One Week Later

Hey y’all….

See?  I went to Chiropractic college in Marietta, Georgia and thirteen years later, I haven’t lost my ability to throw out a southern drawl every once in a while.

Do you remember this post I wrote last week?  I want to share with you how impactful it was to get up and moving each day for me.

  1. I’m more awake.  I loved getting up at 5AM but diving right into reading or listening to a podcast made me tired by three in the afternoon.  Starting that 5AM with exercise made such a difference. It may have been the sunrise I get to watch.
  2. I’m feeling better about myself.  I had really missed feeling more fit.  I had started to feel out of shape, flabby, tired, and blah.  It’s funny how just a simple walk with some squats/lunges/sit ups thrown in can make me feel awesome.
  3. I was happier.
  4. I was more productive in business.  I had the best week in business than I have had in months.  I met with more new people both in Chiropractic and for Essential Oils than I have in ages.  I adjusted more people in one week than I had in a while.  I had people coming out of the woodwork who I hadn’t seen in months.   I pre-scheduled all of my social media for the week and half of September.  It was an amazingly productive week.
  5. I ate better.  Hell, no, I don’t want to ruin whatever good I got from my morning routine by eating crappy at lunch.  {I won’t lie…this basically meant I didn’t sneak chocolate at 3PM…at least most days….I did on Saturday….and Sunday}
  6. I slept better.  Getting up at 5 means that I wanted to be in bed by no later than 10, preferably 9:30.  I do well with 7 hours of sleep.   I do not do well with less than that.  Good on the people who can get by on 4 hours of sleep but it’s not for me.
  7. I had FUN with my kids and connected with each of them not only one on one but also together as a family. And I had lunch with my Mom, which we haven’t done in a long time.

Those are seven {SEVEN!} awesome immediate benefits I recognized by simply getting back to being active on a regular basis.  My mindset once again changed.  What amazed me was how quickly I got off that this summer. I know I am healthier and happier when I’m active on a daily basis.  INTENTIONALLY active.  I can walk my kids to the park and get some steps in but for me I needed to actively focus on exercise for 30 minutes a day to feel better and function better.

Oh, and I should also add that each time I was up and active early in my day, there were some pretty inspired thoughts running through my head.  Here’s the thing about 5AM.  It’s quiet.  It’s dark.  It’s not at all distracting with noise, people, vehicles, etc..  It’s just me and my thoughts.  Which is in part what led to such an amazing time last week…I can’t wait to see what the coming weeks and months have.


Spring walks

It’s been warm(er) in Barrie this week.  It still snowed yesterday.  But other than that small blip in our forecast, the weather has been rather kind to us this week.  Today we even reached double digits.

Ever since the weather warmed up, I have been getting out with the kids in our neighbourhood as much as humanly possible.  If they aren’t in school, eating, or sleeping, we have basically been outside.  We have walked and biked our neighbourhood lots of times.  Blake, for the first time, rode around the neighbourhood on his two wheeler, even though the training wheels are still on.  We put trust in them to go around the neighbourhood on their own, just the two of them, as long as they stayed together.  And together they stayed.  It brought a tear to my eye to watch them round the corner.  Somehow they seemed so…big.

The winter was so unruly and long.  So cold and snowy.  I made a promise to myself two weeks ago that when the weather warmed enough, I would take full advantage of being outside in the sun.  I plan on walking to and from work as often as I can.  It is the benefit of living only 1.5 kilometres from our office!

What are you doing to welcome spring?


Two things I learned from CrossFit this week

Earlier this week I went to my local CrossFit three days in a row.  It just worked out that way.  Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.  I usually take a day or two in-between WODs (work outs of the day) because of my schedule.  This week was different.

Sunday’s WOD had me doing 140 sit ups along side some other classic CrossFit moves – box step ups, wall balls, and burpees.

Monday’s WOD included hang cleans and toes to bar.  I’m not quite at the point where I can reach my toes up to the bar (let alone multiple times) and so I am working on perfecting knees to elbows instead.

Tuesday morning, on the way to the gym, I sneezed and actually whimpered at the pain in my abs from so much work on them in the last two days.  Luckily Tuesday’s WOD was deadlifts, burpee bar hops, and overhead lunges with a 14 lb medicine ball.  It didn’t involve my abs enough to discourage me from going.

I felt so incredibly accomplished after those three days.  Yes, I could have easily bowed out of Monday’s or Tuesday’s WOD and cited that it was a rest day.  But pushing myself into three WODs in three days felt great.  I wouldn’t do it on a regular basis (I’m a huge advocate for normally getting rest in-between such high intensity workouts) but to throw in a curve ball to my body every once in a while felt awesome.

The second lesson I took from CrossFit this week was persistence.  I have been trying for weeks months to learn how to do a proper hang clean.  It was incredibly frustrating to not understand nor “get” the mechanics of this movement.  My form was brutal and it was taking a toll on my back because I was moving the weight way in front of my body instead of bouncing the bar off my thighs to get it to my shoulders.  I’m now proud to say that I have mastered (kind of) the movement and I have some awesomely grotesque looking bruises on the front of my thighs to prove it.  Those bruises are like a battle scar.  I can now do squat cleans, thank you very much.

Three three parts of a Squat Clean

Moving through a squat clean

Now if only those bruises would disappear before going to Florida.






Enough with the Excuses

There is one thing I know for a fact about being a mom.  If I don’t take care of myself, then I can’t take care of the rest of my family.  If I’m sick or if I’m laid up due to injury everything goes haywire in our home.  And here is the second part of what I know – if I’m sick or I’m laid up with an injury it’s because I wasn’t taking care of myself properly.

It’s not because of bad germs, bad genetics, or bad luck.  It’s because of bad choices.  Let me make that really clear – people get sick because people make poor lifestyle choices.  They don’t take care of themselves properly.  They eat crappy foods.  They don’t get enough sleep.  They don’t exercise enough or properly. They don’t stretch or work on their mobility.  They don’t take time for ourselves to support their mental emotional health.  They don’t make sure that their brain-body connection is clear with the help of chiropractic adjustments.

Speaking as a mom and a chiropractor, I have the unique and humbling opportunity to work with a lot of families.  I feel that I resonate well with families.  I can relate to the stress and frustrations (and on the flip side, the wins!) of wanting the absolute best health for your family.  Ensuring that kids get exceptional health care, healthy foods, enough exercise, good sleep, support at school and home, good relationships, and all else that as parents, we want for our children.

But here’s the thing – sometimes we put all of our energy into our children and we forget to put any energy into ourselves.

One of the many concerns I hear is “I don’t have time to exercise.”  I’m fortunate in the fact that I have created a lifestyle that allows me to get into the gym three mornings a week as well as set aside time to walk and/or run two days a week.  I realize and appreciate that not all moms or dads have the ability to get to a gym due to special circumstances with family, work, and more.  But for the large majority of people it doesn’t mean that time can’t be carved out each day to get a workout in.

Last week was a little crazy.  On Friday we left at noon for a long weekend away.  I knew I couldn’t get to the gym that morning because I wanted to get the kids down to the park to let out some energy.  So, while the kids got their shoes on, I threw on my workout clothes.  Off to the park/gym we go. 

This is what I love about kids.  They can workout and have fun at the same time.

photophoto copy 2

While my kids swung, climbed, dug, slid, and hung around I got a twenty minute workout in.  Admittedly Caleigh was my photographer and I think that if I asked for “one more photo”, she might have lost it.  She kept going back and forth between taking pictures and making sand pies.  They were really good – both the pictures and the sand pies (chocolate flavoured, yum!).

Here’s how to fit in a quick workout at the park.  Warm up with a 2 minute jog/run around the park.  Then get down to business.

1.  LUNGES.  Do a specific number on each leg.  Start off small and add more each time you work out.


Lunges – make sure your knee doesn’t forward of your ankle.

2.  SQUATS.  Keep your back up (my form is horrible in this picture).  I put my hands behind my head to help keep my form clean.  Try to get your bum as close to the ground as possible.  Start with a minimum of 10 and work up to 100 over a few weeks.



3.  PUSH UPS/PLANKS.  Women can do “mens” push ups as well as men can.  Focus on keeping your core strong and it will prevent arching of your upper back (see top photo).  A plank is holding the up position for as long as you can.  Work up to 2 minutes over time.

Push Ups & Planks

Push Ups & Planks

4.  SIT UPS.  Fun to do with a baby!  Put your little on in between your legs and play peek a boo each time you come up for a sit up.  Plant a kiss on the top of their head so that you make sure you’re breaking 45 degrees at your waist.

sit ups

Sit ups

5.  STEP UPS.  Pretty simple.  Step up onto a park bench.  Make sure you completely open your hips.  If this hard to remember, clap your hands above your head, which will automatically open up your hips in full extension.

Steps Ups

6.  JUMP UPS.  The next level up.  Jump up onto the park bench.  Start on two feet and end on two feet.  Remember to fully stand up so that hips are open at the end of the jump.

Jumps Ups

Jumps Ups

7.  TRICEP DIPS.  Keeping your legs slightly bent, bend at your elbows.  The deeper, the better.  Repeat.

Tricep Dips

Tricep Dips

8.  INCLINE PULL UPS.  Grab a bar at the park and pull yourself up over and over.

Incline Pull UpsIncline Pull Ups

There you have it.  If it takes you 20 minutes, I’d be surprised.  Kids can help by counting off the number of repetitions you do.  Or they can join in on the same moves.  They’ll have fun and the more they laugh, you’ll have fun too.  Promise.

Tough Mudder Strategy (all because of 10 pounds)

Ugh.  So for weeks months I have had this thing that during WODs at my local CrossFit I have done all lifts using 55 lbs.   I’ve never gone over it, regardless of the WOD.  I don’t know why.  Well, actually maybe I do.  It was a psychological barrier for me.

I felt comfortable at 55 pounds.  Not long ago, I injured my neck, shoulders, and upper back when I lifted some heavy weights overhead  (like couldn’t move more than a few degrees in any direction without causing major pain and muscle spasms….truth be told it sucked).  Looking back, it wasn’t so much the amount that I had lifted as it was the poor form.  But in my head I made it about the weight.  So I had this mental block at going over 55.  I knew I could handle it without causing more pain.  55 pounds became my weight.

It also became easy.  And I get bored with easy things.

So this week I did something a little crazy.  I went up to 65 pounds.

And it was AWESOME!  It unleashed this excitement inside of me for CrossFit again.  I never lost the love for CrossFit but it invigorated me once more.  Thanks to one coach, Raul, I finally figured out how to do a proper hang power clean and hang squat clean (bend OVER the bar….it’s not a freakn’ deadlift!) and thanks to another coach, Mitch, I attempted my first rope climb and actually got halfway to the ceiling.

I’m pretty pumped.  I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it but I managed to corral five other AMESOME women in my life to compete in Tough Mudder in September.   I’ve been training through CrossFit and doing some running here and there.  Truly though, I’m not feeling prepared.  But just the last two days at the gym have really given me a boost to get out there and train with much more determination than before.


I set up a schedule for the next sixty days until Race Day.

Monday AM             CrossFit & mobility

Tuesday AM             CrossFit & mobility

Wednesday PM       Run (up to 10K) & mobility

Thursday AM            Sprints & mobility

Friday AM                  CrossFit & mobility

Saturday                    Rest

Sunday AM               Hill training & mobility

It’s funny how changing one small brain block (55 lbs) can propel me into action in so many other ways.  Other strategies I am putting into action to get into exceptional shape by September 28 are:

  • No alcohol (except for a celebratory glass of wine on our anniversary in two weeks)
  • No cheat treats (read: no chocolate chip cookies or chai tea lattes from Starbucks, my not-so-secret Achilles heel in the food & drink world)
  • Biweekly massage to help my muscles
  • Schedule weekly adjustments instead of getting adjusted when my time allows
  • Plan for 7 hours of sleep each night, with hopes that Maggie co-operates
  • Tough Mudder weekly email accountability with the AWESOME Katherine, who has some very specific goals herself as well as the rest of  Team Dirty Skirts via our Facebook group.

I’m pretty damn excited about all of this.  Plus having all of you who will be (in my mind) cheering me on to accomplish all of this makes it feel all that more paramount.

All because of a ten pound difference in a WOD yesterday.  Yea me.

Increasing my level of awesomeness

I love the word “awesome”.  I’ve loved it for a long time and there is something about it that makes me smile.  It’s such a perfect response to so many beautiful things in life.

“Dr. A, I’m functioning so much better today!”  That’s AWESOME!

“Mom!  I scored a goal!”  That’s AWESOME!

“My baby slept through the night for the first time after her last adjustment!” That’s AWESOME!

And so with my profound love of the word AWESOME, I am constantly acknowledging ways that I increased my level of awesomeness in a day.  Which is honestly just ways to live a healthy, vibrant, most fantastic life.

  • I didn’t eat sugar today.
  • I got a solid 7 hours of sleep last night.
  • I read another chapter from “The Charge” by Brendon Burchard
  • I played tag with my kids
  • I drank nothing but water today
  • I wrote in my journal
  • I spent an hour with my mom
  • I listened to an inspiring podcast
  • I set a personal record at the gym
  • I went to the gym, despite feeling tired

….the list can go on and on and can incorporate your own ways.  I started off my day with a bit of a sleep-in as I’m feeling under the weather.  Scratchy and sore throat.  A sign that my sleeping patterns have been in the tank with Maggie’s teething and so I needed an extra hour this morning (increasing my level of awesomeness).  Fried up three eggs with some cracked pepper along side a handful of fresh raspberries (increasing my level of awesomeness).  Journaled about my awesome date night with my husband last night where we got to connect and spend time together and how AWESOME that felt (increasing my level of awesomeness).  Then threw my stuff in a bag and walked a mile to work (increasing my level of awesomeness).  Get to do what I love to do today by adjusting a number of families this morning and then get adjusted myself (increasing my level of awesomeness).

So, I ask you.  What did you do today to increase your level of awesomeness?

My walk to work this morning.  The sun at my back, the moon out in front.  It was beautiful!

My walk to work this morning. The sun at my back, the moon out in front. It was beautiful!

first goal

My amazing daughter, Caleigh, is six and a half years old. She has now played soccer for two years and before that took soccer “lessons” in the form of Playball (which I highly recommend to any parents looking to not only get some activity in their child’s lifestyle but also to learn the real skills of soccer).

Each week on the way to soccer we have recited the following:

“I’m an awesome soccer player! I’m going to play hard! I’m going to run fast! I’m going to pass well! I’m going to score a goal! I’m going to have fun!”

It’s become somewhat of a tradition, much like our bedtime routine.

For two years, Caleigh has wanted to score a goal. Two years of practice both on the field with her team and at home with us. Two years of manifesting the ball going into the net and then practicing her celebratory dance. (That dance is awesome. I don’t have video but imagine her hips shaking, fingers pointing into the air, and head bobbing side to side with a big goofy grin.)

Also, though, two years of no goals.

Which, let’s be honest, is also the situation for 85% of her teammates. Not many of these amazing girls have scored a goal. Watching six and seven year olds play soccer is great because they are no longer the beehive of kids chasing the ball aimlessly BUT strategy is still not a strong point. They basically like to kick it as hard as they can and hope it goes somewhere in the vicinity of a teammate or the net.

Tom and I have never put pressure on her to score a goal – our focus has always been fun. However I don’t know anyone who has played soccer without dreaming of making the perfect shot. Caleigh included.

Last night her scoreless streak ended. With just a couple of minutes left in the game, Caleigh had the opportunity to run with the ball. With two of the opposing team members on both sides of her, she stayed focused and bam – one final kick and in the ball went.

Big cheers from everyone on the sidelines. Tom and I high-fiving one another (yes, we are THOSE parents). Caleigh with a big kool-aid grin on her face. She’d done it!

Best part for me was on the way home, she piped up from the backseat “Mom? You know what? Now that I got a goal, I don’t think it will be hard to do it again!” I couldn’t agree more. I find that in life once I reach a goal, it’s easy to do so again AND set higher goals for the future.

Bend it like Beckham!

Bend it like Beckham!

Best part for Caleigh? A stop at the ice cream shop on the way home for a celebratory cone.

March Madness

Basketball?  No way.  March Madness should truly be described as the feeling any mom has with three kids at home over March Break.  I can’t imagine what it will feel like after all three of them are at school and then at home for the week (or summer) but right now to have three at home during the week is crazy hectic.  I go between loving it and getting overwhelmed.  Loving the opportunities to be with all three of them, going on adventures each day, and spending quality time together.  Feeling overwhelmed at the insane energy of the two older ones (Maggie is pretty chill for the most part) who are off-the-wall excited over March Break.  I don’t even think Blake knows what March Break is but many a time I’ve heard the chant of “March Break!  March Break!  March Break!” wafting up from the basement as the two are playing tag.  Yikes.

So, for dinner tonight (because it’s Wednesday), I had this:



Just kidding.  Kind of.  I did have a glass as I prepared dinner (after taking 45 minutes to put Maggie down…totally unlike her but likely due to two 5 minute naps today).  And now I’m enjoying a second glass as I am writing this post.  🙂

But in all honesty, what was for dinner was something much more filling.  An incredible grilled steak (with a dry rub of salt, pepper, parsley, cumin, cayenne pepper, chill pepper, & tumeric – Tom’s amazing concoction that we use regularly), sweet potato fries (tossed in olive oil, salt, & fresh garlic), and a fresh salad topped with avocado, red onion, tomato, and roasted slivered almonds.  I made a really light homemade salad dressing of 2 parts olive oil and 1 part rice vinegar with a sprinkling of spices – oregano and basil.  Really simple because the steak was unbelievable and I didn’t want to take anything away from it.  This is the final dish and it was awesome!

Love BBQing in the winter.

Love BBQing in the winter.

This week had some amazing plusses.  I was back at CrossFit on Monday for the first time in three weeks.  I’ve had some really angry trap muscles that were overworked 3 weeks ago.  As a result, spasm.  And lots of them which kept me out of the gym and working on strictly mobility and restoring the brain body connection with chiropractic.  Adjust, adjust, adjust.  🙂

Being back at the gym on Monday and Tuesday was hands down awesome.  I MISSED feeling strong.  This is something I’m not willing to compromise on with my health, up there with all of Life by Design.  I find that if I drop out of my routine of working out, eating well, my morning power hour, or getting adjusted – the rest of it all unravels.  I truly do have to do all the right things at the same time in order to see the benefits.  My psyche just tanks.  And for the last three weeks, even though I’ve been uber careful with how I eat and how I think, my physical health was making me frustrated.

If you remember from a previous post, I am not a lover of sit ups.  I think it’s probably because my basic core strength is building back up after having Maggie.  She was born as a gentle cesarean but being it my third cesarean birth, it did take a toll on my body.  I’m happy to have that toll – it’s an amazing reminder of the incredible kids I have.  And while I can sometimes feel anxious of the lack of core strength I have NOW, I realize that it will build back up and I need to be patient and supportive of my body in getting back into shape.  Tuesday’s workout included 100 sit-ups (between double unders – jumping once but bringing the skipping rope over your head twice- and push jerks – basically taking a 40 lb bar and lift it over your head multiple, multiple times) and when I sneezed earlier this afternoon,  I winced from the strain on my abs.  Grrrrrr.  Must.  Work.  On.  Sit-Ups.

Prior to those bloody sit-ups, we had some walking lunges to get through.  Have baby?  Must train.

Me & Mags.  Working the "walking lunge".

Me & Mags. Working the “walking lunge”.

To all the moms and dads out there who think that their health isn’t a priority.  Please think again.  You are enough of a reason to put a priority on working out, eating well, and focusing on your purpose in life.  I love this picture.  It’s a picture of a strong mom who is doing her absolute best to be healthy for not just herself but also her kids.  I’m proud of this picture.  Because it represents the vision of a mom I want my kids to be proud of.  A healthy, energetic, fun, inspired, and awesome mom.  And each day I make choices to create that vision I have for myself.  It’s coming along….slowly but surely.  But that’s the fun part of goals.  It’s a constant, never-ending process that will always be in a state of evolution.

Kitchen Love

One of my good friends and fellow chiropractors, Dr. Amy Gillespie-Robinson, has written many a time about how one of her joys is being able to provide good meals for her family.  I feel the same way.  There is something about creating an amazing meal to bring a family together that makes me feel like a good mom.  Also, knowing what goes into those meals (from scratch) is a good feeling.  I feel that for IWFDW, I have to put on a good show (I can’t very well put up some mangy looking food on my blog!) but this week I’ve been feeling very inspired in my kitchen.  The inspiration has overfloweth and I have been creating some really tasty dinners for my family to enjoy PLUS lots of leftovers to choose from throughout the rest of the week.  Family is happy because they are full and I’m happy because they are happy.  This may backfire on me when my inspiration runs dry but in the meantime, we’re all sopping it up.  It all started on Sunday night….

I had been frustrated over an injury that has kept me from working out (to any extent) for two weeks.  While it was healing, I knew that it would need another good week of rest before I could jump back in at the gym.  Other than going for walks around my neighbourhood, I had not been able to be that active.  So, I was being extra careful with what I was eating as I didn’t my  “no workout depression” to sideline my eating habits at all.

Sunday night we came home from an amazing weekend with friends down in Toronto.  I had been starstruck over meeting Fred Penner at Young People’ s Theatre in Toronto.  I know, I know…FRED PENNER!  The well-loved Canadian children’s performer that any kid from the Great White North grew up on.    Chime in when you’re ready: “The cat came back the very next day, the cat came back…they thought he was a goner, but the cat came back, he just couldn’t stay away!”  I’m such a fan, I wanted my picture taken with him and I haven’t washed Maggie since.

The Amazing Fred Penner with the equally Amazing Ryan Family (minus Tom who took the picture...xo)

The Amazing Fred Penner with the equally Amazing Ryan Family (minus Tom who took the picture…xo)

Anyhow, the weekend put things in perspective for me.  I had a great time with my family and my attitude prior to the weekend had been pretty pathetic.  Basically it was a slap across the face to say “get out of your funk, you whiner!”.  Just because I can’t be as active as I want to be doesn’t mean I can’t throw the energy I have for working out into other areas of my life.

So Monday morning I hit the grocery store.  I stocked up on foods to create some exceptional meals this week.  New foods, fun foods, interesting foods….just stepping enough out of my comfort zone as a cook to make things exciting.  Here’s what I came up with:

Mini Morning Glory Muffins

Mini Morning Glory Muffins

These have been delicious and a perfect addition to both breakfast and lunch.  They are nut-free so perfect to send to school!  Got them from!

HM Chicken & Veggie Soup with little carrot hearts. :)

HM Chicken & Veggie Soup with little carrot hearts. 🙂

This was my own inspiration and really nothing that took a lot of thought.  I simmered a whole chicken for about 45 minutes and then while letting the chicken cool on a rack, I added in some veggies (carrots, peas, onions) and spices (bay leaves, oregano, basil, parsley, s&p).  Cut up the chicken and Bob’s your uncle.

Turkey & Beef meatballs with Zucchini in a Marinara Sauce

Turkey & Beef meatballs with Zucchini in a Marinara Sauce

Really, again…not so difficult.  Mashed together beef & turkey (about 2 lbs in total) and then added in onion, garlic, s&p, basil, oregano, egg whites (3), and some almond flour (in lieu of bread crumbs).  Moulded them into balls and threw them into a HM marinara sauce made of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, s&p, garlic, onions, oregano & parsley.  Saute them for about 30 minutes and dinner is served!

So we have been enjoying these creations all week.  And then Wednesday came along and I’m trying very hard to keep up with the good meals I’ve been creating so I put together a version of Butter Chicken.  Actually, I can’t lie…the “butter” part was previously made a couple of weeks ago and I threw it in with some chicken tonight.  I got the basic recipe from Everyday Paleo but played with it a bit as I don’t know what fenugreek powder is, didn’t have time to make ghee,  and we love garlic so I upped it a bit (check out their site if you want their specific recipe)


4 chicken breasts

1 red onion diced

3 tbsp coconut oil

6 oz can tomato paste

½ can coconut milk

1 tbsp crushed garlic

½ tsp cardamom powder

½ tsp coriander powder

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp sea salt

4 tbsp butter



Butterfly the chicken breasts.  In a large skillet or soup pot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat and add the diced onion and saute until translucent.  Turn your heat down to low and to the onion and oil mixture, add the crushed garlic, cardamom, coriander, paprika, and chili powder and stir well to make a paste.  Add the tomato paste to the onions and spices and stir, this mixture will be very thick.  Turn your heat back up to medium and add the coconut milk and salt.  Use a whisk to blend the tomato paste spice mixture and coconut milk together into a thick sauce.  Bring the sauce to a simmer and add the chicken.  Return the sauce and chicken to a simmer, turn down to medium low, cover and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until the chicken is done all the way through – make sure you stir occasionally during the cooking process. After the chicken is cooked, add the butter and mix into the sauce until melted.

We served ours with a side salad of spinach, peas, red onion, feta, and a homemade vinaigrette of olive oil, rice vinegar, and grainy mustard.  The kids had peas as they won’t touch salad (yet).  The result:

Butter Chicken w/ Side Salad

Butter Chicken w/ Side Salad

For the rest of the week I have a few fun things planned – Chicken Drumsticks (I’m going out on a limb with this one – Tom isn’t a chicken fan so twice in one week is pushing it…they better be spectacular!), Sausage & Spinach stuffed Peppers, and for the first time in our house Cauliflower Crust Pizza (don’t laugh…apparently it’s amazing and I’m trying it out at our place this weekend….).  If you want updated pictures along the way, you can follow me on Instagram as I post daily there.

Eat on, my friends.  It’s a ton of fun creating new things in the kitchen.  Admittedly, they aren’t always met with rave reviews from my family.  Doesn’t mean I stop trying though.  The payback for me is a healthier family and there is no greater gift I can give to them.


Tuesday morning I did a very cool thing.  For the first time ever I RX’d a WOD at my CrossFit.

What is RXing a WOD?  A WOD refers to a Workout of the Day.  It is THE workout of the day that everyone does when they show up that day at the gym.  It doesn’t matter who you are or what time you’re there, you do the WOD.   WODs are scalable.  Meaning, that whatever the prescribed (RX) WOD is, you can scale it to suit your capabilities.  For example, if the WOD is to do box jumps on a 24 inch box jump and you can do them on a 20 inch box jump, then your WOD is “scaled”.

In the 21 months I have been training at CrossFit, I have always done a scaled workout.  Partly because nine of those months I was pregnant.  It was one of my goals in 2013 to RX a WOD.  Who would have thought I would actually do that on the eighth day of the year.

The WOD was a timed work out (in other words, go as fast as you can to complete the following):

100 sit ups

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 of:

Overhead lunges (with a 25 lb plate above your head)

Kettlebell swings (with a 16 kilogram  – 35 lbs – kettlebell)

Overhead Weighted Lunge

Overhead Weighted Lunge

Kettlebell Swing

Kettlebell Swing

I looked at the sit ups and knew I was in trouble.  100 sit ups is a lot.  Especially when one had a baby 10 weeks ago.  I winced at the thought.  Sit ups are one of my weaknesses in the gym.  I actually have a lot of weaknesses, which are not so much weaknesses as they are opportunities to improve on a skill.  And my skill level with my sit ups need a LOT of improvement.  So, I knew they would be slow.  Plus, the kettlebell swings at 16 kg is heavy…and at first I grabbed a 12 kg, until I got a push from Eugene (the coach) to go for it.  So I did.

The clock started and the ten of us in the gym started to bang out sit ups as fast we could.  By 25, I was feeling the burn in every party of my abdomen and low back.  And I was only a quarter of the way.  When I got to the halfway mark, I saw the first guy finish his sit ups and move on to the 10 overhead lunges.  I, along with others, applauded his efforts and yelled out “Way to go, Matt!” (see why I love CrossFit so much?  The camaraderie is huge.)  In my head though, I thought “Already?” and onto sit up #51 I went.

I'm pretty sure this is what my face looked like each time I did a sit up.

I’m pretty sure this is what my face looked like each time I did a sit up.

Slowly but surely, I saw everyone else complete their 100 sit ups.  Guys and girls…finishing up as I plugged slowly away.  I was only on 70 when everyone else in the gym moved onto the next part.  The coach was encouraging to me: “Andrea, you’ve got this.  Keep going!”  And I did.  75.  80.  82.  84.  85.  Omigod. I was so sore, so tired.  And I still had overhead lunges and kettlebell swings to go.  A thought went through my head.

“If I did 90, no one would know.”  86.  87.  88.

“I could be done these freakn’ sit ups in 2…and no one would be the wiser.”  89.  90.

Except that I would be.  I would be the wiser.  My name would go up on the board with a completed time even though I hadn’t completed the WOD.  I would know.

91.  92.  93.  94.  95.  96.  97.  98.  99.  100.

100 sit ups.  I did it.  I got up and went onto the overhead lunges.  10 of those and then 10 kettlebell swings.  Then I worked my way down to 1, as everyone else on the floor finished up.  I had at least 5 rounds to go when I’m pretty sure everyone else had completed the WOD.  But then the part of CrossFit I love so much happened to me.  They all started to cheer me on, and let me know that they were there until I was done.  Three more rounds, two more rounds…and then the beautiful moment when I picked up the 25 lb plate above my head, did a lunge, and then swung the kettlebell for the final time.  Done.  The whole thing.  RX’d.

The lesson?  I will only get better if I push myself to do the whole workout.   I could have shaved 10 sit ups off.  But I held myself accountable to finishing it up even though I was sore and way behind everyone else.  Integrity is a high value of mine and certainly my own integrity would be less if I hadn’t completed the whole thing.  So from this I get the internal sense of satisfaction for completing the WOD, prescribed.  A sense of pride for the day…okay, okay, that pride has lasted an extra two days (mainly because two days later my abs are still sore from those damn sit ups)…that will last until the next time I walk into the gym and I see the next WOD.