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Big Rocks – Part II

31 Oct

Remember when Booty Quake (from the other TCRG) and Roller Derby Athletics, was awesome and invited me to guest post on her blog?  That was cool.

If you missed Part One of my Big Rocks series about how to craft a simple and effective weight-training program – it’s right here.    Part I is all about the theory behind keeping your training simple, and why it works.  Part II gives some examples of how to put it all together, so that you can develop your own cross-training regimen, tailored to your needs and your level of skill.  Interested?

Click on the logo to check it out!

Roller Derby Athletics logo



5 Apr

Tonight, I am going to a dinner party.

An epic dinner party.

Where all the food will be shaped like balls.


My derby team, the Venus Fly Tramps,  likes to throw theme parties.  Each holiday season, we host the epic, Trampmas:


We’ve also hosted such events as: Cinco De Trampo, Tramp Camp, and so on.  Joy Collision, in a bootcamp that I attended, said that the key to a strong team is “shared biological events” like travelling, sleeping, and eating.  Tramps got that shiz covered.


Our dinner parties are traditionally ridiculous orgies of *mostly* healthy food.

As such, I wanted to share some of the balls that I’ve concocted for the evening.  Healthy ball bites are easy, often delicious, and good when you’re on the go but still want to eat like a champ.

For the nut-lovers:  Peanut Butter Raisin Balls

  • 1/2 c. peanut butter (or almond butter) (I used smooth pb)
  • 1/2 c. rolled or quick oats
  • 2-3 Tbsp honey (I mostly just put in honey to taste)
  • 1/2 c. raisins (plus extra raisins for raisin-y goodness)

Mix by hand at room temperature.  Ball up.  Freeze or refrigerate at least one hour prior to serving.

For the choco-ladies: Brownie Balls (Slim’s contribution, since he is on a date kick these days).  These can be found on pretty much any paleo recipe site named “Paleo Brownie Bites” or “Fudge Babies”.

  • 1-1/3 cup pitted dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup raw pecans/almonds/cashews/walnuts
  • Chopped almonds, for rolling in (the balls, not you)
  • Flaked sea salt, for topping

Process your nuts first, so that they are chunky and small, but not dust.  Put everything excluding nuts in food processor.  Mix nuts in by hand.  Ball up.  Roll in delicious topping.  Freeze or refrigerate at least one hour prior to serving.

Basically, you can make these taste like whatever you want: Take dates – add vanilla – add a flavour: cocoa, mint extract, almond extract, etc. – add chopped up nuts (and raisins, craberries, cacao nibs, etc) – ball up – roll in something: nuts, coconut, sea salt, more chocolate.  Endless possibilities!

and my last ball: Thanksgiving Balls (so named because they taste like pumpkin and I am thankful they turned out so awesome).  I found this recipe here.

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 c. quick oats
  • honey to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • dash ground ginger
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries or raisins (or both!)

Mix together by hand.  Ball up.  Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes.


So, there.  I’ve shown you my balls (recipes).   Are there any balls that you are particularly fond of?  Share recipes here!

What I’m Reading Today: January Edition

10 Jan

Dear Blogging,

I love and miss you, but I am balls-deep in January.

See you soon,


CP PHOTO/Jonathan Hayward)

It’s that time of year again, when everyone makes goals to get back on track, to make the big changes, and to be an all-around better person, who has an all-around better year this year than last.

I am among that number, and chances are that you are too.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Goals are awesome.  Written goals are awesomer.  Relevant, emotionally-engaged, written goals are even awesomer.  Relevant, emotionally-engaged written goals with noted actionable steps on a time line are pretty much the awesomest.

I have a few goals that I mentioned in my last post.  Notably, business-wise to:

  • Develop a solid business plan (which goes hand in hand with really having a clear idea of what I want my business to look like)
  • Quit my day job
  • Find a mentor/inspirational environment/spark

This means that I am hard at work with my action steps.  I am meeting new clients (action step – 1 every 2 weeks), designing new packages (action step – have a fully formed “Rock Your Tights” transformation by February, so that those tights will be rocking by your season opener), designing my website (and looking for good hosting – any suggestions?), taking video and photo content for said site (action step – all the way designed by March).  So, moving forward on figuring out what I want my business to look like, somewhat.

The “quit my day job” and “find a mentor” are challenging.  The day job is busier than it’s ever been, and now does not feel like the time to step away.  If I’m honest with myself, though, it will never feel like the time.  I just have to decide that I’m ready to leap, and leap.

I keep telling myself that “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”, but I think I have to be more active in seeking out those environments where I am inspired by others.  It happens all the time in derby.  Because I’m reasonably isolated in fitness, training folks by myself, not out of a gym, the times that I meet inspiring people are mostly courses and conferences.  Some of these meetings have turned into awesome contacts, but I need to get after ramping up my networking skills (ACK! says the shy girl who really struggles to talk to strangers when she’s already unsure of her place in this crazy fitness world).  Any way, action step – reach out to those whose genius terrifies me once a month.

Speaking of those whose genius terrifies me, since, as I said, I’m balls-deep in January goal-attainment, here are some articles that I’ve been reading.  These folks are super-smart, and the posts have resonated with me for one reason or another.

mffHere’s a great one from Mark Fisher about the honeymoon phase with fitness (though it could be true of any new lifestyle change). He talks about the crucial difference between a quick start (most transformation programs) and a quick fix (those don’t exist).  We spend years reenforcing the habits that we have, a quick start helps to capitalize on the magic of that first excitement about fitness, but it doesn’t last.  You have to WORK to make it last, just like any relationship worth having.



I will eat ALL the protein this year. These homemade protein bars  from Stumptuous sound tasty.  And easy.  Easy is key.


avocado-dressing2-300x300I ate home made guacamole for the very second time on NYE (thanks Slim!), it was awesome.  Now I love avocados.  Here’s a yummy sounding recipe from Neghar for avocado dressing that I will be trying in the near future.   Also, it’s Whole 30 approved.  The month-long program sounds interesting, I’m doing my research before jumping in, but jump I may.



And finally, my super secret goal: I might be a little stressed and control-freaky.  I plan to try yoga this year.  Here, Neghar tells me why that’s a good idea.

What are your goals this January, and how are you getting after them?

Health and Aging

13 Sep

Sorry for missing Monday’s post.  We had a family emergency – on Sunday night, my husband, Slim’s,  dad was brought to Emerg in extreme respiratory distress. 

What does this have to do with fitness, you say?

This – don’t let your muscles waste as you age.

Walk, cycle, stretch, engage in a sport that you love, lift weights.  Do something.

Slim’s dad is 90 lbs on a good day.  He has incredibly limited mobility, has never been given physiotherapy, and was never offered respiratory therapy after lung surgery.   It’s no wonder he can’t breathe – his body is not a machine built for breathing any more.

You only get one body.  Mike Boyle says it brilliantly here, you will spend both time and money on your body – why not take preventative measures while you still have the chance?

And when you have a major event, like the one we’ve just had, why not use it as a springboard to advocate for your care?  Get the rehabilitative measures that you need.  Inform yourself.  Stay on your medical professionals until you are satisfied with the answers, solutions and care they are giving you.  No one gets better by just letting recovery happen to them – you need to be an active participant in your own care.

And finally, you are never too far gone to make positive change.  Reach out to those who can help you.  Have a plan to manage your pain.  Have a rehabilitative strategy.  You will never know what your quality of life could have been if you don’t pursue your options.  Let’s be clear, Slim’s dad will not be out running marathons.  But if he keeps on this path, he might get out of the hospital.  And if we have a plan and stick to it, he might be able to walk down the street again.

He’s not out of the woods yet.  But we’re cautiously optimistic.  And this time, when we leave the hospital, we’re going out with a plan.

Happy Labour Day!

3 Sep

It’s Labour Day, and as such, I’m taking a break from my labours, so no new content today.

For your holiday reading pleasure, here’s an awesome post from from Tony Gentilcore about keeping your training simple and on point.

Hope you’ve had a relaxing and rewarding Long Weekend!

Road Trip!

25 Jun

I’m hitting the road late Wednesday night, bound for the Perform Better Functional Training Summit in Chicago.  I am so freaking excited.

I’ll be spending the weekend listening to such super-geniuses as: Dr. Lee Burton, Dr. Stuart McGill, Gray Cook, Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove, John Brookfield, Thomas Plummer, Martin Rooney, Charlie Weingroff, Eric Cressey and Dr. Greg Rose.  Holy beans, it’s going to be amazing.

I’m taking my mom along with me for the ride.  She’s excited about all the shopping and sight-seeing she’ll be able to do while I’m at the conference and I’m pleased to have some company for the 8-hour drive (I just got so many books on tape out of the library – you have no idea).  We’re also taking in a Cirque Du Soleil show on Saturday night – I’ve never seen Cirque before, so I’m pretty hyped about that too.

On that note, I am way too amped up about my trip to write a coherent blog post.  Here are some links to people who have written awesome posts that you should totally read:

Neghar, with a great post on finding balance in your life and diet.

My new favourite person ever, John Romaniello, outlines his rules for living.

Alwyn Cosgrove gives a lesson about choices.

and finally, The Bloggess shares her wisdom on accomplishment.

I will have so much updating to do once I’m back from the conference – I promise to share all of the learnination (that’s learning and domination, together at last) upon my return.