Category Archives: gluten free

GRIT, Sophie, and how I’ve been feeling lately

A lot has happened since my last post! So much that I keep thinking that I need to write a post about each individual thing and then I think that it would take me forever to do that! I figured I’d just start typing and see how much I get through – how’s that sound?

About two weeks ago I went to initial instructor training for Les Mills GRIT. If you’ve never heard of GRIT, it’s a high intensity interval training (HIIT) style class that’s 30 minutes long. The premise is quick bursts, followed by short rests, to burn fat fast! HIIT has been around for a long time, and has many benefits cardiovascularly as well as for your overall health! The weekend was long, grueling, and tiresome. My husband and I drove the three hours to West Chester University (in West Chester, PA) early Saturday morning to arrive at a quarter to 8am so that I wouldn’t be late for training!

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The training modules are two days long from 8am – 6pm, and include learning about the company, learning to choreography for the class, a physically demanding challenge, and teaching the choreography many times over the course of two days. After you have completed the two days you are given a grade out of 3.

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When the weekend was over, I had gained 10 new friends, was tired and sore, got a recipe for some amazing low carb/gluten free cookies, and passed with a 3/3! ย After we were done on Sunday, my husband and I went to this burger place around the corner from the college and I had a huge burger with bacon and avocado!

The day after training I went to CrossFitย (enter surprised smiley face here) and managed to complete the workout, but I was done for for the rest of the week! Exhausted really isn’t even the word!! Since training (which was about two weeks ago) I haven’t looked much at GRIT but after this weekend I plan to really practice and learn the choreography so that I can tape and pass to become a GRIT coach!

Later in the week last week, I went to an interview at another gym for both GRIT and Body Pump. They were interested in taking me on as a substitute instructor for now and willing to help me with my GRIT certification. I was very pleased with them and happy they want to help! I look forward to working with them and practicing! I am excited for what the future holds with these programs!!

This past week was actually a really rough week for me emotionally. At work we had a dog come in who appeared to have been hit by a car, she’s paralyzed in her hind end and had no microchip. A good samaritan brought her in, and with no known home we began calling shelters and rescues. Due to the nature of her condition none of the shelters would take her but we were hopeful in one rescue who said they had to call us back. I felt horrible, she was emaciated, and clearly mistreated. Depsite all of this she was extremely gentle and sweet.

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There’s no surprise that I fell in love with her at first sight!! They named her “Cali” and then changed it to “Joy” but I felt she needed a better name. I didn’t think Joy was appropriate so I began thinking of names for her. She spent one night in the hospital and the next day I came to work and asked what was going to happen to her. The doctor said that if they couldn’t find a rescue they would have to euthanize her. That just could not happen. I asked to take her home that night to buy her some time and so that I ย could think of something to do. They told me a rescue had called but had to rearrange some things and would be calling the following day to let them know if they could take her or not.

When I got her home she ran inside as if she knew we were home! She smelt my whole apartment and took an interest in my boy Charlie. Where he went, she went. Charlie is kind hearted and wouldn’t hurt a fly so he quickly took her under his wing. She slept comfortably on my couch next to me snuggled up to my leg, melting my heart with each and every deep breath that she img_9827took. She was comfortable, home, and it showed in her demeanor that she was no longer scared, but happy to be in a warm home in a “bed” (my couch) with a loving human and friendly dogs. While I watched her sleep, the name Sophie (which mean wisdom) came to mind. I lovelingly named her Sophie.

The following day, I brought her back to work as she’s special needs and couldn’t be left home alone all day. Around 12pm I was informed that a rescue was coming to pick her up at 2pm and she was scheduled for an MRI the following day. I was prepared for this, but my heart was broken. I knew that it was best for her, but I wanted to take care of her, I wanted her to be mine. Saying goodbye to Sophie was one of the hardest things I’ve done in quite a long time. I know that she was getting the medical care she needed, that I would not have been able to give her right away, and she would be safe and free from euthanasia, but my heartached and I img_9839felt like the wind had been knocked out of me with the news that my sweet girl would not be coming home with me again.

Sophie had an MRI the following day and it showed that she has spinal inflammation likely caused by trauma and she was prescribed physical therapy. Sophie may or may not walk again, but the rescue is willing to give her the chance. If you’re moved by Sophie’s story – please considering donating to Oliver’s Orphan Oasis at www.gofundme.com/ooohelp.

 

If you read the explaination of Sophie’s story on that go fund me account, that tear-filled tech — yea that was me! Damn, I really fell hard for that girl!! She is such a sweet sweet girl, and will need a furever home. If you want to feel the love of a rescue pet please consider adopting Sophie, or another baby who needs a home!

I’ve had quite an interesting week between Sophie, my tire going flat on the parkway to work, getting peed on and bitten by a cat, and feeling like the world is out to get me. I really hope that next week is better, and that whatever is going on with all this negativity stops soon!!

On a good note – 41 days til I turn 30! I’m not sure why that’s exciting, butIMG_9871.JPG I like my birthday, and I look forward to another year older – hopefully I can continue to grow as a group fitness instructor, continue to grow as a person, and maybe just maybe become a parent — I was hopeful that this last one would have happened sooner but looks like someone has different plans for us!

Heres to learning Body Pump 99, GRIT 18, and hopefully having a better week!!

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Baked Zucchini Chips

I don’t often post recipes, but this one has become a staple in my house! Now that I’ve perfected it, I think it’s time to share!! 


Ingredients:

1-2 organic green zucchini

Himalayan Sea Salt and pepper to taste

Avocado oil, coconut oil or olive oil spray

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 230degrees (or just a hair higher than 225!) 

2. Slice zuchini thin, using a mandolin on the smaller setting is best (in my humble opinion)

I bought my mandoline slicer from Aldi for 4.99$ – best purchase ever!

3. Spray olive oil spray (or coat pan with oil of choice using a paper towel to spread oil thinly) on large baking sheet (may use parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy clean up) 

4. Lay out zucchini slices. It’s ok if they overlap as they will get smaller when baked, try not to layer too much if your slices are thicker

5. Salt and pepper lightly – since they get smaller once baked be careful not to put too much or they will be too overpowering. You can also use a seasoning of your choice! 

6. Bake in oven for 1hr, check that they are brown, but not burnt. If your slices are thicker or uneven, check every 10-15 minutes after that. If very uneven, take out baked ones and leave the rest until they are all a brownish color. 

7. Let cool and eat! 
What’s your favorite recipe?

Would you like to see more recipes posted on here? 

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Welcome back: CrossFit

That’s right, after three months, and no real financial change, I’ve decided that it doesn’t matter how much money I need to spend, I need to go back to crossFit for both my health and my sanity. 

CrossFit is more than just a gym, or a sport. It’s a community, a hard as F workout with a coach that’s monitoring your movements so that you don’t get hurt and so you get stronger. I love the variation, the camaraderie, and the challenge. I’ve spent the last few months really missing the members and the gym(box) as well as feeling a sense of deep seated anger that my husband didn’t give up his gym membership but I did so that we had some extra money – and nothing really changed in the way of finances, so clearly crossfit wasn’t the reason we had been struggling. 

Anyway.. I digress…

My first week back has been a doozy! 

On Monday the workout was literally 160+ lunges… So. Many. Lunges. And the assault bike which if you’ve ever rode on that thing you know that it would feel better to stick cleavers into your quads (too dramatic?). There were so many lunges on Monday that I still couldn’t walk right on Wednesday, but by Thursday I was able to walk better! 

Thursday I went back in and what was written on the board was a cruel joke .. It had to be… 1 mile run, 2000m row, 1 mile run…. ๐Ÿ˜‘ …. I’m not a huge fan of running, mostly because I am not very good at it. But, I got through the workout and felt better about it at the end. I woke up in quite a crappy mood on Thursday morning so the second mile was hard mentally, it was difficult to get my head in the game and run for more than a few steps at a time. I finished the workout in 32:42 with a time cap of 35 minutes. I had planned to run the miles in around 10 minutes and the row in about 8:30 which didn’t workout but I was only about 4 minutes off. My first mile was 9:40, the row was about 9 minutes, and the rest of the 12 minutes was the mental mile that I barely ran. 

Overall I’m glad to be back, and plan to go tomorrow morning! The Festivus games are coming up in only a month and a half and it’s important I continue to get stronger and eat healthfully so that I can bring in my best for the comp! 

My ankle really hasn’t bothered me much this week which is great, although tonight I can’t say it’s been feeling great. Tomorrow I’m going to start stretching it after my workouts; doing specific stretches to help with mobility so I can squat better and take some pressure off this leg.

If anyone is wondering as a quick update more on this later  : I’m still gluten free and (mostly) paleo and feeling really good! 

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Liver, Sweet Potatoes, and Paleo!

My coworkers think it’s funny and ask me if everything is paleo. “Hey Suz, is this paleo?” “Hey Suz, I’m eating out of a plastic container – totally paleo right?” “We’re having Chinese food tomorrow, is Chinese food paleo?” It’s light hearted and makes me laugh, but it makes me think about how some nutrition strategies can be so foreign to some. Paleo is pretty simple, but it’s going to be a learning process – I’m sure I’ll be eating things that aren’t totally paleo – until I learn the ins and outs. Also, before really making the decision to remove gluten and follow a more paleo style I purchased some meal replacement bars that are low carb but definitely not gluten free or paleo, and a box of quest bars – that are gluten free but probably wouldn’t meet the paleo standards. Being that I don’t have a lot of extra money laying around and I literally can not stand the thought of wasting food, I plan to continue to eat these bars until they are gone, and then look for alternative quick meal bars for work. As a licensed vet tech (vet nurse) I often have to eat on the run, and meal replacement bars become a staple – it’s either that or eating the donuts that were brought by a client.

For more info on paleo click here. There’s a lot of info out there – a simple google search will do, but the website in the link above is pretty comprehensive and also has a link with research. 

For more info on gluten free I really suggest you read the book Wheat Belly by William Davis. It explains why one would consider taking wheat (gluten) out of their diet even if they do not have celiac disease.

Anyway, yesterday I mentioned that I was going to try to make a recipe with liver… Well, I made it, and it’s not bad! I only tasted it warm so I’ve put it in the fridge to cool so I can try it as the dip/pรขtรฉ it’s meant to be! 


Want the recipe!!?? Check it out at healthfulpursuit.com it was a little bit messy but that’s because I don’t have a big blender! Shout out to my coworker Becca for the mason jar! 

For breakfast I had a beautiful veggie bowl that I concocted myself! I was so proud of myself I didn’t want to eat it it was so pretty! 


It consisted of alfalfa sprouts, kale and spinach sautรฉed with chopped onions, a half of a sweet potato, 1 egg, and 1 meatball that I got from the super market (it’s grassfed beef that comes in small round balls that I got at the local hannafords). It was so good! I’m really getting the hang of cooking! 

I ate my breakfast or first meal around 12, I wasn’t really hungry and sort of fasted without really intending to. Feels like eating this way will have me slowly and effortlessly easing into intermittent fasting as well. Anyway, I ate one of my bars for “lunch” and a few hours later had a banana and another bar. We were busy and a client brought us brownies so I was glad I had my bars as my emergency snack! 

For dinner I made some sweet potato and kale hash – I got the recipe from Fitfoodfinds.com and kind of just threw things in the hash – I didn’t have a red pepper so I used a green bell pepper, and I had some left over leeks from the liver pรขtรฉ so I threw those in there! The balsamic really gave it the kick it needed at the end and I added some chicken legs marinated in a chipotle seasoning packet (I made sure it didn’t have sugar – it was a store brand). 


My husband loved dinner so much he had to post a photo on instagram! Ha! 

All in all today was a pretty good day. I actually wasn’t even hungry for dinner. I will say I have to lighten up on the coffee at work, I have small cups but 2-3 is a bit too much. I wasn’t tired today at all, so I’m not sure what that was about but I’m taking it one day at a time and will be better tomorrow! 

Well, that’s it! Gluten free and paleo journey is just beginning and I feel pretty good! I can tell my energy is much better, my inflammation feels less and I feel lighter. I jumped on the scale today even though I didn’t want to just to see where I’m at and I wasn’t exactly happy with the number, but it didn’t upset me or make me want to give up. I feel like my mind has finally shifted, and this is do-able. Plus, I haven’t had a headache all week!! 

Not sure what recipes I have planned for tomorrow but I have some left over sweet potato hash from dinner so I’ll probably add an egg to it for breakfast or maybe some of that beef like this morning! My doc is buying the service Chinese food so I’ll have to see if I can navigate through that! 

I wonder if Chinese food is paleo? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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