me 35-40 min.  The mixture will be very creamy by the end. 


Finally, remove from heat and add the cheese. 

We served this with some steak, and a small piece of left over fish from the night before (a little surf and turf action)



And a little side salad


Of course the wine was incredible


Just as good as we remembered.  Now I’m just sad it’s gone!!!   

Now I just need to plan some more wine-centered dinners for those other bottles ;)

Does anyone else have this problem of “saving” the good stuff and then years go by???  I think we’ve done a decent job with our wines from the trip, but still have 5 to go! 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Almond Flour/Macadamia/White Choc Cookies

I baked AND cooked today.  That shouldn’t really deserve an announcement, but I feel like it does.  I haven’t spent some quality time in the kitchen in what feels like a WHILE!!  May was FULL of weekend events and activities, and I’ve been trying to get to Crossfit as much as I can in the weekday evenings.  I love being busy, but I’ve noticed that I haven’t been really cooking or baking as much…except for simple dinners that I don’t really feel are blog-worthy. 

June is shaping up to be just as busy, so I had to take advantage of this relatively FREE weekend…those don’t come around often!

This past week was not the best for me, eating wise.  Especially after being pretty diligent about cutting back on the starchy carbs.  We had a LOT of leftovers from Brian’s birthday party…including CAKE!  Delicious delicious cake.  I had a little piece pretty much everyday last week…yeah.  It doesn’t really bother me, I mean it was AMAZING cake, but when I’m putting so much effort into my workouts, I want to respect that with what I’m eating.  Everything works better that way. 

So the cake is now gone!  (Brought into work and froze some for future cake cravings).  However, I do enjoy a good baked good so I opted to make some Paleo-ish cookies!

I saw these at Trader Joe’s yesterday and new I wanted to do some sort of white chocolate/macadamia cookie!


For my while chocolate I ended up with this…


Yes it has pieces of freeze dried strawberry in it…


But I figured that would taste good, AND it was the only white chocolate I could find with non-GMO soy lecithin in it.  Soy lecithin is in SO many things!!  Especially chocolate.  It’s an emulsifier used in numerous products, and even in organic products it doesn’t have to be non-GMO.  Being “certified organic” means 95% of the product must be organic, but no one is regulating that pesky 5%.  Then if that 5% is made from soy products, chances are it’s genetically modified since about 90% of all soy in this country is from genetically modified seeds. 

This bar specifically listed it’s soy lecithin as (non GM), so that’s why I got it.  It also would have been okay if it said 100% organic, or if it was organic soy lecithin. 

I know I can’t avoid it all the time, but when I can, I will. 

Anyways…moving on :)

Almond + Macadamia + White Chocolate
+ Cherry Cookies

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped small
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, barely melted (grassfed is best!)
  • 3 T maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • 1 ounce white chocolate, chopped

Pre-heat oven to 375

In a mixing bowl combine almond flour, macadamia nuts, flax, baking powder, and salt.  Stir to combine. 

Add in butter and syrup.  Stir to combine.  Add egg and vanilla.  Stir to combine.  Mix in cherries and chocolate.  Since there is no wheat flours in this dough, you don’t have to worry about “over-mixing”, so just stir until it’s all combined evenly. 


Scoop or spoon mixture onto a cookie sheet.  I lined mine with a sil pat.

Bake for 10-14 min, until starting to get a little golden brown on the edges.  Cool completely.


Between the nuts and butter, these are pretty rich!  But also delicious. 


Happy to have these to indulge my dessert cravings this week. 

As far as Crossfit goes, I’ve been able to do a couple of the more well known workouts lately!

On Memorial Day we did “Murph”.


For time:
1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run

In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.

This workout was one of Mike's favorites and he'd named it "Body Armor". From here on it will be referred to as "Murph" in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is.

Partition the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats as needed. Start and finish with a mile run. If you've got a twenty pound vest or body armor, wear it. (source)

Sounded intense.  I was a little nervous about this one, but it ended up being pretty fun!!  It helped that we had  BIG crowd that day!!

(I’m on the left, kneeling on the ground) (source)

Because there were SO many people, the pull up bars were for those who could do them unassisted (i.e. no resistance bands which is what I use).  So I did body rows which is using a racked lifting bar that’s set up closer to the ground.  So basically I was sitting/lying on the ground, grabbing the bar and pulling up that way.

Like this! (source)

I’m sure it would have been a lot harder if I could have done it with regular pull-ups (even with a band), but it was still challenging.  Most people break it up by doing 5 pull ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 squats for 20 sets.  Much more manageable that way!

Took me 44 min and change. 

Also had my first go at Fight Gone Bad

"Fight Gone Bad!"

Three rounds of:
Wall-ball, 20 pound ball, 10 ft target (Reps) 14lbs for women
Sumo dead lift high-pull, 75 pounds (Reps) 53lb for women
Box Jump, 20" box (Reps)
Push-press, 75 pounds (Reps) 55 lb for women
Row (Calories)

In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute.The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. This is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. On call of "rotate", the athletes must move to next station immediately for best score. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower where each calorie is one point. (source)

I did the weights prescribed for the ladies.  Again we had a lot of people at this one, so we did 2 heats and had a partner.  Having a partner was great because they counted your reps for you and kept you motivated!  It’s a lot harder to give up if someone is telling you that you can get a few more reps! 

Score: 217

Still LOVING Crossfit :) 

Now lets all wish the rain away, at least by Wednesday!  I’m golfing (for work) and the DMB Concert that day! 

How do you deal with party leftovers???  I have such a problem throwing out food, so a lot of times I end up eating things I normally wouldn’t have in the house, but I have my limit too!  I try to give them away, or bring stuff into work but that doesn't always work either.