Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tough Mudder Tips and Training

So, several people have asked me if i have any tips or advise on Tough Mudder now that i have been to one. These are just suggestions from my first experience.

1. wear compression pants or some sort of tight fitting pant that wont hold water. Wear shorts over them if you feel the need but your shins and knees will greatly appreciate the coverage.

2. gloves are pointless... Jesse and i both bought some pretty expensive gloves that seemed ideal for protecting our hands but by the time we finished the first obstacle the gloves were so caked with mud that they made everything slick and hard to hold onto. We shoved them in my fanny pack and had to keep squeezing out all of the mud and water.

3. forget the fanny pack.... i was concerned that we would need fuel of some sort so i carried a small pack with electrolyte chews and a few protein bars. We ended up not even using them because every other water station provided gummies, protein bar, or bananas along with water.

4. about the water.... i read online that some events in the past ran out of water. i really dont see this being a problem anymore because they have changed the water containers to better serve the runners. There was plenty of water for us even being in a late wave on sunday.

5. Shoes are important. i was REALLY glad to have my new balance minimus shoes. They are porous and light weight and let the water out quickly but were still able to help me get up the many steep hills.

6. If someone is available bring a spectator. There are official photographers but that doesn't promise you will get a shot so have someone come along to take pictures.  i wish we had more pictures of us.

7. Hydrate REALLY well before you start. By the time we got to the water station i was SO thirsty and out of breath. There are port a potties along the way so don't worry about needing a restroom. You will be glad you hydrated!


Well the course is 12 miles long so cardio is the most obvious training. Don't just run though. Practice walking, climbing, and running up hills. The steeper the better!

Almost every obstacle involves using your upper body to pull yourself up and to pull others up. Strength in the lats is key. Do pull ups. lots and lots of pull ups.Push ups too! Heck why not!

Run some more.... when you think you have the cardiovascular endurance to run 12 miles think again and keep training! Sure, you get to stop and rest for the obstacles but i promise by mile 6 or 7 you will be wishing you had done more cardio training!

Having some strength in the weight room surely wont hurt anything. Being able to carry 50lbs or so would be a good thing, but the cardio and strength in the lats are what really count.

PS find some monkey bars too!!!

Also, dont forget to stretch. The number one injury in events like this is torn muscles. OUCH! We saw a few people along the way with these sorts of injuries. Don't be that person. Stretch like crazy.

Thats all i can think of for now. Search some other blogs and see what others have to say. Also, check out the forums on Tough Mudder's website for lots of helpful info :)

Jesse and i are putting a team together for Dallas 2015 if you are interesting on coming along with us for this amazing ride let me know! i will be forming a facebook group soon!

Monday, October 6, 2014

My Tough Mudder Experience

Yesterday i completed my very first Tough Mudder. For those of you who don't know, Tough Mudder is a 12 mile military style obstacle course designed by British special forces to test your physical ability, camaraderie, and mental grit. Over the course of the 12 miles there are 20-25 obstacles to complete. Most of the obstacles are designed for you to complete as a team. People you have never met before will be in your personal space helping you to do things you never even thought you would do. Some of the obstacles are more difficult than they would seem and some are fairly easy. Here are some of the obstacles that stood out to me:

Arctic Enema:

 designed to induce hypothermia and HOLY CRAP does it work! That was absolutely the coldest, most shocking thing i have ever felt. You plunge in and it immediately shocks  your body. Your muscles seize up, you cant even think about trying to breathe. you have to machine through it, go all the way under the water and come out the other side. Then you have to climb out of the thing in a complete haze and your whole body hurts. you cant do anything but make noise and say holy hell!! I cant even describe it well. ice bucket challenge is like hot tea compared to this. 
when you come up your face WILL look like this. its involuntary. 

The Mud Mile:

i had a hard time finding pictures for this one because they really stepped up the game this year. The water was chest deep and there was no way of getting over the hills of mud alone. They were probably 8 feet tall. At some points the water was so deep that i was literally floating in the thick mud. This one will test your personal boundaries for sure. I had my face shoved into a random man's crotch that was helping. He was dressed in catholic friar's robes. A girl who Jesse was helping landed sprawled out right on top of him. Everyone who had done tough mudder before said that this mud mile was the hardest they had ever done. I didnt expect this one to be hard, but it was very physically draining. 

Balls To The Wall: 

I didnt think this obstacle would be hard. it doesnt look hard. Walking up to it i thought hey, no big deal and i even told Jesse he should go up the one beside me. WRONG! The rope is completely covered in mud of the people who have gone before you and it is SLICK. You cant grip it.... The knots help but my rope only had three knots for a 12 foot wall. Even going down wasnt easy. i ended up sliding down the rope and letting it burn my hands. 

Funky Monkey:

Good ole monkey bars.... except these monkey bars are at an angle, and the rungs are spaced 18 inches apart. The water below has ice floating in it and its 5 foot deep but guess what?! I made it all the way across!!! I just knew i didnt have a chance of getting across. Jesse went before me and made it look easy. He says he looked back and expected to see me in the water but NOPE i hung on and i made it! That was my proudest moment of the day. Up at the top there is a big gap where the two apparatuses meet and man that was tough for me. i tore my callouses open on my right hand which SUCKED the rest of the day. 

Walk the Plank:

If you fear water or heights this one will be a real mental test. The platform is 12 foot high and the water below is 13 feet deep. Our water was dyed blue so you couldnt see anything. I was VERY proud of Jesse on this one. We had talked about whether he would try it or not. He isnt a strong swimmer, had no experience jumping off diving boards, and doesnt love the height either. HE DID IT! It was a struggle but everyone came together and cheered for him and he found the confidence do take the plunge! I was way proud. 

Electroshock Therapy: 

I mean.... come one people. You have this thing with tons of LIVE ELECTRICAL WIRES hanging from it and swaying in the wind. Ours had two rows of hay bales and water. Some people make it out easy. Most do not. I was shocked repeatedly the entire time and so was Jesse. They warn you that getting hit in the face can make  you black out. Guess what? They're right! I made it over one set of hay bales then got shocked in the eyebrow and don't even remember the second hay bales. i fell over it and apparently slammed my knee pretty well because it hurt like hell after. i ended up crawling and sliding out of the thing getting shocked all the while. Most people dont make it out standing. it's insane. If you are a legionnaire meaning you have completed a mudder before, you get to skip this one. Anyone CAN skip this obstacle but you don't actually complete the course if you dont man up and do it.  

Tough Mudder was one of the most amazing experiences i've had to date. I'm so glad we went and i cant wait to start training for next year! Tough Mudder donates to the Wounder Warrior Project and if you participate on Saturday you can run the course with the wounded veterans. It is amazing to see so many people coming together for a common cause, working together, being one team, encouraging and helping everyone along to meet their own personal goals. it was awesome. My body is very sore today especially my calves. i'm sunburned and walking like a cripple but i cannot wait to do it again! 

none of these pictures are from my actual event. Because of the nature of the beast i didnt get many pictures myself but tough mudder has official photographers and i'll get to post some of those in a week or so. in a separate post i'll share the few pictures i did take. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

We made it to the weekend!!

Most people are thrilled to greet the weekend but for me it means back to work! Ive always considered myself very fortunate to have the job i have. I get to spend all week home with my family and keep a full time job. The downside to that is that i pretty much work the weekend away. I put in a full weeks work in 3 days. Those three days are the hardest to stick to my whole30 guidelines. Today i actually packed enough food and wasnt hungry! 
Omlete with pulled pork, onions, cilantro and salsa, pulled pork salad with lots of avocado and tomatillo salsa, an orang, paleokit, cherry pecan larabar, and gingerberry kombucha!!! 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Day 9 and new house!

So i made it through my first week and am now trucking through week two! Ive been SO incredibly busy so ive made alot of quick easy foods and didint take many pictures. Heres a few things ive cooked up.

Cauliflower rice with mushrooms and onions, chicken and steamed broccoli

Late night tuna and cucumbers with tropical pepercorns and salt from trader joes. I learned   that most tuna ccontains soy which is no bueno for whole 30 so if you participate look for that! 

Nom Nom Paleo's Cracklin' Chicken!! Jesse loved this! 

I've been so busy because WE ARE MOVING!! That's right! No more apartment for this girl! We are just renting this house but i am SO excited to be back in a house. Abigale is thrilled and i think Owen is too. He is loving the yard already :) 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Friday day 4

SOoooo today i had to work. I was worried because most of my coworkers eat junk. Wouldn't ya know an hour after arriving my boss comes begging me to eat some of the donuts he brought. I resisted!! Though it was hard. I packed what i thought was plenty of food but i was damn hungry by time to go home

Breakfast was am orange, quish
And bacon! Linch was leftover soup with zuchinni noodles, and i took an emergency larabar and some fresh strawberries and black berries with whipped coconut milk. 

I have to say the whipped coconut milk was delish but my tummy hurt not too long after eating it

Friday, April 4, 2014

3 days down (thursday )

For breakfast i started by accidently cheating.. kind of on purpose. One aspect of whole30 is to change the way we view food. To see it more as fuel than eating for pleasure. This is especially hard for me because i love food. I made banana pancakes using only banana, eggs,and cinnamon. All of the ingredients are whole 30 compliant BUT you're not supposed to make faux unhealthy foods. I didnt know this until i had already planned to make them so i went ahead and made them anyway

Since my breakfast wasnt hearty i was hungry by lunch. i made tuna salad using avocado and had with some apples

Lastly, for dinner i made chicken ZOODLE soup and it was so good! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Day 2 foods

For breakfast this morning i scrambled up some eggs with bacon pieces and had that with some turkey sausages and avocado. I couldn't eat it all so jesse had some for breakfast too!
For lunch ive been having leftovers from the day prior and some fruit. Today i had a banana! 

For dinner i made Civilized Caveman's avocado burgers, paleoOMG's dill sweet potatoes, and steamed asparagus! 

Whole 30

Yesterday began my first whole30. It is a program designed to get our bodies healthy, eliminate toxins, and detox from sugar. During the course of the whole30 you eat no grains, sugar, alcohol, or legumes. By sugar i mean no sugar, honey, syrup, stevia, xylitol, etc. NO sweeteners of any kind except for limited amounts of pure unsweetened fruit juice. For more info on whole30 visit

Day one breakfast: eggs and paleo cereal with unsweetened almond milk 

Day one dinner: baked tilapia with rainbow carrots and fresh green beans.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Greek Style Broccoli

I've been making this on occasion for Jesse because he doesnt love broccoli but actually likes it like this!!

Greek Broccoli
2 big broccoli crowns 
1/2 white onion
1 ripe big ole tomato 
Italian seasoning 

place a pot with about an inch of water on the stove on HIGH heat 
meanwhile dice the onion and very finely dice the tomato
add to the now boiling water and bring to a full rolling boil
cut broccoli into florets while waiting on water mixture to return to boiling
add seasonings, stir
add broccoli florets and place a tight lid on top
allow the broccoli to steam for about 2 minutes (longer if you like yours soft)
turn the heat off and allow to sit for 2 minutes more to continue to steam 
remove lid and toss everything to combine. MOST of the water will have cooked out leaving you with some pretty tomato/oniony goo to coat the broccoli


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My son has a pink phone

So i'm stepping away from the food posts for a minute to talk about something that i think is important. Walking down the toy aisle at your favorite store you will almost always notice something... Everything comes in either pink or blue. All of the baby doll items will be pink while all of the "boy" toys will be blue. This really doesnt sit well with me. There was a day when toys were toys... even the doll carts were metal and typically painted red or yellow. like this one:

this is an image from google but i LOVE this stroller 
When did we decide that boys couldnt push a baby stroller? Why must they be pink? Why should i have to pay tons more for a stroller for my son if i want one that isnt pink?? The toy market has become so sexist and i dislike it severely. Say you have a young son who loves to cook? Every little girls dream is to have an easy bake oven right? Go to the store and look... YES easy bake ovens do come in black and blue SURPRISE but sadly if you visit their website  you wont see a boy in the advertisement nor a speck of blue throughout the website. All of the accessory packs are pink, all of the baking mixes are pink... What if my son wants to be a chef? Why have we decided that it's not ok? 

I feel the same toward boy toys too. Though, you will now find lots of super girl outfits and accessories. You'll even find plenty of pink lego sets, but good luck finding more than a couple of girl lego characters compared to the many boy characters. Same with the game Guess who? Have you ever noticed the boy to girl ratio on that game?? If you play as a girl you are pretty much assuring your demise. 

Kids just want toys.... they dont need to be gender specific. There's nothing wrong with boys playing with a doll (it may even make them a better parent one day) and there's nothing wrong with a little girl playing with race cars and tonka trucks. I think its SO important to let our kids be creative, to let them discover, and to let them be themselves. 

Unfortunately, since all of the toys are gender specific these days owen now has a pink cell phone... Why? because that's the one he wanted and there wasnt a blue one. I'm sure we will get looks if he takes it out with us but why? Owen doesnt care what color it is... he just wants the talking phone! 

I love this meme from Facebook. it's a bit of an extreme, but the point is simple. Let your kids be themselves. Stop worrying so much that something is going to "give them the gay" because i promise it wont. They'll just be a kid. A happy healthy kid expressing themselves. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry

Ommm nom nom. i really really like Asian inspired food. Since we really dont have any GOOD Asian food around here i occasionally need to make it at home or i will explode! Yesterday i made this stir fry and it makes a ton!!!

Beef and Cabbage stir fry

2lbs thin cut beef sirloin cut into small pieces 
2 cloves of garlic minced 
2 medium or one large onion
1 bell pepper cut in bite sized pieces 
2 carrots shredded (or buy matchstick!)
1 large head of savory cabbage 

heat about 2 tablespoons of butter or oil in a LARGE wok or skillet to medium high
add the garlic and cook until aromatic then add the beef! 
cook, turning until browned. its ok if its pink inside! 
remove contents to a bowl to sit 

reduce heat to medium
add cabbage, onion, carrots, and bell peppers
put enough water in the pan so that your stir fry doesnt stick or burn
you may need to add more as the cabbage cooks and wilts down! 
its ok! just add a few tablespoons at a time 
when the veggies are almost done return the beef and pan drippings to the pan with the stir fry 
crank up the heat to medium high to cook out the liquid. 
Dont forget to stir!!
allow to cook stiring occasionally until your veggies are tender and the cabbage is mostly translucent 

for the sauce:
wisk together 
1/4 cup natural crunchy peanut butter
at least 1/4 cup soy sauce 
1-2 tsp sesame seed oil
1 tablespoon sugar 
1/4 cup orange juice if you feel like it! 

taste the sauce as you are mixing it. Adjust measurements to your liking. i dont like my sauce with orange juice in it so i just omit that step completely and use a little more soy sauce. Most peanut sauces also call for a bit of rice vinegar but i HATE vinegary things so i dont put that either! 

pour sauce over the stir fry and toss to combine :) 

Monday, January 13, 2014

15 bean stoup!

Today i made a soup/stew concoction that came out pretty good! I started out with a recipe and then decided i wasnt going to follow it at all and just did my own thing instead! I've been trying to implement more greens into our diet, keep us all full, and stay under my budget.

15 Bean Stoup

1lb ground italian sausage
1lb bag 15 bean soup 
a big ole bunch of washed and chopped mustard greens 
2 medium onions
lots of garlic 
chicken broth or bullion
salt and pepper 

pick through your beans and remove any debris 
put them in a 4qt or larger pot and cover with water
heat on high until rapidly boiling
boil for 2 minutes then turn the burner off and let them sit for an hour
drain and rinse beans well. 

heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil to medium high
add sausage, onion and galic and cook until sausage is browned
add about 4 cups of chicken broth and 4 cups of water to de-glaze the pot
bring to a boil, add beans and reduce heat to medium
simmer with the lid tilted for about 2 hours or until your beans are as tender as you like them 
add the mustard greens after 1 hour you want them to wilt but not turn to mush
Stir occasionally and add more broth if liquid is needed. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What we ate this last week

So this week i wasnt good at taking picture's of the meals we had but i did get a few. For lunch today i made a buffalo chicken salad from Well Fed 2. It's a great cookbook. it's all paleo(if that matters to you) and its all whole 30 approved. You can find it here. . It was lunch and dinner for me and it was all three of jesse's meals and dinner for abigale. Actually even Owen ate the chicken and lettuce and i wasn't expecting he would. Even after all of those meals i still have enough left over for probably three more salads.

i think the whole salad cost me maybe $6 for everything and it makes a TON really, it makes alot! 

i also made a lasagna using sliced zucchini instead of noodles! i had a huge brain fart and didnt leave out enough sauce for the top layer so i had to use plain pasta sauce which is why it looks so juicy on top. I also almost burned it lol!! It tasted really good though even if it was ugly. 

We have had lots of chicken this week too. Chicken with green beans, chicken and turnip greens and black eyed peas, chicken with stir fry veggies. For breakfast we have had eggs galore! Eggs and bacon, eggs and sausage, eggs and bell peppers and avocado. LOTS of eggs. if you know me well you know i am weird about eggs.... but i have finally found a seasoning that makes them less gross- LAWRYS garlic salt. Who knew...... 

this week i am meal planning so i will do better about remembering what i actually made with my $100 budget :) 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Well i blew it, kind of

I finished my shopping for the week this morning. My last post i had $60 remaining. Here's how i spent the rest.

Taco Casa $15

5lb zucchini $8.94
bananas $1.19
2.25lbs hamburger meat $7.98
1lb pork sausage $2.98
big bag o string cheese $5.98
Shredded parm $2.98
Shredded mozz $2.98square
Sharp cheddar slices $2.38
oikos vanilla greek yogurt(2 packs) $7.66
spaghetti sauce (2 cans) $2.00
Toilet paper $6.97
Bread $1.88
total: 53.72

So, if you can add you'll see that i blew my $100 budget by $8.72. I was a little disappointed to see this BUT i am giving myself a little credit because this was my first week, i didnt meal plan, i didnt shop by the sales ad's, and i bought some of the things my kids actually like to eat rather than skimping for the sake of saving money.

Jesse and i have decided that once a week we will eat out. Whether it be fast food or sit down food. We have limited time as a family and when we do get that time i would like to be able to enjoy it with them and have an easy meal together too. I'm adding it into  the budget but i'm not gonna let myself feel bad if we blow the budget only because of our "treat" meal.

Abigale takes her lunches to school everyday, and Jesse takes all 3 of his meals to work each day.

I bought almost no processed packaged garbage and almost no bread(besides the one loaf obviously). I am doing no grains, but Abigale likes her little sammies for school and owen enjoys his too so im ok with that :)

i didnt get a ton of pictures ( just didnt think about it) but i can say that i have a stocked fridge!!!!!
Oh and nevermind the beer lol that was already there! 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

is it even possible?

Happy new year!! Yep, it's officially 2014!! Jesse and i have been wanting to buy a home for over a year now but we haven't had the best of luck. Last February we found a house we both loved and that was completely remodeled on the inside. we though YES we found it!! NOPE, wrong!! The seller accepted our offer, bank approved the loan, we signed the contract and then inspection time came... WORST INSPECTION EVER. Seriously.... they made the house LOOK good but underneath the skin all the guts were falling apart. So sadly we let that one go and decided we should wait a while. Well, the time has now come for us to get serious about finding something. We are paying month to month at our apartment so every month we stay is rent+fee that we are paying. i say all of that to say this:


In efforts to save money for the fees, inspections, down payment, earnest money etc. that comes along with buying a house i have set up some SERIOUS spending limitations for our family. From now until we have enough saved we will try our darndest to only spend $100 a week on everything except bills. IF i can make this happen we will be able to save a significant amount of money in a short period of time. This would help us SO much!

Unfortunately we have some medical necessities that need to be taken care of also. My glasses are being held together with hot glue. EEK, for someone who is virtually blind without glasses this is a huge deal. With me having nystagmus and needing to see a specialist its an even bigger deal because my glasses and appointment typically cost me around $300. Then there is Jesse's wrist. His cyst has moved!! its now in a more painful spot so we really need to have it taken care of. Who knows how much that'll cost us.

And then there's my birthday girl. Abigale will be turning 8 in February so we will also be needing to spend money for a very special party for a very special girl!

SO here is the plan! The money we save this month will be to take care of our medical needs and abigale's party. February will begin the actual house savings and i am SOOOOO excited about it. I plan to blog about what we spend, and how i manage meals and such with only spending $100 a week. I started this today by withdrawing the $100 from my bank account. So far today i have already spent $20

Braums: $15
1 gallon of milk
1lb bacon
1lb pork sausage
2 dozen eggs

Walmart: $5
2lbs fresh frozen green beans
2lbs frozen stir fry veggies

Tomorrow i will spend an additional $20 on gas for the week leaving us with $60 to last us until next thursday. We are starting this venture having already purchased quite a bit of meat... We took a trip to costco and bought 6lbs of chicken and i've also got a huge roast and a few pounds of hamburger meat. Starting this off with the fridge mostly stocked will help us out a ton i think!! So, what do you think of this idea? Can we do it? is it even possible?? What are your money saving plans this new year?

wouldnt you like to have his kind of money minus all of the killings and meth and other general grossness?? Which reminds me!!! Netflix needs to add the last season nowwwww!!!!!