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Category: Health and Fitness

Spartan Race 2017

Spartan Race 2017

This month the Spartan Race made it’s inaugural appearance in our city and despite the fact that we were barely over jet lag, Britten wanted to do it.

The boys saw how excited their dad was and quickly jumped on board with the idea of competing in the Spartan Junior. I’ve always wanted to do a Spartan Race but unfortunately women weren’t allowed to compete. However, we were allowed to spectate which means it was an event women and men could attend together and in our city that’s a major change kind of a big deal.

And while I was incredibly bummed that there wasn’t a ladies division, I was thrilled to watch from the sidelines and cheer on my guys. 

  1. For the kid’s race there weren’t specific winners. Every child that finished got a t-shirt and a medal. Brax was extremely jealous of his brothers so Britten gave him his medal so he could be like them.Speaking of medals, I’m going to take this opportunity to publicly brag on my man. Britten got 3rd place in his division. And while he’s probably going to reprimand me for posting this, he’s not here to stop me so I’m hitting publish and will apologize later. And while I’m certain my washing machine may never recover from all the mud, I am so incredibly proud of my guys.
Making My Own Baby Food

Making My Own Baby Food

It’s only fair to start this post by admitting that the only reason I’m making my own baby food is because jars of baby food are nearly $2.50 a jar in our country and those wonderful little baby food pouches are non existent for the most part. Turns out most of the mommy’s here just smash up whatever they’ve prepared for their family to eat and give it to the baby as well.

I mentioned on Instagram that I was making baby food and got several questions about recipes and methods so tonight I’m going to share.

I started out using the book The Baby Food Bible and while I’m not completely on board with everything the author says, I do think it’s a great book for beginners. The book has a handy little table that tells you what foods are best to introduce at what times. It also has lots of baby food recipes and directions for how to prepare and store the food. I would recommend it.

UnknownMy mother in law sent me an immersion blender that has been an absolute game changer when it comes to making baby food. If you plan on making your own baby food for an extended period of time…you need to get one of these.

Unknown-1I go to the fruit and veggie stand in our neighborhood and buy whatever is currently in season.


I cook the produce using whatever method suits me at the moment. Sometimes I steam, boil or even microwave the goods, it just depends on what kind of mood I’m in. I then add water until I reach the desired consistency and put the baby food in ice cube trays.

unnamedOnce the cubes are frozen I put them into Ziploc freezer bags and label them on the outside. I label them because I love labels and it helps me know what it is. Who knew apples, bananas and pears look identical after being pureed? unnamed-1

Other than the fact that it’s time consuming and I’m running short on time these days, I really enjoy making baby food.

Now that Brax is getting a little older I’ve ventured out and found several fun recipes on the Momtastic and Homemade Baby Food Recipe websites. Not to mention, when I open the freezer and see bag after bag of frozen baby food cubes that I made all by myself I feel like an absolute domestic diva…and who doesn’t like that?



Paleo Favorites

Paleo Favorites

Let’s be honest….eating Paleo can be difficult. The benefits (weight loss, sustained energy, less inflammation, etc.) far outweigh the foods you have to give up but regardless…it can take some getting used to.

When we first changed our eating habits it was like I was learning to cook all over again. I had no idea what some of the ingredients were much less where to find them. I fumbled around the kitchen and had more than my share of failed dinner attempts. However, after a little while, I learned my way around a Paleo cookbook and felt like I had the hang of it and then of course…we moved…to the Middle East.

Learning to eat Paleo here in the desert has been a new challenge for several different reasons. #1) Things like coconut oil, almond butter, Larabars etc. are impossible or extremely difficult to find. #2) I needed to become familiar with new foods I’d never heard of before like date paste and green almonds. 1305248290843 lamb-fava-beans-green-almonds #3) And of course I can’t forget to mention the whole “washing all of your fruits and veggies” thing.

Thankfully, I’ve got a partner in crime on this crazy adventure. Not only do we WOD (workout of the day: can be a verb or a noun) together, we look the other way when somebody chooses to have Pop-tarts or ice cream for lunch. =o) On a serious note, don’t know what I’d do without this girl.


One thing I’ve learned is that it helps to have a friend who is trying to figure things out right along with you. Celeste and I are always e-mailing each other new recipes and trying to figure out creative ways to make the paleo diet work here in the desert.

Tonight I’m sharing a few of my recent favorite paleo recipes. Go ahead, give em’ a try.

Roasted Cabbage Slices (Celeste sent me this one)

Rainbow Slaw

Salted Date Caramels (because I have a wicked sweet tooth)

Thai Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Chicken Tortilla-less Soup

What are some of your favorite “go-to” paleo recipes?

Is Our Gym Worth the $?

Is Our Gym Worth the $?


There is one common excuse that I hear over and over as to why others do not become part of the Iron Tribe community.  I’ve heard it in many different forms, but it all seems to be the same basic reason- cost.

Some say it this way- I don’t need to pay that much money when I can work out at ________ Gym for $15/month.

Others say- I’m not about to join when I can do all of those moves in my basement.

I’ve even heard- You seriously expect me to pay that much? (FYI: This is a statement in question form.)

I get it. But before you buy this line of reasoning (no pun intended) let me share from some recent personal experience that I believe obliterates it right out the ITF door.

For the past few months I found myself putting these statements, literally, to the test. My work took me to Virginia for 2 months at the beginning of the year. Upon arriving in VA, I realized I was going to have a crazy schedule with not a whole lot of options for workout facilities nearby.  I did find this doozy of a closet, urrrrr, gym near my temporary residence (see pic below). It allowed for unlimited access throughout the week for whenever I could find a 30-45min slot to WOD.


To be honest, my first thought was, “Wow. I am going to save some $ and essentially do the same thing as I would do at ITF.” Sure, there were no bumper plates. And, yes, I had to use Jazzercize step-boxes.  The equipment was broken down, but who needs equipment? Not me when I am working with “functional movements”. I thought to myself, “All I need is my body weight and a few random objects and I can improvise, baby.” Luckily, there was no shortage of random objects.

Well, I just finished up my 8 week experiment in this struggling gym. I would WOD 3-4 times a week and follow ITF’s programming when my equipment allowed.  I mostly ate Paleo. The short is, I stuck to my training regimen, minus ITF.

Results? Not so good. I have lost strength. I have lost endurance. My times have taken a nosedive. I feel like I have taken a major step back in my fitness goals. And to top it all off, I really don’t enjoy working out as much as I did when I was a regular at ITF 280. I saved some money, but the experience was a big, fat FAIL.

Here is how I boil it all down, there are two critical factors missing in the “do it on your own” or “do it at the gym that costs less per month than an Outback steak.”

First off, you will be missing Competent Coaching. In my experiment I performed the WODs. I even pushed myself as hard as I could. A few times I thought I was going to loose my lunch.  But I did not have coaches right there in my ear when I was hunched over telling me to pick the bar back up.  I had no one correcting my form. No one was challenging me to RX the weight. I had no one to give me a helpful tip on how to maximize my efforts while in the middle of the WOD. I have been use to PR-ing most heavy lifting days. I did not PR 1 time these past 8 weeks. Not once. I am confident that the lack of results in my fitness was closely tied to a lack of qualified coaches.

Secondly, I was missing Competitive Community. Let’s be honest, working out by yourself is boring.  But even if you’re the one who enjoys isolation, solo WODs simply do not allow you to benefit from the competition.  Having another athlete push you makes the biggest difference in hitting your goals in fitness. Mark it down- you will plateau if you are the only one pushing yourself.

After these eight weeks I will not make the same mistake again.  I have learned much through this little experiment.  In the end, your fitness regimen should have both of the components listed above. I am confident that they are both necessary in reaching your fitness goals.