Who Is Paleobarbie?
Who Is Paleobarbie?
To start, let me explain where I got the idea for the name paleobarbie. Even though I played with Barbies as a kid, my Dad’s name is Ken, and I happen to be blond… none of that pertains to the name choice. It stems from a nickname I got while working as a production assistant at ESPN. Some coworkers and I would play pickup soccer ocassionally before work. A coworker started calling me “Soccer Barbie” because almost the entire game, I was smiling. Even today, Taylor calls it my “workout face”. Instead of grimacing (at least most of the time), I grin. There is a scientific explanation for that feeling after a workout: the release of endorphins, but why not smile throughout the whole thing?
How Do I Work Out?
I will admit that in the past, I have almost worked out too much! From high school and through college, I had practices and games throughout the week, and sometimes even came back from practice to do 50 minutes on a stairmaster machine. Way too much. Mark Sisson talks about the detriments of over-training in the book The Primal Blueprint. I used to never take a break day. I still struggle to have a day where I do nothing, so I enjoy active rest days where Taylor and I golf (either walking, or riding in a cart). My outlook on working out and staying active has changed, but certainly not overnight.
My brother Troy introduced my family to CrossFit in 2007, and initially, I felt like the workouts were too short. Sometimes I would hop on the elliptical before going to a workout. I did not truly appreciate the beauty and benefits of CrossFit until I started going to Troy’s gym three days a week with my Mom. By the way, my Mom just turned 60, and has been doing CrossFit for four years. She is certainly an inspiration in her own right! By attending his gym regularly, I learned so much about what my body is capable of, and more of what is appropriate and effective. The idea of shorter workouts, interspersed rest periods, and circuit training is now ingrained in my psyche. Since moving, Taylor and I don’t have a CrossFit gym, so created our own home gym with an Air Dyne and rower! We don’t have access to roads that are safe to run, so we only run about once a week on the Army post. Between using past experiences and internet resources, we develop workouts that have allowed us to stay extremely fit. We even ran the Army Ten Miler, having done mostly short sprints and Air Dyne work, and I felt better than ever! With this new outlook on fitness, I feel indescribably free on my old hangups about time-driven workouts. The other aspect of my life that has fallen into place is food!
How Do I Eat?
I have always loved food. It is burned into my DNA. My Mom’s side of the family is Greek, and they live and breathe the idea that food is love. However, I haven’t always had the healthiest relationship with food. I let body image and common misconceptions about what is healthy discolor my perspective. There are so many mixed messages out there to deflect, and through CrossFit I was lucky enough to be introduced to the Paleo way of eating. Taylor and I haven’t gone strictly Paleo, but I’d say about 95% of our eating is gluten, lactose, and legume-free. Coming off of a sixty day leave, Taylor lost and maintained a twenty-pound weight loss. I also lost a few pounds, and my weight has stopped fluctuating on a weekly basis. We save money by not eating out a lot, and eat more veggies and protein than ever before. If you are unfamiliar with Paleo, there is a lot of great information out there. Check out Mark Sisson’s book (link above), or check out Robb Wolf’s website. Embracing Paleo didn’t only make our bodies look and feel better, but it also gave me a healthier attitude overall.
How Do I See Myself?
Despite growing up with loving, supportive parents, I let classmates from elementary school to college effect my body image. I would say that only in the past few years have I become totally accepting of my body, inside and out (and of course it is something I continue to work on). Part of that is just growing up. I was lucky enough to be on the brink of my best self when I met my husband. From the moment we met, he saw me better than I saw myself, and told me exactly what he thought. I was almost skeptical of the overly positive portrait he painted of me. But that is the beauty of knowing and seeing someone completely, you not only accept them for who they are, but encourage them to be their best self. I am so blessed to have a husband that encourages me, and thinks I can do anything! Without his skill and encouragement, this blog would not be possible!
I hope that you have someone in your life that can see all the positive gifts that you possess! If not, this is a perfect time to start being your biggest cheerleader!
How Did WorkOutChowdown Get Started?
If you know me, you’ve noticed that most of the photos I take involve food. When Taylor and I go on vacation, we take a photo of every meal we eat. Starting with the first meal I made in our kitchen in Georgia, I have been taking pictures of my creations. While visiting my best friend Katie and her husband in Hawaii this summer, we were introduced to delicious Paleo recipes from Sarah Fragoso’s cookbook, Everyday Paleo. Nervous about cooking for Taylor and I in our first apartment, I ordered it as soon as we got home. Having that first cookbook as a resource gave me the confidence to create Paleo recipes of my own.
So how did cooking all-day and taking pictures turn into a website? My Mom has always complained about having too many recipes in notebooks and cookbooks, and would love to sit down and go through them all. Even just starting out, I found that I had an overwhelming number of binders, and not much space in my apartment kitchen. I spent hours cutting recipes from magazines and over-stuffing binders that were already full of recipes that I hadn’t tried yet. One of my goals for the six months living in Georgia was to pare down and organize my recipes. Taylor saw how much time and energy I was spending combing through recipes, making notes, and taking pictures of my successes. When I told him my Mom wanted the recipes I’d been making for Christmas, he encouraged me to start a blog with all my Paleo recipes. Taylor says I can do anything, so of course it took me a while to come around. When my brother’s girlfriend texted me before Thanksgiving that I should start a blog using all my food pictures from facebook, I figured I didn’t have an excuse not to try.
What Is The Goal of WorkOutChowDown?
The recipes I have posted are all things that I have tried, and found yummy enough to make again. I want this site to be a resource for myself, my family, and anyone that is looking for simple, healthy food. Most of my recipes are Paleo, but like I’ve said, sometimes a little dairy or alcohol just makes something better. Right now, the bulk of the content is recipes, but I am also posting some of the workouts that Taylor and I do in our home. I’ve learned that when you stay active and jump start your body by constantly challenging it with CrossFit-style workouts, you can truly chow down! My hope is that every visitor to this website finds valuable information to assist with living and eating healthily. Please give me your feedback, especially if there is a particular favorite recipe of yours that you would like to see made Paleo!
What Books Have I Read Recently?
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel: I received this as a graduation gift from my roommate Amy’s Mom, and I am so sorry it took me so long to read it! It is so short, yet so powerful!
Golf’s Three Noble Truths: The Art of Playing Awake by James L. Raggonet: Even if you aren’t a golfer, this book is valuable. It hits home the idea that things are often outside our control, it is all about our perspective. Similar to Miguel’s Four Agreements, it mentions that as long as you are trying your best, you cannot be dissatisfied.
What Shows Do I Think Are Valuable?
What Not To Wear: Whether or not you believe that Stacy and Clinton actually have a good sense of style, the show is truly about accepting who you are, what your body looks like, and packaging it in a way that projects an image that says, “I take care of myself and am proud of who I am.” I may end up on that show one day if I keep wearing athletic clothes all day long, but I have taken a lot of positive cues from the journey women make on their week in New York. Like I said above, it is the hardest to see yourself clearly, so when you see women of all shapes and sizes come to tears embracing their body, can’t we all just get a little better at loving ourselves?
Chopped: I learn a lot by watching a variety of shows on Food Network. Some of my other favorites are Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Barefoot Contessa, Restaurant Remakes with Sandra Lee, just to name a few. Chopped, however, has not only opened my eyes up to new ingredients, but has also shown me that perfection is futile. Most if not all perfectionists on that show fail to win, because over-thinking things is a waste of time (and it is a show with time constraints). Hopefully, we can take comfort in the fact that even if a dish doesn’t come out perfectly, at least $10,000 isn’t on the line.
What Websites Do I Frequent?
southbaltimorecf.com: Yes, I am biased a little because this is the website for my brother’s Crossfit gym in Baltimore, MD. However, it is an awesome resource for good info and great workouts. There are even a bunch of links to other valuable sites in the CrossFit and Paleo world. A word of caution: please don’t try anything on your own that you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with! Even though I regularly attended classes at their gym for a year, I still don’t do a majority of the lifting on my own. I lack the equipment, and the supervision of a Coach. Whether you’re new to CrossFit, or like my Mom, love to workout with others, google CrossFit gyms in your area to find your place of body worship.
facebook.com: Also know as hugewasteoftime.com, or iknowwearefriendsbuthowdoweknoweachother.com, I still love this website. For all its annoyances, this is an especially important resource for a military spouse, always on the move. Whether we’re best friends, or a friend from four moves ago, a cute baby pic or a funny meme is most welcome in my life. I maintain that hitting “like” on your photo or status counts as staying in touch. …I promise I’ll call soon.