Last, and on my last legs…

There comes a time when we all have to leave the comfort of induction and go play with the big boys… or in my case, much smaller boys (and girls).

This is a tense time. Frank and I had bonded (or at least got used to each other) and he had become painfully aware just how unfit I was – The joke was out there and it was an old joke. Now it was going to become a new joke again, or so I feared.

Also, if you remember, I had weeks of arriving at the gym to see these much fitter specimens finishing there WOD (Workout of the Day) and looking pretty knackered. Clearly, what we had done on induction was a watered down version. How the hell was I going to feel after a proper session?

Despite my biggest fears, the reality was that you could not find a more supportive, friendly and encouraging (and unfortunately fitter) group of people, which is great, because I, for the most part, finish last –  and a rather strange shade of red with purple highlights!

A few times I have managed to finish quite close to Frank (which feels great), however, having completed a partnered workout with him today, I have come to realise that Frank is a man easily distracted… and a man who frequently loses count. I can only imagine that on those rare occasions where I have come close to his time, poor Frank has probably done at least 20% more than the rest of us…

And so my journey to the height of physical fitness has begun. All that is required now is commitment, effort and £60 per month (very reasonable). This along with my new Cave Man diet, have caused my body to shed 22lbs, and parts of it hurt like they have never hurt before. It’s Hard. When I arrived at the gym today and saw the WOD I thought ‘this is it, this is the day when if all falls apart’ and when I got to my 10th Wall Climb, I thought the end had come! But no, I finished and had enough breath left to swear at Pete…

I have come a long way, I just wish there wasn’t still so bloody far to go!


You Can Have Your (Paleo Coffee) Cake (with Maple-Nut Topping) & Eat It!!

This is not my recipe. I am sharing it because it’s good. All credit must go to the fantastic PaleOMG who put in all the leg work here.

This is my version, using butter instead of coconut oil in the cake mix, and substituting flaked almonds with crushed hazelnuts pecans…. just because I felt like it (and ran out of almonds).

paleo coffee cake

For the cake you will need:

  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup strong Coffee
  • 1/3 cup runny Honey
  • 4 eggs, whisked
  • 2 teaspoon ground coffee
  • 1 teaspoon Bicarb of soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
crossfit paleo coffee cakeFor the topping, you’ll need:
  • 1 cup of chopped nuts (I used a mix of pecans and hazelnuts, but you choose!)
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons runny honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

To make this beauty….

Mix the whole lot of cake ingredients in a large bowl. Use a mixer for ease, otherwise it gets lumpy.

Grease (and line) an 8″ square tin, preferably with a removable base.

Pour into tin and bake for approx 25 mins, til top is springy and skewer comes out clean.

Whilst baking, get on with the topping……

crossfit paleo coffee cakeMelt coco oil in a frying pan.  Add chopped nuts and toast for a couple of mins, being careful not to burn.

Add maple syrup/honey  – it will bubble up a bit. After a minute or two turn off the heat.

Once cooked, remove the cake from the oven and add the topping, along with residual juice – I like it when the maple syrup sinks into the cake. Squash it down a bit to get the nuts to stick, and leave to cool in the tin.

When the cake is cool enough, remove from the tin and scoff it.

Et voila!

crossfit paleo coffee cake

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What CrossFit can do for you

When I began CrossFit 6 months ago I looked like this.

paleo crossfit

Well, kind of.

I intended to work my arse (literally) off. So that I could look like this.

paleo crossfit

Ever the optimist – CrossFit is not actually time travel, right?

In reality I have gone from this…..*blurrrghhhh*

paleo crossfit

To this……

paleo crossfit

Hey, my work here is not yet done, people. But I no longer feel the need to tie my hair in a ponytail in order to remove my double chin, or to wear leggings under my dresses….

I am, however, knackered and aching all over. That’s good, right? 🙂

Hello, Handstand. It’s been a while…

About 35 years to be exact.

Since I began CrossFit some 6 months ago, I have been quietly terrified about the prospect of This Moment.

My anxiety was very nearly fully realised on the day, a few months back, when Andy (the coach) rolled out a mat on the floor and told me to…

….”do a forward roll.”

“Very funny, LMFAO and all that. But seriously, what are we doing?”

“Forward rolls”.

“You do know I’m 45 years old, right? My neck may well snap like a twig. Are you insured for that kind of thing?”

“Just get on with it. It’s like falling off a log.” (Yes. That’s exactly what I am afraid of. Logs, twigs…).

So when I arrived at the gym yesterday, my eyes were unable to focus on today’s WOD. They were tuned intently in to the words FOCUS – Wall Climbs, Headstands, Handstands.

It was like a bloody hallelujah chorus going off in my head. You’ve got to be shitting me. I had just spent 3 days solid taking the piss out of my husband for straining his groin whilst attempting to perfect this very manoeuvre. I was now starting to think that the mid-life crisis had reached crisis point.

And here’s what I love most about CrossFit – 10 minutes later I was doing this. (Sorry about the pole sticking out of my arse – my son took the photo from a terrible angle).

paleo crossfit

It was like I was 8 years old again, tucking my t-shirt into my knickers so the boys couldn’t see next week’s washing.

Like falling off a log.

No idea who the bloody amateur in the dimly lit room is below. Bit porky. Hope she hasn’t left any scuff marks on that bloody wall.

paleo crossfit

Chewing over Paleo children

crossfit paleoNot literally, of course.
I’m talking about the discussions we’ve been having about getting the Trog Kids on to the Paleo track. Don’t get me wrong, our kids are not overweight or particularly unhealthy, but the more we learn about Paleo living, the more we wonder why we would exclude our children.

Let me demonstrate… A typical conversation with my returning-from-school 5 year old son:-

“Can I have a snack?”

“Yes, have an apple.”

Elapsed time 5 minutes…

“Can I have another snack?”

“No, wait til tea time”.

“Waaaaaahhhh! Can I have a healthy snack? A peeled carrot?” (cow eyes)


Elapsed time 7 minutes…

“Can I have my second apple?” (He has literally had to be rationed on apple-eating. The kid has a fruit issue, what can I say?

crossfit paleo

“Have you got a bloody worm?” (swearing for dramatic emphasis only, of course)

And so the conversation continues, on and on for an hour or more.

A few weeks ago we began to reduce the grain and sugar intake in their diet, replacing cereal/toast breakfasts with bacon. Trog Kid 1 (aged 12) elected to take packed lunches to school – excellent. Still some yoghurt and crisps, but the bread is gone, and there are grapes in his diet. This is, in itself, some kind of miracle. Praise Jesus.

We are also a fully-fledged CrossFit family. Both boys take part in appropriate-aged sessions and LOVE it! I really can’t recommend it highly enough for older boys – it gives them a real sense of becoming a man. What teenage boy doesn’t want a 6 pack, right?

Within a few weeks the small amount of puppy fat hanging around their middles has diminished/gone. No one is complaining either. But sugar and kids is a tough nut to crack.

So, last night, a sit-down family discussion took place. We explained the evils of sugar and why they may FEEL hungry but aren’t really hungry. Nods and agreement. Sugar has to go then. Yep.

“Mum, can I have a piece of cake?”

So this may take a little longer than we had thought.

Paleo – OMG!

It was sometime during the third week of Crossfit induction that Frank and Pete ambushed me with the “have you read the Primal Blueprint?” question. Frank asked the question, but they both waited for my response…

(I hadn’t even heard of the book, let alone read it, and now they were both going to find out, and I was going on the list of people who hadn’t read it, and I sensed that was the wrong list to be on…)

Me: “no, not yet”

Frank: “Oh, you have a copy then?”

Me: “… No, not yet”

Frank: “Get one, it will blow your mind mate, my brother* has read it and the weight is falling off him” – I was suddenly very interested!

What followed over the next few days was more conversation with Andy, Pete and Frank, followed by lots of conversations with Mrs Trog on the ‘could we, should we’ question, and then we did- just like that- and that was 12 weeks ago.

Since then, our diet has been going through several phases of change as we move ever closer to the ideal ‘Paleo’ diet. I must say I would recommend this approach to going cold turkey which really would have blown my mind.

First of all you have to get your head around ‘food’ – what’s good, and what’s bad – and unlearn a whole bunch of things that you thought to be true (to be honest I was in the “if it works I’ll believe it camp”).

Then, when you have that sussed, you have to figure out how to combine what you can eat into sensible, practical and satisfying meals.

Then, you have to concentrate when you go shopping, otherwise you end up doing what we did, and build a little (big) pile of stuff that you shouldn’t have picked up next to the checkout whilst trying to avoid eye contact with the checkout lady (or man)

The biggest shock for me was BREAD. “man cannot live on bread alone…” but I gave it a bloody good try (don’t get me started on cheese!). I haven’t eaten bread now for 12 weeks, and I can honestly say I don’t miss it – same goes for cheese.

It has taken some adjustment, especially around breakfast time, but I would highly recommend giving it a go. You don’t have to believe the science or follow the logic, just see how it feels and use that as the basis for continuing or stopping… I’m continuing!

*Sorry Frank, I was listening, but I really cant remember if it was your brother, father, uncle or flat mate, but for the sake of the story I’ve said brother… it it wasn’t him and he’s not fat, I apologise…

Bloaty McBloat


There is a growing list of items which appear to be having THIS effect on my intestines.

So far I am having a bit of trouble with:-

1. Alcohol

2. Spicy food

3. Wine (is that the same as alcohol? In my book it merits a category all of its own).

Last night I was kept awake for a good proportion of the night by my own belly’s inability to shut the fuck up.

As the list grows, I am finding that each of life’s little pleasures is gradually being ripped from my cold, white knuckles. Pretty soon I shall be living on raw steak and lard.

At least I will  be thin. 🙂