Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Happy Six Month WODiversary

After reading the title of this post you might be wondering, What the heck is a WODivesary?" Well, it was exactly six months ago this day I first started doing Crossfit! It's crazy how time flies! It seems like only yesterday I did my first WOD (aka: Workout of the Day--hence the title name) and was the new kid on the block. Now, it feels weird to see all these people at the box that are way newer than me!

See me and my ugly erg face? Courtesy of Crossfit Rubicon

In case you're wondering, here is the first WOD I had ever done:

Tabata Triple*, complete one full movement before starting the next
  • Bottom to Bottom Wall-balls (with the rest at the bottom in a squat)
  • Top to top Pushups (with the rest at the top in a plank)
  • 10m shuttle runs
tabata = high intensity interval training

I guess after that workout I was hooked! ;) It was the perfect mix of skill, strength, and cardio to keep my interest. Unfortunately, I don't know how well I did because at that time I was recording my stats on my smartphone app. I lost my phone on New Year's and now I don't have any record of that particular WOD or any of my starting weights on my lifts since then (womp womp). Needless to say, I am now recording all of my WOD times/scores and lifts in a good old fashioned notebook.

This week is testing week at my box. With notebook in hand, I'll be recording my results from the baseline workouts so I can retest myself at the end of the Nutrition Challenge. That way, I can see how I've improved physically! I'll be sure to share my starting results with you next week.
Here are some of my reflections on the past six months:
  • I love how practical crossfit is and how it fits with my life. Everything from our monthly Costco trips to helping our friend move in last week or just jumping to reach that really high container (trust me at 5'3 I do that a lot), can directly relate to crossfit. No weight machine will ever do that.
  • For some reason, crossfit has the uncanny way of creating communities/bringing people together. I've done various workouts in gyms, aerobic classes, etc. and never got to know the people in my class. There's something about suffering together motivating one another during the WOD that unites people like no other...
  • Coaching is everything! When left to my own devices, I can wander through a self-guided workout and barely break a sweat. When you have someone yelling pushing you, it can make all the difference. I still have my favorite coaches, but the "young guns," as I like to call them, are quickly climbing up my favorite list!
In keeping with the crossfit theme, I'll try to update you guys weekly on my progress with the Nutrition Challenge or just talk about crossfit stuff on the blog for the next few months. I can't wait to look back and see how I've progressed after nine weeks of the Nutrition Challenge and even further down the road after I've been doing crossfit for a year!

It'll be good to mix up the blog topics every now and then, especially since we haven't been doing much house stuff as of late. ;)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Our Attempt at Chicken Cordon Bleu

A few weeks back we had cooked an entire spiral ham. Needless to say, we had a ton of leftovers. Besides, making egg muffins (which I'll feature on the blog soon!) I wanted to find recipes that featured ham/pork!

I got this recipe from Hopefully Homemade and she called it, "Chicken Cordon Bleu - Loosely Paleo." However, the neat thing about this recipe is that you can make it a paleo as you need it to be! If you don't eat ham/pork you can use another meat! You can use cheese from a grassfed source if you have it, or just omit cheese altogether and have a meat roll-up (chicken and ham) as I like to call it. I think the official name is a roulade. ;) Anyway, the possibilities are endless!

So here are the ingredients:
6 boneless chicken thighs (we used chicken breast)
6 slices bacon (instead of wrapping it in bacon, we stuffed it with ham)
5 oz goat cheese (we just used the swiss that was in our fridge)
1 egg
1 Tablespoon water
3/4 cup almond meal (for my husband's, he used bisquick)

The following ingredients are for your selected dredge:
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry minced onion
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
A pinch or two of dry mustard powder

Lastly, some toothpicks and a glass or ceramic baking dish

Eek. Since we didn't have toothpicks (I know, what house doesn't have toothpicks? Ours apparently!) we tried to MacGuyver some using coffee stirrers.

Justin displaying said coffee stirrer...

And the rigged up "toothpicks"

I don't cook much but I was able to help out by letting out my aggressions on flattening out the chicken breasts...

Here's a close up of Justin wrapping up the ham and cheese. It a bit tricky because we stuffed them to the brim!

He can hardly contain his excitement!

Here's a shot of Justin dredging the chicken in the almond meal with the egg in the background.

Obviously mine are the brown ones (almond meal) and his are the white ones (bisquick)

We baked it at 375 for 30 minutes or so. Sorry, I can't remember how long exactly since I like to stare at the food while it cooking...I kid...kinda... :) However long we cooked it we were happy for the results! Look at the crispy coating!

With that ooey, gooey meaty goodness!

A close up shot of all the insides!
And a shot of the complete meal!

Overall, I would say the meal was a complete success. But for someone who eats as voraciously as Justin does it was like Russian roulette, since the stirrer/toothpicks were kind of hard to see while eating! Whoopsy. Just imagine taking your next bite not knowing when the next toothpick/coffee stirrer might hit! LOL, next time we'll invest in some long bamboo skewers or at least some toothpicks with flags to prevent any possible eating injury ;)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Weekend Review: Movin' on Up (and Away)

Happy Monday to you! I hope you had a good weekend! I thought that this weekend was going to be more chill than last weekend since we weren't going out of town, but it was actually pretty busy!

Our friend (Maneater) Meter accepted a new position at Colorado State University and is leaving at the end of the month. She first lived here several years ago, moved to Florida, but then came back! She was actually one of the only females in our group (besides me) when Justin first moved to DC nearly six years ago. She's leaving us again but we promised to visit her in Colorado, especially since Justin and I have never been there!

A shot (no pun intended) of her going away party at Union Pub Friday night...
Although we stayed out later than we should have we had a busy day planned on Saturday. We had to transfer the title/registration on Justin's car from Kentucky to D.C. The first thing we had to do was get an emissions test...the line went around the block so we had to we had to wait a while. I'm sure all these idling cars, waiting to be tested, couldn't be doing anything good for the environment. :(
Next, we had to go to the DMV. Dun-dun-dun! There were lines galore! A line to get into the parking lot, a line to get into the building, and line to grab a number, etc. Here's a shot of the packed waiting room.
Luckily I had plenty of reading material!
When we finally got home I was starving so I fried up some lumpia (Filipino egg rolls) while I watched the Beyonce documentary I had on DVR...
Yummy fried, carb-y goodness! As you all know on Friday, I announced that I would be participating in my Crossfit Box's Nutrition Challenge so I ate stuff like this...
And this...
...all weekend. After all, I wouldn't be eating horrible like that for another two months so I had to properly say good-bye! ;) On Sunday, we helped our friend Jenn move out of her apartment. It definitely wasn't as traumatizing as other times we've moved friends. With all the help she had we were able to move her stuff in and out quite quickly.
Here's a shot of the new fancy apartment (and all of us relaxing post-move)!
What do you do this weekend? Do you ever have weekends you think will be relaxing, but turn out to be busier than you thought in the end?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sisters' Weekend: Motown Philly & Atlantic City

Howdy Everyone! As promised I wanted to tell you all about the fab Sisters' Weekend I just had. Since Judy just happened to have Saturday off, we decided that it would be the perfect opportunity for a road trip.  We made our decision on where to go based on the fact that none of us had been to Philadelphia and Atlantic City for quite some time.

We left the DC area bright and early Saturday morning and headed to Philly. First stop: Reading Terminal Market. There were so many delicious things to eat, and the smells of the different foods we're amazing! There were a ton of people there, but we were able to navigate the various stalls to see their tasty offerings. It was lunch time so we decided to stop by Tommy DiNic's of Man v. Food fame!

Judy and I stood in line while Jill did some recon for some seats. The line wasn't too long, and it moved somewhat fast. It was definitely shorter than the Philly Cheesesteak line I stood in the last time I was in Philly.

Here are some shots of the sandwich makers hard at work. 

This is the huge sign above the cashier. Because we had some time in line to decide what we were going to get, Jill ordered the roast beef with sharp provolone and broccoli rabe, while Judy ordered the pulled pork with sharp provolone and broccoli rabe.

If you know any thing about the Beltrano sisters, we always make a point to try to order something different from one another so that we can try each other's food. I ordered the roast pork sandwich with sharp provolone, broccoli rabe and sweet peppers. You can see my order in all its juicy, drippy goodness below. The meat was cooked perfectly and the sweet peppers gave it that nice kick. The broccoli rabe gave it some crunch and some freshness as well. The roll was superb. Hard on the outside and chewy on the inside.

Jill about to dive right in!

And here's Judy taking the first bite!

Do I have something in my in my teeth? joke though, the broccoli rabe had an uncanny way of getting stuck in all of our teeth, so my picture below is just an exaggeration of reality! Just giving you a fair warning if you ever try this sandwich!

After finishing as much of our DiNic's sandwiches as we could, we decided it was time for dessert. Oh, another thing you should know about the Beltrano sisters is that although we may say we are full, there is always room for dessert. You should see the look on Justin's face when he dines out with my family. After eating our entrees my sisters and I will complain about how stuffed we are, but the minute the waiter comes by asking about dessert, our "stuffed-ness" magically goes away. ;)

There were a ton of dessert and sweets stalls in Reading Terminal Market, so it was hard to decide on one.  We had Yelp decide and Beiler's Bakery it was! Looking across the counter and the choices it displayed, it was so hard to decide on what treats to pick.  We decided on several, with Jill picking a pumpkin whoopie pie.  It had the perfect amount of whipped cream in it, and it was not too sweet either! Judy selected a crumb cake, and I picked the raisin walnut sticky buns in the picture below.

We decided to share a slice of mixed berry pie, but you couldn't help but want everything in the windows including these meringue pies.

After lunch, we decided to stop by South Street and stroll around the various shops.

After walking around Philly, we headed for Atlantic City. AC is less than an hour away from Philly, so it was an easy drive. We were going to see A-trak that evening and were ready to have a good time! A few weeks ago I saw Avicii (one of my favorite DJs), and I had a less than stellar time. Let me just say that we started that evening getting nearly trampled and it all went downhill from there. :( Needless to say, on our bus ride home the guy sitting next to us suggested that we go to AC (namely: Revel), to hear big name DJs and have a more upscale nightlife experience.  So that's the backstory on how we came to visit Atlantic City! :)

Well, I should be thanking the gentelman on the bus because my sisters and I had a great time at Revel's ultraclub, HQ. Here's Jill messing around with the glowing ice cube from the ice bucket...

And the quintessential bathroom shot...where's Judy? I dunno? Probably hanging out with some randos...LOLOL...

Oh, here she is...looking faded! Ha!

Here are some shots of the club. The huge screen with the visual effects were cool!

The screen says, "Fool's Gold!" It's A-trak's record label. :)

The HQ Marquee...

Overall, it was good night! The people were friendly and the club was beautiful. Despite the nice accommodations the club had to offer, the club didn't have heat lamps on the patio! We couldn't enjoy the gorgeous views of the beach, or get some fresh air.  We ended up like this on our trips outside. Yes, that's Jill and Judy. And, yes that's snow!

That's my weekend in a nutshell! When was the last time you were in Philly or AC? Anything I must-do or must-try next time I am in either one of those towns?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Our Valentine's Day

Hello everyone! Before I tell you about the awesome weekend I had, I first wanted to tell you about what we did on Valentine's Day. Since it's so close to our house, we have been wanting to try Charlie Palmer Steak for the longest time. When the time came to make Valentine's Day reservations, we were super excited to make it our choice for our Valentine's Day meal. By the way, Charlie Palmer is where one of of my favorite Top Chef contestants, Bryan Voltaggio, sharpened his culinary chops.
We started our meal with a complementary shot of potato and leek soup...
And then we moved on to our appetizer for fois gras. 'Nuff said.

Justin and I got the porterhouse for two and before they cut it they presented it to us table side to make sure it was to our liking.

For sides we got the truffle macaroni and cheese (I love truffle oil!) and the wild mushrooms and onions.

Here's a shot of Justin about to dive right in!

Here is Justin picking at the bone of our steak. After we finished our meal the server asked if we wanted him to wrap the bone up so we could take it home to our dog. Justin and I laughed because as much as the boys would have loved the steak bone, I could see them fighting over it or chewing it into oblivion. Needless to say we passed on his offer. :)

As stuffed as we were from our dinner, there is always room for dessert so we shared the chocolate hazelnut pyramid. It was the perfect finish to a meal. Excuse the glare as I was sitting in front of a you see that white thing popping up behind my head? That's the U.S. Capitol building, neat huh?

In addition to our dessert, the restaurant gave us a complementary assortment of sweets.

And some homemade doughnuts to enjoy the next day. Cheeky! ;)

As awesome as dinner was, our Valentine's Date wasn't over yet. We headed up to the Maryland Live! Casino in Hanover to see the incomparable Brian McKnight. It was the first time that I had ever seen him perform and he blew me away. He is so funny and he really interacted with the crowd. And the crowd of course loved him back!

His bassist killed me! He was dancing and grooving to the songs. He was really into it!

I found myself singing and dancing (in my seat) to all of the songs.

Brian is truly talented and here he is playing the guitar for a few songs. And his voice! His range is impeccable and his tone is so clear and pure. After 20+ years of making music, he still has it!

And of course here is a shot of him on the keyboard performing "One Last Cry." Who doesn't go back to their first high school break up when listening to that song? #nostalgia

So that was my Valentine's Day in a nutshell. I had so much fun at dinner and the concert. I hope you had a good Valentine's Day, too!