I spent some time reflecting this morning on why, exactly, I have such an emotional attachment to the act of CrossFit – and it’s not just me. Why do so many people, particularly so many women, feel so strongly about the oft-maligned fitness movement? Many will say it’s because of the community, but I don’t think that that is really the answer. At least, it’s not the complete one. CrossFit repopularize barbell lifts, and made barbells and even the complex olympic lifts accessible to high school girls and suburban moms who had never gripped knurling before – and in mainstream fitness a decade or so ago, would as brand-new gym goers likely have been directed, with all their peers, to rubberized dumbbells, machines, and the elliptical leaving the free weights the mysterious domain of mostly men. Read More →


Just over three weeks after our departure, Casey and I are finally home in our apartment – and Petite Albert (the cat!) definitely approves.  Where the first half of our trip was marked by steep mountain roads and rocky outcroppings, our return took us along route 10 through some sandier and flatter landscapes – and also, dune sledding!  I’m proud to report that despite long nights that turned into early mornings before we laid down in our tent, we held on to our workout streak, ending the regimen only when it was time for the final leg home from Atlanta.  We weren’t perfect saints along the entire way – I certainly enjoyed some beers at the Porter Beer Bar on our last stop, for one, but I’m pleased to see that we proved, including to ourselves, that we can indeed remain dedicated to a healthy, fit lifestyle while traveling with very minimal equipment for an extended time. Read More →


Can two people maintain or even improve their fitness during three weeks living out of a humble sedan?  Sure can!  After a spring and early summer filled with business and changes – a wedding, a move, and career changes for both of us – we were more than ready to pack up on my first day of terminal leave from the Army and head off for the first stage of our summer cross country trip.  I was especially happy that Ocean City was our first stop.  All I wanted during the hectic spring was to dig my toes into the sand and listen to the waves and seagulls.  The timing of that stop served a practical purpose too.  Because we moved from a large townhouse with attached garage (gym) to an apartment in a high-rise (quite garage-gym-less), my gym equipment is taking the extended seashore vacation of my dreams for now.  Last year we travelled with the sandbag, kettle bells, weight vest, and some other fun odds and ends but this year we chose to streamline and load up only the dumbbells – 15, 25, 35, and 45 pound sets. Read More →


Although I am not interested in going vegan myself, or even vegetarian, I’ve been having a lot of fun trying out new vegan recipes so that Casey and I can share meals – shared cooking is always more fun to me than when I’m only eating it myself!  I’ve been extremely pleased with my attempts using roasted butternut and/or a cashew wine sauce in places you might otherwise find cheese, but I do miss being able to cook with cheese.  Store-bought vegan “cheese” unfortunately leaves much to be desired (except more of the storebosugh vegan cheese!) so I turned to Pinterest for homemade options.  I was thrilled to find a “mozzarella” that looked fairly easy to pull off because I was again in the mood for pizza, so I made this recipe for Vegan “Mozzarella” my first attempt and declared it [pizza night once more. Read More →


This Friday, here’s some pick-me-up variety fun stuff: a t-shirt with a message I very much needed this week.  (Still in stock and super-affordable if you need a pick-me-up too!)

It’s been the same old story with me for the last year plus: I’m making the rounds of various doctors who have various conflicting opinions about 1) what my injury is and 2) what my x-rays and MRI’s mean and 3) therefore what I should and shouldn’t do and for how long, and why.

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An exercise that I know I talked about last year in relation to things that are both good baseline strength builders for more fancy stuff like the oly lifts, and also good preventative hip health/ flute and ham strength exercises is the barbell hip thrust.  Sometimes it’s called the hip bridge instead, which usually means your shoulders are on the floor, as opposed to a bench.  Those are the two commonly recommended variations – shoulders on floor, or the edge of a bench; I was first taught using a bench.  I prefer the bench, but it feels a bit precarious and I find the height of a standard bench to be a bit high and reduce my workload a little at the top of the movement.  Using the floor, on the other hand, means I lose more of the bottom of the movement at the point when the plates hit the ground with less of a range of motion.  Recently Casey was making use of our bench when it was time for my hip thrusts, and I was forced to get creative because I didn’t want to go with the annoying-to-me floor method.  And out of necessity, a solution that I find more effective than either was born with the help of a Dynamax med ball.

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It can be hard to eat on the road with a vegetarian to consider if you don’t want to stick your non-carnivorous companion in the repeated position of “french fries for dinner.”  Although it’s definitely not as “healthy” as the advertisers would like you to think, Chipotle at least offered a non-french fry option with some protein, especially when they started serving “sofritas.”  We tried it and really liked it during last summer’s road trip but lately the store-bought version has not been appealing, and we rarely eat out – so I got a little excited when I spied a package of Goya “sofritos” in the freezer section at Wegman’s.  It turns out that the name refers to the style of sauce – marinated chopped vegetables and herbs.  Frozen is still not the same as fresh, but the ingredient list is pretty innocuous and combined with the frozen tofu trick I learned from this recipe for Tofu “Faux-lognese” it made the base for fast, extremely easy, and delicious Friday night burritos (See?  There’s at least Friday involved somewhere this time!) Read More →


So maybe I should start calling this series “Fun Stuff AFTER Friday”…  Another weekend, and another “just for fun” project, although this one is more on the practical side.  I have a really cute, formerly really comfortable summer top that mysteriously became smaller and shorter on me one day, and it only just recently dawned on me that duh, it’s rayon and I probably either washed it on warm or let it go in the dryer by accident. Read More →