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Due to the Comp on Saturday Feb. 1st – we will be closing the gym after the 12:30 class this Friday and Saturday we will have no classes – thanks for your understanding and we hope to see everyone at the Comp on Saturday!

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As of typing this there are 60 hours and 7 minutes between us and the Super Bowl Slam!!!!! The hours can’t pass fast enough for me. I. Am. Excited.
I’m excited to play, but I‘m really excited to see some of our buddies participate in their first comp! That’s what takes the stress and nerves down and replaces them with excitement and pride.
I’m proud of folks overcoming their fear, stepping outside their comfort zone, and just going for it. When you step back and look at the whole picture, the participants of all abilities, the hard work and logistics behind the scenes, the time and effort put in by coaches and judges…it becomes less about you and your performance. You are no longer feeling overwhelmed by pressure to do well, you are simply enjoying the moment, soaking it all in. That’s when you’ll do your best, when you’re having FUN. You are no longer surrounded by competitors; you are surrounded by people you share a common passion with.
When it’s your turn to work, you work hard. You give your all, and you celebrate whatever you accomplish as a result of laying it all out there.
There is nothing to fear.
Your biggest supporters, the same ones that sweat with you every day will be by your side. Once you hear 3, 2, 1, GO! the hardest part is over, after that it’s business as usual…FUN HAPPY FUN TIME!!!!
I’m too excited to write about food, you know it’s serious if I don’t want to talk about food. I’m either preoccupied by something awesome or dead.
But in the spirit of having things available on game day that you WANT to eat…here is a banana bread recipe by Civilized Caveman. Add chocolate if you want to, if you don’t want to add chocolate there may be something seriously wrong with you.

Here’s the link to banana bread heaven…

http://civilizedcavemancooking.com/grain-free-goodies/paleo-banana-bread/


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Sometimes I sit down to write this blog and all I have in my head are words. They don’t go together and they aren’t meaningful. They are more like pictures of text. Screen shots of things I’ve read or seen, swirling around in high speed random formations. Boy I sound normal.
Bubble. Sound. Grain. Forthright. Aggressive. Depth. Legit. Hot wheels. That’s just a glimpse. Is that a symptom of some disorder I’m not aware of? Smart people unite, and answer this question.
Anyway, want to know what word keeps coming around, blinking in neon lights?
COMPETITION.
9 Days.
9 days and we get to participate in some serious fun. It’s like a huge party but with exercise!!! What’s better than that?
So are you nervous? Excited?
Comment below, first three words that come to your mind when you think of competition.
For me it’s: Barbeque. Pulled. Pork.
not really but that’s the recipe your getting…

Almost Paleo BBQ Pulled Pork
(gotta say “almost” so the paleo police don’t come and get me)
Ingredients:
1 Bottle Angry Orchard Hard apple cider. “that’s not paleo” I don’t care.
1 cup chicken broth
1 large pork loin, the bigger the better
1 sweet onion chopped
salt and pepper
1 Bottle Paleochef Peach BBQ Sauce
(https://www.stevespaleogoods.com/default.asp)
or you can make your own following this recipe (http://www.agirlworthsaving.net/2012/07/peach-bbq-sauce-recipe.html)
Directions:
Place your Pork in a Slow cooker, pour in your hard cider and chicken broth. Sprinkle on your salt and pepper and add your onions. Cook on low for 9 hours. Drain liquid and shred your pork. Add your BBQ sauce and mix thoroughly. Cook on low 1-2 more hours. Then serve it up. It’s great over a simple apple cider vinegar slaw. I served it on Sweet Potato buns, like little sliders and if the buns had turned out good I would have shared that recipe with you too, but they need work before I release them to the masses (the 16 people that actually read my posts) hahaha. I prefer hahaha over lol, just saying.


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That picture is not so great.
I’ve always been impressed by power. I like it. A lot. Not authority, or people in positions of power, but sheer physical power. When I was a little kid, I would sit in my bathing suit and headband and watch old school strong man competitions on tv.
I wanted to drag cars, and carry trees and stuff. My fitness interests are now more functional, and conducive to a more appealing physique. Looking like a strong man was never of interest.
I’m still extremely impressed by power. Although now, power that impresses me is not strictly of a physical nature. Displays of extreme physical strength definitely still get my attention, but displays of extreme mental fortitude can be deeply moving, inspiring even.
You may not possess the most physical strength in the gym, but you can be relentless, dedicated, refusing to even entertain the idea of quitting. You can be powerful. And mental fortitude is a quality that is beneficial long after you’ve left the box.
You know what else I like? Bane. I know he’s a villain, I don’t care. I really like him. He is super fit and strong, and has a cool back story of overcoming insurmountable obstacles, and he doesn’t whisper talk everything he says like batman.
Any man that wears a cool face mask and talks like Bane is immediately 47% more attractive. Fact.
I would make Bane these no-bake protein balls.
No-bake Brownie Batter Protein Balls
Ingredients:
2 scoops “Prime” chocolate protein powder or protein powder of your choice (they sell prime at the gym and it’s tasty)
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
6 medjool dates (pitted and soaked for about an hour)
2/3 cup almond butter
2 tbls raw honey
1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews
1 tbls melted coconut oil
Directions:
Ready for this…
Put your cashews and dates in a food processor and pulse until broken down. Now add everything else. Mix until completely combined. If its too dry and not sticking together add a little coconut oil or honey (if you want it sweeter). Now roll your mixture into balls and pop it in the fridge to set. Now eat them, in moderation. Loaded with protein and healthy fat. 1 or 2 is good, 7 or 14 is bad.

 


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Yes, that’s a snowboard on my kitchen counter in the background.

What do you want?
How bad do you want it?
I think you can be one of two ways:
1) Motivated to work for what you want, to a degree that you are comfortable with. If you don’t make your goal, it’s no big deal…not THAT important. You tried, you still made some progress and you did it with little difficulty.
The truth is, if it’s not that important to you…you’ll probably be satisfied with even mediocre results. If you’re happy with that, more power to you.
2) You are passionate about what you want. You work to a degree that is beyond your comfort zone, and you love it. There is no tone of indifference with regard to your goals. If you don’t reach your goal, then you are simply NOT done trying. When you do reach a goal, you’re happy…but never satisfied, because you’ve already got eyes on the next one.
I don’t believe one way is better than the other, and I’m sure there are varying degrees of each.
It’s my theory that group 2 is more commonly attracted to the idea of “crossfit”. They are likely to be the “extreme, hard-core, bring it on” types. They fall almost immediately in love with the barbell.
Group 1 though…group one is not so sure, they’re going to give it a try. Maybe they’ve stopped seeing results with what they have been doing so they want to switch up their routine a little, nothing too serious.
Funny thing is when group 1 starts getting results they never expected… they begin to see the connection between how hard they work and their progress. Then they start to show group 2 behaviors. They start to push beyond their perceived limitations; to feel that drive to keep improving. Their indifference fades and is quickly replaced with determination.
What group are you?
Regardless of the answer, and whether you want something big or small, you can get it as long as you’re willing to put in the equivalent effort. All you need is direction on how to get the greatest results from your work, this means quality programming and coaching…we got that here.
An on-ramp group started this week, always fun to see new faces. Welcome, you came to the right place!!
What’s that?…What you really want is a recipe?
How bad do you want it?
Bad enough to keep reading?…
Lasagna Stuffed Acorn Squash
Ingredients:
(For 2 servings)
1 acorn squash
12oz sweet Italian sausage
2/3 cup crushed tomato
½ tbls Italian seasoning
½ cup mushrooms (chopped)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
½ small sweet onion (finely diced)
1 cup raw cashews (soaked in water for 1 hour minimum)
1 tsp salt
juice of half a lemon
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ cup water
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
black pepper
1 tbls olive oil
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400.
Cut your acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Lightly oil a baking sheet and place your two squash halves flesh side down on it. Roast that for approx. 20 min or until the squash gives a little when you press on it. While that’s cooking heat your oil in a pan, add sausage, onions and garlic and cook stirring until the sausage is completely browned. Now add your mushrooms and cook for another 8 minutes. Drain excess liquid and return pan to the stove. Now pour in your crushed tomatoes and seasoning along with salt and pepper to your liking. Turn the heat way down and let that simmer. In a food processor combine your cashews, tsp of salt, lemon juice, garlic powder, water, vinegar and pepper. Blend until completely smooth, this may require stopping and scraping down the sides a few times, be patient. This makes cashew “cheese”, yeah vegans have been making cheese out of cashews forever! I love those crazy vegan chicks, resourceful bunch. Anyway, once your squash is roasted carefully scoop out the yummy inside, leaving the skin intact and incorporate it into your sausage mixture. Now scoop some sausage back into the squash, then a layer of “cheese” then some sausage, end with cheese on top. Pop those stuffed acorn squashes back into the oven for a quick 10 min, the cheese will get a little brown on top just like conventional cheese. Awesome!

 


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I establish, reaffirm, and tweak my goals a minimum of once a week…just about every Monday.
That’s just me.
I know a lot of folks get a renewed interest in their goals with the beginning of a new year, and that’s great.
This is a great time to set goals with definitive time frames. For example, a goal with a six month deadline puts you in June. If you can stay focused on your goal(s), it will carry you through the somewhat less than motivating cold, snowy, rainy, gross months, and have you looking and feeling pretty great by summer. I’m sure you’ve all heard the statistics about resolutions and failure rates…yeah, yeah, whatever. Maybe that’s how it goes for the average person… but you stopped being average a long time ago.
Where others would quit, you keep going. You don’t buckle when it gets hard and you get uncomfortable…uncomfortable has become part of your routine.
You are realistic; you set goals that challenge you to a reasonable degree. Most importantly, you don’t have to do it alone.
Set your goals now…but remember, even if you slip up or lose focus…you don’t have to be a statistic. You don’t need a new year to get back on track; all you need is a Monday.

I cooked a lot yesterday. Breakfast, double batches of cookies, oh yeah and…
Crispy Pork Belly with Pureed Squash and Balsamic Reduction. Don’t you wish that name was longer?
I had a bit of time so I enjoyed plating and taking pictures of this tasty “small plate” style dish. It looked fancy, and is so rich that the small portion felt appropriate.
Ingredients:
1 pre-cooked pork belly
1 butternut squash peeled and cubed
1 shallot cut into pieces
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp dry sage
salt & pepper
2 tbls EVOO
3 tbls coconut milk
¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar
Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 375. Place squash, shallots, and garlic on a baking sheet and drizzle on olive oil, then sprinkle on sage and salt and pepper. Roast those in the oven for about 50 minutes. Move them around a couple times so they cook evenly. They’re done when the squash is browning and very soft. Now heat a heavy pan over high heat. Rinse and pat dry your pork belly, and slice into ¼ inch thick pieces. Drop on your hot pan and do not move them for about five minutes…get a nice crispy sear on those babies, flip them and do the same to the other side. Repeat this step a few times until they are nice and crisp. Once finished set them aside on a paper towel to drain. Pour your vinegar into a small pot and put it over med-high heat. Allow it to boil, then stir and turn down to a low simmer for about 7 minutes. Meanwhile throw your roasted squash mixture and your coconut milk into a blender and puree it. Let your balsamic reduction cool, it should be syrup like in texture. Now plate it up. I served this with shaved Brussel sprouts, a dollop of squash puree, a couple slices of pork belly, and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. Yum.

 


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Hey,
I know we haven’t talked in a while, I guess when something is a part of your daily routine you start to take it for granted. I want to say that I do appreciate you.
I still get butterflies when I see you. You make me feel strong, sexy, and confident. But I don’t only love you because of what you do for me, I love your consistency. You come down hard on everyone, and I respect that. You treat everyone equally. People put so much on you, and you just take it.
Things aren’t perfect between us, and you have hurt me in the past, but in all honesty it’s always been my fault. I know I’m not the only one who loves you, but when you’re in my arms I feel like it’s just you and me. I wish I were more like you, you never overreact, you always stay cool, even when you get slammed down you just roll with it. You’re always ready for more.
I love you Barbell, I’ve loved you for years and I always will.
Yours truly,
All of us

Speaking of love for inanimate objects, I also love pizza. There’s a place in Plainville that makes a gluten free crust that does not disappoint. One of their pizzas is the “Rustica”, I can literally eat an entire one myself…and it’s not hard. I love the combo they put together on that pizza, and thus the following recipe was born.
Their pizza looks way prettier than my pic of the roasted butternut squash rustica, but looks aren’t everything people…man, don’t be so shallow!

Roasted Butternut Squash Rustica
1 butternut squash peeled and julienned
¾ can full fat coconut cream
¾ cup Chicken broth
1 tbs lemon zest
1 clove garlic crushed
pinch of nutmeg
1 shallot finely diced
1 cup mushrooms sliced
1 cup artichoke hearts broken up…broken “hearts”….get it??…bahahaha. whatever just cut em in half.
salt and pepper (to taste, I like to go generous on them)
4 oz Pancetta
Dill to garnish
Directions:
Peel and julienne your squash. Heat the oven to 400. In a casserole dish, throw your squash, sliced mushrooms, shallots, artichokes, and pancetta. Warm your coconut milk, broth, lemon zest, garlic, nutmeg salt and pepper in a small pot. Let it simmer down a little while, so the flavors really incorporate. Now pour the sauce over your squash and veggies and mix it up. Pop it in the oven for approx. 50 minutes, tossing it up once in the middle. Take it out and let it stand for ten min. so it thickens and then serve garnished with dill, or parsley, or whatever you are into. The consistency (and color) of this dish reminds me of warm mac and cheese from the box… comfort food.