I praise God daily for allowing me strength to do what I love. Pushing my body to the limits, overcoming obstacles, each day growing stronger than the last…Physically and Mentally. Milano, Italy- Super Spartan Although this race was no where near my toughest race to date, it was by far the muddiest! Dangerously muddy! I received a much slower time than I would have liked, but finishing the race without a broken ankle or sprain was most important! My legs kept telling my brain to run fast, you can handle it, but I knew better. I busted my ass so many times in this race, on my on and other times due to the person ahead causing a pile up. As with any race though, it was a blast! I will say that the last two obstacles of the race were a test of determination. An incline barbed wire belly crawl with a slippery, quicksand like effect, full of sharp shards of rock, just perfect for slicing and dicing those knees and elbows. The last obstacle, an incline wall with a slippery rope that may have well been lubed with oil, was so caked with wet mud, that when going for my last pull, exerting almost all of my energy, I lost control, sliding all the way back to starting position. After telling myself to breathe and move (my favorite thing to yell at my CF athletes in class:) I reached to the side of the obstacle where laid bundles of hay like grass. Taking some in my palms to hopefully act as somewhat of a grip, I was back up to the top within one more pull, struggling, when I see a hand the size of my head reach down for me to grab. Thank you God, chivalry is not dead:)

 

For far too long, the front squat has served as the least favored of squatting variations.You can’t front squat as much as you can back squat, so you simply discard it- toss it into the pile of lifts less regarded. The front squat engages your quads to a greater degree and, because of the more upright body positioning required, hammers your core to its max. For avid Olympic lifters with interest in improving your Cleans, Jerks and Push Presses, immediate benefits emanate from the front squat. The bar positioning and body posture in the front squat offer the most direct transference to Olympic lifting of any squatting variation.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 large ripe pears
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ¼ cup crushed walnuts
  • (optional) yogurt or frozen yogurtDirections:
    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the pears in half and place on a baking sheet (I cut a sliver off the other end so they sat upright). Using a measuring spoon or melon baller, scoop out the seeds.

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Ingredients:
2 lbs of wild salmon
8 slices of thick sliced applewood smoked bacon
3 tomatoes, sliced
5 ounces of arugula
2 tablespoons of avocado oil
Salt and Pepper to season

Lemon Caper Vinaigrette:
½ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 teaspoons of lemon zest
2 heaping teaspoons of capers
1 shallot, minced
¼ teaspoon of salt

Directions:
For the Lemon Caper Vinaigrette, in a bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, capers, shallot and salt.   Preheat oven to 400 F.  Season salmon with salt and pepper.  Allow an oven proof skillet to heat over high heat for 5 minutes.  Add avocado oil and then salmon to skillet, flesh side down skin side up.  Allow salmon to cook for 5 minutes undisturbed.  Flip salmon and place skillet in the oven for 4 minutes for rare or 6 minutes for well.  Meanwhile, arrange a layer of arugula on plates followed by a tomato slice and two slices of bacon, and repeat the arugula and tomato layers once more.

Top salads with salmon and serve with the Lemon Caper Vinaigrette.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 500F
  2. In a bowl toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the cumin, paprika and salt
  3. Lay out on a parchment lined baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes
  4. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and transfer to your food processor
  5. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the tahini, lemon juice and garlic and blend until smooth
  6. Top with olive oil and paprika and serve with your favorite veggies

Grilled chicken, marinated in Thai spices and grill over charcoal grill.

6-8 boneless chicken thighs or 11/2 lb boneless chicken breasts
1 can coconut milk
1 Tbsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Marinade chicken in coconut milk, ginger, pepper and red pepper flakes at least one hour (I do mine 24 hrs or that morning). Grill on barbecue, about 4 minutes a side on medium heat. Discard marinade.

Chili Glaze:
¾ cup rice vinegar
½ cup sugar
3 Tbsp. soy sauce (or GF Tamari)
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Bring above ingredients to a boil over high heat and cook until mixture is reduced and thickened. 8-10 minutes depending on the size of your pan. Watch it, do not let it burn. Glaze chicken and serve.

Cilantro-Lime Cucumber Salad

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Ingredients

  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cucumbers, very finely sliced (see photos)
  • 4 tablespoons minced cilantro, to taste

Instructions

  1. Dice the jalapeno and garlic and add to a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper. Use a whisk to incorporate the 3 tablespoons olive oil. Set aside.
  3. Finely slice the cucumbers. Add the cucumbers to the dressing and stir together.
  4. Finely mince the cilantro and add it to the bowl. Stir to combine. You can either let it sit in the fridge to marinate for a couple hours, or serve immediately.

Notes
Make sure that you let the salad sit on the counter for a little while before serving if it’s been in the fridge; the olive oil solidifies slightly when it’s cold.

PALEO BISCUITS
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. Coconut Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Flax Meal
  • 1 Pinch Sea Salt
  • ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Unsalted Butter, Cold
  • 1 Large Egg

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, sift together coconut flour, flaxseed meal, sea salt and baking powder.
  2. To the flour, add ghee or butter and with a fork mash together until small crumbles form.
  3. In a separate bowl, scramble egg and then add mixture to crumbles.
  4. With a spoon mix together and spoon into greased 4-in
  5. Options: (1) Microwave for 55-60 seconds OR (2) Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
  6. Cool on rack.

Recipe Notes
This is a single-serving recipe, feel free to adjust accordingly. I have made these both in the oven as well as the microwave, I prefer the microwave version as it fluffs up more. Whereas, the oven-baked version, while still good, does not rise as much.

Soooooo yummmmmy😋😛😝😜


Chicken Salad
1T lite sour cream/1T chobani
1tsp ranch seasoning mix- toss in
85g boiled/shredded chicken
25g grapes, 25g Apple, 5g raisins
½ serving of almonds
Atop a bed of lettuce sprinkled with vinegrette and a side of Ezekiel toast
Macro Breakdown:
25g Pro/ 30g Carbs/ 8g Fat

CrossFit Northern California Regional 2012
The power clean is a mainstay of the strength workouts of many sports programs. A survey of 137 Division I football coaches found that 85 percent used the power clean to train their athletes, and a survey of NFL coaches found that 88 percent used the lift with their athletes. It’s a good decision.

In 2004 researchers at the Department of Health and Exercise Science at the College of New Jersey set up a 15-week strength training study of 20 Division III college players. The athletes were divided into two groups, one focusing on Olympic lifting (OL) exercises and the other focusing on powerlifting (PL) exercises. Both groups improved their results in the vertical jump, but the OL group improved more.

So now that we know that strength coaches believe in the power clean and there is research to support its effectiveness in developing power, the question is “What is the best method to perform the power clean?”

From the hang position versus from the the floor- When we say “hang,” this means starting with the bar on the mid-thigh. In performing this lift, the athlete places the bar on the mid-thigh, bends the legs slightly, and then pulls the bar to the shoulders. This is in contrast to lifting a weight from the blocks set at mid-thigh, as this variation would not involve the countermovement.
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Regarding the matter of intensity, often an athlete can lift more weight from the hang than they can from the floor. One reason is that the bar is already positioned at a favorable leverage position, whereas pulling from the floor to hit that same position requires considerable skill. Another reason is that many athletes who use the hang style place the bar in the crease between the upper leg and hips. This enables the athlete to add a kick from the legs to help increase the force applied to the bar.

For the following four reasons, we say the power clean from the floor is superior.

First, any exercise that is performed through a partial range of motion will compromise soft-tissue integrity. For example, we’ve found that athletes who perform box squats are often tight in the piriformis muscle, which is a muscle involved in the external rotation of the upper leg. For athletes involved in sports in which they need to change direction quickly, such as basketball or soccer, having tightness in the piriformis will adversely affect their performance.

Second, the power clean from the mid-thigh works the legs through a shorter range of motion. This translates into less development of the hamstrings, glutes and quads. One reason weightlifters usually have better total leg development than powerlifters is that they work the legs through a greater range of motion. Further, with the hyper-wide squat stances often used in powerlifting competitions, the quads are not as important to performance of the lift as they were in the past, and this is reflected in powerlifters’ leg development.

Third, cleaning from the mid-thigh often causes hyperextension of the spine. In an attempt to use more weight, athletes using the hang technique often hyperextend their spine, placing adverse stress on the disks. In fact, one reason the Olympic press was disliked by many weightlifters was that the layback they used often caused lower back pain. The result was that in 1972 the Olympic press was eliminated from weightlifting competition, leaving only the snatch and the clean and jerk.

Fourth, when lifting from the hang, athletes tend to use their arms too much, and that means they are primarily using the upper body to perform the movement. If an athlete does both the hang power clean and the power clean from the floor, the excessive arm pull will adversely affect technique in the power clean from the floor.

Often athletes avoid power cleans from the floor because they do not have the flexibility to perform the exercise properly. Instead of giving up by continuing to use the mid-thigh variation, they should perform the appropriate stretching and structural balance training to correct the problem so they can do power cleans from the floor correctly and comfortably.

As proven by sport science research and the popularity of the power clean among strength coaches, it is a superior exercise for developing total body power. But to get the most benefits from the lift and with the least amount of stress on the back, it should be performed from the floor, not the mid-thigh.

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