one of the unexpected benefits of lifting + a recipe

Hello from the Texas hill country! It is blue bonnet season, and they are absolutely stunning. I think one of the coolest things that a First Lady has done is how Lady Bird Johnson planted millions wild flowers all along the highways in Texas. Now, every Spring, the sides of the roads are blanketed in wild flowers. There are blue bonnets, Indian paint brushes, and daisies.

Being home has been soothing. I can actually sleep here and I’m not quite the cracked out stress ball that I am at school.  My cousin, Kelly, is visiting my mom and Steve at the same time as I, so we have all been hanging out together constantly. Home cooked meals, laying out in the sun, working out, kind of studying MCAT… and watching movies. Kelly also does CrossFit, so today we did her gym’s WOD and it was awesome! And for a WOD, it was long – 37 minutes.


45 seconds headstand, 45 seconds rest

45 seconds tricep dips, 45 seconds rest

45 seconds hollow rock, 45 seconds rest

45 seconds pistols, 45 seconds rest

45 seconds burpees, 45 seconds rest

repeat 5x

Me and Kelly! And Mom taking the photo because she wanted a “girl power photo” 😉

With my extra spare time here I have been thinking about a few things. One of them being reasons for why I lift. I realized that feeling physically strong makes me feel more emotionally strong. Its like, if I can lift this 150 pounds or whatever than I sure as hell am not going to let that comment or indiscretion knock me sideways. As I am writing this, I was going to go on about the empowerment of lifting and physical strength (which is true), but I began thinking about those who are not physically able. They are certainly emotionally strong – probably far more than your average person. So, I decided to do a little reading about how those with disabilities empower themselves, and I found this  article from Lillie Ammann. She suggests that people with disabilities empower themselves by getting out there and trying to not limit themselves from the activities that they enjoy. Also, to focus on the positives in life rather than what is lacking. Both of these recommendations easily apply to everyone. Like not letting fear keep us from going after our goals are doing what we want.

Ammann also wrote a few recommendations for those able bodies, like

  • Treat everyone you meet with respect and courtesy, and don’t ignore or exude pity to disabled people you meet.
  • Offer assistance without being condescending, but don’t be offended if it is declined.
  • Don’t occupy the facilities that are reserved for the handicapped.
That got rather off topic, but it is always good to get brought back to reality and count ze blessings! Another blessing of the week was the epic success that was this  lunch. We have fresh rosemary growing in our front yard and I wanted find a way to use it with chicken and black walnuts (my favee). 

rosemary walnut crusted chicken

Recipe: Serves 2

adapted from My Recipes

  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat panko crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts, black if possible
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions – Preheat oven to 425°. Combine egg white and mustard in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken to mixture, turning to coat. Combine panko, nuts, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a shallow dish. Remove chicken from egg mixture; discard extra egg mixture. Dredge chicken in panko mixture. Arrange a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Arrange chicken on rack. Bake at 425° for 13 minutes or until chicken is done.

So delicious!! And this would definitely work for dinner too, perhaps with some kale or pasta and olive oil!


Walnuts * a fabulous source of 0mega 3 fatty acids. Walnuts have been found to decrease LDL cholesterol, decrease inflammation, improve endothelial cell function, and decrease risk of excessive blood clotting, all of which decrease heart disease risk. They may also help reduce metabolic syndrome symptoms and decrease tummy fat. They are rich in antioxidants and may help protect against some cancers.

Chicken * an excellent source of lean, complete protein as well as B vitamins.

11 thoughts on “one of the unexpected benefits of lifting + a recipe

  1. Love the beautiful photos of the wildflowers! Hope you’re enjoying your time in Texas.

    I like the connection you made between physical and emotional strength, but I also like how you expanded that to talk about the emotional strength of those with physical disabilties – really poignant and thought-provoking!

  2. Thats a great point about physical strength! I feel the same about doing crazy yoga poses! If i had a gym (besides my school gym, which is extrememly limited in its potential for getting a good workout….) i would totally try that!
    your chicken looks yummy! the walnut rosmary combo sounds great! 🙂

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