Sunday, November 27, 2011

Things That Drive Me Crazy About Myself, part ??

Baggies!!!!!  OMG so many baggies!

Today I am going to do a little adventure cooking. It involves an Indian spice called Josh Rogan which in turn is really a mixture of about 10 different spices. So I made a list and headed off to my spice cabinet to see what I had and what I needed to buy.

And then all hell broke loose. Okay, here is where a picture is worth about 1000 words. The picture that I did not take (because I was not thinking blog when I embarked on this adventure) would have shown 30-40 baggies full of small amount of spices shoved into my spice cabinet. Yes, shoved, because there were so many that any placement action less than shoving would have resulted in falling baggies.  The entire shelf was baggies.

Let me step back for a minute and share that years ago (10 or so) my mom recognized this problem and bought my a spice rack with lots of jar and labels just ready for my bulk spices to inhabit. The jars are set up, labeled and ready to go. But WHAT DO I DO?????  I buy baggies of spice and don't take the 2 seconds to put them in their jar. Then, for example, a year later on thanksgiving, I bring home 4 new baggies of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves and add them to the pile.  Why do I do this when I already own all these spices??  Because the ones I already own are on the bottom of the pile of baggies and who wants to take the time to dig through it all.


So, today I just spend 15 minutes or so (YES THAT'S ALL IT TOOK), emptying the baggies into their proper jar and organizing.  I will give myself a slight pat on the back and mention that all the baggies except one or two WERE LABELED!  Yes, that is a lesson I learned because back in the day who would have taken the time to write the spice on the baggy.  I will also give myself a second pat on the back (woo, my arm is getting tired!) and mention that today I threw away the spices in the unlabeled bags (my tendency is to keep them because who knows when I'll need them, even though I have no idea what they are).

After. Ack, what's that baggy there in the back!

Okay, final baggy gone. Phew! I need a nap.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Treat!

I haven't blogged about Crossfit for a while, so I thought maybe I'd share an extra special workout I got to do this week. I am sure you can only handle the woo woo of the yoga blog for so long, bring back the real Roberta..........    

My very very favorite type of crossfit workout is a chipper!  In most crossfit workouts you do a certain number of rounds of the same three or four exercises, repeating  or increasing the same pain with every set.  In a chipper you do maybe eight or nine different movements and you only do them once.  They're usually a bit epic and they always rock, though maybe only after you finish.  We don't do them nearly enough, but sometimes we get them for a holiday treat. This Thanksgiving we were treated to an extra special holiday chipper.

5 Rope Climbs - 20 feet
10 Heavy Thrusters (40k ie 88lbs)
15 Cleans (also 40k)
20 Ring Dips
25 Kettlebells swings (heavy 24K or 53lbs)
30 Pull Ups
35 One Arm Dumbbell Snatches (35lbs)
40 Wall Ball Shots (14lbs)
45 Box Jumps (20")

All my loyal readers probably remember a counting post a while back in which rope climbs figured prominently. At that time I attempted 2 rope climbs in a row during a work out and couldn't make it to the top the 2nd time. Well guess what, Thursday I did 5 IN A ROW!!!! Yes, I was impressed with myself and feel free to revel in my glory as well.

And guess what else, 5 rope climbs in a row is exhausting!  I thought the 10 thrusters would be one of the easier parts of the workout. Sure they were heavy, but only 10.  But I was so tired after the rope climbs I could barely get the bar to my shoulders to do the thrusters!

The rest of the workout was just slow and steady and painful.  But, the great thing about chippers is that while every exercise usually sucks you only have to do it once and that's it! For example, while there is nothing good about 25 heavy kettlebell swings when you're already tired, you know if you suck it up you can move on to pull ups which are fun!  (Special thanks to Tracy and Dina who were cheering me on during the KB swings and made me feel like a rockstar.)  

I finished in 34 minutes plus some change. I am pretty sure I could take 3-4 minutes off my time. I had a good 3-4 minutes of completely gratuitous resting.  Or time spent dinking around instead of focusing, switching medicine balls and targets, getting distracted by things that were none of my business!  But I was only one of two women who did it as proscribed and was faster than most.

And yes, these are the things that I consider fun and for which I am thankful!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Clearly yoga didn't always make me blissfully happy!

This blog is dedicated to my favorite yogis; my dad who found yoga later in life after he was diagnosed with cancer and became quite giddy with it, Jonna, who taught me the importance of the proper form, and Phyfe, who started it all.   

I love yoga. I used to practice yoga regularly, attempting (mostly in vain) to unlock my body from hours of running and cycling. For me yoga was a physical endeavor, an attempt to open hips and hamstrings, unlock my back and neck. I wanted to work as hard as possible and I was always a bit resistant to the woo woo aspects of yoga (chanting and whatnot), but what with all the mandatory breathing practice and ohming, I'm guessing a got a bit of woo woo and stress relief as well.       

My not so necessarily brilliant yoga career started in 1996 or thereabouts. A group of us went to India for my stepbrother's wedding and his future wife's family had a yogi come give us daily lessons. I don't remember the poor guy's name, but I do remember he induced endless laughter (which I'm sure he found very confounding). He would put us in corpse pose at the end of class and tell us to 'imagine a dead body', which did little to encourage relaxation, as it was all we could do not to burst into hysterics. A bit of an inauspicious beginning, but it started me off, and for years after that trip I did yoga multiple times per week. But when I started crossfit, that all seemed to drop off as I ran out of time and energy for any other physical endeavors.

But really, with crossfit I need yoga more than ever. But maybe I need the quieter, calmer, gentler, more restorative yoga (closer to the woo woo side of the spectrum) to counteract the crossfit. This week I read the blog of a crossfiter who is starting on a yoga adventure. And it inspired me. So I channeled my inner Jonna and pulled out my Iyengar book and stop watch. I channeled my inner Phyfe and tried to remember where my 'locks' - root etc - were ('apply the locks' competes with 'imagine a dead body' as my favorite yoga quote of all time). I dug around the edge of my brain and found I could still kick the ujjayi breathing. I tried to ignore the two pairs of eyes (Otto and Daisy) who were staring at me with great expectation and surprise. And I was on my way.

And it rocked!  OMG, yoga makes you feel so good. I did some twisting and some hip opening and some back bending and when I was done, my back and hamstrings were singing with happiness! I am hoping this is just the beginning and my inner yogi will continue to shine.

BTW, Google roberta and yoga and this is what  you get! (A pose I did not do today.)

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Channeling Janet Jackson, 'what have you done for me lately?'  

Much like his mom, Otto has never really understood how to play.  Lately, he's been super antsy and full of extra energy. I'll take him for a long walk after work and then when we get home he'll stand beside me whining and jumping on my chair in an attempt to get me to play with him. Today (a Saturday), he was full of energy. He had three walks this morning (including one extra fun walk in the woods), yet all afternoon he was following me around whining,  torturing the cat and acting, well, kind of puppy like.

So, this afternoon, I decided we should go out to the dog park so he could play. Mind you it's 45 degrees and raining, so I wasn't super excited about standing out in the cold. But, he needed a walk  so I figured I might as well be miserable at the dog park.

So, we get to the park and I'm patting myself on the back about what a good dog mom I am, and what happens??????  Otto walks around the perimeter of the park peeing, then stands beside me and stares at me with a 'what have you done for me lately' look on his face. Other dogs try to entice him to play and he's having none of it. Quite frankly, he was getting more exercise inside my house. Finally, at the very end, as my fingers are freezing and I'm working on quite grouchy, he decides it's time to run with the pack. Of course, he's not playing, he's policing, essentially attacking the top dog in an attempt to get them all to stop playing. We had to scuttle out of the park with our tails down to avoid being shunned by the other dog owners.

What? I'm playing.  My feet are moving so fast they're blurry.
Otto (and mom) stand to the side as the others mix and mingle.
Pre park, Otto attempts to play as I attempt to nap.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Beautiful Squash Soup

BSS, I love you. (Please note the very fancy and almost professional looking photo!)
As I get old (maybe I can still say older?), I find that I dread the coming of fall and winter. Oh, it's okay when it's a beautiful, sunny, warmish fall day. But when it dips into the 40s, and it's all rain and clouds, drizzle and grey, I say no thank you. Not only is it just depressing, but I get cold. And I feel like I'm cold most of the time during the winter.

I have a friend who is always hot. Even though it was maybe 45 outside, she arrived at the gym the other day in a tank top and flip flops. She had elevated from her condo to a heated garage and driven to the gym. I woke up in my 55 degree 100 year old house, walked the dog, and rode my bike to the gym. I was wearing arm warmers, a wool shirt, a fleece jacket, a cycling jacket, the warmest cycling gloves I have been able to find, and my extra warm bike pants. And I was still cold. My  life is not conducive to cold weather. In fact, as I get older, I begin to think longingly of Arizona.  Or maybe Florida.  And Warmth!

Oh course, there is one amazing thing about the winter. Squash. In particular, my two favorites Delicata and Butternut. I am pretty sure that roasted delicata squash is the most tasty food ever.  I'm not kidding. My favorite used to be chocolate chip cookies, but I think RDS may have usurped that spot in my life. If any of you have not tried RDS, Do. Now. You won't be sorry. Add lots of oil. Slice it thin. And let it get a little crispy!  You'll say OMG, I love RDS.

Another squash favorite is butternut squash soup, or as my mom calls it, beautiful squash soup.  I made my first batch of BSS last weekend. Oh, get this, not only did I make my first batch of the season, but I made it with my very own homemade chicken broth. Really, life doesn't get much better than that. I make my BSS with about 10xs the amount of ginger and lime indicated in the recipe, and let me tell you, it was a little taste of heaven.  Actually, to be honest, I tried some right after I made it and was disappointed. It was kind of thin tasting and I thought my chicken broth wasn't holding its own. But the next day, after the flavors had had time to sit, well, it was competing with its brother RDS for my affections.

So, I guess fall and I have a bit of a love hate thing going. Maybe I'll just buy some extra layers and cook up the paleo comfort food.