Day 90!!! 8100 Burpees, 64 Miles and Noticing a Change!

Holy shit, you guys, as of about 10 minutes ago, when I completed my last 10 burpees of the day, I officially completed my 90 day challenge!!!  90 burpees a day for 90 days?  DONE!!!!!

This challenge ended up being a great kick-start into more regular exercise, and really pushing what my body could do.  I started running daily again, have been committed to doing Zuzka workouts 6 days a week, completed a 5-mile obstacle course and have been eating extremely healthy along with finally having my food allergies diagnosed.  My body has changed a lot over the past 90 days and while I still have a ways to go I wanted to finally share a pic of my progress.  I’m taking a deep breath as I share this, but here goes (note, I didn’t start taking pics until late Feb, a month into the challenge)…

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Woot to noticeable change!!  My plan going forward is to do Zuzka workouts, or other HIIT in the morning.  I’ve switched my running to mid-day now that the weather has gotten better, any my pup is very appreciative of the exercise.  I’m also learning to do pull-ups and will be heading back out to the obstacle course in mid-May.  Any other ideas for a good challenge?  Let me know!

 

Day 82, 7380 Burpees, 55 Miles and a 5-Mile Obstacle Course!!

Yesterday was truly an adventure!  I should have expected no less at Shale Hill Adventure Farm where my friend Rosie (of Rock Bodies) decided to bring a small group for her birthday.  Only a personal trainer would choose trekking through five miles of brutal obstacles as a way to celebrate another great year!  I’m really thrilled I was invited along!!

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The group, pre-run and our very-muddy post-run shoes (I’m on the left).

We didn’t bring our cameras on the trail so unfortunately you can’t see us all muddied up, but definitely take a look at Shale Hill‘s site for some great videos and pics of their course.  They have the first fixed obstacle course in the country!  We spent our time belly-crawling through mud under barbed wire, scaling walls, climbing ropes and poles, hurling ourselves over hay bails, carrying logs, sand bags and buckets of rocks, swinging from ropes and jungle gyms and doing so so much more.  It was INTENSE, but really fun!  Think of it as a playground for adults, and if you go get ready to feel like a kid again!

I personally have never done something like this before.  People often use their course to prep for obstacle races, like the Spartan Race which is held fairly-close by.  Those who have trained for the course can do it in 1-2 hours or so.  Except for Rosie, we were all new to this type of exercise and we went through the course at a more casual pace, ending in three hours flat.  We took our time on the obstacles, really trying to get a taste for them even if we couldn’t beat them.  It was great that everyone in the group tried just about everything.  

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Pics from the trail head, could it be anymore beautiful here?! Thanks for letting me use some of your pics, Rosie!

My absolute favorite was climbing ropes set up in a grid going quite high into the air.  The objective was to climb it, go over it and climb down the other side.  As someone who is afraid of heights, this was a pretty big deal.  In fact, many of the obstacles challenged my fear, but thanks to rock climbing for the past year and a half I’m getting much better at gritting my teeth and getting through it.  I also rediscovered my love of jumping over things.  The hay bails were far too high to actually hurdle, but I used my old high-jump technique to propel my body on top of them and roll over; or in some instances just get up high enough that I could claw my way over.  My shins are pretty pissed at me for wearing shorts as they’re covered in scratches today.  

The only very-minor bummer of the day for me was that my Vibram Trek Sports that I wear pretty religiously for outdoor fun, ripped at one of my big toes, causing my toe to jut out bare at times.  This mostly bother me because I only bought them two years ago and my KSO’s ripped a bit at some of the toes only about a year after buying them.  So my track record with Vibrams is 1-2 years right now.  That’s a bummer considering how much I love them and how expensive they are.  Any tips from others out there on either another brand of minimal shoes or ways to repair my current Vibrams?

If you’re in the VT area or are vacationing up here I highly recommend checking out Shale Hill Adventure Farm.  You won’t be disappointed…but you will have your ass kicked!

Day 75, 6750 Burpees, 49 Miles, and Chicken Pot Pie!

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 75 days already!  The burpees have basically just become a part of my life at this point, even though they still manage to leave me gasping for air but my endurance for them has greatly increased.  My biggest focus these days is on food.  I’ve been experimenting with more recipes and more flours and there’s one recipe I’m just dying to share with you!

Chicken Pot Pie Two Ways (Paleo *or* gluten/dairy/corn free)

Having these new food allergies along with a rigorous workout routine occasionally really burns me out and I get cravings for comfort food.  It would be easy to head to the local diner or grab some takeout from the pizza shop down the street, but there has to be ways for me to satisfy my cravings without going off my diet.  This recipe helps solve that problem.

The Paleo recipe is heavily based off of Fed & Fit’s Paleo Chicken Pot Pie.  I really only added in some fresh herbs and garlic.  It was great, but in full disclosure I found the almond crust to be a bit too heavy at times and it was also very crumbly, especially in the center of the pie (since I made a full pie, not individual pies).  It did crisp nicely on top, but then fell apart when taking it out of the pan or eating it.  The high compliment I will give is that both my boyfriend and I thought it tasted like chicken skin…seriously.  It’s very rich.  So the second time I made this I altered the crust recipe since I’m not personally on a Paleo diet.  The crust I ended up making that time was awesome and would make a perfect fruit pie crust if you add sugar to it and nix the herbs.  I’m really happy it was easy to alter.  I’ll give you both recipes and definitely check out the Fed & Fit blog for some amazing pictures of the recipe.

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Note on ratios: The recipe ratio was originally made for 8 personal pies.  I ended up with enough pie filling for two full large pies, and enough crust for one.  This was great since I just froze the second pie filling and used it a couple weeks later.  If you only want enough filling for one pie cut the filling ingredients in half.

Ingredients

Paleo Crust:

  • 3 cups Almond Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1.5 tsp Salt (I used Himalayan, the original recipe calls for Kosher)
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ cup Virgin Coconut Oil (room temperature)
  • 1 tbsp Cool Water
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Basil, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Marjoram, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme, minced

Gluten Free Crust:

  • 1 cup Almond Four  (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour
  • 1.5 tsp Salt (I used Himalayan, the original recipe calls for Kosher)
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ cup Virgin Coconut Oil (room temperature)
  • 3-5 tbsp Cool Water
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Basil, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Marjoram, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme, minced

Filling:

  • 3 Chicken Breast Halves Roasted and Cubed
  • 2 cups Sweet Onions Chopped
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 cups Frozen Green Peas
  • 2 cups Frozen Carrots
  • ¼ cup Canned Coconut Milk (full fat)
  • ¾ cup Almond Flour  (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 3 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Egg (for egg wash)
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Basil, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Marjoram, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme, minced

Directions

Chicken:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Wash chicken breast and pat dry.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Drizzle and rub 1 Tbl oil on the chicken breast.
  5. Sprinkle with generous amount of  salt and cracked black pepper.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven when finished and let cool.
  8. Cut into about ½” cubes when cool enough to handle.

Crust:

  1. In a food processor or mixer (I used my KitchenAid), mix the dry ingredients together (flours, salt, and baking powder).
  2. Add the coconut oil and slowly pulse or mix until it’s evenly mixed. It should have the consistence of peas.
  3. Slowly add the water and pulse until it forms a dough-like texture.  Note that in the GF version you have to use more water than in the Paleo version.
  4. Remove from food processor/mixer, roll into a ball and wrap in cling wrap.
  5. Put the dough into the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  6. Dust a pastry board (or cutting board) with almond meal.  Or if you’re like me dust your (cleaned) countertop.  I also recently received these as a gift and can vouch that they did an AWESOME job with the dough in this recipe, getting rid of having flour all over the kichen.
  7. Roll out pie crust.  Keep dusting the top and bottom of dough and the rolling pin with dry almond meal so that it doesn’t stick.

Filling:

  1. Heat the oil in the bottom of a large pot.
  2. Add the yellow onions and cook on medium/high until they’re translucent.  Add the garlic and cook both until slightly brown.
  3. Slowly add the almond meal and reduce the heat.
  4. Slowly add the chicken stock and stir.
  5. Add the coconut milk, 1 tsp salt, and black pepper.
  6. Add the peas, carrots, and chicken.
  7. Carefully pour into pie plate.
  8. Place the crust on top of the filling.
  9. Scramble one egg and paint the crust of each pie generously.
  10. Sprinkle with salt and cut 3-4 slits in the top.
  11. I recommend setting the pie plate on a cookie sheet and putting it in the oven like that to catch any drippings.
  12. Bake at 375ºF for one hour, or until inside is bubbly and crust is browned.
  13. Let cool 10-15 minutes before eating.

While this isn’t a fast recipe to make, taking about 1-1.5 hours of prep and another hour to cook, it is really worthwhile and since you can freeze the extra filling it made a very quick meal the second time I made it.  You can even do what the original recipe called for and make individual pies.  In that case I would freeze filling in individual freezer bags and thaw one on the day you want to make it.  I do think making the crust same-day is worthwhile and it really is an easy crust recipe.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!!