How can one be vegan AND crossfit? Follow my journey as I merge two worlds into one....

March (Recipe) Madness

This month I have embraced a few fast and simple recipes. As I mentioned in the previous post, I started my grad program at Lesley University (M.Ed. with an emphasis in Mathematics), and my life has turned into a crazy never ending merry-go-round of crossfitting, eating, teaching, planning, babysitting, eating, studying, eating, sleeping, repeat. I hardly have time to spend with friends let alone prepare meals that including chopping, dicing, soaking or baking.  I recently discovered the frozen rice medley isle at Trader Joe's and that has saved me! My absolute fav? Japanese Fried Rice: white rice (although I would prefer brown), seaweed, edamame, tofu and spices. I buy a can of organic black beans, throw both in a skillet add kale and wa-la! Fast, cheap and easy and makes enough for two lunches.

I do have some underlying guilt about buying products that come in packages, which eventually contribute to our overflowing landfills. In the past I have spent the time buying everything in bulk, soaking beans and making everything from scratch. Once my grad program is done and I can support myself without the added income of babysitting, I can revert back to my more eco-friendly habits.

Clover is one my favorite vegetarian restaurants in the Boston area. They have an amazing BBQ seitan sandwich that I used to eat religiously at least once a week, until I found out that it was made with real mayo! GROSS. I swear, when I first ordered it over a year ago, I asked the young hipster cashier if it was vegan and he said yes. A month ago I discovered that no, it's made with eggs, and cheese! What? I was pissed. I turned around and drove directly to Whole Foods to get all the ingredients I would need to make my own vegan version of my favorite dish. Here's what I came up with...

Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Tortillas  (I mentioned these in the So Many Avos post)
WestSoy Seitan Strips
Ketchup Barbecue Sauce (I'm blanking on the brand, I'll check when I get home)

I brown the seitan strips, then add BBQ sauce in the skillet. I cut up half an avocado and half a tomato, warm up the tortilla in the microwave. Throw everything into the tortilla and add some vegenaise. It is SO delicious. Matt can hear me moaning from the next room every time I eat one!

Tacos in general are a staple dinner item for me. Another favorite of mine; Dr. Praeger's California Veg burger, chopped up with tomato and avocado in an Ezekiel tortilla.

13's, Bruises and Vegan Podcasts

It seems every post I begin with "It's been so long since my last post...". But really, they are becoming few and far between. Tack on the start of my masters program and my life could not be crazier. I've had to reach out to my crossfit family for a place to crash once a week; I can not believe the generosity I received! People opening up their homes to me left and right. I am so blessed to have found CFN! Tonight will be my first night staying with Michele and her momma, thank goodness they have pets because I'll be missing my kitties like crazy.


Three week ago today began the start of the 2013 Crossfit Open. I never thought I would take it as seriously as I have been. Goodness knows I have NO CHANCE at making it to the regionals, but it has sparked a friendly competitive vibe all throughout Crossfit Newton. The Friday night after 13.1 was released, the gym was packed with athletes and spectators. I had completed the workout that morning, but came back for the nighttime classes to cheer on my fellows! It was a huge adrenaline rush watching my friends kick their own asses, screaming, grunting, sweating and finally collapsing on the floor. I couldn't imagine having a more grueling WOD, but then came 13.2. Although shorter in length, it proved much more taxing in the end. 13.3 is announced tonight at 8pm eastern time, I can't wait to see what they've thought of next!

Yesterday our school district was closed due to snow, so I slept in and went to the 12:30 class. It was fun to workout with other people, including Jodie, one of the owner's of the gym. She is in her early 40's and she's a bad-ass crossfitter! It was great WODing next to her (is that even a word??). Here's what we had to do:

WOD 1:
4-6 power cleans (85-125#)  95×6, 105×5, 115×6, 120×3 
rest 15 sec
3-10 HSPU       (3 mats) 5/5/6/6
rest 2-3 min
Do 4x total

On the last set of power cleans I failed twice at the end. Came back after the last set of HSPU and successfully did a 4th power clean. Apparently my right leg does most of the brunt work! lol...

It's hard to see, but I have bruises all up and down my right thigh and none on my left.  

50 cal on airdyne
50 dbl-unders  *got 26 in a row (PR!)
50 cal on the rower
50 dbl-unders
50 cal on the airdyne
50 dbl-unders
Took 18min20sec. Had some trouble getting a rhythm on the 2nd and 3rd rounds of double unders. 


Matt and I went to Veggie Galaxy for brunch last weekend, it was SO amazing. It is a vegetarian only restaurant, and all their items can be made vegan upon request. I had pancakes and potatoes, matt had pancakes, potatoes and an eggless omelet. I was unsure about a tofu-based omelet, but I tasted it and fell in love. I know what I'm getting next time!
Veggie Galaxy brunch. YUM!
I started listening to Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's podcast "Food for Thought". She is the author of a plethora of vegan cookbooks including; The 30-day Vegan Challenge, Color me Vegan, and Vegan's Daily Companion. In the podcast she covers issues related to the vegan lifestyle; using research to back up her claims and ideas. She's an amazing speaker, so intelligent and thoughtful. I used to listen to it when I was vegan back in 2011, and am so happy I stumbled across it again. I re-visited some podcasts I had already heard; it made me aware of how differently I view veganism today than I once did. It used to be a burden, I fought to stay away from cheese and other dairy products. Now, if I'm in the presence of cheese it doesn't even cross my mind to have a bite. It has also showed me how my awareness and compassion has grown tremendously in the past year and a half.  I never thought my love for animals, all animals, could be any more than it was back in 2011, but somehow it has grown even stronger. I attribute it to my heightened awareness towards the treatment and cruelty of animals farmed for our use and consumption. Colleen's podcast keeps me honest, aware and compassionate and keeps me up-to-date on all current issues. I am so thankful to have her insight and thoughts guiding me through each day.
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. What a happy pig!

They're under there somewhere!

It has been WEEKS since my last post. A 10 day trip to California, followed by a slow transition into my regular 6-days/week crossfit routine, had me discouraged and unmotivated to blog. I was able to crossfit at home in California; but could only bolster enough motivation to go every-other-day. My high school Econ teacher opened a box in Novato, Ca called Crossfit North Marin. My experience at CFNM was fantastic; the coaches were motivating and encouraging, the members were friendly and welcoming. But alas, it wasn't CFN, it wasn't my regular class time, and it wasn't my morning crew. Although leaving my family and flying back across the country was hard, I couldn't wait to get back into my regular routine and workout with my regular folk :)

Since my return, I have hit PRs in my deadlift (225#), strict press (75#) and back squat(175#)!! I started practicing butterfly pull-ups--I took time to video tape myself practicing--it definitely looks like a butterfly pull-up! My chin almost reaches the bar, and I can only do 3-4 in a row. But I'm proud of myself for working at it, I'll get it soon enough! I have also been practicing double unders, and successfully did 9 in a row last week. DUs were incorporated into a WOD two days ago; my calves were so tight and sore yesterday!

After class this morning, I was in the bathroom changing into my work clothes (some days my shower is postponed until after work!), and I took a peak in the mirror. I was surprised to see a hint of abs!! Excitement overcame and I had to snap a photo. I knew they would reveal themselves soon enough...

The past couple weeks I have added another delicious meal to my menu; quinoa with lemon-tahini sauce, steamed kale, tomatoes, red bell peppers and a Dr. Praeger's California Veggie Burger. It's quick, easy and delicious. I make a batch on Sunday, and have it for lunch mon-wed. I have also added rice crackers and hummus to the mix, along with honey roasted peanut butter on rice cakes. 2+ months in and I am happy to report that my animal-friendly food choices do not negatively affect my performance at the gym. I feel strong and am happy with my progress over the past 4+ months.