Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer Lovin'

It's summer & most of us are finding ways to get the most out of the long days & warm sun....I know I sure as hell am!!

Since the end of May I have been to Havasu, the Grand Canyon, Laughlin, the beach & currently back in Laughlin for another week of boating fun!! I know, it's a tough life, but I'm not complaining. Fall will be here soon enough and I will be back to taming the beasts (otherwise known as your children). 

I have missed my fair share of WODs but at least I have been staying active. Lots of walking, hiking, water sports and such. It's the food that can be the kiss of death!! 

I made a conscience decision to travel with as much Paleo friendly food as possible. I made my own beef jerky, which turned out amazing (the second time). I brought nuts & Lara bars to the Grand Canyon. I still ate at more than enough buffets but at least I had good snacks to help keep me satisfied during the day so I didn't need to gorge myself at dinner. 

For my time out here in Laughlin I was able to bring fresh fruit, lunch meat, avocado and chicken salad. Dinner has still mostly been fast food...GASP! But again, I wasn't starving & kept my intake of crap relatively low. 

What are your favorite travel foods that help keep you on the heathy track?? 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bitchin' Fresh Perfect for Summer Salad Too Delish to Provide a Photo

What is it about summer that makes us forget which day is which?

We here at Muscles, Madness, & Martinis not only work hard but PLAY HARD, too.  

And since it's summer, we're all playing twice as hard (and thus blowing off our blog posts). Stef is biking around and being a sexy new wife. Melissa is soaking up rays and rocking her hot CrossFit bod at the river. Kat, the beautiful seductress, is escaping the heat by beating her best run times in the morning and cooking delish new recipes. Andrea is coolly enjoying the temps by mermaiding it like a stunning little water nymph in her pool, but still maintaining her regular fitness routine.


If I'm not tearing at the man-candy's clothes (brings new meaning to playing hard, wink wink), I'm outdoors working in new veggies into our new backyard garden and now, the latest enterprise, re-doing our entire deck.  It's a 600+ square foot deck in an L-shaped formation on the second story of our house.  The wood (after several years of inadequate sealing & snow-shoveling & dogs scratching & thumping along the wall) so we're replacing it almost board-for-board.

What does this have to do with a "Bitchin' Fresh Perfect-for-Summer-Salad Too Delish to Provide a Photo"?

Well, a long day in the sun means I am NOT cooking.  Oven/stove will NOT go on.  Besides, my body craves water-dense foods.  Thus, I present:

The Bitchin' Fresh Perfect-for-Summer-Salad Too Delish to Provide a Photo


1/2 Big Ass Bowl of Cut Romaine Lettuce
1/2 Big Ass Bowl of Baby Spinach
Handful of Blueberries
1/2 Apple, diced
Small Handful of Walnuts, chopped or halved
1/5 Avocado (depending on the amount of walnuts; healthy fats in moderation!)
2 Smatterings (teaspoon or tablespoon depending on the size of your big ass bowl) of Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Smatterings (teaspoon or tablespoon depending on the size of your big ass bowl) of Olive Oil

You can top with cold slices of leftover steak or chunks of chicken--any leftover, really.  There is something about the creaminess of avocado with the walnuts and blueberries that sends my tastebuds over the edge.

Note: I ate this too quickly to take a photo (the title of this blog makes sense now, eh?), plus I didn't want to be accused of being a hipster since I Instagrammed my lunch yesterday.

So, this is what my summer tastes like--what about yours?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Constant Battle

Routine vs Change

I'm in a constant battle with my workouts. The two contenders in this duel are routine and change: Do I stick to a solid routine or do I constantly change it up so I don't get bored?

I love both of these concepts. I love getting REALLY good at something while constantly growing stronger and pushing myself to beat my personal bests. It feels good to blast through goals and push yourself farther than you thought possible. I've followed a couple workout plans, doing the same exercises week after week. Leg day consists of the same exercises every week. Arms day, back day, etc, always the same. This is good for me. I can get into a workout and not have to reference anything on what my next move is or how many reps to do. This is also good for me because (when I keep a workout journal) I can see, week from week, how far I've come and how strong I've gotten. It's exciting to see that I'm squatting double what I started with weeks ago or blew last weeks reps out of the water. A routine also keeps me on track. I know X is leg day and Y is back and triceps. There's no guessing and it becomes just like brushing your teeth; it's just what you do.

Then there is change. I embrace change. I hate getting bored and I get bored easily! This probably has something to do with my only-child-syndrome or my slight, self-diagnosed-ADD-ism. Whatever the reason may be, it's fun to try new things and keep it interesting. Keeping your muscles confused and even finding new muscles you didn't know you had!

My problem with change is that if I don't have a workout scheduled, and I have to find a new workout day to day, it's easier for me to brush the workout off entirely. I know this is only cheating myself, but it's different (in my brain) to skip leg day than it is to skip a non-planned workout. I feel more like I'm "cheating" if I skip out on a plan rather than fail to find a workout for the day. It's a lot easier to get busy and not make time for an unplanned workout. But skipping my leg day* is like skipping breakfast or not brushing your teeth; you just wouldn't do that, would you???

So what does one do? I don't want to get bored but a routine is more likely to set me up for success. I want both! (Again, only-child-syndrome.)

On a side note: We use Roku for our television viewing. If you are unfamiliar with Roku, it's a little box that you hook up to your t.v. and you can stream channels such as Netflix and Hulu.  That being said, there is a channel (free!!) on Roku called Daily Burn. The hubby discovered this one day while searching through the available channels. It wasn't until recently that we actually checked it out. It's GLORIOUS! There are tons of FREE workouts to choose from, on demand (like Netflix but for workouts). There are some great kettle bell workouts, peaceful yoga workouts, fun dancing workouts and much more. I've followed a couple of them and it's so much fun. I can't believe this is free! This new found outlet is an excellent tool for changing up my workouts. If you have Roku, please check this out!

What's your take on Routine or Change? What keeps you going?

* I constantly reference "leg day" because it is my favorite. Squats and deadlifts engender horrible albeit magnificent pain!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Moment of Madness & Hippy Self-love Speak

Right now I'm sneaking a break between a massive overhaul of cleaning the house.  We're having family come stay a few days with us to celebrate my stepson's graduating high school (I CANNOT believe it's happening already!), and spaces that are already clean somehow don't look clean enough (of course).

On a wonderful note, dusting and scrubbing is a bitch because I pounded out an arm work-out from hell yesterday and the guns are banging (or some better metaphor like that).  I love to complain (brag) when my body is sore.

The man-candy is amazing, gripping a bottle of bleach in one hand and a Swiffer duster in the other. In our house, there are no gender roles regarding chores, just "I'll trade you mopping and I'll clean the toilet" and other forms of bartering.  I hate mopping. HATE it. Thus, enter the chore bartering and of course obligatory Bloody Marys to lessen the pain. 

What is it about company, particularly family, that stresses us to put our homes on best behavior?  It makes me wonder: What am I hiding? What am I afraid of? At this exact moment, I'm not wearing deodorant (you all remember that post, right?) and the man-candy still gropes me as we pass along the stairs.  So what am I really worried about?

To which I answer, nothing (except getting eating by carnivorous dust bunnies hiding under the sofa), because admitting to myself that I am worried that family might find me dirty or not good enough is embarrassing to admit (even to myself). 

There's a lot to be said about putting your best self forward, but what if your best self is the self you are everyday, with all its grit and failure and quirk?  What if we stopped hyper-cleaning these spaces for other people and clean them well enough for ourselves? 

I have dusted already this morning and even now (in the early afternoon) there is a thick layer of bright yellow pollen settling on all my furniture.  It is the season for merciless shedding of pine pollen and no amount of dusting (twice a day) makes it stop.

I've done my part, I've cleaned and Nature will still have her feisty way with me. Fine then, I'll surrender to being less than perfect, if sterile furniture is somehow a litmus for perfection.  Chances are, my family will still love me even if the veneer of pollen sticks to the tables and sills, or if the shower doors aren't scrubbed quite clear enough or if my dog Juno lets out a tart, ripe fart while we share a cup of coffee.  The reality is, I need to love myself enough that those things won't block me from my enjoying the present moment of being with family.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Third times a charm!

I think I've found my Box! I've researched every CrossFit location in North Orange County, tried Groupon and Living Social deals and have driven miles and miles hoping to find a home and finally found one - practically in my own backyard (Ok it's 2 1/2 miles away but that's pretty damn close). 
From the moment I met the owners of CrossFit Structured in Fullerton, Freddie Moore and his wife Michelle, I knew I had found my niche. 

I decided to start fresh, I've gone through their 101 courses and although I am struggling and learning what my body is capable of (and especially what it's not), I'm dedicated to making the changes that I need to in order to have the body and health that I want. 

In my wod today I thought I was going to die; I'm still getting dizzy and light headed, hoping that it's just from not being super active or because I have so much compression around my chest to harness in my ginormous girls.
I got super frustrated with myself as I felt like I should have been able to do more today than I did. Freddie noticed this frustration and reminded me of something that I thought was meant only for the hard bodies: check your ego at the door. This is great advice for me as I have a tendency to be very hard on myself and to get frustrated and intimidated by things I have no control over. All of that sh*t needs to be left outside.  I need to concentrate on doing the wod to the best of my ability and not stress about the things I have no control over. 

I am determined to put everything I can into my new box. I think I will have the encouragement I need to succeed and the heart and dedication to make it my home!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Quick, Week Night, Go-To Dinner. . .

. . . Or any night of the week for that matter.

For the most part, we like to eat fresh (and I'm not talkin' Subway) and hardly use canned or packaged items. We generally try to stick to the rule of thumb of shopping on the outer edges of the grocery store. Heck, most of the time we don't even make it past the produce aisle! But, there are a few staple items we always keep in the pantry. We love Costco and when you venture into our pantry you will ALWAYS find the following:

  • Brown Rice
  • Canned Black Beans
  • Canned Corn
  • Some sort of Canned Tomatoes

These items have come in handy on many nights, mostly when I don't feel like cooking. With a little imagination and some excellent spice choices, it's easy to whip up something yummy, fast!

The following recipe is an original from The Abs Diet. What I love most about it is, it's very versatile! You can sub the ground turkey for your meat of choice (or nix it completely). You can sub the black beans for any bean really, I've personally used kidney beans and it's just as delicious. You could throw in any veggies you wanted; it would be a great way to use up the last of those bell peppers/zucchini/tomatoes/etc. left behind in your fridge. And the best part (for me): it's wonderful on a lazy day because, besides the meat, you can just open a few cans and toss 'em in a pot! Easy peasy. 

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Allergies, shmallergies

I had a very very important meeting last Friday and woke up with a violent headache, nauseousness, & nasal congestion (no, Mom, I'm not pregnant). It's allergy season, and it's showing me no mercy. I REFUSE to take things like Benadryl or Claritin (with or without the Decongestant) which leave me feeling tweaky and crack-headed.

Fast forward 15 minutes later into the meeting and I'm breathing free and clear, headache gone, and stomach settled. In fact, I'm feeling pretty darn good about myself.

What magic is this?

Let me start by sharing that I've had allergies for as long as I can remember and my symptoms have been just awful.  Since nauseousness has been one of the symptoms, I have long thought there was something scarier than allergies at the root of the issue. 

About a month ago I had complained about this on my Facebook page and a friend of minesaid she suffered from the same issues.  A few weeks later she sent me a roll-on bottle of Volcano Oil by Maui Excellent. (Thanks, Veronika!!)

I never heard of this oil, let alone this company, before and applied just a bit on my wrists and inhaled.  The aroma is subtle-but-energizing blend of: eucalyptus, camphor, peppermint, wintergreen, menthol, spearmint, tea tree, oils of apricot, sweet almond, safflower, jojoba, grapeseed, canola, macadamia nut, kukui nut, and vitamins A & E.  The oil itself is smooth, not greasy and a little goes a long way.

Before my meeting I applied on my wrists and rubbed from my wrists onto my temples and third eye spot as well as added a small dab under my nose.  The meeting, as well as the rest of the day, was smooth running.  I'm not sure how I've gone so long without knowing about this oil nor why it's not in the self-medication section of our drugstores. I'm so glad I don't have to choose between feeling ill or feeling (and looking) like a rehab candidate.

What are your go-to methods for beating allergy season?  

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Oh my yummy protein! Andrea's Shrimp Ceviche

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Another amazing discount site...

Since I am the Queen of shopping and find the best discounts, it only seems fair that I pass those discounts along to you.  The latest website that I love is called The Clymb.  It is a members only site that provides deep discounts to sporting gear such as camping equipment, workout apparel, climbing gear and even CrossFit shoes like New Balance Minimus and Inov-8's.

They have two ways of selling products: Flash Sales and 365's.  Flash sales are sales that lasts a day or two and when they are gone you are S.O.L. 365's however are a little better as they are products that can be found on the site throughout the majority of the year and even if they are sold out, they usually come back into stock.
I'm loving some of the cute items they have, like these Hurley boardshorts...I'm thinking they will look mighty cute on me in Cancun for my honeymoon!!!
Borad Shorts