Hong Kong

After the second day of the gymnastics cert my husband flew in to join me.  We made our way to the Central district for some sight seeing and stopped in the Hard Rock Café, cause we are those tourists.

Hey- easy on the name calling, there Hong Kong!

Hey- easy on the name calling, there, Hong Kong!

Soooo, those fish are still swimming.

Soooo, those fish are still swimming.

Veggie and fruit stands are to Hong Kong as Starbucks and hipsters are to Seattle!

Veggie and fruit stands are to Hong Kong as Starbucks and hipsters are to Seattle!

Apparently, these are da bomb... next time.

Apparently, these are da bomb… next time… maybe!

After a good nights rest in our fancy smancy hotel we spent the next morning enjoying our tourist status.  We got lost.  We laughed.  We were offered “great” deals on watches.  Got rained on.  Took the subway.  Took a taxi.  Found a “7 For All Mankind” store.  And then we had an Irish Coffee in a British pub…

hollywOOOOOOd!!!!

hollywOOOOOOd!!!!

Purchasing designer jeans was a memorable experience for two reasons.  1. They are mentioned in my favorite song, My Humps; don’t judge… and 2ndly: I have wanted designer jeans since my pre-crossfit/paleo days… when I couldn’t fit in them.  Now.  They are mine.  Call me shallow… talk to the hand! 😉

To continue with our touristy travels through Hong Kong, we switched hotels and moved over to the Kowloon side of Hong Kong.  We checked into the Mira Hotel.  This hotel is James Bond meets Jackie Chan.  Holy sexiness, sleekness with an Asian twist– so cool!  Our room came with a Droid.  Yes.  A phone.  Enter your room, stare in awe, look at the tub next to the king side bed and then… and then the Droid.  Free calls to 92 countries, Wi-Fi hot spot… and a virtual map.  What could be better than this?  How about reservations to OZONE… on the 118th floor of the Ritz-Calrton!!!  When in Rome, right!?!?!

hk9

As if the grounds of Hong Kong wasn’t posh enough, at the top of the tallest building in Hong Kong rests this bar… the highest bar in the world.  We had the Mira book our reservations and we definitely felt like frauds walking into this place.  Ok, maybe “frauds” was a bit extreme… But, I did ask my husband to call me Vivian for the night.

For dinner we chose the 6 course meal.  Be prepared to salivate:

Oysters... from Puget Sound.

Oysters… from Puget Sound.

fasdfas

Sashimi Squares with a few sea grapes… as if it wasn’t fancy enough

Halibut from Alaska...set ontop of a vegetable consommé...

Halibut from Alaska…set ontop of a vegetable consommé…

The CHEF came over and told us all about how fancy this was...

The CHEF came over and told us all about how fancy this was…

It was divine!!

It was divine!!

This, however, was my favorite part…

This is the mother of all things fabulous...  Its a cup, on a bowl which is filled with mesquite smoke...

This is the mother of all things fabulous… It’s a cup, on a bowl which is filled with mesquite smoke…

The cup holds a perfectly poached egg laying in a thick creamy broth...

The cup holds a perfectly poached egg laying in a thick creamy broth…

Inside the smoke is a velvety mashed potato topped with a slice of heaven (AKA bacon).

Inside the smoke is a velvety mashed potato topped with a slice of heaven (AKA bacon).  Yes, sprinkled with flowers… but, of course!

This dinner left me speechless.

hk17 hk18The view had me convinced I was on the literal cloud 9!

To make our few days in Hong Kong just a tad bit more memorable, we spent the following morning on a run little jog down the Avenue of Stars where we saw Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan’s star.  We finished our jog through the Kowloon Park where the locals were practicing Tai Chi.  It was such a beautiful sight, that yes, it brought me to tears.

After a quick shower and an iced Americo, we slid our way through the subway and made our way to Victorias Peak.

View from the tram

View from the tram

Bubba Gumps

Bubba Gumps

After a nice dinner from atop the mountain, we made our through Hong Kong city on the locals mode of transportation: the escalators…

hk21Then out of no where… and I mean: NO WHERE- came a sickness.  We hopped on the next subway and made our way back to the room.  We stayed in the room, hunched over in pain for the rest of our stay.  I wish I could blame it on the food, the altitude, or the subway… but I think I caught the lovely bug from a co-worker.

All in all, though, Hong Kong was a blast.  Truly, a trip of a lifetime.  As soon as my immune system is built back up from the back to bad sickness I’ve had- I plan on getting to work on my pull ups and a lot more crossfit kids posts.  Until then…. I am contagious. =(

My love, my love, my love, my love-
jess

Crossfit Specialty Course: Gymnastics

Crossfit Gymnastics is my third Crossfit Certification and even though its hard to pick favorites, this cert was really freaking rad!  First off, the cert was in Hong Kong.  I took a direct flight (2 hours) from Naha to Hong Kong.  After a thirty minute bus I checked into my hotel (there was a lady playing a harp in the lobby!!)!  That night I scoped out the nearest Starbucks, did a map study, and then hit the sheets.

In the morning, I got my Starbucks and grabbed a taxi to the box.  Destination: Crossfit Asphodel (pronounced: ass fa del).  The taxi pulled up to a building with a very large garage-like opening.  Inside were four employees guarding three elevators who did not speak a lick of English.  I tried pointing at my shoes and shirt and saying “crossfit” slowly but my game of charades got me no where.  Since I was a hearty 30 minutes early I figured if I just walked around looking lost; someone was bound to find me.  Five minutes later a Kool-Aid drinker emerged from the elevators, eyeballed me and said, “11th floor”.  Then he turned to the guards and yelled in Chinese Cantonese.  Next thing I knew I was in an elevator heading to a crossfit gym on the 11th floor of a building.

I was greeted by a coach who introduced himself (I couldn’t hear his name over the butterflies in my stomach), checked his papers and gave me a name tag: I’m in.  There were only 5 other athletes at this point; all of whom seemed to know each other and had no desire to make a new friend.  Within thirty minutes all of the crossfit elements had arrived: beards, knee high socks, lulu lemon booty shorts, tattoos, rok tape, Regionals Tshirt, and a ton of  ridiculously beautiful smiles.

The coaches introduced themselves: Chuck from Florida (AKA gymnastics Jesus), Jen from Perth (Olympic Athlete) and Kevin (imagine: pure fitness meets humble pie) from Boston.  The lead coach, Chuck, asked the group “how many of you are trainers or coaches?  Competitors?  Injured?”  I was the only one without their hands in the air and I couldn’t help but think: man, these people have long arms.  Chuck followed up with a whole spiel on why gymnastics was vital to crossfit, what we could expect from the course, and of course: safety.

When Chuck went through the expectations I started to really get nervous: pull ups, ring dips, levers, planches and muscle ups.  I knew right away I was waaaaaay out of my league. Once we broke free to start our “warm ups”, I pulled Chuck and Jen aside and informed them of my fitness level.  Instead of pointing out the obvious and laughing at me, they literally put their arms around me and reassured me that not only would I benefit from this course, but I have the most to gain.  Well played.

Off I went, trying to keep up.  We went through the basics with a fine toothed comb: bear walk, crab walk, and of course: superman and hollow.  I spent a lot of the weekend as a third wheel, but I didn’t mind.  I felt like I was brushing shoulders with some big dawgs!

The big lesson I learned from the first day: lat activation.  I need to do a whole lot more of this.  I have always thought the biceps were the big player in the pull up and I could never imagine my little guns moving my whoooooooole body and bringing my chin above the bar.  BUT, I was wrong.  The lats are the major player in the pull up.   Huh, good to know.

The lat: largest muscle in the back. http://justanotherrep.co.uk

The lat: largest muscle in the back.
http://justanotherrep.co.uk

After the first day I was able to sneak in a bit-of-a-chat after hours with the trainers and got to know them a bit more on the personal side.  Even though their knowledge of fitness, their gorgeous physics and their crossfit-godliness didn’t change the fact that they are actually human.  They arrive late, talk about family, take pictures of a dreary skyline and follow the lost into the subways.  Totally. Rad. Humans.

The second day flew by ridiculously fast.  We went through the muscle up, paralettes and handstands but my favorite was finding a modification to the ring dip.  I’ll be using a lot of what I learned in my garage gym, but the ring dip with the heels on a box feels like an epiphany!

I wish I could go through page after page of the notes I took, but this cert did cost a pretty penny.  If you’d like to feel yourself do a ring dip, reverse lever, planche hand stand, or a muscle up- these two days will get you there.

About a week before this cert I created my first crossfit goal: 3 unassisted kipping pull ups in a row.  After what I learned this weekend I really want to change my goal to a strict pull up.  But, I’m not going to.  Instead, I’m going to add the strict pull up as a goal.  Its all about the progression.

Crossfit Gymnastics Cert

Crossfit Gymnastics Cert

Tootles.
jess

Paleo Beef n Broccoli

When I was about 7 years old my dad took me to a sand pit and we picked out the perfect sand for my brand new sand box.  I remember my dad measuring, sawing and grunting through the whole project.  When all the pieces came together he stood back and said, “now you can dig your way to China”.  Well, Dad, I am now going to finish that journey!

“It is rarely a child’s potential that causes them to be unsuccessful, but rather the lack of rigorous goals, high standards and imagination of their parents, teachers and coaches.” ~Jeff Martin

To prepare for my 6 day trip (1 day for travel, 2 days for the crossfit gymnastics cert and 3 days as a tourist with the hubster) I’ve been racking my brain Pinterest for a good beef and broccoli recipe. I found it.  The trick is fry the meat separately!!!

Paleo Beef n Broccoli

  • 2 top sirloin steaks; sliced into strips
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-2″ ginger; peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • 4 green onions
  • 2 heads of broccoli, chopped
  • coconut oil
  1. Place steak strips, coconut aminos, garlic, ginger and onions in a bowl and let it marinate on the counter top for an hour.
  2. Heat a large pan to just shy of HIGH and add coconut oil.
  3. Working in batches, brown the steak strips- ONLY the steak!!! Set steaks aside.
  4. Once the last batch of steaks is done add all the steaks, marinade and broccoli to the pan and fry ’em up (I had some left over zucchinis so I threw that in there too).
  5. Top with sesame seeds cause you’re fancy like that.

 

Hmmmm, beef- it's whats for dinner!

Hmmmm, beef- it’s whats for dinner!

Let it marinate!

Let it marinate!

Fry 'em up!

Fry just the steak first- then add the rest later!

Voila!

Fancy, huh?!!?!

 

During my marinating hour I made two sides:

Asian Cucumbers

  • 2 Japanese cucumbers; sliced
  • 3 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T dill (fresh or dried)

Mix.  Refrigerate- if you have the time.

Spicy Kale Crisps

Preheat oven to 350.  Massage oil and salt into kale and bake for 10-15 minutes- long enough to be crispy but not burnt.

paleo preach

Tootles-

jess

 

 

Tools for Crossfit. Tools for Paleo.

Holy crap- Crossfit has been in the news and not in a good way.  Between “should a preggo do overhead squats” to “do Crossfit and you’ll get rhabdo and die” to my favorite “I don’t want to get bulky” — Sheesh! To balance all this ickiness plaguing my faceboook  there has been some amazingly awesome things: Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Fallon are in my top three, but this one is my total favorite for the week: “Idol Winner Ruben Studdard Now Biggest Loser“. 2 reasons why I love that a celebrity is a contestant on Biggest Loser: 1.) Takes away the excuse (guilty): If I was famous and had someone cook for me and tell me when to work out I’d be Hollywood thin too! 2.) Biggest Loser uses all types of workouts for their athletes including Crossfit. Even with all of the negative publicity of Crossfit… I’m still loving it.  I’m loving it so much, in fact, that I have signed up for another crossfit cert!  I am beyond excited to be travelling to Hong Kong to participate in the Crossfit Gymnastics certification. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please look into attending a Crossfit Level 1 certification.  Even if you have only been crossfitting for a short amount of time, the information you receive during this 16 hour seminar is mind blowing!  Rumor has it that Shogun Crossfit on Kadena will be hosting a Level One cert— seriously, check into it! So, this one isn’t “Crossfit” affiliated, but its sure to be bad ass… Reebok Crossfit Asia will have Donny Shankle in town for a two day weightlifting seminar.  Who the eff is Donny Shankle?!?!   Please, please, please watch this video:

THAT IS 458.562 POUNDS, PEOPLE!!!!!!!!

I may never be a crossfit trainer and I may never get a muscle up- and that’s ok with me.  These certifications are (very expensive) tools that give me two valuable things:

The first is knowledge.  They teach me the safe and efficient way to do move my body.

The second is confidence.  Crossfit can be intimidating and down right confusing as hell.  Having a whole weekend to break down each movement to the point where it starts making sense changed everything for me.

Along with knowledge and confidence, I met some really awesome folks and Ill continue to use these tools to help my family travel from sickness into wellness for the rest of our lives (and that’s a super long time).

On a lighter note I wanted to show some things that I use on a weekly basis that help me in the kitchen. My number one favorite thing I have in my kitchen is my egg boiler.  I have had a gazillion recipes for idiot-proof-hard-boiled eggs and have proven each and every one of them wrong…. until this: DB tech at 22.95 Chefschoice at 38.97 Cuisinart at 39.95 I’d go to Bed Bath and Beyond, but I don’t think Ill have the time….

18 minutes. Perfect eggs.

Follow up with an ice bath- peels right off… everytime. Even with fresh eggs from the oki egg zoo!

My second biggest helper in the kitchen is my handy dandy Pampered Chef chopper.  If you have been on Okinawa for more than 6 months and haven’t been invited to a carb filled Pampered Chef party… then you need to find new friends.

Zeds dead, baby.

#3: Grease-thing-a-ma-jigger.  The name says it all, really.  Oh, too much nitrate in your bacon, leave it for me… Ill take it.

Got this at a flea market 10 years ago: Fiddy Cent.

Bacon crusties. Looks tempting, but don’t eat them… trust me on this one.

Liquid Gold aka bacon grease!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stanco at $7.80 FoxRun at $18.37 RSVP at $19.95 Why don’t I have my own store on Amazon?  Seriously.  Which brings me to the point that I make a big fat goose egg (zero dollars) on the links I post on my sight. In closing…

kids-watching-mom

Tootles- jess #morelinksthanyoucanshakeastickat, #I<3lists, #longwinded