My First Muscle-Ups!

A lot has happened since I last blogged! I know, I am such a deadbeat! I know it…

I need to be inspired, but I also need to start jotting my thoughts down for future blog posts. So, I will most definitely try to do that from now on so I have some draft posts to work off of…

Just to recap…

  • In April, I attended a CrossFit Level 1 Seminar. Awesome experience! That’ll be for another post
  • I attended the NorCal Regionals, where I met amazing coaches and athletes!
  • I started coaching this month at my affiliate, CrossFit 580! Come see me 😉
  • Got my first strict muscle-ups!

And that’s what I’ll talk about. I set a goal to get my first ring muscle-up by the end of the summer. After attending my CF-L1 seminar, I also slapped on strict! I knew I had my pull-ups down, ring dips down, even weighted on both, it was just a matter of piecing in that transition phase.

One day during our WOD, we could choose whatever skill we wanted to work on, and I obviously chose to do muscle-ups. I stood there, stared at the rings, and told myself that I could do it. I just had to head-butt as fast and as hard as I can! I grabbed the rings with a false grip, pulled myself as high as possible and head-butted as fast as I could. There I was, in the lowest ring dip position I had ever been. I struggled a bit, flailing like a fish out of water, until I could push myself up into a full lockout. I screamed like CRAZY! And everyone just stared at me in awe!

I successfully performed another strict muscle-up, but alas, nobody was there to capture my achievement! All I had were the fellow CFers there during the WOD and my own memory.

Today, during my one hour break between coaching, I decided to try it again, and luckily I had someone there to document my third MU for me! I was so happy to finally have visual proof that I could successfully do a muscle-up! Granted, it’s not the smoothest MU you’ll ever watch, but from here on out, I’ll be cleaning it up as well as practicing my kipping muscle-up! Goal achieved and summer hasn’t even started, yet!

Now on to the food part of my blog…

I’m just going to talk about what I buy and where!

Trader Joe’s – Who doesn’t love TJ’s?! I love shopping here because of the high turnover in produce. They have a great selection of organic produce, meats, and paleo snacks. My suggestion is to read the ingredients list carefully! Sometimes they taint perfectly good products with bad ingredients (soybean oil, canola oil, corn, etc). Here are my favorites: jeju mandarin oranges, grass-fed ground beef, grass-fed rib eye, spices, Kerrygold butter, bacon,  chicken, eggs (last resort), and kale chips. I also like to get blanched slivered almonds for when I make homemade almond flour.

New Leaf – I am fortunate enough to live across the street from a community market. They source their products and produce locally, which is great! They also have tons of paleo options, 99%+ of the products are organic, and it’s super paleo-friendly! I love going for: meats (albeit, expensive, but sustainable), Califia almond milk (can also be purchased at Target for a great price!), kombucha/probiotic drinks, Chameleon Cold-Brew coffee, coconut water (I prefer Harmless Harvest, C2O, and Zico), Coconut Bliss ice cream, pastured eggs (Vital Farms–pricey!), kelp noodles, grain-free dog food, cod fish liver oil, nut butters, kraut, kimchi…ok, I can go on and on!

Costo – I think I lucked out with my location. The demographic in my area seems to attract “healthy” products. I was able to come out with some great stuff: coconut sugar, ghee (clarified butter), almond flour, and coconut water.

That was kind of a useless post…haha. Just wanted to give you guys an idea of what I buy and where. I am so lucky to live across the street from New Leaf. When I need something, I just mosey on over. So convenient!

Alright, ya’ll. That’s all for me tonight! I’m out!


My Experience During The Open

I registered for The CrossFit Games Open knowing that it would be like running a marathon, but not crossing the finish line in first place! My goal is just to see where I stand, where I can improve, and to just finish!

13.1 was difficult for me just because my IRM on snatches is only 55#, still I made it through 100 reps: 40 burpees, 30 snatches, 30 burpees. The rest of the time was dedicated to trying to do at least one snatch, but it was pretty tough. Going for a 20# PR on my snatch was a difficult feat, but I used up the entire 17 minutes to try! Snatches are difficult for me and I was told by one of my coaches that using lifting shoes would provide more stability. I heeded her advice and ordered the CrossFit Lifters! They should be coming in anytime now.

I was excited about 13.2, only because I am fully capable of doing all those movements. I know that I can achieve some kind of shoulder to overhead at 75#, but going for multiple reps would be a feat for me. The deadlifts would also be no problem for me since my 1IRM is near 150# and the box jumps fine as well. I was able to complete 4 rounds + 17 reps for a score of 137. Not bad and I felt as if I could’ve done more, but I was starting to jerk the weight overhead as opposed to push pressing, which is what I started off doing. I got a few no reps towards the end and I knew I was almost out of gas. I wish I could have done the workout over because I found that stepping down after the box jumps helped tons of people save on gas! I may try this one again just for S&Gs after the open is over just to see what I get a second time around.

13.3 Is a tough one. 12 min AMRAP of: Karen (150 wall balls at 20# to 10’/14# to 9′), 90 double unders, and 30 muscle ups. The last time I did Karen, it took me damn near 17 minutes to complete! On top of that, I started off with 14# then had to drop to 12# after only 20 wall ball shots. I couldn’t believe it, but then I knew that wall ball shots are one of the things I don’t practice/do enough of, so I can’t really expect too much. I did, however, complete 93 wall balls in the allotted 12 minutes. Not the best score, but I’ll take it! Did the entire set Rx, of course, and boy was it tough! Then I watched Sam Briggs’ video of 13.3 and thought, “What the hell?! I could’ve used a 6kg ball, which comes out to 13.2#, and a smaller one at that?! I’m sure I would’ve broken 100 if I knew about that minimum standard! OH WELL!

13.4 Proved to be the TOUGHEST open workout for me. My 1RM for a squat clean was only 90# up until that point (not too far off from the Rx weight of 95#) and my jerk was up to 95#, however, I hadn’t attempted a C&J with that weight…EVER! I was sooo scared! I even debated not going for it, but I did while on vacation in San Diego. I hit up CrossFit Elysium when Coach Paul judged me and my brother-in-law cheered me on for moral support! Sadly, I was unable to achieve a score of 1 in the 7 minutes. However, I did PR on my squat clean, but was unable to clean and jerk the 95#. I was a bit disappointed in myself and upset that I couldn’t even submit a score of “0.” I showed up, put in the effort, and have nothing to show for it. HQ should really have that fixed. It’s what distinguishes people who tried from those who said, “F that! Not even gonna attempt it…”

13.5 Was amazing! Well, first off, the last open workout was held in Santa Cruz, so a bunch of CrossFitters from my box headed down there to watch the epic throwdowns! What’s crazy is that when Camille was supposed to be in Brooklyn for 13.2, I thought, “There goes my chance of seeing her in Santa Cruz!” Then, she couldn’t make it because of visa problems and BOOM! HQ pulled through with my birthday wish and brought her to Santa Cruz! lol. Anyway, it was a great birthday! I’ll have to post another entry dedicated to that day alone!

On to the WOD…When I walked into my box to attempt 13.5, someone told me, “Diana! This is your workout!” I didn’t realize that chest-to-bar pull-ups were that difficult for people to master, but I knew I had them down. I was able to complete 40 reps! Doesn’t sound like much, but I have to compare myself to a couple people. My cousin has been doing CF for 2+ years and achieved a score of 40! One girl at my box that KILLS at WODs with any barbell movement achieved a score of 20! I couldn’t believe it…! It was definitely a boost of confidence! Also that day, I practiced my bar muscle ups. I’m using the resistance bands to get me up and over the bar, but I’m down to the black band (2nd least resistant)! Progress! Yea!

I know this was a lengthy post, without a recipe at that! But I wanted to share my experience from the past few weeks. The Open is definitely a humbling experience and it just makes me want to train that much harder for next year’s open! I’m so excited to see how much I will progress over the next year and where I will stack up to the thousands of other athletes during the 2014 CrossFit Open.

This was almost the length of a college essay…it will be in a hot second.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy my posts! Lookout for more “springtime” recipes to come!

Squat Cleans and Pork Chops

I’m back!

I was MIA for a bit because I celebrated my bachelorette-ness in Las Vegas this past weekend. Definitely missed my WODs and paleo meals, but I had to take advantage of my time there! Had dinner at Michael Mina’s Nobhill Tavern, where I was able to get my foie gras fix! Be jealous, Californians. Then dinner the next night at Wicked Spoon Buffet. I was feeling a bit queasy, but because of the alcohol I consumed, but because of the second hand cigarette smoke I inhaled in the casino! This was the first time I had ever gambled and it was unpleasant because I cannot stand nor stomach cigarette smoke. I guess that will deter me from gambling much more…however, playing War is definitely for me. Don’t have to think! lol.

On to today’s WOD…

Our strength WOD consisted of squat cleans for 15 minutes working up to a heavy single. Well, I like to go slow. I like to add weight gradually…like 5# at a time gradually. My last 1RM was 57#, so I started just with the 35# bar then worked my way up little by little. When I got to 65# (still feeling pretty good), Amy, my coach, told me that my form looked great and that I could make it to 85#. What?! Yikes! That’s a huge jump for me! From 65# to 75#?! Holy moly. I tried 75# first, which went well, then setup for my 85# clean. I attempted it twice but could not get past the squat position! I was just squatting there with the weight trying to drive it up, but I just couldn’t do it! 😦 I’m so glad that Amy pushed me because now I feel like the next time we do cleans again, I’ll be able to meet and quite possibly surpass 85#! Looking forward to the next time it’s in our strength WOD. What’s on the board for tomorrow? Bench press! 😀

On to the recipe…

I posted a few photos on Instagram, today. I was whipping up a storm in the kitchen, today! First I made PaleOMG’s Caramel Pecan Bars, Roasted Pork Chops and Peaches, Roasted Dilly Potatoes with Garlic (yup, WHITE potatoes. Sue me, I love them, and I can justify eating them…), and Nom Nom Paleo’s Green Sliders. Today, I’ll be focusing on my Roasted Pork Chops!

I’ve been making these long before I went paleo, and boy are they delicious…


Roasted Pork Chops and Peaches


  • Coconut or olive oil
  • 4 bone-in pork chops (3/4″ thick, about 2# total)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3 peaches, cut into wedges
  • 1 small red onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves


  • Heat oven to 400F
  • Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper and cook until browned 3-5 minutes per side. Transfer to an oven-safe baking dish.
  • Add the peaches, onions, vinegar, salt and pepper (to taste). Toss everything for about a minute and then pour over the pork chops in the oven-safe dish, including any accumulated juices.
  • Place in the oven until the pork is cooked through and the peaches are tender, 10-15 minutes. Garnish with basil immediately before serving.


We Won’t Forget

I’m still fairly new to CrossFit, but I know that the “Hero” WODs are in honor of fallen heroes. As I remember the events of 9/11, I think about how the workouts we do are nothing compared to what these heroes have gone through and what their families go through. It inspires me to keep going and to not give up.

Yesterday was a great day at the box. We ended up having a WOD in honor of a fallen CHP Officer Youngstrom who was recently shot and killed a few towns away from where our box is located. In his honor, yesterday’s WOD was:

“Youngstrom” For Time

#223 CHP Officer Line of Duty Death
Badge # 18063

  • 2 mile run
  • 22 deadlifts (225# or 65% of current 5RM)
  • 180 double unders
  • 63 pull-ups

I felt like I accomplished a lot during this WOD. I hate running, but the 2 mile run felt great. I didn’t once stop to catch my breath, but kept trudging along to achieve a time of 16:57. I got through the DLs just fine, but slowed down during the double unders. I can do maybe at the most 7 in a row, but then I lose my rhythm. Yet, I still got through it. I set-up my pull-up station with the band that has the least resistance, but I try to start off without it and do as many as I can. Today, I accomplished doing all of the pull-ups, kipping, without the band. And this is the aftermath:

Again, nothing that I do during a WOD could ever compare to what the brave men and women of our country do for a living.

Here is our box featured on a local news channel for yesterday’s workout: East Bay gyms dedicate workouts to fallen CHP officer

Have a great day and be sure to take the time to think about the significance of today, even just for a second.

Why I Wanted to Start This Blog…

I wanted to start a blog in order to document my progress with CrossFit and paleo. I don’t claim to be 100% paleo, and I love the saying, “I’m 100% paleo…80% of the time.” I am a huge foodie and enjoy a great meal and will break paleo for it, but most of the time I eat paleo. I don’t do “cheat days” because I find that an entire day of cheating makes me feel sick to my stomach…literally. And I no longer like to feel that way. A prime example that sticks out in my mind is when I first started paleo. My future brother-in-law was visting from San Diego and we decided to have Indian food for lunch. Yum! Except…everything we had contained some kind of carbohydrate–rice puffs, naan, basmati rice, etc. After gorging on that meal, I felt extremely bloated and just flat out sick. I wanted to vomit it all up. And I vowed that I didn’t want to subject myself to that kind of torture again.

To be quite honest, before starting CrossFit and paleo, I was having a dry spell in the kitchen. I didn’t know what to cook or bake for a really long time. The KitchenAid stand-up mixer that my fiancé had gifted me for Christmas two years ago sat unopened on top of our refrigerator, collecting dust. We ate out more than I cooked, and albeit, even though I chose “healthy” options (or so what I assumed to be healthy), I still felt sad that I wasn’t cooking as much and I truly missed it.

It wasn’t until I started CrossFit in May 2012 (yes, I am a newbie) and eating mostly paleo thereafter that I became inspired to get back in the kitchen! My fiancé has told me several times that we’ve saved money since I’ve started cooking at home again, which is a great plus. I value and appreciate our quarterly “fancy” dinners much more, now, but also cringe at how much we end up spending on them! But then again, I have to remind myself that it’s a reward for being so diligent in the kitchen, not resorting to eating out during almost every meal, and leading a much healthier lifestyle than before.

I’m not the best writer, but I hope this blog inspires others like other bloggers have inspired me. Petite AthlEAT, Nom Nom Paleo, PaleOMG, and Livin Paleo are just a few of the blogs that have inspired me to do this! I’m excited to start this journey and share it with everyone else, so please enjoy and check back often! Thank you!