So, it's been a couple of weeks since I posted my workouts. My ankle is finally starting to feel better! I purchased a copper compression sleeve for my ankle, and it did ease the pain a bit (<---amazon affiliate link). As soon as my ankle got better, the girls and I picked up another cold/sinus infection. There is always something! Because of this, my workouts have been a little less intense and I've taken a lot more rest days. Oh well. I'm trying to focus more on overall wellness and I'm not interested in overexerting myself when sick or injured! In other news, my twins weaned from breastfeeding last week. We made it to just under 18 months! They were down to one feeding per day and I'm pretty sure all 3 of us were ready. I know they loved it, but they were really good sports and went to bed just fine without it. It's such a bittersweet time. IMG_4124 The good news is (despite how tired I look in this 5 am pre-workout photo), I have SO much more energy since weaning. School is going to get more intense very soon and I was definitely struggling with my energy level. I'm glad to start to feel like "myself" again, despite the difficulty of this emotional milestone! The girls have also been playing together a TON. It's hilarious, wonderful, and awful - all at the same time. They really haven't cared for each other much and I always wished for them to play together... until now. It's like a three-ring circus in here! They are chasing each other, tackling each other, biting each other, hitting each other... I think you get the picture. There are some really sweet moments though, too. There are hugs, kisses, and yesterday Twin B was giving Twin A water when she was sick and then patted her on the head. IMG_4326 IMG_4319 I can't complain. It's really cute to see them interact and learn about each other every day. They are growing fast! Back to workouts :-) Sunday: 5/8 Found this on instagram, @Crossfit_wod_wide 6 rounds for time: 3 deadlifts, 155# 4 ring dips (assisted with band) 5 strict press (35#) 6 burpees I finished in 10:36 then: 4 x jump rope tabata (16 minute total) 1 x tabata KB swing 1 x tabata KB snatches 1 x tabata strict press (20#) Monday: 5/9 3 x 3 chin ups 3 x 10 bicep curls, 35# (total) 4, 3, 2 banded chin ups 3 x 15 bicep curls, 20# 3 x 10 tricep dips 3 x 10 skull crushers (20#) 3 x 10 OH tricep ext (10#) 3 x 10 triceps pull down Tuesday: 5/10 Off, not feeling well Wednesday: 5/11 "Me, Myself, and My Bar" - I think I found this workout on instagram, @Wodcrossfit For time, all with 45#: 100 push press 75 back squats 50 hang cleans 25 front squats I finished in 17:17. This one is WAY harder than it seems. My quads were sore for days, and the push press section was really difficult. Thursday: 5/12 3 sets of max pull ups 3 sets of max chin ups 3 sets of max neutral grip pull ups repeat above using band ^ for 3 sets 3 x 10 bicep curls with 45# bar Superset: 3 x 10 barbell bent over rows 45# 3 x 10 one armed rows 20# 3 x 8 bicep curls, 35# total 3 x 15 bicep curls, 20# 3 x 10 ring rows Friday: 5/13 off, busy day of appointments and errands Saturday: 5/14 Straight leg deadlift 4 x 10 at 95# 1 x 10 at 115# 3 x 5 at 125# 3 x 10 KB goblet squat 3 x 10 high step ups (30" box) superset: 3 x 12 one legged KB deadlift (each leg) 3 x 10 kickstand KB deadlift (see more info here) 3 x 1:00 glute bridge holds with 25# plate cash out: 100 walking lunges walked/jogged 2 miles Sunday: 5/15  off I hope you're having a great week! Let me know in the comments if you had any great workouts :-)

This post contains affiliate links - thanks again for your support! If you read my initial post on sourdough, you'll know that I was actively questioning whether or not to try gluten again. After watching "Cooked" on Netflix, I was convinced to give it a go after almost 4 years of abstention. The thought of being able to consume real bread again, without consequence, was very enticing! When choosing a flour to start with, I wanted to go with something that is as far from modern wheat as possible, and it seemed like einkorn fit the bill perfectly. Einkorn is much less adulterated than modern wheat. It's genetics are much more simple, and it's lower in the gluten protein. That's good news for someone like me - as I was hopeful that sourdough fermentation would break down most, if not all, of the gluten in the flour. After doing some brand research, I decided that Jovial Foods einkorn flour was probably one of the best sources I could procure. As far as instructions go, you'll need a starter recipe which explains how to cultivate natural yeast. You'll also need a bread recipe -  I chose this one from Beets N Bones. It was very easy to follow, plus, it helps that her bread looks absolutely gorgeous. I had high hopes for mine! You'll also need some basic equipment. A digital scale (this one is inexpensive and works great), a large bowl, and a locking glass storage container. I followed the Jovial starter recipe for 5 days. You basically just combine warm water and flour in different proportions and let the mixture sit in your pantry. After a couple of days, I had bubbles! The fifth day is the first day that you are able to use the starter for bread. sourdough Now, I'm going to warn you - the bread baking process is long and tedious. On day 5, I took 1-2 tablespoons of the starter and mixed it with fresh flour and water. You need to let this mixture sit for 4-6 hours. This is called creating the "leaven." I wrapped the bowl in plastic wrap & a towel, and let it sit on the counter. IMG_2791 Meanwhile, my twins were doing this: IMG_2792 IMG_2793 After 4-6 hours have passed, you should see bubbles in the bowl. Then, you add 550 g of water to the leaven, and mix in 750 g of flour. Let it sit for 3 more hours. IMG_2807 Lastly, you add 15 g of salt and the remaining 25 g of water  - to create a very wet, sticky dough. IMG_2811 IMG_2813 This is the fun part. You get to turn the bowl and fold the dough over itself several times every 30 minutes for about 3 hours. The dough is supposed to increase in size by about 20-30%. It is incredibly sticky since Einkorn doesn't have a ton of gluten in it. Therefore, it really isn't going to knead like an all-purpose flour loaf. After this phase, I let it rise in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, I set it out for an hour to lose its chill. I followed the recipe and preheated a dutch oven for 20 minutes at 475, then baked for 15 minutes lid on, and about 20-25 minutes with the lid off. I didn't score my loaf - because I'm a straight up amateur. I'm really mad that I didn't, because it would have looked so much better. IMG_2820 As you can see, it came out very dense. I knew that I was using an immature starter and that my first loaf would probably be terrible. The good thing is - it tasted pretty fantastic. It was everything I ever wanted in experiencing gluten again. It was very sour and dense, but had a great, crispy exterior.  I did try to moderate how much I ate because I didn't know what after effects it might cause. Unfortunately, after a day or so, my loaf completely fell and any air pockets were lost. I know that future attempts will probably be better if I use a more mature starter. Will I make sourdough again? Normally, if I get "glutened," I feel bloated, nauseous, and experience serious tummy troubles. I did not react to the sourdough in that way at all. I did, however, experience something that I had not felt in a long time. Since watching my carb intake and going gluten-free four years ago, I very rarely feel my blood sugar go through the roof. After eating this bread - I could almost immediately feel it - it's a high from the carbohydrate, and then a subsequent crash. It reminded me of how I felt when I used to eat a standard American diet. There is also that sense of wanting to binge on freshly baked bread. It's certainly a gateway food for me where I lose self-control. I do not feel this way when I eat quinoa, GF bread, or rice. I think I would make sourdough again, but not for everyday. Maybe once in a blue moon, if I'm hosting a gathering or something where homemade bread would be a great addition to the menu (or if I just want to impress people ;-). The thing is, maintaining a sourdough starter is a lot of work if you only plan on making bread once or twice a year. You'd have to refrigerate it and diligently refresh it once per week just to have it on hand. You could create a new starter every time, but that requires A LOT of expensive flour and a huge amount of preparation time. Not to mention, if I keep making new starters and baking bread on the 5th day, my starter will never improve and neither will my bread's quality and texture. It's almost as if you have to go all in on sourdough bread. Commit to the effort and get results, or pretty much don't do it at all. This is one of the points in "Cooked" that spoke to me so much. After going through the process of baking bread by hand, without commercial yeasts, etc., I understand that it's definitely a labor intensive commodity. One of the men featured in the series implores you to eat whatever you want - so long as you make it yourself from scratch. Think about if you had to make ice cream from scratch before you could eat it. You'd probably never eat ice cream, save for maybe a very special occasion. We are not eating foods in quantities that match the effort to take to produce them, and it's making us sick. Every night, I find it very easy to make meat and vegetables for dinner. But, bread, cookies, cakes, pies - I can't have those on the table by 5 pm every day if I'm honoring the authentic means of production. Eating simply is eating naturally; unadulterated is easiest and usually best. Treats always have a place, but only on occasions when the effort, time, and cost are worthwhile endeavors. I have to say, being gluten free for so many years, I'm pretty happy where I am. Putting so much effort into something that I don't even regularly eat is probably not worthwhile for me. Perhaps as my kids get older, it might be a great project for homeschooling because there's a ton of science and exactitude involved. I'm glad I was inspired to try it and look forward to potentially enjoying it again as a rare treat. I'd love to read your thoughts!  Have you ever made homemade bread? Do you think it was worth the effort? Are there other foods that you like to make homemade occasionally?

Hello there! I'm back to post my workouts this week. I had a pretty unplugged weekend, and it was really nice. The girls and I spent some time with family and I got a decent amount of schoolwork done. Saturday we went to my school for this agricultural fair, it was really cute! The girls were still a little young for it, but we got to see cows, chickens, sheep, etc. The university also has their own homemade ice cream facility, where they have no-sugar added vanilla. It's pretty much everything I've ever wanted in an ice cream. I wish it was a more common thing - most desserts are too sweet for me! The girls tried it and didn't really love it. Whose kids are they?? IMG_4143 ....At least they are cute in their little rain jackets! In other news, I twisted my ankle during a workout. I didn't even realize it was a problem until afterward when the side of it turned blue and I had some serious ligament pain. I've been icing/compressing/elevating and it's slowly starting to feel better. I already have some issues with my left ankle because I broke it 7 years ago, now my right is the problem. I ordered one of those copper compression sleeves to see if it will help. In the meantime, I'm going to avoid any leg/high impact workouts for at least the next week. It's really hard with this type of soft-tissue injury - on one hand, I'd like to get back to normal workouts ASAP... on the other, I don't want to make it worse and be out of commission for even longer. I'm just going to take this opportunity to focus on upper body strength and dial in my diet. Working out is a lifestyle thing for me and I'd rather not injure myself long-term!

lunges I feel like lunges will not be happening for a while :-/

On a happier note - I was able to get my hair done this week! Seriously, I know other moms understand how much of a treat it is to have time to take care of yourself. My hairdresser was really sweet and curled my hair. I think she knows that doesn't happen very often! LOL IMG_4123 Now onto the workouts! IMG_3993 Monday: 4/25 The "Bear Complex" but 7 rounds with 5 reps per round. (1 rep = hang clean, front squat, push press, back squat, push press) Weights posted below. 1: 45#, 2: 55#, 3: 65#, 4. 65#, 5. 65#, 6. 55#, 7. 55# triceps targeted circuit x 3 5 ring dips (with band) 10 skull crushers (20#) 10 OH triceps extension 10 triceps pull down Tuesday: 4/26 max pull ups x 3 max chin ups x 3 max push ups in one minute: I did 35! Tabata of each exercise: burpees jump rope KB swings (35#) jump squat forward and back Wednesday: 4/27 deadlifts - worked up to 7 x 5 at 165# Thursday: 4/28 repeated a workout from 12/29. 21-15-9 box jumps push ups old time: 5:35  new time: 3:34 (2 whole minutes improvement!!!!!) Complete each exercise for time, all with 65#: 30 snatches 30 clean and jerks 30 thrusters old time: 12:05  new time: 11:22 This is such a tough workout! It is absolutely killer on grip strength. You have to complete 30 of each before you can move on to the next 30, which I think makes it much harder than breaking it up however you want. I'm so proud of my time improvement in 4 months! Journaling my workouts has helped my mental game SO much. Now I have physical evidence that I'm improving! This is also where I twisted my ankle coming down from box jumps :-/ Friday: 4/29 off - ankle issues Saturday: 4/30 3 rounds of: 25 push ups 10 chest rows on rings 10 floor press (65#) 5 assisted ring dips 10 OH triceps ext (10#) 10 skull crushers (20#) 10 dips on box Sunday: 5/1 off Monday: 5/2 back workout: 3 x 3 pull ups (banded) 3 x 4 chin-ups (banded) 3 x 3 neutral grip pull ups (banded) 3 x 10 ring rows 3 x 10 underhand barbell rows (65#) 3 x 10 one armed bent over rows (20#) 3 x 5 one armed bent over rows (35#) 3 x 12 long bar rows (35# on bar) 5 x max dead hangs on pull up bar That's it for today! Does anyone have a good workout to try this week? Do anything fun this weekend? Any advice for recovering from injured ankles? 

This post contains affiliate links - thank you for your support! One of the biggest reasons that I started a blog is because I've always loved reading them. There are several that I've been following for 7+ years. Whether it's just a glimpse into someone else's day, or a serious, well-researched opinion piece - it's free information that is up to date and right at our fingertips. I don't know about you, but I don't have a whole lot of time for reading lengthy novels or nonfiction books lately. So, I just wanted to share some of my favorite posts from the week with you! whatimreadinglatel By the way - if you like to read blogs and don't have a feedly, I highly recommend getting one! It keeps everything organized, so you don't have to have 1000 tabs open or annoying bookmarks. 1.Proteinaholic Review from Raw Food SOS Denise Minger wrote the book Death by Food Pyramid, which is an exposé on the politics and special interests groups that influence the US dietary guidelines.  In this (super lengthy) blog post she breaks down the good and the bad of the book, Proteinaholic, by Dr. Garth Davis. This book promotes a plant-based, low protein diet. Denise's rebuttal is well organized and fair. What I thought was an especially interesting point, was the comparison of the human diet to that orangutans and gorillas. Dr. Davis argues that because they are strong and eat only vegetation, humans can and should do the same thing. Denise then discusses how humans have entirely different guts, dominated by the small intestine rather than the colon, which are not designed to ferment 40+ pounds of plants per day like these herbivorous primates. If you'd like to read more about this - definitely check it out! 2. The Problem with Undereating I pretty much always like what anyone at Girls Gone Strong has to say. In this post, they discuss really low calorie diets (think 1200/day) and what you should do instead for weight loss. 3.  10 Common Primal Mistakes You Might Be Making Everyone who starts a new diet or lifestyle usually has a time where they go overboard. I know it was definitely that way for me when I started eating primal/paleo. Now, I just follow my instincts about what I think is healthy and try not to stress as much - i.e. I really don't care that I eat rice, popcorn, or quinoa. Mark Sisson discusses some great points in this post, and I'm guilty of pretty much all of them. Some of my favorites are: not eating pounds and pounds of bacon or almond flour treats just because they are "paleo," and not buying too many supplements and crazy stuff to support the lifestyle. I think there is a great internet community that supports real food.  However, sometimes people will get in partnership with companies and make you think you need to buy this collagen supplement, oil, bars or whatever - as if you're not paleo if you don't buy it! It's so not true. 4. Millenial Farmers Fight an Uphill Battle  Did you know the average age of the american farmer is 58 years old? This article discusses the younger farmers coming on to the scene (I hope to be one of them), who eschew conventional ideas of factory farming and are starting a new food movement. I particularly loved this comment at the end of the article:

"Even with all of the difficulties getting started, the risk, the time investment, change of lifestyle (I was a tech entrepreneur, and my wife an accountant), I would do it all over again. Getting up before dawn, drinking a cup of coffee as I watch the sun start to climb the hills, taking my 3 kids out before school to feed the animals, knowing that everything I do that day will have some kind of lasting effect on our goals as a family operation, is incredibly fulfilling. We are just starting out, and we have much to learn, but I'm looking forward to next 45 years of my life with even greater anticipation. How much more could you ask for."

Wow, that comment is just... everything. 5. Got Allergies? Your Gut Microbes Could Be Responsible  Great read about adding in foods that support gut microbiota diversity. I'm definitely not doing as good of a job as I should, especially since I struggle with allergies and asthma. 6. Why You Should Ditch the Classes and Pick Up Some Weights Alyssa, from Mom on the Move, started out with group fitness - but quickly realized it wasn't giving her the results she wanted. She's definitely not bashing people for getting moving (because any exercise is good!), but she is pointing out that a lot can be missing from your standard aerobics-type class. 7. 9 Tips for Helping Your Little Ones Adjust to a Time Difference With a couple of super long flights to Hawaii and back with twins, I can totally relate to her tips here. The time difference once we got to our destination was definitely less of a big deal than it was just getting through the 9 hour flights! I was lucky enough to sit next to a former OB/GYN last time who LOVED babies and didn't mind being kicked while they nursed LOL. 8. Maybe This Is The Easy Part Great post from a mommy of twins + 2. I don't know how she does it, but she has an awesome outlook on the whole situation! Thanks for reading! If you have any posts that you'd like to me to read and potentially add to the next volume, please contact me - (ashley [at] downhomeduo.com) or comment. If you have any thoughts on these posts - I would love to read them below!