Paleo Brownies

Paige in the kitchen

Paleo Brownies


Aca-cuse me? (I hope you understand that reference… Pitch Perfect, anyone?)

Yes, I said it, Paleo Brownies.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup minus 1 Tbs. coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. butter, melted
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature (egg substitutes will not work)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract, optional

How you’ll do it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 and grease a glass baking dish (8×8 or 9×9).
  2. Mix together all ingredients. You can do this by hand or with an electric mixer or high-powered blender.
  3. Pour into the baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes before cutting or removing from the pan.
  4. These store well at room temperature or in the fridge for a few days. Make sure you keep them in an airtight container.
Paleo Brownies

Paleo Brownies

Now some people may say these aren’t paleo because of the honey & the butter. Believe it or not, both of those items are allowed in some paleo diets and are allowed in moderation. Like I have said, I follow the 80/20 rule – and these fall somewhere in between that.

Paleo Pros: No fake sugar, no white flour

Paleo Cons: Honey & butter

Guess what? I’ll live.

I’ll admit, they were a tad dry. I think next time I am going to add maybe a 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce to moisten them up! I improvised and added some coconut flakes on top, too. They actually tasted better after being refrigerated over night!

How do you curb your sweet tooth without feeling guilty?

xo. P

** This recipe comes from here.

Introducing…. Kettlebells & Kale

Why the name change?

First off, “Eat Clean, Train Dirty” is an overused slogan. It is everywhere and I was starting to feel as if it wasn’t unique!

On my ride home from NH today, I started to brain storm… I wanted the name to be short and sweet. I knew I wanted the title to become a little more personal & continue with my eating clean & exercising “theme” of this blog. I started thinking of one exercise word and one food word. I went through a list of things… deadlifts & d..?, barbells & brussel sprouts, burpees & bacon, kale & k…? KETTLEBELLS. I yelled it to myself in the car. It was perfect, I eat kale all of the time and I use kettlebells frequently whether it’s at the gym or at CrossFit.

Boom. Done. Now introducing, Kettlebells & Kale.

With this new name I would like to introduce a few new themes that will be featured on my blog:

Weekly Sweat Sesh kettbell

Paige in the kitchen

Motivation

What do you think?

xo. P

Anyone can do anything for 7 minutes….

It’s the 10 second countdown before the WOD starts that gets me amped up. I always check out the WOD the night before to try and mentally prepare myself for it. It is impossible to prepare for that gut wrenching feeling you get in your stomach as the clock counts down from 10 before you hear the loud beep and your coach yelling “GOOO!”, symbolizing that the workout has started.

Immediately after the beep, music blasts. The only thing in your head is how to get through this WOD. You almost drown out the music, you have no idea what is playing. The only thing that matters is you, the barbell, and your confidence. Anyone can do anything for 7 minutes. You can get through this AMRAP or RFT with a little self pep talk throughout the workout.

“Only 2 more rounds left…”

“Only 2 minutes left…”

You have to strategically motivate yourself throughout the workout. Your coach yelling at you may not help, the people watching & cheering for you, may not help… only YOU can motivate yourself. Only YOUR confidence will get you through the WOD. Only YOU will get through those gut wrenching, muscle burning, heart racing 7 minutes.

In CrossFit, YOU motivate YOU. In this box, you build more than muscle, you build confidence, self determination and strength that can be carried into your life.

xo. P

***Of course, not all WODs are 7 minutes, but that seems to be the average length of time for me recently 🙂  ***

“The Box”, soon to be home…

The gym at CrossFit is known as the “Box”. The Box is where the magic happens. This is where you are able to push your limits, test your boundaries & more importantly, better yourself. Once you step into the Box you are able to leave your problems at the door and focus on YOU.

I went to my first WOD (workout of the day) this morning. I was too nervous to walk in there. I knew no one there, except the coach. I told myself before entering into the Box today, I would challenge myself. I would challenge myself to befriend as many people as I could & be that social butterfly, I would welcome the unknown and not fear it, I would push my physical limits & most importantly, I would be me.

Guess what? I walked in, struck up a conversation with a girl I didn’t know, befriended another girl as we died doing some muscle power cleans, and I pushed myself physically beyond anything I imagined I could do. I have bruises on my collar bones to prove it (and so it begins…!).

I left feeling PROUD of myself for pushing my social and physical limits.

The Rugged CrossFit Box will soon become my second home. I can’t wait.

Keep challenging yourself. Set goals for yourself. You’ll be surprised what you are capable of.

xo. P

Valentine’s Day: To Sulk or To Sweat?

I’ll admit, I was dreading Valentine’s day this year. For the record, this was the FOURTH consecutive Valentine’s day that I spent without the mushy, Eskimo kisses, red roses, love you forever love of a boyfriend. Almost all of my friends have that “someone” whether they are engaged or newly met someone. Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond happy for all of them! It’s truly special when you find someone that you can share your life with on a day in & day out basis. I once had that. Knowing that they all had “someone” may have made this Valentine’s Day even harder, because where was I? “Someone-less”…

I had two choices, to sulk or to sweat. I allowed myself one (maybe two) days to feel sorry for myself, openly hate Valentine’s day & sulk.Then, I chose to sweat.

What do I mean by “sweat”? I mean, I was able to workout in Boston this weekend at two new studios FOR FREE. What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than sweating out that “sulking” attitude!

Friday night was a kickboxing class offered through Sweetgreen. They have a Sweetgreen Passport. Wait, this delicious salad place offers free fitness classes? I’m in. My coworker Whitney and I trekked from work & to my apartment to get ready for the class. We hopped in the car and made our way over to Commonwealth Sports Club on Comm Ave in Boston. That is where the kickboxing class was being held. We walked into a room full of women, ready to kick the sh*t out of a bag. It was perfect timing on our end, too – because we both had very frustrating weeks at work (thanks to the snow days). We did cardio, punches, kicks, burpees, mountain climbers… we did it all! It got our heart rate up and our arms hurting! I have some battle scars on my knuckles from punching the bags too hard… oops?

Saturday afternoon Whitney and I signed up for a spinning class at Flywheel. Your first class at Flywheel is free, and guess what? It was my first class! The 11am class being offered this weekend was meant for couples & the 3pm class being offered was for singles. So, guess which class we signed up for? The 3pm. The first song he played was “Single Ladies” by Beyonce, thanks man, thanks. It is a stadium cycle type of spinning class that is hyper focused on RPMs. You are in a dark room, with minimal lighting focused on nothing but yourself. The warm-up was a workout, and then workout was… hell. I was dripping sweat, my heart rate was up & I was loving every second of it. The instructor was easy on the eyes, too which helped. By the end of the class all of my “sulking” mood was gone. It was the most perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day afternoon in Boston.

Thanks, Whitney for your love and support in sweating out this weekend with me all weekend! I wouldn’t have wanted to try out these free classes with anyone else! Our goal this spring is to try one free class a month. Let me tell you, it’s possible to almost do one free class every week if you tried.

In between all of these sweat sessions, I spent my Valentine’s Day better than I could have imagined…

I got a fabulous hair cut at a new salon – I’m so excited to have found a new stylist! A little Valentine’s Day gift to myself 🙂

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#treatyourself

I got lunch with one of my best friends Derick at Cafeteria who was my “valentine” for the day! After we enjoyed a delicious lunch, we went and picked out some handsome glasses for him at Warby Parker & walked all around Newbury Street together on a snowy Saturday afternoon!

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Cafeteria Boston for Brunch!

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Snowy Boston 🙂

My friend Meghan then came over for dinner and we cooked up a gluten free, paleo friendly dinner! See below for our dinner with wine! Not the best picture, but we made an amazing stir fry!

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Romantic Dinner for Two 😉

All in all, I’m mad at my self for sulking about Valentine’s Day, but I am beyond proud of myself for turning my attitude around and honestly, turning it into one of the best Valentine’s Days to date. The only thing that was missing were my three best best BEST friends. If they were here, it would have made the day exponentially better.

Oh, and thank you so much to the stranger that gave this to me yesterday. That is what Valentine’s Day is all about… spreading the love.

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When in doubt, choose to sweat it out.

xo. P

Grain-Free Pancakes

It’s been a snowy few days (or should I say few weeks!!!) here in Boston! As much as I love my Shakeology for breakfast, when the snow is falling and you don’t have anywhere to be, nothing beats a homemade breakfast.

This morning I woke up, looked outside & saw that the snow was still falling! Scrolling through Instagram with my cup of coffee, I saw my cousin posted a picture of some delicious pancakes my uncle made her. YUM. I love pancakes, always have & always will. When I lived with my parents, Sundays were pancake day! I would always wake up to the delicious smell of pancakes, chocolate chip pancakes for me 🙂 That tradition even carried into college for my roommates and I, this girl just loves her pancakes!

Since my diet has changed I have yet to indulge in some really good pancakes. Ya know, the kind with crazy syrup, fruit, butter & oh ya… all that flour & all those carbs. As much as my mouth is watering, my stomach is flipping in circles just thinking about it. My body would probably freak out if I put those in my stomach right now!

So today I decided to try grain-free pancakes! I was on Pinterest a few days ago and came across this delicious recipe and today was the day that I was going to try them out. Thankfully, I had all of the ingredients in my cabinets.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup almond butter

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

2 whole eggs

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon honey, or stevia to taste

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper

In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix until smooth batter forms. Use a 1/4 cup to scoop the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheet, forming about 4 pancakes per baking sheet.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes until pancakes are fluffy and golden! Enjoy with syrup, fruit or anything you would like!

I chose to half this recipe and it ended up making just 3 pancakes. I also added more pumpkin puree and less almond butter than the recipe calls for because almond butter is so high in calories & fat (even though I love it so much!).

Pumpkin Puree & Almond Butter Panckaes

Pumpkin Puree & Almond Butter Pancakes Made By Yours Truly

I would say this is a Pinterest win! My stomach and mouth are happy. These pancakes are perfect for me & are essentially paleo – no grains, little carbs & minimal ingredients!

Do you have any grain-free, paleo friendly pancakes recipes you would like to share?

xo. P

Rugged Roots: Session 2

Rugged Roots Session 2: Dead Lifts

Dead lifts. I don’t like dead lifts. I’m not good at dead lifts. My back has hurt since I did the dead lifts because I just couldn’t get it right… **ok, done with the negative thoughts!!**

I have only ever done a version of a dead lift with weights, never a bar. I was excited to walk into this session because I know how good dead lifts are for your entire body.

There are so many things to worry about when setting up & following through with a dead lift…. bar close to shins, butt in the air, weight on heels, arms straight, chest broad, shoulders back, back flat, head neutral…phew, I think I got them all.

Dead Lift

Dead Lift

I practiced, I succeeded, I failed, I got so frustrated. John was so patient with me and helped me figure out what was going wrong and why. Thank goodness for him!

Up next was a RFT (rounds for time) consisting of 15 American kettle bell swings, 100 meter row & 10 box jumps. I had to do 3 rounds. I ended up only being 4 minutes, but I was SO out of breath. It was amazing! Short bursts are just what I need.

I then spent the weekend snowboarding… I was sore but a good sore 🙂 It didn’t get in the way of absolutely dominating Mt. Snow!

Life has started to get a lot better since taking on Cross Fit & Paleo. I’m excited to see what it continues to bring!

xo. P

Rugged Roots: Session 1

Rugged Roots Session 1: Back, Front & OverHead Squatting…. excuuuse me?

I have always been a sucker for a good leg day. It’s by far one of my favorite burns. Nothing beats not being able to walk up & down the stairs. It’s the kind of burn that constantly reminds me, for at least 3 days, that I had a great workout. You can imagine when I saw what session 1 was for the “Rugged Roots” program I was amped.

Back squats are my jam. I was already confident going into that squat. My trainer at my gym had me back squat a few times. He rarely pushed me to increase my weight on them. The trainer (John) at Cross Fit did just the opposite. He showed me the proper form and then pushed my limits (safely of course!). John helped me increase the weight I was squatting, helped me build my confidence & helped me truly understand what it means to squat like a boss.  (Max weight: 100 lbs)

Back Squat

Back Squat

Front squats are something I have always seen but never tried. I did them briefly at the Cross Fit free session, but nothing serious. I learned the proper way to hold the bar, how to move in this squat and where my weaknesses may be.  John helped me push my limits in this squat, too. Many people don’t lift as heavy in this squat as they do in their back squat. This is a fairly uncomfortable position to hold the bar in. I really struggled at keeping my elbows up! That is something I have to work on. (Max weight: 70 lbs)

Front Squat

Front Squat

OverHead squats are COMPLETELY new to me. I rarely see people at my gym doing overhead squats. After this session, I understand why. John told me right with this part of the session saying that “people rarely nail this squat”. In a way, that put me at ease. I didn’t want to attempt the squat and look like an idiot… so knowing that most people are unable to successfully do this squat helped me go into it with a little more confidence (if that’s not backwards, I don’t know what is!!). I got into it and NAILED every rep. John was so pumped for me, he had me do another set. It was such a confidence booster knowing that I was successful at something that was a. new to me & b. difficult for people to learn. (Max weight: 50 lbs)

OverHead Squat

OverHead Squat

GOAL: Increase max weight for all of these squats, see improvement over the next few months in my performance & continue to feel and love the burn of leg day.

Bring it on CrossFit squats. I got you.

Up next in Rugged Roots this week… Session 2: deadlifting & Session 3: pressing, push pressing & jerking.

xo. P

Let’s Get Rugged.

It’s official. I’m a CrossFit member as of… 10 minutes ago…


Today I attended a free trial class at Rugged CrossFit. This location is just a few miles away from my apartment in Boston. After much research, I found this CrossFit to be the most reasonably priced, the best location & the most welcoming CrossFit. Both the Facebook page and website were very inviting… I couldn’t resist!

To say I was nervous for this trial class is a complete understatement. I actually thought I was going to be sick just thinking about it throughout the day. I know I can run, I know I can kick butt at spinning class … what I don’t know is how strong my muscles are. I am the least confident person when it comes to muscle endurance. So, in an effort to challenge myself and push myself out of my comfort zone…I’ve decided it’s time to test out that muscle endurance through CrossFit.

Being typical Paige, I showed up WAY too early for the class. I parked my car and sat in it for 15 minutes before going inside. You walk up to the door and hear music BLASTING and people cheering. If that’s isn’t intimating, I don’t know what is. Needless to say, I waited outside. Two other people showed up not far behind me for the trial class & we all decided to go in together. I walked into a room full of sweaty people dominating the rowing machine and doing burpees. (I. Hate. Burpees.) Despite the loud music, sweaty people & intimidating workout… people waved, said “Hi!” & the CrossFit coach came right up to us. I instantly felt welcomed!! I signed my life away, warmed up & as soon as the workout before us ended… we got started.

After the hour of learning about different body weight exercises, weight lifting moves & HIIT cardio… I was hooked. We ended the trial class with part of an actual CrossFit workout otherwise known as an AMRAP (as many rounds as possible). This consisted of; 12 ab mat sit ups, 9 barbell thrusters & 6 burpees. The goal of AMRAPs is to do as many rounds as you possibly can within a certain time period. Today, we did this AMRAP for 7 minutes. Let me tell you, 7 minutes never felt so long.

The best part of CrossFit? Everything is scalable. You can modify any and every exercise to work for YOUR body & skill level.

Next steps? I just signed up for five 1 on 1 training sessions with a CrossFit coach. Each of these sessions will teach me the proper techniques of CrossFit before I can jump into any WOD (work out of the day).

Keep your eyes to my blog to follow my CrossFit adventure! I can’t wait to dive into this challenge, give it my all & really test my limits. I hope to get strong, build confidence & most importantly, better myself.

I CAN’T WAIT! (can you tell, I’m amped up?)

xo. P