Monday, August 12, 2013

Let's get Beefy

Alright ya'll, we just so happen to be changing our lives over here, so please bear with us and pardon the intermittent postings. Joaquin and I have a goal we are working toward together as well as individual goals we're keeping in sight and devoting much time and effort to in order to create the lives we've imagined for ourselves. I hope to share more about these goals and how we plan to achieve them on this blog, but at this point, some things must remain secrets.

The goal we're working on together is something we will be sharing soon enough, because it seems to be progressing faster than I had imagined, and yes, it's CrossFit related! We will likely be sharing that sooner than later, so stay tuned.

On to the meat of this posting: literal meat... the meat on your bones!  I want to talk about how to maximize strength gains on the paleo diet. As you may be aware, CrossFit and the Paleo diet go hand in hand (kind of). When I first started doing CrossFit, my main goal was to maintain a healthy physique. Now my main goal is to get strong as f**k. Being a girl, my judgement is clouded by typical cultural expectations of what makes a girl pretty or attractive. In American culture, girls are supposed to be slim and trim, tall and lean. Luckily for girls like myself, I've discovered CrossFit, which promotes strength above all else. Except for a select few genetically freakish folks, one must pack some meat on the bones to see strength gains. The question is, how does one achieve this without grains or dairy?

The answer is in the experimental phase right now for me, but I will outline what I've learned so far. First of all, let's clarify what I mean when I reference the Paleo Diet. From Dr. Loren Cordain's website, the main foods to be consumed (*) and avoided (x) are as follows:

* Grass-fed Meat
* Fish and Seafood
* Fresh Fruits and Veggies
* Eggs
* Nuts and Seeds
* Healthy fats such as olive oil, walnuts, flaxseed, macadamia nuts, avocados, and coconut oil
x Cereal grains such as oats, bran, wheat, and grain alcohol
x Legumes such as peanuts, beans
x Dairy
x Refined Sugar
x Potatoes
x Processed Foods
x Salt
x Refined vegetable oil such as canola oil

There are many different levels to which the Paleo Diet can be followed, and everyone has something different that works for them. My version of paleo eliminates all sugars including raw sugar and honey (excluding fruit sugars), and includes sweet potatoes, but otherwise follows the guidelines above. If you're interested in learning more about different versions of paleo, check out Dr. Loren Cordain's site as well as the following:

Robb Wolf
Mark's Daily Apple
Whole Nine
Bulletproof Executive

As you may have figured out, the above foods keep you lean. Nothing packs on mass like grains and dairy, so how do you make gains with Paleo?

1. Eat A LOT - You should be eating 6 or more meals per day. I'm not talking about three full meals with three snacks in between, I mean full-size meals. In order to consume the amount of calories required to gain weight (yes, ladies, weight - you have to gain the weight to move the weight) on the paleo diet, you're going to need to eat MORE. This is something I'm still working on wrapping my head around, like I said, I succumb to the limitations subconsciously inflicted on me by the mass media and general American culture. Please message me if you're having this same issue, I would love to have and offer mutual support.

2. Focus on High-Calorie Foods - these include beef, sweet potatoes, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats. One idea - eat an avocado with every meal! (I have to say, this will not work for everyone, Joaquin hates avocados, but he's a little loosey goosey with the dairy, so he gets a lot of calories that way). Another thing I've been doing is eating spoonfuls of nut butter as a snack. Joaquin prefers his on apples.

3. Protein - Eat it with every meal, protein builds muscles, and that's what we want, right?

4. Carbs - Carbs provide the energy you will need to move the weight in the gym. If you're not moving weight, you will not get stronger. Carbs can come from fruits and vegetables - but you'll get the most bang for your buck with sweet potatoes. For comparison's sake, 200g of apple has about 28g carbs and 106 calories, while 200g of sweet potato has 41g carbs ans 180 calories, so the sweet potato is 46% more efficient in terms of carbohydrate content and  70% more efficient in overall calorie consumption. There are many different recommendations across the interweb involving when and how to consume carbs. My rule of thumb right now is simply with every meal, just like protein. I'll let you know how it works out.

5. Loosey Goosey - As I mentioned, Joaquin takes this approach with dairy. If your body can handle it, sure consume dairy, but make sure it's from a clean source - not big box dairy farms with who knows what gross disturbing things included in that glass of milk (if you want to know, read the book Skinny Bitch, you'll get a visual you will never be able to erase from your mind). You can get fresh, raw milk at your local farmer's market. Another trick is to incorporate peanut butter as opposed to more expensive, paleo-approved nut-butters. These are quick tricks and should not be part of your long term diet lifestyle IMHO (In My Humble Opinion).

I hope these tips help, and please leave any tips you have to offer in the comments, or feel free to email us. We are always looking for new ways to improve. Happy beefing up!

P.S. Here is a delicious looking high-calorie recipe from PaleOMG that we will be trying soon. Sub the ground turkey for ground beef and you're good to go.

Turkey Beef and Spinach Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 2 sweet potatoes or yam, holes poked throughout with a fork
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • ½ pound ground turkey Beef (or more, if you would like)
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 5-6 cups fresh spinach
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Poke holes in sweet potatoes and wrap in foil. Place in oven and bake for 45-50 minutes.
  3. Once the sweet potatoes have about 10 minutes left to cook, add 2 tablespoons of bacon fat to a large pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Add minced garlic cloves to the pan then add the onions.
  5. Once onions are translucent, add ground turkey and break up with a wooden spoon.
  6. While the turkey is cooking, add hot sauce, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper to the meat and mix.
  7. When turkey is pretty much done cooking, add spinach and cover to help the spinach steam, then mix with the meat.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat.
  9. When the sweet potatoes are done cooking, cut open and mash insides up with a fork. Then add the turkey mixture to the inside.
  10. And eat!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Joaquin got his first MUSCLE UP on Monday!!!

That is all :)

Oh, wait, one more thing: If you don't know what a muscle up is, watch this video of the lovely Camille Leblanc-Bazinet doing them in sloooo mooooo. She's a beast. A beautiful, Canadian* beast.

*OK, she's French Canadian, but .. still counts!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Be The Person You'd Like to Meet

Yes, I read that on Pinterest.

This past Tuesday, I took a dance class. The instructor called me a "puppy", which I thought at first was nice because puppies are AWESOME, but I quickly realized what she meant.

This puppy is all over the place and has absolutely no idea what she's doing, but she's having a GREAT TIME. Just like me.

I attempted to dance once before, I took classes when I was about 11 years old. At that time, my parents were trying to get my brother and I involved in everything possible, and dance was one of the activities that I chose on my own. It was also the thing I was most terrible at. I was a much better t-baller and soccer player (although, I have very clear memories of sitting in front of the goal picking the grass and trying to whistle). So, dance was never my thing. The next closest thing to dance was Color Guard, which was much more suited to my abilities as it drew attention to the special flips and distracting swishes of the flag and sparkly "ID" boards and distracted the onlooker from the way my arms look when I hold them in alleged graceful ballet positions which is nothing but awkwardly pointy elbows.

For years I have followed the show, So You Think You Can Dance, and EVERY YEAR I think, "I want to DO that!" So, since we are on this new journey, I'm jumping at every opportunity and idea that flashes across my brain. Fortunately, there is a quarter-life-crisis adult friendly dance studio in my town and classes meet once a week for 4 weeks. After experimenting with the first class and relishing the feeling of 'I have no idea what I'm doing', I signed up for more. This is how I got started with CrossFit, it was something that piqued my interest, I tried it, had no idea what I was doing, so obviously, I LOVED it and wanted more.

The moves and positions we did in dance are much different from CrossFit, so I am hoping dance will help develop the muscles and neuron connections that are being neglected by CrossFit. I know it will help open up the left side of the brain because the classes start with all the students simply 'moving' around the room. All the other girls gracefully dance around, doing turns and taking long beautiful strides, while I just kind of walk around the perimeter of the room. I am tempted to just stand in the corner and do squats, but that would defeat the purpose of my 'Do Everything' journey mentality. Next week I'll (attempt to) sashay around the room like the most lovable awkward puppy you've ever seen!

I want to encourage everyone to think outside their comfort zone and try new things. I am excited to see where this dance thing takes me, even if it's just increased flexibility and an improved memory function from having to remember the routine. I know I have a tendency to get stuck doing the things I'm good at. I'm a damn good deadlifter, and I'll do that all day - but then I would never be pushing myself to grow and develop into the well-rounded, interesting, fun, happy person I'd like to meet. Challenge helps us grow, and if you're not challenging yourself, you will remain stagnant.

What new things have you tried recently, or are you thinking about trying? Do you have any tips for me in improving my dance mentality or technique? How can I think outside the box and let go and just MOVE for that first part of class? It's so hard!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Check out our Log

Hey all, I just wanted to let you peeps know about our little log over there -->

We'll be keeping it updated on a daily basis with our food and workouts for the day. I know from experience in reading blogs how incredibly boring it can be when the main page contains constant daily updates of boringness. On the other hand, I'm a voyeur and I like to know how other people live their lives. If you're like me, you might be curious exactly how we maintain our beautiful selves (other than the information we'll be sharing in future posts including things like why Oreos are evil and what the heck is a Push Jerk anyway?), SO we'll be sharing that info. This will also keep us in the habit of tracking our workouts, something I'm no good at, so thanks for keeping me diligent!

Here is a snippet of today's Log update so you know what you're in for if you decide to click on over:

Wednesday July 10th, 2013


ORM Push Jerk

5 Rounds
200 Meter Run
20 Wall Balls (20#/14#)
10 Ring Dips

Katie: I shared the bar with a girl who was quite a bit stronger than me for the push jerk portion, so I ended up pushing myself to a weight of 105#! That's really exciting, considering my previous max was 95# one month ago. OK, 10# doesn't sound like a lot, but it's progress, and it feels so good! The girl I lifted with was very motivating, saying things like, "Commit to the lift!", and "Believe in your arms!" I think I'll make her my new best friend. As for the WOD, well that was hard as shit and I was really tired afterward. Wall Balls literally make me cry. OK, maybe only when I have to do 150 in a row, but still. I hate them.

Joaquin: Just like Katie I had to share the bar, but with FOUR other people. I was able to increase my 1RM to 215#! Three of us hit that weight and the fourth guy is still a n00b, so he didn't get near that weight. The WOD itself was tough, I hate running, it really slows me down. I was fluid during the wall balls and ring dips, so it wasn't all to bad. Looking forward to continuing the workouts for the rest of the week! 


Meat Mixture

Apple (Joaquin)
Protein Smoothie X2 (Joaquin)

Meatza! The recipe is from PaleOMG and it's SO good and SO easy! (Well Joaquin can attest to how easy it was, he cooked)
Dark chocolate*
Red wine*

*We are in a serious habit right now which is never good, and we should probably look at breaking. These are not that bad compared to all the terrible things people eat across America, but hey a sprained ankle isn't that bad either compared, oh, you know, cancer or something.

Good night, friends!

Monday, July 8, 2013

What up hepcats, I'm Joaquin and this just happens to be my allow myself to introduce my...self...

What is there to say? I grew up in East Oakland, moved to Concord, CA after sixth grade and the rest as they say is history (Just like my degree!) I quickly rose to fame and became the most poplar kid in school. NOT! I had to work at it! JK

I grew up playing Ice Hockey in Oakland, CA which is a rare feat in itself! Fitness has been a HUGE (Donald Trump Style) part of my life ever since I can remember, but it has never reached the peak it is at now during my late 20's. I never realized the importance of a proper diet, and a well balanced workout regime. Crossfit and the Paleo diet have helped me achieve a ton of great things.

I used to be a gym rat going to a globo-gym and doing the normal bench, squat, back, tri's and bi's etc...but with crossfit I have not only gained massive strength my overall eliteness is awesome now!

A little about me, I love spending time with my girlfriend Katie, and our stinky dog Riko (German Shepherd), I like re-watching movies that I have not only seen numerous times, but that I also own, I like Crossfitting, eating Paleo, walking our doggie-poo, playing Ice Hockey and moving weights around. I like the beach, especially in Cancun, Mexico area where my family is from. I'm half German and half Mexican. I am going to get a sic tattoo of my family's crest on my obliques..(German Crest) It has a bear lifting a log, so that pretty much describes me in one picture alone.

I have a new found respect and admiration for the outdoors thanks in large part to Riko...(Jkin! It's cause of Katie!) I am really into Game of Thrones right now, and yes I'm pissed the Lannisters killed Rob and Caitlyn Stark!!!! I bought the first book, but have yet to read it! But I will!

I majored in History at Sacramento State University, and I am on a collision course to becoming a Police Officer in the Greater Sacramento Area! That has been my life long goal ever since I can remember.

Other than that I am ready to get this blog going and extending myself virtually to all of you out there on the interweb.


I'm Katie

I grew up on the east coast of the US of A and moved to the best coast right before 6th grade. I've always been active and pretty dorky. Some of the super cool things I participated in as a kid included: T-Ball, Girl Scouts, American Girl Doll Club, Tap and Ballet (I was terrible, seriously, there's a video where I'm two steps behind and staring at the girl next to me), Soccer, Basketball, Volleyball (though my friend - or accomplice - and I ditched practices to go to the Library, how rebellious we were), Anime Club, Color Guard (if you don't know what that is, this video brings back memories, though that's not me, and I did it in high school - late bloomer I guess), and track & field (hurdles, baby).

I spent many-a-summer in remote areas of northern Canada canoeing around in wooden boats and carrying wanigans (wooden boxes) of food and supplies through the forest for weeks at a time. I once took Joaquin on a trip and didn't want to let him chop down a tree because I didn't trust him with my axe. That night he stayed awake for hours searching for a spider that had crawled into the tent.

My mom has spent my entire life on one diet or the next. As a result of her experimentation, I have always been open to trying new things (except carob, bleh!), and she was the first one in my family to try the Paleo diet. Unfortunately, she doesn't follow the diet anymore.

I spent a long time in college and finally got out right when everyone was getting laid off. I persevered (barely - I came close to going back to school for a degree in Psychology)  and am now working as a civil engineer in my 3rd career-track position. The job I have right now is one I worked for three years to get. 

Today, my favorite things to do are working out; researching; eating; planning (for life, not event planning, that's a miserable activity); relaxing with friends and family; safe water sports such as canoeing, or sitting near water and enjoying the view; daydreaming; doing pretty much anything with Joaquin; sitting on patios enjoying a glass of wine; pestering my brother; buying books I fully intend to read; listening to podcasts; instagramming and coming up with clever hashtags; and petting my dog.

That's me in a nutshell, I hope this gives you some insight into who I am. Joaquin's up next!


This is the brainchild (or lovechild, really) resulting from a moment of clarity on a 6-hour drive home from a relaxing long weekend at my grandparents’. In the middle of a conversation about what we wish we could do in life, and the values we wish we could focus on instead of selling our souls renting our souls out 40+ hours/week, we thought – why not? Why can’t we have all that? So, here we are, join us. We’re on a journey, an adventure, a scary new path that we hope leads us to the life we’ve imagined for ourselves. We want to share the parts of it we’ve already figured out (working out and eating real food), and the parts we’re working on (grabbing life by the balls and shaping it into the form we want), and all the trials and tribulations that come with dreams like ours. We hope we can offer inspiration and be friends in kind to any of you who have similar urges. We hope to also meet new people who have succeeded in achieving their dreams off the beaten path.

As for the part we’ve figured out already: we will focus on being active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle by choosing what we put in our body. We are both currently your typical ‘working professionals’ that have taken the time to fit in (mostly) daily CrossFit workouts, as well as preparing healthy GREAT tasting meals for ourselves. While it may require work, the pros outweigh the cons. If you want to feel great, achieve your goals, and just overall be a better human being then check us out and come along for the ride. Disclaimer: we’re not perfect, but we do know right from wrong.

We follow the Paleo diet (read more about it here, if you haven’t heard of it already), and we will share with you recipes that we have found and have created ourselves that are not only Paleo, but delicious. We know how hard it is to work 8 hours a day, only to come home and have to cook dinner, walk the dog, do laundry, prepare meals for the next day, etc., so trust us when we say it's DOABLE – you just have to choose to DO IT. Let’s be serious, it’s that easy.

Hope you like our blog and please feel free to contact us at any time throughout our journey together!