Laura G Smashing out a front squat PR

Laura G Smashing out a front squat PR at CrossFit Elevation Denver WOD for 120904:

Note - when you see percentage work on the board for back squats or front squats, like today, don't miss it. If you missed that workout, stick around for 15 minutes and knock out that work. It's that important.  It's part of a carefully planned linear progress cycle that only works if you don't miss days.

Strength: Back Squat- 1x10@60% 1x8@70% 1x6@75% 1x4@80%

-then- 10 Pullups 20 pushups 30 front squat 95/65 40 sit ups 50 double unders 40 sit ups 30 front squat 95/65 20 pushups 10 pullups

How to Indulge During the Whole Life Challenge and Still WIN

As most of you know, I’m a winner. That is, I’ve won one thing in my life: CFE’s Evolution 2.0 challenge this summer. Many people wondered how I not only won the women’s division in body comp and performance, but how I obliterated the entire competition in the points count. The answer is really twofold. First, I kept track of everything. Food log, workout journal, water intake…everything. Second, I rarely ate cheat meals. In my everyday life I am more than happy to have a cheat meal or day here and there. However, when something as serious as points are on the line, I just don’t think it’s worth it. I’d rather win than drink a diet soda or glass of wine. Subtracting 1 or 2 points here and there may not seem like much, but they really add up.  Now, a lot of us at CrossFit Elevation are gearing up for the next challenge- the Whole Life Challenge. The competition will be even fiercer as we have many more gym participants, as well as the national component. This means stepping up my game even more and striving for a perfect points score. (In my experience, doing well with points directly correlates to the body comp/ performance changes.) In order to achieve that score, I decided that I had to find a replacement for some of the cheat meals I love. I’m a firm believer in removing tempting foods altogether rather than finding substitutes. I don’t eat Paleo muffins; I just don’t eat muffins at all. I also believe in planning occasional indulgences and going all out with things you really love. For the WLC, these two schools of thought can’t co-exist with the desire to rack up points. So, I took a quick Facebook survey, put my culinary prowess to the test and developed a few super decadent recipes that will absolutely curb some cravings without costing you a single point. My absolute favorite is included below and I’ll share a new one each week of the challenge. Before you read on, please note:

-Bob’s Red Mill Farms Gluten Free Flour

I’m not normally an advocate for using pre-packaged gluten-free flours. I’m also not a huge fan of nut flours for texture reasons. I found this flour at Costco and have to say, it’s amazing! It very closely mimics the texture & consistency of white flour. It has only 6 ingredients, and none of them are gums, additives or preservatives. A 5lb bag at Costco is the same price as a 1lb bag elsewhere. However- it contains bean flours and is therefore NOT Paleo. It IS WLC approved though, and that’s why I use it in some of these recipes. - Baking Powder Some baking powders are made with wheat or cornstarch, which means they are not gluten free and/or Paleo. You can look in health food stores for baking powder made with potato starch. Or, because baking powder is just a combination of baking soda and other thickening agents, just use baking soda and cream of tartar.

 

WLC Not Zucchini Fettuccini

One of my absolute favorite foods is my nonni’s hand-made pasta tossed with creamy, cheesy pesto sauce. A really good pesto will be my downfall during any challenge or diet, ever. I happily eat zucchini and squash noodles but nothing quite matches the texture and flavor of homemade pasta. Nothing, that is, until now; I decided to modify my family recipes to be WLC approved. Making pasta from scratch is a little time consuming and messy, but is totally worth it. Even though this recipe is tricky, it makes so much pasta that you can dry it, bag it, and eat it throughout the challenge. I like to toss it with pesto and add chicken or shrimp.

If you have a favorite store-bought pesto that doesn’t have additives-usually canola oil or sweetener- use that. If you have a food processor, blender or clean coffee grinder, just make this recipe fresh.

Pasta 2 ½ c. Red Mill Farms Gluten free flour, plus extra for dusting 4 large eggs 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

1. Crack the eggs into a measuring cup or bowl, making sure there are no shells. 2. Add the olive oil and whisk gently, just enough to break the yolks and combine. 3. Carefully measure the flour so the cups are full but not packed. Dump the flour onto a clean countertop, into a bowl or into a food processor. 4. Take a few tablespoons of the flour and add it to the egg mixture; whisk to thicken. 5. Slowly add the egg mixture to the rest of the flour. If you want to use a spoon initially, that’s fine but your hands will get very messy. 6. Dust your countertop with flour and bring your shaggy dough onto the counter; begin kneading. 7. Knead the dough for a good 7-10 minutes, until it’s really smooth. You’ll need to use a bench scrapper/metal spatula to remove sticky spots. If your dough is really dry, add some oil. If it is too sticky, dust some more flour. Really work it, though, before you add stuff. 8. Let the dough rest 30 minutes before rolling and cutting. Use a pasta roller or machine it you have one, otherwise Google instructions for cutting pasta. (Essentially: roll it, fold it, cut it.)

Tips: Roll the dough out to be much thinner than you think it should be. Use flour to avoid pulling and sticking. Use this base for making ravioli or whatever else sounds good. Use the pasta fresh or let it air dry. Once dry, store it in a zip bag and place it in the fridge. When cooking fresh pasta, it takes very little time. 3-5 minutes in salty, boiling water.

Pesto 5 c. fresh basil leaves (packed) ½-1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil or macadamia nut oil 1/3 c. toasted pine nuts 3-4 garlic cloves ½ tsp. sea salt

1. Rough chop the basil so that it fits into your blender, food processor or coffee grinder more easily. 2. Add in the other stuff. No particular order or finesse is required. 3. Blend to your desired consistency. Add salt to taste.

Tips: Play with your nuts- pesto is really tasty with walnuts or pistachios! Virtually any nut can be toasted in a stovetop pan for a more complex flavor. Don’t be afraid to salt the sauce more, or add more garlic.

I hope some of you are adventurous enough to give this recipe a try. Spend an afternoon making it from scratch, getting to know your dough and developing the flavors in your sauce. When you sit down to enjoy your meal, you will be so much more appreciative and thoughtful about where your food came from and what went into it. Some of the other recipes I plan to share during the challenge aren’t quite so involved, so perhaps taking the time with this one will give you a different perspective. Finally, remember that this recipe isn’t meant to be eaten every day or even every week. Save it for something or someone really special.

 

 

 

 

 

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