Alyson J Boyd

Nothing great in this world has been accomplished without passion.


Breakfast Spring Rolls

Breakfast Spring Rolls


Posted By on Mar 22, 2015

I’m not sure where this idea originally came from. But last weekend I picked up spring roll wrappers and played with a bunch of different version with whatever I had lying around. Bacon, sausage, sweet potato, rice, egg, avocado, guacamole, tomato, salsas, spinach, hearts of palm, etc. What I love is that you can really add anything! They’re also super convenient and freeze really well.  They hold up well so are perfect for on the go!

This is a pretty straight forward version but I think one of my favorites so far. Enjoy, and let me know what you try!

Breakfast Spring Rolls

  • Spring Roll Wrappers
  • 4 Eggs
  • Protein of choice: Bacon (1 piece for each roll), Sausage (ground, cooked), etc –
  • Avocado: 1, sliced
  • Spinach: ~2 cups, chopped
  • Sweet Potato: ~1 medium, diced and roasted

First you want to make the egg “pancakes.” Break 4 eggs into a bowl and whisk until well combined. Heat a small pan over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray or whatever else you like to use to keep it from sticking. Pour ~3 tablespoons of egg into the pan and rotate the pan so it coats the bottom. For this I just used 1/4 cup measuring cup. This will cook very fast, so watch carefully. Cook on the first side until the edges start to dry, then flip. The second side will only need about 10 seconds. Repeat to use up all the egg. I got about 5 from this.

Follow the package directions for the Spring Rolls. It will have you dip them in water for ~20 seconds, then layout on a damp towel. Now assemble! Place your egg pancake in the middle then top with whatever you’d like to include. I added the bacon, then topped with a little sweet potato, a few slices of avocado, then spinach. Roll according to the spring roll wrap directions. It will have you fold the right & left side, then roll up from the bottom to top.

From here you have options.

  1. Eat!
  2. Heat. You can either microwave for ~20s, or bake at 375F for 6 minutes
  3. Store in an airtight container.
  4. Lay out without touching on a wax paper lined tray. Freeze for a few hours. Then you can place them all in a zip lock. These actually reheat really well by either leaving in the refrigerator, or in the microwave.

Enjoy!

Photo fun..

Prepped bacon and cooking the eggs.

Breakfast Spring Rolls

Filling laid out

Breakfast Spring Rolls

Start with the egg..

Breakfast Spring Rolls

Then add the rest!

Breakfast Spring Rolls

Rolled up!

Yum!

Breakfast Spring Rolls

Deliver to some of your favorite people 🙂

Breakfast Spring Rolls

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So simple. So easy. Just do it.

Bacon Wrapped Baked Egg and Tomato Cups

  • 6 Eggs (yes, get the good ones, the expensive ones, the ones where the yolk is orange.. seriously)
  • 6 slices of Bacon (I used turkey simply because I like it better, but do whatever you like)
  • ~1/2 can Fire Roasted Tomatoes, diced (if you can find no-salt-added, do that)
  • ~2 tsp Parmesan Cheese (grated & optional)
  • Basil (fresh or dried, also optional)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Place your bacon in the muffin tins to create a liner of sorts (don’t worry about it covering the bottom, but just wrapping around the sides). Place a spoonful of diced tomatoes into each muffin cup. One by one, crack each egg into a separate cup, the pour into the muffin cup on top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle each with ~1/2tsp of Parmesan, then with a bit of Basil. Baked for ~15 minutes or until the eggs are set. Remove from the oven and let sit for ~5 minutes. Enjoy!

In process:

Bacon Wrapped Baked Eggs & Tomato

Out of the oven:

Bacon Wrapped Baked Eggs & Tomato

After sitting, and ready to grab & go!

Bacon Wrapped Baked Eggs & Tomato

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IIFYM or Donut Be Stupid

IIFYM or Donut Be Stupid


Posted By on Feb 16, 2015

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again.. thank goodness I love working out so much, because I sure do like to eat!

If we’ve ever met, heck, if you’ve ever seen any of my social media channels, then you know I love food! Especially anything with sugar, and meat, and cheese, and.. you get the idea.

But as much as I love dessert (and bread and margaritas and and and), I love working towards my CrossFit goals even more. Of course it doesn’t have to be CrossFit, it could be anything fitness or health related, but for me it’s CrossFit, and this is my post. 😉

In a previous blog I wrote about my thoughts on sacrifice. If it feels like a sacrifice is it really a goal you want bad enough? Well, I’m not just talking about whether or not to go out on Saturday night, I absolutely mean how I choose to fuel my body too!

I think about how every choice can move me closer to, or further from, my goals. No, this doesn’t mean eating perfectly “clean” or Paleo or Zone all the time (hell no! again.. check out my IG), but it does mean making consistently good choices. On a day to day basis, the simple question ‘is this going to fuel my workout?’, and perhaps even more importantly, ‘allow me to recover as fast as possible?’ helps me dictate the food choices I make.

Abs vs. Health & Performance

When IIFYM (aka If It Fits Your Macros) became the “new” popular thing, thanks mostly in part to Instagram, I had to laugh.

[Side Note: Actually, lets take a moment to let that sink in. A social media channel created so people can share photos, has popularized a nutrition trend by posting photos of donuts, cake and ice cream that you’re entrusting your fitness goals to…]

‘Wait,’ I thought. ‘People are actually buying into the idea that you can eat donuts every day “if it fits your macros” and be healthy?!’ I read into it more. ‘Oh.. ok.. no. They’re selling you can get a six pack. Ok, never mind then, carry on.’

If that’s what you want, and I was at one point very active in the world of competitive ‘look your best but feel like shit’ land, then rock on (otherwise known as physique competitions). But this is CrossFit, and I hate to break it to you, but looks don’t matter. ‘But wait!’ you might also think. All the top CrossFitters are these ripped athletes that move fast, lift heavy, and look pretty damn good doing it. Yes.. yes that’s true. And that’s such a beautiful case of form following function.

[Side note: I would absolutely love to see a top caliber CrossFitter “diet” for two weeks, get up on stage and annihilate the competition in a bodybuilding competition… ok I digress again.]

Back to my point. Yes, you can eat whatever the hell you want on a daily basis IIFYM and lose weight. For the sake of weight loss, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. It’s pretty darn basic math. Eat less calories than you burn and you will lose weight. Lose enough weight and you will see abs (though goodness some people are blessed there more than others.. I’m jealous). But when it comes to both performance and general health, for the love of god, all food is not created equal. The nutritional quality of the food you put in your body does matter. It matters a lot. At the highest level, it matters for:

  • Fuel
  • Recovery
  • Hunger and satiety
  • Micronutrient needs, Digestion and Mental Clarity

In more blunt terms it matters so that:

  • Your body gets what it needs to fuel you through a variety of workouts,
  • You don’t feel sick or heavy or tired during said workout
  • You’re not distracted by being hungry because you had a candy bar when really you could have had a meal 3x the size,
  • You need to get the good stuff so you can digest the good stuff,
  • Micronutrients matter and they’re not in junk food,
  • Sleep matters. Go ahead, eat a cake and a tub of ice cream before bed, and I’m sure that’s going to result in an awesome night of sleep and your stomach is going to feel fantastic for a workout in the morning!

Obviously that is by no means an exhaustive, super scientific list of the reasons it matters to fuel with quality food.

[Side note: I almost can’t believe I have to write that. It just seems like such a ‘duh’ thing!]

At the end of the day there is one reason alone that I think it’s worth it to eat high quality carbs, protein and fat (90-something % of the time.. what did you think I was going to skip the BBQ and cake all the time?! Crazy talk): I want to know I’m doing everything I can to be the best athlete I can be.

Cheesy.. yes. True.. yes.

That was a pretty long rant for me to not even get into what the heck “quality food” means, and the all so important point that we are all different (another, ‘um, duh’) and therefore have different nutritional needs. I also didn’t touch on the psychology of it all, and we know for many women especially, that’s just as important. I’ll leave that as conversation for another time.

Oh and before I sign off, for the record, no I’m not Paleo (or IIFYM, or Zone), or any other label.

I’m just ‘is this a good choice and is it going to help me reach my goals?’

Mini-rant-complete.

Yum..

2014-04-19 17.13.04

But also yum..

2014-11-09 07.40.25

That too..

2014-04-12 16.36.48

And proof I actually don’t hold anything specifically against donuts. I event make them sometimes!

2014-06-22 20.06.44-1

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North Star

North Star


Posted By on Feb 8, 2015

To start 2015 a few themes have been popping up for me. They are: think bigger, be bold and focus on a North Star. I keep hearing these from multiple sources in completely different areas of my life. (How lucky am I to have such amazing, and positive influences?!)

The first two are pretty self-explanatory. The third is something I realize I’ve often done, but I love this particular idea and the visual.

What’s your North Star? It’s that thing, that goal, you can look towards to guide you. When everything gets crazy, when you start to lose focus or feel like you could be going the wrong direction, you can look to this to determine what to do next, which steps to take. You use it to determine what you need to do to progress, to move towards that point. If you start to veer it pulls you back. It’s a big thing, maybe not within reach right now, but you can see it (maybe literally, or maybe metaphorically), and it inspires you to move forward, and have confidence in the choices you’re making because they’re moving you in the direction you need to go.

Motivation Enough

I’ve always hated when people refer to “sacrificing” for a goal. If it’s a big enough goal and something you really want, is it really a sacrifice? I tend towards the opinion that if you see it like that, maybe you don’t want it bad enough. If it’s something you really want, then it’s simply a choice you make to move you closer to what you want.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes those choices are f’in hard! But I find, having that North Star, of sorts, helps. It helps me check-in with myself. Do I want it bad enough? Yes.. well.. then the choice suddenly isn’t quite as hard, or at the very least I have confidence in it, and can stand firm with the decision, as long as it’s moving me in the right direction.. north.

 

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Getting Stronger

Getting Stronger


Posted By on Dec 26, 2014

2014 is coming to a close, and what a year it’s been. New home, new job, new gym (well sorta.. same awesome people).

Time for a little reflection as I work on setting my goals for 2015!

And the Rest Will Come

I love when you get fantastic advice when you least expect it.

Earlier this year, a friend said something. I doubt it was meant to be particularly profound at the moment, but perhaps it was just what I needed to hear at just the right time, because it stuck, and became something I referred back to and reminded myself of frequently this year. They said, “just focus on getting stronger and the rest will come.”

Our discussion was of course about CrossFit, but as I’ve mentioned before, it’s funny (and damn fantastic) how what I learn in the gym, crosses over into everyday life. And this motto is no different. This year I became a stronger person. Physically, absolutely, but perhaps more importantly, mentally, and psychologically. This year had a lot of ups, downs and self doubt, both inside the gym and out. But hell, that’s life right?! It’s never going to be all sunny days, that’s just silly, and frankly boring. The challenges are what make the good.. well.. good! It’s what makes the victories (& PRs .. & new jobs) even sweeter. It’s what makes you thankful for the experience, and you get to say, ‘I got through that, and I’m stronger for it!’

steeper

This year gave me some fantastic opportunities to get stronger; from being disappointed in my performance in the gym, emotionally crushed (boys sure do suck sometimes.. haha), and bummed about professional opportunities that didn’t pan out. And I think you get extra ‘get stronger’ points when those things happen all at once! (damn it, that was a bad month.. haha).

I’m learning that when I get into ‘beat myself up’ mode, it’s usually because I’m focusing on all the wrong things. I think it’s only human to let ‘not good enough’ and ‘what’s the point’ thoughts creep in, but how fast can you (can I!) push those aside to focus on what matters? What’s the end goal? What am I doing to get me there? Is what I’m doing right now helping? Or is it taking me the other direction? Do I want it bad enough?

How fast can I get to a ‘yes’ on that last question? Because I pretty much always do, and the time in between is just a waste. Actually strike that. At this point in my life I’m thankful to be quite clear on what I want in all aspects of my life, what’s worth it, and what I need to do to get there. So simple enough. Is what I’m doing taking me in the right direction? Yes.. fantastic! No.. be stronger.. change it.

Sandlost Series - Alyson Boyd

Community

I have no doubt that the people we surround ourselves with shapes who we are. I’m so honored to be surrounded by bad ass, positive, driven, motivating, inspiring people in every aspect of my life. I feel so incredibly lucky.

From the time I get up, from the time I go to bed. I start my day long before the sun comes up trying to get stronger and faster, next to people who want the same. I go to work and am surround by people who truly believe in what they’re doing and the mission of the company. Outside of the office I’m a part of a group of women who encourage one another to have the confidence to create exactly what they want professionally and know that they deserve it.  And of course I’m surrounded by friends and family who support my crazy hobbies and goals. Friends who don’t really care about CrossFit, but nonetheless ask me every time I see them “how was your workout today?” knowing full well I’m about to go over on a mini rant.

 No One is Stronger Alone

So hopefully I managed not to bore you with too much detail. 2014.. best yet. 2015.. no doubt, even better.

Thank you to everyone who continues to help make me stronger in all the ways. 

do

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I made this yesterday and it turned out so fantastic I had to share! Definitely one of my favorite dishes (non-sweet things of course) I’ve made in a long time!

Paleo Sausage and Crab Jambalaya

  • 1 medium Cauliflower, riced (*see below for instructions)
  • 1-2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 Andouille Sausages, cut into bite-sized pieces (I used Aidells’)
  • 1/2 lb Crab Meat
  • 1 large Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Bell Pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 Celery Stalk, , finely chopped
  • 2 large Garlic Cloves, chopped OR 1 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 c Stock (chicken, beef, vegetable, whatever you like)
  • 1 c Water
  • 1 tsp Old Bay
  • Thyme, minced
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 3 Scallions, finely chopped

Heat Olive Oil in a large pan. Add sausage and cook until lightly brown. Remove sausage from the pan and set aside. Add chopped onion, pepper, celery and garlic to the pan and sauté until softened. Add Old Bay, sausage and cauliflower and continue to cook until cauliflower is warm. Add celery, stock, water and a couple dashes of thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Stir together, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cover and continue to cook until liquid is gone. Remove from heat and stir in scallions and crabmeat. Enjoy!

*Rice Cauliflower: So easy it’s silly. Basically just chop in a food processor until it’s rice-texture. I do it in small batches or else large chucks tend to get stuck.

Nutrition Facts based on 4 servings:

Paleo Sausage & Crab Jambalaya

Not the most photogenic, but I promise it taste delicious!!

Paleo Sausage & Crab Jambalaya

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Love this sound and smell! Early stages of #Paleo Crab & Andouille Sausage Jambalaya (just subbed in riced cauliflower for rice). Turned out fantastic!

View on Instagram

 99% inspired by this recipe.

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Norms

On Tuesday, Part A of our workout was:
– Run 1 mile wearing a 20# weight vest
– 50 burpees wearing a 20# weight vest (30# for the guys).

I can’t say I was particularly excited about this one but I also wasn’t.. rrr.. horrified.

As we started the mile, albeit not at a particularly fast pace.. I thought about the relativeness of what is “normal” or expected.

A year ago, a mile was daunting. A couple months ago a mile with a weight vest of any sort seemed far fetched. Of course none of the above was unreasonable.. not really.. just all in my head. “Limitations” I’d set for myself on what I can and can’t do. What I’m “good” at and what I’m not.

Which is a perfect segue to today..

 Fear

Saying I’m not a strong swimmer would be over-stating my abilities. It’s closer to barely better than ‘I can’t swim’. Maybe I down-played that fact a bit.

So seeing this last night did not make me jump for joy.

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 12.34.49 PM

But if I’ve learned anything from CrossFit, fearing the things you don’t want to do isn’t going to change a damn thing, so may as well just start. Unfortunately that attitude didn’t subdue my concern. I don’t remember a bad experience in the water, but that’s the way I respond when I’m in it! I can’t dive head first and if my feet can’t touch the ground I panic. Jump out of an airplane? Heights? Flips? Blood, guts, gore? No problem. You want me to get into the water, then cross a distance more than 5ft? Um..

At 5:30am, the blood moon lunar eclipse at least provided a beautiful setting. And boy was I glad it was dark because my eyes were filled with tears walking into the water.

In the workout post our coach said,

“Use this time to get comfortable in the water. Your goal is to swim it AFAP (as fast as possible) but your goal should also be to lear a bit about yourself in a potentially uncomfortable situation.

Maintain acute awareness around your breathing, what your heart is doing, and what mental and emotional state you find yourself in.”

I can say I was acutely aware that I was panicking for the first 1/4 mile. And only once did a stranger yell out if I was ok and needed help. Second 1/4, less of a panic, more of a gasping for air while trying not to get too frustrated. More present. There was lots of paddling a few strokes, grabbing the wall, counting 1-2-3-4-5-ok go. The last 1/4 mile, progress, however slight. Some weird side paddle/backstroke worked better, and after a backstroke tip from a teammate I’ll admit there was even moments of peacefulness and calm.

When I finally got out over an hour later, everyone was waiting.. they’d been waiting a while. So thankful for each of them.

My legs were shaky, and by the time I got home I was light-headed with a stomachache and my whole body hurt. But in a good way 😉

Barton Springs Sunrise

Barton Springs Sunrise

Photo credit to Chad Fisher.

Progress

I feel like a lot of lessons were jammed into the last 48 hours. Funny how that just comes out of the blue sometimes.

In the running WOD I learned I need to realize a new normal. I can go faster. I finished with more in the tank than I should have. I wasn’t purposely slacking, but honestly had in my head ‘I’m bad at this, this is my pace.’ .. Wrong. Maybe that was my pace, but it’s not now. Expect more.

Swim.. so today my ‘norm’ was just freakin finish. Done. Next time I won’t be so consumed with being scared that I will get to spend more time focusing on form, and moving more efficiently than what a dog paddle can achieve. Or as my PT said, ‘you swam for 75 minutes with your head above the water?!’ haha.. I’ll figure it out.

I think there are as many different forms of ‘getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.’ There is pain, fear, awkwardness, confrontation, etc, but even within “pain” (the good kind, not injury, there’a big difference) there is comfort zones. For me, I feel like I know how to push myself best in short bursts. If it’s anything longer I’m still learning how to control pace, but still push without burning out.

I’m never going to love running or swimming, but I’m starting to learn to enjoy working at getting better at them, and being more at home with their unique style of uncomfortable.

The more one does

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Why


Posted By on Sep 4, 2014

A couple things happened today that made ponder (I love that word), why fitness? Why CrossFit?

First, I was directly asked, “why do you workout so much?”

Then I also realized that it’s been a year since my last fitness competition.

Funny thing.. I found it difficult to articulate a quick answer beyond “because I love it.” But I think it deserves a bit more of a response than that, and it made me think, why?

IMG_3781Last year around this time I was about to compete in my 3rd fitness & figure competition (with a 4 year break in between 2 & 3). I was hungry, tired and I wanted to quit. I really did. A big part of me felt I had already achieved what I wanted to. I wanted to prove you could get into fitness competition shape just using CrossFit, but more than that, I wanted to prove to myself that I could get myself back in shape! It had been a roller coaster of a few years, ED issues, stress, moving, jobs, personal life drama, and I wanted to prove to myself I could get back to a place where I was happy with myself physically and most importantly feeling good mentally. Did I mention I was hungry?

But I didn’t. So many people had supported me through the process in every way I needed it, and beyond anything I could have imagine or asked for. They put up with me (no small feat) when I was hungry and tired and didn’t want to go anywhere and do anything. They pushed me in the gym and believed in me more than I did myself. They thought I could do it, when I had sometimes almost crippling doubts. I get a emotional just writing that now. So I kept going because they saw me as something better than I could see myself, and I wanted to meet that expectation.

So why?

It is very much NOT about looking a certain way. I guess that can be a great side effect, but it’s never been a motivator for me. Yes, there is something about reaching a goal, absolutely. The satisfaction of setting a goal and reaching it is phenomenal. But any athlete will tell you that there’s never an ‘enough.’ You reach a goal. You set a new one. You reach that. You set a new one. It goes on and on. If that’s all there is, you’ll never be happy. It will never be enough.

I’ve learned this the hard way. My A-type. INTJ, Pitta, Leo, only child, red headed self (if you recognize what all that means then we’re bff.. that or you’ll avoid me forever) always wanted it to be black and white. That if I just do this thing, then I’ll be enough. If I get these grades, if I make it to nationals, if I win nationals, if I go to this school, get this degree, get that degree, win this, look like that.. then.. then.. then.

Yeah no.

I love working out, I love CrossFit and Yoga, because there is no end. There is no good enough.

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