Go girl!

So after 3 months of cross-fitting, I can say that yesterday was a turning point—to all the crossfit skeptics out there who paint a picture of super toned body builders (most of them being male) who drink creatine shakes, I have got news for you.

Go girl!Yesterday, yours truly accomplished a small but meaningful crossfit feat—this girl beat the boys.

Now I will admit that those who know me know full and well how competitive I am—but yesterday was a turning point not only for my physical fitness but my mental toughness.

The moment I saw the WOD (workout of the day) on the board, my stomach started churning and I felt a little unsure of myself for really no reason at all—because after 3 months, while the workouts still kick your backside, the thought of them has become more a moment of embrace than fear—but the dreaded feeling of self-doubt started to takeover.

I sat there looking at my jump rope, my bar and my poker chips thinking –“just keep your own pace—focus on you and no one around you”—it was in that moment I remember that feeling of slipping into “the zone”, where the world becomes quiet and the surge of adrenaline kicks into high gear. I should also note that I am not some incredible athlete but rather a steady competitor.

When the countdown began, I took a deep breath and started the first round of burpees—after 3 rounds I started on the 200m run only to realize that I was in the lead—while the coach was yelling “come on April you’re beating him!”

I turned to look behind me and saw 2 of the guys just behind me on the run and I could feel myself pushing the limits mentally and physically. For the first time in months my mind and body worked together to muscle through what I thought was my upper limit. The cheers from the coaches and other classmates gave me that final surge of energy to kick through the last few minutes, making sure I conquered each burpee, front squat, body row, double under and 200m run.

As the WOD came to an end I realized I had finished ahead of everyone in the class and was secretly proud – proud of my ability to focus and stay on my own pace, but also realizing that I had finally gotten to a fitness level I could be proud of after 3 months of hard work.thumbcay7vqye1

The lesson: this isn’t just for the big burly men—the ladies can more than hold their own in crossfit. It’s time we stop creating our own barriers and just get out and try something new, because for most of us the only thing stopping us is our own self-doubt.

So ends my 1 week hiatus from blogging and more to come…

Take a Chill Pill – For breakfast

With a steady pace of sunny, warm days, it is time to switch up the breakfast routine—because sometimes you need a kick in the rear even if the sun is coming up a little earlier these days. For those of you looking for either a small or large step outside of the breakfast comfort zone, why not try a smoothie?

The last few weeks have been a mix of hectic work deliverables, family parties and our house officially under agreement/dreading the prospect of being homeless in less than 1 month—after a couple of mornings of either skipping breakfast or grabbing the Starbucks special, I put my foot down and started experimenting with some genius smoothie recipes found via my favorite go-to foodie site—FoodGawker.com.

SmoothiesSmoothies are not a breakthrough idea for a boring breakfast routine, but the term is pretty broad and contains a large spectrum of delicious recipes from entry-level to borderline mind-blowing.

Equipment and Prep
So you want to dabble in the smoothie endeavor for breakfast – just know that preparation and equipment do make a difference:

Blender Perfection – while we all do not want to invest the $600 for a fancy VitamixNinja Blender blender, there are suitable alternatives that provide great power and consistency:
o Ninja Blenders (Found here on                                 Amazon.com)
o Nutri Bullet (Found here on Amazon.com)

Prep Work – have some spare bananas lying around the kitchen looking a little brown? Why not chop them up into 1-2 inch slices and store in freezer safe bags in the freezer until you’re ready for a smoothie?
o Prepping your fruits and veggies ahead of time makes for a much smoother prep time –             pun intended
o Buying frozen fruit also speeds up prep time and they contain just as many nutrients as               the fresh fruit—there’s no shame in buying the Wyman’s frozen blueberries from your                   grocer’s freezer section

Give it a Whirl
Here a few recipes, from the entry-level strawberry key-lime smoothie to a sneaky vegetable-packed smoothie:

Recipe #1 Strawberry Key-Lime
Adapted from: Carlsbadcravings.com
Serves: 2

Ingredients
1-2 scoops of vanilla or strawberry whey protein powder
1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
1 5.3 oz. Stonyfield plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1 frozen banana, in 1-2 inch slices
Zest of 1 lime
1 cup frozen strawberries

Combine all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth – enjoy with a slice of lime or strawberries on top

Recipe #2 Good-for-you Green Smoothie
Adapted from: BeyondSweetAndSavory.com
Serves: 2

Ingredients
½ cup of kale
½ cup of spinach
1 cup frozen mango, or even pineapple
1 banana, fresh or frozen, cut into 1-2 inch slices
1 ripe avocado
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp chia seeds (optional – I opted out the first few times because of the texture)

Combine all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth.

Recipe #3 Sneaky Veggie Smoothie
Adapted from: JustPutzing.com
Serves: 1

Ingredients
1/2 cup fresh or frozen mango
1/2 cup fresh or frozen pineapple, chunks
1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt (Stonyfield is my yogurt of choice)
1/3 cup carrots, grated
1/2 cup orange juice or pineapple juice
1/4 cup water, tap or even coconut water

Combine all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth.

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