September Barbella Box

september barbella 2016

September’s Barbella Box was curated by Christmas Abbott, a CrossFit competitor, Olympic Weightlifter, fitness advisor and you get the idea.  This box was given the nickname, Christmas in September and it was a bit on the heavy side. I was curious to find out what was in it given the heft it packed!

Exosleeve Knee Sleeves 

They are an army green color and have Rebel down the sides.  I was ecstatic to get knee sleeves because they have been on my “to purchase” list for sometime.  My knees have been bothering me a lot lately after workouts, especially if there’s a bunch of squats or lunges.  I had hopes that sleeves would help with that. I’m not a spring chicken with young 20-something knees.  This sister needs some support.

These sleeves are awesome.  My knees feel so so good when I wear them and they are definitely a benefit. After using them for workouts my knees are not as sore or achey.  My squats also feel much more solid when I’m wearing the sleeves.  I will be sticking with knee sleeves for a while!

The Badass Body Diet Book

This is written by Christmas Abbott outlining her Badass Body Diet.  I haven’t looked through the book yet as I’m only slightly interested.  I’m constantly trying to read as much info as I can about nutrition while weightlifting but at the same time, I don’t want to get sucked into some sort of diet mentality.  I will read the book at some point though and will let you know thoughts once I finish. (Can be found via Christmas’s Website)

Be Unstoppable Coffee Mug

If I’m feeling particularly feisty in the morning, this is now the coffee mug I reach for.  It’s on the smaller side but I do like it.  It’s a mug so there isn’t a whole lot to say about it.  If I had to pick something, I would say that the mug doesn’t really need Christmas’s signature.  The saying is good and should be the highlight. (Can be found via Christmas’s Website)

LifeAid FitAid Drink

I have not had this.  I am not a huge fan of health drinks so I tend to pass those along to Scott.

Plus some coupons and discount codes.


I loved this box just for the kneed sleeves.  The mug and book are OK and I’m sure there are lots of subscribers who really enjoy them.  For me though, this box is all about the sleeves because they are awesome and such a steal!

If you weight lift or do CrossFit, give Barbella Box a try!


Fitness Friday: Slow and Steady

me post workout


Was rough. I didn’t sleep well and I hit the later 9am class.  This was my first class after my very first CrossFit competition the previous Saturday and I was so. very. tired.  More on the event soon, I’m still trying to get all my thoughts together for that review.

Our WOD was AMRAP for 12:

  • 10 Snatches
  • 10 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls
  • 10 Lateral Burpees

UGH.  We had to do snatches for the competition so this was a little rough going.  Snatches are still a very weak spot for me so the weight was light at 35lbs. I got in 3 rounds + 28.  So close to getting 4 rounds but the burpees held me back.


Tabata workout, 20sec work 10sec rest, for 8 rounds.

  • Row for calories
  • Abmat Situps
  • Pushups
  • Mountain Climbers

The mountain climbers got me towards the end and I had to scale those by removing the jump between switching legs.

We also worked on front squats and I worked up to an 80lb front squat!  That is my highest weight so far.  I tried for 90lbs but my legs were not having it.  I’m OK with 80 though, still a PR.


All the running!  This was a combo of cardio and strength and it was a challenging workout.  I have not done a workout quite like this before and the transition was tough.  We did get a rest between running and lifting which helped.  I was the slowest in the group.  Everyone is a faster runner than I am and they all flew through their sets. I took my time with the weight sets.

  • 800M Run
  • 5 Min Rest
  • 3×4 Back Squat
  • 400M Run
  • 3 Min Rest
  • 3×4 Press
  • 200M Run
  • 2 Min Rest
  • 3×4 Deadlift

I got up to 90 for the back squat.  Again due to tired legs especially after the run.  Umph!  That was tough!  I’m also still dealing with some shoulder pain so my presses weren’t so great.  I was able to do a few reps at 55lb but not many. I had to drop down to 50lb to finish out the sets.  Deadlifts, worked up to 155lb for my last set.  It was tough and my legs were rubber by this point.


Our workout was split into Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.  I did the intermediate level and I was so close to RXing this workout but had to drop the weight down to 50lb.  Boo!  So close I could taste that RX!


  • Burpees
  • Hang Squat Clean
  • Banded Pullups

Goooooood lord.  It doesn’t look like much but it was rough.  We were told to take it slow and steady, that it wasn’t a race to be the fastest.  Good thing because wow, this was such a challenge.

I was wrecked by the end of this workout.


I thought I was wrecked from the Thursday workout which was nothing compared to today’s workout.  Ugh.  Hero Workout White and it was so so rough.

5 Rounds:

  • 3 Rope Climbs (Or 6 Rope Pulls)
  • 10 Toes To Bar
  • 21 Walking Lunges with 25lb held overhead
  • 400m Run

35 minute time cap and I finshed at 33:03 with a seriously scaled version.   I can’t do rope climbs which is highly frustrating.  There’s some element that I’m not getting or something isn’t clicking yet with my feet and the rope because I can barely stand up on the rope.  Two girls who are brand new to the gym just learned rope climbs today and were able to do it.   *grumble*

I also cannot do toes-to-bar, I can just get my feet lifted off the ground.  And weighted walking lunges are so hard on my legs. I was able to do a few with my knees touching the ground but then had to switch and focus on getting as low as I could.

I did do the runs though!  Had to walk for a few seconds once I reached the 4th round but I’m ok with that.


This week was challenging for me.  Some of the workouts drained me mentally and physically.  Hello, Hero Workout. But I pushed through and did the best that I could.

I’m seriously considering doing another competition in April 2017.  I need to get my butt in gear though to prepare for that.  Which means I need to run more and work on my endurance along with CrossFit moves.  I don’t want to look ridiculous.  I want to be able to complete the workouts and really push myself.  Still in the considering stage right now!

Despite being really tired and drained this week, looking back I feel good with how the week went.  I’m also proud of myself for making the Monday workout because it would have been easy to brush it off and claim that I needed another rest day.





August Barbella Box

Aug 2016 Barbella Box

August’s Barbella Box is loaded down with lots of fun goodies!

Unbroken Designs Lifting Belt (!!)

This lifting belt was created just for Barbella Box, it has purple and pink flowers along with the Barbella logo.  I was sent a large belt and it was way too big.  Barbella Box was great and was able to make an exchange. They sent me a medium which fits much better.

I’ve been curious about lifting belts and am so excited to give this a try once I get to a place where using one will be beneficial.

Doc Spartan Armpit Armor

This is an all natural deodorant that has simple effective ingredients.

  • Activated Charcoal
  • Arrowroot Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Shea Butter
  • Refined Coconut Oil
  • Beeswax
  • Blend of Essential Oils

I’ve used all natural deodorants before that didn’t really cut it.  I like that this one uses charcoal to help with smell and controlling sweat.

I love this stuff!  It handles workouts great and I’ve used it as an everyday deodorant and it held up well.  I still sweated a bit but nothing compared to other products I’ve used.  My only critique is that it does get used up quickly compared to most other deodorant, natural and non.

Livesore Pineapple Socks

These are so cute!  Plus they match one of my gym shirts which is a fun bonus.  I’m not one for matching when I go to the gym, I just wear whatever, because I’m there to workout not be cute.   But there are some days when I want to look cute and workout because I don’t always want to look like a slob.  These fit that need.  They are also a nice inbetween sock.  Not as long as knee socks but provide a little bit more protection than just a regular ankle sock.

Amino Freeze Pops

Fun popsicle flavors that are full Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs): L-leucine, L-isoleucine, and L-valine to help with muscle repair and recovery.

I haven’t had these yet but they are in the freezer waiting for the perfect day!

Barbell Babes Sunglasses

Sunnies with Barbell Babes written down the side.  Cute and functional, these sunglasses are perfect for patio sitting and running errands.  They are a little big larger than the sunglasses I normally wear but they are lightweight and don’t slide off.  I love them!

Plus a bunch of coupons and some stickers.


I loved this box!  It was full of so many products, some that are fun and some that are functional.  And a few that are both!  This box was perfect mix of products all of which I love and can use.  Plus Barbella was great with exchanging a size with the lifting belt.

I can’t wait to see what’s in the next box!

If you lift and like getting fun workout gear and accessories then you should definitely give Barbella Box a try.  So many awesome products delivered each month!


Fitness Friday: Push Through

Motivational Quote

I didn’t get a chance to post this last week but I did have everything already logged so I’m keeping it in for this week. Last week is first and this week follows.


This workout was rough.  I struggled with it the entire time.

  • 4o0M Run
  • 20 Ring Rows
  • 20 Push Presses
  • 20 Bent Over Rows
  • 20 Front Squats
  • 20 Box Step-Ups in Front Rack Position
  • 20 Lateral Burpees
  • 200M

I was dragging during this workout and was riding the struggle bus. It was the first time that I thought I was either going to vomit or pass out afterwards.  I went to a later class and didn’t eat beforehand so I feel like that played a huge factor. I ate well on Sunday but perhaps I didn’t eat enough that day.  But man, it was rough.  I ate as soon as I got back home from the gym but was tired and sleepy the rest of the day.


Fran was the workout:

  • 21-15-9
  • Thrusters
  • Pull Ups

Before the WOD we worked on our split jerk up to a heavy single.  I was able to work up to 75lbs for that but my arms were definitely feeling tired.

I started Fran at 55lb but eventually had to drop down to 45lb.  I could not get through the thrusters at 55lb.  UGH.  It was frustrating but I also know it’s because my arms and shoulders were fatigued from the previous day’s workout.

I did also feel a little weak during this workout so I’m adjusting my eating just a bit to see if that helps.


WOD was:

  • 30-20-10
  • Toes-to-bar
  • Wall Balls

I did t-t-b as best I could and got my feet up as high as I could.  This is a move that I feel like I could get down with some practice.  Wall balls felt solid and I’m seeing some progress with them.  It’s still a challenge for me to squat that much at one time for speed but it’s getting better.

I also did some strength today with some light squats and deadlifts.  I tried pulling 165 for deadlifts today but couldn’t get it.  I dropped down to 155 and pulled that for one but it was a shaky and tough pull.  I was also a tad light headed after.

UGH.  I’ve previously pulled 155 for 5 but today was just rough.  I left the gym super frustrated and annoyed.  I let it creep in to the rest of my day as well.  I tried not to but was not successful with that either.


  • 4oom run x 4 then:
  • 21-15-9
  • Kettlebell swings
  • Pushups

I did run for half and then rowed the remaining half.  I did alright during this workout but still felt very tired and fatigued. I have no clue what’s going on this week but it’s making me cranky.


Unintentional rest day.  Started a new schedule which has me working later on Thursday evenings and I needed the sleep.



For the strength portion we worked on front squats and I was able to squat 65lb.  I knew that I’d be doing squats later for additional strength training so I didn’t want to go too heavy.

The workout was


  • Double Unders (Singles were 100-80-60-40-20)
  • Sit-ups

x 2

I don’t have great double unders so I did singles.  However this workout, twice, sucked.  We did get a full 5 minute rest between sets but still.  That equals 300 sit-ups.  I honestly didn’t think that I would make it through this workout. We’ve done this before but only one set and I barely made it.  That took me 13:28 and that was back in December.

This took me 25:50 which includes the 5 minute rest between sets.  So minus 5 minutes, it looks like I have definitely improved on this set!  I’ll take that as a win!

Worked on strength movements and focused on strict press and cleans.


Overhead squats and hanging squat cleans were the focus today.  My least favorite moves.

The workout was an ARAMP for 9:

  • 20 Wall Balls
  • 10 Hanging Squat Snatches
  • 10 Alternating Pistols


Good thing I had my running shoes handy because there was lots of running today!

  • 400M Run
  • 21 Kettlebell Swings
  • 12 Pull ups
  • x 3

I used the 25lb KB for my swings because I can do full range and get a true American style swing with that weight.  I also did banded pull-ups.  I was still the slowest person who completed this workout but I was able to do all of the runs without issue.  Running with no pain is a goal I’m still working on.

Strength session after that where I made the 165lb deadlift my bitch.  Last week I couldn’t pull it and could barely do 155lb.  I wasn’t letting that get me down this week.  I walked up to the bar telling myself that I could pull it even if it’s just for one.  I did 3.  Training was supposed to be for 5 reps but I didn’t have that much umph.  I’m ok with having completed 3 reps. Boom!


  • 21-15-9
  • Cleans
  • Box Dips

I cleaned 60lbs for this workout.  The highest I can clean with good form is 75lbs so I feel good about this workout.  Maybe I could have tried for 65lbs but 60 was a good start.

I can’t do ring dips so I did box dips as a modifier.  I tried banded ring dips after class and got stuck.  Ha! So yeah, not ready for those just yet.


Fight Gone Bad

5 stations, a minute at each station, for 3 rounds. 1 minute rest between rounds:

  • Row for Calories
  • Wall Balls
  • Sumo Deadlift High Pulls with Kettlebell
  • Box Jumps
  • Push Presses

Ugh, it was rough but I pushed through.  Most people on the white board had totals up in the 200s and my total was 182.  So I wasn’t feeling all that great about my score until my coach came over to me and said I did an awesome job because I almost Rx (as prescribed) the entire workout.  The only station that I didn’t was the box jumps because I’m still at a 16in jump vs. a 20in jump.

That made me feel so much better about my workout! I didn’t even realize that I Rx’d just about everything until he mentioned it to me.  There are still a lot of moves and weight amounts that I have to modify when I do the workouts each day and my goal is to at some point be able to Rx most of the workout.  Today was one of those days and I didn’t even realize it!


Last week was horrible and this week was so much better.  These workouts definitely ebb and flow and it’s really easy to get frustrated on the weeks that aren’t going so well.  I’m trying to be better about not letting it get me down too much and to focus on progress.  I’m definitely farther along than I was when I started.  Or even a month ago.

Trying to keep my eye on the prize and not get hung up on the smaller battles.


Roasted Hatch Green Chili and Corn Fritters

I wanted to create a dish that utilized some of the staples from the summer farmer’s market.  I decided to combine sweet corn and roasted chilies into a fritter.  This paired nicely with some Rosé that Cultivar Wine recently sent me.

Hatch Green Chili and Corn Fritters

Summer time at our farmer’s market is filled with the smell of chilies roasting over a big flame.  Hatch green chilies are a big deal and when they are in season, everyone is rushing to get their hands on some.

I thought the smokey chilies would go nicely with local sweet corn and decided to combine them into a fritter.  Perfect little side dish to summer cookouts.

Andrea’s Roasted Hatch Green Chili and Corn Fritters

  • 3 Ears Fresh Corn, kernels cut off the cob
  • 5 Roasted Hatch Green Chilies, seeds removed and chopped (Heat level optional)
  • 1/2 Small Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 TBSP Chopped Parsley
  • 1/2C Corn Meal
  • 1/4C All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2tsp Salt
  • 1tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4C Water
  • Olive Oil for frying

In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the corn, chilies, onion, parsley, and spices.  Toss together then add in the corn meal and flour, gently mix until everything is distributed and coated with the flours.

In a small bowl beat the eggs and water until frothy.  Add egg mixture to the corn and chilies mixture and combine until everything is coated and a light batter forms.

In a large skillet, heat about 2 TBSP of olive oil over medium heat.  When the oil is hot, spoon some of the batter onto the skillet.  About a heaping TBSP size, as you want to keep the fritters on the smaller side.

Do this until the skillet is full but keep the fritters spaced out and do not crowd the pan.  I was able to do four fritters at a time.

Cook the fritter about 3 minutes on each side.  Remove from skillet and place on a cooling rack.  Repeat until all the batter is gone.  Adding more oil to the skillet when needed.

Amount of fritters will vary depending on size but should yield at least 12 fritters.

Cultivar 2015 Napa Valley Rosé

I wanted something light and summer fresh to pair with the Cultivar 2015 Napa Valley Rosé and these fritters fit the bill.  The sweetness of the corn highlighted the light sweetness of the wine while the smokey earthiness of the chilies complimented the tart fruit notes and a touch of spice on the end.

Even if you use the hot hatch green chilies, that heat will pair nicely with this Rosé.

These fritters are a fun way to take advantage of the chilies and corn that are in season right now.  Perfect for your next gathering or cookout!  They also freeze well and can be reheated in a toaster oven or in the oven at 350 for about 5 minutes.

If you’d like to try Cultivar Wine , they are offering a special promotion to my readers. Use the code CultivarWineFoodEmbrace when you order and you’ll receive 10 percent off your purchase.

Disclosure: I’m required to disclose a sponsored partnership between our site, Food Embrace, and Cultivar Wine. I have been compensated in exchange for this post in the form of product. All opinions presented are my own. I receive wine from Cultivar Wine as a member of the Cultivar Wine Bloggers group.