because life in a nutshell is boring

Month: June, 2013

Crossfit across the Ditch

Last week was spent abroad, over in New Zealand visiting Sir’s family. It was a lovely relaxed time in which we were able to just hang out. No need to rush or anything.

We had decided in advance that we would take Sir’s sister (J) & Bro in law (B) to Crossfit. I had done a little research to see where was close, but it was by chance that we found Reebok Crossfit 09. One day J had commented on their photo on facebook saying she drives past their sign and had been meaning to check it out. I piped in and told her we would all go together when we were there. Their box owner/manager/coach (?) Darren was super helpful and more than happy to accomodate us while we attempted to convert the family to Crossfit.

We had scheduled to get there the night we arrived – Monday the 10th June. Unfortunately (or not so since we still had a great day with my sister), our plane was delayed for approximately 5 hours and we got in at 10pm i/o 5pm, thus missing the class. Darren was more than happy to have us join them on the Tuesday instead.

Note: None of the comparisons I make between our box and another is to say one is better than the other. As you delve deeper into Crossfit you realise its less about the looks and more about the experience and friends you make.

We rocked up about 15 minutes before the session started and there were a few people in the box around the corner rolling etc. No one talked to us for a good 10 minutes I think, before I walked up to a guy to see if he was who I should be looking for. Then the coach for the evening came down stairs and showed us around. She was super friendlu and introduced us at the start of the class.

Just a side note – I never want people to feel awkward as they stand around waiting for their first class to start – suck it up and be friendly people!

If you are a crossfitter – you are responsible for making people feel welcome at your box – no excuses!

The Fitout. It’s pretty, its new.. the comparison I draw from is obviously our box which feels a bit more like a garage gym, its rough around the edges, there’s chalk on the floor, but tell you what, I think that’s part of what I love about it. Reebok Crossfit 09 is slick and clean and fresh and new. It’s a baby, only been open since March this year, so it’s expected.


The Coaching. The week we checked out 09 was their testing week, so it happened to be just a little chaotic. It was Tuesday, there was a daily WOD, but there was also the option for people to do the testing from Monday or Wednesday. So there were 3 groups of people doing 3 different sets of work. We all warmed up together and did Snatch skill work together before we split into our respective WOD groups. I listened as the coach talked with B & J about the snatch and the clean and the process of learning it. I was disappointed to not hear some of the often cues that we hear, like “break at the knee”, “break at the hips” “take your shirt off with the bar” etc because these are basic ways of breaking down the movements so they are easy to understand, but I guess each coach has their own ways ot explaining. Sir said the take your shirt off thing to J at one point which helped understand the bar needs to stay close. But overall the coaching was good, the moments where I was given coaching she was on the money with what I needed to do and I was able to execute what she asked, but then I do also know the lingo and the movements required for those lifts.

The Programming. I obviously don’t know how they determine their program in general, but it was cool to talk to the coach about their testing that they conduct each quater. Basically its a list of skills under the headings of Gymnastics & Bodyweight, Weightlifting and Conditioning. Then there are 10 levels to work through broken up into Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Firebreather, Ninja and Mutant. Where at each level the reps, or weight or skill becomes more difficult. I have determined (not yet tested though) that I would fall into the level 3-4 range so on the fence of Beginner/Intermediate. I think it’s a great measure and I might start using it for myself in order to become a well rounded crossfitter, and not just good in one area or skill (ie, you know now I would rather lift than run!)

The WOD. It was challenging as WOD’s are.

Paused Snatch grip Dead + Hang Power Shrug + Hang Power Snatch + OHS
EM for 10mins


10 Min AMRAP
5 Power Cleans 60/35kg
7 Burpee Box Jumps 60/50cm
Run 100m

I used 27.5kg for my cleans and was just shy of finishing my 5th round. So not amazing, but it was a good workout. Everyone was much more talkative to us once we finished working.. like we had proved ourselves (not in a bad way).

The Verdict. We had a great time, it was fun to workout with new people and shiney new equipment. As for the conversion of B & J. They both thoroughly enjoyed it and found it challenging. However, I think they still need some time to do some research into why its a preferred method of training. I personally, think they would thrive in the environment of a crossfit gym both physically and relationally.

If you are ever in Auckland and looking to workout at a Crossfit Box, head to St Luke and check out Reebok 09, you won’t be disappointed.


26 things you may not know about me…

So I am halfway a sentence into a post about my week in New Zealand last week, but today is a special day.. It’s my 26th Birthday. Wow. Writing it is even hard.. 26, when did that happen?? So I thought I would give you a little run down of a few things about me, some birthday related, some not.. this will be fun, right?

1. I’m not really into Birthdays. At least not my own. On my 19th Birthday I actually ran away to a magical place called Bellingen to stay with new friends that didn’t know it was my birthday. Bellingen is one of my most favourite places on earth. My inner hippy and my love of the countryside gets awakened every single time.

Bellingen River

2. I am a Pastor of some of the greatest, world changers yet! These young people keep me passionate for my God and all he has planned for us. In this same environment I am Pastored, challenged and loved by two amazing leaders!


3. I have 4 of the most beautiful, loving, courageous, inspriring women in my life – 3 are my sisters and 1 is my mum. I am so incredibly blessed to have them in my life. The Egan girls – also known as “smorgasboard” or “buffet” – mother duck included.


4. I have been on the cover of a magazine. “Country Bride & Groom” – I am claiming it!

Country Bride & Groom

5. I was given some tough love as a teenager by some very special people, most of the advice I still live by… For example – this note lives in my bible.


6. I love to lift weights. Particularly the olympic lifts of Snatch & Clean & Jerk. I would rather do these than run any day. This is since joining Crossfit at the beginning of this year.


7. I love the Zoo. So much so, I actually made Sir take me to Taronga Zoo for my 24th Birthday!


8. I love to read a good novel. Some of my favourites are The Bronze Horseman Series, The Thornbirds, Narina, To Kill a Mocking Bird and Anastasia.

TBH Anastasia

9. I work with some amazing people in a company I can’t seem to get away from… I actually get embarassed when people ask me how long I have worked for Noble – answer… 4 years on and off. It’s like one of those relationships that is on one day and off the next, I have 3 employement anniversaries given that I have started here 3 times! I thoroughly enjoy my job here now, and again work with some of the best people!

10. I watch kids movies. Alot. I say this is me being a responsible adult, so that when I have kids I will know what ones have scary bits… but really it’s because I love them. Actually I think it’s a family affair – my sister & I just yesterday had a marathon text session of Madagascar Quotes…


11. My Biggest Fear is making the wrong decision. There have been countless times that I have had to make a decision between two awesome opportunities and I have stewed over them because of the fear of getting it wrong. Slowly but surely I am getting better at listening to God and not doubting Him/myself.

12. I love to cook – 12 months ago this would have been sweets, cakes & desserts.. my focus has changed alot and now I actually enjoy cooking dinners and healthy options of the sweets. I am looking forward to expanding my skills into fermentation shortly – I will keep you in the loop!

13. I was proposed to in a Hot Air Balloon – this was actually a long term dream of how I wanted to be proposed to.. lucky my husband was somehow intutitive enough to guess this (he still swears no one told him – which I am inclined to believe because I think it was something I had said at school, before his time!)


14. I had a gourment picnic for a wedding reception, it was the most amazing way to gather all the people we loved. Mum Baker made all the picnic rugs, basket liners and but the baskets together.


15. I married into an awesome family – just last year we trekked the Milford Track together – this photo is at the top of the Pass, 1000m above where we started!

milford pass

16. My favourite type of party is a paddock party. This is what I grew up with in the country – bonfires, mud, underage drinking.

17. I would way rather go to a pub than a nightclub

18. I am not a naturally funny person. Seriously. I can be a nanna and a bore at times. When I’m tired, I either get particularly funny or plain grumpy.

19. I finally finished my degree and graduated with my friend Jenna this year


20. I am a qualified florist – Howver, I never purpused it beyond a part time job when I lived in Wingham.. I do love flowers though and love to put them together every now and then.

21. I had my wedding dress made before we were even engaged. That’s how confident in Sir I was.

22. I have had my healthiest birthday yet – although there was birthday cake, one of the ladies I work with made some raw chocolate bliss balls (nuts, dates etc), we went to the new organic cafe for lunch and I plan to eat chicken soup for dinner…

23. I have an obession with food blogs. Particularly now, healthy food blogs… you should head over and check out my Pintrest Page

24. I still have most of my stuffed toys from when I was younger… the most recent addition was the talking Stitch (from Lilo & Stitch) that I got for my 16th Birthday.

25. Growing up we lived opposite some super cool kids – we had the madest times together.. playing lego, building cubby houses, eating frozen mooves, playing spotlight, breaking bricks to make barbie houses (sorry Carole!), climbing tress, playing fairies (& Beagle boys??), missing the bus on purpose! and raoming the safe streets of country Wingham until the street lights came on.

26. I miss the simplicity of being a child. I also looked forward to being an adult, grown up, but now that I am here I don’t feel like I am ready to be here!

Fight gone bad with Wine

I had a most amazing day yesterday. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you would have seen that I got to go for a helicopter flight over the Hunter Valley for work. We took some customers out to fly over and see the coal mines out past Singleton. It was quite spectacular and horrifying at the same time.

The Beautiful Hunter Valley Wine Country

The Beautiful Hunter Valley Wine Country

The Hunter Valley Coal Mines

The Hunter Valley Coal Mines

It was confronting to say the least.

Later that evening we took our customers out to a great Seafood restaurant, Scratchleys. I was super glad to find that I could easily eat paleo here. We got the Mixed Seafood & fruit platter to share which had an assortment of beautiful fresh oysters, crab, balmain bugs and prawns (and some hot fried seafood I didn’t eat) and an array of seasonal fruit.

I also enjoyed a glass of wine before dinner, my first glass in what feels like a really long time – at least 4 weeks! After which I felt as though my sinuses had stuffed right up. Interesting. I had another glass of wine with dinner and that did me. I was glad to crash into bed by 9:30pm.

This morning at 5am when the alarm went off I wasn’t so stoked with my beverage choice. Even moreso when I got to the box and saw the workout on the whiteboard.

“Fight Gone Bad”
Three rounds of:
Wall-ball, 9kg/6kg, 10 ft target (Reps)
Sumo deadlift high-pull, 35kg (Reps)
Box Jump, 20″ box (Reps)
Push-press, 35kg (Reps)
Row (Calories)

In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute. The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. This is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. On call of “rotate”, the athletes must move to next station immediately for best score. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower where each calorie is one point.

Ouch, this hurt. I was feeling particulary sluggish this morning. Coach had said we should aim for 200-300 reps, with anything above 300 to be quite good. I got 195 and that was a struggle. But I did it, post wine and all, however I don’t recommend drinking wine the night before Crossfit. I won’t be doing it again anytime soon.

Whole30 Recap

Well, the second half of this Whole30 flew by! I set a few goals and mentioned my concerns at the beginning, so figure they are the best means to draw conclusions from:

What I want to get out of it:
– to overcome sugar cravings – Not quite acheived. I didn’t eat heaps of fruit, but some days ate more than 2 serves which I feel is too much. And I think because of the fruit factor, I continued to get the sugar cravings. Next time – no fruit?? eek… that’s a tough call, or maybe I just need to be replacing my sugar cravings with fat like coconut oil as Sarah Wilson suggests in IQS.

– to change snack habits – failed. In the beginning I did quite well with not snacking, but was finding myself getting too hungry between meals. Second half of the month I went to the other end of the scale and was far too liberal with my snacks, but I think I know how to find a happy medium.

– to reduce my treat intake (even/ especially Paleo treats) – did this, but kind saw my snacking as treats which isn’t the point.

– to become intuitive with my eating/to learn to listen to my body – I learnt heaps about listening to my body and decerning what it actually needs, not just necessarily wants.. just need to improve on the follow through

– to reduce body fat – Not sure. I didn’t do measurements (fail), to me, my before and after pics look similar, but Sir also took the first on on a random angle (I don’t feel to share these!). I did loose 3kgs (and that was weighing myself after breakfast) and although I don’t like measuring by the scale, I think I lost the right stuff (refer to my muscle mass concern below).

Other bonuses!
– On average I slept HEAPS better
– My energy levels, moods and hormones were much more stable

My concerns:

– not being disciplined enough to stick with it like last time – I DID IT! 30 days! and the next time I do it, I will do it even better!

– I really don’t want massive restrictions on me, there should be freedom in our eating, I don’t want to be obsessing about every little thing I put into my mouth – I actually didn’t find it that restricting, and I think that was because I made really good, tasty food most of the time. I think I actually found freedom in my food by eating this way.

– missing my smoothies – meh. I look forward to having them again, but I survived without any big deal.

– losing muscle mass and therefore strength – I actually increased my strength during this period (hence why I think I lost fat and not muscle).. I even got some new PR’s in my lifts! Looking forward to retesting my 1RM’s later this week.

Next Whole30:
– Eat fat when craving sugar
– Take measurements before and after
– Snack less, but when snacking use healthy gut foods such as broth & fermented veggies
– Deal with the emotional stuff that the snacking/desire to EAT EVERYTHING in sight is coming from

So where from here?

What comes out of my kitchen won’t be changing much. I ate a normal veg & egg breakfast this morning. I do however want to do the testing as others have suggested (from experience of not doing it). Today I had a little whey protein power in with my bullet proof coffee and I will have some more dairy over the next couple of days to see how my tummy/skin reacts. I am going to continue to steer clear of grains becuase I still have skin issues (Psoriasis) and think that could be the source. And I have no desire to eat legumes or processed stuff.

D31 B

I will be introducing some more fermented foods into my diet to help with gut health. I’m looking forward to experienting with these in my kitchen soon!

And I will be doing another strict Whole30 again soon. I will keep you posted on that!

Anyone encouraged/inspired to try the Whole30 out after following my journey? It really isn’t THAT HARD to do like some would assume. You can actually live without bread and pasta and milk!

Whole30 Day 30

My last day of the Whole30. It was a usual, busy Sunday at church. Limited pics these last couple of days because storage on my phone has been full!

Breakfast: Sauteed onion, mushroom, tomato & spinach with 2 eggs

We were out the door just after 9am and home around 1pm. It’s been raining and cold here, so soup and roast chicken was in order!

Lunch: Thai pumpkin soup with roast chicken & I ate some macadamia’s

I went food crazy late afternoon at church and at 3 mandarins again (they are just so juicy & sweet at the moment!).. Whoops. We got home late and dinner therefore was late (around 8pm)..

Dinner: Pan fried salmon with baked sweet potato & steam broccoli. Super simple with some pepper & lemon. Hit the spot!


And now I'm off to bed nice and early! I will give you a full recap of the whole30 tomorrow!

Whole30 Day 29

Day 29. Done.

Super great day working out and eating lots of breakfasts’. Haha.

We had crossfit at 8am, before which I had a coffee. I had attempted to make the bulletproof coffee again, but learnt the hard way that boiling water should not go in the glass blender. One nice massive crack all the way up. I immediately ordered a new jug online straight away.

Crossfit this morning was all about working under fatigue..gah. After the warm up it followed:

0-7 mins AMRAP
50 KB swings 16kg
40 Wall balls 7kg
30 Lunges 10kg plate overhead
20 Pull ups
(I got through to 20 of the lunges)

Rest 1 min

8-13 mins
Find 1RM of Clean + 2 Jerks
(I did 3 attempts and maxed at 35.5kg – I think I should have started heavier and I would have got a heavier max)

Rest 1 min

Run 800m max effort
(I finished it in 4:30mins)

Obviously famished, we all (random bunch of us from the gym) went out for breakfast. I had poached eggs, mushrooms, spinach and bacon. And a cup of green tea. And we had super good company!

We went back to the gym (Sir went earlier to lift) and I worked on my pull ups for a bit. A banana was eaten.

Lunch was spent with my 3 sisters, partners & kiddies. It was great to see them all! Options were limited so I had a second breakfast. Poached eggs, tomato & avocado. And a fresh juice that literally seemed to just be lemon an ginger..not delicious, but good.

I snacked on a few too many macadamia’s and we headed out for dinner. A meat platter of chicken wings, organic lamb rissoles (I prepared them in advance) steak and left over fajita salad. Yum.

One day to go. Wow – I never thought it would come!