FREE CROSSFIT CLASSES

Shameless plug for my Box. That’s my Crossfit Gym for all of you non-Crossfitters.

It’s Free! 6 Classes. If you’re local, and want to give it a shot, it’s worth it.. because, well, aren’t you?

Fitness. Community. Results

Fitness. Community. Results

Want to give Crossfit a try? Want to actually make this year’s “Get in Shape” resolution stick?
CrossFit Wicked‘s next FREE 6 class On-Ramp starts Monday, February 3rd. Sign up TODAY! Spots still open, and it’s FREE!
You’ll be glad you did!

Contact joe@crossfitwicked.com or head to their website http://www.crossfitwicked.com/

Top 5 things To Enjoy This Holiday Season

Ok, so a week ago I had my Grinchy pants on and ranted a little about things I didn’t like about this time of year.

Well, I have come around a bit in the last two weeks and I am now feeling more into the spirit of the season.

So, here are my Top 5 things to Enjoy about the Holiday Season.

5. Christmas Lights – Its nice to see houses decorated this time of year looking all pretty and festive. Some tastefully decorated and some a little overboard, but either way, definitely cool to see people making the effort and making their houses look nice for the people passing by.

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4. Decorating the house and the Christmas Tree – Many of us have bins and bins of Christmas decorations that we struggle to find a place to keep it all, and then get excited to break it out for a month or so during the year. It’s fun to decorate the house with decorations and ornaments that have been passed down for generations in your family. For me, it brings fond thoughts and memories of years past. Picking out a Christmas tree and decorating it with my kids is a fun bonding experience and really exciting to watch them try to figure out where the ornament should go. Definitely some special moments and memories each year.

3. Socializing and Parties – Probably one of the best and abundant parts of this season is gathering with friends and co-workers and family members. My rant in my previously blog about “hating” going from house to house was more on the hectic nature of Christmas Day and splitting houses and squeezing in multiple places, but weekend parties over the course of a few weeks are great. Seeing people you haven’t seen since last year, or finally getting to relax and have a drink and socialize with people you have been meaning to catch up with is always nice and usually fun. And sometimes crazy! But mostly fun.

2. Classic Christmas Movies – So many great movies from this time of year. New movies and old and all nostalgic. Image

Quick hit Christmas movie list.

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1. Kids on Christmas Morning – There is no other day of the year that a kid wakes up with such excitement and wonderment than Christmas morning. I love seeing my kids faces light up knowing that Santa had come to bring them presents. It is truly a magical experience and makes my “heart grow three sizes that day”, each and every year!

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Enjoy your family and friends and enjoy the rest of the Holiday Season. Merry Christmas!

6 Reasons I want the Holiday Season to be over already

agchristmas50This is “the most wonderful time of the year”, of course it is.

Everyone is completely stressed about money, family, work, how much food they eat, seeing their relatives and just about anything else you can think of. Making sure their kids get the right presents, the best presents, or ANY presents! This time of year is supposed to be full of love and spirit and cheer. But for a lot of us, this season sucks, and here’s my reasons why.

6. Traffic – Mall traffic, weekend traffic, “holiday” traffic. Dude, just fucking drive. Pull off the road. Get into the Mall parking lot and go melt your brain in the Abercrombie & Fitch store for six hours. Just get out of my way. I’m sorry Prancer got hit by a car and is laying on the side of the road. Santa’s Sleigh is nowhere to be seen, so stop rubbernecking. Maybe he shouldn’t have been prancing across the road anyway. There is a bar stool with my name on it somewhere. MOVE!

5. Being PC – I don’t give a shit if you’re Jewish, Catholic, Christian, Atheist or a Satan Worshipper. It’s Christmas. It’s Chanukah (or Hanukkah, I never know which). It’s Kwanza. It’s Flag Pole day or whatever the hell else you want to celebrate. Don’t tell me it’s a “Holiday Tree”, it’s a Fucking Christmas Tree. I’m not making up names for the Menora, or the Festivus Pole. Call it what it is and don’t be such a douchebag. If someone says Merry Christmas to me and I don’t celebrate Christmas, I’ll say “Thanks, you too!” They are being polite and pleasant. Accept the greeting and offer one back. Don’t be a d-bag. Happy Chanukah to you too! Merry Stripper Pole. It’s a Festivus for the rest of us… Right? Cut the politically correct BS and be real. It’s screwing with our kids. Teams lose. Not everybody wins. That’s what makes you strive to be better. Jesus!  Whoops… I guess that goes with Christmas right? Cool, I’m ok then. Happy Chrismahaunnakwanzikah!

4. Music – Do we have to listen to the same 20 songs every freaking year? So cheery and happy and full of shit! I mean, seriously. Let’s burn some of the old songs and come up with some new fake happy stuff, can we? I’m sure Miley would be a great choice for a positive Holiday message this year. Maybe she can just change Wrecking Ball to Jingle Balls or something honest like that.

3. The Salvation Army Bells – How annoying are these things? Nobody wants to drop money in your bucket, because I’m pretty sure you’re skimming off the top at the end of the day. Your constant bell ringing with one hand while you text on your phone with the other hand is not really putting me in the “Spirit of Giving” mood. Shove the bell up your ass and leave me alone.

2. Visiting Relatives – I love my family, honestly I do. However, I hate having to go to multiple houses over the holidays. It is agonizing. Making merry and listening to those same 20 songs again, and getting the kids all wrapped up, in the car, and over to one house or another is a pain staking process. There is not enough egg nog in the world to make this any more pleasant… and why am I drinking eggs with booze? Skip the eggs, just give me the bottle of Amaretto!

1. Chocolate covered everything – Usually this would be on my positive list. However, there is such an excess of food hanging around this time of year and everything has chocolate on it. Chocolate covered raisins, chocolate covered almonds, chocolate coins, chocolate kisses, chocolate Santas, slippers, remotes, TV’s… oh wait. Sorry about that. I got into a little chocolate coma there.

I love the holidays and my family, I really do. But, can we please just be done with it already? The Holiday…. excuse me, the Christmas decorations were up the day after Halloween this year and I’m ready to move on.

Bring on 2014!

More Bogus Claims…

More reasons why Crossfit gets a bad rap… people who don’t do their research are making unsubstantiated claims about risk and injury. This time it’s Outside Magazine and a lazy researcher at the American College of Sports Medicine. Completely Bogus!

Outside Magazine sites research that the author of the study can’t back, and the lead data collector agrees there were issues with the study.

“This data is inaccurate. Those individuals were not injured, and that wasn’t the reason they didn’t test out. To me this questions the validity of the research.”

That’s a direct quote from the person who volunteered to collect the data for Dr. Smith for the study. Sounds like the doctor was super thorough, right?

The Outside Magazine article can be found here and the follow up questions about the supposed “study” at the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) can be found here.

I’d like to see a cross reference of the number of “athletic injuries” associated with runners around the US and what the percentage is, compared to the percentage of  “Crossfit related” injuries and see how they compare. I would bet the running injuries are higher.

It’s athletics, it’s a sport. Of course you’re going to see more “Crossfit related” injuries when more people are participating in it.

If nobody played football last year. There would be no football related injuries. Right?
And if this year we all played football, wouldn’t there be a spike in “football related” injuries?

I guarantee there are more neck and thumb related injuries due to smart phone and tablet usage than there was five years ago… hmmm I wonder why that is?????

You don’t really get to the real meat of the Outside Magazine article until you get to the last couple of paragraphs. (They do that on purpose, it’s called sensationalism).

Emily Carothers, of Maple Valley, Washington, who finished 23rd at this summer’s games says, “I’ve been doing CrossFit for three and a half years, and I’ve only had one injury, to my hip,” she says. “When I was in college, I had nine surgeries in four years. As far as sports are concerned, CrossFit looks pretty good.”

She also says good form and technique are extremely important along with rest and recovery. Oh, by the way, the Crossfit founder, Greg Glassman says that too. No surprise.

Listen to your coaches. If you’re in a really good box, they’ll know when to push you, and when to tell you to back off, for your own safety and well-being.

Paleo Beef Stew

As we head into the colder months, everyone likes those belly-warming confort food meals without the carb-crash naps that usually follow those hearty meals.

Here is a quick, go-to, Paleo Beef Stew recipe thats is really easy and “crockpot quick.”

I make this every couple of weeks. It lasts me about four meals by itself, or if you add a sweet potato or even over cauliflower mashed “potatoes,” it could last you a meal or two longer.

You can play with these ingredients any way you like. Depending on the size of your crockpot and to your taste (spicey/peppery/mild).

I’ll run down my basics and you can play with the recipe however you like.

Paleo beef stew ingredients

Paleo beef stew ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 2-3lbs Stew Beef
  • 1/2 lb Baby Carrots
  • 4 Stalks Celery, Chopped
  • 1 Medium Onion, Sliced
  • 1-2 cups Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • 2 Cloves Garlic,  Minced
  • 1 14 oz can Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup beef broth (I used bullion cubes)
  • 1 Can Tomato Paste
  • 1 TBSP Fish Sauce
  • 1 TBSP Paprika
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 – 1 TBSP Cinnamon (optional)

Place the Stew Beef in a large bowl and add the dry spices and coat well. I really like adding cinnamon. It gives the stew a deeper flavor to accent the Paprika. Don’t overdo it though. The cinnamon will definitely over power the stew if you use too much. Test it out a couple times before kicking it up too much. You’ll figure out your balance in two to three tries. Start with the 1/2 TBSP if you’re not sure about the cinnamon, or eliminate it altogether if you’re not a fan.

Add the sliced onion to the bottom of your crockpot, followed by 1/2 of the carrots.

Add the stew beef, then celery, then mushrooms and remaining carrots. Add minced garlic, tomato paste, then canned tomatoes. Add the fish sauce and finish with the beef broth. My crock pot is filled to the top. I sometimes have to squeeze on the lid, but it cooks down so you shouldn’t have to worry about it spilling over while you’re not home.

I know you’re looking at that and saying “Fish Sauce, WTF is with the Fish Sauce”. Trust me, I said the same thing and made it once without it, and it completely changed the stew. Keep the Fish sauce, trust me. It adds great flavor to the stew (and not of the fishy variety. Its good, just trust me on this one.)

Turn your crockpot to low and cook 8 hours.

I usually cook this overnight so I can take the stew to work in the morning. I lean closer to 8+ hours usually. I like the beef to completely fall apart and there is plenty of liquid, and it has some thickness to it because of the tomato paste and fire roasted tomatoes.

Like I said, you can eat this by itself, or put it on top of a Sweet Potato or Mashed Cauliflower. It’s great either way.

Enjoy!

Paleo Beef Stew over baked sweet potato

Paleo Beef Stew over baked sweet potato

 

Paleo Coffee Ice Cream… Yeah, I said it!

A few months ago I tried a Paleo strawberry ice cream from Taylor Made It Paleo and it was amazing and simple.

I made it a few times and wanted to try a different flavor and figured coffee was the next logical flavor to try. I mean I drink about four to five cups of coffee per day, so, why not have coffee ice cream, right?

It’s a little time consuming to make, but really simple.

Ingredients:
1 can coconut milk
3 TBSP Raw Honey
2 TBSP Natural Vanilla
2 TBSP ground coffee

Put all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Mix together well and bring to a low boil for no more than 2-3 minutes.

Pour mixture through strainer to remove coffee grounds into large glass bowl and place in freezer.

Remove from freezer to mix once every hour for three to four hours.

If you have an ice cream maker you can mix in the ice cream maker after 1 hour.

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Simple, easy, delicious!

Pan Seared Yumminess!

Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Snap Peas, Carrots and Mushrooms.

Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Snap Peas, Carrots and Mushrooms.

Sea Scallops are probably one of the tastiest and easiest things to cook. They’re good, usually pretty large and “meaty”. And they are fresh and local, if you’re on the coast, of course. It’s definitely one of the benefits of being on the North Shore.

Now, if you watch Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsey or any of those stupid shows (which I do occasionally watch, they make it seem like it’s so difficult to prepare. Really, it’s SUPER easy. Here’s how…

 

1 lb Sea Scallops (10-12 scallops)

2 TBSP Butter (Kerrygold unsalted)

1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Clove Fresh Garlic, Minced

Salt & Pepper to taste

Veggies:

1/2 lb (or small bag) sugar snap peas

1/2 lb (or small bag) baby carrots

8 oz. sliced baby bella mushrooms (optional)

Start with the veggies, since your carrots will take the longest to cook.

Use a medium sized saute pan over medium heat. Melt 1 TBSP butter. Add baby carrots, mix/flip with butter in pan and cover for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Snap peas and mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally to coat evenly and make sure they don’t burn. Turn to low heat and leave covered until the carrots or soft enough to take a fork, but not mooshy. I like mine to still have a little snap to them.

At the same time, melt 1 TBSP butter and add Olive Oil to another medium to large saute pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the minced garlic and let it brown slightly, 30-45 seconds. Pepper and Salt your Scallops on both sides before putting them in the pan. Be careful of using too much salt since they already have some salt content to them, so don’t over do it (especially if you’re using salted butter) then add the scallops to the pan. Place them in the pan evenly on a flat side.

Allow them to cook for a minute or two to get brown. Use the liquid (oil and butter) and baste the scallops as they cook. You may need to tilt your pan to get spoonfuls to pour over the scallops. This will add flavor and speed the cooking process slightly. Be careful that the scallops don’t stick to the pan.

After about 2-3 minutes (depending on the size of the scallops) flip them to the other side and continue to baste and allow them to cook. They should have a slight golden brown color. The scallops should be in the pan 6-8 minutes, 10 if they are really thick scallops.

Spoon your veggies onto your plate and place the scallops on top, then baste again with the garlic butter sauce from the pan. You can also add a squirt of lemon to give it some sweetness.

10 minute meal. Quick, easy, Done!