What came to mind when you read the above word?
I believe every goal that one has is the desire to BE something, DO something, or HAVE something. Maybe the goal is so big that it encompasses all three.
Goals are not optional, they are essential to creating a life you love. Can they be frustrating? Yes. Do they change? Yes, they can. What about the path to attain your goal? Sometimes, you fail on that first step.
Don't ever stop setting, progressing towards, and achieving goals for your life. The function of goals are to serve as an opportunity for growth. You grow when you fail, you grow when you succeed. Do not ever be afraid of failure. Fear is a liar.
Share your goals through written or spoken word. It makes them real, and opens up opportunity for support through encouragement as well as accountability. Yes, sharing them brings fear of judgement about your ability to accomplish the goal, but again fear is a liar.
I'm sharing with you my goal progression, take a look.
Started my first week of CrossFit at BoomBox Crossfit in Temecula, Ca.
Goals at this point were to "get strong" like I had been while pole vaulting for San Diego State. I finally felt capable of putting my body through a stressor (which is exercise) and I was eating a very clean, nutritious diet (basically Paleo).
Same goal, but I was not actively reaching it.
This is what I physically looked like at the time. Lean, but not strong.
I had been CrossFitting for about 10 months at that point, coming to class on average 2x/ week. I was getting a little stronger, enjoying the company of my workout buddies, and slowly feeling like my athletic self. Goal of "getting strong" became more of a priority.
January and February 2015
My body was physically feeling good by improving my technique, specifically in lifting. CrossFitting much more up to 5 days a week in February. At the end of February I started the nutrition programming Rennassainace Periodization (read more on that here). With a lot of work being put into nutrition, I was becoming very driven to perform better, which would equal different training.
5 days a week CrossFit, plus started Olympic Lifting Classes 1 or 2 times per week.
Opportunity arose to begin a small group Olympic Lifting program by GB3Athletics. Our first week of training went well and I know I am excited for week 2!
This is what I look like now. Lean and strong! I am proud of myself looking at the difference between these pictures. Neither is better than the other, just more appropriate for my goals at the time.
My goal is to compete in an Olympic Weighlifting meet within 6 months! I also want to do at least 1 CrossFit competition in the next 3 months.
On to the Food!
Since many of you who are reading these are just beginning to eat clean, or start the RP Strength Diet this week, I will not provide my own specific meal plan. Instead, I'll show you what I have prepared for the week, and how I did it so you can tailor it to your individual meal plan.
Spiced Butternut Squash and Apple Bake
When to eat: Best around training sessions because it is high in carbohydrates.
Where to buy: Packaged peeled and diced butternut squash from Costco, as well as organic Pink Lady apples.
How to make: Combine 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, 2 apples (peeled and diced) in a 8x8 baking dish. Add 3 tablespoons water to the dish and bake at 400 degrees for 20 min. In the meantime, combine 3 tablespoons honey (raw if you can), 3 tablespoons melted grass-fed butter, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, and pinch of salt. After roasting for 20 min, add honey and butter mixture and toss well to cover squash and apple pieces. Return to oven for an additional 20 minutes. It is done when squash are soft, but not mushy.
A tip to preparing a lot of food quickly is utilizing all the racks in your oven. Cook as many things at the same temperature at the same time as you can. In my oven I started with the Butternut Squash and Apple Bake on one rack, and a whole baking sheet of bacon (yes baking bacon is amazing). Once the bacon was finished, I took the bacon grease and poured about half onto another piece of parchment paper lined baking sheet. I now had 2 pans of cooking fat to roast all my veggies. I tossed all my trimmed brussel sprouts in the bacon grease and returned the pan to the oven. On the other pan I had asparagus and sliced bell peppers.
Roasted Veggies in Bacon Fat
When to eat: Best after training, as it has some carbohydrates but not a large amount.
How to make it: Cut off the stems and slice the larger sprouts so they are all generally the same size. Toss in leftover bacon fat or Avocado Oil. Roast at 400 degrees, removing to stir about every 10 minutes until soft but crispy (about 30-40 minutes).
When to eat it: Any time. 4oz ground bison provides 11 grams fat, 0 carbohydrates, and 23 grams protein.
Where to get it: Costco, can you tell I made a Costco trip?!
How to make it: Combine ground bison with your favorite dry spices. Think flavor! Cumin, rosemary, garlic, onion, chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, anything will taste good! Cook as you would any burger- on the grill or in a pan to your desired doneness.
Gluten Free Vanilla Almond Granola
When to eat it: Best aound training as it is high in carbohydrates...and so addicting.
Where to buy it: I make sure and buy gluten free rolled oats from Organic Roots Market in Temecula. Yes, oats are gluten free but they are always processed on the same equipment that gluten containing grains are. If you want to avoid cross contamination the oats must be gluten free. They are not really anymore expensive, and easy to find so that is what I do. I buy coconut oil in a big jar from Costco, the brand is Nutiva. You need to get one, you will be using it a lot! I also buy Pure Maple Syrup in the Kirklands brand at Costco.
How to make it: This is a favorite recipe of mine.
Non Fancy Slow Cooked Chicken
When to eat it: Just like the Bison Burgers, eat to get protein in! 4oz of chicken provides 10 grams fat, 0 grams carbohydrates, and 22 grams protein.
How to make it: So simple. Wash the chicken, then put the whole thing in a crockpot, breast side down. Set the crockpot to 8 hours on low. No water, no spices necessary. After 8 hours, remove the chicken, the meat will fall off the bones.
Tip! Replace all the bones, and weird stuff your not going to eat back into the crockpot. Add diced carrots, celery, onion, bay leaf, a tbsp of apple cider vinegar, and enough water to cover the veggies. Cook again on low for 8+ hours, strain. You now have nourishing bone broth.
Where to buy it: You know it, Costco.
Banana Chia Pudding
When to eat it: Best after training, as it is high in fat, and moderate in carbohydrates.
Where to get it: Natural Value is the brand of canned coconut milk I like. It is full fat, and doesn't have any gums or water added.
How to make it: Recipe here. Changes I always make: double the recipe, use vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean, add almond or lemon extract, use ripe bananas, add 1tbsp of additional sweetener in the form of maple syrup, honey, or coconut sugar. And you must let it sit overnight or it doesn't taste good!
Don't be fearful, embrace the work, and go get your goals!