Author: nodrama4mama

Living La Vida Crossfit

(I have to thank one of my favorite bloggers, Charlotte at The Great Fitness experiment, whose post on CrossFit, inspired me to get off my butt and write this post that has been percolating in my head for a week.)

The countdown begins.  Before it ends I hear “Athletes Ready”, and I look around before realizing that the coach is talking to me.   My WOD (Workout of the Day) has begun and for the next 15-50 minutes I will push myself completing prescribed exercises, trying to move a little faster, lift a little more and push myself a little harder than the workout before.

If you had told me seven months ago that I would be a devoted CrossFitter, I would have been the first to laugh.  My husband had just started doing CrossFit and was singing its praises and trying to get me to go.  And I would demur, “It looks too hard…. I’ll just hurt myself… I would miss the elliptical… I’m not fit enough to doCrossfit and people would laugh at me”.

Then my husband participated in a “Throw down” which was a group CrossFit competition at the box.   I came to the throw down with the kids to take photos, and provide moral support. There I saw a variety of people, from the very buff to the chubby, women who babies less than 3 months ago, and a woman in her 60’s, all competing in different events.  And even though it was a competition, everyone cheered everyone else on.

(Little did I know that 3 months later, I would be competing in a Thrown Down.  Yes, me, Maryrose, the girl who turned ditchng PE in High School into a “Cat Ate My Gymsuit” type art form.)

I was intrigued, and signed up for the trial class at CrossFit Synergistics.  And got my butt kicked.  But I like a challenge and there were women at the trial class in the same shape as me, so I signed up for the Foundations Class, something our box insists on to make sure that you know how to do the moves frequently used in Crossfit.  And everyone who wants to work out there goes, from a true newbie like me, to my husband who has long lifted weights and was a NSCA certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

I do not look like what you might think a typical crossfitter looks like.  I am a little overweight, but not as much as when I started.  I use bands to help me do pull ups, but the bands are getting progressively smaller.  I went from not being able to do a single real (non-knee) push up, to being able to do 15 in a row.

These small gains, steadily made while being cheered on by my coaches and the other athletes in the box are what keeps me coming back.  When I first started working out, every WOD scared me.  Now, I look at even the toughest WOD and figure out the best way to scale it to work within my fitness limitations, but still give me room to grow.  If I am unsure about scaling, the coaches are always there to provide suggestions and a gentle push in the right direction.

People talk about Crossfit being a cultish activity, and while that may have some merit, that can be said of the die-hard Zumba, turbo kick, or boot camp devotee.  We fall in love with our exercises for many reasons.  For me, it’s because Crossfit works for me.

I have also tried the Paleo diet.  There is a lot of dissent among the Paleo people about the use of dairy, but I enjoy my greek yogurt & butter.  Even Robb Wolfe, who is considered one of the top authorities on Paleo Eating and Crossfit believes that to get 95% of the benefits of Paleo, you only need to eat 85% Paleo.  I would say that I shoot for the 85% and am probably in the 70-75% range most days.

And with doing the Paleo I learned things.  I learned that if I eat a bowl of pasta I don’t feel well, so instead of pasta several times a week, a small serving is an occasional treat.  I’ve learned that I if I limit my dairy, my stomach feels better, and that I really enjoy sweet potatoes.

I have read the complaints about Crossfit/Paleo, but I really think that most of them can apply to any workout/diet.   Anything taken to excess is bad.

Is CrossFit hard?  Absolutely, but I am so much more satisfied after a 15 minute WOD than after spending 45 minutes on the elliptical, than hitting the bagel store next to the gym and wondering why I was still fat.

I know my limits.   I have worked out in boxes in MA, NYC and Maryland, and every place I went, I was pushed to do my best, but at the ends of the day, the limits I set for myself on movements, weights, repetitions or assistance, (bands, knee push ups) were respected by the coaches and other athletes.

It’s the people who work out with no respect for their limits and do not listen to their body and rest when their body says to rest and makes the modifications to fit in with their bodies needs that are asking for trouble.

If you want to learn more about Crossfit, choosing a box, and the frequency with which you work out, I recommend the website of my former box.

Today I am 10X the athlete I was back in February when I wandered in for my introductory class, and next February I expect to be 10X the athlete I am today.  The gains will be steady, the gains will be slow, but thanks to the support of my husband, the coaches and the other athletes, the gains will be there.



By the way, I’ll be at BlogHer’12.  I am hoping to meet bloggers from the Fitness World and many others there!  If you are going, please leave a note in the comments.


The Other Side of The Desk

For the past five years, I have been employed as a Human Resources Director and one of my responsibilitites has been managing the hiring process.

Since my husband is transferring to Maryland for work, its time for me to begin the job hunt.

Its going to be weird to be on the other side of the desk.  I am hoping my career long process of being kind to the candidates, and notifying all of them of their status in a timely manner will leave me on the good sides of the job hunting gods.

Admittedly though, I am a bit of a wreck.  The hardest part so far was updating my resume, which had been untouched for about six years.  You know that advice you always hear about constantly updating your resume that you always hear?  Yeah, I was so busy doing HR that I did not take care of my resume.  Don’t be me.  Update your resume annually when you are working on your review and your accomplishments are fresh in your mind.

However, going over reviews and making a list of what I got done over the past 5 years was pretty stinking gratifying.  I was a busy girl!

Armed with a list of accomplishments I got started.  And then I sat there with writer’s bloc, and sat, and sat.  Inertia can be a sucktastic thing, especially when I’m used to diving in and getting things done.

Thankfully, we were looking for my replacement at my current job so I had several dozen resumes floating into my inbox, I had some inspiration and a chance to see first hand what was trendy in formatting.

Now I’m working with some HR professionals I trust to go over my resume and help me tweak it to perfection.  With five additional sets of eyes, my resume will be perfect.

Then all I have to do is post it on linked in, and start applying for jobs and working on my cover letters.  Then the calls for interviews will be pouring in.

I hope…..




Paleo Without Pity- Mexican Style Slow Cooker Chicken

Before I started reading the Blog A Year of Slow Cooking, I thought that my crockpot was primarily a winter thing, where I would make chili, pasta sauce, meatballs, etc.

However after being reminded that cooking in the crockpot means that you are not heating up your kitchen, I became a devotee and the pot comes out all year long.

I make some great chicken in a variety of ways.  It always comes out moist and is great to have for salads, stirfries, mixed in with paleo mayo and stuffed into a tomato or just eaten straight out of the bag.

I usually do 2 bone in chicken breasts and get 1 full dinner for 4 out of it, or I add 3 and have some for leftovers.  This chicken also freezes well.

Place the frozen chicken breasts into the appropriate sized crock pot.  I find its better to crowd the crockpot a little than have things too spread out, but you can get around that if you add more liquid.

I use chicken broth, 3 garlic cloves per breast and an envelope of  Simply Organic Spicy Taco Seasoning and a chili in adobo and toss it in the pot with the chicken.

Then I set it on low and cook for about 8-10 hours.

Then I shred and we eat.  And its yummy!


Mexican Slow Cooker Chicken (2 Breasts)

2 Frozen bone-in, skin on chicken breasts
Chicken broth to cover
Envelope of Simply Organic Spicy Taco Seasoning
1 Chili in Adobo
6 Cloves of Garlic

Place breasts in slow cooker
Combine broth, taco seasoning, chili and garlic, pour over chicken
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours
Remove from slow cooker, remove the skin, shred and use.

Kindergarten Graduation!

Today the Divine Miss Em graduates from Kindergarten.  My husband and I take issue with the comment on her report card about how she is a quiet girl, but we are very proud and can’t believe that the baby we held at her brother’s kindergarten graduation, is graduating herself.

So in honor of DME, I am posting Robert Fulghum’s All I really needed to Know….

All I Really Need To Know I Learned In


by Robert Fulghum

Most of what I really need
To know about how to live
And what to do and how to be
I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top
Of the graduate school mountain,
But there in the sandpile at Sunday school.

These are the things I learned:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life –
Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance
And play and work everyday some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,
Watch out for traffic,
Hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.

Happy Graduation Sweetie!

Cleaning Out My Brain

Every once in a while my brain just gets too full for its own good and its impossible to string together coherent thoughts about anything.  And just like when you get a cheesy song stuck in your head, the only way to cure the full brain is to do a brain dump.

1. I love Crossfit.  I could do a whole post about it and probably will.

2. We are moving to Maryland next month.  Since my sweet husband is in the Army its a PCS move.  We’ve never had movers before.  My inner control freak is having an aneurysm.

3. Typically during a move, I handle the administrative end of things to avoid the packing, painting, etc.   So instead of touching up walls, I deal with transferring medical records, registering the kids for school, and making sure the cable is installed as soon after we move in as humanly possible.  My to do list has 40+ items on it.

4. I have less than a month at work.   Its a challenge admitting there are projects I am not going finish.  I really need to bind and gag my inner control freak.

5. My resume needs work.  I need to sit and focus on it, so I have it uploaded & ready to go when I start job hunting in July.

6. I’m going to BlogHer!  I’m so freaking excited, and it was awesome of my Husband to encourage me to go.

7. I love how with having a kindle on my Ipad I can read a book and no one knows if its a great novel, or a trashy one.

8. After 3 months of Paleo, I am almost cured of my bread addiction.  Almost.

9. My little princess graduates from Kindergarten next week.  It seems like yesterday that I was at her brother’s kindergarten graduation with her as a brand new infant.

10. Sometimes the hardest thing about blogging is finding the time to actually blog.

11. Do you hate when you really want to write a post about something, but you see a bunch of posts already written on it that say the same thing you wanted to say, but only more awesomely?

How much do I love my husband?  This much!



Special Needs Ryan Gosling

Its actually been a pretty peaceful week so far.  My sweet husband has been away for work, and its just been me and my handsome son this week.  We had a nice dinner together at Outback, and we have just been enjoying the quiet and each other’s company and I have learned ALOT about Minecraft.

I also found Ned Hardy’s pictures of a Minecraft theme wedding.  My guy is totally against the idea of getting married right now, and girls are still icky (which I should probably enjoy), but he did warm up to the idea of a minecraft wedding, and now I just have to get Wegman’s to do a Minecraft themed cake for his birthday.

When I looked at this picture of Ryan, I thought he looked mildly befuddled, so what better than to have him mention something that befuddles many of us.  Honestly, I do not begrudge Miss Jenny for posing naked.   I would just rather than it being for whatever awareness that she is going for, that it go towards awareness about how much of an uphill battle it can be for those who love a spectrum child or adult.

I have been reading a lot of your blogs (and not commenting often which makes me the stuff at the bottom of J-Mac’s shoe) but many of the posts seem to deal with the frustrations of dealing with doctors, schools, and most especially the insurance company.

But enough rambling.  Here’s Ryan.

Book Review-The Dinner Diaries

The Dinner Diaries: Raising Whole Wheat Kids in a White Bread WorldThe Dinner Diaries: Raising Whole Wheat Kids in a White Bread World by Betsy Block

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really related to this book. Many of us start the food wars with our children while they are still in utero. We try to get every gram of nutrients reccomended by What to Expect When You Are Expecting, even though we really want the most awesome preggo dinner ever, which is a bucket of ribs, topped of by using nutter butters as a spoon for chocolate frosting from the can.

Then the baby arrives and we feel guilty if we don’t breastfeed, and defensive if we do, especially if your baby does not want to eat on the magical schedule of every 3 hours. I especially had this problem with my daughter who was (and still is a grazer).

We really dream about being able to be the smug mommy on the playground, who can give her child broccoli on the playground while the other children are having oreo’s and just be able to smile that smug mommy smile and talk about how you are so lucky that little Jimmy prefers fresh veggies and organic, free range salmon to anything sweet.

We read articles in parenting magazines about the wonderful children who eat anything. Barbacoa! Kimchee! Passion Fruit Smoothies! Kale.

Then you actually have the small children. Small children who only want pasta and chicken nuggets. Children who point to a box of Trix and try to argue that its healthy because its Fruit Flavored and you find yourself telling your daughter no actual fruits were harmed in the making of Trix. You buy fresh produce with every intention to lovingly prepare it, but you either forget that its in there or you get so discouraged from the constant negotiations about the amount of produce that actually has to be eaten, that you sigh and reach for the box of Mac-n-cheese.

Then you comfort yourself by telling yourself that no one really wants to be friends with the sumg mommies and try to think of what the diaper of a kid that eats kale and kimchee, and free range organic salmon must look like.

Betsey Block has also felt our pain. And she took the time to write a book about it. With good humor she takes us through a year of trying to get everyone to eat healthfully. From experiments with whole grain baking, to eating organic to really getting to know her meat, she takes you through the journey, never taking herself too seriously and giving you some good ideas about how to do a family food makeover yourself.

I would really love a follow up book to see if she and her family have kept up the healthy eating, or have moved back to their previous habits.The Dinner Diaries: Raising Whole Wheat Kids in a White Bread World

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Paleo Without Pity-End of Paleo Challenge

On Monday, March 5th my husband and I began our Crossfit Box’s Paleo Challenge.  This weekend we finished it.  We both lost about a dozen pounds, and are seeing the difference in how our clothes fit.  At the beginning of the challenge I was doing crossfit twice a week, and am now up to three times, and I would go more often if my schedule permitted.

I have to admit, that I did have a hard time with the challenge, because I was a HARDCORE carb junkie prior to starting the challenge.

After doing the Paleo Challenge, I can now emphasize with people who have problems giving things up because I am a bread addict.

I can give up booze with barely a thought. I found I do not miss pasta.  I miss the ease of making pasta, and the joy of making a meal that I know everyone loves and will eat, but I do not crave pasta.

I also thought I would miss dairy, since I love cheese. However, I found that as I stopped eating cold cereal, cookies, baked goods, french toast, waffles and pancakes, that I don’t miss dairy.  I missed the foods that went with the dairy.

I don’t even miss the baked goods too much, because I recognize that one cookie is too much and a dozen cookies are not enough, especially if they are my chocolate chip m&m oatmeal cookies, warm from the oven. (Ok-I miss baked goods a little)

And I don’t even miss bagels, chips, or crackers.

But real bread is hard.  Some sourdough baguette, a nice semolina loaf, warm pita, or a slice of pizza and I am drooling.

But I also must admit that I feel like shit after eating pizza, so I think if I can remember the pain prior to dialing I will be ok, but bread is still tough.

The other big challenge are trying to get the kids to come Paleo too.  I find that I am frequently cooking more than one meal, or several sides so we can have a dinner in peace.  I also find that there is a bit more involved cooking (and cleaning)  with this diet, since the quick pasta dinner is off the table.

 What I Learned:
  •  A whole new way of cooking, and have enjoyed searching the internet for new recipes and look for ways to adapt what I do cook.
  • I discovered new vegetables I might never have tried, like sunchokes and parsnips.
  • Artichokes in the crock pot are made of awesome.
  • The many joys of bacon
  • If I am serving turkey breast for dinner that I need to serve some sweet potato with it, or the whole family is hungry an hour later, and susceptible to bad food choices.
  • After I have served my kids a Paleo meal and they eat it, to NOT point out that its a Paleo meal, because then they won’t eat it again, because they are trying to kill me.

I will keep up with the eating plan, and continue to make my sweet husband his daily cooler since it keep him on track.

The only changes I will make is to incorporate some greek yogurt into my diet and the occasional bowl of oatmeal, since I really love plain oatmeal with fruit.   I am also thinking of doing a 30 day Paleo challenge, as I felt the grind of an 82 day challenge was a bit much, and I did cheat several times.  I think on average I was 75-80% Paleo each day, and I am going to shoot for 85-90% going forward.

So thanks to Glen, Linda and John at Crossfit Synergistics for showing us a new way to eat.

If  you look on the blog, there are several yummy Paleo recipes.  As I discover new recipes they will be up right here.






Special Needs Ryan Gosling

This has been a tough week. My sweet boy is getting very stressed about our impending move to Maryland and has been acting out. He had been trying to keep a good face on things since we have all been stressed about the move.

I’ve been having anxiety dreams where I get a report card of my parenting skills and all the grades are a D-.

So I am very, very, happy that today is Friday and its a long weekend. I am happier that the school year will be ending soon. I will be happiest when I get a decent cocktail in my hand. But I think that Ryan understands the need to get away from it all.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Book Review-Mad Women

Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the '60s and BeyondMad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the ’60s and Beyond by Jane Maas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. I am a big Mad Men fan and was interested in hearing a real-life behind the scenes story. I was also curious to see how she juggled everything. I have to admit that everytime I see a successful professional woman with children and a shred of her sanity the first thing I wonder is how she does it.

Jane Maas explains exactly how; by putting her career 1st, husband 2nd, and children last. That and having live in help during the week, and a true partner for a spouse.

However hearing about the history of advertising in the 60’s and 70’s and her role in it was good (and quick reading).

However, while I enjoyed the book, I am glad I borrowed it from my local library and did not spend $12 downloading it from Amazon.Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the ’60s and Beyond

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