Fitness

My Wanderlust Experience

Wanderlust Vermont 2013 35 Over the weekend of June 21st, my friends Glenna, Sharon and I took a road trip up to Stratton Mountain in Vermont to attend the Wanderlust Festival.  Wanderlust is a four day yoga festival that features lots of yoga classes, lectures, concerts, and a lot of crazy  hippie stuff. I've always considered myself to be more of an "urbanite with hippie tenancies".  For example:
  • I'm vegan.
  • If I can't eat it, I don't put it on my face or skin.  This includes cosmetics, skincare and haircare products, or even household cleaning products.
  • I really, really enjoy yoga.
  • I make everything from scratch.  From my almond milk to body scrubs.
This trip completely and utterly proved I am no where near the hippie I thought I was.  While we girls had an absolutely fabulous time, we experienced some weird shit while up on that mountain.  Here's some of the highlights, and weirdest points of my Wanderlust experience.

Vermont is Gorgeous!

This was a perfect, relaxing weekend getaway not only because of the yoga, but the actual venue.  Stratton Resort was adorable, and check out all the amazing views.  It's no wonder why they call them the Green Mountains here, everything was so lush and green! Wanderlust Vermont 2013 2Wanderlust Vermont 2013 7Wanderlust Vermont 2013 9 In between all the classes and hiking, we had a lot of time to just chillax on the grass lawns and take it all in.  Oooooohhhmmm!

There Are Some Bizarre Offshoots of Yoga Nowadays

Wanderlust Vermont 2013 68 One thing I learned on this trip is I like my yoga simple and stripped down to it's original roots.  My favorite schools of yoga are Ashtanga and Anusara, and I learned this trip I don't like anyone screwing with it's traditional format. Some interesting classes I participated in included Hip Hop Yoga and Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Yoga.  While Hip Hop Yoga was fun, it wasn't for me.  I like to relax during my yoga sessions and with the thump thumping music I found it really difficult to find my flow. Wanderlust SUP 2 SUP Yoga was unique, but I had more fun just straight up Paddleboarding!  My Crossfit training has served me well, because even though it was my first time trying the sport, I discovered I'm a SUP beast.  The owner of the SUP company that took us out after a while asked me if I'd rather work on SUP technique instead of the yoga, so while everyone else was in shavanasa I was doing laps around the island in the lake at warp speed.  I'm not going to lie, I was really dreading this class because I have OCD dirty-lake water issues, but it wound up being one of my favorite parts of the trip! There were also a ton of classes that were freaking bizarre that we didn't participate in, the weirdest one being Yoga on Horses.  Yes, you read that right.  Not sure how I felt about that one, but it was fun to watch!

Yoga on Horses 2

Yoga on Horses 1

The Acroyogi's were also entertaining as well.  Acroyoga is a form of partner yoga which is you guessed it, acrobatic.

Wanderlust Vermont 2013 17

While watching the Acroyoga class, we tried out another yoga offshoot, tight-rope yoga.  We miserably failed at even walking the rope, but it was fun nonetheless!

Wanderlust Vermont 2013 5 Oh, and somehow hula hooping fit into all of this.  Behold the hula hoop yoga class.  Glenna was really into the hula hoops. Wanderlust Vermont 2013 7 Wanderlust Vermont 2013 26

Yogi's Have to Shop Too

There was no shortage of crunchy shopping at Wanderlust. Wanderlust Vermont 2013 5 There were lots of apparel vendors, including Lululemon there selling their goods to the yoga pant wearing masses.  At Lululemon's D'Ohm store, I couldn't resist purchasing a gorgeous white, draped yoga hoodie.  It cost an arm and a leg, but I'd get a lot of fitness and non-fitness use out of it.  Plus, it really came in handy later on during our hikes.  More details on that in a second. Wanderlust Vermont 2013 8Wanderlust Vermont 2013 3In addition to apparel, there were a lot of jewelery, face/skin care, yoga accessory and video vendors.  Both Glenna and Sharon got some beautiful, unique jewelery pieces. I upgraded my yoga mat and got a mat bag.  I didn't realize how essential it was to have one during these sorts of events.  It became such a pain carrying my old mat around and having it unfurl into a mess everywhere I went. Wanderlust Vermont 2013 31 Wanderlust Vermont 2013 19 Needless to say, we did our fair share of shopping!

Wanderlust is Vegan Gluten-Free Heaven

Of course, the absolute highlight of the trip for me was the food.  It was literally a gluten-free vegan paradise. Check out this pizza from Pizza for the People. Wanderlust Vermont 2013 67 Granted, the pizza was $18 but worth every penny. Another meal I had on repeat was this bowl from Wok in Roll. You pick and choose what grains, protein, veggies and sauce you wanted and I always went for quinoa, tofu, veggies and a green curry sauce.  It was off the hook!  I wanted to stuff my face with it after every hike. Had this to eat several times at Wanderlust and have been thinking of it non-stop. Green Curry Tofu Quinoa Bowl. And those are just the highlights of food you actually paid for.  Wanderlust had tons of food vendors giving out near full size samples.  Best part was they were a lot of my favorite vegan brands.  So Delicious gave out greek coconut yogurts, ice cream sandwiches and ice cream bars, while Nature's Balance had popcorn and vegan cheesy poofs!  I omnommed my way through the vendor section several times a day and was never really hungry. Wanderlust Vermont 2013 1 My only real complaint on the food front is for dinner, the local restaurants although they had vegan and vegetarian options seemed to price gouge these dishes like crazy.  I had a $21 tofu and vegetable noodle stir-fry.  That's NYC prices!  I totally wasn't expecting that in Vermont, especially when their beer and wine was in the $4-$6 range. Wanderlust Vermont 2013 4

Hiking is Hard... and My Fire Ceremony is Better than Your Fire Ceremony

This city girl usually loves to hike, and we hiked two days while at the festival.  The hikes at Wanderlust were way different than I was expecting though.  For starters: Wanderlust Vermont 2013 11 They categorized an "easy" or "all-levels" hike as pretty much headed straight up the diamond runs on the mountain.  I'm not even making this up.  It was HARD.  It really reminded me how much my cardiovascular endurance sucks because it was like being on a stepmill at warp speed the entire way. The only thing that made our first hike somewhat bearable is that we hydrated prior to going up.  Our own way that is. Wanderlust Vermont 2013 75 Wanderlust Vermont 2013 85 If you have never experienced being bit by a black fly, you don't want to.  They look like little harmless gnats but they swarm all over you once you're at the summit of the mountain.  I got bit up pretty horribly and that was even with me using bug repellent.  And the bites start out as little red dots and swell up to looking like you have a horrible disease.  An oh, the itching! To try to keep ourselves protected from the flies, we pulled out our hoodies and scarves and rocked it zero dark thirty style.  I think all the local Vermonters thought we were nuts.  From what I read though, if you're from New England you have a somewhat natural immunity to them, so they don't bother you.  They feasted on us.  I'm really glad I dropped bank the Lululemon yoga hoodie, because without it I would have been in much worse shape after the festival than I am. Wanderlust Vermont 2013 97 Instead of just enjoying the view when you get to the top, the hike guides instead will make you do weird meditation ceremonies.  On our first hike, we had an over 30 minute digeridoo complimented meditation.  Normally I'd enjoy this, but I was getting eaten alive the entire 30 minutes. Wanderlust Vermont 2013 94 After the 30 minutes, the guide wanted to stay up there rocking the digeridoo so we headed off the mountain by ourselves.  Along the way, these three city girls encountered a bear and a dead badger. Wanderlust Vermont 2013 105

See that black dot in the middle of the ski trail?  That's the bear that was following us!

The hike on the second day we thought would be a little more "normal".  Once we got to the top, we were informed that it was time for our guided meditation and burning ceremony.  We were all instructed to write something we need to let go, along with something we want to welcome in it's place on two strips of birch bark, and then BURN the one we want to let go.

Firestarter

Again, I enjoyed the sentiment but I was being eaten alive by those damn black flies. So I can't say it was fun.  Lucky for us, we didn't have to worry about being escorted off the mountain this time around because we just took the gondola down.

Wanderlust Vermont 2013 6

When we finally got to the base, we headed straight to the local sushi restaurant and had our own burning ceremony.  It was something I really needed to welcome into my life at that moment. Wanderlust Vermont 2013 123

 In Summary

If you enjoy yoga and live in the Northeast (or on the West Coast where they have sister events), I highly recommend checking out Wanderlust.  Not only does it make for a great girls trip, but it was very couple and family friendly as well.  Lots of folks with their kids and even dogs got to enjoy the festival along with a bit of yoga. Vermont is absolutely gorgeous during summer, and I can't wait to visit again.  I also had the BEST time hanging out with these two girls here.  Can't wait to start planning our next fitness-oriented girls trip with them!

Wanderlust Vermont 2013 36

Trapeze Please

Instagram-131 A few weekends ago I attended seriously one of the coolest, bad-ass bachelorette parties of all time. My friend Sharon is a fitness fanatic, and a standard "let's get dressed up and go dancing" bachelorette wasn't going to cut it for her.  So her friends got everyone together to take... a trapeze class!!! We all met up at TSNY on the West Side Highway, looked up at the platform, freaked out a little, and then jumped right into the two and a half hour lesson. It seems really intimidating at first, but the second you step off that platform and are soaring, it's addictive!  We started the class off by learning the basics: how to hold the bar, prepare to step off the platform, basic terminology (like "hep!" which means go), and then actually swinging from the trapeze.  From there we learned to hang from our knees, do a back-flip dismount, and finally a few of us go to try a "catch".  That's me in the photo above being caught by one of the instructors. With so many people on the ground, we got a lot of photos and videos of the group during our "flights".  Sharon managed to grab this quick video of me during my backflip dismount. After the class, we all walked across town to Otto where I had one of the best vegan, gluten-free meals I've had in a long time.  It was such a great end of our day and the best way to celebrate Sharon's upcoming nuptials. Have you ever been to a unique bachelor/bachelorette party?  I'd love to hear about it!  

Vegan OLY Shoes

Vegan OLY Shoes

I'm not one to usually post about workout gear, but I am stoked about these beauties. I've been Crossfitting for around 11 months now, and I'm getting to the point where my lifting form and gear can help me lift much higher weights.  So I've been in the market for OLY shoes for a while now.  OLY shoes are Olympic Lifting shoes and are designed especially for the sport.  What makes them special is they have a raised heel that is really sturdy and hard.  This helps you dig into the ground with your heels more to lift more weight. Majority of all OLY shoes on the market are made of leather.  After searching high and low for months, I finally came across these Inov-8 Fastlifts which according to their website are vegan (all but two of their lines are).  It also helps that they are super cute and have neon accents, my favorite. They finally arrived yesterday and today I tested them out during my morning WOD, and they were a HUGE hit with my coaches. No one had seen them before and kept commenting on how "cool" they looked from across the gym. I had mentioned to one of my lifting coaches last week I was looking for vegan ones and he asked me today "so you finally found vegan ones?!" to which I responded "yes", and then during my workout any time another coach walked in and commented on the shoes, he'd exclaim "and they're VEGAN! Can you believe that? No leather and they look awesome!" I feel really fortunate to be a member at such a veg-friendly box and for all the support I receive at this sport. I just wanted to share this quick being it made my morning, plus to let all you know if you are looking for vegan OLY's to check out Inov-8's offerings. They apparently look pretty dope even to non-vegans.

The Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you may be aware that on April 6th I woke up ridiculously early to head over to the Intrepid Air and Space Museum in NYC to participate in the Civilian Military Combine. If you've never been to the Intrepid, it's pretty cool.  It's a museum on a retired aircraft carrier.  I remembered visiting it as a kid and loving it.  So when my friend Lindsay from my Crossfit gym asked me if I'd be interested in participating in the event and that it came with free tickets to the museum, I was sold.  I joined Team Down Bottom Position (named after a popular phrase one of our coaches often uses) and signed up for the event.  Lindsay and our teammate Kristi even made us some great shirts to rock during the event. Intrepid Civilian Military Combine Intrepid Civilian Military Combine Intrepid Civilian Military Combine The Civilian Military Combine is a competition that puts civilians against military personnel in a test of fitness.  It starts off with a Crossfit style "WOD" strength component, and then you move onto a 1/2 mile long obstacle course. Intrepid Civilian Military Combine The PIT element consisted of as many rounds as possible in 7 minutes of
  • 7 45 pound push presses
  • 7 26 pound kettlebell swings
  • 7 20" burpee box jumps
So the goal is to get as many reps as you can in the 7 minutes.  I completed around 89 reps, mostly because I'm slow (or so my coaches tell me).  I've been working pretty hard to try to get faster during these types of workouts.  It really makes you have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Intrepid Civilian Military Combine Intrepid Civilian Military Combine Intrepid Civilian Military Combine After the PIT, you were immediately sent over to the half a mile long obstacle course.  It consisted of a weighted sled push... Intrepid Civilian Military Combine Carrying an insanely heavy sandbag up three flights of stairs and back down... Intrepid Civilian Military Combine Monkey bars... Intrepid Civilian Military Combine Rope wall climbs... Intrepid Civilian Military Combine Scaling numerous walls... Intrepid Civilian Military Combine Ladder type walls.... Intrepid Civilian Military Combine Carrying large buckets filled with water through a maze... Intrepid Civilian Military Combine And this lovely obstacle at the end.  It was basically two rope meshes, one on top and one on the bottom.  You had to roll your way through it and pull yourself out the other end.  Holy ab workout. Intrepid Civilian Military Combine We all finished and had a fantastic time! Intrepid Civilian Military Combine Immediately after we finished, we got to explore the Intrepid Museum.  Although it was pretty cold out (it was in the 40's!), we still had a crystal-clear perfect day to check out all the planes. Intrepid Civilian Military Combine Intrepid Civilian Military Combine Intrepid Civilian Military Combine Have you ever visited the Intrepid or completed a CMC Event?  If so I'd love to hear about it! *Special thanks to Chris for getting all these photos the day of the event.

I’m Going to Wanderlust

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IMAGE CREDIT // AbbeyLey
My friends Glenna, Sharon and I have been talking about going to the Wanderlust Festival since early this year.  We all met years ago doing marathons with Team in Training, so to say we're all pretty active and athletic is an understatement.  While we all enjoy yoga, I wouldn't describe us as die-hard yogis.  I haven't been able to go as often as I used to now that I'm Crossfitting.  Glenna and Sharon however both practice yoga as supplements to their current race training. This past week we finally booked the trip and made it official.  I'm so excited!  We all went out for dinner on Monday and decided on activities to book together, which include Ashtanga (my personal favorite style of yoga), paddle boarding, sunset hikes, lectures, and even hip-hop yoga!  There also should be some yummy vegan eats according to the event's website. We're making it a long weekend and leaving Thursday evening after work, doing the festival on Friday and Saturday, and on Sunday exploring the town and later leaving that afternoon.  The weather in June should make for a perfect road trip, and from what I hear the scenery in Vermont is not to be missed.  I've never been to Vermont so I'm really looking forward to it. Are you going to Wanderlust?  If so, let me know.  Maybe I'll see you there!

Eating Vegan Paleo / Masala Tofu and Cauli-Fried Rice

Dinner tonight: Masala Tofu and Cauliflower "Fried" Rice. #Grainfree #vegan and smells amazing! As I've mentioned since my Paleo Challenge at my Crossfit gym earlier this year, I've since maintained a totally grain free vegan diet.  I had such great results I now can't fathom eating any other way. When I mention I'm grain free to other vegans, their first usual reaction is "I love grains!  They're the basis for every meal for me.  I could never do that!"  This is kind of ironic to me considering it's the same type of answer we all usually get when speaking to an omnivore about eating meat, dairy or eggs! Truth is I've actually found it pretty easy to make similar recipes to what I'm used to by using grain "substitutions", similar to how people will eat faux meats and cheeses when transitioning to veganism.  Over the next few weeks, I'll give you some of my tricks as to how I've easily made this transition along with some of my new favorite recipes I've both adapted and created to make it possible. First up today is grain free rice!  I used to absolutely love rice, especially fried rice.  Believe it or not,  grated cauliflower has a very similar taste and texture to the real thing, so it works perfect in these kind of dishes.  It's also really easy to prepare. Here's my vegan adaptation of Urban Poser's Paleo Masala Cauli-Rice.  To make this more of an entrée for vegans, I've added some delicious dry rubbed masala tofu to the dish.  This recipe smells as amazing as it looks and tastes!  When I brought leftovers of it into work one day everyone kept ducking into the break-room to see where the smell was coming from.

Masala Tofu and Cauli-Fried Rice

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium cauliflower head, grated (about 4 cups)
  • Half a large yellow onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 whole jalapeno, seeded and diced or 1/4 cup diced green pepper
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled & grated ( about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/3 cup frozen petite green peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon Garam Masala seasoning (I used the pre-made type)
  • salt and pepper to taste (amounts will vary depending on if your masala mix was salted or not).
  • Garnishes: lime wedges & cilantro

DIRECTIONS

PREP:
  1. Set your broiler to high so it gets nice and hot while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Press your tofu to remove as much moisture as possible.  Then cut into triangles.  Dry rub each piece with the reserved 1 tablespoon of Garam Masala.  Lay on a broiler safe baking sheet coated in cooking spray and set aside until we're ready to broil it.
  3. Grate the cauliflower with a hand grater or with a grating blade on a food processor. You can also use the regular blade on the food processor but it may result in a wetter, less "rice-like" product.
  4. Prep the rest of the veggies minus the frozen peas (dicing, mincing) and set aside.
  5. Mince the garlic and pepper, grate the ginger mixing them all together in a small bowl.
  6. Mix together the spices in another small bowl and set aside.
COOKING:
  1. Pop the tofu under the broiler for 6 minutes.  When browned, flip the tofu and give it another 6 minutes.  Tofu should be golden and crispy on the outside.  When done set aside.
  2. Heat a wok over high medium/high heat (on the "high" side), add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and then add the cauliflower. Toss it in the oil then spread it out in a thin layer as evenly as possible. Turn the burner up to high. Allow cauliflower to fry till it starts to brown a little then stir/flip it around, again spreading it in a thin layer. Do this a couple of times till the cauliflower starts to get brown and black flecks all over it, almost like it has been grilled. Transfer to a large bowl and place the wok back on the heat, turning the heat back down to medium/high. Spreading out the cauliflower and cooking it at a high heat like this keeps the cauliflower from steaming itself and getting soggy, and produces a very "rice-like" texture.
  3. Add another tablespoon of coconut oil, then add the garlic, ginger and jalapeno/green pepper mix to the oil. Fry for about a minute but not so long that the mixture burns. Stir & toss often to keep from burning.
  4. Add the prepared veggies (minus the peas) to the wok and cook just as you did the cauliflower. Spreading out and allowing them to fry and brown, stir & toss often till the veggies are cooked through and browned slightly. Transfer to the bowl with the cauliflower.
  5. Return the wok to the heat and add the last tablespoon of coconut oil plus the spice mixture. Fry the spice mixture in the oil for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then add the rest of the ingredients back into the wok. Add the green peas and continue to fry and toss all the ingredients together for about 1-2 minutes more. Add coarse sea salt and cracked pepper to taste. Salt amounts will vary depending on if your masala mix was salted or not. If it doesn't contain salt, I start with about 1 teaspoon of salt and work from there.
  6. To serve, plate a serving of the cauli-rice and top with the masala tofu wedges.  Serve with a wedge of lime, to be squeezed on top of the "rice" just before serving and some cilantro.
 

Paleo Challenge / My Vegan Results

Paleo Challenge Results 2013
I never in a million years ever figured I'd post photos like this on the public interwebs, but here I am doing it anyway.  Mostly because I'm kinda blown away by how ripped my back now looks.  Please ignore the fact I look like a hot mess, because these were taking immediately after I finished sweating my face off during the challenge test out workout.  Also, don't judge me for these shorts.  After seeing them on film I know to burn them, they are so not flattering! I am beyond happy with my results from my Crossfit gym's Paleo Challenge this past January and February.  I'm actually now even after the challenge is done still eating this way and love it.
Here's essentially what the challenge entailed. It started on January 2nd and ran up until February 13th.  On these days our workout times and weight was recorded, so that we could measure the improvement after the program was completed.  We also took our before/after photos on these dates after the Angie workout, which is why I look like such a sweaty mess in these photos. Angie is a bitch.  She's 100 pull-ups, 100 push ups, 100 sit-ups and 100 squats.  Now that the challenge is completed, I've done the workout three times and have improved measurably each time. As far as the eating thing goes, the foundation of Paleo is to eat all real, non-processed food.  There is a heavy emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and for omni's free range organic meat and eggs.  So it's really not all that different than veganism aside from the meat and eggs thing.  There were three different levels they allowed people to participate in.
  • Beginner: eliminate sugar and grains; 1 cheat day a week.
  • Intermediate: eliminate sugar and grains; no cheat days.
  • Advanced: eliminate sugar, grains and dairy; no cheat days.
  • Expert: eliminate sugar, grains, dairy, legumes and alcohol; no cheat days.
I participated at the advanced level, but they allowed me to leave legumes in.  The main reason they say to cut out legumes is most people are intolerant to them and they can cause bloating and something they call "leaky gut".  I already knew I was tolerant to legumes  since I've done elimination diets in the past and had no issues when I added them back into my diet. So the big changes for me were no sugar, no alcohol and no grains.  The grains one was a huge one for me.  I love my gluten free pasta, rice, and all other things grainy.  I had been gluten free for a long time but cutting out all grains, including rice, quinoa and corn was going to take a lot of focus and planning for me. The one thing that really surprised me is after I cut the grains and sugar, I stopped having food cravings. I used to like to snack all day and now I don't have any desire to snack at all.  I also crave natural food.  When given the choice now between a bag of chips and an apple I without thinking chose the apple.  It's made sticking to this way of eating much, much easier than I ever anticipated. Paleo Challenge Results 2013 Paleo Challenge Results 2013 Paleo Challenge Results 2013 As you can see in the before and after photos, my body apparently loves life grain free!  The weight just kinda started dropping off.  I didn't increase my workouts or what I was doing, just changed my diet and within a week saw a measurable improvement which continued through the entire challenge. At the end of the 45 days, here's how I came out. January 2nd: Angie Time: 23:15 Weight: 154 pounds February 13th: Angie Time: 20:45 Weight: 147 pounds! So I not only cut 3 minutes and 30 seconds off my time, but I also lost 7 pounds! I also set several personal records during the time frame as well.  I'm deadlifting and squatting over 160 pounds, and I even got a clean and jerk record of 98 pounds which for me was insane.  Considering I've only been Crossfitting a little over 4 months, I'm pretty proud of that.  Vegans can be strong too!  I'm happy to be showing my non-veg friends at the gym that the weak vegan stereotype is a load of bull. I may be strong, but I still have a lot of work to do.  My cardio endurance is sad, so I've been given orders by my coach to work on things like burpees, double-unders (jumping rope) and just trying to move faster in my workouts.  So that's my next focus. I'm actually really looking forward to reading this post in the next 6 to 9 months or so and compare these results to the results I have then.  I can only imagine how much I will have progressed by then if I got these results in a short 45 days. Sadly, I didn't win the challenge but my improvements were still noticeable enough that people at the gym are asking me more about vegan paleo.  One of the coaches today even asked me if I'd mind helping out with nutritional info for one of their clients who is vegetarian.  I was really impressed he asked for help and acknowledged not being knowledgeable on the subject as opposed to pushing his client to eat standard paleo.  This also shows me I'm being taken seriously enough at the gym as far as my performance goes that people would think to ask me about my diet as a viable option. I really can't make any exceptions to the no grain thing.  I retain a LOT of water if I eat them.  It's gross.  Immediately following the challenge, I somewhat fell off the wagon and during my Mexico trip drank a lot (obvi, I was surrounded by margaritas!) as well as had a lot of corn chips and boy did I pay for it.  My body almost reverted back to the way I looked on day one.  I'm now two weeks into eating super clean again and I'm leveling back out again thank goodness.  Now I know I can't be one of those 90/10 paleo people.  I have to eat clean all the time, no exceptions if I want to keep improving.  Then again they say abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym, so I guess it makes total sense. I plan on creating another post shortly which will outline better what I'm now eating on a daily basis, including what substitutions I've found for things like pasta and grains.  There aren't a ton of vegan paleo posts out there on the internet so I'd love to share what I learned. If anyone has any specific questions on crossfit, vegan paleo, what I eat or my results, please let me know!

Crazy About Crossfit

20130209-225823.jpg image: www.thrustr.tumblr.com I fairly recently changed up my workout routine and have been doing Crossfit. For those of you unfamiliar with Crossfit, here's the definition per the official website.
CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide. Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist. The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience. We’ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs. The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree not kind. Our terrorist hunters, skiers, mountain bike riders and housewives have found their best fitness from the same regimen. Thousands of athletes worldwide have followed our workouts posted daily on this site and distinguished themselves in combat, the streets, the ring, stadiums, gyms and homes.
By the description, I know it sounds really intimidating and I'm not going to lie, it's not an easy program. In fact, I waltzed into the "intro" class figuring it would be a cakewalk due to working out regularly and being a fixture at my gym. Boy was I wrong. The intro class knocked me on my ass. Though I near wanted to vomit, I was instantly hooked and signed up for the On-Ramp program. On-Ramp is a mandatory beginner program you have to take before you start the standard classes. In On-Ramp, they review all the highly technical Olympic weightlifting moves as well as proper form for standard calisthenics like push ups and squats. I started in October and my On-Ramp finished up the end of that month. Ever since, I've been going to the standard classes three to four times a week. 20130209-225941.jpg image: www.list09.com My favorite part of the program by far is the olympic style lifting. I love how highly technical it is. There's also something extremely satisfying about being able to lift weight that's heavier than what you believe you can. So far, the results have been nothing short of amazing. initially, I didn't lose weight. I gained close to 10 pounds which I believe was all muscle. Issue though was suddenly none of my clothes fit (hence, no outfit posts recently). So although I was getting crazy strong and fit, I was living in leggings and anything stretchy being nothing, even my dresses fit. I was in near tears this past New Years after the realization only one of my dresses fit appropriately enough to wear out in public. On January 2nd my box (Crossfit lingo for "gym") launched a 6 week Paleo challenge. Paleo and vegan usually do not mix, but all in all my box is really supportive of it's vegan community so for that aspect I'm really lucky. I'm not going to get too into Paleo or the challenge right now being I have enough to say about it to warrant its own post, but let's just say participating in the Paleo challenge has taken my Crossfit performance to another level. I've increased most of my lifts anywhere between 15-20 pounds and my fitness levels have sored. I've also started to get really lean. Remember those 10 pounds I put on? They're now gone plus some more as well as inches. And it's been less than 6 weeks! So vegans, don't dismiss Paleo! There are ways to do it and stay vegan, which I'll share later in another post. So the box's Paleo challenge included eating foods approved on the program along with doing the popular Angie workout at the start of the challenge and then again after. This is to test to see how much your fitness has progressed. You also have to commit to having before and after photos taken. The challenge ends for me this Wednesday, so stay tuned for another post on my results along with easy ways to eat Paleo and vegan. Needless to say, I'm now somewhat obsessed with Crossfit. Expect to see it as a regular feature on the blog as I progress with my training. I need another outlet besides boring Jim to death talking about it all the time! Do you Crossfit? If so, I'd love to hear about it! I'd also love to hear any feedback my readers may have on posts you'd like to see on Crossfit as well, so if you have any suggestions hit me up.

Color Run NYC

  I am so excited to have gotten a spot in the NYC Color Run 5k!!! I had heard about this race a while ago and have patiently been waiting for them to release the info on the much anticipated NYC run dates and registration. When I finally received the notice registration had opened, I immediately signed up. Good thing I did, the Saturday run sold out within the hour! I've run lots of races ranging from marathons, half marathons, 10k's and more. This one looks way more fun than anything I've ever done before. You start off the race wearing all white and totally clean. By the time you end the race, you're covered head to toe in a rainbow of colored powder! There still may be slots available for the Sunday run, and you can register by clicking here. If you got a slot for the Saturday race, be sure to say hi if you see me, I'll be there!

Time to Get Naked / At Bootcamp

My totes diesel friend Tracy of Tracy Helsing Fitness.

I love going to the gym as you may or may not know, and the women solely responsible for the shape I'm in is my BFF Tracy Helsing.  Tracy's a personal trainer and fitness professional who really knows her stuff.  She very recently made her television debut as of the trainers on Food Network's Fat Chef show.  She's a total badass and will make you cry if you don't do enough squats to make your ass perfect. Tracy is teaming up with fellow trainers Faith Pilger and Dorian Cervantes to offer outdoor bootcamps 9 am each Saturday in June at Williamsburg's McCarren Park.  Classes are an hour long and it's $125 for the entire 5 week session, or $30 a class. Visit their Facebook Page to sign up.  All you have to do is click "like". You can email Tracy at tracyhelsing@gmail.com with any other questions. Seriously, the more the merrier, so please pass the word on and bring your friends as there will be plenty of tag team, cooperative and group exercises. If you are serious about getting in bikini shape for summer, or about looking good NAKED, make sure you visit their page today before it gets sold out.

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