Monthly Archives: August 2012

WWWSD?

Anyone reading this who knows me in real life has probably asked themselves why it took so long for a post with this theme to appear.

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You see, I am an unabashed William Shatner fan.

I love the guy.  Sure he’s Hollywood’s clown, but he is also a fine Emmy-winning actor who has a terrific sense of humor about himself. He loves himself, that’s obvious, but somehow he manages to pull that off without taking himself too seriously.  Plus he’s Captain Kirk.  That ought to be all I need to say.

So, this past March Dude and I traveled to Cleveland to see him perform as he toured around the USA with his one-man show, Shatner’s World.  It was two hours of Bill on Bill.  I was in heaven.

He basically told his life story from birth and the seemingly off-the-cuff storytelling was interspersed with photos and video clips of performances and interviews, plus home movies and family photos.  Like I said above, there is no doubt that William Shatner loves William Shatner.  It was obvious that he loved just talking about himself.

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So yes, Shatner’s World was great fun for those of us who are fans, however, there was more to the performance than just the ramblings of an 81 year-old guy.  There was a really cool recurring theme to all of his anecdotes and it was the theme for the entire show.  How did William Shatner go from unknown Canadian youth to the greatest actor in the world? (OK, that might be hyperbole and my fandom speaking, but he has had a long and successful career.)  He attributed it to one thing:

He always said yes.

As he retold two hours worth of stores about performing as a child in youth theater in Canada to selling his own kidney stone on eBay for charity (I kid you not), he said that he did anything and everything he could to stay relevant.  He said yes to everything.

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So this has me thinking…. How can I be more like William Shatner?  I’m asking myself “What Would William Shatner Do?”

I think there is something to be learned from this.  How often do we say no to things?  How often are we closed off to new experiences, new opportunities, new adventures?  How often are we putting negativity on our own circumstances?  How many times a day do you tell yourself that you can’t do something, or won’t do something?

I know with my own life I fell victim to my own negative self-talk.  I was quite closed off to new people and new experiences.  I can’t truthfully say that seeing Shatner’s World changed my life, but it was very enlightening to hear from someone who has had a 60+ year career that the key to his success can be attributed to positivity and saying yes to nearly everything that was offered to him.

So today I’m going to throw this out to you.  Answer these few questions:

  • What have you said yes to lately?
  • What do you think will happen if you start saying yes more often?
  • In what aspects of your life can you welcome new experiences?
  • How has being closed off to new experiences or opportunities hindered your happiness?
  • How are you going to be more like William Shatner? (ha)

Share with me in the comments or on Facebook.  I can’t wait to hear how I’ve turned you all in to Shatner disciples!

2012 Goals Project - Focus on Matt

Matt is the latest person to join the 2012 Goals Project and I’m so happy to have him participate.  He’s trying to get in shape and build some muscle mass for his own satisfaction, but also because he wants to advance his career as a basketball referee.  He calls his efforts “Filling out the Striped Shirt”.  Read all about his story at the bottom of this post.

So, what keeps Matt going and focused on his goal?  Let’s find out:

What made you choose the goals you chose?
At the end of basketball season, I always do a self assessment of how the season went. Even though it was a very good season for me, I thought that my physique (or lack thereof) may have held me back from getting to my ultimate goal of refereeing the state championship game. Julie, my wife,  had been attending BodyPump classes regularly and recommended the class to me, which is how I chose that particular class.


What keeps you motivated?
The idea that I just might make the state championship game if I had a better on-court presence. I think of the good season I had last year and think of how much better next year could be if I looked the part a little more. There have been times during class that I’ve been struggling, but I think of one of the good games I had last year and say to myself “keep going if you want the better game next year!” I also have the photo of me that was in the newspaper as the background on my phone, so I look at it every day and make sure that it looks different next year.
What do you find difficult about your goals?
Believe it or not, actually going to the class at the gym isn’t a problem. In fact, I even gave going to a 5:45 am class a shot a few weeks ago (we won’t be doing that again anytime soon). My biggest problem is eating right and my calorie and protien intake right after class. I normally go to class three times a week (Monday PM-Wednesday PM-Saturday AM). On Monday and Wednesday, I go right from work, so after class, I’d rather spend time with the kids as opposed to worring about eating.


When faced with difficulty or a set back, how do you overcome?
The biggest hurdle I’ve had to overcome has been a few extended absences from class (a week and a half to two weeks). For the first time ever, I feel guilty about not going to the gym, whereas before I would find excuses to not go. Trying to eat properly is the biggest difficulty that I face … and overcoming it is the problem

Keep up the good work, Matt!  Juggling a job, refereeing, and two cute kids can’t be easy. Best wishes for continued success and thanks for participating in the Goals Project!

Recipes: Filets on the Grill

I have been waiting for this menu.  I have to be honest, I love grilled meat and although LadyFingers Diane and I have made other meals featuring grilled meat, this one is my absolute favorite.  Reason 1: filet mignon.  Do I need to say anything else?  Probably not.

When I make these monthly recipe posts courtesy of LadyFingers Private Chef and Catering I typically say we had a terrific time and all that, but here’s the food! and go on to the recipes.  Allow me to dwell for a bit on the terrific time part.

If you’re not participating in the monthly contest to win a seat for yourself and a guest, you are truly missing out.  I mean it.  We get a fair number of entries a month, but I know more of you could participate and you’d be happy if you did.  We have the best time together!  We ask our guests to come while the meal is still cooking because the cooking is part of the fun.  Diane and I (but let’s be honest, it’s mostly the chef doing the cooking.  I’m merely a backup singer.) share tips and hints about technique, we talk about food and flavors, and we are never short on laughs.  Our husbands, Jim and Dude, are always around somewhere having a couple of beers and the conversation never drags.  Once we sit around the table and eat it’s just such a good time that I wish we could have each and every one of you join us.

This month’s winner was Matt B. and he brought his lovely wife, Rachel.  (Matt is the famous Coach Matt from this post.)  The weather was so beautiful that instead of sitting in the dining room, we ate outside on the patio.  Three courses culminating in grilled fillets – it couldn’t have made for a better evening.

(Coach Matt, my Dude, and the super lovely Rachel)

The correct answer to this month’s trivia question was almond flour, egg wash, and ground nuts (cashews and macadamia nuts specifically).  Congratulations to Kelly F. whose name was drawn from record number of correct responses!  Kelly and a guest will join us in October as we are hosting a couple of special guests in September.  Stay tuned for more details on that.

So yes! We had a blast this past Sunday – as usual!  Food and friendship go together better than anything.  Let’s get to the food and see why this month was especially delicious.

Macadamia and Cashew-Crusted Chicken Bites – serves 6-8

2 plump chicken breasts
½ cup macadamia nuts
½ cup cashews
1 cup almond flour, divided
1 egg
¼ cup water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (or 375 degrees for convection)
Cover a medium baking sheet with non-stick foil.
Cut chicken breasts into generous cubes (1 ½-inch or two-bites).
Place macadamia nuts, cashew nuts and ¼ cup almond flour into a food processor.  Process until nuts are coarsely ground (note – you must use the flour as it keeps the oily nuts from becoming pasty).
Set up three dipping bowls for coating your chicken starting with a shallow bowl containing ¾ cup almond flour.
Beat 1 egg with ¼ cup water and place into a second shallow dipping bowl.
Place your ground nut mixture into a third shallow dipping bowl.


Thoroughly coat each chicken cube with almond flour, dip each cube into the egg wash, and finish by coating each cube with nut mixture, pressing the nuts onto the chicken cubes with your fingers as necessary.
Place the coated chicken cubes onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes.  Gently turn cubes, taking care not to disturb nut coating and bake for another 5 minutes or until cubes are hot and nut coating is nicely browned.
Remove from baking sheet and serve with Mango Dipping Sauce (see below).

Mango Dipping Sauce – serves 6

1 fresh mango
1 orange, juiced
1 tablespoon honey
dash cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

Peel mango and slice flesh away from the pit.  Place mango into a blender.
Add fresh orange juice, honey and cayenne to blender.
Puree mixture for 1 minute or until smooth.
Taste and add additional cayenne if desired.
Serve with Macadamia and Cashew-Crusted Chicken Bites.

Asparagus Green Curry Soup – serves 6

1 bunch fresh asparagus
2 medium leeks
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon green curry paste
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Roughly chop asparagus, discarding woody ends.  Clean and roughly chop leeks, white and pale green parts only.


Heat olive oil in a large soup pot.  Add chopped asparagus and leeks and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add red pepper flakes to pot and stir to combine.
Add green curry paste to the pot and stir to combine.  Heat for 1 minute or until fragrant
Add stock to the pot and stir to combine.  Heat over medium-high heat until soup reaches a boil.  Reduce heat, cover pot and simmer for 15 minutes or until asparagus is quite tender.
Using an immersion blender, blend until soup is pureed.


Add coconut milk, fresh lime juice and blend again.
Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Let soup cool slightly and then place in refrigerator until well chilled (or may be heated – you decide!).
Garnish with a pinch of paprika and serve.

Grilled Filet Mignon with Balsamic-Roasted Tomatoes – serves 6

6 beef filet steaks
olive oil for coating
60 cherry tomatoes, preferably mixed colors
½ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Preheat grill to High.
Remove steaks from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Rinse and dry cherry tomatoes.  Place tomatoes in Dutch oven or heavy roasting pan.


Combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and whisk to blend.  Pour balsamic mixture over tomatoes.
Place tomatoes in oven, uncovered, and roast for twenty minutes or until just bursting.
While tomatoes roast, coat filets with olive oil and take to grill.


Turn the grill to low and place steaks on grill.  Close grill lid and cook for 5-7 minutes, depending on thickness and desired doneness.
Open grill lid, turn steaks and close grill lid again.  Cook for an additional 4-6 minures, again depending on thickness and desired doneness.
Remove steaks from grill to plates and serve with Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes.

Didn’t I say that this was the menu to top all menus?  Well, at least until next month….

As usual, many thanks to Diane of LadyFingers Private Chef and Catering for the use of her kitchen, garden, and home.  Here are printable versions of this month’s recipes.  Please enjoy!

Macadamia and Cashew-Crusted Chicken Bites
Mango Dipping Sauce
Asparagus Green Curry Soup
Grilled Filet Mignon with Balsamic-Roasted Tomatoes

Win a Seat at the LadyFingers and First Comes Health October Table!

Ok, readers! Here’s your chance to win an invitation to October’s cooking demo with Diane of LadyFingers Private Chef and Catering and dear ole me! (We are having a couple of special guests at the September dinner, so the winner of this month’s contest will be our October guest.)

Hopefully you followed along with our tweets last night and watched Facebook to see the August dinner progress from ingredients to table. Now is your chance to show us how much you paid attention.

Here’s the question:

IN PROPER ORDER (very important!), what were the three coatings we put on the chicken appetizer before cooking it?

Responses will be accepted through Facebook or Twitter PRIVATE MESSAGE. Don’t put it on our walls, don’t tweet it to us. Message either Diane or me with your guess.

Fine print:

1. One response per person (And you MUST like LadyFingers and First Comes Health on Facebook!)
2. Entries will be accepted until midnight tonight.
3. One person will be randomly drawn from all the correct respondents.
4. The winner will provide his/her own transportation to Diane’s house on a date in October TBD.
5. The winner can bring one guest to the dinner.

Good luck, everyone!

Getting Back on the Wagon

Am I the only one who finds summertime to be a difficult time for health, and fitness, and eating well?  I mean, it would seem to be the opposite because the weather is (mostly) beautiful and there is tons of fresh food in season.  I guess even though I haven’t been in school for a while I still get into a vacation mindset and just get a bit more relaxed with my choices.

Yesterday the Healthy Home Economist had a post that was food focused and talked about the difference between an occasional indulgence and completely falling off the clean eating wagon.  It was brilliant.  Spot on.  And it kind of hit home for me.

Because of my ankle woes I have been (literally and figuratively) off my pins this summer.  My routine is wrecked, my workouts have had to change drastically, and it’s taken a bit of a toll on my attitude.  I think about this ankle everyday, all day long.  I want it to heal, and I want it to heal NOW.   I did get some good news when I went to the doctor’s office not long ago, but just because it’s on its way to recovery doesn’t mean it’s recovered.  I started seeing a physical therapist (Steve rocks!  I hope to write more about him soon.) and I’ve had one session so far where he was very honest about the fact that I have a LOT of work to do.  I’m on the right track, but the road is going to be long and difficult.

Fitness and food are my life and my job.  I can’t help but feel a bit thrown for a loop and upset.  I admit to wallowing a bit and I also admit to not having the cleanest diet lately.  What I have been telling myself is that I’m having the occasional indulgence, but after reading yesterday’s article, I realize I’m probably headed down the food bender road.  Not good.

So, what does a holistic health coach do when she’s recognized that the summertime vacation attitude plus the ankle self-pity party has added up to going on a binge and falling off the rails a bit?  She takes total control of the situation by recognizing what threw her off the straight and narrow and fixes it.

First order of business, I have to change my attitude about my ankle.  Yes, it’s a bummer.  Yes, it’s inconvenient.  Yes, it’s impinging on my lifestyle.  But instead of focusing on what I can’t do and how rotten I feel about it, I’m going to focus on what I can do and start kicking this up a bit in spite of my ankle.  I am feeling really confident in the pool these days, and I am going to continue to work on improving.  I’m extremely pleased with how strong I feel after a month.

I’m also going back to CrossFit this week.  I’ll have to modify and scale things to work around my injury, but so be it.  I’ve been afraid to go back and I can’t live like that.  Tonight, I’m headed back to the box.

My second order of business is getting my eating under control.  I’m not completely off the wagon, but I’m definitely hanging off the wagon and letting myself drag on the ground more than I should.

Luckily, I’ve been given a terrific resource for helping me to get back ON the wagon.  Did you catch my review of Practical Paleo?  I went on and on about how it’s THE book for getting your eating back in line and so I’m taking advantage of it.  I started following one of the 30-day meal plans from the book. Check out my breakfast:

That’s my version of the Swirly Crustless Quiche.  I omitted the swirls and opted for a standard “entropy” pattern, but it still tastes delicious.  ;)

Today’s lunch is mustard glazed chicken thighs with a green salad.  After my Tuesday swim, Dude and I are having lunch together to eat a few of these babies along with some tossed greens.

I can’t quite say that this is going to be a Julie/Julia Project style cook through of Practical Paleo or even one of those blogs where each meal is photographed, but I do plan to keep you up to date with what I’m making and eating for the next month.

In the meantime, I’m going to leave you with some tips and hints for getting yourself back on track if you’ve fallen off course.

  • Stop, look, listen — Take the time to step away from the frenetic life we all have and take a long hard look at what is going on with you.  Are you happy?  Do you feel well?  Do you consider yourself to be healthy?  Are you doing everything you can do to live your most healthy life? Listen to what your body is trying to tell you.  It is essential that we take the time to look for the mental and physical cues our bodies are giving us to show us that we’re not on track.
  • Be honest with yourself — If you know that something is bothering you, don’t hide it or lie to yourself about it.  Face it.  It’s hard to admit our shortcomings, even to ourselves, but we won’t get anywhere if we pretend they don’t exist.
  • Identify the core issues — When you’re honest with yourself about what is going on, you can strip away all the drama and hurt feelings to uncover the real issues that are at the root of the problem.  For me, my ankle whining and my lazy summer attitude have put me in a spot that I don’t like very much.  I can say it’s a hundred different things, but these two things are the sources of my problems right now.
  • Form a plan — Because what’s the point of knowing what the problem is without having a plan to solve it?  It’s going to be a daily struggle to change my attitude about my ankle, but each day I am going to work on something that will make it stronger, plus I’m going to let it heal in its own time.
  • Be accountable — Tell your partner, a friend, a co-worker, or your health coach what you’re doing and check in with him or her regularly.  I plan on staying in touch with all of you and updating you with how things are going.  I hope you’ll hold my feet to the fire!

Now it’s your turn.  What has you down and off track?  Has a simple indulgence turned into a wagon fall-off of epic proportions?  What is your plan to get back on it?  Share with me in the comments or on Facebook.

Review: The Food Lovers' E-book and App

Well, I am FLUSH with good fortune these days.  My latest reason for thinking so is because I’m good friends with Hayley and Bill of The Food Lovers’ Kitchen.  We (especially Hayley and me) go back a bunch of years – even before either of us became truly interested in real, whole food.  It’s been so cool to see my friends go from “Hey, so we started this blog…..” to full-fledged Internet Paleo superstars.  They’ve published a gorgeous cookbook, they’re working on another one, and they’ve recently come out with two new products (an e-book and an app), both of which I’m going to review today, plus they’re planning their wedding and who knows what else.  How do they do it all?!?!?!?!

Ok, so let’s break this down…..

First the e-book.  It’s called 30 Day Intro to Paleo, and just like everything else Hayley and Bill create, it’s beautiful and it’s thorough.  It’s designed to be a guide for anyone who is brand new to the Paleo way of eating but it certainly isn’t limited to Paleo noobs.  If you’re a seasoned Paleo veteran, it is still worth your time!  The recipes are superb (natch!  They’re the Food Lovers!)

The three sections break down this way.  Part 1 is a thorough explanation of what Paleo is, the benefits and what kinds of foods are a part of this way of eating.  My fave section on this part is a total breakdown on how to build a meal and what the difference is between these words we often hear – “Paleo” and “Primal”.

(Will you look at that fabulous kombucha photo!  I hope you see THAT again soon! >wink!!<)

Part 2 is a 30-day meal plan WITH shopping lists!  If you’re following along with their 30-day plan, simply print out the shopping list and you’re set for the week.  It’s that easy.

As you can guess, Part 3 is a collection of fantastic recipes to go along with the meal plan, or stand-alone noms that you will want to put into heavy rotation around your house.

Ok, so that’s the basic breakdown.  What didn’t mention is that this is not your ordinary e-book that is a static document to read and file away.  You guys, this is so cool because it is stacked full of dozens of links that take you out into the Internets to show you supporting information and where you can buy ingredients, tools, etc.  AND!! (my favorite part) it features video clips right in the book!  You’ll have tons of information right there at your fingertips.

Why do I love this book and why am I recommending it?  Because eating cleanly is often confusing and overwhelming.  This is a succinct work that not only simplifies how to get yourself started on a better way to eat, but also gives an almost overwhelming amount of resources to help you learn along each step of the way.

Ok, so now, onto the app.  myKitchen is available for iPhone and Android, first of all and secondly I have already used it a hundred times.

Here is its simple genius:  It’s a collection of great, easy, delish recipes (with beautiful photos to match!), a feature that allows you to make a “favorites” list of what you make most often, and a shopping list builder based on which recipes you choose for each day of the week.  Boom!

Why do I love this and why am I recommending this?  Because I am a 21st century woman and I am also addicted to my iPhone.  I can’t live without it and I don’t want to either.  It is an extension of my hand and it helps me run my life and my business.  Now, with the myKitchen app, it helps me run my grocery store and farmers’ market runs too.  Meal planning through this is a breeze, my friends. I know that these recipes are tried, true, delicious, and contain no food shenanigans or crazy junk I don’t want in my body.  And the fact that I now have a grocery list made for me and it’s in my purse ready to go is invaluable to me!   All this, plus the fact that I can cross the stuff OFF the list after I put it in my cart is just gosh darned MASTERFUL!!!!!!!!

Long story short, buy this stuff.  Juggling a life and kids and job and work and exercise and keeping up with the Olympics (you are, aren’t you?!) is hard enough.  I’m offering you two tools that not only will make life easier for you, but will help you to fuel yourselves with beautiful, healthy, meals.  You can thank me by just buying the book and downloading the app (iPhone/Android).

Before I sign off, let me offer a few disclaimers about this review.  I mentioned at the top that I’m friends with Hayley and Bill, but rest assured!  We are buddies enough that I can offer an unbiased review without damaging our friendship.  In fact, I think they’d be mad at me if I didn’t offer the straight dope.  In keeping with my review policy of full disclosure, I did receive the e-book to review, but the app (which is free) I got earlier than the rest of the world as part of being a supporting member of their site.  Since I paid for my membership (and you can too!), I got my copy of the app before non-members, just like all other supporting members did.  I do get a wee bit of a kickback if you buy the e-book using the links I provided throughout this post, but I wouldn’t want you to buy it if it weren’t awesome.  Which it is.

If you’ve already gotten your hands on these goodies, please share your thoughts and opinions with me!  If not, what are you waiting for?!

2012 Goals Project - July Review

I am so thrilled that people are still hanging in there and pursuing their goals for 2012!  Can you believe that it’s August and this group is still working hard on their so-called New Year’s resolutions?  Unheard of.

Let’s get to the progress!

Kelly F.

  • Non-banded pullups –  still working…. :(    I am taking a little time off from CrossFit so this may be on hold.
  • Rx’d CrossFit workout –  Accomplished.  Since Crossfit is on hold for a bit I have enrolled in a running 101 class – week one is in the books and just started Week 2.  Our class started out with 17 participants in Week 1 and dwindled to 5 in Week 2.  I don’t care if I end up the only one left standing I will complete all 10 weeks.  :)
  • 30-day Paleo Challenge –  Since this has been accomplished have turned my focus to losing 2 dress sizes or 20lbs before the end of the year.  I started in earnest two weeks ago and will weigh-in every two weeks.

Shannon H.

  • I just completed week 6 of training for the Columbus Marathon. I am chugging along. Training in the summer is hard. Last week especially it was very difficult to stay motivated. I had some really crappy runs and the heat and humidity are not helping. But I just try to push the bad runs aside and focus on each new run individually. I am feeling better this week already. I have officially transitioned to morning running and have been getting all my weekday runs in before work. It’s going to start getting a little more difficult in the coming weeks as my Wednesday run is now up to 7 miles.
  • 104 miles in July brings me to 766 miles YTD!
  • The “eating less crap” thing is going really well too – loving the CSA and the fresh variety it brings. Moving my runs to the morning has made me able to cook dinner a lot more and I’m feeling a lot better both physically and mentally!

Ann M.

  • Well, I don’t feel like I’ve made any fantastic progress on my goals this month, but I don’t think I took any major steps backward either. Making healthy choices continues to be a daily battle. My run distances are beginning to improve, although I still have a few frustrating days a week. I rented a bike while I was on vacation (after being motivated by the Tour de France and the Olympics!) and rode bike trails for 10 days. I loved it! I’m hoping to get my hands on a bike in the coming weeks and I can add cycling to my workouts.

    I’m starting a new job in August and I’m very concerned about how rotating 12 hour shifts is going to affect my goal progress…. We will see how this goes!

Diane D.

  • Get LadyFingers listed as a “Preferred Caterer” at 5 or more Pittsburgh venues –This goal has lost its urgency now that my new website is a business-builder.  This would still be nice, but my time needs to be spent satisfying new customers.  I may go back to this in the future if time permits and I can develop a workable strategy.
  • Provide catering to 30 new customersPast and future bookings have me at 31 and this goal is complete!
  • Improve online exposure – improving search engine placement by 50%, doubling Facebook “likes”, and doubling Twitter followers –Google: Goal complete! All of the work on the new website has paid off and folks are easily finding me via a Google search.  I am ecstatic!  Facebook: Likes started at 49, and are currently at 94.  My goal is 98 and I am at 92% completion.Twitter: Followers started at 60, and are currently at 121.  My goal is 120 and this goal is complete!
  • Keep shoulder and knee healthy while increasing CrossFit work output –Back to the gym with my shoulder in top-notch shape and my knee/ankle/foot in not-so-good shape.  I am scaling and subbing my work-outs so this goal is back on track.
  • Return to push-ups and burpees by July 1 -I have done regular, un-scaled burpees and regular, non-modified push-ups in WODs and this goal is complete!
  • One dead-hang pull-up and three kipping pull-ups strung together
  • 225 pound deadlift
  • 100 pounds overhead –No progress on any of the above but I think August will be a good CrossFit month.
  • Cut out ALL sugar that has crept back into diet – Goal complete.  Easy peasy!
  • Use sunscreen, especially in the garden and while driving convertibleDoing well with this.  I am going to call this a completion!

Brian R.

  • Reach a CrossFit Total of 800 (Translation right here) – Didn’t improve on my numbers, but I did have several good workouts for the back squat portion of the Total.  I am optimistic about succeeding, although I believe from now on I am going to have to branch out from my regular CrossFit routine to focus on the things that comprise the Total.
  • Pack lunch for work everyday – I would say that this month I packed about 90% of my lunches, so this has been a major success!  I got a lot of help from my wife, but it was all about preparation.
  • Write 45,000 words – Little progress on new words, but I got a lot of editing done.  I don’t know what to say about this other than I think this is a goal that needs to be brought to the forefront of my thinking if I am to make any progress.

Bill R.

  • Walking and biking lots lately — feeling great about this.
  • I continue to monitor my weight regularly and am trying really hard to react quickly when I see an extra pound or two show up.
    It’s peach season!!  One of my favorite times of the year.  found some AWESOME Southern peaches at a fruit market here and have been eating them regularly to help curb my cravings for sweets.
  • Flossing without even a second thought now — a real breakthrough!
    Adding a new Goal — Run a 5K.  Thanks to your advice, I found the “Couch to 5K” site and am going to start following the suggested training next week with the goal of running a 5K sometime this Fall — will advise you when I find one to participate in!!

Matt C.

  • I haven’t been to my Pump class as many times this month, because I’ve been refereeing summer leagues a few nights a week. The leagues are over now, so I’ll get back on schedule. Despite the busy schedule, I made sure I attended class at least once a week. I’m proud that even while my wife and I were on vacation in the Dominican Republic, we made time to exercise in the fitness room (which is something we would have never done in the past).

Jill C. (that’s me!)

  • Instead of going with my typical bulleted list, I’m going to write a few paragraphs about my goals.  My pull-up, yoga, running goals are all on hold due to my ankle.  It’s been a real bummer and quite discouraging, but I did have a doctor’s appointment today where I got some positive news.  My ankle is healing nicely, although it’s not 100% yet.  In fact, I still have a lot of work to do on this before I’ll be back to normal, IF I get back to normal.  My doctor was honest with me about how the swelling might not ever go away completely.
    I have been doing home physical therapy and I’ve been quite faithful to it, but over the course of the past six weeks I have felt a bit isolated and had questions that I had to wait to have answered.  In light of this, I requested some in-person physical therapy at an actual rehabilitation place.  It just makes me feel better to have someone I can see regularly and ask questions.  Plus, my doctor says he hooked me up with a super tough guy who will push me.  This is what I want!  I’m hoping he’s physical therapy’s answer to Jillian Michaels and yells in my face.  Ha.
    Because of my inability to do my normal activities, I started swimming, as you know.  I started a few weeks ago and I can’t tell you how much I love it!  Being in the pool is one of my favorite things.  I’ve always been an OK swimmer, but I’m gaining confidence and endurance everyday.
    The reasons I initially cited for wanting to go to yoga (the meditative benefits plus physical challenge) I’m finding with swimming.  There are always other people at the pool when I’m there, but I don’t talk to anyone, I’m not competing with anyone, I’m following a swim plan, nobody cares or judges what I’m doing, and basically I’m completely on my own.  My ears fill up with water and I can’t really hear much noise outside of my own splashing.  It is a tough workout, but surprisingly I am finding it quite calm and therapeutic.  Those three hours a week I’m in the pool I am totally alone concentrating on my strokes and improving.  Nothing else.

That’s July, folks!  There are some serious successes going on here and I’m truly excited for everyone! Congratulations and keep going!

If you are interested in joining us, it is never too late to set a goal and work towards it! Send me an email with the thing(s) you’d like to tackle in 2012 and you’ll join the ranks of these fine folks.  That’s all it takes.  It doesn’t matter WHEN you start pursuing your goals, it just matters that you DO start.