The End of the Challenge / Day 26 – 30

Day 26
More leftover pizza bagel toppings scrambled with some eggs.

Lunch was the last of the tri-tip roast made into a salad.

Leftover chicken curry with a big side salad made for a yummy dinner.

A couple hours after dinner I got extremely hungry. The only things left in my fridge were breakfast ingredients, so I went ahead and made my new favorite. Mmm.

Day 27
Breakfast was a complete replica of the previous night’s late meal.

The last of the chicken curry and another side salad was lunch. I definitely could have eaten almost triple the amount of chicken but there was none left.

    Crossfit WOD:
    3RM (rep max) Deadlift
    20 yd Prowler Push – High Handles
    3 Full Squat Snatch
    6 Toes to Bar
    9 Pullups
    12 Double Unders
    15 Burpees
    12 Double Unders
    9 Pullups
    6 Toes to Bar
    3 Full Squat Snatch
    20 yd Prowler Push – Low Handles

My 1RM deadlift from just 19 days ago was 153 lb. For my 3RM I was so happy to hit 143 lb since that means my 1RM is probably a lot higher now!

This workout was super intense. It’s the workout that CrossFitters do to compete as teams in the Mid-Atlantic Hopper Challenge (I’m not competing). I had to scale almost everything down but it was still challenging. The squat snatch is something I am SO not good at. For some reason I have a hard time keeping good squat form while holding a barbell over my head. Need to practice a lot more. This was also my first time playing with the prowler. Maybe I didn’t have enough weight on it, but I absolutely loved it. Something about leaning all my weight into it to get it going was very satisfying. Can’t wait to play with it again. Finished this workout in 5:49.

Our weekly trip to Chipotle was decided for tonight since I barely had any food left to cook with. I thought ahead and ordered two of the burrito bowls so that I could have one for lunch tomorrow. My burrito bowls consist of double chicken, tomatoes, corn, guacamole and lettuce (no rice and no beans, but after this challenge I will be reintroducing those black beans).

Yes, Chipotle can be sodium overload, but I knew that not bringing any lunch with me would have been worse. I remember when I was eating Maruchan ramen for lunch 1-2 times a week at work, and then maybe once a week for dinner, so I really didn’t want those habits to kick back in (the ramen is conveniently located at a corner store you can walk to in one minute flat from work).

And remember my goal of eating an entire bowl in one sitting? I made it happen. Woo!

Day 28
Same delicious breakfast of two fried eggs over sweet potatoes.

Thoroughly enjoyed my Chipotle burrito bowl for lunch.

Two words: Halloween weekend. I don’t even want to get into how bad of a cheat this night was. Let’s just say I wasn’t feeling my best the next morning.

Day 29
Breakfast: fried eggs over sweet potato hash. Still amazing.

Lunch was a simple salad I forgot to photograph. So not filling, but I already knew that I would be cheating that night since we were going out to celebrate Halloween. I went totally nuts and ate and drank all sorts of non-Paleo things: pizza, cranberry vodkas, etc. Oh well. No regrets.

Day 30
The last day! Completely forgot to take photos of anything since I think I was just ready to get the challenge over with.

Enjoyed my new favorite breakfast again, had the same boring salad for lunch, and made scallops and Brussels sprouts for dinner. Tried to fancy up my last dish so I could end on a strong note.

And that’s it: the challenge is over! It’s been about a week since the challenge ended and I don’t think I would ever do it again. Not being able to have dairy drove me the craziest, but on the other hand I rarely crave bread or pasta anymore, so I’m very happy with that! I’ll still be trying to eat my healthiest whenever possible, but you better believe I went a little nuts this past week.

Tomorrow I’ll be doing my final workout. Even though I haven’t been as strict with my food choices these last few days, I’m still hoping for some good results. Wish me luck!

Using Leftovers for Breakfast / Day 23 – 25

Day 23
I made that incredible sweet potato and fried egg breakfast again. I can definitely see myself eating this for a long time.

Lunch hadn’t changed: more butternut squash soup.

Dinner was a tri-tip beef roast with sweet potato, brussels sprouts and asparagus on the side. Having a variety of veggies on the plate was a great change from my usual one meat/one veggie meals. Unfortunately the roast wasn’t that tasty. I’ll have to look up a better method of prep rather than just coating it in salt and pepper.

Day 24
Lovely, delicious breakfast of sweet potato and eggs.

Lunch meeting at work. My boss ordered in Chinese food so it made it a little bit of a challenge to figure out what I should eat. I didn’t bring in any extra food for lunch so I tried my absolute best to stick to the paleo diet by ordering the spare ribs and the Buddha’s Delight with no sauce. I forgot that the Delight came with tofu so I pushed that aside along with the snow peas (no soy or legumes). I ate almost double than what’s pictured here.

At dinnertime I hosted a pizza bagel party for a friend’s birthday, but I avoided all temptation and made myself a giant salad with leftover tri-tip roast and lots of the bagel toppings. I dressed it with a homemade roasted garlic vinaigrette. Making vinaigrettes is one of my favorite things to do. Bottled dressings are way too salty and/or thin to me now.

Day 25
For breakfast I sauteed a handful of various leftover pizza bagel toppings and added scrambled eggs. I didn’t really like the salsa on regular scrambled eggs. I think it really needs to be paired with the sweet potato to make it sing.

Lunch was another steak salad with the VERY LAST of the butternut squash soup. Finally.

    Crossfit WOD:
    Pull-up/ring dip work
    4 rounds:
    Sprint 60 yds (3 track lengths, 2 turns)
    Rest 20 sec
    15 Ball Slams
    Rest 20 sec

Right now I’m using a blue band to get through my pull-ups. The next sizes down are the red, purple, then orange (super skinny) bands. I feel like I’m getting pretty close to progressing onto the red one. I can’t wait! This is what getting a new belt in karate must feel like.

Sprints rock. I have long legs so it’s pretty easy to cover the turf quickly. But…ball slams. Grrr. Overall this was a quick but intense workout. I finished in 6:59.

Dinner was super methodic to make but totally worth it. I followed a recipe for Indian Chicken Curry (Murgh Kari) and replaced the yogurt with coconut milk. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that most Indian recipes are paleo as is, so I’m going to look into making more Indian dishes in the future. Sauteed some cauliflower along with the leftover vegetables from the Buddha’s Delight and topped it all with the curry sauce. A squeeze of lemon and a sweet potato finished the job. This was one of my favorite paleo meals so far.

Milkshake and Mixed Drink Cheats / Day 20 – 22

Day 20
Scrambled eggs to start the day.

Lunch was a complete replica of the lunch I had the day before: butternut squash and two chicken wraps.

I was really excited about dinner. During my paleo meal research I learned that I could replicate the texture of rice using cauliflower. I threw some cauliflower into the food processor, pulsed it a couple times, and BAM—I had rice!

I sauteed it in some olive oil and it was good to go. Using the leftover pork I made the night before, I put together a stir-fry with various veggies and placed it on the cauliflower “rice.” Awesome.

Day 21
Scrambled eggs with various additions. I’m really bad at remembering to take a photo of breakfast.

Butternut squash soup and a chicken wrap for the third day in a row. Mixed it up with some dried figs.

Since I was going straight from work to a haunted forest attraction called Creepywoods, I brought dinner to work with me to eat at the end of the day: leftover pork stir-fry.

After Creepywoods (where I got the crap scared out of me) we stopped at a 7-11 where I bought a small bag of cashews and ate a banana I brought.

Day 22
I love Saturdays at the gym.

    Crossfit WOD:
    AMRAP 15 min:
    10 Dumbbell Thrusters

    10 Ball Slams
40 yd Farmers Carry (with Dumbbells)

I HATE thrusters. They kill me. At least I didn’t have to use a barbell; I used two 15 lb dumbbells.

For the ball slams I used a 20 lb ball. Ball slams tired me out so fast, but I’ve learned to explode at my hips to make bringing the ball back up much easier.

The farmers carry was fine. I ended up at 6 rounds plus 10 thrusters.

When I got home I made the best paleo breakfast I’ve had so far. I cubed a sweet potato and sauteed it with bell pepper and onion. It took awhile for the sweet potato to cook, so I helped it along by adding some water to the pan and covering it. After that was ready I took the potato mixture out of the pan, added more oil and fried two eggs over easy. I placed the eggs on top of the potato mixture, spooned on some salsa (ingredients checked out) and finished it off with some fresh chives from my front porch. SO good. Now I hope I can find time on weekday mornings to make this. Maybe I should pre-make a bunch of the sweet potato mixture.

Lunch was more butternut squash soup.

Dinner was a huge cheat! We went out to the Lost City Diner to celebrate a friend’s birthday and there was nothing I could get while sticking to my paleo diet. So of course, I went all out and got a huge juicy burger, medium rare, with cheese and bacon on a challah bun. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a burger as fast as I did that night. I wasn’t entirely bad, though: I substituted my fries with a side salad. The thought of eating fries was kind of a turn-off, which really surprised me. I guess some good habits are starting to stick.

To seal the deal on my cheat meal (hey, that rhymes), I ordered the most incredible pumpkin milkshake. It was the first time I had dairy in three weeks! I was a little worried that my body would totally hate me but I didn’t notice any adverse effects. Later I made myself two cranberry vodkas. I forgot to take pics of all this since I was enjoying myself way too much.