CrossFit 781

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CrossFit was so fun! And challenging! And awesome! I’m almost positive I’m going to join. It’s exactly the kick in the butt I need!

Yesterday afternoon, I went to CrossFit 781 to check it out and do an intro consultation with one of the coaches. I knew CrossFit wasn’t a typical gym, but I didn’t expect it to be located in a loading dock in an industrial park. Pretty cool, right?

CrossFit 781

Inside was a huge space with kettlebells, plyometric boxes, rowers, jump ropes, barbells, plates, and so much more.

CrossFit 781

And on the wall was Monday’s workout, which included the infamous WOD (Workout of the Day). Here’s yesterday’s workout:


Front Squat 5-5-5-5-5



Back Squats (95#, 65#)

Knees to Elbows

Ring Dips

But, that’s not the workout that I did.

CrossFit 781

My workout was more of an intro session, but, man, it was tough! There were actually a few times that I got lightheaded and needed to rest for a few seconds, but it was still awesome. I absolutely love workouts that challenge my body like that.

My workout was two circuits (below) called AMRAP, which stands for As Many Reps (or Rounds) As Possible. The goal is to do as many cycles as possible in a set amount of time. For instance, the first AMRAP was 7 minutes long, so I did a continuous circuit of 6 burpees + 6 push-ups + 6 box jumps as many times as possible.

CrossFit 781

After each circuit, I used a piece of chalk to mark the completed cycle. Often times, people get so tired, it’s tough to keep track, so chalk and markers (for the wall) are used. I did 5 rounds of each AMRAP and thought I was going to die.

CrossFit 781

The craziest thing about this workout is that it was only 13 minutes. Thirteen minutes! That’s it. Of course, it was a serious workout for 13 minutes, but, holy crap, I can’t believe how hard it was! Needless to say, I’m ready for more. The CrossFit Kool-Aid has been tasted.


After Crossfit, I headed home for dinner. Mal cooked Penne Alla Bolognese with the help of his trusty, scavenging side-kick.

CrossFit 781CrossFit 781

The recipe for Penne Alla Bolognese was in the November issue of Shape magazine. It’s a slimmed-down and more nutritious version created by Michael Stebner of True Food Kitchen.

Penne Alla Bolognese

Serves 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup diced carrots
3/4 pound lean ground turkey breast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 28-ounce can diced San Marzano tomatoes, preferably organic
1 pound whole-wheat penne pasta
1 tablespoons shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves

  1. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion, mushrooms, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned. Add carrots and continue cooking for 3 minutes more, stirring every minute or so.
  2. Add turkey and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring constantly to break up the meat. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, thyme, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente; drain and divide among six shallow bowls. Remove saucepan from ehat and stir in 3 tablespoons cheese. Top each bowl of pasta with 1 cup sauce; sprinkle with remaining cheese and parsley.

I pretty much followed the recipe exactly, but I omitted the fresh parsley (because I’m cheap and didn’t want to spend the money on it) and used dried thyme instead of fresh (because I’m cheap and didn’t want to spend the money on it), but neither change seemed to affect the recipe since both Mal and I thought it turned out really well. We also used whole wheat angel hair pasta instead of penne.

Even though it was a meat dish, it seemed pretty light with all of the veggies and ground turkey instead of typically more fatty/greasy beef. This recipe is a keeper!

CrossFit 781

After dinner, I enjoyed a glass of Chocolate Peppermint soymilk. Mmm! Perfect sweet treat.

CrossFit 781


I attempted steel cut oatmeal again this morning. This time I used the overnight soaking method followed by cooking on the stovetop over low heat for 15 minutes.

CrossFit 781

This method actually worked better than the microwave method””definitely mess-wise (no explosions to clean up), but also with regard to the quality of the oatmeal. The oats were much more chewy and voluminous. My half cup serving turned into a massive 1-1.5 cup serving!

I added canned pumpkin, ground flaxseed meal, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and a big scoop of Teddie peanut butter to the mix. I also drank my usual glass of iced coffee with soy milk and a splash of eggnog. So delicious and totally worth the effort.

CrossFit 781

Real Simple Pop-Up Shop

I’m so bummed that I’m going to miss this event, but I thought the New Yorkers (or anyone visiting the Big Apple this holiday season) might want to hear about it. It looks so fun!

CrossFit 781

The Real Simple Holiday Pop-Up Shop will be held December 8-13 at Bryant Park. It’s six days of holiday shopping, live events, special offers, and giveaways. Additionally, Real Simple editors will be on-hand to address readers’ most pressing “holiday challenges” related to gift-giving, fashion, decorating, and menu-planning. For a complete schedule of events, including celebrity appearances (Todd English, Mario Batali, Carson Kressley, Gail Simmons!) and editor demos, visit

If anyone goes to the Pop-Up Shop, please let me know how it was! I love the holidays in NYC!

Halo Headphones Giveaway

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway! Here’s your winner:


I would LOVE these headphones because they would encourage me to go outside and run again! Maybe I could even get my puggle to run with me CrossFit 781

Congrats, Kristen! Please email me at with your full name and address to claim your prize.

Question of the Day

What’s the toughest workout you’ve ever done?

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