Short Hair Don’t Care

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I apologize for my weird lazy eye in this photo. What the heck.

Surprise! On Friday afternoon, I chopped about 10 inches of hair off and am now sportin’ a fancy, spunky new pixie cut! Some of you may remember that I had pretty short hair when I started this blog (almost exactly 2 years ago! yikes!), and in fact I had a pixie cut in October 2011, which was fantastic. However, I decided to grow it out and so I spent about a year and a half complaining about how awkward my hair was… and then I got engaged, and everyone told me that I had to grow my hair out for the wedding. Well, I did, and I’m glad that I did because my hair at the wedding was great… but for the last 2 months I’ve been just waiting to get excited about my long hair… and it just wasn’t happening.

Everyone says, “Oh, long hair is so great because you can do so much with it!” Or, if you’re me, you can wear it in a ponytail every day for 26 years. Check. So last week I finally made an appointment to chop off all my hair. And I love it, but I am definitely still getting used to it. I have this weird thing where I really really hate having fluffy hair, and short hair is very much at risk of being fluffy (especially when it’s clean), so I am still learning what I need to do to make it look the way I want it to. But it’s SO much easier than long hair–showering takes like 10 seconds, and I don’t have to pull any hair out of the drain afterwards–and despite the back of my neck getting seriously cold when I was skiing, the adjustment period has actually been pretty easy. Although for the first 2 days I did do a double-take every time I saw myself in the mirror. And then I found this quote, and it made me feel all empowered about my haircut.

hairlife

So this is just a quick little post to say that, if you are thinking of going for a pixie cut–especially after seeing all the gorgeous short haircuts on the red carpet last night–then DO IT! The best part? If you hate it, it will grow back. But you won’t hate it. Seriously. Short hair is the best.

My Spring CrossFit Wishlist

It’s almost spriiiiing! We have not exactly had a brutal winter here in Colorado, and there’s still March and April to contend with (which are actually statistically the snowiest months in this state), but even a crappy day in March is not half as bad as a crappy day in January because you know that it’s ALMOST SPRING!

The days have been getting longer, and that has been amazing. I love leaving work when it’s still light out, and since I don’t WOD in the early mornings, I have no fear of Daylight Savings Time. In fact, I am all for stealing an hour of sunlight from the morning and putting it in at the end of the day. Sounds good to me.

With a new season comes BOOTY SHORTS! I am coveting a few things for my CrossFit closet right now, and I am also on a mission to find a new brand of leggings that A. Don’t cost more than $50 per pair, B. Don’t show butt sweat, C. Don’t ride up or fall down, and D. Are cute. Is that so much to ask, Legging Gods?

spring wish list

1. Reversible Bang Buster Headband in Bali Breeze from Lululemon

2. Studio Legging in Punch Pink from Reebok

3. Intensify Shorts in Blue from Reebok

4. Speed Shorts in Cadet Blue/Stripe from Lululemon

5. Strength & Dignity Racerback Tank from LevelOne Apparel

Don’t you love that last tank top? I found it on Etsy… I love finding little CrossFit vendors on there! What spring gear are you coveting this season?

UPDATE! LevelOne Apparel was so psyched to see their shirt on my wishlist that they are offering 10% off to all of my readers! Use code ‘lvl1ascent10‘ and get shopping! (PS, only valid on their site, not on Etsy; the link above has been updated but you can shop their whole collection here: http://leveloneapparel.com/)

In closing, I would like to offer this piece of clothing from Reebok up for interpretation. What conditions would have to exist for this to make sense? A crop top… with sleeves. It’s cold out, but not so cold that I want to cover any of my torso? I want to get sweaty, but only in my armpits? Kids these days.

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Insomnia and Half Ski Days

This month has been a little crazy. But here’s your catch-up.

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The first thing that happened this month is that I got sick. The kind of sick where you are sick enough to hate your life, but not sick enough to really stay home from work, which I think might be worse than just being so sick that you throw in the towel and sleep all day. Brandon is in full-swing in his new job, but his schedule changes every week, and sometimes he works 7am-3:30pm, and sometimes he works 3pm-11:30pm, and sometimes even 7am-7pm. So our life schedule, not to mention our WOD schedule, has been puh-retty random. And amongst all that, we have been trying to eat Zone (which has been marginally successful), get enough sleep, have a life, and maybe even go skiing a few times.

The sleeping part has been going well for me, because not only is sleeping my second favorite activity (after eating), but I am pretty sure I have borderline narcolepsy and can literally fall asleep within about 10 minutes at any given point of the day. Brandon, on the other hand, has officially diagnosed himself with chronic insomnia. He falls asleep quickly, but then wakes up constantly throughout the night, getting only a few hours of sleep after all is said and done, and this is a pretty new problem that has cropped up since he started this job in December.

As of today we have decided to attack this problem, potentially starting with a Whole30 or similar (even though he eats pretty clean, there is still a lot of cheese and some grains in his diet), limiting his coffee intake to before 10am, and trying to standardize his wake-up time (since unfortunately he can’t standardize his bedtime since he sometimes doesn’t get home until after midnight). He is also thinking about trying Melatonin supplements. Have you ever dealt with insomnia? What worked for you?

//Having a life has also been a bit of a challenge, but we have been on some really great date nights in the past few weeks. On Valentine’s Day we went to sushi, and then to Canvas & Cocktails, which is one of those really cute places where you drink wine and paint masterpieces. I was very proud of Brandon for coming up with that idea all on his own, and despite us both thinking it was going to be a little cheesey, it was actually REALLY fun.

This past Friday night we went out to sushi again (what can I say, I LOVE sushi), and then went to the Denver Museum of Modern Art. There was a new exhibit opening, so after the “Member’s Only” opening, the public was allowed in for only 10 cents. Pretty hard to beat that. Even though the new exhibit was the most hipster thing I’ve ever been a part of.One of the “pieces” was a little pedestal with a light on it that flashed Lady Gaga’s Twitter Feed in morse code. Another “piece” was a series of photos of what looked like chocolate bars, only to find out that they were SPACE bars, and the description talked about how this series “explored the irony of the space bar, which is meant to create space, but takes up the most space on a standard keyboard.” I mean really. I could not make this stuff up.

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Last but not least, we have been trying to get a few good ski days in this season, and so far so good. After that awesome ski lesson I had a few weeks ago, I booked another one, but then had to reschedule when I got sick, and then missed it anyway because on Saturday night I was awake from 2am-4am with a back spasm (where the heck did that come from, is what I wanna know). We almost didn’t go skiing at all yesterday, but realized that we so frequently talk ourselves out of going up to the mountains, but always are grateful we made the effort when we do. Even though we didn’t get on the slopes until almost Noon and were driving away by 3:30, we went for quality over quantity and both got some really great skiing in. I spent some more time in moguls, and it’s definitely slow progress, but I’m getting there. And it really is always, always worth it to get out of the city and into the mountains, even if it’s only for a few hours.

So that’s my life right now. Oh, and the Open starts this week. But that is a post for another day.

OH AND we finally got the wedding pictures back! You can click here to check out a slideshow of the highlights on our photographer’s blog! Get excited. They are pretty great.

I Finally Signed Up for the Open

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It’s true, I’ve been holding out. I’m really not even sure for what, but for some reason I was just not motivated to “officially” do the Open this year. Last year it was fun, but we totally missed 13.4, and I forgot to report our score for 13.5 (that was the weekend we got engaged… I had a few other things on my mind!), so needless to say we were not exactly taking it seriously. I had similar thoughts about this year’s Open… Why pay the $20 when, first of all, I’m going to be doing the WODs anyway since TJ programs them every Friday during Open Season, and, secondly, I don’t feel like I’ve improved all that much in the last year, so why bother measuring my progress?

Let’s be honest and realize that CrossFit has created a brilliant marketing scheme where, despite the fact that only about 300 people in the entire country actually have a real reason to compete in the Open, we are all told that it’s an amazing way to compare our fitness with everyone else’s fitness. That the Open is for everyone, it’s the Great Equalizer. Well, I wasn’t buying it.

But last week I finally caved. Because you know what? The one thing that is very true about the Open is that it’s the one event that unites every CrossFitter around the world. Last year after 13.1, every CrossFitter could answer the question “What snatch did you get to?” After 13.3, every CrossFitter had burning quads for days. After 13.5, we all knew just how miserable C2B pull-ups really were, and had a much more visceral understanding of how ridiculous a sub-4:00 Fran really is. It’s the one event that unites us, regardless of where we WOD or how we train. And that is pretty rad.

So I signed up. I also decided that I am so obsessed with CrossFit, that this seemed like an odd time to stick my flag in the sand and decide that the Open was too far. So here we are. And now, I am actually sort of looking forward to it. You know, as long as it isn’t wall balls.

Are you doing the Open? Still on the fence? I can’t believe it’s less than a week away! Hooooly crap.

Back in the Zone – A Zone FAQ Sesh

A Normal Girl's Guide to the Zone Diet

As of today, we are officially back on strict Zone/mostly Paleo. We did the Zone Diet for a month last year and LOVED it, but have made lots of excuses to not keep doing it. Usually we tell ourselves that we eat “Zone-ish” anyway, but that has been so far from the truth in the past few months. So, here we are again–measuring cups and food scales at the ready.

Our goal is to stick with strict Zone/mostly Paleo for 5-6 days a week until the end of the Open. When we did Zone last year, we did it for 4 weeks and took the weekends off, but even with such a short period of time and with some big cheat days (like nachos on an ice climbing trip and a big, fancy dinner complete with multiple cupcakes at my grandma’s 90th last January), we still had awesome results. Which is great, because that means I can still have tacos a few times in the next 8 weeks and not feel bad about it.

Because we are going to be doing this for the next several weeks, and because I always get the same questions when I talk about Zone, I thought I’d just address a few FAQs now to get them out of the way.

What’s the point of the Zone Diet?

The Zone Diet was invented in the 90s by a sports doctor who came up with what he believes to be the optimal ratio of macros for your diet: 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat. He got these numbers by researching and testing his theory on athletes, and called it “The Zone” diet because he thinks that eating this way will help you feel “in the zone.” So, in short, the point is to eat every meal and snack in those ratios.

What the heck is a “block”?

A block is the unit that the Zone Diet uses to portion out food. One block of Protein is 7g, one block of carbs is 9g, and one block of fat is 1.5g. A one block MEAL would have one of each of these blocks–so, in other words, each “Block” has 7g of protein, 9g of carbs, and 1.5g of fat. A 4 block meal would have 28g of protein, 36g of carbs, and 6g of fat. You get the idea. Obviously you can come by these combinations of macros in an almost infinite number of ways, which is what makes the Zone diet kind of awesome.

By the way, those grams refer to the macronutrient content of a food, not the WEIGHT. In other words, I am eating 28g of protein in a 4-block meal, NOT just 28g of chicken.

How many blocks do you eat each day? What does that look like?

I average 13-15 blocks a day, but my appetite varies a lot from day to day, so I try to focus less on eating the same number of blocks each day, and more on just making sure everything I do eat is zoned.

13-16 blocks looks something like this:

4 block breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 pieces of bacon, 1/2 cup of potatoes, 1 apple, 2tsp of almond butter
2 block snack: 2 string cheeses, 1 grapefruit, 6 cashews
3 block lunch: 1 chicken thigh, 3/5 cup rice, 1.5 tsp butter melted on rice
4 block dinner: 6 oz. salmon, 2 cups broccoli, 3/5 cup rice, 2 tsp butter melted on salmon and broccoli
1 block snack: 1 hardboiled egg, 1/2 apple, 1/2 tsp almond butter

Do you feel restricted?

I definitely don’t feel restricted when I’m zoning. In fact, I think it makes me feel more freedom with my food, because I feel more in control of my diet, and I know that my choices are working together in a cohesive plan.

Is it hard to get used to?

Yes and no. Basically there is an adjustment period of about 10-14 days where things feel a little tedious, but after that you can pretty much look at a piece of chicken for the rest of your life and know how about many ounces it is. I also quickly realized that the portions weren’t far off from what I was already eating, and it was just a matter of balancing everything out. When we first started Zone, we sort of eased into it–zoning just our dinners the 1st week, then adding breakfast the 2nd week, then finally lunch and snacks the 3rd week. If you want to try the Zone but are nervous about the extra prep time needed for weighing and measuring, I would definitely recommend easing into it like we did.

Is there anything you can’t eat?

Honestly, you could zone a Snickers bar if you wanted to. That being said, there are some foods that just don’t easily lend themselves to The Zone. Soups and smoothies, for example, are hard because the proportions of ingredients aren’t always easy to scale. And we mostly stuck to whole foods because they are way easier to measure, rather than trying to figure out the equation of ingredients in something. But if you’re dedicated, you can figure out a block structure for literally any food. We mostly stick to Paleo, but it is nice to feel like I can have a handful of tortilla chips or a cookie and as long as I also have a few bites of lunch meat and a few cashews, then it all fits.

What other questions do you have about the Zone Diet? Have you ever tried it? If so, did you like it? If not, would you ever try it?

For more Zone Diet resources, check out these other posts:
Paleo & Zone Diet Grocery Shopping List
My Go-To Paleo & Zone Diet Recipes
CrossFit Journal Issue 21 (aka the Zone Diet cheat sheet)

Pinterest Link Up Mania

I got this idea from Jennifer at Wine to Weightlifting… let’s see how it goes!

All bloggers are welcome to participate! Here’s what you do:

  • Round up 5 blog posts you’ve written that you would like to see on Pinterest.
  • Make sure there is a nice, pinnable image or photo included in each post.
  • Write a short post featuring the posts you chose- ie, put 5 nice images & links to the posts all in one place, along with a short description of each post.
  • On Thursday, publish your post, then visit The Bean and add your post to the linkup! (If you’re just reading this today and still want to participate, just publish in the next few days…the linkup open for about a week!)

I am lame and only had time to make 3 cute little pin-able images, but…here it goes! My Top 3 favorite Pin-able posts!

1. Paleo Freezer Meals for Dumb-Dumbs 

Paleo Freezer Meal Recipes

2. Paleo & Zone Diet Shopping List

Paleo and Zone Diet Grocery Shopping List - this is perfect.

3. A Paleo Guide to Eating Out

A Paleo Guide to Eating Out - Includes the sneaky foods that aren't as safe as you'd think! Love this!

Oh, and if you don’t already follow me on Pinterest, be sure to click here to do so!

Want to join the link up? Head over to the Lean Green Bean blog to participate!

 

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