Sunday, May 6, 2018

4/29: Fitness & Eats from the Week + What “Counts” as a Workout

Hey, hey!

I completed my first week of workouts at OPEX, and I’m feeling really great overall! I actually don’t *feel* like I’m working out all that much, but I’m starting to realize I need to change my thinking about that.

I think a lot of us – myself included – believe that you need to feel exhausted and sore after a workout for it to “count.” I remember going all out, 6 days a week, at CrossFit and thinking I was in the best shape of my life. Ha! Sure, I was having a great time, but I was 100% overtraining and beating up my body so badly. Now, I’m spending about an hour per session at OPEX and challenging myself, so I’m clearly working on my fitness, but it’s tough not to think that these workouts don’t “count” if I don’t totally kill myself during them.

At the end of the day, I just want to be healthy and functionally fit well into my elderly years. (I picture Mal and myself with gray hair and jumpsuits still doing partner workouts together!) I’m sick of dealing with injuries, and there’s no chance of me ever going to the CrossFit Games. I don’t even like competing all that much, so why do I think I need to push myself so hard, all the time?

I still love a tough, super sweaty CrossFit workout (I probably always will), but if I want long-term health to be my #1 goal, I know it’s time to do what’s right for my body. I think our fitness journeys are ever-evolving, and, for me, this is the next phase with what I’m doing at OPEX. And, of course, I’m excited to see where it takes me. I’m curious: what do you guys “count” as a workout? 



MONDAY: 30-MINUTE PUG WALK <– does this count as a workout?


My first official workout at OPEX was great, but holy imbalances! We did a bunch of single-limb movements (dumbbell rows, single-leg deadlifts), which made them seem so much more obvious. And, whoa, I could definitely feel the difference between the right and left side of my body. We have lots of work to do, but I’m excited to begin this journey!

Thoracic Mobility Exercises x 5 each
Banded Hip Flexor Stretch 1 min each side
Oblique Wall Stretch 1 min each side

A1) Box Step Up

10/side x 3 @2111, 25lbs, 16″ box, rest 90 sec
*start on Right

A2) Supinated Band Assisted Pullup

6-8 x 3 @2010, red band, rest 90 sec

B1) Single Leg RDL’s

8/side x 3 @3011, 25lbs, rest 45 sec

B2) Dual Dumbbell Seated Press

8 x 3 @2010, 20lbs, rest 90 sec

C1) Lateral Banded Walk

20 steps each way x 3, blue band, rest 30 sec

C2) Dumbbell Row

8/side x 3 @2011, 35lbs, rest 1 min

D1) Shoulder I, Y, T

8 each x 2 @2110, 5lbs, rest 30 sec

D2) Front Leaning Rest on Rings

45 sec x 2, rest 1 min

ROTEX Inward Hip
ROTEX Outward Shoulder
ROTEX Full Body Rotation
ROTEX Pelvic Floor
ROTEX Upper Body Turn


Feeling the imbalances, like, whoa! For this Half Kneeling Single Arm Press below, I could bang out 8 reps, no problem. But, for my left side, it was a serious struggle!

Thoracic Mobility Exercises x 5 each
Banded Hip Flexor Stretch 1 min each side
Oblique Wall Stretch 1 min each side

A1) Dumbbell Goblet Split Squat
10/side x 3 @2011, 25lbs, rest 1 min

A2) Ring Row
10 x 3 @2010, rest 90 sec
*position feet so that 10 is challenging but not impossible

B1) Stability Ball Hamstring Curls
10 x 3 @3011, rest 45 sec

B2) Dual Dumbbell Neutral Grip Bench Press
8 x 3 @2010, 35lbs, rest 90 sec

C1) GHD Back Extension
10 x 3 @2010, rest 30 sec

C2) Half Kneeling Single Arm Press <— definitely felt the imbalance on my pushing strength on this one!
8/side x 3 @2010, 20lbs, rest 1 min

D) 4 Rounds, NOT Rushed of:
80 foot sled push +90lbs,
25 meter SA farmers walk/side 44lbs,
25 meter SA rack walk/side 26lbs,
25 meter OH walk/side 18lbs

ROTEX Inward Hip
ROTEX Outward Shoulder
ROTEX Full Body Rotation
ROTEX Pelvic Floor
ROTEX Upper Body Turn

THURSDAY: 30-minute run + walk (alternating 5 minutes running, 5 minutes walking)


Same workout as Monday, but increased weight on Steps Ups to #30.


Since I’m working on fixing muscle imbalances, I modified a couple of the movements.


Adding balsamic vinegar to avocado toast is a game-changer! Post-workout eats from Rosa Farms! Listen to this meal: “Juice Head” smoothie (almond milk, vanilla protein, spinach, banana, spirulina) + avocado toast with slice tomato, sesame seeds, and balsamic vinegar. So yum!

Munk Pack Protein Cookies are so amazing! The ingredients are clean-ish, but the flavor and texture are just like the real deal. They’re definitely a legit (and decadent) treat – and better than the majority of protein cookies I’ve tried! 🙂

One-pan pesto shrimp with veggies – New super simple and tasty recipe coming to CNC soon! 🙂

Loved this lunch because it came together in no time, thanks to some awesome Sunday food prep. In the mix: Blue cheese turkey burger with roasted butternut squash and kale + broccoli slaw from Trader Joe’s with a drizzle of dressing on top.

Apparently, I’m a bit of a food hoarder. Our cabinets and freezer are packed full, so we’re “shopping” from our stockpile and limiting this week’s grocery purchases. On the menu for lunch: Shredded chicken breast (previously frozen from Thrive Market), carrot spirals (from the freezer), steamed greens, and avocado topped with Everything But The Bagel Seasoning!

The post 4/29: Fitness & Eats from the Week + What “Counts” as a Workout appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.

from Carrots 'N' Cake

Weekend Link Love — Edition 502

Clean Eating Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potato Recipe

This delicious clean eating southwestern stuffed sweet potato can be made spicy or not and travels well for lunches!


You’re busy, often tired and it seems that some days, it’s just impossible to get it all done. Am I close? But somehow, some way, you still want to eat healthy and feel better overall. Am I still on track?

The thing is, busy lives often mean unhealthy convenience food. But convenience food doesn’t have to come from a box. All you have to do is know which healthy ingredients to buy that will turn into fast and healthy meals.

A Clean Eating Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potato sits on a white plate with a sprig of fresh cilantro next to it. You can see the layers of ingredients starting with the sweet potato, then the hummus, black beans and finally, the tomatoes and cilantro.


Take the lowly sweet potato, for example. It might not look like much. In fact, they can be downright ugly at first glance. But inside those ugly skins hides a beautifully, vibrant orange flesh that is packed with good for you nutrients. And the only thing you have to do it bake them and eat them.

Now, please understand that when I say bake them, I don’t mean you have to do anything special with them. You don’t have to rub them with oil or season them in any way. Literally, all you have to do is wash them and stick them in the oven at 350 F. for 60 minutes. So for less than one minute of washing, you can walk away and do other things while those puppies bake. You really can’t get more convenient then that!

But the best part is what you can do with those amazing spuds!

Sweet potatoes can be stuffed with all sorts of healthy ingredients and all it takes is the few minute to open a can of beans or a container of hummus and maybe chop a half a tomato. I mean, it just doesn’t get much easier than that in the kitchen. Baking time aside, you can’t even get fast food prepared that quickly!

So if you bake several potatoes on the weekend while you’re hanging around the house, you’ll be able to stuff your potatoes in mere minutes and have a meal that is literally faster than leaving the house to go through the drive through. Real food can be simple too! And this Clean Eating Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potato proves that!


Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry


Calories: 288 kcal

Author: The Gracious Pantry


  • 1 medium sweet potato (baked)
  • 1/4 cup prepared hummus (purchased or homemade)
  • 1 dash ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 2 tbsp. chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 2 tsp. jalapeño (minced, optional for a spicy kick)


  1. Once your sweet potato is baked, cool enough to touch it and slice it down the middle lengthwise. Open it up at the slice enough to add your toppings.

  2. Layer on the hummus first.

  3. Sprinkle as much cumin as you like over the top of that, and then add the beans, tomatoes, cilantro (if using) and the jalapeño (if using).

  4. Serve as a meal or a very filling side dish. This pairs great with a simple salad!

Recipe Notes

Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving (1 entire recipe)

Calories 288 Calories from Fat 54

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 6g 9%

Saturated Fat 1g 5%

Sodium 357mg 15%

Potassium 873mg 25%

Total Carbohydrates 48g 16%

Dietary Fiber 12g 48%

Sugars 6g

Protein 11g 22%

Vitamin A 399.4%

Vitamin C 26.2%

Calcium 7.5%

Iron 24.6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

from The Gracious Pantry