The CF Open – it’s a Movement!

It’s not surprising to me that a record number of CF Jaguar members are participating in this year’s CrossFit Open—I would expect nothing less from our community.  What may be surprising to those not in the CF arena is the diversity amongst those participants.

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In the early years the Open brought to mind elite level athletes and the highly skilled being the majority of competitors.  In both 2013 and 2014 CF Jaguar was proud to have such an athlete, Taylar Stallings represent our box at the Southeast Regionals.  They were exciting seasons to say the least.

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While it is hard to rival that experience a different one yet equally exciting is to see our members participating in the Open and how well they are doing.  We have our veteran coaches and firebreathers that anticipate the Open with the excitement of a child at Christmas.  To be expected.  Each year they continue to improve in their performance.  They are driven, they are disciplined, they are successful.

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We also have several of our ‘regular’ members participating.  By ‘regular’ I mean non firebreather.  These are people with busy corporate careers, raising children or both that do not live and breathe fitness 24/7.  They excel in other areas and may or may not have played a sport in their youth and fitness is now a part of their life not their lifeblood.  Some of them doubted their capabilities in this arena when they first came to us.  Well, doubt no more this group is doing it and doing it well.

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Let’s hear it loud and clear for the age 50+ participants!!  Yea, being 56 I am a little biased but having lived this long let me tell you it ain’t like being 25.  Stuff changes; recovery slows, you have orthopedic challenges due to life’s wear and tear over the decades and  if you haven’t been using it you’re on the verge of losing it.  Our 50 something year olds are kicking ass.  The baby boomer majority is silent no more.  We have our largest group ever competing this year.  They are proving that through the CF lifestyle you can slow down the hands of time and remain fit and functional in your latter decades. #ageisnotanexcuse.

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We have so many amazing people representing CF Jaguar this year that we will highlight a few each week throughout the Open. Have you signed up?  You have until Monday to complete 16.1, what are you waiting for?

Sweet n’ Sour Chicken

This recipe is perfect for a weekend night or a weekday when you have just a little extra time.

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The key to making this recipe with ease is to prep everything before you begin.  Having all the ingredients chopped and ready to go along with the spices you need on hand make the cooking smooth and easy.

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Brown the seasoned chicken in the duck fat over medium high heat until no longer pink. Transfer to a plate.  Then saute the vegetables until just crisp tender.

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Add the pineapple chunks and then the sauce mixture.

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Stir in the cashews and serve over rice!

Recipe & Ingredients

1 tablespoon duck fat
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 1/4 cup fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon gluten free teriyaki sauce
3 tablespoons cooking sherry
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch (GMO free)
1/3 cup dry-roasted chopped cashews

Preparation

Heat duck fat in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Add chicken, ginger and red pepper to the pan; saute 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.  Remove to a plate and set aside.

Add onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic to pan and saute 4 minutes or until crisp-tender.  While that is cooking, combine the pineapple juice, teriyaki sauce, sherry, cornstarch and sugar stirring with a whisk until smooth.  Add the pineapple to the pan and cook 30 seconds.

Return the chicken to the pan.  Stir in the juice mixture; bring to a boil.  Cook 1 minute.  Stir in the cashews and serve over a bed of white rice.

Challenge Halftime: are you there yet?

It’s midway through CF Jag’s challenge and the participants are seeing dramatic improvements in body composition and performance. A few  members are wondering what they are doing differently.  One participant was asked what “magic bullet” she had discovered.   I also had a comment “I miss the old, back in the beginning tell it like it is Paula Lean”. Really?  Gasp, don’t tell me I’ve become  politically correct?

All it takes are a couple of comments like that to revitalize my inner spewings.  I’ll tell you what the magic bullet is, are you ready for this?  Drum roll please. . .

DIET & EXERCISE.  Shocker huh?  And it’s primarily the nutrition.  While everyone generally kicks up the consistency, volume and intensity of their training a notch what changes most? Yep, their nutrition.  Imagine that; you stop consuming mass quantities of alcohol and crap food and you lose body fat.  Rocket science.  Good old fashioned cut the crap; you add in a few targeted supplements to supply what your diet is missing and facilitate recovery and the results start happening.  The proof is in the pudding, you just can’t eat it all the time. . .

Lisa3

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So simple it eludes even the most savvy fitness enthusiast.  While we all are different to a degree and have different goals there are some physiological truths that can’t be denied. You are what you eat or not.  By tracking her food intake and fueling around activity her body composition is vastly improved.

Personally  that rings true also; I weigh about 125 right now not 115 like I did for a competition last summer.  Why and what’s the difference — oh about 700 calories a day and a much higher fat content. Duh.  But it’s winter and my clothes are baggier. Back to the topic du jour. . .

Here’s yet another stunning example of what can happen in a mere 5 weeks.  This dude not only took out the crap, added some targeted supplements and lost 14 pounds but has been killing it the gym!  He’s set multiple  PR’s and is able to workout more because of reduced soreness through better recuperative capacities.

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I’ve been doing this for 22 years;  I’ve evolved and learned a lot over the last 2+ decades but there have been two constants in the loss of body fat that have been virtually the same for me at age 35 as it is today at age 56:  exercise and nutrition.

The exercise you need to do for multiple reasons; facilitate the fat loss process, build and maintain muscle, improve health markers along with activities of daily living and performance and feel, sleep and look better.  That should be enough to convince just about everyone.

When it comes to fat loss it will not occur unless your nutrition is in place.  I would place it at about 80% of the equation. There is no magic formula other than hard work and consistency. There are individual differences and it will depend on what you are eating for.  Three general goals are:  gain weight, lose weight and performance based. With a few wanting to maintain. Most all of the questions, concerns and comments we get are based on those wanting to lose body fat.  In regards to that let me make this as simple as possible:

  • You will not lose body fat sitting on your ass.  You must exercise and you must include heavy weights and intense conditioning.  i.e. CrossFit works beautifully
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  • You cannot drink your 6 pack and see it too unless you are a genetically blessed 19 yo male and even that won’t last forever
  • You have got to lay off the cupcakes, donuts, pasta and other sugary, refined white flour nutritionally void foods
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  • Eat quality protein — about 1 g per pound of body weight (or lean body mass if obese)Photo Jan 10, 4 23 42 PM
  • Balance your energy sources (fat & carbohydrates) based on activity and genetics; too much of either will put a halt to your fat loss
  • Eat plenty of vegetables and limit your fruit and nut consumption
  • Consume reasonable portions; too much of anything will not make you lean
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  • Stay hydrated consuming 3/4 to a gallon of water per day
  • You need to be consistent for a number of weeks (or months) depending on how much you have to lose
  • How closely and rigidly you follow this will determine your results and how fast they will happen

A big shout out to all of the hard work and efforts we have seen put forth by the Look Better Naked Challenge participants. Stayed tuned —  next we’ll discuss how to maintain after the Challenge is over!

High Protein Omelette

Watching your macros and want a quick and easy meal that can easily split into two? This high protein Omelette is quick, easy and hits all the taste buds!

Chicken Sausage Al Fresco

Chicken Sausage by Al Fresco

I found these Chicken Sausage Patties by Al Fresco that are absolutely amazing. Adding them to this omelette made it so tasty! Score!

I started with 1 Tsp of Ghee in the pan and added the onions, bell peppers and mushrooms. Once these get nice and warm and begin to soften, add the spinach and tomato and chicken sausage and let it cook and heat the sausage through. While you allow everything to cook, you can crack your eggs and get them nice and blended.

Add the Eggs when everything is cooked, and all veggies are tender. I poured the egg into the mixture and let it melt into every crack until I had used it all.

blended Eggs

blended Eggs

Allow it to cook for a few minutes, until you can tell the egg mixture is solid enough that you could turn it with a spatula, (but don’t!) — time for the broiler.

eggs sausage and veggies Heat the broiler to HIGH, and place the pan (mine is cast iron, so I am able to put the whole thing in the oven). WATCH IT CAREFULLY! The egg will rise and finish cooking under the broiler, cook it until its just beginning to brown. (I like mine cooked a little more than most, but this is totally a personal preference).

Just make sure to cook it long enough to completely cook the egg.

Omelette under Broiler

High protein Omelette


ENJOY~

High Protein Omelette Ingredients

High Protein Omelette Ingredients

Ingredients & Recipe

2 large, Eggs – Whole, raw
2 large, Eggs – White only, raw
4 cup, Spinach – Raw
0.50 large, Onions, raw
6-8 Angel Sweet Grape Tomatoes
0.25 cup, pieces or slices, Mushrooms, white, raw
2 ounce, Sweet Bell Pepper (Red, Yellow, Green)
1 tsp, Ghee
1 patty, Chicken Sausage Breakfast Patties

 

Top with:
2 Tbsp, Medium Organic Salsa
2 Tbsp, Sour Cream Pure & Natural
0.25 c, Deli-Sliced Tamed Jalapeno Peppers


Nutrition Facts
Servings 2.0
Amount Per Serving
*Calories 246
*Total Fat 13g 20 %
Cholesterol 242 mg
Sodium 587 mg 24 %
Potassium 704 mg
*Total Carbohydrate 17 g
Dietary Fiber 5 g
Sugars 7 g
*Protein 19 g


 

finished omellete

finished omellete

We Interrupt this Regularly Scheduled Food & Fitness Blog to Bring You. . .

Coverage of my experience last night at the Donald Trump rally in Tampa, Florida Friday, February 12, 2016.  This is not a political blog nor will it become one; this article merely states the enormity and facts of what I saw and encourages those reading to share their thoughts.

Yes I am a yuge DT fan; my honesty will not allow me to deny that fact nor would I want to.  I respect everyone’s opinions and for years religion and politics were two subjects I very rarely if ever discussed with anyone other than my husband and close friends and we’re not going to start now.

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In regards to politics I was apathetic because IMO the majority were all a bunch of lying ‘choose favorite expletive’.  Until June 16th, 2016 when Mr. Trump announced his candidacy; a passion for what he was saying ignited a flame inside me that has burned brightly ever since.

Like many things I have been drawn to in my life they tend to be controversial or in the eyes of some ‘extreme’.  So be it, that’s me.  DT has been railed against by the GOP, Democrats, Republicans, the media, activist groups and many others.  I’ve never seen any establishment try so hard to take down their own frontrunner.  Which only serves to validate my beliefs.

He has been called a fascist, misogynist, xenophobic and sexist.  I see none of that.  I see a man that is a pillar of strength, successful, brilliant with honesty and integrity that has nothing to gain monetarily by seeking the office of President.  I see a man that cares and wants to turn this country around.  By the way our country is going to hell.

I have read at least 8 of his books, watched every debate but the one he wasn’t in, listened to countless rally speeches, troll FB and the internet daily and in regards to the 2016 presidential election for once in my life I am politically informed.  When I finally got the opportunity to attend one of his rally’s in my hometown of Tampa Florida I could not contain my excitement.  What an experience. . .

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By God I was going to get a good seat, I wanted to be up front and center.  Doors opened at 5:00 pm and Mr. Trump was scheduled to come on at 7:00 pm Not knowing whether the media lies on attendance were misrepresented I took no chances and arrived at 11:51 am.  Lines were already forming in front of Gate A at the USF Sun Dome.  I made camp and quickly made friends.

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What I saw in the next four and a half hours was nothing short of amazing.  I saw not one protester which USF being “multi cultural” was supposed to have their share.  Which I didn’t understand, you’re living in this country because you want a better life? Then you damn well better support it.  Apparently there were some but they must have been in a different area.  Some call him a racist; funny I saw Caucasians, Asians , African Americans and Hispanics all congregating together with a shared camaraderie.  They call him a sexist, really?  At least half of the attendees including yours truly were women.

Newscasters were photographing and interviewing the early arrivals.  I heard passionate speeches of why they are supporting him being given by people of different genders, sexual preferences, races and religions. I even got interviewed by two and photographed by four because of my adorable socks.

The Jag  arrived at 4:30 barely being able to find me in the crowd;  by that time the line was at least ¾ of a mile long.  We connected and the doors opened early at 4:38, we were in the first group allowed entrance.  We made it through a well done security screening and chose the floor over seating.  Only the first 2000 people in got the choice of the floor.

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We managed to get right in front of the podium about 2 rows deep.  Wow.  Time to wait again.  The excitement was ripe and the crowds buzzing with anticipation to see Mr. Trump.  The Sun Dome continually filled up with more and more seats being taken as people waited in very long lines to get in the doors and through security.

At about 6 pm we had a few speakers setting the stage for the main even; retired military and a female veteran that lost her son in Benghazi.  It was now 7:00 pm and there were still people piling in.  By 7:30 Mr Trump had not yet come on and as I looked around in amazement there was not a vacant seat in the house.  Even the nosebleed section was filled.  Yea, media won’t show it but it’s a packed house and a sellout crowd.

There were even about 5,000 people outside that could not get in.  They had a screen viewing for them.  At 7:38 the long awaited Mr. Trump took the stage and he did not disappoint.  There is only one word to truly describe the aura — electrifying.  Mr. Trump has a commanding stage presence, is a charismatic speaker full of passion, honesty and integrity.

After a riveting one hour speech the event was over.  I attempted to get an autograph as he made his rounds along the front row but was getting squished by the overzealous crowd.  I got to see him up front about two feet away which was good enough for me.  Secret Service needs to be commended for handling the crowds and protecting the presidential candidate.  They were not messing around.

The walk out and traffic out of the sundome was similar to any other large sporting event and the excitement of what I just saw stayed with us both on the ride home.  We stayed up to watch the coverage of the event on the local news which was disappointing and biased.  I saw several interviews throughout my wait — ALL positive.  Did I see any of that on television?  No, I saw only a few protestors from another part of the campus’ interviews.  Hmmmm, just as I’ve always thought, the media is dishonest and biased.  And where have you heard that?

That’s okay, I know what I saw and what I believe.  As Mr. Trump pointed out in the beginning of his speech and as many of the people around me proved.  It’s a movement, a movement like no other.  You watch the rally and the 12,000 that attended here. The “Silent Majority Stands with Trump.”

Whoever you’re rooting for think long and heard, read and learn for there’s no denying wherever Trump goes there is love and energy.  The movement can’t be denied.  Make America Great Again.

Our regular programming will continue on Monday. . .

Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Whenever you want an appetizer that impresses yet is quick and simple these bacon wrapped scallops are a real crowd pleaser and will disappear faster than you can make them.

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Recipe & Ingredients

2 pounds sea scallops (the large ones)
1 pound bacon (do not use thick sliced)

Preparation

Cut the bacon slices in half.  Wrap 1/2 slice bacon around each scallop securing with a toothpick and place on a broiler pan.  Broil for about 10 minutes (leaving the door cracked) and watching carefully or until the bacon is crisp. Turn each scallop over and broil for an additional 5 minutes or until the bacon is crisp.  Drain on a paper towel and serve immediately.

Bam!