Monday, February 28, 2011

slight lapse

I had a slight lapse in judgment yesterday, when I ate a few bites of coconut cake. The result was that I have been ill all day today. Was it worth it? The jury is still out. Oh well! I just need to climb back on the wagon.

I went to the Triad Barbell Challenge on Saturday to photograph it for Peter Haas and Mei Yoshinaga. Three things happened while I was there.

One- I learned how important it is to have paleo food on your personage (thank you Lori for the offer of chicken and cheese). I got hungry while shooting and then all food sounded like a good idea. I also get really grumpy and irritable when I do not eat. Luckily, I have awesome friends that went and got me food. Not only did I get to see my awesome friend Mandy but she fed me as well. Thank you Mandy we need you to visit more (not when I am shooting the ground).

Two- I was inspired by how strong and kind everyone in this community is. There are some crazy strong people around and it is truly inspiring. Two of them are from our gym. Mats and Phil, you guys were badass.

Three- How cool Tony from CF Wilmington is. He was really nice when I locked my keys in my car at his gym last month, but Saturday I asked him what he puts in his water. Seriously though, CF Wilmington people are crazy strong. He explained to me his philosophy on training. Then he went and did this:

The answer was simple, they lift heavy every day. Although I can not really lift heavy, I am going to try not to be a wimp any more and maybe one day I will be considered crazy strong as well.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Good news

I have good news; Tamara Cohen has replaced Taylor Lautner in my search terms for my blog. Thank you Tamara. I feel more confident that people looking for you will be less irritated by stumbling on to my site than they would if they were looking for Taylor (although you are way more badass than I could ever hope to become). That being said, Paleo London Broil is still the top search term and I have yet to post a recipe. Here is a very simple one from Martha Stewart.
Rub beef with a teaspoon oil; season with paprika, salt, and pepper. Broil, turning once, until medium-rare (an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part should register 130 degrees), 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and set aside to rest, 5 to 10 minutes. Thinly slice beef against the grain.
She wants you to serve it with potatoes but that is totally not necessary. I will play with another more complicated version this weekend and then report back.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Or as Sabah and Ryan would say: thience. I have a really hard time believing this study. The actually say: "Just 10 minutes of staring at the charms of a well-endowed female, is roughly equivalent to a 30-minute aerobics work-out." Does it work for women too? And if so can I get skinny by looking at my own boobs? Great, now men have a reason for talking to our chest instead of our face. "Sorry ladies, it is for my health."

In other news, I am having insane leg cramps again. I had them when I was a kid during swim season. I swam from the time I was really little into high school (not continuously). My mom would just give me potassium supplements and feed me bananas. This is what web MD says can cause them:

  1. Getting too much exercise or overusing the muscles.

  2. Standing on concrete for a long time, sitting for a long time, or putting your legs in awkward positions while you sleep.

  3. Not having enough potassium, calcium, and other minerals in your blood.

  4. Being dehydrated, which means your body has lost too much fluid.

  5. Taking certain medicines, such as antipsychotics, birth control pills, diuretics, statins, and steroids.

  6. Having flat feet.

  7. Having thyroid disease

I think only 1 & 3 apply; but I love how they feel the need to explain what being dehydrated means.

I have started drinking coconut water again and taking potassium supplements to combat this. There are very few things worst then waking up in the middle of the night in sheer agony because your legs are cramping up.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I periodically check on the stats section of my blog. It tells you what your referral sources are and which countries people are in that are looking at your site. Usually, it is cool but I can guess what person I know is in which country. Australia = my brother. Last month Africa = Kristin.

This is what I got today:

United States - 75
Canada - 6
Italy - 5
Bahrain - 1
United Kingdom - 1
South Korea - 1
Kuwait -1

Bahrain? Holy crap! Someone in Bahrain stumbled upon my silly blog!

First of all, person from Bahrain: Be careful and know that most Americans, whether they admit it or not, support you and your fellow countrymen in your quest for freedom. Good luck and I feel very lucky that you stumbled on to my silly site. And P.S. your F1 race, although not taking place this year, is one of the best on the circuit.

Side Lighting

Side lighting is the best thing in the world.

As most of you know, I went to an all inclusive resort for Thanksgiving. Like most people that visit this sort of establishment, I ate and drank a lot while there. You want to get your money's worth, right? The result was that I gained 4 pounds in only a few days. I did have a goal before I went to loose weight so that I would feel comfortable in a bathing suite. I will be honest; I did very little to get in the shape I wanted to be in. When I got back from Mexico, I had a renewed vigour in my fight against fattiness.

My cohort and I decided to take a page from Tamara Cohen and track our progress with photos. I took photos in a bathing suite in December and then again in January. This has definitely helped me track my progress. This morning, while I was getting ready for work I noticed how much better my stomach looks when I am lit from the side rather than when I am fully lit in the bathroom. I am a photographer, so I already knew about this trick but had not actually tried it on myself. Other people sure, but not myself. Now here is my issue.... I want to take all future photographs lit from the side. This will make me feel better but will not be an accurate portrayal of my progress. I do not know if I can convince myself to not do this. Probably not. So, be warned: My before and after photos (that will be posted here at the end of my 90 days) will not be lit in the same fashion... probably. I just figured I should be completely honest with you.

On another note: I think after you do Paleo for the first 30 days, it becomes much easier. It is less like a diet and more like conscious eating.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Food Log

Yesterday, my partner in crime and I started using a program called DietSnaps. DietSnap allows you to keep a food log by taking photos of your food. I recently read an article that said that this sort of thing helped. I forgot about our plan to start until after I ate lunch; so, yesterday she only got a picture of a banana peel and my dinner. I really think having someone else that you are showing your meals to really helps. It makes me (at least) feel more accountable for what I am putting in my body.

We switched from My Net Diary because typing everything in was a bit tedious. I am now on day 3 of my Paleoish (I eat dairy) plan. I am still feeling fine. I find that if I eat several small meals during the day I do not get cravings for the bad things. It also helps that I am now temping at State in their HR dept. Ironically, they are much healthier than the hospital staff.

I also read something in the New York Times last week that said that there is a magic hour. If people eat protein between 3 and 4 pm they are less likely to gain weight than people that ate nothing during that time. I am going to give it a shot. It seems like a good time to snack anyway because it gives me food before CrossFit but also gives me enough time to digest it so I do not get my name on the board again (under Pukie).

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Onion

I love the Onion. Today I read my Onion horoscope and this is what it said:

A journey of self-improvement ends almost before it starts when you find out there's a kind of waffle stuffed with
cheese and booze.

I actually laughed out loud in my very quiet cube riddled office. Fortunately, I have not found said waffle yet. I am still going strong on my day 2 of 90. Just 88 days till pizza. I am just kidding. Right now I feel fine. No racking headache. No Ketosis yet.

Tonight I have a boot camp to teach and a one on one. My night will be a late one, because then I will be doing my own thing. It is a press day.

Friday, February 18, 2011

5-3-1 week one

I just finished my first week of 5-3-1. One of the things that he (Wendler) says is that you have to reassess your one rep max. I lowered the weight on my dead lift before I started and I still think I might be pushing it. My bench press, on the other hand, seems to be a little light. I am not sure if I should raise the weight or if I should wait until the next round. The Press and the Squat feel like they are just right.

On another note I drank a couple of beers this weekend and then felt horrible the next day. This prompted me to wake up on Saturday morning and proclaim to husband that I was going to go on a 90 paleopaloosa. No more alcohol, no more grain, more sugar for 90 days.

I also was told about this challenge. So... just like the rules say:

I am going to make the best progress of my life.

I will use continue to use 5-3-1 and I will eat better. That is my plan. Wish me luck.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

If you can't eat....

Last night I had a discussion with several of my bootcampers about what there is to do in Durham. Several of them are interested in Whole 30 but do not know what they would do with guests if they came in town. "If you aren't planning your life around eating, what do you do in Durham?"

We are a foody town.... but there is a lot more too. I am going to devote this post to telling you about some of the cool things to do in Durham that do not involve eating.

The Nasher - A very cool museum located on Duke Campus. $5 for adults, free for kids and Duke faculty and staff.

The Carolina Theater - A neat old movie theater (that serves beer). They usually have more artsy films. They also have stage productions (like Ladysmith Black Mambazo).

Through this Lens - Photography gallery and framing shop. One of my personal favorites.

Casbah - A music venue

Motorco Music Hall - A very cool music venue and also our neighbors.

Man Bites Dog - Another neighbor and a cute little theater that is having a film festival this weekend

The American Tobacco Trail - A great place to walk, run, or ride a bike.

Duke Forrest - A great place to walk or run. They also have an exercise section on the trail next to the Duke campus.

Eno - A nice place for a hike.

Durham Bulls - Going to a game in the summer is a lot of fun.

Golden Belt - Art and Yoga

Barnstormers - Go for a ride in a biplane. I desperately want to walk out on the wing of one of these.

Duke Lemur Center - Who does not like Lemurs?

The Life and Science Museum - Good for the kiddie beans.

That should be a good start for you. If you have some place you love that is not food related, please fill me in.

Here is a photo from Eno:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Please Vote for me!

Durham Magazine is having a best of Durham contest. Please write in my name (Beatrice Yaxley) in the space provided and vote for me in the section labeled: Best Event Photographer.

I would REALLY appreciate it.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Another round

Last night we had a Valentine's Day dinner that consisted of: baked brie (because brie is awesome), Etoile (the champaign we had at our wedding), and Wendy's (what we had on on first outing together). Not at all paleo but well worth doing.

Do not get me wrong; I think it would be a bad idea to eat Wendy's every night. Food is a huge part of our lives. It is more than just something that sustains us. There are emotional attachments to foods. We all have them and that is not a bad thing. It is silly to try to deny it and cut them out of our lives entirely. I know, for me at least, it would lead to frustration and ultimately failure. The trick is not to let the attachments control you when you are feeling down. Try not to get comfort from food. It is not easy, but I think that it is important. Because for me that is when food turns into an enemy.

Today, I start another Whole 30, slightly modified for my needs. I have a partner in crime that will hopefully help me stay strong when food is trying to act like a friend to lean on. I want to loose more weight and I want to get stronger and eating badly does not help that. Whole 30 helps because it has an end point. You should always eat well but it is not realistic for me to say that I am never going to have sugar again. So, no more Berliners for a little while, fruit instead.

Monday, February 14, 2011

It tastes just like....

It tastes just like... If you ever hear that, it is a blatant lie. First of all alligator does not taste like chicken. It is closer to the taste of cod but it does not taste just like anything other than alligator. Maybe crocodile, but I really have no clue because I have not eaten crocodile. I am from Florida people, of course I have eaten alligator. They have a hunting season because there are so many of them and they have to keep the numbers down. No, I did not shoot one. I just ate it at a restaurant that is near my parents old house.

Kale chips do NOT taste like potato chips. They taste like ass. Not literally, because like crocodile... I just have no clue. I said this Saturday night (the tasting bad part not the crocodile part) and the response I got from my vegetable hating friends was: "You need to put a LOT of salt on them. They taste like salt. They are delicious." I wish he had told me this before I made them. I do like vegetables but other than that we tend to have the same taste in food. If he tells me something is good it usually is and conversely; if he tells me I will not like something, he is right. If I was told to put a lot of salt on them so that they would taste like salt, I would not have made them.

Kale, when baked, has a bitter after taste that is not good. I think I would rather just eat spinach that is lightly salted.

Happy Valentines Day all!

Photos help

Friday, February 11, 2011


I have been sick this week. It has put a delay on my 5-3-1 training. I am feeling much better today but I think I am going to give my body a couple more days of rest. I tried to do a little on Wednesday and it just made me feel much worse.

The time off from work and CrossFit gave me time to get a few things in my life in order. I recently did a Living Social Coupon and I have a lot of work ahead of me. This kind of work is good. It is the kind I love. I actually need more like it so I can quit my temp job that is paying my bills. Three jobs for the past year has not been easy but if it leads to me being able to do what I love then it is all worth it.

Figuring out how you want to spend your time in this life is difficult. My oldest friend recently took the leap into doing something she loves. I have known her since I was 5. We are actually blood sisters. We did the pricking of fingers and everything. She has always been the brave one. At 3 she climbed to the top of the high dive and jumped right off. It took some convincing by Tamara but eventually I did it too. She has always been kind of my hero. She is bold and goes after what she wants even if it is scary.

I am going to make a concerted effort this year to be fearless. I am going to get stronger and do a few mud runs. Why? Because they look like fun. I am also going to try to pay off all my debt (student loans and car) so that I can go on more adventures. I want to be strong. I want to be fearless. I want to see the world. I am going to try my best to make that happen this year. It is time to take the leap. What leap are you going to take this year?

Thursday, February 10, 2011


An interesting article about the potato.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Last night I was asked if it counts when your form sucks. I wasn't sure how to answer this. I know the person asking wanted the answer to be yes but my belief is no. Yes, you got the weight up but when your form is not their you are not using the muscles you are suppose to to use in order to do the lift. We harp on form because when you let that slip you are headed for disaster. You are headed for injury.

I let my form slip last April. I was just not paying attention during a jerk and I lost control of the weight. That little slip led to months of pain, surgery, and lot of lost time. I understand the want to be strong. I am a 5'2" female that has mostly male friends. Most of my life I have been trying to compete in sports with people that are stronger and faster than I am.

Now, I am hard headed and willing and able to push through pain, but that does not men I should in order to beat my friends. You only have one body. Do not destroy it just to pick up 5 more pounds. Watch your form and be honest with yourself. If your body does not allow you to pick up he weight with he right form then you should stop. That is just my little rant... take it or leave it.

Side note. All of the photos are now up from the Carolina Fitness Challenge. Here is a shot of Jason:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Interesting Article

I just found this Interesting Article on the New York Times website. It is worth a look

Day one

Today is supposed to be my first day of 5-3-1 and I have a head cold. I have had a racking headache all day and have wanted nothing more than to crawl back into bed. I am at work right now. :(
I have not decided yet whether or not I am actually going to do it today or not. I also have a photography meeting that I have to go to tonight. We are doing a print exchange. I have been excited about this for 2 months now. I have also been nervous about which print I should pick. I have decided on this one:

The watermark kind of interferes with the reflection but it is a necessary evil in this case. So, I will teach, maybe do a quick work out and then head to the meeting. I plan on running in dropping off the print and picking up one and then leaving to go home and get into bed.

I never know where the line is. When you should just push through and work out or when you should let your body deal with the illness and rest.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Step Away From The Scale!

A Guest Post by Dori

I don't know about you, but I've always been more than a little annoyed with those articles about celebrities losing weight and whenever someone asks them how they did it, they seem to always respond, "I got rid of my scale." Yeah, like that's going to help you lose weight! Well, it turns out, they might have a point. This post is about how I lost "inches" by getting rid of the scale.

Jack and I started Whole 30 on January 3rd after Ashley announced that she was trying to get people to join in a paleo challenge. Right before we started Whole 30 I was in a bad place from a health standpoint. I was working all the time, not exercising enough, eating pretty terrible food on a consistent basis and experiencing a horrible bout with insomnia.

I decided I would not weigh myself (which I had been doing everyday and sometimes several times a day). Not weighing myself made such a difference. Instead of focusing on what the scale was telling me, I was paying attention to how I looked, how my clothes fit and how I felt...and I felt fantastic. I began sleeping again, FINALLY! I found myself smiling at the beginning of every day and after a long day at work, instead of digging into a pizza, I couldn't wait to get to the gym!

A lot of people comment that they feel weak when they start paleo; I can't say I had the same experience. I've had huge strength gains in the past month. I got my first ever dead hang pull up and have seen improvements in my other performance as well. I tracked my food on My Net Diary while I was on the Whole 30. I think tracking can be important when you're first starting out because I noticed I often wasn't taking in enough calories and needed to eat more. I think that's why a lot of people feel weak. They take out bad foods and forget to add back in calories from other sources.

The past few years dieting has always followed a similar pattern for me. The first two weeks would be a huge success where I'd lose several pounds (mostly water weight) and then suddenly stall out and not lose any weight, or worse, start to gain the weight back despite my diet and exercise. Seeing the scale go up and down would frustrate me to the point of giving up before I could see any real results. This time I weighed myself at the beginning and used a measuring tape to take my measurements. I did not weigh myself until I finished the entire Whole 30, but I knew I was losing weight because I could actually see my abs again and clothes I hadn't been able to wear for awhile suddenly fit again.

At the end of the 30 days I took my measurements again and I lost a total of 4.75 inches!!! I took pictures before and after and could see visible results. So how much weight did that translate into on the scale? A whopping ONE pound!!! That's right folks, I lost one pound in 30 days of paleo. If I hadn't taken my measurements and my pictures I would have thought the whole thing was a complete failure, despite how good I felt on paleo. This past week I've fallen back into the habit of weighing myself daily and feeling frustrated with the numbers and then I read Nelly's post and it reminded me that the number on the scale is good for knowing what a bodyweight lift should be, but other than that it provides pretty useless information. I'm putting the scale away and sticking to what does matter, how I feel, how I perform and how my clothes fit.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, I didn't run out and have some huge carbapalooza after the 30 days. I have absolutely no desire to do that, I feel too good. I've been experimenting with adding different things back in to see how I feel. It's nice to be able to tell how your body reacts to certain foods.

I highly recommend Whole 30 for anyone who's thinking of trying it and when you do, make sure to ditch the scale!

Friday, February 4, 2011

A final fling

I start my 25 days of good eating habits and my 5-3-1 training on Monday. That means hedonism until then. I am just kidding but I did eat pizza last night. I love pizza. I especially love pizza if it has bacon on it. Bacon makes the world better. I am sure this philosophy contributed to my spike in cholesterol level. Until 2010 I had not eaten bacon since I was 7. I have been acting like I am trying to make up for lost time. I am going to try to cut back on it. I am also now taking a plethora of new pills. I am taking fish oil and red rice yeast and several other vitamins. I am kind of a baby about taking pills so this is a big step. I even bought cute little bowls to put them in.

I do have one more thing I would like to try before I say goodbye to processed carbs again. This temptation was brought to my attention by my friends Bronwen and Sean. It is called a Berlinner. It is a special doughnut that can only be bought on Saturday mornings at Gugelhupf. I might actually go get one this Saturday and go for a 4 mile run around my neighborhood instead of doing the Krispy Kreme Challenge. I actually have lost all desire to do the challenge. I think it might just kill me.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Back to the Cold

When I was in Florida the temperature was amazing. It was in the upper 60s lower 70s. I know people have told me it was pretty here too but when I checked the weather it was 10 to 15 degrees warmer down there. I was not cold. for the first time in months I was actually comfortable. I went running on the beach. It was nice.

So, now that I am back what are my plans?

To start over again. I am going to start a new round of Paleo for another 25 days (I just can't commit to 30). I will start on the 7th. I am going to tweak it a bit but the basics are pretty much the same. This time more chicken and fish, less beef and pork. I also started a CSA so I will be forced to eat vegetables I would normally ignore at the farmer's market. This week kale and turnips. I am going to try to make some kale chips. I will keep you posted on that. As for the turnips, I have no clue so I am open to suggestions.

On the 7th I am also going to start 5-3-1. I want to get ripped like my friend so I will do what he is doing. I actually was going to either try Starting Strength or 5-3-1 because I am feeling kind of weak lately. I just happened to read the 5-3-1 book first and it sounded like a plan I could follow so I am going with that one. It also has the added benefit of not being what husband is doing. I have found that this makes a happier marriage. (I do not like when he tells me what to do.)

So hopefully I will be in much better shape in 25 days.... or at least a little better, and a little stronger.