Open up your mind, let your fantasies unwind in the darkness that you know you cannot fight. Close your eyes, let your spirit start to soar, and you'll live as you've never lived before. Let your soul take you where you long to be.

Friday, May 21, 2010

2 Weeks Down: Goal Update

So I set several goals for the 7 week challenge in my fitness life, career, and personal.  We're on the last leg of week 2 and need to check in with myself on how my goals are coming along---

Back Squat: 160lb- 5lb PR! (goal: 175lb)
Shoulder Press: 75lb - 10lb PR! (goal: 85lb)
Mile Time: 10 min - 2 min PR! (goal: 9 min sustainable)
Auditions: 1 television audition (Goal: 2 any audition total)
Concierge: covering Concierge while she's out of town for 10 days (Goal: to assist Concierge full time)
Acting Process: discovered a weakness, rounding out my process to listen more intuitively instead of relying on the intellectual (Goal: discover a new thing about your process)

Made some good progress keeping these short term goals on track, and am further along in some areas than I would have thought. Quite nice. I challenge you to break down all of your goals to a daily or weekly plan so you can stay on track.

Funnily though, the only place I haven't achieved any of my goals is my personal life.  It's surprising how little attention I've given that area of my life.  Why?  Because my goals are to slow down- but as you can see by the goals I have accomplished above, it seems that I have actually sped up.  hmmmm how to do both?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Little steps.  Little steps everyday.  Stop missing your mark on those little steps.  You wonder why you aren't making progress?  It's those damn little steps you are forgetting.  So get it together and do it already!

May 8 was the start of the Spartan Challenge with CrossFit Central-- a 7 week intensive challenge- food logs, indoor class, PT, extra workouts, sleep log, workout log, water log, maximum weight, supplements, ripping hands, burning quads, the list goes on. Welcome to blood, sweat, and tears. 

We are well into our second week.  I don't feel great though.  What the heck?  On paper, my food log looks great.  I'm struggling to get all those extra workouts in a week but I'm busting my butt to find time.  Averaging 7 hours sleep, 3 Liters of water a day.  Supplements.  Sounds like I'm on track right?  But when I really listen to my body, I don't feel like the work is there.  Why?  Consistency.  What about those few supplements you missed that day..oh and two days later.  What about that shit load of chashews you had at work...oh and two days later. Since when is 4 blocks of protein, 6 blocks of fat, and 2 blocks of carbs considered Zone?  Oh right. Little steps that you're not taking.  If you're going to put in the effort, then freakin go all the way!  I hate to be Nike, but seriously, just do it already.  The fire has been lit.  The master plan has been layed out.  All you have to do is follow through.  And yes, those little bitty seemingly stupid things do matter.  In an earlier blog I list my goals for the next 7 weeks, 4 months, 1 year, and they are incredibly intense ones.  Some of my trainers have looked at me like "um, seriously??" and yeah, seriously.  So get on it.  Find that fire and use it EVERYDAY, ALL DAY.  No more pussying around.  You want to put on enough muscle mass to add 20 lbs to your deadlift PR in 7 weeks?  You want to lose 5% body fat in 7 weeks?  You want a muscle up in 7 weeks?  Then work on those ring dips every morning when you wake up.  Then work at that pull up push away every morning when you wake up.  Get your damn food on the scale. Do the work, do it all, and do it with maximum effort. I'm angry....

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Zucchini Puree and Plum Tomatoes

Boil 1 lb zucchini cut into slcies till tender. Drain and chop, strain through colander, mash. Heat 2 tbs EVOO, remove from heat, add 1 lb plum tomatoes cut in half, place cut side down and 6 cloves sliced garlic cloves. Season salt and pepper. Add Zucchini puree to pan with tomatoes, stir in 2 tbs EVOO, salt, and 2 tbs chopped parsley. serve hot or cold.

Bell Pepper Puree

*serve as dip or accompany to fish

Place 6 red bells on foil and broil fill blistered or roasted for 30 minutes. Peel and seed. Blend peppers to a puree in processor with 2 cloves garlic, 4-5 tbs vinegar, pinch ground chili pepper, 1 tsp ground cumin, 4 tbs EVOO, salt. Serve with 2 tbs chopped parsley, 2 tbs chopped cilantro, and lemon peel.

Chermoula Marinade and Sauce

Mix 2/3 cup chopped coriander, 4 garlic cloves crushed, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground paprika, 1/2 tsp ground chili pepper, 6 tbsp EVOO, juice of 1 lemon

Mint Tea

Heat a large teapot. Put 1.5 tbs Chinese green tea, a large bunch of fresh spearmint washed and dried, and honey to your taste. Pour in boiling water and infuse 5 minutes.

Fruit Salad with Honey and Orange Blossom Water

Mix juice of 1 orange, 2 tbs honey, and 1 tsp orange blossom water into serving bowl. Clean 1.5 lbs mixed fruit and place immidiately into juices. Leave to marinade for an hour. Garnish with mint leaves.

Fish Cakes

*great as a protein snack

Cut 1 lb white fish filets skinned into pieces and put into food processor with 1/2 tsp cumin, pinch of chili pepper,salt, 3 garlic cloves crushed, 1 egg slightly beaten, handful chopped parsley. Process for 5 seconds till finely chopped only. Sprinkle almond flour on plate. Wet hands and form fish mix into egg sized ball, flattened. Flour all over. Shallow fry cakes in EVOO till brown and cooked. serve hot or cold.

Sweet Potato Salad

Fry 1 large chopped onion in 2 tbs EVOO. Cut 1 lb sweet potatoes peeled into pieces. Add to pan and barely cover with water. Add 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp paprika a little salt, 2 tbs EVOO. Cook until potatoes tender. Serve at room temp with 6 green olives, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 tbs EVOO and 2 tbs chopped parsley.

Roast Pepper, Tomato, and Apple Salad

Place 3 red bells on foil and broil till skin blistered or roast in oven for 30 minutes till soft. Peel and remove seeds. Cut lengthwise.

In pan, fry 1 large onion sliced in 2 tbs EVOO over med heat. Add 4 cloves garlic chopped, stir. Add 1 lb tomatoes peeled and chopped and 1 or 2 chili peppers left whole. Season with salt and pepper, cook 15-20 minutes.

Quarter and core 2 sweet apples. Stir red bells into onion mixture, place apples cut side down. cook gently till apples tender, adding water if necessary. Serve cold, drizzle with a dash EVOO.

Carrots with Mint

Peel and trim 1 lb carrots, cut into long slices. Put carrots in pan, barely cover with water. Add salt, simmer covered for 10 miutes. Uncover to reduce liquid for another 10 minutes. Add 2 cloves garlic crushed, 1 tbsp dried mint, 2 tbsp EVOO and toss. Serve hot or cold.

Pear and Leaf Salad

Prepare dressing of juice of 1/2 lemon, 3 tbs EVOO, salt, pepper. Peel 2 ripe pears and cut lengthwise, remove cores. Turn slices in dressing, fully coated. Toss pear slices with 4 ounces salad leaves.

Grated Cucumber and Mint Salad

Peel and grate 1 large or 3 small Asian cucumbers. Drain juices in colander. Mix with 3 tbs EVOO, 2 tbs lemon juice, 1 tsp orange blossom water, 2 sprigs of mint.

Mashed Eggplant and Tomato Salad

Prick 1.5 lbs eggplant with pointed knife. Place on piece of foil. Roast in 475 deg oven for 45-55 minutes. Peel and drop in bowl of water with a little lemon juice. Drain in colander. Press out as much of water as possible. Chop flesh while still in colander with knife, mash with fork, get rid of most of juices.

Cook 1 lb peeled and chopped tomatoes in 4 tbs OO with 5 garlic cloves chopped and salt over low heat for 20 minutes. Mix with mashed eggplant and add pinch ground chili pepper, 1 tsp ground cumin, 2 tbs chopped parsley, 2 tbs chopped cilantro. Garnish with handful black olives.

Tangine of Chicken with Lemon and Olives

In a wide casserole dish, heat 3 tbs EVOO with 2 onions grated, saute over low heat. Stir in 2-3 cloves garlic crushed, 1/2 tsp crushed saffron threads, 1/2 tsp ground ginger after onions have softened.
Add in 1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces, season with salt and pepper, and pour 1 1/4 cups water. Cover, simmer, add more water if becomes dry. Lift out done breasts after 15 minutes. Cook remaining chicken for anoter 25 minutes. Return breasts.

Stir in juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 tbs chopped coriander, 2 tbs chopped parsley, peel of 1 large preserved lemon cut into strips, and 12-16 green pitted olives. Simmer uncovered for 5-10 minutes until reduced sauce is thick. If too much liquid, lift out chicken and reduce sauce furthur.

Roast Chicken with Raisin and Almond Sauce

*this recipe calls for a cous cous, raisin and almond stuffing which i have omited for paleo reasons. able to sub ground cauliflower if desired. otherwise use raisin and almonds to toss into sauce.

Rub 1 chicken with mix of OO, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, salt, pepper. Put breast side down in roasting dish. Pour 4-5 tbs water into dish.

Cook in 400 deg oven for 1.5 hours. Turn chicken after 50 minutes, brush with 2 tbs honey. It is done when the juices run clear.

Toss drained raisins (soaked in water for 10 minutes) with cinnamon and orange blossom water to taste. Fry 1/2 cup almonds in OO. Coarsely chop and toss with raisins. Add mixture into honey sauce at bottom of pan. Place back into oven to meld flavors. Cut chicken and pour pan sauce over to serve.

Chicken with Figs and Walnuts

Cook, covered, 2 large sliced onions in 2 tbs butter and 1 tbs sunflower oil in large pan over med heat. Stir in 1 tsp ground ginger, pinch saffron threads, 1 tsp cinnamon. Add 1 chicken cut into 6 pieces, season with salt and pepper, chicken pieces 25 min later.

Let onions reduce to rich brown sauce. Stir in 1 tbs honey. Add 1/2 cup walnut halves and 4-8 fresh figs peeled and cut in half. Cook them for 2-5 minutes. Add chicken pieces under figs and cook a few minutes more.

Chicken with Caramalized Onions and Honey

Blanch 1 lb shallots or baby onions in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain, peel, trim roots. Saute 1 onion chopped until soft over medium heat in a large pan or casserole dish. Stir in pinch of saffron threads, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, and add 1 chicken cut into 8 pieces. Season with salt and pepper, brown chicken all over.

Add 1 cup water and cook covered over low heat for 15 minutes, turning pieces of chicken until breasts are done. Lift out breasts. Add shallots and cook covered for 25 minutes until remaining pieces very tender.

Lift out chicken pieces. Stir 1-1.5 tbs honey to pan. Cook uncovered until water evaporated, onions are caramalized. Return chicken to pan until heated through. Sprinkle with fried almonds.

**Alternative recipe: Cook chicken the same. Peel and quarter 4 small pears. OVer med heat, saute pears in large skillet with a little butter and a little sunflower oil. Present ontop of chicken pieces.

Roast Sea Bass with Herbs and Onion Confit

In covered pan, cook 1 lb onions sliced in 4 tbs OO over very low heat for 30 mins. Stir in pinch of saffron threads and 1 tbs honey, salt and pepper. Cook uncovered for another 10 minutes. Spread over bottom of ovenproof dish.

Slash 1 large sea bass across thickest part to ensure even cooking. Rub fish with salt and OO, stuff with a mixture of 2 tbs chopped parsley, 2 tbs chopped coriander, 4 garlic cloves crushed, juice of lemon, salt and pepper.

Place stuffed fish on bed of onions and roast in 375deg oven for 25 minutes.

Roast Cod with Tomatoes and Other Veggies

*traditional dish calls for tomatoes and potatoes. Substitute with sweet potatoes or paleo friendly veggie of your choice*

Slash skin of 6 cod fillets across thickest part to ensure even cooking. Mix chermoula ingredients (2/3 cup chopped coriander, 4 garlic cloves crushed, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground paprika, 1/2 tsp ground chili pepper, 6 tbsp EVOO, juice of 1 lemon) and marinate fish in half the quantity for 30 minutes.

Cut 1 lb tomatoes into slices along with other sliced veggies of your choice. Place in bottom of OO coated baking dish, coat veggies with OO, salt and pepper. Put in 475deg oven for 50 minutes (if using potatoes), shorter time if using softer veggies. Place fish fillets on top, skin side up, return to oven for 10-12 min, until thickest part of fish flakes.

Pour remaining chermoula sauce over pan.

Tomatoes Stuffed with Roasted Peppers and Tuna

Place 4 red bells under broiler until blistered al over or roast in hottest oven for 30 min. Peel, discard seeds. Cut peppers into strips.

Mix 3 tbs EVOO, 1 seven ounce can tuna, 2 tbsp capers, 4 tbsp black olives, peel of preserved lemon (chopped), 2 tbsp chopped parsley to peppers.

Cut circle around stack of 6 large tomatoes. Remove center and seets. Fill with rst pepper mixture and replace caps. Bake at 350deg for 20-30min.

Chicken and Onion "Bstilla"

Cook over very low heat 2 large onions (sliced) in covered pan with 2.5 tbsp sunflower oil for 30 mins. Separately fry 1/3 cup blanched almonds in 1/2 tbsp sunflower oil. Drain. Stir in 1/2 tsp ground ginger and 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon into onions, add 10 ounces bite size chicken breast, season with salt and pepper. Cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes. (Make sure no remaining liquid in pan) Add 1/2 cup cilantro. Sprinkle with almonds.
Opt: Spread mixture over almond flour crust to simulate the pastry of a traditional bastilla. Bake until crust is done.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and a dash of honey.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


So here we start.....the Spartan Challenge...the training that all spartan soldiers must endure....or something like that.

I'm beginning a 7 week intensive challenge with CrossFit Central called the Spartan Challenge and it begins today!!  I will be taking on extra workouts, chronicling a workout journal, keeping a food and sleep log, Zoning/Paleo, compiling before and after photos/body comp, and will be motivated and held accountable by my wonderful coach and awesome teammates!  Below I have listed my specific/attainable/high bar goals for the 7 weeks so y'all can hold me accountable!  I promise to blog about my experience as I take on this journey in my attempt to see intense results in 7 weeks!  Here we go!

- I will lose 5% body fat (+2% per 3 weeks; down to 15-16%)
- I will eat clean 95%, Paleo/Zone 85%
- I will discover a new Paleo recipe each week
- I will perform perfect chest to bar pullups
- I will perform strict handstand pushups
- I will get 1 muscle up
- I will set a personal record in deadlift (goal 220lb)
- I will set a personal record in back squat (goal 175lb)
- I will set a personal record in clean and jerk (goal 105 lb with correct form)
- I will accomplish a sub 7 min Fran!
- I will improve my mile time to 9 min-mile
- I will be consistent daily with supplements