Lemon Larabar Bites

Every since I made peanut butter chocolate chip Larabars a few weeks ago, I’ve been wanting to experiment a whole lot more.  The flavor and texture was fantastic, I figured it couldn’t be so hard.  Or could it?

After that success, I attempted to make carrot cake Larabars.  I was super excited because I didn’t find a recipe online, so I was pumped about making my own and putting one out there for others to enjoy.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work.  The taste was good…really good, but something was off.  They just didn’t hold together properly and were just really wet.  I think it was a combination of the pineapple and super fresh dates (when they are a little more dry it makes such a difference).  Bummer.

Fast forward to this week when Solomon mentioned at Crossfit that I make Larabars.  Many people follow the Paleo diet, and several Larabar flavors are allowed on this plan.  I told my coaches I’d be happy to make them some Larabars (you know me, any excuse to get in the kitchen) and got a request for lemon.

I searched and came up with the exact same recipe all over the place, so I don’t even know where to give proper credit.  Well, here it is:

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 12 pitted dates
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews

Combine the first 4 ingredients in food processor.  Process and add more lemon juice if desired (I added another 2 tsp.).  Add more dates if not sweet enough.  Once you have your desired flavor, add the cashews and process until the mixture forms a ball.  Taste and add anything else you see fitting.

Instead of making full sized bars, I used this cute little silicone mold I have that is meant for bite sized brownies.  Cause really, who doesn’t love bite sized things?
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I made 16 little bites, but I think I could probably get 4 bars from this recipe.

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Easy, light, citrusy and healthy.  What’s not to like? 

I’m having so much fun with these homemade Larabars…what’s next I wonder?

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Mary

Another girl, another benchmark.

1 word: ROUGH.

First we did a nice warm up, worked on some mobility and stretching, ran a bit.  Whatever.

Then we did 10 rounds of rowing.  We had partners, and each partner had to row 10 pulls, then the other partner did 10 pulls for 10 rounds total (200 pulls).  The goal was maximum calories burned.  We burned 124.  Lower than anyone else, but I have to argue as 1 of 2 girls in a class of 10, we burn less calories :).

Then it was time for Mary.

The only thing holy about this Mary was the holy I used before a few choice curse words. 

AMRAP 20:

  • 5 HSPU
  • 10 Pistols
  • 15 Pull-ups

Oh Mary…bitch.

I managed to do real handstand push ups.  I practiced a lot this week, and have learned how to get into a handstand unassisted.  I can kick up, don’t need anyone to steady my legs, and can hang out upside down for quite some time!  I use 3 ab mats under my head for my pushups, since I can’t get so far down to the ground yet.  I’m super proud of myself about this.  I’ve never been able to do much in the way of gymnastics, and didn’t expect I could possibly do a handstand so soon, let alone handstand push ups!  Believe it or not, this was my favorite part of the WOD 🙂

The pistols were tough.  I have a really tight left hamstring, so it makes things a little bit harder.  We had to do 5 on each leg during each round.  I used a band attached to the rig for extra support.  The ones on my right leg were pretty.  As for my left leg…well it was all about staying balanced and upright!

I think it’s fair to say right now that pull ups are one of my goats.  It’s one of those skills that you suck at and dread.  I just can’t seem to get a good rhythm to do kippings, and it takes me forever and a day to get pull ups done.  Today, there is even photographic proof (though I don’t have access to it yet).  We have a photographer that comes in every now and then to do professional shots of us working out.  Every time I stood on my little box between pull ups he was snapping away.  I asked him if that was on purpose and he said it definitely was, mostly for mocking purposes in the future!!!  We even have a goat who sits on top of the rig, as if to mock us!

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I think he took a fall that day.

I did 4+24.  That’s 25 handstand push ups! 

After sucking wind for 20 minutes, I went and got a facial.  I needed something to make me feel a little less badass!

Socrates, not So-Crates

My parents have a dog named So-Crates.  Not Socrates like the philosopher.  Well, kind of like the philosopher, but from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.  Normal, I know.

Moving right along…the little man is napping (yes, he still naps twice a day.  Yes, I love it), so after doing a ton around the house, I figured I’d sit down and recap today’s workout.  I was starting to think that maybe this was silly to do, since I haven’t gotten a single comment on a single WOD post, but then I decided it doesn’t matter.  Even if no one is reading these posts, I’m doing them for me!  I want to see how I’m improving, and I think writing it all down is the best way!

We started doing 12 minutes of ladder drills. 

I am definitely lacking in the coordination department, so this is a challenge for me, but fun.  I have to look at the ladder the whole time, but managed not to fall at all!  Bonus 🙂

Then we did a mini strength WOD. 

10,8,6,4,2 reps for quality

  • Bench Press 70% (max weight)
  • Ring Row

I did 65# on the bench press.  I’ve actually never in  my life before done a bench press with a barbell, only with dumbbells (I’ve gotten as heavy as 22.5), so this was good, considering before I only ever did 45 total!  The last 1 or 2 of each set was a challenge for sure.  As for ring dips, well…I’m just a spazz!  We did this in my intro class and I thought they were the hardest thing in the whole world.  Much easier now 🙂

4 Rounds for reps:

  • 40s Squat Clean 115/80
  • 20s Rest
  • 40s Push-up
  • 20s Rest

This WOD was basically a Tabata on steroids. 

I used 45# on the squat cleans, which was just way too light.  That’s what I did last time we did squat cleans, which was such a challenging workout it didn’t occur to me to go heavier.  I definitely have to because I did way too many reps!  I also used a band for support on the push ups since your chest has to touch the ground.  In the 4 rounds I did 48 squat cleans, and 66 push ups.  Way too many squat cleans this time!!

Aries

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Love it. 

Each and every time I go to Crossfit, I love it even more.  I understand the cult of Crossfit, and I also understand the naysayers.  I believe if you are going to an accredited box, and doing this safely there’s nothing wrong with pushing yourself!  It’s important to know your limits and understand them.  For example, Solomon is having some knee problems.  He was told today by our coach that he was not to run until things were better (orthotics) and is to row instead.  I really appreciate the fact that even though there are 150 people at our box, our coaches take the time for each of us individually.  They work with us to make sure we are focusing on form, not overdoing it, and doing things right.  Sometimes Crossfit sucks, but I can’t wait to get back!

We started off with 50 hollow rocks and 50 back extensions.  Then it was time for a long WOD!

4 Rounds for time, running down the ladder:

Run 800m, 600m, 400m, 200m

  • 25 Sit-ups
  • 20 KBS 1.5/1
  • 15 Burpees

So we started with an 800 m run, followed by 25 sit ups, 20 kettlebell swings (I used 3/4 pood or 26 lbs), and 15 burpees.  Then 600m run, 25 sit up etc…

I have to say, running outside felt AMAZING yesterday!  We ran a total of 1.25 miles and the warm, fresh air was fantastic.  I felt so energized, and better each run than I had previously.  I can’t wait for it to be nice again!!!

I’m not sure what came over me during this WOD, but I felt good, and I pushed it hard.  I actually was really nervous about this workout beforehand, and Solomon and I briefly considered skipping it.  Then we realized that was the exact reason we should go!  We’ll always hate burpees unless we actually do them.  OK, well I’ll probably always hate them!  I finished in 25:13, which I would say is a pretty respectable time!  I felt like I was kicking ass and I felt good!

Whipped Body Butter

Secretly, I feel like people are going to think I’m some sort of crazy hippie for this.  Yes, I made my own body butter.  Yes, I also make a lot of my own beauty concoctions like hair and face masks, and I’m even playing around with making things to clean the house.  Hey, it works!

I do have a good reason for wanting to make my own products after all.  I’ve had dry skin forever.  I don’t mean annoying dry skin that a little lotion fixes.  No, I mean constant, itchy dry skin that I scratch so hard that I get black and blues.  Dry skin so bad that I have eczema on a regular basis.  In college I chalked it up to swimming and figured the chlorine dried me out.  No, I just have really dry skin.  Recently my allergist recommended I might want to try something a bit more natural than my beloved Vaseline lotion.  So I thought that it would be fun to just go ahead and make it myself.

I took to Pinterest for ideas (basically what I do for everything now) and decided that a body butter sounded way more exciting than plain old lotion.  I found this recipe, ordered some organic shea butter from Amazon and waited patiently to make my butter!

It’s really quite simple.  Here’s what you need:

  • 8 oz. shea butter
  • 4 oz. coconut oil
  • 4 oz. jojoba or other organic, healthy oil.

Melt the shea butter and coconut oil over a double boiler.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. 

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Add in your jojoba or other oil.  You could also add any essentials oils now if you choose.

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I transferred the mixture to my Kitchaid mixing bowl and stuck it in the refrigerator to allow it to solidify.  I figured this was easier than transferring it from another bowl once it hardened!

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Then whip using the whisk attachment of the mixer until it becomes the consistency of frosting.  Mine stayed a yellow color, but that’s just fine!

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A little of this stuff really does go a long way, but I don’t know if I’m ready to be a full convert yet.  It melts pretty much as soon as it comes in contact with body heat and becomes quite oily.  I find working it really well into my skin helps a bit, but I really don’t like to put clothes on until it has really absorbed.  I wouldn’t use this on those mornings I work and have to be out the door fast, but it is perfect for those days I get in a shower at the beginning of nap and don’t have to be dressed right away (I really don’t mind doing things around the house in a robe).  I also don’t love to use it during the day when my skin gets itchy (I’ve been told to moisturize as much as I need to), so I do find myself using faster absorbing lotions too.

I think this could also be packaged up really cute and make a great gift!  Totally customizable with different essential oil scents, and way more special than store bought lotion. 

What’s your favorite body lotion?  Anything you would recommend for dry skin?

Andromeda

Today was a sort of double WOD.  We did lots of strength moves with just a barbell (15#) like squats, push presses and rows to warm up, then got right into the first mini WOD (basically a warm up WOD style)

Every Minute on the minute for 8 minutes perform:

  • 3 Ring Dips
  • 3 Power Cleans at 70% 1 rep max

I used 65# for the power cleans, since I don’t have a 1 rep max established.  Last time I did power cleans I did 55#, so I added 10 lbs!  I also used a band for extra support on the ring dips since I kind of suck at them!

Then came the real WOD

Andromeda:

15-12-9-6 reps for time:

  • Deadlift
  • Pull-up
  • 200m Run

We did deadlifts about 2 weeks ago, and I used 80#.  This time I added 15 lbs. to my barbell and used 95#.  That’s about 2/3 my body weight, which I think is pretty cool.  I felt good using that weight for the 42 total deadlifts, and feel confident I’ll increase soon.

The only bad part of this WOD was that I managed to get another strap thong.  This is not a sexy thong at all!  Then, while I waited for help (since it’s really hard to get yourself out of that predicament), and everyone laughed, I managed to fall off of the box I was standing on for extra height!  I was literally hanging in the stupid band.  My back is even more of a mess of marks.  Oh well, you never get better unless you work hard, right?

Boilermaker

Keeping this short and simple.

We started with jump rope practice and I worked on my double unders and some other kinds of jumps.  I can do them, just not any in a row!  It will be some time before I do double unders in a WOD.  Then, we worked on handstands and I’m getting there.  I am still doing headstands, but now I am able to do them without using the wall for support.  I learned how to do them in a tripod, rather than with my head against the wall, and it made all the difference!  I also did some wall climbs with shoulder taps.  You have to start somewhere!

WOD:

AMRAP 15

  • 7 overhead squats
  • 14 kettlebell swings
  • 21 double unders

I used a 35# barbell for my squats, a 3/4 pood (26#) kettlebell and did triple (63) single jumps.  This honestly wasn’t so bad (especially compared to Monday and Wednesday).  7+21 (7 rounds, plus 7 overhead squats and 14 kettlebell swings).  Nice!

Enjoy your weekend!!