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The Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

22 Apr

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you may be aware that on April 6th I woke up ridiculously early to head over to the Intrepid Air and Space Museum in NYC to participate in the Civilian Military Combine.

If you’ve never been to the Intrepid, it’s pretty cool.  It’s a museum on a retired aircraft carrier.  I remembered visiting it as a kid and loving it.  So when my friend Lindsay from my Crossfit gym asked me if I’d be interested in participating in the event and that it came with free tickets to the museum, I was sold.  I joined Team Down Bottom Position (named after a popular phrase one of our coaches often uses) and signed up for the event.  Lindsay and our teammate Kristi even made us some great shirts to rock during the event.

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

The Civilian Military Combine is a competition that puts civilians against military personnel in a test of fitness.  It starts off with a Crossfit style “WOD” strength component, and then you move onto a 1/2 mile long obstacle course.

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

The PIT element consisted of as many rounds as possible in 7 minutes of

  • 7 45 pound push presses
  • 7 26 pound kettlebell swings
  • 7 20″ burpee box jumps

So the goal is to get as many reps as you can in the 7 minutes.  I completed around 89 reps, mostly because I’m slow (or so my coaches tell me).  I’ve been working pretty hard to try to get faster during these types of workouts.  It really makes you have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

After the PIT, you were immediately sent over to the half a mile long obstacle course.  It consisted of a weighted sled push…

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Carrying an insanely heavy sandbag up three flights of stairs and back down…

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Monkey bars…

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Rope wall climbs…

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Scaling numerous walls…

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Ladder type walls….

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Carrying large buckets filled with water through a maze…

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

And this lovely obstacle at the end.  It was basically two rope meshes, one on top and one on the bottom.  You had to roll your way through it and pull yourself out the other end.  Holy ab workout.

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

We all finished and had a fantastic time!

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Immediately after we finished, we got to explore the Intrepid Museum.  Although it was pretty cold out (it was in the 40’s!), we still had a crystal-clear perfect day to check out all the planes.

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Have you ever visited the Intrepid or completed a CMC Event?  If so I’d love to hear about it!

*Special thanks to Chris for getting all these photos the day of the event.

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I’m Going to Wanderlust

4 Apr

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IMAGE CREDIT // AbbeyLey

My friends Glenna, Sharon and I have been talking about going to the Wanderlust Festival since early this year.  We all met years ago doing marathons with Team in Training, so to say we’re all pretty active and athletic is an understatement.  While we all enjoy yoga, I wouldn’t describe us as die-hard yogis.  I haven’t been able to go as often as I used to now that I’m Crossfitting.  Glenna and Sharon however both practice yoga as supplements to their current race training.

This past week we finally booked the trip and made it official.  I’m so excited!  We all went out for dinner on Monday and decided on activities to book together, which include Ashtanga (my personal favorite style of yoga), paddle boarding, sunset hikes, lectures, and even hip-hop yoga!  There also should be some yummy vegan eats according to the event’s website.

We’re making it a long weekend and leaving Thursday evening after work, doing the festival on Friday and Saturday, and on Sunday exploring the town and later leaving that afternoon.  The weather in June should make for a perfect road trip, and from what I hear the scenery in Vermont is not to be missed.  I’ve never been to Vermont so I’m really looking forward to it.

Are you going to Wanderlust?  If so, let me know.  Maybe I’ll see you there!

Eating Vegan Paleo / Masala Tofu and Cauli-Fried Rice

25 Mar

Dinner tonight: Masala Tofu and Cauliflower "Fried" Rice. #Grainfree #vegan and smells amazing!

As I’ve mentioned since my Paleo Challenge at my Crossfit gym earlier this year, I’ve since maintained a totally grain free vegan diet.  I had such great results I now can’t fathom eating any other way.

When I mention I’m grain free to other vegans, their first usual reaction is “I love grains!  They’re the basis for every meal for me.  I could never do that!”  This is kind of ironic to me considering it’s the same type of answer we all usually get when speaking to an omnivore about eating meat, dairy or eggs!

Truth is I’ve actually found it pretty easy to make similar recipes to what I’m used to by using grain “substitutions”, similar to how people will eat faux meats and cheeses when transitioning to veganism.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll give you some of my tricks as to how I’ve easily made this transition along with some of my new favorite recipes I’ve both adapted and created to make it possible.

First up today is grain free rice!  I used to absolutely love rice, especially fried rice.  Believe it or not,  grated cauliflower has a very similar taste and texture to the real thing, so it works perfect in these kind of dishes.  It’s also really easy to prepare.

Here’s my vegan adaptation of Urban Poser’s Paleo Masala Cauli-Rice.  To make this more of an entrée for vegans, I’ve added some delicious dry rubbed masala tofu to the dish.  This recipe smells as amazing as it looks and tastes!  When I brought leftovers of it into work one day everyone kept ducking into the break-room to see where the smell was coming from.

Masala Tofu and Cauli-Fried Rice

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium cauliflower head, grated (about 4 cups)
  • Half a large yellow onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 whole jalapeno, seeded and diced or 1/4 cup diced green pepper
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled & grated ( about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/3 cup frozen petite green peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon Garam Masala seasoning (I used the pre-made type)
  • salt and pepper to taste (amounts will vary depending on if your masala mix was salted or not).
  • Garnishes: lime wedges & cilantro

DIRECTIONS

PREP:
  1. Set your broiler to high so it gets nice and hot while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Press your tofu to remove as much moisture as possible.  Then cut into triangles.  Dry rub each piece with the reserved 1 tablespoon of Garam Masala.  Lay on a broiler safe baking sheet coated in cooking spray and set aside until we’re ready to broil it.
  3. Grate the cauliflower with a hand grater or with a grating blade on a food processor. You can also use the regular blade on the food processor but it may result in a wetter, less “rice-like” product.
  4. Prep the rest of the veggies minus the frozen peas (dicing, mincing) and set aside.
  5. Mince the garlic and pepper, grate the ginger mixing them all together in a small bowl.
  6. Mix together the spices in another small bowl and set aside.
COOKING:
  1. Pop the tofu under the broiler for 6 minutes.  When browned, flip the tofu and give it another 6 minutes.  Tofu should be golden and crispy on the outside.  When done set aside.
  2. Heat a wok over high medium/high heat (on the “high” side), add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and then add the cauliflower. Toss it in the oil then spread it out in a thin layer as evenly as possible. Turn the burner up to high. Allow cauliflower to fry till it starts to brown a little then stir/flip it around, again spreading it in a thin layer. Do this a couple of times till the cauliflower starts to get brown and black flecks all over it, almost like it has been grilled. Transfer to a large bowl and place the wok back on the heat, turning the heat back down to medium/high. Spreading out the cauliflower and cooking it at a high heat like this keeps the cauliflower from steaming itself and getting soggy, and produces a very “rice-like” texture.
  3. Add another tablespoon of coconut oil, then add the garlic, ginger and jalapeno/green pepper mix to the oil. Fry for about a minute but not so long that the mixture burns. Stir & toss often to keep from burning.
  4. Add the prepared veggies (minus the peas) to the wok and cook just as you did the cauliflower. Spreading out and allowing them to fry and brown, stir & toss often till the veggies are cooked through and browned slightly. Transfer to the bowl with the cauliflower.
  5. Return the wok to the heat and add the last tablespoon of coconut oil plus the spice mixture. Fry the spice mixture in the oil for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then add the rest of the ingredients back into the wok. Add the green peas and continue to fry and toss all the ingredients together for about 1-2 minutes more. Add coarse sea salt and cracked pepper to taste. Salt amounts will vary depending on if your masala mix was salted or not. If it doesn’t contain salt, I start with about 1 teaspoon of salt and work from there.
  6. To serve, plate a serving of the cauli-rice and top with the masala tofu wedges.  Serve with a wedge of lime, to be squeezed on top of the “rice” just before serving and some cilantro.

 

Paleo Challenge / My Vegan Results

18 Mar

Paleo Challenge Results 2013

I never in a million years ever figured I’d post photos like this on the public interwebs, but here I am doing it anyway.  Mostly because I’m kinda blown away by how ripped my back now looks.  Please ignore the fact I look like a hot mess, because these were taking immediately after I finished sweating my face off during the challenge test out workout.  Also, don’t judge me for these shorts.  After seeing them on film I know to burn them, they are so not flattering!

I am beyond happy with my results from my Crossfit gym’s Paleo Challenge this past January and February.  I’m actually now even after the challenge is done still eating this way and love it.

Here’s essentially what the challenge entailed.

It started on January 2nd and ran up until February 13th.  On these days our workout times and weight was recorded, so that we could measure the improvement after the program was completed.  We also took our before/after photos on these dates after the Angie workout, which is why I look like such a sweaty mess in these photos.

Angie is a bitch.  She’s 100 pull-ups, 100 push ups, 100 sit-ups and 100 squats.  Now that the challenge is completed, I’ve done the workout three times and have improved measurably each time.

As far as the eating thing goes, the foundation of Paleo is to eat all real, non-processed food.  There is a heavy emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and for omni’s free range organic meat and eggs.  So it’s really not all that different than veganism aside from the meat and eggs thing.  There were three different levels they allowed people to participate in.

  • Beginner: eliminate sugar and grains; 1 cheat day a week.
  • Intermediate: eliminate sugar and grains; no cheat days.
  • Advanced: eliminate sugar, grains and dairy; no cheat days.
  • Expert: eliminate sugar, grains, dairy, legumes and alcohol; no cheat days.

I participated at the advanced level, but they allowed me to leave legumes in.  The main reason they say to cut out legumes is most people are intolerant to them and they can cause bloating and something they call “leaky gut”.  I already knew I was tolerant to legumes  since I’ve done elimination diets in the past and had no issues when I added them back into my diet.

So the big changes for me were no sugar, no alcohol and no grains.  The grains one was a huge one for me.  I love my gluten free pasta, rice, and all other things grainy.  I had been gluten free for a long time but cutting out all grains, including rice, quinoa and corn was going to take a lot of focus and planning for me.

The one thing that really surprised me is after I cut the grains and sugar, I stopped having food cravings. I used to like to snack all day and now I don’t have any desire to snack at all.  I also crave natural food.  When given the choice now between a bag of chips and an apple I without thinking chose the apple.  It’s made sticking to this way of eating much, much easier than I ever anticipated.

Paleo Challenge Results 2013

Paleo Challenge Results 2013

Paleo Challenge Results 2013

As you can see in the before and after photos, my body apparently loves life grain free!  The weight just kinda started dropping off.  I didn’t increase my workouts or what I was doing, just changed my diet and within a week saw a measurable improvement which continued through the entire challenge.

At the end of the 45 days, here’s how I came out.

January 2nd:
Angie Time: 23:15
Weight: 154 pounds

February 13th:
Angie Time: 20:45
Weight: 147 pounds!

So I not only cut 3 minutes and 30 seconds off my time, but I also lost 7 pounds!

I also set several personal records during the time frame as well.  I’m deadlifting and squatting over 160 pounds, and I even got a clean and jerk record of 98 pounds which for me was insane.  Considering I’ve only been Crossfitting a little over 4 months, I’m pretty proud of that.  Vegans can be strong too!  I’m happy to be showing my non-veg friends at the gym that the weak vegan stereotype is a load of bull.

I may be strong, but I still have a lot of work to do.  My cardio endurance is sad, so I’ve been given orders by my coach to work on things like burpees, double-unders (jumping rope) and just trying to move faster in my workouts.  So that’s my next focus.

I’m actually really looking forward to reading this post in the next 6 to 9 months or so and compare these results to the results I have then.  I can only imagine how much I will have progressed by then if I got these results in a short 45 days.

Sadly, I didn’t win the challenge but my improvements were still noticeable enough that people at the gym are asking me more about vegan paleo.  One of the coaches today even asked me if I’d mind helping out with nutritional info for one of their clients who is vegetarian.  I was really impressed he asked for help and acknowledged not being knowledgeable on the subject as opposed to pushing his client to eat standard paleo.  This also shows me I’m being taken seriously enough at the gym as far as my performance goes that people would think to ask me about my diet as a viable option.

I really can’t make any exceptions to the no grain thing.  I retain a LOT of water if I eat them.  It’s gross.  Immediately following the challenge, I somewhat fell off the wagon and during my Mexico trip drank a lot (obvi, I was surrounded by margaritas!) as well as had a lot of corn chips and boy did I pay for it.  My body almost reverted back to the way I looked on day one.  I’m now two weeks into eating super clean again and I’m leveling back out again thank goodness.  Now I know I can’t be one of those 90/10 paleo people.  I have to eat clean all the time, no exceptions if I want to keep improving.  Then again they say abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym, so I guess it makes total sense.

I plan on creating another post shortly which will outline better what I’m now eating on a daily basis, including what substitutions I’ve found for things like pasta and grains.  There aren’t a ton of vegan paleo posts out there on the internet so I’d love to share what I learned.

If anyone has any specific questions on crossfit, vegan paleo, what I eat or my results, please let me know!

Crazy About Crossfit

11 Feb

20130209-225823.jpg
image: www.thrustr.tumblr.com

I fairly recently changed up my workout routine and have been doing Crossfit. For those of you unfamiliar with Crossfit, here’s the definition per the official website.

CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.

Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist.

The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience. We’ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs.

The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree not kind. Our terrorist hunters, skiers, mountain bike riders and housewives have found their best fitness from the same regimen.

Thousands of athletes worldwide have followed our workouts posted daily on this site and distinguished themselves in combat, the streets, the ring, stadiums, gyms and homes.

By the description, I know it sounds really intimidating and I’m not going to lie, it’s not an easy program. In fact, I waltzed into the “intro” class figuring it would be a cakewalk due to working out regularly and being a fixture at my gym. Boy was I wrong. The intro class knocked me on my ass. Though I near wanted to vomit, I was instantly hooked and signed up for the On-Ramp program.

On-Ramp is a mandatory beginner program you have to take before you start the standard classes. In On-Ramp, they review all the highly technical Olympic weightlifting moves as well as proper form for standard calisthenics like push ups and squats. I started in October and my On-Ramp finished up the end of that month. Ever since, I’ve been going to the standard classes three to four times a week.

20130209-225941.jpg
image: www.list09.com

My favorite part of the program by far is the olympic style lifting. I love how highly technical it is. There’s also something extremely satisfying about being able to lift weight that’s heavier than what you believe you can.

So far, the results have been nothing short of amazing. initially, I didn’t lose weight. I gained close to 10 pounds which I believe was all muscle. Issue though was suddenly none of my clothes fit (hence, no outfit posts recently). So although I was getting crazy strong and fit, I was living in leggings and anything stretchy being nothing, even my dresses fit. I was in near tears this past New Years after the realization only one of my dresses fit appropriately enough to wear out in public.

On January 2nd my box (Crossfit lingo for “gym”) launched a 6 week Paleo challenge. Paleo and vegan usually do not mix, but all in all my box is really supportive of it’s vegan community so for that aspect I’m really lucky. I’m not going to get too into Paleo or the challenge right now being I have enough to say about it to warrant its own post, but let’s just say participating in the Paleo challenge has taken my Crossfit performance to another level. I’ve increased most of my lifts anywhere between 15-20 pounds and my fitness levels have sored. I’ve also started to get really lean. Remember those 10 pounds I put on? They’re now gone plus some more as well as inches. And it’s been less than 6 weeks! So vegans, don’t dismiss Paleo! There are ways to do it and stay vegan, which I’ll share later in another post.

So the box’s Paleo challenge included eating foods approved on the program along with doing the popular Angie workout at the start of the challenge and then again after. This is to test to see how much your fitness has progressed. You also have to commit to having before and after photos taken. The challenge ends for me this Wednesday, so stay tuned for another post on my results along with easy ways to eat Paleo and vegan.

Needless to say, I’m now somewhat obsessed with Crossfit. Expect to see it as a regular feature on the blog as I progress with my training. I need another outlet besides boring Jim to death talking about it all the time!

Do you Crossfit? If so, I’d love to hear about it! I’d also love to hear any feedback my readers may have on posts you’d like to see on Crossfit as well, so if you have any suggestions hit me up.

Color Run NYC

8 Jun

 

I am so excited to have gotten a spot in the NYC Color Run 5k!!! I had heard about this race a while ago and have patiently been waiting for them to release the info on the much anticipated NYC run dates and registration. When I finally received the notice registration had opened, I immediately signed up. Good thing I did, the Saturday run sold out within the hour!

I’ve run lots of races ranging from marathons, half marathons, 10k’s and more. This one looks way more fun than anything I’ve ever done before. You start off the race wearing all white and totally clean. By the time you end the race, you’re covered head to toe in a rainbow of colored powder!

There still may be slots available for the Sunday run, and you can register by clicking here. If you got a slot for the Saturday race, be sure to say hi if you see me, I’ll be there!

Time to Get Naked / At Bootcamp

31 May

My totes diesel friend Tracy of Tracy Helsing Fitness.

I love going to the gym as you may or may not know, and the women solely responsible for the shape I’m in is my BFF Tracy Helsing.  Tracy’s a personal trainer and fitness professional who really knows her stuff.  She very recently made her television debut as of the trainers on Food Network’s Fat Chef show.  She’s a total badass and will make you cry if you don’t do enough squats to make your ass perfect.

Tracy is teaming up with fellow trainers Faith Pilger and Dorian Cervantes to offer outdoor bootcamps 9 am each Saturday in June at Williamsburg’s McCarren Park.  Classes are an hour long and it’s $125 for the entire 5 week session, or $30 a class.

Visit their Facebook Page to sign up.  All you have to do is click “like”.

You can email Tracy at tracyhelsing@gmail.com with any other questions. Seriously, the more the merrier, so please pass the word on and bring your friends as there will be plenty of tag team, cooperative and group exercises.

If you are serious about getting in bikini shape for summer, or about looking good NAKED, make sure you visit their page today before it gets sold out.

Trampoline

24 Mar

Hollywood Stunts Sign

A few weeks ago my friend Tracy emailed me about a Living Social deal that seemed just to fun to pass up. It was to purchase a coupon towards either a stunt double free fall class or trampoline class at a local place called Hollywood Stunts. For $25 you got a two-hour long class. It sounded like fun so we bought our deals and reserved our spots in the next available class we both could attend.

Onions

Hollywood Stunts initially was a bit difficult to find. It’s located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and it’s in an industrial area. After we both drove around looking for it for around 10-15 minutes, we finally caved and whipped out our iPhones. We successfully located it at the end of a long, dead-end alley. Their neighbors apparently were onion distributors.

Hollywood Stunts Entrance

Entering the place you can’t help but check out all the cool posters and film permit signs they had adorned over the entrance. It was very “Brooklyn” if you ask me, I loved it.

Lockers

We were told to put our stuff in the lockers in the back, and head on over for our class which was going to start in a few minutes. Luckily we both had just come from the gym, so I had my lock with me.

Inside Hollywood Stunts

The space was a huge warehouse space. Towards the back they had a giant scaffolding and inflatable cushion they used for the free fall class. On the right hand side of the space they had the giant trampoline, where we’d be having our class.

Hollywood Stunts Riser

Free Fall

Steps

Cassandra

Our instructor was the best. She started off teaching us the basics, like the proper way to jump and how to use our arms to propel ourselves higher. Most importantly she showed us how to “brake”, or to stop quickly. Who would have thought there were so many techniques? As a kid on trampolines you never think of that sort of stuff.

After the basics, we moved onto some more difficult moves, like pikes, tucks and rotating turns. My favorite was when we did “sits”, where you let your butt hit the trampoline and you bounce back up.

Tracy Pike

Tracy Jump

Corrie Jump

Corrie Sit

All in all, we had so much fun taking this class! Sometimes it’s great to cut loose and act like a kid again. Not only that, but it was a fantastic workout. I was so sore the following day! We both decided next time we’re going to head back to check out their free fall class and get a taste of what it’s like to do stunt work.

Hollywood Stunts is a great, hidden jem of an activity in Brooklyn. If you’re in the area I highly recommend checking it out. I know I’ll be back.

Pass Out in 20

21 Oct

Earlier in the week this week I had my first session with my new personal trainer.  I totally knew I was in for it when I was 5 minutes late (due to a doctor’s appointment), frantically getting changed in the locker room, and the trainer busted in yelling “Are you Corrie?  Come on let’s go I have another session after you!!”.  Ooops.

My trainer was notified about my marathon history by the owner of the gym, and while having me jump rope for 5 minutes to warm up had mentioned it was a good sign for me I had run marathons in the past that I should be able to rebuild my endurance back pretty quickly.  Considering I wanted to pass out after jumping rope for only a minute, I have my doubts but I trust her nonetheless.

She then had me do the most simple yet kick ass routine I’ve ever done.  It took around 20 minutes and I wanted to pass out/throw up/die after.

  • 10 Kettlebell Lateral Swings
  • 10 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 Burpees.  I’ve run marathons and have never felt pain like a burpee.
  • Jump Rope for 1 minute (trainer let me skip this being I was so out of breath but I have to build up to it during the week)

To complete the routine, after you finish a set, for the next set you drop a rep.  So for example, the first set you do 10 of each.  The next set 9 of each.  Then 8 of each, etc.  You continue all the way until you only do 1 of each, and then you’re finished.

The great part about this workout is it only takes 20 minutes and I have no excuse not to fit it into my schedule.  The bad part is I wanted to die I was so tired doing it.  I was given instructions to do this each workout this week and to email her with my progress so she knows I’m doing it.

Looks like I have my work cut out for me.