Chocolate Cravings, Switching Up Workouts & Tackling Sleep Deficit

17 Feb

This is a challenging week with some added work and personal responsibilities that are taxing me.  This is the week of crazy chocolate cravings.  This is the week where I am adding in some endurance drills to improve my running speed and explosive power.  This is the week where I am going to be challenged to stay focused and catch extra sleep wherever I can.


Chocolate Cravings!
Yep, I get them too!  Big problem, I can’t do soy and just look at the ingredients list on even the darkest organic chocolate bar and you will find soy lethican as one of the ingredients.  Sure, the traces are meant to be small, but even small, it is soy and highly processed ~ genetically processed soy.  So what is a girl to do to tackle these chocolate cravings…especially during the 6-Week Paleo Challenge?


The Answer:  The Paleo Candy Bar!!!  This recipe comes from http://www.paleoplan.com/2009/12-03/paleo-candybars/ – they have some really amazing recipes! 



Makes about 4 (2″x2″) bars.
Approximate cooking time: 15 minutes, with 2 hours of refrigeration=

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 Tbs raw honey
  • parchment paper

Instructions

  1. Melt the honey and coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Once combined, add the cocoa, ground nuts and coconut and mix together.
  3. Pour mixture onto a small baking sheet covered in parchment paper.  Form into a square when cool enough to touch.
  4. Refrigerate until hardened. Cut into 4 servings.

I cut them into squares instead of bars, so you get 8 servings.  It is that perfect square of chocolate heaven with the coconut that I love.  You have got to try these out.  I am working on modifying this for my kids who don’t like coconut…so hopefully there will be a follow up recipe soon.

Switching Up the Workouts!
Like so many people who either workout or teach within the fitness industry, boredom sometimes settles in ~ the routine sometimes feels mundane…which is probably why I like Crossfit so much.  Crossfit breathes new life into my workouts and also gives me an opportunity to just focus on my own workouts.  The workouts are fast, intense and are allowing me to develop the skill and strength that I want and can’t obtain while teaching others. 

Switching it up also means that I am changing around my runs and how I train.  I am starting to work on endurance training and utilizing the explosive power I am gaining from all of those 20″ box jumps.

Switching it up also means taking on new challenges and teaching @ new locations.  Sometimes a simple change in scenery is enough to change your attitude about your workouts.  There is nothing worse than dreading your workouts…that is a big signal that it is time to make a change.

Tackling Sleep Deficit!
Wow – now this has really got to be the worst one of all.  The lack of sleep that I get becomes so blatantly obvious as I am doing the 6 Week Paleo Challenge.  You earn points for getting 8.5 hours of sleep each night….I am wondering how I carve out 8.5 hours with my crazy schedule?  On the nights when I am able to get to bed by 9(pm), I sometimes lay in bed unable to quiet my thoughts so I can fall asleep.  AND, even with a 9(pm) bedtime, that still only gets me 7 hours of sleep.  I would have to be in bed @ 7:45(pm) to get a full 8.5 hours….my kids are just brushing their teeth to go to bed at that time.  I realize that my only hope is to get at least 2 days where I can get 8.5 hours of sleep.

Why is lack of sleep not good?  First off, it makes it really difficult to get through the day.  Even the strongest cup of Peets coffee can’t make up for lack of sleep.  Workouts suck and decreased performance, strength & endurance are so obvious.  The other problems?  The longer you are awake in the evening, the more you tend to eat = weight gain…holy smokes, who wants that?  No thank you.  Lack of sleep also throws your cortisol levels into overdrive, throws off your hormones and taxes your adrenal glands.  Guess what, if your hormones are out of whack, it doesn’t matter how often you workout and how great your diet is, you can end up holding onto the weight you want to lose, or even worse, packing on additional pounds.

So, knowing how important sleep is, why the heck don’t I get more of it?  Crazy schedule – YES…but I need to do a better job.  A well-rested mom is a happier mom.  A happier mom = happier kids and a happier home.  This alone should be a greater incentive.  The Paleo Challenge is showing me that I need to cut corners where I need to and try to plan a little better so that I can get more sleep….so that my entire family can get more sleep. 

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